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December 30, 2011

Jan 1-7:

Stamp and First Day Cover for Chunnakam Skandavarodaya College 117th year Anniversary

December 25, 2011

Dec 25-Dec 31:

‘Please Stop Saying you Unified Country Because Sri Lanka was Never Divided to be Unified’-Sangaree Writes to Mahinda

Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF) Secretary – General and former Parliamentarian Veerasingham Anandasangaree has in a letter written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed that a solution to the Ethnic problem is needed immediately [TC]

India Welcomes Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission of Sri Lanka and Urges Implementation of Recommendations

This is the text of an official communique released by the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA), India on December 25 th2011- In response to a question the Official Spokesperson (MEA) said:

The report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), was tabled by the Government of Sri Lanka in its Parliament on 16 December. While we are still studying the report which runs into over 400 pages, I can share with you some initial comments on its contents. [TC]

LLRC was born to deflect international criticism and forestall a UN inquiry

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

A perceptive analysis of past errors and some judicious recommendations for the future constitute the strongest aspects of the LLRC’s much-awaited report. [TC]

The impact of caste, creed, language and religion on the politics of Sri Lanka

By Victor Ivan

This article is meant to analyse the inadequacy of traditional interpretations of the ethnic crisis and point out limitations inherent in them. [TC]

LLRC has failed totally on the most crucial issue of accountability – Sumanthiran

by Jatila Karawita

TNA National List MP M.A. Sumanthiran says that the LLRC Report has ‘dramatically failed to address the accountability issues pertaining to the final phase of the North-East ethnic conflict between the government security forces and the LTTE.’ [TC]

‘I am innocent, I am an ahinsaka kola. I don’t do these kind of things’ – Douglas Devananda

by Ranga Jayasuriya

The EPDP Leader and the government strongman in Jaffna, Minister Douglas Devananda says that he would go to courts against the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission over allegations raised against the EPDP in the LLRC Report that it was responsible for operating illegal armed groups and abducting people. [TC]

Watered down version of National Action Plan for Human Rights to be presented in Geneva UN

By Namini Wijedasa

The government will study the Prevention of Terrorism Act to identify “possible inconsistencies” with internationally recognized human rights norms and amend the law accordingly within two years, says a document to be launched in January. [TC]

Ranil is not racist but gangs running behind him are openly chauvinist

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

The conflict within the UNP is not a clash of personalities. I am convinced of it more than ever today. The radical young leaders insist that the problem is in Ranil’s nature. [TC]

Was Rev Sr. Mary Eliza of “Prem Niwasa”‘s arrest and detention legal?

By A concerned lawyer

The National Child Protection Authority purporting to act under the provisions of Section 34 of the NCPA Act No. 50 of 1998 arrested and detained Rev. Sister. Eliza in remand custody for an alleged offence under Section 34 of the said Act [TC]

‘Vast majority of diaspora in agreement with our position’ – Sampanthan

by Arthur Wamanan

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has said it was still committed to proceed with the talks with the government. TNA Parliamentary Group Leader, R. Sampanthan says there was no truth in allegations that it was acting on instructions of the Diaspora, adding that the party had clearly stated their position on the solution to the ethnic crisis. [TC]

December 18, 2011

Dec 18-24:

Christmas and New Year Greetings and Wishes Everybody

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Hello Friends, I give you the words and a link to a marvelous rendition of the song by a Toronto based singer  Roveena who is the daughter in law of a friend and old student of Jaffna College. [DBSJ]

TNA leader Sampanthan writes to Mannar Catholic Bishop about Tamil Civil Society appeal

I am in receipt of the letter sent by you and some others to the notice of the members of Parliament of the Tamil National Alliance, certain issues pertaining to the Tamil people. [TC]

The “Flying Pigeon” Rider who sang “Una Paloma Blanca”

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

Gaining acceptance for military training by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) organization and being inducted into the movement after a one to one meeting with tiger leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran was a great achievement for the author of “Tamil Tigress” at that juncture in her life. [DBSJ]

Govt must make start by acting on LLRC’s recommendations – The Hindu

The much-awaited report of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, tabled in Parliament recently, has established a key fact — that there were “considerable” civilian casualties in the final stages of the military operation that ended in the total defeat of the LTTE.

