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March 26, 2010

Mar 28 - Apr 2:

The Risen Lord will  Shine upon us and give us his peace

An Easter Message

by The Rt. Rev Duleep de Chickera, The Bishop of Colombo

Jesus experienced a violent death through a distortion of the truth. He was called a blasphemer, accused of sedition and then put to death on a cross. But this was not the last word; it never is. [TC]

Tamils will work with a govt that will give them their due place in the island

by Karunyan Arulanantham

Last May, after more than a quarter century of civil war between government forces and Tamil separatists, a fragile peace came to Sri Lanka. [TC]

V. Anandasangaree writes to President on "Threat of Armed Groups to Civilians"

Full text of the letter addressed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, "Threst if armed groups to civillans", by the President of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Mr. V. Anandasangaree: [TC]

If Sarath Fonseka is a traitor then Mahinda Rajapaksa has been a veteran traitor

by Rohini Hensman

What is the definition of a traitor?

A traitor is usually defined as someone who betrays his or her country. But this definition leaves out the question of what, exactly, constitutes betrayal. [TC]

The term "traitor" in Sri Lanka's treacherous politics

by Savitri Hensman

"A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague," declared Roman statesman and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero over 2,000 years ago. Accusations of treachery still sting. [TC]

Attack on MTV and Arrest of Malini Perera  causes Public Concern

by Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo

Two recent incidents that reflect the ambiguous behaviour of the custodians of the law have caused much public concern. [TC]

You can  Buy a "Land Mine" on the Roadside in Jaffna

by Amantha Perera

The civil war in Sri Lanka may be over, but you can buy a land mine on the side of the road in Jaffna — though they're more likely to explode in your mouth than anywhere else. [TC]

The government spars with aid agencies; the displaced still suffer [TC]

The state of state sovereignty: A response to Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama 

by Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr Nihal Jayawickrama, for whom I have considerable respect and affection, makes some very valid and necessary criticisms in his article ‘The Myth of State Sovereignty’ in the Sunday Island (March 28, 2010) and on DBS Jeyaraj’s Transcurrents (Sri Lanka seems to be the only country where eroded concept of state sovereignty is being erroneously invoked).He is however gravely in error when he considers state sovereignty a myth or at best, an obsolete doctrine. [TC]

A film about the war  clled "Maathaa" is being shot on location at the "No-fire zone" in Mullaitheevu [TC] 

Create the conditions that will banish the idea of separatism

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

In post war Sri Lanka, no one wants another spate of violent disturbances that would deny the majority of the people in all communities the long overdue harmony and lasting peace. [TC]

Two and a half million Sri Lankan Tamils have points of view numbering twenty-five lakhs

by S. Sivathasan

A no-war situation can yield dividends to the vanquished is another illusion. Veering from the thought that post-war developments have a dynamic of their own, it is necessary to map out a clear pathway. [TC]

Future of Lankan Tamils-Current Concerns and Approaches

by K S Sivakumaran

This columnist was one of the invitees to attend a special Panel Discussion held at Colombo Ramada Hotel on Wednesday March 24, 2010. The Liberty Ballroom was filled with many Lankan Tamils located in Colombo, some of them were the cream of a section of the Tamils intelligentsia in the capital. The theme of the Discussion was: Future of Tamils- Current Concerns and Approaches [TC]

When will JVP realise that devolution of power is an important principle of democracy?

By Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

The leader of the JVP claimed that they are willing to form a government with all the willing partners of the opposition after the election.

Housing tops returnees’ wish-list


The latest UN figures show that 160,000 houses in northern Sri Lanka have to be repaired or rebuilt as the conflict-displaced return to their home areas.

Gujrat’s Narendra Modi and Sri Lanka’s “Notorious Deputy Minister”

By Chakravarthy

A 17th century English churchman and historian, Thomas Fuller said, "Be ye ever so high, still the law is above you", meaning "Be you ever so high, the law is above you". [TC]

Video: Tamils on Probation

by Reporters, France 24 TV

As the last bastion of the Tamil Tigers fell, tens of thousands of civilians who had fled the fighting were detained in refugee camps. Now the Sri Lankan army has given them permission to return home. We went to meet these refugees who have lost everything. [TC]

We were civilized 2,500 years ago - can’t you tell?

