The timely settlement of the dispute over the mosque at the Swarna Chaithiya Mawatha averted a potentially disastrous conflict which had all the ingredients to turn the area into a killing field. This could have even spilled over to other parts of the country.
This farsighted and generous gesture, in the true spirit of Buddhist teachings, included the cutting of the nearby Bo tree and offering Muslims to pray in the temple “Banamaduwa”, (preaching hall)l need to be admired by Muslims all peace loving citizens of this country.
This is the need of the hour in a country which was torn apart due to a few hundred Buddhist extremist’s reckless attacks vandalizing mosques, Muslim owned businesses and a vicious hostile media campaign poisoning the minds of main stream Sinhalese against Muslims.
Continue reading ‘Buddhist Extremists Hope to Attain “NIBBANA” by Attacking Muslims, Mosques and Muslim Owned Businesses’ »
Tariq A. Al-Maeena
A mistake once committed is rarely repeated by a rational entity. However such is not the case with the government of Sri Lanka. It is becoming increasingly obvious that following the 30-year war with the Tamil minority, the Sri Lankan rulers have not learned their lesson.
Today, they are busily spreading the seeds of discord against another minority; the island’s Muslim Sri Lankans. They are clever enough not to openly support a reign of terror directly. Instead, they quietly look the other way while terrorist Buddhist groups like the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) do their dirty work.
Continue reading ‘Leaders of Gulf States Must Send Clear Message to Sri Lankan President to Quit Playing Games and Restrain Anti-Muslim Violence.’ »
General Jagath Jayasuriya who assumed duties as the Chief of Defence Staff paid a courtesy call on Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Aug 2, 2013
Intelligence reports have revealed that Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians R Sambandan and A Sumanthiran have participated in a program organized by the so-called Transitional Government of Tamil Eelam in (TGTE) Canada in violation of country’s Constitution, Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya told the media yesterday
He said that intelligence reports confirmed that these parliamentarians have participated in these programs organized by TGTE in Canada.
Continue reading ‘TNA MP’s Sampanthan and Sumanthiran Have Participated in Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam Program in Canada Alleges Gen Jagath Jayasuriya’ »
“I stay a little longer, as one stays, to cover up the embers that still burn.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It’s been like this for quite some time now. The anxieties of the parents, fractured hopes and aspirations of the youth, dashed ambitions of the workers; unfulfilled dreams of adolescents, broken promises of the women, starved bellies of the poor and fleeing expectations of the professionals for justice have all been burning inside them; slowly but surely consuming the outer coating of false armour.
Accident at Eriyagama-via Newsfirst.lk-Aug 8, 2013
They penetrate into the very bones and marrow, eventually attempting to reside in that very essence of man’s spirit that is fighting to extricate itself from the traps and cobwebs of tradition and convention and of decency and self-restraint. But if let go, alas, the explosion would gobble up every living thing around it, leaving behind once again dust and ashes with orphans of a civil catastrophe roaming the streets with bare hands and empty faces.
Continue reading ‘War Victory Against LTTE has Liberated a Certain Class of Sinhala Buddhists Suffering From an Inferiority Complex vis a vis Tamils.’ »
(Text of a Media Communique Issued by te Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development)
Hon. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development, participating at the ceremony held to mark the laying of Foundation Stone to the building complex of the Central Banks’ Northern Provincial Branch at Kilinochchi Vidya Nagar on the 12th of August, 2013, said that the Central Bank of Sri Lanka was in the process of conducting many a Poverty Alleviation Programmes in the Northern Province in an extremely commendable manner with proven outcomes. Hon. Basil Rajapaske, the Minister of Economic Development participated at the ceremony as the Chief Guest.
Continue reading ‘Central Bank to Set Up a Branch for the Northern Province at Vidya Nagar in Kilinochchi’ »
When President Rajapaksa met our newspaper editors some weeks ago he advised them to ignore the anti-Muslim campaign. The idea was that giving publicity to the campaign would be tantamount to adding fuel to fire whereas ignoring it would lead to the campaign fading away. In the ensuing weeks that expectation has proved to be a completely mistaken one. Not only did the anti-Muslim campaign continue to flourish, it has actually taken a turn for the worse.
Continue reading ‘Grandpass Violence has Given Rise to Two Epochal Developments’ »
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and AMY CHOZICK
(Lydia Polgreen contributed reporting, and Kitty Bennett contributed research)
Soon after the 10th anniversary of the foundation bearing his name, Bill Clinton met with a small group of aides and two lawyers from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Two weeks of interviews with Clinton Foundation executives and former employees had led the lawyers to some unsettling conclusions.
Chelsea Clinton with Basel, a Cambodian, May 30, 2013. President Bill Clinton met Basel earlier in 2006-pic courtesy of: twitter.com/ChelseaClinton
The review echoed criticism of Mr. Clinton’s early years in the White House: For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.
And concern was rising inside and outside the organization about Douglas J. Band, a onetime personal assistant to Mr. Clinton who had started a lucrative corporate consulting firm — which Mr. Clinton joined as a paid adviser — while overseeing the Clinton Global Initiative, the foundation’s glitzy annual gathering of chief executives, heads of state, and celebrities.
Continue reading ‘Concerns Over Future Direction of “Clinton Global Initiative” as Hillary and Chelsea Get More Involved with the Foundation.’ »
Statement condemning the attack on the Masjid Deenul Islam at Grandpass, Colombo
August 15, 2013
Colombo, Sri Lanka
We the undersigned strongly condemn the violent and unprovoked attack on the Masjid Deenul Islam in Grandpass area on Saturday, August 10, 2013 by an extremist mob injuring 12 people, in the wake of the Eid Festival.
pic courtesy of: twitter.com/azzamameen
We are outraged over the spate of violent attacks against Christian and Muslim places of worship, and remain deeply concerned about the rise of extremist rhetoric around the island.
Continue reading ‘Violent Attack by Extremist Mob on “Masjid Deenul Islam” at Grandpass Strongly Condemned -Statement with 208 Signatories.’ »
pic courtesy of: tamil.dailymirror.lk/
The latest targets in the Bodhu Bala Sena’s anti – Muslim hate campaign are innocuous signboards installed by the Road Development Authority along the Kandy-Kurunegala Road at Parakahadeniya falling under the Mawathagama Police station’s jurisdiction!
When Bodhu Bala Sena’s general secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero publicly demanded in Kurunegala that the “offensive” signboards saying”Silence Please-Mosque Ahead” should be removed , the Police promptly obeyed him and attempted to do so on the following day but was thwarted due to protesting Muslim people in Parakahadeniya.
Continue reading ‘Bodhu Bala Sena Wants Signboards Saying “Silence Please-Mosque Ahead” along A-10 Highway at Parakahadeniya Removed’ »
“Absent, I come to the home of the absent“ - Poet Mahmoud Darwish
Traveling on A9 highway connecting rest of Srilanka to Jaffna Peninsula, the former rebel runway, now reconstructed as carpet road which shines as Chinese currency running parallel to the new railway track that is an Indian “work in progress” can make your ride feel nails in the air.
Even my Sinhalese friend who drove me to Jaffna was embarrassed by the distasteful hoardings of Rajapakshe grandiosely propagating development schemes like “Vadikkil Vasantham ; Kizhakkil Udhayam” (Spring in North ; Sunrise in East).
Continue reading ‘Literary Post-mortem in Jaffna: Ploughing the Wounds of Conflict’ »
By Philip Miller
It looks like a normal Scottish Loch. A picturesque valley with a sparkling expanse of water. Except that lurking in the corner is a harbour with watchtowers, police patrol boats and mysterious sheds.
This is Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, better known as Faslane. It is home to Britain’s strategic nuclear submarine fleet, and a key issue in the Scottish independence referendum campaign.
Continue reading ‘What Scotland can learn about Geopolitics, Imperialism and Military Bases from The Tamil Independence Struggle in Sri Lanka’ »
Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne
Grandpass Mosque~pic: AlJazeeraTV
In a way, the Grandpass incident seemed like an answer to the Weliweriya mass uprising. In spite of stories made by the pro-government media, the protest of masses against the water pollution started out of their genuine concern for their basic health right. Water in that whole area was becoming unusable for day-to-day home use. The acid level rose sharply in the last few years.
Though there could have been number of reasons, people were certain that some factories had been responsible for the continued increase of pollution. Hence masses were demanding the government to safeguard their access to safe water. It was a spontaneous mass movement led by religious leaders who were in contact with these people on a daily basis.
The Government claims that there was a terrorist or conspiratorial group which created an incident for the army to be called in. It is still not clear who and for what reason the army was sent there to carry out a brutal attack.
Continue reading ‘What is Before Us Today in the Political Domain is the Struggle to Defeat MAARA-The Force of Destruction’ »
There was a time in this Country when the name on practically everybody’s lips was “Prabhakaran”, There was an earlier time when it was “Wijeweera”. Still later the name on practically everybody’s lips was “Shirani Bandaranayaka”, the allegedly ‘former’ Chief Justice. Today, it is “Wigneswaran”.
Wigneswaran’s name is looked upon with horror, by one segment of the people; and with hope, by another, who regard him as a second Chelvanayagam.
Chelvanayagam, to my mind, was an avowed and unrepentant racist cum hypocrite.
I recall writing an article to the ‘Island’ way back in 2001 criticising a speech made by Mr. Justice Wigneswaran (as he then was) upon being welcomed as a Judge of the Supreme Court at a ceremonial sitting of that Court. I had no doubt from that time onwards that Wigneswaran was an out and out racist. Indeed, his recent utterances only confirmed that belief.
Continue reading ‘Wigneswaran was an Exemplary Judge and will make an Excellent Chief Minister but he is an out and out Racist like Chelvanayagam.’ »
Muslim Ministers of the Sri Lankan Government today expressed their “unequivocal and unreserved” condemnation on the Saturday’s attack on a Muslim Prayer center in Grandpass, Colombo calling the attack premeditated and planned.
