Why has Former SLFP and Current UNP Parliamentarian Mayantha Dissanayake Who was in the Company of the Asgiriya Mahanayake Thero Not said a Single word Against or Distanced Himself from the Prelate’s Incendiary Sermon?

by Sanjana Hattotuwa

“Why isn’t anything going on in the senate?
Why are the senators sitting there without legislating?
Because the barbarians are coming today.
What’s the point of senators making laws now?
Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating”

Waiting for the Barbarians, C P Cavafy

To condone the stoning of Muslims. To boycott their shops and businesses. To say that eating from Muslim shops poisons Sinhala Buddhists and makes them sterile. To say that a Muslim doctor had destroyed thousands of Sinhalese children. To say that the Rule of Law doesn’t work. This is no longer the domain of fringe lunacy, or a renegade monk. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero is the Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter. He said all this and in public. To my mind, this is by order of magnitude worse than and indeed, going by statements made after Rathana Thero’s farcical fast, entirely counter to more conciliatory sentiments expressed by Gnanasara Thero, who isn’t known for his pacifism or love towards Muslims. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero’s statement – because of his seniority – take on added significance.

In 2017, the Asgiriya Prelate, following a meeting of the senior most prelates in the ‘Karaka Sangha Sabha’, condoned Gnanasara Thero’s virulent words and violent actions, despite the awful harm informed, influenced or inspired by the BBS against the Muslims for years and a campaign of vicious hate directed against Sandya Eknaligoda. After Easter Sunday, the racism of the Sri Lankan astate is in full view and indubitable. And every day brings its further entrenchment or, for the more cynical, evidence around how much and to what degree, Sinhala Buddhist majoritarianism is and will forever be what animates policies and politics.

Take for example, the President’s sentiments as reported in the media, a few days after the Asgiriya Prelate’s incitement to violence and hate. In Hanguranketha, opening – as one must– a new temple, the President noted in the presence of the Asgiriya Prelate that “the country will never head in the wrong direction if… leaders act on the advice and guidance of the Mahasangha”. That the highest political office has not a word to say against the racism and hate sown by one of the highest Prelate’s in the country comes as little surprise, given the Presidential pardon to Gnanasara Thero last month. At the time of writing, Mangala Samaraweera is the only MP to condemn the Asgiriya Prelate’s speech publicly. Samaraweera is on record question why the SLPP and factions of the SLFP are silent. This is pertinent since the Prelate noted the Sangha’s joy around the news that, apparently, Chamal Rajapaksa would be the next President, just before his homily of hate.

Continue reading ‘Why has Former SLFP and Current UNP Parliamentarian Mayantha Dissanayake Who was in the Company of the Asgiriya Mahanayake Thero Not said a Single word Against or Distanced Himself from the Prelate’s Incendiary Sermon?’ »

“The most venerable chief prelate of Asgiriya is unlikely to be held accountable for uttering words which are in gross violation of both the Buddha’s teachings and the country’s laws”


By

Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Muslim people don’t love us… I say don’t go to those shops. Don’t eat or drink from those shops…. It is clear that they are a group who gave poison to our people, who tried to destroy our people… I think that the younger generation who eats (from them) will not have children in the future…. Also everyone knows what a doctor-gentleman did in Matale. Lakhs of our children were destroyed. These traitors should not be allowed to live free. Some upasakammas said they must be stoned to death (gal gahala maranna ona). I don’t say that. But that is what should be done… Laws and regulations won’t work.”

The Most Venerable Maha Nayake of the Asgiriya Chapter (https://youtu.be/P7AVLSm2I_Aset – Translation mine)

Once upon a not-so-long-ago time, evil fundamentalists devised a vile plot to tarnish the pristine image of venerable monks by infecting them with HIV. “I got information that fundamentalists at a meeting in Kurunegala had decided to eliminate Buddhism from this country,” Ellawala Medhananda thero, leader of the JHU claimed. “Part of their plan is to infect the monks with the HIV virus” (The Sunday Times – 19.8.2007).

This was 2007; and the fundamentalist enemy plotting and planning to ‘eliminate Buddhism from this country’ was not Muslim but Christian. Their chosen weapon against Sinhala-Buddhists was conversion, supplemented by vilification and murder. “Fundamentalist groups had made videos showing young men dressed in yellow robes of a Buddhist monk in intimacy with women,” Ellawala Medhananda Thero claimed (The Sunday Times – 19.8. 2007).

When Gangodawila Soma Thero joined the ranks of those felled by the Russian Winter (including the great Napoleon’s army), his death was called murder, and Christians, his murderers. Just days after his demise, the Sasana Sevaka Sangamaya, a lay organization formed by Soma Thero claimed that Christian fundamentalists who killed him are also planning to kill Ellawala Medananda Thero, and have paid US $24,000 to achieve this aim.

As late as in December 2009, Christian fundamentalists were accused of murdering a monk who was endeavouring to stop a wave of Christianisation in Anuradhapura. A video claiming that Ratmalane Seelavansa Thero, the head of Soma Himi Chinthana Padanama (Soma Thero Thinking Foundation), was murdered by the modern day crusaders is still available on the internet. The Videos is tellingly titled, This is how Christian fundamentalists kill Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka.

Gangodawila Soma Thero was the godfather of that wave of anti-Christianity. It reached the zenith of insanity in the months after his death. At his funeral, several monks called for a holy war. Two months later, at a gathering of the Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya, Omalpe Sobhita thero identified Tiger terrorism and missionary terrorism as the two main and coeval challenges facing Sri Lanka. He also claimed that the LTTE was a Christian movement. Soon afterwards, Lakshman Kadirgamar felt compelled to issue a public statement denying a rumour that he was a Jehovah’s Witness, a grim warning about the degree to which the germs of religious hysteria and intolerance had permeated the country.

This relentless fear mongering about Christians caused a spike in attacks on churches in late 2003 and early 2004. A report on the fate of an old established Catholic Church in Pannipitiya, a few miles away from Colombo, makes chilling reading. A mob, including two monks, descended on Our Lady of Lourdes Church on December 28th morning. They “broke in through the doors by force and demolished our crosses, the crucifix, lamp shades, roof, organ stand and the pews” (UCA News – 1.2.2004). The mob, which also dismembered statues of the Virgin Mary in the church’s grotto, reportedly assembled at a nearby Buddhist temple earlier that morning. That same modus operandi would be used a decade later against Muslim businesses and religious establishments.

This is not ancient history, but vignettes from the very recent past. Just 12 years ago, Christian fundamentalist doctors were accused of planning to infect monks with HIV. The accusation might seem laughable now, but then it was no laughing matter. The accusation wasn’t backed by even an iota of evidence, but that lack didn’t bother the true believers. They were willing to believe anything about Christians then, just as they are willing to believe anything about the Muslims now.

Continue reading ‘“The most venerable chief prelate of Asgiriya is unlikely to be held accountable for uttering words which are in gross violation of both the Buddha’s teachings and the country’s laws”’ »

What we Hear From Senior Buddhist Priests Indicate that Overtly Racist Sentiments are not Confined to the ‘lunatic fringe’ of the Clergy alone as some Mistakenly Believed.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

This week, a small child died of malnutrition in Tissamaharama at the same time that Sri Lanka’s Parliament debated the passing of millions of public funds to purchase luxury vehicles for Ministers as well as former President and current Opposition Leader, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Laid out in her white coffin, dark and pitifully small, her mother and father could only weep that they tried to provide for their family as best they could. Another child, when asked what he had for food that day, said ‘boiled rice,’ smiling all the while in contrast to the agony of his spoken words.

Sri Lanka resembles this wretched child, cut down scarcely before the country was able to grow to full strength from its immediate post-independence promise. Make no mistake about this. The skeletal remains of our so-called two thousand five hundred year old civilization are already being laid out in the coffin. Bereft of enlightened political and religious leadership, menacingly dark tides of venom and hatred are being indulged to the point of insanity as its poor is pushed to the edge of existence.

The skeletal remains of our nation

There is a palpable irony at play. Those who were killed in the Easter attacks by jihadists in April this year were predominantly Catholic and Christian. To their credit and despite other misjudgements, (political or otherwise as the case may be), the head of the Catholic Church and his priests moved swiftly to console their flock, urging calmness and restraint. A few days ago, Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, addressing the media in Rome, faltered as he spoke of Sri Lanka’s ‘empty houses’ of death in Katuwapitiya and elsewhere. But are the dead not being mocked now as senior Buddhist priests act in supreme defiance of the compassionate teachings of the Gautama Buddha, quite apart from politicians quarrelling as to who will next steal from the public purse?

Continue reading ‘What we Hear From Senior Buddhist Priests Indicate that Overtly Racist Sentiments are not Confined to the ‘lunatic fringe’ of the Clergy alone as some Mistakenly Believed.’ »

“Lack of action against Warakagoda Sri Gnanrathana Thero’s Hateful and Harmful Speech Reflects the Sinhala Buddhist Hegemonic Majoritarianism that Prevails in the Country” Says TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran

Muslims in Sri Lanka say they fear new attacks after a top Buddhist monk called for violence against members of the religious minority, claiming a Muslim doctor had sterilised thousands of Buddhist women.

Activists, politicians and members of the Muslim minority said Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero’s speech last week was likely to fan communal tensions, weeks after Buddhist mobs attacked scores of Muslim homes and businesses.

The riots were an apparent response to deadly bombings on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday that killed more than 250 people and were claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) group. Sri Lankan authorities blamed the attacks on two small Muslim groups.

Continue reading ‘“Lack of action against Warakagoda Sri Gnanrathana Thero’s Hateful and Harmful Speech Reflects the Sinhala Buddhist Hegemonic Majoritarianism that Prevails in the Country” Says TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran’ »

In Tenuous Times: Mervyn de Silva’s Progressive Liberalism From the South

by

Jayantha Somasundaram

Mervyn de Silva 20TH Death Anniversary: June 22nd


“Wandering between two worlds, one dead/The other powerless to be born”

– Matthew Arnold

On June 22 1999, as the twentieth century drew to an end, Mervyn de Silva left us. At that time, one could sense that with his passing, an era in the literary history of Sri Lanka had ended. Because he was the last of a glorious age of journalism. He belonged to an illustrious tradition of English journalism in Sri Lanka that gave us H. A. J. Hulugalle, Jayantha Padmanabha, Tarzie Vittachi and Denzil Peiris. They were brilliant editors who provided us with not just world-class newspapers; they were also erudite men who helped build a Ceylonese literati that any society can be proud of.

Today, three years after his departure, it is time for considered reflection on Mervyn, his life and his contribution. His literary pilgrimage took him through three stages. The first began with the liberal education that he received at Royal and Peradeniya. Here he acquired and imbibed all that was admirable in Western culture, literature and thought. And he was able to transform these literary skills into a career in journalism at Lake House that climaxed in the early seventies with him becoming Editor of the Daily News and the Sunday Observer.

By then he was Sri Lanka’s best-known journalist. He would cover and report on the country for the most prestigious international journals: The Economist, Newsweek and The Financial Times (London). He also reported for the BBC. As a foreign correspondent he was the driving force behind the Foreign Correspondents’ Association, serving as its president. He left an indelible mark on journalism in this country.

But he went beyond being just another literary dilettante. The rise of nationalism that came with the post-colonial years interacted with and impacted on his Western sophistication to give this country, for the first time, an editor who was liberal in the most profound sense of the word, in that he was sensitive to the aspirations of the emerging Sinhala and Tamil speaking world. History provided us at this critical juncture in time, with someone who was not just adrift between two worlds but a link between two dimensions of Ceylonese life.

Continue reading ‘In Tenuous Times: Mervyn de Silva’s Progressive Liberalism From the South’ »

How Credible, Unprejudiced and Impartial Can the Committee of Inquiry Appointed by President Sirisena be When It Consists of Ex- IGP N.K.Illangakoon and former Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order, Pathmasiri Jayamanne?

By

S.Sandarage

I observed the news item in relation to the order issued by the Attorney General Dappula de Livera to Acting Inspector General Chandana Wickramaratne to take disciplinary action against the nine police officers including three DIGs. This order was based on the final report of the three-member presidential committee which investigated lapses that allowed the April 21 suicide bombings.

This news has come as a surprise to everyone because the interim reports of the committee had earlier suggested that former IGP, Pujitha Jayasundera, former Defence Secretary, Hemasiri Fernando and former National Intelligence Chief, Sisira Mendis were responsible for the attack.

All the three appeared before the Parliament Select Committee and gave shocking evidence that surprised the public. Whatever the case may be, the formation of the committee itself has negative impacts on its credibility.

Continue reading ‘How Credible, Unprejudiced and Impartial Can the Committee of Inquiry Appointed by President Sirisena be When It Consists of Ex- IGP N.K.Illangakoon and former Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order, Pathmasiri Jayamanne?’ »

Sri Lanka’s Eligible Bachelor Namal Rajapaksa MP to Marry the Only daughter of Thilak Weerasinghe and Aruni Wickramarathna on September 17 This Year.

(Excerpted from the “Sunday Times” of Sri Lanka)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, declared India’s cherubic High Commissioner, Taranjit Singh Sandhu at a recent lecture, is “not only the leader of the largest democracy in the world, but also a leader with the largest popular mandate in the world.”

True. There are more attributes to Premier Modi. One that did not go unnoticed during his four-hour visit to Sri Lanka last Sunday is his ability to recognise faces.

The son, Namal Rajapaksa looked very much a replica of his father Mahinda in the traditional, immaculate white national dress and the kurakkan shawl around their necks. The difference, as one Indian close protection group guy said, was the size. One was bigger and the other smaller. “They look like two dolls,” he joked.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Eligible Bachelor Namal Rajapaksa MP to Marry the Only daughter of Thilak Weerasinghe and Aruni Wickramarathna on September 17 This Year.’ »

The Singling Out of Rishad Bathiudeen as a Political Target

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The orchestrated political campaign by the Mahinda Rajapaksa -led opposition in association with sections of the Buddhist clergy and mainstream media against three prominent Muslim politicians has ostensibly succeeded. The stated aim of the campaign was to secure the dismissal, resignation and/or arrest of two Provincial Governors and a Cabinet Minister. Eastern province Governor MLAM Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley have both resigned their posts. Industries and Commerce minister Rishad Bathiudeen has also relinquished his post and made his exit in spectacular mode. All his Muslim colleagues in Government joined Rishad in tendering their joint resignations voluntarily. In an unprecedented mass resignation , nine Muslims from three political parties comprising four cabinet ministers, four state ministes and a deputy minister resigned their portfolios together.

Samurdhi event in Mannar district, June 8, 2019


Continue reading ‘The Singling Out of Rishad Bathiudeen as a Political Target’ »

Terrorism can be fought, and sustainable socio-economic development can be guaranteed only by a strong efficient democratic State.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

Sri Lanka faced and fought a terrorist threat for thirty years and prevailed, ten years ago. Just recently, on Easter Sunday, we were confronted by a new terrorist threat.

So, Sri Lanka is not apologetic, when I say that we view all these problems through the prism of the existential threat that terrorism in all its forms poses to Sri Lanka, a small island.

Terrorism can be fought, and sustainable socio-economic development can be guaranteed only by a strong State. By a strong State I do not mean a dictatorial State, a totalitarian State, an authoritarian State. Sri Lanka has never had any of that, we’ve always had a democratic State. But, whatever the form of the State, there has to be a State, which is strong, and which is efficient. There is no other way, in which development and security can be ensured and the threat from terrorism can be met.

We have to ask ourselves: why has there been a proliferation of terrorism in recent decades? Terrorism has existed for a long time, but why has there been a proliferation? Why has there been a proliferation of hybrid warfare? Hybrid warfare itself is perhaps a hundred years old, there were foreign troops on the soil of Russia after the 1917 Revolution, but why has there been a proliferation of hybrid warfare? What is the relationship between the two?

Continue reading ‘Terrorism can be fought, and sustainable socio-economic development can be guaranteed only by a strong efficient democratic State.’ »

Sajith Premadasa Will Contest the Presidential Elections With the Blessings of Ranil Wickremesinghe and Become the Next President Says Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala.

By

Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya

Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala said yesterday that Minister Sajith Premadasa will definitely be the next President of the country and that he would get the blessings of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in this regard.

She made this prediction on the occasion of the 204th model village, named “Katurodagama,’ that was constructed at Bungiriya in Kahawatta being vested in the public yesterday with the patronage Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs Minister Sajith Premadasa.

Continue reading ‘Sajith Premadasa Will Contest the Presidential Elections With the Blessings of Ranil Wickremesinghe and Become the Next President Says Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala.’ »

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Catigates Govt for Lack of Responsibility and Blame Passing Over Easter Bombings Saying Even Even President’s “own culpability in the matter might be in question, so they are trying to hide it”

The Head of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka on Thursday issued a scathing criticism of the Government over the Easter attacks that killed more than 250 people, decrying a “total lack of interest” in determining why intelligence reports were ignored.

