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Archive of posts filed under the Guest blogger category.

Why Music Composer Yuvan Shankar Rajah Converted From Hinduism to Islam Seeking Solace, Inner Peace and Happiness

Popular music composer Illayaraj’s younger son and a famous composer himself Yuvan Shankar Raja Monday confirmed that he has converted to Islam, adding that he is proud of the decision which got his family’s support. Though the rumour was going around for quite some time, Yuvan, confirmed this in a tweet. “Yes, I follow Islam [...]

D.B.S. Jeyaraj’s Journey Home: Journalist in Exile Visits Sri Lanka for the First Time in 25 Years

Marianne David Interviews DBS Jeyaraj for DailyFT Pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Introduction Forced into exile 25 years ago and compelled to stay away in order to stay alive, journalist D.B.S. Jeyaraj always dreamt of returning to Sri Lanka. That flame of hope flickered occasionally, as the war dragged on and then escalated despite intermittent ceasefires, [...]

Two of the Three Killed in Northern Jungles Identified as Gobi and Theiveegan;Yet to be Identified Third Person Believed to be Appan.

ATTEMPTED RESURGENCE OF THE LTTE AND THE INCIDENT IN THE JUNGLE OFF PADAVIYA ON 11 APRIL 2014 An attempt for resurgence of terrorism in Sri Lanka surfaced in general area Pallai in the Jaffna Peninsula calling for launching another phase of the LTTE struggle for a separate state. The information on several key suspects who [...]

Bodu Bala Sena,Sihala Ravaya, and Ravana Balakaya are Saffron Robed Destroyers of Sinhala Buddhism.

By C.A.Chandraprema Can there be a more loathsome sight on earth than that of rampaging Buddhist monks in saffron robes? The sight is made doubly loathsome, because a ‘rampaging monk’ is a contradiction in terms – something that cannot be. The Buddhist expectation is that a monk in particular will have at least an outward [...]

Business Class Travel&all Expenses Paid Trip to Sri Lanka and Back by Five British MP’s and Their Partners Funded by Murali’s Charity Cancelled Hours Before Departure.

by Jonathan Miller Foreign Affairs Correspondent An all-expenses-paid trip by five UK MPs and their partners, including business-class travel to and from Sri Lanka, is cancelled amid cross-party recriminations – hours before departure. Sri Lanka The timing of the trip was controversial – coming just two weeks after the United Nations launched an investigation into [...]

Kajeepan Alias “Gobi” Attempting to Revive LTTE and Two Other Tigers Killed by Army in Shoot -Out at Nedunkerni in Vavuniya District Claims Military Spokesman.

Former LTTE member Gobi and two others were killed following a confrontation with the army in Vavuniya late last night, the army said today. Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that an exchange of gun-fire had taken place at Nedunkerni when soldiers had confronted Gobi and two other former rebels who were armed. The three [...]

Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seeker Janarthanan Sets Himself of Fire in Sydney After Australia Rejects his Appeal for Refugee Status

REJECTED ASYLUM-SEEKER SELF-IMMOLATES IN SYDNEY A Tamil asylum-seeker set himself on fire in Sydney last night after his appeal for refugee status was rejected. The man, believed to be in his late 20s, was taken to Concord Hospital after dousing himself in petrol outside his workplace in Balmain and setting himself alight. He has burns [...]

Jim Flaherty Was a Man Whose Humanity Trumped His Politics

by Glen Pearson | Director, London Food Bank, former Member of Parliament Jim Flaherty stared at me with tears streaming down his face. It was five years ago and I had been asked to speak at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa to support a group that helped with African adoptions. An effort supported by [...]

“Women and Children-The Cutting Edge of International Law” – Text of Grotius Lecture by Radhika Coomaraswamy

(This is the full text of the Prestigious Grotius lecture  by Dr.Radhika Coomaraswamy at the invitation of the  American Society of International Law and the International Law Association on April 9th 2014. The lecture titled “Women and Children-The Cutting Edge of International Law” was delivered at the Annual General Meeting of the American Society of [...]

PC Elections, an endorsement of corruption, nepotism, extremism and pseudo-patriotism

by Vishnugupta “In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.” ― Matt Taibbi When an analysis of a set of statistical data is done, unless one pays very close and scrupulous attention to the details in which the devil usually resides, one often misses the obvious [...]

Bodhu Bala Sena Targets Ven Watareka Thera in Colombo and Muslims of Marichchikkatti in Mannar

By Latheef Farook A small minority of Muslim families were living peacefully for centuries in the Marichchikatti village in the Musali division in Mannar district. They were involved in paddy cultivation and other such works .In keeping with their religious requirement they built their own mosque there. To help continue with their cultivation works the [...]

Mob of Over 250 Persons Including 11 Bhikkus Led by Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero Storms Holy Family Church in Asgiriya During Worship and Assaults Pastor and Wife.

On the 16th of February 2013, at approximately 6.30 p.m., a mob stormed into the premises of the Holy Family Church in Asgiriya (Kandy district) and demanded that worship services be stopped immediately. The mob had around 250 villagers and was led by a group of 11 Buddhist monks who belong to the Bodu Bala [...]

