« June 2009 | | August 2009 »

July 24, 2009

Jul 26 - Aug 1:

In search of a “home grown” Lion

by Dushy Ranetunge

Mahinda talks of “home grown” solutions. Nivard, soon after taking office at the Central bank wanted “Sinhala kavili” instead of “patties” and “cutlets” to be offered to visitors to the Bank. There have been recent press reports that Mahinda had asked Champika to resubmit a document in Sinhalese, rather than English etc. [TC]

‘Devolution’ has joined the rank of words to be wished away - like ‘federalism’

by Col R Hariharan

The government of Sri Lanka under President Mahinda Rajapaksa said it was going to war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with the battle cry of freedom. It spoke of a vision of a Sri Lanka where peoples lives would not be determined by the language they spoke. [TC]

View from Jaffna: Pre-election poll [TC]

Tiruchelvam, Tigers and the Tamil "Traitor" Tragedy

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Ten years ago on the morning of July 29, an unknown 'human bomb' exploded at the Rosemead Place-Kynsey Road junction. The suicide attack resulted in the death of Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam.

In a few seconds of madness the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had murdered the foremost intellectual in contemporary Tamil politics. [dbsj]

Neelan's life, not his death, that speaks to Sri Lanka's future

by James Ross

Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam was slated to be a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in the fall of 1999. [TC]

Constitutional Utopias: A conversation with Neelan Tiruchelvam

Text of the tenth Neelan Tiruchelvam Memorial Lecture delivered by Prof. Upendra Baxi, Professor of Law, University of Warwick at the BMICH on Sunday July 26th: [TC]

50 Indian RAW Agents Were in Wanni Without Colombo Government’s Knowledge

Somawansa Amerasinghe Talks to Shakuntala Perera [TC]

Let the elephants suckle Diyawadane Nilame and Minister Gamini Lokuge

The Most Venerable Maha Nayake Theras of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters have sought to defend Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela over the cruel separation of two baby jumbos from their mothers at Pinnawala last Saturday. The animals are still grieving. [TC]

Lasantha - a celebration of dissent and diversity

By: Dilrukshi Handunnetti

It is unthinkable to me that Lasantha has now become part of Sri Lanka’s gruesome statistics of dead journalists. But that is the cold reality. [TC]

New Delhi's Leverage Over Colombo Will Diminish In a Post - LTTE Era

by M.K.Bhadrakumar

The death of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, circa May 18, 2009 remains an enigma wrapped in mystery.

Remembering Neelan: Tenth death anniversary

dbsjeyaraj blog

Ten years ago on this day (July 29th 1999)that Dr. Neelakandan Tiruchelvam known generally as Neelan was brutally assassinated by a suicide killer of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) near his office on Kynsey terrace. [dbsj]

Eventual Resettlement No Excuse for Holding 280,000 Displaced Tamils-HRW

The Sri Lankan government should immediately release the more than 280,000 internally displaced Tamil civilians held in detention camps in northern Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Vaas departs in a sad fashion

by Nirgunan Tiruchelvam

The selectors have mistreated Chaminda Vaas and the team. Quite simply, he should not have been picked for the third Test. [TC]

Government milking LTTE "gonibilla" to get "carte blanche" - Karu Jayasuriya

This is simply a tactic to buy time. We do not see any necessity to await the next Presidential Elections to provide a political solution to a national question which has been dogging this country for decades. [TC]

What is the hardest IMF condition for Sri Lanka to meet?

Thomson Reuters has published some questions and answers on key conditions of the just sanctioned IMF facility for Sri Lanka and whether the government will be able meet them: [TC]

Mahinda as "Maharajaneni": constant lickers and variable arses

by S.L. Gunasekara

Servility and self serving sycophancy are not unknown to poor Sri Lanka: on the contrary, the Country, most regrettably, abounds with it.

