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December 31, 2010

Jan 1 - 8:

Newspaper editor’s murderers still at large two years later

by Reporters Without Borders

Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, a courageous, talented and iconoclastic journalist, was shot dead in Colombo by a death squad two years ago tomorrow. His murder is still unpunished. [TC]

Lasantha Wickrematunge’s widow and fellow editor Sonali Samarasinghe’s statement, on his second death anniversary

Lasantha Wickrematunge was a journalist who fought fearlessly for the freedom of the press and relentlessly pursued what he believed was right. [TC]

In Pictures: International Tamil Writers Conference commences in Colombo

a mobile update via YFrog ~ By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai [TC]

'Killings in Jaffna raises the question whether death squads have been reactivated'

by R. K. Radhakrishnan

Politicians and non-governmental organisations have expressed serious concern over the “deterioration” of law and order in the northern districts. [TC]

Terrible truth of the Trincomalee tragedy

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

In a reflective mood I went through some of the articles I had written in the past particularly about incidents of human rights violations in the North and East. One thing that struck me was that justice has not been done in most of those cases. No person has been penalised for these crimes so far. There is a climate of impunity

One such case where the families of victims are yet to get justice is the horrible incident in Trincomalee where five Tamil students were killed in cold blood by the beach on January 2nd 2006 allegedly by members of the security forces. [dbsj]

Keerimalai~A Land of Sacred Springs & Spirituality

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

featuring pictures from Keerimalai ~ Manickavasagar Thiruvasagam ~ Rendered by Ilaiyaraaja ~ "Masatra Sothi" ~ [TC]

Glorious Jaffna: Review of a coffee table pictorial volume

by Gaston de Rosayro

Among our tropical island’s localities which have been suffused for centuries by calm and contentment, Jaffna had been the beau ideal. Time was when its old-world charm and equally enchanting cultural traditions could seldom have been encountered anywhere on earth.

Mahinda Rajapaksa outsmarts "Quiet Diplomacy" of Ban-Ki-moon over panel issue 

by Upul Joseph Fernando

The website of Wimal Weerawansa, a Minister of the Government who staged a fast against UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s panel of experts stated recently that the report of Moon’s panel will not be compiled in disfavour of Sri Lanka (SL), and the panel will be whittled away. [TC]

Cattle left behind by fleeing owners a problem for returnee farmers in North, FAO says

Returnees to the north of Sri Lanka are struggling to deal with up to 40,000 stray cattle that are damaging their crops, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says. [TC]

Sri Lankan American Roy Wijewickrama becomes US District Court Judge

Sri Lankan American Roy Wijewickrama was elected District Court Judge by popular vote in the 30th Judicial District of North Carolina, USA on November 2, 2010 and will be assuming duties immediately after being sworn in as a Judge on January 1, 2011 [TC]

India, China and Sri Lanka: A response to Kuldip Nayar

By Gamini Gunawadane

I have been reading Kuldip Nayar’s feature articles with interest as they generally presented a different view of India. [TC]

How The West and India are letting Sri Lanka slip into China's orbit

by M.D. Nalapat

That old habits die hard is clear from the way in which the functionaries of the European Union seek to influence the developing economies on the best way to manage their nations. [TC]

Lankan Govt wants to Ban wearing of mini-skirts in public places 

by Ranga Jayasuriya

A new era of moral purity is in the offing in the New Year; if the new government directive has its way, miniskirts would be banned from public places. [TC]

Shock waves in Jaffna: Three killings and two abductions in a fortnight

By Ranga Jayasuriya

A curtain of fear is coming down on the Jaffna peninsula as unidentified gunmen return and, sometimes, white vans resurface. [TC]

Please help me to secure the freedom that I lost by entering politics

By Sarath Fonseka

The new year message of Gen.Sarath Fonseka is as follows: [TC]

National Unity is key to both uniting and developing the Motherland

Following is the full text of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s message:

We look towards the future at the dawn of this New Year with renewed determination, firm commitment and many positive expectations. [TC]

Was "pro-LTTE" allegation made agaianst LLRC by Gunadasa Amarasekera a pre-emptive attack?

