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February 26, 2010

Feb 28-Mar 6:

UN Rights Chief Criticizes Iran, Sri Lanka [TC]

On Sri Lanka, UN's Ban Was Lied To, But Pascoe Trip Delay, of Job Requests

The UN's failure to follow through even on what few commitments it made about Sri Lanka became clearer this week. [ICP]

Student journalist escapes Sri Lankan censorship

By Aubrey Eyre

Sophomore Ruan Pethiyagoda, 24, plans to return to Sri Lanka after completing his journalism degree.

Journalism is not typically viewed as a field of work where people have to fear for their lives. But that’s not the case in Sri Lanka, where journalists are not nearly so safe. [TC]

Election manifesto full text: TULF urges to ‘study ground situation and act sensibly’ [TC]

Sri Lankan Recognized as an "International Woman of Courage" by the U.S. Department of State [TC]

In pictures: Seminar and discussion on women's participation in politics in Sri Lanka

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Women represent 52% of Sri Lanka’s total population of 20, 217,000 (2008 census) according to the Department of Census and Statistics of Sri Lanka, and 56% of registered voters.

There are only 11 women Parliamentarians out of the total 225 members in Sri Lanka, which is less than 6% according to a recent survey carried out by the Women and Media Collective. [HA]

No Tamil political party has overwhelming support of Tamil people as the TULF did in 1977 [TC]

How the colour revolution got discoloured in Sri Lanka [TC]

GTF Inaugural Conference - London 2010 - UK calls for constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka

Text of press release issued by the GTF

Global Tamil Forum (GTF) Conference was formally inaugurated on Wednesday 24 February 2010, by the Foreign Secretary of State, Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP, joined by Shadow Foreign Secretary, Rt. Hon. William Hague MP and an array of national and international Parliamentarians, civil leaders and academics, at a momentous show of support for the Tamil Diaspora congregation, at The Gladstone Room in the British Parliament. [TC]

Dreams of celebrating 100th birthday in home village

by IRIN News

This time last year, Arulamma Thambiraja, 99, was among tens of thousands of civilians trapped in Sri Lanka's north by fighting between government forces and the since-defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [TC]

SBS Dateline, Feb 28, 2010 ~ Video and Transcript: Sri Lanka War Stories

"We have been very successful in getting information about LTTE from KP"- Gotabhaya

By Dianne Silva

Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa spoke to Daily Mirror Hot Seat on the trial of former Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka, the support of the international community in apprehending the remaining elements of the LTTE,Kumaran Pathmanathan and his personal feelings on the actions of the General in the past months. [TC]

Eritrea not co-operating With Sri Lanka  on LTTE Issue complains Gotabaya Rajapaksa

By Dianne Silva

The government’s diplomatic ties with Eritrea broke down due to certain newspaper reports, according to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. [TC]

Joining mainstream SLFP will help address Muslim issues better – Ferial Ashraff

by Rukshana Rizwie

Minister of Development and Construction of the East & Rural Housing, Ferial Ashraff made headlines when she crossed over to the SLFP recently. [TC]

The ghost of Lord Soulbury in London: Sinhala-Tamil politics after the war

by Rajan Philips

The voting at the January presidential election brutally exposed the two solitudes in Sri Lankan politics. The Sinhalese voted in clear preference for President Rajapakse while Tamils along with Muslims, equally clearly voted against him.[TC]

Whither the new Sri Lanka proclaimed by the triumphant Head of State?

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

Many questions about the methods used in gaining the astounding military and Presidential election victories remain unanswered. The interest of the majority has been on the victory and not how it was achieved [TC]

The case against military justice for Sarath Fonseka

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The above mentioned observation by British Lord Chief Justice Hewart has become famous over the years as an aphorism espousing and emphasising the importance of appearance in meting out justice.It is not only important to ensure justice but equally necessary to demonstrate clearly that Justice appears to have been done. [dbsj]

General Fonseka was  only member of national Security Council who opposed early re-settlement of IDPs

Inderjit Bhadwar: Under what specific charges did your government arrest Gen. Fonseka?

