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May 28, 2010

May 30 - Jun 5:

New York Times profile of M.I.A: “swings between flat-out wrong and incomplete.”

By V.V. Ganeshananthan

This week’s New York Times Magazine left lots of readers thinking that controversial recording artist M.I.A. doesn’t always know what she’s talking about when it comes to politics. That happens to be true. What fewer people realize: neither does profile writer Lynn Hirschberg [TC]

Sri Lanka looks forward to constructive engagement with the United Nations

by Mohan Pieris

My delegation notes the High Commissioner’s interest on Sri Lanka as contained in her statement. Having seized the opportunity for peace and reconciliation with the end of the terrorist conflict, we in Sri Lanka have now begun to reap its dividends through the meaningful implementation of the necessary measures to ensure they are enjoyed by every citizen of the country. [TC]

World Classical Tamil Conference – a perspective

by Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi - Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

Our sagacious leader, Arignar Anna [C.N. Annadurai], conducted the Second World Tamil Conference in Chennai in 1968, during his tenure as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, on a very grand scale with the participation of lakhs of Tamils from all over the country and abroad. [TC]

WSWS reporters visit the devastated Sri Lankan town of Kilinochchi

One year after the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Sri Lankan government claims that life is returning to normal in the war-ravaged Vanni region. [TC]

Establishing an energy hub in Trincomalee

By Dr. Janaka Ratnasiri

Since winning the war, according to media reports, persons in both the public and private sectors have been talking about converting Sri Lanka into various hubs in such sectors as business, aviation, shipping, energy etc. [TC]

Reflections on the endgame of the Govt-LTTE conflict: Jan-May 2010

By Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe.

A year ago in May, the Sri Lankan government officially declared victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in one of the most extraordinary counter-insurgency campaigns in recent times. [TC]

Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, where war has never ended

by Melani Manel Perera

The area is still actually in the hands of the military, which allowed the return of the population but force them to live in absolute poverty. The military blocks any attempts to improve their lives, but does not stop abuse and violence [TC]

Renvisioning Sri Lanka: a valediction forbidding absolutism

By Anupama Ranawana

My title betrays my training in a British A level system that pounded John Donne and his metaphysical colleagues into the minds of those of us who were brave enough to chart the stormy seas of Literature and Classics. [TC]

The way forward for UNP is the middle path between militarism of Wijetunga and minoritarianism of Wickremasinghe

By Dayan Jayatilleka

What is the ‘main contradiction’ in Sri Lanka today? It is that between the very broad national base of support and sacrifice for the war and the resultant peace on the one hand, and the increasingly narrow character of the beneficiaries of the dividends of that popular peace, on the other. [TC]

Interviews with Mr. Robert Templer of ICG and Dr. A.R.M. Imtiyaz, Temple University [TC]

What is the  Agenda of India on Sri Lanka Now?

by Kuldip Nayar

I wish I knew what India’s policy on Sri Lanka is. It now favours reconciliation between the Tamil minority and the Sinhalese majority. Not long ago, it stood for devolving power to provinces in a federal structure [TC]

The torch carrying young ambassadors of the TGTE

By Shan Sundaram

From May 17th to 19th, 2010, Tamil elected representatives from UK, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, France and Denmark Norway and Sweden came to Philadelphia, the historical land mark of USA for its independent in 1776-for the first assembly of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) with an illuminating message to the world that the democratic and political phase of Tamil people is well and alive. [TC]

The latest Commission of Inquiry in Sri Lanka - Another exercise in deception

by M.C.M. Iqbal

Louise Arbour of the International Crisis Group is reported to have said during an interview in the BBC that the government violated the laws of war by blurring the line between combatants and civilians, and that its killings of civilians were not accidents. [TC]

Independent International accountability mechanism must be established for Sri Lanka

Opening Statement by Ms. Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Council 14th Session: [TC]

Video & Text: Journalism has the power to be a force for good - Christiane Amanpour at Harvard Commencement

“Where would we be without a press that’s uncovered injustice, corruption, inhumanity—or a press that’s on the cutting edge of reform, civil rights, desegregation and of all the smaller but vital issues that affect us every single day?” declared Journalist Christiane Amanpour, in her Commencement Address to Harvard Class of 2010 on May 27th 2010. [TC]

