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December 28, 2008

Dec 28 - Jan 3: "The gist of New Year’s Day is: Try again."- Dr. Frank Crane (1861–1928) Presbyterian minister

Tamilnadu Chief Minister's daughter concerned about fall of Kilinochchi

Tamil Nadu chief minister Muttuvel Karunanidhi's daughter and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) Rajya Sabha (Upper house) member of parliament Ms. Kanimozhi Karunanidhi has expressed grave concern over the Sri Lankan armed forces capturing Kilinochci in the Northern province of Sri Lanka. [TC]

Tensions in Colombo after woman bomber explodes herself near Air Force HQ [TC]

Tigers begin withdrawal from Elephant Pass: will also vacate Mullaitheevu, Oddusuddan and Vatraappalai [TC]

"Kilinochchi we have come": LTTE vacates town after last ditch stand at Karadippokku [TC]

Key loss will test Tamil Tigers By Ethirajan Anbarasan [TC]

After Kilinochchi by B. Raman [TC]

Military successes will create new set of dilemmas for President

 by Col R Hariharan

Sri Lanka security forces have started the year 2009 with the capture of Paranthan, the key road junction located on the A9 Jaffna-Kandy lifeline between Kilinochchi and Elephant Pass. The fall of Paranthan adds a new dimension to the war because it splits the mutually reinforcing Kilinochchi-Elephant Pass defence complex. It is a moot point now whether the LTTE was right in concentrating on strongly defending Kilinochchi when tactically Paranthan was more vital for this very reason. [TC]

Rambukwella's deadline and Weerawansa's demand reflect govt. policy

by T.Sabaratnam

I wish to stick to tradition and wish you, my dear readers, a happy and prosperous New Year. Let me hasten to add that I am not that optimistic. I foresee the intensification of the Wanni war and the deterioration of the economic woes of the people. [FI]

Civil society is badly in need of self - reflection and self - criticism 

by Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu

Alternatives on account of anomalies in a financial transaction for which he was responsible and the Golden Key fiasco with the Central Bank now handing over Seylan Bank to the Bank of Ceylon. The Golden Key fiasco or should one say scandal is said to run into some Rs. 25 billion. [FI]

Why Tourists Are Not coming in large numbers to Sri Lanka [FI]

Tamil Catholic priests compel LTTE to return abducted orphans [TC]

"Kilinochchi we are coming": Army closing in from many directions [TC]

How the Army was able to capture Paranthan by the New Year [TC]

Anandasangaree complains to President about EPDP activity in Jaffna 

Tamil United Liberation Front president and veteran politician Veerasingham Anandasangaree has in a letter sent to President Mahinda Rajapakse complained about certain activities of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) in Jaffna. [TC]

Army takes Paranthan while moving closer to kilinochchi and Mullaitheevu 

Sri Lankan Armed forces registered a military triumph on the last day of year 2008 when they began moving into the strategic northern Town Paranthan situated 385 km away from Colombo [TC]

Army poised to capture Paranthan by January 1st, 2009 [TC]

400 Traders in Dambulla forced to pay two lakhs each to UPFA [TC]

Govt holds emergency meeting as economy faces imminent collapse [TC]

Muslim female students in traditional attire are being denied entry to schools [TC]

Sri Lanka will be affected if war breaks out between Indian and Pakistan [TC]

Is Seylan a predicament for more choppy financial waters? 

"The bank is functioning normally and we are stable,” CEO of Seylan bank Ajitha Pasqual said today Dec 30th. But the matter continued to unnerve the financial markets today in Colombo. [TC]

Minority political parties must move away from victim mindset 

By Suraj Deen

According to people in the know, dissolution of parliament is imminent, perhaps a few months away. While the merits and demerits of dissolution are debatable, one fact remains unassailable; that elections put the minority parties in a quandary. [FI]

Tigers say 2009 will not be "Year of Trimph" but "Year of Destruction" for Army 

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have responded to President Mahinda Rajapakse ‘s challenge by declaring the forthcoming 2009 as the year of destruction or “Azhivu”. [TC]

