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February 26, 2011

Feb 27 - Mar 5:

US Senate Resolution calling for an Independent International Investigation in Sri Lanka passes unopposed

The US Senate on March 1, 2011 unanimously passed Senate Resolution 84, calling for an "independent international accountability mechanism to look into reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations committed by both sides during and after the war in Sri Lanka and to make recommendations regarding accountability." [TC]

Opening of American Corner Builds on Hope and Tradition in Jaffna

by Melissa Coulter and Jeffrey Anderson

 

We recently traveled to Jaffna with Ambassador Patricia Butenis, USAID Director Jim Bednar, and other Embassy staff for the opening of our new American Corner on January 24. [TC]

'Government not paying enough attention to facilitate the return process of Muslim IDPs'

by IRIN News

COLOMBO, 3 March 2011 (IRIN) - The government of Sri Lanka has renewed its pledge to resettle Muslims evicted more than two decades ago from the war-affected north. [TC]

'Sivarathri--the spiritual night of Lord Shiva

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Mahasivarathri (“great night of Lord Shiva”) is celebrated on March 2nd this year - 2011; it always falls on the fourteenth day of the lunar fortnight. Mahasivarathri is considered the most important day for the devotees of Lord Shiva, and there are special celebrations at Sivan temples. [HA- Pictorial on Sivarathri ~ first published in March 2008]

The Need to Address Persistent Impunity for Violations and Abuses of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Laws - Amnesty Int'l

Amnesty International written statement to the sixteenth session of the Human Rights Council (28 February – 25 March 2011) [TC]

Achieving national reconciliation essential to truly realize all the promise and positive things going for Sri Lanka - Asst. Sec. Robert Blake

Full Text of Interview: AFP - Amb. Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs via DVC with Washington, DC

February 28, 2011

QUESTION: Basically what I was seeing if we can discuss with you is essentially after the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka how you kind of place U.S.-Sri Lankan relations now, particularly in the post-war, but not necessarily post-conflict? But how do you sort of see the situation since you left Colombo? [TC]

Attacks on fishermen has given ordinary Indians glimpse of the lack of accountability of Sri Lanka security forces - HRW

Sri Lanka attacks on fishermen are a wake-up call to India

by Meenakshi Ganguly

ON JANUARY 22, the Sri Lankan Navy intercepted an Indian fishing boat from Tamil Nadu. Two fishermen jumped into the sea, but 28year-old Jayakumar stayed on his boat. [TC]

Intrusion of Indian fishermen in SL waters is a "Fishy sort of tale"

by V.Sudarshan

Every night the radar systems in Sri Lanka pick up the presence of Indian trawlers off its coastline. Sometimes our boats go as far south as Trincomalee. [TC]

President Rajapaksa's love for  the children of Sri Lanka

by Bandula Jayasekara

President Mahinda Rajapaksa starts his day very early. All his days are very busy and his meetings and other engagements go on till late. [TC]

Non-violent direct action campaign begins in Jaffna

50th Anniversary of 1961 Tamil Satyagraha-2

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The Throne Speech outlining the policies and plans of the new Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Government of Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike was delivered on August 12th 1960. [DBSJ]

Accountability for Violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in Counterinsurgency: The Case of Sri Lanka 

By The Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) at Harvard University

This Live Seminar examined mechanisms and strategies to promote accountability for IHL violations committed during counterinsurgencies, focusing on the case of Sri Lanka. [TC]

Is dual citizenship being discontinued for all to avoid war crimes chages for some?

by Ranga Jayasuriya

Some key positions of this government have been filled by dual citizens. Gotabaya Rajapaksa - the powerful Defence Secretary is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and the USA. [TC]

Don't continue to scratch a wound that Sri Lanka is desperately trying to heal

by Palitha Kohona

(Text of a recent speech at Harvard University,USA by Ambassador Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York ) [TC]

Parallels between the Gaddafis of Libya and the Rajapaksas of Medamulana

By Mangala Samaraweera, M.P.