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith spoke of his frustrations just hours before he was due to meet Pope Francis and show the pontiff a video with graphic images of the 21 April attacks on three churches and four hotels. The attacks were claimed by Islamic State militants.

“There was a serious lack of responsibility on the part of the Government,” Cardinal Ranjith told reporters. “Now they have appointed all kinds of committees and commissions, and there is bickering going on between the sides, you know, (about) who is responsible.”

President Maithripala Sirisena had criticised a parliamentary investigation, where some have accused him of mishandling national security.

Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Catigates Govt for Lack of Responsibility and Blame Passing Over Easter Bombings Saying Even Even President’s “own culpability in the matter might be in question, so they are trying to hide it”’ »

Attorney -General Orders Acting IGP to Take Disciplinary Action Against Nine Officers Including Three DIG’s For “Lapses” In the April 21 Bombings but No Action Against IGP Jayasundara, SIS Chief Jayawardena or Ex -Def Secy Fernando.

Sri Lanka has initiated criminal investigations against nine officers over lapses leading to the Easter Sunday attacks, but the head of state intelligence Nilantha Jayawardena and IGP Pujith Jauasundara have been spared.

Attorney-General Dappula de Livera in a letter to Acting Inspector General Chandana Wickramaratne ordered that disciplinary action be taken against the nine men, including three DIGs.

De Livera said the final report of the three-member presidential commission which investigated lapses that allowed the April 21 suicide bombings recommended disciplinary and criminal action against the nine men.

Continue reading ‘Attorney -General Orders Acting IGP to Take Disciplinary Action Against Nine Officers Including Three DIG’s For “Lapses” In the April 21 Bombings but No Action Against IGP Jayasundara, SIS Chief Jayawardena or Ex -Def Secy Fernando.’ »

“Zahran did not say in public that he was with the ISIS, but he preached violence and spoke of setting up the Islamic State here. His dress and style promoted the IS brand” States Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath President A.K. Hisham Before PSC

By Chandani Kirinde

Intelligence officers were tipped about the possible whereabouts of Zahran Hashim about a month before the 21 April attacks and were also given a telephone number of the terror attack mastermind’s brother in a bid to help track him down, a witness before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) inquiring into the incidents said yesterday.

Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath President A. K. Hisham said that his group tipped off government intelligence operatives regularly since 2014/2015 about Zahran.

“I provided information about Zahran and his groups to intelligence contacts. When we got information that he was in the Kuliyapitiya area, we gave the tip-off. We also managed to get a telephone number of Zahran’s brother and gave it to Army intelligence so that they could track him by tapping the phone,” Hisham said.

Continue reading ‘“Zahran did not say in public that he was with the ISIS, but he preached violence and spoke of setting up the Islamic State here. His dress and style promoted the IS brand” States Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath President A.K. Hisham Before PSC’ »

“In his Speeches Terror Group Leader Zahran Hashim “Called to wet the earth of this country from the blood of people of other faiths,” Discloses Sufi Moulavi K. R. M. Sahlan Before Parliamentary Select Committee

By Chandani Kirinde

A representative of the Sufi community told the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks that members of his sect were at the receiving end of regular vicious verbal attacks by Zahran Hashim, the leader of the terror group.

Al Haj Abdul Jawadh Alim Waliyyullah Trust Secretary Sufi Moulavi K.R.M. Sahlan told the Committee on Tuesday that Zahran had called members of the Sufi community, who number around 10,000 in the Kattankudy area, non-Muslim and regarded them as converts to another faith.

“Zahran and his group propagated hatred against the Sufis using their meetings to label us as non-Muslims,” an emotional Moulavi Sahlan told the Committee, breaking down in tears as he detailed the insults and intimidation members of his community had to endure over the years.

Continue reading ‘“In his Speeches Terror Group Leader Zahran Hashim “Called to wet the earth of this country from the blood of people of other faiths,” Discloses Sufi Moulavi K. R. M. Sahlan Before Parliamentary Select Committee’ »

Colombo Chief Magistrate Directs Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake and wife to Give Statements to CID in Connection with Making False Statements to Presidential Inquiry Commission Probing Treasury Bond Scam on July 7th

By Manopriya Gunasekera

Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday directed Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake and his wife to give a statement to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on 7 July in connection with making false statements before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry during an investigation into fraudulent bond transactions.

He and his wife were ordered to be present at the CID at 10 a.m. on 7 July after the duo missed a previous appointment as they were overseas. The Colombo Chief Magistrate said the court understood that given the situation that prevailed in the country after the Easter Sunday attacks, it may have been difficult for the Minister and his wife to make their statements to the CID and told their lawyers to inform the couple of the new date.

Continue reading ‘Colombo Chief Magistrate Directs Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake and wife to Give Statements to CID in Connection with Making False Statements to Presidential Inquiry Commission Probing Treasury Bond Scam on July 7th’ »

Indian Intelligence Alert on Islamic State Operatives Forming Three -Member Cell Named “Abu Alqital” to Target Upscale Restaurants, Places of Worship, Shopping Malls and Vital Installations in South India

S. Vijay Kumar

Heightened security arrangements are in place across Tamil Nadu, particularly in the western districts, following intelligence inputs from a central agency on a terror module planning to target vital installations in South India.

Police sources said a three-member cell named ‘Abu Alqital’ was formed to target upscale restaurants, places of worship, shopping malls and vital installations. The suspects, believed to be Islamic State (IS) operatives, were active on internet-enabled voice calls and messaging platforms.

The agency noted increased cyber activity in the name of IS by way of content being posted in various cyber groups, warning of imminent terror attacks in India.

These groups witnessed a steady increase in membership following the dissemination of such information, police sources told The Hindu on Wednesday.

Continue reading ‘Indian Intelligence Alert on Islamic State Operatives Forming Three -Member Cell Named “Abu Alqital” to Target Upscale Restaurants, Places of Worship, Shopping Malls and Vital Installations in South India’ »

Some Individuals condemn the Muslim politicians when they resign from their portfolios and continue to denounce the same ministers when they re-accept their portfolios -Kabir Hashim

UNP Chairman Kabir Hashim yesterday said he had decided to accept his previous Ministry portfolio after giving deep consideration to appeals made by the most Venerable Mahanayake Theras, other religious representatives, his district voters, the Muslim community, the Prime Minister, the President and Minister Sajith Premadasa.

Former ministers Kabir Hashim and M.H.A.Haleem, who resigned from their ministerial portfolios earlier this month, were reappointed to their previous posts on Wednesday.

All Muslim ministers including cabinet, state and deputy ministers in the Government resigned from their ministerial portfolios on June 3 following several violent incidents targeting Muslims following Easter Sunday attacks.

Highways, Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development Minister Kabir Hashim issuing a statement to explain the reasons behind his decision to step down and re-accept the ministry portfolio said even though no allegations had been made against him personally the decision to step down was necessary to prevent communal violence from engulfing the country.

Continue reading ‘Some Individuals condemn the Muslim politicians when they resign from their portfolios and continue to denounce the same ministers when they re-accept their portfolios -Kabir Hashim’ »

Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. AMS Weerabandara Who Allegedly Conspired with DIG Kithsiri Jayalath to Implicate Dr. Shafi in Sterilisation Charges Refuses to Cooperate in CID Inquiry but Police Get Court Order Ordering him to Cooperate in Proble

The Criminal Investigations Department has secured judicial orders forcing the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital director to cooperate with their investigation into the alleged illegal sterilization of Sinhala Buddhist women.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said the CID which took over the case on May 27 asked and secured an order from the Kurunegala magistrate forcing hospital director A. M. S. Weera Bandara to cooperate with the investigation.

Gunasekera did not give details, but senior police sources said Weera Bandara, after having colluded with the Kurunegala Deputy Inspector General Kithsiri Jayalath to plant the sterilization story in a local Sinhalese language paper, was less than cooperative with the CID.

Continue reading ‘Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. AMS Weerabandara Who Allegedly Conspired with DIG Kithsiri Jayalath to Implicate Dr. Shafi in Sterilisation Charges Refuses to Cooperate in CID Inquiry but Police Get Court Order Ordering him to Cooperate in Proble’ »

Mangala Samaraweera Calls Upon “True Buddhists To Unite Against the Talibanisation of our Great Philosophy of Peace and Love” in the Aftermath of Anti-Muslim Statements by Asgiriya Chief Monk.

By
Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Wednesday slammed a Buddhist monk’s controversial comments targeting Muslims and urged “true Buddhists” to unite against the “Talibanisation” of the religion.

In a tweet he posted on Wednesday morning, Mr. Samaraweera said: “True Buddhists must unite NOW against the Talibanization of our great philosophy of peace & love of all beings. No Buddhist can condone a statement to stone another human being to death, even if it emanates from the robed orders. #lka”

His message comes days after a senior monk attached to Asgiriya Chapter — one of the two most influential Buddhist orders in Sri Lanka — accused Muslims of “destroying the country”, and called for a boycott of Muslim-run shops and businesses. “Don’t eat from those (Muslim) shops,” the monk said, at a temple ceremony in the central city of Kandy, near the famous Buddhist temple of the tooth relic.

Continue reading ‘Mangala Samaraweera Calls Upon “True Buddhists To Unite Against the Talibanisation of our Great Philosophy of Peace and Love” in the Aftermath of Anti-Muslim Statements by Asgiriya Chief Monk.’ »

Asgiriya Mahanayake Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera Launches an Irrational Racist Verbal Onslaught Against Muslims Saying Sinhala Buddhists Should not Patronize Muslim Restaurants as those who do so would not Have Children in the Future.

A top Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka has accused minority Muslims of destroying the island’s majority Sinhalese community and called for drastic action, including the boycott of their businesses.

The chief prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter of Buddhism launched the tirade against Muslims on Saturday during a ceremony at the Kitsiri Mevan temple near the holiest Buddhist shrine, the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.

Monk Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana urged his faithful not to patronize Muslim-owned restaurants saying they were systematically working to reduce the population of Sinhala-Buddhists by making them sterile.

“Don’t eat from those (Muslim) shops,” the monk said. “Those who ate from those shops will not have children in the future. In another 10 to 15 years we will know the consequence.

Continue reading ‘Asgiriya Mahanayake Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera Launches an Irrational Racist Verbal Onslaught Against Muslims Saying Sinhala Buddhists Should not Patronize Muslim Restaurants as those who do so would not Have Children in the Future.’ »

A Rough English Translation of the Anti-Muslim Comments Made in Sinhala Publicly by the Asgiriya Mahanayake Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero.

(This is a Rough English translation of Irrational, Racist Anti-Muslim comments made publicly in Sinhala by the Asgiriya Mahanayake Ven.Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero published in srilankabrief.org)

“We got to know some good news. That in the future, Chamal Rajapaksa will become President. This is in fact cause for happiness. We didn’t know this before. I call upon Mayantha Dissanayake as well to join that side to build and protect this country. The Muslims don’t love us. Earlier Mayantha Dissanayake spoke. I also say don’t go to those (Muslim) shops. Don’t eat from those shops. This is well known.

That this is a community who poisoned our people and tried to destroy our people is very clear. It is very clear. Because of this, Buddhists must protect themselves. Don’t go to those shops. Don’t buy from those shops. The young people who ate from those shops, I think, will not be able to have/lose their children. You should know this.

Continue reading ‘A Rough English Translation of the Anti-Muslim Comments Made in Sinhala Publicly by the Asgiriya Mahanayake Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero.’ »

UNP Parliamentarians Kabir Hashim and MHA Haleem Who Resigned Along with SLMC and ACMC Ministers on June 3rd Take Oaths Again as Cabinet Ministers in Charge of Same Portfolios.


Former Ministers Kabir Hashim and M.H.A. Haleem, who resigned recently, were sworn in again in their previous portfolios before President Maithripala Sirisena a short while ago.

Accordingly, Hashim was sworn in as the Minister of Highways, Road Development & Petroleum Resources Development, while Haleem was sworn in as the Posts, Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs Minister.

Continue reading ‘UNP Parliamentarians Kabir Hashim and MHA Haleem Who Resigned Along with SLMC and ACMC Ministers on June 3rd Take Oaths Again as Cabinet Ministers in Charge of Same Portfolios.’ »

Did the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Take Away the Phones and Electronic Devices of the Sri Lankan Easter Sunday Suicide Bombers?; “Unable To Give That Information” Says Lankan Police Spokesman.

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya

Speculation that Western intelligence agencies had a hand in the well-coordinated, precision-timed Easter suicide bombings in Sri Lanka arises from a number of sources and circumstances. Analysts are still trying to figure out how the little known group ‘National Thawheed Jamaath’ (NTJ) could have orchestrated such a feat.

The terror group known as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as Islamic State (IS) or Daesh, claimed responsibility through online videos. ISIS”s enemy is the West, and so Western governments unanimously expressed solidarity with Sri Lanka in its fight against the new terror (in a way they did not, with regard to Sri Lanka’s 30-year war against LTTE terror).

One might recall how US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “This is America’s fight too.” Though IS is fronted for the attacks, answers to more specific questions such as who the handlers of the nine suicide bombers were, remain murky.

Some analysts say that the targeting of Sri Lanka was not surprising. Sri Lanka is among several other Asian countries where ISIS attacks have unexpectedly occurred in recent years, offering an entry-point for Western-sponsored counter-terrorism activity or humanitarian assistance.

Many targets of these latter-day, often inexplicable attacks claimed by IS, or other little-known terror outfits, have been strategically located states benefitting from China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which dispenses multi-billion dollar investments for infrastructure projects like deep water ports, roads, railways and industrial parks. Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan and Bangladesh are cases in point.

Continue reading ‘Did the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Take Away the Phones and Electronic Devices of the Sri Lankan Easter Sunday Suicide Bombers?; “Unable To Give That Information” Says Lankan Police Spokesman.’ »

When Zahran Hashim Publicly Called Upon Muslims to Kill People of Other Faiths a Written Complaint Along With Three CD’s of Zahran’s Speeches was Sent By Sufi Moulavi KRM Sahlan to President Sirisena on March 27th 2017 and Copied to PM and Senior Ministers.

By Saman Indrajith

Zharan Hashim’s call for the Muslims to kill people of other faiths had been brought to the notice of President Maithripala Sirisena in March, 2017, but there had been no response, the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday carnage was informed yesterday.

Testifying before the committee, Secretary of Al Haj Abdul Jawadh Alim Waliyyullah Trust, Sufi Moulavi KRM Sahlan said that his organisation had submitted a written complaint against Zahran’s call for the killings of people of other faiths, on March 27, 2017, to the President’s Office. “We also submitted CDs containing three speeches and warned that there would be a disaster if Zahran was allowed to continue in that manner.

Sahlaan said that the copies of the same complaint had been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Office of the then Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake, State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene, IGP, Attorney General’s Department, and Director Terrorist Investigation Division DIG Nalaka de Silva.

In his speeches, Zahran had called for spilling the blood of people of other faiths, Sahlan said.

Continue reading ‘When Zahran Hashim Publicly Called Upon Muslims to Kill People of Other Faiths a Written Complaint Along With Three CD’s of Zahran’s Speeches was Sent By Sufi Moulavi KRM Sahlan to President Sirisena on March 27th 2017 and Copied to PM and Senior Ministers.’ »

Former Kattankudi Police Station OIC Tells Parliamentary Select Committee that Zahran Hashim’s Key Aide Called “Army” Mohideen was an Informant of the Sri Lankan Military.

By Saman Indrajith

Easter Sunday carnage mastermind Zahran Hashim’s aide Army Mohideen had been an army informant, Parliament Select committee probing the Easter Sunday carnage was told yesterday. Former OIC of Kattankudy police station Chief Inspector Ariyabandu Welagedera told the PSC that Army Mohideen had maintained links with the army and was known as an informant of the army.

Testifying before the PSC, CI Welagedara said that there were several rival Muslim religious groups in the Kattankudy area. There was an ideological conflict. The majority of them were traditional Muslim religious groups. There had emerged a new radical group led by Zahran Hashim.

PSC members present yesterday were Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Minister Ravi Karunanayke, Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, Dr. Jayampathi Wickremeratne, Ananda Kumarasiri, Rauff Hakeem, M.A. Sumanthiran and Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka.

Dr Senaratne: During your time as the OIC Kattankudy police, Zahran held a meeting at a school and there he promoted IS ideology and fundamentalism. The principal complained of this to the police. Is that right?

CI Welagedara: Yes

Dr Senaratne: So, a wave of extremism and violence was visible. Did you report those incidents and possibilities to your superiors?

CI Welagedara: We have not reported of such a wave of extremism. There was a clash between two religious groups. One of the groups was Zahran’s. I went to the scene and dispersed the mobs. There were around 100-150 involved in the clash. We made arrests on the same day and the following day. Zahran was there. Some escaped. Among those who escaped were Zahran, his brother Rilwan and Army Mohideen. We produced nine others before courts. Since then Zahran had not been sighted in the area.

