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

by
Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

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

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

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

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

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

by

Kalana Senaratne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

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

Justice Sarath Silva

Justice Sarath Silva

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

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

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

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

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

By

Dharisha Bastians

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

pic: np.gov.lk

pic: np.gov.lk

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Dharisha Bastians

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

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

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

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

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

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

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

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

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

By

D.B.S.JEYARAJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

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

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

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

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

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

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


By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

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

pic courtesy of:The Star-Malaysia

pic courtesy of:The Star-Malaysia

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

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

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

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

By Menaka Indrakumar and Zahrah Imtiaz

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

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

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

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

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


by

Saman Indrajith

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

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

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

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

By

Dharisha Bastians

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DJHF070914

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Prof. Dr. Ramasamy Palanisamy  Deputy Chief Minister of Penang

Prof. Dr. Ramasamy Palanisamy
Deputy Chief Minister of Penang

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


by
N Sathiya Moorthy

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

TNA media briefing in Geneva-Mar 26, 2014

TNA media briefing in Geneva-Mar 26, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

By Sital S. Patel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Dharisha Bastians

pic courtesy: BBC Sinhala

pic courtesy: BBC Sinhala

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

20140709-213354-77634341.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Meera Srinivasan

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

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

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

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

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


BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


by

Bandula Jayasekara

AUSSL73112

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

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

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

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


By

Shamindra Ferdinando

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

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

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

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

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

Karu Jayasuriya M.P.

Karu Jayasuriya M.P.

By

Karu Jayasuriya

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

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

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

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

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

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

USEMBSLDK

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

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

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

pic via: twitter.com/Pontifex

pic via: twitter.com/Pontifex

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

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

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Dasun Edirisinghe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opposition Party Leaders Must shed Divisions and Unite on Common Candidate Issue or be Politically Destroyed Individually


by

Vishwamithra 1984

Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) American Author and Journalist

Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) American Author and Journalist

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.” ~Ernest Hemingway

This missive or column, whatever you may call it, is intended for all those who claim to represent the broad masses of the land: Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and all others. In a context of political parties, it is directed at the United National Party (UNP), Democratic Party (DM), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Sri Lanka Freedom Party (CBK wing), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and any other political entity identified with resistance to ‘Familiocracy’, nepotism, corruption, racism, religious disharmony, financial bungling, wasteful State-sponsored carnivals, economic amateurism, ill-planned infrastructure building and all other anti-societal mechanisms and election gimmickry and to their leaders who are at present embroiled in a distressing dilemma as to how to displace the current governing coalition led by the Rajapaksas.

In short, they have two major concerns:

1. what is the common platform that all of them can get on?

2. Who is the ‘best’ candidate who can deliver the election on that common platform? The more you ponder, the more distressing it gets as the leading parliamentary Opposition has failed, over a period of twenty years from 1994 to 2014, to wrest the national agenda from the Government.

So long as the control of the national conversation stays with the Government, the Opposition’s role becomes exclusively one of reactive response as opposed to proactive; instead of dictating the flow of events of national significance, the Opposition becomes a virtual prisoner of the one who controls that flow of events, losing the political initiative which is vital and crucial in the process of recruitment of new members to their ranks. People do not get attracted to an alternative political agenda by random; they do not join new political trends without thinking twice or weighing advantages over disadvantages.
Continue reading ‘Opposition Party Leaders Must shed Divisions and Unite on Common Candidate Issue or be Politically Destroyed Individually’ »

North American Tamil Sangam’s Honour Actress Trisha Krishnan – at 27th Annual Convention – for her Outstanding Contribution to Tamil Cinema

A Pictorial Roundup of the cultural events via facebook.com/fetnaconvention

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pic via: twitter.com/trishtrashers

27th Annual Convention of the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA), The umbrella organization of Tamil organizations within the North American Continent was held on July 4th and 5th at Chaifetz Arena, located on the campus of Saint Louis University, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Continue reading ‘North American Tamil Sangam’s Honour Actress Trisha Krishnan – at 27th Annual Convention – for her Outstanding Contribution to Tamil Cinema’ »

Fathima Thahir,the Family Owned Provision Store in Battaramulla and a Rock Flung in the Dark.

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Fathima Thahir is a Muslim woman in her forties who manages a small provision store owned by her family in the Colombo suburb of Battaramulla. The store “Fathima Stores”was named after her by her father who founded it in 1949 long before Battaramulla experienced the current scale of urban development.”Fathima Stores” on 192 Main Street is the only Muslim owned shop in the vicinity and is well-known for selling bulath/vettrilai/betel.

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In spite of the name “Fathima Stores” the shop is not a big business but merely a large boutique.The profits are not huge but adequate to take care of the family expenses.The family itself lives on the premises behind the store.

The shop and the family have got along well in the predominantly Sinhala neighbourhood.Sixty-five years of amicable co-existence came in for a rude shock on Sunday night when a rock was flung in the dark at Fathima by an unknown person who ran away.
Continue reading ‘Fathima Thahir,the Family Owned Provision Store in Battaramulla and a Rock Flung in the Dark.’ »

Why did the Bodu Bala Sena Which Taught a Lesson to Muslims for Touching a Buddhist Monk in Aluthgama Not Teach a Lesson to the Sinhalese of Panwila who Assaulted a Buddhist Monk?

By

Don Manu

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The Boru Bala farce Talking as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth and he couldn’t say boo to a goose, the Bodu Bala Sena chief, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara on Wednesday tells the waiting media after emerging from the CID headquarters in Fort, where he and his clan had been summoned to give a statement regarding the June 15 Aluthgama incident in which three Muslims were murdered and 77 seriously injured, that they dutifully obeyed the summons for ‘no one is above the law’.

Presenting himself as a truly law abiding citizen shrouded in the impenetrable veil of non violence, a much abused, misunderstood man more sinned against than sinning, he declares soberly, “we received a request from the CID to come and make a statement. So we came. We have to respect the law of the land. Just because we are monks or religious dignitaries we are not accorded a special place. We are under the present law. Our duty as a Buddhist monk is to protect this non violent Dhamma which we have protected for 2,500 years. When the Dhamma faces attack from other religions the only weapon we, as Buddhist monks, have is the weapon of non-violence. We shall continue to talk in pure language not only at Aluthgama but elsewhere. To awaken our nation is our sacred responsibility. “Referring to the first incident of June 12th in Aluthgama where a Buddhist monk who intervened on behalf of his driver regarding a road incident was allegedly assaulted by three Muslim youths, he says it was a heinous offence against Buddhism and could not be ignored.“To touch a Buddhist monk is not something that can be treated lightly,’ he states with all the fervour and conviction of one who would not let pass such an incident without meting out the concomitant punishment.

Meanwhile, last Saturday in a separate incident, the chief monk of the Sri Munasingharama Temple in Hatale, Panwila was assaulted by a Sinhalese mob when he tried to intervene to settle a dispute between his driver and the Sinhalese villagers over an illicit affair his driver had with a woman. The villagers then disrobed the monk, forced him to wear a sarong and tied him to a bus stop. He was later hospitalised for the injuries sustained in the assault. Twenty-eight people, including women were arrested by the police following the incident.

Continue reading ‘Why did the Bodu Bala Sena Which Taught a Lesson to Muslims for Touching a Buddhist Monk in Aluthgama Not Teach a Lesson to the Sinhalese of Panwila who Assaulted a Buddhist Monk?’ »

Anti-Muslim Hate Campaign in Sri Lanka has Hallmarks of Being a Combined Conspiracy of Israel,India’s RSS and Myanmar’s 969 Movement.

By Latheef Farook

Around four years ago, today’s hate campaign pitting the majority Sinhalese community against the island’s minority Muslims, was unheard of. However, today Sinhalese minds were poisoned against Muslims to such an extent that racist such as Jathika Hela Urumya, JHU, are even justifying attacks and killing of Muslims and the burning and the destruction of their residential and commercial property causing billions of rupees of loss for no valid reason.

Now the question is who brought Islamophbia to the island to the detriment of the country.

The hate Muslim campaign or the persecution of Muslims has all the hallmarks of Israeli conspiracy while the carnage at Aluthgama, Dharga Town ,Beruwala and the surrounding areas has all the hallmarks of a combined conspiracy of Israelis, India’s Rastrriya Swayamsevak Sangh, RSS, and Myanmar’s fascist saffron robed thug Ashin Wirthau’s 969 Movement.

Continue reading ‘Anti-Muslim Hate Campaign in Sri Lanka has Hallmarks of Being a Combined Conspiracy of Israel,India’s RSS and Myanmar’s 969 Movement.’ »

Sri Lankan Journalist Dinouk Colombage Grilled by Police CID for 4 Hours About his Reportage of Aluthgama Violence and Relationship to Al Jazeerah TV

Al Jazeera Online Journalist Dinouk Colombage was grilled for four hours by the CID in Colombo yesterday, over his reporting during the Aluthgama riots, lawyers for the scribe said.

Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana told the Daily FT that Colombage had been questioned to clarify death toll numbers he had published in a news report and a personal tweet during the violence.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Journalist Dinouk Colombage Grilled by Police CID for 4 Hours About his Reportage of Aluthgama Violence and Relationship to Al Jazeerah TV’ »

Non -Governmental Organizations in Sri Lanka Warned by Defence Ministry not to Hold Press Conferences,Workshops, Journalist Training Courses and Issue Press Releases

By

Dharisha Bastians

Sri Lanka’s powerful Defence Ministry has sought to outlaw press conferences and media statements by Non-Governmental Organisations operating in the country, sparking a civil society outcry about an attempt to impinge upon freedoms of speech and assembly.

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A circular issued by the National Secretariat for NGOs, which operates under the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development said certain NGOs were “acting beyond their mandate” by holding press conferences and workshops.

