Ira de Silva
Canada has overtaken other pro-LTTE groups against Sri Lanka as the current Canadian Government is being “guided/dictated to” by the LTTE front organisations in Canada on it’s policy on Sri Lanka. It is now the Canadian Government that is pushing the LTTE agenda.
The current government’s main organiser of the so-called ethnic vote is the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, Jason Kenney. His main focus, is the Greater Toronto Area, where thirteen parliamentary seats are available to whichever political party offers the “ethnic vote” what they want most.
Continue reading ‘Canadian Govt Overtakes Pro-LTTE Groups in Pushing the LTTE Agenda’ »
Two eyewitnesses have come forward for the first time to support allegations that the Sri Lankan army executed two Tamil Tiger rebel leaders after they surrendered, carrying a white flag, at the close of the island’s civil war in 2009.
Their accounts cast fresh doubt on the Sri Lankan government’s claim that the rebels were killed by their own supporters and add to a growing body of evidence of war crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan military during the conflict.
Continue reading ‘Two new “Eye-Witnesses”Allege they saw “White Flag Surrender”of LTTE Leaders Nadesan and Pulidevan to Sri Lankan Army’ »
By Chrishanthi Christopher
Last week the government sent out a communiqué to all government hospitals and private institutions banning all irreversible family planning methods that control birth.
Following the ban Maternity Hospitals and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that do Ligation and Resection of Tubes (LRT) on women and Vasectomy on men shelved their plans and struck off all scheduled procedures from the hospital registers. This follows an announcement by the government that the procedures should not be carried out on women and men unless it is done for medical purposes.
Continue reading ‘Govt Bans LRT on Women and Vasectomy on Men After Bodhu Bala Sena Protested Against Birth Control to Protect Dwindling Sinhala Race’ »
ODEL, one of Colombo’s prominent department stores, has broken new ground in advertising with a print creative for jeans depicting two females in an unabashed expression of lesbian eroticism. The ad, which comes with the payoff line ‘The perfect pair’, is a clear departure from the ‘traditional’ culture of flaunting sexuality that has been part and parcel of the advertising industry the world over.
Continue reading ‘Colombo Dept Store”ODEL”Advertises Jeans as”The Perfect Pair”in an unabashed Expression of Lesbian Eroticism’ »
The UN Human Rights Council season is upon us. This was heralded by the release of photos of Prabhakaran’s younger son Balachandran who is alleged to have been shot dead by the army.
The photos certainly look authentic, since the boy is shown wearing what appears to be the same pair of shorts that he was shown wearing when he was shot, but what strikes a discordant note is the pristine condition of the bunker that he is shown sitting in with its clean new green sand bags.
Continue reading ‘“Slippered Foot” seen in Photograph of LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s son Balachandran Lying Dead: Whose is it?’ »
I spent my teenage at Sadasiripura, Athurugiriya. It is a middle-class housing scheme and as a result pluralistic in character. The house facing our house was occupied by the Jayasinghe family who were Sinhala Buddhists. The house to the left was occupied by the Zinnen family, who were Malays. The house to the right was occupied by the Ali family who were Moors. The house at the rear was occupied by the Muspret family who were Burghers.
We were always together and never felt that we belonged to different ethno-religious groups. We were separated only by religious celebrations. Nevertheless, such celebrations made us closer and inseparable.
During the Sinhala New Year, we sent plates filled with milk rice and oil cakes to our neighbours. In turn, our Muslim neighbours sent us Biriyani and Watalappan during the Id festival. The Catholics would invite us over for Christmas dinner. During the Wesak season, we organized Danselas (Donations of cooked food) and non Buddhists were invited to start the proceedings. We celebrated all religious ceremonies by sending and receiving food and enjoying food together.
Continue reading ‘Culture of Families Exchanging Food the Very Foundation of National Unity in Sri Lanka is Under Attack Because of “Halalization”’ »
Although there has been much spoken about those disabled in the government forces, little has been heard or said about the disabled LTTE cadres that were injured during the war that plagued the country for three decades. While the government troops are said to have over 5000 of its personnel disabled, except for a few that had surrendered to the government forces there has not been any account of what happened to those injured LTTE cadres.
Several of the relatives of those LTTE cadres who were injured and rendered disabled during the final stages of the war claim that their loved ones were loaded onto buses and taken away by the LTTE claiming that they would be taken for treatment. However until today they have not been found, and according to eyewitnesses and the relatives, these buses laden with the injured cadres were blown up by the LTTE.
Their intention was to get rid of the ‘burden’ and also not leave any room for the wounded to be interrogated in the event of their capture.
Continue reading ‘Disabled Cadres of the LTTE were Loaded into Buses and then Blown up by the Tigers Themselves’ »
( This is a Near Verbatim Translation of the Bodhu Bala Sena’s 10 Point Manifesto proclaimed publicly at the Maharagama Rally)
1. The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama has been issuing Halal certificates in an illegal manner, saying it is part of Muslim religious tradition. Only the Sri Lanka Standards Institute can issue such certificates. Issuing Halal certificates in an illegal manner and obtaining money for it should be banned.
2. By ignoring the 91% of Buddhists, Christians and Hindus in Sri Lanka and issuing Halal certificates for products, the business community are discriminating towards non-Muslims. All business institutions must stop this injustice meted out to a majority of the Sri Lankan community. By the 2013 Sinhala New Year the public should have the freedom to purchase anything without religious discrimination.
3. Halal is a quality certificate meant only for Muslims so there is no reason why Buddhists, Hindus and Christians should pay taxes for such products. They should not purchase such products.
4. Funds from Middle Eastern countries should not be used to purchase land or acquire local businesses. All activities seen as a threat to national security and culture should not be allowed.
Continue reading ‘Ten Demands of the Bodhu Bala Sena’ »
By Faraz Shauketaly
As I casually glanced to my right soon after 11:30 pm on the 15th of February, I got the biggest jolt of my life thus far. I am not entirely sure and there is no need to have a reason for the glancing after all I was within the sanctity and freedom of my home and in my bedroom. I could be as I was and how I was without fear. That’s the whole essence of ‘a home is his castle’ and all that. So I thought.
The shock and fear that reverberated throughout my body with the sight of the armed man in my bedroom with two accomplices is a feeling I will have great difficulty in describing. Suffice it to say that it was an all encompassing fear which I can frankly say has never ever consumed me before.
Continue reading ‘“How I Survived a Murder Attempt”:First Person Account of “Sunday Leader”Journalist Faraz Shauketaly’ »
The Ceylon Today Political Correspondent
A four-member Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary delegation will leave for UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva, to brief the representatives of the member countries, who will be dealing with the US resolution on Sri Lanka.
TNA Spokesperson and Jaffna District Parliamentarian, Suresh K. Premachandran told Ceylon Today the Alliance took the decision to be present in Geneva and to meet the UNHRC representatives on the sidelines of the UNHRC sessions at the parliamentary group meeting of the Alliance, presided over by Leader R. Sampanthan in Colombo on Friday. Premachandran said: “The TNA parliamentary delegation has already sent the letters to the member countries on the meetings the TNA intends to have with them during the Geneva sessions.
Continue reading ‘TNA Will Go to Geneva Ahead of US Resolution Against Sri Lanka and Brief Member States of UN Human Rights Council’ »
By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke
[Remarks at the Liberal Party seminar on The Need for Electoral Reform]
I’ll commence by drawing your attention to a startling fact. There has not been a single piece of legislation discriminatory towards the minorities subsequent to, that is, after the introduction of the system of proportional representation. The major pieces of legislation that alienated the Tamil community and gave the State the shape of a majoritarian one were all passed by legislatures constituted according to the first-past-the-post electoral system.
From the point of view of what is now called ethnic reconciliation or what I suggest – the search for a new social contract in the post-conflict period – I remain a strong supporter of the principle of proportional representation.
Continue reading ‘No Legislature Elected Under the Proportional Representation System has Passed Laws Discriminatory Towards the Minorities’ »
The Sunday Times Political Editor
Besides polls conducted by the Department of Elections, perhaps the only other which assume an official character are elections to the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), the premier body representing the country’s lawyers.
Formed in 1974 with the incorporation of the Bar Council of Ceylon and the Incorporated Law Society of Ceylon, it is meant to be the spokes-body of the Un-official Bar with the Solicitor General from the Official Bar acting as the returning Officer for the election. The membership of the BASL includes judges, state counsel and private lawyers.
Even if they are classified as the ‘unofficial bar,’ like oxygen, they are a must for the survival of the official one — those lawyers from the State, as well as members of the judiciary. It is the harmonious blend of the threesome that ensures justice and fair play for the people. More importantly, they are the pivots on which the rule of law in a nation rests besides the now heavily politicised and increasingly undisciplined Police Department.