By Namini Wijedasa

I have this BIG problem with a bunch of people that live in a house located on a particular street. I don’t like them because I feel they don’t dress proper, they have loud parties and I’m sure they are disrespectful to my opinions, my upbringing, my background and my religion. [TC]

Sri Lanka seems to be only country where eroded concept of state sovereignty is being erroneously invoked

by Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama

A constitutional myth that has been developed in Sri Lanka in recent years is that of Sovereignty. [TC]

How did the Tamil Nationalist cause make a comeback in the form of TNA resurgence?

by Dayan Jayatilleka

The current Sri Lankan political discourse, thin gruel though it is, contains three morsels of content: democracy, the electoral system and national sovereignty.[TC]
The politics of Akon visa denial have a wider impact on Sri Lanka and Buddhism

by Dushy Ranetunge in London

The Sri Lankan government this week has decided to deny a visa for the American rap star Akon, even before he had applied for one. The politics of this decision is obvious. [TC]

Tamil National Alliance enters critical third phase-1

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The single –largest Sri Lankan Tamil political group in the dissolved Parliament was the conglomerate known as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The TNA which contested the April 2004 general elections under the “Veedu”(House) symbol of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) obtained twenty-two seats including two nominated under the national list. [dbsj]

UPFA rolls towards comprehensive win, will 'Chinthanaya' for National Reconciliation be implemented post election ?

By Harim Peiris

Among the more serious and politically important features of an election are the election manifestos that political parties present as their policy platform for seeking a mandate from the people. [TC]

March 21, 2010

Mar 21 - 27:

TNA highlights Sinhalese influx into North Lanka

by P.K. Balachandran

In the intense competition for the ethnic Tamil vote in the run up to the April 8 Sri Lankan parliamentary elections, parties touting Tamil nationalism are highlighting the “dangers” arising from the post-war influx of Sinhalese into the predominently Tamil Jaffna peninsula and the Wanni. [TC]

Kilinochchi struggles with returnee influx


The northern Sri Lankan town of Kilinochchi – former capital of the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – is struggling to address the needs of thousands of returnees. [TC]

Bahrain resident arrested in Sri Lanka for authoring book allegedly 'offensive to Buddhism' [TC]

Permanent military occupation of the North and East

By Sujeewa Amaranath

In an official gazette notification earlier this month, President Mahinda Rajapakse declared that the extensive network of army camps established during the war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will be made permanent.[TC]

Will Google's China move set a new tone? [TC]

Post war Sri Lanka needs a Deng Hsiao Peng or Vladimir Putin who made their countries strong

by Dayan Jayatilleka

Does the UNP and Opposition leader Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe suffer from a compulsion towards electoral suicide or is it a condition of political sado-masochism? [TC]

Ranil Wickremasinghe,The Gentleman Politician [TC]

India’s silence a dent in Sri Lanka's position before UN ?

by Upul Joseph Fernando

It has come to light that India has not supported the letter of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) aimed at opposing the decision of the General secretary of the United Nations (UN) Organization, Ban ki-Moon, to appoint the panel of experts to advise him in regard to Sri Lanka (SL).[TC]

'Precise motivation for the MTV/Sirasa attack yet to be established' [TC]

Visa denial follows the rock-throwing protest

By Ranga Sirilal

Sri Lanka on Tuesday said it would deny a visa to singer Akon, whose planned April concert in the island nation sparked rock-throwing protests by Buddhists offended by one of his videos. [TC]

Harmonizing with Tamil diaspora befits President Rajapaksa’s much stated goal of an indigenous political solution

by Jehan Perera

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has reaffirmed his determination to appoint a panel of experts to advise him on Sri Lanka’s adherence to its international obligations pertaining to human rights.[TC]

