by Karu Jayasuriya MP
We wish to reiterate to the government to at least conduct the proposed provincial council elections according to the guidelines of the Commissioner of Elections and in a free and fair manner, if the government is not scared of the reflection of true public opinion.
pic courtesy of: facebook.com/KaruJayasuriya
As already reported in the media the government has given appointments in the public service after the dissolution of Eastern, Sabaragamuwa and North central Provincial Councils.
Continue reading ‘Opposition must shed differences and use Provincial Council polls as starting point to win free and fair elections for masses’ »
by Gotabaya Rajapaksa
(Text of special address by Secretary Defence and Urban Development, Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the workshop for Sri Lankan ambassadors and heads of missions conducted by the Ministry of External Affairs at Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyatalawa.)
During the course of this session, I will be speaking on the actions taken by the Government to address the key issues that affected this country after the achievement of peace in May 2009.
Continue reading ‘Unless there are specific complaints and substantial evidence of wrong doing it is impossible to prosecute anyone’ »
By Hemantha Warnakulasuriya
Two days after my first article, ‘Work is Worship’,
Professor Charles Sarvan sent a response to a former colleague of mine at the Foreign Ministry.
He very kindly forwarded the same to me and I to use the title he gave, ‘Restoration of the fractured confidence in Tamil Speaking in Sri Lanka.’ as the title to this article.
Continue reading ‘Tamil speaking citizens of Sri Lanka: Restoration of fractured confidence’ »
by B. Nimal Veerasingham
(American Jesuit missionary Priest Fr.Eugene John Herbert a native of Louisiana, USA who ushered in the renaissance of Basketball in Batticaloa was reported missing on August 15th 1990 after being seen last in Valaichenai)
Though continents apart, New Orleans in a lot of ways brings memories of the Eastern Sri Lankan city of Batticaloa.
Continue reading ‘Father Herbert: From land of Mississippi to lagoon of the singing fish’ »
By Camelia Nathaniel
Sri Lanka’s southern coast is one of the busiest shipping paths in the world and ironically, it is also an area frequented by the fabled blue whales.
In recent times there have been many instances where whales, having crossed paths with a ship’s passage, have been killed- or badly injured.
Continue reading ‘Shipping and tourism endangers Blue Whales off Southern Coast of Sri Lanka’ »
From the 1930s to the 1950s, I regularly used to travel between Ceylon and India by train, with a rather sickening 1½ hour sea crossing in between. It was only recently I discovered that this route was finalised a 100 years ago this year, when there was signed an agreement between the South Indian Railway Company and the British India Steam Navigation Company on rights of business.
Under the agreement, “All traffic from stations south of Madurai to Colombo and vice versa would continue to be routed via Tuticorin (from where B.I. steamers would take them to Colombo).
Continue reading ‘The Indo-Ceylon Railway connection’ »
by Col R Hariharan
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother, is perhaps the most controversial personality in Sri Lanka. He is interviewer’s delight because of his forthright, no-holds barred comments are sure to be a hit.
At the same time, he is media man’s nightmare because Gotabhaya does not allow critical comments go unchallenged and makes no bones about it (pun not intended).
Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa shoots from the hip as well as the lip’ »
Nimalaruban-pic courtesy: BBCTamil.com
By Azra Ameen
Riots and violence inside prisons are not novel occurrences in Sri Lanka. It was only in January this year that a group of inmates at the Welikada Prison rioted, and in the events that ensued, 26 inmates and several prison guards were injured.
This raised a number of questions about the state of Sri Lanka’s prison system.
Continue reading ‘Will Nimalaruban’s body be handed over to parents for conducting last rites in hometown?’ »
by Camelia Nathaniel
For the first time in the history of power generation in the country three consecutive monsoon seasons have failed, plunging the country into a severe power crisis.
However, Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka said that in spite of the lack of rains and the dwindling water levels in the main reservoirs, the general public have been supplied electricity continuously without any power cuts.
Continue reading ‘‘Absolutely no Intention of Imposing Power Cuts’-Champika Ranawaka’ »
By Col R Hariharan
Sri Lanka air force personnel who had completed part of their technical training at Air Force Station, Tambaram, Chennai were taken off the course and sent to Bangalore after Ms Jayalalitha, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, raised a hue and cry over their presence in Tamil Nadu.
The irrepressible chief minister will no doubt count this as a small victory in her ongoing political confrontation with her bête noir M Karunanidhi of the Dravida Munnetrda Kazagham, a favoured partner of the ruling coalition in New Delhi.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Tamils Issue Brought from Sidelines into Centre Stage of Tamil Nadu Politics’ »
By G.T. Ketharanathan
The Colombo SAARC Cultural Centre, which hosted the SAARC Film Festival 2011 once again extended its hospitality for the SAARC Film Festival 2012. The big day was celebrated with all enthusiasm in Colombo on 16 May at the National Film Corporation Cinema Hall.
SAARC member countries, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Maldives had sent in their productions for screening at the festival. Besides feature films, the inclusion of documentaries at this year’s festival was a progressive aspect, a step forward in the right direction. Cine field artistes and stars were also offered an opportunity to participate in a one day workshop.
Continue reading ‘Colourful vitality of South Asian Film Festival in Colombo’ »
by Tissa Ravindra Perera
Last week, the international Tamil Eelam movement attempted to raise their heads at the Vavuniya prison, where a number of LTTE terrorist suspects are being held. The operation was to hold some prison officers hostage and take full control of the prison.
The prison premises located on a 40-perch land was taken under the control of the LTTE suspects, who were being given instructions over digital phones by the international LTTE leaders.
Continue reading ‘How the Vavuniya prisoner rebellion was crushed by the STF’ »
by Frederica Jansz
Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa went berserk when contacted by The Sunday Leader to clarify and find out if he was aware that the management at SriLankan Airlines had taken a decision to change a wide bodied A340 scheduled to fly to Zurich on Friday July 13, to a smaller A330. The change was to be made so that a SriLankan Airline pilot, who is dating a niece of President Mahinda Rajapaksa could personally fly the aircraft that would carry a ‘puppy dog’ for Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa from Zurich.
The Sunday Leader was told by senior airline pilots that 56 passengers would have had to be off-loaded if the aircraft was changed.
Continue reading ‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa went ‘berserk’ when contacted by Sunday Leader for clarification on Zurich puppy dog issue’ »
By Tisaranee Gunasekara
Never had anyone been at once so ridiculous and so powerful”.Roberto Calasso (The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony)
Last week, a group of Lankan airmen found themselves in the middle of a politico-diplomatic storm. Furious at the Centre’s unilateral decision to provide technological training to the Lankan airmen at the Tambaram air base in Tamil Nadu, the state’s fractious politicians screamed their protest in one voice. Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha called it “an insult to Tamil people”, a sentiment vociferously shared by her bitter rivals in the DMK.
24 hours of protest in Tamilnadu was more than Delhi could handle, especially with a crucial presidential election round the corner. The Lankan airmen were sent off to Bangalore, with immediate effect, on the orders of a “red faced MoD in New Delhi” (The Times of India – 6.7.2012).