Mahinda Rajapakse is a Sinhalese Extremist Says Lee Kwan Yew

by A Special Correspondent

In a new book entitled ‘Citizen Singapore: How To Build A Nation - Conversations with Lee Kwan Yew’ by Prof Tom Plate, published by Marshall Cavendish, a subsidiary of Times Publishing Ltd, Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew has expressed his opinion on Sri Lanka after the war. [TC]

From Mannar to Beruwela: The dangers of offshore drilling for oil

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

The unprecedented – but perhaps not unpredictable – floods in Colombo and Gamapaha districts demonstrated both the danger and the unsustainability of the ‘Build Baby, Build’ approach to development.[TC]

When we abandon justice to secure peace we get neither

by Kofi A. Annan

The establishment of the International Criminal Court followed the gravest of crimes committed in Rwanda and the former Republic of Yugoslavia.[TC]

India is indebted to Sri Lanka for destroying the LTTE and not the other way about

by S.L. Gunasekara

It is wholly unthinkable for a Head of State of a sovereign state to take any draft of proposals [whether the first or the last] for constitutional reform to a prime minister of a foreign country for his approval! [TC]

Dutugemunu doctrine: Devolution and autonomy not demographic incursion

by Dayan Jayatilleka

Interestingly of the four pieces I have read on the first anniversary of the war, three are by Indian analyst/commentators, of whom two are military professionals: [TC]

The Drivers and Scenarios in Post-War Sri Lanka

by Prof.Sumanasiri Liyanage

My focus in this essay is not what happened in the past but what can be envisioned for the near future particularly with regard to the national question in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Louise Arbour on the responses thus far to ICG report on Sri Lanka [TC]

Managing water, preventing floods

by Rajan Philips

Pre-monsoon rains in May wreaked havoc in as many as five Provinces. The Western Province was the worst, with all three Districts, Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara recording significantly high rainfall over long durations. [TC]

Sinhala symbols, war, peace and ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka

by Dr. A. R. M. Imtiyaz

On May 17, 2009 the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the major Tamil resistance movement, admitted defeat in the war that was waged without any witnesses and vowed to silence guns against the Sinhala-Buddhist state. [TC]

Mervyn and his merry men paint Nuwara-Eliya red during Wesak

by Lanka Sherlock

The notorious Sri Lankan deputy minister of Highways was seen having Sunday lunch with his entourage at a private club in Nuwara Eliya, which is located near the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club. Mervin sporting Sun glasses was seen in the dining room of the prestigious club with his wife, having been invited by Dil, a club member. [TC]

Peace: the gargantuan challenge

By Kalana Senaratne

The war which came to a conclusion on or around 19 May 2009 was a necessary one, for terrorism had to be defeated. It was evident that the LTTE did not know any other way of resolving disputes. Negotiations had failed.[TC]

The politics of transnational Tamil Eelam Government

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

A significant event in Tamil transnational politics occurred a fortnight ago in historic Philadelphia city in the US state of Pennsylvania. About 70 -75 persons gathered on Monday May 17th for a three-day conclave. The venue was the National Convention Center situated on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall at 525 Arch Street. [dbsj]

After defeat I wanted to quit but the party wanted me to stay – Ranil

An Incisive Interview with Ranil Wickremasinghe

By C.A.Chandrprema [TC]

Rediscovering the youth link in Sri Lanka’s post-war reconciliation process

by Sri Lanka Unites

A young boy from a border village in Polonnaruwa had fiercely sworn to hate the Tamil race. Living on the borderlines of the conflict, he lost his mother and father to a brutal LTTE attack in the height of the war. [TC]

US State Dept Video & Transcript: Secretary Clinton Meets With Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris

Source: US State Department [TC]

'Trust' is the only process we now depend on after defeating 'terrorism'- President Rajapaksa

Following is the full text of interview by Al Jazeera with President Mahinda Rajapaksa aired on 27 May. [TC]

HRW: Letter to Secretary Clinton on the Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) [TC]

May 22, 2010

May 23-29:

No move yet towards genuine reconciliation and lasting peace

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

A year has passed since the Sri Lanka military eliminated the LTTE (18 May 2009) in the Eelam war IV that was started confidently by the Tamil Tigers. [TC]

GL Cancels Washington Press Club address abruptly

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Lankan External affairs minister Prof.GL Peiris scheduled to address the National press club in Washington [TC]

Tamil American Peace Initiative Responds to SL Foreign Minister’s US Visit [TC]

