Jul 27-Aug 2

Sivaji Ganesan: Tamil cinema’s versatile actor par excellence


D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The first Tamil film which impacted on me greatly during childhood was ‘Veera Pandiya Kattabomman’. It was a kind of bio-picture about a ‘Paalayakkaaran’ or Polygar (feudal chieftain) who defied the British during the last decade of the 18th Century and paid the supreme penalty. Kattabomman whose full name was Veera Pandiya Kattabomma Karuthaiyya Nayakkar governed an area known as Paanchaalankurichi which is in the Thoothukkudi District of Tamil Nadu state in India. [DBSJ]

Workshop for Tamil journalists in Colombo disrupted


In an apparent case of intimidation of journalists, a group of persons disrupted a training programme organised for Tamil journalists on Saturday.

Journalists from Jaffna had travelled south to Colombo for a workshop on electronic media organised by the Free Media Movement, a collective working for media rights in Sri Lanka. [The Hindu]

Jul 20-26:

Anatomy of an Anti-Tamil Pogrom: Thirty-first Anniversary of “Black July” 1983

(This article was posted last year to denote the 30th anniversary of Black July 83 and is reproduced here again in view of the 31st anniversary without any change except a minor one in the heading)


The tragic history of post – independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka have been subjected to mass –scale mob violence in the years 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983. The anti-Tamil violence of July 1983 was the most terrible and horrible of them all. It remains etched in memory even after 30 years. [DBSJ]

How the Famous Tamil Poet Subramania Bharati Responded to the First World War



Born in 1882, Subramania Bharati’s political career began in the end of 1904. Less than four years later he would be forced into exile, an ordeal that would extend to well over a decade. The years spent in exile in the French enclave of Pondicherry, between mid-1908 and late 1918, subsume the years of the Great War, and it is not entirely coincidental that Bharati should choose to end his exile within a week of the signing of the Armistice. How did the great poet respond to the Great War? [DBSJ]

Assassination of Tamil Leader Appapillai Amirthalingam by the LTTE 25 Years Ago




July 13th 1989 was the date on which the well-known Sri Lankan Tamil leader Appapillai Amirthalingam was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE).The former leader of the Opposition was a national list MP of the Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF)at the time he was gunned down in Colombo. [DBSJ]

July 13-19:

From the Fist Sized Heart of Poet Vaali

by K. Thirukumran

The heart is the size of one’s fist, and Vaali’s blossomed mystically melodious lyrics from it to eternal fragrance and fame.

‘Evergreen’ Lyricist and poet Vaali passed away a year ago today, July 18th in Chennai at the age 82. He was born as S. Rangarajan in Thiruparaithurai near Tiruchi on 29 October, 1931. [TW]

Bodhu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Makes Arrangements to visit Australia on a “Spiritual Awakening Mission”


Bodhu Bala Sena General-Secretary Ven.Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero is scheduled to visit Australia on a “spiritual awakening mission” in a few weeks time it is learnt.

The notorious monk known for articulating racial and religious hatred against minority communities in Sri Lanka and instigating violence will be conducting a series of meetings in different cities of Australia where he will explain the basic tenets of Buddhism.

Gnanasara Thero is also expected to speak about the situation prevailing in Sri Lanka and explain the underlying reasons behind the influx of asylum seekers sailing in boats seeking political refuge in Australia. [DBSJ]

Lester James Peries and the Making of his Path-breaking Sinhala film “Rekava”

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

‘Rekava’ or the line of destiny was the path-breaking film by Lester James Peries which altered the destiny of Sinhala cinema. (Though Rekava is spelled with both a ‘v’ as well as a ‘w’ in English, I am sticking to v because the original titles shown in the film spelled it with a v).