It is with great alarm that the peace loving people of the civilised world witness the despotic regime of Muammar Gaddafi killing his own people, using heavy weapons and even fighter aircraft to bomb civilian targets in a desperate attempt to retain power. [TC]

Tyrants and Their Families: Gaddafis and Rajapaksas.

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Muammar is leader of the revolution until the end of time…. When they (the protestors) are caught they will beg for mercy, but we will not be merciful.” — Muammar Gaddafi (Address to the Nation – 22.2.2011) [TC]

Sri Lankan Muslims: between ethno-nationalism and the global ummah

by DENNIS B. MCGILVRAY

In addition, during the past decade a sharp internal conflict has arisen within the Sri Lankan Muslim community between locally popular Sufi sheiks and the followers of hostile Islamic reformist movements energised by ideas and resources from the global ummah, or world community of Muslims. [TC]

Why The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (TNA) could not expel Amparai district MP Piyasena

By Ruana Rajepakse

For the past eighteen years parliamentary political parties have had a zero success rate in expelling from their parties Members of Parliament who cross over or fail to obey the party whip when voting in Parliament. [TC]

Colombo cannot be made "Garden City of Asia" without gardens

by Gamini Weerakoon

A recent report of the Economist Intelligence Unit of the 168-year-old Economist magazine would have rudely shattered the dreams of those visionaries of making Sri Lanka the ‘Asian Miracle’ with its capital, Colombo, as the ‘Garden City of Asia’ [TC]

Sri Lankan Foreign Service: Beating the “Deer Skin” at Home?

By Bandu de Silva

It looks as if all Pundits have spoken their mind on the recent performance of the Foreign Service and there is nothing more left to be said. [TC]

'Cast a VOTE for a WOMAN' - Seeking Increased representation of women through upcoming local polls

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

We will destroy the idiocy
Of denigrating womanhood!”
~ Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyaar, (11 December 1882 ~11 September 1921), (Tamil Poet, Reformer and Freedom Fighter who supported the women and their rights) [TC]

February 18, 2011

Feb 20 - 26:

Marriage, education and job prospects for female former rebels who fought with LTTE are bleak

by IRIN News

KILINOCHCHI, 23 February 2011 (IRIN) - Former female combatants in northern Sri Lanka face a tough time returning to civilian life, with fewer marriage, education and job prospects due to stigma, say aid workers and activists. [TC]

Cremated LTTE chief's mother's ashes desecrated 

by Krishan Francis
Associated Press

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- The ashes of the mother of Sri Lanka's former rebel leader have been desecrated hours after her body was cremated, a relative said Wednesday. [TC]

Tractors donated by India for Sri Lanka's North diverted to South charges TNA

By Kelum Bandara

The government had transferred 200 tractors to two state institutions out of a total of 500 tractors donated by India for the use of war affected farmers in the North, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) charged in Parliament yesterday. [TC]

In Pictures & Video: UK Minister Alistair Burt in Colombo & Jaffna, announces contribution to relief efforts

The Minister met a resettled community at Viththakapuram, in Tellipalai, Jaffna. [TC]

Indian intelligence is maintaining links with Rudrakumaran and Global Tamil Forum

by Upul Joseph Fernando

The Hindu’ newspaper of India recently reported that the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has sent alert messages to Indian security officials that the LTTE cadres in Tamil Nadu are conspiring to carry out attacks targeting VVIPs during the Indian assembly election season, that is ,at the forthcoming Tamil Nadu State elections it is likely that the LTTE cadres are targeting Indian Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh [TC]

The Musical phenomenon called Victor Ratnayake

by Prof Carlo Fonseka

As someone with a long and close association with the University of Colombo, I am delighted to join Vice Chancellor Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama, Prof. Samantha Herath and others to celebrate Victor Ratnayake, the greatly loved musician in the world of Sinhala music. [TC]

Palitha Kohona could face court over Tamil Tigers deaths

by Dylan Welch

AN AUSTRALIAN citizen and senior Sri Lankan diplomat has been accused of complicity in the murders of three surrendering Tamil Tigers in an application to the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. [TC]

War crimes charges filed before International Criminal Court name Palitha Kohona and Vijay Nambiar