Policy framework for reconciliation must address root causes of conflict

by Gnana Moonesinghe

The war has ended. What next is the query on the minds of all Sri Lankans, more specifically a major concern to the Tamil community? [TC]

The Government Viewpoint on I.D.P.Situation in North

by Mahinda Samarasinghe

I have returned this afternoon from a visit to Vavuniya - a visit that enabled me to see, at first hand, the conditions under which the internally displaced are being housed and cared for by the Government.


IMF loan: 'Letter of Intent describes use of funds for the camps'


"Contrary to claims that the purposes and IMF debate around the loan had nothing to do with the detention camps and relocations in Northern Sri Lanka, the Letter of Intent describes use of funds for the camps, and states that "the government aims to resettle 70-80 percent of IDPs by the end of the year, "" Inner City Press reports. [TC]


LTTE Cabal opposes "KP" as leader of re-structured Tigers

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The politico-military organization known as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has virtually ceased to exist within the borders of Sri Lanka. Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and most military cadres including senior military leaders are no more among the living. Thousands of other tiger cadres including senior members of the political and administrative wings are incarcerated by the Sri Lankan authorities. [dbsj]


Dayan Jayatilleka: A Prophet in the Wilderness – An interview 

Sri Lanka’s soon-to-be-ex-Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva took time off from his busy schedule of sipping martinis, getting up the Americans’ noses, and fighting on the Western Front, to have a little chat with David Blacker. [TC]

India pushed for IMF facility after "deal on Tamil Rights"-Guardian UK

India reportedly used its influence to push the IMF deal through. Diplomats say India and Sri Lanka reached some deal on the rights of Tamils,” The Guardian UK says in a report on today’s anticipated executive nod for Sri Lanka’s $ 2.5 Billion credit facility. [TC]

Mahinda Rajapaksa: The Hard-Liner

by Jyoti Thottam

Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa sits at the head of a long banquet table, presiding over what looks like a hotel's lunch buffet. [TC]

July 18, 2009

Jul 19-25:

Dayan Jayatilleka: A Prophet in the Wilderness – An interview

Sri Lanka’s soon-to-be-ex-Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva took time off from his busy schedule of sipping martinis, getting up the Americans’ noses, and fighting on the Western Front, to have a little chat with David Blacker. [TC]

In Pictures: “Post- Barrelism: Erasing Camouflage”

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

“Post- Barrelism: Erasing Camouflage”, An Exhibition of Paintings and Installations by Chandraguptha Thenuwara was inaugurated on July 23rd 2009 at Lionel Wendt Gallery. [TC]

Sri Lanka A Rwanda-like "Atrocity" - Noam Chomsky [TC]

A truth and reconciliation commission for Sri Lanka?

DBSJeyaraj Blog

Most of us know about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission appointed by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in the post-Apartheid years.

According to Wikipedia-

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a court-like body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid. Anyone who felt that he or she was a victim of its violence was invited to come forward and be heard. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from prosecution.” [dbsj]

Causes Championed By Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam Must be Pursued Vigorously

By Lynn Ockersz

When Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam was mindlessly and ruthlessly assassinated by the LTTE 10 years ago, (July 29 2009) he was on a momentous mission which promised to give democracy in Sri Lanka a new thrust and dimension. [TC]

Sangaree speaks out: TULF President interviewed on "Hard Talk"

by Shakuntala Perera

Leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front Veerasingham Anandasangaree  speaks to  Shakuntala Perera of "Daily Mirror" for the "Hard Talk" clumn  about the aspirations of the Tamil people towards a political solution, the duplicity within the Tamil political scenario and the futility of announcing a Provincial Transnational Government (PTG) of  Tamil Eelam by the Tamil Diaspora[TC]

Pertinent Questions For President Rajapakse

By Raju Rajagopal

Those who expected the decisive defeat of the LTTE to change entrenched mind-sets across the Sri Lankan divide have reasons to be disappointed. [TC]

Sri Lanka Government Should Address Human Rights Problems Before Receiving $2.5 Billion Loan-HRW

Members of the International Monetary Fund should insist that the government of Sri Lanka address significant post-conflict human rights abuses as part of the approval for a US$2.5 billion stand-by loan, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

