Feb 17-23: "If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more"-Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) American abolitionist, humanitarian
TW Weekly Features
by Rajan Philips
Fourth of February, Mahinda Rajapakse brought forth a new argument to justify his flat out rejection of the real APRC proposals and the dubious adoption of its ad-hoc recommendation to implement the Provincial Councils system under the Thirteenth Amendment. [FI, Feb 17]
by D.B.S. Jeyaraj
At the outset I wish to emphasise that I am both biassed and unbiassed on this subject.Having been associated with the ICES in the past , I have nothing but appreciative regard and affectionate goodwill towards it. [TC, Feb 17]
by D.B.S. Jeyaraj
If Philip Upali Wijewardena was among the living he would have reached the biblical life span of three score and ten today (Feb 17th).
Alas, this was not to be as he disappeared twenty-five years ago just four days before his forty-fifth birthday. [TC, Feb 17]
by D.B.S. Jeyaraj
It was Tuesday February 12th. An explosion occurred shortly after 10. 30 pm in Tantheem Kafer Souseh , a suburban area of Damascus in Syria. It was a prosperous neighbourhood with an Iranian school and Police station in the vicinity. [TC, Feb 17]
By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
“Every Kirtana is a beautiful temple in which the great composer has installed the God of his heart for worship by those who sing and those who hear”-Rajaji
Carnatic Music Festival to celebrate the genius of Sri Thyagarajah was held at the Indian Cultural Centre in Colombo on February 15th 2008 at dusk. Thyagaraja Aradhana was held for the second time in Sri Lanka.
The 161st annual Sri Thyagaraja Aradhana celebrations were held in Thiruvaiyaru on 27th of January 2008. Musicians from all over the state gathered and, sat before the Saint’s Samadhi on the banks of river Cauvery, sang “Pancharatna Kritis” and paid homage to him. [HA, Feb 17]
Interview-Ambassador Robert Blake and Savitri Rodrigo for the Benchmark Business and Current Affairs Television Program [TC]
The UN Security Council’s working group on children and armed conflict meets today for the second time since February 2007 to consider violations against children committed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lankan government forces, and the Karuna group, an armed group that split from the LTTE in 2004 and now cooperates with Sri Lankan forces. [FI]
The killing of a Pastor and theserious injury to his wife in Ampara by unidentified gunmen must becondemned by all true adherents of all religions. This violent actcallsfor a prompt and impartial investigation by the Police who must dealwiththe perpetrators under the law.I extend the condolences of our Clergy and Congregations to thePastor’sfamily and pray for a speedy recovery for his wife. [TC]
With the formal abrogation of the Ceasefire Agreement by the Colombo government, the conflict in Sri Lanka is headed for a decisive phase. And it will be bloody.
By : Jayadeva Uyangoda
Sri Lanka’s descent into a sorry state of war has not been a source of great concern within the country. Indeed, many outsiders are more worried than Sri Lankans themselves about the inevitably destructive consequences of the intensifying war. Outside observers have been warning that there is no military solution to the ethnic conflict, that the war will produce only losers, and that an escalation will only further intensify the deepening humanitarian crisis. But within Sri Lanka, many, including both the government and the LTTE, seem to view the war as an inescapable reality. How does one explain this puzzle? [FI]
Tamil Translation of this article: யுத்தத்தை மேலும் வலுவடையச் செய்வதற்கான ஓர் ஒப்பந்தம்
Sri Lanka is in civil war again, and there are no prospects of a peace process resuming soon. On 2 January 2008, the government announced its withdrawal from a ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). This formalised a return to conflict that has been underway since 2006 but also presaged worse to come. The humanitarian crisis is deepening, abuses of human rights by both sides are increasing, and those calling for peace are being silenced. [FI]
by Dayan Jayatilleka
Ailing revolutionary icon Fidel Castro permanently gave up the Cuban presidency on Tuesday Feb 19th , ending five decades of rule of the island marked by his one-man defiance of the United States. This article was written earlier in celebration of his 80th birthday is posted here to honour Fidel Castro’s retirement [TC]
by Rajiva Wijesinha
The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) recently presented interim proposals to provide a solution to the problems in the North and East of the country. The government has accepted these proposals, which were signed by thirteen political parties, making clear that a majority of the democratically elected representatives of the people of this country agree with these proposals. The special characteristic of these proposals is the ability to implement them without looking for any amendment of the constitution.
