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October 30, 2011

Oct 30 - Nov 5

Buoyant GL informs cabinet of Sri Lankan diplomatic triumph in Australia

by D.B.S Jeyaraj

The Sri Lankan government is very happy with its achievements in Australia when the Commonwealth summit was held in Perth. Colombo is of the opinion that it registered a diplomatic triumph down under. A buoyant External Affairs minister Prof.GL Peiris outlined the salient points of this victory in a comprehensive cabinet paper submitted to his ministerial colleagues a few days ago [DBSJ]

Bar Association wants govt to withdraw new “fast tracked” enterprises and assets take over bill

By Shibly Aziz PC

A draft (Bill) of a law proposed to be passed by Parliament titled The Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Act was recently referred to the Supreme Court for its consideration as a Bill that is ‘urgent in the national interest’ in the opinion of the Cabinet of Ministers, acting under Article 122 of the Constitution. [TC]

Offer Rajapaksa Bros Inc. Hambantota as their very own country to reduce political pollution in Colombo

By Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake

We woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of screeching tires, booming exhausts and the smell of burning rubber recently. My cousin’s children had nightmares and could not get back to sleep when the test runs were done. [TC]

War is over and emergency is no more but still the military is everywhere

by J.C. Weliyamuna

War or internal armed conflict in the North and East was over; Emergency is no more; but still the military is everywhere. [TC]

Memorandum of understanding between Sarath Fonseka and Rajavarothayam Samapanthan

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

One of the biggest surprises during the 2010 Presidential elections was the support extended by the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) Gen.Sarath Fonseka the common opposition candidate. [DBSJ]

Schools damaged or destroyed by conflict lack money to rebuild and train staff

 

The decades-long conflict has ended in Sri Lanka, but the damage to the country's educational system lingers, particularly in the disaster-prone east, say families and experts. [TC]

Canada concerned that underlying sources of conflict are not being addressed

Guillermo E. Rishchynski, Canada's Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations, in a statement to the Third Committee on the promotion and protection of human rights at United Nations, on October 26, 2011, said, “Canada is also concerned that the underlying sources of conflict in Sri Lanka are not being addressed. [TC]

Reporters Without Borders urge President Rajapaksa to protect 'The Sunday Leader' Editor Frederica Jansz

Reporters Without Borders has written an open letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa urging him to take whatever measures are necessary to protect Frederica Jansz, the editor of The Sunday Leader, and to ensure that those responsible for last week’s death threats against her are arrested. [TC]

Commonwealth Members must stand up for the tens of thousands of victims of Sri Lanka's civil war

 by Salil Shetty

A government accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and numerous human rights violations is set to take control of an organisation of governments representing more than 2 billion people around the world. [TC]

An open letter to 'Shooty', who committed suicide in Villawood detention centre

Vaunted values too slow to save neglected son from fatal despair

by Tom Keneally

Dear 'Shooty',

I've just watched our Prime Minister talking about shared Commonwealth values in Perth. My mind turned at once to you and your solitary, late-night death in Villawood detention centre last week. [TC]

Decapitated head of Chelvanayagam statue restored in Trincomalee

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Many opined it was done deliberately as a symbolic act of protest against Trincomalee district MP&TNA leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan [DBSJ]

Nediyavan-Vinayagam intra LTTE power struggle results in Paris attack on France Tiger Chief Parithy

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

The October 30th attack on France-based chief of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)is attributed to an on going internal power struggle [DBSJ]

TNA report filed in parliament needs to be probed and acted upon to achieve reconciliation

by National Peace Council

After a protracted and very costly war as occurred in Sri Lanka it is necessary to start with political reconciliation between the different ethnic communities and also between the government and ethnic minorities. [TC]

It would suit both China and India to avoid a military confrontation

BY Col R Hariharan

Myanmar President Thein Sein’s visit to India from October 12th to 15th had only limited visibility in Indian media that has become characteristic of news relating to Myanmar. [TC]

'We are losing our economic freedom in a land that is supposed to be free'

By Dr. Harsha de Silva M.P

It is unbelievable that the State could act in this way. This is no different from the Mugabe administration. [TC]

Need for state take-over bill to be deemed 'urgent' has to be justified

By Chnadra Jayaratne

Good governance activist and former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chandra Jayaratne has expressed concerns over the Government’s proposed bill to takeover under-performing enterprises and under-utilised assets. [TC]

Education and its (dis)contents: a critique of state policy on education and a call to action

by Sivamohan Sumathy

This is a paraphrase of mine of Paulo Friere’s initial premise of what ‘true’ education is in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The ‘enterprise’ of education energizes society toward change, to energize individuals to become active agents. [TC]

Perth Commonwealth summit pinpoints failure of western leaders in promoting human rights universally

by John Kampfner

The death knell of the Commonwealth has been sounded for as long as there have been summits. [TC]

Like Gaddafi's death the killing of media workers and civilians in Sri Lanka also require 'explanations'

by Sunanda Deshapriya

Muammar Gaddafi was captured alive and killed thereafter. This is a fact that no one contests today. Even the killer himself accepted the responsibility in front of a mobile camera. [TC]

Spiritual transformation of Santhan, Murugan and Peraraivalan

by S. Vijay Kumar

Having lived under the hangman's shadow for years and coming close to the gallows on two occasions, Murugan alias Sriharan, Santhan and Perarivalan, facing the capital punishment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, do not appear overwhelmed by the fear of death [TC]