Difficult homecoming for Muslim IDPs


Resettlement efforts are under way for thousands of displaced Muslims from Sri Lanka’s north who have been languishing in refugee camps for nearly two decades, officials say. [TC]

Are the "whims and fancies" of smaller parties going to be heard for "strengthening President's hand?"

by M.S.M. Ayub

The ruling coalition, the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) seems to be obsessed with the hope of winning more than two thirds of the parliamentary seats at the General Election scheduled to be held on April 8.[TC]

Election enemas are dehydrating democracy

by Rajan Philips

Sri Lankans must be turning out to vote within five year spans more than anyone else in the world. But too many elections are not a recipe for enhancing democracy. [TC]

Relevance of the Indian Political  Model of governance to Sri Lanka

By Arjuna Hulugalle

From time to time one hears the call for introducing the Indian Political Model of governance [TC]

Rajapakses Have put in place a new Paradigm Premised on Sinhala Supremacism and Family Bandyism

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The evening began with a lullaby. A lullaby of the ‘heroic saga’ of ‘King Mihindu’ and his ‘Chief General Gotabhaya’, of how they defeated the ‘demons’ threatening the motherland. [TC]

Where and with whom were you and your wife between 3.30PM on Jan 26th and 4.45 PM on Jan 27th?

An open letter to Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake

by Elmore Perera [TC]

'Banging the head against every organization and country would not help Sri Lanka's economy in the long run'

This does not mean that Sri Lanka should compromise its sovereignty for perks. It means that Sri Lanka needs to be civil and diplomatic when dealing with the outside world,” says the March 20th editorial of Daily Mirror.lk. [TC]

March 14, 2010

Mar 14-20:

'Non Aligned Movement's letter defending President Rajapaksa government was not agreed to by NAM member India' [TC]

Australia says Sri Lanka’s 'prospects for lasting reconciliation requires stronger civil society and free media' in the country

Hon Stephen Smith, MP, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has said the importance of “Proper, transparent and compassionate treatment of those citizens of the north and east” while emphasizing that “it will be important for post conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka."

He also added that, “It is for this reason that Australia continues to advocate resettlement of all remaining displaced persons in safe and dignified conditions as soon as possible.” [TC]

President Rajapaksa wants to be remembered as "man who loved his country, his people, and did his best to serve them" [TC]

The Tamil National Alliance must demonstrate its "firebreak" between federalism and separatism

by Dayan Jayatilleka

The sin of the Tamil National Alliance in the post-war period and the current electoral context is that of omission rather than commission. It has failed to qualify and de-limit its use of the concept of ‘self determination’ and thereby signal its full separation from separatism. [TC]

Is there discrimination against Sri Lankan Muslims in the field of cricket?

by Izeth Hussain

The focus of this article is on what looks like discrimination against Sri Lankan Muslims in the field of cricket. [TC]

In Pictures: They came to India in boats. And now?

by Malini Morzaria

"I want to go home," Nisha tells me. She is one of the 100,000 Sri Lankan refugees who fled the 26-year-long civil war and are scattered across India's vast Tamil Nadu state. [TC]

Gen. Sarath Fonseka Calls Charges Against Him 'Bogus'

by Robert Mackey

Four months ago, Gen. Sarath Fonseka was the commander of Sri Lanka’s army, hailed as a national hero by the country’s Sinhalese majority for putting an end to the long, bloody rebellion by Tamil separatists. [TC]

Tamil Representation in the North and East and fearmongering by organizations like the SPUR

By Kath Noble

Having lived through so many years of conflict, you’d have thought everybody in Sri Lanka would be extra careful about suggesting policies Tamils might consider discriminatory. After all, that’s how it started. [TC]

War Crimes,Genocide,Crimes Against Humanity and the principle of Individual Criminal Responsibility

by Nirmala Chandrahasan [TC]

The 2010 General Elections and rise of ethno-nationalist politics in the East

by Jehan Perera

The ethnic divide in the country is not only manifested politically but also socially in the lack of positive integration in which members of the different ethnic communities keep to themselves.[TC]

Set record  straight on list of civil society activists issue -National Peace Council [TC]

