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April 29, 2012

Apr 29 - May 5:

tweets of the day: ‘Blessed Wesak to all in Sri Lanka’

Its the time to decorate the streets in Sri Lanka for Vesak. [TC]

Inamaluwe Sumangala Thero, Rangiri cricket stadium and Thilanga Sumathipala

By Michael Roberts

The following article was written by Prof. Michael Roberts on July 10th 2007 and appeared in Cricinfo.com. under the heading “Rangiri Cricket Stadium &Its Tempestuous History.It is being reproduced here as it sheds some light on the commercial interests of Ven Inamaluwe Sumangala Thero who spearheaded the deplorable attack on the Mosque in Dambulla. I am inclined to wonder whether some sordid money making motive is behind the sudden move initiated by the saffron-clad entrepreneur to demolish the Mosque and Kovil-DBS Jeyaraj [DBSJ]

‘Kalimann Vandi’ and history of Sri Lankan modern Tamil theatre 

by Sivagnanam Jeyasankar

A Response to the leaflet issued before the beginning of the performance of Kalimann Vandi the Tamil language stage production of “Mettikaraththaya” and to the performance itself

The “Tamil language production of Mettikaraththaya” refers to Mirhchakadikam, a Sanskrit play written in B.C. 300-400 by Chudraka. It was produced in Tamil as ‘Kaliman Vandi’ translation of the Sinhala version of Mettikaraththaya at the Swami Vipulanda Institute of Aesthetics Studies, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. [DBSJ]

Kurunegala Anglican Bishop Emeritus Andrew Kumarage – An Appreciation 

by Rt.Rev Kumara Illangasinghe

It was with much sadness that we learnt of the passing on of our beloved Bishop Andrew Kumarage, the Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Kurunagala, in the early hours of April 21, 2012. He was ailing for some time, but briefly and was a wonderful relief for some of us to know that he has ended his life on earth and being relieved from all pains, agony and suffering of this world. [DBSJ]

Muslim community is strongly opposed to demolition or relocation of Dambulla Mosque 

By Ayesha Zuhair

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to summon a meeting shortly to discuss a matter of vital national importance.

This follows a discussion he had with Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem on Monday, during the course of which the President promised to resolve the dispute that has arisen over the Dambulla mosque, without harming the interests of the Muslim community. [DBSJ]

UN Rep on Children and Armed Conflict tells AlJazeera children are being targeted in Syria

 

More than 34 children have allegedly been killed in Syria since the UN-brokered ceasefire between security forces and opposition fighters officially took hold last month. [TC]

LLRC Report recommended access to Information Law

by Patricia. A. Butenis

The 20th century American politician Thomas “Tip” O’Neill once famously said that “all politics is local.” That was often true of the news in the last century as well. With the advent of so many technological changes, however, the truism for information in the 21st century has become “all news is international.” [TC]

Catholic Bishops Conference wants govt to implement LLRC recommendations

By Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and Bishop Norbert M. Andradi

Much has been written and discussed since the publication of the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). [TC]

Karunannidhi wants Sampanthan to demand an Eelam which Sri Lankan Tamils dont want 

by M.S.M. Ayub

The visit by the Indian joint Parliament delegation to Sri Lanka was no doubt a novel experience not only for the members of the delegation but also for the Sri Lankan politicians as well as the general public. [TC]

Maldives: C’wealth ultimatum causes call for pull-out

by N. Sathiya Moorthy

With the People’s Majlis, or Parliament, confirming the nomination of Vice-President Mohammed Waheed Deen, an element of political continuity and consequent stability has been injected into the Maldivian polity for now. [TC]

Australian Immigration Minister Bowen Should Raise Concerns with Sri Lanka-Human Rights Watch

Cooperation on People-Smuggling Risks Further Abuses

(Melbourne) – Australia’s immigration minister should raise concerns with Sri Lankan officials about alleged arbitrary arrest and torture of people who were refused asylum and sent back to Sri Lanka when he visits this week, the Human Rights Law Centre and Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Moves on to remove Tamara Kunanayakam as UN envoy in Geneva 