Lankan Govt Blames Lawyers Appearing For Those Accused of Terrorism 

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

The Sri Lankan government's Ministry of Defence website published the following caption with a photograph of a President's Counsel, Romesh de Silva PC. [FI]

Douglas decrees that National Anthem be sung in Tamil in Jaffna [TC]

President tried to talk on telephone but Chief Justice refused to answer [TC]

Human Rights Commission issues summons on Gota, Sarath and Lalith [TC]

How India has been influencing Sri Lanka at multiple levels 

by Prof. D.C.R.A. Goonetilleke

When we refer to the interaction of India and Sri Lanka in whatever field, we assume that India and Sri Lanka are two separate countries, but there was a time in the distant past when India and Sri Lanka were a single land mass. Even today after the land mass has split, the distance between India and Sri Lanka is only 22 miles. That is the full distance of the Palk Strait. [FI]

Wattala suicide bomber had "Kola Kenda" at "Irida Pola" 

The suicide bomber who caused havoc at Wattala by exploding a bomb strapped to his body was seen devouring a dish of “Kola Kenda” (leafy porridge) at the “Irida Pola” (Sunday fair) minutes before the attack occurred. [TC]

President Rajapakse and Minister Fowzie in heated argument over Chief Justice issue [TC]

The UPFA tie-up and the truth behind Wimal Weerawansa's trip to Italy [TC]

Special Notification to Retired Sri Lankan Government Servants who live abroad [GoSL]

Tigers constructing strong defenses around 300 sq. km zone in Eastern Wanni [TC]

We will never leave our land. We will fight to the last" - vows LTTE leader Prabhakaran 

Elusive Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was interviewed on line by the Colombo English daily "Lakbima News". The "Lakbima News" exclusive in question and answer form is given below: [TC]

"Good governance" is key for moving toward solutions [FI]

Whither Leadership qualities among Sri Lanka Politicians 

By A. Rajasingam

Leadership is one of the most salient aspects of the organizational context whether it is politics or business. Leadership is difficult to define but it can be described as facing the challenges by demonstrating various qualities accepted by civilized societies [FI]

Govt. may reduce petrol price to Rs. 100 and then raise it to 117 Rupees [TC]

Actress Sangeetha embarrasses President by holding hands in public [TC]

Sunanda Deshapriya, Free Media Movement and Financial Irregularities By Namini Wijedasa

Allegations of swindling levelled against former Free Media Movement (FMM) Convenor Sunanda Deshapriya have rocked the media industry and left the government grinning from cheek to cheek. Some sources now claim that the questionable financial transaction which Deshapriya had carried out as head of the Centre for Policy Alternatives’ media unit is “only the tip of the iceberg”. [TC]

How Indian High Commissioner Alok Prasad lost his temper 

by V.Sudarshan

Our man in Colombo is apparently under a lot of stress these days. People who have known High Commissioner Alok Prasad for a long time say that the reasons are varied. Some say the DMK’s episodic attempts to put pressure on Colombo are a part of it; others say it has to do with his inability to coax Sri Lanka to conclude the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement [TC]

December 19, 2008

Dec 21 - 27: " I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." ~Charles Dickens

Jesus Christ : Buddha was his predecessor, Mahatma Gandhi his successor by V.R. Krishna Iyer [TC]

Peace on earth good-will to all, especially the helpless and the harassed

A Christmas message for 2008: by the Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo [TC]

S.T.F. Kills two siblings of LTTE cadres in Batticaloa on Christmas Day

Members of the elite Special Task Force (STF) in Batticaloa district have on Christmas day (Dec 25th) killed siblings of a past as well as present member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [TC]

Coastal areas from Nayaaru to Nilaweli to be declared a security - economic zone [TC]

Journalists in Jaffna ordered to assemble before Douglas [TC]

EPDP imposes "Mahindapuram" name on housing scheme [TC]

Army delivers upper cut and hook to LTTE on Boxing Day [TC]

Achievement 2008, Challenge 2009

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Sri Lanka closes out its 60th year of Independence , though in the strictest sense it lasts till the beginning of next February when we celebrate our 61st Independence Day. It is a moment to take stock. [TC]

If Jesus was to be born in Sri Lanka on December 25th, 2008....

by Ruki Fernando

Its Christmas day. For a change, I was at home with my family.

