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July 31, 2010

Aug 1 - 7:

End times theology in the age of Obama 

By Amarnath Amarasingam

Kenneth Alex Randolf is a fifty-six year old former lawyer living in Seattle. When Barack Obama announced his presidential aspirations in 2008, Randolf got to work on a blog that soon attracted some attention, and was later featured on CNN. [WashingtonPost]

Amnesty says Sri Lanka emergency rule must end

The decades-long civil war in Sri Lanka ended more than a year ago, but emergency powers are still in place, sending the wrong message, Amnesty International says. [TC]

Prageeth's Disappearance 200 days ! Sathyagraha and seminar  on August 10th [TC]

Report of the visit of Members of Parliament of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to Santhapuram and Vavuniya on 29th July 2010

On 29th July 2010 Members of Parliament of the TNA, Suresh Premachandran, M A Sumanthiran and S Shritharan visited Santhapuram and met with the original inhabitants now living in a transit camp at Santhapuram [TC]

A post-war challenge for Sri Lanka: Dismantling the LTTE overseas and rebuilding a Sri Lankan identity

by Dr.Rohan Gunaratne

It is my distinct privilege to deliver the 13th Deshamanya Professor Nandadasa Kodagoda Oration this evening. Professor Kodagoda was an intellectual giant of our times. [TC]

U.N. Forms Review Panel for Israeli Raid on Flotilla [TC]

Govt goons flout road rules on Colombo - Kandy Raod

by Dushy Ranetunge

Three vehicles carrying goons of the regime were spotted speeding to Kandy with scant regard to the road rules last Thursday. [TC]

New dress code for Dalada Maligawa entry 

by Dushy Ranetunge

According to police officers controlling entry at the Maligawa in Kandy, a new dress code is in place from Thursday [TC]

Sri Lanka’s disturbing actions met by ‘deafening global silence’

By The Elders

The Sri Lankan government’s clampdown on domestic critics and its disdain for human rights deserves a far tougher response according to The Elders. [TC]

Peace and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: A Tamil Perspective 

by Dravidan

A recent seminar that was hosted by the Eelam Tamil Association of Victoria, has created a media frenzy sprouted with various sections choosing to quote and misquote what was said. [TC]

The Nallur Hotel project controversy

By M.Sooriasegaram

The proposed Nallur Hotel in Jaffna by the Mercantile Bank of Sri Lanka has sparked off a public debate. [TC]

Police and Fire Brigade did not Respond Quickly  when  "Siyatha" TV/Radio station  was attacked by armed gang

By Damith Wickremasekara

The Police and the Fire Brigade did not respond on time when Siyatha TV was attacked, its owning company Voice of Asia Network Chairman Roshantha Kariyapperuma said yesterday. [TC]

Northern Muslims: Where do they go from here?

by Anushka Fernando

On our way to the first scheduled hearing of Northern Muslims who were expelled by the LTTE in 1990, we spotted a group of men working hard out in the open, under the midday sun, and we stopped to have a conversation with them. [TC]

US Government Support Creates 10,000 jobs in Northern Sri Lanka

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Colombo, the development office of the U.S. Embassy, has recently forged four new business alliances with Sri Lankan private companies, under USAID’s Public/Private Alliance (PPA) Program. These partnerships are expected to create 10,000 full-time jobs in northern Sri Lanka. [TC]

What is happening to the Ex-LTTE cadre surrendees? 

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The Conclusion of the long drawn out war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization has been welcomed by all sections of Sri Lankan society in particular and the international community in general.

Even as war ravaged Sri Lankans breathe a collective sigh of relief and attempt to get on with their lives in a post-war scenario ,it is important to note that the armed conflict's end does not necessarily mean that the national question generally referred to as the "Tamil problem" has been satisfactorily resolved. [dbsj]

In Pictures: An Enchanting Annual Aadi Vel Festival in Colombo

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

 

The 136th Annual Aadi Vel festival was held in Colombo with colour and glamour. Beautifully decorated wooden carved cart left the Colombo Sammaankodu Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy temple in Sea Street left in the morning on July 23rd 2010 and reached the Sammaankodu Sri Maanikka Vinayagar temple at night. [HA]

Displacing Northern Tamils to set up Sinhala military cantonments would increase resentment

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

Last week the villagers of Ragamwela in Ampara, engaged in a protest demonstration, accusing the police of occupying their lands. Ragamwela is strategically located close to several tourist hotspots; at midnight, July 17, an armed gang descended on the village, assaulting inhabitants and burning houses. [TC]

World court on Kosovo: Lessons for Sri Lanka

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Students residing and schooling in Colombo had the bar to university entrance set higher in the mid 1970s, what with district and media wise standardisation the order of the day. [TC]

Diplomacy or Diplomercy? Diplomats or  Diplomutts?

by Namini Wijedasa

The UNP is to hand over a no-confidence motion this week against poor G.L. Peiris (who is now known in some circles as ‘Nanny Peiris’ for the mentoring role he has taken over a certain presidential progeny). [TC]

