UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya yesterday exposed various ills of the Government, its ulterior motives in going for Provincial Council elections as well the failure to restore law and order in the country.
“The attempt of the Government has come to light, to win the forthcoming Provincial Council Election by whatever means and to show that the masses are with them,” Jayasuriya told a press conference yesterday.
Continue reading ‘“Let us Bring Victory to our Party and to our Nation”-Karu Jayasuriya’ »
BY OUR CHENNAI CORRESPONDENT
The residents in the affluent Sarvodaya Enclave in New Delhi have on 8 August filed a petition at the New Delhi High Court, asking for the removal of former Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s North-Eastern Provincial Council, Annamalai Varatharajaperumal and his 25 men-strong security contingent from the enclave, as they have become a nuisance, interrupting the day-to-day lives of the residents.
Continue reading ‘Delhi Neighbours dont want N-E ex-Chief MinisterVaratharajaperumal in their midst’ »
By S.Vijay Kumar
An impartial investigation led by the United Nations is the only way to render justice to those affected by war crimes in Sri Lanka, Amnesty International Chief Executive in India G. Ananthapadmanabhan has said.
G. Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive, Amnesty International, during an interview with “The Hindu” in Chennai. Photo: R. Ravindran
The island nation will soon be in the international eye thanks to the impending Commonwealth Heads of Governments meeting and the U.N. Universal Periodical Review of Human Rights practices in countries, he pointed out.
Continue reading ‘Amnesty International wants U.N.led probe into Sri Lanka war crimes’ »
The YMCA Ground at Royapettah in Chennai, which will be the venue for the TESO conference on Friday. Photo: S.S. Kumar
A conference of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO), scheduled here for Sunday, has run into rough weather, with the Centre asking the organisers to drop the word ‘Eelam’ from the title of the meeting.
Continue reading ‘Indian Govt wants TESO Conference Organizers to Drop the word ‘Eelam’’ »
By A Special Correspondent
The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Chennai Police Commissioner to consider an application seeking permission for conducting the Eelam Tamils Livelihood Rights Conference, organised by the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO), at YMCA, Royapettah, on August 12, and pass appropriate speaking orders.
Continue reading ‘Courts Direct Chennai Police Commissioner to Determine fate of TESO Conference’ »
The Hindu Janata party president Subramanian Swamy speaking at the valedictory of the defence seminar ‘Towards lasting peace and stability,’ in Colombo on Friday. Photo: R.K. Radhakrishnan
It will be much easier to fight Sri Lanka’s enemies abroad, if there is some devolution of powers to the Tamils areas in the near future, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy said in Colombo on Friday.
Continue reading ‘Subramanian Swamy wants Police Powers for Provincial Councils in Sri Lanka’ »
By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, Michigan State University
Sumangala Kailasapathy, reports Ann Arbor News, will be one of three new faces soon on the Ann Arbor City Council.
A Certified Public Accountant, Kailasapathy ran for the Democratic Party’s nomination against the Democratic Mayor’s big projects (like a proposed railway station and a countywide expansion of public transit services), in favor of services and citizens’ priorities. She received an astounding 57.7% of the vote.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan American Sumi Kailasapathy Wins Big in Ann Arbor’ »
Rauff Hakeem MP-pic: lankamuslim.com
By Rauff Hakeem
(Text of statement issued by Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and Minister of Justice, Rauff Hakeem)
A statement I made recently in Sainthamaruthu, Kalmunai, has created a very grave concern among Buddhists leaders and Buddhist prelates including the Jathika Hela Urumaya.
Continue reading ‘“I wish to Tender an Unreserved Apology to all Buddhists of Sri Lanka”’ »
by Secretariat for Muslims
The Secretariat for Muslims is deeply concerned by the recent problems in Mannar including acts of violence, allegations of intimidation, and the manner in which the underlying issues are being addressed.
The Secretariat for Muslims (SFM) affirms the need to respect the independence of the judiciary and the integrity of our courts of law.
Continue reading ‘Minimising Ethnizisation of Difficult Re-settlement Issues by all Concerned Actors is Imperative’ »
By Gagani Weerakoon
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament that allowing UPFA MP to make a statement on the Mannar incident soon after the day’s businesses of the House, was in violation of the provisions of the Parliamentary Standing Orders.
He said UPFA MP Hunais Farook was allowed to make a statement to the House on 18 July even after the reply speech made at an adjournment debate was completed.
Continue reading ‘Was Hunai Farook Statement on July 18th a Violation of Parliamentary Standing Orders?’ »
By Amal S. Kumarage
One can only thank Mr. C.A.Chandraprema for choosing an apt title ‘University Dons in Cuckoo land’ for his article published in the Sunday Divaina and Sunday Island of 4th August.
There is no disagreement that is exactly where university dons have been for the last several years.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa conferred with honorary Doctorate by University of Moscow in Russia, Feb 2010
The difference now is that finally they have realized how ‘cuckoo’ they have been to believe that Sri Lanka is marching towards a Knowledge Hub when over the last 6 years the reality is that funding per university student has been gradually reduced;
Continue reading ‘Demands of University Dons: Who’s gone Cuckoo?’ »
University academic staff have now been on strike for one month. This is now the longest strike engaged in by university teachers in this country. Minister Basil Rajapaksa has been called upon to settle the matter.
Last Wednesday, a meeting was held between representatives of the Federation of University Teacher’s Associations (FUTA) and Rajapaksa whose team of negotiators comprised of Charitha Herath, Anura Siriwardene, Damma Dissanayake among others.
Continue reading ‘University dons in cuckoo land’ »
By Ayesha Zuhair
‘Secure the Sanctity of Life’ is a message for all times – not just in times of war. That was the message inscribed in Sinhala, Tamil and English on a brightly coloured street mural at the Kynsey Road / Rosmead Place intersection in Borella.
The road painting commemorating Neelan Tiruchelvam vandalised in Colombo on Saturday. Photo: R.K. Radhakrishnan-courtesy: The Hindu
For both pedestrians and motorists alike, it was an iconic image conveying a powerful message of peace that was hard to miss.
Continue reading ‘Why was Street Mural Commemorating Neelan Tiruchelvam defaced with tar?’ »
by Indi Samarajiva
pic courtesy of: indi.ca
I’m a Buddhist and have the utmost respect for the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, that being the community of practice. There are, however, claimed and robed Buddhists who are a shame to us all, to all Sri Lankans.
For example, in Panamai, a mob led by a Buddhist monk has stolen a statue from a Hindu Kovil, a place where it was safe for Buddhists or Hindus to worship. This violent thuggery is an affront to all people of faith, and everyone really.
Continue reading ‘More Thuggery In The Name Of Buddhism’ »
by Gotabaya Rajapaksa
(Text of Keynote address by Defence and Urban development secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa at opening ceremony of Defence Seminar – 2012′, at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo on August 8th 2012)
Secretary Defence delivers Keynote Address-pic: Defence.lk
It gives me great pleasure to address the Opening Ceremony of the Defence Seminar 2012. This is the second successive year in which the Defence Seminar is being organised by the Sri Lanka Army.
