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Commonwealth Chair President Rajapaksa will not Attend Commonwealth Events in Glascow due to Security Concerns Caused by British Govt not Restraining LTTE Groups.

by Shamindra Ferdinando

Taking into consideration the failure on the part of the British government to restraining the UK based LTTE groups during his previous visits, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided against attending the World War I Commemorative Service for the Commonwealth at Glasgow Cathedral on August 4.

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External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris, has, in a letter addressed to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport as well as Minister of Equalities stressed that the decision to skip the Commonwealth event had been taken due to the British government’s failure on previous occasions to rein in LTTE groups, though the LTTE remains proscribed in the UK.

Continue reading ‘Commonwealth Chair President Rajapaksa will not Attend Commonwealth Events in Glascow due to Security Concerns Caused by British Govt not Restraining LTTE Groups.’ »

Mahinda Playing with Fire in North by Rejecting Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s request to Change Governor.


By

Upul Joseph Fernando

When former President D.B. Wijetunga met people at his retirement home in Kandy, he used to say that his engagement with the Southern Provincial Council was a folly. UNP was never strong in the South. The UNP strategy at the Southern Provincial Council election finally paved way for Chandrika to come to power. But Wijetunga did not understand it at that moment. In warfare also it is advised to lure the enemy into a field in which you are strong. It is always foolish to engage with the enemy on the ground where he is strong.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is now sharpening his swords to engage with the Northern Provincial Council and commit this fault. He has pushed the Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister on to the warpath by rejecting his appeal to change the Governor. Wigneswaran has now vowed to resign from the Chief Minister position. This recalls the incident of Opposition Leader A. Amirthalingam and the other MPs of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) resigning from Parliament protesting against the 6th Amendment to the Constitution banning the talks about a separate State, which was brought after the 1983 Black July. This resignation paved way for the Tamil armed groups to become powerful.

Mahinda himself has the best experiences of political anguish an elected Chief Minister feels when the people’s mandate he won is ignored by a Governor. He was highly instrumental in ending the political game played by the Governor of the Southern Provincial Council in 1993 denying the People’s Alliance, which had the majority in the Southern Provincial Council the opportunity to form the rule. Following is an excerpt from his biographical sketch Kurahan Satakaya:

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Playing with Fire in North by Rejecting Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s request to Change Governor.’ »

Enhanced Domestic Inquiry with International Experts is Rajapaksa Regime’s Last Ditch Attempt to Alter Course of International Destiny

By

Dharisha Bastians

The Presidential proclamation came like a bolt from the blue. For one endlessly-suspended moment, the world according to the Rajapaksa administration had turned topsy-turvy.

After five years of stringent denials and rejections, zero casualty claims, military courts of inquiry and war censuses, President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a proclamation last Thursday announcing the launch of a domestic investigation into alleged war crimes and the conduct of his armed forces in the waning days of the war.

He has sought the expertise of three of the world’s top war crimes prosecutors, all of them renowned for serving on UN tribunals and special courts to try political regimes accused of crimes against humanity. Sir Desmond De Silva QC, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC and Dr. David Michael Crane confirmed this week that the Sri Lankan Government had appointed them to advise a ‘local commission investigating allegations of war crimes by all parties to the conflict’.

The three expert advisors are to be remunerated for their services by the Presidential Secretariat.
“As a practicing attorney, like all attorneys in practice, I am being compensated by the Sri Lankan Government for being a legal advisor,” Dr. Crane told the Daily FT by email earlier this week.

Continue reading ‘Enhanced Domestic Inquiry with International Experts is Rajapaksa Regime’s Last Ditch Attempt to Alter Course of International Destiny’ »

“Lest We Forget”: The Ethnic Violence of July 1983

By

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

 Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha~pic courtesy of: Centre for Security Analysis

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP~pic courtesy of: Centre for Security Analysis

In July 2008, when I was head of the Peace Secretariat, I published a volume entitled ‘Lest We Forget’, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ethnic violence of July 1983. I had wanted the President to preside over a meeting to express regrets, but he did not think this appropriate at the time. However I had no doubt that, as a member in 1983 of the opposition that also suffered from the authoritarianism of the Jayewardene government, he understood the enormity of what had happened in 1983.

Now I am not so sure. Though he has reacted much better to the events at Aluthgama than Jayewardene did, he has not been firm enough in ensuring zero tolerance for racism. And though he recognizes that the activities of the BBS and its leader are destructive, he seems to think that they have emerged through an international conspiracy. The pronouncements of close associates in government who have encouraged the attitudes propounded by the BBS (or, on a charitable view, fallen headlong into the trap laid by the supposed international conspirators) is ignored.

Worse the President also seems to believe in the danger presented by Muslim extremists. It is unfortunate that he does not see that a more irrational version of such fears is the purported raison d’etre of the conspirators he criticizes. What is then an essential ambiguity suggests that, unless he assesses the situation more carefully, we are in danger of descending into the mess caused by the Jayewardene government in 1983.

Continue reading ‘“Lest We Forget”: The Ethnic Violence of July 1983’ »

“In Remembrance of July 1983″: Statement Issued by Young Political Leaders Forum

In Remembrance of ‘July 83’

by the Young Political Leaders Forum (YPLF)

Dated July 23rd, 2014 | Colombo

We, the undersigned members of the Young Political Leaders Forum of Sri Lanka (YPLF), recall the events of ‘July 1983’ with deep regret. Today, thirty-one years later, we strongly believe that Sri Lanka has the opportunity to restore trust between its people and progress towards national unity. The role of youth in this regard becomes crucial for peace-building and communal harmony. In this spirit, as a group of committed young politicians, we wish to share our perspective on the importance of engaging youth as change agents to resist hate and violence, and to promote unity.
Continue reading ‘“In Remembrance of July 1983″: Statement Issued by Young Political Leaders Forum’ »

Bodu Bala Sena Criticises Attempts by Certain Groups to get Gnanasara Thero’s Australian Visa Cancelled as a “Third Class act”.

By

Dharisha Bastians

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The hardline Bodu Bala Sena organisation has criticised efforts by certain groups to get its General Secretary Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thero’s Australian visa cancelled, calling it a ‘third class act’.

“There are extremist groups and Muslim organisations behind the moves to get his visa cancelled,” BBS CEO Dilantha Withanage told a media conference yesterday.

A letter had been sent to Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, to be passed on to all Australian MPs both at federal and state level, asking him not to permit Gnanasara Thero entry into the country.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Criticises Attempts by Certain Groups to get Gnanasara Thero’s Australian Visa Cancelled as a “Third Class act”.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Rejects Dalai Lama as World Buddhist Leader Because Tibetan Spiritual Leader is a “Victim of Islamic Extremist Propaganda”

COLOMBO, July 22 — A firebrand Sri Lankan monk today criticised the Dalai Lama for urging the island’s Buddhists to halt violence against minority Muslims and rejected him as a global spiritual leader.

The Dalai Lama spoke to a crowd of about 15,000 students, faculty, and guests as part of the Anwar Sadat Lecture for Peace on May 7th, 2013 – pic by James Levin courtesy: Diamondback-University of Maryland

The Dalai Lama spoke to a crowd of about 15,000 students, faculty, and guests as part of the Anwar Sadat Lecture for Peace on May 7th, 2013 – pic by James Levin courtesy: Diamondback-University of Maryland

Buddhist monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara said the Dalai Lama was ignorant of the “true situation in Sri Lanka” and accused the Nobel Peace Prize winner of being a victim of “Islamic extremist propoganda”.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader earlier this month asked Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka “to imagine an image of Buddha” before committing any crimes against Muslims, in a plea to halt the violence.

“We don’t accept the Dalai Lama as a world leader of Buddhists,” Gnanasara told reporters.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Rejects Dalai Lama as World Buddhist Leader Because Tibetan Spiritual Leader is a “Victim of Islamic Extremist Propaganda”’ »

Dr.Subramanian Swamy Wants Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to visit Sri Lanka and get a “Reality Check”.

By

Meera Srinivasan

Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa

Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa

India will be far more supportive of Sri Lanka’s position at the United Nations Human Rights Council than ever before, former Union Cabinet Minister and the chairman of the BJP Committee for Strategic Action Subramanian Swamy said here on Monday.

Speaking on ‘India under Modi: relevance for the region and the world’, he said India’s foreign policy shall henceforth be guided by national interest and not regional interest.

Referring to the perceived fear about Tamil Nadu’s role in India’s foreign policy, he said there was no “Tamil Nadu factor”, adding that people of Tamil Nadu had repeatedly demonstrated so in elections. “I would urge Ms. Jayalalithaa to visit Sri Lanka and get a reality check.”

Continue reading ‘Dr.Subramanian Swamy Wants Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to visit Sri Lanka and get a “Reality Check”.’ »

“Strategic Dialogue Between India and Sri Lanka will be Mutually Beneficial”-Dr.Subramanian Swamy.

By

Meera Srinivasan

There is a need for India and Sri Lanka to engage in a strategic dialogue, chairman of the BJP Committee for Strategic Action Subramanian Swamy said after a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa here on Tuesday.

“We discussed a gamut of issues, and felt such a strategic dialogue would be mutually beneficial,” Dr. Swamy said.

Continue reading ‘“Strategic Dialogue Between India and Sri Lanka will be Mutually Beneficial”-Dr.Subramanian Swamy.’ »

Dr.Subramanian Swamy says Tamil Nadu will not be Allowed to Override National Interests of India in Favour of Tamil Interests on the Sri Lanka Issue.

By

Lakna Paranamanna

Dr. Subramanian Swamy – Chairman, BJP Committee on Strategic Action and Member of BJP’s National Executive Committee in an exclusive interview with spoke candidly on what to expect in changes to India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Modi’s administration and on India’s support to Sri Lanka.

The Chairman of the Committee on Strategic Action of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Former Union Minister Dr. Subramanian Swamy, along with several other BJP members, met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on July 2-pic: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa/

The Chairman of the Committee on Strategic Action of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Former Union Minister Dr. Subramanian Swamy, along with several other BJP members, met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on July 2-pic: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa/

Following are the excerpts:

Q In your opinion how do you think Foreign Policy under the Modi-government would change in comparison to the previous government?
Continue reading ‘Dr.Subramanian Swamy says Tamil Nadu will not be Allowed to Override National Interests of India in Favour of Tamil Interests on the Sri Lanka Issue.’ »

The Land, the Race and the Faith have Emerged as a Macabre Sketch of Hypocrisy and Insincerity.

By

Vishwamithra 1984

“Through me you go into a city of weeping; through me you go into eternal pain, through me you go amongst the lost people”

~Dante Alighieri, The Inferno

pic via: twitter.com/AzzamAmeen

pic via: twitter.com/AzzamAmeen

All indications of certain societal decay are present; the symptoms of a terminal sickness are frighteningly manifest in the body politic of the country.

Yet no one, no physician, no surgeon, no psychiatrist or any other medical practitioner or a social scientist has diagnosed the illness.

Every symptom is pointing towards a cancerous malady in the making, the progressive indices of which have been evident for quite some time but has evaded studied investigations by any expert.

I have been telling this for quite some time and written extensively on the subject but there does not seem to be any slowing down of the trend.
Continue reading ‘The Land, the Race and the Faith have Emerged as a Macabre Sketch of Hypocrisy and Insincerity.’ »

Statement of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka welcoming the expansion of the scope of the Commission on Disappearances and the appointment of international advisers

The Liberal Party emphatically welcomes the recent gazette notification expanding the scope of the Presidential Commission on Disappearances. Though it is worded in a circumspect, and indeed circumlocutory, fashion, it fulfils the long expressed need for an internal inquiry into possible violations of law during the conflict. Thankfully, coming hard on the heels of the bombastic outburst of Minister Wimal Weerawansa, it unequivocally rejects the stand he took, which had also been undermined by the President’s determination to go on with his South African initiative.

Continue reading ‘Statement of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka welcoming the expansion of the scope of the Commission on Disappearances and the appointment of international advisers’ »

How the Famous Tamil Poet Subramania Bharati Responded to the First World War


BY A.R. VENKATACHALAPATHY

Born in 1882, Subramania Bharati’s political career began in the end of 1904. Less than four years later he would be forced into exile, an ordeal that would extend to well over a decade. The years spent in exile in the French enclave of Pondicherry, between mid-1908 and late 1918, subsume the years of the Great War, and it is not entirely coincidental that Bharati should choose to end his exile within a week of the signing of the Armistice. How did the great poet respond to the Great War?

Portrait of Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyaar at Bharathy Public Library in Uyarappulam, Aanaikkottai, Jaffna District, Sri Lanka- pic by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Unlike World War II, this War had little direct impact on southern India, barring the bombing by the German light cruiser Emden. But in an imperial world where India was fully integrated as Britain’s colony, the War did not leave India untouched, and the politics of the time was deeply coloured by its course and Britain’s fortunes in it.
Continue reading ‘How the Famous Tamil Poet Subramania Bharati Responded to the First World War’ »

The New Empire Cineplex and the old Empire Cinema Theatre in Braybrooke Place

By

Ranat

The news that Ceylon Theatres has opened a state-of-the art 100-seat cinema at the recently-opened Arcade complex and named it the Empire Cineplex made me hunt for the origins of the once-popular cinema by the same name.