By Kalana Senaratne

Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera, President of the Patriotic National Movement (PNM), recently leveled a serious accusation against the LLRC. [TC]

If we really want sustainable peace then we must face the violent demons of Sri Lanka’s past

By Kanishka Ratnapriya

Due to Sri Lanka’s geographically strategic location coupled with its natural and economic resources the absence of war will give us a chance to move in the direction of a vibrant South Asian economy based on a fiscal program concentrating on exports, tourism, self sufficiency and Post War infrastructural development. [TC]

The defeat of the LTTE is being systematically transformed as the defeat of the Tamil and Muslim people

An Interview with Mano Ganesan by Raisa Wickrematunga

Q: As a human rights campaigner and a Tamil party leader, what do you think of the current situation on Tamil rights in Sri Lanka?

A: There are two counts. First count is the Tamil daily life. It’s horrible today in the north. Only 2 days before, a Zonal Director of Education was shot killed. 3 days before that a Tamil Hindu priest was murdered by gunfire. Yesterday body of a youth who’s abductors earlier demanded ransom, was found in Meesalai. [TC]

Opposition must counter patriotic narrative of Rajapaksas with socio-economic and political narratives

BY Tisaranee Gunasekara

The UPFA lost the budget vote in the Anuradhapura Municipal Council, its sixth such defeat; the budget of the Maharagama MC was voted-down, for the second time. Former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake publicly lamented the plight of senior ministers while Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa waxed eloquent about astronomical food prices. [TC]

National Anthem: From “Namo Namo” to “Sri Lanka Matha”

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

A campaign is being conducted by majoritarian hawks to do away with  the practice of singing the national anthem in Tamil. There are however indications that saner counsel is prevailing and  that the current National anthem controversy may turn out to be a tempest in a tea cup. [DBSJ]

Slain clerk had been sent to U.S. to escape violence of Sri Lanka

By CHRISTINE VENDEL
The Kansas City Star

Sujendra Amarasingham escaped the violence in his homeland of Sri Lanka only to find it lurking in the parking lot of a gas station in Kansas City. [TC]

December 25, 2010

Dec 26 - Dec 31:

Sri Lanka Army says Jaffna killings and abductions are nothing really out of the ordinary

'Fear still prevails' in Jaffna

By Charles Haviland
BBC news, Colombo

Reports from the main city of northern Sri Lanka, Jaffna, say people there are living in fear because of a current series of killings, abductions and robberies.

Among those killed by unidentified assailants within the past three weeks were a Hindu priest and an education official.[TC]

Sri Lanka's Shrinking Payoff

By Mohammed Hadi and Bijou George

Sri Lanka's post-war economic boom is only just beginning. Have investors already missed the boat?

In the 19 months since the nation's civil war ended, stock prices are up nearly 250% and the rupee up 6%. Government debt is also in high demand: The difference between yields on a Sri Lankan dollar-denominated bond due in 2012 and similar U.S. Treasurys is just 3.5 percentage points, data from Barclays Capital show. A year ago, that was spread closer to 6% [TC]

Sri Lanka says U.N. panel can not conduct own war crimes probe

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka said on Thursday it would not allow a U.N. panel to conduct an independent probe into the country's 25-year war, a few weeks after reversing a ban on U.N. members taking part in a controversial, local investigating body. [TC]

Boston Globe: 'Heed the awful truth in US Ambassador's cable and push for a legitimate UN investigation of war crimes in Sri Lanka'

Dec 29, 2010 Boston Globe Editorial ~ Probe both sides in Sri Lanka

NO FOREIGN leader has fared worse in the cables released by WikiLeaks than Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has been resisting calls for an international inquiry into possible war crimes committed when Sri Lankan troops wiped out the secessionist Tamil Tigers in May 2009. [TC]

Hambantota is symbolic of major shift of political and economic power away from Colombo

By Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe

As the first ship entered the newly opened port facility at Hambantota on November 18, there continues to be more speculation that the facility could potentially be used as a Chinese naval base as part of a so called ‘string of pearls’ strategy to encircle India.[TC]

National interest of Sri Lanka requires middle path in external affairs

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

For a society in which the Middle Path should be a natural option, opinion making commentators seem to tread every path but that one. One set seems to think that the world is full of enemies of Sri Lanka, ranging from USA and the UN to India, and from Barack Obama through Ban Ki Moon to Rahul Gandhi.[TC]

Lankan Premier attends Jaffna event where national anthem was sung only in Sinhala

By P.K .Balachandran

Ignoring the Tamil community’s protest against the reported bid to ban the singing of the Sri Lankan national anthem in Tamil, officials saw to it that it was sung only in Sinhalese at a function in Jaffna on Sunday to mark the sixth anniversary of the tsunami disaster. [TC]