“It has been revealed that certain Non-Governmental Organisations conduct press conferences, workshops, trainings for journalists and dissemination of press releases, which is beyond their mandate,” the Circular issued under the hand of Director/Registrar of the NGO Secretariat, D.M.S. Dissanayake noted.

Continue reading ‘Non -Governmental Organizations in Sri Lanka Warned by Defence Ministry not to Hold Press Conferences,Workshops, Journalist Training Courses and Issue Press Releases’ »

Kalutara Dist MP Palitha Thewarapperuma will Submit Resignation to UNP Leader Because IGP Illangakoon has not Resigned.


By

Zacki Jabbar

Kalutara District UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma said yesterday that since the IGP N.K. Illangakoon had failed to resign over police and STF inaction while Muslims in Alutagama and Beruwela were attacked by the Bodu Bala Sena(BBS) recently, resulting in loss of life and property, he would be tendering his resignation from Parliament today to his party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Thewarapperuma who received eye and head injuries while attempting to stop mob attacks on Muslims, told “The Island” that he had been elected on the UNP ticket and accordingly would submit his resignation to his party leader. “It is upto Wickremesinghe to decide on the future course of action.”

Continue reading ‘Kalutara Dist MP Palitha Thewarapperuma will Submit Resignation to UNP Leader Because IGP Illangakoon has not Resigned.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero says his Visa Application to Britain was Earlier Rejected and that he has not applied for UK Visa recently.


By Shamindra Ferdinando

General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena Ven Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thero said that as he hadn’t applied for a British visa recently, therefore the UK government needing to consider his visa application didn’t arise.

Asked by The Island whether he had sought to visit the UK ever, Ven. Gnanasara said that some time ago an application made by him to the British was rejected due to some shortcoming on his part. That was before the BBS was wrongly accused of causing mayhem at Alutgama on June 15, the monk said.

British Parliament was told last week that visa application from Ven Gnanasara Thera would be considered in accordance with immigration rules. Asked whether the government planned to ban Ven. Gnanasara Thera from entering the United Kingdom, Minister of State for Crime Prevention and Antisocial Behaviour Reduction Lord Taylor of Holbeach said though the Home Office did not routinely comment on individual cases, he could confirm that any visa application from Ven. Gnanasara Thera would be considered in accordance with the Immigration Rules.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero says his Visa Application to Britain was Earlier Rejected and that he has not applied for UK Visa recently.’ »

Sri Lankan Engineers Must not Allow Indian Coal to be used in Sampur Because Indian coal is one of the World’s most Impure Types


By

Neil Perera-Former Vice Chairman and Additional General Manager of CEB

The article by Ifham Nizam titled, Engineers: Sampur Project a sell-out which in The Island of July 7, reminds me of one of my articles published in your newspaper October 5, 2013 also in reference to an article by Ifham Nizam titled, India to sign five agreements on Sampur Plant. Having been a founder member of the CEB Engineers’ Union and its Honorary Secretary over 50 years ago, I am happy that at last the CEB Engineers have come out of their shell and protested about the terms of the contract pertaining to the coal power plant to be installed in Sampur.

Hitherto all public pronouncements regarding the CEB are made by either the Secretary of the Ministry or the Chairman CEB who is a political appointee. The voice of the CEB engineers who form the backbone of the CEB is never heard by the public. Although the present Secretary of the Power Ministry appears to hold more independent views than his predecessors, still at the end of the day he has to follow the government line.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Engineers Must not Allow Indian Coal to be used in Sampur Because Indian coal is one of the World’s most Impure Types’ »

41 Asylum Seekers Handed Over to Sri Lankan Authorities by Australia Face Criminal Investigation and Possible Imprisonment

By

Stephanie March

Forty-one asylum seekers returned to Sri Lanka by Australian authorities are being handed over to criminal investigators in the port city of Galle.

Sri Lanka’s navy has confirmed it received the asylum seekers from Australia on Sunday morning in a mid-sea transfer in waters south of the island nation.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison gave details on the case for the first time today, after more than a week of silence on the fate of two boats which were believed to have been intercepted north-west of Australia late last month.

He said the asylum seekers’ boat, intercepted west of the Cocos Islands, was carrying 37 Sinhalese and four Tamils from Sri Lanka.

In a statement, Mr Morrison said the 41 people on board were scanned by teleconference at sea before being transferred to the Sri Lankan navy.

Continue reading ‘41 Asylum Seekers Handed Over to Sri Lankan Authorities by Australia Face Criminal Investigation and Possible Imprisonment’ »

Australian Lawyer George Newhouse Gets Injunction Temporarily BlockingAussie Govt Plan to Hand Over 153 Asylum Seekers to Sri Lankan Govt.

By Jane Wardell and Shihar Aneez

SYDNEY/COLOMBO, July 7 (Reuters) - Australia’s High Court has temporarily blocked the government from handing to Sri Lanka 153 asylum seekers intercepted at sea, amid growing international objections to the country’s tough immigration policies.

The injunction, which runs until an emergency court hearing on Tuesday afternoon, follows the interception and return on Sunday of 41 other Sri Lankan asylum seekers on a separate boat by the Australian navy.

Sri Lankan police said those 41 would be charged with leaving the country illegally and any found guilty would face “rigorous imprisonment”, raising concerns about rights abuses in the island nation.

Lawyer George Newhouse of law firm Shine, who represents 48 of the 153 people aboard the second boat, won the injunction in a special hearing late on Monday.

Continue reading ‘Australian Lawyer George Newhouse Gets Injunction Temporarily BlockingAussie Govt Plan to Hand Over 153 Asylum Seekers to Sri Lankan Govt.’ »

Fact -Finding Mission Report by a Womens Collective to Areas in South Sri Lanka That Were Affected by Anti-Muslim Violence.


On the 15th of June 2014 ethnic riots took place in Aluthgama following a rally organized by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), a Buddhist fundamentalist organization. Even though the police and state officials had been informed of the potential of the rally to turn violent, no steps were taken to stop the same, instead a large number of police and Special Task Forces (STF) personnel were deployed in the area. In the aftermath of the violence that shocked the country, a women’s team visited Aluthgama and met with several survivors with the objective of documenting the events that took place. Below is their report. Considering the safety of the survivors their names, location and other identities are not recorded.

“Around 12 midnight on 15/06/2014 the Welipitiya Mosque administration made an announcement that a large group of thugs were coming to destroy the Mosque. Upon the announcement the men from the village brought their families, left the women inside the mosque for their safety, and stood outside the mosque to protect the mosque. Around 2000 persons arrived in a procession at that time chanting slogans saying ‘we will destroy the Dharga Town mosque’, ‘we will change Dharga Town into a Sinhala village’ and started pelting stones from all sides,” said a mother whose son was attacked in this incident. She stated that she has four sons, she has been separated from her husband since the birth of her youngest son, and has brought them up single handedly amidst various challenges. “My two unmarried sons aged 20 and 17 heard the announcement from the mosque and left to guard the mosque. A few minutes after they left home I heard gun shots and ran outside to look for my sons but I could not locate them. I ran back home and prayed for their safety. I could hear the firing of gun shots for about 2 hours.

Continue reading ‘Fact -Finding Mission Report by a Womens Collective to Areas in South Sri Lanka That Were Affected by Anti-Muslim Violence.’ »

Sri Lankan Muslim Community Protest in Toronto

pictures courtesy of Senthi Chelliah

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Queens Park, Toronto-Jul 7, 2014
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Muslim Community Protest in Toronto’ »

Pakistani Narcotics Dealers and Smugglers Posing as Tourists Have Turned Sri Lanka Into Drug Trafficking Hub.

By

Gihan Kamalesh Weerasinghe

The Sri Lanka Government has come to a firm decision to not issue on-arrival visas to Pakistan and Afghan nationals in the future. The government has decided to do so, based on local and international intelligence reports that extremists have infiltrated the island in the guise of tourists.

Figures compiled by the Department of Immigration and Emigration point to the fact that the majority of tourists to Sri Lanka are from India and Pakistan. The government has doubts about their genuineness as tourists.Immigration authorities took about 40 Afghan and Pakistanis into custody last week. Already 189 are in Boossa and Mirihana detention centers.

According to military intelligence, the majority of Indians come here in search of jobs disguised as tourists. Indians are commonly seen in the Northern and Eastern Provinces selling saris, sarongs and ornaments. Military intelligencehas reported that Indian intelligence – RAW agents – are also among these fake tourists. Therefore, defence authorities have intensified operations to apprehend Indians who are engaged in trading in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and to deport them.

Continue reading ‘Pakistani Narcotics Dealers and Smugglers Posing as Tourists Have Turned Sri Lanka Into Drug Trafficking Hub.’ »

Mutual Fear and Suspicion Between Muslims and Sinhalese as Aluthgama Struggles to Rise From Rubble and Ashes.

By

Zahrah Imtiaz

Hakeem looks on as the burnt bikes are loaded into a truck and a man takes pictures of the damages done. He is standing outside what remains of his once prosperous bike showroom, strangely calm. “They were all unregistered, brand new scooters and bikes,” he says.

Aluthgama is waking up, but what remains in the wake of the destruction is not much. Hakeem estimates his damages amount to Rs 10 million. “I started my business just one-and-a-half years ago and for a whole year I struggled to keep it afloat. And just when things were looking up, they go and burn down my shop. The government is responsible for this. My neighbour, Thilak Ayya ran over to the STF standing right outside and asked them to protect my shop from the mobs but they simply ignored the request.”

The government has sent the security forces to rebuild Aluthgama, Dharga Town and Beruwela and one can easily spot men in uniform clearing and buildings at every nook and corner. Whether a broken city can be rebuilt with its buildings alone however is left to be seen.

Continue reading ‘Mutual Fear and Suspicion Between Muslims and Sinhalese as Aluthgama Struggles to Rise From Rubble and Ashes.’ »

Harassed Policeman Suminda Saman Compelled to Resign for Issuing Speeding Ticket to Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekera.