On behalf of the Government, I take great pleasure in warmly welcoming to Sri Lanka all of the distinguished delegates who have come from many countries around the world to attend this event.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka in the midst of a National Revival is One of the most Peaceful and Stable Countries in the World’ »
Rosy Senanayake Interviewed by Dianne Silva
Q:There have been a number of reports of child abuse in recent months, do you think that the responsibility of curtailing these incidents lies in the hands of the police and that they are doing enough to control the situation?
Continue reading ‘‘I am a Woman of Principle and the UNP is my base Party’’ »
Karu Jayasuriya MP
by Ajith Siriwardana
Senior UNPer Karu Jayasuriya said today the government had developed a helicopter mania and were blatantly abusing state resources for their election campaign as never before.
“They are using helicopters unnecessarily even to travel a short distance, such as attending a school sports meet,” he told a news conference in Colombo this morning.
Continue reading ‘Government has Developed a Mania for Helicopters says Karu Jayasuriya’ »
By Ananda Weerasuriya
Mount Lavinia District Judge Priyantha Fernando issued an enjoining order yesterday, preventing the United National Party (UNP) Working Committee (WC) from extending the term of the party leadership to six years.
The judge also issued notice on UNP leader Ranil Wickremesighe and 85 members of the WC to appear in Court on 22 August and show cause why the amendment to the constitution was introduced.
Continue reading ‘Courts Suspend UNP Constitutional Amendment to Extend Party Leader Term for 6 Years’ »
Premakumar Gunaratnam Interviewed by Peter Boyle
Premakumar Gunaratnam. Photo by Peter Boyle
Premakumar Gunaratnam, an ethnic Tamil from Sri Lanka, who now has Australian citizenship, returned to his home country in September 2011 to help organise the launch of a new left party, the Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP), a major breakaway from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP, People’s Liberation Front).
He had been a JVP activist for three decades and a member of its underground political bureau since 1994.
Continue reading ‘‘We Believe There is National Oppression of the Tamil and Muslim People but Reject Self-Determination or Devolution to North-Eastern Lanka’-FLSP’ »
By Richard Obedi
(An Ugandan perspective on the problems faced by Bosnia and Herzegovina, calling for the country’s citizens to build a new relationship amongst themselves; based upon a real understanding of each other’s respective needs, fears and aspirations)
Post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) – split along ethno-national lines into three constituent people – denies its citizens the possibility of embracing a civic, unifying identity. This complex lack of a single identity – one that ties individuals to the country – contributes to fuelling persistent instability, confusion and uncertainty.
Continue reading ‘Reconciliation is important in conflict prevention, co-existence and nation building’ »
By Ayesha Zuhair
Christine Robichon, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, in an interview with the Daily Mirror, while commending the “huge progress” accomplished on the economic front, opines that economic development alone is not sufficient to achieve a just and lasting peace.
Foreign friends, she further asserts, cannot help much in the political reconciliation process, which is the responsibility of the government, political parties, religious leaders, civil society and intellectuals of Sri Lanka.
The full interview with the French Ambassador:
Continue reading ‘“French Policy Towards Sri Lanka is Determined by Principles and Values and not influenced by the Tamil Diaspora “- French Envoy’ »
Report issued as statement by the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Diocese of Jaffna, Sri Lanka
The widely advertised ‘war for peace’ came to an end more than three years ago. Yet the fruits of this peace are yet to be enjoyed by the people in the North, who were most affected mentally, physically and economically.
This reality is verified by the day to day events which are taking place here.
Continue reading ‘External Face-lift Given to North does not Correspond with Reality Deep down in hearts of the People’ »
Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, Feb 2011- – Photo:B_Velankanni Raj – Courtesy: The Hindu
by Kath Noble
The 65 million Tamils across the Palk Strait have played a huge role in the Sri Lankan conflict.
They make Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority a minority both globally and in the immediate region, and they have become extremely hostile to the government, which many of them regard as Sinhalese rather than Sri Lankan. They are commonly perceived as a threat to the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu must be made a Friend of Sri Lanka and not a Deadly Foe’ »
Many signs are in English and Sinhala but not Tamil – the local language-pic: BBC
by Charles Haviland
North-eastern Sri Lanka has been off-limits to journalists and most other outsiders since the civil war ended in 2009, but the authorities have now granted BBC correspondent Charles Haviland access to much of the area.
I was with the army as they detonated left-over munitions near a major battle scene.
Continue reading ‘Expanded Army Intelligence Monitors What ‘People Eat for their Lunch’ in North-Eastern Sri Lanka’ »
by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.
Now that the LLRC Action Plan is out, it has drawn the usual reactions. Those who find good things in it claim that these have been forced on government. Others claim that it does not go far enough. Kusal Perera does both.
Interestingly we do not yet find criticism that it goes too far, though I suspect this viewpoint too will be expressed in time, for the usual reason.
Continue reading ‘I Hope we Concentrate on the Needs of our People Rather than Merely Keeping Happy the International Community’ »
By P K Balachandran
Chandran Rutnam, a veteran Sri Lankan Tamil movie director, and B S Radha Krishnan, a Chennai-based producer, have collaborated to make a Hollywood film starring Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross which is to be released in Los Angeles next month.
Speaking to Express here on Monday, Rutnam said that the film entitled A Common Man was shown to critics and distributors in Hollywood on July 11 and that it had secured a fantastic reception.
Continue reading ‘Hollywood Movie ‘A Common Man’ Starring Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross co-Produced by Sri Lanka’s Chandran Rutnam and Asia Capital’ »
by A.V. Ragunathan
Tamil refugees who opt to go to Sri Lanka face a tricky situation. If they find unfavourable conditions on the island nation and want to return, they will have to forfeit their refugee status.
As such on their re-entry, they will not be allowed to live with their families in refugee camps. They will also have to forego government benefits meant for refugees.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Tamil refugees opting to Return from India face chilling Dilemma’ »
IND V SL – 5TH ODI – KANDY ~ Irfan Pathan’s second five-wicket haul helped India beat Sri Lanka by 20 runs in Pallekele and take the series 4-1 ~ pic courtesy of: srilankacricket.lk
For the second time in three matches, some Sri Lankan spectators went after Indian fans waving flags, mouthed obscenities and generally gave Indian supporters a hard time during the T20 match.
A few Indian spectators said that some Sri Lankan supporters were throwing beer cans, water bottles, and glasses at them. Some of these Sri Lankan supporters were in the Ministers’ box, and were throwing things, and mouthing obscenities.