Continue reading ‘Former Kattankudi Police Station OIC Tells Parliamentary Select Committee that Zahran Hashim’s Key Aide Called “Army” Mohideen was an Informant of the Sri Lankan Military.’ »

Intelligence Reports about Anticipated Terrorist Attacks by Kattankudi Born Zahran Hashim’s Group Were Sent to Other Police Divisions but Not to To the Kattankudi Police Division Reveals OIC to PSC

By Saman Indrajith

The Parliament Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday carnage was told yesterday that prior intelligence reports on the terror attacks by Zahran Hazhim’s group had not been provided to the police station in the Kattankudi area, where the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) operated from.

Testifying before the PSC, Kattankudy OIC IP Nishantha Kasturiarachchi said that he had not received any intelligence reports or warnings of the Easter Sunday attacks though such reports had been sent to other police divisions.

IP Kasturiarachchi said that Zahran, his brother Rilwan and another person known as Army Mohideen had been evading arrest. “They had fled the area by the time I assumed duties as the OIC of the Kattankudy police station. There was no information about them.”

The PSC members present yesterday were Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, Dr. Jayampathi Wickremeratne, Ananda Kumarasiri, Rauff Hakeem, M.A. Sumanthiran, and Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka.

Dr Senaratne: What action did you take to trace him? There were complaints against Zahran and his activities from the Muslim people of the area.

IP Kasturiarachchi: By the time that I assumed duties there was no information about his activities in the area. Zahran did not come there. If he had come, the people would have informed the police.

There was a case against 13 other persons and they were on bail. They belonged to Zahran’s group. There were charges against that group for engaging in violent activities and condemning other religious groups. They came to the police on the last day of every month to report there as per a court order.

Continue reading ‘Intelligence Reports about Anticipated Terrorist Attacks by Kattankudi Born Zahran Hashim’s Group Were Sent to Other Police Divisions but Not to To the Kattankudi Police Division Reveals OIC to PSC’ »

CID Investigation Implicates North -Western Province Police DIG Kithsiri Jayalath and Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. A.M.S.Weerabandara in the Orchestrated Campaign to Incriminate Muslim Surgeon Dr. Mohammed Shafi Through False Allegations of Mass Sterilisation of Sinhala Women.

The senior-most police officer in the North-Western province is under investigation for attempting to cause racial hatred by planting reports of mass sterilization taking place at the Kurunegala teaching hospital, a police official said.

Deputy Inspector-General Kithsiri Jayalath is facing an internal inquiry into his conduct over what has become a deeply divisive issue over the alleged crushing of fallopian tubes of Sinhala Buddhist mothers by a Muslin surgeon at the teaching hospital.

DIG Jayalath whose wife is also a doctor at the same hospital had told the Divaina newspaper that Dr. Mohamed Shafi had crushed the fallopian tubes of 4,000 women thereby rendering them unable to bear any more children.

The Divaina newspaper had not initially named DIG Jayalath as their source but after the Criminal Investigations Department launched an investigation into the supposed “expose” of the same newspaper, the editor and reporter divulged their source.

Continue reading ‘CID Investigation Implicates North -Western Province Police DIG Kithsiri Jayalath and Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. A.M.S.Weerabandara in the Orchestrated Campaign to Incriminate Muslim Surgeon Dr. Mohammed Shafi Through False Allegations of Mass Sterilisation of Sinhala Women.’ »

Muslims ‘targeted with arbitrary arrests’ After Easter Sunday Massacre in Sri Lanka.

by Lisa Fuller & Rukshana Rizwie

Hasalaka, Sri Lanka – On May 17, police in central Sri Lanka arrested Abdul Raheem Mazahina, a soft-spoken 47-year-old grandmother, because of the pattern on her dress.

The dress’s motifs look like ship wheels, but police told Mazahina, a Muslim, they were arresting her because the pattern resembled the dharmachakra, a Buddhist symbol.

Mazahina, who has asthma and hypertension, had worn the dress many times before and no one had taken notice.

“If it was a dharmachakra, someone would have pointed it out to me,” she said.

Sri Lanka’s Department of Buddhist Religious Affairs later told authorities that they were unable to determine whether the symbol on the dress was in fact a dharmachakra.

Continue reading ‘Muslims ‘targeted with arbitrary arrests’ After Easter Sunday Massacre in Sri Lanka.’ »

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera Wants to Import Cigarettes from China for Chinese Workers in Sri Lanka But Meets With Strong Opposition from Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne Who Threatens to quit Cabinet in Protest.

Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne says that his colleague Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s argument for importing Chinese cigarettes does not hold water and he is dead against the move.

Finance Minister Samaraweera was planning to allow the importation of Chinese cigarettes on the grounds that the Chinese workers in Sri Lanka found it hard to smoke the brands available in the local market, Dr Senaratne said, addressing a ceremony at Waters Edge at Battaramulla in connection with World No Tobacco Day, organised by the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) yesterday.

“There are only 6,000 Chinese workers in Sri Lanka at the moment and there are around 10,000 Indian workers in the country.

Continue reading ‘Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera Wants to Import Cigarettes from China for Chinese Workers in Sri Lanka But Meets With Strong Opposition from Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne Who Threatens to quit Cabinet in Protest.’ »

Number of Daily Visitors to Dehiwela Zoo Which Dropped to Single Digits After Easter Sunday Attacks Picks up Slowly to Reach1000 to 1500 Per Day; Used to be 5000 to 6000 daily Prior to April 21st.

By Ifham Nizam

Visitor arrival at the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela has increased since the Easter Sunday bomb attacks caused the arrivals to drop to single digits.

Deputy Director of the Zoo Anoma Priyadharshini told The Island that arrivals had increased to between 1,000 and 1,500 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as against the usually between 5,000 and 6,000 visitors prior to the terror attacks.

She said that usually Monday and Tuesday recorded the lowest visitor arrivals between 1,500 and 2,000 and at present it stood around 500 visitors. She said that plans were afoot to add more exotic species shortly to attract more visitors through the Animal Exchange Programme.

Continue reading ‘Number of Daily Visitors to Dehiwela Zoo Which Dropped to Single Digits After Easter Sunday Attacks Picks up Slowly to Reach1000 to 1500 Per Day; Used to be 5000 to 6000 daily Prior to April 21st.’ »

Buddhist Monk’s “Fast Unto Death” Led To Mass Resignation Of Muslim Ministers

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The first few days of this month saw Sri Lanka once again hurtling towards another orgy of anti -Muslim violence. The Buddhist monk Ven. Athureliya Rathana Thero who is also a member of Parliament was on a “fast unto death” in the vicinity of the Kandy “Dalada Maligawa”(Temple of Tooth) hallowed by Buddhists in Sri Lanka and abroad. His demand was that cabinet minister Rishad Bathiudeen , Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley should resign or be dismissed from office . The Thero alleged that the trio – all of them Muslims – had links to the Jihadist terrorist organization that attacked three Churches and three Luxury hotels on Easter Sunday resulting in the deaths of over 250 people. Rathana Thero’s action struck a responsive chord in the minds of many others who too were of the same opinion.

pic via: @basnayakeM

Ven Athurelia Rathana Thero had entered Parliament first as an elected member of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU).He switched sides from Mahinda Rajapaksa to Maithripala Sirisena in 2014-15. He was later nominated as a JHU national list MP from the UNP list. In recent times he has been chartering an independent course while nominally remaining in the JHU. Rathana Thero’s political image had been somewhat on the decline in recent times prior to the death fast. The sudden decision to embark on a fast provided much publicity to the Bhikku and brought him very much into the limelight again. The allegations against Bathiudeen, Hizbullah and Salley had already been levelled by members of the Mahinda Rajapaksa led opposition. But Ven.Athureliya Rathana Thero stole a march over all others by launching his fast unto death in support of the demands regarding the minister and two Governors.
Continue reading ‘Buddhist Monk’s “Fast Unto Death” Led To Mass Resignation Of Muslim Ministers’ »

President Sirisena Plans to Hold a Non -binding Referendum to Seek Approval to Conduct Parliamentary Elections Before Presidential Polls in a Bid to Sabotage UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

By

The “Sunday Times” Political Editor

President Maithripala Sirisena wants to conduct a parliamentary general election first after seeking approval at a non-binding national referendum.

Towards this end, sources close to the Presidency said, he has sought the opinion of the Attorney General Dappula de Livera. He has concurred that the move was possible but the President’s own legal advisers have differed in their view.

Even if he wishes to go ahead, he has a number of other obstacles to surmount. Main among them is the support of political parties, particularly those in the opposition. The backing of their support base may not be forthcoming.

For weeks now, the matter has been engaging the attention of President Sirisena. So much so, he approached Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at a meeting on June 3 in the afternoon. It was the same day Rajapaksa, together with three other MPs from the opposition, met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the morning.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Plans to Hold a Non -binding Referendum to Seek Approval to Conduct Parliamentary Elections Before Presidential Polls in a Bid to Sabotage UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

Impact of the April 21 Multiple Bombings in Sri Lanka Has Been Unusually and Extraordinarily Wide in Social, Political, Economic and Constitutional Terms.

By P.K.Balachandran

In most countries, terrorist attacks would have some economic impact, especially on the tourism sector, with little or no impact on society or polity. But in Sri Lanka, the impact of the April 21 multiple bombings has been unusually and extraordinarily wide in social, political , economic and constitutional terms.

Constitutional Impasse or Breakdown

The country appears to be in the cusp of a constitutional breakdown with President Maithripala Sirisena vowing not to hold cabinet meetings till parliament stops the proceedings of its Select Committee (PSC) on the Easter Sunday bombings. According to him the public hearings of the PSC are exposing the intelligence agencies and putting the nation in danger.

But Speaker Karu Jayasuriya asserts that the President has no constitutional right to ask for the suspension of a PSC, which is exclusively a preserve of parliament. He has warned that officials not answering the PSC’s summons (at the President’s behest) would be liable to privilege proceedings.

The ruling United National Front (UNF) proposes to move a resolution in parliament requesting the President to hold cabinet meetings. Though it is the President, as the head the cabinet, who calls for cabinet meetings, the constitution is not clear as to who else can, whether, for instance, the Prime Minister can.

The two centers of constitutional power, the President and the Speaker, have stuck to their guns. While President Sirisena did not hold a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the Speaker allowed the PSC to examine witnesses on the same day.

However, it remains to be seen if any military/security/intelligence official will come forward to testify defying the Executive President who had banned these categories from appearing before the PSC.

Continue reading ‘Impact of the April 21 Multiple Bombings in Sri Lanka Has Been Unusually and Extraordinarily Wide in Social, Political, Economic and Constitutional Terms.’ »

The time is not far off where politicians on both sides of the divide may find themselves unable to appear in public without being hooted and jeered at.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

The recent statement by former Eastern Province Governor M.L.M. Hizbullah that Muslims are a majority in the world and that Sri Lankan Muslims should not fear even if they are a minority is dangerously inflammatory. It also amounts to an encouragement of the primitive cacophonous yelling on the part of Sinhala extremists that more Sinhalese ought to be born, that forced sterilizations of ‘Sinhala Buddhist mothers’ are being carried out by Muslim doctors (without a shred of tangible evidence, let us add) and that the Sinhala-Buddhist nation-state is in imminent and existential peril.

Ploys to fool the citizenry

It is no excuse therefore, when questioned later by journalists, that the ex-Governor piously explains himself that he had only tried to ‘give strength’ to scared and intimidated Muslims in Sri Lanka or that he spoken not at a public meeting but with a crowd at a mosque. Regardless, these are not sentiments that can be excused. In fact, the full weight of his testimony before the Parliamentary Select Committee this week brought to mind echoes of a grotesque circus of clowns as he protested that he had put signboards in Arabic in Kattankudy to ‘attract tourists’ and that date trees were planted in the middle of the road as it was too hot to expect any other tree to grow. At times, it was hard to distinguish which was more ridiculous; the questions put to him by his interrogators or his abominably slippery answers.

Continue reading ‘The time is not far off where politicians on both sides of the divide may find themselves unable to appear in public without being hooted and jeered at.’ »

Raptors are crowned NBA champions

🍁🏆
By Danesh Thirukumaran
🏀
Mission accomplished. Despite the Raptors inability to display multiple superstars at the forefront similar to many championship teams in the past, they were able to overcome much adversity and were crowned 2018-2019 NBA Champions.

via FB/Raptors

They were able to defeat the star laden Golden State Warriors, although injuries did play a part in the Warriors’ demise. These injuries showcase the difficult, uphill battle that many teams must endure throughout a long and grueling season in order to become NBA champions. The intensity in which practices, workouts, and games are executed with takes a toll on one’s body, and the Raptors ended up surviving all of this to be the last team standing.
Continue reading ‘Raptors are crowned NBA champions’ »

Mohammed Milhan Alias “Abu Seelan” Believed to be Successor of National Thowheed Jamath Leader Zahran Hashim Arrested in Saudi Arabia and Brought to Sri Lanka With Four Others.

By Rukshana Rizwie and Gayan Kumara Weerasinghe

The probe into the Easter Sunday bomb attacks and the extremist terrorist cell behind it receives a fillip with the arrival in Colombo yesterday of five arrested terror suspects including Mohamed Milhan alias Abu Seelan who is believed to be the chosen successor of National Thowheed Jama’ath (NTJ) leader and deceased suicide bomber Zahran Hashim.

These key suspects linked to the NTJ were arrested in the Saudi port city of Jeddah before being deported to Sri Lanka.

Milhan was also wanted in connection with the November 2018 killing of two police constables on duty near Batticaloa. NTJ leader Zahran Hashim’s hometown and main base was Kattankudy, which is a suburb south of Batticaloa.

Continue reading ‘Mohammed Milhan Alias “Abu Seelan” Believed to be Successor of National Thowheed Jamath Leader Zahran Hashim Arrested in Saudi Arabia and Brought to Sri Lanka With Four Others.’ »

Mohammed Zahran’s Key Deputy Hayathu Mohamed Milhan (30) Along with Four Associates Mohamed Marsook (34)Mohideen Sabri(47)Mohammed Ismail(29) and Aboosally Abubakar(37) Arrested and Deported From Jeddah to Colombo


By Shamindra Ferdinando

.

The police have begun questioning five persons, including Hayathu Mohamed Milhan, who had alleged links with the Easter Sunday suicide bombers.

The suspects arrested in the Middle East, following the April 21 attacks, were extradited yesterday.

They were the first Easter Sunday suspects to be extradited since the high profile investigation began. Police headquarters said that all suspects were hardcore members of the group responsible for the Easter attacks.

Continue reading ‘Mohammed Zahran’s Key Deputy Hayathu Mohamed Milhan (30) Along with Four Associates Mohamed Marsook (34)Mohideen Sabri(47)Mohammed Ismail(29) and Aboosally Abubakar(37) Arrested and Deported From Jeddah to Colombo’ »

Sri Lanka is rapidly moving away from a united nation to a country divided on race and religion, caste and creed, faith and belief – and away from the search for truth and justice.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

Amidst much snigger raised from the massive political farce taking place in the country today, there is an even more cause for worry and rising fear on the very future of our society.

The politicians, those in government and opposition, are certainly having a great time, calculating the votes they will gain from the increasing divisions in the electorate. The partitioning on ethnicity and religion are vastly spreading, giving increased opportunities for the success of divisive politics.

Sri Lanka is rapidly moving away from a united nation to a country divided on race and religion, caste and creed, faith and belief – and away from the search for truth and justice.

The religion of the vast majority, Buddhism, has gained the descriptive Sinhala adjective, rapidly and decidedly moving away from the teachings of Gauthama Buddha, who gave us the philosophy of Buddha Dharma and not a Buddhist Religion.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka is rapidly moving away from a united nation to a country divided on race and religion, caste and creed, faith and belief – and away from the search for truth and justice.’ »

“I am the happiest person that Zahran died, because now I can win the next election without any trouble from his group,” – Ex-Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hizbullah Tells Parliamentary Select Committee

By Chandani Kirinde

Former Governor of the Eastern Province M.L.A.M. Hizbullah told a Parliamentary Select Committee yesterday that he lost the 2015 General Election because Mohamed Zahran, who masterminded the Easter Sunday terror attacks, had worked against him.

“In the General Elections, Zahran worked against me. I couldn’t get around 2,000 votes because of him. I lost my chance to enter Parliament by 121 votes. When I was appointed through the National List slot after that, Zahran got his supporters to stage protests against my appointment,” Hizbullah told the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) looking into the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

The former Governor denied he had any connection with the terror group leader, and said he never helped him, nor did he get any help from him.

“I am the happiest person that Zahran died, because now I can win the next election without any trouble from his group,” he said.