This is a step forward from the Sri Lankan government’s earlier insistence that there were “zero civilian casualties.” [TC]

Truth and reconciliation commission needed to go deeply into entire tragedy of war

by National Peace Council
Media Release

The final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has drawn a mixed reaction. The 388 page report has been criticized by the main Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance, and by international human rights organizations. [TC]

Heavy rains severely affect North & North Central provinces

Government of Sri Lanka via reliefweb.int

The Disaster Management Centre informs that 10,225 families have been displaced due to the inclement weather situation and majority of them are from the Kilinochchi District. The situation has also affected holding of the GCE ordinary level examination in some areas. [TC]

Gold dosa: India discovers gold-plated food 

By P Sivaramakrishnan
BBC Tamil Service

The humble dosa – a pancake made from rice batter and lentils – may be very popular in southern India, but the country’s newly prosperous middle classes can now relish a gold-plated version of this dish.

Dosa come in many varieties, for example plain or with a potato masala filling. And they are not very expensive, costing between 50 and 100 Rupees (94-$1.90, 60p-£1.20). [TC]

‘There is much of value in the LLRC report that the international community should pay attention to and can learn from’ – International Crisis Group

Statement on the Report of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission

Brussels | 22 Dec 2011, The International Crisis Group welcomes the public release of the report of Sri Lanka’s “Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission” (LLRC), presented to the Sri Lankan parliament on 16 December 2011. [TC]

Sri Lankan Police Force takes bribery issues seriously and perpetrators face severe consequences

‘Bribe me or I will send you to court’

by Dushy Ranetunge

“Help (bribe) me or go to court” was the persistent demand of a Police sergeant 26926 at Colpity checkpoint last Sunday.

An 18 year old with a full British driving licence was driving a vehicle with her mother sitting next to her. The Mother had a full Sri Lankan driving licence and was helping her daughter get familiar with the Colombo roads. [TC]

Why has the British ‘Left’ ignored Sri Lankan Tamil issue?

by Emanuel Stoakes

Earlier this week, a piece was published by the Daily Telegraph that contained the latest in a powerful body of evidence that indicates the Sri Lankan army committed atrocities during the final phase of the country’s civil war.

It referenced damning allegations of war crimes committed by government forces during the conflict’s conclusion. [TC] 

Video: Sri Lankan in Australia sets new world record in very unusual way

A Sri Lankan in Australia has set a new world record in a very unusual way. The Sri Lankan born man dangled more than a metre off the ground for over 23 minutes by his hair.

“My hair is strong because I usually use natural oil,” Suthakaran Sivagnanathurai said. [TC]

Most serious problem faced by people in the North-East on a day to day basis is that of militarisation 

by M.A. Sumanthiran

Hello Friends

The recent speech in Parliament during the Defence ministry vote by Tamil National Alliance National list Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran provides a different perspective on the growing militarisation of Sri Lanka with particular focus on the Northern [DBSJ]

US Tamil Political Action Council calls for internationally established investigation to ascertain facts and propose remedies

US Tamil Political Action Council dismayed at flawed domestic inquiry in Sri Lanka: Urgent International Investigation Need of the Hour

The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) finds the report of Sri Lanka’s domestic inquiry into alleged war crimes deeply flawed and urges the implementation of UN Panel of Experts’ recommendations by creating an international investigative mechanism. [TC]

LLRC Report is Janus-faced in the best, original sense of the term

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Though not without flaws and lacuna, the long awaited LLRC report does not disappoint, and reaches high standards, ranking with the best reports emanating over the decades from official and semi-official/autonomous Sri Lankan commissions, reviews and probes.

It is a serious, thoughtful, carefully written and constructed text, striking in its fair-mindedness and balance. [TC]

Women’s Insecurity in the North and East: Gender-based violence and prevention of building own capacity within communities

By International Crisis Group

Militarisation and the government’s refusal to devolve power or restore local civilian administration in the north and east have directly contributed to this complex societal distress

Women in Sri Lanka’s predominantly Tamil-speaking north and east are facing a desperate lack of security in the aftermath of the long civil war. Today many still live in fear of violence from various sources. [TC]

Jayalalitha Cracks down on ‘Lifefriend’ Sasikala and family members 

By D.B.S Jeyaraj

Hello Friends

In a sudden move Tamil Nadu Chief minister Ms.Jayalaitha Jayaram has cracked down on her close confidante and “Uyirthozhi”(Lifefriend) Sasikala Natarajan and several members of her family.

