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Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Minister Dismisses Northern Province Council Resolution Calling for Direct Flights to India From Jaffna and Trincomalee as “Ridiculous”.

by

Meera Srinivasan

The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has asked the governments of Sri Lanka and India to take steps to introduce direct flights from Palali and Trincomalee to India for the benefit of Tamils living in the north and east of the island nation.

However, a day after news of the resolution, passed at the council’s sixth session held in Jaffna on Tuesday, was out, Civil Aviation Minister Pryankara Jayaratne said the demand of the administration, led by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), was “ridiculous,” a media report in Colombo said.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Minister Dismisses Northern Province Council Resolution Calling for Direct Flights to India From Jaffna and Trincomalee as “Ridiculous”.’ »

Indian Supreme Court restrains Tamil Nadu Govt from Releasing the Seven Prisoners Convicted for Assassinating Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Restraining the Tamil Nadu government from releasing seven prisoners who were convicted for assasinating former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the apex court on Thursday directed the state to maintain status quo on the issue.

There have been procedural lapses by the TN govt in its decision to release seven convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the bench observed.

Though the government has power to remit sentence, it has to follow the laid down procedure, the court said.

Continue reading ‘Indian Supreme Court restrains Tamil Nadu Govt from Releasing the Seven Prisoners Convicted for Assassinating Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.’ »

“Where Will the Four Sri Lankans Convicted in Rajiv Gandhi Murder Case Go if and When they are released”?

BY
K. T. Sangameswaran& S. Vijaykumar

Where will the four Sri Lankans – Murugan, Santhan, Jayakumar and Robert Payas – life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, go in the event of their release?

This question is being discussed in legal circles in the wake of the State government’s announcement that the Cabinet had decided to release all the seven convicts in the case.

Continue reading ‘“Where Will the Four Sri Lankans Convicted in Rajiv Gandhi Murder Case Go if and When they are released”?’ »

Families of Rajiv Gandhi Case Convicts Rejoice with Loved ones at Emotional Reunion in Jail

By

S. Vijay Kumar, P. V. V. Murthi& R. Arivanantham

It was an emotional get-together of family members with Perarivalan and Murugan, whose death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, at the Vellore Central Jail on Tuesday.

Continue reading ‘Families of Rajiv Gandhi Case Convicts Rejoice with Loved ones at Emotional Reunion in Jail’ »

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi Running Govt for Past 10 years Responsible for Rajiv Gandhi Not getting Justice says AAP Leader Kumar Vishwas.

AAP leader Kumar Vishwas on Thursday slammed Rahul Gandhi for his remark that his father Rajiv Gandhi was being denied justice, saying it was a “drama” to divert people’s attention from core issues like corruption.

“Congress is in power since the past ten years at the centre and Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are running the government from 10 Janpath… if justice is not being done to the former prime minister who is responsible for it?” (sic) Mr. Vishwas, who will challenge the Mr. Gandhi scion from Amethi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, said.

Continue reading ‘Sonia and Rahul Gandhi Running Govt for Past 10 years Responsible for Rajiv Gandhi Not getting Justice says AAP Leader Kumar Vishwas.’ »

“If the Killers of a Former Prime Minister are Being released What Justice can the Common Man Expect”? Asks Rajiv Gandhi’s son Rahul Gandhi.

by

Omar Rashid

“If the killers of the former Prime Minister of this country are being released, what kind of justice should the common man expect,” asked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday after the Jayalalithaa government decided to release the seven persons convicted of killing Rajiv Gandhi.

Expressing grief over the development, which took place earlier on the day, Mr. Gandhi called his father a “martyr” but maintained that he was “personally against death penalty”.

“It’s not about my father. I am sad the killers of a PM are being freed,” he said during a day-long visit to his constituency Amethi where he addressed a gathering in Jagdishpur.

Continue reading ‘“If the Killers of a Former Prime Minister are Being released What Justice can the Common Man Expect”? Asks Rajiv Gandhi’s son Rahul Gandhi.’ »

Indian Central Govt Moves Supreme Court Opposing Tamil Nadu Govt Decision to release Seven Rajiv Gandhi Murder Convicts


Supreme Court has agreed to hear Centre’s plea against Tamil Nadu govt’s decision to release all the seven convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Centre has pleaded that the convicts should not be released during pendency of its review petition on commutation of death sentence.

The apex court has agreed to give an urgent hearing on Centre’s plea. The plea will be taken up later on Thursday.

Continue reading ‘Indian Central Govt Moves Supreme Court Opposing Tamil Nadu Govt Decision to release Seven Rajiv Gandhi Murder Convicts’ »

Jayalalithaa Scores Over Rival Karunanidhi in Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case Convicts Release Issue Regardless of Stand by Central Govt

by

B. Kolappan

(With additional reporting by S. Vijay Kumar)

In 1991, the AIADMK won a massive mandate after the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, benefiting from the sympathy wave for the Congress with which it was in alliance.

Twenty three years later, and ahead of yet another general election, party leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa appears to have stolen a march on her political rivals in the State, this time by taking a step toward releasing seven persons convicted of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination .

Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa Scores Over Rival Karunanidhi in Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case Convicts Release Issue Regardless of Stand by Central Govt’ »

Unity of Tamil National Alliance Appears to be in Great Danger of Being Shattered

By

Vishnuguptha


“He who cannot put his thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of dispute.”

~Friedrich Nietzsche

TNA2912

Ever since the cessation of the armed conflict between Sri Lankan security forces and the Tamil militants led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE), the Tamil constituency in the North and East has been able to project a very cohesive and united political front. In all the elections that followed the end of hostilities, Tamils, especially the Northern segment, cast their votes as one single person voting, displaying a remarkable unity of expression and cogency of assuredness that usually accompanies self-trust. It reached a zenith during and after the elections that were held for the Northern Provincial Council.

The candidature of C V Vigneswaran for the position of Chief Minister, in addition to being portrayed as an extremely clever choice on the part of the Tamil leadership, hardly left the opposing parties with any alternative but to keep tight-lipped about a retired Supreme Court Justice whose unblemished judicial record was an aberration in the context of questionable judgments and judicial arbitrations reached by some other major players in the wake of the passage of the infamous Eighteenth Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution.

Continue reading ‘Unity of Tamil National Alliance Appears to be in Great Danger of Being Shattered’ »

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Will Release From Jail the Seven Persons Convicted for Rajiv Gandhi Murder If Central Govt Does Not Respond within Three Days

BY S VENKAT NARAYAN

NEW DELHI, February 19:
Twenty-three years after they were jailed, the Tamil Nadu Government headed by Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha today decided to set free within three days all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case after the Indian Supreme Court commuted the death penalty of three of them to life sentence.

Besides Santhan, Mur-ugan, the husband of Nalini, Perarivalan, who earned a major reprieve from the Supreme Court yesterday which spared them from gallows, Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichan-dran will walk out from prison.

Four of the men who will be set free are Sri Lankan Tamils. They are: Murugan, Santhan, Robert Payas and V Jayakumar.

Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Will Release From Jail the Seven Persons Convicted for Rajiv Gandhi Murder If Central Govt Does Not Respond within Three Days’ »

Jaffna-Kilinochchi Water Supply and sanitation Project will Provide Drinking Water to 300,000 People in Poonakari,Jaffna and All the Islands Except Delft.

By

M. Sooriasegaran (Engineer)

The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), recognizing that access to safe drinking water is a basic right of every citizen, is committed to the provision of adequate, safe drinking water to the entire population at an affordable cost and in an equitable, efficient and sustainable manner.

In accordance with this policy, the Jaffna – Kilinochchi Water Supply and Sanitation Project was conceived, to provide piped, treated, potable water to 300,000 people in Poonakari and Jaffna, including all the islands, except Delft.

Continue reading ‘Jaffna-Kilinochchi Water Supply and sanitation Project will Provide Drinking Water to 300,000 People in Poonakari,Jaffna and All the Islands Except Delft.’ »

Bribery Commission Hands Over Charge Sheet to De Jure Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake Before Colombo Chief Magistrate

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Permanent Commission to Inquire into allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) yesterday handed over a charge sheet to impeached Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, before the Chief Magistrate of Colombo Gihan Pilapitiya.

Continue reading ‘Bribery Commission Hands Over Charge Sheet to De Jure Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake Before Colombo Chief Magistrate’ »

Udaya Gammanpila,Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the “Contradiction”Over Casinos


By

Dharisha Bastians

In a strange irony, the first major controversy of this season’s provincial polls campaign erupted on the stage of the self-professed ‘Mr. Clean’ contesting on the ruling party ticket.

Since his days as Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority and throughout his career as a provincial councillor, the Jathika Hela Urumaya’s Udaya Gammanpila has purported to champion good governance and transparency. For the upcoming provincial election, Gammanpila has tried to style himself as a Sri Lankan Aravind Kejriwal, the New Delhi Chief Minister and electoral wild card whose Aam Aadmi Party made a stunning debut at the Delhi Assembly elections last December.

Continue reading ‘Udaya Gammanpila,Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the “Contradiction”Over Casinos’ »

Buddhist Monk of “Sihala Ravaya” Protesting against Cattle Slaughter Arrested and Remanded for Attempted Self -Immolation and Breach of Peace


By Madura Ranwala

The Colombo Fort Magistrate remanded, till February 21, Ven. Damdeniye Dhammananda Thera arrested by the police on Tuesday evening for attempted self-immolation and breach of peace.

Senior Superintendent of Police Ajith Rohana told The Island that the Buddhist monk, a member of Sihala Ravaya, which launched a protest in front of the Fort Railway station against cattle slaughter demanding that the government ban it immediately. He had attempted to commit suicide by pouring petrol over his body and the police personnel had prevented him from setting himself on fire and arrested him, the SSP said.

Continue reading ‘Buddhist Monk of “Sihala Ravaya” Protesting against Cattle Slaughter Arrested and Remanded for Attempted Self -Immolation and Breach of Peace’ »

“Sri Lanka: state of play ahead of the March 2014 session of the UN Human Rights Council”.

(Text of Address by Sri Lanka’s Head of Mission to the European Union, Ambassador Pakeer Amza at the meeting of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the Countries in the South Asia (DSAS) on 19 February 2014 in Brussels)


Madam Chair, Hon. Members of the Parliament,Distinguished Colleagues,

Engaging with this Parliament and especially with the South Asia Delegation is always a pleasure. Thank you for giving me another opportunity to explain what is happening in post conflict Sri Lanka, since the end of 26 years of brutal conflict against terrorism. However, the focus of this discussion, “the state of play ahead of Geneva”, indicates that there are convoluted and extraneous processes leading up to the 25th Session of the HRC in Geneva. Sri Lanka is concerned about the continuation of selective adoption of country-specific actions in the HRC, driven by electoral compulsions of some Member States, as these efforts can erode the credibility and impartiality of the Council. Sri Lanka categorically rejected the previous two Resolutions adopted by the Council in March 2012 and 2013, respectively, as they were a result of a politicized and ill-conceived process, that polarized the membership of the Human Rights Council. It was in contravention of the UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251, as well as the Human Right Council Resolutions 5/1 and 5/2 which call for cooperation and genuine dialogue as well as impartiality in the method and conduct of the work of the Council. However, notwithstanding our rejection of the resolutions, the Government is continuing with its genuine and credible commitment to the reconciliation process within the framework of its own mechanism, the National Plan of Action on the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC. We believe the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process is the best mechanism to engage with countries on all human rights issues in an equal and fair manner.