Low crowd of 2,500-3,000 at 'Pongu Thamizh' event in Toronto big blow to 'Nediyavan' led LTTE faction

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

The TNA declined to participate in a “LTTE inspired meeting” & delayed their arrival time in Toronto to 29th midnight to neatly “miss” the event [DBSJ]

Amnesty slams 'disgraceful' Commonwealth inaction on Sri Lanka

Amnesty International is outraged that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth has utterly failed to hold Sri Lanka to account over allegations of war crimes and other grave human rights abuses arising from the 2009 conflict [TC]

"Sri Lanka  hosting Commonwealth games would inspire 45 other nations"

by Mahinda Rajapaksa 

Full text of the speech made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on October 29th at the Sports breakfast organized by the Commonwealth Games Federation on the sidelines of the CHOGM summit in Perth, Australia [TC]

Crime, drugs and politics operate in synergy in the post-armed conflict context of Sri Lanka

by Sumanasiri Liyanage 

While waiting at the airport lounge for a Delhi bound flight, I happened to overhear a conversation between two persons seated behind me. I gathered that they were from Negombo. [TC]

Canadian PM Harper walked out of CHOGM summit as President Rajapaksa was invited to speak

by Bruce Cheadle

Commonwealth leaders have agreed to develop “one clear, powerful statement” of values for the 54 member countries — but enforcing those values is another matter. [TC]

Rajapaksa-Troika Comprises Mahinda the sage-guide; Basil the bountiful-provider and Gotabhaya the vigilant-guardian

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

A despot sees himself not as the First Citizen in a country of peers but as the Patriarch of an infantile-nation.

He thereby arrogates unto himself the triple-roles of traditional-fatherhood, becoming, at least in his self-besotted eyes, the wise-guide, the caring-provider and the dauntless-protector of his people. [TC]

New Govt Policy on Land matters in the North and the East

by Friday Forum

The “Friday Forum” group of concerned citizens has issued a statement as a discussion paper, expressing its concerns over a new government policy on land matters in the North and the East. [TC]

Our university system cannot make country the ‘Knowledge hub of Asia’ unless we recognize importance of intellectual freedom

by Savitri Goonasekere

The Minister of Higher Education and the Ministry have frequently reminded the public, in recent months, that the government’s policy on education seeks to create a “knowledge based” society, that will make Sri Lanka the “knowledge hub” of Asia. It is interesting to examine the various initiatives that have been taken in working to achieve this objective. [TC]

One underperforming enterprise and under utilised assets of 36 institutions to be acquired by state

By Namini Wijedasa

Hello Friends

It was only a few days ago that I tweeted about the Rajapaksa governments attempt to revive legislation enabling the state to acquire underperforming enterprises and under utilized assets.

These tweets posted on twitter were also posted on my blog as a bundle of tweets.

The legislation was drafted in secret through a private legal firm instead of following the usual procedure of utilizing the Legal Draftmans dept. [click here to read in full ~ dbsjeyaraj.com]

Harper was right to take a stand against Sri Lanka –Toronto Star

Years after Sri Lanka’s bitter civil war ended in a bloodbath, we still don’t know the half of what went on in the final horrific days.

According to the United Nations, “tens of thousands” died in 2008-2009 as government forces crushed a Tamil Tiger rebellion. The army “systematically” shelled UN facilities, areas where 330,000 civilians were huddled, hospitals and food lines, a UN panel found. The rebels, in turn, used civilians as shields. There are “credible allegations,” the UN said, of point-blank executions, torture, rape and other war crimes by both sides. [TC]

Despair and destitute– the lot of the war-displaced civilians in Vavuniya

By Namini Wijedasa

Every scrap of clothing her family owned hung on a short line inside her house of tin, clay and plastic roofing sheets. The rain pelted down noisily, seeping through a rent and dripping rhythmically onto the clay floor.

Kathirgamathamby Kalachelvi sat cross-legged on the filthy ground, gazing intensely at an A4 sized computer printout. It was a picture of her daughter: eight-year-old Kirubalini, who went missing at the end of the war, was found many months after and no longer knows her mother. [TC]

State terror regime is the real authority not only in the North but also in the South

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

In the editorial of a Lankan daily paper a few days ago, the opening paragraph was as follows: “SLFP politicians are killing each other as the government has allowed them to rise above the law. When presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra was killed and UPFA MP Duminda Silva received serious injuries in a recent ‘turf’ war, we said the government was reaping the ‘whirlwind,’ having sowed the wind. It looks as if the government was now sowing the whirlwind!” The article went on to say, “LTTE terrorism may be a thing of the past, but people are not yet safe. [TC]

Sri Lanka outflanks Gillard on Games bid

by Paul Osborne

The Sri Lankan president has out-manoeuvred Prime Minister Julia Gillard over duelling bids for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Ms Gillard on Saturday hosted senior officials from across the Commonwealth for a sports breakfast in Perth, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

In the audience were the bid teams for the Sri Lankan city of Hambantota and Australia’s Gold Coast, as well as members of the 71 Commonwealth Games associations who have a vote. [TC]

Testimonies before LLRC show people want clarity not retribution – Prof Rajiva Wijesinha

by Ayesha Zuhair

An Interview with Presidential Advisor on Reconciliation, Parliamentarian, and former Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Question: Sri Lanka currently faces considerable pressure to allow an international, independent probe into war crimes allegations. Why is the government so reluctant to allow any external inquiry? Does it not make sense to allow such an inquiry instead of providing a rallying point for PRO-LTTE activists worldwide? [TC]

October 23, 2011

Oct 23-29:

"Rookie" Canadian MP Rathika told "Diplomacy works behind the scenes"

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Rathika Sitsabaiesan elected as member of Scarborough –Rouge river this year created history as the first person of Sri Lankan Tamil descent to be elected to the Canadian Federal Parliament. [DBSJ]

‘The interests of the Tamil people and the TNA are different’ – Douglas Devanana 

Kelum Bandara interviews EPDP leader Douglas Devananda

The government has made a clear-cut approach to this process. I am happy about it. Already, it has been decided to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to evolve a solution acceptable to all the parties. By talking to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) alone, we cannot resolve this problem. [TC]

What has Rohana Wijeweera done for the country, people, or any segment of our people?