Continue reading ‘Gap Widens Between Existing Reality and Rajapaksa Fantasy’ »
by Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka
Dr.Wickramabahu Karunaratne gets more things wrong than right, and he does exaggerate, but he hardly ever lies wittingly. Therefore I have no reason to disbelieve the following extract from his column in the LAKBIMAnEWS of July 1, reporting a meeting in Matara.
“MP Sumanthiran was the special speaker at this meeting…Sumanthiran explained in A very simple way and in an attractive style the meaning of ‘the right of self determination.’
Continue reading ‘Historical Reality is that Four Methods of Separation were Tried Out in Sri Lanka’ »
By Namini Wijedasa
In the learning of English in Sri Lanka, the divide between the haves and the have-nots is growing, warned Michael Meyler, author of A Dictionary of Sri Lankan English.
In June, Meyler was awarded the title of a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services he provided to the English language. Now, seated in a noisy Colombo restaurant, I strained to hear the soft-spoken Brit explain why he rejected the idea that English was dying in Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘‘Standards’ May have Dropped but English is not Dying in Sri Lanka’ »
By Ranga Jayasuriya
Tamil detainee Ganesan Nimalaruban who died on Wednesday (4) was allegedly brutally assaulted by prison officials, denied medical attention, kept in the prison hospital, despite the instructions by a prison doctor to transfer him immediately to the Ragama teaching hospital, and now the magistrate has refused to release the corpse of the deceased to his parents citing ‘national security concerns,’ LAKBIMAnEWS learnt.
The victim, a 29 year-old youth from Nelumkulama in Vavuniya was among Tamil detainees who were allegedly beaten up by the prison officials as a ‘punishment’ after the hostage taking of three prison guards by Tamil detainees in the Vavuniya prison.
Continue reading ‘25 Prison Guards Including 3 Officers sent Specially From Colombo to Assault Tamil Prisoners’ »
-How Ammi became Mahinda’s Coordinating Secretary
-Why She Respects Sarath Fonseka
-Having Govt Ministers at Father’s Statue opening
-Her open conversation with Namal Rajapaksa
By Namini Wijedasa
Hirunika Premachandra, the daughter of assassinated SLFP politician Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, is unhappy that her mother recently accepted a coordinating secretary position from President Mahinda Rajapaksa but said she understands her reasons for it.
Continue reading ‘Hirunika Premachandra tells all’ »
By V.I.S Jayapalan
In 1970, when the leader of the Peoples Liberation Front (JVP) Rohana Wijeweera was admitted in the Colombo general hospital, I met him with a friend. We requested him to adopt federalism as one of the main policies of JVP in order to open the door for Tamils. He wanted us to join the movement and went onto talk about some other things – without answering our main question. When we insisted on an answer, he asked us to meet S.D. Bandaranayake (who was considered as a close confidant of JVP) and discuss with him.
We met S.D.Bandaranayake at his Kollupitiya residence. S.D.B, in a quite polite way, refused to accept federalism. He also said that a federal solution will weaken anti-imperialist struggle of the Sri Lankan people.
Continue reading ‘Looking through the fire: Memories and landscapes’ »
by Dilrukshi Handunnetti
Suddenly there is awed silence. Strange, given that every passenger just moments ago were busy chatting and positioning their cameras. We all have boarded an unusual flight that circles around the world’s very peak.
Yes, we were passengers on the mountain flight- to Everest!
We have just boarded the tiny Buddha Air aircraft. Unlike the regular passenger aircraft, here is a 16-seater with window seats for all. How else can you view the Himalayan peaks otherwise?
Continue reading ‘Going Over the Top of World’s Highest Mountain’ »
It is heartening to note that the Coconut Development Ministry and the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) have signed an MOU very recently, on measures to be taken to issue Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) or Standard Certifications for coconut- related products.
The global trade volume for coir fibre, value-added products is now valued at about $140 million annually, with India’s share at about $ 70 million and Sri Lanka’s in the region of $ 60 million.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Must Vigorously Promote Coir and Coir based Products Globally’ »
By V.I.S Jayapalan
Despite what the conditions and dynamics in the future politics of the Island of Sri Lanka may be, even if divided into two countries, our children as Sinhalese and Tamil speaking people have to co-exist as neighbours.
To contribute to this, regardless of the fact whether we work for separation or a federal union, we have to create and leave a cultural and political climate for peaceful co-existence for our children as friendly neighbours in our island.
Continue reading ‘Globalization and national question in Sri Lanka’ »
By John Amaratunga M.P.
We are at a decisive moment in our country’s history with either to move forward with a new resolve and vision for peace and prosperity or go back to that dark chapter in our recent history.
The concerned citizenry of the country are looking up to the Government to lead a political process, with due urgency, pursued with genuine commitment and good faith that will lead to sustainable peace and security for all in the post conflict environment.
Continue reading ‘Country needs power sharing through rational and realistic devolution’ »
by Jayadeva Uyangoda
Three years after the Sri Lankan government successfully concluded its military campaign against the secessionist insurgency led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the country has done little to address the root causes of the ethnic conflict. Many in Sri Lanka and beyond believed that the end of the war would create new opportunities to devolve Colombo’s power and increase regional autonomy.
However, political developments since May 2009 do not indicate any breakthrough in political reforms towards power-sharing with ethnic minorities. The debate on how to resolve the ethnic conflict has been reopened not to promote a constructive solution, but only to reproduce the conflict in new forms.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Govt Focuses on Economic Integration of the North and East with the Rest of the Country’ »
By Simon Denyer
JAFFNA, Sri Lanka — In the final days of Sri Lanka’s civil war, as the army closed in for the kill against Tamil Tiger rebels, tens of thousands of civilians cowered in the crossfire.
“The children were crying because they were so hungry, so when we heard congee in coconut soup was being given out, we let them leave the bunker where we were sheltering,” a 35-year-old woman from the northern district of Thunukkai recalled recently. “Then the army bombed the place. Most of the kids were killed on the spot, including my son.”
Continue reading ‘Peace Has Been a Painful Disappointment For Tamils In The North’ »
HE Mahinda Rajapaksa
Death of Tamil political prisoner Ganesan Nimalaruban at the Mahara remand prison
Continue reading ‘Three Urgent Demands Submitted to President Rajapaksa over Vavuniya Jail Issue’ »
By Bandula Jayasekara
Captain Rohan Moonemalle of Etihad Airways a college mate of mine at Trinity College Kandy wrote to me:
“Bandula can you let me know who the publishers of the collection of articles by Ajith Samaranayake are? I would like to buy a few copies. I knew Ajith from the time I was a junior at Trinity. And I used to think he was nuts because he used to sit in his living room everyday and read the newspaper editorial as loud as he could. As an 8 year old this was quite a spectacle because I was unable to understand the English he was reading. One day, I mentioned this to my dad (former High Court Judge C.L.T. Moonemalle) and seriously said that I strongly felt Ajith should be shown to Dr Sangakkara.
My father’s amused reply was that this was Ajith’s way of improving his English. I never understood till years later, when I accidently stumbled on a newspaper editorial. Editorials were boring stuff for us school boys who were only interested in the sports page. Anyways, since then if I pick up a newspaper I never fail to read the editorial”.