'Returning to normalcy & Tourism taking off': What is the impact of this on the spread of HIV in Sri Lanka?

by IRIN News

Reducing social stigma and improving awareness is needed to better monitor and prevent the spread of HIV in Sri Lanka, experts say. [TC]

Our National Anthem - A Statement by the Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, the Bishop of Colombo

I am deeply perturbed with the regrettable Cabinet decision to deprive our Tamil speaking citizens of the right to sing the National Anthem in their mother tongue. [TC]

The three stooges of Ban-Ki-moon and temporary diet of Weerawansa

By S. L. Gunasekara

Was it then a coincidence that these frauds made those noises at a time when Moon’s ‘Three Stooges’ were expected to come to Sri Lanka? Or were these events orchestrated?

India would have to do something if Colombo continues to encourage China and Pakistan

by Kuldip Nayar

SRI Lanka is going the wrong way in solving its ethnic problem. The Tamils nourish a grievance that they do not get their due in their own country. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, representing the Sinhalese, the majority community of Sri Lanka, should have at least after an overwhelming victory at the polls, looked into what has come to be the Tamil question. [TC]

Govt seems to be trying hard to please too many people at the same time

by Kalana Senaratne

First the government stated that the establishment of the Panel of Experts by the UN Secretary General (UNSG) Ban ki-Moon was ‘illegal’ and the members of the Panel would not be permitted to enter Sri Lanka. A few weeks later, the government said that if a request was made, it would be willing to ‘consider’ granting visas. [TC]

Pro-Tiger elements in the Tamil diaspora are helping Rajapaksas stay in power

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

The war is won, has been won for one a half years. The Tiger is dead, and has been dead for one and a half years.

Why do the Rajapaksas resist accepting this reality?

Why do they talk and act as if the Tiger is only hibernating, not dead, and the war is still on at some indefinable, invisible, intangible level? Why do they want to keep the Sinhala South entrapped in a universe of fear, seeing in every passing Tamil, the shadow of the Tiger? [TC]

The Mahavamsa mindset: Re-Visiting political Buddhism in Sri Lanka

from DBSJeyaraj.com

Hello Friends

Compliments of the season to you all.

Several readers have been posting comments on this blog about various themes like the antiquity of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the Mahavamsa, Lord Buddhas visits to Sri Lanka. This in turn has generated a heated and healthy discussion in this forum [DBSJ]

Rajapaksa juggernaut may seem unstoppable but can be slowed down

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

Beliatte, Tangalle, Matara, Mahawa, Maharagama…......

Five defeats for the UPFA, in one month. In five local-government bodies, the UNP and the JVP, backed by some governing-party members, trounced the UPFA at budget-votes. [TC]

Heartrending human drama in crowded courtroom in Vavuniya

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

In a crowded courtroom in Vavuniya, there is a moment of ecstasy when detainees who had surrendered in the final months of fighting between the government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are allowed to mingle with their families for a shot while before being segregated to stand at attention when their cases are called. [TC]

No Tamils in new intake of 135 For Sri Lanka Administrative Service

by Ranga Jayasuriya

Last week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa presented appointment papers to a new intake of 135 recruits to the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS). The apex of the government’s bureaucracy, the SLAS is supposed to represent all communities which form the citizenry of this country. [TC]

Who on the Tamil side is accountable for spawning and sustaining Tiger fascism?

by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

The strangest polarization is taking place in perspectives on Sri Lanka’s recent conflict and the way forward, as reflected in submissions to the Lessons Learnt Panel and the debate surrounding them. [TC]

December 17, 2010

Dec 19 -,25:

The Christian Church Stands for the Liberation of the Oppressed

Message of Christmas is the Liberation of the Oppressed

by Fr. Leopold Ratnasekera, OMI., Ph.D., Th.D.

Christmas is by now a Christian annual festival well known to the world. Indeed at Christmas the whole world takes on a festive air. However, in a highly secular culture such as today, many unfortunately tend to sideline the more profound message and meaning of Christmas. [TC]

No room amongst their own - A Christmas message by the Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, the Bishop of Colombo

Jesus was born in a cattle shed. A census required by the then political regime created this situation. When Mary was ready to give birth there was no room for them amongst their own; even her vulnerability made little difference. [TC]

Are Tamils waving LTTE flags "terrorists"?

by Dushy Ranetunge

Apologists in Sri Lanka are quick to defend Mahinda Rajapakse in pointing to LTTE flag waving protestors in London as evidence of proscribed terrorists on British soil plotting to divide the “motherland”. [TC]

"The 13th Amendment to the Constitution must be properly implemented": Dharmalingam Siddharthan

by Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe

“Before the final civilian safe zone operation the Army was very accurate in the use of firepower and nobody can complain that they hit civilians purposefully. [TC]

Have China and India "divided" Sri Lanka among themselves?