British Deputy High Commissioner in Colombo Tries to Intervene in Major Drug Trafficking Case Saying an Arrested Suspect is British Informant

By Meera Srinivasan The interest shown by a British diplomat in Colombo, in what seems to be a high-profile case of drug trafficking involving suspects from at least three countries, has raised eyebrows here. On April 3, the Deputy High Commissioner at the British mission in Colombo sought an appointment with the Inspector-General of Police [...]

Six Innocent Women From North and East Suspected of Being Relatives of Alleged LTTE Operatives Detained Under Inhuman Conditions-WAN

A Sri Lankan women’s rights group has claimed the government is arresting innocent female relatives of men it suspects are trying to revive the Tamil Tiger rebel group and subjecting them to ill-treatment. Women’s Action Network described the cases of six women it says were arrested from the north and east, the former civil war [...]

President Rajapaksa keeps Away From Final Match as Sri Lanka Cricket Team Breaks Jinx

By Dharisha Bastians “Our cricket embodied everything in our lives, our laughter and tears, our hospitality our generosity, our music, our food and drink. It was normality and hope and inspiration in a war-ravaged island. In it was our culture and heritage, enriched by our myriad ethnicities and religions. In it we were untouched, at [...]

Forced evictions in Colombo: The ugly price of beautification

The Centre for Policy Alternatives’ latest report “Forced Evictions in Colombo – The Ugly Price of Beautification” raises serious concerns with regard to the displacement of citizens in the city of Colombo due to the Urban Regeneration Project of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. It questions both [...]

Quino butterfly defies extinction by changing habitat and diet

BY Patrick Barkham The quino checkerspot butterfly has defied predictions of extinction by moving to higher altitudes and choosing a new plant on which to lay its eggs. Photograph: Butterfly Conservation A butterfly species whose population collapsed because of climate change and habitat loss has defied predictions of extinction to rapidly move to cooler climes [...]

Sections of Buddhist Clergy and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna to Fight for Rights of Muslims Besieged by Buddhist Extremists

by Latheef Farook Abandoned by the government, Muslim politicians and threatened by Sinhala extremists who are law unto themselves Buddhist monks leading the campaign to solve Muslim squatters’ housing problem at Wilpattu, Janatha Vimukthi Permanuna, JVP, fighting for the rights of the Muslims and the Muslims carrying the coffin of a Buddhist monk at a [...]

Sri Lanka Wins a World Cup Cricket Championship For Second Time After Winning ICC World Cup 18 Years Ago

by Dinesh Weerawansa Sri Lanka won a record second cricket World Cup cricket title beating India by six wickets in the World T20 final played in Dhaka, in Bangladesh, at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium yesterday. Having lost four finals in the last seven years, Sri Lanka finally broke the jinx in style in the [...]

Sri Lanka Beats India by Six Wickets in Thrilling Final at Mirpur to Become WorldTwenty20 Champions in Cricket

Kumar Sangakkara guided Sri Lanka to a six-wicket victory over India to win the World Twenty20 in Mirpur and end a run of four defeats in global finals. Sangakkara, playing his final Twenty20 international, scored 52 not out as Sri Lanka chased down 131 in 17.5 overs. Tight Sri Lanka bowling had limited India to [...]

An Independent,Credible Investigation Into All Actions By All Parties For The Entire Period Of The Conflict Would Be Good For Sri Lanka.

By Michele.J.Sison (Text of Opening Statement delivered by US ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele.J.Sison to the Sri Lanka Foreign Correspondents Association at the American Center in Colombo on April 3rd 2014) April 3, 2014 Thank you for inviting me to speak tonight. Last year, you also invited me to speak in early April, and I [...]

Residual LTTE Elements and Diaspora Groups Operating Overseas Would Have Been Stripped of Legitimacy Had Rajapaksa Regime Been Magnanimous.

By Dharisha Bastians The Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is having a spectacularly bad week. Technically, with the two assemblies lapsing in late April, March 29 elections for the Western and Southern Provincial Councils took place on schedule. But the polls were also extraordinarily timed – with a little help from the Elections Department – [...]

Rajapaksas Must be Dreading Scenario Where Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga Mounts the Political Platform again.

By Vishnugupta “Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.”–Benjamin Disraeli Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunga reigned with unbridled power and might for eleven years, first as Prime Minister and then as Executive President. For all those years in office, the only remarkable achievement she could probably write home about or even relate to her grandchildren [...]

GL Peiris Signs Order Under UNSC Resolution 1373 Designating Terrorist Entities on Recommendation Made by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

(Text of Press Statement Issued by Sri Lankan Ministry of External Affairs ) Order under UNSC Resolution 1373 signed by Minister Peiris An order, designating persons and entities in terms of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 which sets out strategies to combat terrorism and to control terrorist financing has been signed by Prof. [...]

The Post-Election Scenario: Lessons and Options for Government and Opposition

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA A famous soliloquy in the history of Hollywood movies in Don Siegel’s iconic film Dirty Harry begins with Clint Eastwood, playing Inspector Harry Callahan says “I know what you’re thinking— did he fire six shots or only five…” In similar vein I can tell what the strategists of the Opposition are [...]