By Mathew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 21 -- Charges filed with the International Criminal Court concerning war crimes in Sri Lanka name not only that country's Permanent Representative to the UN Palitha Kohona, based on his joint Australian citizenship, but also UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's own chief of staff Vijay Nambiar. [TC]

Thamilchelvan statue cannot affect relations with France says Sri Lankan envoy

by Easwaran Rutnam

While expressing dismay at a bust of former LTTE political head S.P Thamilchelvam being erected once again in France, the Sri Lankan government says the statue is too insignificant to the strong relations between Sri Lanka and France. [TC]

The fundamental problem is not secessionism or devolution but justice for all communities in the island

by Dr. Asoka Bandarage

At a closed-door workshop on Sri Lanka organized by the United States Institute for Peace and the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. in August 2009, a leading Sri Lankan Tamil activist and a moderate asserted that Diaspora agitation would stop immediately when ‘13th plus’ or Tamil regional autonomy was conceded. [TC]

Colombo 10th worst city in the world to live in

Colombo, Sri Lanka’s financial capital, is among the ten worst livable cities in the world, according to a recent survey carried out by the reputed The Economist Intelligence Unit. [TC]

Sri Lankan Foreign Service must put its own house in order before anything else

by Kalana Senaratne

We are in the USA, far away from Sri Lanka. Dr. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN (in New York), had this to say: [TC]

Mother of LTTE leader passes away [TC]

Mahinda is "The Universally renowned Lord of the Three Sinhala Lands"

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

“…Hitler (was) a brilliant populist manipulator who insisted and probably believed that Providence has chosen him as Germany’s saviour… People were enthralled by the Nazis’ cunning transportation of politics into carefully staged pageantry, into flag-waving martial mass”. — Fritz Stern (The Leo Baeck Medal Acceptance Speech) [TC]

Harmonizing our multi ethnic multi religious society without polarization is the way forward

by H.M.G.S.Palihakkara

Text of J.E. Jayasuriya Memorial Lecture titled "Post conflict Foreign Policy challenges for Sri Lanka" [TC]

Movement restricted 5,000 suspected ex-combatants in internment camps and no time set for their release - UN

Excerpts from Vocie Of America News

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Neil Buhne says the impact of the floods upon people who were caught up in the later stages of the long-running civil war between the government and Tamil Tigers is particularly harsh. [TC]

Sri Lankan farmers need urgent help after losing rice harvest to floods – UN official

UN News Centre

18 February 2011 Sri Lanka may have lost up to 40 per cent of the national rice harvest to the two waves of floods that ravaged the country in December and January, and inhabitants of the affected areas will need continued humanitarian support until they recover from the destruction, a United Nations official said today. [TC]

Parliament, People’s sovereignty and the Military Mechanism of Court Martial

by Ranil Wickremesinghe -
Leader of the Opposition

The Parliament of Sri Lanka has never questioned the existence of the military mechanism of Court Martial under the current Constitution or any of the earlier Constitutions. [TC]

The Extraordinary Contribution of Dayan Jayatilleke in Geneva

by Dr.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

The two sisters among the mourners, whose voices had till now lacked their usual intensity, rose and rent the air with their shrill cries, quite unconcerned about the fate of the Master of Ceremonies. [TC]

50th Anniversary of 1961 Tamil “Satyagraha” campaign

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ

"Thus the violence of the oppressor silenced the non-violence of the oppressed; the armed might of Sinhala chauvinism crushed the ahimsa of the Tamils. This historical event marked the beginning of a political experience that was crucial to the Tamil national struggle, an experience that taught the Tamils that the moral power of non-violence could not consume the military power of a violent oppressor whose racial hatred transcends all ethical norms of humanness and civilized behaviour.