Continue reading ‘“Sri Lanka: state of play ahead of the March 2014 session of the UN Human Rights Council”.’ »

Three Indian and Four Sri Lankan Tamils Convicted in Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case to be Released Announces Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

By

B.Kolappan

The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday said it had decided to release all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, including the three prisoners whose death penalty was reduced to life term by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

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(clockwise from top) Nalini, Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan. The Tamil Nadu Government on Wednesday decided to release all the convicts related to the case

Apart from the trio who were on death row until 24 hours earlier — Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan — the benefit will go to Murugan’s wife, Nalini, as well as Ravichandran, Robert Payas and V. Jayakumar, the others serving life terms since their arrest in 1991.

The Cabinet’s decision was disclosed by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in a suo motu statement in the State Assembly.

Continue reading ‘Three Indian and Four Sri Lankan Tamils Convicted in Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case to be Released Announces Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.’ »

Govt Reclaiming Land From Sea Along Colombo and Gampaha Coasts to Construct Casinos and Build a Formula car race Track -Ranil Wickremesinghe


By

Saman Indrajith

UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday that the government was planning to reclaim land along the coastal areas in Colombo and Gamapha districts to build a formula car race track.

Continue reading ‘Govt Reclaiming Land From Sea Along Colombo and Gampaha Coasts to Construct Casinos and Build a Formula car race Track -Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

South Africa Appoints ANC Vice-president Cyril Ramphosa as Special Envoy to Help Sri Lanka in Reconciliation Process

South Africa has appointed a Special Envoy to help Sri Lanka in the reconciliation process. The appointment of Cyril Ramphosa, Vice President of the African National Congress (ANC) as SA’s Special Envoy was announced by SA President Jacob Zuma in his 6th State of the Nation address last week. In the wake of the announcement, a high level Sri Lanka delegation will visit South Africa for a series of meetings this week.

Continue reading ‘South Africa Appoints ANC Vice-president Cyril Ramphosa as Special Envoy to Help Sri Lanka in Reconciliation Process’ »

Death Sentences of Two Sri Lankans and One Indian Convicted for Rajiv Gandhi Murder Commuted to Life Term by Indian Supreme Court.

by S Venkat Narayan

NEW DELHI, February 18: India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday granted relief to Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan—-the three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case by commuting their death sentence into life term on the grounds of inordinate delay in disposal of their mercy petitions by the country’s President.

Murugan and Santhan are Sri Lankan Tamils, while Perarivalan is a native of Tamil Nadu.

A three-judge Bench headed by the Chief Justice P Sathasivam rejected the contention of the Central Government that the three convicts do not deserve any mercy as they never showed remorse for the killing of the former Prime Minister and that they have been enjoying their prison life.

Continue reading ‘Death Sentences of Two Sri Lankans and One Indian Convicted for Rajiv Gandhi Murder Commuted to Life Term by Indian Supreme Court.’ »

JVP Leader States that Govt is Violating Law by Acquiring Lands in Colombo Through UDA Using Military to Evict Owners by “Terrorising”.

By

Saman Indrajith

JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament yesterday that land acquired after demolishing houses and business places in Colombo had not been done under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act.

Making a special statement MP Dissanayake said people were being evicted and their houses and business places demolished in the Colombo City. That resulted in loss of their livelihood as well as their property.

All demolitions and evictions were carried out by military personnel taking cover behind the Urban Development Authority. The involvement of the army was illegal, Dissanayake said.

Continue reading ‘JVP Leader States that Govt is Violating Law by Acquiring Lands in Colombo Through UDA Using Military to Evict Owners by “Terrorising”.’ »

Status of Violence Against Women, Laws in Place and Campaigns Carried out to Create Awareness in Sri Lanka

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Topic: The Status of Violence Against Women, Laws in Place and Campaigns Carried Out to Create Awareness in Sri Lanka

Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Presenter: Dushiyanthini Pillai, award winning journalist and photo journalist from Sri Lanka

About the Session:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

4:00-5:30 p.m.

Venue: Carr Center Conference Room (R-219) Rubenstein Building, second floor

Suggested Readings:

Prevention of Domestic Violence Act,” Gazette of the Democratic
Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, October 07, 2005.

Study Group
on The Global Movement to End Violence Against Women

More about the presenter:

Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai is an award winning courageous journalist cum photojournalist from Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘Status of Violence Against Women, Laws in Place and Campaigns Carried out to Create Awareness in Sri Lanka’ »

“Invoking the Goddess”: Extraordinary Exhibition With Focus on “Kannaki”of “Silappathikaaran” Known as “Pattini” in Sri Lanka

By

Smriti Daniel

KP021714

There is a time in the wake of her great rage – after she has torn her left breast out, after she has called fire down on the city of Madurai – when a widowed Kannaki finds a moment of quiet by the banks of a river. Across from her boys are tussling, engaged in a tug of war.

Among their number is Lord Krishna himself and the triumphant side claims their victory with dance and song. The sight recalls Kannaki to herself. Remembering the tug of war she won against her husband Kovalan and their pleasure in their play, her anger begins to drain away. The moment is made immortal in ritual. To this day, the ceremony of horn play, with its exactingly prepared instruments, its vattandi or ritual attendants, its earnest players and the accompanying ribaldry and competitiveness, is staged to ‘cool’ the goddess down.

In photographer Sharni Jayawardena’s and anthropologist Malathi de Alwis’s extraordinary new exhibition ‘Invoking the Goddess’,we see how the worship of Pattini-Kannaki takes inspiration from the stories of her life.
Continue reading ‘“Invoking the Goddess”: Extraordinary Exhibition With Focus on “Kannaki”of “Silappathikaaran” Known as “Pattini” in Sri Lanka’ »

Chennai Talks on Indo-Lanka Fishing Dispute:What it achieved,What it did not achieve and What it did not Actually aim to Achieve.


by

N Sathiya Moorthy

Tamil Nadu’s hosting of the much-publicised and even more needed/delayed talks between the State’s fisher representatives and their Sri Lankan counterparts on 27 January, followed by the local fishers commitment not to deploy vessels, gears and fishing methods banned in Sri Lanka for 30 days to prove their sincerity and seriousness has set the tone for taking the gains of the Chennai negotiations forward. Independent of the talks and also each other, the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) first, and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) later, began arresting fishers from the other country in the days that followed, making the latter’s release a condition-precedent of sorts for taking forward the negotiations, as promised, at Colombo in March.

Yet, teething troubles of the kind, almost from the commencement of the idea of a fishers’ talks blessed by the Governments concerned, did not dampen their spirits in particular. It has only been enhanced, since. Interestingly, most fisher representatives on either side were new compared to an NGO-driven round of negotiations in 2010-11. Though the present batch of negotiators did not sign any relatively detailed agreement of the kind as in 2010, the general mood on either side of the ‘fisher-divide’ was one of bonhomie and mutual accommodation, as in the past.

The Chennai meeting should be noted for the specifics, of what it achieved and what it did not – rather, what it did not actually aim to achieve. First and foremost, Governments across the Palk Strait, namely those of Sri Lanka, India and Tamil Nadu, ‘quasi-official status’ on the talks with the participation of their officials. Tamil Nadu was also represented by the Fisheries Minister, though he and his team, were there only as ‘observers’. So did officials of the Governments of India and Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘Chennai Talks on Indo-Lanka Fishing Dispute:What it achieved,What it did not achieve and What it did not Actually aim to Achieve.’ »

“Ravi Karunanayake MP and Colombo Central Muslim Organizers Mujibur Rahman and Mohammed Fairoze are Holding UNP to Ransom”-Colombo Mayor AJM Muzammil

(Full Text of an Interview by the UNP Mayor of Colombo AJM Muzammil appearing in the “Ceylon Today”)

Q: Why do you think the UNP denied nominations to your wife, Feroza?

A: I’m really surprised as to why the UNP rejected her nomination. The National Nomination Committee and the Party National Leader should have had a proper assessment of the situation, when they were selecting candidates. Therefore, I feel that the Party, at a time when there are Provincial Council Elections, has to enhance its vote base, without leaving out candidates, who can bring in more votes for the Party.

Continue reading ‘“Ravi Karunanayake MP and Colombo Central Muslim Organizers Mujibur Rahman and Mohammed Fairoze are Holding UNP to Ransom”-Colombo Mayor AJM Muzammil’ »

“Tamil Diaspora Trying to Misuse Freedom to Arrive in Sri Lanka on a Tourist Visa and Enjoy Their Stay”-Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

By

Premalal Wijeratne

Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, said Sri Lanka will fully implement the system adopted by the USA and India, to track down overstaying foreigners and deport them immediately.

Speaking in this regard yesterday, the Defence Secretary said, all hotels, lodgings, holiday resorts and other places where foreign tourists stay, have been directed to obtain a copy of the passports of their foreign guests and give the same to the closest police station and Immigration officers, no sooner the guests check in.

Continue reading ‘“Tamil Diaspora Trying to Misuse Freedom to Arrive in Sri Lanka on a Tourist Visa and Enjoy Their Stay”-Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’ »

Indian Trawlers Continue Large -scale Poaching in Jaffna Seas While Indo-Lanka Talks on Fishing Dispute are on.

By

Meera Srinivasan

It has been almost two decades since S. Koteeswaran lost his right leg when the Nalavy St. Peter’s Church in Jaffna was bombed allegedly by the Sri Lankan Air Force. About 125 civilians were killed.

Getting by with a prosthetic leg fitted a few years later, the 47-year-old fisherman says he is now suffering more than ever before because of Indian trawlers, which have nearly wiped him out of business. “My leg hurts very badly at the end of the day, but I have no other option. I know only fishing,” says the father of three.

Continue reading ‘Indian Trawlers Continue Large -scale Poaching in Jaffna Seas While Indo-Lanka Talks on Fishing Dispute are on.’ »

Rajapaksa Regime Rattled by 20 Page Damning Report Formulated by UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay


A damning 20-page report from United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay became the subject of close scrutiny by the UPFA Government this week. Pillay’s office urged the Government, as is the practice, to respond to the contents of this 74-point report — the precursor to the United States backed latest resolution on Sri Lanka next month — within a week.

High Commissioner Navi Pillay

High Commissioner Navi Pillay

The External Affairs Ministry (EAM), which co-ordinated the point by point answers converting it to a formal document kept to the deadline which was last Wednesday (February 12). It was sent to Ravinatha Ariyasinha, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations in Geneva, for onward transmission. The Pillay report too had earlier been channelled through him to the Government in Colombo. It will be made public by the Human Rights Council just days before the 25th sessions which begin on March 3 or in less than two weeks.

Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Regime Rattled by 20 Page Damning Report Formulated by UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay’ »

The Unforgettably Popular Film Songs of Tamil Cinema Classic “Devadas” ♫

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Devadas ♫

Devadas ♫

The demise of renowned Telugu actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao has revived memories of his many films.Although most of his films are in Telugu, the great thespian has acted in several Tamil films too. “Devadas”, “Anarkali”, “Manithan Maaravillai”, “Manjal Mahimai”, “Engal Veetu Mahalakshmi”, “Kalyanapparisu” are but some of the films featuring Nageswara Rao who incidently is the father of Actor Nagarjuna and the grandfather of actor Naga Chaitanya.

Continue reading ‘The Unforgettably Popular Film Songs of Tamil Cinema Classic “Devadas” ♫’ »

Vettivelu Yogeswaran the Darling of Tamil Youths who Became Jaffna MP

By D. B. S. Jeyaraj

80th Birth Anniversary on February 5th

Vettivelu Yogeswaran (Feb 5, 1934-July 13, 1989)

Vettivelu Yogeswaran (Feb 5, 1934-July 13, 1989)

Last week saw this column paying tribute to the memory of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) MP Dr.Neelan Tiruchelvam on account of his 70th birth anniversary.This column focuses this week on another departed TULF Parliamentarian whose 80th birth anniversary was on February 5th. Former Jaffna MP Vettrivelu Yogeswaran was born on February 5th 1934.He too was killed along with former Opposition leader Appapillai Amirthalingam by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)in Colombo on July 13th 1989.

Continue reading ‘Vettivelu Yogeswaran the Darling of Tamil Youths who Became Jaffna MP’ »

Raj Seneviratne Sings his Popular “Sili Sili”song in Tamil to “Reach the Hearts of our Tamil People”.


By

Steve A. Morrell

Raj Seneviratne’s hit song ‘Sili Sili’ in Sinhala, was literally top of the tunes a long time.

Radio stations in most Colombo locations featured this song on their request programmes. More to the point, ‘Sili Sili’, was requested. Very often. Sometimes you’d listen to it daily.

Take the SLBC for instance, you’d hear Raj, sing, Sili sili, on practically every request programme.

Recently he recorded ‘Sili Sili’ again. But this time in Tamil.

We heard it and decided we must talk to Raj.

What follows is the interview we had with Raj, recently

Continue reading ‘Raj Seneviratne Sings his Popular “Sili Sili”song in Tamil to “Reach the Hearts of our Tamil People”.’ »

“Sannaliyane, Sannaliyane”… Weavers’ Song…a song for the ages

by

Vishnuguptha

“One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.”
~Voltaire

Weavers, weaving at break of day,
Why do you weave a garment so gay? . . .
Blue as the wing of a halcyon wild,
We weave the robes of a new-born child.

How relevant is the Master’s voice today? ‘Sannaliyane, Sannaliyane’ song adapted by the great Mahagama Sekera, the doyen of Sinhala lyrics, from the Weaver’s Song penned by Sarojini Naidu, the ‘Nightingale of India’, and heartrendingly and poetically narrated by Amaradeva, has been living through the ages and still continuing to mesmerize millions of sensitive minds and enthrall many more ears. The poetic genius resides in Sarojini Naidu’s insight into life’s poignant and inevitable stream from birth to marriage to death in three stanzas. Sekera and Amaradeva have not taken one bit of timbre out of Naidu’s magnum opus.

Continue reading ‘“Sannaliyane, Sannaliyane”… Weavers’ Song…a song for the ages’ »

Cabinet Minister Wimal Weeraansa’s Antics Boomerang on Rajapaksa Regime

A lesser known fact about Minister Weerawansa’s actions boomeranging on the Government surfaced this week.

During the visit to Colombo by US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes issues, Stephen J. Rapp, the US Embassy had offered to keep his engagements on a “low key” with little or no publicity. This assurance ended when Weerawansa had organised a demonstration outside the US Embassy. The fact that a Government Minister was behind such a protest incensed US officials. “The Embassy had agreed with the External Affairs Ministry (EAM) that it would keep matters on very low key with little publicity as possible. However, this protest changed it all,” said an authoritative EAM source.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Minister Wimal Weeraansa’s Antics Boomerang on Rajapaksa Regime’ »

Remembering Vijaya Kumaratunga on February Sixteenth his Twenty-Sixth Death Anniversary

By

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera

Vijaya Kumaratunga (9 October 1945-16 February 1988)

Vijaya Kumaratunga (9 October 1945-16 February 1988)

In my childhood, I was fortunate to see Vijaya Kumaranatunga frequently. A lifelong friend of my father Ossie, Vijaya frequently came to our home. At such occasions, hundreds of people flocked around to catch a glimpse of their hero. Some of them came to see Vijaya, the politician. But, many (including those who did not agree with his politics) came to see Vijaya, the actor. The majority of them did not know that Vijaya had started being a politician before he became an actor.

My father and Vijaya were political friends for a long time. In 1982, they were imprisoned along with few others by the JR Jayewardene government on trumped up ‘Naxalite’ charges. They later became the nucleus of the Sri Lanka Mahajana Party (SLMP), established in 1984. For a few years, it was the third largest party in the country. It was built up under immense pressure from not only the government but also the main opposition party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. During the 1987-89 insurrection, the SLMP faced severe threats and 114 members including leaders such as Pohoddaramulle Pagnaloka Thera and Deva Bandara Senaratne were killed. However, the first leader of the SLMP to be assassinated was Vijaya himself.

Continue reading ‘Remembering Vijaya Kumaratunga on February Sixteenth his Twenty-Sixth Death Anniversary’ »

LTTE has Hired Lobbying Firm in the USA with Strong Access to “White House”as itshead is a Close Associate of President Obama”-Pres Secy Lalith Weeratunga

by

Sunil Jayasiri

Amidst proposed moves by the US Congress and the US government to bring in a resolution against Sri Lanka at the upcoming UNHRC sessions, Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga said ‘the most significant factor when it comes to the power of lobbying, solely depends on the choice of lobbying groups one has access to in the US’.

He said the US had more than 800 key lobbying groups of which the LTTE-sympathising fronts were using some of the most influential groups among them for lobbying purposes.

Mr. Weeratunga said the Sri Lankan government would also have to gain access to some powerful lobbying groups to counter opposition that’s mounting against it in the international arena.

Continue reading ‘LTTE has Hired Lobbying Firm in the USA with Strong Access to “White House”as itshead is a Close Associate of President Obama”-Pres Secy Lalith Weeratunga’ »

TNA Senior Parliamentarian “Mavai”Senathirajah Refutes Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran on Power Sharing Issue.


The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has reiterated its position that it wanted a solution through a federal model, contradicting Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran’s statements that Tamils should not expect 100% power sharing.

Wigneswaran speaking at National Conference on ‘Post-war Socio-economic Development of the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka’ organized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on February 13 said he was willing to settle for something less than a federal system, a view that is in total contrast of the TNA that has been calling for maximum power devolution under a united Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘TNA Senior Parliamentarian “Mavai”Senathirajah Refutes Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran on Power Sharing Issue.’ »

Former UN Asst-Secy-Gen Denis J.Haliday in Canada to Gather Support for UN Resolution Calling for Sri Lanka War Crimes Investigation.


By

Shamindra Ferdinando

One time UN Assistant Secretary General Denis J. Halliday is now in Canada to convince major political parties to support US-UK call for an international war crimes investigation targeting Sri Lanka at the forthcoming 25th session of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council.

Well informed sources told The Island that Halliday would meet influential Canadian lawmakers during the next two weeks on behalf of the National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) widely believed to be the successor to the World Tamil Movement (WTM). The Canadian government listed the WTM as a terrorist organisation in June 2008.

Continue reading ‘Former UN Asst-Secy-Gen Denis J.Haliday in Canada to Gather Support for UN Resolution Calling for Sri Lanka War Crimes Investigation.’ »

India wants Sri Lankan Govt and TNA to Resume Talks on a Political Settlement Going Beyond 13th Amendment Provisions.

Dharisha Bastians reporting from New Delhi

Veering away from taking a committed position on a third US backed resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council next month India yesterday renewed its call for Sri Lanka to go beyond the provisions of the 13th Amendment and a resumption of talks between the Government and the Tamil National Alliance.

Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh told Sri Lankan journalists in New Delhi that the promise of 13 Plus was not India’s creation, but a commitment by the Sri Lankan political leadership.

Singh said it was important that everyone in Sri Lanka reached a mutual comfort level in living within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘India wants Sri Lankan Govt and TNA to Resume Talks on a Political Settlement Going Beyond 13th Amendment Provisions.’ »

UNP Will Fully Support Domestic Investigation into Allegations about Final Phase of War Including LTTE Atrocities.

FULL TEXT OF STATEMENT ISSUED BY UNITED NATIONAL PARTY UNDER THE HEADING “THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY NEED NOT PAY FOR THE ACTIONS OF A FEW POLITICIANS

Sri Lanka is at a precipice and the Rajapaksa administration bears full responsibility for our country’s current plight.

After years of insisting that the Sri Lankan government carryout a credible internal investigation into the alleged human rights violations, especially in the final phase of the war, the international community seems poised to demand an international investigation. This is a situation which could have been easily avoided had the ruling regime heeded the calls of the UNP and many others who have been insisting that the rulers respect the rights of its citizens, irrespective of race religion or place of origin and address the serious allegations levelled against them in a manner that is acceptable to the people of this country. Instead we have witnessed further deterioration in the rule of law, accountability and credibility of the Sri Lankan State.

Continue reading ‘UNP Will Fully Support Domestic Investigation into Allegations about Final Phase of War Including LTTE Atrocities.’ »

Sri Lanka war crimes allegations and international investigation

Interview with Indian Peacekeeping Forces Intelligence Corps Chief Col. R. Hariharan (RH)

Interviewer: Parasaran Rangarajan, Editor, International Law Journal of London(PR)

PR: First, we would like to thank you for joining us. I understand you spent nearly three decades in the Indian Armed Forces and salute you for that and would like to ask how you started and if you can describe your journey entering the Intelligence Services of India (Intelligence Corps), more so become the Chief, which is extremely difficult to do?

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka war crimes allegations and international investigation’ »

“Balu Mahendra’s genius lay in recognising what was good with our cinema and what was not”

Actor Kamal Haasan’s tribute to Filmmaker Balu Mahendra

Dream combination: Balu Mahendra with Kamal Haasan. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao-courtesy: The Hindu

Dream combination: Balu Mahendra with Kamal Haasan. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao-courtesy: The Hindu

In a village full of wise men, an educated man is more useful. Balu Mahendra was that educated man. Not that we didn’t have cinema knowledge, but it was a new medium, and people were trying to superimpose their previously acquired knowledge of theatre and literature on an absolutely new medium, that had another kind of glamour.

Everybody learnt that grammar at their own peril, at their own expense… sometimes at other people’s expense. And there were masters who were there in Tamil cinema who made themselves what they were through sheer hard work. But it was still a gurukulam kind of pattern that we were following.