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We used to frequent the place in Braybrooke Place in the good old days where quality English films were screened. In later years popular Hindi films were also screened at the Empire. A few years back, Ceylon Theatres, the owners of the theatre, decided to close it down and demolish it to build a high rise apartment complex.
Continue reading ‘The New Empire Cineplex and the old Empire Cinema Theatre in Braybrooke Place’ »

The grey slender loris: Conservation success in Sri Lanka

The grey slender loris is found only in Sri Lanka and parts of India.

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Human activity is threatening the habitat of this nocturnal primate, but one site in Sri Lanka is now seeing a boost in numbers.
Continue reading ‘The grey slender loris: Conservation success in Sri Lanka’ »

“Kalkandu” film Hero Gajesh is Grandson of Ace Comedian Nagesh and son of Actor Anandbabu.

By

Srinivasa Ramanujam

Gajesh

Gajesh

Hailing from a filmi family can pose a huge challenge for some. Like Gajesh. He’s the grandson of veteran comedian Nagesh, who set a benchmark in Tamil cinema with his effortless portrayal of roles. And, he’s the son of Anandbabu, who appeared in several memorable roles in the 1990s, and is widely known for his dancing skills.

Gajesh is currently awaiting the release of Kalkandu, which will mark his debut in tinseltown.
Continue reading ‘“Kalkandu” film Hero Gajesh is Grandson of Ace Comedian Nagesh and son of Actor Anandbabu.’ »

Gnana Rajasekaran’s Film on Tamil Mathematical Genius Ramanujan is Well-researched, well-written and Brilliantly Directed.

by

S.Saraswathi

Director Gnana Rajasekaran’s Ramanujan is a well researched, well-written and brilliantly directed film dedicated to India’s mathematical prodigy, Ramanujan, whose genius hung like an albatross around his neck, his entire life, says S. Saraswathi.

Still from Ramanujan with (above) director Gnana Rajasekaran

Still from Ramanujan with (above) director Gnana Rajasekaran

Yet another masterpiece by the man who gave us films like Bharati and Periyar. Gnana Rajasekaran is back with his third historical biopic, Ramanujan, after seven long years and the film is well worth the wait.

This time his vision brings to life one of India’s greatest mathematical geniuses, Srinivasa Ramanujan.
Continue reading ‘Gnana Rajasekaran’s Film on Tamil Mathematical Genius Ramanujan is Well-researched, well-written and Brilliantly Directed.’ »

“Sudden Targeting of Muslims has come as a Complete Surprise and is a Worrying Phenomenon”- Javed Yusuf


By

Susitha R.Fernando

Javed Yusuf

Javed Yusuf-pic: LMD

Former diplomat, educator and peace activist Javed Yusuf in an interview over recent development says it is very unfortunate that when we as a country are facing a number of challenges on the international front we are shooting ourselves in the foot by creating another problem which has already drawn unfavourable international attention.

Mr. Yusuf is an Attorney-at-Law, Former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Former Senior Advisor on Arab and Islamic Affairs to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Former Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat for Muslims and Former Human Rights Commissioner of Sri Lanka.

Following are the excerpts of the interview:

Q: To begin with, what is the Shoora Council in which you are a member and it is alleged that its activities are not transparent. Why do you think it is being subject to attack by certain groups?
Continue reading ‘“Sudden Targeting of Muslims has come as a Complete Surprise and is a Worrying Phenomenon”- Javed Yusuf’ »

Way Things Play out in Sri Lanka Have Ramifications Extending well Beyond a Small Island Nation.

By

Taylor Dibbert

The U.S. Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka held a hearing on July 9 [2014] in Washington, D.C. The caucus, created in 2013, is co-chaired by Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio). It remains to be seen how effective this newly created group will be but — given the recent developments in Sri Lanka — there is no question that there was plenty to discuss at the gathering.

Aside from the persistent ethnic and religious violence that plagues the country, the war-torn island nation is still grappling with a bunch of problems as it struggles to make the transition from a postwar country to a post-conflict one.

Recent anti-Muslim violence outside Colombo last month resulted in the death of several people and the injury of many more — as mobs attacked Muslim homes, places of business, and mosques. The police have been widely criticized for failing to prevent the violence. These developments serve as another reminder that Sri Lanka remains a country in crisis. Indeed, extremist Sinhalese-Buddhist groups operate with impunity while ordinary community members have basic human rights repressed under the deepening authoritarianism of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Continue reading ‘Way Things Play out in Sri Lanka Have Ramifications Extending well Beyond a Small Island Nation.’ »

Tea maker turned Popular Tamil Actor “Kadhal”Dhandapani dies of Cardiac Arrest at 71 Years of Age.

Popular actor Dhandapani known widely as “Kadhal Dhandapani” passed away on July 20th 2014 morning in Chennai due to a cardiac arrest.He made his debut in 2004 as the villainous father of the film’s heroine Sandhya in the successful film “Kadhal”directed by Balaji Sakthivel and produced by Shankar .Thereafter both Sandhya and Dhandapani got the name of the film “Kadhal|added on as a prefix and became known as “Kadhal|Sandhya and “Kadhal|Dhandapani espectively.

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Dhandapani hailing from Dindigul in Tamil Nadu was working as a tea maker in a Madurai cafe when he was discovered by Balaji Sakthivel and given a role in “Kadhal”. He never looked back thereon has done many villain roles as well as character roles as a father. In a few films he played humorous parts too

Continue reading ‘Tea maker turned Popular Tamil Actor “Kadhal”Dhandapani dies of Cardiac Arrest at 71 Years of Age.’ »

BBC to Relocate its Tamil Language Service”Thamizhosai”From London to New Delhi


BY S VENKAT NARAYAN

NEW DELHI, July 20: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is moving its popular Tamil language service from London to New Delhi.

It will be relocated with the BBC Hindi service, according to new plans announced to cut costs until 2017.

A BBC World Service spokesman said in London: “In India, BBC Tamil has a growing audience, and we believe that relocating the team with BBC Hindi will benefit audiences.”

Continue reading ‘BBC to Relocate its Tamil Language Service”Thamizhosai”From London to New Delhi’ »

“Faceless,Nameless”Mobs must Hoot and Jeer at the Bodu Bala Sena on the Streets and Turn the BBS into a Joke.

By
C.A.Chandraprema

Last week, the government’s decision to appoint three ‘international experts’ to advise the Presidential Commission to Investigate Cases of Alleged Disappearances of Persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces is the equivalent of a muscular tough guy breaking coconuts on his own head to show his opponents the kind of punishment he can take without flinching. This act is in the same league as the teenaged Prabhakaran reportedly tying himself up in chilli bags to see how long he could hold under police torture. Desmond de Silva, Geoffrey Nice and Professor David Crane have been appointed as advisors to the Disappearances Commission. All three of them have served in the international criminal court system set up and run by the Western powers – The International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

No third world government should touch even with a barge pole, anyone who has served in this international criminal court system. Many people may believe that an international court would be at a much higher level of probity than the courts at the national level, but the very opposite is true in fact. We have outlined on previous occasions, how the rules of evidence and principles of law that have been built up over centuries in the Western courts systems have been perverted in these international criminal courts. Besides the Western powers established these courts to try others and never themselves. We are clearly heading for another fiasco like the appointment of the International Independent Group of Independent Persons (IIGEP) to observe the work of a very similar Presidential Commission of Inquiry into certain specified allegations of human rights violations appointed in 2006. The IIGEP ended up saying that the inquiry process of the presidential commission falls short of international norms and standards and many other nasty things besides.

Continue reading ‘“Faceless,Nameless”Mobs must Hoot and Jeer at the Bodu Bala Sena on the Streets and Turn the BBS into a Joke.’ »

Lankan Envoy to Geneva UN Ravinatha Aryasinha Avoids Requested Meeting with UN Probe Coordinator Sandra Beidas.


by

Shamindra Ferdinando

Top UN coordinator in charge of the ongoing war crimes investigation into accountability issues in Sri Lanka, Sandra Beidas and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha are unlikely to meet officially, though UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navanethem Pillay has asked for a powvow between the duo and the naming of a focal point, authoritative sources said.

Asked whether the government would consent for a meeting with Beidas as sought by Pillay in a letter dated July 5, addressed to External Affairs Minister, Prof. G. L. Peiris, sources said that the government didn’t see any need for such a confab against the backdrop of Sri Lanka’s decision to shun the investigation.

There was no need for naming a focal point either, sources said, adding that the government would closely monitor the project undertaken by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Continue reading ‘Lankan Envoy to Geneva UN Ravinatha Aryasinha Avoids Requested Meeting with UN Probe Coordinator Sandra Beidas.’ »

On Going Struggle Between Rajapaksa Regime and Non-Governmental Organizations Will not End Easily or Soon.

By Kalana Senaratne

The struggle between Sri Lankan governments and NGOs is by no means a novel development; and their relationship, especially during the past decade, has been extremely tensed. The immediate aftermath of the tsunami disaster in December 2004 brought these tensions to the surface, with the JVP, for example, waging war against the NGOs largely due to its anti-imperialist ideology (as D. Sivaram pointed out in 2005).

This worsened during war-time, between 2006 and 2009, when the administration constantly portrayed the NGO community as an anti-Sri Lankan force. The government and many supporters of the war came to perceive NGOs as either directly or indirectly assisting the LTTE. Anti-war writings of NGO activists were considered (even by this writer) to be similar to throwing a lifeline to the LTTE. NGOs came to represent all that was considered to be against the country, their members amounting to anything from imperialists and neo-colonialists to separatists and LTTE-sympathizers.

Continue reading ‘On Going Struggle Between Rajapaksa Regime and Non-Governmental Organizations Will not End Easily or Soon.’ »

Pro-LTTE Tamils to Demonstrate in Glascow on July 23rd Against President Rajapaksa Participating at Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

While the Sri Lankan government officials remain tight-lipped on President Rajapaksa’s participation at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow, Scotland on July 23, pro-LTTE Tamils in the UK are busy organising a demonstration opposite the Stadium.

The Tamil Youth Organisation in UK has asked Tamils to gather at Barrowfield Street, Glasgow on at 3.30pm on the day of the opening. They have arranged 30 centres in England, Wales and Scotland to pick Tamils who are willing to participate in the demonstration with free transport, sources said.

There are four centres in London itself for demonstrators to assemble for transport to the venue, including South West, South East, North West and North East London. The other centres outside the city include Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester, Northampton, Nottingham, Bristol, Leicester, Brighton and many more.   

The Sunday Island reliably learns that more pro-LTTE Tamils are planning to join this demonstration from other European cities including Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Rome, Amsterdam etc.

Continue reading ‘Pro-LTTE Tamils to Demonstrate in Glascow on July 23rd Against President Rajapaksa Participating at Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.’ »

Mandarins of the Ceylon Civil Service

by

Gamini Seneviratne

‘Mandarins’ could refer to the officially adopted form of the Chinese language or to the fruit we all know. Here it refers to a term applied to the members of the Ceylon Civil Service (CCS) (and adopted somewhat scornfully by those who failed to join it). The Cambridge Dictionary puts it thus: ‘A person who has a very important job in the government, and who is sometimes considered to be too powerful’, and elaborates it in its application: It seems that true power lies with the Civil Service mandarins, rather than MPs and cabinet ministers.

Those days are gone, but not by the transfer of power to MPs and cabinet ministers whatever their number. True power now resides in the hands of kitchen cabinets, deliverers of election results, and of those whose wealth, mostly new-found, grows in a symbiotic relationship with their front men and women. The Cambridge Dictionary, again, defines that as ‘a relationship between two types of animal or plant in which each provides for the other the conditions necessary for its continued existence’. Figuratively, ordinary people who would ordinarily have been called ‘voters’ but have ceased to be anything of the kind are now spectators to this charade. So are many public servants who have taken refuge in silence. Others have succumbed to the lure of ‘the main chance’; perhaps they constitute a third presence in the carnival of animals. Most such are ‘plants’ anyway put to root in strategic locations in what used to be the Public Service.

It should be mentioned, too, that institutions that are named the Judiciary, the Armed Services and others including Parliament that are deemed to be the protectors of the law have been trashed in similar fashion.

Continue reading ‘Mandarins of the Ceylon Civil Service’ »

What is the TNA Led Northern Provincial Council Doing with the Powers it has? Asks Northern Governor Gen.Chandrasiri.

By

Ananth Palakidnar



Excerpts from an interview with Norther Province Governor Gen.Chandrasiri:


Q: You are the first Governor of the Northern Province. What have you to say on your reappointment to that position?

Continue reading ‘What is the TNA Led Northern Provincial Council Doing with the Powers it has? Asks Northern Governor Gen.Chandrasiri.’ »

UPFA Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Vidanapathirana and Three Others Sentenced to Prison for 20 Years for Murder of British Tourist and Raping his Girlfriend.

By

Dharisha Bastians

Following a high profile trial in which the defence called no witnesses, the Colombo High Court yesterday sentenced a ruling party politician and three others to 20 years in prison for murdering British tourist Khuram Shaikh and raping his Russian girlfriend in 2011.

Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and UPFA strongman Sampath Vidanapathirana and three more men were convicted of the murder of the 32-year-old British national and Red Cross worker and the sexual assault of his girlfriend Victoria Alexandrona who were holidaying in Tangalle in 2011.

Continue reading ‘UPFA Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Vidanapathirana and Three Others Sentenced to Prison for 20 Years for Murder of British Tourist and Raping his Girlfriend.’ »

‘Fascists’ in saffron robes? The rise of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist ultra-nationalists

By Tim Hume with Reporting by Iqbal Athas

(CNN) – Shortly before Buddhist mobs made a deadly rampage through Muslim neighborhoods near the town of Aluthgama, Sri Lanka last month, a man with cropped hair and glasses stood before expectant crowds to deliver an explosive speech.

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Video footage of the rally, called following a traffic altercation between Muslim youths and a Buddhist monk in the coastal town, captures the speaker in full flight.

In a pointed reference to the security forces stationed nearby, he declares that the Sri Lankan police and army are Sinhalese, the mostly Buddhist ethnic majority that accounts for three-quarters of the island’s 20 million people.

Then, his arm raised and his voice rising to a shriek, he issues an explicit threat to Muslims, using a derogatory term for the minority.

To roars of approval, he vows that if any Muslim, were to lay a hand on a Sinhalese — let alone a monk — that would “be the end” of all of them.

What is striking about the clip, aside from the viciousness of the rhetoric, is that the firebrand behind the microphone is dressed in the saffron robes of a Buddhist monk.

He is Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the Buddhist holy man who is the general secretary and public face of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS, also known as Buddhist Power Force).

The ultra-nationalist Sinhalese Buddhist organization has emerged as a troubling presence on the Sri Lankan political landscape in recent years, and is blamed by many for inciting the deadly violence in Aluthgama.

Continue reading ‘‘Fascists’ in saffron robes? The rise of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist ultra-nationalists’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Thinks it is “Business as Usual for Sri Lanka in Dealing with India”under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

by

Col. R. Hariharan

(This article contains excerpts from a media interview given by the author on July 16, 2014.)

Time has come for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take a relook at Sri Lanka affairs under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has continued for too long to bash on regardless of his unkept promises to India on implementing the 13th Constitutional Amendment in full. It was to be part of the resumption of the stalled political dialogue process with Tamil leaders which he promised to undertake.

Modi’s elevation as Prime Minister initially caused some concern to Rajapaksa as the BJP electoral partners in Tamil Nadu were well known for their strong anti-Rajapa and decidedly pro-Tamil separatist stand. But seeing the dynamic new Indian prime minister’s keenness to build better relations with India’s neighbours, Rajapaksa seems to have decided that it would be business as usual for Sri Lanka while dealing with India.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Thinks it is “Business as Usual for Sri Lanka in Dealing with India”under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.’ »

DORTMUND DECLARATION by the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO)

12-13 July, 2014

The 31st Black July Commemoration Ceremony was held on 12th and 13th July, 2014 in Dortmund, Germany, with participation by the Members of Parliament, and Members of North and East Provincial Councils, and the European Members of TELO, to honour the thousands of Tamils massacred, along with TELO’s founding leaders Honourable Thangathurai and Kuddimani and the prominent Tamil youth in July 1983, and adopted the following declaration:

D E C L A R A T I O N

1. To take lawful measures to counter the land grab, expanding military encampments, Sinhala colonization and militarization by the Sri Lankan state in Northern and Eastern provinces; while appraising and undertaking measures to progressively enhance the security, economic advancement, development, reconstruction and livelihood of Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘DORTMUND DECLARATION by the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO)’ »

Govt Widens Disappearances Commission Mandate to Probe Civilian Deaths During War Final Phase with Three International Prosecutors as advisers.

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By

Dharisha Bastians

The Government yesterday set the stage for a domestic inquiry into alleged civilian deaths and violations of humanitarian law during the final stages of the war, appointing three international war crimes prosecutors to advise the Presidential Commission tasked with the probe.

The Presidential directive launching the inquiry comes just weeks after a UN investigation into rights abuses during the last seven years of the Sri Lankan war got off the ground in Geneva.

Successive Resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva have called upon the Sri Lankan Government to launch a credible, independent investigation at the domestic level into allegations of major rights violations during the last phase of its war against the LTTE.

The Commission of Inquiry has been launched by Presidential Proclamation, notified in a Gazette dated 15 July 2014, that broadens the scope of the Presidential Commission to investigate disappearances, headed by a former High Court Judge.
Continue reading ‘Govt Widens Disappearances Commission Mandate to Probe Civilian Deaths During War Final Phase with Three International Prosecutors as advisers.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena is Sri Lanka’s Catalyst for Opening up a new Buddhist vs Muslim Conflict.

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By Harim Peiris

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Sri Lanka’s catalyst for opening up a new Buddhist verses Muslim conflict, perhaps due to boredom now that a thirty year civil war has ended, follows more by design than accident a classic military strategy of an escalation or advancement and then a tactical retreat due to over reach.

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Immediately after the previous attacks as well, whether in Dambula or Nugegoda, there was silence for awhile and similarly after the anti Muslim events of “Dark June 2014″, there has been a steady denial both by the state security establishment and the extremist perpetrators of responsibility for the violence, the former denying connivance and the latter denying instigation. Both want to blame a spontaneous mob.
Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena is Sri Lanka’s Catalyst for Opening up a new Buddhist vs Muslim Conflict.’ »

Is a Burka in “Simple, Pleasing Colours” a Lesser Symbol of Fundamentalist Islam than its Black Counterpart?

By

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Ranga Jayasuriya

Would a colourful burka be a lesser symbol of fundamentalist Islam and subjugation of women than its black counterpart? Some members of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka tend to think so.

They have launched a campaign to distribute burka in ‘simple pleasing colours’ among local Muslims.

They assure that the initiative is not aimed at non- burka clad women, and that only the women who are already wearing this all encompassing Muslim garment would be given free new light coloured burkas.

The programme has been launched with the blessing of Jamiyyathul Ulama, the foremost body of Muslim theologians in the country.

The Muslim Council, made up of moderates and liberals within the community, has steered clear of puritanical austere brand of Islam that has recently made inroads into some quarters within the Sri Lankan Muslim community.

(Some Muslims even deny radicalization. However, highlighting these trends are not Islam bashing, rather an objective and dispassionate analysis would spare the country and community from future troubles)
Continue reading ‘Is a Burka in “Simple, Pleasing Colours” a Lesser Symbol of Fundamentalist Islam than its Black Counterpart?’ »

UN Human Rights Commissioner’s Office Declines to Answer Questions Asked by Colombo Newspaper on Sri Lanka Probe

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by Shamindra Ferdinando

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Wednesday (July 16) said that it wouldn’t release the names of the investigation team tasked with probing the war crimes allegations against the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) as well as the LTTE, though Ms Sandra Beidas was named its coordinator.

OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville was answering a question by The Island on the ongoing investigation, as mandated by the UNHRC Resolution 25/1 adopted in last March.

A query on the composition of the investigation team was among a series of questions we posed to the OHCHR over two weeks ago. However, Colville declined to respond to the remaining seven questions.

Continue reading ‘UN Human Rights Commissioner’s Office Declines to Answer Questions Asked by Colombo Newspaper on Sri Lanka Probe’ »

“I Welcome the Re-appointment of Gen. Chandrasiri as Northern Governor”-Douglas Devananda.

By

Ananth Palakidnar

Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development, Douglas Devananda, in an extensive interview with Ceylon Today, welcomed the South African peace initiative and said sharing the South African experience would definitely help Sri Lanka deal with its problem in a constructive manner. However, he said for any attempt to find a political solution, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) must come forward to participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSE) and added that he had even requested South Africa’s special envoy, Cyril Ramaphosa, to bring the TNA to the PSC. Devananda also welcomed the reappointment of Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri as Governor of the Northern Province.

Greeting the Deputy President of South Africa-Jul 10, 2014-pic courtesy of NPC

Greeting the Deputy President of South Africa-Jul 10, 2014-pic courtesy of NPC

Excerpts of the interview:

Q: South Africa has come forward to assist in the Lankan peace process. South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa who is SA’s special envoy on the Lankan issue was in Jaffna and even met you. What do you think about the new initiative?
Continue reading ‘“I Welcome the Re-appointment of Gen. Chandrasiri as Northern Governor”-Douglas Devananda.’ »

One Month After the Anti-Muslim Violence in Aluthgama, Dharga town, Welipenna and Ambepitiya-Statement by Secretariat for Muslims

A Statement by the Secretariat for Muslims on the Need for Action

One Month Since The Riot | A Statement by the Secretariat for Muslims on the Need for Action

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June 16, 2014

It is one month since violence in Aluthgama, Dharga Town, Welipanna, and Ambepitiya in Beruwela – primarily targeting the Muslim community – killed 4 persons, injured over 80 individuals, destroyed countless properties, and severely traumatized thousands. As many have pointed out this has been the most intense spate of inter-ethnic violence since the end of the war, and today, Muslims and other religious minorities fear more widespread violence in other parts of the country.
Continue reading ‘One Month After the Anti-Muslim Violence in Aluthgama, Dharga town, Welipenna and Ambepitiya-Statement by Secretariat for Muslims’ »

Constitutional Reform in Sri Lanka: Issues and Prospects

Appapillai Amirthalingam

Appapillai Amirthalingam

by Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne

(Amirthalingam Memorial Oration, 12 July 2014, London)

Let me begin by thanking the UK branch of the Tamil Liberation United Front for inviting me to deliver the Amirthalingam Memorial Oration on the occasion of the 25th death anniversary of Appapillai Amirthalingam, lawyer, parliamentarian, Leader of the Opposition in the Sri Lankan Parliament from 1977 to 1983 and leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF).

Unlike earlier leaders of the Tamil parties, Amirthalingam came from a middle-class background and also dabbled in Left politics. I remember him saying at the funeral of Dr. N. M. Perera that he had attended Marxist study classes taken by Dr. Perera while he was a student in the University of Ceylon. He represented the Vaddukkodai constituency in the Sri Lankan Parliament from 1956 to 1970 and the Kankasanthurai constituency from 1977 until 1983 when he refused to take the anti-separatist oath under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution brought in following the tragic events of July 1983. He returned to Parliament in 1989 but was assassinated along with Yogeswaran, a fellow TULF member, on 13 July 1989, almost exactly 25 years ago. He was neither the first nor the last Tamil politician to be killed by the Tamil Tigers (LTTE).

From 1977 to 1983, he was also the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, the first Tamil to hold the position. He performed his role with great acceptance.

Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne

Dr.Jayampathy Wickramaratne

I remember the excellent speeches he and Sivasithamparam made during the debate on the Code of Criminal Procedure Bill. He opposed the imposition of civic disabilities on Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike. At the Kalawana by-election, he supported Sarath Muttettuwegama of the Communist Party.
Continue reading ‘Constitutional Reform in Sri Lanka: Issues and Prospects’ »

Sonali Deraniyagala wins the 2014 PEN/Ackerley Prize for “Wave” tsunami memoir


By Ben Travis

Sonali Deraniyagala-pic courtesy of: BBC

Sonali Deraniyagala-pic courtesy of: BBC

Sonali Deraniyagala has won the PEN/Ackerley Prize 2014 for Wave, her memoir recounting the loss of her parents, her husband and two young sons in the tsunami that devastated Sri Lanka in December 2004.

“The pleasure of receiving this wonderful prize makes me see that there is a beauty in struggle and a resting place in the eyes of others,” said Deraniyagala, who was awarded the prize last night. “I have found myself a writer, another identity in the ongoing bewildering journey of my life.”

Continue reading ‘Sonali Deraniyagala wins the 2014 PEN/Ackerley Prize for “Wave” tsunami memoir’ »

New Sri Lankan Envoy to New Delhi, Sudharshan Seneviratne has Spent a Decade in India as Archaeology Student and Researcher

By

Meera Srinivasan

When Sri Lankan archaeologist Sudharshan Seneviratne drove down to Chanakyapuri on a hot day recently, memories of his Delhi days came back gushing.

ri Lankan archeologist Sudharshan Seneviratne. Photo: Meera Srinivasan-courtesy: The Hindu

Sri Lankan archeologist Sudharshan Seneviratne. Photo: Meera Srinivasan-courtesy: The Hindu

From being a student in the city in the 1970s to returning now as the highest representative of his country, life has come a full circle, says Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India who, as a student, spent a decade in India, studying in New Delhi and later researching early Buddhism in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Continue reading ‘New Sri Lankan Envoy to New Delhi, Sudharshan Seneviratne has Spent a Decade in India as Archaeology Student and Researcher’ »

Uneasy Cohabitation Between Wigneswaran Administration and Governor Chandrasiri To Continue in Northern Province


By
Dharisha Bastians

Ten months ago, the Tamil people of the Northern Province who were liberated from the clutches of the LTTE by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his security forces went to the polls to elect a provincial government for the first time in 25 years.