They came….. Enjoyed….. Saw….. Made an impact in our hearts

by Lasantha De Abrew

The North- South Dialogue Desk of Lanka Centre for Social Concern co-sponsored the much awaited educational tour of the Arippu school children to Colombo and Kandy [TC]

Secret list reveals Sri Lanka government's media hit list

A leaked list – believed to be compiled by the Sri Lankan intelligence unit – has revealed the names of 35 leading journalists and NGO officers of interest to the country’s secret services [TC]

Journalists close to Gen. Sarath Fonseka threatened with arrest

Reporters Without Borders is very worried by attempts to intimidate at least four journalists linked to jailed opposition leader Sarath Fonseka, who are being threatened with prosecution. [TC]

Will there be any “justice” in this court-martial for my father?

By Apsara Fonseka

To request that anyone with any love for his/her nation try even in a small way to defend the supreme interests of this nation and not the petty interests of a small group. [TC]

Mrs. Gnanie Nalliah: A lady with a passion for teaching

An appreciation by Ms. RanjanaThambirajah (Nee Sabaratnam)

March 21st 2010 marks the first death anniversary of Mrs Gnanie Nalliah who passed away in Vancouver, Canada at the age of 91. The nonagenarian was a well known mathematician in the Jaffna circle and taught at Chundikuli Girls College Jaffna for more than 25 years. [TC]

On ‘The End Justifies the Means’ and other damaging beliefs

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

Having read the comments on my previous article, – ‘Whither the new Sri Lanka proclaimed by the triumphant Head of State?’ – posted by transCurrents on 26 February 2010, the need has arisen to clear the misconceptions and misunderstandings of some Sri Lankans, which reinforce the concern for the future of the island nation [TC]

Hybrid Histories of South India and Sri Lanka

by Rajan Philips

(A modified version of a Review Article originally published in the Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities, University of Peradeniya) [TC]

Exit the "old" western masters: Enter the "new" eastern mandarins

by Dushy Ranetunge in London

An article published last week by Gomin Dayasri commences with the three following paragraphs, which represent a populist view of apologists of the present regime. [TC]

Cardinal John Henry  Newman: His Great Mind was Felt Even in Sri Lanka

By Professor S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Three Sundays ago (February. 21), a kindly retired priest next to me at church gently reminded me that it is Cardinal John Newman Day, in celebration of Newman’s birth in 1801.[TC]

No funds to meet needs of nearly 200,000 Northern IDPs due to govt refusal to endorse 2010 action plan

By Namini Wijedasa

With nearly 200,000 people still displaced in the North — some living in temporary camps while others squat with host families — international agencies are running out of money to meet urgent needs like water supply and resettlement grants, according to a report released last week. [TC]

Time for Sri Lanka to stop search for external enemies and turn the searchlight inwards

by Dayan Jayatilleka

The Sri Lankan discourse on war crimes, violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in general, divide into two camps, both of which demonise the other. [TC]

How student "Mithuro" from Kollupitiya met their counterpart "Mithirar" in Kalmunai

by Capt. Elmo Jayawardena

There are three huge hundred year old ancient nuga trees growing in a sandy patch by the Wesley School in Kalmunai.[TC]

The 17th Amendment to the constitution must be amended to be implemented

by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha

One of the more frequent critiques of the government with regard to what is characterized as Human Rights relates to the 17th Amendment to the Constitution.[TC]

The Rajapaksa regime and the role of Basil the presidential sibling

Basil Rajapaksa Talks to C.R.Chandraprema

"Come Mr Chandraprema" says the usher. I follow him into the smallish modestly furnished office in the presidential secretariat. [TC]

Sarath Fonseka refuses to appear before military tribunal [TC]

True democracy means much more than holding free and fair elections at periodic intervals

by Carlo Fonseka

Socrates (469 – 399 BC) taught that the most important thing for us to learn in life is how to live in harmony with others. To live in harmony with others we have to do things that are helpful to others and avoid doing things that are harmful to them. [TC]