“Has the mighty USA laboured and delivered a toothless mouse,taking our Tamil brethren for a ride?”

by Sunil de Silva For weeks if not months, the USA and the UK threatened that they would move a Resolution before the UNHRC to establish a ‘robust mechanism’ leading to a possible hauling of GOSL before an International War Crimes tribunal. The vaunted threat only provided the GOSL the opportunity of proclaiming ‘I would [...]

Meeting in Geneva Between Lankan Envoy to UN Ravinatha Aryasinha and TNA Parliamentarians Sumanthiran and Shritharan was only a “Courtesy Call”.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Five-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday rejected claims that secret talks had been held in Geneva between the TNA and the government prior to the vote on the US-led resolution on Sri Lanka last Thursday. TNA National List MP M. A. Sumanthiran told The Island that there was absolutely no basis for [...]

Ruling UPFA Wins Resoundingly in Western and Southern PC Elections but Registers Comparative Decline in Popularity

By Gagani Weerakoon The elections to appoint 155 councillors to the Western and Southern Provincial Councils concluded showing a clear reduction of votes polled by the ruling party, United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) even though, it was still able to secure a resounding victory with a large margin from its main opponent, the United National [...]

According to GL Peiris Theory on Voting at UN in Geneva Govt has Lost Elections here as 40%Voted Against and 35%Abstained from Voting-Kabir Hashim

By Umesh Moramudali and Ruwan Laknath Jayakody Reeling from the recent United Nations Human Rights Council defeat, the United People’s Freedom Alliance achieved a lackluster victory in the Western and Southern Provincial Council elections, and while the United National Party managed to stick with its usual voter base, the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna under the [...]

UNHRC Resolution in Geneva Offers Glimmer of Hope for the Victims of Human Rights Abuses and their Families in Sri Lanka.

By Sheila Varadan For the victims and their families in Sri Lanka, the resolution passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council this week in Geneva offers the first glimmer of hope for truth, justice and reparation for the serious human-rights abuses committed by both sides in the final stages of the civil war. It [...]

Tamil National Alliance Welcomes Resolution Passed by UN human Rights Council on Sri Lanka as a “victory for all Sri Lanka’s People”.

(Text of Statement issued by Tamil National Alliance Leader and Trincomalee district MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan) The Tamil National Alliance welcomes today’s Human Rights Council resolution which requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to undertake a comprehensive investigation in respect of past and post-war violations of human rights and the perpetration of serious crimes. The [...]

“As Sri Lankans Our Rejection of an Unfair, Hypocritical International Inquiry Must be Unconditional”-Dayan Jayatilleka

By DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA “The passage of the resolution marks a historic moment…” -R. Sampanthan, TNA leader (‘Tamil National Alliance Welcomes UNHRC Resolution’) One does not have to agree with a single sentence of the strident stonewalling engaged in by the representatives of Sri Lanka in Geneva, in order to oppose the grotesque call for [...]

US Sponsored Resolution Calling for International Probe on Alleged War Crimes in Sri Lanka passed at UNHRC with 23 Countries Supporting,12 Opposing and 12 Abstaining.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka calling for an international war crimes probe, with 23 countries voting for the US-backed resolution 12 countries voting against and 12 abstaining. While 12 countries including Pakistan, Maldives, Cuba,Venezuela, China, Russia voted against, 12 member-states abstained from voting, including India, Indonesia and [...]

Text of Resolution on Sri Lanka Passed at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 27th 2014.

United Nations Human Rights Council Twenty- fifth session Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Albania,* Austria, Belgium,* Bulgaria,* Canada,* Croatia,* Cyprus,* Denmark,* Estonia, Finland,* France, Georgia,* Germany, Greece,* Hungary,* Iceland,* Ireland, Italy, Latvia,* Liechtenstein,* Lithuania,* [...]

“The United States Stands With All The People Of Sri Lanka”-US Secretary of State John Kerry

(Text of Press Statement Issued by John Kerry, US Secretary of State on March 27, 2014) Today’s vote in the UN Human Rights Council sends a clear message: The time to pursue lasting peace and prosperity is now; justice and accountability cannot wait. This resolution reaffirms the commitment of the international community to support the [...]

Why India Abstained From Voting on the US Sponsored Resolution Against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

India has decided to abstain from voting for the US-backed resolution at the 25th session of the UNHRC in Geneva against Sri Lanka claiming that an external investigation mechanism hinders the efforts of the Sri Lanka to promote reconciliation rather than contributing constructively and complicates the prevalent situation in the country. Following is the explanation [...]

Eastern “Escapade” At Uga Bay: Sun, Surf and Fun Amidst a Personalised Paradise in Passekudah

By Marianne David It’s 6 a.m. in Passekudah and the skies are grey-blue with some low-lying clouds on the horizon. It’s already light out although the sun is yet to rise and it’s time for a jet-ski adventure before it gets too hot to venture out to sea. Despite the early hour, Manjula, the hotel’s [...]

Sri Lankan Presidential Commission on Disappearances Mandate Extended to cover Indian Army Period in Country from 1987 to 1990 Also

by Meera Srinivasan The Sri Lankan government has amended the time period for its Presidential Commission looking into cases of alleged disappearances in its Northern and Eastern Provinces to cover the 26 years 1983-2009. The Commission’s earlier mandate spanned the period from 1990 to 2009, but the new time frame is of relevance to India, [...]

