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September 24, 2011

Sep 25 - Oct 1

Canada will continue to speak loudly and clearly on behalf of human rights around the world, especially in Sri Lanka

On Thursday September 29th 2011, the following two questions were asked in the Canadian Parliament during question period by Hon. Rathika Sitsabaiesan MP for Scarborough-Rouge River and Hon. Jim Karygiannis MP for Scarborough-Agincourt. [TC]

The Unknown Killing Fields: Looking into the Sri Lankan Civil War

by Dineke Pardijs 

Summary executions, bodies of raped women, and families hiding from bombs in hastily dug trenches. [TC]

The road north: Journeys in post-war Sri Lanka

By Charles Haviland

The national flag of Sri Lanka fluttered in the breeze. Soldiers milled around. Omanthai looked like an international border. But in fact it was – and is – simply the key point for crossing into the north, the final theatre of the Sri Lankan war. [TC]

'Why can't government start new land registration in districts where normalcy prevailed for several years?' - TULF

TULF Leader urges President Rajapaksa to abandon the new Land Registration Scheme currently being implemented in North-East

"The people who had lost almost all their possessions are now scared that they will lose more under this scheme", the TULF leader points out in his letter to the President of Sri Lanka. [TC]

British Labour Party calls for an international commission of inquiry into war crimes allegations in Sri Lanka

Rt. Hon Douglas Alexander MP, the British Shadow Foreign Secretary, has given the Labour Party’s full support for the establishment of an international commission to investigate the "acts of unconscionable violence" perpetrated in the final months of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict in 2009. [TC]

Media smear campaign and death threats against human rights defender Sunanda Deshapriya following his participation in the UN Human Rights Council

Human rights defender Mr Sunanda Deshapriya was the target of a media smear campaign and death threats, following his participation in an event held at the UN headquarters in Geneva on 12 September 2011. [TC]

Spirit of Chennai: A nod to the future while keeping a firm eye on the past - From Chennai, the Sari With a Phone Pocket

by Charukesi Ramadurai

In Chennai, even as the young have switched to jeans and skirts in the name of modernity and comfort, the sari still remains the preferred attire for many. The silk sari is reserved for those special occasions (like weddings) when it is worth even bearing the terrible Chennai heat to flaunt that latest design. [II-NYT]

'Policy shift' seen amidst Tories, Liberal and NDP 'courting Tamil-Canadians'

In policy shift, Stephen Harper presses Sri Lanka on human rights

 by Campbell Clark, The Globe and Mail

"Liberal lock on Toronto-area ridings with big Tamil-Canadian populations has been broken by the Tories and NDP. The community is being courted" [TC]

Legal bids fail to halt Sri Lanka deportee flight-Channel 4

A plane chartered by the British Government to return failed asylum seekers to Sri Lanka has landed in Colombo following the failure of last-minute legal efforts to prevent it leaving [TC]

Last minute court-order halts Sri Lankan Tamil deportation from Britain

by Jonathan Miller

A forced removal of failed asylum-seekers to Sri Lanka has been put on hold by a judge after a day of frantic legal appeals. Foreign Affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller reports [TW]

UK not monitoring safety of Tamils deported to Sri Lanka

 by Ian Cobain

The government has conceded that it is doing nothing to establish what is happening to scores of Tamils who are being forcibly removed from the UK despite concerns for their safety in Sri Lanka. [GuardianUK]

"Democratic" Sri Lanka includes militarization of the country

"The people of Jaffna are still living in fear, not peace"

by Melani Manel Perera

The denunciation of the Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM). In the Northern Province, the army is still in service and imposes continuing restrictions, despite the end of the war in 2009. Christian activists for human rights: "An end to silence, we must act to protect our brothers and sisters." [TC]

Sri Lanka Red Cross Society appeals International community for greater assistance for reconstruction efforts in the North

“These communities have faced the traumatic experience of almost twenty-five years of conflict, as well as having borne brunt of natural disaster such as floods,drought and especially the fatal tsunami of 2004, resulting in being uprooted from their homes, in addition to losing   their kith and kin and property” pointed out the Red Cross President. [TC]

