The joining of common struggles for justice for the ‘disappeared’ from Point Pedro to Dondra may have been a powerful point of pressure on all Sri Lankan Governments, rather than divisions along race and ethnicity

By Kishali Pinto -Jayawardene When Chilean-born author Isabel Allende wrote with consummate skill of Chile’s ‘disappeared’ under Pinochet’s dictatorship in her best-selling book, ‘Of Love and Shadows’ (1987), about the mothers who, ‘were no longer afraid and had no hesitation about placing their lives in jeopardy though life was all they had left; everything else …

Continue reading ‘The joining of common struggles for justice for the ‘disappeared’ from Point Pedro to Dondra may have been a powerful point of pressure on all Sri Lankan Governments, rather than divisions along race and ethnicity’ »

“As Canada continues to grapple with the hard truths of its own past and to work with Indigenous peoples to address long-standing injustices, we remain ready to draw upon our own experiences in support of Sri Lanka’s efforts toward meaningful and lasting national reconciliation.” – Canadian Envoy Eric Walsh

(Text of Message from Eric Walsh, the High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka on the occasion of Canada Day on July 1, 2023) Happy Canada Day! As High Commissioner to both Sri Lanka and Maldives, it gives me great pleasure to extend my warmest greetings to all Canadians and friends of Canada working, traveling …

Continue reading ‘“As Canada continues to grapple with the hard truths of its own past and to work with Indigenous peoples to address long-standing injustices, we remain ready to draw upon our own experiences in support of Sri Lanka’s efforts toward meaningful and lasting national reconciliation.” – Canadian Envoy Eric Walsh’ »

It is interesting to see how director Mari Selvaraj in “Maamannan”manages his critique of electoral politics and caste in Tamil Nadu with the DMK’s heir-apparent Udhayanidhi Stalin helming the film.

By Bharathy Singaravel The heart and soul of Maamannan is Vadivelu. After all, the title takes the name of his character. And it feels as if the actor never forgets that for even a moment when he is in front of the camera. This is a Vadivelu so spectacularly in form that you cry when …

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Actors Vadivelu and Fahadh Faasil’s impeccable performances save Mari Selvaraj’s politically-charged film “Maamannan”

By Gopinath Rajendran In one of Maamannan’s most important and stunningly captured sequences, a bunch of kids are having the time of their lives, swimming and playing in the temple well. When upper-caste men know about this, they stone almost all the kids to a watery grave. The news of caste-related violence is unfortunately not …

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Sri Lanka United National Businesses Alliance Chairperson Tania Abeysundara expresses disappointment at Govt’s failure to provide debt relief to local businesses struggling due to the ongoing economic crisis.

Sri Lanka United National Businesses Alliance (SLUNBA) Chairperson Tania Abeysundara yesterday expressed her disappointment at the Government’s failure to provide debt relief to local businesses struggling due to the ongoing economic crisis. “We requested our debt to be restructured. We asked to be given a grace period for repayments,” she said. “We simply requested the …

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After independence, the Sinhalese majority and their rulers wanted most of the benefits gained from independence to be shared among them, the Sinhalese people.

By Victor Ivan In this article I venture to analyse how Sri Lanka has become a failed and bankrupt nation and who should be held responsible for that? So far no one has endeavoured to make a rational political analysis about it. Sri Lanka remained a stagnant, underdeveloped nation when it became a British colony …

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Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe States the existing Employee Provident Fund (EPF) would remain untouched. Guarantees a minimum interest rate of 9% for the EPF and accessibility to funds upon retirement.

During a special press briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre on Domestic Debt Optimization (DDO), Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, the Governor of the Central Bank, emphasized the importance of relieving the burden on the banking system caused by the already excessive 50% taxes. This measure aims to safeguard the treasury, strengthen the economy, and ensure …

Continue reading ‘Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe States the existing Employee Provident Fund (EPF) would remain untouched. Guarantees a minimum interest rate of 9% for the EPF and accessibility to funds upon retirement.’ »

The pendulum of economic growth is gradually shifting from China to India. The Sri Lankan economy if Integrated with India’s, would be better equipped to benefit from India’s rise.

By Ranga Jayasuriya Five years back in China, I submitted my doctoral dissertation, having chopped off two complete chapters on my supervisor’s advice to be on the safe side for both of us. It was an analysis of competition for power and influence by China and India in South Asia. Given the vast power asymmetries …

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Sri Lanka to shut down its banks and financial sector for five days from June 29 ahead of an extraordinary weekend debate in Parliament on the government’s plan to restructure its domestic debt.

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka will shut down its banks and financial sector for five days beginning Thursday, ahead of an extraordinary weekend debate in Parliament on the government’s plan to restructure its domestic debt. The move comes a year after Sri Lanka decided to suspend servicing its foreign debt, to combat a devastating economic …

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New report accuses Ex- President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of tampering with police records in order to hamper investigations into mass graves discovered in Matale where he was a military officer during Marxist insurrection in 1989

By Krishan Francis Sri Lanka’s former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was accused in a report released Thursday of tampering with police records in order to hamper investigations into mass graves discovered in an area where he was a military officer at the height of a bloody Marxist insurrection in 1989. The report by activist groups including …

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Gnanasara Thero , Bodu Bala Sena and the June 2014 Anti- Muslim Violence in Aluthgama -Beruwala.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga recently raised a pertinent question on Twitter about Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven.Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera and others of his ilk. She asked in her tweet why no action had ever been taken against Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera and others who had insulted other religions practised …

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My Father Eric Cooray has always been my hero. He has set the standards that I aspire to achieve and maintain.

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray On Monday , the 26th of June 2023 , my father will turn 86. He’s not in the best of health and is in no condition to celebrate. My mother, brothers and perhaps some close relatives and friends will be there to wish him. I will be a few hours late. …

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UK Global Ambassador for Human Rights,Rita French calls on Sri Lankan Govt to Protect Freedoms of Expression and Association while speaking on behalf of the UN Core group on Sri Lanka at the 53rd UNHRC session in Geneva

The Sri Lanka Core Group on Tuesday (June 20) called on the Government to protect freedoms of expression and association whilst several other recommendations. Delivering its statement at the 53rd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, UK Human Rights Ambassador Rita French said Sri Lanka’s initial steps towards addressing concerns around land returns, …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe Relates the Tale of how and why he became Prime Minister and President of Sri Lanka to Former Canadian PM Stephen Harper at the International Democratic Union (IDU) Forum in London.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe participated in the 40th anniversary event of the International Democrat Union (IDU) in London on the 19th and the 20th of June and joining the forum with former Canadian Prime Minister (Conservative Party) Chairman of the IDU, Mr Stephen Harper, he explained the circumstances that paved the way for his presidency and …

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U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights states Accountability remains the fundamental gap”in Sri Lanka’s attempts to deal with the past; “as long as impunity prevails, Sri Lanka will achieve neither genuine reconciliation nor sustainable peace.” Says Nada Al-Nashif

By Meera Srinivasan Accountability remains the “fundamental gap” in Sri Lanka’s attempts to deal with the past, a senior U.N. official has said while warning that “as long as impunity prevails, Sri Lanka will achieve neither genuine reconciliation nor sustainable peace.” Referring to the Sri Lankan government’s plans to set up a Truth Commission, to …

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“Firearms and ammunition pose a high level of risk to public safety and security. In several instances, bystanders have become victims of gun violence, and these include women and children.”-Daily FT

(Text of Editorial appearing in the “Daily FT’ 22 June 2023 under the heading “Take gun violence seriously”) For a country like Sri Lanka where private ownership of guns is highly restricted, the number of shooting incidents, most resulting in fatalities, is a danger sign that can no longer be ignored. In the first five …

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“A year ago, the constant chorus that we heard in this country was Kaputu Kaak ka. Why Kaputu Kaak Ka ? the big crow that steals. This govt is still controlled by that kaputu kaak ka. It is the same people who sit in the govt ranks, no change. “- MA Sumanthiran MP

(Text of Jaffna District Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran’s Speech in Parliament on 21st June 2023) Thank you, honourable presidin)g member, I’m glad to speak just after the acting Minister of Finance who recognized some good that may have come about as a result of the economic crisis, he did say it, it’s not a good thing to …

Continue reading ‘“A year ago, the constant chorus that we heard in this country was Kaputu Kaak ka. Why Kaputu Kaak Ka ? the big crow that steals. This govt is still controlled by that kaputu kaak ka. It is the same people who sit in the govt ranks, no change. “- MA Sumanthiran MP’ »

Medical Storm Rages in Sri Lanka around Imported Indian drugs following cases of medical complications and fatalities, reported after patients were administered medicines sourced from India.