Early morning, I went for Christmas Mass in my parish. Many years ago, I had been active in the church, as a student and teacher in the Sunday School, as an Alter Server and in the Young Christian Students Movement. But I had not gone to my parish for a long time, though I have been visiting and staying in churches all over Sri Lanka , especially in the war ravaged North. I thought I will go today, as it was Christmas, also because of my family. [TC]

UN Expert Calls on Parties to the Sri Lankan Conflict to Better Protect the Displaced [FI]

Captured soldier ready for hospital discharge [TC]

Fierce fighting continues as LTTE launches counter attack on Kunchup (Sinna) Paranthan [TC]

LTTE wants to enlist GCE (O/L) students for "shramadana" work in building air-raid shelters [TC]

Govt. Arm - Twists LIOC to increase petrol price from 100 to 122 Rupees per litre

In a flagrant act of political arm- twisting the Sri Lankan Government of President Mahinda Rajapakse has arm twisted the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) into restoring the price of petrol from Rs 100 to Rs 122 per litre. [TC]

Was a conspiracy hatched to victimise Sunanda Deshapriya?

Was “disgraced” media rights activist Sunanda Deshapriya, a victim of a diabolical conspiracy hatched by certain vested interests ?

This is the question buzzing in media and human rights activist circles right now. [TC]

Jayalath hauls Gotabhaya before Human Rights Commission

After persisting strenuously for several months, nited National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian, Dr.Jayalath Jayawardana has succeeded in his efforts to haul Defence secretary and Presidential sibling Gotabhaya Rajapakse before the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission. [TC]

Arjuna Ranatunga fired for not giving into Gamini Lokuge's corruption

The sudden dissolution of the Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee by Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge which resulted in the virtual sacking of its chairman Arjuna Ranatunga was because the ebullient “captain cool” stood up to the minister and did not give in to his alleged corrupt activity. [TC]

EPDP gunmen killed Red Cross employee alleges Citizen's Group

A citizen’s group from the Vadamaratchy area in the Jaffna peninsula has alleged that gunmen belonging to the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) were responsible for the killing of an employee of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in Jaffna on Tuesday December 23rd. [TC]

58-2 Brigade batters through LTTE defences at Kunchuparanthan a.k.a. Sinnaparanthan [TC]

President and cabinet preparing for showdown with Chief Justice and Judiciary

The on going confrontation in Sri Lanka between the executive and judiciary shows no sign of abating with the Government of Sri Lanka led by President Mahinda Rajapakse resolving not to give in to the ruling by Chief Justice Sarath Silva that the price of petrol be reduced to 100 rupees per litre. [TC]

Sri Lankan Courts and Anti-Tamil Legislation: A lack of Judicial Creativity

by T.Sabaratnam

I covered the first Justice Siva Sellaiah Memorial Oration delivered by Prof. G.L. Peiris, then Minister of Constitutional Affairs in Chandrika Kumaratunga government, on January 12, 1998 for the Daily News. Prof. Peiris spoke about judicial creativity and its limits. [FI]

Wanni Tamil civilians denied relief and freedom of movement - Human Rights Watch

The Sri Lankan government should stop arbitrarily detaining civilians fleeing fighting in the northern Wanni region and urgently allow humanitarian agencies to return to provide desperately needed aid, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. [TC]

- Govt. puts civilians fleeing Wanni in detention camps [TC]
- How Forced departure of UN and NGO Aid workers Affects Displaced Wanni Civilians [TC]

Intense fighting on five different fronts in Kilinochchi: 160 killed, 350 injured on both sides [TC]