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa: I cannot talk about specific charges because the summary of evidence preceding the charge sheet is now being prepared by the military authorities under specific rules of procedure that guarantee due process and a fair trial. That is the work of the prosecutor. [TC]

An Apology and  Brief Response to Dayan Jayatilleka

by Nalin Swaris

Who are we? A matter of identity: Response to Dr. Nalin Swaris

By Dayan Jayatilleka [TC]

February 20, 2010

Feb 21-27

US Senator Casey Remarks Read at Global Tamil Forum Event [TC]

Sri Lankan Tamils disillusioned with India must forget the "North" and turn "East" towards China

By S. Sivathasan

In the Asian region, hardly any people have had such close cordiality as the Tamils of Sri Lanka with the people of Tamil Nadu and by extension with India.[TC]

Three "Bees" for Britain-Brown, (Mili) Band and Bogol (lagama)

By Malcolm Ferdinands

Gordon Brown is no match for Tony Blair. In fact he was very jealous of Blair and tried his best to undermine him. It is also no secret since Blair’s wife, Cheri has written all about it in her book. [TC]

The Arrest of Sarath Fonseka and Comrade Dayan's critical response

by Nalin Swaris

I must disagree with some of Comrade Dayan Jayetileke’s recent writings Arresting Sarath Fonseka, he wrote was a “Perfect Political blunder”. But then nobody is perfect. Otherwise they would not blunder. Perfect blunder seems so oxymoronic. [TC]

IMF delays third tranche of $2.6 bln Sri Lanka loan [TC]

Jayalalithaa: From alluring actress to powerful politician

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

India in general and its Tamil Nadu state in particular have spawned many colourful political personalities. Standing out among these figures is Jayalalithaa Jayaram, the actress-politico of Tamil Nadu. [dbsj]

UK: 'Reconciliation, accountability and human rights are basis for lasting peace all Sri Lankans want and deserve'

Foreign Secretary David Miliband's Written Statement to the House of Commons on recent developments in the political and humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Miliband risks Sri Lanka’s wrath to support Global Tamil Forum [TC]

Int'l Crisis Group Full Report: 'Tamil diaspora groups should move away, once and for all, from the failed agenda of LTTE' [TC]

Democracy in Sri Lanka was a foreign imposition upon a polity segmentalized and divided against itself

by J.B.Muller

Democracy’ is neither organic nor home-grown. It was a foreign imposition upon a polity that was segmentalized and divided against itself. [TC]

Asst. Sec. Robert Blake urges 'national reconciliation and power sharing-particularly with the north'

Interview with BBC

What is the American view of what is taking place in Sri Lanka? Live now to the U.S. State Department in Washington, and Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. [TC]

Caste in modern Sri Lankan politics

by Prof. Michael Roberts

In a recent intervention in the web-site www.transcurrents.com (10 Feb. 2010), Lakruwan de Silva has conjectured that caste rivalry between the Govigama and Karāva contributed in a secondary manner towards the rift between the Rajapakse clan and General Fonseka [TC]

mp3 audio: Anoma Fonseka says her husband is held in hot, unventilated conditions [TC]

The Decline and Fall of "Colonel"Karuna

Karuna Amman is a politician who had the potential to be a phoenix but got all his fortune ruined as a result of a wayward lifestyle. [TC]

Hundreds need reconstructive orthopedic surgery

Many patients who had surgery during the time of fighting between the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) that were operated on initially under emergency conditions have developed infections, particularly of the bone. [TC]

TNA must disavow separatist politics and accept a political solution within a unitary state

by Dayapala Thiranagama

The TNA, the remnant of old politics in the Tamil community has entered a new era. The post LTTE politics has made it possible to create conditions for a democratic culture in the North and East. [TC]

On being Democratic in spite of the Constitution

by Rajan Philips

The polemical piece I wrote on cricket and the Constitution two weeks ago has got drawn into the debate over the Third Amendment, courtesy Rajiva Wijesinha’s intervention last week. That provides me with the context, if not the pretext, to offer this proposition on how Sri Lanka could be democratic despite the Constitution and not in defiance of the Constitution. [TC]

Clueless Wanni IDPs and govt. resettlement plans

By Ranga Jayasuriya

The government pledged to resettle former residents of Wanni, in their former villages by the end of January 31. [TC]

Discharged "Lanka" Editor Remains Defiant Despite Detention

by Rathindra Kuruwita

Irida Lanka Editor Chandana Sirimalwatta has been a frequent visitor to the CID in the last few months [TC]

