Dr. Chris Nonis Likely to Accept Apology from Sajin de Vass Gunawardena and Continue as High Commissioner in Britain Due to Efforts of President Rajapaksa and Prof. G.L.Peiris

Pic courtesy: drchrisnonis.com

Pic courtesy: drchrisnonis.com


Dr. Chris Nonis, Sri Lankan Envoy to the United Kingdom is likely to continue as High Commissioner in London despite having tendered his resignation to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in person.

It is learnt that External Affairs minister Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris is currently engaged in trying to persuade Dr. Nonis to “withdraw” his resignation and continue in office.

According to sources Dr. Nonis has agreed to do so provided he receives an apology from Galle district Parliamentarian and External Affairs ministry monitoring MP Mr. Sajin de Vass Gunawardena.

Continue reading ‘Dr. Chris Nonis Likely to Accept Apology from Sajin de Vass Gunawardena and Continue as High Commissioner in Britain Due to Efforts of President Rajapaksa and Prof. G.L.Peiris’ »

What did Mahinda Tell Modi and What did Narendra Tell Rajapaksa in Their One to one Meeting in New York?

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

Nothing is known in detail on the one on one talks between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Premier Narendra Modi in New York on the sidelines of the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly sessions. Even the media did not report much, other than recording the meet with the customary bilateral comments made by the two leaders on strengthening relations between the two countries. The Indian media claimed that the issue of the 13th Amendment was not discussed between Modi and Rajapaksa. It said the talks were cordial and Rajapaksa was thanked by Modi for seconding the former’s proposal on United Nations Solidarity Day.

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@PresRajapaksa and Prime Minister @narendramodi Agree to Strengthen Relations-pic via: @PresRajapaksa

Contrary to Indian media reports, the President’s Media Unit in Colombo reported that Rajapaksa was briefed by Modi on the talks the latter held with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). In addition the President’s Media Unit said that Rajapaksa had agreed to engage the TNA at the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) deliberations. It is surprising that Modi omitted the topic of the 13th Amendment and talked about the PSC only. Who is trying to deceive who is an obvious guess?

Everybody is at a loss to understand why Modi did not refer to 13 A with Rajapaksa after having met the TNA much earlier. Whenever Mahinda met Modi’s predecessor Dr. Manmohan Singh, Singh talked about the 13 A at all meets. It cannot be ruled that Modi conveniently omitted talks on 13 A having an alternative plan at the back of his mind to get Mahinda to implement. Or it could be he did not want to remind it as he told Mahinda about the 13 A when he earlier met him at his swearing-in ceremony and that nothing had happened so far. Also it could be that Modi did not want to remind as it would undermine his stand.

Continue reading ‘What did Mahinda Tell Modi and What did Narendra Tell Rajapaksa in Their One to one Meeting in New York?’ »

Burma’s 969 Movement Leader Ashin Wirathu Thera and Sri Lanka’s Bodu bala Sena Gen -Secy Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera Sign Joint Pact.

By

Yoshitha Perera

The Leader of Burma’s 969 oraganisation, Ven. Ashin Wirathu Thera and Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera today signed an agreement with the objective of building an Asian region without extremism.

The 969 represent the 24 qualities of Buddhism, inclusive of nine qualities of Buddha, six from Dhamma and nine from Sangha.

Ven. Wirathu Thera, addressing a news conference organised by the BBS in Colombo said that they have teamed up with the organisation to safeguard the Buddha Sasana and invited all peace loving people from other religions, including Muslims and Christians to gather in this initiative.

Continue reading ‘Burma’s 969 Movement Leader Ashin Wirathu Thera and Sri Lanka’s Bodu bala Sena Gen -Secy Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera Sign Joint Pact.’ »

Jayalalithaa Refuses to Meet New Chief Minister Panneerselvam Telling him to Focus on Administration and Not Visit her in Jail.

By

Imran Gowhar

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who has been convicted in the disproportionate assets case, on Tuesday refused to meet the newly sworn-in Chief Minister O Panneersevalm, when he went to meet her at the Central Jail in Parappana Agrahara, where she is lodged since September 27.

A prison official said: “Ms. Jayalalithaa conveyed the message through prison staff that as he was the Chief Minister he should not visit the jail, and that he should focus on administration…. This message was conveyed to him by the prison staff.”

Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa Refuses to Meet New Chief Minister Panneerselvam Telling him to Focus on Administration and Not Visit her in Jail.’ »

Vacation Bench of Karnataka High Court Adjourns Jayalalithaa Bail Hearing to October 6


By
Krishnaprasad & Sruthisagar Yamunan

When the matter came up for hearing in front of the vacation bench of the Court, Special Public Prosecutor Bhavani Singh, who also appeared for the State at the Special Court, said that while he received information about his appointment as prosecutor for the appeal as well, no formal communication has been received from the Karnataka Government.

Following this submission, the High Court, keeping in view the need for representation on the respondent’s side, adjourned the matter to Monday oct 6.

Continue reading ‘Vacation Bench of Karnataka High Court Adjourns Jayalalithaa Bail Hearing to October 6’ »

Northern Lawyers Ask Visiting Attorney -General Palitha Fernando to Reconsider Pending Cases Filed Under PTA and Emergency Regulations.


By

Franklin R. Satyapalan

Attorney General (AG) Sarath Palitha Fernando, who visited the North last week, had been asked by the Jaffna based lawyers for practical, meaningful measures to reconsider the cases pending before the courts in the North filed under Emergency Regulations and the Prevention of Terrorism Act and to consider rehabilitation rather than punitive measures for the accused as the war was over, said Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) (Administration) Sumith Dharmawardena yesterday.

The AG had replied that the suggestions made by the members of the Bar would be seriously considered. During the AG’s visit to the five judicial zones in the Northern Region, accompanied by a team of senior officers from his department, from September 25 to the 26, he held discussions with members of the Bar and the Judicial Officers.

The President of the Vavuniya Bar Association S. Dayabaran highlighted that it was a historical moment for the Vavuniya Bar as it was the first time an AG had officially visited the Vavuniya Bar. District Judge of Vavuniya R. Ramakamalan and the Vavuniya Magistrate M. Rizwan were also present.

Continue reading ‘Northern Lawyers Ask Visiting Attorney -General Palitha Fernando to Reconsider Pending Cases Filed Under PTA and Emergency Regulations.’ »

Transnational Pharmaeuticals Industry Sabotages Sri Lanka’s National Medicinal Drugs Policy


By
K.K.S.Perera

Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who initially made a genuine effort to introduce the NMDP in line with WHO ratified Professor Senaka Bibile’s proposals, recently presented a draft bill in a total deviation from the Bibile proposals. The World Health Assembly at its sittings in Geneva in May 1982, acknowledged Prof Bibile’s contribution widely and they seriously discussed the possibility of using the formula as a model in rationalizing the supplying systems in developing countries. Subsequently it was successfully launched in 37 third-world nations.

The People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients [PMRM] recently issued a statement condemning the proposed draft of the Health Ministry, and we have no alternative but to believe the pharmaceutical and health watchdog, PMRM, that this hoax-pas is nothing but a draft prepared by the Mafia itself. The miscreants succeed under public ignorance on the extremely harmful effects of the superfluous drugs they consume;loss of foreign exchange in terms of billions and also on the exceptional rewards that would befall the nation through planned restructure.

Continue reading ‘Transnational Pharmaeuticals Industry Sabotages Sri Lanka’s National Medicinal Drugs Policy’ »

An Unprincipled Bishop,A Shadowy Principal and an Old Boy Clique Form an”Unholy Trinity”in the Trinity College Conspiracy.

By

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

A Presidency Under Threat – 19 Indulgences without Principle

When I began this series, over four months ago, the title may have seemed excessive. And even my good friend Dayan Jayatilleka thought I was being unduly pessimistic about the President’s pulling power when I said that the UNP would poll at least 40% in Badulla. But the results there have shown that the threat is even more serious than I had thought.

Over the next few weeks I will explore how the threat might be averted. But I suspect that that will serve no purpose, for Basil Rajapaksa, who may be the only one of the decision makers who reads what I write, would by then have dragooned the President into having an early election. He did this in 2009 when, as the President then put it to me – with a hint of contempt I think for what he deemed the amateur nature of our advice – only Gota and I told him not to have the Presidential election so soon.

That haste, to entrench not the President, whose popularity was unrivalled at the time, but his rent seeking friends and relations in power, has been the root of the evils we have suffered. Contrariwise, Mahinda Rajapaksa, if left to himself, would I think have gone ahead with the reforms he had promised. And he can still save himself, and his legacy, if he works on reforms such as those so helpfully suggested by Vasantha Senanayake, which aim at strengthening the effectiveness of the Executive, not its power.

But even now, understanding that having the Presidential election soon would be unwise, the rent seekers are trying to precipitate an early Parliamentary election. They ignore the fact that Parliament has a year and a half to go, and the President more than two years, ample time for the pluralist Mahinda Rajapaksa to recreate himself, free of the baggage he has been compelled to carry.

Continue reading ‘An Unprincipled Bishop,A Shadowy Principal and an Old Boy Clique Form an”Unholy Trinity”in the Trinity College Conspiracy.’ »

If UNP is to Replicate Uva Performance , it must have more Political Duplicates of Harin Fernando.

By

Malinda Seneviratne

Some months ago when there was talk of Harin Fernando giving up his parliamentary seat to come forward as the UNP’s Chief Ministerial Candidate for Uva, there was one rather talkative man who pooh-poohed the notion. ‘Just a media show – he will not contest,’ he was convinced. He offered instead that the UNP should find ‘a suitable candidate,’ meaning that Harin was not the deal. Well, Tissa Attanayake is not exactly the UNP even though he can be trusted not to stray from the script of Ranil Wickremesinghe.

It’s all done now. The UNP didn’t defeat the ruling party, but it can count a lot of victories this side of securing the council. Improved numbers, greater enthusiasm among the rank and file when it comes to electioneering and a whopping preference return for the chief ministerial candidate all add up to a healthy performance by a party that’s been in the doldrums for years, sadly even in the context of declining regime popularity. In previous elections, ‘regime-fatigue’ has not translated into electoral shift towards the opposition. It’s as if the voters thought the Opposition was worse than the ruling party and went with ‘known devil’.

Continue reading ‘If UNP is to Replicate Uva Performance , it must have more Political Duplicates of Harin Fernando.’ »

Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama: Unforgettable Symbol of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tragedy

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

It was 25 years ago on September 21st 1989 that Dr. Rajini Thiranagama nee Rajasingham was killed in Jaffna. She was 35 years old at the time of her death.The 25th anniversary of her death is to be commemorated through a series of events next week in the northern capital. This is the first time that such a commemoration of Rajini’s memorable legacy is to be held in Jaffna, since the one held in 1989, a month after her death.

Dr. Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama

Dr. Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama

A Commemoration Meeting is to be held at the Medical Faculty, University of Jaffna on September 20th at 9.30 a.m. On the same day at 2 p.m a procession for peace, democracy and social justice will start at the Medical Faculty, University of Jaffna and end at the Veerasingham Hall with a short meeting.On September 21st a seminar will be held at 9 am on the theme “A more just and democratic society”.The venue is the Kailasapathy Hall, University of Jaffna.

Rajini was a contemporary of mine at Jaffna Collge,Vaddukkoddai where I completed my GCE- Advanced Level. Her father Mr.A. Rajasingham was the vice –principal during my time. Rajini born on February 23rd 1954 studied at Jaffna College(JC) from grade one till entering varsity except for a short period at Chundikkuli Girls College in Jaffna town. All of her sisters Nirmala,Sumathy and Vasuki were at JC too. In school she was known as Rajini but later on her name was spelled as Rajani .Yet we the old students of JC continue to refer to her as Rajini and I too am doing so while writing this article.

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St. James Church graveyard, Nallur-in January, 2012-pic by Saba Thambi

It is hard to believe that twenty-five years have passed since Rajini was brutally gunned down at Thirunelvely, Jaffna on September 21st 1989 while cycling back home from the Jaffna University. She was Professor of Anatomy at the Jaffna Varsity medical faculty. The 35 year old mother of two daughters –Narmada and Sharika- was also a human rights activist, feminist, critic of narrow nationalism and opponent of irresponsible militarism.

Continue reading ‘Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama: Unforgettable Symbol of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tragedy’ »

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Panneerselvam and AIADMK Ministers Take Oaths Before Governor with Eyes full of Tears Over Jayalalithaa’s Plight.

By
B.Aravind Kumar

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O. Panneerselvam, staunch loyalist of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa, was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for a second time on Monday by Governor K. Rosaiah, followed by the induction of other Ministers. The ceremony was emotionally charged with virtually every member of the new Cabinet breaking down .

Mr. Panneerselvam succeeds party General Secretary Jayalalithaa after she was convicted in the disproportionate assets case by a Bangalore special court on Saturday.

As the Governor invited him to take oath, Mr. Panneerselvam was in tears, but continued to read the pledge. He was seen wiping his tears frequently as his cabinet colleagues began taking oath, most of them also in tears.

Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Panneerselvam and AIADMK Ministers Take Oaths Before Governor with Eyes full of Tears Over Jayalalithaa’s Plight.’ »

Appeal Filed in Karnataka High Court Seeking Suspension of Sentence on Behalf of Tamil Nadu Ex-CM Jayalalithaa.

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s appeal against Special Court’s conviction order in disproportionate assets case was filed in the Karnataka High Court around 11 a.m on Monday.

Her advocates filed the appeal, with a plea seeking suspension of sentence, in the High Court’s registry section.

Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala, her relatives V.N Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi also approached the High Court, seeking bail.

Continue reading ‘Appeal Filed in Karnataka High Court Seeking Suspension of Sentence on Behalf of Tamil Nadu Ex-CM Jayalalithaa.’ »

3000 Acres of Land held by 6 Firms “for and on Behalf of Jayalalithaa”To be Confisticated on Orders of Special Court.

By

Krishnaprasad

The Special Court, which convicted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her aides in the disproportionate assets case on Saturday, has issued a direction for the confiscation of around 3,000 acres of land and other properties held by six firms “for and on behalf of Ms. Jayalalithaa.”

The properties were registered in the names of Ramraj Agro Mills Ltd, Signora Business Enterprises, Lex Properties Development Pvt Ltd, Riverway Agro Products Ltd; Meadow Agro Farms Pvt Ltd; and Indo-Doha Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals.

Judge John Michael Cunha said in his order that the present value of the 3,000 acres “is left to our imagination.” Nine hundred acres at Kodanad was purchased for Rs.7.5 crore. The other agricultural lands were acquired for around Rs. 10,000 per acre. At this price, the entire village [to which these lands belong] could have been bought for Rs.53 crore, the court observed.

Continue reading ‘3000 Acres of Land held by 6 Firms “for and on Behalf of Jayalalithaa”To be Confisticated on Orders of Special Court.’ »

6 Commit Suicide and 10 Die of Cardiac Arrest in Tamil Nadu After Hearing of Jayalalithaa’s Conviction for Corruption.

CHENNAI: At least 16 people committed suicide or died of cardiac arrest across Tamil Nadu after a special court in Bangalore convicted AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa in the 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case on Saturday and sentenced her to four years in prison. Two people have been hospitalized with severe burns.

Police said three people hanged themselves, one AIADMK supporter committed suicide by self-immolation, one person ended his life by jumping in front of a bus and one person died after consuming poison after the court pronounced its verdict. Ten others died of cardiac arrest, apparently due to shock after Jayalalithaa’s conviction, a police officer said.

Two people, including a Class 12 student, attempted self-immolation self and have been hospitalised with severe burns. Another ardent AIADMK supporter chopped off his little finger in Tirupur.

Continue reading ‘6 Commit Suicide and 10 Die of Cardiac Arrest in Tamil Nadu After Hearing of Jayalalithaa’s Conviction for Corruption.’ »

Jayalalithaa Loyalist Paneerselvam a Former Tea Stall Owner Becomes Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for Second Time.

O. Paneerselvam

O. Paneerselvam

Once a tea stall owner, AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa’s trusted lieutenant is set to become Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the second time since 2001, when he made his Assembly debut.

The 63-year-old leader from Thevar community held two key portfolios of Finance and Public Works in the Jayalalithaa Ministry.
Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa Loyalist Paneerselvam a Former Tea Stall Owner Becomes Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for Second Time.’ »

Jayalalithaa’s Faithful Finance Minister Panneerselvam to Succeed her as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

The meeting of AIADMK MLAs on Sunday is said to have unanimously elected Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam as the party’s Legislative Party leader and he is likely to be sworn in as Chief Minister.

Raj Bhavan sources said the AIADMK had sought an appointment with Governor K. Rosaiah at 6 pm.

This is the second time Mr Panneerslevam has become the Chief Minister of the state.

Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa’s Faithful Finance Minister Panneerselvam to Succeed her as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.’ »

Veteran Legal Eagle Ram Jethmalani Flies Back from London to Appear in Court for Tamil Nadu Ex-Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

Senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani is flying back from London to represent AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, who has been convicted in the disproportionate assets case, in the Karnataka High Court, his office said on Sunday.

The senior advocate will reach India by Monday.

The High Court will then be moved for suspension of her sentence and bail.

Courtesy:The Hindu

Jayalalithaa’s Lawyers to File Appeal Seeking Bail, Suspending of Sentence and Staying of Conviction.

by

Sruthisagar Yamunan

AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa’s lawyers will file an appeal on Monday against the special court verdict sentencing her to four-year simple imprisonment in a disproportionate assets case and also seek her release on bail.

AIADMK Rajya Sabha Member A. Navaneethakrishnan told The Hindu that a bail application would be moved in the Karnataka High Court. However, since the High Court was on vacation, the application may be taken up by a vacation bench on Tuesday.

Her lawyers held a marathon meeting here on Sunday preparing the grounds of appeal against the trial court order which disqualified Ms Jayalalithaa as an MLA and cost her the position of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

The legal team discussed options to get the sentence suspended and the conviction stayed, party sources said. According to sources, senior Supreme Court advocate Ram Jethmalani is likely to join the defence team.

Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa’s Lawyers to File Appeal Seeking Bail, Suspending of Sentence and Staying of Conviction.’ »

Jayalalithaa has Iddlis,Vadais, Bread,Apples&Milk for Meals&reads 3 Tamil&2 English Newspapers on her First day in Prison.

Sruthisagar Yamunan & Imran Gowhar

For AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, who is known to be an early riser, Sunday at the Parappana Agrahara prison was no different.

Her first full day in jail began as early as 5.30 am. Prison officials told The Hindu that the three-time Chief Minister asked the authorities for five newspapers — three Tamil and two English.

This was followed by her request to take a walk on the premises, which was allowed.

Sources said she refused prison breakfast. Idlis and vadas were brought from outside for her. This is allowed at the discretion of the jail superintendent under the prison manual, sources said.

Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa has Iddlis,Vadais, Bread,Apples&Milk for Meals&reads 3 Tamil&2 English Newspapers on her First day in Prison.’ »

Myanmar’s Anti-Muslim Movement Leader Ashin Wirathu Pledges Support to Sri Lanka’s Anti-Muslim Bodu Bala Sena Movement.

By
Meera Srinivasan

Controversial Buddhist monk from Myanmar Ashin Wirathu, accused of leading an anti-Muslim movement in Burma, on Sunday pledged his support to a hard-line Sinhala-Buddhist group in Sri Lanka which faces similar allegations.

Speaking at the convention of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), roughly Buddhist Power Force when translated, Wirathu said he would work with the BBS to protect their common religion that, he said, was facing threats from Islamic jihadists, according to media reports.

The BBS, besides leading a campaign against halal certification last year, allegedly played a role in attacks against Muslim-owned establishments in Sri Lanka. The BBS has denied involvement and the Sri Lanka government — accused of supporting the organisation — has also denied backing the BBS.

Continue reading ‘Myanmar’s Anti-Muslim Movement Leader Ashin Wirathu Pledges Support to Sri Lanka’s Anti-Muslim Bodu Bala Sena Movement.’ »

Burma’s 969 Movement and Sri Lanka’s Bodu Bala Sena will work Together in Future Announces VenAshin Wirathu Thera in Colombo.

Stressing that a world without extremism was the essence of Buddhism, the founder leader of the 969 organisation of Myanmar, the Venerable Ashin Wirathu Thera said today that his organisation would work with the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) to achieve this goal.

Speaking during the BBS convention in Colombo, the venerable thera said some extremists were using technology, the media and power to spread their errors across the world. He therefore sent a wakeup call to all peace loving people and stressed that they should be on alert to face these threats.

The venerable thera said the BBS was playing in an important role in this regard in Sri Lanka.

“May the world usher in peace together with Buddhism,” the thera said, stressing the need to overcome the extremists who were trying to destroy Buddhism and all peace loving people.

Continue reading ‘Burma’s 969 Movement and Sri Lanka’s Bodu Bala Sena will work Together in Future Announces VenAshin Wirathu Thera in Colombo.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena President Kirama Wimalajothy Thero warns that BBS will “Bring a Man from the Village” to lead the Country if Govt Does not Address Concerns of Buddhists.

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) yesterday issued an ultimatum to the Government, saying it will not hesitate to push for a change of Government if the current one fails to address a threat faced by Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

BBS President, Kirama Wimalajothi Thero, speaking at a BBS summit at the Sugadathasa Indoor Stadium, insisted that Sri Lanka is not a multi-religious country.

He says Sri Lanka is a Sinhalese Buddhist country and Buddhism in Sri Lanka is now facing a threat from some groups, including according to him, extremist Muslim and Christian groups.

Speaking in front of a large gathering of monks and guests, including Ashin Wirathu, the dreaded leader of the 969 Movement in Myanmar and the Vedda chief, the Wimalajothi Thero rejected the “terrorist” tag on the BBS.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena President Kirama Wimalajothy Thero warns that BBS will “Bring a Man from the Village” to lead the Country if Govt Does not Address Concerns of Buddhists.’ »

Jayalalithaa Given Prisoner No 7402 and Housed in VVIP Cell No 23 with Bed,Fan and Bathroom Facility in Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara.

By

Imran Gowhar

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who has been convicted in the disproportionate assets case, has been allotted the VVIP Cell number 23 in the Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara. She has been given prisoner number 7402.

Sources said the cell is located next to the women’s barrack. Jail authorities said the occupant was entitled to a bed, fan and separate bathroom facility. Ms Jayalalithaa was provided with a white sari as a convict.

Her dinner included a Ragi ball, 200 grams of rice and two chapathis. However, she refused dinner and sought fruits instead.

Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa Given Prisoner No 7402 and Housed in VVIP Cell No 23 with Bed,Fan and Bathroom Facility in Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara.’ »

Cho. Ramaswamy says Legal Avenues are Available to Jayalalithaa and that she may come out Unscathed in the Future.

By B. Kolappan & B. Aravind Kumar

Cho S. Ramaswamy

Cho S. Ramaswamy

Every time her political rivals have written her off, Tamil Nadu’s three time Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has made a comeback.

And so while AIADMK’s political rivals believe that Saturday’s verdict against Ms Jayalalithaa would be a permanent setback and weaken her hold over the party, political analysts refuse to endorse this assessment.

Veteran journalist and political analyst Cho Ramaswamy said though the judgment was a blow to her now, there was a lot of sympathy for Ms Jayalalithaa among the people. “The considered opinion of the legal experts is that legal avenues are available to her and she may come out unscathed in the future,” said Mr Ramaswamy, a long-time friend.

Mr Ramaswamy went on to say that Ms. Jayalalithaa’s political absence at this juncture would be a setback not to her but to the State, considering the political happenings in Tamil Nadu during the last regime of the DMK.

Continue reading ‘Cho. Ramaswamy says Legal Avenues are Available to Jayalalithaa and that she may come out Unscathed in the Future.’ »

“I First Thought of Jayalalithaa but will now Work on Sending Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to Jail by Christmas” -Dr. Subramanian Swamy.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy called the judgment against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa “excellent,” and said that a local Sessions Court had shown tremendous courage in delivering it.

Dr. Swamy, who was the original complainant in the case in 1996, said: “She was corrupt and I knew she was corrupt. But ultimately it is a matter of great pride for me as an Indian that a local Sessions Court judge stood up to all this and gave a correct judgment.”

Continue reading ‘“I First Thought of Jayalalithaa but will now Work on Sending Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to Jail by Christmas” -Dr. Subramanian Swamy.’ »

Ms.Jayalalithaa Still has Avenues of Appeal Open to her -The Hindu

(Text of an Editorial Appearing in “The Hindu”of September 28th 2014 Under the Heading “The Long Road to Justice”)

The conviction of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case by a Special Court in Bangalore is a significant vindication of a vital constitutional principle — that the rule of law be upheld for all citizens including persons in high public office. Too often have members of the political class managed to get away with the abuse of power, betraying the trust of the people who voted them to office.


Ms. Jayalalithaa is the first serving Chief Minister to be convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act;
before her only a handful of political leaders have had to face jail terms in corruption cases. But this conviction did not happen as a matter of ordinary legal course. At every stage, attempts were made to obstruct and delay the judicial process.

Continue reading ‘Ms.Jayalalithaa Still has Avenues of Appeal Open to her -The Hindu’ »

If Proclamation is Issued on Nov 20 for a Presidential Poll on Jan 9 then Jan 13-15 Pope Francis Visit Cannot Take Place.

Despite a turbo charged campaign with lethal weapons from its political armoury, the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) faced a humiliating outcome at the Uva Provincial Council elections. It won with a lower majority and faces higher concerns.Lawlessness reigned in the run-up to the September 20 polls. Intimidation and thuggery were rampant. The Police were blind to new Defender Jeeps sans number plates clogging the outback of Badulla and Moneragala Districts. Unidentified but well-built men were canvassing in different ways for the ruling party candidates. Various forms of inducements were offered.