Those Presenting our Case at the UNHRC Sessions are up Against their own Deficiencies and Shortcomings.

by Vishnuguptha “The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal – that you can gather votes like box tops – is, I think, the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.” ~ Adlai E. Stevenson Although they pretend otherwise for obviously local reasons, the last three years must have been very [...]

Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Says “LTTE Re-emergence Story”is Being Floated to Justify Heavy Military Presence.

By Meera Srinivasan The Sri Lankan army has heightened security in the country’s Northern Province through a host of measures, including vehicle checks, it is learnt. Jaffna Security Forces Commander Udaya Perera said the move was aimed at preventing a possible regrouping of LTTE sympathisers. “We hear that sections of the diaspora are funding some [...]

UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay Says Witnesses are Willing to Testify Before International Mechanisms on Sri Lanka.

By Dharisha Bastians UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay and the Government locked horns in Geneva yesterday, after the senior official pushed hard for an international investigation into alleged atrocities committed during the war in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha told the UN Human Rights Council that [...]

Sri Lankan Parents are Still Searching for their “Missing” Children

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Jaffna, Sri Lanka – For the past six years, Perinparani Thirunavukkarasu, 46, has been searching for her son who was snatched in front of her eyes in Jaffna, the former war-zone of northern Sri Lanka. Thirunavukkarasu is among thousands of people whose relatives disappeared or were killed during the final stages of [...]

Under Army Jackboot: Excessive Military Presence in Northern Sri Lanka Enables Monitoring and Controlling of Civilian Population

by International Crisis Group The heavy militarisation of Sri Lanka’s northern province after the civil war’s bloody end in 2009 has been the subject of growing domestic and international concern. The large numbers of military personnel in the north, and the deep involvement of the military in the province’s governance, endanger the re-establishment of democratic institutions that is [...]

Supreme Court Delivers Interim Order Suspending the Implementation of Administrative Instructions Issued by Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran.

by S.S.Selvanayagam The Supreme Court yesterday issued an Interim Order suspending the operation of the Administrative Standing Instructions of the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran. The Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Justices K.Sripavan and Sathya Hettige issued the Interim Order until the final determination of the fundamental rights petition filed by Northern Province Chief [...]

Rishad Bathiudeen Warns Bodhu Bala Sena Secretary Gnanasara Thero of Lawsuit Demanding 500 Million Rs Damages Unless Bhikku Tenders Apology.

by Zacki Jabbar Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday demanded that the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Secretary Galagodawatte Gnanasara retracts the recent defamatory allegations levelled against him and tenders an apology or face a Rs.500 million law suit. Addressing a press conference in Colombo, Bathiudeen said that that if Galagodawatte Gnanasara Thera did not [...]

Full Text of Administrative Circular Issued by Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaranthat has been Challenged in Courts

(Text of Administrative standing instructions No. 1/2014 – Issued by the Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran that has been challenged in courts by the Chief Secretary Vijayaletchumi Ramesh) 1. Channel of communication. Except instances relating to matters explicitly Indicted in the Constitution all reporting and submissions to the Hon Governor and to any others [...]

Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga Combats Rise of Religious Intolerance in Sri Lanka.

By Harim Peiris President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has, since her graceful retirement from office more than eight years ago after the completion of a constitutionally mandated two term limit, busied herself with an impressive portfolio of issues internationally—issues which are also crucial to our South Asia region. Her status as an elder stateswoman, allows her [...]

Bodhu Bala Sena Changes Street Name of Hassan Mawatte to Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatte in Mawanella town.

Mawanella town in the Kegalle district of Sabaragamuwa province in Sri Lanka was the latest venue of the on going anti -Muslim campaign conducted by the island nation’s foremost ethno-religious fascist organization known as the Bodhu Bala Sena(BBS). The Bodhu Bala Sena staged a mass meeting on Sunday March 23rd at Mawanella situated on the [...]

Supreme Court Grants Leave to Proceed on Fundamental Rights Violation Application Filed Against Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran by Chief Secretary Vijayalakshmi Ramesh.

By Chitra Weerarathne The Supreme Court yesterday said that the impugned document by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, pertaining to standing administrative orders issued to the Chief secretary of the Province appeared to encroach on the rights of the appointing authority of the Chief Secretary, the President, the National Public Services commission and the Provincial [...]

8 Members of Separatist “Tamizhar Viduthalai Padai”Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Attacking Tamil Nadu Police station in 1991.

by R. Sivaraman The Sessions Court for Exclusive Trial of Bomb Blast cases at Poonamallee on Monday sentenced eight members of the defunct Tamizhar Viduthalai Padai to undergo life-imprisonment for attacking Puthur Police Station in the erstwhile South Arcot district in 1991. Last week the court convicted nine persons, after holding them guilty of offences.

Latest Draft of US Sponsored UN Resolution Calls For UN Human Rights Commissioner to “Undertake” Investigation For Period From Feb 2002 to May 2009 Only

By Dharisha Bastians *Third draft text of US resolution on Sri Lanka circulated in Geneva *Sets up time-frame for OHCHR inquiry into violations in Sri Lanka *Draft resolution sticks to period of conflict studied by LLRC *Draft provides no mandate for probing post-war abuses *Amends operative paragraph on NPC to cover all provincial councils An [...]