AP correspondent penalised for his war coverage-RSF

Reporters Without Borders today called on the Sri Lankan government to give a more convincing explanation about its refusal to renew the press visa of the Associated Press correspondent in the country Ravi Nessman. [TC]

The multi-cultural mosaic that is modern Sri Lanka

by J.B. Muller

No nation could be welded together with mere slogans however often repeated. The welding together of a Nation should be a consciously directed programme based on an understanding of the ground realities that obtain. [TC]

The Truth Behind Resumption of Economic Activity in Northern Province

By Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

On July 13, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), on behalf of the government, announced the launch of “The Awakening North — A Special Loan Scheme for Resumption of Economic Activities in the Northern Province.” [TC]

Lawyers Appearing for "The Sunday Leader" Newspaper Vilified in  Defence Ministry Website

By Dilrukshi Handunnetti and Nirmala Kannangara

This country is hitting an all time low in the area of civil liberties, and it is spilling over to every sphere. [TC]

Misinformation campaign in media about Muslim armed groups in East

by M. M. Abul Kalam

Need and necessity for Muslim home guards in the East arose in 1990. It was the worst year of ethnic cleansing of Muslims both in North and in East. [TC]

'Pressure Sri Lanka to be as serious about securing a just peace’

Robert Templer, Asia program director of the International Crisis Group in an OPED article in the New York Times writes, “lives are lost every day to overcrowding, poor sanitation, lack of clean drinking water and inadequate medical services,” at the Manic Farm camp.

He urges donor countries and organizations must condition towards a just a peace. [TC]

In Pictures: British High Commissioner visits Eastern Province

After the war-what next? Three crucial repercussions

DBSJeyaraj blog

The Anglican Bishop of Colombo , Rt. Rev Duleep de Chickera is one of those leaders from the Christian clergy who strives to promote inter-ethnic understanding, justice and equality. [dbsj]

President Rajapaksa’s Military Manoeuvres

By Col. R. Hariharan 

As the dust settled down after the victory celebrations ended, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced a series of senior appointments connected with armed forces. To call it a shake up would be journalese but that is what it appears to be. All the three chiefs of armed forces were changed, a chief of defence staff (CDS) and a national security advisor were appointed. [TC]

Sri Lanka where "stupidity" becomes a 'key word' in political policy

by Kusal Perera

It was a total misfortune. Yes, to have read the draft that became the new UNP policy when unanimously adopted by two committees of the UNP and its "working committee" headed by their leader Wickramasinghe for a proposed "broad national consensus (alliance)", according to a news web site that has since a fortnight been blocked to the Sri Lankan surfers from Sri Lanka. [TC]

Sri Lankan top diplomat 'sacked'

Sri Lanka's permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva says he was sacked by the foreign ministry without giving a reason.

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya that he was puzzled as he received the fax message on Friday. [TC]

Sri Lankan president postpones “political solution” with Tamil elite

By Wjie Dias

In a lengthy interview with the all-India English newspaper, the Hindu, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse declared that his so-called political solution—a promised deal with sections of the Tamil elite after his government’s war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)—would not be announced, let alone implemented, until after he was elected for a second presidential term. [TC]

Sri Lankan university students demand better facilities

By Suranga Siriwardena and Kapila Fernando

Nearly 2,000 students from five faculties of Sabaragamuwa University in Belihuloya, 160 km east of Colombo, held a protest inside the university premises on July 8. They presented 16 demands for basic facilities such as lecture rooms, hostels, labs, canteens and sports grounds. [TC]

Tamils look for leadership after Tigers

By Swaminathan Natarajan 

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) never took part in elections but at its peak it had a standing army, a navy, a rudimentary air force and was able to control 15,000 sq km of land.