By S. L. Gunasekara

Both the official JVP and its rebel group ‘claim’ to have eschewed violence and/or violent methods of achieving power. [TC]

Prevailing gap in the practical implementation of Tamil as an official language is yet to be bridged

by Prof. Sasanka Perera

D.B.S. Jeyaraj: Hello Friends

The “politics of Language” has plagued our Island nation for decades and has contributed immensely towards the deteriorating relationship between the majority and minority ethnicities. [DBSJ]

UN SG Ban Ki-moon meets with Mahinda Samarasinghe, Special Envoy of the President of Sri Lanka on Human Rights [TC]

Govt brings urgent law to acquire ‘underperforming and underutilized assets’

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

Sri Lankan Govt in a sudden move plans to acquire businesses & property saying they are"underperforming enterprises & underutilized assets”. [DBSJ]

TNA parliamentarian Sumanthiran files petition in appeal court against circular concerning lands in North and East

by S. Selvanayagam

A Writ petition was filed before the Court of Appeal against the Circular issued by the Land Commissioner General’s Department titled ‘Regulating the activities regarding management of lands in the northern and eastern provinces’. [TC]

Entire legal framework of electoral process should be reviewed, modified and strengthened

by Sarath N. Silva

The recent incident at Mulleriyawa resulting in several deaths and serious injuries to others, which took place when an election was in progress, depicts the spiral of violence that has engulfed our electoral process. [TC]

Australia will continue to urge Sri Lanka to address serious allegations of human rights violations: Prime Minister Julia Gillard [TC]

Aussie police liaise and work with Sri Lankan Navy, Army and Police to prevent Tamils from coming to Australia

by Bruce Haigh

The primary focus of Australian diplomacy towards Sri Lanka is to prevent Tamils from getting onto boats and coming to Australia. [TC]

LTTE rump with Australian ICJ churn up new allegations o embarrass Sri Lanka before Commonwealth Summit in Perth [TC]

‘In my head I was saying, you cant intimidate me, I am from Sri Lanka’ – Raj Rajaratnam

An Exclusive Interview Feature from “Newsweek”

By Suketu Mehta

It was 6 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2009, and Raj Rajaratnam, head of the Galleon Group hedge fund, was at home on his exercise bike looking out over Manhattan’s Turtle Bay, thinking about how many shirts he would have to pack for his trip to England that day. [TC]

The continued militarization of Sri Lanka

by Gibson Bateman

Led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, post-war Sri Lanka is a sad place. In May of 2009, the Sri Lankan government achieved a resounding military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [TC]

Seeking international justice: Dr. Manoharan for son and Premachandra siblings for brother

By Kshama Ranawana

The family of the late Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra plans to seek international backing in seeking justice for their slain brother.  Now that is ironic. [TC]

‘I don’t want to be the Prime Minister. I am not interested in that’–Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

 An Interview with Shakuntala Perera for “Hard Talk”.

These are political rivalries. I don’t know what this big conspiracy is; they should explain what this is. It’s not like he was a national leader. [TC]

Situation in North-Eastern Sri Lanka: A series of serious concerns

by M.A. Sumanthiran MP

The Situation in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka is of interest and concern to the Tamil speaking people in particular and the Country in general. Different persons ,agencies and institutions provide different versions of happenings in the once war-ravaged regions.Needless to say these versions are subject to various interpretations and comments [DBSJ]

Beyond the scars: I have never met another community that treats artists the way these people do

by T.M. Krishna

I have never met another community that treats artists the way these people do, recounts T.M. Krishna of his recent tour to war-ravaged Jaffna, where he saw the will to overcome and love for the arts surpass the trauma around. [TC]

1978 Constitution has made the president above the law but not made Mahinda supreme

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

While the whole nation was shocked by the multiple killings at Mulleriyawa, another set of gruesome murders have been reported from other parts of the country which, according to reports, the police believe to be shots from a T 56 gun. [TC]

Al Jazeera Video: Caught in deadly crossfire: Adivasis of central and eastern India

A 40-year long civil war has been raging in the jungles of central and eastern India. It is one of the world’s largest armed conflicts but it remains largely ignored outside of India.