AILA presents ACLU Attorney Ahilan Arulanantham with the 2010 Arthur C. Helton human rights award

Burning desire of UNP for self-immolation

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Change’ and ‘Unity’ are the two competing slogans within the UNP. Sadly the issue is wrongly framed for either slogan to do much good. The question should be whether change or unity should come first. [TC]

The UNP has changed from being a political party into a non governmental organization

by Sumanasiri Liyanage

A member of the United National Party, Rienzie Algama, committed self-immolation last week as a mark of protest against the current crisis and the resultant disunity within the party. [TC]

India unable to significantly influence Sri Lankan Govt in the aftermath of war

by Col.R.Hariharan

It is 23 years since the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement was signed on July 29, 1987. The agreement is popularly referred to as the Rajiv-Jayewardene Accord, after its architects — Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President J.R. Jayewardene [TC]

Ex-LTTE Chief "KP" speaks out: An Interview With T.Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Prabhakaran’s successor, T. S. Pathmanathan or simply ‘KP’ as he is better known has thrown his weight behind Sri Lanka’s post-LTTE efforts to restore peace in the Northern and Eastern provinces.[TC]
Papers apologise to Parameswaran Subramanyam after falsely claiming he sustained himself with hamburgers during fast

by Sam Jones

A Tamil refugee who went on a 23-day hunger strike in Parliament Square last year has received an apology and almost £80,000 in damages from the Daily Mail and the Sun over false allegations that he secretly sustained himself with hamburgers. [TC]

Proposals made by the All Party Representatives Committee to form the basis of a new constitution

by R. Yogarajan and Nizam Kariapper

His Excellency The President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 11th July, 2006 at the All Party Conference (APC) decided to appoint a committee of representatives of the parties at APC called the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) and mandated it to formulate a draft proposal for Constitutional reform. [TC]

Rights of Tamils on boat need to be respected

The Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International Canada and the Canadian Tamil Congress today called on Canadians to be mindful of the need to honour international human rights obligations, in responding to the Tamils believed to be on board a boat approaching North America.[TC]

Deadly Symbols, Vibrant Electoral Politics and War Crimes in Sri Lanka

By Dr.A.R.M.Imtiyaz

Symbols are emotional and they play significant role in all aspect of human communities, including electoral politics. Symbols are deadly in nature because they can provoke deadly violence and war crimes. In Sri Lanka, Sinhala politician and elites often resort to symbols in order to win political power. [TC]

ACT NOW launches global day of action to boycott GAP Stores

As you may recall a key part of our strategy, to get Sri Lanka to the negotiating table to obtain a long lasting political settlement, a fair deal for the Tamils, involves a successful boycott campaign. [TC]

Protect Wilpattu Park and The Right of Movement of Expelled Northern Muslims

We, the undersigned organizations call on the Government to take immediate action to prevent the destruction of the Wilpattu National Park, while continuing to provide access through the road from Puttalama to Mannar via the park. [TC]

Citizens of this country must apply increasing pressure on the government and opposition

by Dr. A. C. Visvalingam

The Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) is gratified by the recent decision of the Government not to press on with unilateral constitutional changes. [TC]

UNP is not sinking due to disunity but because of its leader

by Dayan Jayatilleke

I am not now and have never been a member of either the SLFP or the UNP, though President Premadasa urged me to ‘come in through the National List, take a portfolio and do a job of work’. [TC]

Sri Lankan government enlists services of former LTTE leader

By Athiyan Silva

Further evidence has emerged in recent weeks of the continuing political disintegration of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which was militarily crushed in May 2009 by the Sri Lankan military. [TC]

In Pictures: Women Artists’ Colloquium Exhibition 2009/2010: “Omnipresence of the Prick”

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Women Artists’ Colloquium Exhibition 2009/2010: “Omnipresence of the Prick” was inaugurated at Theertha Red Dot Gallery in Pitakotte on July 24th 2010. [HA]

Black July 1983: Dedicate ourselves not to repeat the mistakes of the past

by National Peace Council

On July 23, 1983 an anti-Tamil pogrom took place in various parts of the country in which innocent Tamil persons, their homes and businesses were attacked and destroyed. [TC]

The resistance to Ban-Ki-moon by Wimal Weerawansa

by Sumanasiri Liyanage

Many a remark has already been written on Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s resistance in front of the Colombo UN office against Ban Ki-moon’s decision to appoint a three-member advisory committee to look into the happenings in the final days of the war that resulted in a comprehensive defeat of the LTTE. [TC]

Open letter to the Sri Lankan Nation from a Navy Headquarters prison cell

My dear Sri Lankans living here and overseas, members of the armed forces, police and home guards, families of the war heroes, friends and relatives. [TC]

In Pictures: “J” Awards Nite

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapatrhipillai

Journalism Awards for Excellence 2009 was held at the Mount Lavinia on July 27th 2010. [HA]

July 24, 2010

Jul 25-31:

In Pictures: Toronto Sri Varasiththi Vinaayagar Chariot Festival

by Steve Russell

The 11th annual Vinaayagar Chariot Festival at the Sri Varasiththi Vinaayagar Hindu Temple on Kennedy Road attracted thousands and transported me out of the GTA. [TS]

British Tamils conduct midnight vigil to commemorate Black July 83 and inaugurate London - Geneva Walk for Justice

British Tamils once again embarked on a rally through London on Friday, 23rd July 2010 calling for justice for victims of war crimes in Sri Lanka. In a symbolic yet solemn show of unity and hope, a “midnight vigil” was held from 9pm commencing from opposite Westminster Abbey to Downing Street. [TC]

Horror of a pogrom: Remembering “Black July” 1983

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

The tragic history of post – independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka have been subjected to mass –scale mob violence in the years 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983. The anti-Tamil violence of July 1983 was the most terrible and horrible of them all. It remains etched in memory even after 27 years. [dbsj]

Vigil” and Other Works:An exhibition of installations,drawings and paintings

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

“Vigil” and Other Works by Chandraguptha Thenuwara is currently being held at the Lionel Wendt Gallery in Colombo. It was inaugurated today for special invitees. The exhibition will remain open from July 24th 2010 to July 29th 2010 from 10am to 7pm except the Poya Day on Sunday-July 25th 2010.

There are 15 exhibits including installations, drawings and paintings displayed. He holds an annual exhibition in July to commemorate the Black July [HA]

How Mrs. Bandaranaike became Prime Minister in 1960

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

Fifty years ago on 21 July 1960, Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike was sworn in as Prime Minister of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was known then). The 44-year-old widow of Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike made history on that day as the world’s first woman Prime Minister. [dbsj]

Devolution will strengthen and uphold democracy and national unity

In Sri Lanka majoritarianism is divisive

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

The object of this article is to explore viable means of uniting the ethnically divided Sri Lankan society and promoting democracy, real peace and development, neglected earlier and later damaged severely by the protracted internal conflict that is rooted in the inapt political system. [TC]

From President Ltd to Executive PM unlimited

by Rajan Philips

Constitutional impatience is the name of the game. Three weeks ago the move was to rescind Article 31 (2) to allow the incumbent president to go beyond two terms in office. That plan seems to have gone astray just like other best-laid plans of mice and men. [TC]

Tamil anxiety over Army camps changing demography in N-E

By Ranga Jayasuriya

Bitterness over High Security Zones continues to poison post war reconciliation. Especially, since Keheliya Rambukwella, the Defence Affairs Spokesman rhetorically responded to a media question that High Security Zones were going to stay, faint hope among the displaced Tamils for the magnanimity of the victor evaporated into thin air. [TC]

The Tiger Vanquished: LTTE's Story y M.R. Narayan Swamy

Reviewed by Dayan Jayatilleka

There are books that are a ‘must read‘, and others that are a ‘cracking good read’. MR Narayan Swamy’s latest book on Sri Lanka, The Tiger Vanquished: LTTE’s Story (Sage Publications, 2010), is both.

Rajapaksa must not be allowed to "bury" the APRC final report

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Twenty Seven years ago, “Black July” burst upon Sri Lanka with the sudden ferocity of a flash flood. The omens of this bloody deluge was evident in the ‘language of contempt’ and the ‘dismissive atitude’ vis-à-vis Tamils which was de règale in Sinhala polity and society. [TC]

Executive President Old Wine in Executive Prime Minister New Bottle

By Namini Wijedasa

When the president invited the opposition leader for talks on constitutional change, there was cheer that the debate on this vital national issue was finally broadening. [TC]

The UNP needs to wake up and take the fight to this regime

by Karu Jayasuriya

As the UNP faces one of the worst crises of its glorious 60 year history, it bears heavily on our spirits as responsible representatives, to appeal to party colleagues for caution, decorum and a united approach in the face of our trouble. [TC]

Will the USA endorse a second term for Ban-Ki-moon as UN Secy-Gen?

By James Traub

In May 2006, Ban Ki-moon made his public debut as a candidate for U.N. secretary-general at a Q-and-A session at the Council on Foreign Relations. [TC]

Running with the UN rabbits and hunting with govt hounds

By Kusal Perera

On 11 July 2010, the Sinhala edition of Sunday “Lakbima” reported that minister of Heritage and Cultural Affairs, Ms. Pavithra Wanniarachchi appointed the Public Performance Board (PPB), better known as the "Censor Board" and advised them to be “honest and independent”. [TC]

International Court of Justice rules in favour of Kosovo independence

VUK JEREMIC, Serbia's foreign minister, looked ashen. He knew what was coming. Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia did not violate general international law, said Hisashi Owada, the president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, in a non-binding advisory opinion. [TC]

Kosovo's independence From Serbia and Implications for Separatist Movements

By Peter Beaumont

Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in February 2008 did not violate international law, said the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday in a groundbreaking ruling that could have far-reaching implications for separatist movements around the world, as well as for Belgrade's stalled EU membership talks. [TC]