By

Chrishanthi Christopher

Police Constable (PC) Suminda Saman does not want to mention names of persons who are behind his resignation. However, he is under duress to withdraw his complaints to the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission and the Criminal Investigation department (CID) against Deputy Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade, Hemal Gunasekera. Saman said his life and that of his family are at risk of being persecuted. As such, he had sent his resignation by email and by registered post to the Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangakoon.

Arrogant politicians

PC Saman’s life is an example of how arrogant politicians treat the very public who vote for them. It is apparent that Gunasekera, from day one, has behaved in a petty fashion. He took Saman to task for daring to issue a charge sheet against him for speeding on the highway. The deputy minister’s complaint is that he was not recognized for his position as being a government minister.

Saman complained Gunaskera was travelling sans his ministerial escorts and the blaring siren, the haul mark of ministers and VIPs when travelling even on an ‘ordinary’ road. Also, the car had tinted windows and there was no way to know that a minister was travelling in the car, the constable said.
Saman, who has been penalized for carrying out his duties without fear or favour, is also facing a threat to his life. Last week he spoke to Ceylon Today, relating the drama that was to change his entire life and future.

Continue reading ‘Harassed Policeman Suminda Saman Compelled to Resign for Issuing Speeding Ticket to Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekera.’ »

Pathetic Plight of Persecuted Pakistani Ahmadiya Muslims who Seek Political Asylum in Sri Lanka

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

AHMADIYYA MOSQUE, NEGOMBO: Fifteen months ago, Zahira and her husband Tariq fled the Pakistani city of Lahore to escape the entrenched religious persecution there. The couple are members of the minority Ahmadiyya sect, and were getting repeated death threats and saw the members of the close- knit community gunned down or beheaded in a spiral of violence unleashed against the community.

The Constitution of Pakistan itself provides grounds for the persecution of Ahmadiyya members, a moderate distinctive strain of Islam: an amendment passed in 1974 declares that Ahmadiyyas are non-Muslims.

” We lived in fear, our people are killed daily, abducted and have their throats slit and dumped by the road side. We cannot go out, we are not allowed to pray, we cannot get jobs, students are kicked out from schools when they find out we are Ahmadiyyas,” says Zahira.

Continue reading ‘Pathetic Plight of Persecuted Pakistani Ahmadiya Muslims who Seek Political Asylum in Sri Lanka’ »

Over 800 Tamil Families Evicted From Sampur in Trincomalee for Construction of a Power Plant Languish as “Displaced”Amidst Abysmal Conditions.

By

Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

The fertile land called Sampur (Sambur as pronounced by the Tamils) in the North Eastern Province, across the Koddiyar Bay of Trincomalee, on which about 685 families lived before 2006, is no more for the villagers who owned it. Today, more than 800 families, who are forced to live in shanties of tin shelters in the outskirts of Sampur, are watching over their own land braving the scorching heat, heavy rains and storms.

Their only hope is to get back to their place of origin and to start the self-sustaining life they had been having for generations in Sampur.The 500-acre Sampur, which means a land that is complete (sampurna/sampurnam), is completely fenced and guarded heavily now. The houses on that land had been completely bulldozed and left bare for a coal power project on which construction has not yet begun.

The villagers flocked around the journalist, when they came to know through various channels. Some came rushing with their land and property deeds to express their plight. What is amazing is that most of them own at least half an acre of paddy or coconut land in Sampur.

Continue reading ‘Over 800 Tamil Families Evicted From Sampur in Trincomalee for Construction of a Power Plant Languish as “Displaced”Amidst Abysmal Conditions.’ »

Sri Lankan Engineers Oppose Moves to Use Indian Equipment at Sampur Power Plant Instead of International Open Bidding.


By

Ifham Nizam

Plans are now underway to have Indian equipment at the country’s proposed second coal-fired power plant complex in Sampur, Trincomalee in contravention of earlier terms and conditions which stipulated international open bidding, according to a senior official.

He said the Indian company would not be able to have its way if the engineers stood firm.

Pointing out that India already had 250MW plants, another engineers said, “They can easily dump two plants from their existing stock.” That was why, he added, former Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka had opposed the terms and conditions as proposed by the Indian firm.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Engineers Oppose Moves to Use Indian Equipment at Sampur Power Plant Instead of International Open Bidding.’ »

Gnanasara Thero, Dilantha Vitanage and the Bodu Bala Sena Connection with the United National Party.

by

C.A.Chandraprema

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Last week, the cat jumped out of the bag when the US Embassy in Colombo cancelled Galagodaatte Gnanasara thera’s US visa. When this writer asked the US embassy in Colombo in a previous column how this monk had gone to the USA after he had begun this campaign of hatred and incitement of violence, we assumed that he had entered the USA on the kind of single entry visitor’s visa that ordinary mortals like us get after answering a whole string of questions and producing copious documentation.

Now it turns out that he had a five- year multiple entry visa which had been granted to him in 2011 and had not yet expired. The US authorities appear to have panicked that if this monk made another visit to the USA on this visa in the middle of all this controversy, their role in all this mayhem would be badly exposed.
Continue reading ‘Gnanasara Thero, Dilantha Vitanage and the Bodu Bala Sena Connection with the United National Party.’ »

Post-Mortem on Recent Violence at Dharga Town, Aluthgama and Beruwela From a Different Perspective.

by

Udaya Gammanpila

Udaya Gammanpila

Udaya Gammanpila

I warned in this column dated 20 January 2013 that we were heading towards Sinhala-Muslim riots similar to that of 1915. In response, Muslim leaders sarcastically told me to inform police instead of inviting them for a dialogue. I pointed out in this column of 10 February 2013 that the new rigid halal policy of the Muslim community would destroy our intercommunity food exchange culture causing an irreparable damage to national unity. Muslim leaders rudely responded to me stating “we don’t want Gammanpila’s kiribath”. This column of 1 September 2013 wrote an open letter to Muslims titled ‘To Muslim brothers with Love’. I explained in detail how Buddhists have tolerated provocations by Muslim extremists and urged the Muslim community to work towards eradicating extremism within them.

Unfortunately, my predictions have come true. The Muslim leaders, who sarcastically responded to me, are now maintaining dead silence. Muslim politicians who rejected our invitation for a dialogue are now blaming Buddhists, bashing the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS). Hence, let us revisit Dharga Town to find out the hidden and suppressed truth.

Continue reading ‘Post-Mortem on Recent Violence at Dharga Town, Aluthgama and Beruwela From a Different Perspective.’ »

“What has Happened to 153 Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seekers who Started Sea Journey on June 13th in a 25 Metre Fishing Vessel from Pondichchery in India to Australia?

courtesy: MARK KNIGHT – 10.09.2001 – HERALD SUN

courtesy: MARK KNIGHT – 10.09.2001 – HERALD SUN

By

Rukshana Rizwie

Asylum seekers – handover at sea remains shrouded in secrecy

For a government which had been very vocal in their quest for the missing Malaysian jetliner MH370, the silence over the treacherous high sea transfer of asylum seekers is deafening.

Tony Abbott, Australia’s Prime Minister has been teetering on his government’s proverbial plank of Immigration policy since of late. For a government which rose to power largely because it promised to ‘stop the boats’, the latest developments over the alleged return of the boatload of people seems nonplussing.

The widely publicized and supposed high sea transfer of over 153 Sri Lankan asylum seekers has been flatly denied by Sri Lankan authorities to-date. What gives, one ponders.

Continue reading ‘“What has Happened to 153 Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seekers who Started Sea Journey on June 13th in a 25 Metre Fishing Vessel from Pondichchery in India to Australia?’ »

Recent Ethno Religious Violence in Sri Lanka has Economically Affected Foreign Direct Investment and Tourism.

By

Nimal Sanderatne

Peaceful conditions and law and order are indisputable preconditions for sustained economic development. International experience and our own economic history demonstrate this. A recurring theme of this column has been the importance of peace, law and order and social harmony for economic growth and development. The recent insecurity in the country has already eroded these very prerequisites for growth.

The single most serious constraint to higher economic growth since independence has been ethnic violence, terrorism and the long drawn out civil war. At the end of the war in 2009 there was every prospect of a higher trajectory of growth. This has been achieved to some extent, but the re-emergence of communal conflict is a dark cloud over the economy.

Both foreign direct investment (FDI) and tourism have been adversely affected by recent events. It is a setback not only to this year’s expected higher economic growth but to economic development of years to come. Restoring security is therefore imperative for economic growth.

Continue reading ‘Recent Ethno Religious Violence in Sri Lanka has Economically Affected Foreign Direct Investment and Tourism.’ »

China’s President Xi Jinping to Visit Sri Lanka this year Becoming First Chinese Head of State to do so in Three Decades.

BY
MEERA SRINIVASAN&ANANTH KRISHNAN

China’s President Xi Jinping will this year become the first Chinese head of state to visit Sri Lanka in three decades, underlining Beijing’s renewed push to deepen its strategic and economic presence in the neighbourhood and in the Indian Ocean.

Mr. Xi’s visit was discussed in Beijing this week as Sri Lankan Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, as the President’s Special Envoy, met with the Chinese leadership.

The Chinese leader will become the first President to visit Sri Lanka since former leader Li Xiannian in 1986. His visit assumes significance in the context of strengthening ties between the two countries, with China investing heavily in the island nation.

Continue reading ‘China’s President Xi Jinping to Visit Sri Lanka this year Becoming First Chinese Head of State to do so in Three Decades.’ »

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s Answers to Questions About Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seeker Boat Would Be Funny If they Were Not So Awful.

By

Annabel Crabb

A multitude of dead parrot experts, amateur Spanish inquisitors, lumberjacks and various representatives of the Judean People’s Front converged on London’s O2 Arena five days ago to witness the surviving members of Monty Python taking the stage together for the first time since 1980.
Tickets for the show sold out in 43 seconds and the audience – aglow with nostalgia for comedy’s only genuine global supergroup – loved every minute.