At ceremony on June 4, 2014-pic: NPC

Opening Ceremony of Tholpuram Primary Medical Care Unit-05 June 2014-pic: NPC

During a heated election season, the Government pledged to continue its ambitious development drive in the region, repeatedly recollected life under the LTTE yoke and issued subtle threats of a resumption of war in the event of a TNA victory. The TNA invoked virulently Tamil nationalistic rhetoric during the polls campaign. It spoke of justice for Tamil people killed in Mullivaikal in the last days of the fighting in 2009. It spoke about post-war surveillance and heavy militarisation in the Tamil-dominated north. It spoke of political autonomy and the return of a civilian administration in the former war zone.

On 21 September 2013, when the people of the Northern Province made their choice, their message to Colombo was resoundingly clear – 70% of the north’s registered voters swept the TNA into power with a two-thirds majority, delivering the UPFA coalition its worst-ever electoral defeat.

Last week, with the NPC nearly one year into its five-year term in office, the Rajapaksa Government sent back a message of its own. It told TNA politicians and the people who voted them into office with a thumping mandate that Colombo is simply not listening.
Continue reading ‘Uneasy Cohabitation Between Wigneswaran Administration and Governor Chandrasiri To Continue in Northern Province’ »

President Rajapaksa Invites all Provincial Chief Ministers for Cabinet Meeting but CV Wigneswaran will not Attend.

By

Dharisha Bastians

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has invited all provincial chief ministers to attend this week’s Cabinet briefing, but Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran says he has already sent his regrets.
All chief ministers were invited to the cabinet meeting on Thursday (17), Presidential Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake told Daily FT.

Chief Minister Wigneswaran, who recently accused the President of having broken another promise to the NPC by reappointing ex-Military Governor G.A. Chandrasiri after his term expired last weekend, said he would not be attending the meeting.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Invites all Provincial Chief Ministers for Cabinet Meeting but CV Wigneswaran will not Attend.’ »

Is Gnanasara Thero of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Time the Buddharakkhitha Thero of the SWRD Bandaranaike Period?


By

Vishwamithra 1984


“The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery – not over nature but of ourselves”

~Rachel Carson

Is the person who is identified as Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero another Buddharakkhitha in the making or is he just a pretender?

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But the circumstances and conditions seem to be much too close for comfort, although the mannerisms and public demeanor of the two seem to keep them wider apart than one would like to accept. At this juncture it might be useful to indulge ourselves in some post-independence history of Sri Lanka, especially regarding the Sir John Kotelawala era and the following ‘1956 Revolution’, one of the main architects of which was Ven. Mapitigama Buddharakkhitha Thero, the Head Priest of the historic Kelaniya Vihara. Buddharakkhitha’s very ascension to the exalted position of the Chief Incumbent of Kelaniya was not without any rumblings either. At the very tender age of the early twenties, to assume leadership among an exclusive clergy and for that matter, at Kelaniya of all places, is indeed a spectacle by itself. Yet Buddharakkhitha achieved it with overt support from one of the leading members of the Daayaka Sabha (Lay Committee) of the Temple.

Continue reading ‘Is Gnanasara Thero of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Time the Buddharakkhitha Thero of the SWRD Bandaranaike Period?’ »

Tamil National Alliance Will Submit Affidavit to Courts Stating Sri Lanka is Unitary and TNA has no Intention of Creating a Separate State.

BY STANLEY SAMARASINGHE

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Lawyers appearing for Mavai Senathirajah, Secretary of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) and Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and President of TNA, R. Sampanthan, yesterday (15) agreed to submit an affidavit, to the Supreme Court, stating that Sri Lanka is a unitary State.

This was sequel to six cases filed in Supreme Court alleging that the political object of the TNA is to form a separate government in Sri Lanka.

Galage Don Punyawardana, Gunadasa Amarasekera, U. Abeykoon, Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera, U.K. Anura and Ravi Kumar were the petitioners in these cases.

In their petitions they stated that during the last Northern Provincial Council elections, the ITAK and TNA distributed election manifestos among voters indicating that ITAK and TNA are in the process of planning to form a separate state in Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance Will Submit Affidavit to Courts Stating Sri Lanka is Unitary and TNA has no Intention of Creating a Separate State.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Calls Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem a “Political Prostitute” and Wants him Kicked out from Govt.

By

Dharisha Bastians

Rauf Hakeem

Rauf Hakeem

The hardline Bodu Bala Sena Organisation yesterday slammed President Mahinda Rajapaksa for permitting his own Cabinet ministers to insult Buddhist monks and the Buddhist people who swept him into power.

The remarks follow statements made by Justice Minister and Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Rauff Hakeem to foreign correspondents in Colombo last week.

The Group’s controversial General Secretary Galagodaththe Gnanasara told a media briefing in Colombo yesterday that Minister Hakeem was ‘stripping’ the Sinhala Buddhist nation in the eyes of the world by calling for an end to Buddhist extremism in Sri Lanka.

“If I was his leader, I would drag him by his ears and kick him out. Why is the President still counting his fingers?” Gnanasara Thero stormed. The monk said President Rajapaksa should be ashamed to continue to keep such Ministers in his cabinet.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Calls Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem a “Political Prostitute” and Wants him Kicked out from Govt.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa has Trapped Modi’s BJP govt with the Muslim Factor like he Trapped Congress Govt with China Issue.

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

India's PM Narendra and President Mahinda Rajapaksa-May 2014

India’s PM Narendra and President Mahinda Rajapaksa-May 2014

While Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris was having discussions with Indian Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, President Mahinda Rajapaksa extended the service of Northern Provincial Council Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri. It was an unexpected move for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). TNA and its Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran had been demanding the removal of Chandrasiri from the post of Governor of the Northern Province for a long time. The former Congress Party Government of India was also in support of this. They were of the view that the Sri Lanka Government, which was hesitating to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, should at least replace the military officer with a civil servant.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa has Trapped Modi’s BJP govt with the Muslim Factor like he Trapped Congress Govt with China Issue.’ »

Is the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama or National Shoora Council a Transparent Organization like our Bodu Bala Sena? Asks Gnanasara Thero

By
Supun Dias

In an exclusive interview, Daily mirror spoke to the Secretary General of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Ven. Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thera on the Aluthgama incident and on the allegations levelled against his organizations

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Q
Although the Aluthgama incident is now a thing of the past do you think the speech you made on June 15 in Aluthgama led to the violence which erupted afterwards?

One of the most serious allegations they have levelled against us is that we instigated the people. I dismiss and reject the allegation.

Language is a relative thing. We should not look at the language, we should look at the point we are trying to make not how it is being said. The Sinhalese Language is a language which could be used in anyway. The motive was to attack poison with poison like anti-venom treatment.

Before we talk about how I spoke we should look at what happened in Aluthgama. On Poson Poya Day, which was Thursday, Venerable Samitha Thera was attacked by a group of extremists.

A few days before the incident the remains of a cow were found in front of his temple and he did not retaliate but lodged a complaint with the police. But we have questions about the state of these investigations.

On the day of the attack on the monk, the tensed Buddhists were advised and dispersed. Around 2000-3000 people gathered to protest but we managed to disperse them peacefully.

We decided to hold a press conference on Friday but nothing was reported about it. So we decided to hold a rally on Sunday.

Our objective was to advise the people to be calm in solving these issues without being violent.

Now if you listen to my speech, during most of the time you can hear people clapping and whistling in response to the remarks I made on the police, area politicians and other issues we are facing.

From the speech we were able to calm down the people who gathered and we were there for 40 minutes. While they were returning home after the rally was peacefully dismissed they were passing a mosque at which time they came under attack. When a monk was injured the people became tensed and then the news spread to the adjoining areas.
Continue reading ‘Is the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama or National Shoora Council a Transparent Organization like our Bodu Bala Sena? Asks Gnanasara Thero’ »

Persons Wearing the Tamil Dress “Veshti/Verti” Debarred from Entering Elite Club Portals in the Pre-dominantly “Thamizhian” State of Tamil Nadu in India.


By

N Sathiya Moorthy

PM Narendra Modi with Rajni Kanth in veshti-pic: PTI

PM Narendra Modi with Rajni Kanth in veshti-pic: PTI

The veshti controversy in Tamil Nadu is not about the dress — but a dress-code, which seems permissible in private homes and offices, but not in private clubs that are open only to well-heeled, and well-paying private members, observes N Sathiya Moorthy.

At the height of the post-poll scenario in 1996, then Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram declared in Chennai, thus: “Two veshti (dhoti)-clad Tamils would decide the fate of the nation.”

Subsequent developments proved Chidambaram right.

The two veshti-clad men, Tamil Nadu’s then Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Chief Minister M Karunanidhi (returned to power for the fourth time in three decades), and the late G K Moopanar, Chidambaram’s political guru at the time, ended up choosing the next prime minister.

However, the fact that the new prime minister, in Karnataka’s H D Deve Gowda, too was veshti-clad, did not have anything to do with Chidambaram’s prediction.

Veshti, or dhoti, or lungi, as the four-yard-long attire for men to cover their waist-below particularly in the south Indian states, is back in the news in Tamil Nadu once again, though not for similar reasons.
Continue reading ‘Persons Wearing the Tamil Dress “Veshti/Verti” Debarred from Entering Elite Club Portals in the Pre-dominantly “Thamizhian” State of Tamil Nadu in India.’ »

Supreme Court Directs Northern Chief Minister to Withdraw Circulars Issued by him Restricting Public Servants of the Province.

By Chitra Weeraratne

The Supreme Court yesterday advised counsel to try and work out a settlement and restore goodwill between Chief Minister of the Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran, a retired Supreme Court judge and Chief Secretary of the Northern Province Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Ramesh. It should be done for the sake of good governance, the court said.

Mrs. Ramesh has complained of an attempt to unlawfully remove her and a circular according to which pubic servants of the North cannot travel out of the province without the Chief Minister’s permission; public servants cannot communicate with the government without permission from the Chief Minister.

The petitioner Mrs. Ramesh has said that though the chief Minister said those circulars would be revoked he has not done so.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Directs Northern Chief Minister to Withdraw Circulars Issued by him Restricting Public Servants of the Province.’ »

Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran may Resign in Protest Over the Re-appointment of Gen. GA Chandrasiri as Northern Governor

By

Chrishanthi Christopher

Northern Province Chief Minister Justice CV Wigneswaran

Northern Province Chief Minister Justice CV Wigneswaran

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will meet this week to discuss the re-appointment of former military-man, G.A. Chandrasiri, as the Governor of the Northern Province and work out the Party’s response. TNA Parliamentarian, Suresh Premachandran, said the Party will take a decision on the reappointment after the meeting.

TNA sources however, hinted at the likelihood of Chief Minister of Northern Province, C. V. Wigneswaran, resigning from his position after the discussion, in protest against the re-appointment.
Continue reading ‘Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran may Resign in Protest Over the Re-appointment of Gen. GA Chandrasiri as Northern Governor’ »

Nadine Gordimer Received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 for her”great, epic writings centering on the effects of race relations in her country”

by

Dennis Walder


• Nadine Gordimer, writer, born 20 November 1923; died 13 July 2014

South Africa has produced several writers of stature in the past half century, but few have approached the achievement of Nadine Gordimer, who has died aged 90. A significant figure in world literature, Gordimer plumbed the depths of human interaction in a society of racial tension, political oppression and sexual unease. The connection between the intimate and the public lay at the heart of her work, an apparently inexhaustible stream of novels, short stories and essays.

An outspoken voice against the evils of apartheid, Gordimer continued to express forthright views after its collapse and the emergence of a multiracial democracy. Promoting even as she questioned white liberal values in her early work, she went on to espouse an increasingly radical position in the essays and fiction of the mid-1970s and later, openly supporting the liberation movement and associated cultural bodies such as the Congress of South African Writers. This led to her being for many years more widely acclaimed abroad than at home – where several of her novels were banned – until she became in 1991 the country’s first winner of the Nobel prize for literature.

Continue reading ‘Nadine Gordimer Received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 for her”great, epic writings centering on the effects of race relations in her country”’ »

Nadine Gordimer -Nobel Laureate and Foremost Chronicler of Racial Apartheid in South Africa Dies in Johannesburg at 90

by

David Smith in Johannesburg

South Africa mourned one of its literary giants on Monday, with the death at 90 of Nadine Gordimer, a Nobel laureate praised for remaining politically and intellectually courageous until the end.

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Gordimer, arguably the foremost chronicler of racial apartheid and the subsequent vicissitudes of democracy, died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Johannesburg on Sunday, her family said. Her son, Hugo, and daughter, Oriane, were with her at the time.

Continue reading ‘Nadine Gordimer -Nobel Laureate and Foremost Chronicler of Racial Apartheid in South Africa Dies in Johannesburg at 90’ »

Veteran Indian Actor Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home in Peshawar declared national heritage in Pakistan

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has declared as national heritage the ancestral home in Peshawar of Hindi moviedom’s thespian actor Dilip Kumar. He has directed the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage to acquire the house.

The prime minister’s approval was sent to the information ministry, which has forwarded it to director general, Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) for implementation of the orders, reported Pakistani daily The Nation.

