« February 2011 | | April 2011 »

March 26, 2011

Mar 27 - Apr 2

Mr Harper should be 'ashamed' of MV Sun Sea ad and Tamil refugees - Bob Rae

by Bob Rae

The Conservative Ad on “human smuggling” and refugees crosses an important line.

It is based on fear, and is directly prejudicial to a fair determination of refugee claims that are currently being considered. The use of the picture of the MV Sun Sea – twice – amid statements about “crimes,” “smugglers,” and attacks on the Liberal Party – clearly leads to no other interpretation than that those individuals aboard this boat are criminals and illegitimate refugees. [TC]

Sri Lanka 'concerned' over US Assistant Secretary State Robert Blake meeting with GTF in spite of the diaspora group's 'separatist agenda'

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Sri Lankan government is concerned over a recent meeting involving senior representatives of US State Department, Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and British Tamil Forum (BTF) at the State Department, where they are believed to have discussed a strategy to compel Sri Lanka to accept an international 'war crimes' probe. [TC]

President Rajapaksa offers prayers at Tirumala

by G.P. Shukla

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday offered prayers at the Lord Venkateswara temple here. Talking to journalists, he said he prayed for better ties with India and also for ‘peace and prosperity' in his country. “I had put in my best efforts in fostering relations with India.” [TC]

'Why can't India indulge in cricket diplomacy with Lanka for the sake of Tamil brethren'

Attacking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for inviting his Pakistani counterpart to the Cricket World Cup semi-final match between India and Pakistan, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today asked if the 'special offer of cricket diplomacy' was also applicable to Sri Lanka. [TC]

'Heaps of World Cup semi-final tickets distributed at leading Colombo 7 International School while not available for others'

Several employees of Sri Lanka Cricket have brought to the notice of the hierarchy of the cricket administration the alleged malpractices in selling and distributing World Cup tickets with the name of one individual featuring prominently in these allegations. [TC]

Sri Lanka at World Cup bringing together two communities long divided along ethnic lines

by Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times

A world cup win for Sri Lanka on April 2 and even the interest generated here by the home team’s steady performance in the lead-up to the final could carry the sport beyond the boundaries of cricket. Many are looking at this cricketing opportunity as a part of the process to reconcile the Sinhala a nd Tamil communities in country emerging from a bloody ethnic war. [TC]

Backing of Libyan rebels aims to clean up West's image across the Arab world

by Ahmed Moor

There is a lot about the Western intervention in Libya that could go wrong – and it remains to be seen whether bombing Gaddafi and his mercenaries is a good decision. [TC]

NATO forces act beyond UN mandate, which was to protect the civilians in Libya - Keheliya Rambukwella

By Sandun A. Jayasekera

The government yesterday expressed its displeasure over NATO air-strikes on Libya and said the indiscriminate killing of people was not acceptable to any government. [TC]

Diplomatic corps must act to free ailing journalist Bennet Rupasinghe

The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the international diplomatic community in Colombo to help secure the release of Lanka eNews website News Editor Bennet Rupasinghe. [TC]

Canada Gov't to Tamil refugee claimants: pay smugglers or stay in jail - CTV News investigation

By: Jon Woodward

The federal government has been telling Tamil refugee claimants to pay tens of thousands of dollars to the smugglers who brought them here -- or Canada won't let them out of jail. [TC]

On the smugglers’ trail: Sun Sea’s Canadian link and the unlucky ones

by Stewart Bell

BANGKOK — In the office of Thailand’s Anti Human Trafficking Division, Colonel Panya Pinsook flips through photos of engine parts, sacks of food, plastic oil drums -and the Canadians caught with the cache of supplies. [TC]

On the smugglers’ trail: U.K. man ‘Peg Leg Shankar’ wanted by Interpol - RCMP ‘making a difference’

By Stewart Bell

Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for a British man accused of running the human smuggling network that sent 76 Sri Lankans to Canada aboard a cargo ship in 2009. [TC]

Protect Sri Lanka’s tradition of selecting Administrators objectively by competitive examination

by Tissa Devendra

It is with some nervousness that I venture to address today’s audience of experts in foreign affairs and their students as I have absolutely no knowledge of this subject, having spent most of my career as an officer in District Kachcheries. [TC]

Global Tamil Forum meets with US Assistant Secretary Blake

Statement by GTF

Global Tamil Forum met with US Assistant Secretary Blake as it continues to engage the Global community to bring focus to the resolution of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. The delegation lead by its President, Rev. Father S.J.Emmanuel (Germany) included President the USTPAC, Dr. Elias Jeyarajah, Mrs. Grace Williams (USA) and Suren Surendiran (UK). [TC]