Rekava, the first feature film to be made by Lester, was released in December 1956. It was hailed as a turning point in the decade-long evolving history of Sinhala cinema. Prominent journalist Mervyn de Silva described Rekava as “the birth of Sinhala cinema” itself when writing about it. [DBSJ]

Jun 29-Jul 5:

TNA Must Take Lead in Presenting Evidence About LTTE Violations at The UN Probe



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

TNA Parliamentarians M.A. Sumanthiran MP and R. Sampanthan MP

TNA Parliamentarians M.A. Sumanthiran MP and R. Sampanthan MP

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

Jun 22-28:

Top Trio for UN Probe on Sri Lanka will be Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, Silvia Cartwright of New Zealand, Asma Jahangir of Pakistan, Announces Navi Pillay


The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced today that three distinguished experts have agreed to advise and support the team set up to conduct a comprehensive investigation of alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, as mandated by the Human Rights Council in March. [DBSJ]

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

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

Former Finland President and Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari Likely to Jointly Lead UN Probe on Sri Lanka with Dame Sylvia Cartwright of New Zealand


D.B.S. Jeyaraj


A highly respected statesman of international stature with immense experience in helping resolve prickly issues in the sphere of international relations is strongly tipped to co- head the forthcoming UN Probe on Sri Lanka. [DBSJ]

JM Rajaratnam: A Man of Remarkable Simplicity, Kindness and Spirited Commitment


K. Thirukumaran

My recollection of Mr JM Rajaratnam dates back to the eighties. It was a time many of us arrived here in New Jersey on student visa. We lived in urban cramped apartments amidst the loss of leaving our parents, place of birth and homes families and friends.


Hearing about us new arrivals Mr JM Rajaratanam conveyed his liking to meet all at his home. It was in fact for first time many of us dined in a proper home headed by a father and mother. [DBSJ]

Muslim Owned “No Limit” Large Clothing Store at Panadura in Western Sri Lanka Burnt Down in “Mysterious” Pre-dawn Fire



The tense situation prevailing in the Kalutara district of Sri Lanka’s Western Province after the occurrence of anti-muslim vioence last week took a sharp turn for the worse in the early hours of the morning on Saturday June 21st when a large,well-known Muslim owned apparel store in the Panadura town was gutted extensively. [DBSJ]

“Aluthgama” Shows that the Bodu Bala Sena Project is Approved by the State, Endorsed by the Govt and Largely Supported by Many Sinhala Buddhists

by Kalana Senaratne

The Muhammedans, an alien people, who in the early part of the 19th century were common traders, by Shylockian methods became prosperous like the Jews […] What the German is to the Britisher that the Muhammedan is to the Sinhalese. He is an alien to the Sinhalese by religion, race and language […] The whole nation in one day have risen against the Moor people. The causes are economic and spiritual…”

- Anagarika Dharmapala ~ Letter of 15th June, 1915 (in A. Guruge, ed, Return to Righteousness (1991), p. 540-541

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and its many monks take their ‘professional’ duty – the promotion of Sinhala Buddhism – quite seriously. And recently, they decided to spread a bit of their Sinhala Buddhism, in Aluthgama, Beruwala and a few surrounding areas in Southern Sri Lanka.

Gnanasara thera called his audience to finish off the Muslims if a single Sinhalese is touched. A singer, Madhumadawa Aravinda, invoked the lines of the late Tibetan S. Mahinda himi (“… es gedi walata hena gahalada sihalunne”). And the mobs did the rest. Around 4 people (Muslims) were killed, over 80 were injured, many houses and shops were torched, there was terror. [DBSJ]

Jun 15 – 21:

USTPAC mourns the passing of Mr. JM Rajaratnam

USTPAC mourns the passing of Mr. JM Rajaratnam. Mr. Rajaratnam has been a fearless advocate for Tamil rights, and provided leadership for decades in the US on Tamil affairs. [TW]

Christians Being Targets of Violence in the Past Empathize Today with the Targeted Muslims in Sri Lanka-Anglican Bishop of Colombo

by Rt.Revd. Dhiloraj R.Canagasabey

The Church of Ceylon has released the following media release through the Bishop of Colombo Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj R. Canagasabey:

“I am deeply perturbed and concerned—at the large scale violence unleashed on members of the Muslim community last weekend (15th June 2014), in Aluthgama, Beruwala, Dharaga Town, Walpitiya and Welipenna areas. My thoughts and prayers are with the all those affected in their time of sorrow. This violence was wholly avoidable; that it was allowed to happen brings us shame as a country and as Sri Lankans. [TW]

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

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

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

Sri Lanka: North meets South

By Thulasi Muttulingam

A mass-scale exhibition of products / tourism on offer in the North viz. Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Mannar, was held in the Southern Province, Colombo recently.