Continue reading ‘Veteran Indian Actor Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home in Peshawar declared national heritage in Pakistan’ »

Bodu Bala Sena is an Anti-National Project Aimed Ar Destroying Sinhala-Muslim Unity -National Shoora Council

(Following is the text of the National Shoora Council’s Response to the Bodu bala Sena demand that the Shoora Council should be banned)

​The National Shoora (Consultative) Council (NSC) , a grouping of national level Muslim Organisations, including a cross –section of the community’s intelligentsia and activists is not surprised at the BoduBalaSena’s (BBS) call to ban the NSC. The call exposes the BBS as an anti-national project, dedicated to destroying centuries of peaceful amity and co-existence between the Sinhalese and the Muslims of this country by spreading hate, based on falsehood.

Following its fully paid visit in October 2011 to Norway, a country which nearly succeeded in creating ‘Eelam’ in Sri Lanka, where the BBS met a group from the Tamil diaspora and Islamic-phobic Norwegians, it appears most convincingly, that the BBS has undertaken a dubious contractto spread anti-Muslim venom aimed at destabilizing Sri Lanka through racial conflicts. Western powers behind the Norwegians will benefit in the UN Human Rights Council. Sri Lanka regrettably will have to pay for the crime BBS is perpetrating on the country.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena is an Anti-National Project Aimed Ar Destroying Sinhala-Muslim Unity -National Shoora Council’ »

South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa may be Soon Humbled by the Magnitude of Political Trickery in Sri Lanka.

By Ranga Jayasuriya

Not usually, does the second in command of a regional power, flanked by a presidential delegation, fly thousands miles to some embattled small State, disguised as ‘tourists’ to talk to the adversaries of a protracted domestic problem. However, Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy President of South Africa and the ruling African National Congress, pretty much did that– at least if you are to believe the Sri Lankan government’s initial remarks on the visit by the South African delegation.

That is notwithstanding, that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, faced with increasing international criticism, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) sought the good offices of his South African counterpart Jecob Zuma, the polygamist South African president, who, then appointed Ramaphosa as his special envoy to Sri Lanka.

Ramaphosa, a respected and formidable negotiator was the chief negotiator of the ANC in the talks with the White Apartheid government. However, on his arrival in Colombo, he himself was baffled by the cynical government response. Cabinet Spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwella, earlier suggested that the South African delegation were tourists and another government interlocutor remarked that South Africans are here to see Proteas playing Sri Lanka on their Sri Lankan cricket tour. Worse still, Wimal Weerawansa and his ilk of the ultra-nationalist camp within the government unleashed a scathing attack on South Africa, accusing it of maintaining contacts with the LTTE.

Continue reading ‘South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa may be Soon Humbled by the Magnitude of Political Trickery in Sri Lanka.’ »

Fate of 153 Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers in Limbo as Australia Keeps Vessel Carrying them at Mid Sea to Bolster Claim of “No Boats Arrived”

By

Chrishanthi Christopher

pic courtesy of: GuardiaUK

pic courtesy of: GuardiaUK

The fate of the 153 Sri Lankan asylum seekers, who allegedly left the shores of Pondicherry, India to Australia, is in limbo. Australia, determined to claim that ‘no boats arrived’ in its shores intercepted the boat carrying the asylum seekers, at mid sea.

It is learnt that the asylum seekers’ claims for refugees status is being assessed off the Australian waters.

Reportedly the boat carrying the refugees had got into distress in international waters, due to a shortage of fuel, and was intercepted by the Australian Coast Guard. Following this, the world lost contact with the boat and Australia continued to deny its existence for almost two weeks until its government was brought before a Melbourne Court by refugee rights activists demanding information about the boat and the people who were in it. Thereafter the Australian Government was compelled to admit to having intercepted the boat outside its territorial waters and proving the claim for asylum at high sea.

Continue reading ‘Fate of 153 Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers in Limbo as Australia Keeps Vessel Carrying them at Mid Sea to Bolster Claim of “No Boats Arrived”’ »

Eastern Province Councillor and Ex-MP “Pottuvil” M. Abdul Majeed Resigns from Muslim Congress Protesting Party Leadership’s Inaction.

(Following is the full text of letter submitted by former SSP,MP and Current Provincial Council member “Pottuvil”M.Abdul Majeed from his membership and from the deputy chairmanship of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress protesting the party leadership’s inaction over recent incidents afflicting the Muslim community in Sri Lanka)

It is after a deep thought and with great pain of mind, I came to the decision of resigning my membership and Deputy Chairmanship of the SLMC as this party has now become deceptive, changing colors and policies merely to safeguard the positions of those in position and to provide safety, security to its political leadership and not to protect the Muslim community who brought them into the position, they enjoy today under this government.

I had no intention of quitting this party, until the recent events which unfolded on the Muslims of Sri Lanka in general and especially to our dear brothers and sisters of Dharga Town, Beruwela, Welipanna and Panadura. The basic intention of forming the SLMC was to voice against injustices and to combat for the Muslim rights. If so, where was our protest and sacrifice? unlike our Tamil brotheren.

We believe that the formation of this Muslim party was based constitutionally on Holy Quran and Hadiths. If so, shouldn’t we ask ourselves whether we have justified the noble cause for which this party was formed and stood for, under the present leadership of SLMC?

Continue reading ‘Eastern Province Councillor and Ex-MP “Pottuvil” M. Abdul Majeed Resigns from Muslim Congress Protesting Party Leadership’s Inaction.’ »

“STF and Police Provided Protection to Mobs and not to Innocent People Whose Houses were Torched”-UNP Kalutara Dist MP Palitha Thewarapperuma.


By
Hafeel Farisz

Palitha Thewarapperuma MP-pic: newsfirst.lk

Palitha Thewarapperuma MP-pic: newsfirst.lk

UNP MP PalithaThewarapperuma who was an eye witness to the recent riots in Aluthgama and surrounding areas was injured after a mob had attacked his vehicle while transporting victims. Speaking to the “Daily Mirror” he said that his offer to resign was due a cause he believed in and should not be viewed narrow-mindedly in order to portray him in bad light.

Following are excerpts of the interview:

Q:

Your recent offer to resign in the event the IGP does not take the blame for the riots and resigns, created a lot of news and controversy. However it was reportedly rejected by the party and your leader. On what basis was it rejected?

The reason I offered to resign was not because of some personal misgiving, or because I have been accused of murder, corruption or thuggery. The reason I offered to resign was because this country witnessed a very unfortunate tragedy at the hands of a rampaging mob. We have experienced this once before, resulting in a thirty-year long war. At the end of the thirty years, none of those who instigated it died but instead it was normal peace loving citizens. The riots were not something that happened by chance. It was planned.

Continue reading ‘“STF and Police Provided Protection to Mobs and not to Innocent People Whose Houses were Torched”-UNP Kalutara Dist MP Palitha Thewarapperuma.’ »

India will Assist the Jaffna University in Setting up of Engineering and Agriculture Faculties in Kilinocchi with an Initial Grant of Rs 600 million

INE032013

The Government of India yesterday announced a partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka to assist in the setting up of a Faculty of Agriculture and a Faculty of Engineering for the University of Jaffna at Kilinochchi.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the two Governments for the implementation of this project was signed on 14 July 2014 between the High Commissioner of India, Y.K. Sinha, and the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne, in the presence of S.B.Dissanayake, Minister of Higher Education, Government of Sri Lanka and Ms. Vasanthy Arasaratnam, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jaffna.
Continue reading ‘India will Assist the Jaffna University in Setting up of Engineering and Agriculture Faculties in Kilinocchi with an Initial Grant of Rs 600 million’ »

Ceylon Theatres opens exclusive 100 seater Empire Cineplex at Arcade Independence Square

President Mahinda Rajapaksa last night officially opened the new Empire Cineplex at the Arcade Independence Square last evening.

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The Empire Cineplex, part of the Ceylon Theatres chain of cinemas, opened at the colonial masterpiece that has been restored into a high-end shopping complex. The Empire Cineplex is an exclusive 100-seater cinema with state-of-the-art features that are on-par with international standards.
Continue reading ‘Ceylon Theatres opens exclusive 100 seater Empire Cineplex at Arcade Independence Square’ »

Chamithri Rambukwella Elected Vice-chair of UN Budget Committee

The United Nations General Assembly has elected Chamithri Rambukwella, Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York, as Vice-Chair of the Fifth Committee.

Chamithri Rambukwella

Chamithri Rambukwella

Ms. Rambukwella was unanimously endorsed by the Asia-Pacific Group to represent them at the Bureau of the Fifth Committee for the 69th Session (September 2014 – August 2015) of the General Assembly. The Fifth Committee advices the General Assembly in matters pertaining to the UN budget and administrative issues.
Continue reading ‘Chamithri Rambukwella Elected Vice-chair of UN Budget Committee’ »

Bodhu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Makes Arrangements to visit Australia on a “Spiritual Awakening Mission”

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Bodhu Bala Sena General-Secretary Ven.Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero is scheduled to visit Australia on a “spiritual awakening mission” in a few weeks time it is learnt.

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BBS briefs Foreign Correspondence Association, FCA President @shiharaneez presents a token to Gnanasara Thero – pic by @Azzamameen

The notorious monk known for articulating racial and religious hatred against minority communities in Sri Lanka and instigating violence will be conducting a series of meetings in different cities of Australia where he will explain the basic tenets of Buddhism .

Continue reading ‘Bodhu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Makes Arrangements to visit Australia on a “Spiritual Awakening Mission”’ »

Rauff Hakeem Warns of “Bigger Project” to Cripple Sri Lankan Muslims Economically and “Put them in their place” Through a “Virtual Holocaust”


Nearly a month after the worst religious violence Sri Lanka has seen in decades, Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem has warned of a ‘virtual holocaust’ against the country’s Muslim community unless Islamophobia and hate speech by radical monks were nipped in the bud.

US Ambassador Michele Sison meets Minister Rauf Hakeem on June 18, 2014-pic: navamani.lk

US Ambassador Michele J. Sison meets Minister Rauff Hakeem on June 18, 2014-pic: navamani.lk

Minister Hakeem, who also heads the country’s largest Muslim Party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, told foreign correspondents yesterday that there was a ‘bigger project’ at work to cripple the Sri Lankan Muslim community economically and ‘put them in their place.’

“It is bigger than any election. They want a virtual holocaust against the Muslims,” Minister Hakeem said at his party’s Daru Salaam Headquarters last evening.
Continue reading ‘Rauff Hakeem Warns of “Bigger Project” to Cripple Sri Lankan Muslims Economically and “Put them in their place” Through a “Virtual Holocaust”’ »

Dutu Gemunu, Ellaalan, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and the Invasion of Raja raja Chozhan

By N. Sathiya Moorthy

DGE92312

Coming as it did after the Aluthgama incident, BBS leader, Ven Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero’s call for Pope Francis to apologise to Sri Lanka’s Sinhala-Buddhists for alleged atrocities committed by Christian colonialists in the past centuries thankfully did not receive the kind of media attention that it might have got. Not to embarrass the Pope and themselves, too, when the Pope is set to visit the country in January 2015, all segments of the Sri Lankan society and government seem to have ignored the Thero’s call.

“Previous Popes have publicly apologised to certain countries because they destroyed, they killed. We had a similar situation, where most of the Buddhist temples were destroyed by them and Buddhist monks were killed. We would like to see a public apology from the Pope,” Gnanasara was quoted by the local media as telling a meeting with foreign correspondents in Colombo, recently. “We are waiting till the Pope visits us to see what he is going to say about the crimes here,” he reportedly said adding, “The Portuguese, Dutch and the British are all the same to us.”

The Thero and his Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) have been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the past couple of years, all pertaining to anti-Muslim violence in the nation’s Sinhala areas. The inevitable and mostly justified negative coverage of the two has only increased after the Aluthgama incident in mid-June. It’s unclear how Gnanasara wants the Pope to apologise to the Sinhala-Buddhists for the alleged past sins of ‘Christian-colonialists’ when not all of them belonged to the Roman Catholic denomination, which alone the Pope heads.

Continue reading ‘Dutu Gemunu, Ellaalan, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and the Invasion of Raja raja Chozhan’ »

India will not Support UN Probe into Sri Lanka’s final phase of war-Sushma Swaraj Tells GL Peiris

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G L Peiris meets his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Friday, Jul 11, 2014-pic: PTI

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G L Peiris meets his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Friday, Jul 11, 2014-pic: PTI


The Indian Government, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will not support the UNHRC probe into alleged human rights violations during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s battle against terrorism.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told her Sri Lankan counterpart Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday that India would uphold the objection to a UN probe that India had articulated in April while abstaining from voting for the US-sponsored Resolution against Sri Lanka.

“We feel that international bodies need to address human rights concerns in a cooperative manner with the countries concerned, and not in a punitive manner,” Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin was quoted as saying.

Continue reading ‘India will not Support UN Probe into Sri Lanka’s final phase of war-Sushma Swaraj Tells GL Peiris’ »

Germany wins World Cup with extra-time victory over Argentina – Mario Gotze scored in the 113th minute after the two teams were tied 0-0 in regulation time.

RIO DI JANIERO, BRAZIL—Germany has defeated Argentina 1-0 to win the World Cup in extra time.

pic courtesy of: @BBCSport

pic courtesy of: @BBCSport

Mario Gotze scored in the 113th minute after the two teams were tied 0-0 in regulation time.