Continue reading ‘Remembering Ajith Samaranayake who wrote from the heart’ »
by Shanaka Jayasekara
Sri Lanka has a success story to showcase and the fruits of peace and development are real on the ground in the North and East. It is a story of how life has truly transformed from the conflict period to an environment of peace and hope today.
This story can only be showcased by experiencing the reality on the ground. The image building exercise needs to develop a structured process of sponsoring key decision-maker groups to visit Sri Lanka and experience the real difference of life today in the post-conflict areas. The structured programme should run fortnightly or monthly with government sponsored tours for key decision-makers, opinion-makers and elected members from overseas to see first-hand the reality on the ground. Sri Lanka should ditch the ‘photo-opportunity diplomacy’ and adopt a long-term and durable approach of ‘achievement showcasing diplomacy’.
Continue reading ‘International Diplomacy is not undertaken in the same manner as Domestic Political Theatrics – 2’ »
Political and Ethical Issues in Setting up an Engineering Faculty for The Jaffna University-1
BY Dr. S. Ratnajeevan.H.Hoole
Dr. S. Ratnajeevan.H.Hoole is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University,USA. He was formerly the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Jaffna and also University Grants Commission Coordinator for Engineering at the Jaffna University. This paper titled “Location of an Engineering Faculty in Sri Lanka: The Unusual Criteria and Lessons Learnt” was presented 119th Annual Conference & Exposition American Society for Engineering Education held at San Antonio , Texas from June 10th – 13th 2012.
The copyright to this paper is with the American Society for Engineering Education.
Location of an Engineering Faculty in Sri Lanka: The Unusual Criteria and Lessons Learnt –part two
VIII. New Realities in 2011
Several things had changed since the original reports of 1979 on siting the new faculty of engineering. First, civil engineering classes in the west had shrunk drastically from around and since 1984 and few training opportunities would be available there to train a university’s academic staff.
Continue reading ‘Political and Ethical Issues in Setting up an Engineering Faculty for The Jaffna University-2’ »
Carrying the harvest of Rambuttan to be sold
by Ananda Kannangara
The fleshy ‘hairy balls’ that are in abundance all over Colombo and which are relish grown with love and toil.
Will you believe that before these trees are harvested vows are kept for Paththini Deviyo and these vows are fulfilled once the harvest season is over. The fleshy Rambuttans adorning the streets of Colombo are harvested with tender loving care.
When the word `Rambuttan’ is mentioned automatically Malwana comes to mind. Malwana is famous for those ‘fleshy hairy balls’ known as Rambuttan.
Continue reading ‘Malwana is Famous for ‘Fleshy hair balls’ known as Rambutans’ »
by Ruwanthi Abeyakoon
‘Ode to Autumn’ by the famous English Romantic poet John Keats, is what comes to my mind as I travel down the High Level Road.
For Keats it was the vines and the apple trees that were loaded and blessed abundantly with fruit but here in Sri Lanka it is all about Rambutan. Yes the season of these mouth-watering fruits have begun
Continue reading ‘From Malaya to Malwana: Rambutan! Rambutan!!’ »
Dr Samuel Fiske Green
by Chelvathamby Maniccavasagar
The Green Memorial Hospital which is located in Manipay was founded in 1847 by Dr Samuel Fiske Green, a young medical graduate from New York, United States, which was later renamed as Green Memorial Hospital in his honour.
This mission hospital was the first medical school in Sri Lanka taking in the first students in 1848. Manipay hospital has already completed more than 165 years and its main objective is to provide medical service to the surrounding communities.
Continue reading ‘Manipay Green Memorial Hospital notches 165 years’ »
by Dr. S. Ratnajeevan.H.Hoole
Dr. S. Ratnajeevan.H.Hoole is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University,USA. He was formerly the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Jaffna and also University Grants Commission Coordinator for Engineering at the Jaffna University.
This paper titled “Location of an Engineering Faculty in Sri Lanka: The Unusual Criteria and Lessons Learnt” was presented 119th Annual Conference & Exposition American Society for Engineering Education held at San Antonio , Texas from June 10th – 13th 2012. The copyright to this paper is with the American Society for Engineering Education.
Location of an Engineering Faculty in Sri Lanka: The Unusual Criteria and Lessons Learnt –part one
Abstract – Sri Lanka recently decided to set up a new engineering faculty, in addition to the three already in existence. This paper describes the unusual considerations that went into the author making a recommendation on the location of the faculty at the behest of the University Grants Commission which is principally responsible for all university development and funding.
Continue reading ‘Political and Ethical Issues in Setting up an Engineering Faculty for The Jaffna University-1’ »
by Sebastian Rasalingam
Please permit me to comment on the article published in your columns on 2 July 2012 by Mr. Hemantha Warnakulasuriya (HW), entitled “The systemic denial of Justice to Tamils in the judicial sphere”.
Mr HW recounts the harrowing story of 15 estate Tamils who had come to the capital in search of avenues of foreign employment, and hauled before the courts for lack of identifying documents on them.
Continue reading ‘Attitudinal change, and not constitutional bickering, is what we need for ethnic harmony’ »
‘What makes Wimbledon great?’. This is how Rolex watch that sponsors the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, spending multimillions of sterling pounds, asks in its advertising campaign. Of course Rolex makes Wimbledon great. But what makes Rolex great? Come to the last line of the article.
Tourneau in Madison Ave, NYC – a luxury watch retailer established in 1900.
With the successful completion of the Euro 2012 Foot Ball tournament, attention of sports fans, including me, are turned to Wimbledon.
Continue reading ‘If Rolex makes Wimbledon Great, then what makes Rolex Great?’ »
by Karu Jayasuriya MP
We came across media reports stating that the attention of the President and the general public has been drawn to the breakdown of law and order, wave of murders and related incidents which occurred during the past few days.
There was a huge outcry in the country regarding the murder of a six year old girl, after raping her and throwing her body into a canal.
Continue reading ‘It is duty of Opposition in Democratic Countries to show right path to The Govt’ »
by N Sathiya Moorthy
Independent of the results, which seem to be a foregone conclusion at the moment, the run-up to the presidential poll has exposed chinks in the rival alliances, existing and prospective.
At one stage, the presidential poll was also seen as a forerunner to the parliamentary elections that are due in 2014, but no one is talking about it anymore, confused as they are about the possibilities, prospects and problems on hand.
Continue reading ‘Indian Presidential poll: Possibilities,Prospects and Problems’ »
by Shanaka Jayasekara
Foreign policy of a country is formulated to advance the national interest and achieve the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka foreign policy is not determined by national interest but by irrational interest.
If we accept the notion that the government’s blueprint for overall policy making is the Mahinda Chinthana, then our foreign policy is based on cliché phrases such as non-aligned, free and progressive
(Chinthana page 98).
Continue reading ‘International Diplomacy is not undertaken in the same manner as Domestic Political Theatrics’ »
By Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya
We never seem to learn!
Sri Lanka messed around with the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant over 1993-2005, and we still pay for the sins of the politicians, religious leaders and NGOs that blocked the vital power plant. Today, as stated by the Honourable Minister himself, the country would be reeling with power cuts, if not for the presence of the 1st stage of the Norochcholai power plant.
