“All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s possible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”
~ Niccolo Machiavelli
Bodhu Bala Sena might think that it enjoys the monopoly of the Sinhalese Buddhists’ range and scope of thinking. It might have been lured into the illusion that a great majority of our Sinhalese Buddhists are as warped and deranged in their assessment and reading of the average psyche of the average man, woman and child. Given the centuries-old conditioning the average person has been subjected to through mass education on the myths, legends and miracles of the Great Chronicle-Mahawansa- it is not all that imprudent to surmise that way either. However, time and time again, the average Sinhalese Buddhist has been a reasonable man, capable of differentiating between the absurd and the real, dangerous and safe and sacred and cruel.
Continue reading ‘Soldiers of the “Senas”and “Balakayas”Personify Every Fibre of Evil and Cruelty and Every Thread of Sadism and Inhumanity’ »
“If you’re in a coalition and you’re comfortable,
you know it’s not a broad enough coalition.”
-Bernice Johnson Reagon
When fighting in the international arena, one should know that the only way to survive is to constantly build new coalitions while strengthening and maintaining the existing ones. Due to its belonging to the Non Aligned Movement and to the various “Gs” (G77, G15), but also due to its long standing friendships with key countries such as Russia, China and India, Sri Lanka was so far able to keep close ties with the predominant coalitions present within international organizations; close enough to overcome the post-war international pressures in 2009 but not sufficient to maintain a prolonged legitimacy on the Geneva battlefield.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Must Constantly Build New International Coalitions While Strengthening and Maintaining Existing Ones’ »
Balasingham-Peiris peace talks in 2003 ~ pic: Guardian.UK
The prospect of elections for the Northern Provincial Council by September 2013, now a Sri Lankan Government promise cemented in a UN Human Rights Council Resolution on the country became just a little more remote last week after members of the main Tamil party and civil society activists in the North called for the setting up of an interim administration in the province overseen by India or the US until the Government comes up with a permanent political solution to address Tamil concerns.
The appeal made to a visiting Indian Parliamentary delegation in Jaffna, comes in the wake of calls for the abolishment of the 13th Amendment, that devolves some power from the central Government to provincial authorities, from the ruling regime’s top officials no less.
Continue reading ‘Tamil Parties are not Helping Their Cause by Parroting the Demands of a Defeated Separatist Movement’ »
The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption impounded the passport of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake to prevent her from escaping to a foreign country until the probe into the allegations of bribery and corruption against her is concluded. The Commission has taken this decision in keeping with the legal powers vested in it and had communicated it to Controller General of Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera, on April 11.
Continue reading ‘De-Jure Chief Justice Dr.Shirani Bandaranayke’s Passport Impounded’ »
Dr. Tissa Abeysekera
Born: May 7, 1939
Died: April 18, 2009 (aged 69)
Other names: Ananda Tissa de Fonseka
Education: Dharmapala Vidyalaya
Occupation: Film director/writer
Political Party: Lanka Sama Samaja Party
Awards: Gratiaen Prize, Deshabandu
Today (April 18, 2013) is the fourth death anniversary of a legendary man of unparalleled faculty, whose life encompassed a sheer, rich versatility. The world of Sri Lankan screenplays, movie directions, performing/acting, political activism, writing and analysis was undeniably enriched by this startling human being, that possessed knowledge in each of the aforesaid spheres, and much more, in a manner that surpassed that of a routine intellectual.
Continue reading ‘Remembering Tissa Abeysekera:Versatile Legend of Unparalleled Faculty’ »
Naive live in bliss: after acting silly at Geneva 2013. Mileage gained by LLRC report abbreviated into an Action Plan, was placed on a mock timetable and fawningly delivered to Hillary Clinton, needlessly.
Now Americans complain of a failure to deliver. Without prattling gibberish nonsense: attend to the priorities; provide potent results, as when overcoming terrorists. Clip the lip and do the homework. Show results and walk upright. Instead we wobble blindly on bluff.
Action Plan is a revised LLRC report disarranged and disshevelled – jettisoning the cozy caveats that cut comfort corners. LLRC report was lethargically placed in the sin bin and fell into deep slumber by doing little else- weakened our position for the asking. Gone gaga with none daring to enlighten on the ongoing folly?
Continue reading ‘We need to court America with the Action Plan – a nutshell of the LLRC report.’ »
One of Sri Lanka’s most sought-after jobs was handed over to Jayantha Dharmadasa on Tuesday when he was appointed as President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) after weeks of wild speculation and intense backroom lobbying in cricketing and political circles.
The appointment was somewhat of an anti-climax. What was expected was a mighty tussle between previous President Upali Dharmadasa-Jayantha’s brother and ruling party parliamentarian Thilanga Sumathipala.
Continue reading ‘Can New President Jayantha Dharmadasa Cleanse Sri Lanka Cricket of Corruption?’ »
With the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the regulatory body giving the green to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) yesterday, to go for an electricity tariff hike with effect from April 12, the domestic users will have to pay some 68 per cent more on their monthly electricity bills, while others will have to pay more than 26 per cent.
Continue reading ‘68% Monthly Increase for Domestic Users after Massive electricity price hike effective from April 12’ »
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday said it had not asked for an Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) for the Northern Province till the provincial polls were held.
This follows news reports that the TNA, with Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph and civil society members, had asked a visiting delegation of Indian Members of Parliament to press the Government of Sri Lanka to establish an ISGA.
Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance Has not Asked for an Interim Self-Governing Authority for North’ »
Faith can be a comfort and faith can be a cudgel. Faith has been and remains for many to be a wellspring of inspiration that can be used to check one’s moral compass and to recharge one’s internal resources the struggle for all people’s human rights. It is also important to recognize that there is a long tradition of religion being misused to justify the systematic denial of people’s human rights, or indeed their very humanness. We must always be vigilant in watching religion.
The documented misuses of religion are considerable in their impact for human rights. Catholic Inquisitions spanned nearly six centuries and the justification to deprive people of rights, liberty, and in many cases life itself, was framed in the need to correct “heresy.” From the Partition Riots early in India and Pakistan’s independence, through the destruction of a mosque in Ayodhya, to the bombings in Mumbai, the use of religion to justify violence by both Hindus and Muslims is well-documented. The deployment of state force to dispossess Palestinians and to build Jewish-only settlements is defended on the basis of religion.
Continue reading ‘Imperative to “Protect”Buddhism in Sri Lanka has led to Discrimination Against Non – Buddhists for Decades’ »
Geneva : “Responsibility to Protect” Vs sovereignty of the people!
“Only the working class in its mass remained loyal to the profaned homeland!” Francois Mauriac, 1943
Reactions to the latest US resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council have varied from lamenting about unjust criticism when significant progress in resettlement, reconstruction and demining has been made, to complacency about minor amendments, although these have left intact its essence, the relentless logic that underpins the “Responsibility to Protect” (RtoP). Despite these differences, there seems to be a consensus that the text is soft, harmless, and “nothing to worry about.”
It is this latter interpretation, which disregards that accountability is only a pretext for Washington to advance its geopolitical interests in the region, that I consider my duty to challenge in this piece, an interpretation for which, until recently, I had a more charitable explanation – erroneous reading of the text! I have meanwhile revised this position. The startling suggestion from certain high quarters that Sri Lanka “become a stronger geopolitical and strategic ally” of the US and confirmation of behind the scenes concessions to Washington as the US draft was being considered by the Council, indicate that sections of the ruling elite might have chosen to capitulate and bargain away our independence and sovereignty.
Continue reading ‘Why the “Sri Lanka Issue” is Increasingly Moving to Centrestage in the most Politicised UN Fora’ »
Upul Joseph Fernando
India entertains misgivings about Mahinda Rajapaksa’s promised election to the Northern Provincial Council in September this year. At the same time, it is also pinning its hopes on a possible Tamil National Alliance (TNA) victory, if the elections are held, hopeful that such a victory would garner the crucial Tamil Nadu votes, which in turn would ensure an electoral victory for the Congress Party in the 2014 Indian elections. In such a scenario, India will surely be in the box seat, claiming the allegiance of Tamil Nadu for its success in influencing Mahinda Rajapaksa to establish a Provincial Council in the North, by way of a viable solution to the ethnic problem.
Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa and SLFP Were Unwaveringly Opposed to Accord and Provincial Councils Imposed by Indians on Sri Lanka’ »
Police launched an immediate investigation yesterday, following a complaint lodged by the Maharaja Television and Maharaja Broadcasting Corporation (MTV/MBC), regarding an imminent attack on their journalists.
Continue reading ‘MTV and MBC Lodge Police Complaint that Maharaja Group Journalists Face Threat of Imminent Attack’ »
Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne
“Let us join hands for an ANTI RACIST NATIONAL UNITY MAY DAY RALLY in the National capital Colombo! Let us save our Motherland from Racism and Religious Fundamentalism! JOIN as Political parties, minority organisations, trade unions, civil groups and Individuals!”