By Malathi De Alwis

On 18 May 2009, Sri Lanka officially declared the end of a 30-year civil war fought between. Sri Lankan government forces (GoSL) and Tamil militants, namely the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE). [TC]

In Pictures: 80th Jubilee Celebrations of Saiva Mangaiyar Kazhagam

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

"The most beautiful make-up of a woman is PASSION. But cosmetics are easier to buy" ~ Yves Saint-Laurent,(1 August 1936- June 1 2008), French Fashion Designer

Saiva Mangaiyar Kazhagam in Wellawatte~ Tamil neighbourhood celebrated its 80th anniversary and Founder’s day on 11th of December 2010 at the school auditorium. It is one of the oldest Hindu Women’s School in the Island. The celebration included songs, dance and drama by the students. [TC]

Corrupt politicians and officials cannot control cost of living

By Chakaravarthy

"Four hundred rupees” said he. I was shocked. I could remember the days he charged twenty five rupees decades ago and later hundred rupees for a long time. So I wondered whether the money has lost value or the cost of living has gone so high for this native doctor who attends to bone fracture and other related ailments at Darley Road, Maradana. [TC]

Wikileaks: 'Mendacious stories clearly fabricated to denigrate Sri Lanka' - Prof. G.L. Peiris

Meeting between the External Affairs Minister and the US Ambassador

External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris invited the US Ambassador Ms. Patricia Butenis to meet with him on Tuesday, 21st December, in the context of news reports that several United States Senators and Members of Congress had addressed on the 10th of December, a letter concerning Sri Lanka to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. [TC]

Why have the Ceylon Tamils made a significant impact in Singapore?

by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Finance Minister, Singapore

(Remarks by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister for Finance at the Singapore Ceylon Tamils Association 100 Years Celebration) [TC]

Sri Lanka must officially adopt Sinhala,Tamil and bilingual versions of National Anthem

by Nimal Rajapakse,Canada

Following the recent news regarding the alleged banning of the Tamil version of the Sri Lankan National Anthem by the government, there has been a plethora of associated arguments and counter-arguments for and against such a ban. [TC]

Truth-telling consists of speaking aloud those things kept secret or hidden during the conflict

by Rt.Rev. Daniel.S.Thiagarajah, CSI Bishop of Jaffna

I am here before this Commission this afternoon as a person who has served first as a Priest and now serving as a Bishop, as a person who has lived in the Vanni region for several years, as one who has experienced the war and sufferings for many years, as one who has identified with those who have undergone hardships and as a leader who steers not only the congregations under my care but also the community at large in the areas where we minister toward fullness of life. [TC

Tamil diaspora is doing what is desirable in their view in their interest

by Gomin Dayasri

He called Aussies ‘sissies” when they feinted excuse to play us in Colombo at the World Cup which sledged them in Lahore. [TC]

Ambassador Aryasinha protests denial of Sri Lanka's right of reply at European Parliament

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha has strongly protested the denial of Sri Lanka’s ‘right of reply’ at an “exchange of views on Sri Lanka” held last week at the European Parliament. [TC]

Norwegian Committee awards Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo against fundamental principles of Alfred Nobel

by Sumanasiri Liayanage

"In the present situation, the Nobel Prize stands objectively as a distinction reserved for the writers of the West or the rebels of the East." - Jean-Paul Sartre

Is the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize political? Since the decision has to be taken giving due consideration to the contribution of the individual/s or institution to the promotion of world peace and disarmament, it is essentially a political decision. [TC]

Government needs to understand that a country’s domestic and foreign policies are inextricably intertwined

by Kalana Senaratne

It is time this government gave serious thought to building a positive image of Sri Lanka. First, it needs to worry about how Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka view Sri Lanka’s image as citizens of the country, before worrying about how Sri Lankans overseas or other States would perceive Sri Lanka. [TC]

The language controversy over Sri Lankan National Anthem

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

A National Anthem is a song of patriotic sentiment affirming loyalty to one’s country or nation adopted officially by that Country or Nation. An anthem becomes a national anthem through Constitutional provision, specific legislation or long – standing tradition.