Russian Referendum in Crimea and the Tamil Demand for a Referendum in North -Eastern Sri Lanka

by N Sathiya Moorthy Independent of the fate of the UNHRC vote this time, the recent referendum in distant Crimea should be a shocking eye-opener to Sri Lankan stake-holders of the ‘ethnic issue’, ‘accountability calls’ and all attendant concerns. At this rate, they could soon find either the Tamil community, or the Sri Lankan nation, [...]

Text of Interview Given to Website Over the Phone by Human Rights Defender Ruki Fernando Prior to Imposition of Gag Order by Courts.

Ruki Fernando interviewed by N.J. Viehland over the Telephone for “Catholic in Asia”. (This Interview was obtained before the gag order imposed by courts on human rights defenders Ruki Fernando and Fr.Praveen Mahesan.This has now been posted on the website “Catholic in Asia” by NJ Viehland.It is reproduced in full here) Human rights defenders Ruki [...]

Associating with Karunanidhi’s son Azhagiri and MDMK Leader Vaiko Gopalaswamy in Tamil Nadu Can Cause Problems for BJP.

By N Sathiya Moorthy. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko and former Union minister M K Alagiri are at the centre of a storm, which if fanned well by the National Democratic Alliance’s electoral competition, has the potential to rock the boat in 40 parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu [...]

Northern Province Chief Secretary Vijayalakshmi Ramesh Files Fundamental Rights Petition Before Supreme Court Against Chief Minister CV wigneswaran.

BY SHIROMI ABHAYASINGHE Northern Province Provincial Council Chief Secretary Vijayalkshmi Ramesh has filed a Fundamental Rights petition before the Supreme Court seeking a court directive to bar Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran from taking action to remove her from her post and to declare that the Chief Minister has violated her Fundamental Rights.

Ruki Fernando Tells CNN that his arrest was “deliberate attempt to intimidate and suppress any form of dissent and not allow people outside Sri Lanka know what is happening inside country”.

A prominent Sri Lankan rights activist controversially detained by his government under anti-terror laws says he believes his arrest was partly spurred by an international push to independently investigate the country’s human rights record following decades of civil war. Ruki Fernando, one of his country’s leading human rights activists, was arrested late Sunday night with [...]

Sardar Khushwant Singh, Famous Indian Writer and Editor, Passes Away at 99 in New Delhi.

Renowned author and journalist of India, Khushwant Singh breathed his last in the national capital New Delhi on Thursday March 20th. Singh was suffering from some breathing problem before he passed away. The writer of several books and recipient of Padma Vibhushan, Singh was not keeping well of late. His son and journalist Rahul Singh [...]

Chandrika Kumaratunga Protests to Mahinda Rajapaksa About Govt Secret Services Illegally Placing her and her Movements Under Constant Surveillance.

(Full text of letter sent by Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga on March 5th 2014 to President Mahinda Rajapaksa) His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, Presidential Secretariat, Colombo 1. Harassment of Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga through illegal surveillance I write to inform you of certain activities undertaken by your Government that have [...]

Court Jester Mervyn vs Court Serf Hakeem:An Epic Battle of Comic Proportions.

by Vishnuguptha “What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” ~James Madison One is court jester; the other a court serf. One ridicules himself unknowingly [...]

Gamini Dissanayake Pursued Practical, Smart Politics of the Sublime Without Resorting to Cheap, Populist Politics

by Palitha Pelpola (March 20th is the 72nd Birth Anniversary of Gamini Dissanayake) “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” ~John Kenneth Galbraith Gamini Dissanayake [...]

Army Spokesman Brig. Ruwan Wanigasekera Says Ruki Fernando and Fr.Mahesan are Being Questioned Under PTA About “Meetings with Terrorist Activists”.

by Chamikara Weerasinghe Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen Mahesan, prominent activists of the National Peace Council (NPC), were taken into custody in Kilinochchi by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasekera yesterday said. “They were taken into custody for questioning under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, because of their alleged connections with [...]

Centre for Policy Alternatives Statement on arbitrary detention of Human Rights Defenders

18th March 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is deeply concerned by the arrest and detention last week of several individuals in the North and East, including Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). CPA condemns these attempts by the Government of Sri Lanka [...]

Arrest of Ruki Fernando and Fr.Praveen Mahesan:UN Takes Note While the USA Expresses Concern.

The United Nations Organization (UNO) has taken note of the arrest of two human rights activists in Sri Lanka and recalled the Sri Lanka’s obligations towards the protection of human rights.

Five Prominent International Human Rights Organizations Jointly Condemn Arrest of Ruki Fernando and Fr.Praveen Mahesan as Attempt to Silence Criticism.

The arbitrary arrest and detention of prominent human rights defenders is an attempt to silence criticism and divert the spotlight from ongoing abuses, leading global and Asian human rights monitors said today in a joint statement. The statement was issued by Amnesty International, Forum Asia, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the International [...]

Kilinochchi Woman Activist Jeyakumari Balendra and 13 year old Daughter Vidushika Arrested for Allegedly Harbouring Attackers who Injured a Policeman.