The only nagging critique was that the septuagenarian Pythons hadn’t come up with any new material for the show.

But who writes material like that any more? Where else would you find that unmistakeably Pythonic blend of dizzy nonsensicality and stubborn denial of the bleeding obvious? In Australia, it turns out.

What follows is the edited transcript of an actual doorstop press conference given by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison last Saturday:

Continue reading ‘Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s Answers to Questions About Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seeker Boat Would Be Funny If they Were Not So Awful.’ »

How Does the UNP Re-brand Itself as a Nationalist Party to Attract the Majority Community Votes?

By

Kalana Senaratne

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It has been clear for some time now that the positions adopted by the present regime and the UNP on the issue of accountability are somewhat similar in their ultimate effect; for fundamentally, the UNP does not critique the armed forces.

We know that it is only a critique of the armed forces, or greater suspicion of its actions, that could bring some dissimilarity between the positions adopted by the regime and the UNP.
Continue reading ‘How Does the UNP Re-brand Itself as a Nationalist Party to Attract the Majority Community Votes?’ »

Should the Sinhalese Stay Away From the UN sanctioned War Crimes Inquiry and let Sri Lanka Lose by Default?

By

Don Manu

UNHRC 2012 Vote

UNHRC 2012 Vote

Out of the three imposing personages appointed to the UN sanctioned war crimes inquiry against the Lankan Government, Pakistan lawyer Asma Jahangir is the one the Foreign Office should keep a close watch on.

Like the most formidable and forward bird in a nest is the first fledgling to flap its wings and fly out to brave the open air, Ms. Jahangir has sprung from the war tribunal to the fore with all cannons ablaze and firing and laid to rest any hopes Lanka may have held that the committee’s effort would be waylaid and rendered dead even before it had begun by the Government’s outright refusal to cooperate in any manner whatsoever with the proceedings.

In Asma’s eyes that is simply wishful thinking.

Pooh-poohing any such doubts as to the committee’s capability to proceed in such an instance, this former Human Rights Commissioner of Pakistan who has also held many Human Rights Council mandates, confidently declares, “we have had many international inquiries earlier where governments have not cooperated but still we have provided very independent and reliable reports, and these have been accepted too”.

Continue reading ‘Should the Sinhalese Stay Away From the UN sanctioned War Crimes Inquiry and let Sri Lanka Lose by Default?’ »

“If Regime Reform Pressure Results in Mahinda Rajapaksa Being Pushed over the Precipice,Civilian Democracy in Sri Lanka will go with him”


BY

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

“I have memories of the future, visions of the past…”
‘A Cloud in a Glass of Water’ directed by Srinath Samarasinghe

Ernesto Che Guevara famously autographed a copy of his slim volume ‘Guerrilla Warfare’ to Salvador Allende with the line, “to Companero Allende who is trying to reach the same destination through a different path”. When the tiny band of survivors of Che’s guerrilla column in Bolivia made it across the border, it was Salvador Allende who was there to receive them. Juan Somavia was a comrade-in-arms of Salvador Allende. Having been an academic at the Catholic University of Chile, Somavia was the advisor to the Chilean Foreign Ministry and an ambassador under Allende who would be martyred in a military coup in September 1973.

I had been an admirer of Juan Somavia from my mid-teens, but it would be almost four decades later when we met and worked together. He was the head of the ILO when I finally met him. I had just become the chairperson of the ILO’s governing body. Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Geneva to address the ILO barely a fortnight after I had handed my credentials as Ambassador/PR.

After the bloody military coup, Somavia spent decades in exile, doing political and intellectual work, setting up the famous Latin American think tank for the study of the transnational corporations. It was a dangerous business. A fellow ex-ambassador, Orlando Letelier, Allende’s representative in the USA, was murdered in 1976 by a car bomb planted by Chilean secret service agents and a US contractor, in Washington DC itself. It took two decades to bring the killers to justice. It was Juan Somavia who introduced me to Orlando Letelier’s son Juan Pablo, a highly respected (and long-haired) Socialist Party Senator.

Continue reading ‘“If Regime Reform Pressure Results in Mahinda Rajapaksa Being Pushed over the Precipice,Civilian Democracy in Sri Lanka will go with him”’ »

USAID Cancels Funding for “Voter Education Project” After Def. Secy Gothabaya Rajapaksa Threatens Probe into Recipients

By

Dharisha Bastians

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The USAID has cancelled funding for a voter education program after the Sri Lankan Government raised objections and the island’s top defence official vowed to investigate organizations receiving grants to implement the project.

In an email to prospective applicants yesterday, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said the federal grant opportunity had been “deleted”.

“The Sri Lanka USAID Colombo Office will no longer be accepting applications for this opportunity,” the email read.
Continue reading ‘USAID Cancels Funding for “Voter Education Project” After Def. Secy Gothabaya Rajapaksa Threatens Probe into Recipients’ »

Def.Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and US Envoy Michele J.Sison at Loggerheads with Each other Over USAID Funding Issue.

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

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Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has directed that senior military officers as well as heads of those institutions coming under him meet US ambassador Michele J. Sison or her representatives only in his presence.

The decision was taken consequent to Ambassador Sison refusing to allow the head of the USAID in Colombo to meet Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa unless she, too, was invited to the same meeting.

The US embassy has told the Defence Ministry that as the USAID is under the purview of the Colombo mission and its head can meet Mr. Rajapaksa only in the presence of the ambassador.

Defence Secretary Rajapaksa told The Island last night that he wanted to discuss with USAID head an alleged move to influence the local electorate through a voter education project called ‘Election Support through Voter Education (ESVE) programme. It was nothing but a ruse to turn people against the government, he said. Calling the US project ‘Operation Regime Change’, the Defence Secretary said that political parties should take up this issue.

Continue reading ‘Def.Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and US Envoy Michele J.Sison at Loggerheads with Each other Over USAID Funding Issue.’ »

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his Security Establishment Step up Offensive Denying Links to Bodu Bala Sena.


By

Dharisha Bastians

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The first dawn after the crescent moon sighting, which signalled the beginning of the Ramazan fasting season for Sri Lanka’s Muslim community this year, was marked by violence.
It was the kind of shadowy, isolated attack that has been quietly besieging the Muslims of Sri Lanka for 18 long months, ever since the birth of the Bodu Bala Sena brought Sinhala Buddhist hardliners to the frontlines of politics in the country.

The Thalayan Bawa Jumma Masjid in the suburb of Borupana, Ratmalana, was spared massive damage from an alleged arson attack only because the mosque trustee and his wife woke up to pray and observe the first fast of the Ramazan season in the early hours of Sunday (29) morning. Seeing the flames engulfing the main door of the mosque, where clothes had been carefully placed, soaked in fuel and set alight, they worked to douse the flames at 2:30 a.m.

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The next morning, Senior Government Minister A.H.M. Fowzie arrived on the scene. The customary Police complaints were filed, but little hope remains among the Muslim community that investigations will lead anywhere. Hundreds of similar attacks across the island over the past 18 months have rendered no completed investigations and no prosecutions.

Continue reading ‘Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his Security Establishment Step up Offensive Denying Links to Bodu Bala Sena.’ »

Mangala Samaraweera an Outspoken Critic of the Govt whose Style is to Court Controversy

By

Sathya Liyanasuriya

Mangala Samaraweera M.P.

Mangala Samaraweera M.P.

Opposition Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera, never out of the limelight for long, was the focus of attention this week when he made startling accusations about the Army’s alleged involvement in the communal riots that engulfed Aluthgama and its neighbouring towns recently.

Samaraweera was to say that military intelligence officers were responsible for the riots. Samaraweera could have opted to make the statement in Parliament where he would have been protected by Parliamentary privilege. Instead, he chose to do so at a media briefing, inviting intervention.

Samaraweera’s accusations also mentioned the names of three officers. This prompted a swift riposte from military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya who said that legal opinion was being sought on the issue as the lives of the officers were at risk due to Samaraweera’s allegations.

Courting such controversy has been Samaraweera’s style. Last October, an arrest warrant was issued on Samaraweera for allegedly masterminding an attack on a rival faction of the United National Party (UNP) at Matara which was staging a protest march against Ranil Wickremesinghe’s leadership.

Continue reading ‘Mangala Samaraweera an Outspoken Critic of the Govt whose Style is to Court Controversy’ »

Eugenie Bouchard defeats Simona Halep to become first Canadian Women’s Singles Player to reach Wimbledon final


LONDON – Eugenie Bouchard defeated Romania’s Simona Halep 7-6 (5), 6-2 in semifinal play at Wimbledon on Thursday to become the first Canadian women’s singles player to advance to a Grand Slam final.

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Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., converted her sixth match point to complete the victory in one hour 34 minutes.

The 13th-seeded Canadian will next face sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova on Saturday. Kvitova beat fellow Czech left-hander Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6), 6-1 in the early semifinal.

“To get to my first Grand Slam final, it’s very exciting. It’s what I’ve worked so long for, you know,” Bouchard said. “So I’m just proud of myself for today’s effort.”

Continue reading ‘Eugenie Bouchard defeats Simona Halep to become first Canadian Women’s Singles Player to reach Wimbledon final’ »

“Inquiry” Farce Enacted as Remorseless Gnanasara Thero’s Statement Blaming Rauff Hakeem and Azath Salley is “Respectfully” Recorded by Deferential Police.

Though various media organs are agog with excitement over the phenomenon of venerable Galagaoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero being “questioned” by the Police over recent incidents of anti –Muslim violence, it is learnt that what actually transpired was a farcicial drama featuring the Bodhu Bala Sena and Police officials of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

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According to informed sources connected to the Bodhu Bala Sena the Police had first contacted Gnanasara Thero and requested him to call over at the CID headquarters for an “interview”whenever it was suitable for the Bodhu Bala Sena General Secretary. The Police had been very apologetic and explained that this was only a matter of routine necessitated by Police procedure and was in no way an indication that Gnanasara Thero was a suspect in inciting violence in Aluthgama.