Organized by the Nucleus Foundation in collaboration with the Good Market Project and USAID, it was held over two days at the Battaramulla Diyatha Uyana and the Colombo Race Course. Its organizers claimed that the event was designed to promote tourism as well as products / services from the North to the South, as well as forge economic and business partnerships between the provinces. Apparently 230 micro-level entrepreneurs (small / micro businesses) travelled to Colombo from across the Northern Province to showcase their wares. [MJ]

USTPAC Strongly Condemns Violence Against Muslims in Sri Lanka

Stronger international oversight urged to ensure accountability and protection of ethnic and religious groups

Washington, DC: The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) strongly condemns the attack on the Muslims in the town of Aluthgama in Sri Lanka on Sunday and calls on the international community to address the rampant impunity on the island. [TW]

National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka Strongly Condemns Attack on Muslims in Aluthgama and Beruwela

(Text of a Press Release Issued by the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka)

The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) strongly condemns the blatant attack on members of the Muslim minority, in Aluthgama and Beruwela on the 15th of June 2014 that reportedly left Muslim-owned shops in the area torched, mosques damaged, 80 people injured with at least 7 people admitted to the hospital with gunshot wounds and 3 dead. [DBSJ]

Armed Anti-Muslim Gangs Continue to Roam Freely in the Aluthgama Area Restricting Access to Muslim Victims of Violence



Although Prime Minister DM Jayaratne has informed Parliament that the situation in Aluthgama, Dharga Nagar, Beruwela and other areas have been normalised , the actual reality in the troubled region is different say informed sources who visited those places recently.

According to these sources armed gangs of thugs and hoodlums describing themselves as Sinhala Buddhist patriots are roaming about freely in the areas despite the heavy Police and Special Task Force (STF) presence and in spite of a curfew being in progress. [DBSJ]

Bodhu Bala Sena Instigates Anti-Muslim Violence – Mosques, Businesses and Houses Attacked – Thousands Seek Refuge – Indefinite Curfew in Aluthgama and Beruwela Police Divisions

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

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

BBC Video-Aluthgama clashes-via [BBC Sinhala]

Sri Lanka imposes curfew after Buddhist-Muslim clashes

The Sri Lankan authorities have imposed a curfew on two southern towns to quell clashes between a hardline Buddhist group and Muslims.

The latest violence began after a Buddhist rally in Aluthgama. [BBC]

Jun 8-14:

Singer “MIA” Maya Arulpragasamm, Activist Bianca Jagger, James Bond girl Maryam D’abo and Model Cara Delevigne Read Out Testimonies of Sri Lanka Rape Victims at London Event


A number of high profile women have joined together at an event at the Canadian High Commissioner’s residence in London this evening to give their voices to Sri Lankan rape victims. Bianca Jagger, MIA, Cara Delevingne (by video link) and Bond Girl Maryam D’abo read out the testimony of victims of rape in Sri Lanka, speaking their words as it would not have been safe for them to do so themselves. [DBSJ]

Tale of a Tamil Journalist Training Workshop,Three Top Tourist Hotels and the Transparency International


Related events over the past few weeks have raised serious questions whether Sri Lankan journalists in general and Tamil media personnel in particular have the basic right of conducting or participating in a training workshop designed to improve or develop their professional skills.

Inter-linked incidents in Polonnaruwa, Negombo and Colombo where three top tourist hotels prevented a reputed Non –governmental organization the Transparency Internatiol of Sri Lanka from holding investigative training workshops for Tamil journalists on their premises due to threats and intimidation have been severely condemned by national and international media rights organizations. [DBSJ]

MA Sumanthiran MP: “We expect the joint effort of the Indian Central Government and the Tamil Nadu State Government in finding a political solution for our crisis”


Right from the beginning of the Lankan Tamil crisis, the State of Tamil Nadu has been very much concerned about the political developments in the island. So we expect the joint effort of the Indian Central Government and the Tamil Nadu State Government in finding a political solution for our crisis. [TW]

Pictorial: Children displaced by Sri Lanka’s civil conflict still living in camps five years after the war

Children displaced by Sri Lanka's civil conflict still living in camps five years after the war #kiliweddikumarapuram #trincomalee-pic via: http://instagram.com/nitabhalla