Continue reading ‘Unruly Sri Lankan Spectators Continue targeting Indian Fans’ »
Jayantha Dhanapala – pic: iiss.org
by Jayantha Dhanapala
(Text of address at an event to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the US-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission in Sri Lanka)
My subject has been given to me by the Fulbright Commission but I tweaked it by adding the bit about ‘Realpolitik’ because I do feel, as Chris Teal, the Chairman of the Fulbright Commission has told you, that the humanist aspect in international relations has gradually encroached upon realpolitik but the hard core of realpolitik remains there.
Continue reading ‘Can National Interest be Divorced from the Human Interests of Individuals in Nation States?’ »
by Thulasi Muttulingam and Surani Perera
What is the Problem?
There are several markers that Sri Lanka is still very far from being a developed country. One of the most obvious..? Most developed countries not only retain their youth but also actively solicit them from other countries to sustain their burgeoning economies.
In Sri Lanka though, planeloads—and even more worrisomely now, boatloads of youth leave our shores, or try to, each day.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s youth exodus: Why is this Happening ?’ »
Illustration by Sorit – courtesy: Outlook India
by Meena Kandasamy
Marriage took me to Mangalore. Living in Attavar, I saw the city as a sister/lover: a feisty woman caught in the grip of a violent, disapproving man, she’d be rid of him if she found her strength.
So, when I first heard of the recent assault by Hindutva vigilantes at a resort in Padil, I was relieved that Mangalore’s everyday fate was finally gaining national attention.
Continue reading ‘Hindutva Hooliganism ‘Legitimises’ Itself Under the Guise of Protecting ‘Indian Culture’’ »
President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney
By C. Raja Mohan
The contrast between the international images of the US president, Barack Obama, and his presumptive Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, has become starker in the last few days.
When presidential candidate Barack Obama travelled to Europe in 2008, he wowed the world with his sweeping rhetoric and uplifting ideas. Four years later, Romney has repeatedly fumbled in his recently concluded tour of Britain, Israel and Poland.
If Obama invited adulation, Romney drew much media derision.
Continue reading ‘New Delhi comfortable with Barack Obama but should have little difficulty in working with Mitt Romney’ »
In a peculiarly aggressive display of “Saffron Terrorism” a mob led by a Buddhist Priest has deployed force and taken away a statue of the Elephant faced deity known as Pillaiyar in Tamil and Gana Deiyo in Sinhala from a Hindu temple in Panamai on the Eastern coastal district of Amparai.
Banner at – Sithi Vinayagar Hindu temple in Panamai
In a flagrant violation of law and order and the freedom of worship, an ancient statue of God Pillaiyar also known as Vinayagar and Ganesh was seized by a mob and taken away from the Sithi Vinayagar Hindu temple in Panamai /Panama in broad daylight on Monday August 6th.
Continue reading ‘Mob led by Buddhist Priest Forcefully Takes Away Pillaiyar Statue From Hindu Temple’ »
Last week I wrote on the topic of self-determination. This drew many comments. One of which was to the effect that Tamil political leaders seem to believe that these issues can be settled by presenting a good legal brief, but they are eventually settled by practical power politics and the military.
M.A.Sumanthiran MP – pic courtesy of: YATV
That point is well taken. Yet, there is a place for properly understanding what we really mean when we use certain words and phrases.
Continue reading ‘Can Anyone Honestly say that Federalism will lead to Secession?’ »
by Gotabaya Rajapaksa
(Text of speech delivered by Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was the Chief Guest at the Passing out Parade of a batch Officers and Airmen of the Sri Lanka Air Force on 3rd August at the SLAF Academy in China Bay)
It gives me great pride to review the passing out parade of the 53rd Intake of the Sri Lanka Air Force.
I congratulate all of you for an excellent parade, and for having completed your training at this prestigious Academy. From today, all 84 cadets and 386 other recruits will become members of one of the finest Air Forces in the world.
Continue reading ‘Responsibilities Vested With Armed Services May Go Beyond What Is Customary’ »
by N Sathiya Moorthy
In a masterly stroke aimed at improving bilateral economic relations on the one hand, and job opportunities for the Tamil victims of the ethnic war, New Delhi and Colombo have agreed to set up Special Economic Zones (SEZ) for Indian engineering, auto components and pharmaceutical industries in the eastern port town of Trincomalee.
Marking Human Rights Day in Trincomalee-file pic, 2008-pic by: Drs. Sarajevo
The decision, taken at a meeting the visiting Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had with Sri Lankan Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at Colombo, provides for the setting up of ancillaries units for auto-manufacturers and other engineering companies, located in Tamil Nadu and the rest of South India.
Continue reading ‘Setting up Special Economic Zones in Trincomalee aimed at Providing Job Opportunties for Tamil victims of Ethnic War’ »
by Amardeep Singh
One of the issues that has come up periodically in the Sikh community in the U.S. since 9/11 has been how to handle the common problem that men in turbans are presumed by many Americans to be Muslims.
Mayor Bloomberg visits Sikh Cultural Society in Queens, NY with Police Commissioner Kelly.
August 6, 2012-Photo Credit: Spencer T Tucker-via: NYC Mayors Office
A man named Balbir Singh Sodhi was shot down in Arizona just a few days after 9/11 for precisely that kind of misrecognition, and there were quite a number of other instances of attacks not as extreme as murder that occurred in those first few months.
Continue reading ‘Beyond Recognition and Misrecognition: the Shooting at Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin’ »
by Rafiga Gurbanzade
Lobbying is generally defined as the process of seeking to influence a government and its institutions to execute policies that serve interests of a group of individuals.
The Woodstock Theological Center defines lobbying as a “deliberate attempt to influence political decision through various forms of advocacy directed at policymakers on behalf of another person, organization or group” (58).
Continue reading ‘How Ethnic Lobbying Impacts On US Foreign Policy’ »
by John Scales Avery
At the end of the Second World War, when the full extent of the atrocities that had been committed by the Nazi’s became known, it was decided to prosecute Nazi leaders for crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity (such as extermination camps).
pic by: Michael Dawes
There was disagreement about how such trials should be held, but after some debate between the Allied countries, it was agreed that 24 Nazi officials and military leaders would be tried by an International Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, a former center of Nazi politics.
Continue reading ‘All Adult Citizens Are Breaking International Law If Complicit In War Crimes Committed By Their Governments’ »
by Robert Fisk
Has there ever been a Middle Eastern war of such hypocrisy? A war of such cowardice and such mean morality, of such false rhetoric and such public humiliation?
I’m not talking about the physical victims of the Syrian tragedy. I’m referring to the utter lies and mendacity of our masters and our own public opinion – eastern as well as western – in response to the slaughter, a vicious pantomime more worthy of Swiftian satire than Tolstoy or Shakespeare.