Children building bridges of friendship across the ethnic divide

By Anne Abayasekara

“Many little people in many little places do many little things that can change the world”, wrote Capt. Elmo Jayawardana in a recent newspaper article entitled, “Peace Begins With Me”. [TC]

UNHRC’s paralysis over Sri Lanka testament to IC’s failure to act when needed - Amnesty Int'l [TC]

Pro-LTTE diaspora pursue Eelam agenda without any thought about Tamils living in Sri Lanka

By Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

It is one year since the LTTE was militarily defeated at Nanthikadal, 300,000 victims of this war ended up as 'Internally Displaced Persons' in camps and several thousands, both combatants and non-combatants, died. [TC]

Ganeshwary Santhanam, “I’m blessed to be alive”

Reported by IRIN News

BATTICALOA, Ganeshwary Santhanam, 31, is one of thousands of women who joined the now defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which fought for an independent Tamil homeland for more than 25 years. [TC]

Militant rebel voice Maya 'MIA' Arulpragasam: Fusion of style, music and controversy

by Lynn Hirschberg

On the Grammy Awards in 2009, Maya Arulpragasam, also known as M.I.A., performed her biggest hit, “Paper Planes,” a rap song that infuses rebellious, defiant lyrics with the sounds of her native Sri Lanka, a riff lifted from the Clash, the bang-bang of a gun and the ka-ching of a cash register. [TC]

Talk Economics SL: "10 yrs since the Indo-SL Free Trade Agreement" [TC]

Siri Kotha is the last Nandhikkadal: war will be "over" only after the UNP is liberated

by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

One year after the victory, the last battles of the war remain to be fought and won. One is the diplomatic and opinion battle against those who seek to persecute Sri Lanka for its ‘unauthorised’ victory.[TC]

Any solution has to be withing the framework of a unitary state - G.L. Peiris [TC]

Aspiring to bring Tamil population, including Tamil expatriates as an integral part of a united Sri Lankan people, Minister G.L. Peiris says

"'Change' and 'hope' are popular words in the modern political lexicon, but I cannot think of two words that better exemplify what is now occurring in our country,” External Affairs Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris wrote on a Huffington Post blog post to mark his first visit after 'defeating terrorism' and as Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs to Washington DC today. [TC]

'The sooner Canadian Tamils accept reality about "Independent homeland" is the better for Sri Lanka and Canada'

Quoting the International Crisis Report on the Tamil Diaspora to say that the “Dream of many Canadian Tamils for a truly independent homeland is dead,” The Globe And Mail in an editorial on Tuesday May 25th writes that "The sooner they accept this reality, the better for Sri Lanka, and for Canada." [TC]

Is the U.N. complicit in Sri Lankan war crimes? - Louise Arbour

Louise Arbour, the head of the International Crisis Group, called for an internal review of the U.N.'s conduct during Sri Lanka's bloody 2009 civil war, telling Turtle Bay that the organization's abandonment of national staff in a conflict zone and its failure to speak up more forcefully about abuses made it "close to complicit" in government atrocities. [TC]

Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) is a little too late

By Col. R. Hariharan

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed the much awaited ‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’ (LLRC). The Island newspaper in its editorial ‘Some V-day thoughts’ voiced the pertinent question, “Why should we expend our time and energy to reinvent the wheel?” [TC]

TVO ~ The Interview: Jayantha Dhanapala: The Future of Nuclear Weapons [TC]

Distress at a Distance

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

“Tender Sprout” was located in the coastal area of Mullaitivu, North East of Sri Lanka. [WP]

2010 British Elections: The changing face of Shakespeare’s England

By Rajan Philips

Shakespeare’s England is no longer uninfected, nor is it the envy of less happier lands. But it could still be the envy of less democratic lands. The five days it took for a new government to emerge from the hung parliament elected by a not so happy breed of voters, is not a sign of democratic shortcoming or political instability. [TC]

President approves TNA visit to Menik Farm IDP camp but Defence Secretary disallows It

12 Members of Parliament of the Tamil National Alliance undertook a trip to the Vanni to visit the several camps in which civilians were being kept, to visit the detention camps in which the young Tamil people were detained and also visit the several areas in the Vanni where resettlement and rehabilitation are said to have commenced. [TC]

Duvaliers of Haiti and Rajapakses of Sri Lanka: "Baby Doc" Namal may scceed "Papa Doc" Mahinda