Children displaced by Sri Lanka’s civil conflict still living in camps five years after the war #kiliweddikumarapuram #trincomalee-pic via: http://instagram.com/nitabhalla

Former New Zealand Governor- General Silvia Cartwright Appointed by Navi Pillay to “Lead” UN Team Probing Last Seven Years of War in Sri Lanka

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Former Governor-general and Campodian war crimes Tribunal judge Dame Silvia Cartwright has been appointed by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms.Navanetham Pillay to lead the UN team that would probe the war in Sri Lanka for the period 2002 to 2009. [DBSJ]

Australian friends mourn Leo Seemanpillai, the asylum seeker who set himself on fire – video

by Christian Bennett and Oliver Laughland



Leo Seemanpillai was a 29-year-old Tamil asylum seeker living in Geelong, Australia. He took his own life by setting himself alight. Guardian Australia goes to Geelong to talk to the people who knew him. [The Guardian]

Organic Juice Bar “Pazhamuthirsolai”: Jaffna, Sri Lanka North going Au Naturel – Finally

by Thulasi Muttulingam

Once upon a time, the agricultural peninsula of Jaffna was known for many other things apart from the war! Karuthakolomban mangoes, luscious jackfruits, juicy guavas…


More Pictures from Meesalai, Sri Lanka North [via facebook.com/monsoonJournal]

They still exist albeit with one innovation; more poison that Snow White’s stepmother ploughed into her apple. The average Sri Lankan farmer figures quite high on the world index for his excessive use of agro-chemicals. And the Northern Sri Lankan farmer, in stiff competition with the Southern Sri Lankan farmer (as well as the Army), perhaps uses agro chemicals the most. [MJ]

UN Official Sandra Beidas Expelled by Sdouth Sudan for “Unethical” Human Rights Investigation Appointed by Navi Pillay as Senior Coorinator of Probe into Sri Lanka

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj


A senior UN woman official who was expelled by South Sudan for allegedly conducting an unethical probe into human rights violations in the country has now been appointed as the senior coordinator of the probe into Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [DBSJ]

Former Gampaha MP S.D. Bandaranayake the Colourful Maverick Known as “Imbulgoda Veeraya” Passes Away at 97 Years of Age


D.B.S. Jeyaraj

SD Bandaranayake, one of Sri Lanka’s colourful Political personalities passed away on June 3rd 2014 at the ripe old age of 97. The funeral of the man who represented the Gampaha constituency for thirty years in Parliament will be conducted on Saturday June 7th at the Chandrajothi school grounds in Yakkala.The laird of “Madugas Walawwa” in Yakkala was a vibrant Politician who shot to fame in 1957 for stopping the JR Jayewardena led march to Kandy at a place called Imbulgoda along the Colombo-Kandy road.SD Bandaranayake was dubbed the “Imbulgoda Veeraya”or hero of Imbulgoda after the incident. [DBSJ]

Jun 1-7:

Jayalalithaa Wants India to Sponsor Resolution in UN Condemning ”Genocide” in Sri Lanka and Conducting Referendum Among Sri Lankan Tamils for Separate Tamil State

by Karthick S

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has taken a firm stand on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue despite conciliatory gestures by the Island nation in recent times, including release of Indian fishermen from the jails in that country. [DBSJ]

LTTE Air Wing Deputy Chief “Kushanthan” is Prize Catch Among Three Tigers Arrested and Deported From Malaysia


It was in April this year that I exclusively reported about how Subramaniam Kapilan alias Nanthagopan had been deported on March 6th 2014 to Sri Lanka from Malaysia with the assistance of law enforcement authorities in Iran and Malaysia.The 45 year old deputy leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) “Nediyavan” faction had been stopped on his way to Europe at the Teheran airport and sent back to Kuala Lumpur. [DBSJ]

Comrade Bala Tampoe: Evergreen Phenomenon in the Trade Union Sphere


General Secretary of the CMU for 66 years since 1948 is a marvellous achievement and record. All the more so because of his ethnicity in Sri Lanka’s deeply divided society. Bala Tampoe is of Jaffna Tamil origin. The membership of the CMU though multi-ethnic is predominantly Sinhala.