When Balu and his friends came from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, it was not only a breath of fresh air, but it changed Indian cinema. There were some of them who looked at the existing industry, their place of work with derision because they were all trained internationally. They went on to alienate themselves. Balu Mahendra was not one of them. He was proud of being a Tamil. He wanted to give something back to Tamil cinema instead of ridiculing it. He was like an educated man returning to his village, knowing fully well what was wrong with it, and where its strength lay. That’s what worked and that’s why we became friends.

Continue reading ‘“Balu Mahendra’s genius lay in recognising what was good with our cinema and what was not”’ »

Balu Mahendra was a Filmmaker who Changed the Face of Tamil Cinema.

by

Baradwaj Rangan

Balu Mahendra, who died on Thursday of cardiac arrest, was one of the handful of filmmakers who, in the 1970s, changed the face of Tamil cinema.

He was also one of the handful who could be termed an auteur. Every film he made was distinctly his. Part of this was, of course, due to his roots in cinematography, his first passion. A single frame from Chattakari (1974), Mullum Malarum (1978) or Sankarabharanam (1980) is enough to announce that the film was shot by Balu Mahendra.

Continue reading ‘Balu Mahendra was a Filmmaker who Changed the Face of Tamil Cinema.’ »

Balu Mahendra Left an Indelible Mark on the Indian Film Industry

By

B. Kolappan & Karthik Subramanian

Award-winning filmmaker and cinematographer Balu Mahendra’s masterpieces — ‘Azhiyatha Kolangal’, ‘Moondram Pirai’, ‘Veedu’, ‘Sandya Ragam’ and ‘Vanna Vanna Pookal’ — left an indelible mark on the Indian film industry.

The 75-year-old master craftsman passed away in the city on Thursday. He had been admitted to Vijaya Hospital with chest pain. Doctors pronounced him dead just past 11 a.m. after he failed to respond to treatment, according to one of his assistants. He is survived by his wife and son.

Continue reading ‘Balu Mahendra Left an Indelible Mark on the Indian Film Industry’ »

Northern TNA Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan in Geneva with MP’s Premachandran and Sumanthiran to Meet with UN Human Rights Officials Ahead of UNHRC 25th Session

By

Ananth Palakidnar

Northern Provincial Councillor, Ananthy Sasitharan, who arrived in Geneva on Wednesday, began to engage in discussions with officials of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) yesterday.

Ananthy’s travel plans were kept under wraps until her departure from Colombo on Wednesday (12), following the anonymous calls she had received asking her to cancel her plans to attend the 25th UNHRC sessions in Geneva in March.

However, Ananthy had reached Geneva on Wednesday, and was given a warm welcome at the airport, sources said.

Ananthy began her meetings with the UNHRC officials in Geneva accompanied by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarians, M.A. Sumanthiran and Suresh Premachandran.

Continue reading ‘Northern TNA Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan in Geneva with MP’s Premachandran and Sumanthiran to Meet with UN Human Rights Officials Ahead of UNHRC 25th Session’ »

“She was Courageous,She was Kind,She was Simple and She was Unique………………….She was my Mother”


by

Palitha Pelpola


”A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”

~ Tenneva Jordan

Many eulogies have been dedicated to mothers of our time. Since the dawn of time, no more words have been spoken, no more essays written and tributes orated in praise of anything or anyone other than the persona of ‘Mother’.

Mother is indeed a very noble institution, whosever we are speaking of. Every mother carries within her womb, for nine long and painful months, from conception to birth, either premature or fully-grown, the hope of all mankind: its regeneration. And it is not the physical weight that tells on her as much as the mental anticipation of bearing a bundle of joy and ecstasy that comes in the way of a child.

Continue reading ‘“She was Courageous,She was Kind,She was Simple and She was Unique………………….She was my Mother”’ »

Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Ministry Order to Close Down Mosque in Dehiwala Causes Dismay.


By

Aisha Nazim


The National Shoora Council (NSC) comprising prominent Muslims and religious organizations, has expressed dismay at the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, directing the Divisional Secretary, Dehiwala, and the police, to close down a mosque in Dehiwala, despite the Divisional Secretary having no authority to do so.

“Some foreign governments have openly threatened action at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva scheduled for March 2014, when the allegations against Sri Lanka, which are said to include alleged violations against minority religions and their places of worship, are taken up. We are terribly dismayed that the actions of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs would only prove that these allegations against our country are true,” Head of the NSC, Tariq Mahmoud, said.

Continue reading ‘Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Ministry Order to Close Down Mosque in Dehiwala Causes Dismay.’ »

China and Sri Lanka could sign a Free Trade Agreement by the end of the year -GL Peiris Tells “Xinhua”

China and Sri Lanka could sign a free trade agreement by the end of the year, state news agency Xinhua cited Sri Lanka’s foreign minister as saying.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, who is on a four-day visit to China, said “the feasibility study is on the verge of completion”.

Peiris told Xinhua in an interview on Wednesday it would be the most significant bilateral achievement since the 1952 Rubber-Rice Pact, when rubber and rice was bartered between China and Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘China and Sri Lanka could sign a Free Trade Agreement by the end of the year -GL Peiris Tells “Xinhua”’ »

Rescuing ‘Mother Lanka’ from LTTE i s no excuse for Government to violate her!


by
Vishnuguptha

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.”
~Albert Camus

Heroes are born every minute. Events can give birth to victims too, every second. A very few, in fact a handful in all history, do have the real DNA of a real hero. History also bears testimony to the most ironic phenomenon of turning yesterday’s hero into today’s ‘also-ran’ and tomorrow’s traitor. One fine example could be found in our own midst: General Sarath Fonseka. Just prior to May 18, 2009, on the threshold of a monumental military victory by our Security Forces over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) and in the immediate wake of the victory, General Sarath Fonseka was the ‘darling hero’ of the Government and their propagandists. Pitted against a slackening economy, the military success achieved by our security forces was a ‘god-send’ gift. But everything changed overnight.

There was no vehicle on the road that did not fly the National Flag; there wasn’t a shop, business house or private residence that did not display their solidarity with the armed forces that fought a gruesome war. By hoisting a National Flag they paid their gratitude, in their own humble way. Patriotism was overflowing the banks of human emotion, but then triumphalism overtook sensibility; speaking for minority rights became a betrayal of ‘the land, the race and the faith’. The frenzy of patriotic fever took over the psyche of every man, woman and child of Sinhalese Buddhist origin. Even non-Buddhist Sinhalese joined the crazy bandwagon of victors.

Magnanimity was thrown out the door; petty talk on phony patriotism colored by a Sinhalese-Buddhist tinge dominated the social conversation, whether it was held within air-conditioned Board Rooms, private dining quarters in ‘members-only’ clubs in Colombo or in all the ‘kopi kades’ throughout the country.

Continue reading ‘Rescuing ‘Mother Lanka’ from LTTE i s no excuse for Government to violate her!’ »

Disappeared Persons Families Collective Raises Concerns about Manner in Which Missing Persons Inquiry Commission Conducted Sittings in Kilinochchi.

(The Collective of the Families of the Disappeared Persons,has in a letter to the Presidential Commission to Inquire into Complaints Regarding Missiong Persons raised concerns about the recently conducted sittings by the commission in Kilinochchi. The full text of the letter is reproduced below)

The Secretary,
Presidential Commission to Inquire into the
Complaints regarding Missing Persons,
9/9, Suranimala Place,
Colombo 06


Dear Sir,

Hearings of the Commission to Inquire into the Complaints regarding Missing Persons

We are thankful to the members of the Presidential Commission and His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse for (trying to address the grievances of the family’s members of disappeared persons, through appointing a Commission to take all possible measures to ensure their fate is known and their families informed.

Nevertheless, we should bring to your attention that a number of concerns previously raised by Us and various groups have not been yet properly addressed. In particular, we remind you our request to broaden the Commission’s mandate in order to investigate disappearances throughout the whole of Sri Lanka and not only in the period comprised between 1990-2009; to invite the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances; to allocate adequate funds and means to the commissioners to fulfill their mandate (and to enact a legislation on witnesses and victims protections.

In addition to this, we would like to bring to your attention our observations and related concerns for the ongoing proceeding after the first round of hearings in Kilinochchi on January 18-21, as well as for the unclear process that took place in parallel in the same district to issue death certificates and pay reparations to family members of enforcedly disappeared and missing persons.

Continue reading ‘Disappeared Persons Families Collective Raises Concerns about Manner in Which Missing Persons Inquiry Commission Conducted Sittings in Kilinochchi.’ »

Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Says Money Sent by Tamil Diaspora has Caused Irreparable Damage to Society


By Shamindra Ferdinando

Chief Minister Wigneswaran

Chief Minister Wigneswaran

Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has lamented that money sent by Tamil Diaspora has had a devastating impact on the lifestyles of Tamils here.

The retired Supreme Court judge is of the view that foreign funds have caused irreparable damage to society, especially the student community.

CM Wigneswaran was addressing a gathering at the annual Prize Giving and 60th Anniversary of Varani Central College last week.

Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Says Money Sent by Tamil Diaspora has Caused Irreparable Damage to Society’ »

Members of the Tamil National Alliance and Roman catholic Clergy who Abetted Tigers Must be Taken to Task and Called to Account


By

S.L.Gunasekara

The ‘Productivity’ of the so called ‘war’ has not ended. At first the so called ‘war’ spawned a breed of carpet baggers known as `conflict resolutionists’ who made a literal ‘killing’ off the war. They were closely accompanied by members of the so called ‘Tamil Diaspora’ who, from the safety of the foreign countries in which they lived, encouraged the continuation of the violence in Sri Lanka from which Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and all others who were resident in Sri Lanka suffered.

Today, we see another breed which has been in the news for quite sometime and have now come into prominence. They are those who are termed ‘human rights’ and ‘international human rights law experts’. Their latest `two cents worth’ is a report headed “Island of Impunity” running into over 200 pages submitted by an Australian NGO.

Whoever these so called ‘experts’ are they have one thing in common. Whether or not they are possessed of any kind of expertise in any field of the law, they are proven experts at purporting to find little Sri Lanka which defeated a bunch of terrorists called the LTTE in May 2009 and made the Country a relatively safe place in which to live, guilty of the most heinous of atrocities upon the alleged evidence of so called witnesses whose identities they refuse to divulge!!

Continue reading ‘Members of the Tamil National Alliance and Roman catholic Clergy who Abetted Tigers Must be Taken to Task and Called to Account’ »

India’s Largest Industry Chamber Renews Call for Signing of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)with Sri Lanka

Dharisha Bastians reporting
from
New Delhi

India’s largest industry chamber yesterday strongly backed the inking of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Sri Lanka, saying the move would boost investment even as trade between the two nations has surged in the past decade.

“Sri Lanka has shown reluctance,” said the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) South Asia Director and Head South and Central Asia, Manish Mohan.