The climate for justice, fair play and the enforcement of the rule of law, there is little doubt, has changed for the worse. This was particularly so after the hurried December 2012/January 2013 impeachment of Chief Justice 43, Shirani Bandaranayake and the enthronement of CJ 44, Justice Mohan Peiris. The move angered even lawyers who were staunch supporters of the UPFA Government and triggered an international outcry. The shockwaves it created continue to reverberate here and abroad.
Continue reading ‘Lawyers Hosted for Banquets by Govt Ministers canvassing for Tirantha Walaliyadda Voted in Large Numbers for Upul Jayasuriya at Bar Association Polls’ »
The Sunday Times Political Editor
Last week When the cabinet meeting was over President Rajapaksa beckoned to External Affairs Minister Peiris and Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe to meet him before leaving ‘Temple Trees’. Samarasinghe is also the President’s Special Envoy for Human Rights. After the cabinet meeting, the two ministers were ushered into an area where President Rajapaksa was already seated. “I want you to go to Geneva,” the President told Samarasinghe.
After a conversation that went on for nearly twenty minutes, asked to join in were External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatilleke Amunugama and Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva. The discussion continued.
Though Samarasinghe is President’s Special Envoy on Human Rights, the EAM has not kept him informed until last Thursday on any developments related to the UN Human Rights Council. Besides the Council sessions beginning tomorrow, this issue has a number of matters to be dealt with.
Continue reading ‘Mahinda Samarasinghe sent to Geneva as Delegation head at the last Minute as Efforts by Envoy Aryasinha Fail to “Water down”US Resolution at UNHRC’ »
By Nadia Fazlulhaq
Indian nationals are to be granted work visas to harvest paddy in the North and East, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said yesterday.“The Government is helpless as our people are leaving the country to work as labourers in countries in West Asia, Singapore, South Korea and Italy,” he told the Sunday Times. He conceded that Indian nationals were working in paddy fields in the North and East having come to the country on tourist visas. “It (the labour shortage) is now spreading to the North-Central and Southern provinces too,” he added.
Continue reading ‘Indian Nationals to be Given 3 month Work Visas to be Employed in Paddy Fields of North and East During Harvesting Season’ »
By Ranil Wickremesinghe
(Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in this exclusive article to the Sunday Times says the Attorney General has deliberately misled the Government to pass the Appropriation Bill, disregarding a Supreme Court determination that stresses Parliamentary control over public finance. Claiming the passage of the Bill was a blatant violation of the Constitution, constitutional rule, and Latimer House Commonwealth values, he says that as a result, all loans the Government seeks to obtain in terms of the Appropriation Act are legally invalid and a future government is not obliged to repay them)
The Latimer House Declaration is not a single paragraph relating to judicial discipline. It is a comprehensive statement on the relationship between the three branches of government, on which, the fundamental values of the Commonwealth are built.
Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa regime has absolute contempt for fundamental values relating to human rights, democracy, constitutionality and good governance’ »
“Are we so morally sick, so deaf and dumb and blind, that we do not understand this?”
Ariel Dorfman (The Washington post – 24.9.2006)
Finally, in a cauldron of insanity, a few grains of sense!
The willingness to compromise displayed by the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) has opened a path away from a new war. We can now discard the bogus ‘Halal issue’, and focus on real problems, such as the ricochet-effect of fuel price increases; or Sri Lanka’s tumbling international reputation.
Faced with an incendiary campaign aimed at provoking a new conflagration, the ACJU has acted with mature good sense. Its proposal enables Muslims to have halal-meat and non-Muslims to have ordinary meat. It also opens the door to the introduction of humane methods of slaughter in most Lankan abattoirs.
Do Sinhala-Buddhist fanatics possess the sense to be appeased by the ACJU’s moderation? Or will they continue to insist on their maximalist agenda?
Continue reading ‘Champika Ranawaka is Single-handedly Striving to Open a New Frontier in the ‘War of the Religions’ »
(UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HR) Navi Pillay in an e-mail interview with Namini Wijedasa says none of the steps taken domestically in Sri Lanka, to investigate allegations of war crimes, have inspired confidence. This made an international investigation essential)
Excerpts from her email interview with the Sunday Times:
There is to be another resolution on Sri Lanka at the upcoming sessions. What use are such resolutions, when (as is evident from your most recent report to the Council) the last one had such little impact?
I disagree. It is not that the last resolution has had little impact, but rather, that the Govt. has made little progress in pursuing true accountability and reconciliation measures. But in response to the resolution, the Govt. has at least made commitments and plans of action, and there is a framework in which to measure progress. I also think the resolution has sparked a proper debate on these issues in Sri Lanka, in which, calmer and more rational voices from civil society can be heard.
Continue reading ‘Impeachment of the Chief Justice Actually runs Contrary to Achieving Accountability and Reconciliation-Navi Pillay’ »
By Raisa Wickrematunge
War does not start with a bang, but rather with hateful whispers. Over the past few months, extremist groups have begun vigorously campaigning against halal food – or so they claim. And this pot-stirring is beginning to have its effect.
On February 17, a BBC reporter was threatened by an angry mob, whilst another reporter from the newspaper Nawamani, was detained for four hours after the recent Bodu Bala Sena rally in Maharagama.
BBC Reporter, Charles Haviland, said a mob of around 20 young men had surrounded their team and threatened them, preventing them from leaving. The group then called four policemen over, saying the reporters were behaving suspiciously. The four policemen refused to let the reporters go. “They appeared to be taking orders from the young men, rather than helping us exercise our right to move freely,” Haviland said. It was only when a senior police officer came over that Haviland and his colleagues were allowed to disperse.
Continue reading ‘Bodhu Bala Sena, All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama and the Halal Certification Controversy’ »
BBC’s Channel 4 produces annual editions of documentaries on the Sri Lankan armed forces alleged war crimes against the LTTE around February – March. The latest edition is out, timed for the UNHCR sessions to be held soon. A main objective appears to make an impact on the Indian political establishment. This new edition includes new photographs on the alleged killing of Velupillai Prabakaran’s 12-year- old son. The bare bodied boy is shown eating some kind of bun in one photo inside an army bunker and the other is of his body with bullet wounds lying on the ground. The commentary says the second photograph was taken some 20 minutes after the first photograph with the same camera. The suggested inference is that the boy was in army custody and killed soon after.
These photographs of the new edition was shown on India’s NDTV on Tuesday in a talk- show, the subject being the stand the Indian government should take on resolutions against Sri Lanka at the forthcoming sessions. Maverick Indian politician Subramaniam Swamy and a disabled former colonel of the IPKF that operated in Sri Lanka took much of the sting off the documentary with their realistic comments.
Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Politicians of all Varieties are in Competition to show Sympathy and Support for the LTTE.’ »
By N Sathiya Moorthy
A fortnight has passed since President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Independence Day address to the nation, described by many as denial of autonomy to the Tamil minorities. Yet, no one has asked what he has in mind instead, for an all-embracing political solution to the ‘ethnic issue’, which has refused to die down despite the conclusion of the ‘ethnic war’ and violence – or, has it?
If the international community’s interest in Sri Lankan affairs has achieved anything thus far in the past two years (against the four-year post-war period), it is to nearly obliterate all reference to – and possible relevance of – a political solution to the existing situation and evolving conditions. The world is seeking to engage Sri Lanka on ‘accountability issues’ pertaining to the war, and other allegations of human rights violations, both during and after the war-period. There is no talk of power-devolution.
Continue reading ‘The “War Ghost” of the “Zero Casualty Humanitarian Operation”has come to Haunt the Sri Lankan Govt and Armed forces’ »
Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha Interviewed by Amanda Hodge
Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha
(Full text of interview given by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha to Amanda Hodge, of “The Australian”with regard to the latest International Crisis Group report on Sri Lanka)
How do you respond to the ICG report allegations that the impeachment and removal from office last month of the country’s chief justice constituted the completion of a “constitutional coup” which began in 2010 when parliament passed the eighteenth amendment, removing presidential term limits and handing the president responsibility for appointing judges, senior police and human rights officials?
Continue reading ‘International Crisis Group Confuses Various Issues in its Relentless Campaign to Denigrate Sri Lanka as a Whole’ »
By Jezima Ismail
A one-time Minister of Foreign Affairs, A.C.S. Hameed, once pointed out that “Historians have traditionally been attracted by wars and rebellions whereas the peaceful co-existence of groups of people over long periods tends to be overlooked”.