This was the spontaneous demand that started the discussion for a May Day which will bring out a powerful solidarity against racism and religious sectarianism. It has cut across the economic demands of the trade unions and the other democratic demands. According to the text books of radical politics such a mobilisation should be done by the working class organisations. But unfortunately still many trade unions are tied to the Mahinda regime which is mainly responsible for the rise of racism and religious sectarianism in this country.
Continue reading ‘Main Threat to Democracy Today is Racist and Religious Extremist Mobilisation Justifying Existence of Cruel Dictatorship’ »
Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.
When I was in Delhi last week, I was privileged to meet the Indian Minister of External Affairs who turned out, though he looks old and distinguished, to have been at Oxford while I was there – and to have succeeded Ravi Tennekoon as a Lecturer at Trinity College, before heading back to India to better things.
I still recall Ravi telling me that he was giving up the position at Trinity – which seemed to my undergraduate enthusiasms all one could hope for – to get back into real life. Salman Khurshid meanwhile is the Minister of External Affairs in India, and still extraordinarily mentally agile, as befits a lawyer turned novelist turned politician.
Continue reading ‘We Cannot Forget Special Relationship with India and Turn to the West or Think we can Cling to China and Ignore India’ »
Dr.Sudarshini Fernandopulle M.P.
Jeyaraj & Sudarshini Fernandopulle
Terrorism irrespective of where it happens and who is affected is brutal and has to be condemned by all. Sri Lanka suffered due to terrorism for more than three decades. As a victim of LTTE terrorism, I strongly condemn the brutal act of terrorists at Boston, states Member of Parliament Dr Sudarshini Fernandopulle in a release.
“I wish to convey my sympathies to the families of those who died and were injured. I know how hard it is to lose a beloved,” states MP Dr. Fernandopulle.
Continue reading ‘My Husband Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was Assassinated by a Suicide Bomber When Attending a Marathon Event as Chief Guest’ »
UNP MP and economist Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday said the US fund cut had sent an ominous message to Sri Lanka. “It is not the amount of dollars that we should be placing our emphasis on, but the message that is being delivered. To me it seems that this latest action is building on what happened in Geneva last month and that is, the US would like to see us start implementing the LLRC report that we ourselves already undertook to do over and over again but are not moving ahead with.”
Continue reading ‘US Delivers Ominous Message to Sri Lanka Through its Fund Cut says Dr.Harsha de Silva MP’ »
R. A. Ratwatte
BBS seem to be the most important letters of the alphabet today, in Sri Lanka. Before I express my opinion on what is going on let me establish my credentials. I am a very proud Sinhala Buddhist of up- country origin. I have served a full five year term as a Basnayake Nilame, looking after the historic Maha Vishnu Devalaya at Lankatilleke in Pilimatalawe.
Continue reading ‘BBS: Utter Balderdash Carried out by a Bunch of IDIOTS in the Name of the Sinhala Race has Got to Stop Right Now!’ »
The government is getting really good at denying responsibility for attacks on the media. Within hours of the incident at the Uthayan office in Jaffna on Saturday, its spokesman had issued a several hundred word statement claiming that it was an ‘inside job’. How’s that for efficiency? If only it put a fraction of that energy into finding proof of its imaginative theories, we might actually be convinced.
Unfortunately, it has not been able to identify the culprits in even one previous case, although there have been many.
That is what I would describe as an ‘interesting phenomenon’.
Continue reading ‘Eelam Will be a Distant Memory if 13th Amendment is Made to Work and TNA Gets to Run the Northern Provincial Council’ »
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has told a visiting Indian parliamentary delegation that a separate system of governance for the Northern and Eastern Provinces would never be a reality.
The Defence Secretary was responding to a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) suggestion, made through the six-member Indian delegation, during a meeting at the Defence Ministry last Thursday afternoon. The war veteran alleged that the TNA had been repeating the LTTE demands since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009.
Sources described the discussions as cordial.
Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Tells Indian MP’s that Separate Governance System for North and East Would Never be a Reality’ »
Samuel Ratnajeevan H. Hoole
Sri Lankan Regional Autonomy
pic courtesy: BBC
The provincial council system was set up in response to Tamil demands for separation in the face of brazen discrimination by the Sri Lankan state from the very time of independence. It was a compromise mediated by India in 1987 under the Indo-Lanka Accord to give Tamils a say in their own affairs while preserving the state without any breakup.
It was for the Tamils. However, although every province would receive the same regional autonomy without making it seem a Tamil thing, the Northern and Eastern provinces were merged into one North-East Province through the Accord because the Tamil numbers in the Eastern Province were vitiated through systematic colonization using poor Sinhalese and prisoners, and through ethnic cleansing using massacres by the state’s dreaded Special Task Force. For the Eastern Province was not expected to survive on its own.
Continue reading ‘Northern Provincial Council Elections in Sri Lanka’ »
In 2011, Sri Lanka had an estimated eighteen million, three thousand, four hundred and forty seven (18,003,447) mobile phone subscribers. By the end of December 2012 the number was 20.3 million. This is for 20.8 million people!
Usage and penetration of mobile phone connectivity has a humongous effect on economic activity. The upside is obvious. Generating more business opportunities for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs, for example. Providing services and support to mobile phone users is another sector which is rapidly expanding.
An expanding market for suppliers of goods and services is the stuff of legend, whether it be fishermen returning with their catch who phone in to their home and other ports to find out the best price, to th driver/guides of tourist jeeps at the Yala National Park who alert their brethren on the presence of a tusker, leopard or a herd of elephants. The ubiquitous three-wheel driver, who drops you off with a cheery “just give me a missed call when you need to be picked up,” is another modern day icon.
Continue reading ‘Mobile Mania in Sri Lanka: 20.3 Million Mobile Phone Subscribers by End of 2012 in a Population of 20.8 Million’ »
N Sathiya Moorthy
Independent of the media-hype on all ‘controversial things’ that the Tamil Nadu Government and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa may be saying on the ‘fishing issue’, they have also quietly initiated steps over the past couple of years which could lead to reduction of tensions with Sri Lanka on the Palk Bay front. It is sad however that the media do not see it nor do they get to see it as the State Government seems keen on projecting not the ‘positive steps’ on this score.
Finance Minister O Panneerselvam did not say as much when he presented the State’s Budget for 2013-14 in the Legislative Assembly on March 21. His hope that the Government aid for deep-sea fishing will “slowly wean away our fishermen from unsustainable trawler-fishing in shallow waters to sustainable deep-sea fishing” however is a step in the right direction, as it could help wean them away from the Sri Lankan waters, as well. Rather, that could be one sector where the effectiveness of the Government initiative can actually be seen and felt, for the rest of the State’s coastal fishers to be inspired and to follow.
Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Govt Takes Steps to Quietly Wean Away Fisherfolk from Unsustainable Trawler Fishing in Palk Bay to Sustainable Deep Sea Fishing’ »
On 12th April, around 7pm, I was amongst a group of people gathered on the pavement, outside the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi building, situated at 32, Havelock Road, Colombo 5. This is the address of the Bodu Bala Sena, which has been accused of inciting and unleashing violence against minority religious communities, particularly Muslims and Christians.
We gathered without obstructing anyone passing by on the pavement, or road, or those entering the building. Infact, people walked passed us on the pavement and vehicles moved along at normal pace on the road, and several Buddhist Monks and men had come out of the building without any problem. I and some other friends had gathered in response to a public notice on the internet (http://www.yamu.lk/event/vigil-to-safeguard-the-dhamma.html)
Continue reading ‘Are Those Using Sticks, Stones and Other Weapons to Attack Religious Minorities and Threaten Peaceful Protesters “Real”Buddhists?’ »
The growing anti-Muslim sentiment in Sri Lanka is pushing us to respond in numerous ways: we are talking, flustered, hopeless and helpless, shouting in outrage (when no one will listen), holding our knees to chests, trying to pull ourselves inside, into some sense of comfort and safety, whispers of more war, more conflict on our lips. The annoyance has turned to fear; the irritating din of the crowd has turned to the cries of a mob. In a matter of months, we have grown from worried to scared; that mob have grown from an absurd joke into a very serious problem. Worst of all, it has pushed some of us to retreat into the empty shells of ourselves, hidings our heads, hoping it will just blow over.
Here, at the threshold of this calamity, we teeter on the edge, about to make our most grave mistakes all over again; it may not blow over before it has destroyed so much more than we are willing to sacrifice.
Continue reading ‘Clear Agenda of Extremist Groups is-”We are Done With the Tamils,So Let’s Make the Muslims Our New Enemy”.’ »
It was doubtless in the spirit of the Sinhala-Tamil New Year that the Tamil (ultra?) nationalists presented the Sinhala hawks the gift of especially moronic remarks to the visiting Indian parliamentary delegation.
