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July 31, 2011

Jul 31 - Aug 6:

Video by VikalpaSL in Sinhala, Tamil & English: Protesting Attack on Gnanasundaram Kuganathan, Uthayan News Editor [VikalpaSL]

After TNA demarche the govt will appoint parliamentary select committee

Text of a press release issued by Mr.Sajin Vass Gunewardane MP& Secretary of the Committee after suspension of talks with Govt by the TNA [TC]

TNA suspends talks with Govt and sets conditional 2 week deadline for resumption

TNA Press Release 

The TNA and the Government commenced talks in January 2011 consequent to the re-election of President Rajapakse for a second term in office and consequent to the Government acquiring a two thirds majority in Parliament, recognizing that the Tamil people of the North and East had elected the TNA as their credible representatives. [TC]

S.M. Krishna makes Suo Moto statement in parliament on Sri Lanka situation

Following is the text of Suo Moto Statement in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by Shri S. M. Krishna, External Affairs Minister, on “The Situation in Sri Lanka [TC]

Colombo has turned the tables on New Delhi whenever the latter tried to be intrusive

by M.K. Bhadrakumar

India has shifted gear on Sri Lanka and is edging toward an overtly intrusive mode. That is, if the outgoing foreign secretary Nirupama Rao’s remarks are to be taken as more than a parting shot. [TC]

The way forward to achieve long lasting ethnic reconciliation

By Wijedasa Rajapakse

This is the text of the Deshamanya Professor Nandadasa Kodagoda 14th Memorial Oration delivered on August 2nd 2011 by Presidents counsel and Member of Parliament Mr.Wijedasa Rajapakse at the  Sri Lanka Foundation Institute,Colombo [TC]

Efforts to paint Karu Jayasuriya as ungrateful are mistaken and misplaced

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Since the announcement of possible changes in the UNP, there has been a plethora of attacks on Karu Jayasuriya. [TC]

Colombo has turned the tables on New Delhi whenever the latter tried to be intrusive

by M.K. Bhadrakumar

India has shifted gear on Sri Lanka and is edging toward an overtly intrusive mode. That is, if the outgoing foreign secretary Nirupama Rao’s remarks are to be taken as more than a parting shot. [TC]

The way forward to achieve long lasting ethnic reconciliation

By Wijedasa Rajapakse

This is the text of the Deshamanya Professor Nandadasa Kodagoda 14th Memorial Oration delivered on August 2nd 2011 by Presidents counsel and Member of Parliament Mr.Wijedasa Rajapakse at the  Sri Lanka Foundation Institute,Colombo [TC]

Efforts to paint Karu Jayasuriya as ungrateful are mistaken and misplaced

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Since the announcement of possible changes in the UNP, there has been a plethora of attacks on Karu Jayasuriya. [TC]

Indian PM says no adverse action against Sri Lanka as demanded by Tamil Nadu parties

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told MDMK Leader Vaiko that India cannot engage in punitive action or sanctions against Sri Lanka [dbsj]

Prevalence of War-Related Mental Health Conditions and Association With Displacement Status in Postwar Jaffna District, Sri Lanka

Report by American Medical Association

Although the psychological impact of war has been well documented, less is known about the mental health symptoms of forced displacement among internally displaced persons. [TC]

Making South Asian cities habitable: A perspective from the past

Full Text of the 12th Neelan Tiruchelvam memorial lecture delivered by Prof. Ramachandra Guha on July 31st 2011 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute,Colombo [TC]

Let not the death of Roshen Chanaka Ratnasekara be in vain

by Harsha de Silva

Roshen Chanaka Ratnasekera was shot dead by the Police while attempting to protect not only his economic freedom but that of all of us. [TC]

Tamil Nadu ADMK MPs protest presence of Sri Lankan MP delegation in Indian Lok Sabha

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Unruly TamilNadu MP’s chanted slogans in Lok Sabha protesting the presence of a Sri Lankan Parliamentary delegation in the lower house. [dbsj]

Aussie Police investigating ‘operation excreta’ in Sydney by suspected LTTE elements

BY D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

Pro-LTTE elements in Sydney NSW, launch”Operation Excreta” against Tamil broadcaster of Australian Tamil Broadcasting Corporation (ATBC) Radio [dbsj]

Kashmiri Pandits, Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian hypocrisy.

by Aditya Sinha 

While it is sad that Kashmiri Hindus are internal refugees in India, some living in deplorable conditions in Jammu, Delhi and elsewhere, it is hypocritical to lament their fate while ignoring that of a larger exiled community: the Sri Lankan Tamils. [TC]

Reducing MP seats for Jaffna is a political and not a technical issue

by Sumansiri Liayanage

I have read somewhere last week a news item that informed us that the Election Commission had decided to reduce the number of seats in Jaffna Peninsula (District of Jaffna on the administrative map) from 10 to 6 at future elections and the four seats taken away from Jaffna District would be allocated to four districts in the South. [TC]