He went on to say “in the history of Sri Lanka few are aware of the harmonious relationship which had developed between the Sinhalese, its indigenous inhabitants, and the Muslims who initially were foreigners, and that both have lived together peacefully for over a thousand years. Perhaps because it was such a peaceful relationship it has passed unnoticed by the historian”.
Continue reading ‘Recalling the Peaceful Harmonious Relationship Between Sinhalese and Muslims of Sri Lanka in the Past’ »
By Chris Kamalendran in Jaffna
Minister Douglas Devananda yesterday dramatically backed out from his plans for a 5,000-boat protest in the Palk Strait against poaching by Indian fishermen in the face of a visit to the north by Indian High Commissioner Ashok Kantha and heightened Indian coastguard presence along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) separating India and Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘Douglas Devananda Aborts his 5000 Boat Protest in the Palk Straits as India Strengthens Coast Guard Presence and Indian Envoy Arrives in Jaffna’ »
Mr. Lal Wickramatunga, has handed over through a friend living in the UK, a written complaint to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navaneethan Pillay, that the former army commander, Mr. Sarath Fonseka should be held responsible for the assassination of his brother, the formereditor of ‘ Sunday Leader ‘Mr Lasantha Wikramatunga.
Continue reading ‘Sarath Fonseka Responsible for Killing Lasantha Wickrematunga Complains Brother Lal to Navi Pillay’ »
J. Jayalalithaa in ‘Vennira Aadai’
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram who will be celebrating her 65th Birthday tomorrow February 24th is once again on the warpath against Sri Lanka.
According to Indian newspaper reports the actress turned politician has announced that Tamil Nadu would not host the 20th Asian Athletics Championships scheduled to be held in the state in July.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said her government has written to the AAA, seeking the exclusion of the Sri Lankan contingent from the event. This was in view of the Sri Lankan government acting repeatedly against Tamils. The participation of Sri Lankan athletes would hurt the feelings of Tamils, she said.
Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on the warpath against Sri Lanka again’ »
A week before its official launch in the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival, the capital on Friday caught a 20-minute preview of the film ‘No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka,’ which included footage of the alleged cold-blooded killing of LTTE chief V. Prabakaran’s minor son.
“It was a culmination of three years of journalistic investigation on war crimes and crimes against humanity,” said director Callum Macrae in a recorded message from London, adding that he hoped the film would lead to informed debate about the issue in the United Nations.
Continue reading ‘Channel 4 TV’s new Documentary”No Fire Zone:The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”20 minute Preview Shows Film has Deeply Disturbing Evidence’ »
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday reportedly stressed that there would be no compromise on Colombo’s promise to implement the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution which provides more powers to Tamil areas in Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern provinces.
Dr. Singh thus assured a delegation of Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu in Parliament House on Friday.
Continue reading ‘“No Compromise on Getting Sri Lankan Govt to Fulfil its Promise of Fully Implementing the 13th Constitutional Amendment -Manmohan Singh’ »
A Staff Reporter
The visit of Sri Lankan MP Karu Jayasuriya to Tamil Nadu evoked stiff opposition from members of various political parties who staged a demonstration at Thirukadaiyur in Nagapattinam district on Thursday.
Mr. Jayasuriya, a former deputy leader of the United National Party, Sri Lanka’s main Opposition party, arrived at Thirukadaiyur on Wednesday night from Tiruchi to visit the famous Amirthakadeshwarar Temple and apparently perform rituals at the shrine.
Continue reading ‘Karu Jayasuriya on Visit to Temples Becomes Unintended Target of Anti -Rajapaksa Regime Protests in Tamil Nadu’ »
Major General Kamal Gunaratne-pic-dailynews.lk
The release of Photographs by the British Channel 4 TV showing Balachandran the 12 year old younger son of LTTE leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran alive in a military bunker and lying dead has evoked much controversy.
While the TV charges that Balachandran was killed by the Sri Lankan military after he and bodyguards had surrendered to the army the Sri Lankan Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has categorically denied it.It may be recalled that charges of a similiar nature were raised last year too when images of Balachandran lying dead were shown in a Channel-4 documentary. The charges were denied then too by Sri Lankan Govt authorities who suggested Balachandran may have been killed in the crossfire.
However the release of photographs showing the boy alive eating a snack in what ppeared to be a bunker has created strong doubts as to whether Balachandran had died in the crossfire or been deliberately targeted and executed in cold bood in captivity. Although the allegation that he was killed by the Sri Lankan army cannot be proved conclusively through the photographs concerned the suspicion that the military was indeed responible has gained more strength.
It is against this backdrop that an exclusive news item published by the “Lankanewsweb” in June 2012 alleging that Balachandran was murdered by Maj-Gen Kamal Gunaratne on the orders of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is reproduced here due to its topical relevance
Major General Kamal Gunaratne had murdered Balachandran on Gotabhaya’s order .
Thursday, 14 June 2012 17:39 Exclusive -Lankanewsweb.
Continue reading ‘Was LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s son Balachandran Killed by Maj-Gen Kamal Gunaratne on the Orders of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who had been Advised by Ex-Tiger “Col”Karuna to do so?’ »
A Lenten reflection by Bishop Duleep de Chickera
Bishop Duleep De Chickera – pic courtesy of: damayanthawickremesinghe.blogspot.com
The weeks leading to Independence Day on February 4 were filled with intense debate on the legality and morality of the impeachment of the Chief Justice (CJ). The debate centred on the interpretation of the law and the political motives behind it. The government finally had its way and the CJ was impeached.
The beginning of Lent, (Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13) followed close on these events. Since Lent is a time for inner scrutiny, repentance and a return to integrity amidst the harsh realities of life, any realistic preparation to celebrate Easter as the Festival of Ascent, is called to wrestle with these events.
Continue reading ‘Evolutionary Decline in Governance Inevitably Breeds an Alternative People’s Resilience Vibrant and Alive in all Corners of the Country’ »
By Shamindra Ferdinando
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that Sri Lanka wasn’t the only country targeted by the British media outfit Channel-4 News over accountability issues.
The Defence Secretary was responding to the planned screening of ‘No Fire Zone’, the third installment of the so-called documentary on ‘Sri Lanka Killing Fields’ series produced by Channel-4 News in the British parliament on Wednesday (27) alleging war crimes, with the focus on the alleged execution of LTTE leader Prabhakaran’s son by the Sri Lankan army.
Continue reading ‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa says Sri Lanka is not the only Country Targeted over Accountability Issues by British Channel-4 TV’ »
(Text of an Editorial Appearing in “The Hindu”of February 22nd 2013 under the heading “The Truth must be told”)
New photographs of a 12-year-old Balachandran Prabakaran in the apparent custody of Sri Lankan security personnel in the final days of the war against the Tamil Tigers have caused widespread anguish and outrage, and understandably so.
Last year, when another photograph showing the body of the LTTE chief Prabakaran’s son with visible bullet wounds on his chest surfaced, Sri Lanka’s explanation that the boy died in crossfire seemed plausible.
Continue reading ‘It is in Sri Lanka’s Interests to Begin Credible Investigation to find out how Balachandran Died-The Hindu’ »
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -Seeking to exert pressure on the Centre, Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu on Friday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that India join western countries like the US in bringing a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC over the alleged human rights violations during the war.
The MPs said India should join hands with the United States in bringing out a Resolution against Sri Lanka asking it to categorically implement the recommendations of its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee (LLRC).
Continue reading ‘Congress MP’s from Tamil Nadu meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Demand India Join Moves to Bring UN Resolution on Sri Lanka’ »
By Chrishanthi Christopher
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, M.A. Sumanthiran, yesterday claimed the army is taking decisions with regard to the lands belonging to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North and East, while Minister of Land Development, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, remains ignorant on the subject.
“Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya announced two days ago, the lands belonging to the IDPs will be acquired by the army to put up a military cantonment,” Sumanthiran said.
Continue reading ‘Lands Minister Unaware of how Army is Acquiring Lands Belonging to Internally Displaced People in North to Construct Military Cantonment’ »
Upul Jayasuriya, Attorney-at-Law and senior human rights lawyer, was elected as the new President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, in what lawyers called a ‘historic’ margin of victory.
Jayasuriya beat his main contender Tirantha Waraliyadda PC, the senior criminal lawyer, by a margin of over 1,700 votes, BASL sources said.