Purported  Arrest and Continued Detention of Sarath Fonseka is entirely Contrary to Law and Justice

By Sarath Nanda Silva

Every living being by nature cherishes liberty, security and freedom of movement. Law evolved as an instrument of regulation of human conduct and recognized from the earliest times that certain rights pertain by nature to all members of the human family. [TC]

CNN: Sri Lanka war survivor: The future holds 'nothing' [TC]

March 06, 2010

March 7-13:

Full Text: General Election 2010 Manifesto, Tamil National Alliance (TNA)

Prior to the arrival of the western powers in the 16th century, there were three kingdoms in the island of Ceylon, one of which in the North belonged to the Tamils. [TC]

Ship-bound Tamil refugees need help

By Joe Fiorito

What happens there happens here: a small wooden boat is sitting at anchor off the coast of Indonesia. It has been there for five months. [TC]

A River for Jaffna

by Thiru Arumugam

In the article on Eppawala phosphate deposit in The Island on Sunday 07 March 2010, the felicitation to Jayantha Dhanapala on his election as President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs for a five year term 2007 – 2012 was mentioned. [TC]

US State dept. Full Report: Sri Lanka Human Righst 2009

AI & HRW jointly appeal Sri Lanka Government: 'End campaign to discredit civil society' [TC]

Video & Pictures: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presents award to Jansila Majeed of Puttalam, Sri Lanka

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented the Women of Courage award to Sri Lanka’s Jansila Majeed at a ceremony held at the US State Department in Washington, Wednesday, March 10. Majeed was among 10 recipients of the 2010 award. [TC]

"Greater the authority, greater then was the accountability"

by S. Skandakumar

Hon Minister,past and present Principals of our revered institution, our eminent guests of honour, the Principal of Ladies College and Warden of St Thomas' College, distinguished fellow Royalists and their equally distinguished spouses, [TC]

We need to stay with the presidential system that has proved so successful

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

Amongst the many sticks used to beat me and the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka now is the claim that we have abandoned our commitment to the abolition of the Executive Presidency.[TC]

Sri Lankan attorney general assures exiled journalists

In a meeting with a CPJ delegation today, Sri Lankan Attorney General Mohan Peiris said he was prepared to offer protection to any of the nation’s journalists who return to the country from exile. [TC]

Sri Lanka asylum seekers in limbo [TC]

"Pathways of dissent": An unabashedly Jaffna-centric volume that ignores Muslims

Sivamohan Sumathy writes as a "dissenting reader"

On May 19th, 2009, with the violent deaths of the top rung of the LTTE leadership, including that of its leader V. Prabakaran, the 30 year old civil war came to an abrupt halt. [TC]

Is Ban_Ki-moon influenced by India on Sri Lanka through his son-in-law Siddharth Chatterjee?

by Upul Joseph Fernando

There is a view that the UN Organization General Secretary Ban Ki Moon appointed a panel of experts to investigate the human rights (HR) violations and the war crimes committed during the Sri Lanka (SL) war was in order to get an extension for his term in office as Gen. Secretary.[TC]

Anti - Sri Lanka triumvirate of western powers, diaspora and NGOs continue war-crimes allegations

By Gomin Dayasri

The spectre of war crimes will haunt Sri Lanka until the triumvirate consisting of the Diaspora, anti-Sri Lanka NGO’s and the Western Powers abandon their relentless struggle to punish Sri Lanka for defeating terrorism which still continues to torment those countries which did not desire the LTTE to be vanquished. [TC]

Southern hawks think a Sinhala solution can be imposed on the Tamils

by Dayan Jayatileka [TC]

To shelterless Wanni civilians god will appear in the form of a house

by S. Sivathasan

Among the war devastated to be rehabilitated, the displaced of Wanni are a category apart. Battered by cruel fate, they evoke our sympathy and call for proactive support. [TC]

Rapid increase of southern tourists to Jaffna has positive and negative impact

by Jehan Perera

The opening of the road to Jaffna was one of the dividends of the Presidential Election. It illustrated the benefits that could accrue to the people due to the competitive bidding for votes by rival political parties [TC]