Canadian Foreign Minister Baird Meets Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs in New York City [TC]

Ambassador Shavendra Silva protected by International treaties-SL External Affairs [TC]

The Tamil factor in the continuing saga of JVP fragmentation

 by M.S.M. Ayub

The ethnic problem in the country has been haunting the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) throughout its history, creating cracks and splits occasionally in the cadrebased party, as it had created many cracks in the body politic. [TC]

SL govt and Sinhala political parties must not play ‘games’ with the Tamil population of Sri Lanka

The term ‘accountability’ is in vogue these days. Advice that comes as a ‘friendly pressure’ as Robert OBlake puts it is that Sri Lanka should be accountable to what happened in the last days of its war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [TC]

UN's relevance and effectiveness are imperiled when founding principles are observed in word but not deed

Address by the Honourable John Baird, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sep 26 [TC]

Govt-TNA talks is a matter of supreme national importance – N. Ram

by R. K. Radhakrishnan

Sri Lanka needs a solution to the ethnic question, home-grown or otherwise, to accommodate the just demands and aspirations of the Tamil-speaking people within the framework of the unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, said here on Sunday. [TC]

'Successful conclusion of negotiations with Tamil parties would obviate need for outsiders passing judgment about Sri Lanka'

Extracts from Transcript of Press Briefing by Foreign Secretary of India held in New York on 23 September 2011 related to meeting between the Prime Minister of India and the President of Sri Lanka [TC]

Response of the delegation of Sri Lanka to comments made during the General Debate under Item 4

Delivered by H. E. Ms. Tamara Kunanayakam, Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations [TC]

Video: Indian trawlers threaten Sri Lanka fisheries

The problem is crippling the country’s local fisheries, particularly in the eastern and northern parts of the island, where Al Jazeera shot exclusive photos of Indian trawlers fishing just 4km off the Sri Lankan coast. [TC]

TULF calls for proper mechanism with local participation to ensure just settlement and rehabilitation efforts

The TULF therefore strongly urge the government to abandon the scheme of collecting details of lands owned by the people. Furthermore many people who got killed during the war and before had left behind properties that cannot be traced or identified at this stage. [TC]

UN Officials Admit “Lapse in Communication” in some matters concerning Sri Lanka

Secretary General’s team acknowledged that there had been a lapse in communication and both sides agreed to leave this behind and to move forward with the essential aspects of reconciliation. [TC]

Video: Ban sees “Lies Agreed To” but not “Killing Fields”

Inner City Press reports UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon has seen “Lies Agreed To”, the official Sri Lanka rebuttal to Channel 4 UK made documentary; however the UN Secretary General reportedly has not seen “Killing Fields”: [TC]

Tamil people have hundreds of reasons to vote for DPF and not a single one to vote for UNP or UPFA

An Interview with Mano Ganesan by Jatila Karawita

Democratic People’s Front (DPF) Leader Mano Ganesan says that if he is elected as the mayor at the Local Government (LG) polls on October 8, he will usher in real time democracy for the citizens of Colombo as he is the person with a real Sri Lankan identity. [TC]

If Milinda Moragoda wins it will be Gotabhaya with terror apparatus who will run Colombo

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

Milinda Moragoda’s on-going mayoral campaign is no doubt intriguing to the middle class nutty about new media technology.

However I am doubtful as to what percentage of voters fall under this category. He has websites, Facebook accounts, Youtube videos and tweets galore while his rank and file uses the more simplistic means of loud crackers, cutouts and ugly posters. [TC]

Triple myths of Rajapaksa infallibility, miraculous development and perennial national insecurity

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Constructing physical infrastructure projects, together with selling/leasing land to foreigners, is the leitmotiv of Rajapaksa development. In its name untold wealth is pumped into building highways and overhead bridges, ports and airports. In its name national heritages (such as the Sinharaja forest) are endangered. In its name mammoth debts are incurred and questionable dependencies on foreign powers formed. [TC]

Why did Clinton put his arm around President Rajapaksa?

by Gamini Weerkoon

The Sri Lankan diplomatic hit squad led by Mahinda Percival Rajapaksa is now in New York. By tradition the Lankan DPL hit squad is accompanied by a Cheer Squad that vastly outnumbers the DPL kind. [TC]

Ban stresses need for accountability at meeting with Mahinda

24 September 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the need for a “credible national accountability process” over actions in the final stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka during a meeting with Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country’s President.