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Rajapakse approach to constitution making is symbiotic of Rajapakse governance; piecemeal changes, one amendment at a time, until any and all factors impeding the Dynastic project are removed. [TC]

The Tamil population of this country must truly feel that they are part of this country

by Naveen Dissanayake

I have been asked by the editor of this esteemed newspaper to pen some thoughts on the current political developments and trends in our country. [TC]

Tamil population of North and East is far pragmatic than TNA leadership

by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Lanka stands indicted for waging that unavoidable and the necessary war of self defence; a war we did not start. [TC]

Mahinda who pledged to abolish Executive Presidency in 2005 now wants to remove limits on presidential terms in office

By Namini Wijedasa

When the UPFA campaigned for a two-thirds majority in parliament to change the constitution, it was widely anticipated that any amendments the party proposed would serve to strengthen democracy [TC]

"Sports for Peace"Project Brings Differently-Abled Children FRom Vavuniya to Matara

by Natasha Fernandopulle

It is a warm Friday morning, April 30 when we reach the Rohana Special School in Matara just in time for their Avurudu festival. [TC]

Listen to what Tamils themselves have to say about their life and experience

A Reply to a Sinhalese friend

by Charles Sarvan

You write to say that Sri Lanka is now free of danger, the Tamils are at peace and contented, and I should come on holiday.[TC]

Requirements for reconciliation to face future challenges

Full text of media release by National Peace Council

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed an eight member Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to report in six months on the lessons to be learnt from the events in the period, Feb 2002 to May 2009, their attendant concerns and to recommend measures to ensure that there will be no recurrence of such a situation. [TC]

May 16, 2010

May 16-22:

Allegations in ICG report ‘unsubstantiated;’ world should butt out, Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Canada says

by Anthony Reinhart

Sri Lanka’s top diplomat in Canada has dismissed claims her government committed war crimes as it crushed the Tamil Tigers’ separatist insurgency last year, and says the world has no business investigating such “unsubstantiated” allegations in a sovereign country. [TC]

‘It is a false assumption that you can defend Sri Lanka's government by attacking the governments and citizens of other countries’ [TC]

TNGTE: The Inaugural sessions of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam [TC]

HRW releases new photo evidence in urging for wartime abuse investigation

New evidence of wartime abuses by Sri Lankan government forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the armed conflict that ended one year ago demonstrates the need for an independent international investigation into violations of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

HRW: Q & A on Accountability for Violations of International Humanitarian Law in Sri Lanka

by Human Rights Watch

Even prior to the end of Sri Lanka's armed conflict in May 2009, Human Rights Watch has called upon the United Nations to establish an independent international investigation into violations of international humanitarian law by both Sri Lankan government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. [TC]

Impractical proposals suggested in the International Crisis Group Report on Sri Lanka

By C. A. Chandraprema

An international NGO known as the ‘International Crisis Group’ (ICG) put out a report on war crimes in Sri Lanka last Monday as Sri Lanka geared to commemorate the first anniversary of the ending of the three decade long civil war.[TC]

People of Jaffna send flood relief aid to affected people of Gampaha

By Franklin R Satyapalan

Several lorry loads of food and other essential items for flood relief collected by the people of North Sri Lanka arrived in Gampaha yesterday.[TC]

How Sri Lanka Won the Fourth  Tamil Eelam War

by Ashok Mehta

Four watershed events spurred the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka – the Sinhala- Only act of 1956, the republican Constitution of 1972, the Parliamentary elections of 1977 and the 1983 ethnic riots.[TC]

Canaganayagam Sankarakumaran:  A Birthday Tribute

by Tissa Jayatilaka

I have known Mr. Sankarakumaran (Sanka) for several years now. Through him I came to know his sage eldest brother C. Shanmuganayagam (Shan) and his cousin, the late Sivasubramaniam Kathiravelupillai, the Federal Party/TULF Member of Parliament for Kopay (1965 – 1981) [TC]

The minorities need a system where they feel they are in charge of their future

An Interview with Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole

By Udara Soyasa

President Mahinda Rajapakse appointed Dr. Ratnajeevan Hoole as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna in March 2006. However, due to pressures exerted by the pro-LTTE paramilitary group, ‘People’s Uprising Force,’ Dr. Hoole was forced to take special leave and leave the country. Currently, he is a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he teaches engineering and computer science at graduate level. He is widely respected among moderates as a critic of both Sinhalese and Tamil extremism.