Solution lies in the internal self-determination of the Tamil people in areas of historic habitation

TNA Leader R. Sampanthan expresses his views on the situation in the Wanni, the rumblings in Tamil Nadu and the role of the minority communities in Sri Lanka on the eve of another delegation of the TNA is planning to leave for India to address the concerns on the situation in the Island [TC]

Sinhala refugee couple jailed in Tamil Nadu [TC]

Senior Tiger commander from East "Col" Ramesh injured in Kilinochchi [TC]

War in Wanni: Why the Tigers are down but not out

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

In writing about the on – going war in the Wanni northern mainland,  I have  been regularly emphasising a salient point that goes against the   view  propagated by upper echelons of the power structure and dominant sections of society. [DM]

The Mumbai aftermath: Need for Indian restraint and a South Asian solution

by Rajan Philips

Not without justification the Lashkar-e-Taiba attacks in Mumbai on 26 November have been compared to al-Qaeda’s aerial devastation of Manhattan in 2001. From the standpoint of Indian political actors and public opinion, it is difficult to resist extending the parallel and taking the fight to Pakistan just as America did after 9/11. [FI]

Sinhala couple seeks political asylumn in Tamil Nadu

The Colombo-based couple were accommodated by a Tamil family in Vavuniya after their marriage. War forced them to flee and seek asylum. [TC]

Sri Lanka Refuses to sign  UN declaration de-criminalising Homosexuality [TC]

Eastern Party Splits:"Kay" for Karuna, "Pee" for Pillaiyan

Former LTTE eastern regional commander Vinayagamurthy Muraleetharan alias “Colonel” Karuna and his deputy Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan have split formally and will run separate political parties respectively. [TC]

Underreported Sri Lankan conflict deadlier than Afghan war

Boston Globe highlights plight of vulnerable populations from their own governments [TC]

Temporary truce call by five bishops is most timely

by Shanie

It has been a distressing week in Sri Lanka. The war not only dragged on but hundreds of our young men (and perhaps women) have lost their lives. [TC]

Ten British MP's spoke on Tamil plight during adjournment debate

10 Members of Parliament from all three main political parties representing the people of the United Kingdom, without exception spoke in favour of Tamils, in the allocated 14 minutes during the adjournment debate on Dec 18th secured by the Hon Andrew Pelling MP for Croydon Central. [FI]

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Spreads Among Soldiers Serving in Norh-East

by Ranjith Jayasundera

AS the government's war against the LTTE enters the bloodiest phase in the country's history, our research has found that the costly war of attrition is irreparably scarring an entire generation of Sri Lanka's youth. [TC]

December 13, 2008

Dec 14 - 20: "Either way, change will come. It could be bloody, or it could be beautiful. It depends on us." - Arundhati Roy (b: Nov 24, 1961 - ) Indian Writer

In Pictures: Fire Walking Festival at Udappu

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai [HA]

LTTE ceasefire call is insincere says President Rajapakse

Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse has stated in an interview to the New Indian express review that the recent LTTE call for a ceasefire was rejected because it was insincere. [TC]

Humanitarian workers angry over Gotabhaya bullying WFP Director about Somalia comparison

Resentment is spreading among Sri Lanka based Humanitarian aid workers from Non – governmental organizations(NGO), international non – governmentl organizations (INGO) and international humanitarian agencies and organizations over what is being referred to as the Gotabhaya – Campbell affair. [TC]

Northern Fighting at a Standstill Due To Heavy Rains

Hard or soft line?: Govt in two minds about How to deal with Chief Justice

The Sri Lankan government headed by President Mahinda Rajapakse is caught in two minds about fashioning an effective response to the “unconventional” approach to Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva. [TC]

Rajiva Wijesinha ready to debate “Gotabhaya-Sarath Genocide” issue with Bruce Fein

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha, Sri Lanka’s peace secretariat secretary – general and secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights , has announced his willingness to engage in public debate with US lawyer Bruce Fein over the “Genocide” issue. [TC]

Kilinochchi: The kiss of death

by B Raman

"Kilinochchi within kissing distance".