Elderly returnees show signs of trauma and isolation amidst struggle to meet their daily needs

by IRIN News

COLOMBO, 30 March 2011 (IRIN) - Thousands of older returnees to Sri Lanka's conflict-affected north feel marginalized and need medical care, experts say. [TC]

Pictorial: Plying highways ~ perilling humanity

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai


Govt. most vociferous on behalf of murderous leader Gaddafi is uncaring about campaigning on behalf of Tibetan ‘living Buddha’

by Upul Joseph Fernando

When Sri Lanka (SL) is gearing up to commemorate the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi to mark the 2600th year following the enlightenment of Lord Buddha, the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama popularly recognized as the ‘ living Buddha’ has decided to go on retirement on the 10th of March 2011. [TC]

Many writers in Sri Lanka seem to treat war crimes with a broad brush

by Dushy Ranetunge in London

The presence of reporters in the ground in the Libyan conflict zone will result in whistle-blowing of any transgressions, and this in itself acts as a deterrent and careful action by allied bombers. These are all processes, which will legally protect and defend the Allies and now NATO against war crimes allegations. [TC]

Friday Forum deeply concened about recent appointments to Human Rights Commission

The Friday Forum is an informal gathering of public spirited persons who are dedicated to promoting peace and development in Sri Lanka within a framework of democracy, social justice and pluralism. To that end, the Forum has, from time to time, made interventions regarding matters of public concern. [TC]

The politics of domestic and international accountability options in Sri Lanka

by Alan Keenan

1. The need for an international investigation

The International Crisis Group, like others concerned with a sustainable and just peace in Sri Lanka, has been calling for the establishment of an independent and international commission to look into the many credible and well-documented allegations of war crimes in the final months of Sri Lanka’s long civil war. [TC]

EU Subsidy cut has had little impact on Sri Lankan garments - Government officials

by IRIN News

COLOMBO, 28 March 2011 (IRIN) - More than seven months after the European Union (EU) suspended its preferential trade agreement with Sri Lanka in protest over the country’s human rights record, the subsidy cut has had little impact on the sector targeted, according to government officials. [TC]

Day 3: Jaffna’s Musical Potpourri

Jaffna Musical Festival Promotes Reconciliation through Music, Arts and Drama,” said the US Embassy press release marking USAID’s partnership of the collaborative effort in bringing out this medley musical scent of folklore potpourri, in the peninsula’s persevering town.


Pictures from the festival via YFrog ~ By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai [HA]

On the smugglers’ trail: ‘So many refugees are here’

By Stewart Bell

Part I ~ BANGKOK — The Vembus Restaurant is a small room with green wallpaper and a big ceiling fan that spins above tables covered with plates of spicy South Indian food.

The owner, Vidya Shankar, is from the Sri Lankan capital Colombo and he estimates there are 2,000 to 3,000 of his countrymen in Bangkok, most of them waiting to travel to other countries.

“So many refugees are here,” he says. [TC]

Verdict will come down to whether a jury believes Rajaratnam was trying to cheat

by Bill Saporito
TIME Magazine

For the past couple of years, Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, has been shaking the trees on Wall Street. Since October 2009, Bharara has charged 46 people in his investigation of insider trading tied to "expert networks." [TC]

Muttiah Muralitharan and Sir Ian Botham announce project for youngsters in the heart of Sri Lanka North, Mankulam 

By Simon Haydon

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-As his cricketing career winds down, Sri Lanka's superstar Muttiah Muralitharan, the man who can spin a cricket ball like magic, is turning his sights on dragging war-shattered youngsters out of poverty and nurturing the country's next generation of athletes. [TC]

Day 2: Folklore extravaganza in the North

Pictures from the festival via YFrog ~ By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai [HA]

Rajapaksa siblings planning to nullify 13th Amendment and debase parliamentary sovereignty

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” — Orwell (In Front Of Your Nose)

As the latest WikiLeaks-cables reveal, lies and deception occupy a position of honour in the Rajapaksa modus operandi. Open defiance is not the Rajapaksa way, when operating in an unfavourable climate of opinion. [TC]

U.S. sought a bigger role in pushing a political solution for Tamils but was kept at bay by India

by Nirupama Subramanian

Sri Lanka told India it would implement a devolution plan for Tamil areas going beyond the 13th Amendment to its Constitution, but Indian officials were privately sceptical of the assurance. [TC]

March 20, 2011

Mar 20 - 26:

In Pictures: Jaffna Music Festival - Mar 25, Inaugural Day

Pictures via YFrog ~ By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai [HA]

'We strongly believe there is still sufficient work to warrant maintaining a delegation in Sri Lanka' - ICRC

by International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Resource Centre
March 25, 2011

In November 2010, the Sri Lankan government asked the ICRC to close its offices in Jaffna and Vavuniya and to conduct its operations exclusively from Colombo. ICRC head of delegation Yves Giovannoni and two Sri Lankan staff members from the Jaffna and Vavuniya offices reflect on ICRC operations in Sri Lanka, past and future.