Did you concur Mr Defence Secretary with the decision to bulldoze LTTE cemeteries?

An open letter to the Defence Secretary from an ordinary citizen

by Anne Abayasekara

It is with dismay that I read the news report on the front page of The Island of Thursday, May 6th, titled’ ‘TRAITORS SHOULD BE GIVEN CAPITAL PUNISHMENT’, with an inset that ‘Defence Secretary Rajapaksa says the LTTE rump is exploring every avenue to avenge Prabhakaran’s killing on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon last May’.[TC]

US has jurisdiction to probe US citizen Gotabhaya and Green Card holder Fonseka over war crime charges

by Jyoti Thottam and Amantha Perera

The International Crisis Group, an international human rights group based in Brussels, released an alarming report on Tuesday, timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka's civil war. [TC]

Why did it take so long to finish off Prabhakaran?

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

‘It’s fine. It is not "terrible" at all. It is anything but "terrible." ’- Mao Ze Dong (1927)

The hot war on Lankan soil is over; the Cold War against Sri Lanka continues. The International Crisis Group (ICG) report calling for an international investigation into so-called ‘atrocities’ committed in the main by Sri Lankan armed forces in the last phase of the conflict by allegedly killing tens of thousands of civilians through shelling and bombing, is an onslaught in that Cold war. It is also an escalation of the worldwide ‘battle of interpretations’ on the war we won a year ago [TC]

Empowered by Arbour report, Tamils demonstrate at Ontario legislature

by Anthony Reinhart

Tamils returned by the hundreds to the heart of Canada’s largest city in a stark echo of demonstrations a year earlier, when Sri Lanka’s war with the separatist Tamil Tigers ground to a brutal conclusion. [TC]

Can there be unity without reconciliation or reconciliation without accountability in Sri Lanka ?

By Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

A year to the day, after the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lanka faces profound ongoing challenges in terms of establishing lasting peace, reconciliation and unity. [TC]

The challenge of reconciling Sinhala-Tamil interests and not positions

BY Charles Sarvan

“People tend to see what they want to see. Out of a mass of detailed information, they tend to pick out and focus on those facts that confirm their prior perceptions and to disregard or misinterpret those that call their perceptions into question. [TC]

After Terrorism: Demilitarize Development for Sustainable Peace in Sri Lanka

by Dr. Darini Rajasingham Senanayake

Few imagined that the thirty-year war that bloodied the erstwhile paradise isle of Sri Lanka would come to such an abrupt and tumultuous end on May 19, 2009, amidst Tamil disapora protests in major world capitals. [TC]

Sri Lanka as tourist destination is a rough diamond that could dazzle through skillful cutting

by S. Sivathasan

A billion leisure travellers girdling the globe and flushing national economies with a trillion dollars is what world tourism is about. This translates to 2.7 million tourist arrivals and an expenditure level of $3 billion each day in the host countries.

President appoints Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission [TC]

‘Government’s security forces were engaged in a humanitarian operation’-Sri Lankan HC-UK tells Channel 4 News [TC]

Heavy monsoon rains cause widespread flooding, death, displacement and event cancellation [TC]

If SL govt is not punished through international action other countries may follow Lankan "force works" model

by Simon Tisdall

A year after Sri Lanka's Sinhalese nationalist leadership finished off the Tamil Tigers in a bloody showdown that killed unknown thousands of civilians, calls have been renewed for an independent, UN-led international inquiry into allegations that war crimes were committed during the conflict. [TC]

From shooting war against rebels to war of attrition against Tamil Society at large

by Soma Ilangovan

Last May, Sri Lankan soldiers captured the final piece of land held by the separatist Tamil Tigers, killing hundreds of rebel fighters, including the group's leader, and definitively ending a 26-year civil war that claimed as many as 100,000 lives. [TC]

Constitution does not permit Attorney-General dept. to operate outside a Ministry

by Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama

The President’s decision to appoint a Minister of Justice, and not assign the Department of the Attorney General to the Ministry of Justice is an extremely curious one. [TC]

War Crimes in Sri Lanka-Executive Summary and recommendations by ICG [TC]

The Vanni was not surrendered but defended till it was no longer possible to defend

by Jan Jananayagam

We are here to pay our respects to the people of the Vanni and to seek justice for them.