Gotabaya Rajapaksa was very cautious in precipitating action against former Army Commander

Mahinda Rajapaksa Discloses in Interview with N.Ram

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is confident that the United People’s Freedom Alliance, led by his Sri Lanka Freedom Party, will win the forthcoming parliamentary elections “very comfortably.” [TC]

Specific quotas necessary in Sri Lanka to enhance women representation in electoral politics

By Ruana Rajepakse

According to statistics, women constitute 52 per cent of Sri Lanka’s population and 56 per cent of registered voters [TC]

Will the Constitution,Parliamentary Elections Act and Criminal Procedure Code be Dispensed with too?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

On the one hand, a former professor of law now turned strident government propagandist, Minister GL Peiris tells us that the due process of law is being followed in governmental actions against its critics. [TC]

"Bell,Swan and Trophy": The JVP march of Folly

By Chakravarthy

“We have not formed any alliance with the UNP; we supported the General, the UNP supported the General and the other parties supported the General separately. [TC]

Gotabaya Rajapaksa's  imprint on Lanka will not be a footrint on the sands of time

By Ranmali Fernando

After a certain victory in the north, lovable General Denzil Kobbekaduwa came running and embraced him with fatherly affection. [TC]

US$23.6 million FAO appeal for resettling Sri Lankan refugees [TW]

February 13, 2010

Feb 14-20:

"Economics" the cause of war in Sri Lanka-can be key to lasting peace too

By Yatharthan

Economics is the cause and effect of War and Peace in Human History. [TC]

Govt. 'trying to destroy Buddhism' [TC]

CPJ report on Attacks on the Press in Sri Lanka - 2009 [TC]

Lanka determined to Court Martial Fonseka despite protests

by P.K. Balachandran

Despite protests from the national opposition parties and the international community, the Sri Lankan government appears to be determined to Court Martial former Army Commander and defeated Presidential candidate Gen.Sarath Fonseka, reliable sources say. [TC]

'Sinhalese have apparently persuaded themselves against all evidence that the outside world is against them'

By Barbara Crossette

In its 62 years of independence, Sri Lanka has never had a better chance than it has now to stamp out the last fires of ethnic hatred, violence and mindless chauvinisms that have left over 80,000 people dead in civil wars across the country. [TC]

Foreign Interference and bending in two to foreigners must stop

By Ranmali Fernando

A report in the Daily Mirror today states that the US is not happy with the Sri Lankan state media.[TC]
SJV Chelvanayagam would not  have Allowed the Federal party to Help Destroy the Tamil United Liberation Front

by Veerasingam Anandasangaree

There is no doubt that the present situation demands absolute unity of all Tamils and Tamil speaking people, not only of the North and the East but also of the West, South and the Centre, not to confront the Government but to evolve a consensus towards finding a lasting solution, acceptable to the Tamils, without prejudice to the interests of the other communities in Sri Lanka. [TC]

V. Anandasangaree writes to President Mahinda Rajapakse urging free and fair polls [TC]

President sent his secretary Weeratunga secretly for talks with the LTTE

Victor Ivan discloses in Interview with CR Chandraprema [TC]

A New direction for  development of the North and East of Sri Lanka

By A. Chandrahasan

We have to find a new direction to lead our country to a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future. War has given us an opportunity to rethink, reassess and change our traditional values and attitudes.

Full Text of 2010 Presidential election petition filed in courts on behalf of Gen.Sarath Fonseka [TC]

20 years on, a collective voice for forgiveness in Kaathaankudy-A pictorial

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

It is always an enchanting drive through the city of Kaathaankudy. Kaathaankudy is a small city which is situated in the Eastern Province, Batticaloa District. It is known for its own distinct culture. [HA]

Upali Wijewardena: Memories of the unforgettable tycoon

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

If Philip Upali Wijewardena was among the living he would have reached the Seventy-two today. (February 17). [dbsj]

Tamils can opt for new beginning or let slip an opportunity that comes but rarely

by S. Sivathasan

To a segment of Tamils in Sri Lanka, alienation from mainstream life has become a habit of thought. It has now got embedded in sentiment and inertia. Perhaps to a people habituated to fatalistic propensities, this mode of action came a bit too easily. [TC]

Thousands of IDPs miss resettlement deadline [TC]