General-Secretary of Ceylon Mercantile Union Celebrated 92nd Birthday on May 23rd 2014

May 23rd was the 92nd birth anniversary of Sri Lanka’s unique Trade union leader Philips Balendra Tampoe known generally as Bala Tampoe. Bala or comrade Bala as he is popularly called has been at the helm of the Ceylon Mercantile Union(CMU) as its General-secretary since 1948.Though called the CMU still, the amended name of the union is now The Ceylon Mercantile, Industrial and General Workers Union. [DBSJ]

First Non-Profit Community Hall and meal donation facilities open in Karaichickudiyrppu – Mullaitivu, Sri Lanka North

In memory of Dr. Subramaniam and Parvathy (Ruckmani), their daughter Maheswary Parameswaran and family, have built a community hall extension to the Mullaitviu Karaichickudiyrppu Veerakathi Vinayagar temple.


This facility named “Ammah Amuthasurabi Hall” can house functions in Mullaitivu and was ceremoniously opened on Feb 06, 2014 by retired Commissioner of Cooperative President Mr. S. Santhirascgaram. [TW]

May 25-31:

Maya Angelou: Lyrical Witness to Jim Crow, and the Caged Bird


Maya Angelou, whose landmark book of 1969, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” — a lyrical, unsparing account of her childhood in the Jim Crow South — was among the first autobiographies by a 20th-century black woman to reach a wide general readership, died on Wednesday at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86. - NYTImes

In a recording, Angelou reads her poem “Still I Rise.”- NPR.org- [via DBSJ]

Radha-Jayalakshmi: My Voice is the Chime of the Bell at the Temple in Chenthoor


Well known Carnatic vocalist Jayalakshmi, one half of the famous Radha-Jayalakshmi duo, passed away in the early hours of Monday May 26th. [TW]

Absolute Majority in Parliament has Given Modi an Opportunity to Structure a Holistic and Vibrant Sri Lanka Policy


Col R Hariharan

[This is a summary of author’s comments made on May 27 to English and Tamil newspapers and magazines as well as on TV news channels.]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had faced more flak and investigations than any other aspirant stepping into the shoes of a prime minister, has shown on Day-1 that he is a man of his own mind. His spectacular election victory owed it to his planning, execution and management of his election strategy. His relentless campaign against odds has shown as a one who leads from the front, not losing sight of overall goals, and an uncanny knack to get his way through overcoming his detractors both within and outside the BJP. Last but not least is his ability to pick a team and motivate them to give their best. [DBSJ]

Narendra Modi sworn in as Prime Minister of India

By Siva Sivapragasam

As Delhi’s scorching sun took a break to cool itself in the evening, the boy who once sold tea at railway platforms, took leave of absence from his family ,and sometimes wandered in the mountainous region of the Himalayas, later a Chief Minister, has now become the Prime Minister of a country which is the largest democratic nation in the world.

Sixty three year old Narendra Damodardas Modi, in a pledge to rule the country without fear or favour and towards development, has also kept his promise to a request from his aged 90 year-old mother Heraben “To take India towards development”. [MJ]

Majority of Ministerial Posts Under PM Modi go to North India with 4 South Indian States Getting only 6



Not surprisingly, the lion’s share of berths in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers went to States north of the Vindhyas, with a mere half-a-dozen to the four southern States. And, of the northern States, Uttar Pradesh that delivered 71 of the 336 seats that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won in the general elections, got the biggest chunk: eight Ministers, of whom four find a place in the Union Cabinet. [DBSJ]

T.M. Soundararajan: In Devotion of the Melodious Tamil Voice


First Death Anniversary


Compiled by K. Thirukumaran

Singer T.M. Soundararajan, lasting voice of Murugan devotional songs and popular stars in Tamil silver screen passed away on May May 25, 2013.

Tamil National Alliance ”Unequivocally Condemns” the Designation by Gazette of Tamil Diaspora Organizations and Individuals

(Full Text of a Statement Issued on behalf of the Tamil National Alliance by its leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan M.P.It was released to the press by the TNA Media office)

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) wishes to unequivocally condemn the recent action taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to designate several Tamil diaspora organisations and individuals under Gazette Extraordinary No. 1854/41 of 21 March 2014. This Gazette notification was issued under the United Nations Regulations No. 1 of 2012 published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 1758/19 of 15 May 2012. [DBSJ]