By Meera Srinivasan Imported Indian drugs are at the centre of a medical storm in Sri Lanka, following cases of medical complications and fatalities, reportedly after patients were administered medicines sourced from India. On June 16, local media reported the death of a patient undergoing treatment at the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital, in the Kandy district, …

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Culinary Expert Publis Silva’s Book:Can a person who does not know how to write be the copyright-holding author of a book on a subject of which he is an expert?

By Vijitha Yapa Can a person who does not know how to write be the copyright-holding author of a book on a subject of which he is an expert? The person concerned is Publis, a culinary expert who works at Mount Lavinia Hotel. His name is recognised as an expert on Sri Lankan food. When …

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“When archaeology is weaponised by monks, politicians and those professionals subservient to vested interests, it can become a seeding ground for brutal conflicts and long wars.”

By Tisaranee Gunasekara “Already the snow falls…” Karl Kraus words in verses III In his fifth labour, Heracles cleans the Augean Stables by rerouting the rivers Alpheus and Peneus through the filthy abode of King Augeas’ divine cattle. Many believed that the aragalaya would have a similarly cleansing effect on Sri Lankan society, washing away …

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The Controversial Killing of Tamil Congress Leader Kumar Ponnambalam in Colombo on 5 June 2000.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Jaffna district Parliamentarian Gajendrakumar Gangaser Ponnambalam (GG Ponnambalam) has lately been very much in the news. The 49 year old lawyer was arrested by the Police at his Colombo residence, produced before the Kilinochchi magistrate and released on Rs 500,000 surety bail. Earlier he had been involved in an altercation with Police officers …

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Why is the Government so resistant to establishing an independent broadcast regulatory body in compliance with the 1997 guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court?

By Kishali Pinto -Jayawardene Speaking at the Homagama Divisional Secretariat this week, President Ranil Wickremesinghe effortlessly recasted the currently heated debates on Sri Lanka’s proposed Broadcasting Regulatory Commission Bill as a choice between ‘reasoned regulation’ and ‘giving the media the licence to commit arson.’ But in going to the aid of his embattled Media Minister …

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Sangaree : The Tamil Leader Who Refused to Kowtow Before Tiger Tyranny.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) organization ceased to be a functional entity in Sri Lanka after being militarily defeated by the armed forces in May 2009. The LTTE known widely as the tigers was a powerful armed militant group which ruled over swathes of land in the Northern and Eastern provinces of …

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The ancient history of Buddhism among Tamils in Sri Lanka has been entangled with prejudices associated with the more recent ethnic dispute between the Sinhalese and Tamils.

By Himal Kotelawala The historicity of Tamil Buddhism in Sri Lanka has not been a subject that has captured the public imagination to the extent that it perhaps deserves, at least in the south, though President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recent remarks on the matter may have sparked fresh interest. According to Prof G P V Somaratne, …

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Police Cant Initiate Action Against State Minister Lohan Ratwatte on the Basis of High Court Judge Weerawardena’s Report Until it Receives Instructions From Cabinet through Public Security Ministry Says Poice Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa

BY Buddhika Samaraweera The Police will not initiate any action against then-State Minister of Prisons Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and incumbent State Minister of Plantation Industries Lohan Ratwatte until the directions of the Cabinet of Ministers are received, although such has been recommended by the one-member committee that investigated the incidents involving the State Minister …

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President Wickremesinghe wants to draft new Bill titled Elections (Special Provisions) Act that would amend the Parliamentary Elections Act, the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance, the Presidential Elections (Special Provisions) Act and the Provincial Councils Elections Act.

By Ruwani Fonseka Due to the economic crisis in the country and the inability to repay debts, it is highly unlikely an election could be held this year, says cabinet spokesperson MP Bandula Gunawardena. He made this statement during the cabinet meeting held today (13). “We are unable to repay our debts. Without managing this …

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Director General of Archaeology Dept , Prof Anura Manatunga tenders resignation after being Reprimanded by President Ranil Wickremesinghe for not following Cabinet policy by refraining from seizing lands belonging to the public.

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Days after being severely criticised by the President during a meeting, Director General of the Department of Archaeology, Professor Anura Manatunga, tendered his resignation to the Secretary of the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs. President Ranil Wickremesinghe, during the said meeting on 8 June, asked Prof. Manatunga, when an …

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Sagara Kariyawasam says SLPP Will not Take Disciplinary Action Against State Minister Lohan Ratwatte now; “SLPP is not in a position to initiate such action as several practical issues may arise if they were to do so.” Says Party Gen Secy

BY Buddhika Samaraweera The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) will not initiate any form of disciplinary action against State Minister of Plantation Industries and former State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Lohan Ratwatte over the incident of the latter having forcibly entered the Welikada and Anuradhapura Prisons and intimidated several inmates in 2021 …

Continue reading ‘Sagara Kariyawasam says SLPP Will not Take Disciplinary Action Against State Minister Lohan Ratwatte now; “SLPP is not in a position to initiate such action as several practical issues may arise if they were to do so.” Says Party Gen Secy’ »

Former High Court Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena who Conducted Probe into Incident in Anuradhapura Jail where Lohan Ratwatte Threatened Tamil Prisoners at Gun Point Recommends Charges Including Attempted Murder to be Filed Against State Minister

By Buddhika Samaraweera The one-member committee that investigated the incident of then State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation Lohan Ratwatte having forcibly entered the Welikada and Anuradhapura Prisons and allegedly intimidated several inmates in 2021, has recommended that charges including those of attempted murder be filed against Ratwatte, The Daily Morning learns. The …

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“Uduppiddy Singham” (Uduppiddy Lion) “Em” Sivasithamparam was a Champion of Tamils’ Rights.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This article is a modified version of an Obituary published in the Indian Newsmagazine “Frontline” in June 2002) Former Parliamentarian, Deputy Speaker and President of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Murugesu Sivasithamparam passed away in a Colombo hospital 21 years ago on 5 June 2002. Sivasithamparam hailing from Karaveddy in the Vadamaraatchy …

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A Magisterial inquiry, a probe by the Parliamentary Privileges Committee and an investigation by the Human Rights Commission ) are currently underway into Incidents Concerning Jaffna MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and Police Officials

By S. Rubatheesan After raising a breach of Parliamentary privilege in the House this week, Jaffna district Parliamentarian Gejendrakumar Ponnamablam is awaiting three separate bodies to conclude their probes into an incident involving two police officers in civvies, before he considers further legal action against his arrest which he claims is “illegal and arbitrary”. A …

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A tsunami of bad laws coming the nation’s way! Sri Lankans need to prepare ourselves for political attempts to turn legal and regulatory systems upside down, wreaking havoc on an already terribly weakened governance environment.

By Kishali Pinto -Jayawardene When a collective of Sri Lanka’s Cabinet Ministers and their servile acolytes in the legal profession or administrative service sat down in sub-committee to prepare the draft Broadcasting Regulatory Commission Bill, was it their intention to deliberately infringe the 1997 Supreme Court ruling on constitutional imperatives in every conceivable shape and …

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The New Trend of Buddhist monks bulldozing their way into lands in the North and East claiming they were historically places of Buddhist worship is unacceptable.