Continue reading ‘“I am the happiest person that Zahran died, because now I can win the next election without any trouble from his group,” – Ex-Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hizbullah Tells Parliamentary Select Committee’ »

Easter Bombings Mastermind Zahran Hashim Supported and Actively Campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena in the 2015 Presidential Elections States Ex-Eastern Governor MLAM Hizbullah Before Parliamentary Select Committee

By
Meera Srinivasan

Easter attacks mastermind Zahran Hashim campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena ahead of the January 2015 presidential elections, according to former Governor of the Eastern Province, M.L.A.M. Hizbullah.

Testifying before a parliamentary committee probing Easter bombings, the politician, who is based in Hashim’s hometown Kattankudy in the Eastern Province, said on Thursday: “I campaigned for Mahinda Rajapaksa at that time, while Zahran supported and actively campaigned for Sirisena.”

Mr. Hizbullah resigned from office earlier this month, in the wake of a Buddhist monk “fasting unto death” demanding the resignation of three Muslim politicians, including him, over alleged links with Easter suspects.

Formerly a Member of Parliament, who has also served as Deputy Minister, Mr. Hisbullah was appointed as the Governor of the Eastern Province in January 2019 by President Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘Easter Bombings Mastermind Zahran Hashim Supported and Actively Campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena in the 2015 Presidential Elections States Ex-Eastern Governor MLAM Hizbullah Before Parliamentary Select Committee’ »

“The country needs honest political leaders who have a backbone…… Many are questioning if we can trust our leaders to do what is right” says Cardinal Ranjith at Re-consecration of Re-constructed St. Anthony’s Shrine at Kochchikade

By Chandani Kirinde

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday said that the country needs strong political leaders who work courageously for the good of the country and its people and those who love the country more than they love themselves.

“The country needs honest political leaders who have a backbone, who do no wrong deeds and who do not safeguard those who do wrong deeds and take steps to punish those among them who do wrong. It is the duty of political leaders to do their duty to create a just society,” the Cardinal said at the service held at the St. Anthony’s Shrine at Kochchikade.

54 persons were killed and many other injured in the suicide bomb attack at the Church which also caused extensive damage to the building. Restoration work on the Church was carried out by personnel of the Sri Lanka Navy and it opened its doors yesterday.

Continue reading ‘“The country needs honest political leaders who have a backbone…… Many are questioning if we can trust our leaders to do what is right” says Cardinal Ranjith at Re-consecration of Re-constructed St. Anthony’s Shrine at Kochchikade’ »

“Zahran Disappeared From Kattankudi After an Arrest Warrant was Issued in 2017 and Was Not Seen in Public by the People Since Then” – Representative of Kattankudy Federation of Mosques and Muslims Institutions Before PSC

By Chandani Kirinde

Mohamed Zahran, the man who masterminded the Easter Day terror attacks, had prohibited students from standing up for the National Anthem, threatened teachers who organised school concerts, and created a fear psychosis among the people in general, a representative of the Kattankudy Federation of Mosques and Muslims Institutions told a Parliament Committee on Tuesday.

Aboo Saliah Uwais, the Federation’s representative who testified before the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to look into the terror attacks also said Zahran had a troubled childhood, being expelled, first from school while he was in grade five, and later from two institutions he had enrolled to get a certificate as a qualified Moulavi.

Continue reading ‘“Zahran Disappeared From Kattankudi After an Arrest Warrant was Issued in 2017 and Was Not Seen in Public by the People Since Then” – Representative of Kattankudy Federation of Mosques and Muslims Institutions Before PSC’ »

Defence Ministry was Funding Thowheed Jamath for Many Years Under Mahinda Rajapaksa Regime and the Military Intelligence Unit was Working Closely with the same Thowheed Jamath Testifies Ex-Western Governor Azath Salley Before Parliament Select Committee,

By

Meera Srinivasan

A former Governor and prominent Muslim politician has accused the Rajapaksa government of being complacent while its military intelligence unit “worked closely” with the National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ), the radical Islamist organisation behind the Easter bombings.

Azath Salley was one of the two Muslim Governors who stepped down from office earlier this month, following a fasting Buddhist monk’s demand that they resign over alleged links with Easter suspects. They have denied the accusation.

Continue reading ‘Defence Ministry was Funding Thowheed Jamath for Many Years Under Mahinda Rajapaksa Regime and the Military Intelligence Unit was Working Closely with the same Thowheed Jamath Testifies Ex-Western Governor Azath Salley Before Parliament Select Committee,’ »

Easter Bombings Mastermind Zahran Hashim’s “Facebook Friend” Mohammed Azharudeen and Five Others Arrested in by Indian National Investigation Agency in Coimbatore.Tamil Nadu.

By
Vijaita Singh

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday detained a Facebook friend of Zahran Hashim, the mastermind of the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, along with five others in Coimbatore.

NIA alleged that the prime suspect Mohammed Azharudheen, 32, and his associates were “propagating the ideology of proscribed terrorist organization Islamic State on social media with the intention of recruiting vulnerable youth for carrying out terrorist attacks in South India especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.”

NIA claimed Azharudheen was highly radicalised and was running a Facebook page called “Khilafah GFX.”

“We do not know if Azharudheen’s acquaintance with Hashim was only limited to interactions on Facebook or went beyond it. We are questioning him but have named him and five others in the FIR. His online activities were under watch for few months now,” said an NIA official. The residence and offices of the suspects were searched on Wednesday.

Continue reading ‘Easter Bombings Mastermind Zahran Hashim’s “Facebook Friend” Mohammed Azharudeen and Five Others Arrested in by Indian National Investigation Agency in Coimbatore.Tamil Nadu.’ »

“If Terrorism that has Emerged from Within the Muslim Community is to be Crushed, Muslim Individuals will Have to be Arrested, Muslim Homes and Mosques will Have to be Searched” – Mahinda Rajapaksa


( This is the text of a media release issued by the office of the Leader of the Opposition. It is a Translation of a speech made by the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday, 11 June 2019 at his official residence on Wijerama Mawatha Colombo.)

Venerable members of the Maha Sangha, clergymen of all other faiths, citizens of Sri Lanka and friends,

The terrorist attack that took place on the 21st of April is a watershed in the history of this country. Today, a fear of terrorists who murder those who do not subscribe to their religious ideology, has spread throughout the country. Economic activities have been adversely affected. As was the case during the war, parents are once again guarding schools. Today, religious observances have to be performed under tight security – a situation that we did not experience even during the war. We are unable to celebrate Vesak and Poson as we used to. Devotees are searched before being allowed to enter places of worship.

There is now mutual mistrust between the Muslim community and the followers of other religions. This mistrust is now developing in a dangerous direction due to the allegation that a Muslim medical specialist attached to the Kurunegala hospital had due to extremist religious ideology, rendered women belonging to other religions infertile. At a time like this, the leaders of the country and of the Muslim community, should act in a very responsible and circumspect manner.

Two or three weeks after the bomb attacks, we saw organised groups of people attacking Muslim owned business establishements in certain areas obviously with a view to igniting a countrywide riot. But those incidents ceased almost as quickly as they started due to resolute opposition from the general public. There was strong opposition to these acts of violence in the social media as well. We saw similar incidents taking place around 2014 in the run up to the 2015 presidential election. On the 9th January 2019, we found that both the perpetrators and victims of those incidents, were with the common candidate. This time too they seem to have been aiming at a similar stunt, but their attempt failed.

All of us should understand that everything that we see happenning now, is directly connected to the presidentail election that is due to be held in a few months. The present government is seeking to retain for the next presidential election as well, the Muslim vote base that they organised around themselves using various stratagems before 2015. Opposition MPs tabled a no-confidence motion against one Cabinet minister on the grounds that he had connections with the terrorists responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks. No confidence motions are an integral part of the parliamentary tradition and a right exercised by the parliamentary opposition.

Continue reading ‘“If Terrorism that has Emerged from Within the Muslim Community is to be Crushed, Muslim Individuals will Have to be Arrested, Muslim Homes and Mosques will Have to be Searched” – Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Historic Catholic Shrine at Kochikade Dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, Re-constructed After Unholy Easter Attack Will Be Re-consecrated on June 12 in a Tri-lingual Festive High Mass With Cardinal Ranjith Officiating:Annual Feast Begins on June 13

By E. Weerapperuma

The historic Catholic shrine dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua in Colombo, Kochchikade, will celebrate the 185th feast of the Saint on Thursday at 10 a.m., with a trilingual festive High Mass offered at the Shrine. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith will be the officiating prelate.

This Shrine coming down from the times of the Dutch Rule, was one of the targets of the string of bomb attacks across the island nation. The severe and chilling terrorist attack was unheard of before the Easter Sunday of this year.

This Shrine will be consecrated once again on Wednesday at 5 p.m. by the Cardinal, the chief shepherd of the Sri Lanka Catholic Church and the Archbishop of Colombo Metropolitan diocese.

The re-consecration of the Shrine is needed because of the unholy attack by the terrorists. It was a violation of what is sacred and holy. It was in fact, an act of sacrilege. Hence re-consecration is deemed necessary, after the completion of the reconstruction of the Shrine, damaged by violence.

Continue reading ‘Historic Catholic Shrine at Kochikade Dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, Re-constructed After Unholy Easter Attack Will Be Re-consecrated on June 12 in a Tri-lingual Festive High Mass With Cardinal Ranjith Officiating:Annual Feast Begins on June 13’ »

Ex-Western Province Governor Azath Salley Tells Parliamentary Select Committee that Gotabaya Rajapaksa While Being Defence Secretary Had Worked Closely With the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath.

by Saman Indrajith

Former Governor of the Western province Azath Salley yesterday told the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the Easter Sunday carnage that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had worked closely with Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamaath, which was one of the organisations responsible for the April 21 attacks.

Testifying before the PSC, which met yesterday for the fourth time, the former Governor said that Rajapakasa, as the Secretary Defence, had maintained links with the SLTJ.

Salley said that the SLTJ had around 10,000 active supporters throughout the country.

He said that while he was the Governor, he had warned three times of the possible threats from the Thowheed Jamaath.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Western Province Governor Azath Salley Tells Parliamentary Select Committee that Gotabaya Rajapaksa While Being Defence Secretary Had Worked Closely With the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath.’ »

A Solution for Corruption with IMPUNITY by Politicians in Sri Lanka

By Dr. S. Shrikharan

In Sri Lanka, we are criticizing the politicians for their involvement in corruption with IMPUNITY.

Honestly, what will you do if given a chance to enter parliament in Sri Lanka?

I will speak for myself. I will certainly join the rest and make money! I will do better than what others have done.

I am criticizing the Parliamentarians only because of the golden opportunity they have to rob the country with impunity, which we as ordinary citizens do not have.

So where is the fault? The fault is with the ‘system’ which provides the opportunity to steal with impunity.

Continue reading ‘A Solution for Corruption with IMPUNITY by Politicians in Sri Lanka’ »

President of the Federation of Kanthankudi Mosques and Muslim Institutions, Abdul Uvaiz Tells PSC that if the Authorities Had Acted in Time on the Information Given by Kattankudi People About the Zahran Group the Easter Carnage May Have Been Averted

By

Saman Indrajith

President of the Federation of Kanthankudi Mosques and Muslim Institutions, Abdul Uvaiz, yesterday, told the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday carnage that people of Kaththankudy had stood up to the Zahran’s terror group but the law enforcement and defence authorities had failed to take timely action.

Giving evidence before the PSC, Uvaiz said that if the security authorities had acted swiftly on information they got from the people of Kathankudy, the Easter Sunday carnage could have been avoided.

Zahran should have been arrested while he was propagating extremism and investigations conducted years ago, Uvaiz said.

Continue reading ‘President of the Federation of Kanthankudi Mosques and Muslim Institutions, Abdul Uvaiz Tells PSC that if the Authorities Had Acted in Time on the Information Given by Kattankudi People About the Zahran Group the Easter Carnage May Have Been Averted’ »

All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama President Moulavi Mohammed Rizwi Tells PSC that he had been Labelled a “Kaffir” by the Zahran Group for Exposing Their Links with the “IS” in a Speech Relayed Over SLBC Radio.

By Saman Indrajith

President of the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ullama Moulavi Mohammed Rizwi, yesterday, told the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday carnage that his organisation had been warning relevant authorities since 2014 of the dangers posed by Muslim extremists.

Giving evidence before the PSC, the Moulavi said that he and Azath Salley had met the then Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando on January 3, 2019 and informed him of Zahran Hashim’s subversive activities.

Continue reading ‘All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama President Moulavi Mohammed Rizwi Tells PSC that he had been Labelled a “Kaffir” by the Zahran Group for Exposing Their Links with the “IS” in a Speech Relayed Over SLBC Radio.’ »

Parliament Select Committee Continues Public Hearings of Testimonies Relating to Easter Sunday Terrorism In Defiance of President Sirisena Who Displays his Pique by Cancelling weekly Cabinet Meeting.

Sri Lanka’s parliament Tuesday defied President Maithripala Sirisena and resumed investigations into security lapses surrounding the Easter suicide bombings that killed 258 people, officials said, as a political crisis in the country deepened.

The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) began hearing testimony from Muslim leaders who claimed they repeatedly alerted the authorities to dangerous radicalisation, a parliamentary official said.

In what appeared to be a tit-for-tat move, Sirisena did not call the routine weekly cabinet meeting to discuss the day-to-day running of the administration.

The opposition Sri Lanka People’s Front said the standoff between the president and the cabinet, controlled by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s party, meant the government was at a standstill.

Continue reading ‘Parliament Select Committee Continues Public Hearings of Testimonies Relating to Easter Sunday Terrorism In Defiance of President Sirisena Who Displays his Pique by Cancelling weekly Cabinet Meeting.’ »

Recent success of Toronto Raptors jolts the entire country of Canada 🏀🍁

By: Danesh Thirukumaran
🏀
Here comes Toronto. The recent success of the Toronto Raptors has put the city’s passion for basketball in the spotlight, as many followers, old and new, begin to rejoice as the team reaches its first NBA Finals in team history. “Dr. James Naismith of Almonte, Ontario, probably never imagined how the sport would rally Canadians this spring when he invented it over 125 years ago,” as said by the Library and Archives Canada.

Former POTUS, President Barack Obama attended Raptors Game #2 in Toronto, on June 2

It has been a long time coming, as the team has been eliminated the past three seasons at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, so it seemed that it was time to make a change. Masai Ujiri, General Manager of the Raptors, traded away their best player arguably in their franchise history, DeMar DeRozan, to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard.
Continue reading ‘Recent success of Toronto Raptors jolts the entire country of Canada 🏀🍁’ »

Standing for the protection, rights and dignity of a smaller community of citizens in times of communal unrest has seldom been a characteristic of persons at the helm of governance in this country.


By

Bishop Duleep de Chickera

“Give peace within her borders, ‘twixt man and man goodwill,
The love all unsuspicious, the love that works no ill1. ”
W.S. Senior

Real stories-real racism

A Colombo taxi driver informed a customer that he was a Muslim. It sounded like an apology. His two previous hires had been cancelled after his cultural identity had been guessed.

In the hill-country, a group of persons got into a heated argument with a woman who had accompanied her daughter to an interview. One of them called the police and the woman was taken in for questioning. It had nothing to do with the petty quarrel. She had a scarf draped over her head.

In the deep-south a Muslim family was asked to leave a private bus. The conductor was barely out of his teens. None of the other passengers objected. The difference it would have made to the humiliated family did not seem to matter.

In several places around the country an unofficial boycott of Muslim shops and businesses is in place. This gets worse when non-Muslims who step into Muslim shops are intimidated as they step out, and Muslims who step into non-Muslim shops are turned away.

This shameful trend took a painful turn in an act of self-infliction at Kekirawa. The destruction of a mosque by some Muslims was a desperate attempt for survival. The ‘perceived enemy’ seemed to be pointing at the ‘real enemy’ so that social anger would be directed elsewhere. The act nevertheless amounted to a criminal breach of the peace. No matter the cheering squads, those who picked up sledge hammers and took the law into their own hands should be prosecuted.

Any credible evidence of sedition being planned or fanned at the demolished Mosque should have been passed on to state authorities. Intra-Muslim violence brings neither credit nor credibility to anyone. It only spreads what it expects to stop. Already judged by their own, the ‘enemy’ Muslims have overnight become targets.

Continue reading ‘Standing for the protection, rights and dignity of a smaller community of citizens in times of communal unrest has seldom been a characteristic of persons at the helm of governance in this country.’ »

A Buddhist Monk cum Politician Fasts To Compel Action To Be Taken Against a Muslim Minister Accused Of Links To Islamist Jihadists While The Catholic Church Head In An Extremely Inappropriate Act Visits Him To Show Sympathy.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

The gay abandon with which Sri Lanka’s politicians and public servants at the highest level act as if they are beyond even the slightest hint of accountability boggles our perpetually astonished imagination. This is exemplified by their behaviour in relation to first, ignoring all impending warnings of the Easter Sunday attacks by Islamist jihadists and second, by casually waving away responsibilities after the event on one ground or another, notwithstanding monumentally devastating consequences.