To the oppressor this event encouraged the view that military terrorism is the only answer to the Tamil demand and that the non-violent foundation of the Tamil political agitation is a weak and impotent structure against the barrel of the gun." - Anton Balasingham in LTTE booklet “Liberation Tigers and Tamil Eelam Freedom Struggle

February 20th 1961 is a very important date in the history of the Sri Lankan Tamil political struggle to regain lost rights. [dbsj]

February 12, 2011

Feb 13 - 19:

Tamil Scholar Bishop Caldwell's House now a Memorial

IDAIYANKUDI: English Protestant missionary Bishop Robert Caldwell's house at Idaiyankudi, a small hamlet situated about 70 Km from here, is now a memorial. The 19th century house has been renovated at a cost of Rs.18.50 lakh by the State Government. It was inaugurated by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi through videoconferencing on Thursday. [TC]

Signing of India power generation project in Sri Lanka hits hurdle

by Sanjay Dutta

NEW DELHI: The Sri Lanka Attorney General's office has raised 70 queries on basic issues at the nick of time, which has delayed signing of a deal for India's first overseas power generation project that has been in the works since 2006. [TC]

Sri Lankan floods cause $50 million in damages to irrigation networks

PANSALGOLLA, Sri Lanka (AlertNet) – Gamhevage Dayananda, a Sri Lankan rice farmer, used to earn a decent living off his two acres of paddy rice. In January, however, floodwaters destroyed the irrigation network that fed his village’s rice fields, taking his livelihood with them [TC]

Supreme Court has not violated basic principles of constitutional law in Sarath Fonseka case as alleged by Ranil Wickremesinghe

by Nigel Hatch - Presidents Counsel [TC]

Violence must stop first before resolving livelihood issues of fishermen on both sides - Kanimozhi

by Rohini Mohan

DMK Rajya Sabha member, and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s daughter, Kanimozhi answers questions following TEHELKA’s special report on the shooting of fishermen from Tamil Nadu. [TC]

Attack on CBS correspondent in Cairo: 'Sexual torture taking place amid the greatest jubilation'

Attack on Lara Logan inevitable in retrospect

By Heather Mallick Toronto Star

The violent sexual attack on CBS correspondent Lara Logan took place on Egypt’s greatest day, the Friday that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down. It was in Tahrir Square, the place known as “Freedom Square” that the whole world had been watching for days. [TC]

Commemorative Lecture in memoriam of Lasantha Wickrematunge

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” ~ Martin Luther King Jr, (15 January 1929 ~ 4 April 1968), (Activist, Clergyman, and prominent leader in African ~ American Civil rights movement) [HA]

41 British MPs urge Prime Minister Cameron to support an independent, international war crimes investigation in Sri Lanka

Today, 41 British MPs drawn from the three major parties at Westminster, have written to the British Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to add Britain’s support to calls for an independent, international inquiry into allegations of war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s 25 year civil conflict (letter is attached). The MPs are all Members or Supporters of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils. [TC]

UN Committee calls on prompt investigations and prosecutions in Sri Lanka

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) urges Sri Lanka to “promptly investigate, prosecute and punish all acts of violence including sexual violence” which have arisen during the last stages of the conflict and in the post conflict phase [TC]

Colvin R. de Silva: A multi - dimensional personality

by Batty Weerakoon

The late Dr. Colvin R. de Silva’s birthday falls on February 16. He was born on 16th February 1907 and his demise took place on 27th February 1989 at the age of 82. In February 1993 his bust was unveiled at the Law Library. [TC]

Sinhala Nationalism and Tamil Vellalas [DBSJeyaraj.com]

Efforts to de-legitimize The Mahavamsa – A Few Comments on J.L. Devananda’s Response [DBSJeyaraj.com]

Sri Lanka must set up cricket school with Murali in charge

by Amarnath Paul

"Adversity cause some men to break; others to break records" – William A. Ward

From the moment Muralitharan entered the arena of cricket he has been an awesome competitor. He worked tirelessly to get to the top and put his heart and soul into the game he so loved. [TC] 

Queen of Murasumottai celebrates her centenary birthday

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Louisa Arulamma Thambyrajah celebrated her centenary birthday on 6th of February 2011. She was born on 6th of February 1911 in her ancestral home in Chaavakachcheri in Jaffna Peninsula, North of Sri Lanka.It is a great miracle that she survived the brutal war. Her life, experience and challenges are unbelievable, but they are true. [HA]