(Text of Editorial Appearing in the “Daily FT”of June 8th 2023 under the heading Archaeology Department must act impartially in N & E) The past few months have seen several protests held in the North and East over the acquisition of land to construct new Buddhist shrines. It has been alleged that Buddhist monks aided …

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“Kalaignar” (Artiste) Karunanidhi; From Tamil Film Script Writer to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Today June 3rd is the 99th birth anniversary of Muthuvel Karunanidhi, the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, the closes Indian state to Sri Lanka both geographically and historically.Karunanidhi who passed away on 7 August 2018 was the leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) for nearly 50 years.His son M.K. Stalin is …

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Trying to unleash another round of religious bloodletting over a few inapt words is not just un-Buddhist; it is the very antithesis of what the Buddha taught.

By Tisaranee Gunasekara “He who controls his hand, controls his foot, controls his speech and is well-controlled in all respects, delights in meditation, is composed, solitary, and content – him they call a bhikku.” The Buddha (Bhikku Vagga, Dhammapada) In 2005, the Newsweek magazine reported that officials at Guantanamo flushed a Koran down a toilet …

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“Justice for All” alarmed by the undemocratic measures pursued by President Wickremasinghe and his Govt that continue to undermine the rule of law, fundamental rights and democracy in Sri Lanka.

(Text of statement issued by “Justice for All” on 7th June 2023 about the current political and economic state of our Country) We are alarmed by the undemocratic measures pursued by President Ranil Wickremasinghe and his government that continue to undermine the rule of law, fundamental rights and democracy in Sri Lanka. Of particular concern …

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Jaffna District MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam who was Arrested in Colombo by Maruthankerni and Jeyapuram Police Is Released After being Granted Rs 500,000 Surety Bail by Kilinochchi Magistrates Court

Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF) leader and MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam who was arrested over an incident in Jaffna between him and the police, was gran ted bail by the Kilinochchi Magistrate’s Court. He was granted bail with a surety of Rs. 500,000.

Tamil Congress Jaffna District MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam Arrested On June 7th Morning at his Colombo Residence;Will be taken to Maruthankerni Police Station In Jaffna Peninsula for a Statement to be Recorded Regarding Earlier Incident of Friction With Police

By Ruwani Fonseka MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, who is accused of obstructing the duties of police officers, was arrested this morning (June 07). The parliamentarian was taken into custody by a team of officers attached to Maruthankerny Police at his residence in Colombo. The Jaffna District MP, who represents the Ahila Ilankai Thamil Congress (AITC) or …

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Chandrika Kumaratunga asks why no action has been taken so far against Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero for Insulting other Religions; his words were more vicious than Comedian Natasha Edirisooriya says Former President

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga yesterday took to Twitter to question why no action was ever taken against Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera and others who insulted other religions practised in the country. Kumaratunga said their words spreading hate against Muslim and Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka were far more vicious than those uttered by Standup …

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Tamil National Alliance Breaks up with TELO and PLOTE Challenging ITAK.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK) known in English as the Federal Party(FP) is in the grip of two problems. The premier political party of the Northern and Eastern Sri Lankan Tamils is presently facing an inter-party crisis as well as an intra-party crisis. The inter-party crisis relates to the recent split in the …

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Is the proposal to establish a Broadcasting Regulatory Commission yet another ploy for the Govt to control the ‘public mind’ in the economically hard times ahead?

By Kishali Pinto -Jayawardene The unsightly and itchy rash of ‘bad laws’ being proposed by the Sri Lankan Government seems to be never-ending. The Government’s unconvincing explanations Hot on the heels of the appallingly crafted Anti-Terrorism Bill and the Anti-Corruption Bill comes a proposal to establish a Broadcasting Regulatory Commission replete with major contradictions. A …

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Jaffna District MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam Alleges Police Official in Sports Attire loaded and aimed his pistol at him; TNPF leader says he has registered complaint with the Human Rights Commission in Jaffna;Claims he did not go to Police Station to Complain because his life was at risk there.

Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles yesterday ( June 3) called for a report into the incident where Tamil National People’s Front Parliamentarian Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam’s life had allegedly been threatened by a Police officer at gunpoint. When contacted, Minister Alles downplayed the allegations that MP Ponnambalam had been assaulted and stated that a report into …

Continue reading ‘Jaffna District MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam Alleges Police Official in Sports Attire loaded and aimed his pistol at him; TNPF leader says he has registered complaint with the Human Rights Commission in Jaffna;Claims he did not go to Police Station to Complain because his life was at risk there.’ »

“We will not allow anyone to drag our motherland back to where we were a year ago. Today,some individuals seem to have forgotten the hardships endured by Sri Lankans during that time.”- President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Special Statement to the Nation

(Text of Special statement by President Ranil Wickremesinghe on June 1st 2023 explaining to the nation, the national transformation road map to re- build the country) Since the day I took charge of our nation’s economy, I wanted to ensure that Sri Lanka’s actual economic situation was made clear and transparent. Over the recent months, …

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Centre for Policy Alternatives Expresses Deep Concern over recent Arrest of Comedian Natasha Edirisooriya under ICCPR act; “the latest move to stifle freedom of speech in the guise of protecting religious harmony’says CPA

(Text of Statement on Recent Arrests under the ICCPR Act & Shrinking Space for Dissent issued by the Centre for Policy Alternatives) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is deeply concerned with the recent arrest of comedian Natasha Edirisooriya reportedly under the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act (ICCPR Act), …

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Jayantha Dhanapala – the Diplomat, the Advocate of causes, and the Mentor.

By Ravinatha Aryasinha ( Text of tribute paid by former Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha at the funeral service for Late Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, at Trinity College Chapel, Kandy, on 29 May 2023) I am humbled to have been asked by the family of the late Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala to speak a few words on this …

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The Burning of the Jaffna Public Library on June 1st 1981 was a Heinous act Committed Deliberately by a Group of Policemen

(Text of Editorial appearing in the “Daily FT” of June 1st 2023 under the heading “Not too late to bring to book those responsible for Jaffna library burning”) Among the many tragic stories that Sri Lankans are familiar with, the burning of the Jaffna Public Library, 42 years ago, stands out as one of the …

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Mano Ganesan Questions Impunity Given to Buddhist Clergy and Activists who Engage in Hate Speech against Other Faiths;“If Pastor Jerome and Nathasha Edirisuriya are breaking the law with their speech then the same law should be applied to monks who have sprouted hate speech against fellow religions. The law can’t be one-sided anymore!” Tweets TPA leader

Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) Leader Mano Ganesan, taking to Twitter yesterday called for the laws relating to hate speech to be applied equally to Buddhist clergy as it is applied to civilians and those of other religious faiths. Directing his tweet at President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and the National People’s Party (NPP) …

Continue reading ‘Mano Ganesan Questions Impunity Given to Buddhist Clergy and Activists who Engage in Hate Speech against Other Faiths;“If Pastor Jerome and Nathasha Edirisuriya are breaking the law with their speech then the same law should be applied to monks who have sprouted hate speech against fellow religions. The law can’t be one-sided anymore!” Tweets TPA leader’ »

Sri Lanka is clearly spiralling towards further ethnic and religious divisions further exacerbated by an economic crisis. Sadly Sri Lanka has not learnt a single lesson from its bloody history

(Text of Editorial appearing in the “Daily FT”of May 30th 2023 under the heading “No right to laugh”) In yet another brazen violation of a citizen’s right to free speech a stand-up comedian was arrested by the police for a joke she made on stage. Nathasha Edirisooriya was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka is clearly spiralling towards further ethnic and religious divisions further exacerbated by an economic crisis. Sadly Sri Lanka has not learnt a single lesson from its bloody history’ »

Stand-up comedian Natasha Edirisooriya has been arrested and remanded for her comic performance. The role of stand-up comedy is to amuse and to offend testing the limits even to mild discomfort bordering irrelevance.