Caught in the crossfire of it are the Adivasis, who are believed to be India’s earliest inhabitants. A loose collection of tribes, it is estimated that there are about 84 million of these indigenous people, which is about eight per cent of the country’s population. [TC]
 
UNP leadership is trying to take revenge against me’ – Shiral Lakthilake

by Rathindra Kuruwita

(United National party (UNP) Western Provincial Councillor Shiral Lakthilake’s party membership was temporarily suspended last week, with him being accused of supporting an independent group which consisted of prominent UNPers who were not included in the UNP nomination list for Kotte. LAKBIMAnEWS met Lakthilake for his response to the allegations, and for his thoughts on what will transpire at the October 27 Working Committee meeting where his fate in the UNP is to be decided) [TC]
 
Gamini Dissanayake: Perfect manifestation of a complete politician

By Dr Wickrema Weerasooria

After Gamini Dissanayake was brutally killed by a LTTE female suicide bomber in 1994, I lost all interest in political and public sector life and devoted my time totally to academic life in Australia. [TC]

Over 20% of 2.22 Trillion rupee anticipated spending for 2012 allocated to Mahinda, Gotabhaya and Basil

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

The Appropriation Bill 2012, which was moved recently for Parliament approval outlines Rs. 2.22 trillion as next year’s anticipated spending by the UPFA government, although it leads to a budget deficit of Rs.1.105 trillion. [TC]

Kolonnawa mini-war causing four deaths is not a crime or disgrace but only a little blemish in President Rajapaksas eyes

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Tamil victims of human rights violations will not receive justice, so long as the Rajapaksas rule; that is a foregone conclusion. Justice will be denied to those Rajapaksa-critics, who were attacked, abducted or murdered; that too is equally indubitable. [TC]

Defence Ministry under Rajapaksa siblings is becoming an instrument of Rajapaksa rule

by Tissaranee Gunasekara

Presidents Mubarak and Ben Ali nursed their illusions for long, but eventually both acknowledged reality and left power, without pushing their countries into the morass of civil war. In consequence they escaped with their lives (and in the case of Mr. Ben Ali with some of his ill-gotten loot). [TC]

Militarization of urban space and creation of State Defence and City Development Ministry

by Jude Fernando

All institutions representing city development are now under the purview of the State Defence and City Development Ministry – the new name of the Ministry of Defence. [TC]

The Ministry of Defence is a top-down command driven institution, while the development institutions are expected to be democratic. Their respective systems of governance and accountability are different.

Gun fight at Mulleriyawa had entire Rajapaksa regime caught with its pants down

by Gamini Weerakoon

When ruling regimes are caught in extremely embarrassing situations government spin doctors come out with solutions which do not necessarily resolve the problem but distract public opinion sufficiently to make the public forget the issue in a short while. [TC]

Can the JVP/UDA overcome the ‘Wijeweeraist DNA’ of vicious sectarianism?

by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

JVP Split: Can the left get it right-2

Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s grieving daughter (and possible political successor) was probably not even born when several of us in the SLMP’s leading ranks rapidly disembarked at his house in Kolonnawa, an hour after he had survived the assassination attempt by the JVP. [TC]

Govt is trying to cook up stories about Bharatha Lakshman alleges sister

The sister of slain Presidential Advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, has vowed to seek justice for her brother and says the family will take Bharatha’s assassination to the international community. [TC]

October 16, 2011

Oct 16-22:

Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra: A tragic anti-hero

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra , gunned down brutally on October 8th 2011 was a vibrant personality who could be portrayed as  an “anti-hero” of real life. The circumstances of his untimely end casts him in the mould of a tragic anti-hero. [DBS]

Accountabi​lity in Sri Lanka: Common Justice in the Commonweal​th-in Sydney, Australia

The first day of this 3 day conference on 20 Oct 2011 was held at the prestigious Sheraton on the Park, 161 Elizabeth St , Sydney . A Conference output document was agreed upon in principle by all main participants .The document stated: [TC]

Country’s top executive in Sri Lanka does not seem committed to leading its people to reconcile and build a united country

 by Lionel Bopage

The physical and emotional pain that has been handed down through generations in Sri Lanka during the last five decades has mainly been the inevitable outcomes of past policies followed by the successive governments, based on discrimination and social exclusion. [TC]

Tourist development project in Kalpitiya lagoon affects fisherfolk Livelihood

by Charles Haviland

Tiny flying fish glint as our boat is pushed off from the shore with a long stick to get us through the mud and seaweed. The motor is fired up and we head for one of the 14 islands lining a beautiful lagoon in the Kalpitiya region of western Sri Lanka. [TC]

Foreign Policy Should Be Based on a Standard of Ethics

by Julian Ranetunge

Foreign policy is about promoting national interests, a process which is not always compatible with whiter-than-white ethical considerations. It is clear that some degree of ethical consideration is vital to maintain healthy multilateral ties. [TC]

ICJ urges Sri Lanka to make amendments to the convention against Torture Act

Full text of International Commission of Jurists submission to the Committee against Torture on the Examination of the combined Third and Fourth Periodic Reports of Sri Lanka [TC]

Age hardly withers charm of Ponniyin Selvan

by A. Srivathsan

There are not many Tamil novels that have swept the popular imagination and captivated readers as Ponniyin Selvan (Son of Ponni) did. It was in October 1950, this widely read historical fiction first appeared in the pages of the Tamil magazine Kalki. Since then it has grown in fame and even after sixty years its aura is only intact. [Hindu]

Story of Meena Krishnamoorthy is crucial to war crimes submission: ABC TV

Story of Meena Krishnamoorthy is crucial to war crimes submission. She is one of just three Australians who were in the conflict until the end", said Australia's "7.30 Report", the nightly current affairs program of ABC. The program aired on Tuesday, October 18th. [TC]

There is something rotten going on in Sri Lanka

by Robert Muggah

There is something rotten going on in Sri Lanka. More than two years after comprehensively dispensing with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elaam (LTTE), the government is at risk of losing the peace. [TC]