Continue reading ‘“Inquiry” Farce Enacted as Remorseless Gnanasara Thero’s Statement Blaming Rauff Hakeem and Azath Salley is “Respectfully” Recorded by Deferential Police.’ »

Historic Fort Jumma Mosque on Chatham Street in Colombo High Security Zone Receives Parcel of Pork Pieces and Warning Letter.

In a fresh instance of vicious religious hatred unknown anti-Muslim elements have sent a warning letter and pieces of pork to a famous long standing Mosque in the heart of Colombo city.

The historic Fort Jumma Mosque on Chatham Street was the latest target in the anti-Muslim wave currently engulfing the country.

Continue reading ‘Historic Fort Jumma Mosque on Chatham Street in Colombo High Security Zone Receives Parcel of Pork Pieces and Warning Letter.’ »

How US Embassy in Colombo Pre-empted Bodu Bala Sena Plan to Visit USA in July by RevokingGnanasara Thero’s Five year Multiple-Entry Visa.

Prompt Action by the US Embassy in Colombo has scuttled the well laid plans of Bodu Bala Sena(BBS) General Secretay Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero to embark upon a prolonged visit to the United States of America (USA) in July this year.

Painting at Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (MOMA.org)-NYC

Painting at Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (MOMA.org)-NYC

Gnanasara Thero regarded as the mastermind behind the anti-Muslim violence at Aluthgama, Dharga Nagar and Beruwela has been the target of much criticism nationally and internationally.

Though the Rajapaksa Regime has been resisting widespread appeals that Gnanasara Thero be questioned over his role in instigating anti-Muslim violence the antics of the notorious ethno religious fascist has resulted in the Sri Lankan Govt facing much pressure.

It was decided by influential sections in the upper echelons of the regime that Gnanasara Thero should leave Sri Lanka and stay abroad for a while until the hue and cry against the BBS bhikku subsided and things cooled off.

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Since Gnanasara Thero has a multiple – entry visa to the USA the plan was for him to travel to the USA quietly. The Bodu Bala Sena has a wide network of supporters among Sinhala Buddhist expatriates in the USA.
Continue reading ‘How US Embassy in Colombo Pre-empted Bodu Bala Sena Plan to Visit USA in July by RevokingGnanasara Thero’s Five year Multiple-Entry Visa.’ »

President Rajapaksa and his Brothers Must Reject and Repudiate the Message and Activism of the Bodu Bala Sena and Caution the Country Against It.


BY
DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

is brothers that they reject and repudiate the message and activism of the BBS and caution the country against it.

What is the role of the regime and state in a multiethnic, multilingual, multi-religious, multicultural i.e. pluralist setting and in a fraught, conflicted, actually or potentially violent situation? How should and how do the regime and state function?

Are the UPFA regime and the State a neutral umpire –as it should be– between the constituent communities of Sri Lanka where all citizens are constitutionally equal, or are they a biased (“hora”) umpire? If the case is the latter do the rulers and state managers not know or care that there is an ‘action replay’ at work in the international system in the 21st century?

Do the regime and the state apparatuses under its command, including the security services, regard violent Sinhala Buddhist extremism as a threat to the stability of the state—as it should? Or are the regime and state benignly neutral towards it?

Do the regime and state regard only non-Sinhalese Buddhists or politically dissenting Sinhala Buddhists (such as the JVP, FSP, elements of the UNP and human rights activists) as foes or potential threats, however non-violent they may be? As the JR Jayewardene regime did with regard to Cyril Mathew and his JSS goon squads in the early 1980s, do elements of the regime regard the BBS and its Sangha Parivar as potential allies against the JVP, FSP and student unions and trade unions led by them?

Is it that the BBS is sought to be coddled so as to prevent its social constituency from shifting to its more natural leader Sarath Fonseka or peeling off a segment of the regime’s voter base?

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa and his Brothers Must Reject and Repudiate the Message and Activism of the Bodu Bala Sena and Caution the Country Against It.’ »

Australian Govt Secretly Hands Over 153 Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seekers on Refugee Ship to Sri Lankan Navy

By
Sarah Whyte

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The Australian government is refusing to comment on reports circulating on Christmas Island that 153 Tamil asylum seekers have been handed over to the Sri Lankan navy.

The asylum seekers, who have not communicated with civilians since Saturday morning, were on a boat allegedly intercepted by the Australian navy near Christmas Island, president of the Shire of Christmas Island Gordon Thomson said. They were then handed over to Sri Lanka’s military.

Refugee advocates lost contact with the boat on Saturday morning, sparking fears the phone on board had been confiscated.
Continue reading ‘Australian Govt Secretly Hands Over 153 Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seekers on Refugee Ship to Sri Lankan Navy’ »

Australia Screens Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers Through Tele-Conferencing While on Ship Without Letting Refugees Land.

By

Sarah Whyte

The second asylum seeker boat to recently attempt the journey to Australia has been intercepted by Australian officials who allegedly screened people on board via a teleconference.

A source from the immigration department has confirmed the ACV Triton, a 98-metre Australian customs patrol boat, intercepted the asylum seeker vessel on the weekend.

The boat was initially thought to have come from Java, Indonesia, but Fairfax Media understands the boat departed from Sri Lanka.

It is understood interpreters were brought into the Sydney and Melbourne offices of the department on Saturday and Sunday to help ”screen” the asylum seekers.

Continue reading ‘Australia Screens Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers Through Tele-Conferencing While on Ship Without Letting Refugees Land.’ »

“Sihala Ravaya”President Ven. Akmeemana Dayarathna Thero in Statement to Police Denies Complicity in Anti – Muslim Violence on June 15th 2014

Venerable Akmeemana Dayarathna Thero the President of the ethno religious fascist organization known as Sihala was interviewed by Police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department in Colombo on Monday June 30th 2014. During the course of the interview which lasted for 150 minutes with the Sihala Ravaya leader from Akmeemana a statement was recorded by the Police.

The interview and statement relate to the violence that occurred on June 15th 2014 at Aluthgama, Beruwela and Dharga nagar in which a large number of Mosques, Muslim owned businesses and homes were targeted by well armed mobs transported from outside into the area.

Continue reading ‘“Sihala Ravaya”President Ven. Akmeemana Dayarathna Thero in Statement to Police Denies Complicity in Anti – Muslim Violence on June 15th 2014’ »

Champika Ranawaka and Gnanasara Thero Say Sri Lanka is safe Haven for Islamic Terrorists but Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Denies it.

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

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Minister Champika Ranawaka brought a very serious allegation recently. He pointed out that Sri Lanka had become a safe haven for the Islamic terrorists. Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, also raised this charge repeatedly. Forget Gnanasara Thera, the silence of the government on the allegation of a government minister is curious.

The Indian defence establishment first exposed the existence of the Muslim extremists in Sri Lanka. The chief suspect of the German bakery bomb blast in Pune confessed the attack was masterminded in Colombo. His statement is as follows:

Continue reading ‘Champika Ranawaka and Gnanasara Thero Say Sri Lanka is safe Haven for Islamic Terrorists but Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Denies it.’ »

Unrepentant Bodu Bala Sena Alleges That Beruwela has a Terrorism Training Centre Under the guise of a Religious Institution.

BY

RUWAN LAKNATH JAYAKODY

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) yesterday admonished the government, the Opposition and the police, to not touch them, as it would be a move tantamount to digging their own grave.

The United National Party (UNP), certain powerful foreign diplomatic missions and Muslim extremist organizations were behind the clear international conspiracy that orchestrated the recent communal clashes and religious riots in Aluthgama and Beruwala, the BBS intoned.

Continue reading ‘Unrepentant Bodu Bala Sena Alleges That Beruwela has a Terrorism Training Centre Under the guise of a Religious Institution.’ »

Sri Lanka Admonished over Racial Hatred and Religious Violence Issues by UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Religion,Minority Issues and Summary Executions


GENEVA (2 July 2014) –
Three United Nations experts on freedom of religion, minority issues, and summary executions today called on Sri Lanka to adopt urgent measures to stop the promotion of racial and faith-based hatred, and violence against Muslim and Christian communities by Buddhist groups with extremist views, and bring perpetrators of this violence to justice.

More than 350 violent attacks against Muslims and over 150 attacks against Christians have been reported in Sri Lanka in the last two years. Muslim and Christian communities are reportedly subjected to hate speech, discrimination, attacks and acts of violence throughout Sri Lanka frequently.

On 15 June 2014, a local group promoting extremist Sinhalese nationalist views, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS – The Buddhist Power Force), staged a large protest rally in Aluthgama that resulted in inter-communal violence, during which four people lost their lives and about 80 were injured. Homes and shops owned by Muslims, as well as mosques were vandalized and some set ablaze.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Admonished over Racial Hatred and Religious Violence Issues by UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Religion,Minority Issues and Summary Executions’ »

Defiant Bodu Bala Sena Says Buildings will be Turned into Prisons and Coconut Trees into Gallows if Gnanasara Thero is Arrested.


By

Chamitha Kuruppu

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) yesterday reiterated it would continue to fight against Muslim extremism, which it said was an emerging threat to the country’s stability, and added that it would not stop raising its voice against such organisations.

Addressing the media, the controversial organisation also denied alleged links with the Defence Secretary, stressing that the BBS did not receive any backing from Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

BBS Chief Executive Officer and Media Spokesman Dilantha Vithanage said that there was an ongoing conspiracy by the UNP, a top powerful embassy in Colombo and some Muslim extremist groups.

Continue reading ‘Defiant Bodu Bala Sena Says Buildings will be Turned into Prisons and Coconut Trees into Gallows if Gnanasara Thero is Arrested.’ »

Gnanasara, Jathika Hela Urumaya and Bodu Bala Sena are Viral Symptoms of a Disease That has Invaded the Body Politic of Sri Lanka.


by
Vishwamithra 1984


“Once you’ve built the big machinery of political power, remember you won’t always be the one to run it.”