Anadasangaree opposes reduction in number of MPs to be elected from Jaffna

The following is the text of a letter dated July 31 sent to polls chief by TULF leader V. Anandasangaree [TC]

Defense Ministry report whitewashes military abuses-HRW

A new Sri Lankan Defense Ministry report concedes for the first time that government forces caused civilian deaths in the final months of the conflict with the Tamil Tigers but takes no responsibility for laws-of-war violations, Human Rights Watch said today [TC]

False allegations against Sri Lanka will end after release of 'Factual Analysis Report'

Full text of the speech delivered by Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the release of the report, "Humanitarian Operation: Factual Analysis" on 01st August, 2011 at Hilton- Colombo [TC]

Prof. Karthigesu Sivathamby and Zahira College, Maradana

By S.H.M. Jameel

Prof. Karthigesu Sivathamby, an academic par excellence died on July 6, 2011 at the age of 79 years.

He was duly recognized in Sri Lanka and overseas, particularly in South India where he was well respected. Many accolades were showered on him, but his close connections with Zahira College, Colombo and its Principal, late Dr. A.M.A. Azeez, have not been highlighted as they are not known to many. [TC]

Courageous Tamils gave resounding defeat to oppressive battalions of Mahinda

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist proved what we were attempting to establish for a long period. That is, terror is a method which can be utilized by either the left or the right.

There are many including Kumar the cricketer, who believe that any terror action should be connected to some sort of communism. [TC]

Why The EPDP was routed in polls by the TNA

by Prof.S.Ratnajeevan.H.Hoole.

Senathirajah Outperforms SJV; Devananda Spins

Minister Douglas Devananda, addressing the press from Sridhar Theatre which he “nationalised” and occupies as his own, says that the Local Government Elections of 23 July have “abundantly proved the Tamil people’s confidence in the government.” [TC]

Reconciliation process was damaged by TNA during election campaign

An Interview with Basil Rajapaksa by Namini Wijedasa

As a country, this result, as well as the results in March 2010, are very encouraging. It gives strength to the president and to the Mahinda Chinthana Idiri Dekma. I don’t want to separate the north from the rest [TC]

Sinhalese refuse to accept historical errors and crimes that made war unavoidable

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

“A historic victory can wreak as much havoc as a historic defeat”. Tony Judt (Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten 20th Century)

The road to Black July (and the long Eelam War it rendered unstoppable) was paved with avoidable errors and needless crimes. Amongst this litany, arguably one of the most poignant is the fate of the inaugural political initiative of the newly formed Tamil United Front’s (TUF). [TC]

Many ills of Sri Lanka stem directly from Kumaratunga political sins of omission and commission

by Dr.Dayan Jayatilleke

President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga always wrote well and spoke eloquently when she resisted a propensity to be overly loquacious.

While her recent peroration contains many intelligent and valid points, her credibility and their validity comes into serious question because she is not an independent observer or a reformist leader-in-waiting, but precisely a two term president who won by record majorities, and was indeed the immediate predecessor of the present incumbent. [TC]

An interview with TNA leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

by Chandani Kirinde

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentary Group Leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan spoke to the Sunday Times after his Party secured a landslide victory in the local government elections in the North, despite widespread use of state power by the ruling party that pulled out all stops to secure a win there.

Mr. Sampanthan said the Government should recognize and respect the verdict of the people of the North adding that his Party was willing to extend maximum cooperation to achieve a workable and durable solution to the conflict. [TC]

UPFA representing South and TNA representing North must talk to each other seriously

by Kanishka Ratnapriya

The North and South are divided in their voting. But they are very clear about who should represent them.

Hence, even though the elections were divisive the franchise has become a powerful tool which shows that the political groups of the North and South must sit down and engage in serious discussions. [TC]

Economic development alone will not satisfy minority grievances

An Interview with Jayantha Dhanapala by Namini Wijedasa

Jayantha Dhanapala, one of Sri Lanka ’s most eminent retired diplomats and a former UN under-secretary-general for disarmament affairs, warned last week that filling a man’s pockets or stomach will not make him forget his political or human rights. Excerpts from the interview: [TC]

How the UNP govt of J.R. Jayawardane smashed up the 1980 general strike

By T.M.R. Rasseedin

It is over 30 years now since Sri Lanka witnessed one of the most merciless victimizations of strikers for having exercised their legitimate right to improve their economic lot. The severity and scale of the smash–up of the 1980 strike comes only second to the mass-scale victimization that took place in the aftermath of the 1948 general strike. [TC]

July 26, 2011

July 24 - 30:

A Visit to South Africa

By Dushy Ranetunge, in Londolozi, South Africa

It was in May 2009 in Australia, that we first decided to visit South Africa with some friends. Our reasons for choosing South Africa over Kenya, was that there was more to see in South Africa, other than just wild life. [TC]

Suspected EPDP goons assault 59 year old news editor of Jaffna newspaper

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan, News Editor of Tamil Daily”Uthayan” was attacked with iron rods in Jaffna by 2 thugs suspected to be from the EPDP [dbsj]

Sri Lanka must investigate reported attack on journalist

Authorities in Sri Lanka should immediately investigate a reported brutal assault on Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan, news editor of the Tamil-language daily Uthayan, said the Committee to Protect Journalists. [cpj]

Elections Dept reduces 4 MP's in North while not registering 300,000 Tamil voters in South - Mano Ganesan tells Mahinda Deshapriya

Enthusiasm shown by your department in removing the names of those who left the country in Jaffna district is not equally shown in adding new names and fixing the disparities in the registers. [TC]

Country first, party second and myself last in any equation

by Karu Jayasuriya

UNP deputy leader and MP Mr.Karu Jayasuriya has issued a short statement indirectly related to the intra -party situation within the United National Party. [TC]

Journalism Awards for Excellence 2010: Winners/Merit Awards official list

Journalism Awards for Excellence is organized by the Editor’s Guild of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Press Institute. [TC]

Sri Lanka: Tamil hopes and national unity

by R.K. Radhakrishnan

More than two years ago the guns fell silent in Sri Lanka, ending a three decade-old civil war with the LTTE. But voices demanding an acceptable solution that accommodates Tamil aspirations are still strident. [TC]

Govt must realize that Jaffna electors are sensitive, intelligent and wont give in to force

by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha

I was not entirely surprised by the results of Saturday’s local government election. I had said I thought the government should be happy if it got 30% of the vote in the North. [TC]

Holes in the Darusman defence: Examining the probable alternate events

by David Blacker 

Last week I attended a seminar conducted by the Colombo-based Marga Institute, a think tank devoted to studying and influencing human development in Sri Lanka. Marga is in the process of putting together a review of the UN Secretary General’s advisory panel report on Sri Lanka (the well-known Darusman Report), which will analyze several aspects of this document, including its legal credibility; [TC]

Channel 4 airs 'Testimony believed to be the first eyewitness account to suggest civilians were actively targeted by troops on the ground'

As the Sri Lankan war approached its endgame, 130,000 civilians were trapped along a small strip of beach. An eyewitness recalls the bloodshed that followed and how civilians were targeted. [TC]

Jayalalithaa praised by her party AIADMK for 'inspiring US squeeze on Sri Lanka'

by M. Gunasekaran

The ruling AIADMK is mighty thrilled at the U.S. congressional committee voting to ban aid to Sri Lanka pending ‘accountability’ over atrocities in the final phase of the Eelam war. [TC]

What South Africa can do to help with reconciliation in Sri Lanka

by Louise Arbour

As South Africa knows better than most, a country cannot begin to overcome decades of internal conflict without a sustained effort at revealing the truth of the past and a committed push for reconciliation. If only Sri Lanka could learn that lesson. [TC]

Tamils and North and East demand same equal civil status enjoyed by Sinhalese in the South

by Mano Ganesan 

Live and let live is the message delivered by Tamil people in the north and east to the government says Democratic Peoples Front leader Mano Ganesan in a statement issued by DPF media office. [TC]

Where the mind is without fear

by Suthirto Patranobis

What will I miss most if I leave Sri Lanka? After much deep and soul-searching introspection I realized that it would be the set of family values preached by the first family. Specifically, the way the family has tried to inculcate these values in the rest of the country. [TC]

Diaspora groups must let TNA set the agenda for Tamil political aspirations

by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

The results of the second phase of the 2011 local government elections reveal a north/ south divide with the ruling UPFA winning comfortably outside of the north and east and the TNA capturing the overwhelming majority of local bodies in those areas [TC]

Local polls show TNA is the pre-eminent entity among the Tamil people

by Dayan Jayatilleka

The TNA’s Northern success, running against the ruling coalition in an area with a heavy military ‘footprint’ means one thing above all else: Sri Lanka remains a functioning, competitive, multiparty democracy. [TC]

Statement of Indian women’s rights activists in solidarity with women in Sri Lanka

It’s been more than two years since the supposed end of the war in Sri Lanka. The issues of concern are many, particularly with regard to the period after the end of direct combat. [TC]

Pre-requisite for peace, stability and prosperity is a democratic and pluralist state - Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

All people genuinely concerned about the future of Sri Lanka in general and the position of the ethnic minorities in particular cannot but be troubled by the prevailing situation in the blessed Island [dbsj]

Pitfalls in the President’s Alliance with the EPDP–A Visit to Kayts on Elections Day

by Professor S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole
UGC Coordinator for Engineering, University of Jaffna