Iceberg of political lies, prevarications and obfuscation

Indeed, the ongoing proceedings before the Parliamentary Select Committee now inquiring into the Easter Sunday demonstrates that fact in frightening detail.

As an appalled public listened to the startling testimony given by the former Inspector General of Police (IGP), the former Defence Secretary and heads of intelligence agencies this week scarcely believing what they heard, it is clear that this is the proverbial tip of a gigantic iceberg of political lies, prevarications and obfuscation.

Continue reading ‘A Buddhist Monk cum Politician Fasts To Compel Action To Be Taken Against a Muslim Minister Accused Of Links To Islamist Jihadists While The Catholic Church Head In An Extremely Inappropriate Act Visits Him To Show Sympathy.’ »

Office of the Executive in Sri Lanka is Too Powerful To Be Left in Comfort and the Incumbent and any who Follow Must be Made as Uncomfortable as Possible and the Exercise of Executive Power as Difficult as Possible

by Sanjana Hattotuwa

For a few interested in and used to confirmation hearings or congressional sessions into individual or institutional activities in the US, the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) hearings in Sri Lanka, at first broadcast live, is something of a novelty.

Videos featuring Kamala Harris or Mazie Hirono questioning Brett Kavanaugh, Dianne Feinstein questioning Willian Barr or the now more frequent clips of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioning federal employees including high-ranking FBI officials and CEOs have gone viral even in Sri Lankafor a variety of reasons. One, it is an entirely alien political culture for us. Even with a puerile, offensive Commander in Chief and Executive Branch, other sections of government in the US hold accountable public institutions and public officials in ways we don’t even have constitutional provisions for, or the political imagination to construct and enact.

There is something ennobling about the proceedings – of public officials and industry giants being questioned on policies and practices. We are unused to this scrutiny and questioning, given a political culture unaccountable to voters once in power and Parliament. Two Cs – commissions and committees – defying both decency and democracy, define and draw outrageous political impunity in Sri Lanka, for decades. The most egregious abuse of power, negligence of public duty, corruption and nepotism, carry on with impunity even after very public announcements into their investigation through mechanisms that invariably fade into oblivion.

Dare we hope to believe that the PSC in to the Easter Sunday terrorism marks a change from this?

Continue reading ‘Office of the Executive in Sri Lanka is Too Powerful To Be Left in Comfort and the Incumbent and any who Follow Must be Made as Uncomfortable as Possible and the Exercise of Executive Power as Difficult as Possible’ »

With the Office of the Next President Being of a Purely Ceremonial Nature After the 19th Constitutional Amendment Why Squander Billions of Rupees by Having an Island -wide Election?

by Dr Nihal Jayawickrama

The national poll for the election of the next President is required to be held between November 8th and December 8th this year. Since the incumbent President has now indicated that he might not be seeking re-election, Sri Lanka’s next President will assume that office as soon as the result of that election is declared by the Commissioner of Elections. Several potential candidates have already emerged. In fact, any elector who has attained the age of 35 years, is not a citizen of any other country, has not been twice elected to the office of President by the People, and is not disqualified from being elected to Parliament, is eligible to be a candidate provided he/she is nominated by a recognized political party or, if he/she has been an elected member of Parliament, by any other political party or by an elector.

Continue reading ‘With the Office of the Next President Being of a Purely Ceremonial Nature After the 19th Constitutional Amendment Why Squander Billions of Rupees by Having an Island -wide Election?’ »

President Sirisena Holds Umbrella for Visiting Indian Premier Narendra Modi During Sudden Showers in Colombo and Presents him a Hand-carved White Teak Replica of “Samadhi Buddha” Statue.


By

Meera Srinivasan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during a meeting in Colombo on June 9, 2019. Twitter/@MaithripalaS
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during a meeting in Colombo on June 9, 2019. Twitter/@MaithripalaS

India, Sri Lanka call for collective and focussed action to counter it
In a visit spanning barely five hours, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions with Sri Lanka’s top leadership – both in government and Opposition in a string of short meetings in Colombo on Sunday. The focus in most of the interactions, sources said, was cooperation in economic initiatives, in countering terrorism.

Even as he wound up his ‘solidarity visit’, Mr. Modi tweeted that he had a “short but immensely fruitful” visit to the island.

Mr. Modi, who was here on President Maithripala Sirisena’s invitation, is the first foreign head of state to visit the island, after the ghastly Easter terror attacks that killed over 250 people.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Holds Umbrella for Visiting Indian Premier Narendra Modi During Sudden Showers in Colombo and Presents him a Hand-carved White Teak Replica of “Samadhi Buddha” Statue.’ »

Fighting Hatred With Hatred! Sri Lanka Responds to Islamist Terrorism By Terrorising Muslims With the Police Doing Little to Prevent Mob Attacks On Muslims -“The Economist”.

(This article appeared in the Asia section of “The Economist” print edition under the headline “Fighting hatred with hatred”)

The charges sound silly but the consequences are not. One Muslim lady’s crime was to wear a shirt printed with a ship’s helm. Her accusers said it looked like the wheel of dharma, so she must be mocking Buddhism, the religion of the majority

A young Muslim man was nabbed for having three sim cards in his pocket, and a broken memory card. True, he worked in a phone shop, but police insisted he must have snapped the memory card to hide nefarious contents.

A rich Muslim doctor was accused of having secretly sterilised 4,000 women by pinching their Fallopian tubes. More than 700 of the supposed victims have complained, enraged by rumours of a fertility “jihad” against non-Muslims.

Continue reading ‘Fighting Hatred With Hatred! Sri Lanka Responds to Islamist Terrorism By Terrorising Muslims With the Police Doing Little to Prevent Mob Attacks On Muslims -“The Economist”.’ »

“Arrest First and Ask Later”Policy Adopted by Police To Combat Terrorism Has Chilling Effect on Muslim Community which Feels Vulnerable and Helpless.

By

Namini Wijedasa

The K section of the historic Bogambara prison in Kandy is now informally called something else by jailers: The ISIS ward.

It is here that Muslims detained in those regions after the Easter Sunday bombings await their fate as the justice system trundles along. Their visitors often tarry hours at a time to see them. And when they are called forward, these outsiders are also occasionally called “ISIS”.

Predictably, not all those locked up have connections with the bombers or their network. In the struggle to compose an accurate profile of this new breed of terrorists in Sri Lanka, the policy has been one of “arrest first, ask later”. As some Muslims have discovered, a single phone call by a suspicious bystander could land them in prison. And this has had a chilling effect on the community.

Continue reading ‘“Arrest First and Ask Later”Policy Adopted by Police To Combat Terrorism Has Chilling Effect on Muslim Community which Feels Vulnerable and Helpless.’ »

Official Gazette Notification Issued By Presidential Secretariat on Voluntary Resignations of Four Cabinet Ministers, Four State Ministers and a Deputy Minister

An official gazette notification was issued by the Presidential Secretariat on Friday on the resignations of nine Muslim Ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers, who voluntarily quit their portfolios.

Nine Muslim politicians — four Cabinet ministers, four state ministers and one deputy minister — tendered their resignation letters effective from Monday, June 3.

The names of the ministers and their portfolios are as follows:

Continue reading ‘Official Gazette Notification Issued By Presidential Secretariat on Voluntary Resignations of Four Cabinet Ministers, Four State Ministers and a Deputy Minister’ »

Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake Orders Ministry Secretary and Electricity Board to Expeditiously Appoint 27 of his Personal Nominees as “Project Coordinators” in View of “Prevailing Security Situation of the Country”.

By Namini Wijedasa

Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake has ordered the Ministry Secretary and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to appoint 27 of his personal nominees as “project coordinators” for a spate of power plants, including some which are not yet in operation.

In a letter to Ministry Secretary B.M.S. Batagoda and CEB General Manager S.D.W. Gunawardana, the minister has said, “please initiate necessary action to expedite the process of appointing project coordinators, in view of prevailing security situation of the country”.

It is not explained how nearly 30 new project coordinators could help the prevailing security situation. Their salaries are likely to be supported by the CEB.

Continue reading ‘Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake Orders Ministry Secretary and Electricity Board to Expeditiously Appoint 27 of his Personal Nominees as “Project Coordinators” in View of “Prevailing Security Situation of the Country”.’ »

Rishad Bathiudeen Lodges Complaints at Police Headquarters Against Wimal Weerawansa and SB Dissanayake For Making False Accusations Against Him; Ex-Muslim Ministers to Meet With UN,OIC and Other Diplomatic Representatives in Colombo


Muslim Parliamentarians who have resigned their ministerial positions have begun lobbying nation-level stakeholders as well as a range of international bodies to press their cause of freeing the Muslim community from the current spate of racial hatred and harassment, ex-Minister and powerful Muslim politician Rishad Bathiudeen announced yesterday.

He was briefing news media after visiting Police Headquarters to file complaints against parliamentarians S.B. Dissanayaka and Wimal Weerawansa for making false statements against him.

Bathiudeen, who heads the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC), said they would shortly be meeting the United Nations (UN) Resident Representative in Sri Lanka and also the powerful Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)–world’s second largest inter-governmental organization after the UN.

Continue reading ‘Rishad Bathiudeen Lodges Complaints at Police Headquarters Against Wimal Weerawansa and SB Dissanayake For Making False Accusations Against Him; Ex-Muslim Ministers to Meet With UN,OIC and Other Diplomatic Representatives in Colombo’ »

Parliamentary Select Committee MP’s Write to Speaker Objecting to Attempts by President Sirisena To Interfere With Parliament and Say it “Is Unlawful” and a potential “breach of privileges” of the Legislature and PSC

By

Meera Srinivasan

President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday said that he conveyed to the Speaker earlier this week that the ongoing probe into the Easter attacks by a parliamentary panel could hinder court proceedings in the criminal investigations of the bombings.

On Thursday, however, the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) — which was informed of the President’s note — told the Speaker that sittings would continue. In a letter to the Speaker, PSC members said the Parliament is the sole judge of its powers and privileges, and had exclusive jurisdiction over its own proceedings, The Hindu has learnt, from top sources familiar with the correspondence.

Continue reading ‘Parliamentary Select Committee MP’s Write to Speaker Objecting to Attempts by President Sirisena To Interfere With Parliament and Say it “Is Unlawful” and a potential “breach of privileges” of the Legislature and PSC’ »

President Sirisena Summons Special Cabinet Meeting and Accuses Parliamentary Select Committee of Pursuing a With Hunt Against Him:Berates Jayampathy Wickramaratne, Sarath Fonseka, Ashu Marasinghe and MA Sumanthiran For Destroying his Image.

By Chathuri Dissanayake

In a rushed special Cabinet meeting lasting over an hour yesterday, President Maithripala Sirisena strongly opposed the Parliament Select Committee on the Easter Sunday attacks continuing its hearings, calling it a political witch hunt against him.

An angry Sirisena accused some of the members of the PSC, Parliamentarians Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, and M. A. Sumanthiran, of having political motives to destroy his image, sources privy to the meeting told Daily FT.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Summons Special Cabinet Meeting and Accuses Parliamentary Select Committee of Pursuing a With Hunt Against Him:Berates Jayampathy Wickramaratne, Sarath Fonseka, Ashu Marasinghe and MA Sumanthiran For Destroying his Image.’ »

President Sirisena to Ban Serving Top Govt Intelligence Officials From Testifying Before Parliament Select Committee Probing Easter Sunday Violence: Is Sirisena Unhappy Over Revelations by Officials About his Ineptness and Inefficiency?


President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said he disapproved of bringing in top officials, including intelligence officers, before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to investigate into the Easter Sunday attacks, and said he will not allow serving officers to be called for testimony.

The President expressed these views during the monthly meeting with top Police officials held at the Presidential Secretariat. During the meeting, he noted only retired officials have been summoned before the PSC so far, but President Sirisena said he will not allow active officers to be summoned before the PSC, and that he will take full responsibility over the decision.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena to Ban Serving Top Govt Intelligence Officials From Testifying Before Parliament Select Committee Probing Easter Sunday Violence: Is Sirisena Unhappy Over Revelations by Officials About his Ineptness and Inefficiency?’ »

Easter Sunday Tragedy Has Led to Concealed Moves Threatening Media Freedom and the Rights of Journalisrs Through Amendments to the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

The country that revoked the Criminal Defamation Law in 2002 is moving under the shadow of the Easter Sunday tragedy and the politics of ethnic and religious hatred, to bring in special amendments to the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code to restore the anti-democratic features of Criminal Defamation legislation.

The Criminal Defamation Law was revoked in 2002 by the Ranil Wickremesinghe-led UNP Government. It came after the increasing protests at the use of this law by the Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga government to curb, curtail, threaten and punish journalists and the media. The UNP that brought this change is not a political party that had a good record on media freedom and the rights of journalists. It was seeking popularity by attacking the political opponents.

Continue reading ‘Easter Sunday Tragedy Has Led to Concealed Moves Threatening Media Freedom and the Rights of Journalisrs Through Amendments to the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code’ »

State Intelligence Service Director DIG Nilantha Jayawardena Who Reported Directly to President Sirisena on Intelligence Matters Told IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and Ex-Def Secy Hemasiri Fernando on April 20 that “something Dangerous Could Happen on Easter Sunday” (April 21)

By Chandani Kirinde

The Easter Sunday bombing could not be averted due to systemic failures within the security establishment, caused by lack of communication and coordination between different agencies tasked with national security, as well as a lackadaisical attitude towards security by the political leadership, two top officials told a Parliamentary Committee yesterday.

The officials, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundera and former Defence Ministry Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, who appeared before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) looking into the attacks, painted a picture of national security being heavily compromised, with the IGP kept out of National Security Council (NSC) meetings for nearly six months, and Council meetings held erratically at the whim and fancy of the President.

The IGP, in his evidence, said he had been excluded from the NSC meetings since October last year, over a trust issue that had come up over the transfer of a Police inspector.

“I was informed by the then Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Kapila Waidyaratne that there was no necessity for me to attend the NSC meetings around the end of October. I was told the President had said there was no need for me to attend,” the IGP said.

The former Defence Ministry Secretary, in his evidence, disclosed that between November 2018 and April 2019, the NSC had only met four times, and that too at short notice, with both the IGP and the Prime Minister kept out of them.

Continue reading ‘State Intelligence Service Director DIG Nilantha Jayawardena Who Reported Directly to President Sirisena on Intelligence Matters Told IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and Ex-Def Secy Hemasiri Fernando on April 20 that “something Dangerous Could Happen on Easter Sunday” (April 21)’ »

President Sirisena Told IGP Jayasundara to Resign Accepting Responsibilty for Easter Carnage Disaster and be Rewarded With Ambassador Post Or Be Found Guilty By Presidential Commission and Go Home Without a Pension;When IGP refused Sirisena Sent him on Compulsory Leave.

by Saman Indrajith

IGP Pujith Jayasundara, yesterday, told the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the Easter Sunday carnage that he had been excluded from the National Security Council since Oct 23, 2018 by President Maithripala Sirisena over a misunderstanding as regards a police inspector’s transfer.

Giving evidence before the PSC, Jayasundera said that he had been informed by then Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Kapila Waidyaratne that he didn’t have to attend the NSC meetings.

Asked on what grounds he had been excluded by the Secretary Defence, the IGP responded that the President did not want his presence at the NSC meetings.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Told IGP Jayasundara to Resign Accepting Responsibilty for Easter Carnage Disaster and be Rewarded With Ambassador Post Or Be Found Guilty By Presidential Commission and Go Home Without a Pension;When IGP refused Sirisena Sent him on Compulsory Leave.’ »

Will the Govt Take Concrete Steps to Effectively Counter the On Going Anti-Muslim Campaign in Sri Lanka?

By

Kshama Ranawana

Even as families of victims of the Easter Sunday terror gradually pick up the pieces of their lives, and attempt to make sense of that dastardly act, a more insidious campaign is taking hold of the country.

Anti-Muslim rhetoric is not new in Sri Lanka, but the Easter Sunday bomb blasts carried out by members of extremist National Thowheed Jama’ath (NTJ) has given it a new breath of life.

The move to stifle Muslim owned businesses has been around for more than a decade, but it is gathering momentum now. There is no end to social media posts that lists various businesses that must be boycotted. As well, the anti-halal issue has been revived.

Along with the call to boycott Muslim owned businesses comes the Islamaphobic posts in the form of videos of years old speeches and protests carried out by Muslims both here and abroad.

One such video doing the rounds on Monday, just after the release of Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero from jail, was of a protest carried out much earlier against the proposed reforms to the Muslim marriage and divorce Act. In that protest a speaker is seen berating the Thero. That video has in turn roused up viewers who believe the protests were held recently.