We stand here in Washington DC in the very heart of a nation built on a promise, on the promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. [TC]

In Pictures: Tamil Americans and friends honor war dead in candlelight vigil

Tamil Americans and friends gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington DC - on May 15th, 2010 to commemorate the 40,000 civilians killed last spring as the war ended in Sri Lanka. [TC]

To all Tamils who died in this raging violence - Know this! We will never forget you!!

by Dr. Ellyn Shander

I want to thank the organizers of this event who invited me to speak. And say thank you to each of you who traveled long distances to pay your respects, to remember the innocent people who were killed in this terrible chapter of Tamil history. [TC]

War victory celebration ecstasy and war crime investigation agony

by Namini Wijedasa

Intense pressure from lobby groups is stymieing the government’s best efforts to stave off an international war crimes probe by proposing a local commission. [TC]

"I was convinced that the military option was the only way to eliminate the LTTE"

by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

In a sense, I could say that it all began on November 18, 2005 around seven o'clock in the morning. Those were tense moments and we were monitoring the results of Sri Lanka's closest presidential election at Temple Trees. [TC]

Residents protest against demolition of homes

by WSWS correspondents

About 200 people held a protest at Slave Island in central Colombo yesterday, opposing the demolition of their houses by the military. Twenty houses where 45 families—mostly Muslim—lived were bulldozed last Friday on the orders of the Defence Ministry. [TC]

How the Chinese dragon is gobbling up the Sri Lankan lion

by Policy Research Group

China is recreating its Africa story in Sri Lanka. Little China enclaves are sprouting up in the Buddhist majority island nation in the Indian Ocean as President Mahinda Rajapaksa has spread the red carpet all the way from Colombo to Jaffna. [TC]

Political solution: People are ready now but are politicians?

by Dayan Jayatilleka

The Sri Lankan intelligentsia, ‘patriotic’ and ‘cosmopolitan’ seems to have overlooked one of the most important studies to have entered the public domain in recent times. [TC]

Ranil is the problem: Therefore he cannot be part of the solution

by Dayan Jayatilleka

By defeating a world class enemy, reunifying a long-sundered national territorial space and reasserting national sovereignty, Mahinda Rajapkse has proved himself a great leader [TC]

Colombo streets flooded as drainage systems fail again

by Kanishka Ratnapriya

These pictures were taken between 10.00am and 11.30am on the 14th of May 2010 after Colombo experienced rains for about 2 hours.They illustrate the continued failure of the CMC to deal with drainage and flooding issues for the last 20 - 30 years. [TC]

Tweet digest of Colombo torrential downpour, May 14, 2010 [TC]

The Internet and Mobility in the Reconstruction of the Past: A Study through a Reassessment of Navalar and Caste Claims

by S.Ratnajeevan H. Hoole and Mariyahl Mahilmany Hoole

The theme of the conference is how the movement of people across time and space has established and destabilized notions of culture and identity. [TC]

May 08, 2010

May 9 - 15:

A Response to International Crisis Group report, “The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE” [TC]

Human rights friendly change of face and heart by Rajapakse regime

by Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

The first anniversary of the end of the war approaches and we are into a celebratory heroes’ week. [TC]

Four key principles of devolution in provincial administration

by Austin Fernando

BBC reported that India has called for effective devolution in Sri Lanka. This has been recently orchestrated at an academic experts’ dialogue held in Delhi. This is a repeated Indian demand. [TC]

May 19th commemoration must not be celebrated as victory of the Sinhala Buddhists over Tamil people

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Opinion in and on Sri Lanka today is divisible into eight strands, streams or categories:[TC]

Delhi grants visa to Pirabhakaran’s mother but she arrived in Colombo

By Chackravarthy

From the time Prabhakaran's mother Parvathi Ammal was turned back in Chennai, the media carried conflicting and confusing report.[TC]

Sri Lanka and Britain: A Tale of Two Elections

By Kath Noble

For lovers of politics like me, the last month or so has been pretty exciting [TC]

My Govt is Mindful of the Need to Heal the Wounds Caused to National Amity

By Mahinda Rajapaksa

Some of you have served a long period in Sri Lanka. When I met you earlier, the terrorists were in control of fifteen thousand sq km of the land extent and two-thirds of the coastal belt of our country. [TC]

Pro-LTTE politicos stand fully exposed as Mrs.Velupillai is 'advised' to return to Sri Lanka