Sasikala has been thrown out of both Jayalalitha’s residence “Vedha Nilayam” on Poes Garden in Chennai and also from the party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (AIADMK). [click here to read in full ~ on dbsjeyaraj.com: Jayalalitha Cracks down on 'Lifefriend' Sasikala and family members]

LLRC report reflects a shift of thinking which calls for a break with the past of post war nationalism

by Jehan Perera

The initial reaction to the long awaited report of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission from the international human rights organizations was one of rejection.

They expressed their lack of satisfaction with the commission’s findings, some even going to the extent of calling it a white wash’. [TC]

Less talk and more action in seriously implementing LLRC recommendations is more desirable

By Kalana Senaratne

For quite sometime, ever since the establishment of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the Government of Sri Lanka has been asking its critics not to pre-judge the work of the LLRC and to await, patiently, the finalization and publication of the Report. The Report has now been published.

What do we have here? Is it one that establishes beyond doubt that the Government’s version of the war, or the human rights situation in the country, is correct? If not, where has it gone wrong? [TC]

Initial Response by Tamil National Alliance to LLRC Report

The TNA notes the release of the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

The TNA always had strong reservations about the composition of the Commission and its mandate. These matters will be fully referred to in a comprehensive statement that the TNA will issue. [TC]

Ranil Wickremesinghe defeats Karu Jayasuriya in UNP contest for party leadership

By Zacki Jabbar

Ranil Wickremsinghe, who has the distinction of being the most maligned politician in the country, virtually rose from the ashes to deliver a crushing defeat to Karu Jayasuriya,his rival at yesterday’s election for the leadership. [TC]

Fulfill LLRC recommendations and address issues the report did not cover-US State Dept.

Excerpts from US State Dept. Daily Press Briefing, Washington, DC, December 19, 2011

QUESTION: Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission has cleared the country’s army of deliberately targeting civilians during the final days of its war against LTTE. Do you have any comments? And where are they heading? [TC]

The Prophet Is Dead: Juche and the Future of North Korea 

by Amarnath Amarasingam

As the North Korean government announces the death of Kim Jong-il, the future of the “hermit kingdom,” along with its 25 million people, remains largely uncertain. It is no secret that life under the Dear Leader was no picnic. Just this month, over 40 human rights organizations, marking the 63rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, called for “international action to stop crimes against humanity perpetrated by North Korea’s dictatorship.” [TC]

Remembering the APRC expert panel ‘majority’ report

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

“Nallathor Veenai Seithe –athai
Nalankeda Puzhuthiyil Erivathundo?”

(Do we make a good “veena”(musical instrument)and throw it away in the dust to decay?)-Subramaniya Bharathiyar

The on going dialogue between Government and Tamil National Alliance delegations has seen agreement on a number of issues although areas of disagreement receive wider publicity in the media. [DBSJ]

Extremes in both ethnic communities are an important factor of obstruction says Dayan Jayatilleka in interview to Radio France International

Interview of Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka
Radio France International (rfi), Aired on 15th December 2011

Yesterday Sri Lanka rejected calls for an independent probe into war crimes committed during its thirty years civil war. The External Affairs Minister –G.L. Peiris- also said they did not need international policemen to solve internal issues. [TC]

In Your Face 

by Indran Amirthanayagam

I wonder about peacemakers,
the ones who take the host’s word,
observe appearances, offering
of coconuts at temple, Xmas [TC]

Ananda College: Liberal Arts tradition of knowledge and humanism

By Dr.Sudharshan Seneviratne

Hello Friends,

Dr.Sudharshan Seneviratne, Professor of Archaeology at Peradeniya university needs no introduction as a respected archaeologist-scholar.

He is an old student of Ananda College, Colombo and delivered a speech titled “Celebrating the sacred space of wisdom and humanism: Revering Anandamatha” on December 8th 2011 on the occasion of the venerated Institutions 125th anniversary. [DBSJ]

Plastic crates protests in Pettah and night motor races in Fort

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“an amoral clique of corrupt lawbreakers who are deaf both to their citizens and to their enemies”. – Avraham Burg (International Herald Tribune – 6.9.2003)

The ‘plastic crates saga’ is a quintessentially Rajapaksa tale.