There are precedents for seeking Sri Lankan envoy Samarasinghes recall from Canberra

by Bruce Haigh

John Dowd, president of the Australian chapter of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), has named the current Sri Lankan high commissioner to Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, in a submission containing allegations of war crimes. [TC]

Rampant lawlessness has enveloped every aspect of our society

by Anura Gunasekera

In the decade that I have been living in Hokandara there has been an exponential growth in the number of residences and vehicles using the Hokandara – Talawatugoda road, particularly in the morning and evening. The recent move of an international school to the area , from Nawala , has further compounded the existing problem [TC]

LLRC interim report suggests prompt action in five areas

by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

When the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was established, I thought its most important function would be with regard to the future. [TC]

Rescuing civilians was the duty, responsibility and obligation of the Government: Admiral (Retd) Samarasinghe

Rescuing civilians was the duty, responsibility and obligation of the Sri Lanka Government, from a ruthless terrorist organization", said Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia Admiral (Retd) T.S.G. Samarasinghe [TC]

Does President Rajapaksa agree or disagree with Defence Secretary Rajapaksa?

An Interview with Alan Keenan by Ayesha Zuhair

Alan Keenan, Sri Lanka Project Director and Senior Analyst, International Crisis Group speaks to Daily Mirror on its motives for screening the controversial Channel 4 documentary,'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' in the European Parliament, the LLRC process and Sri Lanka's process of peace [TC]

India to provide assistance of SLR 326 million for restoration of Thiruketheeswaram Temple, Mannar

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today in Colombo between the High Commission of India and the Board of Trustees of Thiruketheeswaram Temple Restoration Society, for restoration of the Thiruketheeswaram Temple in Mannar, Sri Lanka [TC]

Al Jazeera Listening Post: Media narrative in post-war Sri Lanka

One of the consequences of war is that even after the fighting stops media freedom remains precarious.That is what it is like in Sri Lanka more than two years after its Sinhalese-led government declared victory in its 26-year-long civil war with the separatist forces of the Tamil Tigers. [TV]

Did Navi Pillay cry because of Mahinda Samarasinghe at the UN in Geneva?

By S. V. Kirubaharan in France

As far as the UN Human Rights Council-HRC and Sri Lanka are concerned, the 18th session is historic. The President of this session is the Ambassador of Uruguay, Ms Laura Dupuy Lasserre [TC]

Sri Lankan High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara criticizes Canada over inquiry calls

by Mike Blanchfield The Canadian Press

Sri Lanka says Canada is falling for terrorist "propaganda" with its newfound criticism of the Asian country's human-rights record and its demands for an international inquiry. [TC]

Sri Lanka high commissioner to Australia, former admiral Thisara Samarasinghe accused of war crimes

by Ben Doherty

SRI LANKA'S high commissioner to Australia, former admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, should be investigated for war crimes, a brief before the Australian Federal Police says. [TC]

“It is great to stand on our own legs instead of borrowed crutches”-Mano Ganesan

An Interview with the DPF Leader by Chamitha Kuruppu

We are one of the youngest performing party in the country. DPF was formed in year 2001. We are growing since then. Look at the results since 2002 in three successive CMC elections under our own Ladder symbol. In year 2002 at CMC elections we collected 12,000 plus votes with 2 seats. In year 2006 we collected 16,000 plus votes with 4 seats. [TC]

Saw-scaled viper snake-bites on the rise in Jaffna Peninsula

By Kumudini Hettiarachchi

The not much talked of saw-scaled viper is the No. 1 biter in the Jaffna peninsula among the deadliest venomous five in Sri Lanka, with the more feared Russell’s viper and cobra coming second and third. [TC]

Seven supreme ironies plus one about the Mulleriyawa murders

by Namini Wijedasa

Standing outside Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s house last week, Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the senior politician’s death was a result of the preferential system. [TC]

If the Rajapaksas are not restrained there will be other Duminda Silvas and therefore other Bharatha Lakshman Premachandras

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Impunity makes jungles out of civilised societies, where the big and the powerful prey on those smaller and weaker, at will. In such lawless-states, violent death can befall any citizen who incurs the ire of someone stronger. When governance is criminalised, all are unsafe, from beggars to Presidential advisors [TC]

The main reason for the rise of the political thug and breakdown of law and order is the executive presidency

by Gamini Weerakoon

Bullets not ballots prevailed over the recent local government elections. After the dust settled over the elections in the municipalities the people are not talking of the sweeping victories of the government party or the UNP’s victory in Colombo against all odds but of bullets that killed a well known politician and his supporters and some bullets lodged in the head of a politician now lying in hospital. [TC]

Shame on the President and his brother the Defence Secretary who both are a national disgrace

by Frederica Jansz

Can anybody tell me why Duminda Silva is not shackled to his bed? After all, here we have a man who by numerous eyewitness and published accounts first slapped and then shot Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra [TC]

If Duminda Silva escapes justice it will prove Rajapaksa rule has replaced rule of law in Sri Lanka

BY Tisaranee Gunasekara

The answer to this simple question would tell us much about the nature and the destination of the Rajapaksa regime. And the fate of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans under Rajapaksa rule. [TC]

Mahinda regime represents counter-revolution and complete sell-out to IMF and global powers

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

Within the context of Local Government elections, it was a great step forward. The political tendency which included the Democratic Peoples Front, Nava Sama Samaja Party, Social democratic solidarity and other socialist groups did well to gain eight municipal councillors, with mobilization of over 30,000 votes. [TC]