An Appeal by Civil Society Organisations and Concerned Citizens
We have come together as a group of concerned civil society organisations and citizens to express our firm solidarity with the people of the East in the immense challenge they face in the local government election to be held on March 10th 2008. [FI]
By Vindya Amaranayake
After more than 60 sittings, over a period of 18 months, the All Party Representative Committee (APRC), recently, heaved out its proposals, supposedly, to put an end to the two decade long conflict.
by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne
An avatar is haunting the country. It is the avatar of foreign military intervention. In the aftermath of the unilateral withdrawal of the Ceasefire Agreement by the Rajapaksa regime and the growing civilian massacres, destruction and absence of the rule of law, there can be little doubt that the Government’s intention of a military victory is bringing grief and suffering to huge numbers of civilians of all communities of the people of Sri Lanka.
In truth, Nethmi Lavanya Yogendra should have attained fame when the Year 5 scholarship results for 2007 were released late last year. Nethmi was placed second in the Colombo District after securing 190 marks at the scholarship exam held in August last year. [TC]
by Dayan Jayatilleke
Kosovo is set to declare its independence from Serbia this Sunday. In his four hour long valedictory media conference, outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced the move as “illegal and immoral”. Serbia and Russia have called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Russia , China , India and South Africa are among the countries which have opposed Kosovo’s declaration of independence. [FI]
How stupid would it be to think that militarily overcoming the LTTE or killing its head would solve the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka.The LTTE is the offspring of the ethnic problem itself created by the successive mono ethnic parliamentary majority in Sri Lanka. It was State terrorism on their part which created the Liberation Tigers. The ethnic problem concerns the denizens of the Northern and Eastern Provinces who had lived in their areas for centuries from pre historic times. [FI]
conducted by Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)
With local government elections to be held in Batticaloa District on March 10, including one Municipal Council and nine Pradeshiya Sabhas expected to go to the polls, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) conducted a fact-finding visit to assess the situation in Batticaloa from February 8-11. [FI]
All Lands Home
Kosovo: A Bitter Struggle in a Land of strife
Chronology of the Crisis in Kosovo [NY Times]
The contest for the Democratic presidential nomination between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a white woman, and Barack Obama, a black man, has scrambled 21st century identity politics, producing startling turns in an election that, whatever its outcome, will make history. [SFGate, Feb 16]
“If you look out the windows of President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home,” writes Edward Rothstein, “the idiosyncratic and intriguing museum that is opening to the public on Tuesday after a ceremonial event on Monday - you have to imagine what Abraham Lincoln might have seen during those summer evenings when he stood here.” [NY Times]
The people of Colombia have suffered civil conflict for more than 40 years. It is thought some three million people have been forced to leave their homes. Photojournalist, Hilde Tobro looks at the lives of those who stay and those who leave. [BBC]
Arts - Culture - Heritage
Keen actor, reluctant star
As the youngest actor to have got a Kerala State award for ‘Vaasthavam,’ Prithviraj says he wants to let the characters he plays do the talking.
I don’t want to become… the next superstar; I just want to be looked upon as a serious actor… [Hindu]
P. U. Chinnappa, T. R. Rajakumari, K. R. Ramasami, SP. L. Dhanalakshmi, D. Balasubramaniam, N. S. Krishnan, T. A. Mathuram, P. A. Periyanayaki
A concoction of mythology, historical characters, novels and imagination kindled by foreign films, Krishna Bhakthi was produced by one of the most colourful personalities of south Indian cinema, S. M. Lakshmanan Chettiar, better known as “Lena”. [Hindu]