The LTTE proclaimed itself to be the sole representative of the Tamils and killed many leaders and intellectuals who differed from this view. [TC]

Govt. memos and UN documents obtained by AP indicate camp conditions worsening

The Associated Press is reporting from Colombo of worsening conditions in camps for the internally displaced persons in Northern Sri Lanka. [TC]

History will decide whether Mr. Rajapaksa will be remembered as a nationalist avenger or a unifying peacemaker

Justifying a Costly War in Sri Lanka

by Lydia Polgreen

More than 2,000 years ago, a Sinhalese king named Dutugemunu saddled up his elephant and headed north to fight and kill Elara, an invading Tamil king from India. The battle between the men is one of the most celebrated moments in Sri Lankan history, and the last time, until two months ago, that a Sri Lankan ruler won such a decisive victory over a mortal threat. [TC]

July 12, 2009

Jul 12-18:

Stop the War on Journalists in Sri Lanka

The following is a joint open letter of the International Federation of Journalists and other press freedom organisations addressed to President Mahinda Rajapaska of Sri Lanka over the situation of journalists in the country.[TC]

Building a new society in Sri Lanka based on equality and justice

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Last month I posted on this Blog a letter written by a grand uncle to his grand nephew. The grand uncle was none other than the well-known trade unionist and human rights activist Upali Cooray [dbsj]

“Tamil camps”: The Time for silence on  is over – NY Times

NY Times Editorial, Jul 16, 2009 

More than two months after declaring victory over Tamil Tiger guerillas, Sri Lanka’s government is continuing to hold hundreds of thousands of displaced Tamil civilians in what it calls “welfare villages,” but what increasingly look like military internment camps [TC]

Ban-Ki-moon asked of his 'accomplishment' in Sri Lanka

The venerable US Newspaper The Wall Street Journal asked the UN Secretary General Ban-KI-moon of his 'accomplishment' in Sri Lanka, in a detailed a interview and article published today. [TC]

Aid Organisations Struggle to Operate in Post-war Sri Lanka

By Feizal Samath

The Sri Lankan government wants the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to scale down its operations in the country, but is sparing other international nongovernmental organisations amid questions over the post-war role for humanitarian workers. [TC]

War-Wounded and Displaced Patients Flood MSF Hospitals

by MSF

Working in conjunction with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams in Vavuniya District in Sri Lanka’s northeast have performed more than 5,000 surgeries over the last five months, most to treat conflict-related injuries. [TC]

Mounting death toll in Sri Lankan detention camps

By Sarath Kumara

About 1,400 people are dying from disease every week inside Sri Lanka’s largest camps at Manik Farm, according to senior international aid sources, the British-based Times reported last week. [TC]

The New  Found Sinhala Monarch Will “Crown” Himself Again Early Next Year

by Kusal Perera

A collective of well respected Tamil citizens, have come out with their fourth statement, since the final onslaught of the much disputed war that defeated the LTTE and annihilated its leadership in mid May. [TC]

"Disquiet in India" over Hamabantota - Financial Times

Nowhere is the development of Hambantota by China is causing more disquiet than in India and New Delhi fears that Beijing is extending its power to control shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, according to a London Financial Times OPED analysis. It adds the "moves have the potential to intensify the competition – and scramble for resources – between the world’s fastest-growing big economies, both nuclear-armed powers." [TC]

Resettling 50% in 180 days is a target, not a promise, says President Rajapaksa

by Jyoti Thottam

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the man who tamed the Tigers. Now his task is to heal a nation still divided by tensions between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils. In a rare, wide-ranging interview, Rajapaksa, 63, talked with TIME's Jyoti Thottam at the President's official compound in Colombo on July 10. [TC]

"Race and Class" Siva on ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Various persons in different capacities have attempted to analyse and comment on the tragic post-independence history of deteriorating ethnic relations in Sri Lanka.