So said the disinformation warriors of Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka, the Sri Lankan Army Commander, more than a week ago. [TC]

Three catholic, two Anglican Bishops call for a Christmas truce

We are now approaching Christmas, a world festival of peace. At this time many Christians and even persons of other faiths will be encouraged by the birth of Christ, the Prince of Peace, to review and strengthen relationships. It is consequently expected that family ties will be renewed, communities will gather for fellowship, strangers will be welcomed, the marginalised included and the oppressed set free. Where relationships are strained or hostile it is expected that dividing walls will come down and healing will take place through forgiveness and reconciliation. [TC]

Protest in Hindu Temple Against Draconian Malaysian Law

A. S.Jayathas, a 41 year old Malaysian Hindu Tamil political activist was admitted to hospital on Wednesday December 17th due to deteriorating health after he participated in a protest fast for four days. [TC]

India and Sri  Lankan Tamil leaders:Then and Now

by M.S.M.Ayub

There are reports that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian MK Sivajilingam had been asked by the Indian authorities last week to leave India or face deportation. [TC]

Revealed: Tamils' terrifying plight

by Jonathan Steele

Behind a wall of censorship horrendous battles are under way in northern Sri Lanka. The details are unclear since no independent reporters have been allowed access, and both sides – the government army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – give out bombastic and unverifiable casualty figures. [TC]

Transport Minister Dullas Alahaperuma and the "late" Train From Nanu-Oya

by Fouzer Sheriffdeen

It was the late evening of Saturday the 14th, December. I was a passenger in the Colombo bound intercity train from Nanu Oya. [TC]

Barrirers in implementing the 13th amendment of the constituition

By M.I.M Mohideen

Devolution of power was first introduced into the Sri Lankan Constitution with the passage of the 13th Amendment, certified on November 14, 1987, following the Indo-Lanka Accord of July 29, 1987. [FI]

Funeral Fracas: Martyred commando's father vs.Marxist Chief Minister

By M.S.Shah Jahan

"Is there a rule that the chief ministers of Kerala and Karnataka should be there at the same time?" [FI]

Seven airstrikes against LTTE: 2 civilians killed, 13 injured [TC]

More casualties on Wednesday but Army expands hold on Tiger earthbund [TC]

The Tamil People's Right to Self-Determination

by Deirdre McConnell

The United Nations (UN) Charter of 1945 supports the view that self-determination is a legal principle, and as such the right to self-determination is placed crucially in the first article of each of the two major human rights covenants of 1966: [TC]

"Black Tuesday" for Army: Nearly 650 casualties in North

Tuesday December 16th turned out to be a “Black Tuesday” for the armed forces as they incurred around 650 casualties in fighting against the LTTE in both the Northern mainland of Wanni as well as the Jaffna peninsula.

Tuesday is the day of Mars regarded as the God of war in Greek mythology. [TC]

How long can political war help postpone economic crisis ?

by Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

In any democratic country, the Annual Budget of the Government is, by and large, a political economic document rather than purely economic, as most economists would like it to be. Hence, economic rationality and economic prudence gives way to political opportunism and manoeuvring. The Government of Sri Lanka’s Budget for 2009 presented to the Parliament on 06th November 2008 is no exception to this. [TC]

Prabakharan's sister knows that Army wont be able to catch her brother

by P. Shanthikumar

 

This may be simple, yet a very effective piece of public relations exercise. Whoever pulled this interview off should be congratulated! The inclusion of stunningly beautiful picture of Arjuna – the consummate archer at his moment of peak performance – riding into battle at Kurushetra with Lord Krishna, no less, as his Saarathi (charioteer) captures the exuberance of his skill as depicted in Bagvad Gita, is very appropriate to the moment. [TC]

Prabakharan's sister in Toronto speaks about her brother to Canadian mainstream newspaper