What has the ICRC been doing in Sri Lanka, particularly in Jaffna and Vavuniya? [TC]

Sri Lanka missions lack staff to counter Tamil diaspora campaigns 

President’s observations about NGOs comes today amidst earlier reports indicating NGOs including UN agencies facing road blocks in providing aid to the war affected. [TW]

Elizabeth Taylor: A Lustrous Pinnacle of Hollywood Glamour


Elizabeth Taylor, the actress who dazzled generations of moviegoers with her stunning beauty and whose name was synonymous with Hollywood glamour, died on Wednesday in Los Angeles. She was 79. [TC]

Best service Tamil diaspora can do is invest in Sri Lanka and improve conditions for the people - Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka [TC]

Strong ties prompt Sri Lanka to voice for people of Libya and Gaddafi

Colombo Tamil daily Virakesari reported that the Minister said it is a tough situation for the government but due to the excellent friendly relations between Libya and Sri Lanka, it has to express the sympathies to the people of Libya in a heartfelt manner. [TW]

Political parties closely allied to Sri Lanka's president protest against Libya air strikes

By BBC News

Hundreds of people have protested against Western-led air strikes in Libya outside the United Nations headquarters in Sri Lanka. [TC]

'‘Wonder of Asia’ goal puts livelihood of local fishing communities at risk'

by Melani Manel Perera

The goal is to turn Sri Lanka into a ‘Wonder of Asia’. Tourism can jumpstart the country’s economy and create jobs. However, the needs of local fishing communities must be taken into account. Their livelihood is at risk from new projects. [TC]

'US human rights concerns complicate efforts to attract more American investment in Sri Lanka' 

by Matthew Pennington
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Rights legislation and pressure from U.S. lawmakers for a war crimes probe complicate efforts to bring more American investment to Sri Lanka after its civil war, the country's ambassador said Wednesday. [TC]

Sonia Gandhi govt unable to make Mahinda implement political solution as promised

by Upul Joseph Fernando

After the Indo- Lanka peace accord was signed, a very interesting and intriguing cartoon made a splash in the Indian media. The cartoon carried a drawing where the then Indian Prime Minister (P.M.) Rajiv Gandhi was shown as panting and running holding the tail of a tiger around a tree while the then Sri Lanka (SL) President J R Jayewardene was relaxing seated in a chair. [TC]

Significance of Libyan situation for Sri Lanka: Responsibility to protect is not a dead letter

by Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

A lot has been written and said about the popular uprisings in the Arab world and some have opined on the possibility or lack thereof of similar events in Sri Lanka. Suffice it be said that the situations in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya are different to that in this country. [TC]

Tamil Businessman remandee at New Magazine Prison complains to UN about torture

A reputed Tamil Businessman from Colombo who has been remanded at the New Magazine Prison has complained to the Human Rights division at the UN in Geneva that he had been severely tortured by the Sri Lankan Police and Intelligence services while being detained for investigations into alleged links with terrorism [TC]

Protection of the civilian population in Libya remains a concern for Sri Lanka

Statement by Ministry of External Affairs, Sri Lanka

The issue of protection of the civilian population in Libya remains a concern for Sri Lanka, as indeed for the rest of the international community. In fact, it is this very same concern that led to the adoption of UNSC Resolution 1973. [TC]

Police begin "investigation" into National Peace Council funding

Statement of the Governing Council of the National Peace Council in regard to investigation being carried on it

Last week, the Executive Director of the National Peace Council was called to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Sri Lanka Police. [TC]

Those responsible for injustices and abuses in Sri Lanka war must be held to account – Voice of America Editorial

VOA Editorial ~ Reflecting the Views of the United States Government

It has been nearly two years since the end of the conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a separatist militant organization. [TC]

Rajapaksa project of establishing familial control over the State Army and the SLFP

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Thursday’s local government election marks a key milestone in the Rajapaksa project of establishing total familial control over the state, the army and the SLFP. [TC]

Gamini Fonseka: 75th Birth Anniversary Tribute

by Prasad Gunewardene

The late Gamini has many distinctions to his credit in the film and political scene. In the film scene, as his mentor, Dr Lester James Peries says, we will never see a Gamini Fonseka again. [TC]

U.K. Tamil Activist "Moved" by Sonia Gandhi's Gesture

by Hasan Suroor

LONDON: Britain's normally hard-to-please Tamil activists were, on Saturday, effusive in their praise for United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi after she reportedly told them that she shared their concern over the situation in Sri Lanka and said that the displaced Tamils should be rehabilitated and have their rights restored. [TC]

Positive forward movement in Govt-TNA dialogue

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The on –going political dialogue between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)has registered some positive forward movement at the third round of talks held on Friday March 18th in Colombo.