A couple of weeks after the Easter Sunday attacks another video of a protest by Muslims based in the UK was posted on social media. That was from 2014 soon after the anti-Muslim riots in Aluthgama. Again, most people erroneously believed the protest by the Muslims against the government was a result of the Easter Sunday massacre.

What is interesting this time around is the support such actions, primarily carried out by Sinhala Buddhists, is receiving from the Tamil and Christian communities.

Continue reading ‘Will the Govt Take Concrete Steps to Effectively Counter the On Going Anti-Muslim Campaign in Sri Lanka?’ »

Matara District Buddhist Chief Incumbents Issue “Fatwa” type “Sanga Order” Against Mangala Samaraweera Forbidding the Veteran Matara District MP from Entering Temples,Hermitages and All Places of Buddhist Worship in the District.

By

Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk

The Matara District Chief Incumbents’ Union and Matara District Shasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya issued a ‘Sangha Order’ against Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday (5).

This order entails boycotting any event the minister participates in and banning him from entering Buddhist places of worship in the Matara District.

This follows a statement made by him recently that the Sri Lanka was not a Buddhist country.

Continue reading ‘Matara District Buddhist Chief Incumbents Issue “Fatwa” type “Sanga Order” Against Mangala Samaraweera Forbidding the Veteran Matara District MP from Entering Temples,Hermitages and All Places of Buddhist Worship in the District.’ »

“The mass resignation of two Muslim governors and nine Ministers in Sri Lanka deepens a new fault line that has emerged in the island nation after the Easter Sunday blasts perpetrated by a fanatical Islamist group” – The Hindu

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Hindu” of June 6th 2018 Under the heading “The healing touch: on Muslim Ministers resigning in Sri Lanka”)

The mass resignation of two Muslim governors and nine Ministers in Sri Lanka deepens a new fault line that has emerged in the island nation after the Easter Sunday blasts perpetrated by a fanatical Islamist group. Sinhala Buddhist hardliners had demanded that the Governors, Azath Salley and M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, and Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, be removed for allegedly backing the terrorist group and interfering with the investigation. Stung by the aggressive demand at a time when investigators had not found any evidence implicating the three, all Muslim Ministers resigned in an act of solidarity.

Continue reading ‘“The mass resignation of two Muslim governors and nine Ministers in Sri Lanka deepens a new fault line that has emerged in the island nation after the Easter Sunday blasts perpetrated by a fanatical Islamist group” – The Hindu’ »

“Do not try to appease extremists or seek middle ground with them. They will make use of you and then move the goalposts further to the extreme” -Mangala Samaraweera

By

Mangala Samaraweera


The Cardinal Truth

For as long as Sri Lanka has been an independent and sovereign nation, our people have been torn between two opposing political forces. This is the battle between the politics of unity and politics of division. To unite peoples across religious, ethnic and geographical lines requires moral courage and national vision. Unfortunately, many who have aspired to leadership roles in politics, the clergy and business have, far too often, taken the short cut of trying to gain or retain their power and influence by seeking to divide our people.

Some like the LTTE have tried to carve our country in two among ethnic and geographical lines. More recently, the radical Islamic cult of Zahran Hashim and ISIS sought to set the country on fire by igniting themselves, hundreds of innocent civilians and communities. All Sri Lankans condemn this unspeakable brutality. Our country owes the victims of these attacks an incalculable debt. Their grief is eternal, and the UNP will stand with them until the end of time.

Sadly, these terrorists are not the only forces who have succumbed to the temptation to lead Sri Lankans by dividing and not uniting. In 1983, several national leaders were guilty of, at minimum, turning a blind eye to heinous persecution of innocent Tamil civilians who were made to pay the price for crimes committed by the LTTE. During the 1989 insurrection, extremists ruthlessly killed civilians of all faiths and ethnicities. The government’s crackdown on their brutality was so heinous that none other than Mahinda Rajapaksa went to Geneva to seek international intervention to protect the human rights of Sri Lankan citizens.

In recent years, Sri Lankans have made many strides towards a more united country. For every step forward we take, the stark reality is that there will always be those whose political survival depends on dragging the country backwards and trying to divide us along sectarian lines.

It cannot be said too many times that most Tamils had nothing to do with the LTTE, most Sinhalese did not support the JVP insurrections, most Muslims abhor and denounce radicalization of their Islam, and most Catholics and other Christians are disgusted by the attempts of a few to legitimize a racist and religiously motivated witch hunt.

Continue reading ‘“Do not try to appease extremists or seek middle ground with them. They will make use of you and then move the goalposts further to the extreme” -Mangala Samaraweera’ »

30 Thowheed Jamath Members Including Easter Sunday Bomber Zahran Hashim were Paid Salaries from State Accounts During Mahinda Rajapksa Govt Discloses Lakshman Kiriella in Parliament.


By Ashwin Hemmathagama

Leader of the House and Public Enterprise Minister Lakshman Kiriella yesterday told Parliament the Easter Sunday bomber Zahran Hashim was on the Government’s payroll during the Government of Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Raising the issue of making payments from State accounts, Minister Kiriella said: “The previous Government paid salaries from State accounts to 30 members of the Thowheed Jamaath.

Continue reading ‘30 Thowheed Jamath Members Including Easter Sunday Bomber Zahran Hashim were Paid Salaries from State Accounts During Mahinda Rajapksa Govt Discloses Lakshman Kiriella in Parliament.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena’s Latest “Gundu”! Tells Cabinet That He Wont Contest Presidential Elections or Support Anyone From Mahinda Rajapaksa Group;Wll Support UNF if a “New Face “Contests but if not he will Remain Neutral.

By Chathuri Dissanayake

President Maithripala Sirisena has told the Cabinet of Ministers he has no plans of contesting in the upcoming Presidential Elections and will also not support Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa

President Sirisena, who discussed the current political climate with the Ministers of the United National Front (UNF) after the Cabinet meeting concluded, had reportedly told those present that he had no plans of running for office again, informed sources told Daily FT.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena’s Latest “Gundu”! Tells Cabinet That He Wont Contest Presidential Elections or Support Anyone From Mahinda Rajapaksa Group;Wll Support UNF if a “New Face “Contests but if not he will Remain Neutral.’ »

Police Terrorism Investigation Division Had an Open Warrant From Colombo Magistrate and Interpol Blue Notice in July 2018 to Apprehend NTJ Leader Mohammed Zahran Reveals ex-TID Chief DIG Nalaka Silva to PSC

By Chandani Kirinde

The Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) obtained an open warrant from the Colombo Magistrate’s Court as well a blue notice from Interpol in July 2018 in order to apprehend Mohamed Zahran, the Leader of the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) who masterminded the Easter day bombings, the former Head of the TID told a Parliamentary Committee yesterday.

This followed months of extensive surveillance of Zahran’s social media activity, former DIG Nalaka Silva told the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to look into and report on the terrorist attacks that took place on 21 April.

“After the Digana (anti-Muslim riots) incidents in 2018, his actions started moving towards violent extremism. There was a surge in his social media activities and we saw he was moving from extremism to violent extremism. He was using Facebook and websites to incite Muslim youth towards extremism,” Silva disclosed.

The former DIG said that he found that Zahran was becoming increasing dangerous and trying to attack Muslim youth and even suggested that his group be proscribed as part of the activity to crack down on him.

Zahran had also begun to endorse the activities of ISIS and was promoting ISIS videos through his Facebook and websites even though there was no evidence to show that he had any direct links with ISIS.

Continue reading ‘Police Terrorism Investigation Division Had an Open Warrant From Colombo Magistrate and Interpol Blue Notice in July 2018 to Apprehend NTJ Leader Mohammed Zahran Reveals ex-TID Chief DIG Nalaka Silva to PSC’ »

Is Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. Sarath Weerabandara Along With Police DIG Kithsiri Jayalath Aiming to Condemn Ex-UNP Candidate Dr. Mohammed Shafi as Guilty Through the “Statistical Approach”of Amassing a Huge Number of Complaints From Public?

By

Piyumi Fonseka

The alleged sterilization charges against Dr. Seigu Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi from the Teaching Hospital, Kurunegala have become the main topic in the country at present. It has created a huge controversy which is taking new turns and spreading its flames in the country.

His wife Dr. M.N.F. Imara, holding an MBBS degree from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, is working in the Nephrology Unit at the Teaching Hospital in Kurunegala. Their three children are attending popular national schools in Kurunegala.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Dr. Imara said that everything that happened before and after the arrest of her husband has made her to believe that proceedings have been well-planned to victimize Dr. Shafi. “But, I cannot imagine the secrecy behind all these manipulations,” she said.

Dr. Shafi graduated from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura as an MBBS Doctor in 2003. Since then, he has served the Government Health sector for more than 14 years in the following capacities: Internship at Teaching Hospital Kurunegala – 12/8/2004 to 12/8/2005, Released House Officer of Teaching Hospital Kurunegala 13/08/2005 to 11/04/2006, Medical Officer, District Hospital – Galewela -12/4/2006 to 18/4/2007, Senior House Officer of Gynaecology & Obstetrics at Teaching Hospital Kurunegala – 20/07/2007 to 25/02/2013 and as the Medical Officer of Gynecology & Obstetrics Base Hospital, Dambulla – 26/2/2013 to 26/2/2017

He resigned from the Government sector in July, 2015 to contest the General Elections in 2015. He contested as a UNP candidate and polled nearly 54,000 votes. However, he could not enter parliament, as the UNP secured only 7 places, and he was 8th in the list.

Continue reading ‘Is Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. Sarath Weerabandara Along With Police DIG Kithsiri Jayalath Aiming to Condemn Ex-UNP Candidate Dr. Mohammed Shafi as Guilty Through the “Statistical Approach”of Amassing a Huge Number of Complaints From Public?’ »

Colombo University Medical Faculty Professor Hemantha Senanayake Says “Sterilisation Story is Highly Unlikely” Because it is not easy to Carry out Thousands of “Wrong C -section Deliveries” in the Presence of Other Medical Officers.

By

Piyumi Fonseka

Professor Hemantha Senanayake, Head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo and Former Chairperson of Sri Lanka College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists speaking to the Daily Mirror said despite allegations still being levelled, the “sterilisation story is highly unlikely” because usually, in the presence of other medical officers, it isn’t an easy task to carry out thousands of “wrong C-section deliveries”.

He added that the Fallopian tubes are not usually seen at cesarean section, unless it is manipulated into the wound by inserting the hand into the abdomen.

Continue reading ‘Colombo University Medical Faculty Professor Hemantha Senanayake Says “Sterilisation Story is Highly Unlikely” Because it is not easy to Carry out Thousands of “Wrong C -section Deliveries” in the Presence of Other Medical Officers.’ »

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Will Oversee Portfolios Held by Four Cabinet Ministers who Resigned Instead of Filling the Vacancies Through New Appointments.

By

Sandun A Jayasekera

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided not to fill the Cabinet vacancies arising from the resignation of four Muslim ministers, a reliable government source said yesterday.

City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education Minister Rauff Hakeem, Highways, Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development Minister Kabir Hashim and Industry, Commerce, Resettlement, Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Vocational Training and Resettlement Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and Postal and Muslim Religious Affairs Minister Abdul Haleem submitted their resignations on Monday.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Will Oversee Portfolios Held by Four Cabinet Ministers who Resigned Instead of Filling the Vacancies Through New Appointments.’ »

No Confidence Motion in Pariament Against Rishad Bathiudeen Withdrawn After he Resigns Cabinet Minister Post;JVP No Confidence Motion Against Govt to be Taken Up for Debate on July 9&10.

By
Camelia Nathaniel and Amali Mallawarachchi

Parliamentary party leaders yesterday decided to withdraw the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against United National Front (UNF) MP and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen from the Order Paper following the latter’s resignation from his Cabinet ministerial post.

The NCM debate against Bathiudeen was scheduled to be taken up on June 18 and 19.

Continue reading ‘No Confidence Motion in Pariament Against Rishad Bathiudeen Withdrawn After he Resigns Cabinet Minister Post;JVP No Confidence Motion Against Govt to be Taken Up for Debate on July 9&10.’ »

Gnanasara Thero Condemns Rathana Thero Saying “Acts like the Ven. Rathana Thera’s fast-unto-death campaign will only push such moderate Muslims towards extremism”

Acts like the fast-unto-death campaign launched by Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera could push the moderate Muslims in the country towards extremism, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said yesterday.

Addressing the media in Colombo, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Gnanasara Thera pointed out that more than the Sinhala people it was the moderate Muslims who had helped curb extremist acts by the followers of terrorist leader Zaharan after the Easter Sunday bombing.

“Acts like the Ven. Rathana Thera’s fast-unto-death campaign will only push such moderate Muslims towards extremism” he stressed.

Ven. Gnanasara Thera went on to say that Ven. Rathana Thera’s act could have been justified if he had held the protest at least within a week after the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Thera also questioned why Ven. Rathana Thera was protesting against three individuals when there were so many others behind the Easter Sunday carnage.

Ven. Gnanasara Thera said the requirement today was for a national agenda to defeat extremism and not individual acts like Rathana Thera’s fast-unto-death campaign.

Courtesy:Daily News

NSSP Leader Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne Wants Police to Arrest Athuraliye Rathana Thero for Trying to Commit Suicide and Create Political Unrest in the Country by Attempting to Fast Unto Death After Making Demands.

By
Menaka Indrakumar

Nava Sama Samaja Party Leader Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne yesterday (4) said Athuraliye Rathana Thera should be arrested for creating political unrest in the country by fasting unto death demanding the removal two governors and a Minister.

“According to the law, nobody has the right to take one’s life, when one does and survives the attempt, the individual is arrested and hospitalised.This should have been the case with Rathana Thera.

Continue reading ‘NSSP Leader Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne Wants Police to Arrest Athuraliye Rathana Thero for Trying to Commit Suicide and Create Political Unrest in the Country by Attempting to Fast Unto Death After Making Demands.’ »

Envoys Representing Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) Issue Statement Saying Communal Violence Against Muslims in Sri Lanka has Regional and Global Implications.

Ambassadors and High Commissioners of countries which are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have in a statement issued on Tuesday said that the Communal violence targeting Muslims in Sri Lanka has regional and global security implications.

The developing situation over the past few days has been extremely worrying with regards to the safety and protection of the Sri Lankan Muslim community, including some foreign Muslim refugees.

The lives and livelihoods of Muslims, including their local stores and large business establishments, are threatened by the prevailing conditions with unforeseen, dangerous consequences.

Continue reading ‘Envoys Representing Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) Issue Statement Saying Communal Violence Against Muslims in Sri Lanka has Regional and Global Implications.’ »

3 Member Police Special Committee Headed by a SSP with Two SP’s Appointed to Collect Complaints in Writing Against Former Cabinet Minister Bathiudeen and Ex-Governors Hizbullah and Salley: Police Headquarters will Receive Complaints From June 4 to June 12 Between 8 am -4pm.

Police yesterday appointed a three-member committee to collect complaints against former Western Province Governor Azath Salley, former Eastern Province Governor M.L.A. Hizbullah and former Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.

Issuing a recorded statement, Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said two Superintendents of Police had been appointed to the committee and it would be headed by a Senior Superintendent of Police. The committee has been established at Police Headquarters.

Complaints can be handed over to the Police Headquarters from Tuesday to 12 June between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Continue reading ‘3 Member Police Special Committee Headed by a SSP with Two SP’s Appointed to Collect Complaints in Writing Against Former Cabinet Minister Bathiudeen and Ex-Governors Hizbullah and Salley: Police Headquarters will Receive Complaints From June 4 to June 12 Between 8 am -4pm.’ »

Muslim MP’s Quit Govt En Masse! Four Cabinet Ministers, Four State Ministers and One Deputy Minister From the Muslim Congress, Makkal Congress and the UNP Resign Together.

By Chathuri Dissanayake

Eight Muslim members of the Government, including three Cabinet Ministers, resigned from their posts yesterday, along with Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, whose removal was demanded to enable impartial investigations on the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

Along with Industry and Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Co-operative Development and Vocational Training and Skills Development Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, four State Ministers and one Deputy Minister also resigned, giving the Criminal investigations Department (CID) one month to complete investigations on any allegations against any of them.

The Muslim leaders, expressing disappointment in the way the Government has handled the recent communal tensions, emphasised they were “sacrificing” their portfolios to make way for “a proper investigation.”

Rauff Hakeem, who held the City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education Ministry, making a statement at Temple Trees immediately after resigning, said that they expect the investigations to culminate in completely “vindicating” them all.

“We’re sacrificing our posts to create an environment to facilitate peace and coexistence,” the former Minister said.