The group of Muslim ministers in a joint statement requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa to immediately conduct an independent investigation into the “sad and dastardly act of violence” inflicted on the devotees assembled in the mosque for prayers.
Continue reading ‘Muslim Ministers in Govt Urge President Rajapaksa to Halt the Trend of “Openly Espousing Religious Hatred” Against the Muslim Community.’ »
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday assured the residents of Rathupaswala, in Weliweriya, that the factory which allegedly discharged effluents contaminating their ground water would be relocated.
The President gave the assurance when he met residents of the Rathupaswala area and relevant officials on the Weliweirya water issue last afternoon at the Presidential Secretariat. He said that the new factories must be constructed in BOI Zones.
Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Assures Rathupaswela Residents that Gloves Factory Contaminating Groundwater will be Relocated.’ »
Environmentalists are protesting an alleged decision taken by the Wildlife Resources and Conservation Ministry to transfer four baby elephants from the transit home, Ath Athuru Sevana in Ritigala, to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage.
Continue reading ‘Environmentalists Protest Against Wildlife Ministry Decision to Transfer 4 baby Elephants from Transit Home in Ritigala to Pinnawela Orphanage.’ »
Statue of Lakshman Kadirgamar~pic courtesy of: defence.lk
President Mahinda Rajapaksa unveiled a statue of the late veteran politician Lakshman Kadirgamar on his 8th Death Anniversary yesterday at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) in Colombo.
Kadirgamar was assassinated by the LTTE on August 12, 2005. President Rajapaksa followed by ministers and parliamentarians paid a floral tribute to the statue. Kadirgamar’s widow, Suganthi Kadirgamar and relatives were present on the occasion.
Ven. Prof Bellanwila Wimalarathana Nayaka Thera and members of clergy representing all religions, External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L Peiris, Ministers AHM Fowzie, Dinesh Gunawardena, WDJ Seneviratne, MP AHM Azwer were among those present.
Continue reading ‘After a Long, Long Wait ……Former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar’s Statue Unveiled at Last!’ »
Ravishan Perera- one of the victims of Weliweriya-pic courtesy of: Derana TV
“The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?” ― George Orwell,
The column that appeared on Sunday, October 14, 2012 commenced thus: “Government-sponsored intimidation of leading members of the bureaucracy, judiciary and the media is not a new phenomenon. Its history could be traced to as far back as the fifties, yet for our conversation, let us begin with the seventies.
A remarkable increase in the Government-sponsored intimidation, harassment and even murder has occurred during the last four decades. This mode of government conduct may not be limited to intimidation and harassment directly perpetrated by the security forces such as the Police and members of the three armed forces of the Government. More often than not, the intimidation has been committed by either civilians or personnel of the police and other security forces in their civil personalities and clad in civil.”
Continue reading ‘Weliweriya Killing Under this Govt is not the First of its Kind and Most Definitely wont be the Last of Its Kind’ »
The political scene in Sri Lanka has been marked by several extra-parliamentary struggles,perhaps more than any other country which has a parliamentary democratic system. These range from trade union struggles, to achieve workers’ rights or to correct injustices, to armed struggles to achieve separation (like that of the LTTE) or to topple the elected government (like that of the JVP in 1971 or 1988). There have been attempted coups to topple the government like that of 1962. There have been mass racist attacks targeted against minority communities engineered by the elected UNP government, like the Black July of 1983.But the Hartal of 1953 is unique in that it was a mass uprising generated by the broad opposition to the elected UNP Government of 1952 by nearly all sections of society, including the bulk of those that voted for it, though the struggles were limited to areas where the LSSP and the Left were strong.
Continue reading ‘HARTAL of August 12th 1953:Powerful People’s Protest That Shook the UNP Govt of Dudley Senanayake’ »
A Thirteen hour curfew was re-imposed from Sunday (11th) 6 pm to Monday(12th)7 am as clashes erupted between Sinhala Buddhists and Muslims in the Grandpass and Maligawatte areas of Colombo.
pic courtesy of: BBC Sinhala
The fragile peace that prevailed overnight during the previous curfew from Saturday 10pm to Sunday 7 am was shattered after it was lifted. When Mobs describing themselves as Sinhala Buddhists attempted to attack Mosques in Grandpass and Maligawatte, a large number of Muslims defended their places of worship and residence by engaging in counter violence.Several persons sustained minor injuries.Over 30 houses and ten vehicles were damaged in the clashes.
Continue reading ‘Curfew Re-imposed for 13 Hours as Clashes Erupt Between Buddhists and Muslims in Grandpass and Maligawatte’ »
pic courtesy of: BBC Sinhala
Muslim Youths Rally to Defend their “Abode of Allah”.
A well –planned dastardly attack was launched by armed Buddhist extremists against an Islamic Mosque in the Sri Lankan Capital of Colombo on Saturday August 10th 2013 while “Maghrib”(After Sunset) prayers were in progress
The attack conducted with Police connivance against the Mosque and some Muslim residences in the vicinity came just one day after adherents of the Islamic faith celebrated “Eid Ul Fitr” (feast of the breaking the fast) known generally in Tamil as “Nonbupperunaal”.
The provocative attack caused a large number of Muslim youths to rally in a defiant mood to defend the “house of God”(Allaavin Illam)resulting in the “Ethno religious Fascist”mob dispersing from the scene with the help of the Police.
Preliminary details of the incident as gleaned from residents in Colombo 14 known as Grandpass in English, Paalathurai in Tamil and Thotalanga in Sinhala are as follows.
Continue reading ‘Well-Planned Attack With Police Connivance Launched Against Molawatte Mosque in Grandpass During Maghrib Prayers’ »
“Fanatics are picturesque; mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reason…” – Nietzsche (The Anti-Christ)
For the regime, Weliweriya was an unexpected, unwelcome and an ominous digression. With the mob-attack on the Grandpass mosque, Sri Lanka is back in the familiar Rajapaksa-groove.
Grandpass, in the morning of Sunday, Aug 11-pic courtesy of: BBC Sinhala
In Weliweriya, the police felt unable to deal with a group of peaceful demonstrators. The army stepped into the breach, ready for war, and led by a Brigadier, no less. The peaceful demonstrators were shot at and assaulted.
In Grandpass, a violent mob reportedly attacked a mosque and some (presumably Muslim) houses. Several people, including two policemen, were injured in the resulting melee. But the saffron-thugs, as always, got away scot-free.
The peaceful demonstrators in Weliweriya were led by the Buddhist monks in the area. Today they are under threat, from powers that be.
The mob in Grandpass was also led by some monks. They were allowed to depart in freedom.
Continue reading ‘From Weliweriya Army Attack on People to Grandpass Mob Attack on Mosque’ »
By D.B.S. Jeyaraj
History was in the making as nominations closed on August 1st for the first ever election to Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council scheduled for September 21st.The predominantly Tamil Northern Province comprising five administrative districts will have a Provincial Council of Thirty –Eight members.
Of the administrative districts Jaffna and Kilinochchi will form the Jaffna electoral district while Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaitheevu together would be the Wanni electoral district. Of the thirty eight councillors thirty six of will be directly elected and two appointed as Bonus seats to the party winning the most number of seats in the Jaffna and Wanni electoral districts.
Continue reading ‘How “Mavai” Senathirajah Gained the Upper Hand in Selecting TNA Candidates for Northern Provincial Poll.’ »
By M. A. Sumanthiran MP
‘I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent’. – Mahatma Gandhi
pic by: Dharisha Bastians
Grief is the inevitable consequence of violence. The tragic and inexcusable events of Weliweriya have left its residents with unimaginable grief.
Akila Dinesh Jayawardena was a 17-year-old student of Chandrajothi Vidhyalaya, Yakkala. He was killed by a soldier’s bullet as he inched through protesters searching for his mother. As his body lay at the mortuary of the Gampaha hospital on the evening of August 1, two others, Ravishan Perera and Nilantha Pushpakumara, fought for their lives. But, they, too, did not survive. Ravishan was 19 years old at the time of his death. Nilantha was 29. Close to 50 others were treated for injuries. Some were critical.
Continue reading ‘Just as we are United in our Grief Over Weliweriya we Must be United in our Struggle against Tyranny-Sumanthiran MP’ »
By Taylor Dibbert
original pic by: Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Lock (USAF)
Three years ago, I lived briefly in Harare, Zimbabwe. Having just finished my first year of graduate school, I worked for one of the country’s leading human rights organizations. Unfortunately, Zimbabwe was and still is a mess.
According to Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission (ZEC), President Robert Mugabe has just “won” another five years in office. The results of the vote are questionable and one member of the ZEC has already resigned in protest. US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a firm statement on August 3. In addition to emphasizing that the US didn’t think the election results were credible, Kerry cited voters roll irregularities, media bias and problems related to the security forces. He also mentioned that many of the country’s political reforms – prescribed in the new constitution and the Global Political Agreement (GPA) – remain unfulfilled.
Continue reading ‘Relentless Dictatorship in Zimbabwe Illustrates Limits of Western Power and Influence.’ »
“Six feet of land”, says Jothi, drawing an imaginary rectangle above the ground, “is all that really belongs to us, to be buried after death”.
Like most labourers working in Sri Lanka’s tea plantations, she does not have even an inch of land she can call her own.
Toiling for nearly two centuries, plantation Tamils — brought down by the British from Tirunelveli, Tiruchi, Madurai and Thanjavur in the early nineteenth century — have been contributing consistently to Sri Lanka’s economy. But a majority of the several thousand faceless labourers behind the world-famous Ceylon tea are till date, landless.