The EPDP, supposedly a former armed group which continues to be represented by gun-toting cadres led by Minister Douglas Devananda, is the main Tamil ally of President Rajapakse. The violent EPDP seemed the only way in which the President can show Tamil support and therefore it has become his most crucial ally in warding off calls for war crimes inquiries on the grounds that Tamils support him. [TC]

Tamil Nadu’s growing assertiveness and growing clout within and outside India

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Rajapaksa regime’s dismissive attitude towards Tamil Nadu is clearly unshared by the world’s sole (albeit somewhat ailing) superpower. Last week Hilary Clinton became the first US Secretary of State to make an official visit to Chennai and to hold talks with Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jayaram, including on Sri Lanka. [TC]

Is not the great leap from the supreme court to presidential secretariat a breach of faith?

by Dr.Nihal Jayawickrama

Since I was admitted to the Bar, nearly 49 years ago, I have witnessed the judiciary and the legal profession experience many changes. [TC]

Protests scuttle Wellington training for Sri Lanka soldiers

Proposed programme to train 25 Sri Lankan soldiers at the Defence Service Staff College at Wellington in nearby Nilgiris district has been cancelled: [TC]

Royal send off for US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Chennai

By Ramya Kannan

Between a dinner and a breakfast and a lot of culture thrown in between, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enjoyed a royal stay at the Taj Coromandel. [TC]

Polls marred by violence and malicious tactics by candidates to deter free vote

CPA Statement on Local Government Elections 23 July 2011

23 July 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) notes the conclusion of the second phase of the 2011 local government elections held today. [TC]

All corrupt Politicians and Officials to be prosecuted under UNP government

By Karu Jayasuriya MP
Deputy -Leader UNP

A series of recent events have awakened Sri Lankans to gross mismanagement and rampant corruption within nearly every branch of governance and to the political leadership’s indifference to what is effectively national theft. [TC]

UNP leader must accept responsibility for defeat and look within himself

by Rosy Senanayake MP

It is with considerable anticipation that party stalwarts, such as myself, awaited the results of Saturday’s provincial council elections. [TC]

Post-conflict peace-building: A gradualist perspective for evolutionary reform

by Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

In his most famous and controversial work, Prof Samuel Huntington listed Sri Lanka’s armed conflict as an example of his key category of ‘fault line wars [TC]

July 17, 2011

Jul 17 - 23:

Black July: Remembering the 1983 Riots in Sri Lanka

by Amarnath Amarasingam

This month marks the 28th anniversary of what became known as Black July. The riots of July 1983 in Sri Lanka would forever alter the course of ethnic tensions in the country, and would lead to the movement of Tamils out of Sri Lanka and into countries like Canada in increasingly dramatic numbers. The riots also marked a decisive shift in the course of ethnic politics in the country as non-violent approaches gave way to Tamil militancy. [HP]

The photograph that captured the trauma of Black July 1983

By Gamini Akmeemana

In July 1983, I was working in a Middle Eastern country. When I heard about the anti-Tamil riots in Sri Lanka, I was aware of a catastrophe, even though I was too politically immature then to grasp the full nature of the tragedy and its implications for Sri Lanka in the years to come. [TC]

'I have invited Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to visit Sri Lanka' - Mahinda

Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa  speaks to N.Ram, Editor of "The Hindu"

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's roadmap for finding a 13th Amendment-plus political solution will take the Tamil question in Sri Lanka to a Parliamentary Select Committee, which will look into it and propose suitable constitutional amendments, and then on to Parliament. Meanwhile, local elections in the Northern Province, which are being held on Saturday, would be followed by a Provincial Council election. [TC]

Sivaji Ganesan: A doyen among actors in Tamil cinema

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

Sivaji Ganesan who passed away on July 21st 2001 is widely regarded as the greatest thespian of post-independence Tamil cinema. This doyen among Tamil actors was one of my favourites. [dbsj]

'Looking at innovative and creative ideas to enable Sri Lankan Tamils to get back to their own homes'

US. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday Jul 20th voiced concern over the plight of Internally Displaced Persons in Sri Lanka and said her country was looking at some innovative and creative ideas to break the impasse over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. [TC]

'Sinhalese' protest against Channel 4

by Dushy Ranetunge in London

The Sinhalese and Tamil Diaspora periodically launch protests in their host countries galvanised by events that affect their particular tribe. [TC]

Sri Lankan media voices concerns about Rajapakse's pro-China orientation

By Saman Gunadasa

A lengthy editorial in the Sunday Times in Sri Lanka late last month highlighted the nervousness in the country’s political and business circles that President Mahinda Rajapakse is aligning the country too closely to China, with potentially damaging consequences. [TC]

Statement made by Mr. R. Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance on the local authorities elections being held in the North-East [TC]

Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Harder than Ever

by International Crisis Group

Two years since the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lanka is further from reconciliation than ever. Triumphalist in its successful “war on terror”, the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has refused to acknowledge, let alone address, the Tamil minority’s legitimate grievances against the state. [TC]

Basil Rajapaksa wants to develop Neduntheevu/Delft into eco-tourist resort

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

Economic Development minister & Presidential sibling Basil Rajapaksa has blueprint to develop Neduntheevu/Delft into an eco-tourist resort [dbsj]

To champions of Reconciliation: Six poems by Indran Amirthanayagam


Do you know how to reconcile the lot of a man,

living in a donated tent, in a city occupied by the army, [TC]

Sonia Gandhi wanted Colombo to decimate LTTE without finalising a political solution

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Sam Rajappa is a veteraqn Indian journalist with vast insight and knowledge about the happenings in the Indian corridors of power.

After having worked for a number of Indian and Foreign media institutions he served as director of the Statesman print journalism school after retiring from active journalism. [DBSJ]

Sri Lanka did not bother to listen to international voices of friends who helped it win the war – Col. R Hariharan

Col. R Hariharan responds to questions posed to him by a reader on transCurrents recently:

Since the reader has raised some interesting questions – I am normally accustomed to abusive language, (which Sri Lankans seem to be fond of while discussing India.), however, as reader has politely worded the questions, I am answering them: [TC]

M Rajendra – His sheer personality dominated any situation

M Rajendra, Former Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, the Treasury and Head of the Public Service 1968 – 1971. Born July 4, 1911- Died March 10,1991 [TC]

Our Sri Lankan identity: Another case of ‘being nobody, going nowhere’?

By Kalana Senaratne

The 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture delivered by Kumar Sangakkara was indeed a very thoughtful, courageous and passionate one. Much has been written about the lecture, and it is not necessary to repeat how inspiring it was. [TC]

Sri Lanka experiences: Emotional politics, violence, and the future

By Dr. A.R.M. Imtiyaz

In electoral politics, emotions have special place. They often help politicians to secure votes of economically weaken masses who have nothing to lose, but their ethnic or religious traits. [TC]

If election stealing experiment by Rajapaksa regime works in the North it will be replicated in the South

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Rajapaksas are determined to win the upcoming local government election in the North – by whatever means necessary. [TC]

President Rajapaksa has kept himself totally aloof from the LLRC process – Lakshman Wickremasinghe

By Janith Aranze

The Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission was appointed on May 15 by the President to investigate the final years of the civil war.

With doubts being raised about the credibility of the Commission, international observers remain sceptical of the LLRC in delivering true reconciliation to the country. [TC]

The assassination of Alfred Durayappah

by Tissa Devendra

Alfred Durayappah, the Mayor of Jaffna, was a most unusual man. Most, if not all, the Members of Parliament representing Jaffna District were Tamil extremists, unwaveringly hostile to the SLFP government led by Mrs Bandaranaike which they accused of Sinhala hegemonism.

Alfred D swam against this tide. He was a savvy local politician who had won the hearts and minds of the underclass, who constituted the majority of urban voters. He convinced them that the way to win rights and privileges was not by hostile confrontation but by conciliation and compromise. [TC]

Seven governance points made in Lords speech by Kumar Sangkkara

by J. C. Weliamuna

The former Cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara, in his great Sir Colin Cowdrey speech at Lord’s, spoke of a shared fanatical fashion and collective joy and ambition of the Sri Lankans, when he found something in common in the form of cricket.

He spoke of diversity of our society and how cricket brought together a divided nation during 1996 world cup victory. Nobody disputes the fact that Sangakkara played a celebrated captain’s inning at a crucial juncture of Sri Lanka at the Lord’s lecture. [TC]

Why did Kumar Sangakkara call ‘patriotic’ JVP insurgency ‘communist’?

By Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

I was attracted to read the speech of Kumar Sangakkara at Lords, due to two reasons.

Firstly, his father is well known to me. I used to visit Lal Wijenayaka often those days, before I separated from the LSSP. This was in the early seventies. Lal was with us in our struggle against the LSSP leadership. [TC]

Real enemies of nation are ensconced at zenith of power and in control of national wealth

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

It was a shock, though not an unexpected one. Last week Sri Lanka lost her first hedging case, to the Standard Chartered Bank. [TC]

St.Thomas’ has throughout its history produced many men of eminence

by Mahinda Rajapaksa

I am very pleased to be present at the Annual Prize Giving and to participate in this way in one of the most significant events of the calendar of St. Thomas’ College and I must thank the Board of Governors and the Warden for inviting my wife and me to this occasion. [TC]

Chennai eagerly awaits visit by US Secretary of State, Ms Hillary Clinton

by B.S. Raghavan

The inclusion of Chennai as the only place outside New Delhi in the itinerary of her forthcoming visit to India on July 19-20 by the US Secretary of State, Ms Hillary Clinton, has come as a welcome surprise.