Arbitrariness is a hallmark of the ‘Johnston Law’, decreeing plastic crates mandatory in transporting vegetables and fruits. [TC]

Karu Jayasuriya writes letter to UNP members seeking support

As you are already aware, I have through a news release issued on 28th November, announced my decision to contest the post of leader of the United National Party. In that I have set out the reasons for doing so. I take pleasure in enclosing herewith a copy for your kind information. [TC]

Unity Mission Team takes message of integration to Mannar 

By Shalomi Daniel

As carols and bright lights usher in the Christmas festivities, one group of people- the Ekamuthu Oray Makkal Unity Mission Team is working hard to make this season of peace and sharing all the more special.

Plans are being finalized, transport arranged and food, clothing and a lot of love is being stored up in preparation for the Ekamuthu Oray Makkal Unity Camp Three, to be held in Mannar from December 27 to 30 [TC]

We must match our words by deeds and reach out to the ordinary Tamil people

by Sinhala Citizen G

As DEW Gunasekera once stated “They are also our people” we need to reach out to them. The ordinary Tamil citizen has gone through real hell since the LTTE and other militant groups started their campaign in the 70s.

The Tamil people were not an aggressive people they were a God fearing passive people but Tamil youth who were deprived of opportunity by the Sinhala Only Act and later by Standardization which limited their opportunity to enter University which was a dream of every Tamil youth. [TC]

Sri Lankan youths adopt servile sycophancy as comfort route to advancement 

By Gomin Dayasri

A man of repute inquired from his nephew, a CEO of one of the most prestigious international companies, to name a few successful people of his generation for a project with a charitable disposition where there will be no worthwhile return except the feeling of satisfaction.

Few days later the enterprising young man in his forties returned without a name in mind. His comments were more disturbing -”Mama, you may still find a few from your generation but not from mine. [TC]

LLRC report leaves certain core questions unanswered 

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Stripped of all ambiguities, the moral question regarding state accountability for civilian casualties during the last stages of the war between government troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was whether the government deliberately pressed ahead with its military offensive despite knowing full well the terrible toll that it would take. [TC]

LLRC report is verbose fig leaf to cover Rajapaksa wrongdoing in conduct of war

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The LLRC has done its job. The LLRC Report has cleared its appointing authority, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, of any and all wrongdoing in the conduct of the Fourth Eelam War.

The LLRC report duly concurs with the Rajapaksa narrative on the Fourth Eelam War on every essential count. [TC]

LLRC report appears to be daring and cautious at the same time

By Namini Wijedasa

The government on Friday made public the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, ending weeks of speculation on its contents-speculation that, for the most part, has turned out to be imprecise.

Many observers commended the government’s move in releasing the full document. Not only was it presented in parliament and distributed among MPs and journalists there, it was simultaneously uploaded on the web. [TC]

Ban voices hope Sri Lanka Govt will take steps on accountability 

UN News Centre

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced hope that the Sri Lankan Government will move forward on its commitments to deal with [TC]

Southern Expressway, economic costs and plight of affected people

By Priyanthi Fernando

Two things have escaped the general discussion on the highway.

The first is the cost and the debt repayment over the next 20-30 years that, given the considerable cost overruns of 100 percent, the delays in getting the highway completed and subsequent maintenance costs, will continue over the years. [TC]

The LSSP led class struggle and history of free education in Sri Lanka

By Prof.Carlo Fonseka

The history of free education in Sri Lanka is the history of an aspect of the class struggle in our country. The LSSP came into existence on 18 December 1935, as a party of public intellectuals who were inspired by the ideas of the political philosopher Karl Marx (1818 – 1883). [TC]

December 11, 2011

Dec 11-17:

Sri Lanka’s LLRC Report Disregards Worst Abuses by Govt Forces and Fails to Advance Accountability charges Human Rights Watch

(New York, December 17, 2011) – The report of the Sri Lankan government’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) disregards the worst abuses by government forces, rehashes longstanding recommendations, and fails to advance accountability for victims of Sri Lanka’s civil armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Final report of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) tabled in Parliament 

News release by Policy Research & Information Unit of the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka

The final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was tabled today, December 16th in Parliament by Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva. [TC]

An In-depth Interview with former Supreme Court Judge CV Wigneswaran 

By Ayesha Zuhair

Hello Friends

Retired Supreme court Judge CV Wigneswaran is a person for whom I have a lot of respect. Justice Wigneswaran who made a distinctive mark while on the bench now engages himself in various aspects of public life. He has not hesitated to fearlessly speak out on many issues.