Vinodhini Rajendran, the tiger leader’s eldest sister now living in Toronto was interviewed by Stewart Bell at her 11th floor apartment for Canadian English daily “National Post” in what is perhaps a world exclusive as the LTTE leader’s sibling has never gone on record in a public interview to a mainstream newspaper before. [TC]

The international community Must Speak Up On Human Rights Situation in Sri Lanka

by Charulata Hogg

In the week of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, three media workers – a journalist, a publisher and his wife – will complete nine months in prison in Sri Lanka. The three are being held under the country's sweeping anti-terror laws, aimed at the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which has been fighting for an independent Tamil state for nearly three decades. They are the latest victims of the increasingly authoritarian government of President Mahinda Rajapakse. [TC]

Anton Balasingham's death anniversary observed [TW]

Confronting Terrorism no Reason For Undue Curtailing of Human Rights and Individual Liberty

by K.G.Balakrishnan (Chief Justice of India)

From our recent experience, we have learnt that terrorist attacks against innocent and unsuspecting civilians threaten the preservation of the rule of law as well as human rights; and terrorism can broadly be identified with the use of violent methods in place of the ordinary tools of civic engagement and political participation. [TC]

Three - way Partition Creating India, Pakistan and Bangla Desh was a Tragic Blunder

by Sarfraz Manzoor

I had not been to Mumbai before this year, and, aside from two weeks in Goa a decade ago, had never set foot on Indian soil. [TC]

Legal luminary P.Navaratnarajah Q.C.: A Birth Centenary Tribute

by Maureen Seneviratne

I was privileged to enjoy a close friendship with one of Sri Lanka's most eminent lawyers, the late P. Navaratnarajah, Queen's Counsel, who will go down in the annals of legal history as a counsel par excellence. [TC]

Sri Lanka Court Upholds Alleged Confession by Tissainayagam

A Sri Lankan court has ruled that an alleged confession made by senior Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam while detained by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) was voluntary and admissible as evidence in his trial on terrorism charges. [FI] 

How LTTE mistreats trapped Wanni civilians [TC]

-Forced Recruitment of Adults and Children as Soldiers In Wanni –HRW Report [TC]
-LTTE  Use of Forced Labor in Wanni – HRW Report [TC]
-Restrictions by LTTE on Freedom of Movement in Wann - HRW Report [TC]

Changes vital for regaining Sri Lanka’s future

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

Sri Lanka has been confronted by many mounting problems since the early 1970s. The ethnic problem is not the only one that denied peace and balanced development of all sectors and regions beneficial to the people in the different communities. [FI]

Devolution of Power or Separation of Power - Which is desirable

by A Rajasingam

Devolution is a type of political decentralization where the Central Government devolve political authority to the Provincial Governments. The 13th Amendment provided for such decentralization but the Central Government was not sincere in providing adequate powers and allocating adequate funds to the North East Province. [FI]

In Pictures at Trincomalee: Marking the 60th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Human Rights Day and 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was marked in Trincomalee by The Centre for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (CPPHR). [TC]

Govt and LTTE Show Callous Disregard For Civilian Life and Lives

By Frederica Jansz

The people of Sri Lanka have plenty on their minds these days. With military clashes between the government and the Tamil Tigers proceeding apace and major floods destroying thousands of homes and displacing tens of thousands of people, many of whose lives already had beenÿdisrupted by the ongoing fighting, Sri Lankans can hardly focus on an economic catastrophe the likes of which we have not seen in the last one hundred years. [TC] 

Editor sacrificial goat for Tamil Nadu jokers

by Gamini Weerakoon

Some Sri Lankan editors and other varieties of journalists entertain the mistaken belief that even though anyone on two legs is fair game for them, not so themselves. Two weeks ago UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe came under attack from a fair cross-section of the media for being harshly critical of a columnist in the Daily Mirror and on the next day for coming down on the editor of the paper. [TC]

"Don't you know politics, Karu"? was how Mahinda Rajapakse scolded Karu Jayasuriya