Stylistically the majority of anthems are marches or hymns.They are usually written or composed in the most common language in the Country.There are however some notable exceptions to this rule particularly in multi-ethnic nations. [DBSJ]

'Social movements must compete for attention, conflict in Sri Lanka is no different'

Canada silent on Sri Lankan war crimes

by Amarnath Amarasingam

Why do some conflicts attract more attention than others? Why, for example, did throngs of celebrities hold rallies and concerts to shed light on the atrocities occurring in Darfur, while dozens of other conflicts and human rights violations are ignored by the international community? [TC]

Has Liam Fox been dragged into a morass created by Sri Lankan politicians?

by Namini Wijedasa

Relations between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka are at their lowest point in recent times and may worsen if the underlying cause of this growing estrangement is not addressed, foreign policy analysts say. [TC]

"I defended the Tamil struggle but never advocated separation"

by Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne

I defended the struggle of Tamil nationality for democracy and freedom, since 1974. However, I never advocated separation; on the contrary I appealed for voluntary unity in one country. [TC]

Proposal to scrap Tamil translation of National Anthem is of huge symbolic importance

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

"The conquering hero who threatens to destroy the liberty of his homeland belongs to history, not myth”. - René Girard (Violence and the Sacred)

The disturbingly inane proposal for a Sinhala-Only National Anthem has suffered (an ephemeral) setback, due to internal dissent. [TC]

Princey Mangalika: "My neighbours burned my house because they thought I had HIV"

by PlusNews
Global HIV/AIDS news and analysis

There are few positive stories of people living with HIV out of Sri Lanka, but Princey Mangalika's is an exception. [TC] 

"I see congruency and complementarity between the Premadasa and Rajapaksa projects"

by Dr . Dayan Jayatilleka

As the year and the first decade of the 21st century winds down, politics in Sri Lanka displayed new and portentous developments. [TC]

Oxford speech cancellation fiasco has not caused embarassment to country

An Interview with Sajin Vaas Gunawardena by Chandani Kirinde

Galle district MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena who is also a coordinating secretary to President Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed as “Monitoring MP” to the Ministry of External Affairs last week. [TC]

The first decade of the new millennium

by Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

“The contest is never over, the field never quite ours.”- Dave Robicheaux in James Lee Burke, ‘The Tin Roof Blowdown’ (2007)

Is it only me, or is not sad that there is no review in the Sri Lankan public space, of the first decade of the 21st century and the new millennium? [TC]

December 10, 2010

Dec 12 - 18

UK Defence secretary Liam Fox postpones Sri Lanka trip to the new year

Liam Fox cancels Sri Lanka trip amid claim in cables of Colombo's war crimes complicity

by Nicholas Watt, Mark Tran and Jason Burke in Delhi
Guardian UK

Liam Fox, the defence secretary, was tonight forced to abandon a private visit to Sri Lanka this weekend after a row with William Hague, who feared that he would upset Britain's carefully balanced approach to Colombo. [TC]

Food security in northern Sri Lanka remains fragile

by IRIN News

COLOMBO, 15 December 2010 (IRIN) - Food security in northern Sri Lanka remains fragile, according to preliminary findings by the World Food Programme (WFP). Of 1,755 households surveyed in five districts - including Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Jaffna, Killinochi and Mannar - the majority spend more than 65 percent of their income on food. [TC]

UK Foreign secretary William Hague is "annoyed" about Defence secretary Liam Fox's trip to Sri Lanka

by Owen Bowcott and Nicholas Watt
Guardian.co.uk

Liam Fox, the defence secretary, is planning to defy the Foreign Office by making a personal visit to Sri Lanka this weekend to deliver a speech in honour of a former foreign minister. [TC]

British Parliament spotlight on Sri Lanka again

Sri Lanka (Red Cross Operations)

Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden) (Lab): What recent reports he has received on the decision by the Sri Lankan authorities to end the operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the north of that country. [TC]

"Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, one is presumed guilty until proven innocent"- D.B.S. Jeyaraj

By Swaminathan Natarajan
BBC Tamil

Hundreds of Tamils detained for years on charges of helping the Tamil Tigers have asked Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to show mercy or grant them a trial. [TC]

'Will govt take care of minority Tamil population in North, as much as it does with other Sinhalese populations in the south?'