Big-Talking Beggar Bogollagama is the Shame of Sri Lanka

by Malcolm Ferdinands

UN is pointing the accusing finger at Sri Lanka with NGOs trying to suck the blood out of Sri Lanka . But, the outgoing foreign minister of Sri Lanka Bogollagama who everything is foreign is only committed to bring shame on Sri Lanka with his personal needs and deeds. [TC-

Minister Bogollagama seeking UN job for son queried at Sec. Gen Ban's press briefing

USTPAC highlights the plight of Tamil Women in North-East Sri Lanka on International Women’s Day [TC]

India intends to open Consulate in Jaffna [Hindu]

“Service and Sacrifice”: Celebrating the centenary of International Women’s Day with Louisa Arulamma Thambyrajah

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

“Each person must live their life as a model for others”~ Rosa Louise McCauley Parks-February 4, 1913-October 24, 2005, African American Civil rights activist

“I am the first person in our family who lived this long, and I very much want to go back to my lovely village Tharmapuram, celebrate my centenary birthday and live there happily and die peacefully. It is my dream” mentions Louisa Arulamma Thambyrajah in her pleasant voice. [HA]

Nirupama Rao in Colombo

by Rajan Philips

Within ten days of stick-handling India’s first formal diplomatic talks Pakistan since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka, reportedly on the invitation of the Sri Lankan government. [TC]

Economic Freedom: The Path to Economic and Political Emancipation of the Conflict-Affected Region in Sri Lanka

by Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

Sri Lanka is, slowly but surely, emerging out of a vicious civil war that has lasted over twenty-five years (July 1983 – May 2009); armed conflict since 1972; and the conflict per se ever since independence in 1948. [TC]

"Why are they harassing us"? Emotional query of the General's daughter

By Aparna Fonseka

It’s been a while since I’ve written and I have thought of writing for a while but because of all the surprising things that my life brings everyday, I had no clue where to start and what to write about [TC]

Dismal state of Dehiwela "Animal holding facility"

by Hasini Pannila

A zoo is a place of relaxation and most importantly education. It is a place where children should be taken, to learn about how diverse and complex their planet earth really is. [TC]

“New” Information Given by Lasantha’s Brother for Further Investigation

By Lal Wickrematunge

It was mid February 2009 and barely over a month since Lasantha was killed. A small-made, dishevelled man turns up in office and says he wishes to speak with me. [TC]

Was Sarath Fonseka Involved in  Murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge? [TC]

No party should be given a two-thirds majority in parliament

By Dr. A.C. Visvalingam

In recent days, some contributors to the Press have examined the goal set by the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) to get at least 151 of its candidates elected/appointed to Parliament at the impending polls. These commentators have made various insightful observations. [TC]

Why is Govt Extending emergency when there is no emergency situation in Country?

by Namini Wijedasa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has summoned parliament on Tuesday - a month after its dissolution - to allow for the extension of the state of emergency. [TC]

NGOs  Fear Witch Hunt against them by Rajapaksa Regime

by Namini Wijedasa

The government of Mahinda Rajapaksa has from the beginning of his term as president conducted a love-hate relationship with local and international NGOs. [TC]

Mp3 Audio ~ Sri Lanka: “Actions of not a good partner in the international community”

Susan Glasser, Executive editor of Foreign Policy remarks on Sri Lanka - the horrific end to decades of insurgency, the muted response by both United States and the international community on the plight of civilains and the recent arrest of Presidential contender General Sarath Fonseka along with many of his supporters: [TC]

What is the regime after? - The steam rolling of all dissent and criticism?

by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

The 24th of February marked the first month anniversary of the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda, the Lanka E-News journalist. Two special Police teams are said to be on the case. They have however, not come up with any information as to Ekneligoda’s whereabouts. [TC]

Dismal state of Dehiwela "Animal holding facility"

by Hasini Pannila

A zoo is a place of relaxation and most importantly education. It is a place where children should be taken, to learn about how diverse and complex their planet earth really is. [TC]