Continue reading ‘Upul Jayasuriya Elected President of Bar Association with Huge Majority is Endorsement of Stance on Impeachment of Chief Justice Issue’ »
On the eve of the release of a full length film on Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes, the British daily the Independent carried an article along with two photographs showing Prabhakaran’s son eating a snack before his Sri Lankan captors allegedly shot him dead in cold blood.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa & Prime Minister Manmohan Singh – pic: PTI
This serious allegation pertaining to a war India supported. It is about a brutal and heinous act by a state with very friendly to India. So apart from humanitarian concerns, India in its own interest, needs to get the allegations investigated impartially. If proved true it will undoubtedly be considered a war crime committed by Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘Time for Indian Prime Minister to Publicly Announce India’s Unhappiness over the way Sri Lanka has Conducted Itself in the Post-War Period’ »
By Veerasingham Anandasangaree
(Text of a letter sent to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Tamil United Liberaration Front Secretary-General Veerasingham Aanandasangaree)
His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa,
President of Sri Lanka.
America’s Resolution at Geneva
Permit me to remind you once again the fact that the Mahinda Chinthanaya, in my opinion is fast losing its credibility now, due to the irresponsible utterances of some responsible persons. Those responsible for this tragic situation seem to be deliberately doing so to cause you much embarrassment and knowingly or unknowingly to bring discredit to you. Please do not allow this trend to go unabated. It is in the best interest of the country that you cry halt to the expression of views by various people, at random.
Our people have short memories. But you cannot say that of the Government and your advisers. Most informations are recorded by relevant authorities for your guidance. Furthermore there is the media too to guide you.
Continue reading ‘“Mahinda Chinthanaya” is fast Losing its Credibility due to Irresponsible Utterances of some Responsible Persons’ »
Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday rejecting the photographs displayed by Channel 4 television station of UK which is alleged to be of Prabhakaran’s youngest son Balachandran, questioned as to how Channel 4 could say that he is in a bunker with the military by only looking at the pictures which do not indicate anything related to the military.
Continue reading ‘Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa Dismisses Photographs Displayed by Channel 4 TV of LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s son Balachandran.’ »
” Oh, but Grandmother! What big teeth you have!’
‘The better to eat you with!’”
And with that, the wolf lunged at Little Red-Cap, devouring her whole.” - Brothers Grimm
“The truth, the harsh truth” (“La vérité, l’âpre vérité”) - Georges Jacques Danton
Marzuki Darusman, Special Rapporteur on DPRK addresses during the 19th Session Human Rights Council. 12 March 2012. Photo by Jean-Marc Ferré-UN, Geneva
Who’s behind Navi Pillay?
Given the reassuring and conciliatory noises that had emerged from the foreign policy establishment in recent months, including statements that it had no intention of criticising Navi Pillay countering the then Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Geneva,1 it is likely that the establishment was rudely awoken from its deep coma by the vehemence of the High Commissioner’s report and the almost simultaneous appearance of an equally vehement US draft resolution to be tabled at the Human Rights Council a few weeks from now!
Continue reading ‘Foreign Ministry Rudely Woken from Deep Slumber by Vehemence of Darusman Inspired Navi Pillay Report and US Draft Resolution on Sri Lanka’ »
It’s election year in Australia, and that means open season on boat migrants. Last year, 17,000 people arrived by boat, with a massive surge of 6,500 from Sri Lanka. These numbers have an alarming impact on Australia’s human rights record as the government puts in place draconian domestic measures to deal with the increase, and plays a foolhardy game of building military and security links with Sri Lanka to stem the flow.
Continue reading ‘Australia has Chosen an Unreliable Security and Surveillance Partner in Sri Lanka to Curb Peoples Smuggling’ »
M.A. Sumanthiran MP
Platform for Freedom conducted a Press Briefing on the forthcoming Human Rights Council Sessions in Geneva, to be be held in March 2013, on the 20th of February 2013 from 3:00 p.m onwards at the CEPA Auditorium. No. 29, Gregory’s Road, Colombo 7.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankans who Love their Country must Ask International Community to Censure the Rajapaksa Regime’ »
By Ramanan Veerasingham
Scientifically authenticated fresh and exclusive photographic evidence has shown that Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran’s 12-year old son Balachandran was alive in Sri Lankan military custody, barely a couple of hours before he was found executed on the final day of the bloody war.
These photographs, obtained by the Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) have been used in the upcoming documentary film “No Fire Zone” (NFZ) directed by Callum Macrae for the UK-based Channel 4 television. The new documentary film is set to be screened at the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival during the UN Human Rights Council meeting in March this year.
Continue reading ‘LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s Son Balachandran was Killed on May 19th 2009 According to Metadata of Photographs’ »
UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe with President Mahinda Rajapaksa
“If you have abandoned one faith, do not abandon all faith. There is always an alternative to the faith we lose. Or is it the same faith under another mask?” ~Graham Greene
Many arguments have been submitted for the inability of the United National Party (UNP) to displace the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)-led coalition from power. Most of them are valid, but almost all those arguments merely touch upon the surface without going deep into the inner workings of a political dynamic that has been set in motion for quite some time.
Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremasinghe Fades into Near Oblivion when Contrasted Against a Giant like Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »
By Uditha Jayasinghe
Expanding on a Budget proposal to prohibit State land from being sold to foreigners, Cabinet yesterday extended the policy to include private land as well, in a move that is likely to impact business sentiments.
However, extensive leasing up to 99 years is still possible. Prohibition of outright transfer of property to foreigners had been decided upon after taking into consideration the increasing demand for foreign investments in Sri Lanka, Cabinet Spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told media.
Continue reading ‘Foreigners Debarred from Purchasing State or Privately Owned Lands Outright but Extended Leasing Possible with Local Investment’ »
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE- Islamic clerics in Sri Lanka tried to calm mounting religious tensions in the majority Buddhist nation Thursday by telling stores not to sell halal-slaughtered meat to non-Muslims.
Food manufacturers have been labelling all their products “halal” for convenience, meaning until now non-Muslims have not had any choice in the matter.
Continue reading ‘All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama asks Traders to Offer Halal Certified Products to Muslims only’ »
By Sundra Ganesan
In 1933, the same year the Nazis burnt large numbers of books that they considered ‘anti-German’, the idea of setting up a library in Jaffna was born.
The Jaffna Public Library (JPL) would have celebrated its golden jubilee in 1983 had it not been burned down in 1981. Instead, June 2012 marked the 31st anniversary of the tragedy.
1933 was a difficult time in Sri Lanka. The economy was slow and unemployment was very high. Amid the gloom, one K.M. Chellappah, who worked for the District Court in Jaffna, circulated an appeal in English and Tamil for ‘A Central Free Tamil Library in Jaffna’, and approached labourers, unions, teachers, authors, business people and prominent retirees for support.
Continue reading ‘The Burning of the Jaffna Public Library by the Police in 1981 – 1’ »
By Chrishanthi Christopher
The Sri Lankans, who have sought asylum in other countries, have been excluded from the Sri Lankan citizenship under the new Citizenship Act, the Controller of Immigration and Emigration, Chulanada Perera told Ceylon Today. He said the Department and Emigration will soon start accepting applications for dual citizenship.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankans who Sought Asylum in Other Countries Excluded from Sri Lankan Citizenship under new Citizenship Act’ »
By J. Balaji
The Human Rights Watch (HRW), a global human rights organisation, has sought an international investigation into reports of sexual violence, rape, third degree torture against Tamil women and men carried out by the Sri Lankan security forces to get confessions from those suspected to have links with the then Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The HRW, which has prepared a 140-page report, “‘We Will Teach You a Lesson’: Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces,” which is to be released on Monday, provides detailed accounts of 75 cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse that occurred from 2006 to 2012 in both official and secret detention centres throughout Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘140 Page report on Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces to be Released by Human Rights Watch’ »
By a Staff Reporter
Journalists are now being targeted and harassed, based on their ethnicity and no action is being taken against the perpetrators nor are investigations being conducted to nab those responsible, the Alliance of Media Organizations charged at a media briefing yesterday.
Highlighting a number of incidents including the attempted murder of Sunday Leader journalist Faraz Shauketally, and the harassment of journalists at a rally organized by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) last Sunday (10), the Convener, Free Media Movement (FMM), Sunil Jayasekara said that the number of attacks against journalists has increased significantly over the last week, and the Alliance is deeply disturbed at the regularity with which such acts are carried out.
Continue reading ‘Journalists in Sri Lanka are now being Targeted on the Basis of their Ethnicity charges Alliance of Media Organizations’ »
“He came in a dream
He seduced everybody in the land
The fire in his eyes
And the fear was a weapon in his hand
So they let him play
Play their minds away”
The Piper (ABBA)
In his penultimate photographs, 12 year old Balachandran Pirapaharan glances away from the camera. The empty look in his averted eyes, the slump of his plump young shoulders speaks of defeat and of a loss which is beyond hope, and beyond fear.
He is alone, he is helpless and he knows that.