A landmark Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement faced similar resistance before it was signed in 1998, boosting trading volumes between the two countries from $ 685 million in 2000-2001 to $ 5 billion in 2011-2012, CII officials said.

“Today Sri Lanka is India’s biggest trading partner in South Asia and the FTA has been favourable to Sri Lanka,” Mohan told a delegation of journalists from Colombo in New Delhi yesterday.

Continue reading ‘India’s Largest Industry Chamber Renews Call for Signing of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)with Sri Lanka’ »

Writing on the wall for Sri Lanka was Actually Done by UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pilay


By

Archana Arul

The setting in the run up to the Geneva meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council is getting increasingly clear, not just with Washington letting Colombo know that a third successive resolution against the island nation for alleged war crimes and accountability is very much on the cards. If US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal has made known the Obama administration’s patent displeasure with the goings on, Sri Lanka has responded not with substantive proposals but upping the ante by denying a senior State Department official a visa.

Biswal could not have been more clear when she made it known that the United States has been increasingly concerned about the worsening human rights situation in Sri Lanka as well as the weakening of the rule of law, together with an increase in corruption and impunity since the end of a nearly three decade civil war in 2009. “All of these factors lead to undermine the proud tradition of democracy in Sri Lanka,” the senior State Department official said while stressing that Washington was going ahead with the third resolution in Geneva in as many years.

Continue reading ‘Writing on the wall for Sri Lanka was Actually Done by UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pilay’ »

Attractive Actress Upeksha Swarnamali MP has Spent only 140 Minutes in Parliament Reveals Survey.

By

Gihan Nicholas

Do they belong in politics? That is the question that is being raised with regard to the myriad of artistes, who are gradually making inroads into mainstream politics. A staggering number of celebrities, whose professions vary from acting to modelling to singing, showed interest in contesting the upcoming Provincial Council election, from the beginning of this year.

Meanwhile, the performance of female celebrity icons in the country’s legislature has also come under scrutiny with the popular website, Manthri.lk, which regularly monitors the parliamentary activities, conducting a survey into the contributions made by the lawmakers, for the wellbeing of the people of this nation.

Continue reading ‘Attractive Actress Upeksha Swarnamali MP has Spent only 140 Minutes in Parliament Reveals Survey.’ »

“The Tamil People Have Their Own Religion,Language,Rituals and Customs;Why Cant We Accept That”?-Anura Kumara Dissanayake

An Interview With Chamitha Kuruppu

Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the newly-elected Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), vows to defeat communalism, religious extremism and separatism in the country. He asserts that the Marxist JVP will put more weight behind reaching and socialising with the Tamils in Northern and Eastern Provinces as an approach to solve the national question. Following are excerpts from an interview with the Daily FT:


Q: What was the reason behind the JVP’s sudden leadership transition?

A: For a long period of time comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe had been pointing out the importance of a leadership change. This was later submitted to the Central Committee, where it was discussed at length. Then we all agreed that the party was ready for a leadership change.

Continue reading ‘“The Tamil People Have Their Own Religion,Language,Rituals and Customs;Why Cant We Accept That”?-Anura Kumara Dissanayake’ »

Successive Tamil Leaders in Sri Lanka Have Demonstrated Uncanny Knack of Converting Adversity into Opportunity.

by

N Sathiya Moorthy

It is now becoming increasingly clear that the US prime-mover of the two earlier resolutions against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC seems to have been caught in a cleft-stick, as was only to be expected. It does not mean that Sri Lanka has got off it all. Instead, there will be more to follow, follow on and follow upon, in the UNHRC sessions and years to come. Yet, there is now a consistent and continuing apprehension about the West coming up with a draft that will have greater acceptability in the UNHRC already. It is here India may be called upon to take a position all over again.

Looked at from the Sri Lankan perspective, it would be enough if it is able to bring down the number of nay-sayers to any new UNHRC resolution by a small number. Even abstentions would do. A minor or marginal victory for their resolution would not suffice the cause (if any) and image of the movers behind any new resolution, given their collective prestige that’s at stake. If today Sri Lanka is able to get away with it, then their own say would have no purchase from other small States in the future, be it on domestic or international affairs.

Continue reading ‘Successive Tamil Leaders in Sri Lanka Have Demonstrated Uncanny Knack of Converting Adversity into Opportunity.’ »

Did Nisha Desai Biswal Add Corruption to the Charge Sheet Against Sri Lanka Because the US Has Reliable Information About Widespread Corruption of Sri Lankan Govt?


By

Upul Joseph Fernando

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs in the United States Department of State, Nisha Desai Biswal , had wanted to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa during her recent visit to the country. Diplomatic sources revealed that she was carrying a strong message from America to be given to President Rajapaksa. However, Mahinda, who had already got wind of what was coming, had cleverly avoided seeing her.

Though she was unable to deliver the message to Mahinda, there were crucial pointers to what it could have been in the contents of the press conference she held in Colombo on the eve of her departure. She reiterated to senior government officials during the visit about the ‘insufficient progress’ to address reconciliation and accountability five years after the war. “We are concerned about the worsening situation with respect to human rights, including continued attacks against religious minorities, as well as the weakening of the rule of law and an increase in the levels of corruption and impunity,” Biswal told journalists.

Continue reading ‘Did Nisha Desai Biswal Add Corruption to the Charge Sheet Against Sri Lanka Because the US Has Reliable Information About Widespread Corruption of Sri Lankan Govt?’ »

People of Northern Sri Lanka Caught Between Traumatic Past and Stifling Present.

By

Meera Srinivasan

With its failure to convincingly address allegations of war crimes, or implement a meaningful process of reconciliation over the last five years, Sri Lanka finds itself trapped by international pressure ahead of the UNHRC meet in Geneva.

All along, criticism of the country’s human rights record has come largely from rights groups or sections of the Tamil diaspora — some still espouse the separatist cause. But clearly, mounting international pressure now is something that Sri Lanka will find hard not to miss.

To add to this, the Northern Provincial Council (NPC)’s resolution — passed at its fifth council session recently, calling for an international inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka — came as a shocker to the government. With such a move from a democratically-elected body representing northern Tamils, the call for an internal probe only gained more legitimacy and steam.

Continue reading ‘People of Northern Sri Lanka Caught Between Traumatic Past and Stifling Present.’ »

Why I Requested General Public to Contribute Hundred Rupees Each to my Election Campaign.

by

Udaya Gammanpila

I made a request to the general public to contribute Rs 100 each for my election campaign if they believe in good governance irrespective of their racial, religious, political or provincial differences. Unfortunately, my message has been distorted to some extent in several websites in their attempt to add an emotional tone to it. Hence, there is no significant difference between my request and an appeal made by a beggar, which forces me to explain the rationale behind my request.

Continue reading ‘Why I Requested General Public to Contribute Hundred Rupees Each to my Election Campaign.’ »

The Sinhalese are not Suicidal Suckers to Vote for Abolition of the Executive Presidency When Radical Tamil Nationalism is on the March.


BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

There are two huge reality checks coming up in seven weeks. The Geneva vote will be a reality check for the Government while the Western and Southern Provincial Council election results will be a reality check for the Opposition. Both votes will illustrate and exacerbate the crises of the policy paradigms of the respective players. The twin results will illuminate and add to the overall crisis of post-war Sri Lanka, in its external and internal dimensions.

The Geneva vote takes place in a setting that structurally favours the Sri Lankan state, because 72% of the votes are from the three regions of Asia-pacific, Africa and Latin America. Therefore a loss, especially by a margin as wide as those of 2012 and 2013, would reveal a huge inadequacy in the foreign policy of the current regime. A defeat at the UNHRC could be a microcosm and precursor of an eventual defeat in a vote in the UN General assembly in New York. Similarly, a loss by the main Opposition in the Western province, which is the most modern and pluralist, and the least rural of all the island’s provinces, would indicate the result that would prevail at a national election in the country in which almost 75% are Sinhalese, 67% Buddhist and over 60% rural.

Continue reading ‘The Sinhalese are not Suicidal Suckers to Vote for Abolition of the Executive Presidency When Radical Tamil Nationalism is on the March.’ »

Sixty-six Years of Independent Sri Lanka and the “Tamil State of Mind” .


By

D.B.S. Jeyaraj

(Updated version of the “DBS Jeyaraj Column” article that appeared in the “Daily Mirror”of February 2nd 2013)

Sri Lanka will Celebrate its Sixty-sixth Anniversary of Independence from the United Kingdom this Monday. The country then known as Ceylon obtained full freedom from the British on February 4th 1948.Completing 66 years is significant in the life of a nation.

Flag of Sri Lanka ~Rockefeller Center, NY, NY

Flag of Sri Lanka ~Rockefeller Center, NY, NY

Independent Sri Lanka or Ceylon has faced many challenges and problems in the past 65 years. We have had military coup attempts,communal riots,pogroms, armed revolts,external military intervention, assassinations of heads of state,terrorist violence and above all a long secessionist war that threatened to tear apart the country.

What Sri Lanka can be proud of as Asia’s oldest Democracy is the fact that despite many formidable challenges and crises the country continues to be democratic.Flawed but Democratic!

Continue reading ‘Sixty-six Years of Independent Sri Lanka and the “Tamil State of Mind” .’ »

IOM Accused of Violating Its Mandate by Arranging Secret Meeting Between US Ambassador at Large Stephen Rapp and Ex-LTTE Members in Kilinochchi.

by

Shamindra Ferdinando

The government has accused the International Organization for Migration (IOM) of violating its mandate by arranging a secret meeting between a group of ex-LTTE terrorists and a top level US delegation led by Ambassador-at-Large Stephen J. Rapp, the head of the Office of Global Criminal Justice, during the second week of January.

The meeting has taken place at the IOM office in Kilinochchi. The US delegation included US Ambassador in Colombo Michele Sison.

Authoritative government sources told The Island that the meeting had been arranged by the IOM in consultation with the Office of UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka, Subinay Nandy.

Continue reading ‘IOM Accused of Violating Its Mandate by Arranging Secret Meeting Between US Ambassador at Large Stephen Rapp and Ex-LTTE Members in Kilinochchi.’ »

UNP Kalutara District MP Palitha Thevarappruma Suspended from Party for Manhandling Ranil Wickremesinghe&Abusing Him in Filth

By

Zacki Jabbar

Kalutara District UNP MP Palitha Thevarapperuma, who manhandled the party’s National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at Wednesday’s parliamentary group meeting, was suspended from the party yesterday.

Informed sources said that the notice of suspension had been served on Thevarapperuma and also copied to the Disciplinary Committee of the UNP.

Continue reading ‘UNP Kalutara District MP Palitha Thevarappruma Suspended from Party for Manhandling Ranil Wickremesinghe&Abusing Him in Filth’ »

Trying to Reach Paradise on Tail of Chinese Elephant the Govt,Country and People are all Going to Crashland Speedily.