Here we are, with the 13th Amendment and provincial level devolution hanging by a thread, the most important state official in the island advocating its abolition and an opinion poll in the Daily Mirror with its sophisticated metropolitan readership showing only 33 % in favour of retention, and what do the Tamil nationalists do? True to form, they disown and denounce the 13th Amendment and call variously for an interim administration outside the Sri Lankan Constitution and supervised by India and/or the UN.
Continue reading ‘The Moronic Remarks of Tamil Ultra-Nationalists on 13th Amendment to Visiting Indian Parliamentarians’ »
That democracy is being slowly and surely strangled in Sri Lanka and that many a critic of the Government, particularly in the media has met with a tragic fate is indisputable. Both Sampanthan and Surendiran wax eloquent about the atrocities purported to have been committed by the Government on Tamils in the North. Sampanthan concentrates on the alleged attacks on meetings of the TNA.
It would be highly unrealistic to even suggest that any of these allegations are ‘total’ fabrications. However, the practice of attacking opponents physically is not something that is restricted to attacking Tamil opponents of the Government in the North. Such attacks have been committed on Sinhalese and Muslims in other parts of the Country as well. If either Sampanthan or Surendiran had any trace of genuineness or sincerity in their purported lamentations one would naturally have expected them to have commented adversely on, and cried halt to the attacks on Sinhalese and Muslims as well.
Continue reading ‘It was not Sampanthan of TNA or Surendiran of GTF who Delivered the Tamils from LTTE Bondage’ »
TNA MP and owner of Uthayan newspaper, E. Saravanapavan today rejected accusation claiming the torching of the newspaper’s main office in Jaffna was an ‘inside job’ staged to ‘tarnish the image of the government’.
Continue reading ‘“Uthayan”Proprietor Saravanapavan Denies Attack on Newspaper Office in Jaffna was an “Inside Job”’ »
The discovery of the skeletal remains of what is reported to be more than a hundred people has dominated the press for some time. It is now clear that the mass graves were of victims of summary executions during the second Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) insurrection. It is also clear that the appointment of a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to probe these crimes – which are demonstrable crimes against humanity – is to protect those responsible for these crimes to begin with.
Continue reading ‘Matale Mass Grave Discovery Shows That Unless Culture of Impunity is Broken Atrocities of the Past Will Keep Recurring’ »
OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau has been elected to lead the federal Liberal party in a resounding first-ballot win.
Trudeau, eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau and the Liberals’ undisputed star, swept 80% of the vote in a final field of six candidates.
The outcome was widely seen as a foregone conclusion since Trudeau launched his campaign last October. Now, the Liberals are hoping that the party’s undisputed rock star will be able to re-establish their reputation as the country’s natural governing party.
Continue reading ‘Justin Trudeau Elected New Canada Liberal Party Leader in Landslide Win with 80% of vote’ »
The Military vehemently rejected allegations that it was responsible for the attack on the Udayan press saying this was yet another attempt at discrediting the government and the military and a ploy by the TNA and pro-LTTE forces to use the adverse publicity “to support their claims that international interference was essential for local reconciliation”.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Military Rejects Charges that it was Responsible for the Attack on “Udayan”Press in Jaffna’ »
Many have sought to draw parallels between Margaret Thatcher, one-time British Prime Minister who passed away last week, with her contemporary in politics, Sri Lanka’s first Executive President J.R. Jayewardene, better known as JR. While there are a few parallels, there are stark contrasts between the two.
Continue reading ‘Chandrika Kumaratunga not JRJ is the Sri Lankan Leader Who Comes Closest to Margaret Thatcher in Economic Reforms’ »
Committee to Protect Journalists
New York, April 15, 2013–Sri Lankan authorities must immediately investigate an attack on the offices of a Tamil-language newspaper and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The offices of Uthayan have been attacked twice in two weeks.
Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Regime Record of Abuse Directed Against Sri Lanka’s Media is Unmatched in Country’s History’ »
Death and destruction struck in the last quarter-mile.
The nearly 27000 runners making their way towards the final stretch of the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon could have felt nothing but exhilaration and exhaustion as they approached the finish line. Yet at 2:45pm on Monday afternoon the unsuspecting runners were knocked over by the sheer force of a powerful shockwave from “coordinated” twin blasts of lethal, shrapnel-spewing bombs.
The blasts, which unnamed government officials, but not President Barack Obama, described as a “terror attack,” left at least three people dead and more than 132 injured and were captured in a video here.
Continue reading ‘3 Dead,132 Injured in Bomb Explosions at Iconic Boston Marathon Event’ »
Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.
Much energy has been expended in recent months in speculation as to whether we will soon have a new Prime Minister, and if so, who it will be. I was confidently told by an opposition Member of Parliament that seven Ministers had applied in writing for the post, and opposition papers are having a field day in declaring that senior members of the SLFP are disaffected because their claims might be ignored.
All this speculation is destructive, not least because those about whom there is speculation feel both that they must defend themselves against allegations of untoward ambitions, and also against the possible untoward ambitions of others. Thus opposition politicians and media outlets will in fact contribute to fulfilment of the prophecies they make.
Continue reading ‘If President Does Want to Appoint a New Prime Minister it has to be a Neutral Personality and not a Family member’ »
WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry has proposed a 20 per cent cut in the American aid to Colombo, a move reflecting the unease in their ties over issues related tohuman rights, reconstruction and political integration in Sri Lanka after the end of the civil war.
It is believed to be the highest drop for any South Asian country in Kerry’s budgetary proposals which was sent to the Congress last week for its approval.
Continue reading ‘US Secretary of State John Kerry proposes 20% cut in US aid to Sri Lanka’ »
There is that scene from Schindler’s List which had a profound impact on me. I had forgotten about it, I never knew it existed, except that it has lain somewhere in the fibre of my brain, dormant, latent, waiting for the opportune moment for it to be of use. The state of Muslims in Sri Lanka is changing, it is perilous, getting graver with each rising of the sun, and suddenly this scene makes a lot of sense. It draws lessons from the attitudes of races and ethnicities and the chemistry between religious communities in Sri Lanka, a chemistry which is at threat of losing its equilibrium.
In the film Ralph Fiennes, playing the character of Amon Goeth, an SS officer, is in his bedroom with a girl. He rises to use the bathroom from where he sees an inmate in the concentration camp taking a break from the heavy painful labour he is being subjected to. As Goeth sees it, he is wasting time, being disobedient. So with the girl still teasing him in the background, he picks up the rifle and shoots him. He then surveys the working landscape from the balcony and walks the few feet back to the room where he and the girl continue to laugh and argue, as if they never had an interlude in which misery was wreaked on another.
Continue reading ‘Collective Voice of the Sinhala Majority Aided by Like Minded Muslims and Tamils Has to Make Itself Heard’ »
And now the Jaffna office has been burnt down. The Government has been quick state this was a malicious act conducted by Uthayan to frame the government. Sure, Uthayan Newspapers which has been around since 1985– and which has continued to publish their paper even though they’ve been attacked, and journalists and staff killed– would set their own office ablaze (losing important documents) so that they can make the government look bad.
I’ve spoken to the Editors of Uthayan, and they’ve given me a list of incidents that have taken place since 2006. Over the 7 years, not a single arrest has been made. They informed me that Uthayan has been attacked and threatened by the terrorists during the war, as well as political authorities.
I’ve reproduced the document (unedited) listing the murders, attacks and threats since 2006. Note– NO arrests have been made.
Continue reading ‘Not a Single Arrest Made Over Thirty Five Attacks in Seven years Concerning “Uthayan”Newspaper in Jaffna’ »
by Kapil Komireddi
Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president of Sri Lanka, is easily incensed by campaigns for political autonomy on the basis of ethnic self-determination. Rejecting “different administrations based on ethnicity,” he recently asserted: “The solution is to live together in this country with equal rights for all communities.”
It’s an admirable sentiment, contradicted only by the fact that, since his election in 2005, Sri Lanka has transformed into a rancid ethnocracy: a country where Tamils, after being pulverised in a ferociously asymmetrical civil war, are offered humiliation instead of consolation; where the enforcers of the law have become volitional abettors of vicious ethnic chauvinists; and where saffron-robed Buddhist monks, having designated themselves the defenders of the Sinhala majority, sniff the air each morning for the scent of fresh offence—and follow it to one minority community or another.
Continue reading ‘Saffron Robed Buddhist Monks Sniff the Air Each Morning for the Scent of a Fresh Offence by one Minority Community or Another’ »
By Tariq A.Al Maeena
The undercurrent of racial tensions sweeping through Sri Lanka is gaining momentum. Unchecked and unrestrained by a government appearing to give in to their divisive demands, the terrorist Buddhist group, the Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force), is threatening to turn the island into a bloody battlefield.
The Muslims targeted by this fanatical element are not the only minority being subjected to acts of violence. Christians on the island are also under attack. The authorities are turning a blind eye and the mainstream media chooses to ignore this rising peril. Recently, two churches were attacked by the radical elements of the BBS, and two others forced to shut down due to pressure from these fanatics.