~P. J. O’Rourke

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Galagodaaththe Gnanasara, who is alleged to have been indicted in the past on four cases of DUI (driving under the influence), whose regular vocabulary is sometimes more disgusting than that of an uneducated petty thug in a street corner and whose fiery speeches have engulfed a naïve and susceptible ethnic group into violent, virulent and vituperative politicking has single-handedly managed to inflame hatred, jealousy and vengeance, three human qualities the Great Teacher, Gautama Buddha asked his devotees to discard as venomous human qualities from their day-to-day lives.

The emergence of Gnanasara is directly correlated to the meteoric ascendance of the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS), somewhat similar to that of the Taliban or Al Qaida of the Arab/Muslim world. As much as these Muslim fundamentalist organizations operate- desecrating the teachings of Islam and selling the Quran to suit their political goals, BBS and their propagandists garbed in saffron robes, too are engaged in that dishonorable and despicable act of debasing the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama and painting an ominous picture for the susceptible consumer, Sinhalese Buddhists, of a declining trend in Buddhism due to the imaginary vagaries of Islam.

To date, more than two hundred (200) incidents of vandalism, murder, manhandling, intimidation and public humiliation have been caused to those who claim another faith other than Buddhism as their religion. The fundamental premise of Buddhism, free thinking, has been denied to the very followers of that religion and some petty thugs are marauding the streets as Buddhist Monks, apparently charged with the responsibility of protecting some vested interests of diabolical politicians, quasi-patriotic political parties and political charlatans. Whatever they are pretending to be safeguarding, it is quite sure, is not Buddhism nor its pure teachings nor the devoted followers scattered throughout the island. Yet their appeal is very magnetic and its message, although very cynical in execution, is lending an identity to a segment that is in search of an identity. This much I have already written about in my last week’s column. But the effects of organizations such as BBS on the societal evolution and the direction it takes a community in a frenzied ride could be enormously catastrophic. What flared up in Aluthgama was merely a manifestation of that phenomenon at a fairly controllable level.

Continue reading ‘Gnanasara, Jathika Hela Urumaya and Bodu Bala Sena are Viral Symptoms of a Disease That has Invaded the Body Politic of Sri Lanka.’ »

“Rajapaksa Regime Censored Media by Sending Warning Letters to Print and Electronic Media After Violence Erupted”-Ranil Wickremesinghe.

By

Zacki Jabbar

It was not the Sinhalese of Alutgama and Beruwela who had attacked Muslims in their areas on June 16 but outsiders including members of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) sent there with the connivance of leading figures in the government, the UNP said yesterday.

Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe told a news conference in Colombo, after meeting a number of media organisations to discuss the Aluthgama and Beruwela violence which left four dead and many houses and business establishments burnt down, that the Rajapaksa regime had falsely claimed that the attack on a Buddhist monk’s vehicle in Aluthgama had provoked the Sinhalese in the area into attacking the Muslims.

Continue reading ‘“Rajapaksa Regime Censored Media by Sending Warning Letters to Print and Electronic Media After Violence Erupted”-Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

Army Spokesman Launches Full Frontal Military Assault on Senior Opposition Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera.

By Harim Peiris

Late last week we witnessed the scenario where the Army spokesman, a brigadier in rank, made the unusual claim that current UNP spokesman and former Rajapakse Administration Foreign Minister, MP Mangala Samaraweera had compromised national security by alleging at a press conference, that state intelligence agencies or at least some intelligence chiefs, were supporting the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and that the Aluthgama and Beruwela anti Muslim violence was in fact an organized operation with state intelligence backing.

An update to that allegation or rather to the traction that it gathered, was that the Defense Secretary, in a media interview published on July 1st, felt compelled to deny any personal involvement in alleged defense establishment assistance and help to the BBS or other extremist groups. He offered to resign if the allegations were proved.

Continue reading ‘Army Spokesman Launches Full Frontal Military Assault on Senior Opposition Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera.’ »

Seven Realities within Which our Religions must Re-discover their Role for the Common Good in our Plural and Violent Society.

Bishop Duleep de Chickera Reflects

The recent spate of senseless attacks on the Muslim community was brought about by the convergence of a chronic breakdown of law and order, manipulative politics and the sinister provocation of religious intolerance. It is to our collective shame that these trends were allowed to fester into violence and death in a land of religions.

Sincereligion is sadly an intrinsic part of this crisis, this reflection highlights seven realities within which our religions are to rediscover their role for the common good, in our plural and violent society.

Continue reading ‘Seven Realities within Which our Religions must Re-discover their Role for the Common Good in our Plural and Violent Society.’ »

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Lashes Out at Govt – Bodu Bala Sena Nexus and Complicity in Anti-Muslim Violence


By

Dharisha Bastians

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday hit out against the Government’s unofficial media blackout of the Aluthgama religious violence and charged that the regime was complicit in permitting the Bodu Bala Sena rally in the area to go ahead on 15 June.

During a meeting with media activists and journalists at his Jawatte office yesterday, Wickremesinghe claimed that the Government had issued letters to all print and electronic media about reporting on the communal clashes in the two southern towns.

Continue reading ‘Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Lashes Out at Govt – Bodu Bala Sena Nexus and Complicity in Anti-Muslim Violence’ »

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Ready to Resign As Defence Secretary if Any One Proves He is Involved with Bodu Bala Sena or any Fringe Group.

An Exclusive Interview By Hafeel Farisz for “Daily Mirror”

Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa in an exclusive interview based on the recent inter communal violence that engulfed the South Western region of the country, denied allegations that he was providing cover to “certain organisations”. He instead asserted that the purported Sinhala Buddhist organisations are not his creations. He further went on to state that “Muslim politicians and Opposition politicians” are to blame for creating the ‘myth’ that these organisations were his creation.

Excerpts


Q: To start off with, are you saddened by the recent inter communal violence in Sri Lanka, having suffered decades through a conflict on similar lines?

Continue reading ‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa Ready to Resign As Defence Secretary if Any One Proves He is Involved with Bodu Bala Sena or any Fringe Group.’ »

“Armed Mobs Attacked my Vehicle with 16 Muslims Including Pregnant Women and Children While Police Simply Looked On”-Palitha Thevarapperuma M.P.

by

Subhashini Gunarathna

Armed mobs ruled the roost before the eyes of the police. Kalutara District, United National Party (UNP), Member of Parliament, Palitha Thevarapperuma in an interview with Ceylon Today said that he was attacked at the Aluthgama mayhem when he went to rescue a family.

Excerpts:

Q:What happened to you when you attempted to save a Muslim family at Welipenna?

A: A Muslim man called Abdulla died at Welipenna. He died due to a heart attack when Sinhalese attacked the Muslim village. He was in his 40s. Muslims, according to their religion, need to bury the dead within 24 hours. His mother and sister wanted to come to Welipenna from Dharga Town to pay him their last respects. They went to the police several times, but the police did not agree to provide them with security. Finally, they called me and asked for my help.

Continue reading ‘“Armed Mobs Attacked my Vehicle with 16 Muslims Including Pregnant Women and Children While Police Simply Looked On”-Palitha Thevarapperuma M.P.’ »

Arson Attack on Mosque at Borupane Road in Ratmalana Ends in Failure Causing Minimal Damage.

A clandestine attempt to set fire to A Mosque in the night at Ratmalama failed due to the vigilance of the Mosque trustee’s wife who alerted her family and neighbours who jointy together doused the fire before it could spread out or gain intensity.

The Thalayan Bawa Jumma Masjid on Borupane road in Ratmalana was the latest target in the sporadic wave of anti-Muslim attacks continuing to trouble the country.

Continue reading ‘Arson Attack on Mosque at Borupane Road in Ratmalana Ends in Failure Causing Minimal Damage.’ »

Sri Lanka Signs One Year Contract for 180,000 Dollars with Madison Group in US to Assist External Affairs Ministry Create “a Situational Awareness of Current Affairs”.


By

Kevin McCauley

Sri Lanka has signed a one-year $180K contract with Madison Group to assist its ministry of external affairs in “creating a situational awareness of current affairs” in the island state off the coast of India.

The Associated Press reported today that a new United Nations probe into alleged war crimes during the waning months of the nation’s long-running battle with the Tamil Tigers rebel group “will intensify international pressure on the government and could probe responsibility of senior Sri Lankan officials with US times.”

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Signs One Year Contract for 180,000 Dollars with Madison Group in US to Assist External Affairs Ministry Create “a Situational Awareness of Current Affairs”.’ »

Sri Lanka Engages Los Angeles Based “Beltway Government Strategies” for Lobbying and Other Political Activity in USA.

By

Kevin McCauley

Sri Lanka is using Beltway Government Strategies to “retain and manage firms to engage in government relations activities” on its behalf, according to its federal filing.

The Los Angeles-based firm also may “participate in lobbying or other political activity” on behalf of the island nation’s Ministry of External Affairs’ monitoring unit.

Specific issues have not yet been ironed out.

Sri Lanka is engulfed in a wave of Buddhist-organized mob violence against its minority Muslim population, which accounts for 10 percent of its 20M population.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Engages Los Angeles Based “Beltway Government Strategies” for Lobbying and Other Political Activity in USA.’ »

UN Must Give Protection and Security to 15 Million Sinhalese who are a Global Minority when Compared to 95 Million World Wide Tamils States Thilanga Sumathipala M.P.


A special Committee has been appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka. This Committee is reportedly in the process of preparing to commence the said investigations. This has given rise to uncertainty regarding allegations that might be filed against the present Sri Lankan Government by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Colombo District Parliamentarian Thilanga Sumathipala had the opportunity of holding discussions with the President of the ICC and other top officials at The Hague, Netherlands recently. He was in The Hague as a member of the Executive Committee of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) for the purpose of attending the Executive Committee Meeting. During this visit Sumathipala met with ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Registrar Herman Von Hebel.