By Dharisha Bastians After 24 hours of conflicting reports about the alleged raid on the home a Tamil woman and disappearances activist in Kilinochchi, the Tamil National Alliance has confirmed that Balendra Jeyakumari and her 13 year old daughter Vidushika were arrested following a raid on their home on Thursday night. The arrest has sparked [...]

Contempt of Court Proceedings Terminated Against Rishad Bathiudeen as Cabinet Minister Tenders Apology in Open Court to Judiciary

By Chitra Weerarathne Industry and Commerce Minister and UPFA Member of Parliament for Vanni District Rishad Bathiudeen, yesterday in the Court of Appeal, apologised to the members of the judiciary for the telephone registered under his name being used for calls which threatened the Mannar Magistrate A. Judeson, in respect of a judicial order, made [...]

“We did not Shame the Country by Making a Marriage Proposal to Navi Pillay like Mervyn Silva-Rauff Hakeem Lashes out.

By Faizer Shaheid Had the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) supported the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the country would have been divided already, SLMC Leader and Justice Minister, Rauff Hakeem, proclaimed at an election rally in Minuwangoda yesterday. Lashing out against the comments made by Minister of Public Relations and Public Affairs, Mervyn [...]

A New Crimean War in the Making as Russia is Being Pushed to the Wall.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake Half a league, half a league Half a league onward All in the valley of death Rode the six hundred “Forward, the Light Brigade! “Charge for the guns!” he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred – Charge of the Light Brigade – Alfred Lord Tennyson -1854 The “Charge [...]

Controversial Utterances of People Like Mervyn Silva,Weerawansa and Champika Ranawaka Reflect the Mind of President Rajapaksa more than Official Statements.

By Ranga Jayasuriya Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Just like Mervyn Silva, who is sounding like the self-appointed spokesman of the government, unleashed a wave of vitriol against the Muslim Congress, early this week. He warned SLMC Leader, Rauff Hakeem, that the fate of the Tiger supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, awaits any traitor. [...]

Fernandos,Hamines,Bandaras,Menikes,Somasundarams,Parvathis and Mohammeds are all Travelling on the same Highway Towards the Light of Development.

By K.K. Chandrasiri De Silva There was a thirty-year conflict and four years have lapsed since the end of the conflict. One has to reflect on what has been achieved on the ground within those four years, and assess if that progress is reasonable. Nobody is saying that the situation is perfect. Still there are [...]

Has the TNA Advocating Tamil Rights Become so Diplomatic that it Behaves like an Embassy Without Raising Legitimate Concerns with the International Community?

By Gibson Bateman and Rathika Innasimuttu The joint statement by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader Mr. R. Sampanthan and Northern Province chief minister Justice C.V. Wigneswaran on the draft resolution that has been floated at the UN’s Human Rights Council has a few positive components, but – for reasons laid out in this piece – [...]

How and Why Sri Lanka Should Argue that the UN Human Rights Council Must Reject an External Inquiry

by Dr DAYAN JAYATILLEKA “It’s a hard rain a-gonna fall” – Bob Dylan Going by media reports it would seem that the US-UK is veering towards a clearer fore-grounding of a mandate for investigation of Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a position which would crystallise around March 15th [...]

Villagers From Panama Whose Homes and Lands Were Grabbed for “Arugam Bay Tourism Zone”to Demonstrate in Colombo on March 14th.

National Human Rights Commission is inactive: Villagers of PANAMA protest Land Grabbing (Text of Press Communique Issued by the Panam-Paththuwa Surekeeme Sangvidhanaya Organization for the Protection of Panam-Paththuwa) People of Panama villages, including Shasthrawela, Ragamwela, Ulla, Ulpassa & Ragamwela will demonstrate their condemnation of the inaction of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Sri [...]

Swedish Radio Journalist with Dual British Nationality Nils Horner murdered execution-style in Kabul by Suspected Taliban

by Emily Dugan with Additional reporting by Aleem Agha A Swedish journalist with dual British nationality was shot and killed in central Kabul this morning as the country braced itself for a surge in violence ahead of next month’s presidential elections. Nils Horner, 51, was shot in the head with a silenced pistol while on [...]

Mervyn Silva Warns Rauff Hakeem that Prabhakaran’s Fate Awaits Anyone Resorting to Treacherous Activties Against the Country.

BY KARUNADASA WIDANAGAMAGE Minister Mervyn Silva on Tuesday warned Minister of Justice and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader, Rauff Hakeem, that Prabhakaran’s fate awaits anyone resorting to treacherous activities against the country. Addressing an election meeting of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), in Wewelduwa, Kelaniya, on 11 March, the Minister of Public Relations [...]

Whle Wanathamulla Residents Gain Reprieve UDA Seeks to Evict Another 90 Families in Kirulapona and Narahenpita

By Chrishanthi Christopher With the Wanathamulla residents getting redress last week, another group of people in Colombo who are facing fresh threats of being evicted from their homes, lodged complaints with the Human Rights Commission, yesterday. Around 30 families living in Colombage Mawatha, Kirulapone, and around 60 families from Bakery Watte, Narahenpita, who face eviction [...]

LTTE Rally with Tiger Flags Held at Dundas Square Turns Into Huge Flop with only 300 Participants out of 200,000 Sri Lankan Canadians in Toronto.