by Nita Bhalla

NEW DELHI (AlertNet) - Sri Lanka’s 25-year war is over but aid groups on the Indian Ocean island say strict government controls are hampering their ability to help hundreds of thousands of survivors rebuild their lives. [TC]

Have National Anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil languages

By National Peace Council

There are reports that the government has decided that the national anthem would be sung only in Sinhala at all official and state functions although the Constitution of Sri Lanka states that both Sinhala and Tamil are official languages. [TC]

If only Sri Lankans can see ourselves as others see us

by Gamini Weerakoon

Philosophers down the ages have pointed out that one of the greatest of deceptions people face as individuals and nations is self deception. It is human nature to avoid looking into the mirror when we realise that the image looking back would be repulsive. [TC]

War crimes allegations and the revanchist global psywar against Sri Lanka

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

"You never empower the perps, no matter how many aces they’re holding"
Dave Robicheaux in James Lee Burke, ‘The Tin Roof Blowdown’ (2007)

Let’s confront the issue of "war crimes" and all that jazz. In the first place, where is it an issue and among whom? Hardly among the states in our neighbourhood or on the continent to which we belong. [TC]

Tamil Christian Congregation of Western Australia celebrates 25th carol service 

Twenty five years of blessings

By Saba-Thambi

Last Saturday the 11th of December 2010 has been a special occasion for the members of the Tamil Christian Congregation of Western Australia (TCC) as they celebrated their 25th carol service in Perth. The carol service was held at the Maylands-Mount Lawley Uniting Church at 5.30 pm. [TC]

Cabinet defers decision on National Anthem language

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Contrary to news reports the Sri Lankan cabinet has NOT decided that the National Anthem should be sung in Sinhala and not in Tamil also. [TC]

Sri Lankan President is Behaving like gangster politician in Hindi film

By Sarath Fonseka

An Open Appeal Issued by Former Army Chief and Presidential Candidate 2010

Dear Sri Lankans,

The time has now come for us to stop being complacent and start taking an active role in shaping our future and the future of this country. Sri Lanka is still a democracy and the Constitution specifies certain rights - among them the right of the citizens to exercise their franchise without being intimidated or persecuted. [TC]

Would Karu Jayasuriya have asked for "investigation" if Sarath Fonseka had been elected President?

By Kalana Senaratne

Can a senior, experienced and responsible politician be taken seriously when he asks the government to investigate allegations of war-crimes levelled by protesting pro-LTTE/separatist groups when that politician is one who seriously believed that the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka should become the President of Sri Lanka not so long ago? [TC]

President Rajapaksa initiates political dialogue with TNA

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Tamil National Alliance (TNA)leader, Rajavarothayam Sampanthan underwent heart surgery at a hospital in New Delhi on December 7th. The surgery according to TNA sources was successful and the veteran Tamil Parliamentarian from Trincomalee is likely to be discharged this week

The septuagenarian Sampanthan will not however be returning to Sri Lanka soon. Given his age and state of health, Sampanthan will be recuperating in Chennai with his family and not engage in active politics for quite a while. [dbsj]

National Anthem only in Sinhala; Tamil version out

Sri Lanka's national anthem will remain only in Sinhala, the Cabinet decided on Wednesday. The move will mean that the current Tamil version will no longer be played at any official or state functions. At present, the Sinhala version of Sri Lanka Matha is used in all parts of the country with the exception of the North and the East which have a large Tamil population. [TC]

US envoy Patricia Butenis is not a Tiger, Tiger supporter or sympathiser

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

One does hope that in her next cablegram, Ambassador Patricia Butenis will not fail to inform her bosses that Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the highest ranking Sri Lankan in a formation that stands at a rare interface of global civil society and the global inter-state system; [TC]

LTTE Scored its first goal after Prabhakaran's death while Mahinda sulked at Dorchester

By Gomin Dayasri

Lessons Learnt and Reconcile. It's not the commission sitting at Horton Place rather a lesson of a lifetime learnt at Oxford. Pilgrimage to Oxford is a trek to a colonial bygone; paying homage to an educational enclave for kittens of fat cats with stuffed purses mostly of mid-eastern breeds that attracts more gravitation than heavy academic magnets. [TC]

Denials will not make the war crimes issue go away

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“For almost an hour in a suite in the Dorchester, Mr. Rajapaksa had painted a picture of his government and country that was as white and spotless as his traditional garb….. His large entourage, ranged on sofas around the room, nodded in rapt agreement at every word the President said”. — The Times (2.12.2010)