Continue reading ‘Stalled coal fired power plant project can be shifted to Noracholai or Hambantota’ »
Citation: 2012 FC 745
Ottawa, Ontario, June 13, 2012
PRESENT: The Honourable Mr. Justice O’Keefe
THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
REASONS FOR JUDGMENT AND JUDGMENT
 This is an application pursuant to subsection 72(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27 (the Act) for judicial review of a decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board, Refugee Protection Division (the Board), dated May 18, 2011, wherein the applicants were determined to be neither Convention refugees within the meaning of section 96 of the Act nor persons in need of protection as defined in subsection 97(1) of the Act.
Continue reading ‘Naval Commodore (retd) Nadarajah Kuruparan Case in Canada: Text of Judgement’ »
by Salma Yusuf
In Sri Lanka’s post-war context, two national mechanisms have been put in place. First, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report released at the end of 2011 calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka , among others, to work towards a political solution that is favourable and acceptable to all sides and communities concerned.
The home grown mechanism, independent in nature though commissioned by the Government, was developed to reflect upon and recommend action, and drew on solicited and unsolicited submissions from the public in all areas of the country and hence has been hailed for its credibility and transparency.
Continue reading ‘Implementation of National Processes is Critical for Post-War Nation Building’ »
by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.
The issue of disappearances, which looms so large in public discourse at present, is hardly mentioned in the National Human Rights Action Plan.
This is understandable because the Plan is intended for the future, to ensure that Human Rights are not violated, and therefore it suggests mechanisms to prevent disappearances occurring in the future.
Continue reading ‘The Issue of Disappearances is a Significant one Requiring Concerted Action’ »
By Kath Noble
The cancellation a month ago of another overseas speech by Mahinda Rajapaksa due to protests by the Tamil diaspora has intensified debate on Sri Lanka’s foreign policy.
Does it need to change? Or is it just being poorly implemented by the country’s diplomats?
Continue reading ‘The West has the capacity to totally destroy the economy as Sri Lanka is dependent on Western markets for exports’ »
Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) is dismayed by the statements issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the CVCD (Committee of Vice Chancellors and Directors) on the trade union action of a continuous strike called by the Federation of University Teachers’ Asscociations (FUTA) from 4th July, 2012.
The statements suggest that FUTA has undertaken this trade union action in wilful disregard of the welfare of students and the larger society, without any attempt at negotiation, without the consensus of the academic community, and despite the government’s desire to accommodate the needs of the academics.
Continue reading ‘Decision to strike as last resort is part of Trade Union Action Campaign to Protect State Universities-FUTA’ »
(New York, July 3, 2012) – The Sri Lankan government should immediately end harassment of media outlets and journalists in violation of the right to freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today.
In the three years since the end of the armed conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government has expanded its efforts to silence critical views.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Govt must Immediately end harassment of media and Journalists – Human Rights Watch’ »
Comb Duck in Keoladeo National Park, Rajastan- pic by: Lip Kee
By Risidra Mendis
A rare bird believed to be extinct and not spotted for the last 80 years was suddenly seen in Yala by a nature lover recently.
The Comb Duck species believed to be a native of Sri Lanka was presumed to be wiped out as there were no recordings of its presence in the country.
Continue reading ‘Rare Comb Duck sighted in Sri Lanka after 80 years’ »
By Erik Olsen
MIRISSA, Sri Lanka — In early April, whale watchers off this country’s southern coast were greeted by a disturbing sight: the lifeless body of a 60-foot-long blue whale floating in the water about 12 miles offshore.
Click to see video: Marine biologist Asha de Vos wants to save a little understood population of blue whales off the coast of Sri Lanka
The body was swelling rapidly, and suckerfish swarmed across its skin. Even more unsettling was the condition of its tail, which had been nearly severed from the body.
Continue reading ‘Blue Whales in Sri Lankan waters threatened due to commercial shipping and unregulated tourism’ »
by Hemantha Warnakulasuriya
The perennial question posed by chauvinists, morbid racists and even moderates, who do not subscribe to the views of the other two groups, is ‘ what are the rights the Tamils are denied as against Sinhalese?’ Even I am sometimes dumb founded by such remarks as a ready answer is not available.
During the tenure of President Chandrika Kumaratunga the Sinhala lobbyists said ‘we have a Tamil Chief Justice, Inspector General of Police and a Foreign Minister, can anyone else, unless he is an Eelamist, say that we have discriminated against them.
Continue reading ‘The systemic denial of Justice to Tamils in the judicial sphere’ »
By Gomin Dayasri
The staggered premature provincial council elections are to test the pulse of the people with a purpose not necessarily to present the people with another democratic opportunity to exercise their franchise.
More for the government to inspect the ground conditions to obtain a pitch report – to decide whether to bat or bowl. Yes, in non-sporting language, with politics being a far cry from any respectable sport – whether to hold Presidential elections, sooner or later? The result is predictable-Presidential Election is in the fast lane, either way.
Continue reading ‘Premature Provincial Council elections will pave the way for early Presidential Polls’ »
by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka
The provincial elections–the ones scheduled to be held as well as the one that isn’t—are the subject of political comment. Three are to be held ahead of schedule, resulting in a dual criticism. One is that they are untimely and the other that they serve solely the interests of the ruling bloc.
In the USA, elections are held on a predictable schedule; predictable since they have been ordained, inscribed in the System. In the UK and Europe, for the most part it is not so, and within the prescribed terms incumbents call elections at moments thought most propitious or when they are politically pressed by crisis. So, the premature holding of provincial elections in Sri Lanka should not be regarded as a mortal sin.
Continue reading ‘Can the TNA be trusted with the administration of the Northern Provincial Council?’ »
By David Griffiths
I was very privileged to attend Aung San Suu Kyi’s historic speech to both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall last week. Delivered with characteristic dignity, it blended an elegant commentary on recent developments in Burma with some rich reflections on the nature of democracy itself, and concluded with a call for us to work together, combining political wisdom of East and West, “to bring the light of democratic values to all peoples”.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivers her address to parliamentarians and guests in Westminster Hall, Jun 21, 2012-pic: UK Parliament
Without diminishing its potency for Burma at this time, much of Daw Suu’s speech was applicable far beyond Burma’s borders. In particular, I was struck how some of her own political wisdom seemed to resonate with another south Asian country which attracts considerable international attention.
Continue reading ‘Significance of Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech in British Parliament for Sri Lankan situation’ »
By Jayadeva Ranade
Traditionally close Indo-Sri Lankan ties forged by shared culture and ethnicity and reinforced by history and legend, are showing signs of coming under strain. Partially caused by New Delhi’s failure to provide more forthcoming policy responses to Colombo’s requests, India’s diplomatic influence is now getting eroded.
China stepped in to occupy the space and has, of late, begun expanding its presence in Sri Lanka. It is acquiring a meaningful presence in the political, commercial and cultural sectors. It is already influential in Sri Lanka’s defence establishment.