Independence of Tamil Studies and Politics of Tamil Conferences

By Noboru Karashima

The World Classical Tamil Conference that was held in Coimbatore last month attracted lakhs of people, according to reports. [TC]

July 16, 2010

Jul 18 - 24:

Sri Lankan envoy in Tel Aviv supports war agaianst Palestine by Israel

Donald Perera, who served as Sri Lankan chief of staff during offensive that ended in Tamil rebels' surrender after more than 30 years, is enjoying a change of pace in Israel. In interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, he recalls seeing body of rebel leader Prabhakaran, says IDF needs public's support to successfully eradicate terror. 'Citizens must realize struggle will exact a heavy price,' he adds [TC]

Mrs. Bandaranaike: The world’s first woman Prime Minister

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Today July 21st is the 50th anniversary of Mrs. Sirima Bandaranaike becoming Prime Minister of Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon. Needless to say she made history then as the world's first woman prime minister and put the Island nation on the global map. [DBSJ]

'Reconciliation is a long-term process, could take more than a generation to be achieved' 

By Irin News

Mirak Raheem from the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), an independent think-tank in Colombo, believes that with rebuilding under way, now is the time to find a solution to years of ethnic tension.

“We can really focus on the plural nature of the Sri Lankan State and build on that. I think in this present moment we have the space to decide and define what Sri Lanka should really be,” he said.[TC]

Lessons of Srebrenica: How the 15th Anniversary of Srebenica Can Guide Sri Lanka

by Grace Williams

On the 15th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre, President Obama has led the way in reminding the world that the lessons of Srebrenica must continue to guide our moral compass. [TC]

Both Sri Lanka and UNP must undergo parallel or overlapping reform process

by Dayan Jayatilleka

Much of the contemporary political comment in Sri Lanka is on the tale of two constitutions, the country’s basic law and that of the main democratic opposition party, the UNP. [TC]

Getting lost in The Hague: UN, Sri Lanka and an ICJ-Advisory Opinion

By Kalana Senaratne

Dr. Lakshman Marasinghe (Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Windsor) in an article titled “Sri Lanka can seek advisory opinion from International Court of Justice about legality of UN panel (www.transcurrents.com), makes a serious suggestion to the Government; i.e. to obtain an Advisory Opinion (AO) from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, to determine “whether it was within the power of the Secretary-General to appoint an Advisory Panel mandated as he has when appointing it.” [TC]

How Sri Lanka can get opinion on UN Panel from International Court of Justice

By Dr. Lakshman Marasinghe

With reference to my Article my colleagues have asked me to explain how an Advisory opinion could be sought from the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) when its jurisdiction to issue such opinions excludes requests made by States and includes, roughly, only fourteen U.N. bodies. [TC]

Code of Conduct for Cabinet Ministers Necessary govt credibility hits rock bottom due to Weerawansa

by Srinath Fernando

It would be opportune to reflect on the nature and duties of a Cabinet Government in the wake of recent controversial remarks made by a Cabinet Minister followed by a fast unto death which eventually became the farce of the century. [TC]

Prevent the armed forces from occupying prime property premises in Colombo city

An Open Letter to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

by P.Elmo J de Silva

The war is now over and the people of Sri Lanka are grateful to you for your contribution towards the country’s victory. [TC]

Instead of seeking National reconciliation Rajapaksa regime is sytematically dismantling Tamil Nationhood

by Surendra

H.E. President Mahinda Rajapakse has pledged to develop Sri Lanka as the new miracle of Asia. Since this project concerns our collective destiny as a country, we should subject this project to a surgical analysis. Is this a wishful dream? [TC]

Tamils in North feel betrayed by Both the State and the LTTE

by CCP (M) Field Mission Report

There is a universal sense of relief that the war is over. By all accounts it was brutal, unrelenting and intense. However, the post war environment contains many old and new issues that deny any sense of liberation or victory for the people. [TC]

Yogarajan and Kariapper release APRC Report independently without govt approval

By Zacky Jabbar

The SLMC and UNP MP R. Yogarajan yesterday released what they termed the final report of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) report, which outlines the basis of power sharing, role of the Senate, Community Council, distribution of powers between the Center and Province and safeguards against secession [TC]

Murali should have been made captain of Sri Lankan cricket team

by Durand Appuhamy

No matter what exacting standards the Selectors set for the captaincy of a Test side, Murali would have passed them all summa cum laude. Therefore he merited to be made the captain a long time ago. [TC]

Weerawansa creates medical  history: Fasting unto death while being on a saline drip 

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

NFF Leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s failed attempt to politically re-engineer his image as a firebrand politician through a fast unto death outside the UN Office in Colombo has had many adverse repercussions on the country as well as on domestic politics. [TC]

Sri Lanka President urgently needs to repair fractured international credibility 

by Col R Hariharan

Though Sri Lanka finished the Eelam War in triumph a year back, its battle with the international community does not appear to be over. [TC]