A VIP distributed envelopes with money amounting to between Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000. Opposition party supporters feared to walk into a Police Station. In one instance on polls day, the Mayor of Bandarawela was assaulted inside the Police Station by three Government politicians. The Officer-in-Charge of this headquarters station was transferred for failing to prevent the incident. However, no action so far seems to have been taken on the assailants. Polls laws were violated with impunity. The Polls and Police Chiefs were buck-passing complaints from those who sought a free and fair poll.

All these and much more did not obscure the single most important message voters in Uva delivered — that they were now disenchanted with the UPFA. Though victorious, the UPFA’s votes dwindled to worrisome proportions. That was with a voter turnout of 76 per cent, a phenomenon usually experienced not even at a national election. That message extends even further. Cash, goodies, lower electricity and fuel tariffs have all failed to retain the UPFA’s vote base, leave alone garner more. Fears of a repetition of the scenario at the upcoming presidential election next year have pushed the UPFA into high gear. On Thursday, a Presidential Elections Operations Room was set up at R.G. Senanayake Mawatha (former Gregory’s Road) in Colombo at the auspicious hour of 10.01 a.m. Unlike in Uva where the area is limited, the UPFA’s enormous campaign resources at a presidential poll would have to be distributed widely to encompass all provinces. Whether goodies and goodwill alone will change hearts and minds would be a challenge for the UPFA.

Continue reading ‘If Proclamation is Issued on Nov 20 for a Presidential Poll on Jan 9 then Jan 13-15 Pope Francis Visit Cannot Take Place.’ »

Narendra Modi and Mahinda Rajapaksa Talk in New York “About Various Issues” but 13th Amendment “Issue was not Discussed in the Meeting”.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa held talks with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York yesterday with the two leaders discussing key issues, including bilateral and regional, media reports said.

This was the second meeting between the two leaders after Mr. Modi was sworn-in as India’ Prime Minister in May this year. “The meeting was cordial and good. We talked about various issues,” Mr. Rajapaksa told PTI after emerging from the 30 minute-long meeting.

Asked about India pushing for expeditious implementation of the 13th Amendment, the President said, “The issue was not discussed in the meeting”.

Continue reading ‘Narendra Modi and Mahinda Rajapaksa Talk in New York “About Various Issues” but 13th Amendment “Issue was not Discussed in the Meeting”.’ »

Ven Ashin Wirathu on a Four Day Visit to Sri Lanka Will Participate in Bodu Bala Sena’s “Maha Sangha Council” Event at Sugathadasa Stadium at 1 pm on Sunday.

Ven. Ashin Wirathu from Myanmar will participate in the Bodu Bala Sena’s Maha Sangha Council meeting at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium at 1.00 p.m. today.

Gnanasara and Wirathu (1)_CI (1)

The monk who arrived in Sri Lanka on Friday (26) night is to remain in the country for four days. This is first time the monk has visited a foreign country.

Ven. Wirathu was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his sermons in 2003. He was later released in 2010.

Continue reading ‘Ven Ashin Wirathu on a Four Day Visit to Sri Lanka Will Participate in Bodu Bala Sena’s “Maha Sangha Council” Event at Sugathadasa Stadium at 1 pm on Sunday.’ »

Jayalalithaa May have got off with a Lighter Sentence if she had Opted to Answer Questions Posed to her Earlier by a Chennai Court.

By

N.Sathiya Moorthy

At least some of the spontaneous and sporadic violence accompanying the Bangalore case verdict against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in her native state could have been avoided if the media — both national and regional — had not delayed preparing her party cadres and the rest of the population, the latter across the country, until it became embarrassingly unavoidable.

Not one of the ‘national’ television news channels reported the case even on August 26, when Special Court Judge Michael A D’Cunha reserved judgment in the case that had dragged on for 17 long years — seeing scores of lawyers and judges, and transfer of a pending case in the Chennai court to neighbouring Karnataka.

Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa May have got off with a Lighter Sentence if she had Opted to Answer Questions Posed to her Earlier by a Chennai Court.’ »

Why is Sajith Premadasa Who Wanted Ranil Wickremesinghe Removed as UNP Leader is Suddenly Supporting him now?

After the moral victory it achieved at the Uva Provincial Council election, the United National Party convened its Working Committee to appoint new office bearers to several key positions in the party including that of the Deputy Leader. Hambanthota District MP, Sajith Premadasa, who once lost the Deputy Leader position after he unsuccessfully challenged the Leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe, was re-appointed to the same position after a hiatus of a few years. In addition to Premadasa’s appointment, Ravi Karunanayake, a staunch critique of the Hambanthota District Parliamentarian, was appointed as the new Assistant Leader of the party.

UNP National List Parliamentarian, Eran Wickramaratne was appointed as the Treasurer of the United National Party while Moneragala District MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara was appointed as the Senior Deputy Chairman of the party. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, a young Parliamentarian from Kurunegala, was appointed as the Deputy General Secretary.

Continue reading ‘Why is Sajith Premadasa Who Wanted Ranil Wickremesinghe Removed as UNP Leader is Suddenly Supporting him now?’ »

No LTTE or IPKF in Jaffna now,but Rajini Thiranagama Commemoration Event Experienced Problems as in 1989.


by

Dr. Devanesan Nesiah

I was a public servant when Rajani was assassinated by an LTTE agent 25 years ago. I took private leave, travelled to Jaffna at my own expense and participated in the 31st day Commemoration. She was a leading member of the UTHR (Jaffna branch) and coauthored, with Dr.Rajan Hoole, Dr. Daya Somasundaram and Dr. K.Sritharan, the monumental The Broken Palmyrah. She kept publicly exposing the Human Rights violations of the major armed groups at that time, viz, the LTTE, the Sri Lankan Army and the IPKF. She was killed while cycling home after work from the Jaffna Medical College.

The Commemoration included an exhibition of her extensive and varied personal library, and the numerous messages received from those who had heard of her killing. Her library contained an amazingly rich collection of books and journals, including many on Human Rights and the Social Science. Those who had sent messages included many from every continent and included Human Rights activists, Academics, Trade unionists and others whose life had been touched by her. There was also a march through Jaffna city by the participants despite attempts by LTTE to persuade the organizers to abandon it.

The organization then, as now was excellent and well publicized, attracting many from all over the Island as well as several distant countries. The state had initially withheld visas to the visitors from overseas but some of us intervened and all who wished to were able to participate. If the document displayed at that Commemoration could be reassembled it could form the basis for a Human Rights institution in Jaffna. There were persistent attempts by the LTTE to persuade the organizers to abandon the march, but the march went on. We passed groups of LTTE, the Sri Lankan Army and the IPKF all of whom glared at us but made no attempt to stop the march. The program went on as scheduled.

This time, 25 years later, there were basic changes in the circumstances. The LTTE is no more within Sri Lanka, the IPKF is gone, but the obstructions to the program were much more. The Vice Chancellor cancelled the booking of Kailasapathy Hall, effectively closing the university to the Commemoration; the Mayor cancelled the booking of the Jaffna Public Library; and the Police banned the march. It is over five years after the end of the war but those who had opposed the 31st day Commemoration 25 years ago seemed to oppose 25th year Commemoration even more vehemently and more effectively. Finally the entire commemoration moved into Trimmer Hall owned by the Methodist Church and, to a less extent, the family home of the Rajasingams.

Continue reading ‘No LTTE or IPKF in Jaffna now,but Rajini Thiranagama Commemoration Event Experienced Problems as in 1989.’ »

Why the UNP should not Anticipate a Victory in the Next Presidential Elections on the Basis of the Party’s Performance at the Badulla District Poll.

By

C.A.Chandraprema

In the past week after the Uva PC election, there has been much discussion about the results of the Badulla district. The UNP won outright in the electorates of Hali Ela, Badulla and Welimada, and the gap between the UPFA and the UNP was narrowed to virtually nothing in electorates like Uva-Paranagama (197 votes) and Bandarawela (280 votes). It is only in the electorates of Mahiyangana, Viyaluwa, Passara and Haputale that the UPFA won with a reasonable majority.

But these were majorities of a few thousand votes and not the kind of vast majorities that the people were used to seeing the UPFA get. So now there is talk of a massive deterioration of the UPFA’s power base and the UNP being on the brink of victory. The expectation is that the deterioration of the UPFA that started in the Badulla district will spread to other districts as well and lead to the UNP’s victory at a future national election.

However, it may be inadvisable for the UNP to base their hopes of defeating the Rajapaksa government on the results of the Badulla district. The Badulla district is one place in the country where the UNP has always been strong just like in the Colombo city. The UNP voters in the Badulla district have in fact been even more loyal to the UNP than the voters of the Colombo city.

Continue reading ‘Why the UNP should not Anticipate a Victory in the Next Presidential Elections on the Basis of the Party’s Performance at the Badulla District Poll.’ »

Convicted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa will Lose her Post and Forbidden to Contest Elections for 10 Years.

By

J. Venkatesan

The AIADMK chief, Ms. Jayalalithaa, who stands disqualified as an MLA forthwith because of her conviction and four-year sentence of imprisonment in the Rs. 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case, cannot contest elections for 10 years including 2016 Assembly polls, unless her conviction is also stayed besides stay of sentence.

She is the first Chief Minister to be disqualified following the Supreme Court verdict last year declaring unconstitutional the protection of three months given to MPs/MLAs in office to prefer an appeal and get a stay in the higher court and continue in office.

As per Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, a person who is convicted and sentenced to jail even for a day under any provision of the Prevention of Corruption Act stands disqualified to contest any election for a period of six years from the date of such conviction and sentence of imprisonment. This would mean that as of now she cannot contest polls for 10 years.

Continue reading ‘Convicted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa will Lose her Post and Forbidden to Contest Elections for 10 Years.’ »

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram Given 4 Years Jail Sentence and Fined 1Billion Rupees by Bangalore Special Court.

By

Krishnaprasad & Sruthisagar Yamunan

The Special Court in Bangalore on Saturday convicted and sentenced Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to four years in prison and a fine of 100 crores, in the disproportionate assets case.

Since the sentence in the case exceeded three years, the special court does not have jurisdiction to grant bail and she will be taken into custody.

Judge John Michael Cunha pronounced the verdict at Gandhi Bhavan, in front of Bangalore Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara, where the court has been temporarily shifted for pronouncing the verdict in view of Z+ security provided to Ms. Jayalalithaa.

The conviction in the case lead to her immediate disqualification as an MLA and made it untenable for her to hold the post of Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram Given 4 Years Jail Sentence and Fined 1Billion Rupees by Bangalore Special Court.’ »

“Buddhist Bin Laden of Burma” Ven Ashin Wirathu Thero Arrives in Sri Lanka as Bodhu Bala Sena’s Guest Despite Muslim Organizations Protesting.

Burma’s Controversial Buddhist monk Ven Ashin Wirathu Thero arrived in Colombo on Friday September 26th night as the honoured guest of Sri Lanka’s Bodhu Bala Sena organization.Ashin Wirathu is the leader of Burma/Myanmar’s “969 Movement” that has been conductiong a vitriolic and violent campaign against the Muslim minorities in the country.

Bodhu Bala Sena’s Chief Execitive Officer Dilantha Withanage has confirmed to the media that Wiratu was respectfully welcomed at the Colombo airport.

A large group of Bodhu Bala Sena members gathered at the Katunayake International Airport to welcome Ashin Wirathu who is scheduled to deliver the keynte address at the Bodhu Bala Sena’s “Great Sangha Council” conclave to be held on Sunday September 28th

Ashin Wirathu has been referred to in some western news reports as the “Buddhist Bin Laden of Burma”.

Continue reading ‘“Buddhist Bin Laden of Burma” Ven Ashin Wirathu Thero Arrives in Sri Lanka as Bodhu Bala Sena’s Guest Despite Muslim Organizations Protesting.’ »

Anti -Muslim Alliance Between Sri Lanka’s Bodu Bala Sena and Burma’s 969 Movement Leader Ashin Wirathu.

By

Latheef Farook


The alliance between anti Muslim Sri Lankan racist outfit Bodu Bala Sena and Burma’s blood thirsty Buddhist Monk Ashin Wiruthu, responsible for slaughtering thousands of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, spells disaster for the island.


This extremely dangerous alliance, brought together by their common hatred towards Islam and Muslims,
perhaps trained and financed by their new found Israel and United States friends , has all the ingredients to turn the island into a killing field from which it may unlikely to recover for decades to come under the existing local and global political environment.

This unholy alliance fits into the Zionist sponsored and United States led global anti Muslim campaign to justify the invasion and destruction of Muslim countries. This is the reason why the Muslims suspect the hate mongers as mercenaries of foreign forces.

The growing fear among the island’s besieged Muslim community is that “BBS-Asin Wirathu Alliance” may lead to a Rohingya type attack on the island’s Muslims.

Continue reading ‘Anti -Muslim Alliance Between Sri Lanka’s Bodu Bala Sena and Burma’s 969 Movement Leader Ashin Wirathu.’ »

Sri Lanka Muslim Council Asks President Rajapaksa not to Issue Visa to Myanmar 969 Movement Leader Ashin Wirathu to Attend BBS conclave in Sri Lanka.