By Ranga Jayasuriya I have written on these pages that when the fuel queues disappear and a semblance of old times dawns, Sri Lankans themselves will return to their old habits. The usual charlatans would crawl back from their hiding spots, promising to protect the country and Buddha Sasana from an imaginary enemy. Conspiracy theorists …

Continue reading ‘Stand-up comedian Natasha Edirisooriya has been arrested and remanded for her comic performance. The role of stand-up comedy is to amuse and to offend testing the limits even to mild discomfort bordering irrelevance.’ »

How the Customs Revenue Task Force Apprehended Puttalam MP Raheem Ali Sabri Attempting to Smuggle Gold,Jewellery and Smart Phones Into Sri Lanka From Dubai.

By the “ Sunday Times” Political Editor Honoured as Very Important Persons (VIPs), most users of the hallowed gateway to the world, the VIP Lounge at Bandaranaike International Airport, are Members of Sri Lanka’s Parliament. Officials dare not ask questions when they arrive or depart. An added perk for these VIPs is the free refreshments …

Continue reading ‘How the Customs Revenue Task Force Apprehended Puttalam MP Raheem Ali Sabri Attempting to Smuggle Gold,Jewellery and Smart Phones Into Sri Lanka From Dubai.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena created the opening for Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s political entry.He empowered the usual culprits and conspiracy theorists who have peddled anti-Western conspiracy theories and racist dog-whistling to grab power.

By Ranga Jayasuriya Last time, when the world’s richest industrial nations, G-7, met in Japan, the only Asian country in the group, in 2016, then president Maithripala Sirisena was invited for the outreach meeting, alongside regional heavyweights from Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam. The invitation to Maithripala Sirisena was in recognition of the democratic reforms in …

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena created the opening for Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s political entry.He empowered the usual culprits and conspiracy theorists who have peddled anti-Western conspiracy theories and racist dog-whistling to grab power.’ »

Sri Lanka’s historically marginalised “Malaiyaha” [hill country] Tamil community Seeks greater recognition, political rights, and improved living and working conditions

By Meera Srinivasan Marking 200 years since their arrival in Sri Lanka from southern India, to work in the British-run plantations, members of the island nation’s historically marginalised Malaiyaha [hill country] Tamil community have sought greater recognition, political rights, and improved living and working conditions. “Design, resource, and implement a 10-year development plan that is …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s historically marginalised “Malaiyaha” [hill country] Tamil community Seeks greater recognition, political rights, and improved living and working conditions’ »

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encourages everyone” to learn more about the impact of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, and express solidarity to all those who suffered or lost loved ones.”

(Text of Statement issued by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on 18 May 2023 for Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day) May 18, 2023 Ottawa, Ontario “Today, we reflect on the tragic loss of life during the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, which ended 14 years ago. Tens of thousands of Tamils lost their lives, including at …

Continue reading ‘Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encourages everyone” to learn more about the impact of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, and express solidarity to all those who suffered or lost loved ones.”’ »

Any other public official would have caved in under government pressure, but Janaka Ratnayake has proved that he is made of sterner stuff.

(Text of Editorial appearing in “the Island”of 24 May 2023 under the heading “Badger and mastiffs”) The Rajapaksa-Wickremesinghe regime’s shameful efforts to oust Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), Janaka Ratnayake, remind us of some gory western flicks, where swashbuckling, trigger-happy scumbags hang public officials who refuse to carry out their …

Continue reading ‘Any other public official would have caved in under government pressure, but Janaka Ratnayake has proved that he is made of sterner stuff.’ »

Though Gotabaya Rajapaksa Resigned last year the Former President’s Staff who are mostly Political Appintees Continue to be retained in the President’s Office under a newly created unit called ‘special projects’.

By Jamila Husain Just over a year since former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned from office following nationwide protests demanding him to step down, evidence has come to light that the former president’s staff who are mostly political appointees continue to be retained in the President’s Office under a newly created unit called ‘special projects’. Even …

Continue reading ‘Though Gotabaya Rajapaksa Resigned last year the Former President’s Staff who are mostly Political Appintees Continue to be retained in the President’s Office under a newly created unit called ‘special projects’.’ »

Contrary to President Wickremesinghe’s claim that the new Anti-corruption law ‘will be the best in South Asia’, the anti -corruption law is a ‘riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’

By Kishali Pinto -Jayawardene When French Prime Minister during World War I, Georges Clemenceau rousingly said that ‘war is too important to be left to the generals,’ Sri Lankans may be justified in muttering to themselves more than a hundred years later that, ‘laws are far too important to be left to the lawyers – …

Continue reading ‘Contrary to President Wickremesinghe’s claim that the new Anti-corruption law ‘will be the best in South Asia’, the anti -corruption law is a ‘riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’’ »

The motive force for the War was the hellish union between political opportunism and religio-racial extremism That union is far from dead and its current partners are waiting impatiently to return to political mainstream. Unchastened by our blood-soaked history, they want to repeat it.

By Tisaranee Gunasekara “Not only our actions, but also our inactions, become our destiny.” Heinrich Zimmer (The King and the Corpse) This week marked the 14th anniversary of the ending of the long Eelam War. This week also saw the re-emergence of BBS head-honcho Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara to save the nation from that enterprising entrepreneur …

Continue reading ‘The motive force for the War was the hellish union between political opportunism and religio-racial extremism That union is far from dead and its current partners are waiting impatiently to return to political mainstream. Unchastened by our blood-soaked history, they want to repeat it.’ »

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa Denies Having Links with Pastor Jerome Fernando Or Zimbabwe’s Uebert Angel: says he met both only for a Prayer Meeting at their Request when serving as PM and Religious Affairs Minister

By Jamila Husain Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is alleged to have links with controversial Pastor Jerome Fernando and Zimbabwean Pastor Uebert Angel yesterday said he had no connections with either and had met them only on one instance when Pastor Jerome’s office had sought a meeting when Rajapaksa was the Prime Minister. Rajapaksa further …

Continue reading ‘Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa Denies Having Links with Pastor Jerome Fernando Or Zimbabwe’s Uebert Angel: says he met both only for a Prayer Meeting at their Request when serving as PM and Religious Affairs Minister’ »

Colombo Fort Magistrate Issues Travel Ban on “Prophet” Jerome Fernando Who is Reportedly in Singapore and Will Travel to Malaysia;”He has not Fled the Country but only gone for an Event Planned Earlier”Says Glorious Church Spokesperson

By Susitha Fernando Prophet’ Jerome Fernando, the man in the middle of controversy over his statement on other religions including Buddhism, is reported to have left the country. It is learnt that Fernando has gone to Singapore and he is planning to travel to Malaysia. However a spokesman for Glorious Church led by Jerome Fernando …

Continue reading ‘Colombo Fort Magistrate Issues Travel Ban on “Prophet” Jerome Fernando Who is Reportedly in Singapore and Will Travel to Malaysia;”He has not Fled the Country but only gone for an Event Planned Earlier”Says Glorious Church Spokesperson’ »

If the IUSF and other fellow travellers plot a state capture, the govt has every right to curtail it. But, overreaction and high-handedness by the govt would only provide validation to groups who are on the fringes.