'Modern pharaoh fell victim to those weapons of the young: Wael Ghonim and Egypt's New Age Revolution'

'18-day revolution began not with terrorism and tanks, but with Twitter and texts and satellite TV broadcasts'

CBS 60 Minutes
13 Feb, 2011

(CBSNews) This Sunday night, for the first time in more than two weeks, traffic is flowing through Cairo's Tahrir Square. In Egypt, businesses are open, university classes are back in session and a new military government rules with popular support and a promise of coming democracy. [TC]

Poetry of the Arab Revolt

Many activists have been quoting the poem “To the Tyrants of the World” by Tunisian poet Abul-Qasim al-Shabi (24. February 1909 - 9 October 1934), throughout Tunisia and Egypt particularly. This poem was recently featured in the “Aid Watchers.com” blog - a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI); - Ela Toghat Al Alaam ("To the Tyrants of the World"): [TC]

The self-destructive scorpions of the United National Party

by Dr.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

There is an old folk tale about a scorpion that asked a frog to give him a lift across a river. The frog was naturally frightened that the scorpion would sting him, but the scorpion promised he would not, and pointed out that, were he to sting the frog while they were en route, they would both drown. [TC]

Egyptian Peoples Revolt Has Deep Lessons For Both Oppressed and Oppressor in Sri Lanka

By Karu Jayasuriya
Deputy Leader UNP

Sri Lanka and the rest of the eastern world awoke to scenes of jubilation in the Egyptian capital Cairo, where 18 days of largely peaceful pro-democracy protests finally saw President Hosni Mubarak, being compelled to step down and give in to the fierce demands of his people. [TC]

An Open Letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the National Anthem

by Prof. Michael Roberts [TC]

First Citizens Peace Award of National Peace Council awarded to Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

The Citizens Peace Award for 2010 of the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka has been awarded to Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives. Dr Saravanamuttu was selected from 52 nominations received after the award was announced in November 2010. [TC]

The Geneva consensus: Setting the record straight

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

I write to correct an impression that may have been conveyed or mistakenly derived from references in an article ('The "race" between Mahinda Rajapaksa's LLRC and Ban-Ki-moon's UN panel') on your website to the evolution of the Sri Lankan issue at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva during the last war. [TC]

Promoting the Rights of Tamils without espousing separatism or violence

By Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha

I was delighted when Nirgunan Tiruchelvam, grandson of the Senator and son of Neelan, gave me a copy of ‘Senator Tiruchelvam’s Legacy: Selected Speeches of and Tributes to Senator Murugeysan Tiruchelvam QC’. Having read it, I explored further and found an illuminating article written when the book was published in 2007 by my old schoolfriend D B S Jeyaraj, whom I knew as the slim young Sabapathy way back in the sixties. [TC]

Rajapaksa govt should be faulted for callous response towards floods devastation

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“But these were monstrous times. So, naturally Jennie turned monstrous”. Klaus Mann (The Turning Point)

Neither President Mahinda Rajapaksa nor his administration can be faulted for the calamitous weather conditions afflicting Sri Lanka. Global warming is a global phenomenon, an environmental malaise to which the entire world (and each one of its people) has contributed, to a greater or a lesser degree. [TC]

The "race" between Mahinda Rajapaksa's LLRC and Ban-Ki-moon's UN panel

by Sarala Fernando

In the current situation of natural disaster with the floods, not much attention is being paid to the race that is being run between the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) in Sri Lanka and the Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General in New York to "advice" him on the accountability issues with regard to the conflict in Sri Lanka. [TC]

US urged to work with Sri Lanka gov to encourage transparency, accountability, and equal representation of Tamils 

American Enterprise Institute event Video: Sri Lanka: The Road Ahead

WASHINGTON, FEBRUARY 11, 2011 The United States should work with the Sri Lankan government to encourage transparency, accountability, and equal representation of Tamils--a historically marginalized, persecuted, and underrepresented ethnic group--panelists agreed at an American Enterprise Institute event Friday. [TC]

Grand music festival boosting Northern folk artistes to be held from March 25 - 27th in Jaffna

By Dhananjani Silva

The traditional folk artistes from the northern region of Sri Lanka are today an enthusiastic group making preparations for that grand comeback after almost three decades of oblivion. [TC]

Is Govt "allowing" foreigners circumvent laws in purchasing public property?