He was interviewed in depth recently for “Daily Mirror” the Colombo English daily by Ayesha Zuhair. Wigneswaran expressed his views frankly and forthrightly on a number of crucial issues. [click here to read in full ~ on dbsjeyaraj.com: An In-depth Interview with former Supreme Court Judge CV Wigneswaran]

Wife of murdered ‘White Van abduction’ victim makes worldwide appeal seeking justice

The widow of M.S. Mohammed Niyas who was abducted and killed by the dreaded white van squad has written a letter to worldwide human rights organizations and media institutions seeking justice.

The full text of the letter is as follows: [TC]

Tamil refugees and war widows in militarised Jaffna

by Melani Manel Perera

Jaffna – Two and half year since the end of the 30-year civil war, Tamils in northern Sri Lanka complain about the area’s militarisation and the slow pace of the government’s development projects, and this despite the promises made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. [TC]

Public Memo to Members of Parliament representing the Tamil National Alliance from members of Tamil Civil Society

As members of the Tamil civil society interested in the existence and future well being of the Tamil Nation we wish to bring the following to your attention:

1. Regarding talks with the Government of Sri Lanka; arriving at a political solution:

a) Despite several rounds of talks, while acknowledging that there appears to be some progress in the talks, the TNA released a public communiqué on the 4th of August 2011 stating that you will not fix the date for the next round of talks until such time there is a written response from the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) on three important issues. [TC]

‘Nothing illegal has happened at Prem Nivasa’-Magistrate court

by Fr. Sunil De Silva

The Colombo Magistrate Courts said today, 15th Dec. 2011, ” Nothing illegal has happened at ‘Prem Nivasa’, Rawathawatta” and released Rev. Sr. Mary Eliza from all accusations NCPA had presented to the Courts. [TC]

5th Death Anniversary of LTTE ‘Mathiyuraingar’ Balasingham

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Hello Friends

December 14th is the fifth death anniversary of Anton Stanislaus Balasingham who served for many years as the “Arasiyal Mathiyuraingar” or political adviser to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)movement and its leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran.

While the media described Balasingham by various designations such as political adviser, political strategist,ideologue,theoretician etc he was “Bala annai” (elder brother Bala) to Prabhakaran, LTTE cadres and many Tamil journalists and friends. I too called him that. [click here to read in full ~ on dbsjeyaraj.com: 5th Death Anniversary of LTTE 'Mathiyuraingar' Balasingham]

Amnesty International: Fears for missing Sri Lankan activists

Sri Lankan political activists Lalith Kumara Weeraraju and Kugan Muruganandan have been missing since 9 December. They were arranging a press conference for the following day to publicize a protest. Lalith Kumara Weeraraju’s family received a phone call saying that he had been killed.

Lalith Kumara Weeraraju and Kugan Muruganandan were last seen leaving Kugan Muruganandan’s residence in Avarangal, Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, on 9 December. There were preparing a press conference to be held on 10 December, World Human Rights Day, which aimed to publicize a protest planned for the same day. [TC]

What is the goal of western policy towards Tamils of Sri Lanka?

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

The Minister of External Affairs Prof GL Peiris usually gives no reason to be described as ‘irate’.

That however, was the newspaper description of his uncharacteristically sharp remonstration, urging Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe not to ‘outsource’ the role of the Opposition to the international/diplomatic community. [TC]

Taming the Tigers abroad requires a two-track effort 

by Sara de Silva

Despite the military defeat of the LTTE in 2009, the recent developments outside of Sri Lanka depict that the certain segments within the Diaspora community are still sustaining the Tamil separatist movement in one way or the other.

It takes us by no surprise that the so-called LTTE international network is still intact, and to date, many organizations that are sympathetic to the Tamil Eelam cause still exist worldwide. [TC]

Norway in Sri Lanka: An analysis of report on the failed peace process

by J.Jeganaathan

In September 2011 the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation ( NORAD) – a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a report titled Pawns of Peace-‘Evaluation of Norwegian Peace Efforts in Sri Lanka, 1997-2003’.