By Ranga Jayasuriya Security has been beefed up in Colombo after ‘unspecified intelligence’ that the Inter-University (IUSF) Students Federation was massing students to the Capital to launch a fresh ‘Aragalaya’. Additional security forces were mobilised, and check-points were put up on the roads leading to the Capital. Army and Police were deployed around the universities, …

Continue reading ‘If the IUSF and other fellow travellers plot a state capture, the govt has every right to curtail it. But, overreaction and high-handedness by the govt would only provide validation to groups who are on the fringes.’ »

Talks Between President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Tamil Parliamentarians Representing the Northern and Eastern Provinces End in a Stalemate without any Positive Outcome

By Meera Srinivasan The talks on power devolution between Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Tamil legislators yielded no positive outcome, according to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the largest grouping of MPs from the island’s north and east. Following his renewed pledge on May Day to address Sri Lanka’s long-pending national question, President Wickremesinghe …

Continue reading ‘Talks Between President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Tamil Parliamentarians Representing the Northern and Eastern Provinces End in a Stalemate without any Positive Outcome’ »

Govt wants to take in all the Samagi Jana Balawegaya MPs soon says Harin Ferando.“We do not want to take in one MP at a time. Instead, we want to rake in the SJB in its entirety”States Tourism Minister

Minister of Tourism and Lands Harin Fernando yesterday said the Government aims to recruit the entire parliamentary group of the main opposition party, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) soon. “We do not want to take in one MP at a time. Instead, we want to rake in the SJB in its entirety,” he said.

Samagi Jana Balawegaya Vice President and former Anuradhapura MP P. Harrison announces his decision to resign from all posts in the SJB and rejoin the United National Party ; extensd his unconditional support to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Vice President and former MP P. Harrison yesterday announced his decision to resign from all posts in the party to rejoin his former political party, the United National Party (UNP) and extend his unconditional support to President Ranil Wickremesinghe. The former MP held a press conference in Anuradhapura over the weekend …

Continue reading ‘Samagi Jana Balawegaya Vice President and former Anuradhapura MP P. Harrison announces his decision to resign from all posts in the SJB and rejoin the United National Party ; extensd his unconditional support to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

If Dual Citizen Basil Rajapaksa wants to Contest in the Sri Lankan Presidential Elections, he has to Renounce his US citizenship first; But a potential legal investigation by the US Justice Dept may complicate his plans.

By Ranga Jayasuriya Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, once reportedly quipped the Sinhalese have short memories. Prabakaran’s nihilistic terrorist struggle for a separate state that lasted for twenty-five years cost the country as much as the current Gross Domestic Product if a conservative estimate of 2 per cent of …

Continue reading ‘If Dual Citizen Basil Rajapaksa wants to Contest in the Sri Lankan Presidential Elections, he has to Renounce his US citizenship first; But a potential legal investigation by the US Justice Dept may complicate his plans.’ »

Apart from the ‘same old, same old’ rhetoric by the Sri Lankan opposition, where is the fiery energising of the Sri Lankan citizenry? Is that not precisely what an Opposition is supposed to do?

By Kishali Pinto -Jayawardene There is a stark difference between Sri Lanka’s multifaceted ‘aragalaya’ (the peoples’ struggle) of 2022 and the current unrest in Pakistan, with the deploying of the army throughout the land. A different trajectory of similar struggles To be blunt, that difference is the role of the Opposition in both countries. Common …

Continue reading ‘Apart from the ‘same old, same old’ rhetoric by the Sri Lankan opposition, where is the fiery energising of the Sri Lankan citizenry? Is that not precisely what an Opposition is supposed to do?’ »

India’s Congress Party wins 137 out of 224 seats in South Indian State of Karnataka Elections while Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party Gets only 63 seats. Janata Dal(S)-20 and Rest -04.

By P.K.Balachandran The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had been hoping to recapture Karnataka State to help it over-run South India and complete its conquest of India in the coming years, received a crushing blow in the Karnataka elections. ‘India Today’ reported Saturday evening that the Congress had secured 137 seats, the BJP 63, the …

Continue reading ‘India’s Congress Party wins 137 out of 224 seats in South Indian State of Karnataka Elections while Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party Gets only 63 seats. Janata Dal(S)-20 and Rest -04.’ »

Conspiracy theories of various kinds merely serve to accuse an identified public enemy without providing any reliable evidence. Just like gossip and rumour, conspiracy theories serve to spread fake news and false alarms in ways that divert public anger towards identified targets

By Kalinga Tudor Silva Sociological explanations frequently serve as a counter point to popular conspiracy theories. Historically, sociology evolved as a subject that tried to prove that social reality cannot be reduced to the separate actions of the individuals who make up that society, such individual motivations or what was understood as the standard way …

Continue reading ‘Conspiracy theories of various kinds merely serve to accuse an identified public enemy without providing any reliable evidence. Just like gossip and rumour, conspiracy theories serve to spread fake news and false alarms in ways that divert public anger towards identified targets’ »

Journalists have duties that are separate from those of govts, politicians and powerful establishments. A journalist’s job of presenting the first draft of history is incomplete if it only presents one state-approved View.

By Suhasini Haidar “Who do you work for? Which Indian agency has sent you here?” I could tell from the tone and rising voices of the mob around me that things could get very sticky very quickly if I didn’t move. I was at Lahore airport in 2011, attempting to take a flight back to …

Continue reading ‘Journalists have duties that are separate from those of govts, politicians and powerful establishments. A journalist’s job of presenting the first draft of history is incomplete if it only presents one state-approved View.’ »

Tamil Nadu Chief minister MK Stalin Moves Palanivel Thiaga Rajan (PTR) from Finance to Information and Technology Portfolio after release of two of PTR’s purported audio clips alleging that Stalin’s family has earned Rs 30,000 crores.

By Lakshmi Subramanian In a major reshuffle of portfolios of his cabinet, Tamil Nadu Chief minister MK Stalin on Thursday moved Palanivel Thiaga Rajan (PTR) out of the Finance portfolio and allocated it to senior leader Thangam Thennarasu. The industries portfolio held by Thennarasu has been allocated to Mannargudi MLA TRB Raaja, who has been …

Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Chief minister MK Stalin Moves Palanivel Thiaga Rajan (PTR) from Finance to Information and Technology Portfolio after release of two of PTR’s purported audio clips alleging that Stalin’s family has earned Rs 30,000 crores.’ »

One Sri Lankan Family’s Experience Aboard the Sri Lankan Airlines UL318 Flight to Malaysua from Colombo

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray There are three things that matter when it comes to air travel. Punctuality, baggage not being lost and inflight comfort. There’s been a lot of chatter recently on the national carrier SriLankan and I want to add my own experience in the interest of the silent majority. Too often the opinion …

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Sri Lanka Supreme Court rules that a Private Members Bill seeking to Amend Penal Code and decriminalise homosexuality is “not inconsistent with the Constitution” thereby clearing the way for a Parliamentary debate and vote .

By Meera Srinivasan The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has ruled that a Bill seeking to decriminalise homosexuality is “not inconsistent with the Constitution”, clearing the way for a Parliamentary debate and vote on the subject. “The Supreme Court is of the opinion that the Bill as a whole or as any provision thereof is …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Supreme Court rules that a Private Members Bill seeking to Amend Penal Code and decriminalise homosexuality is “not inconsistent with the Constitution” thereby clearing the way for a Parliamentary debate and vote .’ »

Will Mahinda Rajapaksa, his family or the Rajapaksa ‘patronage networks’ ever Learn?Will they ever acknowledge that Sri Lanka toppled into the abyss as a result of their cumulative greed, ignorance and racism?