Continue reading ‘Indian influence over Sri Lanka shrinks while Chinese influence expands’ »
Sri Lanka’s popular website, Srilankamirror.com, extends its heartiest gratitude to the US and Indian embassies, the European Union, political parties, parliamentarians, media organizations and various other groups who have come forward and mediated in securing the release of the arrested editor and other staff of the website and for defending the right to information.
We will resume our functions today (July 02) at our office, and we categorically deny claims that the premises has been sealed.
Continue reading ‘Raided Colombo website resumes function from July 2nd’ »
Ananda Vikatan, a popular current affairs and lifestyle magazine in Tamil Nadu with a circulation of over five hundred thousand copies, featured a hard hitting and extensive interview with the former Army Chief, Sarath Fonseka, as a special feature in its issue of 20 June 2012.
The magazine is also popular among the Sri Lankan Tamils, with around five thousand copies sold here. However, in the 20 June issue of Ananda Vikatan sold in Sri Lanka, the pages featuring Sarath Fonseka’s interview had been removed.
Continue reading ‘Gen Sarath Fonseka tells truth about Prabhakaran’s death to Tamil Nadu magazine’ »
by Lalith Weeratunga
I am greatly honored to have been invited by the Principal, Royal College, my alma mater, to be the Chief Guest at the launch of a landmark publication, “History of Royal College – 1985 to 2010”. Having entered Royal in 1961 as a First Former and having come from a village in the South, and quite a stranger to the ways and life of Colombo, I feel a sense of accomplishment to address this very august gathering.
I must commend the Principal, the Royal College Union and all others, who were involved in this mammoth task, by no means a simple process. Mr Larlasri Fernando who has been entrusted with this task certainly has done a job worthy of praise.
The period 1985 – 2010 is in itself historic for it is during this period our motherland faced the biggest threat in its entire history, that of disintegrating and losing its territorial integrity with a severe threat to its sovereignty.
Continue reading ‘Crafting the definition of what a true Sri Lankan should be’ »
by Upali S. Jayasekera
Mr. Wijedasa Rajapakse, an eminent member of the legal profession and a politician of stature has suggested legislation against the Sangha from participating in politics. Mr. Rajapakse should be congratulated for deciding to propose such legislation. All Buddhists should support the move. I fully agree with him.
Why does a person enter the Sangha Order and continue to wear the Cheevaraya?
It is strictly for the purpose of leading a religious life and engage in religious services. A Bhikkhu has to be one who has broken the fetters that tie him to lay life. Otherwise there is no difference between the Sangha and the Buddhist laity.
Continue reading ‘Buddhist Priests must be banned from politics to restore respect for the Sanga’ »
by Frederica Jansz
In a blatant disregard of the laws of this country Chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines Nishantha Wickremesinghe admitted to The Sunday Leader that his son Shehan Michael Wickremesinghe violated Sri Lanka Customs regulations when he brought with him foreign exchange to the equivalent of Rs. 3.1 million in April this year and did not declare the cash as required by exchange control laws to do so. Nishantha Wickremesinghe said 80% of the loot including the gold Rolex watch stolen from his home in Mount Lavinia has been recovered after police arrested the thief.
Excerpts of interview:
Continue reading ‘Because my Brother-in-Law is President, I have to live with this kind of accusation-Nishantha Wickremesinghe’ »
by Patalai Champika Ranawaka
I have no issues with the Indian media. However, I cannot say the same for its politicians, especially those from Tamil Nadu. All political parties in Tamil Nadu have once again started a poisonous campaign to split Sri Lanka. The Tamil National Allaince (TNA) is aiding this attempt from this country
While attending the Rio Summit on Sustainable Development with the President, we also attended the Indo-Lanka bilateral meeting held on the sideline of that summit. The first involved a face-to-face meeting between President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Singh. Ministers and officials were then called to another meeting to discuss issues which were raised at the first meeting. Opening the meeting, Prime Minister Singh presented the summary of what was discussed during the meeting between the two leaders.
Continue reading ‘All political parties in Tamil Nadu have started a poisonous campaign to split Sri Lanka’ »
by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne
There were two mass protests that took place last week, both very important. On 19 June there was a protest in the North against land grabbing, called by the TNA. The NSSP was also invited and a group led by Jenagen and Ranath participated in the event.
Riot control commandos of the Police were deployed in large numbers, confronting hundreds of peaceful protesters. Protesters objected to the land grab undertaken by the military command which behaved like an occupying army in the Tamil homeland.
Continue reading ‘North and South must unite in mass protest and legal action against the Mahinda regime’ »
by Dr. Sarath Amunugama
When the Secretary of our Party, Maitripala Sirisena, asked me whether I would like to join the party’s reorganization campaign in Batticaloa district, I had no hesitation in accepting. It may not have been a very rational decision considering the fact that my Labugolla Farm in Hataraliyadde is on the border of Sabaragamuwa district where a similar party reorganization campaign was in progresss. It would have been very convenient for me to opt to visit a nearby electorate like Rambukkana, Mawanella or Kegalle.
I am glad that I selected the more difficult assignment. The Eastern Province holds some wonderful memories for me of the early seventies when we could move freely in that beautiful countryside and could interact with the kind and considerate people of Koralai Pattu.
Continue reading ‘Revisiting Batticaloa and reviving memories’ »
by Maryam Azwer
What began with a stay order preventing protests from taking place in Jaffna on June 18, has ended with the editor of a Tamil newspaper being called to court and asked to apologise for an article.
Editor of Tamil newspaper, Uthayan, Thevanayagam Premananth, was last Friday (June 29) summoned to court by Jaffna Magistrate Manikavasagar Ganesaraja over an article published in Thursday’s edition of the newspaper.
Continue reading ‘Jaffna Magistrate compels Editor to apologise in courts over article in Tamil Newspaper’ »
by Amal Jayasinghe
COLOMBO, June 30, 2012 (AFP) -
The United States Saturday joined rights groups in demanding that Sri Lanka stop “harassing” media organisations, a day after police shut down opposition news websites and arrested nine workers.
The US embassy in Colombo said it was closely following Colombo’s shutting down of the websites and the arrest of nine employees, including several journalists who had been highly critical of Sri Lanka’s government.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said Friday’s crackdown signaled that Colombo did not tolerate dissent.
Continue reading ‘US Embassy in Colombo issues statement demanding an end to media harassment’ »
By Karu Jayasuriya M.P.
Everything that presently ails Sri Lanka hinges on a single factor – the executive presidency that concentrates all power in the hands of a single individual who can at his whim and fancy, systematically undermine and destroy every other institution of governance in the country.
This system in the hands of this administration, which has managed to bring about the 18th Amendment that further erodes democracy in this nation and places more power at the disposal of the all powerful President has become a scourge that the public and even politicians must suffer.
Continue reading ‘Opposition parties must unite to abolish the Executive Presidency’ »
pic by: Gemunu Wellage
by Camelia Nathaniel
Bereavement for families of a missing person is an unrelenting anguish. The suddenness of a person vanishing and not knowing what has happened, disallows the family to accept the finality of death.