By

Upul Joseph Fernando

The Mahinda Rajapaksa Government seems to think that China is its saviour. It presents China as a constituent party of the government for the consumption of gullible people on whom the government depends very much to continue to be in power. When one sees the antics of the government while it is trying to take off to paradise on the tail of the Chinese elephant, it reminds him of what had happened in the very identical folk tale of a villager who tried to reach paradise with his entire family on the tail of an elephant. Ruefully, they crash-landed with much ignominy, shattering their over-inflated, unrealistic hopes.

China has gradually snuggled close to the government by promising to protect the country from the US and west-sponsored allegations of human rights violations brought against it at international fora. China has used this opiate to bamboozle the country’s rulers to act against their better judgement, by drawing massive loans from China at highly unrealistic, interest rates. That is not all. Heavily subsidized Chinese industries with disproportionate tax concessions are operated by the Chinese firms using exclusively Chinese labour. The country’s economy has come under severe exploitation by Chinese firms. The Norochcholai Coal Power Plant is a strong case in point. This power plant project faced many snags right from the beginning. Its frequent break downs have given it a sarcastic name tag; the people now call it ‘always breakdown.’ China rejects these allegations, outright.

Continue reading ‘Trying to Reach Paradise on Tail of Chinese Elephant the Govt,Country and People are all Going to Crashland Speedily.’ »

After Northern Provincial Council Resolutions the TNA Cannot Expect the Sri Lankan State and Sinhala Majority to Trust them.

by

N. Sathiya Moorthy

Northern Province Chief Minister, Justice C. V. Wigneswaran has to be commended for not giving in completely to hard-liners’ demands for a Provincial Council resolution seeking an (fresh?) international probe on ‘accountability issues’. He and a few others in the 30-member TNA grouping in the 38-seat PC got the draft modified to read that it was ‘equivalent to a genocide’, and not ‘genocide’ per se (until proved under international law/norms).

Yet, Justice Wigneswaran cannot justify voting for that amended resolution, along with the one calling for a ‘Mullivaikkal memorial’. Worse still, having done so, he and other TNA moderates cannot expect the Sri Lankan State and the majority Sinhala community/polity to trust them. Planting a sapling on LTTE’s “Heroes Day” and exploiting powers of the PC to pass blatant resolutions as these, while being Chief Minister, come with political and constitutional consequences.

At this rate, the TNA can become ‘untouchable’ in national politics, as they were earlier. It does not serve the Tamil cause – and certainly not the moderates’ cause. It is the hardliners alone, many of whom are outside the country forever that will be happy. They want no happy ending to the ethnic issue. They may not be able to revive the war all over again but they are still all for fending off peace. ‘Innocent Tamils’, who have chosen to stay back, will be caught once again in the cleft-stick. It is their welfare that the TNA claim to project, propagate and protect.

Continue reading ‘After Northern Provincial Council Resolutions the TNA Cannot Expect the Sri Lankan State and Sinhala Majority to Trust them.’ »

“One Shot” Ranjan Ramanayake Protects Ranil Wickremesinghe From Kalutara MP Thevarapperuma at UNP Parliamentary Group Meeting

20140206-230317.jpg


By

Saman Indrajith

Pandemonium reigned at yesterday’s UNP Parliamentary Group meeting as party’s Kalutara District MP moved towards the head table issuing threats.

The UNP’s parliamentary group met at a committee room in the Parliament complex yesterday morning with the party’s National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe presiding.

At the commencement of the meeting, MP Thevarapperuma lashed out at party leadership for the recent losses and found fault with seniors for the way they had selected a candidate from Matugama area to contest the forthcoming elections to the Western Provincial Council. The MP blamed the seniors for not consulting him before selecting a candidate from his seat.

Continue reading ‘“One Shot” Ranjan Ramanayake Protects Ranil Wickremesinghe From Kalutara MP Thevarapperuma at UNP Parliamentary Group Meeting’ »

Neelan Tiruchelvam the Foremost Intellectual of Contemporary Tamil Politics

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Seventieth Birth Anniversary on January 31st 2014

Neelan Tiruchelvam (January 31, 1944 – July 29, 1999) – Portrait held during a Memorial Lecture in his honour - pic by: Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Neelan Tiruchelvam (January 31, 1944 – July 29, 1999) – Portrait held during a Memorial Lecture in his honour – pic by: Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

January 31st is the birthday of eminent Constitution lawyer, academic and politician Dr.Neelakandan Tiruchelvam. Neelan as he was popularly known would have completed the biblical life span of three score years and ten had he been among the living today. Born on January 31st 1944,Neelan Tiruchelvam, was brutally assassinated fifteen years ago by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)on July 29th 1999.He was 55 at the time of his death.

I had a close personal relationship with Neelan. He was my friend, philosopher and guide. He was greatly instrumental in moulding my career. He was in a sense my political mentor. It was as a journalist on the Tamil daily “Virakesari” that I first began interacting with Neelan Tiruchelvam. My relationship with him grew over the years as I moved into English journalism via ‘‘The Island ‘’and ‘‘The Hindu ‘’.

Continue reading ‘Neelan Tiruchelvam the Foremost Intellectual of Contemporary Tamil Politics’ »

President Rajapaksa Wishes TNA Leader Sampanthan For 81st Birthday and Invites Him For Direct Talks on Tamil Issue.


By

Ananth Palakidnar

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President Mahinda Rajapaksa, while extending birthday greetings to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan, has invited him for direct talks over the Tamil question.
Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Wishes TNA Leader Sampanthan For 81st Birthday and Invites Him For Direct Talks on Tamil Issue.’ »

Ravi Karunanayake Resigns from UNP Nomination Board and Sends Scathing Letter to Ranil Wickremesinghe

By

Gagani Weerakoon

Colombo District Parliamentarian, Ravi Karunanayake, yesterday resigned from the National Nomination Board of the United National Party (UNP), expressing his disappointment and aversion over the manner in which the decisions are being taken with regard to the selection of candidates for the Western Provincial Council election from the Colombo District.

In a scathing letter sent last afternoon to UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Karunanayake has questioned the arbitrary manner in which Wickremesinghe and the Nomination Board had acted when selecting candidates in the Colombo District by deviating from the normal procedure of seeking the opinion of respective organizers of each electorate.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Resigns from UNP Nomination Board and Sends Scathing Letter to Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

30 Minute Documentary Titled “Sri Lanka:Reconciling and Rebuilding”Targeting US Viewers Aired Over NBC During Prime Time on TV


By

Dharisha Bastians

A strategy and lobby firm contracted by the Sri Lanka Central Bank at a thumping fee has aired a 30 minute documentary to promote the island’s post war potential and progress on a major US television network last weekend.

Continue reading ‘30 Minute Documentary Titled “Sri Lanka:Reconciling and Rebuilding”Targeting US Viewers Aired Over NBC During Prime Time on TV’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Makes Special Statement in Parliament about “Colombo Port City”Built at 1.3 BillionUS Dollars Cost by Reclaiming Sea Beyond Galle Face.


By

Saman Indrajith

UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe urged from the government yesterday to present to Parliament all the documents pertaining to the Colombo Port City Project being built by reclaiming the sea near the Galle Face Green.

Making a special statement to Parliament Wickremesinghe said: “The media has reported that a city called ‘Colombo Port City’ is being built beyond Galle Face Green, Colombo by filling the sea. According to those reports quoting sources of the Ministry of Ports and Ports Authority, this city will contain an extent of land of some 233 hectares.

The media has also reported that this project would cost 1.3 billion US dollars. This is the first instance in Sri Lankan history where such a vast area of land has been filled. As such, this is the largest reclamation project in Lankan history.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Makes Special Statement in Parliament about “Colombo Port City”Built at 1.3 BillionUS Dollars Cost by Reclaiming Sea Beyond Galle Face.’ »

Tears, sweat and blood……..Unending Spirit and Will of the Rural Farmer


by

Vishnuguptha


“Other lands have their vitality in a few, a class, but we have it in the bulk of our people.”

~Walt Whitman

The setting sun with its crimson glow and a radiating circumference had a final peep at the green paddy fields that lay about the vast expanse. The entirety of the field that expanded across the valley is rich with irrigated water and had the luxury of a modernly designed and a well-structured main and sub canal system. This immense span of greenery was fruits of hard labor, immaculate engineering planning and huge capital outlay.

In the olden days, the subject farmers of the Kings would have worked on this land to make it bloom with paddy, kept his share and given the rest to the exchequer. No historian has expressed any view on the psychological make-up of the farmer when he had to part with the Crown’s share. In a real hard sense, it was tax that the farmer was paying, for the farmer did not own the land. Nor did he own the irrigation canal and the massive tank that was located far away from the fields, on a plane much higher in elevation and surrounded by thick woods, both natural and man-grown. An ancient land that nourished and preserved a proud irrigation civilization which one could brag about being the ‘Granary of Asia’, has been enriched and given new life to preserve that same civilization.

Continue reading ‘Tears, sweat and blood……..Unending Spirit and Will of the Rural Farmer’ »

Justice Sri Skandaraja has Earned Honourable Mention in the Court of History by his Ruling on the Shirani Bandaranayake Case

Justice S. Sri Skandaraja

Justice S. Sri Skandaraja

By

Ravi Perera

Last week at the Colombo General Cemetery we attended the funeral of Justice S. Sri Skandaraja, the President of the Court of Appeal. Several hundred mourners braved the mid-day sun to salute the memory of a man who had given a lifetime of service to the legal system of this country, a good number of those years as an employee of the State.

A simple God-fearing man whose conduct best epitomised, at least in respect of one case before him, the famous Latin legal phrase which translates to “let justice be done though the heavens fall”; in other words, justice must be realised regardless of the consequences.

Continue reading ‘Justice Sri Skandaraja has Earned Honourable Mention in the Court of History by his Ruling on the Shirani Bandaranayake Case’ »

Sri Lanka Refusing Entry to Catherine Russell US Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues Signals Hardening of Position by Colombo

By

Dharisha Bastians

The Sri Lankan Government has refused entry to a top US official, signalling a hardening of positions in Colombo ahead of the UN Human Rights Council Session in March where Washington is to sponsor a third resolution pushing the country to move forward on reconciliation and accountability.

This is the first time such a high-ranking US official has been denied a visa to enter Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Refusing Entry to Catherine Russell US Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues Signals Hardening of Position by Colombo’ »

“We Do not Accept the View that the Provincial Councils are Empty Shells With no Powers at all”

By

C.V.K.Sivagnanam


(Text of Keynote address delivered by C.V.K. Sivagnanam, Chairman, Northern Provincial Council at Canadian Tamil Congress “Thai Pongal” Dinner held in Toronto on January 18, 2014.)

Mr. President, Honorable guests, dear brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen.

First of all, I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous Tamil New year and Thai Pongal greetings.
I also bring greetings and well wishes from our Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran, Ministers and Members of the Northern Provincial Council.

It is a great honour and pleasure for me to participate in this great event. I sincerely thank the Canadian Tamil Congress and others who were instrumental in inviting me to take part in this important cultural event.

Continue reading ‘“We Do not Accept the View that the Provincial Councils are Empty Shells With no Powers at all”’ »

Murdered Journalist Mel (Melicia) Gunasekera was Loved by her Colleagues in the Media!