Germany is the first European country to win a World Cup in South America.

It is Germany’s fourth world title and first since 1990.

Courtesy: The Associated Press

Bodu Bala Sena Demand for a Vatican Apology, Impending Visit of Pope Francis and the Portugese Conquest of Sri Lanka.

by
C.A.Chandraprema

Blessed Joseph Vaz

Blessed Joseph Vaz-(21 April 1651, Benaulim-16 January 1711, Kandy)

Last week, the Bodu Bala Sena said that when the Pope visits this country, he should apologize for the crimes committed against Buddhists by the Christian colonial powers. When the government of Sri Lanka invited the Pope to visit this country, it was obviously not to extract an apology from his holiness, but for him to minister to the Roman Catholics in this country. As the head of the Roman Catholic church, the Pope cannot apologize for anything done by either the Dutch or the British in this country as they did not belong to his church. The Portuguese however were Roman Catholics. In the 15th century, the Portuguese started off on an era of global exploration and conquest armed with a fearful Papal Bull titled ‘Dum Diversas’ issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1452 and reaffirmed by several subsequent Popes. The English translation of the operational part of this document would go as follows:

“…we grant to you (King Alfonso of Portugal) full and free power, through the Apostolic authority by this edict, to invade, conquer, fight, subjugate the Saracens (Muslims) and pagans, and other infidels and other enemies of Christ, and wherever established their Kingdoms, Duchies, Royal Palaces, Principalities and other dominions, lands, places, estates, camps and any other possessions, mobile and immobile goods found in all these places and held in whatever name, and held and possessed by the same Saracens, Pagans, infidels, and the enemies of Christ, also realms, duchies, royal palaces, principalities and other dominions, lands, places, estates, camps, possessions of the king or prince or of the kings or princes, and to lead their persons in perpetual servitude, and to apply and appropriate realms, duchies, royal palaces, principalities and other dominions, possessions and goods of this kind to you and your use and your successors the Kings of Portugal.”
Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Demand for a Vatican Apology, Impending Visit of Pope Francis and the Portugese Conquest of Sri Lanka.’ »

“Do the Minorities in Sri Lanka no Longer Have Entitlement to the Country”?

In Dambulla, Apr 20, 2012

In Dambulla, Apr 20, 2012


by

Gnana Moonesinghe


“Methinks thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee”
- Shakespeare

The events of the past few days in Alutgama and Beruwela have sent shock waves to the rest of the country. One sways in horror. It is unbelievable to imagine that, so soon after the end of the ethnic war in the North some people are busy preparing the ground carefully to create yet another ethnic violence.

The latest spurt in anti- Muslim posturing and violence began with the widely known Dambulla incidents, and it is unbelievable that the situation has been allowed to grow from bad to worse with the latest confrontations in the South. Muslim conflict is capable of creating not one Prabhakaran but several of a variety and of a lethal nature, that this country has not experienced before. We would be well advised not to behave like the chandi mama’s of the local legends, their escapades portrayed to end in glory.

It would seem a renewal of faith for the self- declared extremists from among the Sinhala Buddhists to stir ethnic and religious controversies and tritely show the impermanence of their position within the country. It is like playing the fiddle while the country is burning with no care or concern for the consequences. Being members of the clergy the act of faith on which their actions are based is that it is possible to get away Scot free even after creating untold damage to life and property AND above all to man’s dignity. They have indeed got away in the past without facing the wrath of the law.
Continue reading ‘“Do the Minorities in Sri Lanka no Longer Have Entitlement to the Country”?’ »

Anti-Muslim Riots of 1915, Anti-Tamil Pogrom of July 1983 and the Anti-Muslim Violence of June 2014

by
Dr. Devanesan Nesiah

Black July '83

Black July ’83

It is unlikely that there is anyone living who remembers the anti -Muslim riots of 1915. In any case, apart from the fact that most of the victims were Muslims and most of the perpetrators were Sinhalese, there are few similarities between the riots of 1915 and 2014. In 1915 the British administration, in sharp contrast to our own today crushed the violence firmly and quickly.

In fact the punishments they meted out were both needlessly cruel and indiscriminate. Many Sinhalese who were innocent of terrorism were summarily executed or incarcerated without due process.

In contrast, the parallels between the anti-Muslim riots of June 2014 and the anti-Tamil pogrom of July 1983 are uncanny. In both cases there were many Sinhalese families and individuals who incurred much cost and great risk in helping individuals and families attacked or under risk of attack to escape.
Continue reading ‘Anti-Muslim Riots of 1915, Anti-Tamil Pogrom of July 1983 and the Anti-Muslim Violence of June 2014’ »

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

Marianne David Interviews DBS Jeyaraj for DailyFT

Pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Introduction

Forced into exile 25 years ago and compelled to stay away in order to stay alive, journalist D.B.S. Jeyaraj always dreamt of returning to Sri Lanka. That flame of hope flickered occasionally, as the war dragged on and then escalated despite intermittent ceasefires, but he never let it go out entirely.

JaffnaArchDK022514

Archway Beckoning welcome to Jaffna City

For David – who regards himself not as an emigrant but as an émigré – Sri Lanka has always been home, and the hope of return is what sustained him all these years. “The hope of return loomed larger and larger after the war ended and finally it became possible last year,” he told the Daily FT in an exclusive interview after returning to Toronto, Canada last December, following a two-month visit to Sri Lanka – his first since he left in 1988.

David, who stepped into the field of journalism 37 years ago when he joined Virakesari as a staff reporter in April 1977 and moved to English journalism in November 1981 when he joined The Island, left Sri Lanka in 1988 after articles on the plight of ordinary civilians suffering in the LTTE-IPKF clashes resulted in him being arrested, detained and produced in courts. Discharged when the Attorney General’s Department cleared him of any blame after many appearances in court, he was advised to leave Sri Lanka for some time.

Selected for a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University, David left Sri Lanka for the US, certain he would return in a year. When June 1989 approached and the time for return drew near, the situation in Sri Lanka worsened. He moved to Canada, but when he was preparing to return after about six months, his friend Richard de Zoysa, who was among those advising David not to return yet, was killed.

Then, as the war escalated, he realised there was no question of returning until peace was restored so he continued to live in Canada, waiting to come back home. During this period, he reported extensively on Sri Lanka and the war, despite being a vast distance away.

After prolonged agony and anxiety, it was September 2013. Having left Sri Lanka on 14 September 1988, 25 years had passed and he was determined to return, come what may. Finally D-day dawned. The return to his motherland was filled with emotion for David, who set foot in the Bandaranaike International Airport in October 2013, with a silent prayer on his lips and a sense of relief and happiness.

During his visit David stayed away from politics and spent time with family and friends, renewing relationships, and experiencing Sri Lanka all over again – from the northernmost point of Point Pedro to the southernmost point of Dondra. He found Sri Lanka had changed considerably, particularly Colombo. “I felt like Rip Van Winkle waking up after sleeping for years to find everything changed.”

In this wide-ranging interview, he speaks of his departure, return and two-month stay in Sri Lanka, during which he visited eight provinces, and shares his impressions of Sri Lanka and its people and plans for his next trip back home.

Following are excerpts:

Q: What were your first impressions of ‘home,’ seeing Sri Lanka after a quarter of a century?

A: I was feeling rather emotional. The situation had been so complex in the past that I thought I would never be able to set foot in the land of my birth. In recent times, after returning seemed possible, I had made several plans but due to different reasons they did not materialise.
Continue reading ‘D.B.S. Jeyaraj’s Journey Home: Journalist in Exile Visits Sri Lanka for the First Time in 25 Years’ »

Wayamba vs Uva Battle Unfolds as Best of Buddies Dayasiri Jayasekera and Harin Fernando Brawl Before TV.

By

Don Manu

Once Dayasiri Jayasekera, the Elder and Harin Fernando, the Younger, were the best of buddies, soul mates who often met to sing and dance and browse their grouses in the familiar tavern of life found on the same side of the run down street.

There, seated on worn out wooden benches, they would tattle and ride their hobby horses, shed tears on their own wretched states and cast furtive, envious glances at the swinging doors of the high society saloon across the road, watching the goings and comings of the exclusive members only club. So many entered but so few left and they wondered why. Was it because the sun uppers and the sun downers were free, as the story went, for the board at the entrance said, no hard stuff sold? It seemed so easy to get in but so hard to leave. With the world as one’s oyster, none ever wanted to.

But yet they pledged their undying loyalty to their own old haunt where the tab was always presented, invariably with a charge sheet; and swore — if not with blood then with their spirits — they will never betray the old water hole. Come what may, they vowed as brothers of a kind often do, they will endure the dark of the moonless night; wait the dawn for their sun to rise.

Continue reading ‘Wayamba vs Uva Battle Unfolds as Best of Buddies Dayasiri Jayasekera and Harin Fernando Brawl Before TV.’ »

“Col”Karuna,Pillaiyan and Douglas Devananda May be Summoned Before Presidential Commission on Disappearances.

by
Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

Former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, Ministers Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan (Karuna) and Douglas Devananda would be summoned for inquiry if there is concrete evidence against them, over missing persons in the North and East, as claimed by the complainants, the Presidential Commission on Disappearances said.

This was in response to a Ceylon Today query about Tamil media claiming there were complaints, made to the commission, against these politicians.

Chairman of the Commission, Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama, admitted to Ceylon Today there were complaints against them. He said, “If there is concrete evidence against these politicians, they would be summoned for inquiry.”

Continue reading ‘“Col”Karuna,Pillaiyan and Douglas Devananda May be Summoned Before Presidential Commission on Disappearances.’ »

Did Cyril Ramaphosa Visit Sri Lanka to watch a Cricket Match and have a cup of Tea?

by

Kalana Senaratne

Some wondered whether the recent visit of Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s Deputy President, amounted to unwarranted intervention. Some thought he was a mediator. For some others, he was just a tourist. Minister Wimal Weerawansa informed the Lankadeepa newspaper that there was no problem in Ramaphosa having a cup of tea or watching a cricket match.

Deputy President of South Africa in Jaffna-July 8, 2014-pic courtesy of: Northern Provincial Council

Deputy President of South Africa in Jaffna-July 8, 2014-pic courtesy of: Northern Provincial Council

Finally the government, through the Deputy Minister for External Affairs, sought to assure the Opposition and the people that there is nothing to worry; that South Africa will not act as mediator in the Sri Lankan conflict; that Ramaphosa was here to share his views about truth and reconciliation. For President Rajapaksa had wanted to ascertain what lessons, if any, could be taken from the famous Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process in South Africa (Colombo Gazette, July 10, 2014). As you know, there is a great thirst for knowledge about matters concerning TRCs.

The Sri Lankan leadership thrives precisely on generating confusion; some-thing is happening, some other things are not happening, every one knows what’s happening, and yet no one knows what’s actually happening. So it’s necessary to explore, to expose, what appears to be happening here, and there are enough reasons to be wary about this new Ramaphosa-phase of the Sri Lankan conflict. One has no problems with strategic political/diplomatic moves that lead to greater justice, peace and reconciliation. But this one, of getting South Africa involved, is a move which appears to be dubious from the start. Why so?

Continue reading ‘Did Cyril Ramaphosa Visit Sri Lanka to watch a Cricket Match and have a cup of Tea?’ »

Rajapaksa Regime Should Have Appointed Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva as Northern Province Governor Instead of Re-appointing Gen. Chandrasiri for a Second Term?

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

“The entire Sinhalese-controlled media went along with JR Jayewardene’s reasoning. Only one Sinhalese journalist, Mervyn de Silva of the Lanka Guardian, sensed the danger. In his news analysis, titled ‘Who buried the TULF?’ in the 1 August 1984 issue he wrote: ‘How very short-sighted and stupid.’”

Justice Sarath Silva

Justice Sarath Silva

(T. Sabaratnam, ‘Pirapaharan’ Chapter 19, ‘Burying the TULF’)

If the Rajapaksa administration wanted to keep the North on a tight rein given its secessionist political impulses and thereby reassure the armed forces stationed there, it could and should have appointed retired Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, a tough minded Sinhala Buddhist nationalist, as the Governor, instead of reappointing (retd) Gen Chandrasiri for a second five year term.

If you, as a government, treat a people or a province in a manner separate from that in which you treat the rest of the country, you are in effect admitting that the people concerned are a separate people and the province a separate entity. In short by ensuring a separate political treatment of an area and its people, you are ensuring a separate political existence and consciousness; reinforcing claims of separate nationhood and a separate state.

Even if a province has a dangerously and repulsively separatist orientation and political culture, no government should exacerbate it by treating the said province as a separate entity. Pakistan has civilian governors. Sri Lanka’s Northern Province has the next worst thing to a military governor. It has an ex-military governor.
Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Regime Should Have Appointed Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva as Northern Province Governor Instead of Re-appointing Gen. Chandrasiri for a Second Term?’ »

President Rajapaksa Re-appoints Gen.Chandrasiri as Northern Province Governor Despite Tamil National Alliance Objections.