Continue reading ‘The War in Syria is all about Iran and our desire to crush the Islamic Republic and its Infernal Nuclear Plans’ »
By Shirani Seneviratne
(This is a response to the article written by William Mcgowan in “Foreign Affairs” that was posted on dbsjeyaraj.com under the heading”militant Buddhists are behaving badly in Sri Lanka)
Reclining Lord Buddha in Adams Peak – pic by: Feng Zhong, Feb 2012
It’s deeply disturbing that a magazine such as Foreign Affairs would stoop to publish such an article as this. It is more of a diatribe than a well balanced article that one expects from a magazine such as Foreign Affairs and it is shocking that the publishers would allow a writer to drag the magazine in the mud.
Continue reading ‘Militant Buddhism is a Recent Phenomenon and was not Behind the Civil war’ »
by Hemantha Warnakulasuriya
I was informed by an agent, allegedly working for ‘Digos’, the Secret Police of Italy, that certain video clips were being prepared by the LTTE to bolster its claim that the Sri Lankan soldiers committed war crimes.
This was to be used internationally by the LTTE as proof of atrocities committed by the government of Sri Lanka. According to the informant, Prabahkaran was certain that the LTTE would be able to push back the Sri Lankan army to its pre-war position.
Continue reading ‘How Adrian Anthony Gill Critiqued Channel 4 Documentary on Sri Lanka’ »
pic via: ceypetco.gov.lk
By S. Talpahewa
It appears that Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is now afflicted with the chronic disease of Off-specification Fiascos.
During the short period of the last three years four major “off-specifications fiascos” had occurred at the CPC. They are –
Continue reading ‘Petroleum Corporation has Four ‘off Specification Fiascos’ in Three Years -1’ »
Rtd. Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva
Sarath Nanda Silva Interviewed by Dianne Silva
Question:In light of the upcoming provincial council elections; what is your opinion on the provincial council system and the devolution of power, is it effective in a country as small as Sri Lanka? Should the PC’s be given more power?
Continue reading ‘President wanting Centralization of Power and Tamil side wanting a certain sense of Autonomy Causes Sharp Conflict says Ex –Chief Justice’ »
Wetting feet in the sea, with Pigeon Island, Trincomalee – in the background-pic: Drs Sarajevo
by Charitha Ratwatte
Sri Lanka’s dependence on imported milk is a phenomenon that evolved during the time frame of my lifetime.
I well remember as a child, a man used to bring a cow and its small calf to our house – we lived in a Government quarters bungalow in Colombo – and milk the cow, in the presence of my mother, and give her the fresh milk in containers provided by her, for the family’s daily consumption.
Continue reading ‘Dairy Cattle in Sri Lanka Declining due to Rise in Beef Eating Consumption’ »
By N. Sathiya Moorthy
The timely announcement on the setting up of official mechanisms for the implementation of the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) should be welcome for more reasons than one.
On the face of it, the Roadmap on the LLRC Report implementation seeks to address the concerns, real and otherwise, expressed in and by the US-sponsored Geneva resolution of the UNHRC. Even more importantly, it has fixed responsibility and accountability on officials across the board and down the line on post-war national efforts at rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation, nearer home, for addressing political and administrative aspects.
Continue reading ‘Is the Sri Lankan Govt Addressing Concerns of the International Community or the Tamil Victims of the War?’ »
By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha M.P
Having now gone through the LLRC Action Plan, I can understand how sensible it was of the Cabinet to appoint, not politicians, but the Secretary to the President to work on it. And he in turn was inspired to appoint extremely competent public servants who would not be looking over their shoulders to see what political or personal fallouts their recommendations might cause.
Continue reading ‘The need to setup a Land Commission as envisaged by the Thirteenth Amendment’ »
by Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
You have been called the ‘Controversial Bishop’ and recently Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen claimed that you were the ‘cause’ for the clash in Mannar where Muslims attacked the magistrate and the Tamil fishermen in Uppukkulam? What is your explanation?
UK’s High Commissioner John Rankin in discussion with Mannar Bishop Rev. Rayappu Joseph, Jul 12, 2012-pic: UK In Sri Lanka
I am called a controversial Bishop because there are ‘controversial’ issues taking place and when I speak on those issues I turned to be ‘controversial’.
Continue reading ‘An Interview with ‘Controversial’ Mannar Catholic Bishop Rayappu Joseph’ »
Sigmund Freud (6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939)
By Tisaranee Gunasekara
“Have you learned nothing from history?” – Sigmund Freud (The Failure of an Illusion)
The exodus began a few years after the independence. The first to leave were the Burghers.
Realising that the equation of Sinhala with national (desheeya) in the politico-cultural sphere rendered precarious their place in independent Ceylon, most of the Burghers upped and left, in search of more tolerant pastures.
Continue reading ‘‘Rajapaksas in their Dynastic Interest Encourage and Foster Ethno-Religious Extremism and Extremists of all Communities’’ »
by Kishali Pinto Jayawardene
One cannot fail to be amazed at the considerable ingenuity if not wild imagination with which the government’s National Plan of Action to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission has been drafted.
Some responses invoke chuckles of glee whilst other promises invoke far more heated reactions given the sheer chutzpah with which they have been made.
Continue reading ‘Govt National Action Plan to Implement LLRC report lacking Sincerity and Honesty is Another Consummate Exercise in Deception’ »
President R. Premadasa
by S. Venkat Narayan
NEW DELHI, August 4: In July 1989, then Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa had threatened to go to war with India if it did not withdraw the Indian Peace-Keeping Force (IPKF) by the end of that month.
He issued the threat when BG Deshmukh, then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s Special Envoy met him in Colombo on July 12 and 13 to discuss the IPKF’s withdrawal from the island.
Continue reading ‘When President Premadasa Threatened War, India was Prepared to Go to War with Sri Lanka’ »
By Tisaranee Gunasekara
“This accursed, shortsighted statecraft!” – Heinrich von Kleist (Prinz Friedrich)
The Eastern province, multi-ethnic and multi-religious, is Sri Lanka’s Achilles Heel. Mishandle the East and the outcome will not be a cleanly bifurcated separatist war.
Mishandle the East and the outcome will be a ‘war of all against all’, involving every ethnic/religious group in Sri Lanka (plus several foreign powers in supportive roles), and infecting every nook and cranny of the island.
Continue reading ‘Those Defending Minister Bathiudeen Because he is a Muslim or a Rajapaksa Acolyte are Feeding the Monster of Impunity’ »
By Nirmala Kannangara
Despite Presidential Security Division (PSD) and Police Media Spokesperson’s claim that Ann Kingston (nee Mariyadas) was not knocked down by a motor bicycle out rider attached to the President’s motorcade the victim’s family claim otherwise.
President Rajapaksa at the opening of Galle Expressway, Nov 27, 2011
Forty eight years old Kingston was knocked down by a speeding motor bicycle alleged to be one of the out riders in the Presidential convoy on July 9, on the zebra crossing in front of the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate Court on the Galle Road.