This report probes two important questions: what went wrong with Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka? And what lessons does the failed Sri Lankan peace process offer to conflict resolutionists? [TC]

Why did govt appoint parl select committee while holding talks with the TNA? 

by M.S.M. Ayub

If the Government thinks that all political parties in the Parliament must be consulted in finding a solution to the ethnic problem why did it initiate talks only with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main Tamil politi cal party alliance on the same issue?

On the other hand, why should the government appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) if it was correct to hold talks with the TNA in order to find a political solution? [TC]

Comprehensive project plan needed for implementation of Tamil as an official language

by M.I.M. Mohideen

According to Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Sinhala and Tamil are the Official Languages. They are also called National Languages. English is the link language. [TC]

Lalith Ambanwela: A man of exemplary courage and integrity 

by Marianne David

Hello Friends

Many of you may have forgotten the name Lalith Ambanwela. It was on May 20th 2002 that this conscientious and gutty auditor attached to the Auditor – Generals dept had acid flung at him for having exposed the high level corruption by certain Central Provincial Council officials in Kandy

Despite this vicious acid attack that scarred him for life, Auditor Lalith Ambanwela is back at work, as determined as ever to serve the nation and uncover corruption. [click here to read in full ~ on dbsjeyaraj.com: Lalith Ambanwela: A man of exemplary courage and integrity]

National Languages and Social Integration Ministry must think ‘outside the box’

By Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P

Speech at the Committee Stage of the Budget Debate 2011 on the votes of the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, MP dviser on Reconciliation to the President on December 9 th 2011

I am grateful, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity to support the budget allocation and the work of the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration amongst others. [TC]

Democracies, dictatorships and the exercise of civic responsibilities

by Jayantha Dhanapala

Hello Friends

Sri Lanka despite its size has produced quite a few personalities who made their mark in the International sphere through distinguished service. One such person is Jayantha Dhanapala who was United Nations Under-Secretary General for Disarmament Affairs from 1998 to 2003.

He was earlier director of the UN institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)from 1987 – 1992.

Dhanapala was in Sri Lanka’s foreign service and served in places like London, New Delhi, Beijing, Geneva and Washington DC. He was also a contender in the initial stages for the post of UN Secretary-General at one time. [click here to read in full ~ on dbsjeyaraj.com: Democracies, dictatorships and the exercise of civic responsibilities]

TNA should demand transfer of power from military to elected provincial councils in North and East as pre-condition for participation in parliamentary select committee

by Sumanasiri Liyanage

Although I took up this and related issues many a time before, the current impasse in talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has compelled me to address those issues once again as, in my view, the resolution of the national question would be key to Sri Lanka’s future. [TC]

Atchuvely Industrial Zone in Jaffna district to be revived and expanded through UNOPS-India project

Jaffna will soon get its first industrial zone following a landmark agreement signed on Friday between promoters and financiers of the initiative. [TC]

Supreme Court determines land is a devolved subject coming under provincial councils

by Namini Wijedasa

The government last week withdrew an amendment to the Town and Country Planning Ordinance that if passed would have given the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs vast powers over any private property in the country.

The Town and Country Planning (Amendment), a copy of which was obtained by LAKBIMAnEWS, consists of just eight clauses. Legal practitioners described the bill as ‘bizarre.’ [TC]

President Rajapaksa makes convicted criminal Iniya Barathy a ‘Deshamanya’

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

It was an explosive revelation by any yardstick. The former Questioned Documents Examiner of the Elections Department had determined that the 62 ballot papers found abandoned near the Ratnapura technical college (and marked for common oppositional candidate Sarath Fonseka) were authentic and not photocopies. [TC]

December 10th: 63rd Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Tamil Centre for Human Rights – TCHR/CTDH, in association with other Human Rights organisations, Institutions, Human rights defenders and with many others around the world celebrates today the 63rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -UDHR. [TC]

Prevailing peace in Jaffna continues to have a surreal air about it

By Premini Amerasinghe

We leave Anuradhapura and the old city, with its atmosphere of sanctity — balm to a city dweller like myself — and arrive at Medawachchiya, a little known town until a few years back, when it gained a dubious notoriety, due to the high prevalence of incurable renal disease there. [TC]

Crystal clear that Jaffna is rising through sustainable work ethic in post-war environment

by Philip Fernando

My recent visit to Jaffna was after three and half decades. What I saw was positively reassuring.