I happened to read an interesting and informative lecture on Sri Lankan ethnic relations by a brilliant left-leaning intellectual of Sri Lankan origin now domiciled in Britain. [dbsj]

280,000 IDP's interned in camps are war victims and not war criminals

Fourth Statement of Concerned Tamils of Sri Lanka

Why do we sign as ‘Concerned Tamils of Sri Lanka’? It is not for lack of endorsement by very many non-Tamil Sri Lankans of every clause of each of our statements. Elsewhere, Tamil voices are heard loud and clear on our problems, but within our island, independent Tamil voices have been progressively stilled. [TC]

Provincial Councils are workable  - Gamini Jayawickrema Perera

by Vindya Amaranayake

Nearly 22 years have elapsed since the 13th Amendment to the Constitution has been passed in Parliament. It envisaged power devolution at the province level while keeping to the unitary nature of the state. [TC]

Story of a soldier: Autobiography of Gen. Cyril Ranatunge

by Rohan Pethiyagoda

Almost everyone who crossed the path of Cyril Ranatunga in his long and illustrious career in the army, or at least those of us who have survived, are here today. [TC]

Tamil identity politics did not die on the banks of Nandhikadal lagoon

by Dayan Jayatilleka

There have been three civil wars fought against the Sri Lankan state: 1971, 1986-89, 1979-2009. The Sri Lankan state prevailed in all three. [TC]

Statements by detained doctors underline need for independent inquiry-Amnesty International

The statements made to the media by doctors detained by the Sri Lankan government for providing what it says was false information about civilian casualties during the last days of its offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) points again to the need for an independent inquiry into allegations that both parties committed war crimes, said Amnesty International. [TC]

V. Nalliah: Birth centenary of an Eastern Tamil Leader

by K.C. Logeswaran

Many in Batticaloa will note this month the centenary of the birth on 1 July 1909 of Mr V Nalliah who represented Trincomalee-Batticaloa in the State Council from 1943 and Kalkudah in Parliament till 1956. [TC]

New York Times: Bush Team Discouraged Probe of Mass Taliban Deaths

A U.S. newspaper reports the Bush administration repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the 2001 mass killings of Taliban prisoners by the militia of an American-backed warlord. [TC]

Do the Uighurs have any reasonable chance to establish an autonomous state?

by Nicholas K. Kristof

I don't think there is any reasonable possibility that the Uighurs will get their own country, carved out of China. There are three reasons for this. [TC]

July 04, 2009

Jul 5 - 11:

"If we keep helping we become the jailer of these people”

"If we keep helping we become the jailer of these people,” a western diplomat is quoted as saying in a New York Times Article by Lydia Polgreen, dated from Cheddikulam, Vavuniya.

The diplomat was commenting on displaced Tamils remaining hidden from view and continued "funding being provided by several foreign countries to feed, shelter and clothe the displaced." [TC]

Where wait for water, medicine lasts days as refugees in their own land

by Jaya Menon

As day breaks over Cheddikulam near Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka, life stirs in rows of white and blue tents dotting the landscape-once a dense jungle, the area has been cleared hurriedly to accommodate thousands of Tamils who have borne the brunt of final Eelam war IV. [TC]

Sri Lankan Tamil parties participate in sham local elections

by K. Vasanthan

Sri Lanka’s Tamil parties are participating in the Rajapakse government’s sham local government elections in the war-ravaged Northern Province on August 8, thus helping the regime provide a democratic façade for the ongoing military occupation of the island’s north and east. [TC]

Sri Lankan Political Parties Complicit in Rajapakse Regime War Crimes

By K. Ratnayake

All the Sri Lankan parliamentary parties last week attended a meeting called by President Mahinda Rajapakse to form an “All Party Committee on Development and Reconciliation”.[TC]

Lasantha Wickrematunge: The man who changed Sri Lankan journalism

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

It is six months since the fearless editor of “The Sunday Leader” was brutally assassinated in broad daylight.Lasantha Manilal Wickrematunge was murdered in cold blood at Ratmalana by a killer squad of eight riding four motor cycles. He was driving alone to work on that fateful January 8th. [dbsj]

Why cannot Sri Lanka make race hate speeches and utterances a principal offence?