Continue reading ‘Speeding Motor cyclist in President Rajapaksa’s Convoy Knocks down and Kills Grandmother on Mt.Lavinia Zebra Crossing’ »
by Gamini Weerakoon
Watching pre-Olympic Games programmes on TV made us realise how much the Olympic Games even in this hi-tech age is dependent on torch bearers. For weeks the Olympic torch was carried from town to town in Britain and finally from borough to borough in London. It made us realise that carrying torches too is a part of the Sri Lankan heritage.
pic courtesy of: hambantota2018.com
Never mind the ancient times when our torch bearers were vassals to monarchs who may have had the heads of poor torch bearers chopped off if they did not perform their duties well enough.
Continue reading ‘OLYMPICS 2020 AT MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA MAGAMPURA OLYMPIC VILLAGE IN HAMBANTOTA’ »
By Kumar Rupesinghe
The announcement of the LLRC implementation plan by the Lalith Weeratunge Committee, appointed by the President, must be commended for the hard work that they did to ensure that the entirety of the recommendations have been taken note of, a time plan for the implementation agreed on.
Australian Ambassador Kathy Klugman meets a family of children whose family home is unfortunately surrounded by fields of land mines, Sep 2011-pic courtesy of: Australian Agency for International Development-AusAid
The implementation plan was ratified by the cabinet unanimously.
Continue reading ‘It is Important that we Heal the Wound and Remove the Sense of Humiliation of a Beleaguered People’ »
by Juliet Coombe
(Juliet Coombe writes about Sri Lanka’s magical spots and amazing people with special beliefs and mystical practices)
First there is the question of belief and then belief itself. It was first the Eleatic Parmenides, who in an attempt to understand the phenomena of change by refuting interpretations of Heraclitean and Milesian thinkers, decried that we ‘confuse appearance with reality’.
Zeno talked about the senses, deluding us from the truth by creating the sensation of an illusion; an illusion of fact, an illusion of reality.
Continue reading ‘Genesis vs. Nemesis: Sri Lanka’s supernatural history’ »
By Jayampathy Wickramaratne
Upon becoming a party to a treaty, a State undertakes binding obligations in international law. A State has to submit initial and periodic reports to the relevant treaty body on measures adopted. The country thus becomes open to international scrutiny.
Sri Lanka is a dualist country and treaties do not automatically become the law of land unlike in monist countries such as the Netherlands, Russia and East Timor.
Continue reading ‘“‘We need a bit of Authoritarianism for Development’ is a Slogan of the Autocrat and not of the Democrat”’ »
S.C. Chandrahasan – pic by: M. Vedhan-The Hindu
By Namini Wijedasa
An old man stood resolutely outside a house, facing a roaring, depraved mob. They had weapons. “You kill me,” the man said, in Sinhala, his language. “Then you can go in.”
S.C. Chandrahasan remembers that old man. Where many have chosen to dwell on the savageness and brutality of the 1983 anti-Tamil riots, he focuses on what he calls “some of the remarkable things that happened during bad days”.
Continue reading ‘‘As of now, let me walk Along and Support the Political Process from Outside’ – S.C. Chandrahasan’ »
by Celina Cramer
Namini Wijedasa’s experience on her Terrorism Tour (“Throngs of people on ‘Terrorism Tour’ ”, Sunday Lakbima News, July 22, 2012/Soldiers guide pre-dominantly Sinhala visitors on “Terrorism Tour” of Mullaitheevu district’-.dbsjeyaraj.com) sparked off dormant memories of my short visit to Jaffna.
David Hall, UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office Team Leader for South Asia Department who visited Sri Lanka in Jan 2012 seen here during a had a Mullaitivu-pic: UK in Sri Lanka
This was last August. It was a “very typical trip” in a Rosa bus with our large family headed by the family’s most influential person: a former high ranking officer. You can imagine the VIP treatment: no checkpoints, no queues.
Continue reading ‘You Suffered for Three Decades and Now I come….’ »
by Rauf Hakeem
The Tamil political landscape with the exclusive Tamil Congress and the emerging alternative voice of the Federal party had great legal luminaries as GG Ponnambalam and SJV Chelvanayakam.
Minister Rauf Hakeem delivering The Murugesu Sivasithamparam memorial lecture-pic: TamilWin
The Late Sivasithamparam was a unique blend of all these greats filling the knowledge gaps and emerging as a personality in his own right. That is the picture I glean from rereading his work.
Continue reading ‘Muslim Nationalism has many Lessons to Learn from and be Informed by Tamil Nationalism’ »
By Mike Andree
The incandescent fury emanating from the Executive Committee of the Bar Association glowed around ‘Lady Justice’. The fire they breathed would have even burnt the blindfold of the goddess of justice. Such was the wrath of the members of the Bar when the facts on the Mannar incident kept surfacing.
Sri Lankan lawyers hold placards during a protest outside the main court complex in Colombo. The lawyers are demanding the immediate arrest of a government minister who they say threatened a judge who he disagreed with. Placards read: “Politicos sets fire to courts” and “Interfering with the judiciary is the burial of democracy.” Photo: AP-Courtesy: The Hindu
They condemned the manner in which ‘Lady Justice’ was attacked by the lord and master of the area. Finally, as many feared and few believed, the whole scenario, acted by the principal office bearers, after the initial outbursts of the Executive Committee, turned out to be a damp squib.
Continue reading ‘Appeasing The Lord and Master: The Turncoat Attitude of Black Coated Fraternity’ »
by Ridma Dissanayake
The Sri Lanka Youth Parliament will be set up in Kilinochchi, National Youth Services Council (NYSC) chairman Lalith Piyum Perera said.
“The Youth Parliament was to be established in Anuradhapura. However, considering the peaceful situation in the North, it was decided to set it up in Kilinochchi,” Perera said.
Continue reading ‘335 Member Sri Lankan National Youth Parliament to be Constructed in Kilinochchi’ »
Minister Rishad Bathiudeen
By Stanley Samarasinghe
The Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) filed a petition in the Court of Appeal , seeking permission to intervene in the contempt proceedings against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.
Attorney-at-Law, Sanath Wijewardana filed the petition on behalf of the Executive Committee members, in terms of the Article 105(3) of the Constitution.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Bar Association Executive Committee files petition in Appeal Court over Minister Bathiudeen Affair’ »
Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP
by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.
I have noted previously that the failure of government to make its position clear on a number of issues has been one of the main difficulties about Reconciliation.
I say this because, by and large, the government position on most issues has been extremely positive, and inadequacies are more due to inefficiency than policy. But because the system does not encourage transparency, very good practices do not get the appreciation they deserve.
Continue reading ‘‘When Armed Forces Require Land for Security Reasons They must Limit Acquisitions to What is Essential and Provide Adequate Compensation’’ »
Knowledgeable literati would have heard of a Thamil epic poem called Silappadikaaram. It is one of the five major epics in that language. The other four are Manimekalai, Seevaka Chinthamani, Valayapathi and Kundalakesi.