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Sri Lanka ’s ministry of External Affairs has initiated moves targeting Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva

Ms. Kunanayakam who returned to Geneva last week after participating at the UNCTAD conference in Doha, has been informed over the telephone that she should move out from Geneva at short notice and take up duties in a Latin American Country by June this year. [DBSJ]

Hate rhetoric articulated by radical Buddhist Monks in Sri Lanka is uncannily similiar to that mouthed by ‘Hindutva’ proponents in India 

By Sudha Ramachandran

A mosque in the central town of Dambulla was attacked with petrol bombs and vandalized around 10 days ago by a mob led by radical Buddhist monks. To add insult to injury, the government has bowed to the mob’s demand and ordered the mosque’s demolition and relocation. [DBSJ]

President Rajapaksa a Buddhist married to a Catholic who worships at Hindu shrines has been a friend of Muslims

by Arjuna Hulugalle

Man, living in community will invariably have social and political problems. This applies to a tribal society, a nomadic society, a settled rural society or a highly structured civilization, whether Greek, Roman, European or Asian. [DBSJ]

Ensuring peoples prosperity is the best tribute to working class-President

The best tribute we can pay on this International Workers’ Day to the former leaders of the working people and the sweat and tears of our workers is to ensure the prosperity of the people and the country, President MahindaRajapaksa said. [TC]

Religious Extremism: The Post War Reality in SriLanka

by Rameez Aboobacker

There is a lot of debate and controversy in the public discourses over the last few days following the malicious attack on a Mosque in Dambulla by a group of extremist Buddhist led by monks in robes, hampering to perform Muslims’ Jummah prayers on Friday, 20th April 2012, and demanding the demolition of the mosque immediately since, what they regard, it is located in a Buddhist sacred area, but the Muslims, on the other hand, rebut the claim saying that the mosque is in existence over the last 60 years with a legal registration. [TC]

Why asking D E W Gunasekara to act as Minister of External Affairs was a brilliant idea

by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

When we were in Geneva in the dark days of March, I was surprised to read that Senior Minister D E W Gunasekara had been appointed Acting Minister of External Affairs. [TC]

Eastern Province can be Sri Lanka’s political laboratory or political minefield

by N. Sathiya Moorthy

The Eastern Province in a way is a microcosm of the Sri Lankan nation, given the confluence of all major communities, the Upcountry Tamils too not to be left out. Post-war, it can set a stellar example for the rest of the nation to learn from. [TC]

Defunct Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization(TESO) revived in Tamil Nadu by Karunanidhi 

by A Special Correspondent

Reiterating that a Tamil Eelam alone will offer a permanent solution for the Sri Lankan Tamils, who have been subjected to the “biggest ethnic cleansing of the century,” DMK leader and Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) president M. Karunanidhi on Monday said that the goal should be achieved only through non-violent methods. [DBSJ]

Tamil Diaspora cannot ignore realities and transparency 

By S. V. Kirubaharan, France

I humbly feel that if we don’t share our views openly and honestly, there is no use talking about unity. Therefore, I will be frank and honest.

We Tamils from the North East or Eelam Tamils have had many rises and falls – the non violent struggle, the armed struggle in self-defence which came to a halt in May 2009 – the debacle of Mullivaigzhal. [TC]

If ‘hand of politics’ had not deprived team of ‘full strength’ in Manila, Lanka would have been 2012 Asian Rugby Champions

By T.M.K. Samat

SRI Lanka ’s fall at the final hurdle of the A5N rugby tournament in Manila last week evokes much regret. The failure to get among Asia ’s top five nations is obviously disappointing, but more hurting was seeing the triumphant march of a team of brave young Sri Lankans finally come to grief. [TC]

The Dambulla crisis and need for a policy for multiculturalism and post-war social integration 

by Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake 

Sri Lanka has a long and proud tradition of religious co-existence which is attested by the presence of multi-religious sacred sites throughout the island, as well as, its uniquely mixed cultural geography. [DBSJ]