Continue reading ‘Muslim MP’s Quit Govt En Masse! Four Cabinet Ministers, Four State Ministers and One Deputy Minister From the Muslim Congress, Makkal Congress and the UNP Resign Together.’ »

Rishad Bathiudeen,Rauff Hakeem and Other Muslim Congress (SLMC) and Makkal Congress (ACMC) MP’s Quit Posts in Govt to Help Avert Organized Violence Targeting Muslims; UNP Ministers Follow Suit;Athureliya Ratana Thero Ends Fast After Hizbullah and Azath Salley Resign as Governors.


There is a very strong possibility of all Muslim Parliamentarians from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) resigning their ministerial positions in the Government informed Muslim sources said.

A key decision to this effect is likely to be arrived at on Monday June 3rd 2019 when most if not all Muslim MP’s in the present Parliament are expected to meet at the residence of veteran Muslim leader AHM Fowzie.

It is learnt that the meeting has been convened in view of the prevailing political climate where immense pressure is being exerted on ACMC Leader and cabinet minister Rishad Bathiudeen to resign from the Government.

The situation has been further exacerbated by an orchestrated campaign by Sinhala Buddhist hawkish elements demanding the dismissal of Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley along with cabinet minister Bathiudeen.

Continue reading ‘Rishad Bathiudeen,Rauff Hakeem and Other Muslim Congress (SLMC) and Makkal Congress (ACMC) MP’s Quit Posts in Govt to Help Avert Organized Violence Targeting Muslims; UNP Ministers Follow Suit;Athureliya Ratana Thero Ends Fast After Hizbullah and Azath Salley Resign as Governors.’ »

Muslim Governors Hizbullah and Salley Along With Cabinet Ministers Hakeem, Bathiudeen, Hashim, Haleem – State Ministers Ameer Ali, Harees,Cassim,Moulana – Deputy Minister Maharoof Resign Their Posts in United Move Cutting Across Party Lines.

Two Muslim Provincial Governors and all nine Muslim members of the Sri Lankan Council of Ministers resigned on Monday following a sharp deterioration of the politico-communal situation in the island nation.

Those who resigned were the Western Province Governor Azath Salley, Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hisbullah, Cabinet Ministers Kabir Hashim, Rauff Hakeem, Rishad Bathiudeen and MHA Haleem; State Ministers Faisal Cassim, HMM Harees, Amir Ali and Ali Zaheer Mowlana; and Deputy Minister MAM Maharoof.

Meeting the media in the Prime Minister’s Office, the ministers said that despite the Muslim community’s unstinted cooperation in the investigations into the multiple suicide attacks in Colombo and other towns on April 21 by a bunch of Muslim terrorists, the Muslim community as a whole is being persecuted, nay, “tortured” with impunity.

Continue reading ‘Muslim Governors Hizbullah and Salley Along With Cabinet Ministers Hakeem, Bathiudeen, Hashim, Haleem – State Ministers Ameer Ali, Harees,Cassim,Moulana – Deputy Minister Maharoof Resign Their Posts in United Move Cutting Across Party Lines.’ »

Telecast of Parliamentary Select Committee Probing Easter Sunday Bombings Sabotaged by Vandal Who Pulled Out a Plug in the Broadcasting System Alleges Lakshman Kiriells.

by Zacki Jabbar

Minister of Public Enterprise, Kandyan Heritage and Kandy Development Minister Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday that the live telecast of last weeks Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry into the April 21st Easter Sunday suicide bomb blasts at three churches and three luxury hotels, had been sabotaged by a person who had pulled out one of the plugs in the broadcasting system.

Continue reading ‘Telecast of Parliamentary Select Committee Probing Easter Sunday Bombings Sabotaged by Vandal Who Pulled Out a Plug in the Broadcasting System Alleges Lakshman Kiriells.’ »

Mangala Samaraweera Says Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Has Aggravated Hatred and Communalism by Visiting Athureliya Rathana Thero and Wants the Pope and Vatican to Take Note of It.

by Zacki Jabbar

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has called on the Vatican and Pope Francis to take note of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith visiting MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera in Kandy yesterday, while he was engaged in a fast demanding the resignation of Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and Provincial Governors M.L.A.M. Hisbullah and Azath Salley.

Continue reading ‘Mangala Samaraweera Says Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Has Aggravated Hatred and Communalism by Visiting Athureliya Rathana Thero and Wants the Pope and Vatican to Take Note of It.’ »

Catholic Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Visits Fasting Buddhist Monk In Kandy and Says “I believe that Ven. Rathana Thera too is conducting this fast because the government had failed to do what the people want”.

By

Nadeeka Daya Bandara

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith who visited MP Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thera during his fast unto death said the problem would not have blown out of proportion today if President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had acted against those who discreetly aided and abetted the terrorist attacks.

“People have given a mandate to the President, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to govern the country for five years. They had not been given a lifetime right to be in office. They have not been given the country on freehold basis. The country belongs to people, not to its rulers. The rulers should be mindful of it. The time has come to take a decision on the President and the Prime Minister,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Catholic Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Visits Fasting Buddhist Monk In Kandy and Says “I believe that Ven. Rathana Thera too is conducting this fast because the government had failed to do what the people want”.’ »

Athureliya Rathana Thero Ends Hunger Strike After Central Province Governor Maithri Gunaratne Informs Him That Eastern Governor Hizbullah and Western Governor Salley Have Resigned


By Norman Palihawadane and Cyril Wimalasurendre

Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera called off his hunger strike around 2.45 pm, yesterday, after learning that Governors Azath Salley and M. L. A.M. Hizbullah had resigned from their posts.

Rathana Thera launched his fast in front of the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy on May 31, demanding the removal of Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, and PC Governors Hizbulla and Salley from their posts.

Earlier yesterday, Salley and Hizbullah submitted their letters of resignation to President Maithripala Sirisena. Central Province Governor Maithri Gunaratne arrived at the Mahamaluwa where the protest was in progress and informed Rathana Thera of the resignations.

Thereafter the Thera broke fast and was taken to the Kandy General Hospital in an ambulance for treatment.

Continue reading ‘Athureliya Rathana Thero Ends Hunger Strike After Central Province Governor Maithri Gunaratne Informs Him That Eastern Governor Hizbullah and Western Governor Salley Have Resigned’ »

Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley Hand Over Letters of Resignation After Meeting With President Sirisena and a Group of UPFA Parliamentarians.

By
Camelia Nathaniel

Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley had tendered their letters of resignation to President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, the President’s Media Division stated.

Accordingly, the President had accepted the resignation letters of the governors.

Continue reading ‘Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley Hand Over Letters of Resignation After Meeting With President Sirisena and a Group of UPFA Parliamentarians.’ »

Is the “Witch-hunt” Targeting Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Surgeon Dr. Seigu Siyabdeen Mohammed Safi , Part of a Coordinated Conspiracy Against Him?


By Rajitha Jagoda Arachchi and Aanya Wipulasena

He is known to most as a supportive colleague. They remember him to be generous, and always available when anyone needs his help. He was polite and greeted everyone as he went about his work at the hospital. As he associated everyone closely, he had no enemies while the patients recall him as friendly and warmhearted.

How did this gynaecologist and obstetrician’s life turn upside down following a newspaper article?

The tornado of allegations levelled against Dr. Seigu Siyabdeen Mohammed Safi, ignited after the newspaper article accused him of sterilizing 4,000 mothers without their consent.

The doctor – attached to the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital (KTH) – was arrested shortly afterwards, on May 24, over charges of amassing a large amount of wealth and assets. Soon, the authorities called the public to come forward with complaints if any, against him on sterilisation accusations.

Continue reading ‘Is the “Witch-hunt” Targeting Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Surgeon Dr. Seigu Siyabdeen Mohammed Safi , Part of a Coordinated Conspiracy Against Him?’ »

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Continues to “Wait” for the Approving Nod of his All-powerful Charismatic Brother Mahinda to be Endorsed Officially as the SLPP Presidential Candidate.

By

Don Manu

Even though the Rajapaksa top guns baptised Gotabaya in March as the family’s chosen seed to contest the presidency, former president and elder sibling Mahinda Rajapaksa is still to officially christen him as the Pohottuwa Party’s official candidate.

And emerging from the Bellanwila Temple after being head-massaged with oil at the traditional New Year ceremony, he told the media that the party was still to decide on the candidate.

He said, “We will make a decision with the input and consent of all allies. The one who can definitely win will be fielded as the candidate.”

In the week that followed the Easter carnage, though Gotabaya rushed to stake his claim and imply that he is the anointed one to lead the nation from weakness to strength and destroy the Islamic extremists threat, he still must wait to be given the sacramental oil of approval from his elder all powerful charismatic brother.

Last fortnight, in a voice clip to the media, Mahinda Rajapaksa refused to grant him his blessing, saying, “It’s a part decision and we will have to wait and see.” When further questioned by the media as to when the party will decide, he said no date had yet been fixed to decide on the matter and it would be announced in due course.

The nation knows only too well that though G L Peiris is the front man as chairman of the Sri Lankan Podu Peramuna, the power behind the chair is Mahinda and no one else. Without Mahinda, there will be no SLPP. It goes without saying that what Mahinda says goes. So what makes the elder still withhold his blessings to his younger sibling?

Continue reading ‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa Continues to “Wait” for the Approving Nod of his All-powerful Charismatic Brother Mahinda to be Endorsed Officially as the SLPP Presidential Candidate.’ »

Attorney -General Withdraws Appeal Challenging Colombo High Court Decision to Acquit Bodu BalaSena Gen -Secy Gnanasara Thero and 12 Others Over 11 Charges Relating to the Attack of a Church in Thalahena

By
Lakmal Sooriyagoda

The Colombo High Court was yesterday informed that an appeal petition filed by the Attorney General (AG) challenging the Colombo High Court’s decision to acquit Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera and 12 others from 11 charges including for attacking a church in Thalahena had been withdrawn by the Attorney General.

On April 2, 2014, the Colombo High Court had acquitted all the accused from 11 charges following a trial. Accordingly, the judgement to acquit all accused including Ven.Gnanasara Thera will be effective since there is no any legal impediment.

Continue reading ‘Attorney -General Withdraws Appeal Challenging Colombo High Court Decision to Acquit Bodu BalaSena Gen -Secy Gnanasara Thero and 12 Others Over 11 Charges Relating to the Attack of a Church in Thalahena’ »

IGP Pujitha Jayasundara States In His FR Petition That the State Intelligence Service Director DIG Nilantha Jayawardena Reporting Directly to President Sirisena Asked Him to Suspend All Investigations by the Police Terrorism Investigation Division Into Extremist Muslim Factions With Links to Terrorist Organizations.

Sri Lanka’s police chief Pujith Jayasundera, now on compulsory leave, following Easter Sunday bomb attacks, has petitioned the Supreme Court alleging he was kept out of national security council meetings after October 2018, and he was offered a diplomatic post if he resigned.

A Deputy Inspector General who was head of State Intelligence was not repoting to him but the President, the police terrorist investigations deprtment had been asked to stop investigations into Islamist extremists and he did not have full information to take action, he had said.

National Security Council

In the fundamental rights petition, he alleged that on the instructions of the president he was excluded from National Security Council meetings since early October.

Nilantha Jayawardena, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police as Director, State Intelligence Services (SIS) was reporting directly to the President, the IGP said.

“The Petitioner was only made privy to whatever information was sent to him from time to time, and was denied the ability to have full recourse to or participate in vital consideration of matters of national security,” the IGP pleaded.

“It is in this context, that the Petitioner did all he could on the basis of limited information given to him, subject to constraints imposed on him.”

Continue reading ‘IGP Pujitha Jayasundara States In His FR Petition That the State Intelligence Service Director DIG Nilantha Jayawardena Reporting Directly to President Sirisena Asked Him to Suspend All Investigations by the Police Terrorism Investigation Division Into Extremist Muslim Factions With Links to Terrorist Organizations.’ »

Deeper Impact of Easter Sunday Bombings ” Sweeps Aside or Marginalises” the On Going”Struggles for Justice ” in Sri Lanka and Inflict “Serious Blows” to Accountability and Rule of Law

By

Meera Srinivasan

The enormity of Sri Lanka’s Easter bombings was pretty clear by the end of day, April 21. At least 250 lives had been lost and the island was jolted into realising that its relative post-war peace was far from secure.

Over a month since, as Sri Lankans grapple with lingering fear and get used to heightened security all around, some worry that the attacks could have had an impact deeper than apparent.

For those pushing for accountability in cases of war-time disappearances and murders, the prospect of justice has further paled.

Continue reading ‘Deeper Impact of Easter Sunday Bombings ” Sweeps Aside or Marginalises” the On Going”Struggles for Justice ” in Sri Lanka and Inflict “Serious Blows” to Accountability and Rule of Law’ »

Lawyers in Mawanella and Badulla Refuse to Represent Muslims Arrested After Easter Attacks;Nikaweratiya Bar Protests Police Opposing Bail for Anti-Musim Violence Suspects; Embilipitiya District Judge Interdicted for Posting Racist Content on FB; A-G Asked to Prevent Dept Counsel from posting Racially biased comments on Social Media.

by Anurangi Singh

Human Rights Commission writes to BASL President, AG, about discriminatory practices, racially charged social media posts:

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) in a series of communications to the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), various public officials, and to the Attorney General has sought to flag serious concerns about professionals and public officials using their social media accounts to propagate racially charged material and commentary and racially discriminatory practices.

The series of communications from the HRCSL come in the wake of a decision by the Judicial Service Commission to interdict an Embilipitiya District Court judge for posting political content on his Facebook page.

Continue reading ‘Lawyers in Mawanella and Badulla Refuse to Represent Muslims Arrested After Easter Attacks;Nikaweratiya Bar Protests Police Opposing Bail for Anti-Musim Violence Suspects; Embilipitiya District Judge Interdicted for Posting Racist Content on FB; A-G Asked to Prevent Dept Counsel from posting Racially biased comments on Social Media.’ »

IGP Pujitha Jayasundara Alleges in Supreme Court Petition That President Sirisena had Excluded him From Security Council Meetings Since October 2018 and that he was Promised a Diplomatic Posting if he Tendered his Resignation as IGP.


by Anurangi Singh

Former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara has revealed in his petition to the Supreme Court that the State Intelligence Service (SIS), (although informed of a possible security threat), never highlighted the urgency of it nor any immediate action that should be taken.

The SIS, according to Jayasundara, directly reports to the President in all intelligence related matters, and neither he, (nor any officer who was privy to the intelligence operation and investigation that was underway), were requested to take any action, and, furthermore, he was only notified on the night of the 20 April, of an imminent attack.

Last week, former IGP Jayasundara petitioned the Supreme Court seeking a declaration that the executive decision to send him on compulsory leave consequent to the Easter Sunday attacks, was an infringement of his Fundamental Rights guaranteed under articles 12 and 14 of the Constitution. Several suicide attacks (on three churches and three hotels in and around Colombo) took place on April 21, 2019 targeting people who had gathered to celebrate Easter Sunday. It shook the country and exposed major lapses in the security system.

The former IGP and the former secretary of Defence (Hemasiri Fernando), were asked to resign on account of security failures.Although the defence secretary tendered his resignation, Jayasundara refused to do so,and was subsequently sent on compulsory leave.

Continue reading ‘IGP Pujitha Jayasundara Alleges in Supreme Court Petition That President Sirisena had Excluded him From Security Council Meetings Since October 2018 and that he was Promised a Diplomatic Posting if he Tendered his Resignation as IGP.’ »

How the National Geographic Magazine Opened Up Exciting Vistas of a Brave New World to a Kid who Had Never Travelled Out of Sri Lanka.

by Sanjana Hattotuwa

Back home in Ratmalana, I have around 10 years worth of National Geographic magazines stacked on a bookshelf. My father subscribed to the magazine when I was in school. I haven’t yet asked him what drove him to do this, but I am grateful. Every year, the magazine sent subscribers a world map. The beautifully printed Mercator projection distorted size, but opened exciting new geographic possibilities to a kid who had never travelled out of Sri Lanka.

Here I could see boundaries I hadn’t realised existed, as they mysteriously snaked their way across continents – sometimes following terrain and topography, but at most times an arbitrary logic no different to an unthinking scribble. I didn’t understand then and don’t fully understand now how these borders all came to be made. But long before the vagaries of politics entered consciousness, the size of the map in relation to myself at the time gave a sense of how big the world beyond my room was. It isn’t a feeling digital media consumed on lap or palm is able to fully recreate now. Capitols, rivers, mountains, seas, cities, countries, roads and routes, harbours and hinterlands all came alive through a cartographic precision the magazine staked its reputation on.

And then there was the photography. Long before I started to appreciate photography as a medium or art, it was the message. The photographs in the National Geographic were, and still are, a visual feast. Critiques of this early, exoticising gaze or framing are now abundant and valid, but again, to a child of the 80s who had never set foot out of the country and whose only other visual teleportation device was a 21″ Sony Trinitron TV with two channels, the magazine’shigh-quality photos on glossy print were utterly captivating. From tribe to terrain, country to community, valley to village, each issue was a private portal into lands and landscapes I never thought I would see. Some of what I first saw on the magazine’s pages, I have now visited and witnessed in real life.