UPFA and UNP move towards consensus politics 

By Sumanasiri Liyanage

According to reports in the newspapers, the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the United National Party (UNP) have decided to work together on defining the basic principles of constitutional changes. [TC]

Tamil Representatives may be blamed for irreversible Tamil tragedy

by Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

My first book had an awful title (Sri Lanka: The Travails Of A Democracy) conferred by the publisher in Delhi, but the subtitle was mine, and it was Unfinished War, Protracted Crisis. [TC]

Rajapaksa plan was to defeat Tigers without giving any political concessions to the Tamils

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

The prime target of Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s delusive fast was neither the UN nor its Secretary General, but the Lankan public. [TC]

Ban Ki-Moon, Navi Pillai and John Holmes brief UN Security Council on "Accountability" in Sri Lanka

by S. V. Kirubaharan in France

During the peak days of the war, every time the UN Security Council wanted to raise concerns about the situation in Sri Lanka, the government sought the help of Russia and China and managed to prevent any discussion. [TC]

My decision to stage a fast unto death was not a sudden initiative

by Wimal Weerawansa

I believe these are, to say the least, controversial times for me, my party and the government because of the events of the past week. The fast unto death that I staged gave rise to a lot of discussion and there were many bouquets and brickbats that came my way. [TC]

Government restricts movement to Vanni by UN, NGO and INGO staff

by Namini Wijedasa

It is more than one year since the war ended but the government from the end of June 2010 has introduced new restrictions on movement to the Wanni by staff of UN agencies, NGOs and INGOs. [TC]

Mahinda and Ranil engage in engagement of convenience

by Namini Wijedasa

Nothing pulls at the Sri Lankan heartstrings more than two political enemies briefly compartmentalising their mutual loathing to beam hypocritically at each other with the objective, however fleeting, of convincing a gullible public that, this is it: “We are chums now”. [TC]

Royal College at 175: Has it outlived its usefulness to the Nation?

by Panduka Karunanayake

When I left Royal, we were looking forward to its 150-year anniversary celebrations. We were rather envious of our juniors, because they were to have the privilege of directly participating in the celebrations while we were to miss it by a hair’s breadth, considering the kind of timeline involved. [TC]

Actress Asin combats Tamil filmdom over Sri Lanka

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The South Indian state of Tamil Nadu has a robust Film industry. From it’s nascent stages ,film- making in the state has been inclusive in nature. Artistes and technicians from various parts of India have worked and continue to work in Tamil films. Many non –Tamils employed in the film sector have chosen to live in Chennai. [dbsj]

Sri Lanka – indomitable life sprouts in the North

By: Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

It was indeed heartening to see life in all its facets asserting itself along the A9 road in the Vanni and in the Jaffna peninsula, during my very recent visit. The tragedy, utter misery, gloom, hopelessness and signs of devastation along the A9 in the Vanni, I saw in December,2009, has begun to give way to recovery, rebuilding, smiles and hope. [TC]

Govt must ensure there is no discriminatory targeting of Tamils

by National Peace Council of Sri Lanka

The re-commencement of the practices of registering Tamils with the police and of conducting search operations that target them have been widely reported in the Tamil media in particular and have created a renewed sense of insecurity and injustice amongst the larger Tamil population that is detrimental to national reconciliation. [TC]

Will they unilaterally hang my father even if the courts say "No"?

by Apsara Fonseka

Yesterday, July 15 my father was supposed to be at Parliament at 9.30am for a Health Ministry advisory Committee meeting. [TC]

Sri Lankan government uses emergency laws to charge former presidential candidate

By Sarath Kumara

President Mahinda Rajapakse’s Sri Lankan government has invoked its draconian emergency regulations to lay serious criminal charges against the defeated president candidate, ex-Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka [TC]

Sirimavo Bandaranaike: 50th anniversary of wolds first woman Prime Minister

by Gopalakrishna Gandhi

This month it will be 50 years since the world beheld its first woman prime minister. I was about 14 and knew but little of Ceylon when I read the banner story ‘Bandaranaike shot’. [TC]

Sri Lankan Govt slanders Tamil Refugees because they don't want them to reach Australia

by Gordon Weiss

SRI Lankan government warnings that half the Tamils seeking asylum in Australia have links to terrorists are dangerous, mendacious and self-serving. [TC]

‘Sri Lanka gov fears Tamil asylum seekers might become witnesses in a war crimes tribunal’ – former UN Spokesman 

Tamil terrorist claims exaggerated

from: Radio Australia

The former spokesman for the United Nations in Colombo has accused the Sri Lankan government of branding Tamil asylum seekers as terrorists, fearing they might become witnesses in a war crimes tribunal if they are granted asylum in Australia. [TC]

July 09, 2010

Jul 11 - 17:

On Sri Lanka, NAM Will Wait, "Pillay's" Neuwirth to Head Panel Staff of 8 [TC]

Rehabilitation Minister DEW Gunasekera on complaints of abuse: 'Write letters to me instead of BBC in London' 