The essence of the dialogue was succinctly revealed in the following excerpt from the joint communiqué released to the press after the talks [Click to read in full ~ dbsjeyaraj.com]

Video and Pictorial: A Stroll thru Jaffna Town

~ A Stroll thru Jaffna Town ~ Capturing on the go ~ of moments, on mobile ~ of people, place and perseverance ~ in nostalgia and newness ~

Jaffna~Moments of Nostalgia ~ By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai [TC]

"I am most Concerned about the relationship being built between the TGTE and the Govt of South Sudan"

An Interview with Shanaka Jayasekera by Shanika Sriyananda

A Sri Lankan counter-terrorism expert highlighting the attempts of pro-LTTE elements trying to get recognition for the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) from South Sudan, urged the government to renew its counter-terrorism strategies to defeat the former LTTE criminal network and its negative political lobbying to discredit or defame Sri Lanka internationally.

SJTC320.jpgGSSTC320.jpgVRTC320.jpg [TC]

Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam “Prime Minister” states his opinion

An E-Mail Interview with Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran by Maryam Azwer

In an email interview with The Sunday Leader, Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, ‘Prime Minister’ of the ‘Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam’ (TGTE), that was formed in May last year, shares his views on this issue, as well as other diaspora-related concerns that have arisen in recent months. [TC]

Forming a Development Corporation within the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka

by Somapala Gunadheera

Of late there have been some adverse comments on the failure to downsize the armed forces after the defeat of the LTTE and engagements of soldiers in seemingly infra dig civilian activities. It appears to be in the national interest to take an objective look at these allegations. [TC]

Devastation and genocidal attacks have not changed the Liberation dream of the Tamil masses

by Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne

In a recent interview MP Suresh Premachandran said, “That is why we are talking of a political solution within a united Sri Lanka, a federal system. It is because the diaspora has no faith in the government that they speak of a separate state. [TC]

Faux pas galore by the Sri Lankan Foreign Service political appointees

It is no secret that non-career officers or political appointees are usually not versed in diplomacy. Here are some of their goings-on that should raise a smile. [TC]

Stray Thoughts on Sri Lanka’s Victory over New Zealand, 18 March 2011 

by Prof.Michael Roberts

Sri Lanka’s comprehensive victory over New Zealand in the last match for Group A at Mumbai was marred by a controversial third umpire decision that reprieved Mahela Jayawardene when he was in his twenties. This verdict certainly had a bearing on the game and was a moment of high drama. [TC]

Old Thomians must rally together and develop the school by the sea!

by Kumar David

You’ll always remember
Where ere you may be
The school of your boyhood
The school by the sea

Nuclear radiation threat to Sri Lanka: Lessons from Chernobyl, Fukushima and Kalpakkam in South India

By Bandu de Silva

Dr. Janaka Ratnasiri has brought to the attention of the Sri Lankan public the potential dangers posed to Sri Lanka by India’s proposal to build a nuclear plant at Kudankulam, close to Kanniyakumari town at the southern tip of the Indian peninsula which is only 240 miles away from Sri Lanka’s Western coast and is in direct line with Puttalam. [TC]

India did not want to get involved in Sri Lankan peace process withut a Sinhala consensus

by K.Venkataramanan

CHENNAI: After resisting multilateral pressure to get more players involved in the Sri Lankan peace process for over two years, India seriously considered “crossing the Rubicon” in October 2005, the last days of Chandrika Kumaratunga's presidency. [TC]

India Tried to Resolve "Cohabitation Crisis"Between Chandrika and Ranil in 2003/4

by K.Venkataramanan

CHENNAI: India made an unsuccessful effort to resolve the ‘cohabitation' crisis in Sri Lanka between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe late in 2003 by suggesting that the Defence portfolio be split so that he could have effective control over military affairs in the north and east as he remained in charge of the stalled peace process. [TC]

Sisira Mendis: Retirement of an Officer and a Gentleman

BY Krishantha Prasad Cooray

There are things one can say and things one cannot say about a friend. There are things that can be said in private and not in public. There are things that can be said at a specific moment in time but never before or after. [TC]

March 11, 2011

Mar 13 - 19:

'We are with the Tamils and I am very concerned about Sri Lanka' – Sonia Gandhi

In an opportunity to speak with Mrs Gandhi following her Commonwealth lecture, at the reception for invited guests, senior members of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) raised issues regarding the plight of Tamil women in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Japan tragedy finds expression in cartoons

Lisa Mullins speaks with The World’s Carol Hills about how political cartoonists around the globe have responded to the tragedy in Japan. They’ve used the red disc on the Japanese flag to convey everything from radiation hazard symbols to mushroom clouds [TheWorld]

Does Japan need your donation?