(Text of Letter Sent by the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka to President Mahinda Rajapaksa )

September 25th 2014
His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa,
President,
Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
Presidential Secretariat,
Colombo 1.

Your Excellency,


As you are aware, Ven. Ashin Wirathu is the dreaded leader of the 969 Movement in Myanmar. He is also known as the Butcher of the Burmese Muslims. As the leader of the anti-Muslim movement in Myanmar, he has been responsible for hundreds of Muslims murdered by extremist Buddhists.

There are strong rumours that he has been invited by the Bodu Bala Sena to attend their “Great Sangha Council” meeting on the 28th of September 2014.

Time magazine, with Ven. Ashin Wirathu in the cover page branded him as the face of Buddhist terror in Burma. Your Excellency, the presence of such a person who has caused so much violence on the Burmese Muslims would be a real threat to peace and peaceful co-existence in Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Muslim Council Asks President Rajapaksa not to Issue Visa to Myanmar 969 Movement Leader Ashin Wirathu to Attend BBS conclave in Sri Lanka.’ »

Bangalore Special Court to Rule Today 27th Whether Jayalalithaa Acquired 66.65 Crore Rupees Wealth When Tamil Nadu Chief Minister from 1991 -96.

by Suresh Nambath & K. Venkataramanan

Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa

Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa

For Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, many of her political crises have emanated from legal tangles. After having decimated the opposition in the Lok Sabha elections earlier in May, she faces her biggest challenge not from political rivals, but a Special Court in Bangalore that will deliver its judgment on an 18-year-old ‘disproportionate assets’ case on Saturday.

With the Supreme Court, on Friday, declining to defer pronouncement of the verdict by the trial court, Saturday will decide whether Ms. Jayalalithaa will continue as Chief Minister or face immediate disqualification as Member of the Legislative Assembly in the event of her conviction under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Acquittal, on the other hand, may set off massive celebrations by the ruling party as she has long been claiming that the case was based on rival DMK’s political vendetta.
Continue reading ‘Bangalore Special Court to Rule Today 27th Whether Jayalalithaa Acquired 66.65 Crore Rupees Wealth When Tamil Nadu Chief Minister from 1991 -96.’ »

Denying Permission for Procession and Venues to Commemorate Rajini Thiranagama 25th Death Anniversary was Huge Mistake by Authorities in Jaffna.

by

Jayantha Samarasinghe

I visited Jaffna on 20th to participate in the Dr Rajani Thiranagama Memorial events. I visited the Jaffna Medical Faculty at Tirunelvely & found that permission has been denied for the commemoration meeting.

The organisers have hurriedly made arrangements at Veerasingham hall near the Police station and I rushed there.

The procession for peace, democracy & social justice due in the afternoon too had been cancelled as it was not allowed by the authorities, in the true spirit of democracy it seems !!!.

We were told that permission for the seminar on 21st morning too was first granted but was being reviewed later by the authorities. Were the authorities fearing a woman who died 25 years ago ?

Continue reading ‘Denying Permission for Procession and Venues to Commemorate Rajini Thiranagama 25th Death Anniversary was Huge Mistake by Authorities in Jaffna.’ »

Muslim Congress Urges Govt to Ensure Anti-Muslim Violence is not Instigated by Bodu Bala Sena During the “Great Sangha Council” Conclave on Sep 28th

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(Text of Statement Issued by Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Secretary -General M. T. Hasen Ali M.P.)

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has been informed that extremist Buddhist groups, including the Bodu Bala Sena, have organised what they term a ‘great Sangha council’ on Sunday, the 28th of September.

In the past such events, most recently in Aluthgama, were marked by inflammatory hate speech and organised violence against the Muslim community.

These same patterns of inflammatory hate speech are already evident in the event’s video announcement by the General Secretary of the BBS.

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Continue reading ‘Muslim Congress Urges Govt to Ensure Anti-Muslim Violence is not Instigated by Bodu Bala Sena During the “Great Sangha Council” Conclave on Sep 28th’ »

22 Countries Issue Joint Statement Saying “Intrusive Mandate Given to OHCHR to carry out Investigations on Sri Lanka is Unwarranted”.

(Text of media communique issued by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva)

Twenty-two developing countries of the Like Minded Group (LMG) in Geneva, in a joint statement made through its Chair – Egypt, have said the Group “believes that the intrusive mandate given to the OHCHR by Res. 25/1 to carry out investigations on Sri Lanka is unwarranted, especially in the context where the country is implementing its own domestic processes”.

It said “OHCHR’s efforts should contribute to a state’s own efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights, as stipulated in the UNGA Res. 48/141, UNGA Res. 60/251, UNGA Res. 65/281 and in the IB package. These core documents do not confer any oversight authority to the OHCHR over sovereign countries. Any external assistance to countries should expressly be in consultation with and with the consent of that country”.

Continue reading ‘22 Countries Issue Joint Statement Saying “Intrusive Mandate Given to OHCHR to carry out Investigations on Sri Lanka is Unwarranted”.’ »

A “Global” Praise: ♫ “Guardian Goddess” and Mother Nature

by K. Thirukumaran

Yathum ure yavarum Kelir” – All the world is my world, all humanity is my fraternity:”- Kaniyan Poongkundran-Translated by Rev Fr Xavier Thaninayagam

Portrait taken in 1920 in Chennai-Subramaniya Bharathiyaar (Dec  11, 1882-Sep 11, 1921)

Portrait taken in 1920 in Chennai-Subramaniya Bharathiyaar (Dec 11, 1882-Sep 11, 1921)

Sakthi is the “Guardian Goddess” of Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar. He has said that Navarathri is a favorite festival of his and that he look forward to celebrate it every year.

In 2014, Navarathri is from September 25th to October 3rd. Calendars in USA and Canada have marked the beginning date as September 24th.

Continue reading ‘A “Global” Praise: ♫ “Guardian Goddess” and Mother Nature’ »

Thamizh Will be Taught as a Compulsory Language in all Schools in Tamil Nadu State from the Next Academic Year.

By

Asha Sridhar

Tamil will be a compulsory language for all schools in Tamil Nadu from the next academic year. A recent Government notification has brought schools in the State affiliated to all Boards under the purview of the Tamil Learning Act, 2006.

This, however, does not include Central government schools such as Kendriya Vidyalayas and Sainik schools.

Continue reading ‘Thamizh Will be Taught as a Compulsory Language in all Schools in Tamil Nadu State from the Next Academic Year.’ »

Federal Court In New York Issues Summons Against Indian PM Modi for his Role in the Anti -Muslim Pogrom in Gujerat when he was Chief Minister

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By
Narayan Lakshman & Suhasini Haidar

Even before he touched down on U.S. soil after a nine-year visa ban, a federal court in New York has issued summons against the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his role in presiding over the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat during 2002 when he was Chief Minister of the state.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Justice Center (AJC), a non-profit human rights organisation identified among the plaintiffs “two survivors of the horrific and organised violence of Gujarat 2002”, and called for a response from Mr. Modi based on the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA).

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, whose law firm represents the plaintiffs, explained via email to The Hindu that the summons issued by the Federal Court of Southern District of New York requires Mr. Modi to respond within 21 days after it is served.

Continue reading ‘Federal Court In New York Issues Summons Against Indian PM Modi for his Role in the Anti -Muslim Pogrom in Gujerat when he was Chief Minister’ »

President Rajapaksa Criticises the Conduct of the UN Human Rights Council in his Address to the UN General Assembly.


(Text of President Mahinda Rajapaksa address to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday September 25th 2014)

I congratulate Your Excellency Sam Kutesa on being elected as the President of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. We wish you success and assure you of our fullest cooperation.
The theme for this Session, “Delivering on and implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda”, is timely. The world has undergone many changes since the UN was created, and since the year 2000, much progress has been made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

However, there are multiple challenges that still remain to be addressed. The moral and practical importance of creating an equitable world and a sustainable planet for this purpose cannot be ignored.
The Commonwealth, of which Sri Lanka is the current Chair in Office, accounts for over one quarter of the UN membership. In November 2013, the Commonwealth Heads of Government agreed in Colombo, to contribute to the process of evolving the new post-2015 global development agenda. They have endorsed the central focus on the eradication of extreme poverty and re-affirmed commitment to sustainable development.

The perspective on the post-2015 development agenda is based on shared values and principles contained in the Commonwealth Charter and individual experiences. The Commonwealth leaders encourage others to approach the forth-coming inter-governmental negotiations, in a collaborative spirit to achieve a balanced post-2015 development agenda.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Criticises the Conduct of the UN Human Rights Council in his Address to the UN General Assembly.’ »

Sri Lanka’s UPFA Govt Support Plunges in Provincial Election but Manages to Win Province with Narrow Margin.


By
Saman Gunadasa

Sri Lanka’s ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won the Uva provincial election last Saturday, but its vote plunged sharply, indicating deepening opposition among workers and rural poor toward the government.

The UPFA share of the vote fell by 21 percentage points from 72 percent in 2009 to 51 percent. As a result, it lost six seats and holds just 19 in the 34-seat Provincial Council. The most glaring setback was in Badulla District, the largest in the province, where the UPFA lost three seats, Badulla, Welimada and Hali-Ela, and held on to Uva-Paranagama and Bandarawela by a margin of around 200 votes in each electorate.

The opposition United National Party (UNP) was the main beneficiary of the voter backlash against the government. It obtained 40 percent of the vote, up 18 percentage points from 22 percent in 2009, and increased its seats from 7 to 13. The UNP was assisted by the pseudo-left organisations—the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) and United Socialist Party (USP)—who campaigned for this right-wing, pro-business party as a progressive alternative to the Rajapakse government.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s UPFA Govt Support Plunges in Provincial Election but Manages to Win Province with Narrow Margin.’ »

Uva Provincial Council Elections 2014: Communiqué on 9 Incidents of Post-Election Violence-CMEV

By

Centre for Monitoring Election Violence


25 September 2014:
The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has been informed of 9 incidents of violence after the conclusion of the Uva Provincial Council elections held on 20th September 2014. The incidents reported to CMEV include incidents where UPFA supporters were involved in making threats to and/or damaging property of opposition candidates (particularly JVP and UNP). CMEV is concerned with the ongoing violence and the lack of accountability for it, which denotes the prevailing culture of impunity.

Although the Department of Police claimed to have a strict security apparatus to deal with post-election violence, these measures have been insufficient to deal with the violence that has erupted. Subsequent to the outbreak of post-election violence, the Police took action to deploy additional officers to neutralise the situation. It is evident that due to this action further violence was prevented and communities who feared an escalation of violence, reassured that this would not be the case. These incidents highlight the need for pre-empting post-election violence and taking necessary measures to prevent such situations.

Continue reading ‘Uva Provincial Council Elections 2014: Communiqué on 9 Incidents of Post-Election Violence-CMEV’ »

“Come and Fight with me. Dont Attack my Supporters”-Harin Fernando tells UPFA Ministers Behind Anti-UNP Violence in Uva.


By

Dharisha Bastians

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The UNP’s popular chief ministerial candidate Harin Fernando has vowed to become a royal pain to the ruling UPFA inside the Uva Provincial Council that was elected last weekend.

Fernando told his first post-poll press conference in Colombo yesterday that between the UNP’s 13 members and the JVP’s two members, including its popular member Samantha Vidyaratne, the Opposition within the provincial assembly would become a force for the Government to reckon with.

He pledged to take up issues of corruption and stand steadfastly on the side of the people who had delivered what he called a ‘historic mandate’ to the UNP.

“When I left this provincial council to go to Parliament, Shashendra Rajapaksa was very happy about my departure,” Fernando said, referring to his rival in the race for the post of chief minister in the Province.
Continue reading ‘“Come and Fight with me. Dont Attack my Supporters”-Harin Fernando tells UPFA Ministers Behind Anti-UNP Violence in Uva.’ »

UPFA may Have Won the “Uva Match”but the “Man of the Match”award Goes to the UNP’s Game Changer Harin Fernando.

By

Dharisha Bastians

Never before has a winning partyparty licked its wounds so defensively. Never before has a losing side been so jubilant in defeat. The Uva provincial election will be epoch-making in more ways than one. But for bringing his party back with a fighting chance, it is young Harin Fernando who should take the biggest bow.

There is poetry surrounding discussions about the outcome of the Uva Provincial election in political circles.

To begin with, there is poetry in the name: Uva-Wellassa, land of a hundred thousand rice fields, granary of the Kandyan kingdom, refuge of freedom fighters. The 1817 Uva rebellion was waged so ferociously against British rule that after the uprising was quelled, the colonial administration scorched villages, livestock and acres and acres of paddy and destroyed irrigation systems, effectively taking the heart out of the proud people of the region. Uva-Wellassa may never have been restored to its former glory, but its people have gone down in the annals of Sri Lankan history as strong, brave and resilient heroes in one of the earliest struggles for independence.