By Swaminathan Natarajan
BBC Tamil service

Former Tamil Tiger rebels detained in Sri Lanka say they have been ill-treated in government camps with no basic facilities. [TC]

There is no firm peace without justice - Samantha Power

"It is hard to read these words without thinking about the Sri Lankan government's ongoing attempts to avoid accountability for war crimes committed in spring 2009 -- crimes, keep in mind, that killed at least as many people as were massacred in Srebrenica in 1995" [TC]

Sri Lanka: Impressions of an Indian tourist from Chennai

by Ravi Gee

I was in Srilanka a fortnight ago for the first time. I travelled to Southern towns Kandy, Bentota and Colombo by road. [TC]

'The three outsiders will need to take a view on what really happened in the closing stages of the war' - The Economist 

NEITHER Sri Lanka’s government, nor the United Nations seems ready to back down over an increasingly bitter dispute. [TC]

President and Opp. Leader should take minorities into confidence on electoral reforms - Mano Ganesan [TC]

Newsweek: In defense of M.I.A [TC]

MIA's new album: 'There's something for everyone' - New Zealand Herald [TC]

Track in M.I.A.'s new album: 'kind of lullaby one would sing to a baby android' - Wall Street Journal [TC]

M.I.A.'s New Record is Full of Greatness

by Gabe Meline

In case you missed it, a month ago on May 30, which is about 20 years in internet time, M.I.A. was profiled in the New York Times Sunday magazine with a critical eye to her knotty politics. [TC]

Album review: M.I.A.'s /\/\ /\ Y /\ album [TC]

India will back Tamil consensus calling for implementation of existing constitutional provisions

By Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

There are new trends in Tamil politics and a quickening of activity in Tamil political society. The Tamil Political Parties Forum is one manifestation while the visit of the TNA to India is another. [TC]

Sri Lanka can seek advisory opinion from International Court of Justice about legality of UN panel

by Dr. Lakshman Marasinghe

I have been back at home to witness and read the media coverage regarding the appointment of an International panel by the Secretary General of the UN to advise himself on matters pertaining to the ending of a 30 year internecine armed conflict in a member State- Sri Lanka. [TC]

Sri Lanka has grounds to challenge Ban-Ki-moon over legitimacy of UN panel

by Neville Laduuwahetty

The UN Secretary General (SG) has maintained that: [TC]

Ex-LTTE cadres get on the -job training at different factories of Tri-Star Garments

by Hiranthi Fernando

In the large air-conditioned production hall of the Tri Star garment factory, 100 girls from the Poonthotam and Pompemadu rehabilitation camps are getting on-the-job training on the assembly line, manufacturing baby wear. [TC]

The 2010 budget was partially appropriated before being presented to parliament

by Eran Wickramaratne

Article 148 of the Constitution gives Parliament full control over public finance. Since President Wijetunga retained the finance portfolio the authority of the Parliament over finance has been usurped, and created a conflict between the powers of the legislature and the Executive. [TC]

Crisis in the Maldives and its implications for the Sri Lankan 17th Constitutional Amendment

By Prof.G.L. Pieris

The Maldivian crisis is important for us from several points of view. It throws the spot light on the whole question of constitutional checks and balances, and how far those checks and balances should go [TC]

Murali: Six great milestones in cricket career

by Imran Coomaraswamy

Earlier this year, a 60-strong panel of experts took part in a poll to select Cricinfo’s Cricketer of the 2000s. Ricky Ponting’s list of accomplishments as leader of the dominant Test and ODI team of the era justifiably earned him the top spot. [TC]

Murali: A Legend of Cricket Retires 

by S.Skandakumar

When that great bard, William Shakespeare wrote the lines, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”, he could not have envisaged an off spinning genius from Sri Lanka entering that arena almost four and a half centuries later [TC]

Muttiah Muralitharan: Cricketing hero and national icon

By Prasad Gunewardene

This tribute is paid to man who readily accepted and embraced the national bosom to be loved by all communities in his country. I have never met nor associated this young man. [TC]

India knows Rajapaksa is Mary's little lamb with war crimes and the hostility of the West

By Gomin Dayasri

India is Indira, has changed to Sonia is India. Ironically Italian, intelligently Indian, she held the key to India’s Gate at an opportune moment for the fate of Sri Lanka. [TC]

Will G.L. Peiris or Palitha Kohona be made the scapegoats for amateurish politics of Weerawansa?