Continue reading ‘Plantation Tamils of Sri Lanka: The Long Battle for Land and to Belong’ »
Ten documentary films by Leena Manimekalai will be screened on Saturday August 10th at Jeevana Jyothi Auditorium opposite Connemara Library at Egmore, Chennai.
The films will be shown one by one from 11. am till 8.00 pm. The filmmaker Leena will be present and will participate in the discussions at the end. The screening is free of charge and open to all.
Continue reading ‘Day long Screening of Ten Films by Leena Manimekalai at Jeevana Jyothi in Egmore on August 10th’ »
By Ranjit Mulleriyawa
A “Summer Romance with trees– with a Dowry of an Ecosystem Restored”
Beside the Dambulla- Kandalama road, is a unique Arboretum representing the flora of the semi-evergreen, monsoon dry forest of Sri Lanka. Its creator is an Englishman – Francis Home Popham, known only as Sam.
Sam Popham was born on the 29th of February, 1923.He was educated at Eaton and Magdalene College Cambridge, where he graduated in History. He first came to Sri Lanka (then ‘Ceylon’) as a young British Naval Officer during the second world war. Based in Trincomalee, he would often travel through Dambulla admiring the forest vegetation on either side of the Dambulla-Kandy road.
Continue reading ‘Popham Arboretum: A Sanctuary of Tropical Trees Created by the “Hermit of Dambulla”’ »
By Chitra Weerarathne
Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Viraj Dayaratne yesterday told the Supreme Court that it would be possible to provide information, both in the Sinhala and Tamil languages, as regards the National Identity Cards, within a period of six months.
He added that electronic ID cards would be issued both in Sinhala and Tamil with English as a link language within three years.
Continue reading ‘National Identity Card Information in Sinhala and Tamil Languages Within 6 Months Says Deputy Solicitor General in Court’ »
Sittings of Parliament were suspended for half an hour yesterday when the government objected to moving an adjournment motion by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) over alleged land grabbing in the North.
When TNA Leader, R. Sampanthan, got up to move the motion, UPFA Parliamentarian, A.H.M. Azwer, raising a Point of Order with regard to the motion, said it could not be debated in the House as the matter was sub judice.
Continue reading ‘Parliament Sittings Suspended for 30 Minutes Due to AHM Azwer Objecting to Motion Presented by R.Sampanthan.’ »
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday demanded that government immediately investigate what it called land grabs by the security force members in the North and East and to redress the grievances of Tamil people.
Moving a motion for the debate at the time of adjournment, TNA leader R. Sampanthan, MP, said that the government, through the armed forces, continued to hold substantial extents of land owned and or possessed by Tamil civilians. Having been evicted from those lands, civilians were not allowed to return to them, the TNA leader said.
Continue reading ‘TNA Submits Motion in Parliament Demanding Investigation Into Land Grab by Armed Forcesin the North and East’ »
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that in the wake of the recent army crackdown on Weliweriya protesters, on the night of August 6, an attempt was being made to strengthen the call for an international war crimes investigation against the Sri Lanka Army.
Defence Secretary Rajapaksa lashed out at the main Opposition UNP for calling for an international investigation into incidents involving the army and those protesting against latex gloves manufacturing factory situated at Nedungamuwa, Weliweriya managed by Dipped Products PLC, of Hayleys Group, which is alleged to have polluted water in the Rathupaswela area.
UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake issued a statement on behalf of the UNP early this week calling for an international probe.
Continue reading ‘“Unfortunately Troops Reacted When Missiles were Thrown at Them”-Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Responds to Weliweriya Incident’ »
Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, new Commander of the Army Pays Courtesy Call on President-pic: News.lk
“It is the President who has unleashed this wave of terror, of course he knows its going on, even if he leaves the details to underlings and never gets his own hands soiled”.
- Denias Dombo (An anti-Mugabe activist)[i]
Robert Mugabe’s landslide victory barely caused a stir, internationally. When the predictable happens, it is not quite Breaking-News. The world seems to have realised that Mugabe will never relinquish power, voluntarily. The usual Western condemnations did emanate, but they were almost token protests, lacking in vigour, purpose or direction.
As journalist Wilf Mbanga pointed out, “What happened…was a demonstration of what can be done by a small group of people who have everything to lose and who have spent more than 30 years cementing their grip on power and wealth”[ii].
In an editorial-comment on Zimbabwean elections, The Washington Post mentioned four methods used by Mr. Mugabe and others of his ilk to turn multiparty polls into electoral tragicomedies with predestined ends: “First take control of the state media and exclude your opponents well before the voting. Then seize control of the election machinery itself and make sure that your rigged triumph is plausible (in other words not 99 percent). Third avoid any signs of voter intimidation that can be recorded by a camera. Last declare that the people have spoken and never look back”[iii].
Continue reading ‘The Rajapaksaised Military in Sri Lanka will Tolerate any Injustice as in the case of Gen.Fonseka and Rampage against Anyone as in Weliweriya.’ »
Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam was summoned to the South Block on Wednesday and a formal démarche made against the large number of Indian fishermen languishing in Sri Lankan custody for periods up to two months.
The démarche reflected India’s exasperation over the absence of any movement on the release of the fishermen despite several high-level interventions.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Envoy Prasad Kariyawasam Summoned to South Block and Issued Demarche to release 114 Tamil Nadu Fishermen and 21 Boats in Lankan Custody’ »
Parish priest of Weliweriya, Rev. Fr. Lakpriya Nonis yesterday told The Island that there were gunshots embedded in a concrete post and a wall of his church.
Fr. Lakpriya said: “MP Sudarshani Fernandopulle visited the church yesterday (6) and inquired what had actually happened last Thursday. So, we told her how people had been attacked even after they had run into the church and the adjacent convent premises to seek refuge.”
Continue reading ‘“Army Went on the Rampage at Weliweriya”-Catholic Parish Priest Fr. Lakpiriya Nonis Tells Dr.Sudarshani Fernandopulle MP’ »
“…A soldier when answering to his conscience not only has the right, but also the duty, to disobey an unlawful order. It is one of his privileges of serving a democracy, as it is one of his burdens, that he must answer for his own actions.” - Assassinated Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, at the convocation of the Kotalawela Defence Academy, 3 October 2000.
pic by: Dharisha Bastians
When Lt. General Daya Ratnayake assumed office as the new Army Chief last Thursday (1) morning, he could have had no inkling what the evening would bring. The new General, a war veteran and respected soldier, made a few poignant remarks at his installation ceremony held at Army Headquarters Colombo.
“The Army has come a long way not only in structure, numbers and military hardware, but also in professionalism and reputation. Sustaining the image and its dignity, gained through unparalleled sacrifice, is therefore the most sacred duty of every serving member. Unlike most Armies, emerging from protracted and bloody conflicts rejected by the masses, our Army continues to receive the respect and gratitude of the Nation we served, a fact that we should never forget,” he said in his first speech as Commander of the Army.
Continue reading ‘Attempts Made to Turn Weliweriya Clashes Into Another “War without Witnesses” Failed Due to Prompt Media Coverage.’ »
The darker side of the composer Isai Gnani Illaiyarajah has never been reported in the media. Having experienced his ruthless double-cross, I write this piece with the view to create greater awareness of the deception practiced by the much boasted Tamil music composer from Tamil Nadu.
Ilaiyaraja at Rogers Centre, Toronto, February, 16, 2013
‘Isai Gnani Illarajah is coming to London for an unforgettable show joined by a troupe of amazing singers and musicians including Chinmayi, Yuvan Shankar Raja, SP Balasubramaniam, Karthik and many more, this will be a truly magical experience for Tamil music lovers in the United Kingdom’ – states Thamarai.com.
Continue reading ‘How Isaignani Illayarajah Seized Control of the Thiruvasakham Symphony Project to Fatten his Own Purse.’ »
N Sathiya Moorthy
Unprecedented floods, damage and destruction across north India, starting with Uttarkhand a few weeks ago, may have been behind the national media ignoring the more recent rain havoc in south India. In Tamil Nadu’s Cauvery delta, the IAF had to be called in to rescue at least four marooned. Promptly, Tamil Nadu has withdrawn a petition before the Supreme Court, seeking the constitution of the ‘Cauvery Management Board’ (CMB), as per the final award of the Centre-appointed Cauvery River Water Dispute Tribunal, under law. In doing so, Tamil Nadu has reserved the right to move the court in future on the CMB issue, if and when required.
In neighbouring Kerala’s Idukki district, 13 persons were buried in rain-induced landslips. Unacknowledged, Idukki district and its population are also at the centre of another of Tamil Nadu’s water rows with neighbouring States. This one involves increasing the water levels in the British era Mullaperiyar dam to the original 152′ against Kerala’s reservations and opposition. Despite the court-appointed technical committee clearing Tamil Nadu’s demand, Kerala, like Karnataka, has resisted all efforts at giving the former ‘what is due to it under the law’.
Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu’s “Water Wars” Over Cauvery and Mullaperiyar with Karnataka and Kerala.’ »
By Prof.V Suryanarayan
The Pakistani political leader Khan Abdul Wali Khan (son of Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan) was asked few years ago by a journalist: “Are you a Pakistani, a Muslim or a Pathan?” Wali Khan replied that he combined all three. The journalist persisted and asked Wali Khan what his primary identity was. Khan responded, “I am a Pakistani for 30 years, a Muslim for 1400 years and a Pathan for 5000 years”. The multiple identities of South Asians, an intrinsic feature of the socio-cultural profile of the region, have made the study of nation-building an exciting and fascinating exercise.
Political scientists use the term state and nation as synonymous and this semantic confusion has caused incalculable harm. The contemporary world consists of states, not nation states. A study of the world’s 132 states in 1971 found that only 12 (9 per cent) could justifiably be called nation states in the sense that the territorial limits were coterminous with the distribution of a particular national group. The comment made by Massimo d’ Azeglio, with special reference to Italy after unification, holds true of most of the South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, “We have made Italy, now we must make Italians.”