The country’s main Opposition party, which has something to cheer about after the lapse of many years and several abysmal electoral performances, is tapping into the symbolism of this heroic spirit.

Continue reading ‘UPFA may Have Won the “Uva Match”but the “Man of the Match”award Goes to the UNP’s Game Changer Harin Fernando.’ »

USTPAC Welcomes the Oral Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka

By United States Tamil Political Action Council

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2014 -
The US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) welcomes the 22 September 2014 report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka. USTPAC commends the UN High Commissioner for a robust assessment of the challenges to justice, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka, and strongly supports his recommendations.

We join the High Commissioner in calling on the Government of Sri Lanka to “address (the) many root causes and structural issues that contributed to the conflict, and lay the basis for longer-term reconciliation” while also urging “the Government to end the climate of intimidation, threat and harassment against civil society actors advocating for justice and human rights, as well as incitement to hatred and violence against the country’s Muslim and Christian minorities, which will only undermine the prospects for peace and reconciliation.”

Continue reading ‘USTPAC Welcomes the Oral Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka’ »

Magical Influence of MHM Ashraff Over Muslim Masses Lingers on Even After 14 Years

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

This is a period of time in Sri Lanka which is referred to as “Ashraff season” in lighter vein by observers of the Sri Lankan Muslim political scene. The Country witnesses a series of meetings and events paying tribute to the late Muslim Congress leader MHM Ashraff during this period. From the date of his death September 16th to the date of his birth October 23rd this season of more than five weeks would result in Ashraff being commemorated by Muslim political leaders notably those of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

M. H. M. Ashraff (23 October 1948-16 September 2000)

M. H. M. Ashraff (23 October 1948-16 September 2000)

The current season too has begun with several Ashraff commemorative meetings. Cabinet minister for productivity promotion and Batticalo district Muslim Congress MP Basheer Segu Dawood was chief participant at a meeting in Ashraff’s honour at Eravoor. Former Kalmunai Mayor and SLMC parliamentarian from Amparai district H.M.M. Harees organized a commemorative meeting for Ashraff in Kalmunai. More meetings at multiple levels are expected to occur in the coming days.
Continue reading ‘Magical Influence of MHM Ashraff Over Muslim Masses Lingers on Even After 14 Years’ »

Police “Confiscate” Newly Erected St.Philp Neri Statue in Kalutara At Behest of Buddhist Monks and Use Tear Gas and Water Cannon to Disperse 3000 Catholic Protesters.

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Police in Sri Lanka used water canons and tear gas on Sunday to disperse a group of about 3,000 Catholics who were demanding the return of a statue that had been confiscated by police earlier in the day.

The statue of St Philip Neri had been erected on government-owned property in Kalutara, across the street from St Philip Neri Parish.

Police removed the statue after a group of Buddhist monks complained that the church had erected it without official permission from government authorities.

Continue reading ‘Police “Confiscate” Newly Erected St.Philp Neri Statue in Kalutara At Behest of Buddhist Monks and Use Tear Gas and Water Cannon to Disperse 3000 Catholic Protesters.’ »

Sajith Premadasa Re-instated as UNP Deputy Leader; Ravi Karunayake Assistant Leader: Eran Wickremaratne Treasurer.

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By

Dharisha Bastians

Gearing up for a major national election in the coming year, the main opposition United National Party made a series of fresh appointments at its crucial Working Committee meeting held at Sirikotha yesterday.

The reinstatement of Hambantota District MP Sajith Premadasa as the party’s Deputy Leader was the highlight of the Working Committee meeting.

A crowd of Premadasa supporters flocked to Sirikotha in Pitakotte awaiting the announcement of his reappointment.

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe proposed Premadasa’s name as Deputy Leader of the party and there were no objections raised. The Working Committee later unanimously approved the appointment and several others that were made yesterday.

Continue reading ‘Sajith Premadasa Re-instated as UNP Deputy Leader; Ravi Karunayake Assistant Leader: Eran Wickremaratne Treasurer.’ »

UNP National Youth Front Chairman Ruwan Wijewardene M.P. Steps Down Voluntarily to Hand Over Post to Harin Fernando.

By

Uditha Jayasinghe

Lending more wind to the United National Party’s wings, MP Ruwan Wijewardene yesterday decided to voluntarily hand over the Chairmanship of the UNP National Youth Front to Harin Fernando, who topped the preferential voter list at the Uva polls.

Wijewardene insisted it was a completely personal decision and he would offer up the Chairmanship to Fernando at the Working Committee meeting of the UNP.

He expressed confidence Fernando would accept the position and continue to build the grassroots level movement. Fernando is already the Deputy Chairman of the National Youth Front.

Continue reading ‘UNP National Youth Front Chairman Ruwan Wijewardene M.P. Steps Down Voluntarily to Hand Over Post to Harin Fernando.’ »

Karu Jayasuriya Lashes out at Pre and Post -Election Violence Unleashed in Uva by Ruling UPFA against UNP and JVP.

pic via: facebook.com/KaruJayasuriya

pic via: facebook.com/KaruJayasuriya

(Following is the full statement issued by UNP Leadership Council Chairman and Gampaha district MP Karu Jayasuriya)

As usual, the UPFA and its maniacal supporters have resorted to celebrating their narrow win, which they achieved with greatest of difficulties and the help of some most cruel and violent means after violating every possible election law, by launching merciless attacks against unarmed peaceful UNPers.

The latest victim of this uncouth and uncivilised demeanour is Chief Ministerial candidate of the UNP, Harin Fernando. Fernando, who obtained a record 173,993 preferential votes, was attacked when he visited his supporters in the Hali Ela electorate.

What is evident in this macabre behaviour is that there are some invisible and powerful hands which control such violence against a very popular political leader in the district.

Continue reading ‘Karu Jayasuriya Lashes out at Pre and Post -Election Violence Unleashed in Uva by Ruling UPFA against UNP and JVP.’ »

Obvious that Mahinda’s Vote Bank will Decrease and Opposition Votes will Increase at a Future Presidential Election.

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

Did it weaken in the battle against UNHRC?

It was confusion most confounded, in government circles, on the penultimate day to the Uva Provincial Council polls. Even President Mahinda Rajapaksa looked confused as intelligence reports indicated that the UPFA would not secure a landslide victory as witnessed in the recent provincial polls.

Mahinda planned the Uva polls as a prelude to his plan to conduct an early presidential election. He also planned to embark for New York for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last Sunday, with a resounding victory in Uva in his bag, to tell the world that the people in his country were with him. He would have thought that if he had to go there after a defeat in Uva it would be humiliating for him.

Continue reading ‘Obvious that Mahinda’s Vote Bank will Decrease and Opposition Votes will Increase at a Future Presidential Election.’ »

“As Cinema Personnel we are to be Blamed for not Communicating the Message of the Buddha to the West”-Assamese Director Jahnu Barua.

Jahnu Barua-pic courtesy of: The Hindu

Jahnu Barua-pic courtesy of: The Hindu

By

Channa Bandara Wijekoon

IFFColombo 2014 international film festival concluded with a very positive note leaving Sri Lankan cinema with fresh hopes. IFFColombo offered a golden opportunity for local filmgoers to witness an array of films which induced wisdom in them and made them able to look at life in a different perspective.

The film ‘Ajeyo’ shown at the festival caught attention of many. Director of Ajeyo is the internationally renowned and award winning Indian filmmaker Jahnu Barua. This humble gentleman engaged in an exclusive interview with the Daily News just before his departure.

Below, excerpts of Jahnu Barua’s interview.

Continue reading ‘“As Cinema Personnel we are to be Blamed for not Communicating the Message of the Buddha to the West”-Assamese Director Jahnu Barua.’ »

Uva Elections Have Been won by the Western Forces Though with Minor Hiccups Here and There due to Default.

By
Nalin de Silva

All political parties that contested at the Uva Provincial Council elections have claimed victory. This includes Sarath Fonseka, who think that some forty thousand votes that they should have received had been cast to some other political party or parties due to some ‘jilmaat’. Fonseka may be a good soldier but unfortunately he is not even a bad politician. He simply does not understand politics. It is good for him as well as the country that his party is dissolved as any dream of them becoming the so-called third force has vanished to thin air following the election debacle at Uva.

However, that does not mean that the JVP has become the third force once again or that it has got the so-called remote control. The JVP at a presidential election would poll around 3% of the valid vote and its real strength will be exposed. The fact of the matter is that there are no third forces in the country and parties other than the SLFP and the UNP in that order have been reduced to ‘also ran’ positions. This applies to TNA and Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) as well and that cease to exist without the support of the western countries through the dispersed Tamils in the west.

The UVA elections have been won by the western forces though with minor hiccups here and there due to default. It is not a victory that was achieved after a struggle but a victory that was handed over by the SLFP on a platter. It is not a victory for the UNP as they could not even win the Badulla District with a strong candidate such as Harin Fernando and the entire UNP working for him. It was the climax as far as the UNP is concerned and now they are on the downhill path. Young Harin Fernando has no future in the UNP in spite of his ‘manapes’ (preferential votes). The results should not have come as a surprise in a country where even so-called leading Bhikkus talk in terms of good governance.

The good governance is a western concept that cannot be applied here and these Bhikkus who do not know how to adopt ‘Dasa Raja Dharma’ in the present context could only shout slogans on so-called good governance. Good governance could work for Scotland, Gordon Brown the Labour Leader in Scotland, who is actually led by the English and others, but not for Uva. However, in the absence of Dasa Raja Dharma the humble folk in Uva were bewildered and they had to select between the SLFP and the UNP.

Continue reading ‘Uva Elections Have Been won by the Western Forces Though with Minor Hiccups Here and There due to Default.’ »

Uva Election Results Indicate the Rajapaksa Myth is Brittle and Beginning to Crack


By
Vishwamithra 1984


“The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”

~Sun Tzu

What materialized at the elections held on Saturday, September 20 was the possibility number 3 as reasoned out in my last week’s column: “the Government-backed UPFA would form a Provincial Administration, having gained a marginal victory at the elections.”

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The United National Party (UNP) came quite close to grabbing the Badulla district but fell short by a mere three per cent (3%).

However, the combined opposition scored a slender victory in the district by gaining just above 50% of the total valid votes.

pic via: facebook.com/harin.fernando.5

pic via: facebook.com/harin.fernando.5

It is a remarkable performance aided and abetted by many factors the most prominent being the birth of a potential political superstar- Harin Fernando, who undoubtedly would be an object of envy and a target of vitriol, from both inside and outside the UNP.

Continue reading ‘Uva Election Results Indicate the Rajapaksa Myth is Brittle and Beginning to Crack’ »

Persons in Civilian Attire Claiming to be “CID Officials”Monitor Rajini Thiranagama Commemorative Seminar Held in Jaffna.

By
Meera Srinivasan

In September 1989, Sri Lanka’s Northern Province lost one of its most prominent human rights defenders following the death of Rajani Thiranagama, who was gunned down, reportedly by the rebel Tigers.

A human rights activist and feminist, Rajani is best known for her contribution to the The Broken Palmyra — a book she co-wrote with three other members of the University Teachers for Human Rights, Jaffna — that documented atrocities committed allegedly by the LTTE, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) and the Sri Lankan forces on the Tamil civilian population in Jaffna. The book remains one of the few works critiquing human rights violations by all sides.

Only 35 at the time of her assassination Rajani was head of Jaffna University’s anatomy department and the mother of two young girls then.

Twenty five years later, her colleagues, associates and family decided to come together in Jaffna last weekend to remember her work but quite a few hurdles came their way, bringing into focus concerns over shrinking democratic spaces in the country.

Continue reading ‘Persons in Civilian Attire Claiming to be “CID Officials”Monitor Rajini Thiranagama Commemorative Seminar Held in Jaffna.’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe to Propose Sajith Premadasa as Deputy Leader of Party at UNP Working Committee

Amidst a division of opinion, Sajith Premadasa is to be re-appointed Deputy Leader of the UNP today.

Informed sources said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in keeping with his pledge to give Premadasa more responsibility would be proposing Premadasa for the vacant post of Deputy Leader at today’s Working Committee(WC), meeting which would be preceded by a meeting of the Leadership Council (LC). He made this pledge before Saturday’s election to the Uva Provincial Council.

The LC is divided with regard to Premadasa’s elevation to number two slot, but WC approval which was seen as a formality, should see him back in the saddle and given the task of ensuring Wickremesinghe wins the next presidential election.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe to Propose Sajith Premadasa as Deputy Leader of Party at UNP Working Committee’ »

“Yaazh Devi”Express Train Travelled From Pallai to Jaffna on Test run Along Re-constructed Northern Railway Line After 24 Years


After 24 years, the “Yaazh Devi express train travelled from Palai to Jaffna yesterday on the recently-restored northern railway line. The express train made a test run from Pallai to the newly constructed Jaffna Railway Station on Monday prior to resuming services next month after a 24-year gap. The train left Palai at 10:30 a.m. and arrived at Jaffna at 11:30 a.m., passing four main railway stations and six train stops.