by Lynn Ockersz

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is on record that he has cautioned sections of his ruling coalition against stoking communal disharmony and this position would, no doubt, be widely welcomed by the ‘moral majority’ in Sri Lanka whose hearts are in a future that would be shared among Sri Lanka’s communities. [TC]

Full Implementation of Thirteenth Amendment  Is NOT Ultimate  Solution To Ethnic Question

by Dr.Jayampathy Wickramaratne

The defeat of the LTTE as a military force has not made the ethnic question in Sri Lanka go away. If anything, the need for a political solution has become ever more urgent. [TC]

Doctors’ statements recanting Tamil deaths "expected and predicted," Amnesty Int’l says

Sam Zarifi, the Asia-pacific director for Amnesty International, told Associated Press the statements from the doctors who witnessed civilian massacres recanting their toll in Northern Sri Lanka were "expected and predicted."

The Tamil doctors who have been in police custody for nearly two months were brought before the media for briefing on Wednesday, July 8th to recant their reports of mass civilian casualties during the final days of the civil war. [TC]

Mahinda Rajapakse speaks out: A conversation with N.Ram of “The Hindu”

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa responds to  Editor in Chief of “The Hindu” N. Ram’s questions in this extended interview  in Colombo. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President, participated in the conversation, filling in some details and adding his insights. [TC]

President orders ball-by-ball Tamil cricket commentaries

by Rex Clementine-Reporting from Galle

On the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation was forced to take immediate measures to provide ball by ball cricket commentaries during the ongoing first Test Match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan here at the Galle International Cricket Stadium. [TC]

Call for a metamorphosis from a 'well frog' to a 'tree frog'

by Kusal Perera

It is time to leave this Sinhala Diasporic purging of "patriotism" that serves no purpose for Sri Lanka , today or tomorrow. [TC]

Meeting The Canadian “Combatant” conscripted by LTTE

by Kath Noble

It would be foolhardy to assume that the conflict in Sri Lanka was irretrievably over. Prabhakaran is gone, but the Tiger diaspora is sounding as fierce as ever. [TC]

"Facilities inadequate" - Deepak Obhrai MP, Canada's Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs

"Everybody is trying to address this issue, including Canada through its aid to the World Food Programme, to Oxfam and to everyone who provides shelter..nevertheless, that is still a humanitarian crisis....

These are refugee camps, people are cramped together, medical facilities are there, but with the massive number of people all these become inadequate," Canada's Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Secretary Deepak Obhrai MP, was quoted saying to Stewart Bell of National Post about the camps for internally displaced Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Video: Sri Lanka rejects refugee camp allegations

Mahinda Samarasinghe, Sri Lanka's minister of disaster management and human rights, has rejected accusations regarding its "welfare camps" for Tamil war refugees as a "load of rubbish". [TC]

Presidential Secretary calls for spy units throughout public sector

By Wije Dias

President Mahinda Rajapakse’s secretary, Lalith Weeratunga, who heads Sri Lanka’s civil service, has called for undercover intelligence units to be installed in every public sector workplace to spy on workers under the pretext of curbing corruption and inefficiency. [TC]

Unacceptable Methods Used By Sri Lanka to Subdue Tamil Tigers

by Robert.D.Kaplan

Though it was only a one-day news story in the United States, a momentous event occurred last spring, with worldwide military significance. [TC]

Sri Lanka revives draconian law to gag media

By S. Sampath Perera

The Sri Lankan government has revived legislation that vests the Sri Lanka Press Council, a statutory body, with broad powers to restrict the media and punish offending journalists and publishers with fines and imprisonment. [TC]

“Sinhala Buddhist Guilt”: Giving the benefit of the doubt for ignorance

By Kusal Perera

My article, "Defining moments of living with the Sinhala Buddhist guilt" generated a heavy spurt of anger perhaps from the Sinhala Diaspora living in the comfort zone of the West, which does not surprise me. On 3rd July evening (SL time) when I logged into "transcurrents" site there were 37 comments and 17 of them stood for all that's happening in the North and said the government is right. [TC]