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Tamils Were Reluctant Secessionists Who Never Thought of a Separate State at the Time of Independence.’ »
by Dasun Edirisinghe
University teachers yesterday demanded that Army Commander Lt. Gen. Daya Rathnayake and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa resign from their posts over ordering the army to fire on innocent civilians who were protesting against the contamination of their well water allegedly by a factory.
Continue reading ‘FUTA President Dewasiri Demands Resignation of Defence Secretary and Army Commander For Army Firing on Civilians at Weliweriya.’ »
Politics is an unhurried journey where one should move with prudence and patience. But, Dayasiri Jayasekera failed to realise this truth, UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday.
Making a special statement, the Opposition Leader, quoting Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Nhit Hanh said, “We all have only a little time on earth and we should move slowly. Dayasiri failed to realise this.”
Wickremesinghe rejected in toto what former MP Dayasiri Jayasekera had said in Parliament on July 24, prior to resigning from his seat to contest the elections to the North Central Province on the UPFA ticket.
Continue reading ‘“Dayasiri Jayasekara failed to Realise Politics is an Unhurried Journey”says Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament.’ »
“Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.”
~ Victor Hugo
In the ancient world, rulers ruled by dynastical power. Family-rule ruled the waves and power flew downwards from the parent generation to that of the children. The question of succession was never an issue, provided the ruler had children of his or her own. Even in the event there were no children to succeed, succession from brother to brother or to a close blood relation was never questioned by the subjects.
This was so in the West as much as it was so in the other parts of the world- Asia, Africa or the Middle-East. Successor’s sole qualification for the throne was ‘accident of birth’; blood relationship to the throne became the one and only prerequisite for an heir-apparent.
This tendency was even more evident and manifestly present in the East, especially in South Asia; India and Sri Lanka in the ancient times and which region now includes Pakistan and Bangladesh as well. South Asia is in fact the mother of all regions where ‘accident of birth’ disorder has been dominating the succession process almost without a break. In the West, however, with the exit of monarchical powers from statecraft and politics and the advent of universal franchise that empowered folks who were thereto considered ‘ordinary’ and ‘mundane’, people began choosing their own masters and rulers.
Continue reading ‘“Family Based Entitlement Syndrome”: Senanayakes, Bandaranaikes and the Rajapaksas……’ »
Tariq A. Al-Maeena
A body comes into existence. If nurtured well, this body grows and matures into a healthy being. Along the way however, steps have to be taken to ensure the continuous growth and development in a manner that will produce very little setbacks for a healthy and productive life. These necessary steps are what are called “maintenance”.
The same philosophy could very easily apply to all around us. Not just to humans, but to the vast infrastructure around us.
Continue reading ‘It Takes Planning,Creative Ingenuity and Diligence to Build a Community and Maintain it at An Acceptable Level’ »
In July, the Sri Lankan government unexpectedly announced that it had rearrested 12 police officers for the infamous ‘Trinco 5′ killings.
On January 2, 2006, five ethnic Tamil students were shot execution-style at the beachfront in the eastern town of Trincomalee.
One might have thought that this would be welcome news for Kasippillai Manoharan, whose 20-year-old son, Ragihar, was among those killed. But Manoharan has little reason for hope.
Continue reading ‘Kasipillai Manoharan Wont Give up Fight for True Justice Over Killing of his Son Ragihar and Four Other Youths in Trincomalee’ »
(Text of Public Appeal arising out of concern over the recent incidents at Weliweriya and Balummahara in Gampaha District that is Initiated by a Group of Sri Lankans including former Ambassadors Tamara Kunanayakam, Dayan Jayatilleka,Javid Yusuf and UPFA Parliamentarian Rajiva Wijesinha)
To sign the Appeal “Justice for Weliweriya – Time for Indignation!” please send your signatures to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Some party hack decreed that the people had lost the government’s confidence and could only regain it with redoubled effort.
If that is the case, would it not be simpler
If the government simply dissolved the people and
elected another?” - Attributed to Bertolt Brecht, “The Solution” ["Die Lösung"] (c. 1953)
The shooting of unarmed civilians in Weliweriya and Balummahara by army soldiers equipped with T-56 assault rifles, armoured vehicles, and bullet-proof vests, is of unusual gravity for the consequences it will certainly have on the confidence placed by the ordinary citizen on those in power.
What confidence can people have in a State that uses live ammunition against its own unarmed citizens, whose peaceful protest for drinking water cannot by any stretch of imagination be compared with participation in hostilities in an armed conflict situation? They were only exercising their fundamental democratic right to organise and to protest. Their demand was for the basic right to clean drinking water and closure of the export-oriented glove-manufacturing factory Venigros Ltd owned by Dipped Products PLC, a subsidiary of Hayleys Group allegedly responsible for contaminating ground water by disposal of dangerous chemicals. The company must also assume responsibility for the tragedy if it failed deliberately to take timely action to respond to the legitimate concerns of the people.
Continue reading ‘Justice for Weliweriya :Time for Indignation!Let us take collective action to ensure respect for the rights and dignity for all!’ »
Jayantha Dhanapala , Danesh Casie Chetty and Tissa Jayatilaka on behalf of Friday Forum, the Group of Concerned Citizens
(Text of a Press release Issued by the FRIDAY FORUM on August 7th 2013)
The unflattering publicity Sri Lanka has received internationally in the lead up to and after the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva in March 2013, and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting in London in April, is indicative of a significant failure of the Sri Lanka Government to exploit the opportunities of peace and reconciliation opened up by the end of the conflict. This failure is exacerbated by the deficiencies of its current foreign policy. Direction, depth, consistency and coherence are conspicuously absent in a series of ad-hoc decisions implemented by a staff riddled with mediocre political appointees at all levels.
In the globalized multi-polar world we now live in, we are called upon to interact pragmatically with other states, international organizations and non-state actors. In order to maximize the benefits of such an interaction, we do need to pursue a foreign policy that is balanced, principled and based on enlightened self interest.
It was, by and large, such a balanced, pragmatic and sagacious foreign policy that enabled Sri Lanka in the first three decades of post- Independence history, to exert an influence in the international arena disproportionate to her size despite a pro-Western tilt in the early stages and other inadequacies.
Continue reading ‘Direction,Depth,Consistency and Coherence are Conspicuously Absent in Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Being Implemented by Mediocre Political Appointees at all Levels.’ »
Although Government authorities are downplaying the details about civilian casualties in the Weliweriya violence where soldiers of the 58 division and crack commando regiments launched a barbaric attack on unarmed civilians protesting against pollution of drinking water by emission of acid from a factory manufacturing gloves ,informed sources say the number of deaths and injuries is much higher than what is being officially stated.
Pic by: Dharisha Bastians
It is alleged that the death toll is at least over seven whereas the official count is only three so far.Apparently the Govt is releasing details about deaths one at a time on a staggered basis without publicising the actual figures simultaneously.
Continue reading ‘Number of Persons Killed,Injured& Missing After Weliweriya Violence Much Larger than What is Being “Officially”Revealed?’ »
The Gampaha shooting exposed the government. Clearly the government has allowed the Multi-National Companies to exploit our land and people with disregard to environmental hazards and the existence of human beings.
Protest near Fort Railway Station-pic courtesy of: twitter.com/azzamameen
It was necessary for them to open fire at students and young people, in order to allow the products of a factory to be sent to the harbour.
Continue reading ‘Gloves are made in Weliweriya With the Blood and Sweat of Our People While the Soil Gets Charged with Acid’ »
(text of Press Communique Issued by the Centre for Policy Alternatives)
6th August 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka: A Bill titled “The Twenty First Amendment to the Constitution”, a Private Member’s Bill presented by the Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, M.P. of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), was placed on the Order Paper of Parliament on 18th June 2013. The proposed Bill, if passed by Parliament would have the effect of repealing Chapter XVIIA of the Constitution, which was introduced by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) filed a petition in the Supreme Court on 24th June 2013 challenging the constitutionality of this Bill.
Continue reading ‘Constitutionality of bill titled ‘The Twenty First Amendment to the Constitution’’ »
Security forces personnel had to open fire on mobs of protesters at Weliweriya in self defence, to protect public lives and properties and to bring the situation under control, the government told Parliament yesterday.
Leader of the House Irrigation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, responding to a series of questions raised by UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on the Weliweriya incident, said that the government had taken every possible action to sort out the problem of drinking water and acted patiently and flexibly. Authorities had held rounds of talks with agitators, he said. “Unfortunately, even after the demonstrators had been dispersed there had been some other groups who remained at the venue of demonstration. They hurled stones and petrol bombs at security forces personnel.
Continue reading ‘Security Forces Fired on Protesters at Weliweriya in Self-Defence Says Nimal Siripala de Silva in Parliament’ »
The lives of innocent school children and youth who had been killed or injured in the Weliweriya army crackdown, on a demonstration, could not be valued in terms of money. The Government should take action to expeditiously pay a satisfactory compensation to those who had been killed and injured, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.
Making a special statement in Parliament, Wickremesinghe said that there were a number of methods to disperse a public demonstration or a protest.
Continue reading ‘“Weliweriya Town Turned Into a Battlefield” Says Ranil Wickremesinghe in Special Statement to Parliament.’ »
Before I could begin talking to him, Perumal Chandrasekaran had a question for me: “Do you know that we exist?” he asked matter-of-factly.
A 38-year-old Tamil of Indian origin, Mr. Chandrasekaran was waiting at a lawyer’s chamber near the Magistrate Court complex in Kandy for consultations on a land issue facing plantation Tamils. “We are among the most neglected sections here [in Sri Lanka]. India or Tamil Nadu has done nothing to help us,” he said.