By

Dharisha Bastians

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has reappointed a former military commander as Northern Province Governor, ignoring the strong objections of the Tamil National Alliance that is running the provincial administration in the formerly embattled region.

pic: np.gov.lk

pic: np.gov.lk

He was sworn in as the Governor of Northern Province again by the President at Temple Trees yesterday, the Government Information Department said.

“The Governor will hold office for a period of 5 year term as per the Sri Lankan Constitution. He was initially appointed as the Governor of the Northern Province on 12 July 2009, the very same day he retired from the Sri Lanka Army,” the official Government news portal said.

The ex-military officer has served in the Northern Province as a commander during the war.

Northern Province Chief Minister Justice C.V. Wigneswaran told Daily FT that the appointment signalled yet another broken promise from the Government. “I see this more importantly as an indication of the intent to pursue a non-collaborative, coercive, military led relationship with the Tamils,” the Chief Minister charged.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Re-appoints Gen.Chandrasiri as Northern Province Governor Despite Tamil National Alliance Objections.’ »

Sri Lankans Using Seychelles as Residential Address Have Opened Swiss Bank Accounts Alleges UNP Parliamentarian Dr.Harsha de Silva.

By

Dharisha Bastians

Sri Lankan deposits in Swiss bank accounts are now being listed under residential addresses in offshore havens like Seychelles, as Switzerland tightens financial regulations in line with European banking standards, United National Party Parliamentarian and Economist Dr. Harsha De Silva revealed yesterday.

According to the UNP Legislator, the most recent report from the Swiss Central Bank reveals that deposits by Sri Lankan citizens amounted to 83 million Swiss Francs in 2013, down from 87 million in 2010. De Silva said that in 2013, 65 million Swiss francs were in the form of indirect deposits.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankans Using Seychelles as Residential Address Have Opened Swiss Bank Accounts Alleges UNP Parliamentarian Dr.Harsha de Silva.’ »

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Castigates Govt for Issuing Circular Circumscribing Independence of Non -Governmental Organizations.

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

The circular limiting the NGO operations to their “annual action plans” and strictly “prohibiting press conferences, workshops, training for journalists, and dissemination of press releases,” came under heated debate in Parliament yesterday.

Highlighting the circular number MOD/NGO/mon/4 dated 1st July 2014 1.7.2014 the Director/ Registrar of the National Secretariat for Non-Government Organizations has issued, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe pointed out lack of legal provisions. “At the very outset we wish to point out that neither the Ministry nor any organizations operating under it has the power or authority to issue such directions to NGOs.

Continue reading ‘Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Castigates Govt for Issuing Circular Circumscribing Independence of Non -Governmental Organizations.’ »

TNA Must Promote Accountability and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka by Exposing LTTE Human Rights Violations at the UN Probe.

By

D.B.S.JEYARAJ

Outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navanetham Pillay known as Navi Pillay has presented a “fait accompli” as her parting gift to an unreceptive Sri Lanka!

Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the opening day of the 26th session of the Human Rights Council. 10 June 2014. UN Photo/ Jean-Marc Ferré

Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the opening day of the 26th session of the Human Rights Council. 10 June 2014. UN Photo/ Jean-Marc Ferré

After weeks of speculation and expectation the UN Human rights chief has formally announced the setting up of an investigative panel to conduct a comprehensive probe of alleged human rights violations committed by both sides during the war between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).The investigation that is mandated by a resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva during March 2014 will delve into related and relevant incidents that occurred between the years 2002 and 2009.

Protest held outside @USEmbSL condemning US for bringing unfair war crimes allegation-pic via: twitter.com/AzzamAmeen

Protest held outside @USEmbSL condemning US for bringing unfair war crimes allegation-Jan 9, 2014-pic via: twitter.com/AzzamAmeen

As is well known, in March 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted resolution 25/1 entitled ‘Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ which requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) which examined the last years of the armed conflict.
Continue reading ‘TNA Must Promote Accountability and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka by Exposing LTTE Human Rights Violations at the UN Probe.’ »

LTTE-TNA Nexus:Why the TNA was Formed and How the LTTE Gained Control of it.

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The suggestion made in this column last week that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) should promote truth, accountability and reconciliation by taking the lead in presenting evidence before the investigation to be conducted by the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s office has evoked much controversy

LTTE - TNA Meeting in Kilinochchi-pic courtesy of: PTI

LTTE – TNA Meeting in Kilinochchi-pic courtesy of: PTI

Overseas activists of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) together with their supporters and fellow travelers are furious at the suggestion as anticipated.

In spite of claims that the tigers are now pussycats chanting the manthra of human rights the reaction by these LTTE and pro-LTTE elements shows that the tiger has not changed its stripes.
Continue reading ‘LTTE-TNA Nexus:Why the TNA was Formed and How the LTTE Gained Control of it.’ »

Former Sinhala Soldier Who Collaborated with LTTE During War Arrested in Malaysia Along with Two Tamils and One Muslim


By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The Malaysian Police in a sweeping counter terrorist operation launched simultaneously on Thursday July 3rd 2014 arrested four persons of Sri Lankan origin suspected of terrorist activity with alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) and an Islamic extremist group.

pic courtesy of:The Star-Malaysia

pic courtesy of:The Star-Malaysia

It is learnt reliably that one of those arrested is a Sinhalese and another a Sri Lankan Muslim while the other two arrested are Sri Lankan Tamils.

Malaysian newspapers reported that the four arrested persons are aged 32,37,42 and 45.

Operatives of the Malaysian Police Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division(SB-CTD) in a coordinated operation launched simultaneously arrested the four suspects in the locations of Serdang,Sentul,Sungai Besi and Central Kuala Lumpur.
Continue reading ‘Former Sinhala Soldier Who Collaborated with LTTE During War Arrested in Malaysia Along with Two Tamils and One Muslim’ »

Sri Lankan Govt has no plan to Utilise South Africa or Cyril Ramaphosa as an International Mediator says External Affairs Deputy Minister Neomal Fernando.

By Menaka Indrakumar and Zahrah Imtiaz

Deputy Minister of External Affairs, Neomal Perera told Parliament South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa visited the country as a special envoy to Sri Lanka, to share South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) experience.

He was responding to a question on the purpose of Ramaphosa’s visit posed by Democratic National Alliance (DNA) MP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

Dissanayake added the government’s stance that Cyril Ramaphosa, being a South African, was in the country to watch the cricket match and tour the country, could not be accepted, given that the South African mostly visited government representatives.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Govt has no plan to Utilise South Africa or Cyril Ramaphosa as an International Mediator says External Affairs Deputy Minister Neomal Fernando.’ »

AHM Azwer MP Tells Parliament that he is Receiving Telephone calls and SMS Messages Threatening him with Death.


by

Saman Indrajith

UPFA National List MP A. H. M. Azwer on Wednesday complained to Parliament that certain Lankan Muslims in West Asian countries had given him threatening calls and sent SMS to his mobile phone that they would kill him for siding with the Sinhala Government.

MP Azwer participating in the debate on two regulations under the Marine Pollution Prevention Act Nos 1 and 2 on Wednesday, said: “I am first a Muslim and last a Muslim. I will defend my religion and my community and also defend my motherland until my last breath. I shall never betray my community or my motherland for a pot of porridge as unashamedly alleged by these miscreants who send me SMS and threatening calls.”

Continue reading ‘AHM Azwer MP Tells Parliament that he is Receiving Telephone calls and SMS Messages Threatening him with Death.’ »

Wigneswaran Tells Ramaphosa that Roads Built in North helped Army to keep quick and effective control over the area and for Southerners Initially to make Triumphal Entry into areas of capture

By

Dharisha Bastians

The South African initiatives to assist reconciliation in Sri Lanka will complement processes unfolding at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and bilaterally with India and other international partners, Pretoria’s Special Envoy Cyril Ramaphosa observed during his visit to Jaffna this week.

Deputy President of South Africa calls on Chief Minister-08 July 2014-pic: np.gov.lk

Deputy President of South Africa calls on Chief Minister-08 July 2014-pic: np.gov.lk

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran told the Daily FT that he had asked Deputy President Ramaphosa if South Africa’s reconciliation efforts in Sri Lanka were a separate exercise from the Indian initiatives, the UNHRC resolutions in Geneva and attempts by other Western countries to resolve the issue.

“He assured us that it was a complementary exercise,” the Chief Minister noted, following the meeting with Ramaphosa at the Tilco Hotel in Jaffna on Tuesday.

Continue reading ‘Wigneswaran Tells Ramaphosa that Roads Built in North helped Army to keep quick and effective control over the area and for Southerners Initially to make Triumphal Entry into areas of capture’ »

Wayamba vs Uva: UPFA North Western Province Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara and UNP Badulla District MP Harin Fernando Assault and Abuse Each Other on TV Show.

A brawl between Wayamba Chief Minister (CM), Dayasiri Jayasekara, and UNP Badulla District MP, Harin Fernando, on Wednesday, forced the organizers of Derana TV’s Waada Pitiya, which was to be telecast on Tuesday, to cancel the programme.

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At the beginning of the programme, Fernando referred to Jayasekara as “I say” and “eunuch”. These derogatory words irked Jayasekera, leading to a situation, where the organizers were unable to control the explosive situation which transpired as a result.

The situation got out of hand when Jayasekara told Fernando, that he was heaping conditions on the UNP leadership if he was to be considered as their Chief Ministerial candidate for the forthcoming Uva Provincial Council elections.
Continue reading ‘Wayamba vs Uva: UPFA North Western Province Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara and UNP Badulla District MP Harin Fernando Assault and Abuse Each Other on TV Show.’ »

External Affairs Ministry Issues Statement Clarifying Circular sent by Defence Ministry to Non Governmental Organizations

The Ministry of External Affairs yesterday issued a statement regarding the recent Defence Ministry directives to Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Following is the full text of the statement:


The attention of this Ministry has been drawn to several media reports and expressions of concern relating to recent instructions issued by the Director/Registrar of the National Secretariat for Non Governmental organisations on the conduct of legitimate activities by NGOs

Continue reading ‘External Affairs Ministry Issues Statement Clarifying Circular sent by Defence Ministry to Non Governmental Organizations’ »

Penang Deputy Chief Minister Prof.Ramasamy Should Resign from Public Office in Malaysia and Support LTTE in Personal Capacity.

DAP ADUN for Perai and current Deputy Chief Minister II, Professor P.Ramasamy is a known associate of LTTE and a self-acknowledged supporter of separatists and freedom fighters in Sri Lanka.

Prof. Dr. Ramasamy Palanisamy  Deputy Chief Minister of Penang

Prof. Dr. Ramasamy Palanisamy
Deputy Chief Minister of Penang

Professor Ramasamy was appointed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to be one of the members of its Constitutional Affairs Committee in 2003.

The LTTE was the only militant group to assassinate two world leaders: Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993 and former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991,.

Continue reading ‘Penang Deputy Chief Minister Prof.Ramasamy Should Resign from Public Office in Malaysia and Support LTTE in Personal Capacity.’ »

Complaints Lodged with Malaysian Police Against Penang Deputy Chief Minister Dr.P.Ramasamy over Alleged Links with LTTE

Two police reports have been lodged against Malaysia’s Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy over alleged links with the LTTE, therakyatpost.com reported.

One of the groups also alleged that Ramasamy was brave as he is “backed up by the Tiger Eelam separatist group from Sri Lanka”.

The reports were lodged by two non-governmental organisations (NGOs), namely Pertubuhan Barisan 33 Malaysia and Penang Cyber Taikor, at the Central Seberang Prai police stations earlier today.

Continue reading ‘Complaints Lodged with Malaysian Police Against Penang Deputy Chief Minister Dr.P.Ramasamy over Alleged Links with LTTE’ »

TNA has Done Nothing to Check or Checkmate Separatist Tendencies Aired by Tamil Diaspora Groups.


by
N Sathiya Moorthy

Public posturing apart, moderate Tamils in Sri Lanka seem to want India to intercede on their behalf all over again and help arrive at a political settlement on the ethnic issue with their nation’s government. As the acknowledged – and proven – voice of the Tamils in the country, especially in the Northern Province, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has a responsibility which is seldom underlined in public discourses and private exchanges. It’s a truth that no stake-holder in the Sri Lankan ethnic context can wish away, or seek to undermine.

TNA media briefing in Geneva-Mar 26, 2014

TNA media briefing in Geneva-Mar 26, 2014

The advent of a BJP-led Narendra Modi Government has been an occasion for not only the Tamils but also the moderate Sinhalas in Sri Lanka to hope for positive Indian contribution to help create an overall atmosphere of amity and justice in the country. These expectations had soared ever since media reports and opinion polls had pointed to the increasing possibility of the BJP as a party and Modi as the man coming to rule India for the next five years.

However, extremists on both sides of the ethnic-divide had frowned on an Indian engagement with and in Sri Lanka, post-poll. They had saddled the Manmohan Singh Government with mischievous and misconceived perceptions of inaction.

Continue reading ‘TNA has Done Nothing to Check or Checkmate Separatist Tendencies Aired by Tamil Diaspora Groups.’ »

Sri Lanka born Rengan Rajaratnam found not guilty of a single charge of conspiracy to commit insider trading

First insider trading loss for Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara’s

By Sital S. Patel

Raj Rajaratnam’s brother ends the winning streak of insider trading cases gone after by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s.