Saroja Devi and Tharsalamma, the mothers of Leon Roxi and Hudson Lorantine, the uncertainty of not knowing whether their sons are dead or alive after they went missing in 2008 know the never ending feeling of anguish all too well. The trauma and grief in the eyes of these mothers is evident to anyone who sees them.
Continue reading ‘Enduring anguish of mothers whose children are reported ‘missing’’ »
Photo by/courtesy of: L J Mendis Wickramasinghe, Zootaxa-
By Risidra Mendis
A small toad believed to be extinct and not spotted since 1876 was rediscovered by a group of scientists at the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary.
The Kandyan Dwarf toad, Adenomus kandianus (Günther, 1872) was first recorded in 1872 and then vanished for over a century before been accidently found by the group of scientists in 2009.
The genus Adenomus is endemic (only found in Sri Lanka) to Sri Lanka and comprises of only three species.
Continue reading ‘Endemic Kandyan Dwarf Toad believed to be extinct is re-discovered in Lanka’ »
Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns today’s police raids on the offices of two Colombo-based news websites, the SriLankaMirror and SriLankaXNews, in which eight of their journalists and an office assistant were arrested.
“We call for the immediate release of all those detained,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The exact reasons for the raids on these two news websites, which the authorities have had in their sights for some time, must be clarified without delay. However, given the government’s past violations of freedom of information, we regard it as an attempt to censor and intimidate critical journalists.”
Continue reading ‘Nine arrested in Colombo Police raid on offices of two web sites’ »
Subramaniam Sivakamy alias Thamilini
by D.B.S. Jeyaraj
Subramaniam Sivakamy alias Thamilini was transferred from the Colombo Remand Prison(CRP) in Welikade to the Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centre(PARC)at Poonthottam in Vavuniya on June 26th.The former woman political commissar of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)was transferred on an order to that effect issued by Colombo chief magistrate Rashmi Singappuli on June 22nd.
The transfer is perceived as the forerunner of Thamilini’s eventual release after undergoing a period of rehabilitation at Poonthottam PARC which functions as a cooperative training centre.
Continue reading ‘From Welikade to Vavuniya: Tale of Thamilini’s transfer’ »
by N. Sathiya Moorthy
It did not require rocket science to decipher what Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was referring to when he addressed the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Rio+20, at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“A cardinal principle governing the behaviour of nations in the modern world should be recognition of the principle that the resources of a country, whether on land or in the oceans, belong to the people of that country,” he said, referring to Sri Lanka’s ocean wealth, though without reference to the expanded EEZ under UNCLOS-II.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka “Internationalising” the bi-lateral fishing issue with India Could lead to Further Consequences’ »
By Salma Yusuf
A fact accorded scant credence in our times is that the personal and professional can be inextricably linked in the sphere of international and foreign relations.
This was the perception distilled from an event held last week to mark the second death anniversary of veteran Sri Lankan diplomat Vernon L.B. Mendis.
Continue reading ‘The Personal and Professional in the sphere of Foreign Policy and International Relations’ »
12 District Inter Religious Councils have been established in their respective areas including the North and East, comprising religious and civil society leaders, committed towards seeking humanitarian solutions to issues faced by women and children in post war Sri Lanka.
Additionally a National Council has been established, along with 3 Provincial councils, comprising of religious and civil society leaders selected from their respective district committees.
Continue reading ‘Resolutions for Improvement of Living Standards among Women and Children in Post-War Sri Lanka’ »
by Raisa Wickrematunge
The opening ceremony of the Olympics is always a glittering tableau which hundreds of thousands of people tune in to watch. The idea is to showcase the culture of the host country; but the real highlight is the symbolic lighting of the Olympic torch.
Olympic Rings has been unveiled on London's Tower Bridge- pic: london2012.com
A single, burning flame travels a great distance across the country until it finally reaches the Olympic stadium. While all eyes are on the fire, which signals the start of the Games, few people stop to think of those who carried the flame along the way; there is so much focus on that final lap of the stadium.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan student Haresh Selvaskandan will carry Olympic Torch in London on July 2nd’ »
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and President Mahinda Rajapaksa have stressed the need for a new world order at their meeting over the weekend.
The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio, Brazil.
Continue reading ‘Presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mahinda Rajapaksa Stress Need for a new world order’ »
(text of letter sent by a group of Catholic Clergy to President Mahinda Rajapaksa)
We, the members of the Christian Solidarity Movement, are distressed by the media reports that Dr. Nirmal R. Devasiri of FUTA has been intimidated by a group of unknown men who have arrived by a jeep at his neighbourhood to inquire his whereabouts, claiming to be from the defense ministry.
Having witnessed the recent events of abduction, disappearances and shooting, this is a clear indication to us that Dr. Nirmal Ranjith’s life is in imminent danger.
Continue reading ‘Catholic Clergy Write to President about Threats to Dr. Nirmal R. Devasiri of FUTA’ »
The National Cadet Corps (NCC) recently commissioned 21 Tamil speaking Probationary Officers of the NCC as Second Lieutenants, with the aim of strengthening the cadet movement in the Northern area as a part of extending equal opportunities to Tamil school children of the North.
Cadetting was a very popular extra-curricular activity in leading schools of Jaffna in the past. But since the 1980 s cadetting just faded due to the escalation of violence and forcible recruitment of school children as child soldiers by LTTE terrorists.
Continue reading ‘21 Tamil speaking Officers commissioned as Second Lieutenants in National Cadet Corps’ »
By Ajit Kumar Singh
In a similar tenor, the then General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lieutenant General Ata Hasnain, now Military Secretary to Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh, on June 8, 2012, had observed, “The situation in Kashmir is unpredictable and dynamic. It changes colours fast.”
Terrorism-related fatalities in J&K have declined considerably, at 42 [including 29 militants, eight civilians and five Security Forces (SF) personnel] in 2012 [according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) database, till June 24]; as compared to 74 fatalities (including 41 militants, 21 civilians and 12 SFs) during the corresponding period in the previous year.
Continue reading ‘Premature steps in normalization can have adverse consequences in Jammu and Kashmir’ »
pic courtesy of: virakesari.lk
by Gomin Dayasri
“In the past the United States and India stood against us. However, in the favourable circumstances that have now come about, the United States and India are to a great extent supporting our position”
-Sampanthan (2012) at ITAK Convention-
R.Sampanthan’s road map of a long march to bifurcate Sri Lanka is routed through New Delhi. Craftily navigating in troubled waters the destination, he seeks, is called Point Federal. That veiled name board is unspoken and unseen in his script. In TNA’s vocabulary Federalism is a prohibited word, they opt not to utter, since the 13th Amendment will carry them nearly the same distance legitimately through an Indian rope trick.
Continue reading ‘ITAK strategists see India as the gateway to access America’ »
By Ayesha Zuhair
Sarah Mann, Spokesperson for the British High Commission in Colombo has informed us that Britain respects the legitimate right of UK citizens to protest.
President Rajapaksa travelling in a Range Rover during recent visit to London
“We respect the legitimate right of UK citizens to protest, but this has to be balanced with the right to free speech,” she said in response to accusations that the UK law enforcement agencies had failed to provide adequate security to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his recent visit to London to attend the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Continue reading ‘Double standards adopted by Britain in the cases of protests against Bush and Rajapaksa’ »
Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P
by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.