Continue reading ‘Hill Country Tamils in Sri Lanka Feel Neglected Saying Neither India Nor Tamil Nadu Has Helped Them’ »
by S Venkat Narayan
NEW DELHI, August 6: Bollywood star John Abraham has refuted rumours that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa secretly invested in his upcoming political spy-thriller Madras Cafe.
Talking to reporters in Chennai, Abraham said: “It’s not true that President Rajapaksa secretly financed my film. Viacom 18 Motion Pictures is the producer of my film. They would feel bad about these rumours. Therefore, I’m clarifying again that it has not been secretly financed by anyone other than my producers.”
Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Did Not Secretly Finance the Film “Madras Cafe”Says Bollywood Actor John Abraham’ »
Dr. M.A.Mohamed Saleem
For months Srilanka has witnessed orchestrated anti-Muslim campaigns. Some Buddhist-clergy, self proclaimed saviours of true Buddhism, branding as Bodu Bala Sena, Sinhala Ravaya and Ravana Balakaya are instigating Buddhists, particularly the youth, into a state of frenzy that manifests in hate rhetoric against the Muslims, desecrating their belief systems and places for congregational worship. Stereotyping and targeting with the intent of causing social disharmony, although unacceptable in any cultured society, the anti-Muslim exuberance in this country is flourishing as the perpetrators feel encouraged to perform under the watchful eyes of the law enforcement agencies that have no qualms about Muslims being picked as targets.
Continue reading ‘Orchestrated Anti-Muslim Campaigns are Souring Buddhist -Islamic relations in Sri Lanka’ »
By Harrish Thirukumaran
A Cultural Namibian Dinner: Braai
(continued from-Part I)
Thereafter, we headed back to Wadadee where we were preparing the dinner for a braai. Initially, it was seen as an opening/welcoming braai interpreted as a kindly gesture to bring us into Namibia.
The Braai grill
Overall, a braai was like an African-style barbecue, where at the house the cook mainly Tickey used a special stone-fire grill where he cooked the meat on the top rack and corn on the bottom rack. Certain meats they had were recognizable ones back in North America such as ribs, chicken, and beef.
Continue reading ‘Children Achieving Prosperity by Prioritizing Education: Namibian experiences of a student-volunteer’ »
One of the chief witnesses for the prosecution, who had identified Duminda Silva as the person who ordered the others to shoot at Premachandra, retracted the statement he had made to the CID, when the Baratha Lakshman Premachandra killing case was taken for inquiry before Colombo Magistrate Priyanwtha Liyanage on Friday.
At the commencement of the inquiry, President’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, appearing for the 11th suspect, Duminda Silva, said that on the last occasion witness No. 105, called by the Prosecution, was not tendered for cross-examination, which had resulted in an injustice to his client. He said he had interviewed the Attorney General and explained to him that there were two (02) sets of witnesses whose statements had been recorded by the CID, which completely contradicted each other over the manner in which Bharatha Lakshman was shot.
Continue reading ‘Chief Witness who Stated that Duminda Silva Gave Orders to Shooot Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra Retracts EarlierStatement Made to CID’ »
By Srilal Miththapala
I have been writing regularly in various journals, since of late, highlighting the plight that is befalling the Yala National Park. I am very thankful to all the editors of the popular newspapers who have given adequate publicity to my ‘crusade’.
There has been good supportive feedback from many sources, but there have been a few criticisms also, that there is no solution suggested by me in some of my more recent articles. On the contrary, I have clearly outlined some of the possible solutions that can be speedily implemented in some of my earlier articles(‘Yala – ruined by its own popularity’?)
Hence, due to the interest level shown, and the topical nature of the subject, I have collated some of the earlier writings related to the possible solutions, herein.
Fundamentally, all the problems really boil down from three issues, which are in some way inter-related.
Continue reading ‘Yala National Park:Increasing Problems and Possible Solutions’ »
Bleeding for water – Text of Editorial in “The Island” of August 2, 2013.
Thursday’s brutal crackdown on a group of protesters in Weliweriya has left us in a state of shock and dismay. Armed to the teeth, the police and the army acted as if they were fighting a war of sorts. They first targeted the media personnel on the scene, betraying their true intention in the process; they were not there to prevent violence but to perpetrate it. One protester was killed 30 others were injured.
People who asked for clean water were left bleeding. Theirs was a legitimate grievance—the contamination of groundwater due to effluents from a rubber product factory. The government claims they took to the streets in spite of its efforts to solve the problem. But, the question is whether the people would have reacted in such a manner, risking life and limb, if they had been convinced that a solution was in sight.
There is no way the government could justify the Weliweriya crackdown. The same goes for brutal police/military attacks on peaceful demonstrations in the former war zone and other parts of the country. Lamentably, this kind of high octane performance is absent on the part of the government where extraordinary measures are necessary to ensure public safety.
Continue reading ‘Blinded by the Arrogance of Power Govt is Riding for a Fall –The Island’ »
Keeping the pressure up on the alleged military attack on a civilian demonstration in Weliweriya, the main Opposition United National Party yesterday demanded that the Government reveal who ordered soldiers to fire into the crowd and pledge that such atrocities would never be permitted under its watch again.
The United National Party’s Gampaha District Member of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya charged that the Government had attempted to politicise the issue in order to mask the killing of three civilians in the small town where residents were protesting for clean drinking water.
He said that while on several occasions, protesting villagers had asked Opposition politicians to stand beside them at the demonstrations, the request had been turned down because the Government would then view the issue from a political lens.
Continue reading ‘Karu Jayasuriya Compares Govt Tactics at Weliweriya to Brutal Suppression of Pro-Democracy Supporters by Syria’s Bashar Al Assad Regime’ »
The “Ceylon Today”newspaper has published a news item retracting its earlier news story about the Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thera claiming troops were deployed in Weliweriya by the Defence Ministry on instructions given by him. The newspaper says its news story was based on a “misconstrued translation and regrets any inconvenience caused to the Defence ministry and Bidu Bala Sena.
The Ceylon Today news story was reproduced on this blog under the heading” Defence Ministry Deployed Troops to Weliweriya on the Instructions of Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera of the Bodu Bala Sena”. The news story written by Ashan Paranahewa was attributed to “Ceylon Today”.
The news item published by Ceylon Today regretting the earlier news story is reproduced below -
Continue reading ‘“Ceylon Today”Retracts News Story about Defence Ministry Sending Troops to Weliweriya on the Instructions of Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thera as a “Misconstrued translation”of a Brief Interview’ »
Sarala Jayaratnam, wife of slain Police Inspector T. Jayaratnam, yesterday said that she had appealed to the police top brass to consider giving her husband a posthumous promotion and a pension according to his new rank which the police had so far failed to do.
Continue reading ‘Widow of Police Inspector Jayaratnam Wants Posthumous Promotion be Given to Husband Abducted and Killed by LTTE’ »
Susitha R. Fernando
One of Sri Lanka’s most widely respected and best known judicial personalities, retired High Court Judge W. T. M. P. B. Warawewa was outspoken not only during his judicial career but still speaks out strongly on social justice, judicial independence and democracy. Continuing his role in creating a just and fair society, Justice Warawewa has expressed strong views at several public forums. He recently headed the Public Tribunal to inquire into the huge tariff hike on electricity.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror Justice Warawewa explained why he decided to enter politics after his retirement and what his vision and goals were. He also shared his views on other issues like rule of law, good governance, party politics and the rampant corruption.
Q: Why did you decide to enter party politics and what would your vision and goals be in restoring democratic principles, good governance, rule of law, human rights and accountability?
Continue reading ‘“I Decided to Enter Politics Because I am Truly Concerned About the Country” – Retd Judge Warawewa’ »
(Summary of views expressed by UNP Gampaha District MP Karu Jayasuriya at a press Conference convened by him relating to the incidents of violence at Weliweriya in the Gampaha district)
This press briefing is convened as a representative of the people of the Gampaha District, regarding the incidents at Rathupaswela, on behalf of the people subjected to suppression.
· Already the government and the state media have attempted to give a political twist to the incident.
· Hon. Minister Dallas Alahapperuma has told a media conference held at the headquarters of the Sri Lanka Freedom party, “Although this is an issue regarding water, this was hijacked by a political group”.
· But we appear here for the people not for any narrow political gain.
Continue reading ‘Govt Must Immediately Hold Inquiry into Weliweriya Incident and Pay Compensation to Families of the Dead and the Injured-Karu Jayasuriya’ »
Reflections On The History Of Jaffna College
One recalls an event in 1953, the annual dinner of the Academy. Three formal annual dinners took place in the college those days. These were that of the Alumni, the Academy (the literary association of students in the university entrance classes) and that of the Undergraduates’ Union. Distinguished chief guests often from the South graced these occasions.
The dinners consisted of four or five courses with six speeches – the toast to the College, toast to the association and the toast to the guests with the respective responses. For students these were hilarious and memorable occasions, several dressed in full suit and tie for the first time.
The speeches were humorous and of a high order. Alcohol prohibited in the college the glasses raised was filled with Machado ginger beer. In the dinner term the students in their wisdom and at times by consensus elected the most competent public speakers in English.
In 1953 the chief guest was Senator Sir Chittambalam Gardiner. In proposing the toast to the college the then principal of the Palaly Teachers Training College raised a question in all seriousness as to what right we had to call the college Jaffna College with an exclusive right to the name Jaffna. Mr. Lyman Kulathungam, senior Vice-Principal was to respond but the president of the academy Rajakumaran, took upon himself to reply to this particular comment. He plainly told the gentleman (as tapping of the tables and loud cheers filled the air) that the College was the first institution of a collegiate status in Jaffna when founded in 1872 and that we do take legitimate pride in this. All the other educational institutions were schools and over a period of time achieved collegiate status.