Wijeweera’s gross error was ‘Sinhalaising’ Marxism-Leninism instead of ‘Lankanising’ it

by Dayan Jayatilleka

It doesn’t seem to have brought in many votes, but it was thoughtful of Comrade Somawansa Amarasingha to have mentioned me in the wrap-up rally of the JVP’s municipal election campaign in Colombo. [TC]

An Independent Judiciary and an Independent bar are the twin pillars of the rule of law

by Param Cumaraswamy

The Fourteenth Dudley Senanayake Memorial Lecture: Thank you for inviting me to deliver this 14th Lecture in memory of one of Asia’s great Statesman, who passed away on that auspicious Hindu-Buddhist New Year of April 13, 1973. [TC]

October 09, 2011

Oct 9-15

Liam Fox compromises British government position on Sri Lanka

For Britain’s Defence Secretary to have repeatedly visited Sri Lanka, at the regime’s expense, and in the company of Werritty, a known lobbyist, sends completely the wrong signal about the need to investigate atrocities which took place there,” says Alan Keenan of the International Crisis Group, which has pressed for accountability in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Police brutality is a way of life in the North and East

by M.A. Sumanthiran 

Text of TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran's Speech on 6th October 2011 about Sri Lankan Police [TC]

Massachusetts State Representatives’ letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton urges ‘independent international investigation’ in Sri Lanka

State Representatives of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts today released the letter that they wrote to to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after the screening of "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields" at the Massachusetts State House last month. The letter urges an 'independent international investigation' in Sri Lanka, for alleged violations of 'international humanitarian law and human rights'. [TC]

Rather than run to India and Western countries Tamil leadership must evolve plan to work with majority community

by Arjuna Hulugalle

As the government and the TNA grapple to unravel the conundrum of the ethnic problem, a question can be posed whether the TNA could learn from the experience of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka at a trying moment in history in the nineteen sixties. [TC]

Rajaratnam gets 11-yr sentence, less than US sought

-Hedge fund manager is appealing conviction
-Asks for same prison that houses Bernard Madoff
-Doctors say faces imminent kidney failure

By Grant McCool

Raj Rajaratnam, a self-made hedge fund tycoon convicted in the biggest Wall Street trading scandal in a generation, was ordered to serve 11 years in prison, the longest sentence ever in an insider-trading case but far less than prosecutors sought. [TC]

'Canadian PM Stephen Harper did not say he would boycott Commonwealth Summit'

Canadian Envoy Bruce Levy Interviewed  by Ayesha Zuhair

The state of the bilateral relationship is more or less where it was when I arrived two years ago, which means that it is satisfactory. But the truth is that it could be better on various fronts. For example, given the great interest in education here, it bothers me that Canada does not rank more highly in relation to some other countries as a university education destination for Sri Lankan students. We’re about fourth. [TC]

Will lead the struggle against the injustice done: Hirunika Premachandra 

Hirunika Premachandra, the daughter of slain presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachndra yesterday pledged she would lead the struggle against the injustice that had been done to her father and would continue the services he had rendered during his political career. [TC]

Public Appeal: For MPs without firearms and a "Cleaner" parliament

This broad day light gang war between government politicians in seemingly high positions within the political hierarchy, makes it wholly unnecessary for more and long explanations in convincing oneself, how seriously low, the law and order situation is in this country, despite what the government says in pacifying the people. [TC]

The motive of producers and promoters of the "The Killing Fields" film is to discredit and vilify Sri Lanka

by Ravinatha Aryasinha

The Government of Sri Lanka strongly protests the use of the premises of the European Parliament, through a private members initiative, for the screening of this film today. [TC]

Return of Sri Lankan refugees by commercial ferry from India begins

UNHCR is expecting the first returns of Sri Lankan refugees by commercial ferry from India to start on Wednesday, 12th October. The returns are part of a voluntary, facilitated repatriation programme, supported by the governments of both India and Sri Lanka. [TC]

TULF, PLOTE and EPRLF (P) leaders meet Indian Foreign Secretary in Colombo

M/S. V. Anadasangaree, D. Siddhartha and T. Sritharan representing The Tamil United Liberation Front, PLOTE and Pathmanaba EPRLF respectively met Shree Ranjan Mathai Foreign Secretary of India at the India House on Monday 10th October and discussed various matters, considered as urgent and important in the present context. [TC]

Myanmar suspension of China aided hydro electric dam project in Kachin State is pleasant surprise

by Col. R. Hariharan

Myanmar’s recent decision to suspend the construction of the Chinese-aided Irrawaddy Myitsone hydroelectric dam project in Kachin State comes as a pleasant surprise, whatever be the reasons behind the Myanmar decision. [TC]

India to undertake repair of 79 schools in Sri Lanka Northern Province

High Commission of India, Colombo, Press Release

As part of its development partnership with Sri Lanka and in response to requirements projected by the Government of Sri Lanka, the Government of India is undertaking a project to repair 79 damaged schools in the three districts of Kilinochchi, Mulaittivu and Vavuniya. [TC]

Indian housing project for the war-hit Tamils in Jaffna progressing slowly

by R.K. Radhakrishanan

In just over a year, Jaffna peninsula has seen the visit of two Foreign Secretaries to the sites of a prestigious Indian housing project. In more than a year, a mere 52 of the 1,000 houses meant for the war-affected Tamils have been built. A total of 50,000 houses are to be built [TC]

Silver Jubilee celebrations of TCC in Western Australia – 2011

By Saba – Thambi

The Tamil Christian Congregation of Western Australia Inc. (TCC) reached a great land mark of 25 years of existence this September. The TCC commenced its celebrations by holding a charity dinner in August followed by an anniversary Thanksgiving Service in September. [TC]