There is madness in the air. Instead of making a sobre analysis of the Oxford debacle and deriving appropriate lessons, the regime is frenziedly lashing out at the opposition, dementedly searching for suitable ‘sacrificial victims’ to propitiate the Jovian wrath of the President. [TC]

Cabinet Ministers have given wrong advice to President expecting to humiliate him

by Dr.Vickramahu Karunaratne

I came back from England on November 7, Tuesday. I was warned by friends that I could get arrested by the Mahinda regime. But the ruler had a better arrangement set for me. I was not disturbed in any way while I went through the airport. In fact most respectfully officials attended to my matters and within minutes I was out of the airport. [TC]

"It Was My Statement And I Take Full Responsibility For It" - Karu Jayasuriya

An Interview with Karu Jayasuriya by Namini Wijedasa

My intentions were pure. I know it was a very strong statement. I also had very strong sentiments about the way things were happening in the country. These are not just mine but the sentiments of this country’s people. [TC]

Oxford alumni of Sri Lanka must speak up about Oxford Union cancellation

By Gnana Moonesinghe

This article is to call to attention the Oxford alumni of Sri Lanka to speak up for their country in the context of the now infamous withdrawal of the invitation to the President of Sri Lanka, to address the Oxford Union. [TC]

Rape case charge against Julian Assange is similiar to corruption charge against Sarath Fonseka

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

"Basic to a free city was the right to speak back to the state, to criticise its actions in the assembly, the courts, the theatre, or conversation. If the sate suddenly interfered with that right, it was breaking its part of the contract. It was becoming a tyranny.” IF Stone (The Trial of Socrates)

Emperors are almost always naked. We think they are garbed in regal attires because of the collective psychological blinkers imposed on us, the ruled, by dominant ideologies. [TC]

“I do not think the LTTE can revive” - Thirunavukkarasu Sridharan

by Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe

In an exclusive interview conducted in June 2010 with Thirunavukkarasu Sridharan, the leader of the left leaning Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front, Padmanaba faction, (otherwise known as the EPRLF-Naba), who spoke candidly to Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe about the general situation facing Sri Lankan Tamils after the civil war, the implications of the demise of the LTTE, and Tamil aspirations for the near future. [TC]

December 03, 2010

Dec 5 - 11:

Can Non - Tamils buy land in Jaffna?

By C. V. Vivekananthan

There is often a general outcry in the South that non-Tamils cannot buy land in the Northern Province. It is commonly believed in the South that Thesawalamai lays down restrictions in transferring the ownership of immovable properties to non-Tamils. [TC]

Sri Lanka to boycott Nobel peace prize award ceremony [TC]

"My life is in danger" says Dr.Bahu

Leader of the New Left Front Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne said that the government is trying to silence him in order to stop criticism against the government. [TC]

Attack on journalists at BIA, State sanctioned attempt at suppressing media freedom - Free media movement [TC]

Buddhist monk makes submissions in Tamil Before LLRC

North and East Inter-Faith Forum Makes Representations

In the mid-afternoon of Dec 1, a small group of people, headed by a Buddhist monk, was seen entering the auditorium of the Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations to give evidence before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. [TC]

HRW Says Army Unit Linked to Executions in Sri Lanka

New Evidence Reinforces Need for Investigation of Wartime Atrocities

(New York, December 8, 2010) – New evidence links the Sri Lankan army’s 53 Division to the alleged summary execution of prisoners on May 18, 2009, during the final hours of the 26-year armed conflict in Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Proficiency in Sinhala and Tamil will be a must for public sector recruitment in future – Vasudeva

By Lynn Ockersz

‘A bilingual capability, or a knowledge of Sinhala and Tamil, will be a prerequisite for those aspiring for recruitment to the country’s public sector in the future. [TC]

Shelter tops returnees' needs as rains continue

by IRIN

Heavy rains continue to wreak havoc on the lives of thousands of returnees to Sri Lanka's conflict-affected north, aid agencies say. [TC]

The Snake is dead; why still keep awake looking at the Roof?

By Chakravarthy

The snake is dead. This is what the authorities have been emphasizing from May 17, 2009 and we believe so without any reservation. Road check posts are removed in many places and identity card is asked for randomly by the soldiers who are seen in few points. [TC]

Will Mahinda learn some lessons from London "fiasco"?