Continue reading ‘Jaffna College, Vaddukkoddai:First Institution of Collegiate Status in Jaffna when Founded in 1872’ »
General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, said it was under his guidance that the Defence Ministry deployed military troops to Weliweriya last Thursday.
“It was I who sent them there after observing the situation in the area. Though the demand by the villagers was extremely justifiable when observing the situation, I figured that things could turn bad as the villagers were politically misled by a group.
Continue reading ‘Defence Ministry Deployed Troops to Weliweriya on the Instructions of Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera of the Bodu Bala Sena!’ »
by Vasuki Nesiah
(Text of 14th Neelan Tiruchelvam memorial lecture titled “The Law,This Violent Thing” Delivered by Dr Vasuki Nesiah, Associate Professor of Practice, New York University on Sunday, July 28 at the BMICH, Committee Room B.)
In 1999 I was a graduate student in the United States. That summer I returned to Colombo to work with Neelan at the International Center for Ethnic Studies (ICES). As was the case for many young people who went abroad for their studies but returned to Sri Lankain the summer, for me ICES was a magnet. ICES was our institutional summer home, but it was also much more. Neelan had created a utopic place that provided intellectual community and political camaraderie. Our conversations leapt from Tamil poetry to Swiss federalism, from ethnographies of Baila to the Habermasian public sphere, from caste discrimination to free trade zones.
Continue reading ‘Tamil Epics “Silapathikaram” and “Manimekalai” like Neelan Tiruchelvam Stand in Contradistinction to Insular and Illiberal Expressions of Tamil Nationalism’ »
By Dinouk Colombage
Grieving over the death of 17-year-old Akila Dinesh, the victim of an alleged army shooting to quell their protest against their supply of water being contaminated due to effluents being discharged by a factory in the area, residents in Weliweriya have accused the Army of firing live bullets to disperse unarmed civilians, leading to mayhem in the town of Weliweriya on Thursday (1).
A resident in the area, Gihan Illesinghe, was at the scene of the protest on Thursday evening. Speaking of the incident, he said the Army had fired at them, perhaps to scare them and prevent them from protesting. “I cannot understand why the Army had to be deployed as we were unarmed and it was a peaceful demonstration. Once they arrived on the scene, the tension increased and it was inevitable that something unfortunate would happen,” he said.He also said when the riot police arrived with water cannons, many protesters started to react.
Continue reading ‘“How are we to Survive if we are Deprived of Clean Drinking Water?” Weliweriya Residents Ask!’ »
SRI LANKA cricket is entitled to feel a sense of well being following its 4/1 success over South Africa in the just concluded five-match ODI series. It should be noted however that the South Africanshave never won a series on the island’s shores, last week’s loss being the third since the Proteas first visit here back in 1993. In their previous visit, in 2004, fate had,in fact,dealt the visitors a harsher blow than it did in this time – a 5-nothing thrashing at the hands of Marvan Atapattu’s team.
So, why this feel-good factor over what is an achievement of routine, really? As well, on this tour the South Africans were without three of their leading lights: no.3 Kallis, opener Smith and paceman Steyn – pretty much the equivalent of a Sri Lanka ODI eleven sans, Sangakkara, Dilshan and Malinga.
Continue reading ‘“Feel Good Factor ” in Sri Lanka Cricket After Sweeping Success Over South Africa Should Not be Too Much’ »
Nirmala Kannangara in Weliweriya and Rathupaswala
Sri Lanka Army has come under severe criticism for firing live bullets to disperse a crowd that was staging a protest demanding drinking water at Weliweriya on Thursday.
The army is further accused of not allowing the people to take the critically injured to the hospital after the shooting.
The clash following the protest killed one person while injuring over 15 including media personnel. The Weliweriya incident reminded of the Katunayake Free Trade Zone shooting incident that killed Roshen Chanaka and the Chilaw Fishermen agitations over the price hike of kerosene oil.
Continue reading ‘Military Blamed For Firing at Protesting Civilians and Preventing the Injured Being Taken to Hospital’ »
Kalanthai Peer Mohammed Interviewed by R.Venkatachalapathy
Over the last year, agitations by radical Tamil Muslim groups have effectively influenced the Tamil Nadu government’s policies. In September 2012, the Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) and Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath (TNTJ) protested against the film, The Innocence of Muslims, and laid siege to the U.S. Consulate in Chennai. In early 2013, in the face of similar protests, Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam was first taken off the screens and exhibited only after cuts were made. Last week, a scheduled lecture by the Islamic scholar, Prof. Amina Wadud, at the University of Madras was cancelled in the face of threats to disrupt the meeting. The award-winning Tamil writer, commentator and observer of Muslim politics and culture Kalanthai Peer Mohamed tells historian R. Venkatachalapathy that it is worrying that Tamil Nadu’s Muslim community does not have representatives who can articulate the moderate viewpoint.
Continue reading ‘Decline of Moderates and Ascendancy of Extremists in the Muslim Politics of Tamil Nadu’ »
Russia has granted Edward Snowden temporary asylum. Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration is infuriated. It’s also somewhat embarrassing for an administration that had advocated so strongly (in public and private) against this.
White House spokesperson Jay Carney has already mentioned that Mr. Obama may renege on his commitment to meet President Vladimir Putin this September. (The visit coincides with the G20 which will begin on September 5th in St. Petersburg).
Is that it? Surely the White House must be contemplating more than that…right?
Continue reading ‘President Obama Must Go Beyond Rhetorical Diplomacy and Wade into the Waters of Action’ »
courtesy: hiru tv
On Thursday, before the Army turned its guns on the public, a senior military official, who was commanding the troops there, delivered a stern message to the media crews, which had been covering the protest.
“Get out. Don’t take photos. You are not wanted here,” he said in an intimidating voice. The soldiers, armed to the teeth, stood next to him. Hours later, a contingent of battle hardened troops, who once formed the ‘fabled’ 58 Division, went berserk in the town, killing one teenager and wounding 30 others.
Continue reading ‘Brutal Attack on the Press at Weliweriya was Clearly Orchestrated by the Army That Did not Want to Leave Evidence’ »
“Politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine.”
No report reaching this writer has revealed of any survey or opinion poll, scientific or otherwise, that has been done so far on the forthcoming Provincial Council elections in the Wayamba, Central and Northern provinces scheduled for September 21 this year. The absence of any forecast or prediction, therefore, is bothering the Colombo pundits and club-dwellers who are more interested in these polls and predictions than the average villager who lives in these provinces.
Yet it is most appropriate that somewhat detailed an analysis of the past performances of the political parties in these three provinces is performed and an attempt made to ascertain whether any realistic forecast could be made prior to the elections, not as a tool to influence the prospective voters in the districts, namely, Puttalam, Kurunegala, Maha Nuwara, Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Vavunia, Mannar and Kilinochchi in the respective provinces, but as an endeavor to discover the mindset of the voter and whether any manifest trend is in evidence of the way the voter has been behaving.
Continue reading ‘If Elections are Held Tomorrow the UNP Wont Get More Than 20% of the Votes Polled in the Wayamba Province’ »
pic courtesy of: hiru tv
“We asked for water tanks; they sent army tanks”
A woman resident of Weliveriya (BBC – 3.8.2013)
They had every reason to feel confident and safe, to expect consideration and justice.
They were almost exclusively Sinhalese and predominantly Buddhist. They would have supported the military wholeheartedly (quite a few would have kith/kin in uniform) and rejoiced in the defeat of the LTTE. Many would have done the victory-tour, eating shellfish in Jaffna, worshipping at Nagadeepa, laying flowers at the monument to their war heroes and inspecting Vellupillai Pirapaharan’s bunker. Most would have voted for the Rajapaksas, believing that their present was safe and their future assured in the ‘caring’ hands of the Tiger-vanquishers.
When they realised that the water from their familiar wells had turned toxic, they would have believed that ‘their government’ will succour and protect them. After all, they were not asking for devolution or land/police powers. They wanted free pipe-borne water – a just request given that they were not responsible for releasing pollutants into the waterways. They also wanted the closure of the factory believed to be responsible for contaminating their groundwater.
Continue reading ‘They Never Thought “Our (Sinhala) Govt” Would Order “Our (Sinhala) Boys” to Shoot at “Us” the (Sinhala) People’ »
A 19 year old youth injured in the clash between security forces and a group of protesters in Weliweriya last Thursday (01), succumbed to injuries last night (03) while receiving treatment at the Colombo National Hospital, Deputy Director of the hospital Dr. Siril de Silva told Ceylon Today Online.
Continue reading ‘Death Toll Climbs to Two as a 19 Year Old Youth Injured in Military-Civilian Clash at Weliweriya Dies at Colombo National Hospital’ »
Special Report From Dharisha Bastians in Weliweriya
Bloody boot prints, now chalked off by police forensic teams mark the side doorways to the St. Anthony’s Parish in Weliweriya.
The Church walls are pockmarked with bullets. Lampshades in the Parish garden have been shattered. Near the grotto at the back of the church a large black pole lies on the grass.
Residents in this Western Province town claim the military cracked down a demonstration demanding clean water using brutal force on Thursday night.
Continue reading ‘“We Asked For Water Tanks, They Sent Us War Tanks Instead”-Lament Residents of Weliweriya in Gampaha District’ »
Prof. O. A. Illeperuma
In the most recent episode where well water in the Weliveriya area got acidic brings about several pertinent questions as to the safety of the water people drink from their wells. It is important to understand the complexities of how well water can get affected from a factory which is relatively far from the inhabitants.