Now that Wimal Weerawansa in his inimitable way has managed to get the President of Sri Lanka to kneel down before him and offer water as many predicted, one wonders as to who would end up being the scapegoat of the government failure to get a better statement from the UN on Friday night - Prof. G.L. Peiris or Palitha Kohona [TC]

Big Power Sanctions versus Middle Power Diplomacy for Iran

By Rajan Philips

On May 17 in Tehran, the foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey, and Brazil announced that they had reached a deal on exchanging uranium fuel for use in the Tehran Research Reactor. [TC]

Sri Lanka protests against UN echo anti-justice campaign-HRW [TC]

Full-fldged death-unto-fast. Sorry, farce-unto-death. Sorry, fast –unto –death

By Namini Wijedasa

It’s safe to assume that nobody expects Wimal Weerawansa to die. Maybe wither, shrivel and droop a little, but not to really, really, really die. [TC]

Weerawansas actions may be legal but they endanger Sri Lankas international legitimacy

by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Sri Lanka is a sovereign state which belongs to the international system. It must safeguard its sovereignty as well as its membership of that system. Sri Lanka’s enemies have a main objective – a separate state – and two subsidiary objectives which are a prelude to the main objective. [TC]

‘Private’ versus ‘free’ education in Sri Lanka: What can we learn from Lessons from Save Middlesex Philosophy Campaign?

By Vangeesa Sumenasekara

One of the central weaknesses of the recent debate or discussion in Sri Lanka around the strange term "private" universities apropos its possible consequences to the men and women living within the national boundaries of Sri Lanka , is its lack of focus on this global picture. [TC]

Police Registering Tamil civilians in Colombo is discriminatory: Mano Ganesan calls for president’s intervention [TC]

Colombo protest against UN ends in failure

By Damith Wickremasekara

National Freedom Front supporters, led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa, marched to the UN office in Colombo on Tuesday, launching a protest campaign which eventually set off a chain of reactions during the week. [TC]

Wimal: The Biggest Con Artist Of Our Time

By Frederica Jansz

If ever there was an award winning con artist in the making first prize must indeed go to Wimal Weerawansa. [TC]

Wimal Weerawansa: Making a hero out of a cardboard hero

by Namini Wijedasa

Never in recent times have relations between the UN secretariat and Colombo been this acrimonious or so unashamedly mishandled over an issue that could have been easily resolved through diplomatic channels. [TC]

Gotabhaya admits ordering Police to leave during siege on UN compound

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says Sri Lanka remains committed to the UN ideals and strongly believes in working with the international community in a post-LTTE era, contrary to the perception among a section of the global community. [TC]

Ban-Ki-moon issue: However irritating Sri Lankans must not act in anger

by Arjuna Hulugalle

The question in most people’s minds is whether Mr Ban Ki Moon’s action of appointing a Panel for Sri Lanka is legally ultra vires and high handed. The perception of the general public is that his action was illegal as it did not have the sanction of the UN Security Council. [TC]

Ex-LTTE Chief "KP": The Tiger who changed his stripes

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The tiger, they say , does not change its stripes. The leopard too wont change its spots. This inability or refusal to change is certainly true of the four –legged felines.

There are some – perpetually paranoid- who would say this is applicable to the near extinct two –legged tiger in Sri Lanka too. “Once a tiger always a tiger”. In fact there is a proverbial saying in Tamil “Puli Pasithalum Pullai Thinnaathu”(even when hungry the tiger will not eat grass). [dbsj]

July 03, 2010

Jul 4 - 10:

Minister Weerawansa began his ‘hostage-taking demonstration’ with the connivance of the Rajapakses 

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

We are living through a transformative time, a time when the hitherto inconceivable become the norm. [TC]

Broaden focus to causes of conflict, Secretary-General urges Security Council, in debate on civilian protection

In Joint Briefing, Humanitarian Chief, High Commissioner For Human Rights Stress Importance of Accountability, Need to End Impunity [TC]

UN chief Ban Ki-moon recalls Sri Lanka envoy

The UN's secretary-general has recalled his top envoy to Sri Lanka and is closing an office in Colombo because of angry protests over a war crimes panel. [TC]

Sri Lanka minister begins 'fast' outside UN office

A Sri Lankan minister says he has begun a hunger strike outside the UN's Colombo offices demanding that it stop its probe into alleged war crimes. [TC]

The Most powerful man in Sri Lanka is brother Gotabhaya not President Mahinda

By Ashok K Mehta

After winning a war that no Sri Lankan President dared even try to, and emerging triumphant from every election he has fought since 2005 President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is directly responsible for altogether 78 institutions, and Minister for the country’s Defence, Finance, Planning, Ports and Aviation and Highways, would unarguably be the most powerful man in Sri Lanka today. Not correct [TC]

A pragmatic Tamil consensus would put moral pressure on the state

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke

The UN Human Rights Council has a new president, the ambassador of Thailand. A serious minded and senior diplomat, he is a fine choice indeed.