By Kishali Pinto -Jayawardene Exactly twelve months ago to the coming Tuesday, state goons led by key Rajapaksa Ministers attacked peaceful protestors at Galle Face Green leading to the incendiary flaming up of what was perhaps, the single most potent peoples’ uprising in Sri Lanka since independence. May Day musings on Rajapaksa wrongs As Rajapaksa …

Continue reading ‘Will Mahinda Rajapaksa, his family or the Rajapaksa ‘patronage networks’ ever Learn?Will they ever acknowledge that Sri Lanka toppled into the abyss as a result of their cumulative greed, ignorance and racism?’ »

President’s Office Directs Four Provincial Governors Including Eastern Province Governor Anuradha Yahampath and Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda the North -Western Province Governor to Step Down Due to Complaints Received from MPs

The President’s Office has directed four provincial governors to step down following complaints received by parliamentarians representing the provinces. Accordingly, the decision has been conveyed to Eastern Province Governor Anuradha Yahampath, North Western Province Governor Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Uva Province Governor A.J.M. Muzammil and Sabaragamuwa Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has Cordial Conversation with King Charles III at Marlborough House on the Eve of his Coronation with First Lady Prof.Maithree Wickremesinghe also in Attendance

Charles III was crowned monarch of the United Kingdom and 14 Commonwealth realms yesterday at Britain’s first coronation for 70 years, during a ceremony steeped in a millennium of ritual and spectacle. The day before yesterday’s coronation, King Charles III met Commonwealth leaders at the Commonwealth Secretariat at Marlborough House. During the event, President Ranil …

Continue reading ‘President Ranil Wickremesinghe has Cordial Conversation with King Charles III at Marlborough House on the Eve of his Coronation with First Lady Prof.Maithree Wickremesinghe also in Attendance’ »

What kind of a Monarch will King Charles III turn out to be? Would he Replicate his Mother Queen Elizabeth’s style rather than deviate from it? – “The Economist”

He came to praise his mother—and to bury suspicions. On September 9th King Charles III gave his first public speech as monarch. Explicitly, it honoured the queen—“my darling mama”—for her dedication, service and duty. Implicitly, it answered questions about what kind of king he is going to be and spoke, quietly, to some of the …

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Prominence Given to Basil Rajapaksa at SLPP May Day Rally Irks Party Seniors while Some Pohottuwa MPs Launch Campaign to Promote Basil as Party Leader

By Jamila Husain A tussle has erupted in the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) camp after BasilRajapaksa was given a notable welcome at the May Day rally and his picture was shown on the main SLPP banner on stage alongside party leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Daily Mirror learns. Senior SLPP sources said that strong objections …

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Freedom,Safety,Order and Democracy are the basic pillars of a liveable life. So far, all attempts to reignite the Aragalaya have failed, because Wickremesinghe has got enough of the combination right. A kind of normalcy has replaced generalised chaos.So it is too early for Aragalaya Season 2.

By Tisaranee Gunasekara “Too many things have happened that weren’t supposed to happen and what was supposed to come about has not.” – Wyslawa Szymborska – The Century’s Decline For a few hours in early April, 2022, Wikipedia page of Ajith Nivard Cabraal described the then Governor of Central Bank as: “A chartered accountant and …

Continue reading ‘Freedom,Safety,Order and Democracy are the basic pillars of a liveable life. So far, all attempts to reignite the Aragalaya have failed, because Wickremesinghe has got enough of the combination right. A kind of normalcy has replaced generalised chaos.So it is too early for Aragalaya Season 2.’ »

V.V.Ganeshananthan the American writer of Ilankai Tamil descent, Seeks to dismantle the very language of terrorism in her Sophomore Novel “Brotherless Night”.

By Avantika Shankar The opening line of V.V. Ganeshananthan’s sophomore novel, Brotherless Night, will give you pause. Maybe you’ve settled down in an armchair with a cup of tea, or maybe you’re leaning against a shelf in a bookstore, on the prowl for your next big read. Either way, the opening line will disarm you. …

Continue reading ‘V.V.Ganeshananthan the American writer of Ilankai Tamil descent, Seeks to dismantle the very language of terrorism in her Sophomore Novel “Brotherless Night”.’ »

Shanakiyan Rasamanickam Raised His Voice in Solidarity with Muslims in Parliament when Ali Sabry Served as Justice Minister in the Gotabaya Regime which Targeted the Muslim Community with Atrocious Policies like Forced Cremation.

(Text of Editorial appearing in the “Daily FT”of 2 May 2023 under the heading “Undiplomatic Tragicomedy”) Sri Lanka’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry made news last week for his most undiplomatic conduct in Parliament. In an exchange with Batticaloa District MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam, the Foreign Minister resorted to unparliamentary language which had to be …

Continue reading ‘Shanakiyan Rasamanickam Raised His Voice in Solidarity with Muslims in Parliament when Ali Sabry Served as Justice Minister in the Gotabaya Regime which Targeted the Muslim Community with Atrocious Policies like Forced Cremation.’ »

“If we are to address the issues faced by the Tamil community in this country, let us collaborate within this system, particularly in the Parliament as part of the government. To the Tamil parties, I say that it is futile to distance oneself from this endeavor.”- President Ranil Wickremesinghe

(Full Text of President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Address Via Electronic Technology to the May Day Rally held by the United National Party(UNP) at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium on may 1st 2023) “After assuming the presidency, I have had the opportunity to address the United National Party and all of you who support the party. When I took …

Continue reading ‘“If we are to address the issues faced by the Tamil community in this country, let us collaborate within this system, particularly in the Parliament as part of the government. To the Tamil parties, I say that it is futile to distance oneself from this endeavor.”- President Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Why do Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thero want ‘international justice’ Selectively for some and not for others?

By Kishali Pinto – Jayawardene Protests issued by the Government of Sri Lanka over the United States Government decision to ‘blacklist’ former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda and his wife from entering the US are farcical, to say the least. The Foreign Ministry must up its game First, there is little that Sri Lanka can do, …

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“Ponniyin Selvan 2” : Ace Filmmaker Maniratnam’s cinematic adaptation of Kalki’s Epic Novel with the interpersonal dynamics and drama between its main characters make a Satisfactory Watch

By Srinivasa Ramanujam The events of Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan: 1, which released late last year, left audiences not just on a high, but also with many questions: What really happened to Arunmozhi Varman? Who is the mysterious lady who makes fleeting but impactful appearances? And most importantly, what happened to the succession battle for …

Continue reading ‘“Ponniyin Selvan 2” : Ace Filmmaker Maniratnam’s cinematic adaptation of Kalki’s Epic Novel with the interpersonal dynamics and drama between its main characters make a Satisfactory Watch’ »

US State Department Designates North Western Province Governor Wasantha Karannagoda due to his Alleged involvement in a gross violation of human rights during his tenure as a Naval Commander.

(Full Text of Press Release Issued by the US State Department on 26 April 2023 Under the Heading “Designation of Sri Lankan Governor Due to Involvement in a Gross Violation of Human Rights”) The United States is designating Wasantha Karannagoda, Governor of North Western Province in Sri Lanka, pursuant to Section 7031(c) of the Department …

Continue reading ‘US State Department Designates North Western Province Governor Wasantha Karannagoda due to his Alleged involvement in a gross violation of human rights during his tenure as a Naval Commander.’ »

“I must tell the President that he should walk the talk,” Opposition Leader Premadasa.“I will walk the talk but I would like to tell you that those in SJB will start walking with me,” Responds President Wickremesinghe.“ I assure that no one in SJB will walk with you,” Sajith Tells Ranil.

By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana In response to a request made by the Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa to walk the talk and thereby put into practice what he had talked of, President Ranil Wickremeinge today told Parliament those in Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) will walk towards a common journey with him soo “I …

Continue reading ‘“I must tell the President that he should walk the talk,” Opposition Leader Premadasa.“I will walk the talk but I would like to tell you that those in SJB will start walking with me,” Responds President Wickremesinghe.“ I assure that no one in SJB will walk with you,” Sajith Tells Ranil.’ »

“We have no other option but the IMF agreement. If there are no other alternative suggestions, let’s approve this. I also urge the opposition to work together.Let’s get both parties together and pass this.”- President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Special Statement to Parliament

(Full Text of Special Statement made in Parliament on 26 April 2023 by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe) I would like to address the concerns that have been raised in the media and elsewhere about the economic and financial issues that our country has faced. In July 2022, Sri Lanka was hit with riots, arson, …

Continue reading ‘“We have no other option but the IMF agreement. If there are no other alternative suggestions, let’s approve this. I also urge the opposition to work together.Let’s get both parties together and pass this.”- President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Special Statement to Parliament’ »

Ancient Hindu Shrine on Kurunthoormalai Hill was Destroyed by Soldiers led by Minister Vidura Wickramanayake states Jaffna District MP Sumanthiran in Parliament;Urges Govt not to Continue in Racist Direction

(Excerpts from Speech made in Parliament on 25 April 2023 by Jaffna District TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran PC) I am mentioning this Kurunthoor malai issue and according to the code of conduct I am making a disclosure that I have an interest in that matter, in that I appear for two members of parliament and …

Continue reading ‘Ancient Hindu Shrine on Kurunthoormalai Hill was Destroyed by Soldiers led by Minister Vidura Wickramanayake states Jaffna District MP Sumanthiran in Parliament;Urges Govt not to Continue in Racist Direction’ »

Independent Television Network Chairman Sudarshana Gunawardana appoints External committee Headed by Woman Lawyer to investigate reports on social media about alleged sexual harassment faced by a former ITN news anchor Ishara Dewendra.