Unlike his older brother and sister, Balachandran never joined the Tigers, never bore arms against the Lankan army. If he was executed in cold blood, it was not because of anything he did, but because of his ethnicity and parentage. It’s collective punishment taken to a brutal barbaric extreme.
Continue reading ‘Are the Rajapaksas Conjuring an Islamic Enemy as a Patriotic Cover for their Repressive Rule and their Oppressive Economics?’ »
A file photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA - Amid protests over the alleged brutal killing of slain LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran’s son, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Thursday called off the 20th Asian Athletics Championships scheduled to be held here in July, saying Sri Lankan players have no place in the State.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said her government had written to the Asian Athletics Association in Singapore seeking that Sri Lankan team be desisted from participation considering the “sentiments” of the people in Tamil Nadu, as the Sri Lankan government was “repeatedly acting against the ethnic minorities”.
Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa Calls off Asian Athletics Championships to be held in Tamil Nadu in July to Stop Sri Lanka from Participation in the State’ »
R. K. Radhakrishnan
Sri Lankan media largely ignored the sensation created in India and elsewhere in the world, after the publication of new pictures which suggested that Tamil Tiger chief V. Prabakaran’s youngest son, Balachandran, was captured by the Sri Lankan forces ahead of being shot dead.
The English press, barring Ceylon Today, did not even carry the Sri Lankan rebuttal of the story. The main Tamil newspaper, Virakesari, carried the rebuttal prominently, but made this an excuse to carry the picture in question — where Balachandran is seen sitting in what Channel 4 describes as an Army bunker.
Continue reading ‘Reactions in India to the Published Pictures of Prabhakaran’s younger Son Largely Ignored by Sri Lankan media’ »
Reiterating her demand for imposing an economic embargo on Sri Lanka till Tamils in the country were fully and honourably rehabilitated and granted rights on a par with the Sinhalese, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday called upon the Union government to work in tandem with other countries to ensure that those responsible for the war crimes were made to face an international trial.
She said India should also hold discussions with the U.S. and like-minded countries and draft a United Nations resolution against Sri Lanka.
In this context, she recalled a resolution adopted by the Assembly in 2011 demanding an economic embargo on Sri Lanka.
Reacting to the photographs, carried by The Hindu and other sections of the media, on the killing of Balachandran, son of LTTE leader Prabakaran, the Chief Minister described the killing as “a war crime of gravest nature and an unforgivable act.”
Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram describes Killing of Prabhakaran’s Son Balachandran as “a war crime of gravest nature and an unforgivable act”’ »
James Vasanthan who worked as an anchor in popular Tamil television channels debuted as a composer in Kollywood with Subramaniapuram in 2008. His forte as a composer extends to regional languages like Telugu and Kannada too and it has seen him be part of ten movies till date.
Illayaraja at Rogers Centre, Toronto, Feb 16, 2013
Recently, he set out seeking an inspirational outing as he attended Illayaraja’s concert Engeyum Eppothum Raja in Toronto. To much surprise James returned home disappointed. Consequently, he decided to vent out an emotional outburst on is his personal blog regarding the same.
Continue reading ‘Music Composer James Vasanthan Requests “Maestro”Illayarajah to “Reconsider”After Seeing “Engeyum Eppothum Raja”Live Concert in Toronto’ »
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s special envoy on human rights, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who served in that capacity for well over half a decade, has been dropped from the list of delegates attending the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva next month.
However, a high profile delegation comprising senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Attorney General’s Department, along with Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, will be present in Geneva.
Minister Samarasinghe’s removal from the list has come as a result of a directive from the President, it has been revealed.
Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Removes his “Human Rights Special Envoy”Mahinda Samarasinghe from Sri Lanka Delegation to the UNHRC at Geneva in March’ »
Thirteen may be considered an unlucky number in the biblical sense and in popular culture but Angelo Mathews may not see it that way: he was appointed as Sri Lanka’s thirteenth test cricket captain last week and wasn’t complaining.
Angelo Davis Mathews is only twenty five years old. That makes him the youngest Sri Lankan captain in Sri Lanka’s three decades long test cricket history. Even the great Arjuna Ranatunga was a year older than him when the captaincy of the country’s cricket team was bestowed on him.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Youngest ever Captain Angelo Mathews is a Thinking Cricketer who is Mature Beyond his Years’ »
Top Police sources alleged yesterday that the controversial removal of the Moneragala Police division from DIG M.R.Lathif was prompted by an incident involving the arresting of illegal sand miners connected to Cabinet Minister Sumedha Jayasena of the Moneragala District.
Accordingly the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs elected from Moneragala district on the UPFA ticket had allegedly exerted pressure on Police officers to release, three men who were arrested while sand mining on the banks of Kumbukkan oya on December 27.
The minister had reportedly urged the Police officers at the arresting station, including senior officers overlooking the area to release the offenders stating “They are my men and the sand was to build my house”.
Continue reading ‘Cabinet Minister Sumedha Jayasena Exerts Political Pressure to Remove Police DIG Latiff for Arresting Illegal Sandminers “who were her men”’ »
(Text of the adjournment motion of which notice has been given to the speaker by TNA Leader and Trincomalee District MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan)
I hereby give notice that I shall move the following motion at the adjournment of Parliament on 20th February 2013:
On 15th February 2013 the Association for the displaced people of Valikamam North staged a Satyagraha – a token hunger strike at the Tellippalai Durgai Amman Temple premises in Jaffna from 8am to 4pm to demonstrate against their being prevented by the Sri Lankan Government and the Sri Lankan armed forces from resettling on lands owned and historically possessed by them from which they had been evicted on grounds of security during the war.
Continue reading ‘TNA Leader Sampanthan Gives Notice of Adjournment Motion Seeking Govt Action on Military Personnel who Disrupted non – Violent Fast at Durgai Amman Temple’ »
Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Strength Force- pic via BBC
Conquer anger by love, conquer evil by good, conquer the miser by liberality, conquer the liar by truth
The ancient Sufi shrine of Jailani lies off the beaten track in the village of Kuragela, in the Ratnapura District.
Sufi scholars say the hermitage shrine is believed to be where Sufi Saint Sheikh Muhiyadeen Abdul Qadir Jilani meditated for 12 years after making a pilgrimage to Adam’s Peak, the sacred mountain revered by Buddhists, Muslims and Christians alike.
Dennis B. McGilvray in a published paper about the Jailani shrine says that the site is said to have been a place of Muslim refuge and Sufi meditation from the beginning of the fourth century of the Islamic era (about 10th Century AD), with a discovered tombstone and Arabic inscriptions in the area supporting that view. The quiet cave mosque is a deserted place for the better part of the year, but during the kandoori festival to commemorate the death anniversary of Saint Muhiyadeen, Jailani plays hosts to large crowds of Muslim pilgrims for several weeks of prayer and meditation.
Continue reading ‘Covert Encouragement by Govt of Hardline Groups like Bodu Bala Sena, their Rhetoric and the Causes they Espouse’ »
Colombo/Brussels | 20 Feb 2013
As the UN Human Rights Council prepares to open its 22nd session next week, the Sri Lankan government has made no meaningful progress on either reconciliation or accountability and instead has accelerated the country’s authoritarian turn, with attacks on the judiciary and political dissent that threaten long-term stability and peace.
Sri Lanka’s Authoritarian Turn: The Need for International Action, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the government’s recent consolidation of power and sets out critical steps for an effective and coordinated international response.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Authoritarian Turn: The Need for International Action -Latest Report by International Crisis Group’ »
By Callum Mcrae
It is a war that has produced some truly terrible images, but this one is particularly disturbing. A young boy sits looking distressed, like a child who has been lost in a supermarket. He has been given a biscuit or some kind of snack. In the second photograph, he is looking anxiously up, as though hoping to see someone he recognises.
Digital image analysis by an expert for Channel 4 has confirmed that these this photograph showing 12-year-old Balachandran Prabakaran before and after he was shot dead, were taken with the same camera.
The boy is Balachandran Prabakaran, the 12-year-old son of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabakaran.
Continue reading ‘Photographs in New Channel 4 Documentary Reveal that Prabhakaran’s 12 year old Son Balachandran was Captured and Executed by Army’ »
Upul Joseph Fernando
A top echelon government leader who was in India recently, had reportedly made a very intriguing proposal to South Block leaders at a discussion relating to possible measures that could be adopted bilaterally to prevent Pakistani fundamentalists from infiltrating the Sri Lanka Muslim community.
He had proposed if India used its influence in the international sphere to protect Sri Lanka from the recurring charge of war crimes and Human Rights violations, it could, quid pro quo, take steps to effectively deactivate any Muslim fundamentalism in this country rendering it harmless to India.