A Chera Prince named Ilango, who turned a sage professing Jainism, was also a great poet during the Post-Sangam Period in Thamil Literature (4 -7 A.D.). He wrote the epic Silappadikaaram. Chera Naadu was one of the three kingdoms in South India in ancient times. The other two were Chola and Paandiya kingdoms. The present Kerala State was earlier Chera Naadu.
Continue reading ‘Kannagi the Heroine of Silappathikaaram Epic is Pathini Deiyo’ »
by Selywn Duke
It’s difficult to say if the greatest drama of the 2012 Olympics has occurred inside or outside the athletic arena, but it’s hard for anything to compare to the controversy that recently surrounded 16-year-old Chinese swim sensation Ye Shiwen.
Ye Shiwen – pic: london2012.com
The story started on Saturday when Ye shattered the women’s world record in the 400-meter Individual Medley in a time of 4:28.43, beating the old mark by more than a second.
Continue reading ‘The Feminist Twist in Media Reports on Chinese Swim Sensation Ye Shiwen at Olympics’ »
by Rick Rozoff
Recent reports detail a Turkish military buildup on the Turkish-Syrian border with various accounts mentioning the deployment of troops, tanks, armored personnel carriers and missile batteries two kilometers from Syrian territory, with 25 tanks from the Mardin 70th Mechanized Brigade engaged in exercises along the border.
The Turkish rationale for the military escalation is that forces of the Democratic Union Party, an ethnic Kurdish group that Ankara accuses of being affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, have assumed control of the Syrian cities of Efrin (Afrin), Kobane and Amude (Amuda) near southeastern Turkey.
Continue reading ‘Kurdish ‘Terrorism’ Factor May Be Used To Provoke NATO Sponsored War Between Turkey and Syria’ »
For the villagers around the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu who are agitating against its commissioning, it is as if they are facing a second Emergency, albeit a silent one.
pic courtesy of: dianuke.org
False cases have been slapped against them, their leaders have been charged with sedition and waging war against the government, prohibitory orders have been issued within a seven-km radius of the plant and the government continues to spread stories that the struggle is being funded by foreign sources.
Continue reading ‘Villagers Around Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu Facing Situation like in Emergency Rule of 1975-77’ »
A Buddhist monk protesting in Colombo, 2010-Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Courtesy Reuters
by William McGowan
In Sri Lanka last September, a Sinhalese mob led by some 100 Buddhist monks demolished a Muslim shrine in the ancient city of Anuradhapura. As the crowd waved Buddhist colors, gold and red, a monk set a green Muslim flag on fire.
The monks claimed that the shrine was on land that had been given to the Sinhalese 2,000 years ago — an allusion to their proprietary right over the entire island nation, as inscribed in ancient religious texts.
Continue reading ‘Militant Buddhists Behaving Badly in Sri Lanka’ »
by Human Rights Watch
Sri Lanka: Massacre of Aid Workers Goes Unpunished
Six Years On, Government Fails to Prosecute Responsible Military, Police
Mourners present flowers at a Memorial Service for ACF Aid Workers executed by Sri Lanka Troops
The Sri Lankan government’s failure to hold accountable those responsible for the execution-style slaying of 17 aid workers six years ago is indicative of its deeper unwillingness to prosecute soldiers and police for atrocities, Human Rights Watch said today.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Govt deeply unwilling to prosecute soldiers and police for atrocities’ »
by Roel Raymond
How is it that concerned parents, activists and citizens of this island find it possible to hand over to a government incapable thus far of even acknowledging injustices to women, children and other marginalized sections of our society, the right to impose death as a penalty for crime?
Do people truly have faith in the government and judicial process that they ask, nay; agitate, for the enactment of the death penalty that will give authorities a citizen-sanctioned right to put to death a member of our own citizenry?
Continue reading ‘How Can we Hand Over to Govt the Right to Impose Death as a Penalty for Crime?’ »
Arts Faculty – Sumangala Building-University of Sri Jayewardenepura
by Prof.Wiswa Warnapala
At the beginning, university education in Sri Lanka began as a middle class preserve, as it, in the very initial period, catered to the demand of the students from a select number of public schools in the country.
university education, in the early period, was built on a theory of elites, which, in turn, represented certain aspects of the then existing class structure.
Continue reading ‘Universities Need To Be Given Better Resources As Higher Education Is An Investment In Human Capital’ »
by Dileni Gunewardena
There is trouble in the universities and trouble in the schools. While frustrated students and academics have taken to the streets, there has been much posturing among those responsible for the state of education and higher education in this country.
This article attempts to counter prevalent misconceptions about the nature, motivation and demands of the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) and the academics they represent.
Continue reading ‘If FUTA Loses Strike the Best and Brightest University teachers will Move to Private Sector or go abroad’ »
By Shamindra Ferdinando
The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) yesterday separated its ongoing strike to win a pay hike from the overall push for an agreement with the government on the allocation of 6 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for education.
FUTA Chief Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri asserted that even if an agreement could be reached on salary and related issues, their battle for enhanced allocation for the education sector would continue. The head of the Department of History of the Faculty of the Colombo University reiterated FUTA’s commitment in the wake of the government and the FUTA initiating a fresh dialogue to settle the ongoing strike.
Continue reading ‘FUTA de-links pay hike and education allocation demands in strategic move to resolve strike’ »
“LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran failed to take into consideration the changing geo-political situation”
There is nothing about the wizened old man with a free-flowing beard that suggests he was a sought-after architect, who’d been a senior town planner in Liverpool, United Kingdom, and later became the chief architect and town planner of Mombasa in Kenya.
Continue reading ‘S.A. David: Gandhiyan Architect of Sri Lankan Tamils’ »
Jaffna Mayoress Yogeswary Patkunarajah
by Chelvatamby Maniccavasagar
The administrative area of the Jaffna town is identified with the administrative area of the Jaffna Municipal Council. It’s origin could be traced to the Medieval Tamil Kingdoms of Jaffna which have been strong between the 13th century to the 16th century.
According to Professor K M de Silva in his book A history of Sri Lanka states that Jaffna under the Aryachakkravat’s was much the most powerful kingdom in the island.
Continue reading ‘Jaffna Mayoress Yogeswary Patkunarajah is a Woman of Action’ »
By Abanti Bhattacharya
In the most dangerous turn of events in the South China Sea, on July 23, China’s military body, the Central Military Commission approved the deployment of the People’s Liberation Army to guard the islands claimed by it.
pic courtesy of: VOA News
Earlier in June, China’s State Council had raised the administrative status of the seas to the level of a city, which it calls Sansha and which is located in the disputed Paracel Islands.
Continue reading ‘China is likely to increasingly display unilateral tendencies on territory and sovereignty related issues’ »
by Carmen Wickramagamage
It is no exaggeration to say that one of the social groups that has most benefited from the revolutionary education reforms implemented starting 1947 [which most of us know as either Free Education or Kannangara Reforms] is Women.
students at University-pic courtesy: YATV
In 1946, when the overall literacy rate for the country was 57.8%, only 43.8% of the female population was literate as opposed to 70.1% of the male population (Panditaratne and Selvanayagam, 1973).