The PGA is the largest non-profit, non-partisan international network of over 1,100 (MPs) legislators from 139 elected parliaments worldwide. Only 12 members out of the total number are elected to form the Executive Committee of the PGA. The International Criminal Courts work closely with this organisation which has its headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

Following is the presentation made by Sumathipala to Judge Sang-Hyun Song, President of ICC and other officials of the Executive Committee of the PGA:

Sri Lanka was torn by a horrific civil war caused by terrorism that lasted over 30 years. We the citizens were faced with much pain and suffering as a result. Furthermore, the loss to our country was unimaginable. Democratically-elected political leaders including a President and Ministers were assassinated (i.e. President Ranasinghe Premadasa, Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi, presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake). Even Tamil political leaders who were part of the democratic system were not spared, one such example is Neelan Thiruchelvam.

Continue reading ‘UN Must Give Protection and Security to 15 Million Sinhalese who are a Global Minority when Compared to 95 Million World Wide Tamils States Thilanga Sumathipala M.P.’ »

Cleaning Up and Rebuilding Property Damaged in Anti-Muslim Violence Without Police Completing Inquiries will Destroy Evidence Against Bodu Bala Sena.

The National Shoora (Consultative) Council (NSC), a grouping of several national level Muslim Organisations said yesterday that the sudden moves to clean up and rebuild properties damaged by violence in Aluthgama, Beruwala and neighbouring areas would destroy evidence vital for the police to complete investigations, required of them according to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act and related laws, so that perpetrators of the crime do not benefit from the urgency of the authorities to rebuild the affected premises.

General Secretary of the NSC, Ismail A Azeez said that representations had been made to them by victims from the from the affected areas that the police had not visited the damaged houses, shops or mosques and recorded notes of the nature and extent of criminal offences committed in respect of persons and each of the properties. “The law underscores the need to recover and record physical and forensic evidence at each crime site before they are destroyed. For instance, the Government Analyst needs to rule out that the arson committed on shops and houses were not due to electrical short circuit.

Continue reading ‘Cleaning Up and Rebuilding Property Damaged in Anti-Muslim Violence Without Police Completing Inquiries will Destroy Evidence Against Bodu Bala Sena.’ »

Total Military Approach by China is Failing to Crush Uighur Separatism and Related Terrorism.


by

Col R Hariharan

There are clear indications that the Chinese are stumbling in their effort to crush the Uighur struggle against the Han Chinese domination in Xinjiang. The scrupulous semantics used by Chinese state-controlled media describe them as terrorists though the attacks lack the sophistication of modern day terrorism. It has not helped to cover up the Chinese failure to give confidence to the restive “minority” Uighurs who form a majority in Xinjiang Autonomous Region in China’s Northwest.

The way the Chinese have handled the “terror” carried out in Beijing in October 2013 is a case in point to understand all that is wrong with Chinese approach to tackling terrorism.

Continue reading ‘Total Military Approach by China is Failing to Crush Uighur Separatism and Related Terrorism.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force) is only the Latest Manifestation of a Longstanding Tradition of Buddhist Nationalism and Mobilisation in Sri Lanka.

By

Mark Hay

On June 15 a violent mob ripped through three neighboring towns in southwestern Sri Lanka. The horde explicitly targeted Muslims, slinging Molotov cocktails, burning bikes, and looting homes and businesses. Riots, violence, and personal threats aren’t unheard of in Sri Lanka, but this riot caught the world’s attention. It was one of the largest and most deadly in recent years, wounding over 50 and killing four Muslims. It follows a spate of anti-Muslim sentiment welling up somewhat unexpectedly in Sri Lanka and, perhaps most shockingly for Westerns who view them as the eternally chubby, cuddly, and peaceful, it was stirred up by and composed of Buddhists, acting on allegedly Buddhist sentiments.

Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) soldiers patrol along a road following clashes between muslims and extremist Buddhist in the town of Alutgama. Photo courtesy - via Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images. June 18, 2014.

Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) soldiers patrol along a road following clashes between muslims and extremist Buddhist in the town of Alutgama. Photo courtesy – via Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images. June 18, 2014.

The unrest stemmed from an unspecified “altercation” between some young Muslims and a monk (or the monk’s driver) on June 14. The next day a vitriolic, anti-Muslim rally led by the monks of Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force) preceded the riots in Aluthgama, Beruwela, and Dharga Town. Founded in 2012 by two monks, Kirama Wimalajothi and Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, Bodu Bala Sena, or BBS, is based out of the Sambuddha Jayanthi Mandira, a Buddhist cultural center they operate in the capital of Colombo. The organization claims to fight for the preservation of Buddhism and the Sinhala ethnicity in Sri Lanka. They feel that their identity is being eroded by multiculturalism, liberalism, and foreign elements, and (although they deny involvement in any of the violent acts attributed to them and have yet to pick up arms themselves) claim they’re willing to do whatever it takes to resist those forces. That includes slandering and, allegedly, committing acts of violence against less militant Buddhists, like Watareka Vijitha Thero, the head of the Jathika Bala Sena Buddhist group, who spoke out against the anti-Muslim riots and BBS’s involvement before being abducted, stripped, and beaten, supposedly by BBS devotees.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force) is only the Latest Manifestation of a Longstanding Tradition of Buddhist Nationalism and Mobilisation in Sri Lanka.’ »

13 Bodu Bala Sena Goons Arrested over Anti-Muslim Violence in Aluthgama Released After Gnanasara Thero Threatens Self-Immolation

Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Strength Force- pic via BBC

Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Strength Force- pic via BBC

In a shocking revelation that further erodes Sri Lankan public confidence in the upholding of the rule of law and in the impartiality of law enforcement agencies ,it is now leant that 13 Bodu Bala Sena goons who spearheaded much of the anti – Muslim violence in Aluthgama have been released from Police custody due to threats of self –immolation by BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero.

It is also learnt that the “release”of Bodu Bala Sena goons was strenuously opposed by Kalutara District Deputy Inspector General of Police V. Indran who even threatened his superiors that he was prepared to go public if the Police top brass proceeded with the release.
Continue reading ‘13 Bodu Bala Sena Goons Arrested over Anti-Muslim Violence in Aluthgama Released After Gnanasara Thero Threatens Self-Immolation’ »

Medical Reports of Muslims Killed by Gunfire at Welipitiya Were Fabricated to Indicate They were Hacked to Death in a Bid to Cover Up Role of “Defence Personnel” in Anti-Muslim Violence

In yet another instance of a flagrant abuse of the judicial process, the medical and autopsy reports of three Muslim civilians killed at Welipitiya on June 15th 2014 have been fabricated to show that the victims were hacked to death instead of being killed by gunshots.

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A house in Welipitiya, Aluthgama-pic via: twitter.com/Camp4justice

This blatant cover up by the powers that be is aimed at shielding the actual perpetrators who are suspected to be personnel from the Police Special Task Force (STF).
Continue reading ‘Medical Reports of Muslims Killed by Gunfire at Welipitiya Were Fabricated to Indicate They were Hacked to Death in a Bid to Cover Up Role of “Defence Personnel” in Anti-Muslim Violence’ »

Anatomy of Anti-Muslim Violence: How “Bodhu Bala Sena” Mobs Caused Mayhem in Aluthgama and Beruwela

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

A curfew was clamped down in the Aluthgama and Beruwela Police divisions of Kalutara district in the Western Province of Sri Lanka following an outbreak of communal violence on Sunday June 15th 2014 that was triggered off by the “Ethno Religious Fascist” Organization the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS).

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“If they come in thousands….we have no way..we have no way to answer..so only thing, we have to die..that’s all..” fearful resident tells the BBC

Preliminary reports indicate that the violence was sparked off by a protest rally conducted by the Bodhu Bala Sena – meaning “Buddhist Power Force” – in Aluthgama where provocative anti-Muslim speeches were made by prominent BBS leaders condemning an incident on Poson day (June 12th) in Aluthgama where a verbal altercation occurred between some Muslim youths on the one hand and a Buddhist monk and his vehicle driver on the other.

Bodhu Bala Sena General Secretary Ven.Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero delivered a provocative speech full of racist venom in which he asserted that the Police and military were Sinhala and that no Muslim or Tamil or anyone else could harm a Sinhalese and get away with it. “This country still has a Sinhalese Police, this country still has a Sinhalese Army. It will be the end of all if someone at least lays a finger on a Sinhalese,” Gnanasara Thero said.He also said he was prepared to be called racist for speaking out on behalf of Sinhalese.Gnanasara Thero called upon all Sinhalese to unite regardless of political differences.He also wanted the Muslim dominated area called Dharga Nagar or Dharga town renamed.

Gnanasara Thero made several references to incidents in Aluthgama involving Muslims and criticised the Govt for the elaborate security arrangements in Aluthgama. Gnanasara Thero also was critical of President Rajapaksa saying “Mahinda Mahathaya” should be aware of how the minorities are empowering themselves at the expense of the majority community.The singer Madhumadhava Aravindha also appeared on the BBS platform and sang emotional songs in Sinhala that were highly inflammatory.At least 900 Policemen were on duty in the vicinity when the BBS rally was in progress.

Continue reading ‘Anatomy of Anti-Muslim Violence: How “Bodhu Bala Sena” Mobs Caused Mayhem in Aluthgama and Beruwela’ »

President Rajapaksa Scolds Rishad Badhiutheen at Cabinet Meeting and Tells his Commerce Minister to “Stop Speaking and Shut Up”

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Sparks flew at the weekly cabinet meeting held on Thursday June 19th when the issue of anti Muslim violence instigated by the Bodhu Bala Sena in Aluthgama and Beruwela was discussed.