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya

The government’s sale of several acres of land currently occupied by the Defence Ministry and Army Headquarters across the road from the Galle Face Green to a foreign hotel venture has not aroused much debate in either media or Opposition circles, as might have been expected. [TC]

Soft power, hard power and sustainable smart power

by Jayantha Dhanapala

(Text of Keynote Address titled Cultural Diplomacy and Soft Power- Sustainable Smart Power at the Opening Plenary of the South and Central Asia Fulbright Regional Workshop, Hilton Hotel, Colombo, 26 January, 2011.)

I think it is necessary for us to look beyond the current headlines, particularly with controversial Wikileaks and all the issues that they raise, in order to identify the trends that are taking place in international relations and to try to forecast how those trends will develop. [TC]

Courts have no power to interfere directly or indirectly with the affairs of parliament

(Speech made by Ranil Wickremesinghe – Leader of the opposition at the opening ceremony of the 3rd CPA Asia Regional Conference in Colombo, on February, 12, 2001) [TC]

Imprisonment sentence must be declared invalid and Sarath Fonseka released immediately

by Elmore Perera

Has a three-member Court Martial been lawfully vested with power to impose upon an Army Officer a sentence of imprisonment? [TC]

Fall of Fonseka indicates that Rajapaksas cannot be beaten at their own game

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“….the dream of justice became subsumed into the callousness of reality, and people settled into a quarter century of life-waste and spirit-waste, of hardening attitudes and narrowing possibilities….” — Seamus Heaney (Nobel Lecture – 1995)

As 1.2 million Lankans struggled with the devastating effects of back-to-back floods, at an ostentatious Independence Day ceremony in Kataragama, President Rajapaksa delivered a peroration about the need to safeguard national-freedom.

February 05, 2011

Feb 6 - 12:

Successful South Sudan aside, leaders aspiring to crush secessionist movements look at Sri Lanka with awe

For every successful South Sudan, there are several suppressed Chechnyas. And every leader like Putin who aspires to crush secessionist movements has been looking with awe at Sri Lanka and its leader, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

by John Feffer
Co-director, Foreign Policy In Focus [TC]

Rights advocates decry detention of refugee claimants from MV Sun Sea  

The Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International Canada, the Canadian Tamil Congress and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group expressed their dismay today at the government’s aggressive efforts to keep the passengers of the MV Sun Sea in detention. [TC]

The difference between "patriotic" and "unpatriotic" in Sri Lanka

by Harim Peiris

Last week Sri Lanka commemorated her 63rd anniversary of freedom from colonial rule and Sri Lankans rightly celebrated the achievement of our political independence and democratic rights as a free and sovereign nation. [TC]

'While there's still time to heal the wounds in Sri Lanka, everybody needs to stop finding excuses for doing nothing'

International NGOs need to find their critical voices and stop hiding behind the fear that they'll be kicked out for speaking the truth.

by Karunyan Arulantham

Buried deep and largely unnoticed in the trove of diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks last December was an extraordinary note detailing the Sri Lankan government's alleged support of paramilitary groups involved in killing, abducting and raping Tamil civilians and in forcibly conscripting child soldiers. [TC]

Red Cross warns of funding gap as fresh flooding affects more than 1 million people in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) remains extremely concerned about the humanitarian impact of the recent flooding that has brought devastation and chaos to the eastern, northern and central provinces of Sri Lanka. [TC]

Only $8m of the $51m sought by UN for Sri Lanka flood relief flash appeal received so far [TC]

Celebration of Literature at 5th Galle Literary Festival

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Raavanesan is being performed in the Kooththu tradition ~ a form of theatre particular to the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka [HA]

Disappearance of Mr. Pattani Razeek on 11th February 2010

Mr. Razeek is a well known human rights defender in Sri Lanka and Asia. At the time of his disappearance, Mr. Razeek was the Managing Trustee of Community Trust Fund (CTF) [TC]