By Shamindra Ferdinando An LTTE rally held at Dundas Square, Toronto last Sunday (March 9) in support of an international war crimes investigation targeting Sri Lanka attracted fewer than 300 persons though Toronto is home to over 200,000 Canadians of Sri Lankan origin. Canada based sources told The Island that the National Council of Canadian [...]

Inept Opposition Parties Fail to Convince Voters that they are for the Country but Against Its Rulers

By Vishnuguptha “If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me.”–William Shakespeare Prior to the elections in the Wayamba and Central Provinces in September last year and also in the post-1994 era, the battle for electoral supremacy in the Sri Lankan [...]

UNP Candidate Actress Nadeesha Hemamali “Assaults” and Replaces her Campaign Manager for Spreading Rumours About Having an Affair with her.

By Faizer Shaheid and Menaka Indrakumar United National Party (UNP) candidate for the Southern Provincial Council election, Nadeesha Hemamali, has allegedly assaulted her campaign manager for spreading rumours about having an affair with her, Party source said. The sources added the campaign manager of the actress-turned-politician had allegedly revealed in public that he had been [...]

Five Years After the end of a Brutal War “Two Sri Lankas” Exist for the Island’s North and South

By Dharisha Bastians On a humid November day last year, throngs of men, women and children flocked to the dusty grounds of the Nallur Temple in Jaffna. At the appointed time, they moved near the Duraiyappah Stadium, a place where VVIP helicopters typically land. Placards, photographs and black armbands come out, as the crowd stands [...]

Tamil Nadu Fishers Take Away the Livelihood of Present and Future Generations of their Brethren Across the Palk Straits.

by N Sathiya Moorthy It is often argued, in the context of India-Sri Lanka fishers’ issue, that fish know no political/international borders, and fishers go where fish go. Taking off from here, it is also often proposed that a negotiated settlement to the decades-old dispute could be found through a cooperative venture involving fishers from [...]

Tamil Nadu Police Arrest Three Members of “Thamizhar Viduthalap Padai”Including its Leader for Planting Pipe Bombs in Two Places.

By L. Srikrishna In a major catch, the Q Branch police arrested three persons, belonging to “Thamizhar Viduthalai Padai”, on Tuesday on the charges of having planted pipe bombs at two places – one near Reliance Supermarket on the outskirts of Madurai and another near the residence of Union Minister Narayanaswamy in Puducherry a month [...]

“Namal was Brave Enough to face all the Criticism by Admitting that he Tweeted the Meme with all three of us” – Anarkali

Chamitha Kuruppu Interviews Anarkali Akarsha Anarkali Akarsha who will be contesting the Southern Provincial Council election from Matara District says she can handle mudslinging and face rumours and it does not hurt or hit her anymore. “If I think about my image and fight against these accusations, I will not have time carry out my [...]

Govt Plan to Stage “Sri Lanka Spring”in Support of Rajapaksa Regime put on hold as US Draft Resolution in Geneva is “toothless”.

by Upul Joseph Fernando The anticipation of a strong UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution in Geneva, which caused immense angst among the ruling cabal of the Rajapaksa regime, by all indications, is going to end up a damp squib. Even though the final draft of the resolution is yet to appear at UNHRC, it [...]

President Rajapaksa Telephoned Anura Kumara Dissanayake Four Times to Congratulate him but JVP leader did not pick up phone

By Niranjala Ariyanwansha Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said that while he had received four calls from the President on 3 February, presumably to congratulate him on being appointed as the Party Leader the previous day (2 February), he had declined to answer any of them. He opined that the [...]

India crosses the moral line of no return if Narendra Modi becomes prime minister

By Thane Richard In October 2012, I spoke to a crowd of mostly Indians in the Detroit area about the need for innovation in Indian media. After my talk, I was stopped by an Indian woman who looked to be in her forties, was elegantly dressed, well-spoken, and struck me as someone who I could [...]

West and Tamil Nationalists Ignore Reality that Two-thirds of a Strategically Significant Island is Inhabited by an Ethnic Community Constituting Two-thirds of Population.

by DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA Political correctness or the fear of it makes Sri Lankan commentators on the draft resolution on Sri Lanka as well as the calls for an international inquiry at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva blame the Government, the West (‘imperialism’) or the Tamil Diaspora. This uni-dimensional [...]

International Inquiry Likely to Uncover Evidence of Abuses by Defeated LTTE in a Form that would be hard for Tamils and Tamil Organizations to deny

By LOUISE ARBOUR BRUSSELS — IN early 2009, as many as 40,000 civilians were killed in the final days of Sri Lanka’s civil war, having been herded into an area about the size of Central Park and subjected to relentless shelling. No one has been held accountable for these crimes, and even now the government [...]

Thiruvaiaaru in Bambalappitty: An Evening of Song,Music and Dance for Thiyagarajar Aradhanai

Photos and text by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai “Music in the soul can be heard by the universe” ~ Lao Tzu “Magala Isai” at the beginning of the festival

Police Use Pepper Spray to Control Protesting Crowds as 4,000 Tamils with Red and Yellow Tiger flags Demonstrate Outside the UN in Geneva/

Thousands of Tamils demonstrated in Geneva on Monday to protest Sri Lanka’s rejection of calls for an international probe into alleged war crimes at the end of its civil war. Some 4,000 people, who had come from across Europe by bus and train, marched through Geneva and crowded into the square outside the United Nations’ [...]