By S. L. Gunasekara

The Head of State of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, went to London to address the Oxford Union upon their invitation. [TC]

Professor R.A.L.H.(Leslie) Gunawardana: an appreciation of his life and scholarly contribution

By Prof. Gananath Obeysekera

I was saddened to hear the news of the death on 16 November of Leslie Gunawardana, someone whom I knew from our Peradeniya days and with whom I have maintained a long friendship even when I, unlike Leslie, lived and worked in the US for much of the time. [TC]

"As a Medical Officer I was Trying Hard to Control my Emotions"

By Dr.Thangamuthu Sathiyamoorthy
Medical Supdt, Vavuniya

Born in 1970, I had my primary and secondary education at Kilinochchi Hindu College till 1989. Entering the Medical Faculty of the University of Jaffna in 1991, I passed out as a medical graduate in 1998 with an internship at Base Hospital, Nuwara Eliya from 1999 to 2000. [TC]

I Want to be a Sri Lankan as well as a Tamilian

By Dr. Noel Nadesan

A good day to you, ladies and gentlemen,

I thank the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission for having invited me to present my point. [TC]

W.D.Amaradeva: Creator of Modern Sinhala Music

by Dr.Carlo Fonseka

Amaradeva is the creator of modern Sinhala Music. His biography is its history. He set out to discover the genuine idiom of Sinhala music, the highest development of which to date is the art song. [TC]

Rajapaksa regime wants to expel Colombo’s poor through a "humanitarian" operation

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The poor are ugly, unclean and undesirable; they obstruct flood-control, law and order and development. Colombo cannot become a modern metropolis with clean air, unblocked drains and safe streets while the poor are here. To win the development war, the poor must be removed, en masse. [TC]

Why should a popular govt feel threatened by a most unpopular politician?

By Kalana Senaratne

Sri Lanka has been provoked, and that too, in an unprecedented manner. Not necessarily due to the Oxford Union’s unilateral decision to cancel the scheduled speech of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. [TC]

The ubiquity of the Tiger flag in the recent London drama

by Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

I don’t know about you but what struck me most about the recent drama in London was the ubiquity of the Tiger flag, with its 32 bullets and crossed rifles. This was not a protest by ‘suffering’ Tamils and associated solidarity groups. [TC]

False notes in President Rajapaksa's second symphony

by Col R Hariharan

President Mahinda Rajapaksa started his second innings as President when he was sworn in at an auspicious hour on November 19, 2010 with all the pomp and ceremony associated with the coronation of royalty. [TC]

The best opportunity to resolve the Tamil National question is available to the UPFA govt.

by Sumanasiri Liyanage

The United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance, in my view, reached its climax at the Parliamentary election held in April 2010. [TC]

Tamil public opinion has to choose between the West based diaspora and India

by Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

The massive WikiLeaks detonation took place in the wake of a significant conjunction of events for Sri Lanka. That was the celebration of Mahaveera day by the Diaspora Tamils and the visit to Jaffna by India’s Foreign Minister SM Krishna. [TC]

The Oxford debacle was avoidable and could have been avoided

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

Call it a result of hubris, blinding, stupefying hubris. The Oxford fiasco need not have happened, if President Rajapaksa did not have an insatiable appetite for such inane encomiums as, ‘The Leader who Conquered the World’; or if his ministers, officials and other hangers-on were a little less inclined to lie, cheat and exaggerate in order to please their Lord and Master. [TC]

The President's visit to Britain should be an eye-opener to this regime

by Karu Jayasuriya

Statement by Deputy Leader of the United National Party

The events that transpired during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to Britain have filled the people of this country with dismay and caused significant embarrassment to the Sri Lankan state and its citizenry. [TC]

Remembering Late S. Sivanayagam

by Dr. V. Suryanarayan (Chennai, India)

Genial and friendly, Sivanayagam was a great conversationalist, had a good sense of humour and used to enjoy jokes, bald and ribald. [TC]

Mahinda Denied Right of Free Speech by Oxford Union

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Journalists James Harding and Ben Macintyre of the UK ”Times” were about to leave the Dorchester Hotel in London on December 1st 2010 when an aide of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa came down hastily to the lobby and contacted them.

“President Rajapaksa wants to see you urgently. Can you come please?” asked the Presidential emissary. [DBSJ]

Parallel world’s short circuit in Oxford

By Dushy Ranetunge

Wimal Weerawansa, who survived a fast on to death outside the UN compound in Buller’s Road, amidst voodoo style devil dancing, has accused the Sri Lankan High Commission in London of failing in their duty to warn President Rajapakse of the security risks of his recent trip to London. [TC]