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's mother Parvathy Velupillai will return to Sri lanka from Malaysia instead of going to India as expected [TC]

This govt. does the wrong things at the wrong time before doing the right thing

by Namini Wijedasa

This government has an exceptional talent for doing the wrong things at the wrong time, unnecessarily getting the whole world to notice, then running around in circles trying to untangle their knickers before eventually doing the right thing. [TC]

Govt must not produce unilaterally oriented constitution

by Dr A.C.Visvalingam

Self-evidently, all the citizens of a country cannot run its government jointly. For practical reasons, the People retain only their fundamental rights and the right to vote but delegate their legislative powers to Parliament and their executive powers to the President.[TC]

Feeling of Deterioration in Jaffna Must Be Reversed Without Delay

Full Text of National Peace Council Media Release, May 10, 2010:

The state media has been giving wide publicity that the crime rate in the Jaffna peninsula is relatively low and an economic boom is taking place due to the government’s “Northern Spring” development programme.[TC]

Rajapakses cannot ditch Sinhala supremacism anymore than Sinhala supremacists can ditch the Rajapakses

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

During his Thimpu powwow with the Indian Premier, President Mahinda Rajapakse promised to appoint an experts panel to study the underlying reasons for the Eelam War. [TC]

The Evolution of Tamil Studies

by Rajan Philips

The fifth annual Tamil Studies Conference gets underway this week in Toronto, Canada. Organized under the auspices of the University of Toronto and the University of Windsor, the three day conference from May 13-15, 2010, is focused on the theme of Constructing Tamil Worlds: Circulation, Marginality and Plurality. [TC]

Initial Stages of Political Dialogue Between Some  Govt Ministers  and TNA have Commenced

An Interview with TNA leader R.Sambandan [TC]

Attorney-General and Legal Draftsman depts directly under President now

by Namini Wijedasa

A gazette notification was issued on April 20 assigning subjects and functions to the new ministers. It also set out the departments, public corporations and statutory institutions falling under the purview the different ministries. [TC]

Attitudes must change for true reconciliation to take place

by M.A. Sumanthiran

Honourable Deputy Chairman of Committees, I wish to first thank you for affording me the opportunity to participate and to make my first speech at the very first debate that is being taken up at this 7th Parliament. [TC]

Sovereignty of the People and War Crimes: A Final Response

By Kalana Senaratne

Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama, in another detailed and important contribution titled ‘The inalienable sovereignty of the people’ (The Sunday Island, 2 May, 2010) refers to “two pertinent question” which I had raised in my article dated 25 April, 2010 (published first on Transcurrents) [TC]

British newspapers comment on hung parliament [TC]

From ‘Post-war’ to Political Solution and Development in Sri Lanka

by N Shanmugaratnam

‘Winning the peace’ is the catchphrase of peace activists in all post-war situations. ‘Post-war’ does not necessarily mean peace in the positive sense of the term, particularly where a civil war was terminated by military means. [TC]

A year after the war, some northerners are still awaiting a peace dividend

from THE ECONOMIST print editon

TRAMPLING weeds underfoot, a group of people bound excitedly into an abandoned cemetery for Tamil Tiger rebels, hack bricks off the once pristine tombs and throw them into a waiting van. [TC]

UN should not let Sri Lanka bully and manipulate into abandoning justice for Sri Lanka's war victims-HRW

The Sri Lankan government's suggestion that a newly announced commission will provide accountability for laws-of-war violations during the armed conflict with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is yet another attempt to deflect an independent international investigation, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

May 01, 2010

May 2-8:

A Sri Lankan can be a Tamil, Hindu and loyal citizen at the same time

by Prof.V Suryanarayan

The Sinhalese and the Tamils celebrated the New Year on April 14. They assembled in their ancestral homes, made offerings to their gods and fervently hoped that the New Year would herald a new dawn of peace and amity in their country. [TC]

'Expose and punish war criminals' - Fonseka [TC]

Prapaharan Thambithurai charged under Canada's anti-terrorism financing law expected to plead guilty next week. [TC]

A Both Brussels and Colombo Groping for a face-saving compromise on GSP+ Issue

By B.Skanthakumar

The European Union’s decision, in February, to withdraw Sri Lanka’s preferential trading access to its market came as little surprise.[TC]

Sri Lanka must respect memory of war and feelings of Tamil

By Malathi de Alwis

It was heartening to hear President Mahinda Rajapakse identifying reconciliation and development as the priorities of his new government. [TC]