Continue reading ‘How Well Water in Weliweriya Area is Getting Excessively Acidic Due to Leakage of Acid from A Far -off Factory.’ »
pic courtesy of: Derana Videos
I can’t sleep. For two days in a row, I woke up at 3 am. The first time, I didn’t know why I was awake. Today, it’s much clearer. Those moving images of armed soldiers and battle-tanks mowing down defenceless villagers at Weliweriya haunt me.
In my mind, the events keep merging: What I saw happen at Weliweriya from amateur television footage; and what I imagine might have happened in the North, during those final, anguished months of the army’s war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Civilians had perished in that battle. In Weliweriya, too, there was a battle. It was even more disproportionate than the war in the North. In Weliweriya, there were no armed fighters—terrorists—to retaliate, in any form, against advancing troops. If they could kill with such careless abandon Sinhala villagers in the South, demonstrating for clean water…
Continue reading ‘Weliweriya :The War in the North has Ended But The Government Has Not Stopped Fighting’ »
Amid much seemingly casual chatter on private Indian TV channels, a piece of truth is revealed. It is from the low-key regional language quiz shows. “Who is the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize?” Gandhi, Nehru, Abdul Kalam feature in the answers. A feeble voice says C.V. Raman. “Can you tell us for what he won the prize?” No answer. It is possible that they haven’t even heard of Rabindranath Tagore. In a matter of 60 years, the name of the creator of Gitanjali and scores of other works of great literary and humanitarian value did not even occur to the contestants, who are a representative cross-section of 21st century Indians.
Students from southern India, studying for competitive examinations, memorise the names Rabindranath Tagore and Gitanjali.
Continue reading ‘Impact and Influence of Rabindranath Tagore on Tamil Nadu and Tamil Literary Writing’ »
Former Supreme Court Judge, C. V. Wigneswaran
At long last, after an interminable wait, four years since the end of the war, the people of the North have been given the opportunity to exercise their right to elect their Provincial Council, their representatives. The gazette notification has given the Elections Commissioner the go ahead to make arrangements for the conduct of a free and fair election.
The process was moving at its usual pace. Much to the surprise of all, the Northern Provincial Council election has all too unexpectedly got ‘transposed’ into something more dynamic than a mere routine election. The tenor in the process received a lightening change with the nomination of Justice Wigneswaran as the chief ministerial candidate by the Tamil National Alliance. His appointment comes in the wake of a spate of “indecent and criminal behavior of some of the elected local government members”. The sheer weight in the numbers and frequency of such occurrences has come into the public domain and cannot be wished away; government has declared that investigation will be undertaken. Many of the errant members are known to be from the SLFP, causing further embarrassment to the administration. The damning observation is that the ‘accused’ persons did not take to criminal activities after election to office but that they had come with a history of anti- societal activities within the definition of criminality and that they were nevertheless selected to contest the elections. It is imperative for the healthy functioning of democratic process to adopt more stringent criteria for the selection of candidates for public office.
Continue reading ‘Will Justice Wigneswaran open a new perspective for Tamil Politics?’ »
Many reports have been written about how unjustifiable force was used to disperse protestors in Rathupaswela in the Gampaha district who were protesting the contamination of the ground water in their area. The cause of the protest undoubtedly had merit. Residents in about ten villagers in the Gampaha district had noted a sudden increase in the acidity in the ground water in the area which they thought was due to industrial effluents being released into the environment by a latex rubber glove manufacturing company (Dipped Products subsidiary Venigros) in the vicinity. Every now and then we hear stories about villagers rising up in protest against environmental pollution caused by industrial establishments. As such, there is the possibility that the suspicions of the villagers were well founded.
But then there are parts of this story that do not tally. The Rathupaswela water acidity problem came out of the blues and has no history. Usually, if a factory was polluting the environment, we would be hearing about it for months, if not years and our provincial correspondents would have reported the matter. Provincial correspondents of newspapers are usually the first persons to hear about such things. But strangely, nobody had even heard of Rathupaswela until this issue suddenly burst upon the scene. Dr M. Ranasoma of Dipped Products Ltd, said that there was never any problem in the past about the factory causing contamination of the ground water in the area.
Continue reading ‘Protesters Blocking Roads for Whatever Reason Should be Removed and the Ring Leaders Locked up in Boossa Under the PTA’ »
Kishali Pinto Jayawardene
When will Sri Lankans take matters into their own hands and teach this arrogant if not foolhardy Government some sharp and telling lessons in just rule?
Incredibly shocking pattern of events
This week, one innocent teenager died and more than twenty five civilians were injured as a result of the army shooting at unarmed protestors at Weliweriya who were demanding that water contamination in their area, allegedly by a factory, be stopped. Proportionate and restrained civilian law enforcement is now firmly a thing of the past. Inhumane assaults by soldiers of protestors, journalists and even those who were merely caught up in the unholy melee have been recorded despite the army’s denials.
Continue reading ‘Deraniyagala and Weliweriya:When Will Sri Lankans Teach this Arrogant Govt Sharp Lessons in Just Rule?’ »
N. Sathiya Moorthy
Across the world, it is CIA still! Nearer home in neighbouring India, it is ISI everywhere and in everything. In the rest of South Asia, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), commonly known as ‘RAW’, has been the whipping-boy for everything that has gone wrong with domestic politics in individual countries. Imagine India’s might, both inside and outside the South Asian neighbourhood, if even a percentage of what is being attributed to the external intelligence outfit were to be true!
It is a sad commentary on the imaginative skills of self-styled ‘Sinhala nationalists’ that they should brand Justice C. V. Wigneswaran, the TNA’s chief ministerial nominee for the Northern Province, as a ‘RAW agent’. According to news reports, they also protested against India outside the Indian High Commission in Colombo. Sudden wisdom seems to have dawned on them only after the TNA named Wigneswaran for the chief minister’s job. They are only belittling their own great nation by branding a Tamil jurist of their Government’s choice, thus.
Continue reading ‘Self-styled Sinhala Nationalists Belittling Themselves by Branding Justice CV Wigneswaran as a “RAW Agent”’ »
I was GA and District Secretary Jaffna at that time, and was not directly a victim of the pogrom, but was very much involved with the care of around 60,000 victims who moved into Jaffna in the days and weeks following the pogrom. But that is not all.
My story starts earlier, around 1980, during the time that I was posted to the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration. I had an unexpected visit from Prof. A. J. Wilson and Dr Neelan Tiruchelvam. I did not know it then, but the pogrom was already in the making.
The objective of the visit of Wilson and Neelan was to inform me that the island-wide District Development Council (DDC) elections were likely to be held soon, and that I was likely to be posted as the Government Agent and District Secretary of Jaffna immediately after those elections.
Continue reading ‘“JR Jayewardene Told AJ Wison and Neelan Tiruchelvam of an Anti-Tamil Pogrom Being Planned Three Years Before July 1983″’ »
(Text of a statement issued by the Sri Lanka Journalists Trade Union)
Journalists from several media institutions were subjected to a brutal assault while covering a protest by villagers seeking clean drinking water in the Weliweriya area in Gampaha.
The protest by villagers in Rathupaswela demanding clean drinking water was attacked by military personnel supported by the police last evening. A person was killed while many others including media personnel were injured in the attack.
Journalists and camera crew who were covering the protest were prevented from covering the clash between the villagers and the security forces by masked military personnel.
Continue reading ‘Military Personnel who Attacked Media Persons at Weliweriya Referred to Journalists as “Dogs” -SLJTU’ »
On 30th July 2013, President Mahinda Rjapakshe, at a breakfast meeting with the editors is reported to have categorically declared that he will not devolve land and police powers to the provinces. It was further reported that he stated that the delegation of these powers has not been implemented since the introduction of the Provincial Council system and it is not necessary to give it any consideration now.
When the President refers to land and police powers, what is he referring to? He is referring to provisions in the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the supreme law of our land, which by the specific provisions of the 13th Amendment categorize land and police power as subjects under the purview of the Provincial Councils. He is in effect stating that these provisions of the Constitution have not been given effect since 1987 and that he has no intention to give any effect to it now.
Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Displays Dangerous Mindset in Saying he has no Intention of Implementing Constitutional Provisions on Police and Land.’ »
DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA
GOVERNANCE, LEGITIMACY & THE ETHICS OF VIOLENCE
pic by: Dharisha Bastians
The ancient Chinese, most notably Confucius, used to call it The Mandate of Heaven. Rulers may rule successfully only so long as they respect and enjoy the Mandate of Heaven.
The last war started when the terrorist Tigers deprived Sinhala farmers of water by shutting off the supply at Maavilaru. The war came home to the South when the same army that was deployed to liberate Maavilaaru was brutally and stupidly deployed against unarmed Sinhala protestors demanding potable water for their daily consumption.
In doing so, the regime has irreparably gashed the social contract. Credibility and legitimacy are leaking through that gash.
Continue reading ‘“Water Wars” From Maavilaru against Armed Tigers to Weliweriya-Balummahara Against Unarmed Civilians’ »
Brutal military force was unleashed in the Weliweriya area of Gampaha on people engaged in a protest demonstration against pollution of water by acidic contamination caused by a glove manufacturing plant.
Pic courtesy of: twitter.com/azzamameen
One person was killed and at least 46 people injured due to firing by the military.Two journalists were also injured.Eight Police and four military personnel also sustained injuries.Unofficial reports said one mote person had succumbed to his injuries while four others were in a critical condition
An unofficial curfew was declared and a black out of power has been enforced in the area.Telephone transmission was curtailed.Transport along the Colombo-Kandy road was also halted.
Military personnel are currently scouring the area going from house to house in search of the leaders who organized the protest demonstration.According to beleaguered residents the military has virtually besieged the area.