Continue reading ‘Tears of Muslims in Divided Sri Lanka’ »
Text and Pix Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
Sri Lankans are preparing to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Aluth Avurudu (in Sinhala) or Puththaandu or Puthu Varusham (in Tamil) literally translates to ‘New Year’– the harbinger of spring.
Beautifully decorated traditional “Kumbam”
Continue reading ‘Sinhala-Tamil New Year ‘Vijaya’ Dawning this Week-End Is Harbinger of Hope’ »
(Text of Statement issued by the Management Cmmittee of the Sri Ratna Viharaya of Anaheim California USA)
Sri Ratana Blog ~ pic: nuwan.drupalgardens.com
The Management Committee of the Anaheim temple would like to issue the following statement regarding the visit of the Bodu Bala Sena:
We are deeply disturbed and disappointed by the actions taken by Ven. Sumana in allowing the “Bodu Bala Sena” representatives to stay at the Anaheim temple, organizing a ‘Buddhanussathi Pooja’ and a get-together.
Continue reading ‘Uninvited “Visit” by Bodu Bala Sena Irks California’s Sri Ratna Viharaya Management Committee’ »
Representatives of the Bodu Bala Sena are visiting the US for an almost month-long tour, in part to counter wrong impressions given about the group, The Sunday Leader learnt.
The team, which includes General Secretary of the group, Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thero and National Organiser Viththarandeniye Nanda Thero are currently visiting a couple of cities in the United States. The trip was originally scheduled to take place last year but was postponed.
As they are travelling across the US, the representatives of the BBS will be planning to hold religious functions and other ceremonies in temples. These would include a popular meditation programme ‘Buddhanussathi’ initiated by Ven. Galagodaththa Gnanasara Thero, and will be carried out in different temples, Executive Committee member Withanage said.
Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena To Launch “Operation Counter Attack” In The United States of America’ »
Buddhists Questioning Bodu Bala Sena
(Text of Statement appearing in facebook of Buddhists Questioning Bodu Bala Sena)
It was humbling to see so many people present last evening, given the fact that this idea was first announced on Tuesday (9 April) and solely promoted on Facebook and held on a day (12 April) when most people have gone on vacation or back to their ancestral homes.
There were no organizers per se, no pre-meetings, just Sri Lankans guided by the sense of Civic Duty, to maintain and preserve the peace of our tiny Island Nation as it is called for in our beautiful National Anthem, Buddhists guided by the peaceful words of Lord Buddha on Samma Vacca (Right speech) on Subhasita Vaccan (on well spoken speech) gathered in unison.
Continue reading ‘How Can the Bodu Bala Sena Claiming to be A Buddhist Organization Violate Lord Buddha’s Teachings?’ »
To my right a man is hauled off by the police. He tries to resist but it’s futile as four policemen load him into a police jeep and drive off. I’m snapping away as the jeep speeds off into the distance, when a voice behind me asks, ‘what just happened?’
I explain to the man in a brown t-shirt, that one of the attendees of the ‘peaceful vigil‘ was just dragged off by the police.
Continue reading ‘An Eye-witness Account of How the Police Suppressed Peaceful candle light Vigil Opposite Bodu Bala Sena Headquarters’ »
South Asia Free Media Association
A gang of unknown persons has again violently attacked a newspaper institution in the North early this morning (Saturday, 13th April) setting fire to and severely damaging its printing press. While condemning this attack, the Sri Lanka Chapter of the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA-SL) points out that, after the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eelam, unknown groups of men have been regularly attacking media personnel, offices and equipment in the North.
Continue reading ‘Attack on “Uthayan”Newspaper and Other Incidents Affecting Media in the North Condemned by SAFMA’ »
The obsession with the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution will hardly help the Tamils, politicians and activists in northern Sri Lanka told the Indian parliamentary delegation, which wound up its visit to Sri Lanka on Thursday.
While members of the Indian delegation were rather reluctant to speak to the media here, enquiries with political parties, academics and civil society members who met the delegation revealed that the discussions gave the Indian parliamentarians an opportunity to listen to different perspectives, agendas and concerns in Colombo and in Jaffna.
Continue reading ‘Indian Parliamentary Delegation Receives Negative Feedback on 13th Amendment From Politicians in Jaffna’ »
The Bodu Bala Sena, with the assistance of the police, prevented a peaceful candle lit vigil from taking place outside the Bodu Bala Sena headquarters in Thunmulla late this evening.
A small crowd under the banner ‘Buddhists Questioning Bodu Bala Sena’ stood outside the Bodu Bala Sena headquarters and attempted to stage the vigil calling for an end to hate speeches.
However Bodu Bala Sena executive member Dilantha Widanage led a group of Bodu Bala Sena supporters towards the crowd and demanded that they leave.
Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena and Police Join Forces to Prevent Peaceful Demonstration near Thunmulla Junction in Colombo’ »
In the short term, the most important issue before the government is the holding of the Northern Provincial Council election. This should be held within the next four to five months according to announcements made by the government. The reason why the NPC election has not been held up to now, is clearly because the government has been having misgivings about having a provincial government in the Northern Province. The recent events in Tamil Nadu and the inability of the Indian Central government to control Tamil Nadu should make the government even more apprehensive about having a chief minister in the north who can add his voice to the rising secessionist caterwaul in South India. Indeed the whole provincial council system in this country should be reviewed. One of the main areas that this government has neglected is constitutional reform. Whatever has to be done has to be done fast because the term of this government is running out and a two thirds majority will not be available forever.
Continue reading ‘Why the Govt Must NOT Conduct Elections to the Northern Provincial Council as Promised by the President’ »
The April New Year is when most Sri Lankans take a break from the dreary routines of life. Colombo looks dead on New Year’s day in April as people in large numbers retreat to their rural roots from the hurly-burly of the city. Quite different from Colombo’s hangover demeanor on January 1 following the New Year’s eve revelry.
Although January 1 is now the global New Year, Sri Lanka’s April New Year is much longer in tradition and carries deeper meanings and symbols not only for Buddhists and Hindus but also for others.
Continue reading ‘New Year prospects for political house cleaning and economic harvesting’ »
By Latheef Farook
View of Dafther Jailany Rock Cave Mosque
Qutub Muhiyuddin Abdul Qadir Jailani, also known as Ghouse-e Azam, is one of the greatest scholars in Islamic history held in very high esteem by Muslims throughout the Middle East ,Pakistan, India, Bangladesh,Sri Lanka, Malaysia and even as far as Indonesia.
In view of his extreme piety, depth of knowledge, simple life and miracles performed and other such noble qualities some call him a saint while others describe him as the saint of all saints.
Continue reading ‘Historical Background of Dafthar Jailany Rock cave Mosque in Kuragala’ »
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has engaged the services of a Washington based PR agency for a consideration of Rs. 100 million (approx. US$ 800,000) in order to deepen defence, investment, trade and cultural links with the US ahead of the UNHRC sessions in 2013.
The Central Bank would pay Rs. 100 million for a year’s service provided by the Thompson Advisory Group LLC, USA (TAG). The contract was signed by Central Bank Deputy Governor BDWA Silva and Robert J. Thompson, Chairman TAG on March 16, 2013 as the US government sponsored a second resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Central Bank Hires Washington Based Public Relations Agency For 100 Million Rupees Per Year’ »
LMD Interviews Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka
Former Ambassador and Academic Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka queries whether an an “Administrative apartheid”is in force in the North of Sri Lanka in an interview to Lanka Monthly Digest
Continue reading ‘Administrative Apartheid in the North?’ »
Designating the letter written by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to the Prime Minister as communicating a “decision” to “ban” Sri Lankan players, officials and support staff from participating in any Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket game in Chennai would be imprecise. Rather, it is a putative ban; a statement of intent by the Government of Tamil Nadu to ban the Sri Lankan nationals on a future date should they set foot in the State.
The letter sought to justify the proposed ban on the grounds that the presence of the Lankans would have aggravated the already surcharged atmosphere in the State, and, presumably, have affected the law and order situation. This licences us to infer that at the appropriate time, the Police Commissioner of Chennai would have invoked, that ubiquitous and versatile tool, the prohibitory order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code — something that was also recently invoked by the Commissioner of Police, Chennai to delay the release of actor Kamal Hassan’s film Viswaroopam.
Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Exceeds her State Powers in “Banning”Sri Lankan Cricketers from Playing in Chennai’ »
Dr. U. Pethiyagoda
Lakshman Kadirgamar (1932 – 2005)
Had Lakshman Kadirgamar been allowed to live, he would today (12 April) have reached the age of 81 years. His brutal and cowardly murder by the LTTE on 12 August 2005 snuffed out his life and undid in seconds what 73 years had taken to achieve.
In our travails at Geneva, some mention of this tragedy may have helped to sway opinion in our favour. But this was not to be for reasons better known to our representatives.