The battlefront dynamics had receded irrefutably. From the air, it seemed a blanket of lush green had swept over the signature fertile red soil of Jaffna. Yes, Jaffna is rising. Her toiling farmers and fisherfolk seemed hoping to share the peace dividend. [TC]

‘LakbimaNews’ Editor Rajpal Abeynayake assaulted by lawyer at ‘Voetlights’ Dinner held by Bar Association

by Ranga Jayasuriya

The editor of this newspaper Rajpal Abeynayake was assaulted at the annual Voetlights dinner of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka held last Saturday night (December 3). [TC]

Sand mining is done legally through the organization Maheswari Foundation

Douglas Devananda interviewed by Arthur Wamanan

Q. There were reports that the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was critical of you and your supporters. What do you have to say about that?

It is highly ridiculous. Firstly, the report has not been made public yet. It is still with the President and he will be tabling it in Parliament once he goes through the contents. Once the report is out I am ready to challenge the newspaper. [TC]

Five things Mohanlal Grero can do if he wants to continue standing upright

by Dr. U. Pethiyagoda

Except for a minuscule minority, everyone I know, from varied strata of society, ranging from Professors to labourers to taxi drivers, are disappointed with our politicians. [TC]

President Rajapaksa is not a welcome guest in western capitals

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Hitler swallowed the boundless adulation. He became the foremost believer in his own Führer cult” – Ian Kershaw (Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris)

“Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand” lamented Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth. [TC]

“Whether I win or lose, I’m making a sincere effort to prove my point”says Karu Jayasuriya

Namini Wijedasa Interviews UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya

UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, who is contesting Ranil Wickremesinghe for leadership of the party, said last week that the government is making full use of its power and strength to destroy the opposition. He also said that he has still not spoken to Wickremesinghe, personally, about the leadership challenge. [TC]

December 04, 2011

Dec 4-10:

From Shenuka to Niromi: True tale of a ‘Tamil Tigress’

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

“Tamil Tigress” is a 320 page book released this year by the Australia –based publishing house, Allen& Unwin. The book has a picture of an armed female guerilla fighter on the cover along with the strap line “My story as a child soldier in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war”. It is written by a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)under the pseudonym Niromi de Soyza. [DBSJ]

Video ~ Asia Society discussion: Sri Lanka's Civil War

Documentary filmmaker Callum Macrae, Malinda Seneviratne, Editor-in-Chief of Sri Lanka's The Nation, and Bob Templer of the International Crisis Group present and assess both the Sri Lankan government and international community's perspectives on that country's decades-long sectarian conflict. Tunku Varadarajan, editor of Newsweek International, moderates the discussion [Asia Society]

Over enthusiastic NCPA and police charge nun sheltering orphans and the destitute 

By Kshama Ranawana 

Hello Frinds, The recent incident where the “Prem Nivasa” at Rawathawatta,Moratuwa was raided by the National Child Protection Authority(NCPA) and Police has shocked many. [DBSJ]

Namal Perera, Sarath Fonseka and the plight of Sri Lankan media 

by Lucinda Fleeson

Hello Friends, The state of Journalism and plight of Journalists in Sri Lanka is far from satisfactory. Various media and human rights organizations have frequently described the situation in Sri Lanka as not being safe for Journalists. [DBSJ]

I have decided to support and work with the govt to do what is necessary for education in the country

By Mohanlal Grero MP

The Chinese Philosopher, Confucius, once said, “If your strategy for the future is for one year then cultivate paddy. If your strategy is for ten years then grow trees. If your future strategy is for 100 years then what you must invest in is education”.