I can lay a wager that this has been on the initiative from the US side. Let me explain myself by a process of deductive logic. [TC]

Murdoch and the Marans: Media power and media morality

by Sevanti Ninan

The last fortnight has been a fresh learning in why media morality and media power have become progressively incompatible.

It has seen a reinvoking of the Citizen Kane fable. Two media scandals unfolded in different parts of the world — here a Minister resigned after the Central Bureau of Investigation said they had enough evidence on how he had used his office to help his family’s media empire. [TC]

July 10, 2011

Jul 10-16:

July 17: Marking the quest to end impunity for the gravest crimes known to humankind

ICC President’s Message – Day of International Criminal Justice

As the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), I am proud to celebrate the Day of International Criminal Justice on 17 July 2011.

States and civil society from all continents joined forces to put an end to impunity for the gravest crimes known to humankind. In 2002, the ICC opened its doors in The Hague, Netherlands. [TC]

Indian External Affairs Ministry reacts to "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields"

In response to a question on the Channel 4 Documentary entitled “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields”, the Official Spokesperson said: [TC]

TNA wants to help President Rajapaksa fulfill his commitments

By Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

The following is the full text of the speech made in Parliament on July 5th 2011 by Tamil National Alliance leader and Trincomalee district MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan in support of the urgent adjournment motion moved by him [TC]

Col. R. Hariharan: FAQs on Channel 4 Video on War Crimes

By Col. R. Hariharan 

I have received a number of mails asking for my comments on the Channel 4 video Killing Fields on alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan Army, particularly after I participated in a panel discussion on the subject in the Headlines Today TV channel recently. I am giving my views and comments on questions summarised below: [TC]

President Rajapaksa spearheads Northern polls campaign in bid to prove Tamil people are with govt

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

President Rajapaksa will spearhead huge propaganda effort to enable good performance by UPFA at forthcoming local authority polls in North. [dbsj]

What is the Rajapaksa regime really offering in terms of a political settlement?

By Paikiasothy Saravavanamuttu

There is to be another parliamentary select committee to find a political settlement of the ethnic conflict. [TC]

EPDP – Army intelligence suspected of attacks in Jaffna to terrorise TNA candidates

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

EPDP cum military intelligence suspected of perpetrating series of “attacks” to terrorize TNA candidates in Jaffna local authority polls. [dbsj]

NZ Government misleading on asylum seeker issue- Amnesty Int'l, New Zealand

Prime Minister John Key’s comments on the acceptance of asylum seekers represent a deeply concerning lack of compassion for some of the world’s most vulnerable people and ignores the violent and terrifying situations these people are fleeing says Amnesty International. [TC]

A South Asian parliament can be a watch dog for democracy in our region

by Mangala Samaraweera

In the latter part of the 20th century, there was a "fashionable" school of political thought prevalent in some sections of our societies, which argued that democracy is not conducive for economic progress in developing countries [TC]

Issues and problems facing people of Northern and Eastern provinces – by M.A. Sumanthiran MP

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Although the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) ended in May 2009 many of the problems and issues concerning the Tamil speaking people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces are yet to be resolved. [dbsj]

Full text of Adjournment moved urgently in parliament by TNA leader R. Sampanthan

Whereas Sri Lanka from shortly after it attained Independence in 1947 has been in the crucible of ethnic violence which occurred in 1956, in 1958, in 1961, in1977, in 1980 and in 1983- wherein the Tamil people numerically in a Minority were the victims. [TC]

Sinhala and Tamil 'speaking' videos: Which version is the original?

By Namini Wijedasa

Diverse government positions on footage of an alleged summary battlefield execution have befuddled even devout followers of this continuing saga. [TC]

UNP is aiding govt for the sake of Sri Lanka and her People says Ranil

By Yohan Perera

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that the entire population would suffer if the international community, which accuses Sri Lanka of war crimes, imposed sanctions; and that that was the reason the UNP was ready to support the government’s efforts to avoid such an eventuality. [TC]

Angelo Mathews exemplified the virtue of Buddhists call Muditha

by Prof.Carlo Fonseka 

Mainly because of the extreme commercialization and politicization of cricket, the passion with which I watched our national team in action had gradually cooled during the recent past. [TC]

Situation in Sudan-Nuba Mountains draws Sri Lanka ‘Killing Fields’ parallel

The military onslaught being carried out by Sudan in Nuba Mountains in the midst of the birth of South Sudan has been compared to ‘Killing Fields’ in Sri Lanka by its director Callum MacRae via his twitter feed. In a tweet to UN Ambassador of United States Susan Rice, Callum MacRae said: ‘Important parallels between what happened in Sri Lanka killingfields & beginning to happen now in Nuba’.