Shortly after his assassination, many accolades were paid to this great son of Sri Lanka. His competence, patriotism, wisdom, oratorical skills, fairness, athletic prowess, charm and personality drew fulsome praise from all quarters. I believe that Lakshman in all his glory, reflects well in the many anecdotes relating to him and some of which I recall. Our association spread from being classmates and friends at Trinity from the time we were about 11 or 12 till his death. I trust that this brief recollection will show him as an exceptional human. Relying as I do on a dwindling memory, I can only try to be accurate and not be guilty of too much “poetic licence”!.
Continue reading ‘Remembering Lakshman Kadirgamar Through Anecdotal Accolades’ »
Muslim owned store attacked by a group including Buddhist Monks, vehicles damaged, heavy damage to the building-pic via: twitter.com/azzamameen
“With or without anticipation, Israeli policies helped shaped the kinds of enemies that pledge to sacrifice their lives to fight the Jewish state…” – Saul Landau (IPS – 29.2.2009)
The Rajapaksas are masters at the art of political marketing. They have developed an ‘all you need to know’ crash course in building innocuous facades to hide insalubrious realities. Perhaps all the people cannot be fooled all the time. But, going by the Rajapaksa record, fooling all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time can more than suffice.
For a while, at least.
Attach on Uthayan in Kilinochchi
Can the Rajapaksas continue to cheat the Tamils and demonise the Muslims with total impunity, endlessly? Or is their run of luck petering out, finally?
Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Power-plays: Cheating Tamils and Demonising Muslims’ »
The misty mountain village of Kuragala, just off Balangoda came alive on Monday when a Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter landed in the area carrying Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and a full retinue of military, police and intelligence officers onboard. Accompanied by dozens of Buddhist monks including Jathika Hela Urumaya Leader Ellawela Medhananda Thero, Moulavis Chief of National Intelligence Major General (Retd) Kapila Hendawitharana and officials from the Department of Archeology, the Defence Secretary undertook a site visit of the rock face on top of which sits an Islamic hermitage shrine.
Continue reading ‘Govt Gives Preference to Jathika Hela Urumaya Over Bodu Bala Sena in Handling Kuragala Jailani Issue’ »
‘Towards a peaceful environment to live with confidence, without fear of crime and violence.’ This is the current Vision of the Sri Lanka Police, unambiguously declared on its official website.
How many of us live today with confidence and without fear?
The government’s portrayal of the Police in Sri Lanka quite deliberately runs contrary to this Vision. In this article, I wish to examine the underlying message the government communicates to the public regarding the reliability of the Police, and to emphasize the dangers inherent in this message.
Continue reading ‘Police “Powerlessness” and Mob Extremism Orchestrated Deliberately Under Rajapaksa Regime’ »
The indefatigable solider, former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka is in the news once again. His newly formed Democratic Party (DP) was formally recognised by the Commissioner of Elections last week and assigned the symbol of a burning torch.
Sarath Fonseka in Kandy – April, 2013-pic: facebook.com/Democraticparty.lk
The entry of the DP into the political arena does alter the parameters of domestic politics slightly. However, whether it willbe a force to be reckoned with and be accepted by the masses as an alternative government is a moot point.
Continue reading ‘Will Democratic Party of Sarath Fonseka be Accepted by the Masses as an Alternative Govt?’ »
Malani Fonseka & Sivaji Ganesan in ‘Pilot Premnath’
In 1978, one of the finest actors of India and a much-acclaimed star from Sri Lanka played the lead roles in a film that was shot in both countries.
Over three decades later, actor-turned-Parliamentarian Malani Fonseka — who played the female lead in Sivaji Ganesan’s ‘Pilot Premnath’ — is reaching out to counterparts in Tamil Nadu to visit Sri Lanka and assess the post-war situation.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Film Fraternity Against Demand Urging Ban on Tamil Nadu Films’ »
Upul Joseph Fernando
Just after the US resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva was successfully carried through with India’s backing, President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a telling remark, pregnant with futuristic meaning. In essence, what he revealed was a conspiracy by the US and Western interests using the Tamil Diaspora as a cat’s paw to destabilize India through Tamil Nadu, in advance of a future separate State in the State; all the while pinning the blame on him (Rajapaksa) for the many sins of commission and omission. If on the other hand Rajapaska acted as India expected after defeating the LTTE, none of those parties would be in a strong position to play Tamil Nadu against India under any circumstances.
Continue reading ‘India Seems to Think It Should Tame President Rajapaksa or Seek a Regime Change in Sri Lanka’ »
“The ongoing crisis in the Southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu, over accountability issues here, should discourage those pushing for devolution of power under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. A hostile Provincial Council Administration in the Northern or the Eastern province in Sri Lanka could be inimical to the post war national reconciliation process”. (Friday, March 29, 2013, The Island)
The above statement by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa we believe should not only open the eyes of those advocating the implementation of the 13th Amendment, but also of those who have started advocating elections for the Northern Provincial Council. Changing the slogan – Implement the 13th Amendment – to holding elections in the Northern Province may look innocuous but let us not fool ourselves into believing that they are any different. They are identical. Holding elections in the North is to create the Northern Provincial Council with all the powers bestowed to it by the Constitution – by the 13th Amendment.
Continue reading ‘“The Day Will Come When People will No Longer Back President Rajapaksa”’ »
“Commitment: a pledge or promise; obligation. If you’re gonna carry out its meaning 1st you have to know what it means.” ~ Unknown quote
7th Deyata Kirula Exhibition, Ampara-Mar 23, 2013-pic via: facebook.com/NamalSL
To paraphrase Leonard Wolf in the Village in the Jungle: “all power is evil, but there is no power more evil than that is invested in the current Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka.” The enormity of powers, the sheer absolute authority and influence the (ab)user wields over the subject people, its telling might on the subordinate officers’ free-will, its decisive advantages over the competitors in the field and its flagrant abuse by successive holders of office have contributed to it being an almost omnipotent position in the presence of which even Caesar would have trembled. So enormous is the power of Executive Presidency and its inherent powers.
Continue reading ‘Potential Contenders Against Mahinda Rajapaksa For Reform of the Executive Presidency’ »
No discourse nearer home or afar on India’s geo-strategic imperatives for the 21st century has been complete without a strong and at times repeated reference to the ‘String of Pearls’ theory involving China. A theory floated by western strategic thinkers, it had takers in India immediately afterward – to try and ward off the threats from China. Now, it seems to have more takers in the nations of the proponents of the theory. Many are actively engaged as much in India’s neighbourhood as with India, with which they have strategic cooperation agreement or arrangement. Some of these bilateral arrangements may still be in the pipeline but that does not alter the course, either in their geo-strategic appeals to India or their own geo-strategic appeal for some of India’s neighbours.
Continue reading ‘New Delhi Must Re-visit its Neighbourhood Policies for India to be Taken Seriously by its Neighbours’ »
Karu Jayasuriya M.P.
Karu Jayasuriya M.P.
(Brief Notes in point form of the Media Conference held by Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, UNP MP for Gampaha District on
10th April 2013 in Colombo)
• The Government has already announced that the Provincial Council Elections for Central and North Western Province will be held in the coming months and elections for the Northern Province by September.
• The government mentioned about Northern Provincial Council Elections in Geneva too.
• Hence, we can call this a pre-election period.
• Commissioner of Elections has a special responsibility to conduct free and fair elections.
• When charges are being aimed at us internationally it is the duty of the Commissioner of Elections to prepare the background for free and fair elections and win the confidence of all political parties.
• It is rather difficult to see that the elections held in this country after the abolition of the 17th Amendment and the introduction of the 18th Amendment are free and fair.
Continue reading ‘People Must not Get Into Situation Where They Say “Vatuth Niyarath goyum ka nam kaata kiyamuda ea amaruwa”’ »
Rajavarothayam Sampanthan M.P.
Rajavarothayam Sampanthan M.P.
(Text of Statement made on 10th April 2013 under Standing Order 23(2) – provisoby Tamil National alliance leader and Trincomalee district MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan in Parliament)
On Saturday, 30th March 2013, a mob of around 50 persons who came in a procession along the A9 highway carrying the national flag attacked a meeting held at the Tamil National Alliance office of Hon S Shritharan MP in Kilinochchi by throwing rocks and concrete stones. In addition to Hon S Shritharan MP, Hon S Senathirajah MP, Hon E Saravanapavan MP and Hon M A Sumanthiran MP were present there at that time.
The members of Parliament were engaged in meeting with about 100 residents of Kilinochchi relating to maters of concern to the Tamil People. This attack took place in the presence of the Kilinochchi Police, who did nothing to prevent it, and resulted in injuries to 13 persons and extensive damage to property. This attack was recorded on video and photographs and the persons involved are easily identifiable. However, not one person has been arrested in relation to this violence up to date, despite the presence of the police on the scene while the attack took place. In fact, one assailant apprehended by those present at the meeting was identified to be an officer of the Criminal Investigation Department [CID] of the Sri Lankan Police. He was handed over to the Deputy Inspector General of Police who arrived at the scene later, but was released shortly thereafter. Two others, who were similarly caught in the act and handed over to the Police, were also promptly released.