By Laura Freschi

Many aid bloggers and journalists are doing a good job communicating a nuanced message about how to respond to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. [AW]

The world's rising democracies need to decide whose side they are on

It is ironic that India -- which intervened in what was then East Pakistan in 1971 to prevent a civilian bloodbath in Bangladesh's independence struggle, intervened in Sri Lanka in 1987 for similar reasons, and has played a critical role supporting democratic solutions to civil conflicts in Nepal, Afghanistan, and elsewhere -- decided that the same values of democracy and human rights that govern its own society are not for New Delhi to protect and advance elsewhere.

What we learned from the Security Council debate over Libya [TC]

The son also rises: Namal Rajapaksa, the president’s eldest son is being groomed for high office

The Economist 

DYNASTIES have to start somewhere. For an aspiring Gandhi in India , or a Bhutto in Pakistan , exploiting the family name to get into politics is relatively simple. Getting a dynasty going in the first place is more testing. [TC]

Campaigning on Chicago Streets to get Justice For Sri Lankan War Crimes

by Apoorva Joshi, AI -USA Intern

Yesterday a few Amnesty volunteers and I took to the streets of Chicago to collect petition signatures calling for justice for war crimes in Sri Lanka. My fellow intern stopped a woman on the street to ask for her signature: [TC]

Why Amnesty International supports setting up UN Panel on Sri Lanka

BY Yolanda Foster – Amnesty International

Since the war ended in 2009 in Sri Lanka, there have been 2 major initiatives claiming to deal with the issue of accountability. [TC]

Britain must act now on Sri Lanka with Europe, USA and India urges British APPGT 

The All Party Parliamentary Group of British Parliamentarians for Tamils (APPGT) has urged Britain to act now on the Sri Lankan issue in association with other European partners,USA and India [TC]

"Humiliation" in Sri Lanka: Is our society decent or civilised?

By Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Avishai Margalit the Israeli philosopher wrote a treatise on the Decent Society from which I have quoted often. In it he defines a civilized society as one in which people do not humiliate each other and a decent society as one in which institutions do not humiliate people. [TC]

Arthur C. Clarke, Science Fiction and the Hazards of Prophecy

by Amal Siriwardena

I met Arthur C. Clarke briefly when I was about ten years old. My father, Regi Siriwardena, then features editor of the ‘Daily News’ was interviewing Clarke. We met at Clarke’s residence at Gregory’s Road, where he was living with his then diving partner Mike Wilson (who produced the first Sinhala Colour film ‘Ran Muthu Duwa’) and Mike’s wife Elizabeth [TC]

Perpetrators allegedly from ruling UPFA identified as responsible for majority of major election violations

Local Authority Election 2011: Media Communiqués on Election Day, by Centre for Montoring Election Violence [TC]

India Protected  Sri Lanka From International Pressure to Stop the War and Talk to The LTTE

by Nirupama Subramanian

India played a key role in warding off international pressure on Sri Lanka to halt military operations and hold talks with the LTTE in the dramatic final days and weeks of the war in 2009, confidential U.S. Embassy cables accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks showed. [TC]

Saving the Sri Lankan Foreign Service: Wrestlers, County Cricketers, and Pac-Boat riders to Hardware Merchants and ‘Nadagam’ Mudalalis !

by Bandu de Silva

The first three named in the subtitle indicate the type of persons who were recruited to the Foreign Service in the era of Prime Minister S.W.R.D Bandaranailke, and the Hardware merchant was one who contacted me to ask if he should accept the diplomatic post offered to him in Singapore under President Kumaratunga government and the Nadagam Mudalalis are in the current list. [TC]

Sri Lankan Tamil Poet and Irish Violinist Marry Music, Lives

by Lonny Shavelson
VOA News, San Francisco, California

Colm O'Riain is an Irish violinist. Pireeni Sundaralingam is a Sri Lankan Tamil poet. They’re married and have created a unique music that sounds out their common experience of exile and immigration. [TC]

Members of parliament should not be members of the cabinet

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

Anyone who knows anything about political theory has heard of the doctrine of the Separation of Powers. [TC]

Ancient trees with historical land and religious value must be protected

By Jagath Gunawardana

Sri Lanka is fortunate to be endowed with a very large number of trees, some of which even have historical, cultural, social and religious value, growing in all parts of the country. [TC]