Rishad Badhiutheen and President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Rishad Badhiutheen and President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Heated arguments occurred between Muslim cabinet ministers Rauff Hakeem and Rishad Badhiutheen on the one hand and Buddhist cabinet ministers Champika Ranawaka on the other.

The bone of contention was the Bodhu Bala Sena(BBS). While the two Muslim ministers were harshly critical of the BBS and wanted the outfit proscribed the Buddhist ministers defended the BBS and argued against a ban on the Buddhist organization alone.Both Hakeem and Badhiutheen had wanted action to be taken against Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero for his inflammatory anti – Muslim speech in Aluthgama.

The highlight of the cabinet meeting however was the flare up between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Industries and Commerce Minister Rishad Badhiutheen.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Scolds Rishad Badhiutheen at Cabinet Meeting and Tells his Commerce Minister to “Stop Speaking and Shut Up”’ »

Sri Lanka to Investigate Suspected “Operation Regime Change” Project Funded by US to Weaken Govt at Elections Through NGO’s .

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

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The government would investigate local NGOs involved in an unprecedented US project meant to influence the electorate ahead of national level elections next year, a senior government spokesman said yesterday.

The official alleged that the US was planning to fund those who have been opposed to SLFP-led coalition, in accordance with an overall plan to undermine the government.

Asked whether the government would take it up with the US embassy, the official said that it was in the process of gathering information. The USAID was looking for local NGOs to implement a project called ‘Election Support through Voter Education (ESVE) programme which was nothing but a ruse to turn people against the government, the official said. Calling the US project ‘Operation Regime Change’, the official said that it had been brought to the notice of the Defence as well as External Affairs Ministries.

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told The Island that the ESVE was yet another project aimed at weakening the government in the run-up to the next election. Acknowledging the possibility of President Mahinda Rajapaksa calling presidential polls next year, the Defence Secretary said that some foreign powers were evidently trying to prop up the opposition.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka to Investigate Suspected “Operation Regime Change” Project Funded by US to Weaken Govt at Elections Through NGO’s .’ »

Sri Lankan Military may Intervene More Directly and Robustly in Political and Crisis Management if Threat Perception Facing Country Grows.

BY

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

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[1956 මහ මැතිවරණ රැළියකදී ජනතාව අමතමින්
SWRD At a mass rally during the General election campaign – 1956
1956 இல் பொதுத்தோ்தல் கூட்டமொன்றில் மக்களுக்கு உறையாற்றுதல்-pic courtesy: SWRD Bandaranaike Museum]

The crisis is proliferating by the week. Which will come first, the crack-up or the state of siege? Which is the egg and which the chicken?

There are two ways in which a country, a nation state, is destroyed. One is by supra-state/supra-national forces, i.e. external forces of hegemonic interventionism. The other is by sub–state/sub-national forces i.e. internal forces of fragmentation. Sri Lanka is being destroyed by both, and the two are feeding off each other.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Military may Intervene More Directly and Robustly in Political and Crisis Management if Threat Perception Facing Country Grows.’ »

“No Where in the World do they Hold Night Races like this in a Heritage City”-Kandy Municipal Council Opposition Leader Niranjan Wijeyaratne


By

Chathuri Dissanayake With Additional reporting by L.B.Senaratne

The move to hold night races in the historic city of Kandy for the second year in a row has drawn the ire of opposition members of the Kandy Municipal Council (KMC).

Mayor Mahindra Ratwatte informed the Council that Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage had written to him on behalf of Carlton Sports Club seeking the Council‘s approval for holding the races.

The UNP members of the KMC and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) opposed the proposal and questioned the purpose of seeking approval of the Council when the organisers of the races have already begun preparations.

Continue reading ‘“No Where in the World do they Hold Night Races like this in a Heritage City”-Kandy Municipal Council Opposition Leader Niranjan Wijeyaratne’ »

Did Expert from Finland Martti Ahtisaari Appointed to UN Panel Probing Sri Lanka Take 40 Million Euro Bribe From Albanian Mafia to Deliver Kosovo Independence when Serving as UN Special Envoy?

Serious questions have arisen over the inclusion of Finnish politician Martti Ahtisaari in the panel of experts appointed by UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay to assist the international inquiry panel on Sri Lanka.

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Ahtisaari was the tenth President of Finland (1994–2000), Nobel Peace Prize laureate and United Nations diplomat and mediator, noted for his international peace work.

Ahtisaari served as the United Nations Special Envoy for Kosovo, charged with organizing Kosovo status process negotiations, aimed at resolving a long-running dispute in Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008.

Following the independence of Kosovo, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his efforts on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts”. The Nobel statement said that Ahtisaari has played a prominent role in resolving many conflicts in Namibia; Aceh and Indonesia.

However, a section of international media, quoting German intelligence reports stated that Martti Ahtisaari has allegedly accepted a 40million euro bribe to deliver Kosovo independence.

Continue reading ‘Did Expert from Finland Martti Ahtisaari Appointed to UN Panel Probing Sri Lanka Take 40 Million Euro Bribe From Albanian Mafia to Deliver Kosovo Independence when Serving as UN Special Envoy?’ »

Never Before in our History has Buddhism been Insulted in this Manner by Ordained Monks for a Political Objective.

By

C.A. Chandraprema

When Mahinda Rajapaksa was first elected to power in 2005, he won on a patriotic vote. Many national minded people feared that a UNP victory would mean complete capitulation to the western powers and even division of the country. After assuming power, the Rajapaksa government exceeded the expectations of the patriotic masses and not only finished off the LTTE in record time but even while the war was in full swing, they began a development thrust unseen since British colonial times. But another set of problems was generated by the very act of expeditiously finishing off the war.

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President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Beruwala-Jun18-pic via: facebook.com/BBCSinhala

One of those is of course is the encirclement of Sri Lanka by the Western powers, the UN, various international NGOs and the Tamil diaspora all calling for accountability over alleged human rights violations. That is the external challenge. The internal challenge created by the success of the Rajapaksas is the question of patriots who were suddenly rendered redundant by the end of the war.
Continue reading ‘Never Before in our History has Buddhism been Insulted in this Manner by Ordained Monks for a Political Objective.’ »

“Thowheed Jamath is a Dangerous Organization with Tamil Nadu Links That has Weapons Training” Alleges Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero in Interview

By

Camelia Nathaniel

The BBS and the Rev. Gnanasara Thero have been the focus of many issues in the recent past over the Aluthgama incident. Many have criticised the monk for his aggressive nature and have called for his arrest and the banning of the organisation after the incident.

In an interview with The Sunday Leader the Rev. Gnanasara Thero said that in order to make the country pay attention to what he was trying to reveal concerning the threat of the extremist Muslim Organisations that the country faces, he had to make a loud noise.

Excerpts of the interview:

Q: Many quarters have called for the banning of the BBS and for your arrest for the incidents that took place in Aluthgama and Beruwela recently. How would you respond to this call?

Continue reading ‘“Thowheed Jamath is a Dangerous Organization with Tamil Nadu Links That has Weapons Training” Alleges Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero in Interview’ »

Navi Pillay Appointing Ahtisaari,Cartwright and Jahangir as Experts on UN Panel is Counter Productive and sets Dangerous Precedent.

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Wednesday announced three advisors to the UN panel investigating alleged war crimes committed during the final phase of the war in Sri Lanka. Panelists: Silvia Cartwright, Asma Jahangir and Martti Ahtisaari, are all too good hearted individuals known for their human rights activism and conflict resolution skills.

Silvia Cartwright is the former Governor-General and High Court judge of New Zealand, and a judge of the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts in Cambodia, which has been trying the leaders of the former Khmer Rouge regime for genocide and crimes against humanity. (However, despite US$ 173 million spent on the Court from its inception in 2005 to 2012, it has delivered only a single ruling in that entire period).

Ms Asma Jahangir is the former President of Pakistan’s Supreme Court Bar Association and of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She has held several Human Rights Council mandates and a member of a recent fact-finding body into Israeli settlements.

Martti Ahtisaari is the former President of Finland and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who has also served as a UN diplomat and mediator. The Nobel committee awarding him the peace prize in 2008 overlooked the dissident Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia for the less contentious choice of the former Finland president.

There is little contention about the integrity and the calibre of Pillay’s chosen advisors and their commitment to human rights and peace, except one hiccup: counter terrorism is not their expertise. Counter terrorism has its own intricacies and sense of urgency, which cannot be handled within the normal channel.

Continue reading ‘Navi Pillay Appointing Ahtisaari,Cartwright and Jahangir as Experts on UN Panel is Counter Productive and sets Dangerous Precedent.’ »

Visiting the Affected Areas and Speaking to the Victims of Violence Unleashed by the Bodu Bala Sena on Muslims.


by

Latheef Farook

On seeing the pictures and videos in YouTube of the horrendous crimes committed by the Sinhala Zionist Bodu Bala Sena, on 15 Sunday and 16 Monday June 2014, I decided to visit the affected areas to see the destruction and speak to people there.

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pic via: latheeffarook.com

On Thursday 19 June, I visited these areas together with retired SP Abdulrahman Abedeen. There we met Naim Master, a popular retired principal and a well known activist, who took us around .On the way we saw the scale of the destruction which I never thought could happen especially after the 30 year ethnic war following the July 1983 anti Tamil pogrom.

The areas visited include Aluthgama,Beruwala, Dharga Town, Adhikarigoda, Meeraatchikanda, Welipitiya and Seenawatta. I spoke to victims from all walks of life from all affected areas.

People spoke openly and freely about all what they had experienced and seen .They were victims and eye witnesses to the shameless looting, carnage and wanton destruction of theirproperties under the cover of curfew with the full backing of the Special Task Force- STF-and the police.

With no other alternative Muslims helplessly watched their properties in flames not knowing whom to turn to or what to do. Here is all what they said and all what I had seen.

Continue reading ‘Visiting the Affected Areas and Speaking to the Victims of Violence Unleashed by the Bodu Bala Sena on Muslims.’ »