Jayasuriya, along with 16 other UNP members joined the government early 2007, claiming to support the President's war effort to liberate the country from the clutches of Tiger terrorists. Many believe that if not for the 17 UNP defectors, the Mahinda Rajapakse administration may have fallen some time ago. [TC]

"Justice" or "Civil war"? We Must Choose!

by Arundhati Roy

We've forfeited the rights to our own tragedies. As the carnage in Mumbai raged on, day after horrible day, our 24-hour news channels informed us that we were watching "India's 9/11". And like actors in a Bollywood rip-off of an old Hollywood film, we're expected to play our parts and say our lines, even though we know it's all been said and done before. [TC]

Sri Lanka - Change we must

By Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

On the other hand, in countries such as Sri Lanka, we are yet groping to find a firm footing in the modern world. [TC]

Malayalee Actresses Dominate Tamil Cinema [TC]

December 06, 2008

Dec 7 - 13: "The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships." - Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President of the USA

A.R. Rahman wins Golden Globe nomination for best original score (music) category [TC]

"Karthigai", Festival of Lights in pictures

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

“Karthigai” is a month of purity and devotion. Hindu devotees in Sri Lanka celebrated the festival of “Karthigai Deepam” in the temples and houses on December 12th 2009. [HA]

Merely re-capturing LTTE controlled territory will not bring peace and unity

by Shanie

The war drags on and on. On the eve of the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections in August, Government spokespersons announced that Government troops were poised to enter the Kilinochchi town. The Prime Minister himself at an election rally stated that it could possibly take place before polling day. [TC]

Covert Sri Lanka - Change we mustefforts underway to win reprieve for Sivajilingam

Nedumaran holds Indian P.M. responsible for Sivajilingam's safety [TC]

Sri Lankan Tamil MP Sivajilingam ordered to "quit India', may seek "political asylum" in Chennai [TC]

U.S. thinks right time for political solution in Sri Lanka is now says American Envoy Robert Blake

The American Ambassador in Colombo has said the right time for political solution in Sri Lanka is now. The Ambassador spoke today Dec 11th on"The US Perspective on the Situation in Sri Lanka" at the Luncheon meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce. [TC]

Human rights are sidestepped at times to promote short-sighted security agendas

by Navanetham Pillay

We must take stock of the fact that racism, discrimination and intolerance represent some of the greatest global human rights challenges of our time. [FI]

Communal Politics and Discrimination in Schools by Kanimozhi Karunanidhi [FI]

Govt cracks down on UN in Sr Lanka for "Somalia-Wanni" remark by WFP official

The Sri Lankan government has begun cracking down hard on the UN in Sri Lanka over a remarks made by a WFP official John Campbell to the “Sandesaya” BBC Sinhala Service. [TC]

Karu Jayasuriya Says More UNP dissident “MP”s will Return Soon [TC]

Serious political disagreement between Karu Jayasuriya and son-in-law Navin Dissanayake [TC]

Is  Lt.Gen Sarath Fonseka nurturing a Political Ambition After Retirement?

by Col. R.Hariharan

On Sunday December 7, the security forces were within "kissing distance" of the outer defence lines Kilinochchi, announced the defence spokesman. On Monday, December 8, it became "Troops in Kilinochchi are targeting the town and they are in the vicinity of the town." [TC]

Video:  Video: Increase in Sri Lanka's HR violations - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Sri Lanka’s 25-year conflict has escalated over the last two years, triggering a sharp increase in human rights violations by the warring parties – the government, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil, and paramilitary organizations. Michael found creative and pragmatic ways to engage constructively with Sri Lanka while underscoring our human rights concerns. [FI]

How Mahinda Forced  Karu Jayasuriya  To Return to the U.N.P. 