Continue reading ‘Attacks on Democratic Rights of Tamil People are Carried outin North-East With Active Support, Sanction and Collusion of Govt’ »
Bodu Bala Sena Rally i Kandy – March 2013
The monks of the Bodu Bala Sena have inadvertently done Sri Lanka a favour. Their speeches are so crass and their actions so crude that they have provoked a backlash – the media is full of criticism of their anti-Muslim campaign, much of it coming from Sinhala Buddhists themselves.
People have recognised that these groups are a menace. The question is whether their rise has been properly understood and whether the measures being taken to combat them are likely to be effective.
Continue reading ‘Monks of the Bodu Bala Sena Have Inadvertently Done Sri Lanka a Favour’ »
M.S.S.Pandian and Kalaiyarasan A.
Law Students in Coimbatore observing Fast-Mar 2013
And why not? It is better than never. The spark has grown into a flame and we add fuel believing that it burns till the light of equal rights reaches the long deprived and oppressed people – Lalith Raja, senior system engineer,
Infosys, Chennai, in NDTV Blog.
The spark which has ignited the students’ rage in Tamil Nadu against the United States-sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution on Sri Lanka and India’s eventual support to it began in one of the most unlikely places, the Loyola College at Chennai. The academic excellence of the college, most believe, is a result of its depoliticised student body. Shattering the myth convincingly, on 8 March, eight young students from the college – Dileepan (18), Britto (20), Anthony George (20), Ramesh alias Paarvai Dasan (20), Paul Kenneth (20), Manikandan (19), Shanmugapriyan (19), and Leo Stalin (20) – went on an indefinite hunger strike demanding the implementation of a seven-point charter.
Continue reading ‘“Tamil Spring”in India;New Generation of Tamil Nadu College Students Takes up the Cause of Tamils in Sri Lanka’ »
Lester James Peries
Moviemaker Maestro Lester James Peries celebrated his Birthday yesterday. Sri Lanka’s pioneering director of authentic Sinhala cinema was born in Dehiwela on April 5th 1919.
The nonagenarian auteur in a cinematic career spanning more than five decades has stamped his indelible imprint on Sinhala films and in the process elevated Sri Lankan cinema to global heights.
If everything goes well the veteran film maker is likely to receive a fabulous birthday present in a few weeks time.What better gift can a creative filmmaker receive other than an “original” of a film considered to be his best ever and regarded as “irretrievably lost” for many many years? It would indeed be a treasure in every sense of the word!
Continue reading ‘Nidhanaya: Retrieving The Lost Cinematic ‘Treasure’ of Lester James Peries’ »
Text and Pix Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
Passionate traditional musical siblings of the peninsula
“Mangala Isai” is a traditional music group that performs at Hindu temples during festivals, Hindu weddings, and at puberty ceremonies. This particular group has two women who play “Naathaswaram” and “Thavil” generally played only by male musicians.
Continue reading ‘Two Jaffna Sisters Playing the ‘Nathaswaram’ and ‘Thavil’ in Male Dominated Music Sphere’ »
pic by: UN
The 21 March UN Human Rights Council vote was a victory for Sri Lanka since the US sponsored, India supported resolution did not call the human rights violation as State sponsored.
Last year’s resolution as well as this year’s resolution calls for implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.
Eelam Tamils consider it a mockery of justice as President Mahinda Rajapaksa is both the culprit and the judge. The LLRC report provides a dangerous blueprint for structural and cultural genocide of Sri Lankan Tamils.
Continue reading ‘UN Human Rights Council Resolution is Victory not defeat for Sri Lanka’ »
(Text of Statement by the Ministry of External Affairs Sri Lanka)
Contact and interaction between Sri Lanka and India has continued since time immemorial. Civilisational ties and cultural links between all parts of India and Sri Lanka have been substantial. Since Independence, both nations have followed an unbroken tradition of democracy. The Governments of India and Sri Lanka have worked closely to combat terrorism and extremism, safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and the right of all Sri Lankans to live in peace with dignity and justice.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka is a Multi-ethnic,Multi-religious Country with Communities well-spread out in all Parts Acknowledges External Affairs Ministry’ »
Had the then Indian government acted with responsibility, Sri Lanka wouldn’t have experienced a 30-year war, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday.
People of all communities would have been still suffering horrors of war, if not for the eradication of terrorism in May 2009, following a three-year combined security forces campaign, the Defence Secretary said, noting that India could never absolve itself of the responsibility for creating terrorism here, though some of those directly involved
Continue reading ‘Hardeep Puri was Directly Involved in Indian Operation Against the JR Jayewardena Govt up to July 1987 says Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’ »
N Sathiya Moorthy
Rahul Gandhi, Vice-President of the Congress Party, addressing industry captains at the CII annual general meeting and national conference in the Capital, Apr 4, 2013
Ruling Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi may not have said it all in his 75-minute CII talk in New Delhi. Yet, he may have left no one in doubt that the party has to – and will, in his time – revisit the policies of the past decades and take it back to the ‘basics’ as far as the core ideologies and constituencies of the Congress went.
Analysts who expected more from Rahul Gandhi in his first full-fledged and public interaction with the nation’s Big Business have been uncharitable at best and critical otherwise. With a party Government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, rightly hailed as the ‘Father of Economic Reforms’, and a more exuberant Finance Minister in P Chidambaram, both well in place, anything more that Rahul Gandhi could have been misconstrued by party insiders and misinterpreted otherwise. Thus he walked the tight-rope and was seen doing it with as much ease and poise for someone much younger and inexperienced in governance and policy-making as he is.
Continue reading ‘Forward and Backward Integration of the Vision that Rahul Gandhi has for a ‘Newer India’ After the ‘New India”’ »
Amb. Sison joins other Heads of Mission at Galle Face before the presentation of her credentials with President Rajapaksa – Sept 2012
(US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele J.Sison’s Remarks:“US Policy Towards and Continuing Engagement with Sri Lanka” to the Foreign Correspondents Association in Colombo on April 8, 2013)
Thank you for inviting me to speak tonight. It is a pleasure being here, and also a pleasure to have the opportunity to show my support for the role of the media here in Sri Lanka at a Foreign Correspondents Association meeting.
I have been asked to speak about the next steps for U.S. engagement with Sri Lanka. First of all, let me emphasize that we value our relationship with Sri Lanka and the people of Sri Lanka. I would like to spend a few moments talking about how we see the current situation in Sri Lanka, and why the U.S. decided to table a second resolution a few weeks ago at the Human Rights Council.
Continue reading ‘The U.S. Helped the Government and People of Sri Lanka in Every Way we Could to end the LTTE’s Reign of Terror’ »
by Kamaya Jayatissa
“I hear that melting-pot stuff a lot, and all I can say is that we haven’t melted.” – Jesse Jackson
For a country which finally came out of a protracted civil war we surely have not learned much of a lesson when it comes to tolerance and peaceful co-existence between communities. Lack of inter-communal dialogue, anti-Muslim propaganda, destruction of private properties, escalation of hate-speech against minorities, religious fundamentalism… Where does it stop?
In these circumstances, it is legitimate to ask ourselves whether post-war Sri Lanka is truly multicultural or whether it just comprises of multiple cultures that are (hardly) living side by side.
Continue reading ‘Is Post-War Sri Lanka truly Multicultural?’ »
Col R Hariharan
[This article includes comments made by Col Hariharan in a TV discussion on April 7, 2013 on North Korean threat to unleash nuclear strike on U.S. bases and South Korea.]
Why the North Korean stand off?
There are both contemporary and historical reasons behind the North Korean threat to launch an offensive against South Korea and strike at U.S. bases in Guam and Hawaii. North Korea (Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea –DPRK) and South Korea have been having an uneasy relationship since the singing an armistice in 1953 after the Korean War ended in a stalemate. At that time a De-militarized Zone (DMZ) was created along the 38th parallel between the two countries to prevent breaking out of fresh conflict. However, DPRK has not recognized the maritime boundary between the two countries; this continues to be an irritant in their relations. Annual joint exercise by South Korean and U.S. troops and navy is yet another major source of irritation for the North. The Kim regime has repeatedly used these irritants to whip up anti-U.S. hysteria and talk tough on attacking South Korea.
A contemporary reason could be South Korea’s emergence as a democratic nation with strong economic power next only to China and Japan in East Asia, in sharp contrast to DPRK’s dismal performance.
Continue reading ‘Any Conflict Initiated by North Korea has Every Possibility of Enlarging into a Much Bigger one’ »
Rajavarothayam Sampanthan M.P.