The Politics of the UN and ‘Post-War’ Sri Lanka: A Brief Critique

By Kalana Senaratne

The recent appointment of a Panel of Experts by the UN Secretary General (UNSG) is a disturbing development, even though it was bound to happen. [TC]

As Sri Lanka Burns UN Ban in Effigy, Some NAM Members Abandon It, UN In Disarray, Kohona Dressed Down 

By Matthew Russell Lee

In the wake of the government sponsored or allowed hostage taking of UN staff in Colombo, Inner City Press on Tuesday asked the Permanent Representative to the UN of a major South Asian country if he still supported Sri Lanka's requested Non Aligned Movement statement opposing the UN's war crimes panel. [TC]

UN Under Siege in Sri Lanka: Why Accountability for War Crimes Matters

by Mark Leon Goldberg
UN Dispatch

There is a stunning anti-UN protest underway in Columbo, Sri Lanka. Nationalist protesters led by a government official have blockaded scores of UN employees inside a UN compound. Outside, protestors have burned Ban Ki Moon in effigy. [TC]

Protesters Demand End to UN Probe into Sri Lankan War Crimes

by Anjana Pasricha
Voice of America

Protesters in Sri Lanka led by a Cabinet minister have surrounded the United Nations office to demand the world body end a probe into allegations of human rights abuses during the country's civil war. [TC]

Pride, Prejudice & Power at the ICC: John Howard Castled

by Michael Roberts

John Howard ct. Africa b. Asia for nought………………………

…… reads the scorecard in the command rooms of the ICC this week. What we have seen is the force of power, prejudice and pride marshalled by nationalist sentiment. [TC]

Mahinda's new cabinet comprises two ministers and thirty nine "doormats" for the "family" to wipe their feet on 

By Mangala Samaraweera

The Rajapakse administration has shown an uncanny ability to create world records in the last few years; prior to the General Election, Sri Lanka had the dubious honour of having the world’s largest number of Ministers and now we have created yet another world record by having the world’s smallest cabinet of two ministers. [TC]

Sinhalese must not overestimate themselves and underestimate the Tamils and the spirit of the Tamil community

by Dayan Jayatilleka

The LTTE was a separatist army, which was out-thought, out-fought, defeated and almost destroyed by a better armed force, the Sri Lankan military. [TC]

Pathmanathan alias "KP" wont be the govt Chief Ministerial candidiate for Northern Provincial Council

by Shamindra Ferdinando

There is absolutely no basis for Opposition accusations that one-time LTTE heavyweight Kumaran Padmanathan alias "KP’ will contest forthcoming elections for the Northern Province as the UPFA’s chief ministerial candidate, a senior government official says. [TC]

Panel on Sri Lanka is a move by Ban Ki moon and not the UN itself

An Interview with Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

By Manjula Fernando [TC]

Under Rajapakse rule preposterous develpoments are transformed into banal realties

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

There is hysteria in the air. The regime and its allies are flailing at the UN and the EU, to the tune of wild drumbeats of national sovereignty and shrill accusations of unwarranted and unjust interference. [TC]

US Govt petitioned about deteriorating workers rights in Sri Lanka

by Namini Wijedasa

A powerful international federation of trade unions has in a petition to be considered by the US government delivered a scathing account of labour practices in Sri Lanka, alleging that worker rights in the country have deteriorated in recent years. [TC]

Govt is Using KP's Data base on the LTTE to Crush the international tiger network-Defence Secretary  Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

by Shanika Sriyananda

Whilst refuting claims that the government is grooming the detained LTTE leader Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias Kumaran (KP) to be the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, the Government said it was exploring his ‘data base’ on the LTTE to crush its international network. [TC]

Sri Lankan budget imposes IMF austerity demands

By Saman Gunadasa and K. Ratnayake

Sri Lankan deputy finance minister Sarath Amunugama presented a delayed interim budget for 2010 on Tuesday (Jun 29), outlining plans for austerity measures to meet the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). [TC]

Mystery killings in Colombo unsolved

by Charles Haviland

In a horrific turn of events in Sri Lanka's biggest city, Colombo, between seven and ten hawkers, homeless people or beggars have been murdered in the space of a few weeks. [TC]

If the Tamil people are fated to have KP as Northern Chief Minister there is nothing we (EPDP) can do about it

An Interview with Douglas Devananda [TC]

From majoritarian to authoritarian rule under the guise of necessity 

Current moves undermine fostering of Democracy in Sri Lanka

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

The Government of Sri Lanka has been successful in brushing off the alleged accusations of war crimes during the final stage of the war and violations of the basic rights of the survivors after it ended May last year with the crushing defeat of the Tamil militants (LTTE), who fought for a separate independent Tamil State (Eelam). [TC]

Instability in spite of Power, Insanity in the wake of Victory

by Rajan Philips

No previous Sri Lankan government has been as powerful as the present one. It has an elected Executive assured of tenure for another seven years. It just won a majority in the legislature that is incredible under proportionate representation. [TC]

Sri Lankan state has not yet grasped in full the new Tamil diaspora configuration

By Dr. Harinda Vidanage

The UN panel of experts, the EU condition GSP plus concessions drew a plethora of responses in Sri Lanka from politicians, policy makers, media personalities, eminent public figures. [TC]

Blood of humans and existence of God [i]

by Dr. A.R.M. Imtiyaz

When the Zionists kill
Our brothers, sisters and elders
We oppose and drum up demonstrations
Because they jump down our Muslim blood! [TC]

Video: Fault Lines - Arundhati Roy

AlJazeera Video:

Fault Lines presenter Avi Lewis sits down for a one-on-one interview with author and activist, Arundhati Roy: [TC]