BY Sahan Tennekoon The Chairman of the Independent Television Network (ITN), Attorney Sudarshana Gunawardana has appointed a committee to investigate into reports on social media about the alleged sexual harassment faced by a former ITN news anchor Ishara Dewendra. This was revealed by the Minister of Mass Media Dr. Bandula Gunawardana in Parliament yesterday (25) …

Continue reading ‘Independent Television Network Chairman Sudarshana Gunawardana appoints External committee Headed by Woman Lawyer to investigate reports on social media about alleged sexual harassment faced by a former ITN news anchor Ishara Dewendra.’ »

Sri Lankan Tamil Parties Perturbed over escalating attacks on Hindu temples in recent weeks ; this is a trend that is part of the State’s “ongoing Sinhalisation project” in the island’s north, they note

By Meera Srinivasan Tamils in Sri Lanka have witnessed an escalation in the attack on Hindu temples in recent weeks, a trend that they note is part of the State’s “ongoing Sinhalisation project” in the island’s north. In recent weeks, Tamil media reported multiple incidents of vandalism at temples, where Hindu deities were found missing …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Tamil Parties Perturbed over escalating attacks on Hindu temples in recent weeks ; this is a trend that is part of the State’s “ongoing Sinhalisation project” in the island’s north, they note’ »

The govt’s determination to push the ATA is creating new political fault lines the economy could ill afford. Sri Lanka has avoided Lebanon’s fate and achieved a modicum of stability thanks to President Wickremesinghe’s economic policies. ATA is a diversion from that sensible path

By Tisaranee Gunasekara “On land a tiger, in the water a crocodile.” A Bengali proverb In Sri Lanka terror means Tamil or Muslim. When the J.R. Jayewardene government responded to the ethnic problem not with the promised political reforms but with repression and the PTA was born, the concept of terror (and its prevention) invoked …

Continue reading ‘The govt’s determination to push the ATA is creating new political fault lines the economy could ill afford. Sri Lanka has avoided Lebanon’s fate and achieved a modicum of stability thanks to President Wickremesinghe’s economic policies. ATA is a diversion from that sensible path’ »

Could the 2 019 Easter attacks have been prevented if the 2023 Anti-Terrorism Bill been law at the time? The answer to that question is a resounding ‘NO.’

By Kishali Pinto – Jayawardene Two years after Sri Lanka’s former Attorney General (AG) claimed on the eve of his retirement, that the savage attacks on churches and hotels by homegrown ‘jihadists’ in April 2019 discloses ‘a grand conspiracy,’ the country’s Minister of Justice has issued a flurry of directions to state agencies to ‘summon’ …

Continue reading ‘Could the 2 019 Easter attacks have been prevented if the 2023 Anti-Terrorism Bill been law at the time? The answer to that question is a resounding ‘NO.’’ »

Jaffna District TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran Due to Table his Private Members bill in Parliament for first reading on 25 April 2023; if bill is adopted, long awaited elections to Lanka’s nine provincial councils could be held very soon

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The long delayed elections to Sri Lanka’s nine provincial elections could be held very soon if a private members bill submitted by Jaffna district parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran is passed by the House next week. Sumanthiran is due to table the bill in Parliament on April 25th 2023 for its first reading After the …

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Former Parliament Secretary General Priyanee Wijesekera Responds with Facts to Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa’s Demand for a new Presidential Election to seek a Fresh Mandate

With reference to the comments by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa on the legitimacy of the mandate of President Ranil Wickremesinghe to hold that office and the demand for a Presidential election to seek a fresh mandate, Former Parliament Secretary General Priyanee Wijesekera has responded with the following facts. “Our Constitution, by article 40 provides for …

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Sri Lanka marks 4th anniversary of Easter Sunday terror attacks with Families of Victims Marching for Justice and Christians Standing Outside Churches Protesting Delay in Probe

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka on April 21 marked the 4 th anniversary of the Easter Sunday terror bombings that shook the island nation on April 21, 2019, even as families of victims marched, and many gathered outside churches, demanding truth and justice. Nearly 300 persons died and hundreds were injured in the coordinated serial …

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Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS) Conducted by the Institute for health Policy(IHP) for March 2023 Reveals JVP/NPP has 41% Support Among Voters currently While SJB has 30% and UNP 8%

(Excerpts from Media Release Issued by the Institute for health Policy(IHP) Regarding the latest Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS) polling in March 2023 ) The latest Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS) polling in March 2023 reveals little change from February, with NPP/JVP at 41% of likely voters maintaining a clear lead over the …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS) Conducted by the Institute for health Policy(IHP) for March 2023 Reveals JVP/NPP has 41% Support Among Voters currently While SJB has 30% and UNP 8%’ »

Chinese Embassy in Colombo refutes Purported Disinformation in Media about Export of 100,000 Toque Monkeys from Sri Lanka to China : Chinese National Forestry and Grassland Administration not aware of the request and has not received such application from any side.” Says Press Release

(Text of Press Release Issued via Twitter by the Chinese Embassy in Colombo on the toque macaque monkeys issue) The Embassy has noticed recent disinformation on local and foreign media about Sri Lanka to export “100 thousands” of “endangered” toque macaque monkeys to a Chinese private company for “experimental purpose”, as well as detailed clarifications …

Continue reading ‘Chinese Embassy in Colombo refutes Purported Disinformation in Media about Export of 100,000 Toque Monkeys from Sri Lanka to China : Chinese National Forestry and Grassland Administration not aware of the request and has not received such application from any side.” Says Press Release’ »

Proposal to Export 100,000 Monkeys to China Severely Criticized by Conversationists in Sri Lanka; With only 300,000 Toque Macaques Existing in the Island,they are a threatened species points out primatologist Wolfgang Dittus.

By Meera Srinivasan Zoologists and conservationists in Sri Lanka on April 19 slammed a recent government proposal exploring the export of monkeys to China, terming it an ad-hoc, illegal, and short-sighted response to a long-standing human-animal conflict. Earlier this month, Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera said the government was studying a proposal from a Chinese …

Continue reading ‘Proposal to Export 100,000 Monkeys to China Severely Criticized by Conversationists in Sri Lanka; With only 300,000 Toque Macaques Existing in the Island,they are a threatened species points out primatologist Wolfgang Dittus.’ »

“The Anti-Terrorism Bill is fundamentally flawed and if passed will not only help govts suppress democracy in the name of fighting terrorism but also tarnish the country’s image internationally. It has to be ditched forthwith.”- The Island

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island”of 17 April 2023 Under the Heading “Bin the bad Bill”) The Rajapaksa-Wickremesinghe government has chosen to bite off more than it can chew. Now, it is planning to present its controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill (ATB) to Parliament on 25 April, according to media reports. Why it is in a …

Continue reading ‘“The Anti-Terrorism Bill is fundamentally flawed and if passed will not only help govts suppress democracy in the name of fighting terrorism but also tarnish the country’s image internationally. It has to be ditched forthwith.”- The Island’ »

Sri Lanka After 75 Years of Independence has become a Failed State says Chandrika Kumaratunga;“We are incapable of managing the affairs of the state,” tates the Former Sri Lankan President

By Meera Srinivasan Despite possessing enviable social indicators at the time of Independence in 1948, Sri Lanka, at 75, is a “failed state”, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said on Sunday. “Seventy-five years is a long time for a nation to achieve considerable progress. Even after 450 years of destruction by colonial rulers, at Independence, …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka After 75 Years of Independence has become a Failed State says Chandrika Kumaratunga;“We are incapable of managing the affairs of the state,” tates the Former Sri Lankan President’ »

TPA Leader Mano Ganesan Moots Proposal to set up a “Tamil Caucus ‘in Parliament that would Enable Tamil legislators to express the “collective desire” of the island’s Tamil speaking peoples.