Rajavarothayam Sampanthan M.P
(Statement Made in Parliament by Tamil National Alliance Leader and MP from Trincomalee District , Rajavarothayam Sampanthan, on April 9th 2013 under Standing Order 23(2) – proviso relating to matter of urgent public importance )
I wish to make a statement on a most grave issue of national concern, relating to the safety, security and wellbeing of the Muslim people of this island. The Muslim people have been historical inhabitants of this island, and have contributed immensely to its development for many centuries.
Continue reading ‘“We Cannot be Unconcerned Spectators when Our Muslim Brothers and Sisters are Attacked or Mosques Vandalized”’ »
Dr. Sarath Buddhadasa
We entered Peradeniya university way back in the late 1970s with the hope of creating a future for our families and also to enjoy life while contributing to the progress of society, since it was the people of this country who sustained us in the universities by way of direct and indirect taxes paid to the government to provide us free education.
However, all our hopes and dreams were shattered with the birth of LTTE terrorism and Pirabaharan and his inhuman partners almost destroying our social and economic fabric.
We were fortunate that the country was saved from the clutches of terrorism by President Mahinda Rajapakse and his team, with the help of many supporters here and abroad, in May 2009. This gave us a new ray of hope and impetus. The nation drew a peaceful breath after 30 years and the people were confident of the country’s future. We were sure that such a dark era will not befall us ever again. We started building peace and rebuilding the much needed trust between communities. There were many efforts and sacrifices made to rehabilitate and re-integrate disaffected youth and peace building was initiated with our Tamil speaking fellow countrymen and women.
Now what is the situation in our country today?
Continue reading ‘“Boru Bana Sena” are 21st Century Devadattas Whose Bahaviour is Undoubtedly Against Buddhism and Sinhalese’ »
“The skeletons in the mass graves in Matale are those of the 60,000 JVP members killed during the UNP regime in 1988-89. We urge the government to immediately conduct a probe into the findings,” says the JVP.
While the media began reporting the issue, the JVP held media briefings and issued communiqués in this regard. However, after a while, the JVP changed its tune, somewhat. They suddenly alleged that during the period in question, it was Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who was the army officer in charge of Matale, and therefore, he must be held responsible, adding he would also know what had gone on at the time, and as such, he should be questioned.
Why is the JVP, which had been accusing the UNP since 1988-89, stating it had destroyed the JVP with bullets, suddenly drag Gotabhaya’s name into the controversy, consequent to the report on the skeletal remains in the mass graves in Matale being released, and say he should be questioned?
Continue reading ‘International Conspiracy and Covert Moves to Oust Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’ »
ONLY a handful of peace-time politicians can claim to have changed the world. Margaret Thatcher, who died this morning, was one. She transformed not just her own Conservative Party, but the whole of British politics. Her enthusiasm for privatisation launched a global revolution and her willingness to stand up to tyranny helped to bring an end to the Soviet Union. Winston Churchill won a war, but he never created an “ism”.
The essence of Thatcherism was to oppose the status quo and bet on freedom—odd, since as a prim control freak, she was in some ways the embodiment of conservatism. She thought nations could become great only if individuals were set free. Her struggles had a theme: the right of individuals to run their own lives, as free as possible from the micromanagement of the state.
Continue reading ‘Margaret Thatcher-The Lady Who Changed the Conservative Party,British Politics and the World.’ »
Margaret Thatcher, the “Iron Lady” of British politics, who pulled her country back from 35 years of socialism, led it to victory in the Falklands war and helped guide the United States and the Soviet Union through the Cold War’s difficult last years, died Monday. She was 87.
“It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother, Baroness Thatcher, died peacefully following a stroke this morning,” a statement from her spokesman, Lord Tim Bell, said. She had been in poor health for months, and suffered from dementia.
Continue reading ‘MARGARET THATCHER (1925-2013):The “Iron Lady”Who Became First Woman Prime Minister of Britain’ »
“I do not want my child to be born and raised as a refugee,” says Padma, resting her palm on her five-month pregnant stomach. She arrived in India as a little girl in 1990. The only transition since then is that she had moved out of a refugee camp to live outside in a house as a “veli pathivu” (non-camp refugee). She is one of the two pregnant women Tamil refugees, who were ‘rescued’ from the stranded boat off Velankanni coast on Saturday evening.
Bhanu, who is in the eighth month of pregnancy, was rushed to a hospital for treatment after she developed sickness on arrival here.
Continue reading ‘Political Posturing in their Name Has Not Helped Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees Living Under Sub-Human Conditions in Tamil Nadu’ »
The Jaffna Peninsula is unique as far as regional media activities are concerned. Away from Colombo, this is the only region in the country where the ‘fourth estate’ thrives. Remarkably, not only four regional newspapers are published here, the country’s first regional television station, Dish Asia Network (DAN), which caters to the region as well as abroad via satellite, also has its main operations here.
The first blow to a Jaffna newspaper was struck on the very night the Jaffna Public Library was set on fire in June 1981. Eelanadu, which was started in 1959 with veteran journalist K.P. Haran as Editor, was attacked by the same mob that had set the Jaffna Library aflame, completely destroying around 90,000 books and rare manuscripts.
Continue reading ‘Despite Hostile Environment Jaffna Remains Powerful Media Hub in the Country’ »
By Hardeep S. Puri
Ambassador Hardeep S. Puri
Contemporary developments in India’s foreign policy are often based on perceptions and not facts, views divorced from reality and political advocacy based on make-believe. India’s approach to the Sri Lankan issue and the vote in the Human Rights Council (HRC) is a case in point. Variously described as a “new low” in our foreign policy and a departure from our principled stand of not supporting country-specific resolutions, this line of reasoning suggests that New Delhi should ignore and overrule regional sentiment, and refrain from meddling in the affairs of a small neighbour.
Continue reading ‘India Can be Against the LTTE but Cannot Afford to be Against the Tamils -Hardeep Puri’ »
Another US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka – the second in 12 months – was passed recently at the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva. Twenty-five countries voted in favor of the resolution and 13 voted against it. There were 8 abstentions. Importantly, the resolution also had 41 cosponsors.
This resolution is similar to the one that was passed in March 2012. It calls on the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to implement the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations and to address the (very credible) allegations of international humanitarian and human rights law which occurred during the civil war’s final phase. And, like the previous one, this resolution encourages GoSL to work with the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to fulfill these objectives.
Continue reading ‘Disregarding UNHRC Resolution is Risky for Sri Lanka as it Could result in Unpalatable consequences like Economic Sanctions and Travel restrictions’ »
Dr. Vinoth Ramachandra
In the few days following the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meetings in Geneva, we have witnessed several acts of blatant criminality by mobs on people and property – in Colombo, Killinochchi and elsewhere.
A common factor has been the passivity of the police. They have looked the other way (reminiscent of July ’83) and suppressed video evidence of the culprits responsible for such violence.
We have also witnessed, in a single day, the Attorney General interfering in court cases involving family members and friends of politicians.
The justifiable outrage over groups like Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) must not distract us from asking fundamental questions such as:
Continue reading ‘Justifiable Outrage Over Groups Like Bodhu Bala Sena Must Not Distract Us From Asking Fundamental Questions’ »
Theepachelvan: Writing of a war-scarred land. Photo: S.S.Kumar-courtesy: The Hindu
Theepachelvan, christened Balenndram Pratheepan, is the author of 11 books, including five collections of poems, three of articles, one compendium of short stories of people from the war-scarred land, and one anthology of poems by Eelam poets.
His most recent book, Pray for My Land, is a collection of poems translated into English. Born in 1983, his writings bear the imprint of the war on the life of a young boy who cowered as IPKF tanks moved past, of a child who only saw the most unpleasant and gory images life could offer.
In Kilinochchi Central College, University of Jaffna, where he pursued a degree in Tamil literature, he was a student leader braving threats to his life and constantly under scrutiny of the Sri Lankan military forces. His poems echo with the hopelessness of the situation that people like him were thrown into. His writings have won him recognition from the Sri Lankan Press Association and more recently from the Tamil literary magazine Kanaiyazhi. He is currently in Chennai pursuing a master’s degree in journalism and communication at the University of Madras.
Excerpts from an interview:
Continue reading ‘“I Want to Live in my Land and Write About my People”-Theepachelvan’ »
On February 14, 2013 Ambassador Rao welcomed Congressman Ami Bera, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and Mike Honda to the Indian Embassy for a reception-pic: U.S. Dept of State: South and Central Asia
Having read a post by HE Jaliya Wickramasuriya, our Ambassador in the USA, titled “A Role for Sri Lanka in US Pivot to Asia”, I thought it may be ideal to understand how others compete to be in the US pivot to Asia to do business. I mean “business” only in economic terms and exclude issues such as politics, rights, accountability etc; the presently more quoted US interests.
Concurrently, Minister Maithripala Sirisena stating that “the Sri Lankan government had implicit faith in the Indian central government and would continue to maintain close ties with them despite the current situation in Tamil Nadu” meant to me another aspect of relationship building with India.