Continue reading ‘How the National Geographic Magazine Opened Up Exciting Vistas of a Brave New World to a Kid who Had Never Travelled Out of Sri Lanka.’ »

Sri Lanka Faces Unprecedented Communal Hysteria With Xenophobes and Zealots Invading Public Space and Spokesmen of Lunatic Fringe Outfits Being Given Media Time to Expound Their Racist Fantasies Unashamedly and Unapologetically.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

In the wake of Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday attacks, we have one (Muslim) Minister confessing to calling the Army Commander to ‘inquire into’ the fate of a Muslim suspect arrested following the Easter Sunday attacks and another (Sinhala) Minister being so bold as to transport Sinhalese rioters attacking Muslim shops in Kurunegala from one police station to another where they were given bail. Both acts are equally condemnatory. But the media focus is on the first and not on the second. Why is this?

Irrationality is in the air

The problem of bypassing the Rule of Law posed by these two incidents, (one being an attempt and the other amounting to a success), captures in a nutshell precisely what is wrong with our law enforcement and media. The National Human Rights Commission’s succinct finding as conveyed to the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) following a recent fact-finding mission to areas affected by anti-Muslim communal violence was that ‘equal protection of the law had been denied to affected citizens and also to the public at large.’ The law had not been allowed to take its proper course. The Commission called upon law enforcement authorities to strictly act against instigators of communal violence and ‘ensure that no undue political or other external interventions are tolerated.’

These reminders are timely, going beyond the specific context in which they were made. Yet and quite tangibly so, irrationality is in the air. The xenophobes and the zealots in Sri Lanka have invaded the public space. We see spokesmen of every lunatic fringe outfit in town being given media time to expound their favourite fantasies,as unashamedly and un-apologetically racist as these may be. A case in point is the return to an old exhortation by one spirited fanatic this week that Sinhalese mothers should give birth to more and more children to prevent hordes of Thawheed extremists from invading the Dhammadeepa.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Faces Unprecedented Communal Hysteria With Xenophobes and Zealots Invading Public Space and Spokesmen of Lunatic Fringe Outfits Being Given Media Time to Expound Their Racist Fantasies Unashamedly and Unapologetically.’ »

Public Administration Ministry Suspends Decision to Impose a Dress Code for State -Sector Employees Following Strong Opposition to the Move by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The Public Administration Ministry has suspended its decision to impose a dress code for state-sector employees.

This came after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe opposed the move to re-implement a 30-year old circular which stipulates a dress code for public sector employees – shirt and trouser or national costume for men and saree or osari for women.

Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara told the Sunday Times the decision was put on hold and the issue would be taken up for discussion at the Government Parliamentary group meeting tomorrow to reach consensus on the dress code.

Continue reading ‘Public Administration Ministry Suspends Decision to Impose a Dress Code for State -Sector Employees Following Strong Opposition to the Move by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

Despite Opposition by the Joint Opposition the Parliamentary Select Committee Hearings on Easter Sunday Bombings Should be Kept Open to the Public Says Transparency International Sri Lanka(TISL).

by Maneshka Borham

As members of the Joint Opposition continue to voice dissent over making Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) hearings on the Easter Sunday bombings open to the public, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has stressed that all similar committee hearings should by default be open to both the public and the media. “True accountability in Sri Lanka can only be guaranteed by public scrutiny,” TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere told the Sunday Observer. “TISL believes all such hearings should be made public other than in exceptional cases,” he said.

The PSC was appointed on May 23 to probe and report to Parliament on the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks. For the first time in Sri Lanka’s parliamentary history, it was decided that the proceedings of the PSC will be aired live in a bid to ensure transparency.

During its first sitting, the Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) Sisira Mendis and Defence Secretary General (Rtd) Shantha Kottegoda testified before the Committee. However, opposition MPs backing Opposition Leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa alleged that the decision to allow journalists to be present and air live the proceedings would compromise national intelligence services by releasing sensitive information.

Continue reading ‘Despite Opposition by the Joint Opposition the Parliamentary Select Committee Hearings on Easter Sunday Bombings Should be Kept Open to the Public Says Transparency International Sri Lanka(TISL).’ »

Easter Sunday Suicide Bombings “Succeed” in Significantly Widening the Gulf Between the Sinhala Buddhist Majority and the Minority Muslims in Sri Lanka.

By P.K.Balachandran

The motive of the nine Sri Lankan Muslim suicide bombers, who attacked four hotels and three churches on April 21, might have been to punish the Western powers and their religion Christianity for the atrocities being perpetrated against Muslims in the Middle East.

But what the bombers have achieved concretely and visibly is quite different. They have significantly widened the gulf between the Sinhala Buddhist majority and the minority Muslims in Sri Lanka.

On the one hand, many sections of the civil society have stood up for innocent Muslims who were attacked and harassed following the blasts. On their part, Muslims have offered to help rebuild the three destroyed churches. Heads of mosques from Galle have appealed to the government to remove Wahhabism from Sri Lanka root and branch in the interest of communal harmony.

But on the other hand, there is also poisonous anti-Muslim propaganda aired through the social and mainstream media.

Continue reading ‘Easter Sunday Suicide Bombings “Succeed” in Significantly Widening the Gulf Between the Sinhala Buddhist Majority and the Minority Muslims in Sri Lanka.’ »

Parliamentarian Athuraliya Rathana Thera Launches Fast Opposite “Dalada Maligawa” Demanding Ouster of Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen , Eastern Governor MLAM Hizbullah and WEstern Governor Azath Sally.

by Cyril Wimalasurendre

Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, MP, says he will not give up his fast, launched yesterday in Kandy, until his goal is achieved.

His protest commenced opposite the Sri Dalada Maligawa, to crank up pressure on the government to remove Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Eastern Province Governor MLAM Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Sally from their posts.

Before launching the protest Rathana Thera participated in an Adhistana pooja.

Continue reading ‘Parliamentarian Athuraliya Rathana Thera Launches Fast Opposite “Dalada Maligawa” Demanding Ouster of Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen , Eastern Governor MLAM Hizbullah and WEstern Governor Azath Sally.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Discloses at Press Conference in India That Sri Lankan Presidential Elections will be Held on December 9th 2019.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first major foreign dignitary to visit Sri Lanka following the Easter bombings, announced President Maithripala Sirisena here on Friday.

Addressing a press conference, the Sri Lankan leader sought a joint front to defeat terrorism and announced the date of the national election. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Sri Lanka on June 9. Sri Lanka has recovered from painful terror attacks. We have maintained peace and stability in the country in the aftermath of the Easter bombings,” said President Sirisena urging regional and global strategies to defeat terrorism.

Likely to visit Maldives

According to available information, Mr. Modi is expected to travel to Maldives in the first week of June and Mr. Sirisena confirmed that Sri Lanka will be the second foreign destination of the Indian leader.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Discloses at Press Conference in India That Sri Lankan Presidential Elections will be Held on December 9th 2019.’ »

37 Year Old Mohamed Razak Taslim of Mawanella Was Shot by an Unknown Gunman On the Orders of Zahran Hashim for Helping Police in Their Investigations.

By Secunder Kermani

Lying on a hospital bed, Mohammad Razak Taslim’s face contorts with pain. The left side of his body is completely paralysed, but he reaches out with his right hand, trying to clutch at his wife and brother-in-law who stand anxiously over him.

Fatima, Mohammad Razak Taslim’s wife, shows a photo of her husband on her mobile phone

His wife, Fatima, presses a handkerchief to his head. One side of his skull has caved in. It’s where he was shot in the head in March. Ever since, he’s been unable to speak, unable to walk.

Police believe Taslim was one of the first victims of the Sri Lankan extremist network, linked to the Islamic State group, that would go on to kill more than 250 people in a series of suicide bombings on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday in April.

According to officials he was shot on the orders of the ringleader of the attacks, Zahran Hashim.

Months before the bombings, Taslim, an earnest 37-year-old local politician from a Muslim-majority town in central Sri Lanka, had been at the forefront of efforts to investigate the extremists.

Taslim’s story encapsulates both how the country’s Muslim community actively tried to stop the emergence of radical elements in their midst, and how the authorities failed to recognise repeated warning signs ahead of the Easter attacks.

Continue reading ‘37 Year Old Mohamed Razak Taslim of Mawanella Was Shot by an Unknown Gunman On the Orders of Zahran Hashim for Helping Police in Their Investigations.’ »

Terrorism on the Teardrop Island: Understanding the Easter 2019 Attacks in Sri Lanka

by Amarnath Amarasingam

Courtesy: Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

Abstract: Over the course of Easter Sunday 2019, eight bombs went off in popular hotels and historical churches across Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka; other coastal cities in the west; and towns in the east of the country, killing hundreds. The Islamic State-claimed attack stunned terrorism analysts because there had been no known history of jihadi violence in the country. Several of the attackers were well educated, and two were the scions of a very wealthy family, providing the cell with advantages in its plotting. There were indications, however, from as early as January 2017 that individuals associated with the National Tawheed Jamaat were becoming increasingly supportive of the Islamic State and mobilizing to violence that was missed by local law enforcement. The Sri Lanka attacks may be early evidence that the Islamic State is taking an important and renewed interest in South Asia, following losses in Syria and Iraq.

In the space of 20 minutes from 8:45 AM local time on Easter Sunday April 21, 2019, in Sri Lanka, there were a series of seven coordinated suicide bomb attacks in popular hotels and historical churches across the capital city of Colombo, other coastal cities in the west, and towns in the east of the country, killing hundreds as they gathered for Easter. Hundreds more were injured.1 The bombers’ devices were packed with iron nails, ball bearings, and TATP, an explosive previously used in Islamic State terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels.2

Among the attackers, who were all Sri Lankan and who communicated via an encrypted messenger service,3 was the cell’s suspected leader, Zahran Hashim, a 34-year-old radical preacher who, according to Sri Lankan police, was one of two suicide bombers who blew themselves up at the Shangri-La hotel. (See Table 1.) The other bomber at the Shangri-La was identified by Sri Lankan officials as Ilham Ibrahim,4 the 31-year-old son of one of Sri Lanka’s richest spice traders.5 He is believed to have been a driving force behind the organization of the attacks.6 Ilham’s elder brother Inshaf Ibrahim, whose father had set him up with a copper pipe factory, blew himself up at the Cinnamon Grand hotel.7 Some investigators believe their wealth possibly financed the entire plot.8 In Negombo, 20 miles north of the capital, Achchi Muhammadu Mohamed Hasthun, who is suspected of being one of the bomb makers, detonated his suicide device at St. Sebastian’s Church.a

Around five hours later, another bomb went off at a hotel in the Colombo suburb of Dehiwala, killing two. The bomber was named as Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed,9 who studied for a time in Australia and the United Kingdom before returning to Sri Lanka.10 His original target was apparently the five-star Taj Samudra hotel in Colombo, but it appears that after his bomb failed to detonate, he made his way 10 miles south of the center of Colombo to a guesthouse in Dehiwela.11 He checked in around 9:30 AM, likely visited a nearby mosque, and then returned to the guesthouse several hours later. At 1:20 PM, the bomb went off, perhaps as he was trying to fix whatever had malfunctioned.12

At 2:25 PM, the eighth explosion occurred at a housing complex in the Colombo suburb of Dematagoda after the Special Task Force (STF) stormed the premises. According to Sri Lankan police, Fatima Ibrahim, the wife of Inshaf Ibrahim (the Cinnamon Grand bomber), blew herself up, killing three STF officers. The blast also killed her three young sons, as well as herself and her unborn child.13

More than 250 were killed in the Easter attacks, making it one of the deadliest terrorist atrocities ever anywhere.14There was a sense of shock in Sri Lanka and around the world compounded by the fact that the attacks had seemed to come out of the blue. While Sri Lanka had suffered acutely from terrorist incidents until the military defeat of the Tamil Tigers in 2009, the country had had no history of deadly jihadi violence. The day after the attack, though, some Sri Lankan politicians admitted that there were precise warnings given by Indian intelligence several times in early April 2019, which were either ignored or failed to land on the desk of appropriate individuals in government. The warnings were precise enough to not only name Zahran Hashim but also noted that he was planning to attack “popular Catholic Churches and the Indian High Commission.”15 This lapse in security is an ongoing point of debate and controversy as the country moves toward its presidential election in late 2019.

Two days later, the Islamic State claimed the attacks via its Amaq news agency, stating the attackers were “Islamic State fighters” and had “targeted citizens of coalition states and Christians in Sri Lanka.”16 The group quickly followed up with a statement in which it provided the purported kunya (fighting name) of seven attackers and the locations of their attacks.17 (See Table 1.) Then came a release of a picture of the attackers standing in a row18 and a 59-second video release (see Figure 1) from the Islamic State purporting to show the attack cell pledging allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.19 Eight individuals rather than seven were shown in the picture and video,b with the suspected ringleader Zahran Hashim identified by Sri Lankan investigators as standing at the center of the group because he was the only one not wearing a mask.20 (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1: Screen capture from April 23, 2019, video released by the Islamic State showing Zahran Hashim (center) and other individuals pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Continue reading ‘Terrorism on the Teardrop Island: Understanding the Easter 2019 Attacks in Sri Lanka’ »

Why Did the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Target Sri Lanka Instead of the US or any Ally In Retaliation for the Loss of ISIS Territory in the Middle -east?


By Wasantha Rupasinghe

One month has passed since the April 21 terrorist bombings on three Christian churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka killed over 250 innocent men, women and children, and injured many more.

The government and defence establishment received prior warning from foreign intelligence sources but took no action to prevent the attacks. No plausible official explanation has been given as to why no preventative measures were taken.

In the aftermath, however, all factions of the political establishment have backed the imposition of a state of emergency and draconian police state measures and are whipping up anti-Muslim communalism and violence. The real target of this new “war on terror” is the rising struggles of the working class against the government’s austerity measures.

The evidence made public to date indicates that the atrocity was carried out by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in conjunction with a local Islamist extremist group, National Thowheeth Jamma’ath (NTJ), but there remain many unanswered questions.

Continue reading ‘Why Did the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Target Sri Lanka Instead of the US or any Ally In Retaliation for the Loss of ISIS Territory in the Middle -east?’ »

The Enchanting Experience Of Being Stationed in Sri Lanka as a Foreign Correspondent From India.

By

Meera Srinivasan

Months ahead of the general election in India, friends in Sri Lanka would eagerly ask me: “So, do you think Narendra Modi will come back?” As someone following the polls only through media coverage in India — some shrill and some sane — there was little I could say that they may not have already known. I did not predict the number of seats the BJP would win or speculate much on how Tamil Nadu might vote. It was not just difficult, it was impossible to sit across the Palk Strait and attempt astute readings.

As avid news trackers, these friends are often disappointed that I have nothing “latest” to add. In fact, often they are the ones alerting me to news breaking in India, or to political analysis that they think offers nuance.

This sort of eagerness hit me harder during the string of Assembly elections in 2018, when they wanted State-specific updates and, worse, trends comparing past results. I found it hard to keep up.

I have noticed over the last few years that their interest or familiarity isn’t confined to Indian politics.

Continue reading ‘The Enchanting Experience Of Being Stationed in Sri Lanka as a Foreign Correspondent From India.’ »

Narendra Modi Sworn in as India’s Prime Minister Along With Cabinet of 57 Ministers in Grand Ceremony at Rashtrapathy Bhavan; 22 Former Ministers Dropped; Former Indian Foreign Secretary S.Jaishanker “Surprise” Inclusion.

By

Nistula Hebbar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with 57 Ministers, took oath of office at a grand swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday.

The size of the event, however, was not the only thing that made news, with BJP chief Amit Shah finally deciding to join the Union government, and former Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar making a surprise entry into the Union Cabinet, among the top 10 Ministers.

The drama of the event was not restricted to those who did not make the cut from the last government — almost 22 Ministers have been dropped including those who lost the polls this time. NDA ally Janata Dal (U) hogged the limelight, ironically, by keeping away from the event because Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar demanded more berths than the single one being offered to every ally.

Continue reading ‘Narendra Modi Sworn in as India’s Prime Minister Along With Cabinet of 57 Ministers in Grand Ceremony at Rashtrapathy Bhavan; 22 Former Ministers Dropped; Former Indian Foreign Secretary S.Jaishanker “Surprise” Inclusion.’ »

All Ceylon Makkal Congress Wants Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to Intervene and Prevent Racist Opposition MP’s Vilifying Their Party Leader Rishad Bathiudeen.

by Ifham Nizam

Members of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) yesterday urged former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to intervene to stop the mud slinging campaign against their leader Rishad Bathiudeen.

Continue reading ‘All Ceylon Makkal Congress Wants Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to Intervene and Prevent Racist Opposition MP’s Vilifying Their Party Leader Rishad Bathiudeen.’ »