Therefore, in a budget for a country’s future economic improvement and development, the most important and long term investment is the expenditure on education. [TC]

We have marched towards a new Sri Lanka during 2005-2010 via Mahinda Chintana

by Basil Rajapaksa

I regret there was no constructive criticism at all during the debate on the budget for 2012. Therefore let me conclude the debate by recalling our childhood days. [TC]

'Farewell my dear Father': A tribute by a daughter to a fine human being

by Ruwandi Silva

Hello Friends ~ Death,deprivation,loss and suffering is not necessarily the monopoly of Tamils in Sri Lanka alone. Other ethnicities have also suffered , many at the hands of those belonging to the Tamil ethnicity

As for the majority community there was a particular brand of violence which victimized them greatly.I am talking of the two insurrections in 1971 and 1988-89 by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna(JVP). [DBSJ]

We wrote Sri Lankan President’s UN speech, says Bell Pottinger

by Melanie Newman and Oliver Wright

Senior executives at Bell Pottinger told undercover reporters that they were so influential that they had written a key speech given by the Sri Lankan President to the United Nations. [TC]

Karu Jayasuriya to challenge Ranil Wickremasinghe for UNP leadership 

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Gampaha district MP and senior co-deputy leader of the United National Party Karunaratna (Karu) Jayasuriya has decided to throw his hat in the ring for leadership of the party. [DBSJ]

TNA urges government to honour mutual agreement reached and not to place new impediments

Full text of statement released by Tamil National Alliance, Dec 3, 2011

At the Bilateral talks between the TNA and the government delegation on the 16th of November the parties identified the issues to be discussed and agreed upon in evolving a political solution. [TC]

Rajapaksa refusal to distinguish between Tiger Terrorism and Tamil Nationalism is obstacle to peace 

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Rajapaksa administration’s priorities are curious, to say the least. The Met Department’s inexplicable failure to forecast last month’s deadly gale placed tens of thousands of citizens in danger.

But even after the gale became an undeniable fait accompli, authorities failed to act expeditiously to save endangered lives, especially of the fishermen who went out to sea, trusting in the Met Department’s ‘all clear’. [TC]

My first reaction is to sincerely apologize to the foreign nun Rev Sister Mary Eliza who was taken into custody

by Arjuna Hulugalle

The incident connected with the “Prem Nivesa” in Rawattawatte Moratuwa is a very sensitive subject and these views which are very personal may go against the grain.

It is written, however, in the spirit of charity which means love. [TC]

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith to boycott state functions Durig Christmas Season to Protest Arrest of Catholic Nun

The Archbishop of Colombo Arch Diocese of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith announced yesterday that as a mark of protest against the arrest of a sister of Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity, he would not attend any state event during the Christmas season until the Government or the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) rectified the situation. [TC]

Gunawardena punished for heinous and dangerous crime of flinging a water bottle near Speaker’s little brother

by Namini Wijedasa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s media unit circulated a curious little note last week. It went like this: “It has been brought to the notice of the President’s office that various people are making calls to the Police and other Public Institutions, saying they are Coordinating Secretaries and other senior officials attached to the Presidential Secretariat. [TC]

Keep them quiet by keeping them down seems to be the Rajapaksa path to peace

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

Only those who support terrorism can request to reduce
allocations for defence”. – Basil Rajapaksa (SLBC – 30.11.2011)

As President Mahinda Rajapaksa was declaring open the Southern highway amidst fanfare, the people of Galle and Matara were struggling with the aftermath of a deadly gale. [TC]

Sajith wants Karu to contest for UNP leader post and unify party

In a remarkable turn of events within the United National Party(UNP) Hambantota district MP and co-deputy leader Sajith Premadasa has called upon Gampaha district MP and senior UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya to contest for the post of party leadership.

Mr.Premadasa has in a letter written to Mr.Jayasuriya said” I request you to stand for election for the post of Leader of our Party. It is my firm belief that you are the only person who can take up the challenge of unifying our fractured Party ” [TC]

‘Mother Teresa’s Sisters absolutely not involved in child – trafficking’ Attorney Neville Abeyratne informs the Court

by Fr. Sunil De Silva Archdiocese of Colombo

Attorney-at-Law Neville Abeyratne presenting his submissions on behalf of Rev. Sr. Mary Eliza and ” Prem Nivasa”, of the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, informed the Court, said that the ” ‘Prem Nivasa’ or the Sisters of Mother Teresa absolutely not involved in taking any money when the children are given for adoption.

“Prem Nivasa” is registered under the Probation Department which is under the Social Ministry of the government. Therefore, everything at ‘Prem Nivasa’ had been done in consultation and on the instructions of the Probation Dept. and the children for adoption have been given through a legal procedure and through the Courts” [TC]