Continue reading ‘Is Israel Whipping up Anti-Muslim Feelings in Sri Lanka Through Mossad Agents Embedded in Govt and Security Establishments?’ »
By Andrew Buncombe
New photographs have emerged which raise fresh questions about the conduct of Sri Lanka’s armed forces during the final stages of the operation against Tamil rebels and have led to claims the 12-year-old son of the militants’ leader may have been summarily executed.
Balachandran Prabhakaran after he was captured
A series of photographs taken a few hours apart and on the same camera, show Balachandran Prabhakaran, son of Villupillai Prabhakaran, head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Continue reading ‘LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s 12 Year old Son was Captured Alive, Handed a Snack and Shot Dead at Close Range Later’ »
A Special Correspondent
Pictures of LTTE leader Prabakaran’s son Balachandran in military custody before being shot dead evoked outrage and strong condemnation from political parties in Tamil Nadu.
Reacting to the report, based on photographs released by Channel 4 TV as part of a new video film on alleged war crimes in the end stage of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said she would express her views only after watching the full video.
DMDK leader Vijayakant said countries across the world should demand action against Mr Rajapaksa, his brothers and the Sri Lankan Army for the war crimes through the United Nations.
Continue reading ‘Prabhakaran’s son Balachandran’s Killing Evokes Outrage and Condemnation in Tamil Nadu’ »
Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka speaking to Daily Mirror online said the Army had “no information” about the deaths of slain LTTE leader V. Prabhakarans, “ wife, daughter and youngest son”.
“After the final battle which went on from 2009 May 17 night, 18 and 19th till about 10 o clock, we only recovered Prabakharans body together with about 400 other terrorist dead bodies, and his elder son’s body, his elder son Charles Anthony. These two bodies were personally identified by the present member, I think, of the cabinet Karuna Amman, who was the LTTE military wing leader at the time before he joined the government. He himself went and identified these two bodies” he said.
Continue reading ‘“When I was Army Commander we had no Information about Prabhakaran’s Wife,Daughter or Youngest Son” says Sarath Fonseka’ »
A Special Correspondent
Message from M. Karunanidhi ~ via his twitter timeline
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief, M. Karunanidhi, expressed shock on seeing the pictures of LTTE leader Prabakaran’s son Balachandran in military custody before being shot dead, according to M. K. Stalin, party treasurer.
Continue reading ‘DMK Chief “Karunanidhi Terribly Upset after Seeing Pictures of Prabhakaran’s son” says his son Stalin’ »
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA-The Channel 4 documentary featuring pictures of the alleged coldblooded killing of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaran’s 12-year-old son has been dismissed by Sri Lanka as “lies, half truths and numerous forms of speculation.”
The documentary titled ‘No War Zone-The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ is to be aired in Geneva at the next session of the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March.
The pictures have once again raised questions about the conduct of the Sri Lankan armed forces during the final stages of the operation against Tamil Tigers and dealt another blow to the government’s attempts to head off a critical resolution at the UNHRC.
Continue reading ‘Pictures of LTTE Chief’s son’s Alleged Killing Dismissed by Colombo as “Lies,Half-truths and Numerous Forms of Speculation”’ »
A Special Correspondent
Pictures of LTTE leader Prabakaran’s son Balachandran in military custody before being shot dead evoked shock and strong condemnation from political parties in Tamil Nadu.
Reacting to the report, based on photographs released by Channel 4 as part of a new video film on alleged war crimes in the end stage of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said she would express her views only after watching the full video.
Continue reading ‘Images of Prabhakaran’s son in Military Custody Before Being Shot Shock Tamil Nadu Political Leaders’ »
By Gagani Weerakoon
Ambassador Asitha Perera
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the Ministry of External Affairs to terminate the services of Sri Lankan Ambassador to Rome, Asitha Perera, following months-long protests by the Sri Lanka community and diplomatic staff in Italy.
Accordingly, the ministry yesterday dispatched the termination letter, signed by the Secretary to the Ministry, Karunaratne Amunugama.
Ministry sources said the termination letter demanded Ambassador Perera return to the country by 20 March 2013.
Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Orders External Affairs Ministry to Terminate Services of Asitha Perera Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Italy’ »
By Ishara Ratnakara
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday filed murder charges in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court, on the advice of the Attorney General, against 13 suspects including Parliamentarian Duminda Silva for the killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others. They were charged on 10 counts including murder, attempted murder and causing grievous injuries to Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, Mohamed Asmi, Damith Dharshana Jayatilleke and Manival Kumaraswamy at Mulleriyawa on 8 October 2011.
Continue reading ‘Police File Murder Charges in Courts Against 13 Suspects Including Duminda Silva MP for Killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and Three others’ »
by Kath Noble
We don’t seem to have learnt anything from the long list of journalists who have come under attack in Sri Lanka in recent years. Whenever an incident takes place, we do exactly the same things, and on each and every occasion, our response does nothing to prevent a recurrence.
The first step is condemnation. But why? Surely everybody agrees that it is wrong? Could anybody argue that the people who shot Faraz Shauketaly of The Sunday Leader on Friday did the right thing? No, so let’s not waste our time and energy. That such violence is appalling should be treated as so obvious that it simply doesn’t need to be said.
Then comes our dutiful reporting of what the President says about it, no matter how disingenuous his statement.
Continue reading ‘We Dont Seem to Have Learnt Anything from the Long List of Journalists who have come under Attack in Sri Lanka in Recent Years’ »
By Shamindra Ferdinando
Inquiries into Sri Lanka’s involvement in the US extraordinary rendition programme have revealed that the then US President George W. Bush personally intervened in 2003 to have a wanted foreign al-Qaeda suspect extradited from Sri Lanka to an unknown destination.
Highly placed sources told The Island that only the then Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, Defence Minister Tilak Marapone, Defence Secretary Austin Fernando and Minister Milinda Moragoda had been aware of the transfer of the prisoner carried out after consultations between the two governments at the highest level. The Sri Lankan government had to operate on the so-called need-to-know basis.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Hunted down Foreign Al -Qaeda Suspect in Puttalam and Handed him over to the CIA in Sedated Condition to be Flown out of Colombo on Special plane with False US papers to an Interrogation Facility’ »
(Geneva, February 19, 2013) – At its March 2013 session, the United Nations Human Rights Council should authorize an independent, international investigation into war crimes committed during the final months of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to council members today.
Since the council adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka at its March 2012 session calling for action, the Sri Lankan government has taken no significant steps to provide justice for victims of abuse and accountability for those responsible.
Continue reading ‘UN Human Rights Council must Authorize Independent International Investigation into Sri Lanka war Crimes -Human Rights Watch’ »
TNA MP and Lawyer MA Sumanthiran arguing for the CPA petition showed that the illegitimate impeachment process led to a fraudulent appointment to the office of Chief Justice against which legal challenges were a necessity. This type of conflict within the judicial setup could seriously erode public faith in the institution of the judiciary and its capacity for independence from the political system. On the other hand the petition brings to light the ridiculous situation that arises from the existence, in effect of two Chief Justices – one whose removal was declared unlawful and is therefore invalid and the other whose appointment thus becomes simply a fraud.
Obviously the Mahinda regime cannot go on with this absurdity. They plan to reverse the court rulings to legitimise the new regime at Hulftsdorp, and the Government believes it could put an end to the anarchy created by their own folly in the judiciary.
But this erasure of history by the ruling administration would only ever make a difference domestically, where it is becoming almost impossible to stall the regime’s constant and concerted consolidation of power, at the virtual exclusion of all other national concerns.
Continue reading ‘Formation of “Protest of the Opposition” has Exposed Regime’s Supreme Indifference to Democratic Norms, Human Rights and Rule of Law’ »
By Ashwin Hemmathagama
Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday pointed out the continuation of ethnic and communal violence taking place in some parts of the country and emphasised on the urgency of finding a firm solution to defuse the increasing tension between the Sinhalese and the Muslims.
“The Police reports that no incidents have taken place in Hiriyala and Kurunegala are incorrect. There is continuing tension in the area. Therefore, will the Government have an independent inquiry into this matter consulting the Provincial Council members and Members of Parliament who have made complaints and brought this to the notice of the Police?” he said.
Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Emphasises Urgency of Finding Firm Solution to Defuse Increasing Tension Between Sinhalese and Muslims’ »
Reading reports of the recent manifestation in Maharagama, I cannot, as a political scientist, avoid the clear, decided conclusion that what we are witnessing is nothing less than the emergence of an ethno-religious fascist movement from the dark underside of Sinhala society.