Continue reading ‘“War Against LTTE” in Wanni Duplicated in Weliweriya: 1 Student Killed, 46 Civilians, 8 Policemen, 4 Soldiers Injured’ »
By Harrish Thirukumaran
The First Embrace of Namibia
Stepping out of the plane, breathing in the Namibian air and witnessing its relatively distinctive environment; all of those instances were impactful factors that constructed my first impressions of Africa. In which, I had first built the foundation of T.I.A. – “This Is Africa”.
Children of BNC-pic by: Dan
After taking three separate grueling flights to the continent, it felt absolutely relieving and refreshing to finally be able to set foot on African soil. In addition, for the first time in awhile, there had been a reverse role where my Brock group and I were the foreigners in the cultural land. Thus, began my personal journey to truly understand the African specifically Namibian lifestyle. Those accompanying myself were my Brock leader, Christina, assistant, Geraldine and 12 other Brock students differentiating in years and program studies.
Continue reading ‘A Notebook from Namibia: Window on Windhoek: Experiences of a student-volunteer’ »
* Gota says villagers were provoked by political elements
*CCD to conduct inquiries into allegations of army attack on protestors
* Residents claim security forces stormed Catholic church where demonstrators took refuge
* Blood stains and bullet marks visible at St. Anthony’s parish Weliweriya
* Ground water test results due in 10 days: Minister
* Opposition Leader tours area, expresses concern
Residents and authorities yesterday traded blame for the breakout of a mini war in the Gampaha District late Thursday night after a protest by residents in the area demanding clean water took a deadly turn.
At least one person was killed and dozens injured in the clashes that erupted between demonstrators and troops deployed to clear the New Kandy Road in Weliweriya town on Thursday night. Twelve security forces personnel, including the Officer in Charge of the Weliweriya Police Station were also injured in the clashes.
Continue reading ‘Mini-war in Weliweriya a “Needless Confrontation” Caused by “Elements with Vested Interests” Alleges Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’ »
Representatives of all political parties in the Gampaha District have joined to give a permanent solution to the acute water problem facing the people of Rathupaswala, Minister for Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa said.
He said short and long term solutions were found today (2) with immediate effect to end the crisis which affected 12 villages near Weliweriya, Gampaha.
Continue reading ‘Basil Rajapaksa Convenes All Party Meet to Find Short and Long Term Solutions to Weliweriya Water Crisis’ »
While castigating those responsible for the unfortunate incident which took place on Thursday in Weliweriya, leading to the loss of a life, top government Ministers yesterday said a certain group seeking political mileage triggered the tensed situation.
Addressing an SLFP press conference at the party Headquarters, SLFP Treasurer and Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma stated a certain group driven by political motives created an unnecessarily chaotic drama resulting in a tragedy.
Continue reading ‘Were JVP Trade Unionists Sacked by Factory Management some Months ago Responsible Weliweriya Protest Turning Violent?’ »
New Army Commander Lt. Gen. Daya Ratnayake yesterday appointed a Board of Inquiry headed by Ajudant-General Major General Jagath Dias to probe the Weliveriya incident. According to Army Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya, this Board of Inquiry consists of 5 senior officers of the Sri Lanka Army.
Continue reading ‘New Army Chief Appoints Board of Inquiry under Adjutant-general Jagath Dias to Probe Conduct of Military in Weliweriya’ »
People asked for water, Govt. gave them bullets: Karu
The Government responded with brute force to a simple human request by innocent villagers in Gampaha for clean drinking water, UNP Gampaha District MP Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday.
Continue reading ‘“People Asked Clean Drinking Water but Govt Gave Them Bullets” says Gampaha Dist MP Karu Jayasuriya’ »
(reproduced from srilankamirror.lk)
Two people have died from the brutal attack made by the security forces to the people who were protesting in Waliweriya demanding solutions for the drinking water problem.
Nearly 30 people are receiving treatments at Gampaha and Wathupitiwala hospitals.
Army states another body of an unidentified person is lying on a place near Waliweriya town.
Continue reading ‘Brig.Deshapriya Gunawardhana and Col.Shyamal de Silva were in charge of Military Operation against Civilians at Weliweriya’ »
DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA
WELIWERIYA, GAMPAHA: BLACK THURSDAY 2013
pic courtesy of: twitter.com/azzamameen
Who deployed troops, clad in flak jackets (body armour) and armed with T-56 assault rifles to confront and disperse a crowd of protestors blocking a highway? Who was the ultimate decision-maker? The protestors were not armed, certainly not with lethal weapons. Therefore, no real harm could have come to soldiers in body armour. A ‘clash’ between lethally armed soldiers and protestors with stones and slippers is not a clash that warrants in any way, the use of lethal force.
The crucial question must then be posed: who gave the order for a military unit armed with deadly force to be deployed against an unarmed civic protest, in a situation where the normal law prevails and a state of Emergency has not been declared because it was manifestly not warranted? What was the chain of command responsibility? Why was the task not left to the riot police? The question of who gave the order to shoot and for what reasons is a secondary one.
Continue reading ‘Who Deployed Military Units with Deadly Arms Against Unarmed Civilians Protesting on a Highway?’ »
“Imagine a garden with a hundred kinds of trees, a thousand kinds of flowers, a hundred kinds of fruit and vegetables. Suppose, then, that the gardener….knew no other distinction than between edible and inedible, nine tenth of this garden would be useless to him. He would pull up the most enchanting flowers and hew down the noblest trees and even regard them with a loathing and envious eye”. – Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
The discovery of the Higgs boson was a watershed event in the journey of science . In the pantheon of scientists who paved the way for that momentous moment Abdus Salam occupies a pre-eminent position. Prof. Salam was Pakistan’s only Nobel Laureate. India rejoiced in his towering achievements (he was born in pre-Partition Punjab) but Pakistan did not. The local police inspector was the highest state official present at his funeral.
Prof. Salam was an Ahmadi-Muslim. In 1974, Pakistan introduced a constitutional amendment decreeing the Ahmadis to be non-Muslims. Prof. Salam was a theoretical physicist of global renown, but for Pakistan he was nothing more than a pariah, a heretic.
The persecutory-marginalisation of Prof. Salam is symbolic of how religious fundamentalism warps the national mind and debilitates the national will.
Continue reading ‘Is the Buddha a Sinhala Fanatic who Hates 13 A,Despises Christians,Hindus ,Muslims,Mahayana Buddhists and Loves the Rajapaksas?’ »
“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.”
– Joseph Story
In the immediate aftermath of the defection of the Kurunegala District Parliamentarian, Dayasiri Jayasekara, from the ranks of the United National Party (UNP), the chaos that ensued caused many heartburns and uncertainties among the lamenting diehard UNP supporters. Those whose loyalties were unshakeable have been shaken; some might have felt thoroughly let down or betrayed and some may have decided to bid goodbye to political activism altogether, especially those who claim birth and dwelling in the Kurunegala District.
Continue reading ‘Name Recognition Facilitated by “Cash Power” Becomes Dominant in Electioneering Under Proportionate Representation System’ »
Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) female candidate, Ananthi Sasitharan, said she decided to contest the polls at the upcoming elections in the Northern Province, to find redress for the thousands of women and children who had been affected by the nearly three decades long war.
Ananthi Sasitharan, wife of the former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Trincomalee District political wing leader, Elilan, articulated her decision, addressing the media, soon after she filed her nomination papers to contest for the Northern Provincial Council, along with the other Jaffna District candidates. Ananthi is one of the three women candidates representing the TNA in the district.
Continue reading ‘Ex-LTTE Trinco Political Leader Sasitharan alias Elilan’s wife Anandhi Sasitharan Contests on TNA List in North to Seek Redress for Women Affected by War’ »
(Text of open statement released by group of eminent Chennai residents protesting the cancellation by the University of Madras of a scheduled lecture by US Islamic Scholar Amina Wadud)
As residents of Chennai, we are shocked and outraged at the last-minute cancellation of Islamic scholar Dr. Amina Wadud’s lecture at the University of Madras on July 29, 2013, organised by the JBAS Centre for Islamic Studies on the topic “Islam, Gender and Reform”.
The decision to cancel her lecture was taken by the University Vice-Chancellor Mr. Thandavan in response to a text message sent by a police-officer stating: “Police cannot allow this (the lecture) considering law and order. Please take action to suspend/cancel the programme.” This morning’s newspaper (The Hindu, July 31, 2013, ‘Islamic scholar claims voice through social media’) reported that police had “cautioned” the VC about “possible violence by protest groups”. Ostensibly “Muslim groups” had threatened to protest Dr. Wadud’s programs in the city, claiming that she was a puppet in the hands of the U.S. government and “anti-Islam”.
Continue reading ‘“We Demand that Madras University Restores Academic Freedom, Dignity and Honour by Re-inviting Dr.Wadud to give Lecture Series on its Premises”’ »
A day after she was forced to call off her visit to the city and prevented from speaking at the University of Madras, US Islamic scholar Amina Wadud sharply questioned the capitulation of intellectuals to fringe groups and voiced her disillusionment with the country.
Dr. Wadud was scheduled to speak at the University of Madras, interact with select media at the US Consulate and give a talk at the Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College For Women, mainly on issues concerning gender and Islam.
Continue reading ‘US Islamic Scholar Amina Wadud Whose Lecture was Cancelled by Madras University Questions Intellectuals Capitulating to Threatening Fringe Groups’ »
All it took for American Islamic scholar Amina Wadud’s programme in the city to be cancelled were a few phone calls to the police and to the event’s organisers, and the mere threat of a protest.
“I received a text message that said we have to suspend or cancel the lecture, as many groups were contemplating a protest. When I called number I received the text from, it was answered by someone who said he was at the Triplicane police station,” said P.K. Abdul Rahiman, head of the Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Madras, where one of Dr. Wadud’s lectures was to be held.
Continue reading ‘US Islamic Scholar Amina Wadud’s Lecture Cancelled by Madras University Authorities due to Vague SMS Threat’ »