Jan 29 - Feb 4:
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has begun the commendable task of comiling and releasing informative reports on crucial issues affecting the people of the North and East. The latest in this series is one pertaining to the return and resettlement of displaced persons in the North. [DBSJ]
M.I.A., whose real name is Mathangi Arulpragasam, worked on Madonna’s new single Give Me All Your Luvin with rapper Nicki Minaj. [TC]
by M. S. Shah Jahan
“What we want to do is provoke a shock, to set an example. There’s no reason why deregulated finance, which brought us to the current situation, can’t participate in the restoration of our accounts,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy said during a live prime-time television [TC]
by Gananath Obeyesekere
This massive, ambitious project by a distinguished historian of religion contains a series of essays that span a long time period from Sri Lanka’s mythic origins to the terrifying 25-year insurrection of the Tamil Tigers – the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – and its final eradication by the Sri Lankan army. It is difficult to review a comprehensive collection of this magnitude without bringing to bear the reviewer’s own prejudices. [TC]
By Santasilan Kadirgamar
Before Sri Lanka’s war, there was a noteworthy Muslim presence in Chavakachcheri, a well-known town in the Jaffna peninsula that was completely destroyed in a major battle in 2000.
The town’s name comes from the expression chaavaka cheari, meaning the camp of the Javanese, the people known today as Malay Muslims. [TC]
By Dr. Arujuna Sivananthan
On the 30th of January, Sri Lanka’s Central Bank announced that it would not draw down the withheld 800 million US dollars (USD) of its International Monetary Fund (IMF) standby facility citing its high interest rate.
In a world starved of capital, disbursing the withheld tranches would have posed a simple conundrum to the IMFs board and shareholders. [[TC]
by Elaine Pearson
As nations such as Canada and Britain weigh in on accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka, it’s time for Australia to add its voice.
After all, promoting human rights is a crucial part of foreign policy, as Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is keen to say. [TC]
By Priyadarshi Dutta
Narendranath Dutta known as Swami Vivekananda was the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsar and founded the Ramakrishna mission that performs commendable service in many parts of the world including Sri Lanka. [DBSJ]
After promising to go beyond the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution to find a solution to the Tamil ethnic problem, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has done a U-turn and said the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) would now have to suggest a solution [TC]
By MARK MCDONALD
But the fog of war still has not lifted in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka said Tuesday that it would not be sending a review of alleged war crimes to the United Nations for discussion. There’s no need, a senior government official said, because its international critics in New York won’t be persuaded anyway. [NYTimes]
The Report released by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)has been receiving mixed responses.
The latest critique that I read was from the South Asian Think tank – Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) in New Delhi ,India.It is written by an ICPS staff researcher J.Jeganaathan based in Delhi who is their Sri Lanka specialist. [DBSJ]
by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka
Even if everything the TNA says is true, it is still making a mistake, or perhaps two or three, and is on the verge of yet another wrong turning in the history of error that marks over half a century of Tamil politics.
If the TNA’s fears of prevarication on the part of the government are well-founded, it is only furnishing greater opportunities for it by failing to participate in the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee. [TC]
By Jehan Perera
The government’s approach to problem solving after the end of the war has been two fold.
One is to set up mechanisms that would give a different perspective on the problem. With the overall improvement in the country’s post-war situation evident to both citizens and foreign visitors alike, the government has its own story to tell. [TC]
We, the following undersigned citizens, strongly condemn the attack on the Viluthu office in Colombo between the night of the 23rd of January and early hours of Tuesday morning, the 24th January. The office was broken into and searched by unknown persons. [TC]
Formal dialogue needed at UN Human Rights Council to discuss both the LLRC and UN reports on Sri LankaBy Louise Arbour
Louise Arbour is a distinguished Canadian whose name is not unknown to many in Sri Lanka. She served as a Judge on the Canadian Supreme Court and also the Ontario court of Appeal.