One of the saddest aspects of the last three years has been the corrosive distrust between all political players. This is almost relentlessly exacerbated by several factors.
The first, and perhaps the most worrying, is what I term a failure of rationalism, the practice of judging situations not in terms of evidence but rather through emotions. This contributes to a tendency to interpret ambiguities in line with fears rather than hopes.
Then there are what might be termed political factors. Perhaps the most obvious of these is the tendency of extremists on all sides to act and speak in a manner that worries those on the other side or sides.
Continue reading ‘‘The LLRC had made recommendations and the President had wanted these implemented’’ »
By Kath Noble
I’m no fan of Sarath Fonseka, but he’s got one thing right. Something has to be done about the corrupt political culture in Sri Lanka.
At his first press conference after being released from prison, the former Army Commander identified tackling corruption and nepotism as his top priority. These are issues the middle class loves, so he may expect and indeed get a lot of support from across the ideological spectrum. People are fed up with politicians.
Mervyn Silva used to be the egregious example of the depths to which politics in the country has plummeted, but we’ve grown so accustomed to his exploits that he hardly seems worth mentioning now. There is so much competition.
Continue reading ‘Tackling corruption ought not to be left to Sarath Fonseka’ »
by Panini Anand
No individual critic has taken on the Indian State like Arundhati Roy has. In a fight that began with Pokhran, moved to Narmada, and over the years extended to other insurgencies, people’s struggles and the Maoist underground, she has used her pensmanship to challenge India’s government, its elite, corporate giants, and most recently, the entire structure of global finance and capitalism.
Arundhati Roy at WNYC on November 10, 2011. She was on the Leonard Lopate Show to discussed her time embedded among the Maoist rebels in India, which she wrote about in Walking with the Comrades. Listen to the interview on WNYC -Credit Melissa Eagan
She was jailed for a day in 2002 for contempt of court, and slapped with sedition charges in November 2010 for an alleged anti-India speech she delivered, along with others, at a seminar in New Delhi on Kashmir, titled ‘Azadi—the only way’. Excerpts from an interview to Panini Anand:
Continue reading ‘‘Starve them, jail them and kill them and call it globalization with a human face’ – Arundati Roy’ »
Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri
University academics in Sri Lanka have been exercising their rights of freedom of thought and expression, association and peaceful assembly and articulating broader issues of national concern for many decades.
Academics have also exercised trade union rights during this period. The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) is the umbrella trade union of nearly 43 sister unions representing the academics of 14 universities of the country.
Continue reading ‘FUTA Expresses concern over threat faced by Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri and family’ »
by Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka
While everything is debatable, not everything is negotiable. Some things, a few things, simply must not be negotiable.
The territorial unity and integrity of the Sri Lankan state, Sri Lanka as a single indivisible country, must never be up for negotiation.
Continue reading ‘The case for a Two Stage solution to the Tamil Question’ »
Sir Ponambalam Ramanathan
By Hemantha Warnakulasuriya
In the 2012 Gallup poll, conducted by the US in the Asian region, to find the chief executive with highest approval rating, President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, came third with a 91 percent approval rating.
It was conducted by a US-based agency.
Continue reading ‘The greatest Ceylonese Leader was Sir Ponambalam Ramanathan’ »
by Melani Manel Perera
Mannar (AsiaNews) – They live in the jungle, on the ground without a roof or a tent over their heads, surrounded by elephants, snakes and other wildlife.
There are 145 families, 285 Tamil Catholics from the village of Mullikulam in Mannar District (Northern Province, Sri Lanka).
Continue reading ‘Refugees for 20 years, Tamil Catholic families forced to live in the jungle’ »
By Glenn Greenwald
If one asks current or former WikiLeaks associates what their greatest fear is, almost none cites prosecution by their own country.
Most trust their own nation’s justice system to recognize that they have committed no crime. The primary fear is being turned over to the US.
That is the crucial context for understanding Julian Assange’s 16-month fight to avoid extradition to Sweden, a fight that led him to seek asylum, Tuesday, in the London Embassy of Ecuador
Continue reading ‘Julian Assange is justified in seeking Asylum to Escape US ‘Justice’’ »
by Jimmy Carter
THE United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.
Photo By: Geoff Holtzman ~ Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs copies of his new book “White House Diary” during an event held at the Politics and Prose bookstore located in Northwest Washington, DC-Nov 2010
Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended.
Continue reading ‘“America’s Violation of International Human Rights Abets our Enemies and Alienates our Friends”’ »
By Kalinga Seneviratne
At the Rio+20 Conference from June 20 to 22 in Brazil, Bolivian President Eva Morales described the ‘green economy’ as new colonialism that rich countries sought to impose on developing countries.
“They want to create intervention mechanisms to monitor and assess our national policies using environmental concerns as an excuse,” he said.
Continue reading ‘Concepts of Human Rights and Social Justice as promoted by the West need to be challenged’ »
By Camelia Nathaniel
He cuts a gigantic figure, as he steps out of the tin-roofed dwellings of the Kandakadu Rehabilitation Village.
Gunasingham Kasendran, considered the tallest man in the country, who stands at a staggering height of 7.3’, is currently being rehabilitated at the government-run rehabilitation centre in Kandakadu in the Polonnaruwa District.
Continue reading ‘Travails of being the tallest man in Sri Lanka: A talk with ex-LTTE cadre Kasendran’ »
by Camelia Nathaniel
The government has directed the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to halt the issuance of accreditation cards to ex-LTTE cadres, who have completed the government rehabilitation programme. Accordingly, the IOM has decided to suspend the ID issuing process.
Under the instructions of the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff (OCDS), the military is in the process of collecting the already issued IDs from the rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres.
However, the decision has caused doubts among rehabilitants, and they question the rationale behind the government’s move.
Continue reading ‘Govt stops issuance of Identity Cards to ex-LTTE cadres by International Organiazation of Migration’ »
by Rasika Somarathna
Over 1,800 rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres turned up at Kilinochchi on Saturday to join the Civil Security Department (CSD) following the CSD’s call for ex-combatants to join its ranks. The government is planning to recruit a large number of rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres to the CSD. They are slated to take part in development activities in the North. CSD Chief Rear Admiral Ananda Peiris said over1,800 ex-LTTE combatants from the Northern Province turned up to collect applications to join his department.
“We distributed over 2,000 applications.
‘They were very enthusiastic about joining the Civil Security Department,” he said.
Continue reading ‘Over 1,800 ex-LTTE cadres turned up in Kilinochchi to join the Civil Security Department’ »
by Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan
The anguish and opposition of the people to this piece of legislation was given expression by the ITAK (Federal Party of Ceylon) both in parliament and through a peaceful Satyagraha on Galle Face Green opposite the old Parliament.
The Federal Party MPs led by their leader S. J. V Chelvanayakam QC, and the co-founders of the Federal party Dr. E. M. V. Naganathan and C. Vanniasingham while performing satyagraha were set upon by thugs and rowdies and mercilessly beaten, some even had their clothes torn off, others were kicked and stamped upon and many were thrown into the Beira Lake, while the police looked on from the precincts of the old Parliament.