Mr. Ban reiterated the need for such a process as envisaged in the joint statement he signed with Mr. Rajapaksa in May 2009, when the long-running conflict between Government forces and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended. [TC]

In todays Sri Lanka only a Rajapaksa acolyte can be a patriot

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

For the LTTE peace was merely an interregnum, a brief time between the previous war and the next one. Creating optimal conditions for winning the next war was the main use the Tiger had for a peace process. [TC]

“Rajapaksas will come and go but the Tamils will always be there”-Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Though my political approval of and personal liking for Mahinda Rajapaksa, (certainly in relation to his competitors and immediate predecessors) are shared by nine out of ten Sri Lankan citizens (according to the Gallup poll), it is not nice to be alone in one’s analysis and evaluation, among one’s own social stratum, the intelligentsia, especially the English-speaking and writing urban intelligentsia. [TC]

It may be useful for the government to publish monthly statistics of visits by overseas Tamils

By Rajiva Wijesinha 

Reading through the various accounts by some politicians in Western countries about how bad things are here for Tamils, I realize that they must be influenced by the propaganda of extreme elements in the diaspora. And since that diaspora became massive because of what was alleged to be discrimination against Tamils, it is understandable that Western politicians are inclined to be sympathetic. [TC]

September 17, 2011

Sep 18 - 24:

Lawsuit filed in New York against  General Shavendra Silva Currently Living in NYC

NEW YORK, N.Y., SEPT. 23, 2011 – This morning, American University Washington College of Law’s UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) against Sri Lankan General Shavendra Silva, who currently resides in New York City. [TC]

Muslim Congress demands and Islamisation in Sri Lanka

An Interview with Dr.ARM Imthiyaz by Melani Manel Perera

The ruling regime can solve the problems that afflict Muslims in north-eastern Sri Lanka, but is doing nothing,” said A. R. M. Itmtiyaz, associated professor in the Department of Political Science in Temple University, Philadelphia, United States, as he spoke about protests by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), the country’s largest Muslim party, against the exclusion of the Muslim community from interethnic talks. [TC]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa speech at UN General Assembly full of ironies-Inner City Press

By Matthew Russell Lee

Known for ruthlessly ending a separatist movement, Rajapaksa in his speech said that dialogue is the only way to resolve problems. He has insisted that the Panel of Experts report detailing war crimes is not a UN report — but he thanked that UN. [TC]

The might of powerful nations cannot prevail against justice and fair play

Full text of address by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sep 23, 2011 [TC]

HRW urges UNHRC to 'remain seized of the situation in Sri Lanka'

The UN Human Rights Council should build on successes of the past year by continuing to improve its response to human rights violations around the world, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. [TC]

Sri Lanka's women deminers clean up legacy of Asia's longest war

By Nita Bhalla

MANNAR, Sri Lanka (AlertNet) - Wearing a visor and a protective vest over grey fatigues tucked into black military boots, former housewife S. Dishanty crawls on her hands and knees through dense bush, slowly inching forward and methodically scanning the ground. [TC]

The Swiss Federal Attorney General confirms that he will open a war crimes investigation if Jagath Dias comes back to Switzerland

Following a criminal complaint brought by TRIAL (Swiss association against impunity) and the Society for threatened peoples (SPM) against the Sri Lankan Deputy Ambassador to Switzerland, Jagath Dias, for war crimes, the Swiss Federal Attorney General has decided that a criminal investigation will be launched if Mr. Dias were to come back on Swiss territory, because of “his personal involvement in the atrocities committed”. [TC]

Sri Lanka's survivors tormented by horrors of war

By Nita Bhalla

Ranjini wakes up screaming. Her mother's body is on fire, her teenage sister is covered in blood and the mutilated, charred corpses of her relatives lie scattered everywhere. [TC]

Chief incumbent of Thames Buddhist Vihara charged with raping girl in 1970s

A Buddhist monk has been charged with raping an underage girl in the 1970s, the Metropolitan police has said.