After just one day of deliberations, a jury on Tuesday found Rengan Rajaratnam not guilty of a single charge of conspiracy to commit insider trading.

Rengan Rajaratnam (center L) embraces his lawyer Daniel Gitner as they exit the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Lower Manhattan July 8, 2014.  Credit: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Rengan Rajaratnam (center L) embraces his lawyer Daniel Gitner as they exit the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Lower Manhattan July 8, 2014.
Credit: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The verdict is a blow for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office, who has produced 85 convictions by trial or guilty pleas to insider trading. Rengan’s verdict makes it the first insider trading loss for Bharara.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka born Rengan Rajaratnam found not guilty of a single charge of conspiracy to commit insider trading’ »

Is South Africa Involved in Sri Lanka to Facilitate a Political Settlement to the Ethnic Problem or Not?

By

Dharisha Bastians

pic courtesy: BBC Sinhala

pic courtesy: BBC Sinhala

Jacob Zuma, South African President, appointed a special envoy to oversee the African nation’s conflict resolution and reconciliation initiatives in two post-war societies earlier this year. In civil war struck South Sudan, Zuma’s appointee and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has his work cut out for him. But in Sri Lanka, where for five years a relative peace has reigned, the road to reconciliation seems equally laden with challenges.

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This past week, as it opened the doors to the first third party facilitation of a political settlement to the island’s long-standing ethnic question post-war, the Government of Sri Lanka behaved like it was hiding a dirty little secret. On the one hand, the veil of secrecy regarding the reasons for Ramaphosa’s visit had everything to do with its internal crises, with coalition allies like Wimal Weerawansa’s NFF and the hardline JHU strongly opposing third party involvement in the evolution of a long-term power sharing deal with the Tamil minority. But it was also the desire of the South African Special Envoy that the matters and modus operandi under discussion remain in the private sphere until agreement can be reached on how the process to restart the discussion on devolution issues can go forward.

Continue reading ‘Is South Africa Involved in Sri Lanka to Facilitate a Political Settlement to the Ethnic Problem or Not?’ »

Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Made Derogatory Remarks about Holy Quran Reports Director-General of Muslim Religious Affairs.

Submitting an observation report to the Colombo Fort Magistrate, the Director General of Muslim Religious Affairs affirmed that the statement made by Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera to the media recently contains derogatory remarks on Quran.

The Director General of Muslim Religious Affairs had submitted this report on an order issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage to prepare independent and rational report into the content of the concerned video footage to ascertain whether his speech contained derogatory remarks on Quran.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Made Derogatory Remarks about Holy Quran Reports Director-General of Muslim Religious Affairs.’ »

Australian Minister Scott Morrison Denies in Colombo that Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers were “Locked up,given little food and Treated worse than dogs”.

By

Meera Srinivasan

Australia has denied Sri Lankan migrants’ allegations that they were abused and treated badly by its authorities in a recent mid-sea operation that has now spiralled into an issue of refugees’ safety.

Australian Minister Scott Morrison, who was in Colombo, termed the claims by some of the 41 returned asylum-seekers “offensive.”

“I find those allegations offensive and reject them absolutely,” news agency AFP quoted him as saying, following an event where he, along with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, commissioned two boats donated by Australia to combat people-smuggling.

Continue reading ‘Australian Minister Scott Morrison Denies in Colombo that Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers were “Locked up,given little food and Treated worse than dogs”.’ »

Low Growl of Defence Bureaucracy Directed Towards NGO’s Could be Followed by Snarl and then a Bite


BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

Just as a criticism of the Ministry of Sports or the Cricket Control Board, are in no way a critique of Sri Lanka’s cricket team or its sportsmen and women, I must clarify that my critique of the Defense bureaucracy is in no way a critique of the Sri Lankan armed forces.

The low growl of the Defense bureaucracy in the direction of the NGOs is a dangerous portent. A growl could be followed by snarl and then a bite. What applies to the NGOs could then be tried out on other autonomous civic institutions and associations, which would include the mass media, trade unions, students unions, teachers unions etc.

Continue reading ‘Low Growl of Defence Bureaucracy Directed Towards NGO’s Could be Followed by Snarl and then a Bite’ »

Brazil hit by a German Hurricane at FIFA World Cup Soccer Semi-Final.

Brazilians’ leonine roar which reverberated through Belo Horizonte at the outset of the FIFA semifinals on Tuesday gave way to an agonizing groan heard continents away. With shock and dismay, football crazy Brazilians watched their beloved Selecao collapse under a German onslaught.

Front page of Newspaper-July 9, 2014-Metro Brasília, published in Brasília, Brazil

Front page of Newspaper-July 9, 2014-Metro Brasília, published in Brasília, Brazil-(pic: newseum)

Mournful sighs that 200 million Brazilians collectively heaved, unable to come to terms with their worst ever defeat, were strong enough to form a hurricane sweeping across South America. There was nary a dry eye in the continent-sized Brazil on that fateful day. This must be a period of unofficial national mourning for that Latin American nation which lives and breathes football.

One person’s agony is another person’s ecstasy in sports. Even cripples must have danced in the streets of Germany, so to speak, on seeing their boys make mincemeat of the mighty Brazilians in a faraway land.

Continue reading ‘Brazil hit by a German Hurricane at FIFA World Cup Soccer Semi-Final.’ »

Vested interests push asylum propaganda in Australia to profit from a lucrative trade


by

Bandula Jayasekara

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I COULDN’T help reading over and over The Australian’s editorial of July 7 that said: “Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser doesn’t help his standing by likening the return of Tamils to Sri Lanka to handing over Jewish refugees to Nazi Germany. Such intemperance can only damage Mr Fraser’s cause.” It certainly has, as has the hysterical language in the “lopsided” asylum debate in Australia in the past few days.

A misconception has been created among some Australians regarding asylum-seekers arriving from Sri Lanka because of a huge and very well-funded misinformation campaign carried out by parties with vested interests. Their claims are unfounded and unbelievable. Even Ripley would have said “You cannot believe it” instead of “Believe it or not!”

Continue reading ‘Vested interests push asylum propaganda in Australia to profit from a lucrative trade’ »

Military Spokesperson Reiterates Need to Govern NGO Sector to Ensure it does not Operate Beyond Mandate.


By

Shamindra Ferdinando

Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya yesterday said there was a requirement to govern the NGO sector to ensure that it didn’t operate beyond its mandate.

Addressing the weekly media briefing at the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS), Brig. Wanigasooriya said that the NGO sector was governed by rules and regulations introduced in 1980, 1998 as well as 1999.

The military spokesman called the media briefing in the wake of the National Secretariat for NGOs directing registered NGOs not to engage in any activity outside their mandate. Asked by The Island whether any specific reason prompted the NGO Secretariat which comes under the purview of the Defence Ministry to issue fresh instructions, Brigadier Wanigasooriya said: “No special reason.”

Continue reading ‘Military Spokesperson Reiterates Need to Govern NGO Sector to Ensure it does not Operate Beyond Mandate.’ »

UNP Demands that Govt and its Defence Ministry Relinquishes Stranglehold on Civil Society.

Karu Jayasuriya M.P.

Karu Jayasuriya M.P.

By

Karu Jayasuriya

Striking a chilling blow to civil society and the freedom of assembly and free expression in Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Defence has issued a circular to Non Governmental Organisations virtually banning them from expressing views to the public.

The circular that has been sent out to over 1000 NGOs from the National NGO Secretariat, that strangely functions under the Ministry of Defence, even five years after the war ended, has banned the organisations from holding press conferences, workshops and even issuing a simple media release.
Under the Sri Lankan Constitution, any citizen, irrespective of whether they belong to an association, is guaranteed the right of free expression. They are guaranteed the right to peacefully assemble.

Continue reading ‘UNP Demands that Govt and its Defence Ministry Relinquishes Stranglehold on Civil Society.’ »

Controversial US Envoy to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sison Nominated as US Deputy-Ambassador to UN and UN Security Council in an Intriguing Move by President Obama

President Barack Obama today announced his intent to nominate the current US Envoy in Sri Lanka Ambassador Michele J. Sison as Deputy Ambassador of the United States in the UN and Security Council of the United Nations.

Ambassador Michele J. Sison, a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 29, 2012 as the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives.

USEMBSLDK

Quote and Unquote | US Ambassodor in Colombo, Michele J. Sison addressing the Foreign Correspondents’ Association at American Centre – April 3, 2014-Picture by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
Continue reading ‘Controversial US Envoy to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sison Nominated as US Deputy-Ambassador to UN and UN Security Council in an Intriguing Move by President Obama’ »

Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Demands Apology from Pope Francis when visiting Sri Lanka for the “Crimes” of the Portugese, Dutch and British

Bodu Bala Sena Leader Ven.Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera said Pope Francis should apologise to Sri Lankan Buddhists over the alleged atrocities committed by Christian colonialists.

pic via: twitter.com/Pontifex

pic via: twitter.com/Pontifex

“Previous Popes have publicly apologised to certain countries because they destroyed, they killed. We had a similar situation, where most of the Buddhist temples were destroyed by them and Buddhist monks were killed. We would like to see a public apology from him,” Gnanasara Thera told a meeting with foreign correspondents in Colombo.
Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Demands Apology from Pope Francis when visiting Sri Lanka for the “Crimes” of the Portugese, Dutch and British’ »

Rajapaksa Regime Launches Attack on US Envoy Michele J Sison to Pressure Washington to Withdraw her as Singapore did with US diplomat Mason Hendrickson

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

About a month ago, State media posted a photo of US Ambassador in Colombo Michele J. Sison tagged as common candidate of the Opposition. The State owned Dinamina newspaper ran a lead news story stating that there was a battle to become the Opposition’s common candidate.

U.S. Ambassador Michele J. Sison, observes restoration work at archeological sites at the Rajagala Buddhist Monastery, along with Ven. Dambara Amila Thero, Dr. N.L.A. Karunaratne, and Professor P.B. Mandawala of Sri Jayewardenepura University-May 2014-pic: US Embassy

U.S. Ambassador Michele J. Sison, observes restoration work at archeological sites at the Rajagala Buddhist Monastery, along with Ven. Dambara Amila Thero, Dr. N.L.A. Karunaratne, and Professor P.B. Mandawala of Sri Jayewardenepura University-May 2014-pic: US Embassy

The report said that the name of Ms. Sison was also among the names of contending Opposition common candidates. The entire lead story aimed at ridiculing the US ambassador. The government again clashed with her over USAID funding an NGO project for educating the public.

All are talking about how the Rajapaksa regime gained strength to clash with the US. One of our sources, who is close to the government hierarchy, told us that Singapore is the source of strength. Singapore’s Deputy Foreign Minister, who visited Sri Lanka recently, advised the island nation to severely deal with any attempt by the US to interfere in the internal affairs of the country. He said that the US would step back if the government faced the challenge bravely.
Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Regime Launches Attack on US Envoy Michele J Sison to Pressure Washington to Withdraw her as Singapore did with US diplomat Mason Hendrickson’ »

Bodu Bala Sena Wants Govt to Ban the Forum of Muslim Associations in Sri Lanka Known as the “National Shoora Council”.

By

Dasun Edirisinghe

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation yesterday demanded that the government ban the National Shoora Council (NSC), which also went as the National Consultative Council.

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Addressing a media conference at the BBS Operations Office in Kirulapone, its General Secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera said that NSC was a part of an administrative structure of Muslim countries, but it was not so here.

He said that some Muslim countries called their Parliament the NSC or part of the House in some others.

“Issuing a statement to media, the NSC recently accused the BBS of being responsible for Alutgama mayhem, but we asked how can they spread false statements without having any valid evidence or conclusions of an investigation,” Gnanasara Thera said.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Wants Govt to Ban the Forum of Muslim Associations in Sri Lanka Known as the “National Shoora Council”.’ »

23 Buddhist Organizations Issue Joint Statement Revealing the “True Story” Behind the June 15th Clashes in Aluthgama

Twenty three Buddhist organizations have issued a joint statement, which they claim to be the true story behind the Aluthgama clashes. They also expressed disappointment over the manner in which the media reported the incident saying it was evident that a media censorship imposed by the authorities prevented the media from reporting the truth.

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The organizations are:All Ceylon Buddhist Congress, Colombo Young Men’s Buddhist Association, Government Service Buddhist Association, Colombo Parama Vinnartha Buddhist Association, Victory Association. Organization of United Buddhist Associations, Dharma Vijaya Foundation, National Bhikku Conference, Bodu Bala Sena, Sinhala Rawaya National Association, Sinhala Veera Vidana, National Association of Eminent Persons, Buddhist Power Circle, Hela Bodu Saviya, Patriotic Teacher’s Association. Swarna Hansa Padanama, Hela Deya Wadanno, Rawana Saviya National Association, Hela Yugaya National Organization, Hela Vijaya National Movement, National Movement for Protection of Historical Sites, Shanthi Padanama and Sri Lanka Maha Bodi Padanama.

The Statement reads:
Continue reading ‘23 Buddhist Organizations Issue Joint Statement Revealing the “True Story” Behind the June 15th Clashes in Aluthgama’ »