The TIME magazine in a feature article appearing in the July 18th issue titled ‘Sudan: The violent birth of two nations’ highlights the humanitarian catastrophe faced by the people of Nuba Mountains, situated between Sudan and South Sudan, as follows may ring this parallel between Sri Lanka “Killing Fields”: [TC]

Kumar Sangakkara wont be penalized for controversial MCC Lords lecture

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Former Sri Lankan Cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara wont be penalised for allegedly “controversial” statements made in his MCC lecture at Lords.

Sangakkara was the 1st SriLankan to deliver the prestigious 11th MCC spirit of Cricket Cowdrey lecture at Lords in Britain on July4th 2011. [click here to read in full, on ~ dbsjeyaraj.com]

Centre Stage: Is Sri Lanka guilty of war crimes? – Panel discussion on Indian Channel ‘Headlines Today’

On Thursday July 8th, Indian Television Channel ‘Headlines Today’ aired the Channel 4 Documentary ‘Killing Fields’ followed by a discussion with live audience in its current affairs segment – ‘Centre Stage’.

Guest panelists on the ‘Centre Stage’ included Sri Lanka Army Spokesman Major General Ubhaya Medawala, Col. R. Hariharan – retired Military Intelligence specialist on South Asia, who also served with the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka, Former Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, David Miliband, Former Foreign Secretary in Great Britain, M. Thambidurai, leader of AIADMK in Lok Sabha and R. Sarath Kumar, actor and MLA representing Tenkasi Constituency is the founder of All India Samathva Makkal Katchi, which has an alliance with governing AIADMK in Tamil Nadu. [TC]

Lakshman Kadirgamar would have wanted allegations against Sri Lanka to be fully investigated

by Dr. Liam Fox

The following is the 5th Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture delivered by Dr. Liam Fox, MP, Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, on July 9, 2011, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Auditorium in Colombo [TC]

CWC and UNP Trade unions have betrayed plantation workers by signing an appalling collective agreement

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

Truth is relative; it depends on who is talking and about whom. This is the reality of a class society. I was bitterly reminded of this reality, when I read in an article that Lanka’s trade union success in June this year, of a 25 percent wage increase for 600,000 plantation workers, was an attack on the economy. [TC]

‘False’ Doctor Eliyantha White is a Lankan reality metaphorizing Rajapaksa rule

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Imagine a man with no medical qualifications or training becoming the ‘official physician’ of the president of a country. Imagine that president proudly offering the ‘miraculous’ services this ‘personal physician’, to the rich and the famous, nationally and internationally. This tale, worthy of a Kapuściński or even a Marquez, is a Lankan reality metaphorizing Rajapaksa Rule. [TC]

Imposition of leadership training for university entrants is an intrusion into an autonomous sphere 

by Prof Charles Sarvan

This is a response to the Friday Forum’s press release (Jayantha Dhanapala et al, 9 June 2011) on compulsory leadership training for university entrants, a programme that “has been introduced by the Ministry of Higher Education in a military environment under the leadership of the Ministry of Defence” (Forum). What I write is not comprehensive. [TC]

India spared no effort to assist and cooperate with Sri Lanka to eliminate the LTTE

by G. Parathasarathy

When the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J Jayalalithaa, paid her first visit to New Delhi after assuming office, she forcefully articulated her concerns on Sri Lanka. Two issues concerning Sri Lankan Tamils evoke passions in Tamil Nadu. [TC]

52 British MP’s have signed motion calling for independent international investigation into Sri Lankan war

In a press statement issued following the APPGT/GTF parliamentary reception this week Chairman for the British All party parliamentary Group for Tamils , Lee Scott MP,said “the event was a great success, attended by over 40 Members of Parliament including Government Ministers, Shadow Ministers, Lords, representatives of NGOs and High Commissions”. [TC]

July 02, 2011

July 3 - 9:

The new state of South Sudan will have tryst with destiny on July 9th

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

South Sudan gains formal Independence on July 9th 2011&emerges as Africas 54th country.It will be in due course the 193rd member of the UNO. [DBSJ]

Australia Senate unanimously adopts resolution calling for investigation of war crimes by SriLanka and LTTE

urges the Australian Government to press the Government of Sri Lanka to take steps for meaningful accountability in Sri Lanka for alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law [TC]

British APPGT and Global Tamil Forum parliamentary reception rallies support for truth and justice in Sri Lanka

A packed reception in the British Parliament on July 5th highlighted the level of support amongst parliamentarians and key decision-makers for truth, accountability and justice in Sri Lanka.