Pahalagama Somaratana Thera, chief incumbent of Thames Buddhist Vihara, Croydon, has been charged with four counts of sexual abuse, police said. [TC]

An appeal against infringement of university autonomy

The Ministry of Higher Education has issued a directive that all state universities should hire the services of Rakna Lanka Ltd for provision of security services. [TC]

Sri Lanka High Commissioner in Australia speaks out against Commonwealth suspension call

Sri Lanka is dismissing calls for its suspension from the Councils of the Commonwealth and complained to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs about the latest campaign. [TC]

Sri Lanka's Request to Screen "Lies Agreed To" at UN Granted by Kohona's Ex-Landlord

By Matthew Russell Lee

At the UN some countries and state-funded media try to use access and even "ethics" as a club, with Sri Lanka the most recent example. [TC]

Statement by A.J.M Muzzamil on the dastardly attack carried out by thugs on the UNP meeting in Colombo

The same government that boldly claimed they will have no problems winning the upcoming Colombo Municipal Council Elections has now resorted to brutality and thuggery in desperate attempts to stifle the will of the people [TC]

Moving Towards a Military Administration with a Puppet Mayor is not the Answer

By Harsha de Silva, Ph.D, Member of Parliament

Now that I have been entrusted with leading the campaign for the Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council (SJKMC) election I have had the opportunity to visit the homes of many people in the administrative capital of Sri Lanka. [TC]

Only possible Explanation for Grease Yaka Pheomenon is Racism

By Izeth Hussain

I want to argue in this article that the phenomenon of the grease yakas (devils) should be seen in terms of a paradigm of racism, and not just in terms of the phenomenon of lawlessness, and the people’s reactions against the grease yakas should be seen not just as people taking the law into their own hands but in terms of a paradigm of an ongoing world revolution. [TC]

Former Jaffna College principal Rajan Kadirgamar passes away in Toronto

Leading educationist, Mr.Rajan Kadirgamar who was associated with Jaffna College,Vaddukkoddai for several decades as student,teacher and principal has passed away in Canada.  [TC]

Sri Lanka should follow the teachings of the Buddha and take the middle path

by R.K. Radhakrishnan

Dr. Joshi was here to deliver the Anagarika Dharmapala commemorative lecture at the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka, on the occasion of the 147th birth anniversary of its founder, Anagarika Dharmapala. [TC]

There is only one way to challenge this reactionary quasi-dictatorship

by Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne

The decision of the Lankan government to lift the Emergency Regulations (ER) fooled many, both here and elsewhere. [TC]

“I am returning to Sri Lanka after completing my tenure”-Maj-Gen.Jagath Dias

Major General Jagath Dias, Sri Lanka’s deputy ambassador in Germany, Switzerland and the Vatican state, says possible war crime charges levelled against him have no relation to him returning to Sri Lanka. [TC]

Effectiveness of Gen Jagath Dias may have made him a particular target

BY Namini Wijedasa

The Swiss government expressed serious concern to Sri Lanka about war crimes allegations against Gen. Jagath Dias, even making these the subject of demarches or formal protests lodged through diplomatic channels, an official document shows. [TC]

Govt pursues its deliberate 'Kamikaze Mission' to alienate many countries wielding influence over UN

By Namini Wijedasa

Why was Sri Lanka the last to know that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was sending the report of his panel of experts to the Human Rights Council? [TC] 

U.S. Underwhelmed With Emerging Powers At U.N.

by Michele Kelemen

It’s the time of year when world leaders converge at the United Nations headquarters in New York. And this year, there will be a lot of talk about multilateral diplomacy — a priority for the Obama administration since it came to office. [TC]

Presidential Falsehoods about non-eviction are a warning to all Colombo residents