Louise Arbour was the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in Hague.It was she as chief prosecutor who indicted Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes. It was the first time a serving head of state was called to account before an international court. [DBSJ]by Robert. J. Evans(Sri Lanka’s killing fields have put it beyond the boundary
There are compelling reasons why the England cricket team’s forthcoming tour should be called off argues South Asian affairs expert and former MEP Robert Evans.)
For years one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game, Muttiah Muralitharan, represented his country as the only Tamil in a team of otherwise Sinhalese players. Sri Lanka is an island of some 20 million people of whom three quarters are Sinhalese Buddhists with just 15% being Tamil or Hindus. [TC]
The Dilemma of Tourism in Sri Lanka: Increasing numbers in tourists risk projecting an unsustainable fantasy over reality
by Keshia Jacotine
Sri Lanka now finds itself between two empires; Britain and China.
For nearly 150 years, Sri Lanka (then known as “Ceylon”) was part of the British Empire. Before that, both Dutch and Portuguese settlers exerted control over parts of the country for years.
Sri Lanka is now considered to be one of China’s “String of Pearls”; each pearl refers to a point of strategic interest for China along its sea-lanes from the Middle East to the South China Sea. [TC]
by John Baird
Good evening, I am pleased to be with you tonight and it’s a real pleasure to be back in London – one of the world’s truly great cities and one of my personal favourites. [TC]
Thillaiambalam Sivanesan alias Soosai was the former commander and special commander of the naval division of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) known as “Kadal Puligal” or Sea Tigers. This native of Polygandy in Vadamaratchy fought to the very end and died in Mulllivaaikkaal in Mullaitheevu district on May 17/18th 2009. [DBSJ]
US may be having evidence laying command responsibility on civilian leadership for alleged Sri Lankan war crimes
by Emanuel Stoakes
The extrajudicial killing of civilians, surrendering soldiers and dissident journalists under the direction of the Sri Lankan government has been alleged by a former general in the Army who was extremely well-placed to comment on military activity during the island nation’s bloody civil war. [TC]
Prevarication in Implementating LLRC Recommendations by Govt Reflects its Belief that These “Games” can Continue Without Inevitable Repercussions
By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene
It is quite amusing to see the government and all its men using the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation (LLRC) as a barely inadequate fig leaf to cover its total lack of adherence to the substance of the Commission’s recommendations.
Unacceptable excuses for delay in implementation
Here and overseas, we are being told that the LLRC report was not quite the ‘whitewash’ that it was expected to be. [TC]
Armed pro-govt mobs protected by police hijack Black January media protest outside Fort Railway station
Pro-government protesters, some armed with clubs, seized the promenade outside Fort Railway Station on Wednesday, to prevent media activists from observing “Black January,” a month when many of Sri Lanka’s journalists were attacked over the years.
This was despite the Colombo Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeyratna making an order that media activists be allowed to stage their protest at the venue, without disturbing road traffic. [TC]
By C.A. Chadraprema
The Sinhala weekly Ravaya celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
The present writer spoke to its editor Victor Ivan who was exulting over two things in particular – having been able to publish the newspaper for 25 years without folding up the way so many other publications did and secondly, that nobody in the newspaper had been harmed in any way during that tempestuous two and a half decades. [TC]
By Namini Wijedasa
Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, advisor to the president on Reconciliation, has spoken openly and more emphatically on the need for the government to do more for people in areas affected by the war. Excerpts from the interview:
QUESTION: You are one of the few members of the government still talking actively about reconciliation. How would you define the term? [TC]
by Arthur Wamanan
Deputy Minister of Resettlement and Vice President of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan says that priority should be given to address the immediate needs of the Tamil people. In an interview with The Nation, Muralitharan blamed the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for making impracticable demands while ignoring the basic needs of the affected people
QUESTION: What is the latest situation of the resettlement process? [TC]
By Tisaranee Gunasekara
Some walls should never be built; some should never be breached.
Many of Sri Lanka’s most devastating ills emanated from our habit of building unnecessary walls, and demolishing necessary ones. [TC]