Mel (Melicia) Gunasekera

Mel (Melicia) Gunasekera

Mel Gunasekera, who was killed at her private residence in Battaramulla, was adored by her colleagues. They loved her personality, her willingness to help, and her radiant smile. Hence, the news of her sudden death that came on the first Sunday of the month of February was an utter shock to everyone in the country’s journalistic fraternity.

So they penned their thoughts………………

Continue reading ‘Murdered Journalist Mel (Melicia) Gunasekera was Loved by her Colleagues in the Media!’ »

US Asst Secy of State Nisha Biswal was not Properly Briefed by US Embassy in Colombo on Sri Lankan Situation Says Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Biswal wouldn’t have declared that Sri Lanka’s human rights record had deteriorated five years after the conclusion of the conflict if she had been properly briefed by the US embassy in Colombo.

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Biswal and Ambassador Nirupama Rao at the first U.S. Congress Diwali celebration-Oct 29, 2013-pic: US State Dept

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Biswal and Ambassador Nirupama Rao at the first U.S. Congress Diwali celebration-Oct 29, 2013-pic: US State Dept

Biswal had been totally ignorant of the situation here as she was misinformed, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said in an interview with The Island yesterday.
Continue reading ‘US Asst Secy of State Nisha Biswal was not Properly Briefed by US Embassy in Colombo on Sri Lankan Situation Says Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’ »

“Stars and Popular Figures Entering Politics Should be Worthy, Committed and Loyal”-Rosy Senanayake

An Interview with Shihara Maduwage

Parliamentarian Rosy Senanayake -pic: Pradeep Pathirana

Parliamentarian Rosy Senanayake -pic: Pradeep Pathirana

United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian Rosy Senanayake who is also a strong voice for women in Sri Lanka told the Daily Mirror during an interview that the status of women in the country was in a grave situation. She also spoke about the current political atmosphere in the country, the upcoming Provincial Council Elections and expressed her views about the government’s economic and development agenda.


Q: What do you think of the present political situation in the country?

Continue reading ‘“Stars and Popular Figures Entering Politics Should be Worthy, Committed and Loyal”-Rosy Senanayake’ »

Suspected Sri Lankan Bomber Attempting to Enter Cockpit of Emirates Airline Flight from Dubai to Stockholm Arrested in Arlanda Airport

Police at Arlanda airport in Stockholm have arrested a man suspected to be a Sri Lankan national who attempted to enter the cockpit of a plane destined for Sweden claiming he had a bomb, foreign media reported.

Continue reading ‘Suspected Sri Lankan Bomber Attempting to Enter Cockpit of Emirates Airline Flight from Dubai to Stockholm Arrested in Arlanda Airport’ »

39 Year old Man who Painted Battaramulla Residence of Murdered Journalist Mel Gunasekara Arrested as Suspected Killer by Police in Dompe

Police last evening arrested the prime suspect in the murder of senior Business journalist and Asst Vice President of Fitch Ratings, Ms.Mel Gunasekera at her residence in Battaramulla.

SSP Ajith Rohana said that the officers of the special Crime Investigation Unit of the Mirihana Police had made the arrest at the New Road, Dompe. Suspect Samson Anthony of the same address is a house painter and he had worked at Mel’s house three months ago.

Continue reading ‘39 Year old Man who Painted Battaramulla Residence of Murdered Journalist Mel Gunasekara Arrested as Suspected Killer by Police in Dompe’ »

US will seek Third Resolution at UNHRC “Underscoring Mounting Concerns” Over Lack of Progress by Sri Lanka-Nisha Biswal


By

Dharisha Bastians

A deteriorating human rights climate and insufficient progress on reconciliation, justice and accountability five years after the end of conflict was placing Sri Lanka’s proud democratic traditions in jeopardy, a top United States envoy said in Colombo on Saturday (1).

pic via: twitter.com/USEmbSL

pic via: twitter.com/USEmbSL

“We are concerned about the worsening situation with respect to human rights, including continued attacks against religious minorities, as well as the weakening rule of law and an increase in the levels of corruption and impunity,” US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal told journalists over the weekend.

Continue reading ‘US will seek Third Resolution at UNHRC “Underscoring Mounting Concerns” Over Lack of Progress by Sri Lanka-Nisha Biswal’ »

Senior Business Journalist Mel Gunasekara Found Murdered at her Battaramulla Residence While Family was at Church.

Mel Gunasekara-pic via: ETV

Mel Gunasekara-pic via: ETV

Ms. Mel Gunasekera the Assistant Vice President at Fitch Ratings Lanka and senior business Journalist was found murdered at her house in Battaramulla on Sunday February 2nd morning, Police said

Police said that Ms. Gunasekara was found dead with injuries caused by a sharp weapon.

Continue reading ‘Senior Business Journalist Mel Gunasekara Found Murdered at her Battaramulla Residence While Family was at Church.’ »

“I asked the President not to get Involved with my Father’s Murder Case”-Hirunika Premachandra

An Interview With Chamitha Kuruppu

Bold and beautiful Hirunika Premachandra believes she has a right to be a part of this Government simply because her late father has shed blood, sweat and tears to bring this regime to power. “We care about the President, we care about this Government. My family has always been with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. We feel he is a great leader. This is why I decided to contest under Sri Lanka Freedom Party,” she points out.

pic courtesy of: Derana

pic courtesy of: Derana

In an interview with the Daily FT, the SLFP Co-Organiser for Colombo Central and daughter of late Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra spoke about her struggle to seek justice over her father’s murder, renewed bonds with the President’s family, motives of becoming a politician and her personal commitment for a drug-free Sri Lanka.

Following are excerpts:
Continue reading ‘“I asked the President not to get Involved with my Father’s Murder Case”-Hirunika Premachandra’ »

An Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five Second Long Interview with Reclusive Author Vikram Seth

by

Smriti Daniel

At Taprobane last week: Vikram Seth

At Taprobane last week: Vikram Seth

What do you say to a man who has kept you waiting for five years? Before us stands author and poet Vikram Seth; shirt open to the waist, hair tousled by hands and breeze, he’s uncertain of who we are and why we have come to intrude on him. I’m wet from the hips down, having waded through the waters that encircle the little island of Taprobane, but my recorder is dry and my notebook is open.

I know enough not to take this interview for granted – the last time Vikram was in Sri Lanka for the Galle Literary Festival it was 2008 and he wasn’t speaking to journalists. This time he says he will spare me five minutes – I negotiate for 10 and eventually receive 13:45 – but there is still some material from a reading and short conversation to be mined and in the end, it is just enough.
Continue reading ‘An Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five Second Long Interview with Reclusive Author Vikram Seth’ »

Sixty-Six Years of “Independent” Political Life has left us with an Utterly Regrettable Legacy

By

Vishnuguptha

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”--Jane Austen

pic via: facebook.com/KaruJayasuriya

pic via: facebook.com/KaruJayasuriya

Memories, memories and more memories, that’s all what we would be eventually left with. If our legacy to our children is only those memories, then we have let them down very badly. As a country, as a nation and as a people, we have come sixty five long years, celebrating the dawn of Independence each year on February 4th or more precisely expressed, granting of Independence from the British Colonial powers with pomp and pageantry, with glee and glory and with passion and thanks.

No person can and should understate the significance of a nation freeing itself from the crutches of foreign rule. Although Ceylon did not have to endure the brutal suppressions and unspeakable agonies that India had to absorb and suffer in her own ‘Freedom Struggle’, the universally-felt indignations and humiliations our ‘Independence Leaders’ went through are no mean by any standard. Yet there were no massacres of the magnitude of the ‘Amritsar Massacre’, no national-level leaders underwent prolonged and frequent jail terms similar to those Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and the rest of the Indian leaders went through.

Continue reading ‘Sixty-Six Years of “Independent” Political Life has left us with an Utterly Regrettable Legacy’ »

US State Asst Secy Nisha Biswal Meets TNA Northern Councillor Anandhi Sasitharan and Other Women whose Relatives Disappeared after Surrendering

By

Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal, yesterday reassured Northern Provincial Council member, Ananthi Sasitharan that she would apply pressure on the Sri Lankan Government through the US to look into disappearances, abductions and the fate of LTTE combatants, who had surrendered to the government.

Biswal, who visited Jaffna yesterday morning, had met several Northern PC members, TNA politician M.A. Sumanthiran and Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran.Sasitharan met Biswal with a few other women, who had surrendered their husbands and fathers to the government, during the last phase of the war in 2009. She told Biswal there had been ethnic cleansing beginning from the ’50s and even in the 1983 riots, it was the Tamils who lost their lives and not the Sinhalese. “During every riot, the Tamils did not retaliate, but were assaulted and murdered,” she pointed out.

Continue reading ‘US State Asst Secy Nisha Biswal Meets TNA Northern Councillor Anandhi Sasitharan and Other Women whose Relatives Disappeared after Surrendering’ »

Over 2000 Christians Protest in Colombo Demanding Religious Freedom as Provided in Constitution and End to Hate Mongering


More than 2,000 Christians gathered in Colombo on Sunday (January 26) to protest against a perceived lack of religious freedom in Sri Lanka, following recent attacks on Christian places of worship by Buddhist extremists.

Continue reading ‘Over 2000 Christians Protest in Colombo Demanding Religious Freedom as Provided in Constitution and End to Hate Mongering’ »

Policemen with a Buddhist Monk “Arrest”Pastor and Congregation Members of Calvary Free Church at Rathgama in Galle While they were Praying and Take them to Police Station.


On the 26th of January 2014, the pastor of the Calvary Free Church in Rathgama in the Galle district and some congregation members were praying together at the premises of one of the members.

Whilst the prayer meeting was in progress, at approximately 10.40 a.m., eight police officers together with a Buddhist monk forcibly entered the premises.

Continue reading ‘Policemen with a Buddhist Monk “Arrest”Pastor and Congregation Members of Calvary Free Church at Rathgama in Galle While they were Praying and Take them to Police Station.’ »

Stones Hurled at Assemblies of God Pastor’s Premises in Nalle,Gampaha Even While Two Policemen Were Providing Protection.

On the 08th of January 2014, at approximately 8.45 p.m., 11.40 p.m. and 5.00 a.m. stones were hurled into the premises of the pastor of the Assemblies of God Church, in Nalle, Gampaha by a group of unidentified persons.

Continue reading ‘Stones Hurled at Assemblies of God Pastor’s Premises in Nalle,Gampaha Even While Two Policemen Were Providing Protection.’ »

TNA Targets Northern Province Chief Secretary R. Wijiyaludchumi Demanding her Immediate Removal.

Ms. Wijiyaludchumi Ramesh

Ms. Wijiyaludchumi Ramesh

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The Tamil National Alliance(TNA) is now directing its anger towards Northern Province Council(NPC) Chief Secretary Ms.Wijiyaludchumi Ramesh instead of Northern Governor GA Chandrasiri as it did earlier.