Minister Douglas Devananda and Northern Province Governor G.A. Chandrasiri joined the pilot ride. Test runs along the new Colombo – Jaffna railway track using other trains have been conducted over the past few days.
Continue reading ‘“Yaazh Devi”Express Train Travelled From Pallai to Jaffna on Test run Along Re-constructed Northern Railway Line After 24 Years’ »

TNA’s Chief Constituent the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi Files Affidavit in Supreme Court Affirming it is for Federal State within United Sri Lanka.

By

Chitra Weerarathne

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has recently filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, explaining their election manifesto during the recent provincial council polls, in the Northern Province.

The affidavit says that the position of the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), of which the TNA is the main constituent, concerning a political solution to the ethnic conflict, is that a solution should be found on the basis of a federal state within a united Sri Lanka.

The Amendment of ITAK constitution in 2008, including that of Article (2) merely substituted a number of words of sanskrit origin to pure Tamil alternatives and retained the idea that a solution must be found within a united Sri Lanka. This was the position of the TNA, at the recent election campaign in the Northern Province.

Continue reading ‘TNA’s Chief Constituent the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi Files Affidavit in Supreme Court Affirming it is for Federal State within United Sri Lanka.’ »

UNP Gen Secy Tissa Attanayake Resigns from Leadership Council Blaming Ravi Karunayake for Insulting and Threatening him


By

Dharisha Bastians

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake resigned from the UNP Leadership Council yesterday, heightening fears that the party was set to suffer yet another internal crisis soon after its electoral gains in the Uva Province over the weekend.

Attanayake in a letter to UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he was disillusioned about affairs within the Leadership Council in the recent past.

The move comes as the UNP Working Committee prepares to meet tomorrow to ratify the reappointment of Sajith Premadasa as Deputy Leader of the party. Wickremesinghe is to propose Premadasa’s name along with the names of two other UNP stalwarts, for Assistant Leader and Treasurer positions.

Continue reading ‘UNP Gen Secy Tissa Attanayake Resigns from Leadership Council Blaming Ravi Karunayake for Insulting and Threatening him’ »

Michelangelo Antonioni Masterpiece ‘L’Avventura’ at International Film Festival Colombo

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

In my earlier writings on the film scene in Sri Lanka before launching the ‘Spotlight’ column, there were two things I emphasised as being necessary for the upliftment of serious cinema in the island – one was the need to establish a fully-fledged Film Institute; the other was about holding an international film festival on a regular basis in Colombo.

Monica Vitti

Monica Vitti

The second of my dreams – namely, an international film festival in Colombo – became a reality last week thanks to the efforts of a committed group of filmmakers, film personalities, film enthusiasts and generous sponsors in Sri Lanka and abroad.

The festival was conducted by the International Film Festival Colombo (IFFCOLOMBO) in association with the Okinawa International movie festival and the Film Directors Guild of Sri Lanka from 2 to 7 September in the metropolis. It was a grand success and my only regret is that I was not in Colombo at the time.

Continue reading ‘Michelangelo Antonioni Masterpiece ‘L’Avventura’ at International Film Festival Colombo’ »

NGO run in Sri Lanka by UK Based Alliraja Subaskaran the Jaffna Born Controversial Owner of “Lycamobile”is not Registered with Sri Lanka Govt.

By a Special Correspondent

Out of 1,428 registered Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the island, no one would find the organization – Gnanam Foundation (GF), UK, listed in there. However, it is actively operating in the island.

GF is no relation to another foundation bearing the famed surname of the famed philanthropist, the late A.Y.S. Gnanam, also currently in operation in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, the so called GF, the subject of this article, is an independent charity organization, solely funded by Lycamobile owned by Jaffna-born controversial figure, new to the UK ‘elite circle’, Subaskaran Alliraja.

He has been shunned from being the producer of South Indian movie Vijay starrer Kaththi that is to be released next month amidst massive protests from the very beginning. His name was pronounced as the producer of the movie.

Continue reading ‘NGO run in Sri Lanka by UK Based Alliraja Subaskaran the Jaffna Born Controversial Owner of “Lycamobile”is not Registered with Sri Lanka Govt.’ »

Uva Poll Results Transform Harin Fernando into the UNP’s Latest Political Super Star.


By C. A. Chandraprema

In The Sunday Island the week before last, this writer posed the question Whether Harin Fernando was going to be the UNP’s new political superstar. (Political Watch 14/9/2014) In the view of this writer, the UNP had managed to get only 25% and 26% of the vote respectively at the Southern and Western provincial council elections held earlier this year and between that time and now absolutely nothing had happened in the UNP to make that party any different to what it was when the previous two PC elections were held.

pic via: facebook.com/murad.mohamed.5209

pic via: facebook.com/murad.mohamed.5209

The only factor that was different was that while the UNP did not have dynamic chief ministerial candidates in the Southern and Western provinces, this time at the UVA PC election, they had a good candidate in the form of Harin Fernando who because of his youth was a suitable candidate to pit against Sashindra Rajapaksa.
Continue reading ‘Uva Poll Results Transform Harin Fernando into the UNP’s Latest Political Super Star.’ »

Four of Seven Berths in Hambantota Port Development Project -Phase 2 to be Given to Chinese Joint Venture.


By

Namini Wijedasa

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority has agreed to hand over four out of seven berths from the second phase of the Hambantota Port development to a Chinese joint venture that includes a company that is also getting vast tracts of prime property on the Colombo Port City artificial island.

pic courtesy of: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

pic courtesy of: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

Authoritative sources said negotiations on the terms of the “Supply, Operate and Transfer of Container Terminal Hambantota Port Development Project—Phase II” continued till the last minute on Monday. The agreement was signed the next day in the presence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. Under the circumstances, it is not possible for the Cabinet to have seen and approved the document before it went through.

Continue reading ‘Four of Seven Berths in Hambantota Port Development Project -Phase 2 to be Given to Chinese Joint Venture.’ »

Large Number of “Unspecified”Agreements Signed by Sri Lanka with China Apart from the Official 27 Accords.

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A large, unspecified number of other agreements were signed this week between China and Sri Lanka in addition to the 27 accords that were entered into in the presence of the Presidents of the two countries, authoritative government sources said.“There was another list of agreements that were concluded on the sidelines of the visit,” said a senior bureaucrat, requesting anonymity. “Various ministries entered into agreements with the Chinese but we are not aware of what they are.” He said this was one of the largest volumes of agreements ever handled and signed during a single bilateral visit.

An External Resources Department (ERD) official said, “Nobody knows the totality of the agreements”. But he said those involving loans were cleared by the ERD. “The others may not have come to us,” he added. In June, Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera issued a three-page circular to administrative heads of ministries, provincial councils, departments, local government institutions, public corporations, statutory boards and district secretariats.

Continue reading ‘Large Number of “Unspecified”Agreements Signed by Sri Lanka with China Apart from the Official 27 Accords.’ »

New Gazette Notification Gives More Sweeping Concessions to Chinese Firms Building the Colombo Port City Artificial Island Project.

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A gazette notification containing tax concessions to Chinese firms building the Colombo Port City artificial island has been cancelled and a new one granting even broader terms has been issued. This includes a complete, eight-year waiver of corporate income tax for China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC), which is the contractor for engineering, procurement and construction of the project.

This concession had earlier been granted only to C/c China Communication Construction Company (CCCC), a subsidiary of CHEC that is handling the Colombo Port City Project. Implementation will be done by a fully-owned company of CCCC set up in Sri Lanka and it will be called CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd. The Government of China is the majority shareholder of CCCC.

Continue reading ‘New Gazette Notification Gives More Sweeping Concessions to Chinese Firms Building the Colombo Port City Artificial Island Project.’ »

Chinese Media Prevent Sri Lankan Media from Adequately Covering Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Visit to Sri Lanka.

The local media corps had a rotten time covering the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. Wherever they went, a posse of Chinese journalists elbowed them out of the picture.

pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa/

pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa/

It started at the airport where local journalists were bundled onto two trucks from which they could take pictures and video footage for TV and newspapers. But not everyone was on the truck.

As President Xi met President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the red carpet, a group of Chinese cameramen at ground level obscured the view, clicking furiously.
Continue reading ‘Chinese Media Prevent Sri Lankan Media from Adequately Covering Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Visit to Sri Lanka.’ »

Reference to “Terrorists” Changed to “Militants” in Draft Law by Rauff Hakeem at Behest of MA Sumanthiran Alleges Douglas Devananda.

A reported change of the word “terrorists” to “militants” in a law that will allow land and property owners in the once war-ravaged north and east to reclaim ownership has triggered a controversy.

Minister Douglas Devananda, leader of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), raised issue at Thursday’s weekly ministerial meeting. He alleged that the words had been changed by Justice Minister, Rauff Hakeem at the behest of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran.

Joining him was Minister Wimal Weerawansa who argued that the change gave an entirely different connotation to the existing law.

Continue reading ‘Reference to “Terrorists” Changed to “Militants” in Draft Law by Rauff Hakeem at Behest of MA Sumanthiran Alleges Douglas Devananda.’ »

56 Km Railway Track from Pallai to Kankesanthurai Being Laid out Without Stations, Platforms being Constructed or Maintenance Staff Provided.


By

Ravi Ladduwahetty

The government’s ambitious programme of launching the Northern railway line spanning 56 km from Pallai to Kankesanturai on 24 September would be heading for a major disaster with none of the key infrastructure such as railway stations and maintenance staff in place even as of now, a key railway union claimed.

“This is an absurd situation where the whole project is heading for disaster without the ten stations from Pallai to Jaffna and the passenger platforms not ready even as of now,” General Secretary of the All Ceylon Railway General Employees’ Union, S.P. Vithana told CeylonToday.

He also said that while the railway track had been completed, the backup infrastructure was nowhere near ready, making a mockery of the project itself.

In nine of the stations between Pallai and Jaffna – Eluthuvattuval, Mirusuvil, Kodigamam, Meesalai, Sankaththanai, Chavakachcheri, Thachchathoppu, Navatkuli and Pungankulam – even the platform has not been built. The soil has been filled and there are parapet walls but there are no platforms as such nor have they been covered.

Continue reading ‘56 Km Railway Track from Pallai to Kankesanthurai Being Laid out Without Stations, Platforms being Constructed or Maintenance Staff Provided.’ »

Uva Poll Shows the only Logical Option for UPFA Govt is to go in for an Early Presidential Election.

(Text of an Editorial Appearing in “The Island” of September 22nd 2014 Under the heading”A thundering slap”)

facebook.com/murad.mohamed.5209

facebook.com/murad.mohamed.5209

The people of Uva have given the ruling UPFA a thundering slap plus a reduced majority to rule their province. The government has, in spite of all its polls law violations, election bribes and abuse of state resources, managed to secure only 19 seats in the 34-member provincial council where it earlier had as many as 25.

That the government was struggling in Uva became evident when it, all of a sudden, reduced fuel and power prices with a few days to go for the polls. In the Badulla District the UPFA has failed to secure a majority of seats. It could obtain only nine seats (and 47.37% of votes) as opposed to the UNP’s eight seats (44.79%) and the JVP’s one seat (4.67%).

Continue reading ‘Uva Poll Shows the only Logical Option for UPFA Govt is to go in for an Early Presidential Election.’ »

“Harin Fernando has set an Example in Uva by Fighting the Might of Rajapaksas”-UNP Statement.

(Text of Statement Issued by the United National Party after the conclusion of elections to the Uva Provincial Council)

pic via: facebook.com/harin.fernando.5

pic via: facebook.com/harin.fernando.5

The first salvos of a freedom struggle that eventually brought down imperialist rule in Sri Lanka were heard in the far corners of Uva-Wellassa nearly 200 years ago.

Resonating that same heroic spirit, that yearning for freedom and justice, the march towards the ultimate defeat of the dictatorial Rajapakse regime has begun in the Uva Province.

The election results from the Uva Provincial poll is a rejection of the regime’s policies of enriching a few while mere crumbs are thrown at the masses. This is no longer an acceptable mantra of governance.

Continue reading ‘“Harin Fernando has set an Example in Uva by Fighting the Might of Rajapaksas”-UNP Statement.’ »

Even on Basis of Uva Poll Results, Ranil will Lose and Mahinda will win at a Presidential Election

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe-pic: LankaeNews

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe

BY

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

1. Analysts, commentators and readers in general should check the results of the 1982 Presidential election. Despite an 8 % growth rate, the Mahaweli program, and the deprivation of Mrs B’s civic rights, the great JRJ Jayewardene won only 52+% of the vote, in what is regarded as a great victory. Today in Uva the UPFA has registered only 1+% less than that performance of JRJ. Furthermore, the Opposition candidate Kobbekaduwa scored just under 40%. That is just 1+% less than the UNP got in Uva.

2. My point is that at a Presidential election Mahinda can win and Ranil will lose, even on the basis of the Uva result. As 1982 showed, it is the candidate that is crucial at a presidential election. Ranil would be the equivalent of Kobbekaduwe while MR would be the replay of JR in late 1982.