George Bush told Mahinda Rajapaksa to "finish off" the Tamil Tigers

by Upul Joseph Fernando

Prior to the recent mystery ridden US tour of the Sri Lanka (SL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa , the former US Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage met him in Colombo. [TC]

Involuntary registrations continue despite Sri Lanka government pledge

The parliamentarians have now requested the Supreme Court to reconvene their withdrawn petition and conduct a hearing, Thinakkural reported on Tuesday March 15th. [TW]

Achieving lasting peace and healing in Sri Lanka requires more than Economic prosperity - - Robert O. Blake, Jr

"Economic prosperity and development are necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for lasting peace and healing in Sri Lanka"

Remarks by Robert O. Blake, Jr. Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at Asia Society Event, New York, NY, March 14, 2011

Sri Lanka Looks Ahead: Will Prosperity Bring Peace? [TC]

Protect Wilpattu Park and the Mobility Right of Internally Displaced Women

We, the undersigned 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 Puttalam to Mannar via the park. [TC]

Sri Lanka wanted U.S. help against LTTE "Air Force" in 2007 as Indian radars were insufficient to prevent attacks

By Nirupama Subramanian

CHENNAI: Sri Lanka quietly asked the United States for assistance to improve its air defence systems as India-supplied radars had proved insufficient to prevent an attack by LTTE aircraft on the Katunayake air base in March 2007, but it agreed with the Americans that New Delhi must be kept in the loop. [TC]

Expert explains intricacies of Indo-Sri Lankan fishing crisis 

An Indian expert on Fishing , V.Vivekanandan is interviewed by Srinivasan Ramani.

The two-part interview provides valuable insight into the vexed problem between fisherfolk of Tamil Nadu and Northern Sri Lanka. [TC]

Sri Lanka in a transition between light and shadow – Dayan Jayatilleka 

By Rosslyn Hyams

Reconstruction after Sri Lanka’s civil war is slower than could be wished, the country’s new ambassador to Paris has told RFI. But Dayan Jayathillaka insists that there has been progress since the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [TC]

Treatment of Academia: This govt is the worst in post - colonial Sri Lanka

by Sumanasiri Liyanage

The behaviour of the present government, the statements by its ministers and the actions by its bureaucracy have compelled me to portray this government as the worst government in post-colonial Sri Lanka as far as its treatment of academia is concerned. [TC]

Sri Lankan Prime Minister "revives" the LTTE in India

by N. Sathiyamoorthy

Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne told Parliament that the LTTE had three ‘secret camps’ across the Palk Strait, in the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu. [TC]

Sirimavo: Honouring the world’s first woman Prime Minister

A Review by Asanga Welikala

Sirimavo: Honouring the world’s first woman Prime Minister, edited by Tissa Jayatilaka, is the commemorative volume published by the Bandaranaike Museum Committee to mark fifty years since Mrs. Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike’s first accession to power on 21st July 1960. [TC]

Re-defining patriotism as unquestioning loyalty to the ruling Rajapaksa family

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The war is won and the Tiger is stone-cold dead. The government assures tourists and investors that Sri Lanka is as safe as paradise. Police stations are replacing ramparts with flower-gardens and the security-details of politicians are being reduced. [TC]

Briefing note on the Human Rights situation in Sri Lanka - by Sri Lanka Advocacy Group [TC]

Sri Lanka sans the LTTE seems difficult for some players

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

Citing this ‘intelligence information’, Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratna told Parliament on March 9 that the LTTE was attempting to raise its head once again.[TC]

Conservative Party gets entangled in post May 2009 Tamil diaspora politics in Ontario

by Amarnath Amarasingam

The recent revelation that members of the federal and provincial Conservative Party have been getting into bed with former members of the World Tamil Movement (WTM), banned as a terrorist organization in Canada since 2008, was not news to many in the Tamil community. [TC]

Assassination attempt on TNA parliamentarian Sritharan

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The abortive attempt to assassinate Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Sivagnanam Sritharan has sent shock waves throughout the “Tamil speaking world”. Although the incident did not receive adequate coverage in the mainstream media, the attempted murder of the Jaffna district MP has rocked the Tamil people as many feared the bad days of old were returning. [dbsj]

March 06, 2011

Mar 6 - 12

Northern Sri Lanka - Mannar: After 30 years of violence, the people of this beautiful corner of Sri Lanka are delighted to start welcoming back intrepid visitors such as Kevin Rushby [Guardian UK]

Tamils only want Chelvanayagam’s demands met- not Prabakaran’s - Suresh Premachandran

Interview with Suresh Premachandran - Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian

By Shakuntala Perera

Q: The attack on Jaffna district TNA MP Sridharan in Nochchiyagama has raised serious concerns on the security of politicians. How concerned are you as a fellow Tamil MP from the North? [TC]

U.S. Senate Resolution and Blake's Remarks Indicate Emerging Convergence of Opinion in US on Sri Lanka Issue

By Bandu de Silva

The paucity of comments on the U.S. Senate’s unanimous Resolution on Sri Lanka so far except for the official response of the Ministry of External Affairs and a very brief comment in the Editorial in the Sunday Island March 3, 2011.and an equally brief reference in The Sunday Times Political Column of the same day, makes me wonder if this is an indication that the Senate Resolution is not being taken too seriously over here since it is a non-binding one, as the editor of The Sunday Island commented? [TC]

ICC may ask Sri Lanka government on war crime investigations involving Ambassador Kohona 

First Assistant Secretary for North Asia Division, Mr. Rowe, said that Australia would be monitoring the progress of the matter with ICC and added “in the normal course the Sri Lankan government would be asked to comment or be involved in these investigations”. [TC]

Safeguard lives of Sri Lanka Tamil parliamentarians

Several Tamil parliamentarians in Sri Lanka have urged the government to ensure their safety and security.

The calls are being made referring to the attempted murder of Tamil parliamentarian from Kilinochchi S. Sridharan near Nochiyagama on Tuesday March, 7th. [TW]

U.N. to investigate Prageeth Eknelygoda's disappearance

By Bob Dietz
CPJ Asia Program Coordinator

Tuesday's letter from CPJ and four other groups to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apparently had some impact. [TC]

The Sri Lankan dilemma over supporting beleaguered Gaddafi

by Namini Wijedasa

There is no gainsaying that Libya has a friend in Sri Lanka. Not only do diplomatic relations between the two countries stretch back several decades, President Mahinda Rajapaksa since assuming power in 2005 has carefully cultivated ties with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that can best be described as snug. [TC]

Absurdity of comparing North African Arab popular upsurges with Sri Lankan situation

by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

The conversation I had on Lankan trajectories and ‘declinist’ discourses in a Paris cafe on a Sunday with my friend and former colleague, Prof. Nira Wickramasingha, now holding the Chair of South Asian History at the University of Leiden, reminded me of a point she had made sharply in her slender book ‘History Writing’. Sri Lanka, she had remarked, was one of the few countries in which mainstream newspapers carried pieces on history by those without any credentials or formal training in the disciplines of history and historiography. [TC]

Military on cemetery: ‘Any religion, race or ethnicity has the right to have a place on earth, where they can rest in peace’

Jaffna, a new military command built on Tamil cemetery

by Melani Manel Perera

Residents do not react, afraid of possible retaliation. A Catholic Tamil activist calls the government action "humiliating".

Colombo (AsiaNews) - A cemetery of Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE - Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in Koapai (north of Jaffna) has been demolished and a new military command of the 51st Division of the National Armed Forces built in its place , inaugurated on March 4 last. [TC]

Why is there no popular dissent that puts any pressure on the government to change

By Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

(Transcript of speech delivered by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu accepting the first Citizens Peace Award, 28 February 2011) [TC]

Sri Lanka: Release thousands being held under repressive laws - Amnesty International 

The Sri Lankan government is being called upon by Amnesty International to immediately release thousands of people currently being held in detention without charge or trial and to amend its repressive anti-terrorism laws to conform to international standards. [TC]

Detentions of Valarmathi & Vettivel Jasikaran and Chandana Sirimalwatte: Sri Lanka uses emergency laws to detain thousands - Amnesty International video

Forgotten Prisoners - A film by Amnesty International

Thousands of people are languishing in detention without charge or trial under Sri Lanka's repressive anti-terrorism laws. Sometimes held in secret prisons, they are vulnerable to a whole range of abuses, including torture or being killed in custody. [TC]

Women in Sri Lanka are entitled to everything but political leadership

by Chulani Kodikara

Women in Sri Lanka won the right to vote in 1931, seventeen years before independence. In the post independence period, Sri Lankan women made rapid progress in relation to health, education and employment, and their human development indicators are still considered a model for South Asia. [TC]

Tigers not a factor any more says Canadian Tamil Activist

by Anthony Reinhart

Tories trying to win support from South Asians in Ontario have opened the door to remnants of a Tamil Tiger front group the federal Conservatives themselves banned in 2008.