Continue reading ‘Women have benefited immensely through education reforms in post independence’ »
by Roel Raymond
Vivimarie VanderPoorten is an award winning Sri Lankan poet. Her first book Nothing Prepares You won the Gratiaen Prize for the best piece of English literary work in Sri Lanka, in 2007.
In 2009 she was recipient of a higher honour; the SAARC Poetry Award, which was followed by the publication of her second book Stitch Your Eyelids Shut, in 2010.
Continue reading ‘‘Dont let Privatization of Education Destroy the Free Education System’’ »
By C. V. Vivekananthan | Attorney-at-law
In the year 1983, Vivienne Goonewardene filed a Fundamental Rights Application against Hector Perera and Others.
Cows in Nilaveli, with Pigeon Island in the background-pic by: Drs. Sarajevo
The Supreme Court held that the State was liable for the transgression of fundamental rights the police committed when he was enforcing the law and ordered the State to pay Rs.2,500/- as compensation to Vivienne for infringement of her fundamental rights as safeguarded by Article 13 (1) of the Constitution
Continue reading ‘Calling an area Muslim or Tamil or Sinhala receives no recognition in the use and enjoyment of the sea and seashore’ »
by Thulasi Muttulingam
Hindu devotees will be thronging the thoroughfares of Colombo in colourful processions over the next few days.
Chariot processions, coconuts being smashed, people decked in their brightest colours worshipping with camphor and flame, youngsters dancing the Kavadi dance and many other features of the Tamil Hindu community will be displayed on the streets of Colombo, instead of behind their temple walls, as is usually the case.
This is one of the most important Hindu festivals hosted in Colombo; the Adi Vel Festival, which has a unique history going back to 1874.
While many other pilgrims from other parts of the country are on their way to Kataragama even now, Colombo is one of the few places that brings the famed deity and his annual festival to the doorsteps of its own people.
Continue reading ‘Aadi Vel Festival in Colombo a Colourful Spectacle’ »
“All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.”—Edmund Burke
The power struggle within the United National Party (UNP) between Ranil Wickremesinghe and the reformists, led by Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa, seems to be heading to a disastrous finale with the announcement made on Friday, 20 July, 2012.
It was reported that the Working Committee of the UNP had decided to hold elections for its leader only once in six years, while the General Secretary, Treasurer and National Organizer of the Party would be appointed by the Leader.
This is in stark contrast to the existing mechanism by which the Leader, in addition to National Organizer and Deputy Leader, is elected each year.
Continue reading ‘Karunasena Kodituwakku or Kabir Hashim can unify the UNP by persuading Ranil, Karu and Sajith agree to a compromise’ »
Mattala International Airport-pic: development.lk
by Kath Noble
It’s hard to know when to take official statements seriously. The government isn’t known for taking the quiet, cautious approach.
Indeed, its spokesmen very often make obviously false claims, such as that Mervyn hasn’t done anything wrong or that no civilians were killed during the war. They seem to think the public are idiots.
Continue reading ‘Will costly projects in Hambantota District be worth the investment?’ »
by T.V. Rajeswar
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that it is acceding to a request from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the revival of matches between India and Pakistan in December this year.
The BCCI decided to resume cricketing ties with Pakistan by inviting the Pakistan cricket team for a short series in December 2012-January 2013 while Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata will host ODIs. T-20 matches will be played in Ahmedabad and Bangalore.
Continue reading ‘India should be prepared for more attacks if it hosts matches after resuming cricketing ties with Pakistan’ »
By Udaya Gammanpila
“How do you analyze Sri Lanka’s growing relationship with China disturbing neighbouring India?” I was posed with the above question or a question similar to that by Mano Tittawella.
I was a panelist at a discussion of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Tittawella was the moderator.
I explained that China and India are emerging superpower neighbours and border-sharing neighbours would be superpowers after 500 years. I further explained that 500 years ago, when border-sharing superpowers, namely Spain and Portugal had disputes, the Pope intervened to resolve those.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka is like a beautiful princess for whom two princes China and India are competing for’ »
by Priya Thangarajah
Last Friday, a few of us were prohibited from entering Silk: a club in Colombo. The reason: “people like you are not allowed” i.e queer women. I remember awhile back when another friend was banned from another club for looking ‘butch’
Should I be happy that the ‘pink’ Rupee has made no impact on Colombo’s economy? Should I bear the burden of my class and dismiss this restriction of my space as an upper middle class elite women’s problem?
Continue reading ‘Dancing Around In Smaller Circles: A Queer Feminist Rant’ »
By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
In his book – Worse Than War – Daniel Jonah Goldhagen says that during mass murders, the murderers themselves, their supporters and those who wish to stand idly by practice linguistic camouflage.
Bangladesh, Arakanese refugee camps, July 23, 2012. Photography by Osman Sağırlı-IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, Turkey
And this has been the case with the apartheid regime in Myanmar when it comes to its national project towards exterminating or purging out the Rohingyas.
Continue reading ‘Myanmar regime uses five principal methods to eliminate the Rohingyas in Burma’ »
BY Amanda Hodge | Colombo
THE first Tamil man to be deported from Australia since the end of the Sri Lankan war was returned a week after Sri Lanka’s navy chief complained to Australia’s high commissioner of double standards in the treatment of Sinhalese and Tamil asylum-seekers.
The Australian has learned that a reported clash between High Commissioner Robyn Mudie and Vice-Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake at a July 18 meeting in Colombo was sparked by accusations the federal government’s favourable treatment of Tamils over Sinhalese was encouraging the continued movement of boats.
Continue reading ‘More than 150 Sri Lankan Tamils could face deportation in coming months say Australia refugee advocates’ »
By N. Sathiya Moorthy
No debate or discourse in contemporary Sri Lanka or on Sri Lanka will be complete without a reference to India. Depending on the issue, like the ‘national problem’, strategic security or economy, ‘factors’ such as Tamil Nadu, China or aid get a reference.
The same can be said about India’s equations with its neighbours, where Sri Lanka gets more than a brief mention. This has been so despite India’s intractable issues involving Pakistan and/or China.
This was so in the past, it will remain so in the future.
Continue reading ‘Tamil Moderates need political solution to stay relevant now and in the future’ »
Ex Army Chief Sarath Fonseka
Ex Army Chief put on firing line by Rohan Abeywardene
War winning general turned outspoken critic of the government and Leader of the Democratic National Alliance Sarath Fonseka sat with us recently for a no-holds-barred interview. Although he, unlike some big talking politicians, did not rule out any queries, we could not pose a few more questions due to a time limit he laid down at the outset.
Following are excerpts:
Continue reading ‘‘They wanted to catch and assassinate my son-in-law during election time so that my morale will go down’ – Sarath Fonseka’ »
M.A. Sumanthiran MP
By M.A.Sumanthiran M.P
The phrase ‘self-determination’ raises many alarms in Sri Lanka today. The reason for that is the myth that somehow, if the right to self-determination is ceded to the Tamils of this country, it will automatically lead to secession.