It is what the political philosophers Hannah Arendt and Reinhold Niebuhr (and more recently, Alan Wolfe) characterised as ‘political evil’.Those who expend much polemical powder and shot identifying President Rajapaksa as a Hitleresque fascist, now have a real movement that fits the bill far more closely).
Continue reading ‘Emergence of Ethno-Religious Fascist Movement from the Dark Underside of Sinhala Society’ »
By Sarath Kumara
Sri Lanka’s army commander, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, has presented a report rejecting evidence of the military’s involvement in war crimes and human rights abuses during the civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that ended in May 2009.
The report, handed to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse on January 25, also represents a direct political intervention. It challenges the findings and proposals of the government’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), and makes policy recommendations to undermine democratic rights and consolidate the ongoing military occupation of the North and East of the island.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Army Commander Presents report to Defence Secretary Rejecting Military’s Involvement in War Crimes and Human Rights Abuses’ »
By Nanda Wickremasinghe
After a visit to Colombo last month, a delegation of senior US officials declared that Washington would table another resolution on human rights violations in Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in early March.
The delegation, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Moore, concluded its three-day visit on January 28 after meeting with Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, external affairs officials and opposition United National Party (UNP) and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leaders.
Continue reading ‘TNA Fostering Deadly Illusion that Democratic Rights of Tamils Can be Secured by Appealing to US Imperialism’ »
Sri Lanka was for decades an example of how sectarian conflict can wreck an otherwise fortunate country. It has had three years to show how devolving power to an ethnic minority can bring about lasting peace. Now it looks as if the opportunity will be lost.
Sri Lanka paid an enormous price to bring 26 years of civil war to an end. An estimated 40,000 people died in the last months of fighting in 2009, bringing the conflict’s final toll to more than 100,000. This includes a sitting president, Ranasinghe Premadasa, and a former Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, who were killed in suicide bombings by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Continue reading ‘Don’t Let the Rajapaksas Ruin Sri Lanka -Bloomberg’ »
N Sathiya Moorthy
A piquant situation may have arisen in Maldives, on the domestic front and also for its relations with India, after the trial court in suburban Hulhumale’ issued a second order to the nation’s police to produce former President Mohammed Nasheed, who has been in the Indian High Commission in capital Male, for standing trial in the ‘Judge Abdulla abduction case’, at 4 pm on Wednesday, 20 February. The police is said to have approached the Maldivian Foreign Ministry, which in turn is expected to ask the Indian High Commission to help comply with the court orders.
Continue reading ‘Ex-Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed Cant Stay Indefinitely at Indian Mission in Male says Indian Foreign Minister’ »
(Text of Statement Endorsed by 63 Civil Society Organizations)
In recent months there has been an increased outpouring of virulent anti‐Muslim sentiment by persons claiming to speak for all Sinhala Buddhists.
Organized groups led by Buddhist monks have held public meetings, distributed pamphlets, and made press statements. Articles in mainstream Sinhala and English newspapers have propagated ethnic and religious hatred. In addition, there have been hate campaigns via SMS, email, and face book.
Continue reading ‘63 Civil Society Organizations Condemn Recent Increase in Virulent Anti Muslim Rhetoric and Attacks’ »
(Over a hundrd members of the Christian Clergy serving in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka have appealed to the United Nations Human Rights Council that a strong and action oriented resolution in relation to accountability, reconciliation and human rights in Sri Lanka going beyond the resolution adopted at the 19th session of the Council should be passed at the forthcoming sessions in Geneva. The full text of the letter and list of signatories led by the Catholic Bishop of Mannar Diocese Most Rev Dr.Joseph Rayappu are posted here)
Mannar Bishop Rev. Rayappu Joseph in discussion with High Commissioner John Rankin ~ (July 2012) ~ pic: UKinSriLanka
To: The President and all members of the UN Human Rights Council
Call for a strong and action oriented resolution on Sri Lanka at the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council
Continue reading ‘Christian Clergy from North and East Want UN Human Rights Council to Pass Strong Action-Oriented Resolution on Sri Lanka’ »
by Izeth Hussain
The murder by the Saudi authorities, in the gruesome form of a public beheading, of the innocent Sri Lankan maiden Rizana Nafeek is now in the past, and it might be thought that no good will come of dwelling on it. I believe on the contrary that certain aspects of that murder still merit consideration.
In this article I want to comment mainly on that murder in relation to the Sharia, which is regarded as the Divine Law of Islam. I want to show in the process that this is a matter of importance not just to the Sri Lankan Muslims but to the Sri Lankan nation as a whole.
Continue reading ‘The Gruesome Murder of Rizana Nafeek Through Public Beheading by Saudi Authorities’ »
by Shamindra Ferdinando
A top level investigation has revealed that Sri Lanka not only allowed the use of its only international airport at Katunayake for flights associated with US extraordinary rendition project but also handed over a terror suspect apprehended on its soil to US agents.
The then UNP-led UNF government had arrested the wanted foreign national following the US government making representations, in the wake of an international hunt for key al-Qaeda operatives. Sources said that the suspect’s nationality was yet not known.
Authoritative sources told The Island that the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga, in spite of being the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, hadn’t been informed of the UNF’s decision to facilitate the secret operation.
Continue reading ‘UNP led UNF Govt of Ranil Handed over key Al-Quaeda Operative Apprehended in Sri Lanka to the USA Without Chandrika’s Knowledge’ »
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday ordered officials to bring all international schools operating in the country under a regulatory mechanism. He stressed that the younger generation should not be led astray.
The President was speaking at the Education Ministry progress review meeting at the Ministry auditorium yesterday.
Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa to Bring new Legislation to Bring all International Schools under Single Regulatory Mechanism’ »
By Hejaaz Hizbullah
When the big international fast food chains came to Sri Lanka they did not have Halal certification. However, subsequently most of these chains went ‘Halal’. This had nothing to do with any ‘Islamist’ conspiracy to take-over Sri Lanka. It was a pure case of demand and supply and the pursuit of profit.
The same applies to Islamic banking. There is nothing surprising about almost every player in the financial services market providing Islamic banking as bankers want to make money in as many ways as they can. So this whole brouhaha about ‘Halal’ really defies logic. The only reason why the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulema [ACJU] is a body of choice is that it’s the only body that the Muslim consumers accept and find legitimate and in marketing – consumer is king.
Continue reading ‘It is not the Muslim Consumer but Businesses that Crave for “Halal” certification recognition’ »
By Risidra Mendis
There are only a few places in the world, where the amazing beauty of the largest mammals on Earth, can be observed from close proximity. And Sri Lanka is one of those fortunate paradises, where the gigantic sea mammals, whales, come closer to the shores, giving an opportunity for humans to observe their frolics in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
Mirissa is one of the choice locations of the whale watchers, who in their dozens, go out to the sea in motorboats with diesel powered engines, in order to get close to the whales.
Continue reading ‘Blue Whales Moving Away from Shore to Deep Sea at Mirissa Due to Increasing Whale-watching Vessels’ »
By Gagani Weerakoon
Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith
The sudden announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI earlier last week took millions of Christians, and others, around the world quite by surprise, as it was the first time a resignation of a Pope was announced in 600 years.
The responsibility of appointing the next Pope lies with the College of Cardinals. Deliberations would take place within the four walls of the Papal Conclave. However, the fact that, Archbishop of Colombo, His Eminence Albert Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has been named by the Forbes Magazine as one of the favourites to be elected to Papacy, was indeed a joyful news, not only for the Catholic fraternity of the country, but the entire Sri Lankan populace.
Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith the only Person From Asia Named in List of 18 Potential Popes Published by Forbes Magazine’ »
Faraz Shaukatally at the hospital
It was Friday, 15 February and the time was around 11:15 p.m. Barnes Avenue was quiet as usual, a residential lane off Hotel Road in Mount Lavinia, dotted with a few rest houses including ‘Oceania Blue’.
Suddenly, the dogs in the neighbourhood began barking incessantly. Nobody heard the running feet. Having finished his week’s work, The Sunday Leader journalist, Faraz Shaukatally has reached home and was speaking on the telephone, with a colleague from the newspaper.
Continue reading ‘The Attack on “Sunday Leader”Journalist Faraz Shaukatally at “Oceania Blue” in Mt.Lavinia’ »
by D.B.S. JEYARAJ
“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” – William Congreve “The Mourning Bride”
Renowned Actor and Filmmaker Kamal Haasan’s Magnum Opus”Vishwaroopam”is now running to packed movie theatres in the South Indian state of “Tamil Nadu” and elsewhere. The film produced in Tamil and Hindi and dubbed in the Telugu language has raked in more than Rupees 1200 Million within a week in India
Pooja Kumar & Kamal Hassan in ‘Vishwaroopam’ premiere, Los Angeles, USA
The brouhaha surrounding the film’s ban in Tamil Nadu is over and it appears that the controversial crisis was a blessing in disguise helping to break Box office records.