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Like Rip Van Winkle, did President Mahinda Rajapaksa wake up, after years of guileless-slumbering – in time for the CMC election? [TC]

Namal Rajapaksa Threatens Colombo voters with Eviction if they dont vote for UPFA

by A. J. M. Muzammil

Elections are around the corner and the government’s dubious propaganda juggernaut has resumed its services of churning out nonsense; which at this point does not posses any credibility. [TC]

September 11, 2011

Sep 11-17:

Sri Lanka plans of gifting elephant calf to celebrate diplomatic relations decried

On September 15th minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene announced that the government is donating a calf from government-run elephant orphanage to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between Philippines and Sri Lanka. [TC]

Sixteen non-governmental groups write open letter to President of the Human Rights Council concerning the panel of experts report 

A coalition of non-governmental organisations has, by open letter of 16 September, called on the President of UNHRC H.E. Laura Dupuy Lasserre of Uruguay, to issue a President’s Statement inviting the Government of Sri Lanka and the UN Secretary-General to present to the Council the Panel of Experts report and the Government’s own investigations during the 19th regular session of the Human Rights Council in March 2012 [TC]

British Parliamentarians debate human rights situation in Sri Lanka

A number of British Members of Parliament raised concerns regarding the state of human rights in Sri Lanka, during a backbench debate on ‘Human Rights in the Indian Sub-continent’ in the House of Commons on Thursday 15th September. [TC]

Rajapakse regime has been ducking and diving for too long and as a result lost all credibility before the world

Too late for words, Return to the middle path

By Dushy Ranetunge in London

This week, the UNSG advisory report, unfortunately and disparagingly referred to in Sri Lanka as the “Darusman” Report was formally sent to the UNHRC. [TC]

Sri Lanka GDP is estimated to have grown by around 8 per cent in the first half of 2011

Monetary Policy Review by Central Bank of Sri Lanka for the month of September, 2011

Domestic economic activity continues to expand at a commendable pace, supported by improved external and domestic demand. [TC]

Lifestyles of Jaffna ~ An Exhibition to Preserve Our History and Heritage

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Lifestyles of Jaffna, a first of its kind, will be held from 24th~27th September 2011 at the Faculty of Arts, University of Jaffna. [TC]

Tamil Christian Congregation of Western Australia celebrates Twenty fifth anniversary

In 1983, following the ethnic disturbances, a significant number of Tamil Christians from Sri Lanka migrated to Australia and many chose to settle in Perth. [TC]

Q & A on Osama bin Laden, LLRC, EPDP and TNA: US Asst. Secretary of State Blake responds to Journalists in Colombo

Remarks by Robert O. Blake, Jr. Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 14 Sep, 2011 [TC]

Muslim shrine destroyed in Anuradhapura

By Charles Haviland

This incident took place on Saturday in Anuradhapura, an ancient Buddhist city and Unesco world heritage site. [TC]

Children should be treated primarily as victims, not as perpetrators

Remarks by Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict stressed at the Human Rights Council [TC]

Sri Lanka approves National Action Plan for Protection of Human Rights

The New National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Sri Lanka received sanction by the Cabinet of Ministers. The plan was tabled to the Cabinet by Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Plantation Industries and Special Envoy of the President of Sri Lanka on Human Rights. [TC]

Government must attend to the legitimate grievances of the Tamils and maintain good governance

by Gomin Dayasri 

Are we laying Sri Lanka as a tasty dish before the humanitarian lobby to devour? While we sleep soundly without attending to basic necessities, those faulting us for eliminating terrorism, are manufacturing overtime- lies, lies and more lies to discredit. [TC]

US lauds Sri Lanka’s post-conflict recovery

by Rasika Somarathna

This is a very different country from what I left in May 2009. Most IDPs have left Menik farm and the rest will leave as soon as de-mining is complete,” US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert O Blake told the media at the end of his three day visit to the country. [TC]

Grease devil incidents  give rise to new levels of insecurity in Jaffna-US Asst. Secretary Blake

Statement by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake at the Colombo Press Conference, Sep 14, 2011 [TC]