Continue reading ‘Misconceptions and misinterpretations of Sampanthan’s presidential address at ITAK convention – 2’ »
by T. Ramakrishnan
Papathi, who is in her 50s and living in a ‘labour line’ constructed by authorities in Guernsey here, does not have many demands to make.
Her constant refrain: “Can you tell someone to get our houses repaired?”
Continue reading ‘Woes of Sri Lankan repatriates in Tamil Nadu Continue even after 40 years’ »
“One Mullivaikkal is enough. Don’t try to get 100 more.”
Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka~pic courtesy of: ETV-Dibrief News
Oh God the British never told the French ‘one Waterloo is enough. Don’t try to get 100 more’. What kind of a speech is this? Is this the tolerance Lord Buddha taught or his disciples learnt?
A Tamilnadu newspaper in her editorial said, ‘Emperor Asoka, seeing the killing, blood shed and the destruction in the battle field, vowed not to wage war again and accepted the peaceful path of Lord Buddha. Here a minister who calls himself as an ardent follower of Gautama glories war. How come’?
Continue reading ‘Provocative Speech about Mullivaaikkaal by Minister Ranawaka will Bring Disrepute to Country’ »
Dr Lester James Peiris-pic: daily news.lk
by Dr. Sarath Amunugama
“Our ideals – moral, social and poetic – must be defended with intelligence as well as emotion: and also with intransigence” – Lindsay Anderson.
I am grateful to the organizers of this event for inviting me to deliver the Lester James Pieris oration for 2012. I am particularly grateful because it enables me to pay a well deserved tribute to a close and affectionate friend of over half a century. Indeed, Lester has dominated Sinhala cinema for the selfsame fifty years and perhaps a little more. He is one of the few remaining cultural icons in our country and is a giant of Asian cinema. Thank you Lester and our best wishes go to you.
Continue reading ‘What stands out in the work of Lester James Peiris is his humanism’ »
R. Premadasa (June 23, 1924 – May 1, 1993)
by B Sirisena Cooray
(88th Birth Anniversary of Ranasinghe Premadasa was on June 23rd)
The ethnic problem did not end with the war. The ethnic problem has to be resolved to make peace work and prevent the next war.
B Sirisena Cooray
Development, democracy and devolution: that was the Premadasa plan to resolve the ethnic problem. President Premadasa believed that to make Tamil people feel like Sri Lankan citizens, a power-sharing arrangement, restoration of democracy and rapid economic development were equally necessary.
Continue reading ‘Democracy, Development and Devolution was the Premadasa Plan to solve the Ethnic Problem’ »
by S. Skandakumar
Your Excellency, John Rankin, High Commissioner for Britain in Sri Lanka, Eminent Excellencies of the International Diplomatic Corps, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
When Carlo your President invited me on behalf of his committee to this evening’s function, I said to him, “Carlo I am four years into retirement, I have spent it all in relative hibernation in Haputale and many feel that soon I will be ready for the Archives “…to which his response was ‘Ah that’s just the profile we are looking for !!”
Continue reading ‘‘We Failed to find Solutions to Problems because we addressed issues by Ethnicity and not Nationality’’ »
by Rajani Iqbal
A group of war widows in the Nedunkerny region of the Wanni District celebrated the International Widows’ Day on 22nd June, 2012 at the conference hall of the Nedunkerny Pradesa Sabai.
This meeting was organized by an NGO in collaboration with the relevant officers of the Divisional Secretary of Nedunkerny who had arranged for the distribution some material for income generation activities provided by NGOs.
Continue reading ‘International Widows’ Day on June 22nd Commemorated at Nedunkerni for the First time in Sri Lanka’ »
R. Sampanthan at ITAK event in Batticaloa-pic: Virakesari.lk
By Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan
Reading through some of the articles that have appeared recently, following upon Mr Sampanthan’s Presidential address at the ITAK Convention, it appears to me that there is a big trust deficit. Interpretations are being put on words, and inferences drawn which are not justified by the plain meaning of, or the relevant context in which they have been used.
For instance asking for devolution of powers within a ‘united’ country, is taken to indicate a desire to set up a separate state. The term self- determination is construed as secession. Let us look at other countries for example the United Kingdom (UK).
Continue reading ‘Misconceptions and misinterpretations of Sampanthan’s presidential address at ITAK convention – I’ »
Gunasingham Kasendran-Pic by Nuwan Amarawansha
By Camelia Nathaniel
Gunasingham Kasendran is considered the tallest man in the country. Standing at a staggering 7 ft 3 inch, he is currently part of the government rehabilitation programme for ex-LTTE combatants at the Rehabilitation Centre in Kandakadu, in the Polonnaruwa District.
A rather shy and soft spoken man, Kasendran shuns public functions, which draw attention to him and instead prefers to lead a rather solitary life, even at the camp.
Continue reading ‘The tallest man in Sri Lanka is an Ex-LTTE Combatant’ »
(Text of statement issued by Reporters without Borders/Reporters sans Frontieres)
Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the reasons that led the management of the newspaper Ceylon Today to force its editor in chief Lalith Allahakkoon to resign on 13 June. The journalist, who received no letter of dismissal, arrived at his office on 16 June to find that access to his computer had been blocked.
“The dismissal of Lalith Allahakkoon by Ceylon Today is worrying,” the press freedom organization said.
Continue reading ‘Dismissal of Lalith Allahakkoon by ‘Ceylon Today’ is worrying-RSF’ »
By Cillian McGrattan
The idea that divided or post-conflict societies can achieve stability through reconciliation represents something of a paradigm shift in peace-building theory and practice.
Arguably, thanks to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, ideas that the past should be represented as something remote (as in post-war, post-Nuremburg Germany) or unarticulated (as in the Spanish pacto de olvido) no longer hold traction within national or supra-national discourses.
Continue reading ‘Achieving stability through reconciliation in divided or post-conflict societies’ »
By D.B.S. Jeyaraj
“And as I read more and more, and it was not all verse, by any means, my love for the real life of words increased until I knew that I must live with them and in them, always. I knew, in fact, that I must be a writer of words, and nothing else. The first thing was to feel and know their sound and substance; what I was going to do with those words, what use I was going to make of them, what I was going to say through them, would come later.” - Dylan Thomas, “Notes on the Art of Poetry.”
Recent events in the sphere of English journalism have caused shock waves among members of the fourth estate. Things seem to have taken a turn for the worse in a land where giants in journalism flourished once. It is against this bleak backdrop that I write about one such colossus-Mervyn de Silva – who passed away on June 22nd 1999.
Mervyn and Lakshmi
Even as I write, I am mindful that many have written much about Ahangama Vithanage Mervyn Douglas de Silva known generally as Mervyn de Silva. Apart from the “up,close and personal” perspectives of his son Dayan, many eminent persons ranging from Neville Jayaweera to Bradman Weerakoon and Desmond Fernando to Asanga Welikala, have stated all that has to be said about the Mervyn phenomenon.
Continue reading ‘Mervyn De Silva: Reminiscences about a Journalist Colossus’ »