Hosted by Hon. Lee Scott MP and Hon. Siobhain McDonagh MP, Chair and Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG – T), and facilitated by the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), the event was attended by over 40 Members of Parliament including Government Ministers, Shadow Ministers, MPs and Lords. [TC]

63 percent of returnees live below the poverty line

THUNUKKAI, 5 July 2011 (IRIN) More than two years after Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war officially ended, returnees to remote villages face tough times and uncertain futures, despite governmental and international efforts at reconstruction. [TC]

FULL TEXT OF KUMAR SANGAKKARA 11th MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at LORDS

I recollect now the race riots of 1983 now with horror, but for the simple imagination of a child not yet six it was a time of extended play and fun. I do not say this lightly as about 35 of our closest friends, all Tamils, took shelter in our home. They needed sanctuary from vicious politically-motivated goon squads and my father, like many other brave Sri Lankans from different ethnic backgrounds, opened his houses at great personal risk. [TC]

Promoting cultural pluralism: 'A fraternal – one nation feeling built on two languages'

Hon. Minister of National Languages, MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara’s visit to Paris for the distribution of text books to the Sri Lankan associations [TC]

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP responds to Channel 4 and Panel appointed by UNSG on BBC Hard Talk

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, Adviser on Reconciliation to the President, responds on BBC Hard Talk [TC]

Indian 'Indignation' aside over arrests, Tamil Nadu fishermen regularly poaching in Lankan waters

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Pressure exerted by Indian Govt on Sri Lankan Govt resulted in the immediate release of 14Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka navy. [dbsj]

Tragic plight of the war-widows in Sri Lanka

by Rajani Iqbal

Though these widows  form a large majority of the widows in Sri Lanka today, other calamities such as the tsunami of 2004 also contributed to  boosting the numbers of women who  became  widows during  recent times. To this number we must also add the wives of the large number  of the combatants, both of the LTTE and the Sri Lanka Army, who were killed during the fighting. [TC]

Kumar Sangkakkara attacks political battles marring Sri Lankan cricket

by David Hopps 

Kumar Sangakkara has chosen the MCC Spirit of Cricket lecture to launch a scathing attack on the endless political power-struggles that bedevil Sri Lanka Cricket and to reflect upon the heavy responsibilities on Sri Lankan cricketers to promote reconciliation after the end of the civil war that blighted the country. [TC]

Kumar Sangakkara, First Sri Lankan and current international player to deliver the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture

MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture

Sangakkara received a standing ovation for his stirring, eloquent speech, which focussed on the history of cricket in his native Sri Lanka. [TC]

Global Tamil Forum mobilizes international opinion against Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Global Tamil Forum(GTF)is taking steps to mobilise International opinion against Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes & crimes against humanity.

The GTF together with Britain’s All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGT) will co -host a parliamentary reception on Tuesday July5th.

The political meeting cum reception co-hosted by the GTF & APPGT will be held at the Attlee Suite of Portcullis House in Westminster. [dbsj]

Tamil group aligned to govt suspected of Batticaloa bank daylight robbery

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

Tamil para-military group aligned to Sri Lankan Govt is suspected of staging heist at bank at the outskirts of Batticaloa town on June30th.

5 men armed with T-56 guns staged a robbery at the Peoples Bank branch on Dairy farm road at Thimilatheevu on the west of Batticaloa town. [dbsj]

UN lists 220,862 IDPs as still displaced from 'former conflict affected regions'

The May 2011 Joint Humanitarian and Early Recovery Update released on June 24th by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) states, that a total of approximately 220,000 persons are still displaced in the 'former conflict regions'. [TC]

What his personal physician did to Sri Lanka sports the president will someday do to Sri Lanka

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

It is a historical phenomenon common to both the East and the West – aristocratic wastrels selling their acreage to sustain their ostentatious life styles. [TC]

Rajapaksa siblings habit of thinking and acting like the Tiger has stayed with them post-war

 By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Last week, in a question-and-answer session with five editors, Indian PM Manmohan Singh stated that the ‘legitimate grievances’ of Lankan Tamils did not disappear with the LTTE. [TC]

Lunatic expenditure on mega projects and the mythical investors expected to come in large numbers

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

In spite of debts collected due to the monstrous war, and the lunatic expenditure on mega projects to expand the infrastructure facilities to the mythical investors expected to come in large numbers; he is planning to gain development by hosting the commonwealth games 2018. [TC]

Are Sri Lankans not entitled to the services they pay-and vote-for?

By Namini Wijedasa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week categorically told newspaper editors that a law to protect the people’s right to information was unnecessary. [TC]

Video with men in army uniform speaking Tamil aired by Sri Lankan TV Channel

BBC Sandeshaya

Sri Lanka army say that they are investigating into a video that was telecast by a private television channel believed as the unaltered video used to create the Channel 4 documentary on Sri Lanka. [TC]

'Killing Fields' airing on Australian Channel ABC

Presented by Kerry O'Brien, "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields" goes to air on Monday 4th July at 8.30pm on ABC1 [TC]