Ethnic consciousness: The case of Sri Lanka

By Daya Somasundaram

The dangers inherent in emphasising difference and exclusiveness as the foundations of collective identities are not to be underestimated. While group identities provide various benefits, the consequences of a group considering itself superior to others often results in violence.[TC]

Rajapaksa and cohorts justified Fonseka "action" against the media earlier

By Kshama Ranawana

Is it selective amnesia, emulating Pontius Pilate or both? [TC]

Rajapakse regime is a bundle of "criminal" contradictions

by Dushy Ranetunge

Dr. Rajapakse's administration, now champions of a “Russian” doctorate of world peace has taken refuge behind the law to justify its latest unprecedented action in arresting the main opposition Presidential candidate, when there are so many contradictions in its actions. [TC]

Were the General and JVP involved in a coup conspiracy?

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

A striking facet of Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s intriguing personality is the candour he displays in some media interviews. Instead of bluffing, sidestepping or trying to wriggle out of answering tricky questions the Defence secretary responds directly and fields them in a frank,forthright manner. [dbsj]

Arrest Most Foul

by Rajan Philips

The Rajapakse brothers are turning Sri Lankan politics into a blood sport. The arrest of Sarath Fonseka is an abuse of state power for the purpose of personal vengeance. [TC]

February 06, 2010

Feb 7-13:

Tamil American Peace Initiative Deplores the Detainment of Fonseka [TC]

'Between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians died during the final, desperate battles'-Gordon Weiss

Gordon Weiss, the Resident United Nations representative in Colombo who was summoned by the Government of Sri Lanka and later made to leave the country last year for commenting about a civilian "bloodbath" has given several interviews to Australian media recently. Gordon Weiss is now free to reveal all the happenings in Sri Lanka, as he is now resigned from the United Nations Organization after 14 years of service. [TC]

Government, Opposition Supporters Clash in Colombo

Sri Lankan government supporters clashed with opposition activists protesting the arrest of their defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka. [TC]

Gen. Fonseka was forcibly dragged away from his office

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

In a disturbing turn of events, retired four star General Sarath Fonseka was taken into custody by a contingent of military police on the night of Monday February 8th 2010. [dbsj]

In Pictures: US Embassy-Colombo, Martin Luther King Jr Commemorative Exhibition

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai


The Exhibition and Events will continue in Colombo till February 9th 2010,in Ampara from February 17th to February 19th 2010, in Batticaloa from February 22nd to February 24th 2010 and in Jaffna from March 7th to 9th 2010. It's sponsored by the American Center in Colombo and the Foundation for Co-Existence. [click for more pictures]

Importance of striking a fair balance in national politics

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

Many important political decisions in Sri Lanka have been influenced by parochial short-term considerations, ignoring the larger and long-term interests of the entire society [TC]

The squandering of a resounding victory

by Rajan Philips

Sri Lankans know their cricket a lot more than their Constitution. Imagine a Test match, where the team batting first scores over 500 runs for the loss of six wickets and the captain declares the innings closed. [TC]

Throwing up an enlightened, sensitive leadership is the immediate imperative for Tamils

by S. Sivathasan

In the context of a presidential election just concluded and a general election in the offing, there lies a great challenge before the Tamils.[TC]

Post Presidential Election Realities: A Statement by a group of Bishops

Regardless of how they voted, many Sri Lankans strongly disapproved of three trends during the campaigning. These were: [TC]

In pictures: The peninsula, the cultural heart of Tamil life, seems to be stuck a generation behind the rest of the nation

Jaffna is a city of ruins. Some are physical, like the overgrown jumbles of mold-streaked concrete where graceful buildings used to stand. [TC]

By voting for Sarath Fonseka I along with 4.17 million people have not betrayed the country

by Anura Gunasekara

The Sunday Observer of 31/1/10 carried the headline, "A Bold Reply to those who Betrayed the Country", extracted from a post-election statement attributed to President Rajapaksa, in a reference to those who opposed him at the recent election. [TC]

Colombo believed that the American President was personally committed to the downfall of President Rajapakse

by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha

With regard to the UNP performance over the election, there were two schools of thought that seem at first sight distinct. [TC]

Flip-flops of elections commissioner: From tragedy to farce

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

So the cynics were proved right all along in their assessments of Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake’s performance (to put it at the kindest level) as Sri Lanka’s elections chief. [TC]