Continue reading ‘Even on Basis of Uva Poll Results, Ranil will Lose and Mahinda will win at a Presidential Election’ »

What Must Never be Forgotten is That the UPFA Won, Not Lost in Uva, While the UNP Lost, Not Won in Uva.

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

THE MORNING AFTER UVA: GOVT AND OPPOSITION AT THE CROSSROADS

Perhaps the fundamental thing about the Uva result is that it demonstrates that the fundamentally democratic system –most importantly the electoral mechanism and the Commission of Elections– is working, notwithstanding the incidents of coercive electioneering.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa presided at the Badulla district final rally of UPFA for Uva Provincial Council elections, on Sept.17 - at the Mahiyanganaya Public Grounds

President Mahinda Rajapaksa presided at the Badulla district final rally of UPFA for Uva Provincial Council elections, on Sept.17 – at the Mahiyanganaya Public Grounds-pic: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

The Uva election achieved certain things but not others. The Americans, as always, have a phrase for it: “close but no cigar”, which means good work, but not quite good enough to win the prize of victory. That is true of the Opposition’s creditable performance, which however fell short of victory. Any government anywhere in the world would be grimly satisfied with the narrow win it achieved despite twenty years of incumbency.

Thanks to two or three young politicians—Harin Fernando, Sajith Premadasa and arguably Anura Kumara Dissanayake—and the self-inflicted wounds of the power-bloc, the hegemony of the regime is diminished, the country’s two party system restored, the UNP back in contention as a respectable Opposition, and most importantly the political marketplace restored to competitiveness.

Continue reading ‘What Must Never be Forgotten is That the UPFA Won, Not Lost in Uva, While the UNP Lost, Not Won in Uva.’ »

Bandarawela UNP Mayor Chaminda Wijesiri Attacked inside Police Station by Deputy Ministers Hemal Gunasekara and Arundika Fernando with Minister Pushpakumara and Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardana watching.

By

Deepal Warnakulasuriya

pic via: facebook.com/pages/Chaminda-Wijesiri/

pic via: facebook.com/pages/Chaminda-Wijesiri

Bandarawela Mayor Chaminda Wijesiri was rushed to the Badulla Hospital from Diyathalawa Base Hospital after a clash had taken place allegedly at the Bandarawela Police station last evening. A minor argument at a polling station had been reportedly turned into a serious fight between the two major parties United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the United National Party (UNP) inside the police station.

This was the most serious violent incident reported during Saturday’s (yesterday) Uva Provincial Council election.

Continue reading ‘Bandarawela UNP Mayor Chaminda Wijesiri Attacked inside Police Station by Deputy Ministers Hemal Gunasekara and Arundika Fernando with Minister Pushpakumara and Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardana watching.’ »

Govt Wins Uva Province with Reduced Voter Base:Out of 34 Council Seats the UPFA Gets 19 Including 2 Bonus Seats; UNP Wins 13 and JVP Gets 2.

The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has won the Uva Provincial Council elections securing the highest number of seats in the two districts during yesterday’s elections, according the results released so far.

pic via: facebook.com/harin.fernando

pic via: facebook.com/harin.fernando

Accordingly, the UPFA had secured 19 seats including two bonus seats in the Provincial Council while the UNP secured 13 seats and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) won two seats.
Continue reading ‘Govt Wins Uva Province with Reduced Voter Base:Out of 34 Council Seats the UPFA Gets 19 Including 2 Bonus Seats; UNP Wins 13 and JVP Gets 2.’ »

Justin Trudeau Offers a Chance to Meet Him,Senior Liberal Party Advisers and Former US First Lady and Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

A Message to Canadians from Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau

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Pack your bags,——————–, and bring your big idea for Canada ……………..because you could win a chance to pitch it to me and one of my senior advisors over breakfast in Ottawa, on October 6.

But wait, there’s more.

If you win, we’re not just going to fly you to Ottawa for our breakfast brainstorm. We’re also saving you a seat so you can hear Hillary Clinton speak over lunch at a Canada 2020 Special Event. We’ll even give you the chance to meet her afterward.

It’s going to be the political experience of a lifetime, and if you’re interested, I need your help.

Continue reading ‘Justin Trudeau Offers a Chance to Meet Him,Senior Liberal Party Advisers and Former US First Lady and Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.’ »

With Beijing-New Delhi Relations Improving Under Xi Jinping-Narendra Modi Equation Will China need Sri Lanka Anymore?

By

C. A. Chandraprema

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The reason why Indo-Sri Lanka relations were on a particularly good footing during the Bandaranaike era between 1956-1965 and 1970-1977 is because under the Bandaranaikes Sri Lanka had a foreign and domestic policy that was identical to India’s. During that period, both India and Sri Lanka had the same friends overseas. Both countries associated more with the socialist camp than with the capitalist camp.

Last week, thanks to the Chinese President’s visit to Sri Lanka and India, we entered another phase in Indo-Lanka relations which should in all respects be similar to the bilateral relationship that prevailed during the Bandaranaike era. By visiting Sri Lanka and then going to India, the Chinese president has cemented not just Sino-Lanka relations but Indo-Sri Lanka relations as well.

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Continue reading ‘With Beijing-New Delhi Relations Improving Under Xi Jinping-Narendra Modi Equation Will China need Sri Lanka Anymore?’ »

Sam Wijesinha was a Repository of Sri Lanka’s Political Lore with names,facts and Figures at his Fingertips.

by

Manik de Silva

The early sixties were a good time to break into journalism for a just-out-of- school teenager as I was at that time. My father spoke to Esmond Wickremesinghe and I was given a kind of `learn the ropes’ job on the then Ceylon Observer under Denzil Peiris.  I didn’t expect to be paid but later learned that I’d get an out-of-pocket reimbursement allowance of Rs 100 a month to take care of lunch, bus fares and the like.

Denzil was summoned to Esmond’s sanctum sanctorum, once occupied by his father-in-law D R Wijewardene, the legendary founder of The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd, to give Lake House its full name. He was asked when he would like me to report to him and he replied, ‘7 o’clock tomorrow morning.’     

My father drove me to work at 6.30 a.m. the next day in his Land Rover after my mother had cooked me an early breakfast. On the way he told me, ‘I don’t know too much about the kind of work you are going to do, but would say that a good rule of thumb will be to keep your ears open and your mouth shut.’

That advice has stood me in good stead in what was to become a career that has now extended to over 50 years.

Continue reading ‘Sam Wijesinha was a Repository of Sri Lanka’s Political Lore with names,facts and Figures at his Fingertips.’ »

“Dr.Rajani Rajasingham Thiranagama was the NOBLEST of all my Pupils”-Prof. Carlo Fonseka

(Full Text of Prof. Carlo Fonseka’s speech Scheduled to be Delivered at the Rajani Thiranagama Commemoration Meeting in Jaffna on September 20th 2014)

Dr. Rajani Rajasingham Thiranagama

Dr.Rajani Rajasingham Thiranagama

There is no other word to characterize her: Dr. Rajani Rajasingham Thiranagama was the NOBLEST of all my pupils. There were others who were cognitively smarter than her, but morally and ethically she remains unsurpassed. Ludwig Wittgenstein, a great philosopher of the 20th century once wrote: “…I work quite diligently and wish that I was better and smarter. And these both are one and the same…”

Remember, Wittgenstein has averred that “what can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” So he must have clearly meant that “being better” and “being smarter” is really the same thing. Categorically, to be good is to be smart. On this calculus, by being my noblest pupil i.e. morally and ethically unsurpassed pupil, Rajani may well have proved to be my smartest pupil too. There is no need for casuistry and sophistry, Rajani was great and good.
Continue reading ‘“Dr.Rajani Rajasingham Thiranagama was the NOBLEST of all my Pupils”-Prof. Carlo Fonseka’ »

Will Pro-Independence Scottish Diaspora Continue Struggle for Free Scotland from Abroad like Pro-Tamil Eelam Tamil Diaspora?

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

The Scottish people have decided to be stuck in the United Kingdom. They have taken the cue from David Cameron who, in the final round of hectic campaigning for the NO vote, pleaded with them that even if they don’t like the “f…ing Tories,” they don’t abandon the Union.

Many a politician over here must be happy about the decision of the referendum in Scotland, because they can now tell the northerners in our own country, not to make demands like the northerners of the United Kingdom, which they will never achieve.

It will be interesting to know whether a Scottish Diaspora will emerge, ignoring Scottish separatist leader Alex Salmond’s plea to accept the result of the referendum; and continue to carry out his fight for a separate Scottish Republic from abroad. They may take lessons from the pro-LTTE Tamil separatists who remain committed to the cause of separation over here, where the fight was through terror and not by the ballot.

Continue reading ‘Will Pro-Independence Scottish Diaspora Continue Struggle for Free Scotland from Abroad like Pro-Tamil Eelam Tamil Diaspora?’ »

Two out of Every Five Scots and Scotland’s Biggest City Glascow Have Voted to Leave the United Kingdom.

(Text of an editorial Appearing in “The Hindu”of September 20th 2014 under the heading “Not a simple ‘no’ from Scotland”)

It would be prudent not to read Scotland’s ‘no’ to independence as a plain and simple ‘yes’ to continue with the status quo. The latest verdict is very unlike the ‘no’ vote in the 2011 nation-wide referendum, which may have almost indefinitely deferred the search for an alternative to the first-past-the-post mode of election of members of Parliament in Westminster.

This result is more complex than the 55-45 per cent vote to stay in the union may point to: an outcome that is far more spectacular than any that pollsters had predicted. More than two out of every five Scots have voted to leave the United Kingdom, and so has their biggest city, Glasgow. Nobody understands what all of this means, better than the so-called Better Together campaign that was led by all the three mainstream parties at Westminster.

Continue reading ‘Two out of Every Five Scots and Scotland’s Biggest City Glascow Have Voted to Leave the United Kingdom.’ »

British Prime Minister David Cameron “Delighted” Over Scotland Voting “No”to Independence from the UK

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he is “delighted” that Scotland’s referendum returned a no vote to independence from the United Kingdom.

via: facebook.com/DavidCameron

via: facebook.com/DavidCameron

“It would have broken my heart to see our United Kingdom come to an end,” he said.

Mr. Cameron defended the decision to go ahead with the poll, saying “it is right to take, and not to duck, the big decisions.” Now the will of the Scottish people has been heard, and “the debate has been settled for a generation,” he said.

Courtesy: DPA

Alex Salmond Emerges as Winner of Greater Devolution Despite Losing Scottish Referendum

Despite failing to win independence in the referendum he brought about, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has nevertheless emerged a winner.

Even before voting began, the three main parties in Westminster had already made a last-minute promise to hand over more powers to the devolved Parliament in Edinburgh, Holyrood, if Scots rejected independence.

In his speech conceding defeat, Mr. Salmond said that the Scottish people — whether they voted Yes or No — would expect promised moves towards more devolution to be carried out “in rapid course.”

“He’s without question the shrewdest political client I’ve ever had,” said Peter Kellner, president of the You Gov opinion polling company.

Continue reading ‘Alex Salmond Emerges as Winner of Greater Devolution Despite Losing Scottish Referendum’ »

Music of “Mandolin” Shrinivas Transcended Frontiers and Genres-Chitravina N. Ravikiran

by

Chitravina N. Ravikiran

pic courtesy of: The Hindu

pic courtesy of: The Hindu

The galaxy of music has lost one of its most glittering stars in the death of Mandolin U. Shrinivas. That his remarkable achievements immortalised him even as a teenager is small consolation for the tragedy of losing him at the age of 45.

Every superlative offered to him seemed redundant in almost no time — such was his mastery over the art. From the time he stormed into the Carnatic field around age 10, his innate musicality, razor-sharp mind, his command over speed and range, the effortlessness of expression and freshness of musical and mathematical patterns challenged minds, while his charismatic presence on-stage and cartoon-loving simplicity off it stole hearts. His music transcended genres and frontiers — his admirers included Pandit Ravishankar, John McLaughlin and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, not to mention Nobel laureates and heads of States.

Shrinivas’ talent was God-given but his success was not accidental. His work ethic, reverence towards achievers, faith in God, astute professional judgment, an ever-smiling face and his capacity to handle gruelling schedules of more than 30 concerts a month contributed enormously to his galactic rise in his early years.

Continue reading ‘Music of “Mandolin” Shrinivas Transcended Frontiers and Genres-Chitravina N. Ravikiran’ »

Listening to Classical Music by a Symphony Orchestra in the Place where Richard de Zoysa was Bludgeoned to Death by the Police.

By

Kumbhakarna

Richard de Zoysa

Richard de Zoysa

It was a very pleasant Friday evening. The Chamber Music Society of Colombo, a symphony orchestra was playing film music opposite the World Trade Centre twin towers. Conducted by Lakshman Joseph de Saram, the internationally-known film music composer, (Machan, Bel Ami, Ira Mediyama, Akasa Kusum) the orchestra played in the open air to a mixed audience of seated invitees, standing passers-by and people visiting the restaurants and shopping centres housed in the historic building which was a Dutch hospital back in the 18th century and, in more recent times, the former Fort Police Station.