Continue reading ‘Vindictive Jayalalithaas ‘Vishwaroopam’ Against ‘Vishwaroopam’ Film’ »
By Ranga Jayasuriya
Kirama Wimalajothi Thera, Leader of the controversial Sinhala Buddhist organization, Bodu Bala Sena, in an interview with Ceylon Today answers some pertinent questions about the objectives of the organization and why the organization does not accept the multi-cultural, multi religious compositions of Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena has not got Money from the President,Defence Secretary or Even Norway says its Leader Kirama Wimalajothi Thera’ »
(Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran is interviewed by Arthur Wamanan of The Nation )
Q: TNA is part of the common opposition coalition with the UNP. On what basis are you part of such a coalition?
This joint opposition was formed sometime ago when the fuel prices went up. The parties came together and started agitations throughout the country. We had our very first protest outside the Fort Railway Station. We have had frequent protests. What happened the other day was only a formalization process. And even in the Memorandum of Understanding that was brought forward that day, it was clearly stated that the parties could have their own political agendas and ideologies. But this coalition was formed for the purpose of protesting against this particular regime identified as the Rajapaksa regime for the various injustices the people have to suffer at the hands of this regime.
Continue reading ‘Military Cannot Take High Ground and Threaten Legal Action Against the TNA – MA Sumanthiran’ »
Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.
Sri Lanka is full of conspiracy theories. There are many reasons for this, not least the fact that theorising about conspiracies is a universal practice, and we in Sri Lanka are victims of this as well as practitioners.
Then there is the fact that conspiracy theories are fun. Since they necessarily assume that evidence must be shadowy, they allow those with vivid imaginations to pursue their pet agendas under the guise of creative thinking. And since the conspiracies one discovers are the responsibility of others, one can promote one’s own conspiratorial efforts in the belief that they are mere reactions.
However, we must also remember that even if we, like perhaps all other nations, are paranoid in considering our own interests, that does not mean that others are not out to get us – or, rather, all others, like ourselves, want to pursue their own interests, and do not mind if we or anyone else goes to the wall in the process. This is obvious on first principles, as Thucydides so succinctly put it over two thousand years ago. And as was the case when Thucydides wrote, all nations try to conceal their pursuit of self interest by claiming that they are acting on principle. Where this is obviously not the case, the claim is that the other breached principles first.
Continue reading ‘Our External Affairs Ministry Continues with Its Efforts to Persecute Our Former Envoy to UN in Geneva Ms.Tamara Kunanayakam’ »
The third phase of the Presidential Initiative ‘English as a life skill’ through which the President takes English language skills across the country with a special focus on Spoken English, is being launched by him from Temple Trees in the morning of Tuesday the 19th of February 2013.
Releasing the creativity latent within the state education system
For the first time in the history of language teaching and learning in our schools, a set of 50 English language learning DVDs for grades 10 and 11 are being launched together with a toolbox of activities for Spoken English, grades 6 – 11, to be used in the public school system.
Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa to Launch Third Phase of ‘English as a Life Skill” at “Temple Trees”on February 19th’ »
(It is vital that all political parties should have trust in each other in order to work as a team senior UNP Parliamentarian Karu Jayasuriya pointed out, adding that failure to do so would only result in this Government dividing and causing further damage to the Opposition. In the recent past there were opportunities to do away with this regime. If there was a strong combined Opposition, a much more vigorous challenge would have been presented to the Government, he noted).
Following are excerpts from the interview:
Continue reading ‘“The Love and Affection of Party Cadres in the UNP Towards me have not Changed” – Karu Jayasuriya’ »
By Dharisha Bastians
pic via: twitter.com/BoduBalaSena
This is a Government created by Sinhala Buddhists and it must remain Sinhala Buddhist, the Buddhist extremist organization Bodu Bala Sena resolved at a massive rally in Maharagama yesterday.
In an address charged with provocative ethno-religious rhetoric, Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to ensure the protection of the “sacred Sinhala franchise” that swept him into power.
Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Issues Ultimatum at Maharagama Rally to Rajapaksa Govt Demanding Ban on ‘Halal’ Certification by March 31st’ »
Wijaya Kumaratunga & Chandrika Kumaratunga
Wijaya was brutally gunned down outside our home on February 16, 1988. Wijaya was my life’s partner and we raised two children, but he did not live to see them grow up. We shared a vision for our country and sought a solution for its burning issues based on humaneness, equality, justice and plurality.
Towards this, we journeyed together and he took many daring and unconventional initiatives and made many sacrifices, including going to jail for his beliefs when the powers that were felt threatened. He made the ultimate sacrifice, as also other great leaders and brave civilians in our nation have, in the cause of their beliefs.
Continue reading ‘Wijaya Kumaratunga Played a Unique Role in Politics Promoting his Vision of a United Sri Lanka Where Justice and Equality would Reign Supreme’ »
Faraz Shauketaly, who writes for the Sunday Leader, is treated after being shot at his home in Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka. pic courtesy: Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters ~ via Guardian UK
“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts”.
Patrick Henry (Speech at the Second Virginia Convention 1775)
Until now, those who incurred the wrath of the Rajapaksas were unsafe only when they ventured out of their homes.
That last refuge of the persecuted might be vanishing. Faraz Shauketaly of The Sunday Leader was shot in his place of residence.
The three gunmen escaped, naturally. In Sri Lanka, some criminals never get caught.
Why was Mr. Shauketaly shot? The answer will be revealed by the manner in which his case is handled. If the crime is non-political, the culprits will be apprehended. But if Mr. Shauketaly was shot because of his journalistic investigations, the perpetrators will remain as free as the wind, as free as those who killed Lasantha Wickremetunga four years ago.
Continue reading ‘The Politics of Hatred from Jathika Hela Urumaya to Bodu Bala Sena’ »
Last week, SL sought support from the IMF which it did not get, and this has provided an opportunity for the opposition to charge that the SL economy is on the back foot.
In the meantime, minister Wimal Weerawansa started publicly attacking the Treasury Secretary as an ‘economic assassin’ one of the charges being that PBJ was masquerading as the ‘god of loans’ and misleading the government into making wrong economic decisions. Among the matters raised by Wimal was the government’s unsuccessful bid to recruit 50,000 unemployed youth and graduates into the government service.
Continue reading ‘Why the IMF Turned down Sri Lanka’s Request for Budgetary Support’ »
If there is anything that the latest report that Navi Pillai, the UN Human Rights Commissioner, has issued on Sri Lanka should teach us, it is that a reasoned response is not the best way to react to this kind of document.
Besides, there is nothing more unpleasant and tedious than a nagging foreigner citing various documents and claiming that we have not done this or that.
Continue reading ‘As Long as Western Powers Need to Safeguard Israel at the UN They will not Go Beyond Passing UN Resolutions on Sri Lanka’ »
By Shamindra Ferdinando
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that a recently set up political grouping led by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was trying to arouse communal feelings among Tamil speaking people living in the Jaffna peninsula.
Rajapaksa charged that an attempt was being made to exploit the continuing presence of troops at Palaly to cause dissension in Jaffna.
The Defence Secretary was responding to Wickremesinghe’s Friday declaration at Tellippalai, Jaffna that Palaly high security zone could be dismantled without jeopardizing security in the peninsula. Addressing a gathering opposite Durga Amman kovil in Tellippalai, Wickremesinghe accused President Mahinda Rajapaksa of being greedy for private property not only in the north but Colombo and its suburbs as well.
Continue reading ‘Ranil Asked me to Release the Ancestral House of his Associate Charlie Mahendran in Kokkuvil that had been Used by the LTTE Reveals Gota’ »
BY N Sathiya Moorthy
Independent of India’s vote, if it came to that at the UNHRC meeting at Geneva in March, there is an urgent need to de-politicise the nation’s ‘Sri Lanka policy’ nearer home.
TESO Event on Nov 12 2012 marking the meeting with UN officials- pic: twitter.com/Kaiaignar89
This has more to do with the attitude and approach of political parties in southern state of Tamil Nadu, where the two ‘Dravidian majors’ are vying with each other and also peripheral groups, on what’s good for the Sri Lankan Tamils in that country, and consequently what should be New Delhi’s Sri Lanka policy.
Continue reading ‘Suspicion in Sri Lankan Political Circles About Excessive Influence of “Tamil Nadu Factor”in India’s Sri Lanka Policy is Based on Ignorance’ »