Ex-LTTE Leader Elilan’s wife Anandhi Sasitharan Should be Thankful to Smart Lawyer MA Sumanthiran for Silencing her in Geneva and Preventing a Major Disaster

by Gamini Gunawardane According to the headline news item of The Island’ of March 8 titled Ms. Anandhi Sasitharan, Member of Northern Provincial Council had alleged that Mr. Sumanthiran MP had silenced her in Geneva. Her allegation is that the MP had ” deprived of the opportunity to address UNRC members at a recent crucial [...]

British Channel 4 TV releases Video Clip ahead of UN sessions in Geneva about “Systematic Brutality” and “Sexual Violence” of Sri Lankan Armed Forces

by Meera Srinivasan Just as countries on the U.N. Human Rights Council prepare to vote on a United States-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka, a new video clip released by British public-service television broadcaster Channel 4 has accused the Sri Lankan armed forces of having an “underlying culture of systematic brutality and sexual violence.” Channel 4 [...]

Church of South India’s Nandyal Diocese Bishop Pushpa Lalitha is the First Woman Bishop of India.

By Bishop Duleep de Chickera A reflection for Women’s International Day As the world keeps Women’s International Day my mind goes back to a recent meeting with the first Indian woman Bishop; probably Asia’s first as well. (1) We were both in Kerala to participate at the Annual Convention of the Church of South India, [...]

A Five-Pronged Strategy For Sri Lanka to Counter the Challenge From International and Local Forces.

By Patali Champika Ranawaka “There is now an attempt at social imperialism to impose social values…” Yoweri Musevei – Ugandan President, responding to Western criticism and threats to impose sanctions on Uganda after the President signed a bill that penalised homosexuality. (10 March 2014). Finally, the US government distributed its draft resolution on Sri Lanka, [...]

Will India Vote for,Vote Against or Abstain when the US Resolution on Sri Lanka is Taken up for Voting at the UNHRC in Geneva?

by Dilrukshi Handunnetti The guessing game has been on for months as to how India would vote when the US-sponsored resolution is up for a vote by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), in Geneva this month. For some politicians, analysts and even citizens – generally dispassionate about matters of foreign policy – debating [...]

How Far will the Jayalalithaa Factor Impact on the next Indian Govt in its Approach Towards Sri Lanka?

by A Special Correspondent The million dollar question that is intriguing everyone in both India and Sri Lanka is, which combination of parties will form the next government in India and who will be Prime Minister after the April elections to the Lok Sabha, the Lower House of the Indian Parliament. Sri Lankans, whether the [...]

Creeping Towards an International Inquiry into War Crimes as Bodies are Unearthed Regularly in Sri Lanka-The Economist

Evidence of past atrocities keeps turning up in Sri Lanka. Last year 154 bodies were unearthed from a mass grave behind a hospital in Matale, in the centre of the island—victims, in all likelihood, of an uprising by Marxist rebels in the 1980s. In February an excavation in Mannar, in the north-west, produced 81 bodies, [...]

Sovereignty of a Small Nation Like Sri Lanka is Like the Virginity of a Poor but Attractive Damsel Living in a Violent Neighbourhood.

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island”of March 10th 2014 under the heading “Rape of sovereignty”) The Geneva circus is on with the worst violators of human rights in the world masquerading as champions of democracy. Perhaps, there is no bigger farce than this summit. The UNHRC is dominated by the West and, therefore, it [...]

What will Happen in a Situation Where Cattle Slaughter is Totally Banned in Sri Lanka and not a Single Cow is Killed?

By Zahrah Imtiaz Imagine a scenario where no one in the country would be allowed to slaughter a cow. With religious fervour firing the imagination of many to call for such a ban, this could very likely be the scenario in the near future. The issue here however is not religious and more to do [...]

“Amazing Lahiru Thirimanne may Become Kumar Sangakkara’s Replacement in the Long Term”Opines Skipper Angelo Mathews.

After missing most of Sri Lanka’s series against Bangladesh with an ankle injury, Lahiru Thirimanne returned to the side ahead of the Asia Cup. After he scored a century in the final to help his team achieve a five-wicket win, Sri Lanka’s captain Angelo Mathews said Thirimanne had batted with a “bit of a niggle” [...]

Sri Lanka Cricket and Skipper Angelo Mathews on Upward March After Winning Asia Cup.

By Roshan Abeysinghe The Asia Cup which was conducted with much expectation has finally ended. The giants of Asian cricket did flex their muscles and the outcome sadly for teams such as Bangladesh has been predictable. Having the opportunity of playing at home in front of the large crowds Bangladesh has faltered not just against [...]

Under the Guise of Demanding Accountability and Reconciliation the USA is Seeking a Regional Military Base in Sri Lanka says Tamara Kunanayakam Former Envoy to UN in Geneva

By Dilrukshi Handunnetti Under the guise of demanding accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, the United States is exerting pressure on Sri Lanka to secure concessions, possibly of a military nature, Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva, said. Kunanayakam told Ceylon Today the US needed a strategic [...]