First, the music. Amplified by a superb sound system, one could have been fooled into believing that a bigger orchestra was playing. Lakshman Joseph’s short but detailed commentaries in between the pieces were both informative and entertaining. The occasion was inspired by the Colombo International Film Festival which concluded on Sunday.

But, as the music progressed, I was left wondering about the title. ‘Film Music’ seemed to be something of a misnomer as Vivaldi was followed by Bach and Mozart. Certainly, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music) was magical in those surroundings, as was Bach’s Air on a String, with the sea breezes blowing in over the Galle Face Green. But it’s classical music written at an era when films was just a dream.
Continue reading ‘Listening to Classical Music by a Symphony Orchestra in the Place where Richard de Zoysa was Bludgeoned to Death by the Police.’ »

Musical Prodigy “Mandolin” Shrinivas who Charmed Listeners with his Divine Music Dies of Liver Failure at the age of 45

By

B.Kolappan

U. Shrinivas, who cast a spell on audiences with his Western instrument, the mandolin, died here on Friday. He was only 45.

(28 February 1969 - 19 September 2014)

“Mandolin” U. Shrinivas (28 February 1969 – 19 September 2014)-pic courtesy of-The Hindu

Mandolin Shrinivas, as he came to be known, had been ailing for a while. He reportedly was being treated for liver failure at the Apollo Hospital. He had lately received a liver transplant.

Audio ♫: Kakai-Chiraginile by “Mandolin” Shrinivas

Born in Palakol in Andhra Pradesh, Shrinivas started playing the instrument used by his father Sathyanarayana. He quickly mastered it and his skills were further honed by his father’s guru Rudraraju Subburaju, who was a vocalist.

Continue reading ‘Musical Prodigy “Mandolin” Shrinivas who Charmed Listeners with his Divine Music Dies of Liver Failure at the age of 45’ »

Scotland Rejects Independence in Historic Referendum Opting to Remain as part of the United Kingdom with Fresh Devolution of More Powers.

By Alistair Smout and Angus MacSwan

EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Scotland spurned independence in a historic referendum that threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart, sow financial turmoil and diminish Britain’s remaining global clout.

pic courtesy of: thetimes.co.uk

pic courtesy of: thetimes.co.uk

A vote for the 307-year union is a relief for millions of Britons including Prime Minister David Cameron, whose job was on the line, as well as allies across the world who were horrified at the prospect of the United Kingdom’s separation.

Unionists won 55 percent of the vote while separatists won 45 percent with 31 of 32 constituencies declared.

Political leaders of all hues agreed that Britain would be changed for good nonetheless.

Continue reading ‘Scotland Rejects Independence in Historic Referendum Opting to Remain as part of the United Kingdom with Fresh Devolution of More Powers.’ »

Scotland Rejects Independence and Votes to Stay in the United Kingdom – BBC

Scotland will vote to stay in the United Kingdom after rejecting independence, the BBC has predicted.
With 29 out of the country’s 32 council areas having declared after Thursday’s vote, the “No” side has 55% of the vote, with the “Yes” campaign on 45%.


By 06:00 BST , the “No” campaign had more than 1,737,000 votes, with “Yes” on just over 1,398,000.

A total of 1,852,828 votes is needed for victory. The vote is the culmination of a two-year campaign.

The BBC is predicting on the basis of votes declared so far by Scotland’s local authorities the “No” side will win the referendum with 55% of the vote while “Yes” will secure 45% of the vote.

Continue reading ‘Scotland Rejects Independence and Votes to Stay in the United Kingdom – BBC’ »

UNP Campaign on the Upswing but Moneragala Poll may help UPFA in Uva Province


On the Spot Report by Dharisha Bastians in the Uva Province

Inside the Nayabedda Estate in Bandarawela, a rosy sunset casts shadows on the large cut-out of a movie-star like politician, poised precariously on the roof of Sivalingam Thangaraj’s home. Until last month, Thangaraj’s hut had no roof and only brightly-coloured plastic sheeting mounted on four sturdy branches offered any kind of shelter. The tin roofing was quite the windfall for Thangaraj and his family.

“We were not even at home. But the Assistant Government Agent’s office people came and walked around this estate and they saw what people’s greatest needs were,” he says, standing outside the entrance to his small home. The following week, he received a tin sheet from Government representatives in the area. The poster is in tribute, because it’s election season, says the day labourer with a smile.

Senthil Thondaman, constantly pictured in his Tamil movie-star type sunglasses and open shirt, was a provincial minister in the Uva Provincial Council controlled by the ruling alliance for the past five years. Senthil is the great nephew of Sauviamoorthy Thondaman, the estate people’s hero of the 1980s and 1990s, on whose immense political capital his party – the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) still runs. As a UPFA coalition partner, the Government relies on the CWC to garner crucial votes in the Badulla District in tomorrow’s provincial election.

Continue reading ‘UNP Campaign on the Upswing but Moneragala Poll may help UPFA in Uva Province’ »

Pakistani Espionage Agency Inter-Services Agency Financed Bodu Bala Sena to make Muslims in Sri Lanka feel Insecure says “Rediff”

BBS040413B

The birth of the Bodu Bala Sena, an extremist Singhalese Buddhist nationalist organisation in Colombo in 2012 was a significant event. The organisation was formed to enforce Buddhist supremacy in Sri Lanka, mainly targeting Christians and Muslims in the country.

The formation of this organisation was a turning point for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, which had for years been trying to get a foothold in that country, but to no avail. This was partly because of the strength of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which never allowed outsiders to set foot in Sri Lanka. The other reason could be that there was never any connect between Lankan Muslims and the spy agency.

The ISI’s plan was simple: Create a sense of insecurity among the Muslims so that they would look for cover and protection. The ISI would actively finance the BBS through indirect means, so that the atrocities against the Muslims grow. As a result, the Muslims would lean towards the ISI and their agents for protection.
PISI
Continue reading ‘Pakistani Espionage Agency Inter-Services Agency Financed Bodu Bala Sena to make Muslims in Sri Lanka feel Insecure says “Rediff”’ »

Uva Election Survey Conducted by US Embassy Forecasts the UNP Winning Badulla District and Being Edged out Narrowly by UPFA in Moneragala District

By

C.A.Chandraprema

As far as provincial elections go, the UNP seems to be doing much better in Uva than at any previous election since 2005. Due to the much spoken of violence in the Moneragala district, the impression has been conveyed to the rest of the country that the government is facing an uphill struggle in Uva. The mere fact that such an impression has been conveyed to the rest of the country is in itself a major triumph for the UNP.

All this while, the impression that everyone in the country had was that the UNP just could not face the UPFA at any election. Now thanks to some thugs who have been burning down so called ‘campaign offices’ of the opposition in the dead of night, the entire country thinks the government needs to resort to thuggery to win in Moneragala. The government for its part has been trying to say that the opposition has been burning down their own ‘campaign offices’ to garner sympathy.

Anybody familiar with elections knows that this too happens quite often.But what is happening in Moneragala is different. Because a member of the Rajapaksa family is involved various boorish types from outside the district are trying to score brownie points by burning down these ‘campaign offices’ in the night so as to convey the impression that they are doing everything possible to see that Sashindra Rajapaksa comes out on top. With friends like this, no government needs enemies.

Continue reading ‘Uva Election Survey Conducted by US Embassy Forecasts the UNP Winning Badulla District and Being Edged out Narrowly by UPFA in Moneragala District’ »

Interest in Learning Hindi Language Grows Among Tamils in North Due to Sustained Efforts of Indian Consulate in Jaffna.

By

P.K.Balachandran

A passion for Hindi film music and the Hindi language is commonplace in Sri Lanka. But Jaffna, the stronghold of Tamil nationalism, has been an exception to this rule. The Tamil-speaking North is one place in the island nation, where Hindi films are not shown, Hindi soaps are not watched, and Hindi songs are not aired.

But these may well be things of the past, soon. Thanks to the sustained efforts of the Indian Consulate, interest in Hindi is sprouting among Jaffna Tamils.

Continue reading ‘Interest in Learning Hindi Language Grows Among Tamils in North Due to Sustained Efforts of Indian Consulate in Jaffna.’ »

Goa Born Blessed Joseph Vaz who went as Missionary to Sri Lanka Worked Miracle of Rain in 1693 During Drought in the Kandyan Kingdom.

Pope Francis’ approval of the votes of the Ordinary Session of the Cardinals and Bishops in favor of canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz attains special significance in the wake of the forthcoming visit of the Holy Father to Sri. Lanka in January 2015.

Bl. Vaz was born in Goa, India, in 1651. As a priest he volunteered to work in Sri Lanka amid persecution of Catholics by Dutch colonial rulers, who were Calvinists. Catholic priests were forbidden to preach; it would mean imprisonment and even death if they were caught.

Bl. Joseph Vaz went to Ceylon disguised as a laborer. He walked the rural paths through the tea-gardens, searching for Catholics, ministering to their needs, instructing them in the faith, regularizing their marriages, baptizing their children, and celebrating Holy Mass in their homes and villages. He was a veritable apostle for the Sri Lankan Church and he renewed the faith which had been affected by persecution. He also instrumental in converting a number of people to Christianity.

Continue reading ‘Goa Born Blessed Joseph Vaz who went as Missionary to Sri Lanka Worked Miracle of Rain in 1693 During Drought in the Kandyan Kingdom.’ »

Vishnu Vasu’s Documentary Poem “Butterfly” is a Remarkable Tribute to the Lost Innocence of Child Soldiers


by

Kamaya Jayatissa

“When I’m gone, release me. Let me go.
I have so many things to see and do.”

– Excerpt from ‘Butterfly’

IMG_8124.JPG

Even today too little is been said about them. Yet, they lived as fighters and died as children in a war they knew nothing about, in a war they had nothing to do with in the first place.

Vishnu Vasu’s documentary poem, Butterfly, is a remarkable tribute to those thousands of child soldiers who died in vain, as well as those who survived despite circumstances. It is also about a filmmaker’s humble journey in finding closure and breaking the silence around what must be remembered as the darkest years of our history.

Through this piece I do not intent to review the movie as I feel that no word could match the emotion, humanity and cruel reality depicted through Vasu’s lens. But I do wish to invite those who still haven’t done so to watch ‘Butterfly’.

Continue reading ‘Vishnu Vasu’s Documentary Poem “Butterfly” is a Remarkable Tribute to the Lost Innocence of Child Soldiers’ »

Alex Salmond Urges Seizure of Extraordinary Chance for a “New Dawn for Scotland” By Voters at Referendum.

By

Severin Carrell

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond urged tens of thousands of yes activists to “get to it” by seizing the extraordinary chance for a “new dawn for Scotland”, as the final batch of polls before the vote confirmed the referendum hung on a knife-edge.

To chants of “yes we can”, the first minister urged more than 1,200 activists at the yes campaign’s final rally in Perth to continue campaigning vigorously on referendum day, urging them on with the words “let’s do this now”.

The latest polls found that the referendum race remained extremely close, as both yes and no campaigns prepared themselves for a day of intense voter mobilisation for the 900 minutes when the booths are open. One poll from Ipsos Mori for STV put the rival campaigns just two points apart at 49% and 51%, and YouGov, for the Sun and the Times, confirmed the other recent polls by putting the gap at 48% for yes and 52% for no.

Continue reading ‘Alex Salmond Urges Seizure of Extraordinary Chance for a “New Dawn for Scotland” By Voters at Referendum.’ »

Scottish independence: When will the Referendum Result be Announced?

As the yes and no campaigns make their final push in the battle for Scotland’s future, minds are turning to polling day. What happens after polling stations close on Thursday? And when will the final result be known?

Rally in Inverness-pic via:

Rally in Inverness, a city in the Scottish Highlands-pic via: twitter.com/Yesinverness/

Polling stations in Scotland will be open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday 18 September for the public to cast their vote on independence. But what will happen once the booths close?
Continue reading ‘Scottish independence: When will the Referendum Result be Announced?’ »

Sri Lanka Visit of Pope Francis Brings Publicity to Govt While Providing Voice to Suffering Tamil Minority.

by

Paolo Affatato

PFR080114

“Don’t force political issues on the Pope, don’t use his visit to Sri Lanka for political ends”: the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, sent out a clear appeal to the Sri Lankan government and the opposition. Francis’ visit to the country (13-15 January 2015) comes right before the presidential elections.

Given how heated the situation there is, the Pope’s visit could easily be exploited for the purposes of propaganda, particularly by the government. The wounds of civil war are still fresh, there are still tensions between the Sinhalese and the Tamils and Buddhist fundamentalism and nationalism is ever present.

The Sri Lankan Church has asked for the suspension of rallies and other initiatives linked to the election campaigns during Pope Francis’ three-day visit to the island.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Visit of Pope Francis Brings Publicity to Govt While Providing Voice to Suffering Tamil Minority.’ »