Mar 30 - Apr 5: "There is no forgiveness in nature." - Ugo Betti (1892-1053), Italian Judge, Playwright
By Dr. S. Narapalasingam
A democratic government that exercises the sovereign power of the people on their behalf has the responsibility to safeguard the rights and freedom of all citizens. The people too have responsibilities to their country and the entire society. The government’s responsibility is wide and specific. It is responsible for the unity, peace, development of all regions and the well-being of all citizens. Good governance, social justice and the rule of law are also its responsibility. Moreover from the standpoint of good international relations which are also essential for the welfare of the country, the government’ responsibility extends beyond its own territory. [FI]
Doing the same in North, just as in the East is going to work-is the mistaken belief that is hovering major diplomatic, economic and militaristic burdens for the Government of Sri Lanka today, says Irasiah Ilanthirayan, the Military Spokesman of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Fighting a war for political reasons and unable pull out due to the fanfare shown at the start of the warfare is turning the Northern war front into a quagmire for Sri Lankan forces according to Irasiah Ilanthirayan. [TC]
Reporting on events in Tibet, Myanmar and Thailand, the Associated Press recently headlined a news story ‘Monk led protests show buddhist activism,’;
“There is the responsibility of every individual, monks and lay people, to act for the betterment of society,” said Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile and a high-ranking lama to the Associated Press in Dharmsala, India, discussing protests in Tibet this month that were initiated by monks. [TC]
By: Dr. Rajasingham Narendran
While the word ‘Democracy’ has only one meaning, in practice it has come to mean many things to many people. ‘Demos’ in Greek means ‘Common people’ and ‘Democracy’ is the rule by the common people. Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as, “The government of the people, by the people, and for the people”- a definition that cannot be surpassed for its precision, brevity and beauty. In countries such as Sri Lanka, what is practiced in the name of democracy should be more aptly termed ‘Demoncracy’. Demons as we all know are evil spirits. ‘Demoncracy’ thus becomes, ‘A government of the demons, by the demons, for a foolish people’. [FI]
The pull-out of an international expert group supervising a key human rights investigation has dented the credibility of the inquiry, said activists, but the government is confident the perpetrators will be brought to justice. [FI]
An Open Letter to Mr. Veerasingham Anandasangaree
By Kusal Perera
I chose to write this essay as an open letter addressing you, after reading the news item “Grave concern over STF pull out from East; TULF” in the online edition of the DM on 22nd March, that quotes you very much on that issue. As a prelude to this essay, let me go on record that I respect you as a Democrat who stands for a politically negotiated settlement of the ” North-East War” though I have my own reservations on how you approach it. [TC]
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama this morning confirmed to the Liberal Democratic Party Shadow Foreign Secretary Edward Davey MP that no independent election monitors have been invited to oversee the credibility and legitimacy of the Eastern ‘elections’ that the Government of Sri Lanka is planning to conduct during the month of May 2008. [FI]
By MSM Ayub
Almost all major political parties in the country are currently making a fuss of the Eastern Provincial Council election scheduled to be held next month. Frantic efforts are on in making, breaking and confusing electoral alliances and winning Chief Ministerial post for certain communities. But how much are the people of the province interested in these alliances, positions and after all in this election itself. [FI]
Changing rainfall patterns in Sri Lanka have prompted later paddy planting by farmers and affected the country’s overall rice yield, government officials said.
Traditionally, rice farmers would begin planting in early October for the Maha harvest - the main growing season in the country. [FI]
A 29-page report released today by the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) names state security personnel responsible for the summary executions of 17 Action Contre la Faim (ACF) aid workers in Mutur, Sri Lanka on 4 August 2006. The report details the grisly killings, the role of senior police officials in the murders, and the failure of the government to properly investigate the crime. [FI]
by University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna)
On 4th August 2006 17 aid workers were extrajudicially executed in their Action Contre la Faim (ACF) compound in Mutur town. Through blatant cover up by the Sri Lankan authorities, their experts, Attorney General and diplomats overseas the facts of killings have been suppressed along with any potential association between this massacre and the killing of five students on the Trincomalee foreshore on 2nd January 2006. [TC]
By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha
The latest report from the Jaffna University Teachers for Human Rights claims to have pieced together the entire story of the killing of 17 ACF staff at Mutur. It now places responsibility for the killings on one Muslim home guard and two policemen, with the assertion that they must have been instructed by more senior policemen. The time of the killings is placed categorically in the afternoon of Friday August 4th, 2006. [FI]
Press Statement by National Peace Council of Sri Lanka [FI]
By Ronnate Tissainayagam
It was very early on a Saturday morning, we were all gathering in front of the Fort Railway Station. No we were not planning to go on a trip, We were the wives/sisters of the four journalists taken into detention on March 7th. Saturday is visitor’s day to the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID). Family members of the detainees have to gather at the Fort Railway Station between 9 a.m and 12 noon. There they are checked, bundled into a police van and taken to the TID. [TC]
by Ameen Izzadeen
MY friend Jayaprakash Tissainayagam is in detention. A senior journalist and Tamil, he was arrested on March 7 by the Terrorism Investigations Department (TID) and he does not know why he is being detained. Yesterday, the supreme court took up a fundamental rights petition filed by him, challenging his detention.Is he a terror suspect or a prisoner of conscience?
By Raymond Thibodeaux
As violence surges in Sri Lanka, so does the number of abductions and disappearance of mostly Tamil men. That is the assessment of human rights activists and international aid groups operating in the Indian Ocean nation. Raymond Thibodeaux files this report for VOA from Batticolao, on the eastern edge of Sri Lanka. [TC]
In Sri Lanka, Fear of Being 'Disappeared'
Government Offensive Against Tamil Rebels Also Claims Civilian Victims [Washington Post]
Arts - Culture - Heritage
by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
“Sapparam”- the colourful festival was held at Sri Ponnambalawaneswarar Devasthanam on March 19th. This particular festival takes place in the night at temples. The “Sapparam” is a lighted vehicle for the conveyance of the idol.
Based on Periyar's life Gnana Rajasekharan has made an appreciable feature film, although in some respects it
lacks a total portrayal of the subject. The film is in colour and an actor Sathyaraj who usually shines in commercial films, plays seriously in the film, thus elevating his own stature as a fine actor as well as giving the film a kind of aesthetic rendition to a feature that might have been only a docu-drama. One also remembers Sathyaraj’s playing in another good film Vedam Puthuthu. [TW]
Kalakshetra is exploring new directions and disciplines while nourishing and keeping alive the rich legacy of its founder.
These excursions are giving aspirants an enormous sense of history of the art and how art inter-relationships have worked in enriching dance. [Hindu]