Sri Lanka to address breach of procedure in presenting documents not sanctioned by the UN at UNHRC

The government of Sri Lanka will protest strongly against the taking up of the Darusman report at the United Nations Human Rights Council both in Geneva and the General Assembly in New York next week, External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris said [TC]

Sri Lanka marine eco-system devastated by Indian trawlers whilst inaction by Defence and Fisheries Ministries

by Melani Manel Perera

Resources are at risk. Residents in affected area want the government to enforce the law that regulates the maritime border and access to the waters of the two nations, which have been violated by Indian trawlers. The Fisheries and Defence Ministries show indifference to their plight [TC]

Whatever one my think of the administration of a country, is it fair or morally correct to urge an international boycott of it?

By Dayan Jayatilleka

The recent endorsement by local civil society personalities of the targeting by Human Rights Watch in its Open Letter of Sept 9, 2011, of Sri Lanka’s prospect of hosting the Commonwealth summit in 2013, and its accompaniment by a call to submit to the Darusman Report and an international inquiry on the last stages of the war, is ethically and intellectually incomprehensible. [TC]

ICG: Post-war progress? Assessing Sri Lanka government claims

1. Post-war progress? Assessing government claims
2. What should be done? [TC]

TNA: Experience of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka does not support claims made by Hon. Minister Samarasinghe at UNHRC

Statement by Tamil National Alliance

The TNA is surprised to learn of the contents of the September 12 address to the UN Human Rights Council by Hon. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, Head of the Sri Lanka Delegation. We take particular exception to his claim that the government’s approach to reconciliation has been predicated on building trust and amity between communities. The experience of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka does not support this claim. [TC]

Sri Lanka recalls diplomat accused of war crimes-SwissInfo

Swissinfo, an enterprise of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that former General Jagath Dias, currently stationed in a diplomatic post in Europe is being recalled by Sri Lanka: [TC]

'When a UN Panel of Experts report concludes up to 40,000 civilians died amid war crimes, the Human Rights Council should feel compelled to act'-HRW

The United Nations Human Rights Council should act on the recommendations in a report commissioned by the UN Secretary-General detailing grave abuses during the final months of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

UNSG sends Panel report to UNHRC along with Sri Lanka govt produced reports on the situation in North

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent the report of his panel of experts on accountability issues during the final stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka to the United Nations human rights chief and the President of the Human Rights Council. [TC]

'Sri Lanka, like many post conflict societies, is going through a process of renewal and rebuilding'

By Mahinda Samarasinghe 

It is my privilege to once again address this august body as head of the Sri Lanka delegation. [TC]

Sri Lanka urged to comprehensively review all security-related legislation and detentions at UNHRC

Excerpts from remarks by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay at the opening day of the 18th UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva today [TC]

My deepest wish for Sri Lanka as a country is that it continue to embrace one of its traditional, essential core values, that of its multi-ethnic, multi-religious identity- Ambassador Butenis

Full Text of Remarks by Ambassador Patricia Butenis at Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks, Colombo, Sri Lanka [TC]

Canadian Prime Minister says he may not attend Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka

Prime Minister of Canada Hon. Stephen Harper has said that as Prime Minister he will not attend Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka, if there is no progress in terms of human rights. [TC]

The common memory for people who deliberately, knowingly, certainly laid down their lives for other people to live

Excerpts of address by President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, at the Flight 93 Memorial Dedication in Shanksville,
by William J. Clinton

There has always been a special place in the common memory for people who deliberately, knowingly, certainly laid down their lives for other people to live. [TC]

Video: ‘I feel extremely sorry for this incident’: Harithra Murugan

Harithra Murugan, daughter of Nalini Sriharan and Murugan says, from conversations with her father, she knows that her parents are innocent. She has appealed to Sonia Gandhi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa against the death sentence of her father. Nalini Sriharan’s death sentence was commuted to life at the behest of Ms Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi’s widow in 2000. [TC]

LG polls should be used to install some checks on Rajapaksa-power

Rajapaksas want to impose their writ and will on Colombo via a puppet-mayor

by Tissaranee Gunasekara

“Make us development orphans”. A slogan at the September 6th protest against Rajapaksa land-grabbing

The Rajapaksa plan to evict almost 70,000 poor families from Colombo and sell/lease their lands to favoured bidders has been put on the backburner – until the Colombo Municipal Council election is over. A protest which took place last week demonstrated that land-grabbing is not the exclusive problem of Colombo’s poor [TC]

Hambantota: When can one expect returns for massive investment injected?