Recollections of St Thomas’ College, Gurutalawa: an extract from a personal memoir

by Charles P. Sarvan

If I remember correctly, in 1950 St Thomas’ College, Gurutalawa, had 214 pupils. Not only was it among the best of schools, it was also the most expensive boys’ boarding school in Ceylon. I was completely out of my financial and social class, the other boys being from wealthy families, parents who held well-paid jobs or had political position and power. [TC]

Non-Implementation of Tamil as an official language in provinces outside North and East

By Chandani Kirinde

While opinion remains deeply divided in the country about the full implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, the recognition of Tamil alongside Sinhala as an official language guaranteed by the same constitutional amendment remains largely confined to paper with several key areas in the government sector lagging behind in executing the Official Language policy. [TC]

Portrayal of Conscientious Person like  Shantha Fernando as Traitor is Grave Injustice

by Basil Fernando

In the present-day context, the re-imaging of a person from a conscientious citizen to a traitor can be rapid. The transformation is not in real terms as in Kafka's Metamorphosis. [TC]

Rajapakse Must Reach Out For Hearts And Minds Of Tamil Community

by Padraig Colman

Even those Sri Lankans, including Tamils, who were dubious about their government’s decision to pursue the military option against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), are relieved that the venture appears successful. [TC]

Is Central Bank the real “Bottleneck” Delaying  IMF Loan to Sri Lanka?

By Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

Ever since the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) publicly acknowledged that it has sought a stand-by credit facility of USD 1.9 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on March 04, 2009 there have been anxiety and rumors abound among the general public (both within the country as well as in the diaspora), politicians (both local and foreign), policy makers, independent researchers, civil society organisations (especially human rights organisations), and the media (both local and international) about the quantum, conditions and the timeline of the proposed borrowing. [TC]

Campaign Against 13th amendment is Self-Destructive and Counter-Productive

By Ranga Jayasuriya

No lesser than the desire of the minority communities to feel equal members of the Sri Lankan community, the Sri Lankan state has a dire need to redeem itself in the eyes of its own citizens, 300,000 of whom now languishing in the heavily guarded camps, rather misfittingly named welfare villages. [TC]

Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam is a Dangerous Exercise

by Dr. Rajan Hoole

On 15th June S. Pathmanathan, the most prominent of surviving members of the LTTE announced the establishment of a Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (PTG), pointing to the danger to the ‘very physical survival of Tamils’ and the absence of ‘political space to articulate their legitimate political aspirations’ in Lanka. [TC]

I.D.P.'S Yearn to Get away from Their Barbed Wire Enclosures

Further Statement of Group of concerned Tamils of Sri Lanka

The Group of Concerned Tamils of Sri Lanka is disturbed by persistent reports of continuing lack of adequate shelter, privacy, water, toilet and bathing facilities, nutrition, and medical services as well as other grave ills, notably disappearances in several of the detention centres. [TC]

Implementation of 13th Amendment is a Guarantee of our National Security

by Dayan Jayatilleka

There are two types of people who assert that President Mahinda Rajapakse is against the 13th amendment or does not intend to or will not implement it [TC]

Unlucky thirteen: make or break number in present politics of Sri Lanka

by Lucien Rajakarunanayake

I’m no believer in numerology, or the power that numbers can have on people, but it appears that 13 has suddenly emerged as the make or break number in the politics of Sri Lanka. [TC]

Sri Lanka held hostage by extremist forces for far too long

by Shanie

Sri Lanka has for far too long been held hostage by the extremist forces. These were the vocal elements on both sides of the ethnic divide who strangulated and silenced the moderates. [TC]

Hold Special School Examinations for IDPs to Restore Confidence

Full Text of Statement by National Peace Council of Sri Lanka

The end of the war has brought with it the opportunity for a restoration of normalcy and reconciliation after 30 years of suffering and trauma. [TC]

Turning Tamil swords into Oriya ploughshares

by P. Sainath 

One is a member of the Malkangiri District Cricket Association and custodian of its cricket kit. Another, a minor contractor in a public works project. [TC]