‘Why India? I don’t know why everybody talks about India’? – Basil Rajapaksa 

By Namini Wijedasa

I think very healthy. India’s vote in Geneva on the US-led resolution is only one incident. As a whole, there has not been much change in the relationship [DBSJ]

Tea Industry as a whole is said to be profitable while most estate operations report loss

By Dr. U. Pethiyagoda

As a sector of indisputable importance to the nation, the tea industry draws periodic comments and now seems such a time. [DBSJ]

TNA Leader Sampanthan writes to President over issues of arrested Tamil youths and Pillaiyar Temple in Trincomalee

By Franklin R. Satyapalan

TNA Leader and parliamentarian R. Sampanthan has sought President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s intervention to secure the release of several youth taken into custody during the recent search operations in the Eastern Province, particularly in the Trincomalee District. [TC]

Hakeem says Muslim Congress would not agree to proposed relocation of Dambulla mosque

BY Harischandra Gunaratna

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress yesterday said that it would not agree to the relocating of the Mosque in Dambulla. [TC]

The Govt must apologise to the Muslim community over Dambulla Mosque Incident 

By Dr Laksiri Fernando

The violent mob attack on the Dambulla Muslim Mosque in the presence of the Police on 20 April is a serious event that can ignite communal disharmony in the country, including open violence, if the government fails to apologise to the Muslim community and take appropriate action to thwart the efforts by communal elements among its own ranks to create rift and mischief. [TC]

13th Amendment ‘child of rape’ must be legitimized or exchanged for legitimate baby of the nation

By Somapala Gunadheera

The homemade response to the UNHRC challenge has to begin with a clear understanding of the perspectives of the complaint. The Resolution calls for the implementation of the LLRC recommendations. But that does not imply that all the recommendations had not been complied with. [TC]

‘Sinhala Buddhism’ is worlds apart from the tolerant non-violent Buddhism of the Gautama Buddha 

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Ordered disorder, planned caprice, And dehumanised humanity…”
Brecht (The Exception and the Rule)

That the ancient-city of Dambulla is not sundered by religious violence is thanks to the sense and sensibility of its ordinary inhabitants (of all faiths) and the security personnel on duty. [TC]

Dambulla Mosque controversy: Conflicting versions prevail 

By Raisa Wickrematunge and Niranjala Ariyawansha | reporting from Dambulla

Muslims in Dambulla are still reeling from last week’s events, which could mean the demolition and relocation of a 65 year old mosque.

We were there until the last minute… people were throwing rocks and stones, so we had to leave at around 1:30 pm,” said Hariff M Yasir, a trustee to the mosque, describing the chaotic scene. [DBSJ]

Immediate investigation needed for Dambulla Mosque incident 

by Javid Yusuf

The incidents surrounding the Dambulla mosque and its aftermath have left the Muslim community shaken and uneasy. The Muslims have over centuries lived in harmony with their brother communities and enjoyed excellent relationships with both the Sinhala and Tamil communities. [DBSJ]

Why are Indian Leaders like Krishna and Sushma Always ‘Mishearing’ Whatever President Rajapaksa says? 

by Namini Wijedasa

Is it something in the water?

Or is the gravy spiked?

Every time the Indians come here–and chow down on presidential grub–they lose their ability to understand the words that leave Mahinda Rajapaksa’s mouth. [TC]

Dambulla demonstrators regard minorities as invaders threatening Sinhala Buddhist identity of Sri Lanka

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

“The sleep of reason produces monsters” – Francisco Goya(The title of 43rd painting in the Los Caprichos series)

The mini-war in Kelaniya displays, in microcosmic form, the future that is in store for Sri Lanka under Rajapaksa Rule. [TC]

We are appalled that leading politicians and religious leaders have justified forcible removal of the mosque 

by National Peace Council

The dispute over the presence of a Muslim mosque on Buddhist temple land in Dambulla points to an underlying tension in Sri Lanka’s multi religious society that is being exploited by extremist forces. [TC}