By Namini Wijedasa in Hambantota

An evaluation team from the Commonwealth Games Federation has concluded that holding the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Hambantota presents a medium to high risk. This has given the Gold Coast in Australia, the other contender, a distinct edge. [TC]

Sarnath Buddha carved in India out of single beige-colored Chunar sandstone gifted to people of Sri Lanka

High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha and Hon’ble Governor of Central Province Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, in presence of Most Venerable Mahanayake Asigiriya, Most Venerable Anunayake Malawatte, Most Venerable Mahasangha and Hon’ble Diyawadana Nilame, unveiled a 16 feet high idol of Lord Buddha at the entrance of the International Buddhist Museum complex in Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, Sri Lanka. [TC]

September 03, 2011

Sep 4 - 10:

Actor Kanthimathi dead

Actor Kanthimathi, an artist known for her powerful performances in Tamil films, passed away on Friday, Sep 9th after a prolonged illness. She was 65. [The Hindu]

Pre-judgment of LLRC outcome is unacceptable and unwarranted

by Tamara Kunanayakam 

Claims by Amnesty International (AI) that they have analyzed the work of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) is questionable when the final report of the LLRC is due only on 15 November 2011. It is recalled that AI in a demonstration of bad faith, refused an invitation from the LLRC in October 2010, to testify before the Commission. [TC]

Slaughter on the beaches of Sri Lanka, viewed by many as a successful chapter in the “War on Terror”

Assertiveness without content – that’s the 9/11 decade in a nutshell 

by Louise Arbour

The first political decade of the new millennium began in the fall of 2001 on American soil and ended in the spring of 2011 in North Africa and the Middle East. [TC]

Ben Bavinck- indefatigable worker for humanity

By: J. J. Atputharajah

Ben Bavinc who passed away at the ripe old age of ninety-seven was a dedicated and tireless worker for humanity. He came as a missionary from Holland and was associated with the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India from 1954 [MJ]

Activities of the grease man should be probed into by A Presidential Commission: TULF Leader

V. Anandasangaree, President of Tamil United Liberation front (TULF) has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to probe the “Activities of the Grease Man” via a “Presidential Commission”. He has referred to related incidents taking place in Jaffna peninsula and other places in the letter. [TC]

Sri Lanka Land Ministry launches land re-registration process

Sri Lanka Ministry of Land and Land Development has launched a "Land Title Registration Programme", according to the Ministry website [TC]

Azhagarsamy's Horse comes to Toronto International Film Festival

Tamil film Azhagarsamyin Kutharai (Azhagarsamy's Horse) is selected to be part of this year’s lineup at Toronto International Film Festival [TC]

Delhi blast:'Galvanise the nation to fight terrorism is no easy task'-Col. R Hariharan

By Col. R Hariharan 

Terrorists have struck once again in Delhi taking the historical count of such attacks to more than a dozen. Apart from the tragic loss of lives of innocent public, the repeated terror attacks in Delhi have exposed the soft underbelly of India's fight against terrorism. [TC]

Sri Lanka as host of the next Commonwealth heads meeting appears grossly inappropriate-Right Groups and Activists

A Joint Open Letter to Commonwealth Foreign Ministers from Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Asian Legal Resource Centre, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Human Rights Watch, INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre, Sri Lanka, International Federation for Human Rights, Law and Society Trust, Minority Rights Group International, and Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace & Justice [TC]

Colombo's new development projects must protect, not destroy

by Melani Manel Perera 

The Sri Lankan government has rented the most beautiful and pristine natural areas for the next 99 years to build hotels, resorts, golf courses, facilities for seaplanes and aero-taxis. Mobilization of Catholics, religious and civil society against the expropriation of lands. [TC]