The TNA despite winning 30 of the 38 seats of the Northern Provincial council seats at elections held on September 21st 2013 has been unable to ensure the smooth functioning of the new provincial administration so far. The TNA which earlier blamed Chandrasiri –described as a “military governor by it- for this situation is now re-directing its wrath against the NPC Chief Secretary Ms. Wijiyaludchumi Ramesh in this respect.

Continue reading ‘TNA Targets Northern Province Chief Secretary R. Wijiyaludchumi Demanding her Immediate Removal.’ »

Is LTTE Leader “Ezhilan”s Wife Anandhi Sasitharan a Voice of the Victims Or of the Perpetrators of Injustice?

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Anandhi’s Husband Ezhilan Committed many Atrocities Against Tamil Civilians of Wanni

Anandhi Sasitharan wife of senior Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) leader Sinnathurai Sasitharan alias Ezhilan began grabbing the attention of Northern voters when the Provincial council election campaign got underway.As the only woman candidate fielded by the Tamil national alliance(TNA) in Jaffna district and by virtue of being given the Number One slot on the candidate list, Anandhi was in an advantageous position.

In Germany-pic: ananthy.net-December 2013

In Germany-pic: ananthy.net-December 2013

Furthermore the portrayal of her pathetic plight in having a husband reported missing after surrendering to the armed forces aroused much sympathy. Backed by a well-financed,well-organized propaganda campaign Anandhi Sasitharan began making rapid strides on the path to electoral triumph.

Continue reading ‘Is LTTE Leader “Ezhilan”s Wife Anandhi Sasitharan a Voice of the Victims Or of the Perpetrators of Injustice?’ »

Govt Impedes and Obstructs Genuine Reconciliation by its Unwillingness to Honestly Share Power with the Northern Provincial Council-Sampanthan


(Text of Statement Issued by the President of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchi and Trincomalee district MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan)

TNA Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan MP lighting traditional lamp at the NPC swearing in ceremony-Nov 2013

TNA Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan MP lighting traditional lamp at the NPC swearing in ceremony-Nov 2013

The Central Committee meeting of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi was held on 26th.January 2014 at the Town Hall, Trincomalee. The meeting was attended by representatives from all districts in the Northern and Eastern provinces. The meeting which commenced at 10.30 a.m. under the chairmanship of R.Sampanthan M.P. President of the I.T.A.K. continued until 6.30. p.m.

The Central Committee conveyed its sincere thanks to the people of the Northern province who overwhelmingly supported the Tamil National Alliance, and gave the Alliance a convincing victory at the Provincial Council Elections.

The Central Committee unanimously resolved that the Tamil people were gravely harmed as a result of the following vital issues relating to their future in the Northern and Eastern Provinces not being resolved, though almost five years have lapsed since the conclusion of the war.

Continue reading ‘Govt Impedes and Obstructs Genuine Reconciliation by its Unwillingness to Honestly Share Power with the Northern Provincial Council-Sampanthan’ »

20 Years of Rotting away in the Opposition Benches has Created an Utterly Negative Psyche in the UNP

By

Vishnuguptha

“You can wipe out your opponents. But if you do it unjustly you become eligible for being wiped out yourself.”
~Ernest Hemingway

Proportional Representation (PR) system introduced along with the passage of the 1978 Constitution changed the way in which elections are conducted in Sri Lanka forever. Although it was introduced into our body-politic by J R Jayewardene with the singular objective of sustaining the United National Party (UNP) in power for almost ever, ever since its defeat in 1994, the Party has been a cruel victim of the system that was introduced to protect its ‘majority-character’. I call it ‘majority-character’ because the UNP, barring the electoral debacle in 1956, always managed to maintain its voter base fairly consistently from 1947 onwards at each election and it could boast of being the strongest single political party. Even in 1970 with the sound beating it suffered at the hands of the SLFP-led coalition, UNP as a single political entity still managed to secure the highest number of votes at the General Elections.

This performance of the UNP at a very consistent level convinced J R that on the basis of a proportional representation system, the UNP could not be ousted from power forever. Little did J R realize that Premadasa who succeeded him as leader of the UNP and President of the country had other ideas. The great restraint that J R exercised, while being the Executive President, despite some abuses of power both by his Ministers and himself, was done away with to a very great extent. The real and great powers that were invested in the office of Executive Presidency were not only used with utter disdain to the Office of Presidency but the disregard Premadasa showed towards his Ministers and officialdom was sometimes callous and outright uncivil. Yet, the great politician he was, Premadasa was clever enough to read the pulse of the ordinary men and women and played populist politics to the hilt and he made the entire country along with the Cabinet of Ministers dance to the tune of it too.

Continue reading ‘20 Years of Rotting away in the Opposition Benches has Created an Utterly Negative Psyche in the UNP’ »

Pete Seeger the Singer who Popularised “We Shall Overcome” as Civil Rights Anthem Passes Away

20140130-003401.jpg

AP:Buoyed by his characteristically soaring spirit, the surging crowd around him and a pair of canes, Pete Seeger walked through the streets of Manhattan leading an Occupy Movement protest in 2011.

Though he would later admit the attention embarrassed him, the moment brought back so many feelings and memories as he instructed yet another generation of young people how to effect change through song and determination as he had done over seven decades as a history-sifting singer and ever-so-gentle rabble-rouser.

“Be wary of great leaders,” he told The Associated Press two days after the march. “Hope that there are many, many small leaders.”

Continue reading ‘Pete Seeger the Singer who Popularised “We Shall Overcome” as Civil Rights Anthem Passes Away’ »

“Rathgama Christian Church”Pastor’s Residence at Rathgama in Galle District Attacked by mob after Buddhist Monk’s Hate Speech.

On the 05th of January 2014 at approximately 5 p.m, a Buddhist monk conducting a meeting held at the village school on observing Buddhist rituals, began to speak (from a loud speaker) against the religious worship activities of the Pastor of the Rathgama Christian Church in Rathgama in the Galle district.

Continue reading ‘“Rathgama Christian Church”Pastor’s Residence at Rathgama in Galle District Attacked by mob after Buddhist Monk’s Hate Speech.’ »

Police File Case in Courts Against Warakapola “Church of Grace”Pastor after Holding Inquiry at Police Station.

On the 12th of January 2014, at approximately 2p.m., two police officers visited the premises of the pastor of the Church of Grace in Warakapola in the Kegalle District, and questioned him as to why he had not stopped the worship services held in his premises since he was warned to discontinue the services.

Continue reading ‘Police File Case in Courts Against Warakapola “Church of Grace”Pastor after Holding Inquiry at Police Station.’ »

Buddhist Monks Want the “Suveya Doratuwa”Church in Bibile in Uva Province Closed After Bodu Bala Sena Meeting.

On the 16th of January 2014, the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the area police visited the premises of the Pastor of the Suveya Doratuwa in Bibile in the Monaragala district and questioned him on the legal validity of the church and if the church was registered. The pastor responded with his right to religious worship as a fundamental right. It is important to note that Sri Lankan legislation does not require religious worship places to be registered.

Continue reading ‘Buddhist Monks Want the “Suveya Doratuwa”Church in Bibile in Uva Province Closed After Bodu Bala Sena Meeting.’ »

LTTE Ezhilan’s Wife Anandhi Sasitharan to be sent as Northern Council Representative to UNHRC in Geneva-Chief Minister Wigneswaran


By

Dharisha Bastians

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran says emotions are running high in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) with members losing faith in the Central Government because it continues to blockade the work of the newly elected body.

Speaking to Daily FT following the adoption of a controversial resolution calling for an international war crimes probe in the NPC, Wigneswaran said President Mahinda Rajapaksa was “killing the hopes” of the recently elected Tamil National Alliance councillors by refusing to grant simple administrative requests made by the NPC.

Continue reading ‘LTTE Ezhilan’s Wife Anandhi Sasitharan to be sent as Northern Council Representative to UNHRC in Geneva-Chief Minister Wigneswaran’ »

Revitalizing Agriculture Sector Imperative for Rebuilding and Resucitating the Northern Province

By Professor Ranjith Senaratne


Background

The Northern province comprising five districts, namely Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mannar accounts for 13.54 % (8,884 km2) of land area and 5.2 % (1,058,762) of the population of the country. Agriculture is the mainstay of the people in the region where around 60% of the people are engaged in farming and related activities, and 45% of the labour force directly depends on agriculture. The Jaffna farmer is known for his industriousness and diligence; thus prior to the onset of the ethnic conflict in early 80’s, Jaffna contributed to around 12% of food production in the country. For instance, it accounted for around 75%, 30%, 30% and 15%, respectively, of the production red onions, chillies, grain legumes and rice in the country. The Northern Province practices both rain-fed as well as irrigated agriculture. It is endowed with 11 major and 54 minor tanks linked to a fairly well distributed irrigation canal system feeding over 40,000 ha of agricultural land.

However, as a result of the protracted internecine conflict, the performance of all the sectors of the Northern economy including agriculture was drastically affected. Concomitant with it was the loss of livelihood and means of sustenance of millions of people living in the North. Therefore in rebuilding and resuscitating the Northern region, it is imperative to revitalize the sector of agriculture in order to restore and improve the livelihoods and socio-economic standards of those engaged in farming in particular and the regional growth and development in general.

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Northern Provincial Council Passes Resolutions Calling for International Probe on War Crimes and a Memorial Monument in Mullivaaikkaal

by

Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) passed a resolution on Monday calling for an international probe into the war crimes allegedly committed during the country’s ethnic conflict.

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The resolution was proposed by NPC member M.K. Shivajilingam of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which formed the NPC administration after winning the 2013 provincial elections.
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Krishantha Prasad Cooray appointed to UNP Working Committee

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Top media personality Krishantha Prasad Cooray has been appointed a member of the United National Party’s Working Committee, the party’s apex decision making body.

He was presented with a letter of appointment by UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe last morning and attended the party’s Working Committee meeting at Sirikotha yesterday evening.

Cooray was the Founder CEO and Managing Director of the Rivira Media Corporation, a publishing house then owned by the Richard Peiris Group, which printed the Rivira and The Nation newspapers. He has also served as a News Consultant at a major private broadcaster in Sri Lanka.
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Two Peace doves set free by Children as Pope Francis Watched Attacked by seagull, crow as crowd of thousands watch

VATICAN CITY – Two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture have been attacked by other birds.

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Supreme Court Reprimands Police for not Filing Case Against Persons Accused of Attacking the “Jeewan Alokaya”Church at Weeraketiya on December 9th 2012.

By

Megara Tegal

The Supreme Court, last week, reprimanded the police on their failure to file a case against those accused of attacking a church in Weeraketiya on 9 December 2012. The judges went on to suggest that disciplinary action should be taken against police officers who do not do their duty. The Supreme Court further ordered the area police chief and all other relevant police officers connected to the attack on the church at Weeraketiya appear in court on 3 April .

Just over a year has passed since the case was filed, following one of the most violent hate-crimes against a religious institution in the recent years. The attack on the Jeewan Alokaya Church in Weeraketiya in December 2012 left the building unusable and the Pastor, Pradeep Kumara, injured, having been assaulted with a rock.

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