Although, various shades of this concept were expressed in different times before the twentieth century, particularly in the American Independence and the French Revolution, it was actually brought to the fore during World War I.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Tamils are entitled to the Right of Self-determination’ »
Arrival of the guests
by K.S. Sivakumaran
With an un-enthusiastic frame of mind thinking that the Ramanathan Hindu Ladies College situated in Bambalapitiya on Duplication Road near the Colombo Hindu College and Saraswathi Hall would be yet another Government School I went to meet the Principal, Kothai Nagularajah and her well-mannered and enthusiastic staff recently.
Her staff of more than 100 dedicated and qualified teachers included mainly young and middle-aged Thamil ladies, one or two Sinhala ladies and a few Muslim ladies and two or three male teachers.
Continue reading ‘Ramanathan Hindu Ladies College: One of the outstanding Schools in Colombo’ »
by Phil Lynch
THERE is mounting evidence that Australia’s close co-operation with Sri Lanka on the prevention of people-smuggling and the interception of asylum-seeker boats is compromising our approach to human rights in that country.
CHOGM 2011- Prime Minister Julia Gillard hosts a bilateral meeting with The President of Sri Lanka His Excellency Mahendra Rajapaksa at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Wednesday 26 October 2011. Wednesday 26 10 2011. Photograph by Penny Bradfield/CHOGM-pic courtesy of: Australia Day 2012
It is well documented that the Sri Lankan government was responsible for mass human rights violations towards the end of the civil war in 2009. The Australian government has not done enough, either at the international level or through our bilateral relations, to ensure that these crimes are independently investigated and that perpetrators are held to account.
Continue reading ‘Australia must suspend deportations of Tamil Asylum seekers until and unless there is progress in reducing human rights violations in Sri Lanka’ »
By Dr. Bibhu Prasad Routray
As forty-five people lost their lives and 200,000 people were rendered homeless in the week-long communal violence between the Bodo tribals and the Muslim immigrants, the Assam government in northeast India ummed and ahhed.
A Bodo woman takes care of her new-born at a relief camp at Bijni village in Chirang district, Assam on Thursday, Jul 26-Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar- courtesy: The Hindu
Men, women and children from 500 villages filled in the 128 temporary relief camps and in all probability would stay there for months waiting for the paltry rationed food.
Continue reading ‘Recent Assam Violence rooted in factors of Demography and Politics’ »
by National Peace Council
An action plan prepared by the government with regard to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was released last week. There are 91 recommendations that the action plan takes cognizance of.
British High Commissioner John Rankin meets IDPs in Mullikulam-pic: UK In Sri Lanka
Each of these recommendations is looked at in terms of specific activities they entail. The action plan also identifies the government agencies that will be responsible for implementing each of these activities within a specified time frame, most of them ranging from 6 to 24 months.
Continue reading ‘Action plan to implement LLRC Recommendations must be developed further in consultation with Civil Society’ »
By Salma Yusuf
Post–war rehabilitation of ex-combatants is a relatively new discipline in the field of international transitional justice. What is even newer is the increasing recognition of the inextricable link between successful rehabilitation programmes and the achievement of genuine and sustainable national reconciliation.
In fact, rehabilitation programmes are now regarded as a sine qua non for any country emerging from the throes of an armed struggle.
Continue reading ‘6+1 Formula of Sri Lanka’s Rehabilitation programme of ex-combatants paving the way to reconciliation’ »
By Dilrukshi Handunnetti
For 25 years, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees have been reaching the shores of Tamil Nadu, the Indian state closest to Sri Lanka, for their safety.
Sri Lankan refugees prepare to disembark earlier from the ferry that brought them from India to Colombo-Oct 2011
It is in these camps and in small settlements in rural Tamil Nadu that they found safety and shelter for years. It is also in these camps that another generation was born and nurtured.
Continue reading ‘Safety becomes a major issue for first time to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu’ »
by Azra Ameen
Hundreds took part in protests all over the island after Friday prayers calling on the government for speedy resettlement of the internally displaced Muslims and to take action against conspirators obstructing the resettlement of the Muslims of the North.
Subsequently, the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama and several other Muslim organizations presented a communiqué to President Mahinda Rajapaksa explaining the plight of the Northern Muslims in general and the Uppukulam, Mannar Muslims in particular.
Continue reading ‘Conflicting versions about the courts conflict incident in Mannar’ »
by Lynn Ockersz
‘Collective solution should be arrived at through a process of consultation’:
pic courtesy of: ft.lk
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that the solution to the issues faced by our communities resides in Parliament, where all relevant parties must parley together and arrive at a consensual remedy, since the problem is of a national nature.
“This is not my personal problem, it is a problem faced by the country. Therefore a collective solution should be arrived at through a process of consultation, involving all relevant parties.
Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa has Breakfast Meeting with Editors and Senior Media Personnel’ »
By Hemantha Warnakulasuriya
(CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK)
On beingtelephoned by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen , the Mannar Magistrate immediately contacted the Judicial Service Commission and gave in writing a complaint.
In the mean time, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen personally called on the Secretary of JSC and wanted the Magistrate transferred. He was told that the judges could not be transferred without a proper inquiry and that there was also a serious complaint, made by the same Magistrate against him, which has to be inquired into.
Continue reading ‘How a cabinet Minister threatened a Magistrate cum Additional District Judge -2’ »
Rajiv Gandhi | Struck by Sri Lanka Honour Guard Sailor – Jul 30, 1987
By Col. R. Hariharan
Extracts of my answers to questions raised by media on the India-Sri Lanka Agreement 1987 in the last two days are given below.
The Rajiv Gandhi-Jayawardane Accord completes 25 years on July 29, 1987. Many now feel it represents a total diplomatic failure of India. As one who was present in Sri Lanka when Indian forces were operating from 1987 to 90, what are your comments?
Not all, but some of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora consider it as India’s diplomatic failure. The Agreement represented a strategic rather than a mere diplomatic initiative. The Agreement was signed after India arm-twisted Sri Lanka President JR Jayawardane to sign it.
Continue reading ‘25 years of India-Sri Lanka Agreement: Questions & Answers’ »
By Matias Spektor
Brazilian attitudes toward national sovereignty and non-intervention are in a state of flux. Leaders in Brasília are seeking to actively take part in the current global rethink about the future of humanitarian intervention, and are increasingly willing to deploy men in uniform to distant lands when the lives of civilians are at stake.
From left to right: Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, Hu Jintao, China’s president, and Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president, at the BRICS Summit in New Delhi, March 29, 2012-pic: Wikipedia
The change is significant because Brazil has historically championed national sovereignty.
Continue reading ‘Brazil wants to make ‘Responsibility to protect’ into ‘Responsibility while Protecting’’ »