By Meera Srinivasan In a bid to ensure Sri Lanka’s main political parties do not “take numerical minorities for granted” anymore, Opposition MP Mano Ganesan has recently mooted setting up a “Tamil caucus” in Parliament. The “caucus”, he said, would allow Tamil legislators to express the “collective desire” of the island’s Tamil speaking peoples. Although …

Continue reading ‘TPA Leader Mano Ganesan Moots Proposal to set up a “Tamil Caucus ‘in Parliament that would Enable Tamil legislators to express the “collective desire” of the island’s Tamil speaking peoples.’ »

Setting up a remote satellite receiving ground station system in Southern Sri Lanka through a collaborative effort between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Ruhuna Raises Security Concerns in India

By Dinakar Peri The construction of a military facility on Coco Islands in Myanmar and a proposed remote satellite receiving ground station system in Sri Lanka, both coming up with Chinese help, have raised concerns in India of possible surveillance across the region. Recent satellite images show the construction of a military facility on Coco …

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“Narendra Modi led BJP Govt Rewrites History in School Textbooks According to the “Hindutva”Vision of Reimagining India as a Purely Hindu land’; Muslim Contribution to India is being Expunged in History Books”-The Economist

At the start of the academic year this month, 12th-year students of history and politics at tens of thousands of schools across India returned to a syllabus and textbooks that had been significantly altered. Tweaks are good when they reflect new thinking in a discipline or correct blind spots. Those overseen by the National Council …

Continue reading ‘“Narendra Modi led BJP Govt Rewrites History in School Textbooks According to the “Hindutva”Vision of Reimagining India as a Purely Hindu land’; Muslim Contribution to India is being Expunged in History Books”-The Economist’ »

Lakshman Kadirgamar departed too early, with no lasting legacy penned in his own words, and no narrative whether fact or fiction to sit on library shelves for posterity

By Ajita Kadirgamar This article is written on the occasion of Lakshman Kadirgamar’s 91st birth anniversary which falls on 12 April. With every year that passes and every person in their nineties that departs this earth, we lose precious memories and stories of times gone by. This was made painfully clear to me with the …

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“Despite differences in political affiliation, ethnicity and religion, a fresh beginning is imperative to create a brighter future for us and our nation, in this New Year.”-President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his April New Year Message

(Text of Press Release with President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Message for the April 2023 New Year) The dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year subsequent to the transition of the Sun from the house of Pisces to Aries, is considered as an extremely momentous occasion by the Sinhala and Tamil communities in the country. On …

Continue reading ‘“Despite differences in political affiliation, ethnicity and religion, a fresh beginning is imperative to create a brighter future for us and our nation, in this New Year.”-President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his April New Year Message’ »

The Govt ought to abandon the Anti-Terrorism Bill (ATB) and formulate a new law with the help of all stakeholders to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) – “The Island”

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island”of 13 April 2023 under the heading “It’s ATB, stupid”) Government politicians are blindly supporting the proposed anti-terrorism Bill (ATB), which has been put on hold. It is doubtful whether most of them have ever seen the ATB, much less read it. But Foreign Minister and former Justice Minister …

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Clauses 10 and 11 of the 2023 Anti-Terrorism Bill are Clearly aimed at all media Including print, electronic and web-based.

By Kishali Pinto- Jayawardene If the Executive Presidency was foisted on Sri Lanka by her ‘Old Fox’ President, JR Jayawardene in 1978 tying the country’s constitutional systems up in knots that could not be entangled decades later by far lesser minds, the 2023 Anti-Terrorism Bill under the (parliamentary endorsed) Presidency of Ranil Wickremesinghe promises far …

Continue reading ‘Clauses 10 and 11 of the 2023 Anti-Terrorism Bill are Clearly aimed at all media Including print, electronic and web-based.’ »

President Wickremesinghe States he is not in a rush to Take Opposition MPs into Govt as he has a Comfortable majority in the House; Ranil says Opposition MPs who want to Cross Over must do so voluntarily Without Expecting Portfolios in Return

By Jamila Husain President Ranil Wickremesinghe will contest the next Presidential Election and has hinted at a possible presidential poll to be held early next year, the Daily Mirror learns. In a meeting held with minority political party parliamentarians this week, Wickremesinghe informed them that he would contest as a presidential candidate and would call …

Continue reading ‘President Wickremesinghe States he is not in a rush to Take Opposition MPs into Govt as he has a Comfortable majority in the House; Ranil says Opposition MPs who want to Cross Over must do so voluntarily Without Expecting Portfolios in Return’ »

Repealing the PTA is an urgent need. Unfortunately, the anti-terror law the Government intends as its replacement contains within it even greater potential for abuse.

By Tisaranee Gunasekara “The main obstacle to the creation of a well-informed public is its own indifference” – I.F. Stone: ‘The Best of I.F. Stone’ When the IMF deal came through, some presidential supporters turned silly and lit crackers. The IMF facility is no panacea. Nor is it the poisoned chalice of the Opposition’s fervid …

Continue reading ‘Repealing the PTA is an urgent need. Unfortunately, the anti-terror law the Government intends as its replacement contains within it even greater potential for abuse.’ »

Samagi Jana Balawegaya Leader Sajith Premadasa Meets Party MPs and Tells them that he has heard a group of MPs including Harsha de Silva are talking to the President and Urges them to Stay Together in the SJB

By Jamila Husain The opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya is in a quandary following the Daily Mirror article tilted “Sajith loses grip on a dying SJB?” which was published on April 4, 2023 in its newspaper and online platform. While MPs such as Harsha De Silva, Eran Wickremaratne and even Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa himself were …

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Sajith Premadasa Tries Desperately to Keep Samagi Jana Balawegaya(SJB) Intact as many Party MPs Engage in Discussions With the Intention of Crossing Over to President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Government

By Jamila Husain In a desperate attempt to keep the main opposition – the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) alive, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa invited all SJB Parliamentarians to dinner at the Monarch Imperial in Battaramulla last evening in order to coax them into remaining in the party which is now on the verge of collapse. …

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If the Anti-Terrorism Bill passes the seal of Parliament as currently framed, Sri Lanka will pass from a de facto police state to a de jure police state. The political consensus must be to reject the Anti-Terrorism Bill wholesale.

By Kishali Pinto – Jayawardene Will the booing of Ministers by disgruntled voters run the risk of being classified as an ‘act of terrorism’ under the Anti-Terrorism Bill recently gazetted by the Sri Lankan Government? Clever Presidential sidestepping and public anger Can that be construed within the Bill’s prohibition of ‘wrongfully or unlawfully compelling’ the …

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Is Jaffna booming, blooming or busting is the question that arises in the minds of those familiar with Jaffna’s heritage, historical background, culture and socioeconomic development patterns.

By C.Narayanaswamy (The writer is formerly of the Ceylon Civil Service and Retired Senior Professional of the Asian Development Bank) The recent visit to Jaffna, after several years of forbidden travel due to the pandemic, provided an opportunity to revisit areas of interest and observe the changes, including positive and negative developments, in both the …

Continue reading ‘Is Jaffna booming, blooming or busting is the question that arises in the minds of those familiar with Jaffna’s heritage, historical background, culture and socioeconomic development patterns.’ »