First anniversary of General Sarath Fonsekas arrest

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Hello Friends

February 8th  2011 is the first anniversary of General Sarath Fonseka's arrest. He was taken into custody by a contingent of soldiers on a Monday evening while he was engaged in a discussion with some political party leaders. [DBSJ]

How the UNP demonstration on Independence Day was attacked by thugs while police watched

By Harsha De Silva

I am generally not the street-protesting type. I try to articulate my arguments with facts and figures, be it writing, speaking or engaging in debate. [TC]

Indian Fishermen Poaching in Sri Lankan Waters has Assumed Menacing Proportions

By Prof.V.Suryanarayan

The Foreign Secretary, Amb. Nirupama Rao, along with senior officials of the Ministry of External Affairs, visited Colombo on January 30-31, 2011. [TC]

Suba Sundaralingam of TGTE "confronts" Maj Gen Shavendra Silva in Boston

by Kalana Senaratne

Does the shaking of hands, a hand-shake, this decent act of touching human flesh, mean anything, anything significant and meaningful? [TC]

Let Events in the Middle East be an eye opener to the Ruling Regime in Sri Lanka

by Karu Jayasuriya

These are extraordinary times. Just as spontaneous actions of defiance in East Germany by its peoples led to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and eventually to the demise of oppressive Communist regimes all over Eastern Europe 22 years ago, youth on the streets of Cairo and Tunis are toppling dictatorships that just weeks ago seemed indomitable. [TC]

Pushing up food production levels in Sri Lanka through artificial means cannot be sustained

By Dr. M. A. Mohamed Saleem and Arjuna Hulugalle
Gandhi Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka

"War is over, terrorism is subdued, separatism is a taboo, and therefore Sri Lankans should come to believe that everything is on course for making this country of ours into an economic hub in the region" was the message a senior member of the governing party tried to convey recently. [TC]

Jaffna University will lose millions of rupees because of present Acting Vice - Chancellor

by John Ratnathurai

I read today’s news on public anger over the delay in appointing Jaffna’s Vice Chancellor (Feb. 05) and the earlier interview with the Minister for Higher Education, S.B. Dissanayake [TC]

Video: Floods threaten over 90 percent of rice crop [TC]

Political will to settle national issue still not forthcoming despite awareness for permanent settlement

Whither reconciliation under the incompatible system and disconcerting situation? Part II

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

The Honourable Sri Lankan Judge Christopher Gregory Weeramantry, Emeritus Professor at Monash University and formerly a Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka from 1967 to 1972, a Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from 1991 to 2000 and currently the president of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms in his submission to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on 29th November 2010 explained how Sri Lanka’s constitution blocks peace and reconciliation and the dire need for change. [TC]

Rajapakasa ruling family denouement may happen faster than Egypt or Tunisia

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“People want their freedom. People want their bread. People want to stop their lousy dictators from looting their countries”. — A Jordanian Dissident (New York Times – 30.1.2011)

Tunisia and Egypt, in revolt, are at the end of a journey Sri Lanka has just commenced. [TC]

Standards of accountability apply to our inquiry regarding the violent end to Sri Lanka's long internal war

by Ban-Ki-moon

(Oxford, United Kingdom, 2 February 2011 - Secretary-General''s Cyril Foster Lecture 2011 on "Human Protection and the 21st Century United Nations")

Mr. Vice-Chancellor, Excellencies and distinguished guests, Dear faculty members, dear students, Ladies and gentlemen, [TC]

Will other Catholic Bishops take up matters raised by Mannar Bishop before LLRC?

by Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda

Alleviation of people’s sufferings is primarily a spiritual concern. It is in that light we need to reflect on the insightful submissions made to the LLRC by the Bishop of Mannar Dr. Rayappu Joseph. [TC]

"Little Jaffna" of Tamils in Paris is often mistakenly called "Little Bombay"

By Amanda Morrow

It’s often mistakenly called “Little Bombay”, but the lively neighbourhood that stretches from the rue du Faubourg-St-Denis north to La Chapelle is actually home to Paris’s Tamil community. [TC]