Northern development faces $200m shortfall

IRIN 

The Joint Plan for Assistance (JPA) for Sri Lanka’s war-torn Northern Province is facing a US$200 million shortfall, according to the UN. [TC]

How can the Sri Lankan left be rebuilt or new left built?

by Sumanasiri Liyanage

The theme of the well-attended public seminar of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (Revolutionary) held in Kandy last Wednesday read as ‘the second innings of the neo-liberal capitalism and the challenges of the left’. Comrade Pubudu Jagoda, an alumnus of the Moratuwa University and politburo member of the JVP, delivered a well-planned talk on the subject. [TC]

Election results prove Sri Lankan society will not allow itself to be straitjacketed into conformity

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Is this a functioning democracy or what? The governing coalition’s sweep of the local authorities election, the UNP’s successful resistance in a tough campaign in Colombo, as well as the TNA’s impressive performance at repeated elections in the North, make nonsense of the dark pronouncements and forebodings of dictatorship. [TC]

Growing concern against the hiring of Rakna Lanka Ltd to provide security services for universities

It was just over two weeks ago that a group of 48 university academics expressed concern regarding the move by the Ministry of Higher Education to obtain the services of the Rakna Lanka Ltd to provide security to all national universities. [TC]

Sri Lanka ruling party rolls in polls amidst his coalition beginning to show cracks

By Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's party swept local government polls, results on Sunday showed, but lost the minority-dominated capital while four people died in violence that exposed a growing rift in his huge political coalition. [TC]

‘To conduct a genocide takes a lot of people, not just leaders at the top’

NPR Weekend Edition 

To conduct a genocide takes a lot of people, and those people have to be responsible, and brought to justice,” says Professor Deborah Esther Lipstad who teaches Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. [TC]

Involvement of Mauritius legal firm in case against Shavendra Silva was initiated by TNA

by Namini Wijedasa

More lawsuits will be filed against Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva while further litigation is being drawn up in several countries against other Sri Lankan officials and military, says Sivakumaren Mardemootoo, senior partner and a founding member of SPEAK, a legal advocacy firm headquartered in Mauritius. [TC]

Sri Lanka reacts negatively to Commonwealth report on enforcing human rights

by Namini Wijedasa

A recommendation for the Commonwealth to assume a more active role in enforcing human rights in member countries has raised Sri Lanka’s ire. It is likely to draw wider protests in the coming weeks. [TC]

Growing concern against the hiring of Rakna Lanka Ltd to provide security services for universities

It was just over two weeks ago that a group of 48 university academics expressed concern regarding the move by the Ministry of Higher Education to obtain the services of the Rakna Lanka Ltd to provide security to all national universities. [TC]

Insecurity will be the common condition in the Rajapaksa security state

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

People’s security (is) no longer a problem”, pronounced Defence Secretary and Presidential-Sibling Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on the campaign trail (www.defence.lk – 4.10.2011).

Perhaps he should tell that to the family of Gayan Saranga, the latest victim of extra-judicial killing or; to Dr, Nonis, the Register of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (and a leading opponent of the Malabe private medical college) who was assaulted near his residence in Moratuwa or; to the beggar, clubbed to death in the holy city of Kelaniya, the 8th mendicant to be gruesomely murdered in three months.[TC]

Rajapaksas are popular today but so were Mubarak, Ben Ali and Gaddafi during their day

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

Last week President Mahinda Rajapaksa came up with a new conspiracy narrative. Some analysts believe in the existence of a ‘conspiracy meme’ in the psychological make-up of humans – a hypothesis history seems to validate. In any case, conspiracies are ‘must haves’ for anti-democratic rulers.

How Famous cricketer Sathasivam was charged,Tried and Acquitted of murdering his wife 60 years ago

by K.K.S.Perera

The sun shone brightly with the fresh ocean breeze cleansing the morning air across ‘Jayamangalam’ at No. 7, St. Alban’s Place. It was Tuesday , 9th October in 1951, exactly 60 years ago. [TC]

October 02, 2011

Oct 2 - Oct 8:

Sri Lanka Presidential adviser killed in election violence

by BBC Sandeshaya

Presidential advisor on trade unions, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, has been shot dead in a Colombo suburb. [TC]

Sri Lankan state considers left group of JVP as threat to itself and is getting ready to suppress it

by Kumudu Kusum Kumara

The emergence yet again of a Left group within the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) shows that the strong desire on the part of youth to engage in politics, the desire to appear and shine in the public realm and thus display one’s excellence to the world, cannot be suppressed even under most challenging circumstances. [TC]

U.S. Move to Block Palestine in UNESCO Doomed to Fail

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 7, 2011 (IPS) – Despite a slim chance of diplomatic victory, the United States is leading a doomed, mostly Western attempt to block Palestinian membership in the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). [TC]

USA-India relationship and the UN Security Council membership stakes

by Teresita and Howard Shaffer

When U.S. President Barack Obama announced in Delhi that the United States looked forward to “a reformed U.N. Security Council that includes India as a permanent member,” he was met with thunderous applause. [TC]

Women awarded Nobel peace prize for helping country ravaged by civil war heal

Three women win the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize: Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, her compatriot Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni pro-democracy activist Tawakul Karman

For the first time in Nobel Peace Prize history, the prestigious honor has gone to a group of women, in honor of women. [TC]