Colombo political grapevine is buzzing busily about the return of “gentleman” Karu Jayasuriya’s return from his newly acquired “mistress” the Rajapakse regime back to his one and only “true love” the UNP. [TC]

Observer Editor and not Army Commander  Fired for Angering Tamil Nadu [TC]

What has gone wrong with Sarath Fonseka ? Is he“Nuts”? [TC]

War, poverty cause high rates of mental illness in Sri Lanka [TC]

Sri Lanka among top eight countries undergoing genocidal conflict

"Red alert" countries include Afghanistan and Iraq alongside commonly known regions currently experiencing genocidal conflict such as Sudan's Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These and Myanmar, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka all made the list's top eight because they appear in each of the five "expert" indexes. [TC]

60th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Time to Deliver [FI]

Sri Lanka must suspend diplomatic relations with "terror state" Pakistan

By Gamini Rohan Bandarage

The murder and mayhem unleashed by Lashkar –e – Toiba (LET) terrorists in Mumbai, commercial capital of India has been strongly condemned by all civilised countries of this world.

Our able president his excellency honourable Mahinda Rajapakse is one of first heads of state to criticise horrible terrorist act and convey sympathy and support to India and her people. [TC]

Sri Lanka Defence Secretary Wins Order to Silence Media House [FI]

Federation is not Eelam says N.K.Choksy

Senior constitutional lawyer and UNP parliamentarian K.N. Choksy yesterday told parliament that he advocated a system similar to a ‘federation of States’ to resolve the longstanding national question in Sri Lanka. [FI]

Tamil Tiger Links with Islamist Terrorist Groups by Shanaka Jayasekara [TC] 

Notorious  Track Record of Rajapakse Regime In Governance [TC]

'Manmohan Singh  Has  Same Mindset  Like Mahinda Rajaakse About  Sri Lankan Tamils' -D.Pandian (C.P.I.)

He also said if India fails to address this issue speedily the youth in Tamil Nadu may question the viability of continuing within the union of India. [TC]

Is Political Solution Possible Without Strategy On Dealing With LTTE? 

by Gamini Weerakoon

While peace will be an illusion with the warlord around, those Sinhalese and even Muslims in search of peace seem to gloss over issues that are ground realities. Even today what is the effective organisation that could defend Tamil interests? Even Tamils who hold rational views are markedly reluctant to be openly critical of the LTTE. [TC]

"A Profound and important work" - Fidel’s Ethics of Violence, By Dayan Jayatilleka [FI]

When will Wanni displaced be free from the clutches of tigers and lions?

By Ruki Fernando

Several months ago, the government of Sri Lanka made announcements "inviting" displaced people in Vanni to come to government controlled areas, saying that they would be well taken care of. [TC]

Sri Lankan Army Is Pushing for End to 25-Year War Against the Tamil Rebels [TC]

UK Tamils polarised but powerful

By Samanthi Dissanayake

When a ferocious war between the Sinhalese-dominated government and Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for a separate homeland arrived at his doorstep in 1993, he fled to Britain. [TC]

Exile youth lead 'double lives'

By Samanthi Dissanayake

The children of the first wave of refugees fleeing conflict in Sri Lanka, Somalia, Turkey and Iraq are coming of age now and are confronted with the expectations of their parents and their peers. [TC]

From Bretton Woods to the G-20 Summit: The new economic landscape and the calamity of casino capitalism

By Rajan Philips

The G-20 summit in Washington on 15 November was touted as Bretton Woods II that would replace with new financial and monetary architectures the old ones that were established in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944. July of next year, Bretton Woods would be sixty five years old, the normal retirement age in many countries. [FI]

Arts ~ Culture ~ Heritage

'Raking Leaves' book launch in pictures

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Raking Leaves is an independent publisher of contemporary artists’ book projects. Two book projects mark the launch of Raking Leaves in Colombo recently at the Barefoot Gallery. The book launch marks the debut of Raking Leaves in Sri Lanka. [HA]

"Auction " (Commonwealth Short Story Award Winner)

by Vikram Kapur

The ancient radio at the pakora stall came on to shake in the throes of a monstrous cough, after which it calmed down to cough quietly for a while, before winding up another big one. It had been that way as long as anyone could remember. [TC]