Moves to boost livelihoods in former combat-zone [TC]

UNICEF Video: Education revitalizes displaced communities in Sri Lanka [TC]

Karunanithi recommends visa for Pirabhakaran’s Mother

By Chackravarthy

In response to what Tamilnadu Chief Minister Karunanithi said in the Legislature that his government was prepared to recommend to Delhi if Pirabhakaran’s mother Parvathy Ammal was still interested to come to Chennai for medical purpose, she sent him the following letter in Tamil with her finger print, through Damai Service Hospital in Kuala Lumpur to Mr. Agni Subramaniam, Director of “Manitham”, a NGO organization in Chennai, on the 30th April.[TC]

Five Proposals for Constitutional Reform

By Sumanasiri Liyanage

At the parliamentary election held last month, the United Peoples’ Freedom Front (UPFA) requested that it be given 150 seats in the new Parliament so that it could initiate necessary constitutional changes. [TC]

Human Rights, People’s Sovereignty & National Sovereignty - The South Asian Way

by Dayan Jayatilleka

The concept of human rights is damaged, discredited and rendered less effective by those who deploy it as part of a discourse that urges surrender of national sovereignty and is nihilistic towards the nation.[TC]

UN Failed to Intervene Politically and Diplomatically in Sri Lanka to Protect Tamil Civilians

By Chris Patten

Since world war two, changes of government in Britain have not led to significant shifts in foreign policy.[TC]

UNICEF Video: Education revitalizes displaced communities in Sri Lanka

By Rob McBride

BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka 4 May 2010 – In a remote part of eastern Sri Lanka, the rhythmic chant of children’s lessons reverberate through one of the region’s newly re-established schools. Students here are learning the basics of reading and writing after having had their education interrupted by armed conflict. [TC]

Tamil problem still needs resolution on the basis of Pluralism and Power Sharing

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Sri Lanka’s leader Mahinda Rajapakse has scored a triple triumph - or in the parlance of that cricketing country, a ‘hat-trick’.[TC]

J. S Tissainayagam, first Journalist convicted under Sri Lanka's prevention of terrorism act to be given Presidential pardon

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

JS Tissainayagam the first Journalist in Sri Lanka convicted under the prevention of terrorism act is to given a Presidential pardon soon [TC]

Amnesty International: Demanding justice for survivors one year after the end of the conflict [TC]

Protection of the basic rights of individual human beings irrespective of nationality

by Dr.Nihal Jayawickrama

The elaborate regime of international human rights law that now exists seeks to protect the individual against the acts or omissions of his or her own government. [TC]

Summit diplomacy in Thimpu over constitutional changes in Sri Lanka

by Rajan Philips

What a difference 25 years have made between the Thimpu of 1985 and the Thimpu of 2010. In 1985, the Thimpu discussions between the Sri Lankan government and half a dozen or so Tamil political groups sponsored by the Indian government ended in acrimonious grandstanding and dramatic manifestations of Indian Foreign Secretary Romesh Bhandari’s impatience with Tamil political individuals and organizations. [TC]

Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam is an experiment in democracy - Dr. Cheran

By Anthony Reinhart

With his flyers, TV ads, Facebook page and YouTube video, Sam Sangarasivam has everything he needs for his political campaign, with one key exception: a country to represent [TC]

“Mama” the word so many soldiers on all sides uttered before they died

by Phan Thanh Hao

AT noon on April 30, 1975, when news that the liberation forces had captured Saigon spread to the North, we thought: [TC]

Muslims and Tamils deal with the past [TC]

Will Rajapaksa brothers interprete dual mandates as approval by electorate to do as they want and please ?

by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

With a 1.8 million majority in the Presidential Election and a near two–thirds majority in the general, Mahinda Rajapaksa is at the zenith of his powers, even if the former is contested and the latter based on a historically low turn out. [TC]

Leadership battle in UNP becomes media spectacle

by C.A.Chandraprema

The leadership battle in the UNP is taking a more serious form than anyone expected. One factor that could add fuel to the fire is increased media interest in the goings on within the UNP. [TC]

The Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan State

by Ashik Bonofer & David Morgan

The man who vehemently advocated for human rights during the 70’s and 80’s has become one of the main offenders and a conspirator against human rights in the present day Sri Lanka [TC]