Indian carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna enthralls Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya

by T.M. Radhakrishnan 

It was a totally different experience for people in Jaffna last Sunday as Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna, the first musician of note from India in nearly three decades, enthralled the audience for two hours and fifty minutes. [TC] 

Resolution of the national question achievable only on the basis of the acceptance of democracy, fundamental human rights, inclusiveness, equality and justice: R. Sampanthan

Statement issued by Mr. R. Sampanthan, leader of Tamil National Alliance /Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi on elections scheduled to be held on 8th October 2011 to the Municipal Council, Kalmunai [TC]

When Steve Jobs said "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated"

by M.S. Shah Jahan

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Death is very likely the best invention of life,” he said in his Stanford commencement speech in 2005. [TC]

Steve Jobs, Poet Of Computer World, Dies

Apple co-founder and former chief executive Steve Jobs has died. Jobs was 56 years old, had battled pancreatic cancer since 2003, and underwent a liver transplant in 2009. [TC]

Three Possible Scenarios After Release of LLRC Report

By Kalana Senaratne

Another session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva has come to an end.

Sri Lanka has emerged unscathed, even though considerable pressure is being exerted on the Sri Lankan Government, from different actors in different quarters of the world: one, regarding a political solution to the conflict; two, regarding the issue of accountability (investigations). [TC]

A Western Region Megapolis from Beruwela to Negombo with Colombo City as Core

By Ranil Wickremesinghe

“Colombo is Colombo – you should be proud of the city,” a Singaporean remarked at a meeting that I had summoned as Prime Minister in 2003 to discuss plans for developing the city of Colombo. [TC]

“Our plan to make Colombo a City of Excellence is supported by the World Bank”-Gota

An Interview with Gotabhaya Rajapaksa by Chandana Kariyawasam

Making Colombo a beautiful city is very high on the priorities of the government as the end of the war and ushering in peace has made Colombo the epicenter of development with vast potential for foreign direct investment and rapid growth of tourism. [TC]

AlJazeera Video: Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian calls for detailed information of 'ex-LTTE detainees'

At least now, they have to come out with the factual information,...how many people remain in their custody', Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran, commenting on the recent 'release of ex-LTTE cadres' [TC]

Outcry as Dalai Lama cancels South Africa trip

Desmond Tutu Peace Centre

South Africa’s foreign policy was slammed as naive and contrary to the Constitution after the Dalai Lama on Tuesday cancelled his planned trip to South Africa because he was not granted a visa in time. [TC]

U.S. Green Card Lottery Open for Applications

US Embassy, Colombo, Sri Lanka Press Release

The U.S. Embassy in Colombo is pleased to announce that the 2013 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program, popularly known as the Green Card Lottery, will be accepting on-line applications starting on October 4, 2011. [TC]

US Wikileaks Reveals "Very Effective Diplomatic Approach" By Sri Lanka in May 2009

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

The threat of a resolution against Sri Lanka in March in Geneva, the speech by Canada’s Foreign Minister at the UNGA, the lobbying within the Commonwealth, the statement by the UK Labour Party’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, the remarks of the Swiss Federal Attorney General on Gen. Dias, the legal moves in the US and Europe against Lankan soldier-diplomats, and in the EU arena to legalise the LTTE, are the spearheads of a multipronged strategic offensive. [TC]

Allegations against our Army officers must be investigated by the Sri Lankan State

by R. M. B. Senanayake

Since the end of the war against the LTTE, there have been allegations that our troops violated human rights of the people both those engaged in combat as well as of civilians [TC]

Uma Krishnaswami’s Indian and American World

By Mark Trainer

Children’s author Uma Krishnaswami has depended on books her whole life. “My father was in the government,” said Krishnaswami, who was born in New Delhi, “and we moved every four years. I was a reader by necessity. Books became my friends. And I read voraciously during my childhood.” [TC]

Efforts of the Government and the people of Sri Lanka toward reconciliation and reconstruction should be continued: Japan

The Government of Japan has extended US$ 780,000 (approximately Rs. 85 million) grant aid for humanitarian demining in the North of Sri Lanka through Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) to expedite the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to achieve a mine-free Sri Lanka. [TC]

Voices against ‘Land grab’ and ‘Enforced evictions’ mark this year’s ‘World Habitat Day’

Headlines of ‘land-grab’ in the name of ‘development’ greet several countries on this day of ‘World Habitat Day’. [TC]

‘Released’ ex-LTTE cadres not allowed to go home with parents

A report on BBC Tamil service says, the “1,800 rehabilitated LTTE fighters released on Friday, September 30th after having rehabilitated them with skills development”, are yet to be re-united with their parents. [TC]

Sri Lankan president says natural gas discovered offshore

[Reuters] Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Sunday natural gas has been discovered off the Indian Ocean island nation in the Mannar Basin, where Cairn India Ltd. has been drilling exploratory wells since August. [TC]

With an infinitely adaptable man as their puppet-mayor, what will the Rajapaksas not be able to do to Colombo and its hapless inhabitants?

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The incident is indicative of the Rajapaksas’ will to control; it also demonstrates that the spirit of resistance is still alive in Lankan society. [TC]

Government has underestimated the capacity of the Colombo voter to discern the truth from false: Karu Jayasuriya

"Any support from the current regime will not be needed to administer the council or the city"

With the imminence of the Colombo Municipal Election, the Government is desperately resorting to greater untruths and the flagrant disregard of all the rules and regulations stipulated by the Election’s Commissioner to try to win the Municipal Election. [TC]