Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Nocturnal Rendezvous With Narendra Modi
Vesak festivity in Sri Lanka acquired an international dimension this year with the Island nation hosting the United Nations International Vesak day. The icing on this Vesak event cake was the participation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as chief guest in the celebrations. Even though President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe basked in the glow of Narendra Modi’s brief trip described officially as a “religious visit”, the political highlight of the Indian premier’s stay in Sri Lanka was the nocturnal rendezvous with former Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. [DBSJ]
The White-Vanning Ordeal Of Journalist-Activist Poddala Jayantha
Well-known Sri Lankan Journalist – activist Poddala Jayantha was in the news last week when he sent a letter to the Director-General of Information Dr. Ranga Kalansuriya who is also the Secretary to the Cabinet Sub Committee on granting measures of relief to media persons who were subjected to various types of harassment and oppression during the period 2005 – 2015. Media reports said that copies of the letter had also been sent to the respective cabinet ministers serving in the cabinet sub – committee. [DBSJ]
TNA Concerned Over Provisions of Proposed Counter Terrorism Act as an “Attempt to Enlarge Scope of Unchecked Executive Power Over the Citizen”
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is “deeply concerned over Cabinet approval for a policy and legal framework relating to the proposed Counter-Terrorism Act”. The TNA says “We have not been consulted on the terms of the draft framework, which has recently appeared in the press and appears to be a Cabinet memorandum approved on 25th April 2017”. [DBSJ]
Rehabilitated Ex- LTTE Cadres to be Given Membership in ITAK the Chief Constituent Party of the TNA
The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi(ITAK) known also as the Federal Party has resolved to formally induct into party folds former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) who have undergone a process of rehabilitation. The path breaking party decision was taken unanimously at the ITAK central Committee sessions held in Batticaloa on April 29th 2017.
Vinu Chakravarthy With His Vibrant Voice and Emphatic Delivery Played Comedian,Villain and Character Actor Roles in Over 1000 Films
Veteran Tamil film actor Vinu Chakravarthy, who regaled fans with his commanding screen presence in over 1,000 films, including Annamalai and Guru Sishyan, breathed his last on April 27th 2017 evening around 7 pm. He was 71. He was ailing for the past few years. Besides being diabetic, he had high blood pressure. [DBSJ]
Former “Virakesari” Editor-in-Chief K. Sivapragasam Passes Away Peacefully in Virginia
It is with great sadness that I write for the first time on my Blog after the advent of the April traditional new year “Hevilambi”! My first post for the new year is the last post for the Editor who first recruited me as a journalist.
Kandasamy Sivapragasam , Former Editor -in – chief of the “Virakesari” Group of newspapers published by the Express Newspapers (Ceylon)Ltd in Sri Lanka breathed his last on April 14th at the age of 81 in the USA. He passed away peacefully with his children and family members by his side on Friday April 14 just prior to noon EST in Fairfax, Virginia. [DBSJ]
Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada for Puthandu
April 12, 2017
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement for Puthandu:
“Today, Tamils in Canada and around the world will welcome the New Year, known as Puthandu.
“On this occasion, families and friends will come together to feast, celebrate, and visit holy sites in a spirit of hope and optimism for the year to come. [http://pm.gc.ca/]
Lester James Peries, The Legendary Pioneer Of Authentic Sri Lankan Cinema
The doyen of Sinhala cinema celebrated his 98th birthday on 5 April 2017.
IF I were to pose the question “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best Lankan filmmaker of them all?” to my personal magic mirror, the answer would be in three words – Lester James Peries! [DBSJ]
GMOA is Treating the Poor People of Sri Lanka as Expendable Civilians like the LTTE and ISIS
by Dr A.C.Visvalingam
Towards the end of its war to establish an independent state, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) did not allow civilians to move out of those areas from which it was attacking the Sri Lanka Army. It has been accused of deploying these hapless fellow citizens as human shields so as to discourage the security forces from firing in their direction or dropping bombs in their vicinity. The LTTE took advantage of the fact that the government was bound by its inherent obligations to its own people and in line with international humanitarian law. The net effect was that the LTTE treated the lives of the residents of the North as an expendable commodity in the prosecution of its political and military aims. [DBSJ]
Tamil Nationalist Politics and the Process of “Traitorization” in Sri Lanka
Octogenarian leader of the opposition Rajavarothayam Sampanthan in a hard hitting Parliamentary speech made four weeks ago drew attention to the prevailing practice of persons being condemned as Traitors (Drohi/Thurogi) within the sphere of Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalist Politics. The Trincomalee district MP who is also the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group leader made specific reference to the recent attacks on TNA Jaffna district MP Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran by defeated political rivals. [DBSJ]
Tamils Have no Choice But to Accept Incremental Gains and Continuing to Engage With Sinhala Community
The Constitution of Sri Lanka must fulfil the aspirations and needs of the Sinhalese, the Tamils, the Muslims, the Burghers and the Plantation Tamils in order to unify them.Unity in diversity should be the guiding principle. It needs to be inclusive, guaranteeing equal rights and opportunities to all Sri Lankans without any form or shape of discrimination. Only under these conditions Sri Lanka as country can prosper without conflicts and wars. Sinhala, Tamil and English must be made national and official languages.All religions i.e. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity must be equally recognized. Children in all schools in Sri Lanka must be taught all 4 religions and all three languages. [DBSJ]
The Crown Prince of Sri Lankan Politics who was Never Crowned as King
“Politics is a blood sport” was a famous saying by former Sri Lankan president Junius Richard Jayewardene. In the cut-throatish competitive world of Sri Lankan politics there have been many casualties who aspired to high office but failed to fulfil their ambition. Even people with powerful bloodlines in Sri Lanka’s dynastic political realm fell or were felled in this blood sport arena.One such striking political personality was Anura Bandaranaike who passed away nine years ago on March 16th 2008 [DBSJ]