Sri Lanka Embassy on Dec 14, 2012 dedicated its annual Christmas Day Celebration to a prayer service in honoring the memory of the victims of the tragic shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut-pic: slembassyusa.org
Since USA and India are hand in glove on many fronts Minister Sirisena’s statement too should be considered as a means to engage India and the USA as a joint response for a common cause.
Continue reading ‘Nirupama Rao and Jaliya Wickramasuriya: Contrasting Approaches of Two South Asian Ambassadors in Washington’ »
Beirut) – United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities should not deport 19 Tamil refugees to Sri Lanka because they would be at serious risk of torture and persecution upon return. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has recognized all 19 as refugees, but the UAE authorities have told the group they must leave the country by April 11, 2013.
“For the UAE to return recognized Tamil refugees to a grave risk of torture in Sri Lanka would signal a total disregard for their well-being – and the most basic principle of international refugee and human rights law,” said Bill Frelick, refugee program director at Human Rights Watch. “Sri Lanka’s treatment of Tamils they deem politically suspect is dismal and under no circumstances should the UAE deport this group there.”
Continue reading ‘United Arab Emirates Must not Deport 19 Tamil Asylum Seekers back to Sri Lanka-Human Rights Watch’ »
A Special Correspondent
Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan
Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan has urged the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Naina Lal Kidwai to cancel the proposed trip by a delegation of Parliamentarians to Sri Lanka, “in solidarity with the sufferings of innocent civilian Tamils in Sri Lanka and out of respect for the feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu.”
[Organised under the auspices of the FICCI, the trip, by the delegation of six MPs, is to begin on Monday (April 8) and conclude on Friday].
Continue reading ‘Indian Union Minister Jayanthi Natarajan Wants Indian MP’s Trip to Sri Lanka Cancelled “Out of Respect for Feelings of People of Tamil Nadu”’ »
A delegation of six Indian parliamentarians will visit Sri Lanka between April 8 and April 12. They will also visit Colombo and Jaffna during the trip, which is being organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Continue reading ‘Six Indian MP’s Visit Sri Lanka From April 8th to 12th on Trip Organized byIndian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’ »
The 42nd anniversary of the April 1971 insurgency fell on Friday. This is an account of little-known facts of the attempt to free JVP Leader Rohana Wijeweera from the Jaffna Prison during the uprising.
In 1969-1970 the JVP – then popularly called the Che Guevarists – was supporting the Opposition United Front’s election campaign against the UNP Government. Simultaneously they were preparing for an armed insurrection if things did not turn out in their favor after the polls. Hence their covert operations continued even though the UF won the Parliamentary Election of May 27, 1970. Less than four months later on August 10 the JVP held its maiden pubic rally at Hyde Park, Colombo.
The following year on March 10 five JVP members were killed in an accidental explosion in Kegalle while manufacturing hand bombs. Three days later the police arrested Rohana Wijeweera and over 400 JVP members in the jungles of Ampara. On March 16, Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike declared a country-wide State of Emergency. Following a high level security conference in Colombo a decision was taken to detain Wijeweera in Jaffna so that he would have no contact with his party members. Since there was no JVP activity in the North, the authorities considered Jaffna to be safe area to hold him in custody.
Continue reading ‘How 150 JVP Cadres Came by Train in April 1971 to Jaffna to Free Rohana Wijeweera Held in Jaffna Fort Prison’ »
I read in a newspaper an account of a recent meeting on the Government’s foreign policy, in which several ex-Ambassadors and others had participated. The outcome was apparently unfavorable to the Government, since it was seen as making foreign policy mistakes which have placed Sri Lanka in a very disadvantageous position. In any case there seems to be a very widespread public perception that the Government has been seriously blundering in the sphere of foreign relations, as a result of which Sri Lanka is getting isolated and could even face punitive sanctions. I have already seen one article in which facts and figures are cited to show that sanctions won’t bite all that much. If sanctions become a realistic prospect, we can expect many more articles in which brilliant statistical casuistry will be expended to show that sanctions won’t matter at all, and may even be beneficial for the economy.
Continue reading ‘“I very Much Doubt That Our Govt Would Find in China or Any Other Country a Factor to Counter Balance India’ »
True to Sri Lankan style, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint a ‘presidential commission’ to conduct an inquiry into the Matale mass grave.
The mandate of the proposed commission is to be finalized in two days, Presidential Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake, said, confiding to our correspondent that he too is awaiting further instruction with regard to the latest presidential decision. Indications are that the decision to appoint a commission was made in a hurry, in an apparent move to wade off an international scrutiny on the issue which could even risk an international tribunal on the matter, such as the one on the Rwandan Genocide or on the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Continue reading ‘Is Sri Lanka Capable of Conducting Independent Investigation Into Mass Graves Found in Matale Due to Gota Factor?’ »
(A grieving mother of two teenage sons who were abducted by the Army in 1989, narrates how she was stopped and sent back when she went to meet then Military Coordinating Officer (MCO) for Matale,
Lt. Col. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa).
The two teenage sons of K.G. Kamalawathi were snatched by the soldiers who arrived at her residence during a notorious ‘military round up’ of local youth on 13 December 1989. The two teenagers, Susantha Janaka (18) and Rohana Nishantha (17), were GCE Advanced Level students at Science College and Vijaya Vidyalaya, Matale.
The two boys were having their lunch when the military unceremoniously entered their home at Warakanda Watta, Ukuwela, Matale, and took them to the Rest House Camp, near Vijaya Vidyalaya, which was located in the vicinity of the current mass grave at the backyard of the Matale Hospital, from where 154 skeleton remains dating back to 1986-89 as stated in the investigations, had been uncovered.
Continue reading ‘Mother of 2 Missing Sons in Matale and the Military Coordinating Officer Lt.Col Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’ »
The Liberal Party is concerned about the ongoing multifaceted campaigns by a few self-proclaimed organizations in Sri Lanka against religious minorities. A clear sinister campaign is also launched by these organizations to boycott commercial establishments run by Muslims. The Liberal Party understands that the demands by these extremist organizations cannot be practically followed by the general public owing to the unpredictable behaviour of the market forces.
Liberals feel that the ongoing hate campaign against Muslims is now directed at their culture including dress codes, eating habits and so forth. However, we feel that the prime cause of the recent resurgence of this majority extremism is business rivalry. Muslims who have benefited from the open economic policies since 1977, have a greater share in capital for development and investment opportunities in the post-conflict period with their inborn skill in trade. Others should not be jealous about this historical phenomenon.
Continue reading ‘Liberal Party is Concerned About On Going Campaign by a Few Self-Proclaimed Organizations Against Religious Minorities in Sri Lanka’ »
With racial discrimination on the rise, Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, Vasudeva Nanayakkara is due to submit a Cabinet paper, seeking approval to ban hate language, which is designed to incite communal disharmony. Ceylon Today interviewed asked him about the steps he intends taking to stem the increasing incidents of racial attacks against minority communities
Excerpts of the interview:
Continue reading ‘“I Dont Want to Ban Any Organization But I Want New Laws Banning Hate Language And Prevent Spread of Communal Hatred -Vasudeva Nanayakkara’ »
Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
MA Sumanthiran MP-pic: YoungAsiaTV
TNA parliamentarian, Attorney-at-Law M. A. Sumanthiran says the international community has realized that the request for time and space is not a genuine one but only for the government to implement its own agenda. He observed that if the government acts responsibly at least at this stage and engages constructively with the international community following the adoption of the 2013 resolution at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the country could deal with all outstanding issues. “The people of this country will have to ask themselves the question as to why the very countries that banned the LTTE and helped the government win the war, are now applying pressure to settle the six-decade long ethnic issue by peaceful means,” Sumanthiran said.
Following is the interview:
Continue reading ‘National Action Plan Does Not Deal With Even Half of the Constructive Recommendations by the LLRC-MA Sumanthiran MP’ »
The famed Tamil Language scholar and Tamil Pandit Madulugiriye Wijerathne was honoured with the Buddha’s Light Award for the monumental contribution he has made for the propagation of Buddhism through the Tamil Language.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Scholar Madulugiriye Wijerathne Honoured with Award in Tamil Nadu for Propagation of Buddhism Through Tamil’ »
N. Sathiya Moorthy
Military Spokesman Brig. Ruwan Wanigasooriya’s exposition that Sri Lanka will need foreign help to determine the number of deaths in ‘Eelam War IV’ stands to reason. He has said, and rightly so, that many have migrated through the years of ethnic conflict; some among the 300,000 freed from the LTTE’s clutches during the closing weeks of the war or hospitalised at the time had escaped to foreign countries. There is nothing new in the claim for it to be dubbed an imaginative, post-Geneva initiative.
Continue reading ‘War and violence have been excuses for many Tamils to present their ‘economic migration’ aspirations as ‘political asylum’,’ »