The unlikely association, forged behind a curtain of tough government talk about Tamil refugee ships and a feared terrorist migration to Canada last year, has developed since the Tigers’ separatist struggle was crushed by the Sri Lankan military in 2009. [TC]

UN urged to contact wife of missing Sri Lankan cartoonist

CPJ Press Release

Five prominent media rights organizations sent a letter on Monday to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, calling on the U.N. to intervene in the case of Prageeth Eknelygoda, the Sri Lankan columnist and cartoonist for the Lanka eNews website, who disappeared on January 24, 2010. [TC]

US, British, and Australian statements are a reminder that the world will not forget the victims of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka

by Human Rights Watch

(New York) - A US Senate resolution calling for an independent international mechanism for crimes by both sides during and after Sri Lanka's bloody civil war highlights growing international pressure for justice and accountability in Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Sri Lankan regime cannot be trusted in a genuine process of examination of military action

Humanitarian Issues During the War in Sri Lanka

by Laurie Ferguson
(Werriwa, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services)

Last week I had approaches from the Sri Lankan acting high commissioner and from a number of people in my electorate. I will be meeting a delegation of Sinhalese tomorrow. [TC]

US Increasing pressure on Sri Lanka to investigate civilian deaths in war


WASHINGTON -- The United States is increasing pressure on Sri Lanka to investigate the deaths of thousands of civilians at the end of its civil war. Human rights groups contend a Sri Lankan government commission has demonstrated no intent of doing it. [TC]

New military headquarters built on graveyard earlier flattened by the army in northern Sri Lanka

by By Charles Haviland
BBC News, Colombo

A new military headquarters in northern Sri Lanka has been built on the site of a Tamil Tiger graveyard earlier flattened by the army, it has emerged.

The construction has come in for sharp criticism. [TC]

Credible domestic investigations into war crimes allegations is neither anti-patriotic nor a sell-out

by Kalana Senaratne

The latest development that has the effect of exerting considerable pressure, not only on the government of Sri Lanka but also the US, comes in the form of a US Senate Resolution (S. Res. 84), dated 1 March, 2011. [TC]

Satyagraha receives “Baptism of fire” on first day-50th Anniversary of 1961 Tamil Satyagraha – 3

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The batch of volunteers from the Kankesanthurai(KKS) electorate led by Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) leader Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam commenced their Satyagraha campaign opposite the Jaffna Kachcheri premises at 7. 30 am on February 20th 1961. [DBSJ]

Book in honour of Prof. K. Kailasapathy: Early Historic Tamil Nadu c. 300 BC -300 CE

Reviewed by Bandu de Silva

Way back in the early 1950s, Prof.Kailasapathy, former Prof. of Tamil in the University of Jaffna was two years my junior at the University of Ceylon. Perhaps, he may have been a first year student there when I attended lectures in the Tamil Department there on Sangam literature as suggested by my Professor, Hemachandra C. Ray. [TC]

Why religion, discussions of karma and intention, restrict genuine reconciliation between Sinhala and Tamil communities

by Amarnath Amarasingam

Over the past month, there has been some speculation among members of the global Tamil community on whether Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Texas to obtain cancer treatment in secret [TC]

Gaddafi call to President Mahinda "Bad News" - HRW

Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, NY has remarked via twitter on reports of Libya's Gaddafi calling President Mahinda Rajapaksa as follows: [TC]

Telephone call from Gaddafi to Rajapaksa shows Mahinda is on the wrong side of history

by Tisaranee Gunasekara


"When heads of state do not pay attention to the needs of their nation, the people take over”. Turkish President Abdullah Gul (During the February 2011 visit to Iran) [TC]

Mahinda emulates Marie Antoinete in responding to query about rising cost of living

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Believe that a further shore is reachable from here.” — Seamus Heaney, The Cure At Troy

Last month Mahinda Rajapaksa had his very own Marie Antoinette moment. Questioned about galloping inflation, at his February meeting with media heads, the President stated that “there was no cost-of-living issue” (The Sunday Leader – 27.2.2011). [TC]

Tamil asylum seekers intercepted in 2009 by Indonesian authorities released after gaining refugee status in Australia

A large of group of Tamil asylum seekers intercepted in 2009 by Indonesian authorities following a call from Kevin Rudd have been released after gaining refugee status. [TC]

Govt. TNA discussions a sham charges Suresh Premachandran

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Though the government has had discussions with Tamil political parties on arriving at a political solution to the ethnic issue, this is solely to pacify the international community as nothing concrete has been achieved even after months of discussions said Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Suresh Premachandran, adding that pronouncements that discussions are being held with the TNA to reach a political solution are misleading. [TC]

Framers of US Senate Resolution 84 text overlooked capacity of the LLRC - Ministry of External Affairs

The Ministry of External Affairs wishes with regard to the Resolution (S.Res.84) adopted by the Senate of the United States on 1st March 2011, to emphasize the following: [TC]