Sri Lanka economy expanding rapidly, growth to come in around 7.5 percent-IMF

A staff mission led by Brian Aitken visited Colombo August 29 – September 7 to conduct discussions for the seventh review of the Stand-By Arrangement. [TC]

'Bait and Switch' on Emergency Law: Abusive Detention Powers Remain in Place in Sri Lanka-HRW

Emergency regulations lifted in Sri Lanka do not affect existing and new laws that allow the government to detain people for long periods without trial, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Amnesty International releases report on Sri Lanka LLRC

The Sri Lankan government's inquiry into the country's civil war is fundamentally flawed and provides no accountability for atrocities, according to a new Amnesty International report. [TC]

Ganapati Sthapati passes away

V. Ganapati Sthapati, the architect of modern-day wonders such as the 133-foot Thiruvalluvar statue in Kanyakumari, Valluvar Kottam in Chennai and the Kannagi and Madhavi statue in Poompuhar, died here in a private hospital on Tuesday. He was 84. He is survived by his wife. [The Hindu]

Sri Lanka observes with admiration China’s steady, peaceful ascent to the summit of economic power

by Dayan Jayatilleke 

The denunciatory critics of the Rajapaksa Presidency are at total variance with the overwhelming majority of Sri Lankan people, not only on domestic matters but also on Sri Lanka’s external relations. [TC]

Pictorial: "STOP Land Grabbing in the name of Development Ensure Life and Livelihoods!"

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Protest is held in Colombo today ~ 6th September 2011 to highlight the issues related to current development process in Sri Lanka. The protest is organized by Land Forum of Sri Lanka, National fisheries Solidarity Movement and Praja Abhilasha Network. Fishermen, Farmers and activists participated actively in today’s protest. [TC]

Sri Lanka and India energy producing authorities sign Sampur coal power station agreement

Sampur power station agreement signed after five years since the proposals were made [TC]

Government’s stability and strength shown at electoral outcome do not tell us the full story

by Sumanasiri Liyanage


In recent times since the end of the armed conflict, media, both print and electronic, has evinced an interest in seemingly petty things and events. In a way, this signifies that we live in a ‘normal’ time. [TC]

Ramakrishna Mission Northern Sri Lanka branch inaugural

Inauguration of the Ramakrishna Mission Jaffna Branch, will be held on Wednesday the 7th of September, 2011 at 8:30 AM at Urumpirai West, Manipai-Kopai Road, Jaffna. [TW]

‘Does distorting facts about our humanitarian operation help to build good will and better friendship’?

by Mahinda Rajapaksa 

Let me first welcome you most warmly to Sri Lanka and say how glad I am to be with you at this Rotary South Asia Conference on Development and Cooperation, in the Eighty Second anniversary year of the first Rotary Club established in Sri Lanka. From its beginnings in Chicago more than a century ago in 1905, it took only 20 years for Rotary to mark its presence in Sri Lanka in 1925. [TC]

Increasing dependence on China is exacerbating Sri Lanka's problems

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

So the Rajapaksas’ power-agenda is propelling Sri Lanka into a politico-economic dependency on China, which in turn can make both India and the US regard us with suspicion/hostility. The Rajapaksa determination to oppose devolution and undermine democracy will present these external actors with a veritable arsenal to be used against Sri Lanka. [TC]

Armed forces must be thanked for doing civilian work for free: Mohan Pieris, outgoing AG

By Namini Wijedasa

The emergency regulations have lapsed. Therefore, certain consequential provisions have to be made for the above purposes. It is necessary that regulations be gazetted in terms of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to ensure the continuance of existing mechanisms. This also gives us time to put in place a new law. [TC]

Story of jubilantly ending long stretch of emergency rule changed to one of sheer consternation

By Namini Wijedasa

When a country’s cabinet is habitually uninformed, it is no surprise that its citizens also know nothing. In Sri Lanka, governance is carried out on a need-to-know basis: only a coterie at the top needs-to-know. [TC]