Communal intolerance in Lanka: Cry my beloved country 

NOTEBOOK OF A NOBODY

by Shanie

“I many times thought peace had come, When peace was far away;
As wrecked men deem they sight the land at centre of the sea,
And struggle slacker, but to prove,
as hopelessly as I ,
how many the fictitious shores
before the harbour lie.” - Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Alan Paton, the South African anti-apartheid activist wrote his first and most celebrated novel Cry, The Beloved Country in 1948. [TC] 

Corruption, intrigues and power games in modern China – Part II

By M. S. Shah Jahan

It was 14 November 2011. Neil Heywood, a Beijing resident, arrived in the fog shrouded Chongqing and checked into Sheraton Hotel, as he was summoned on short notice for a meeting in Chongqing with representatives of the family of Bo Xilai, the local Communist Party chief. [TC]

Lalith Athulathmudali was accepted as a leader nationally and internationally

by S.V.D. Kesarralal Gunasekera

(19th Death Anniversary of Late Lalith Athulathmudali.)

Nineteen years ago on April 23 as I sat in the hospital varandah unable to muster enough courage to see the slain body of Mr. Lalith Athulathmudali, I had a sad and strange feeling that this was the end of great politics in our nation. Today, as we are challenged by the international community, I still feel the loss. [TC]

President Premadasa was no ordinary leader but an ‘Epoch-Maker’

By “Deshamanya” K.H.J. Wijayadasa

19th Death Anneversary of President Ranasinghe Premadasa

President Premadasa was no ordinary leader. He was a self made, self educated, self disciplined and self motivated man.

Mentally and physically he was nothing but a computer operated human dynamo. He was a philosopher- politician, a thinker, a patriot and above all an extraordinary man. [TC]

Sri Lanka with 103,000 Players is the Second largest Rugby Playing Nation in Asia next to Japan

by Emma Stoney

WELLINGTON — When you think of Sri Lanka, rugby is not generally something that springs readily to mind.

The island nation is certainly better known for cricket, tea exports and its recently ended civil war. But Sri Lanka’s British colonial forefathers left behind more than cricket as a sporting staple. [DBSJ]

April 22, 2012

Apr 22-28:

DMK Chief Karunanidhi revives Tamil Eelam demand

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Muthuvel Karunanidhi the Octogenarian leader of India’s Dravida Munnetra Kazgagham (DMK) has a flair for creating controversy through provocative pronouncements. Karunanidhi known widely as “Kalainjer” or Artiste has been the chief minister of Tamil Nadu state for nearly 19 years serving five terms in office. [DBSJ]

Vasavilaan: Residents of former High Security Zone fear possible military reoccupation

A group of residents who have only just recently returned to their village in Vasavilaan, in the Tellippalai DS Division in Jaffna, which was a former High Security Zone, fear that steps are being taken by the military to reoccupy their lands. [TC]

The truth behind the Trincomalee Hospital Pillaiyar Temple issue

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

A news item published by some Tamil newspapers in Sri Lanka a few days ago stated that the Urban Development Authority (UDA) had issued a directive calling for the removal of the temple dedicated to Pillaiyar or Lord Ganesha at the Trincomalee general hospital premises. [DBSJ]

UN Finds Unexploded Cluster Bombs at Puthukkudiyiruppu in Northern Sri Lanka

by Ravi Nessman

Associated Press
NEW DELHI April 26, 2012 (AP)

A report from a U.N. mine removal expert says unexploded cluster munitions have been found in northern Sri Lanka, appearing to confirm, for the first time, that the weapons were used in that country’s long civil war. [TC]

Beyond the sparks and fumes of India’s Agni-V Test

by P S Suryanarayana 

India now exudes confidence at having come of age as a space-faring power with a minimum credible nuclear deterrence. A follow-up task awaits New Delhi. [DBSJ]

General Sarath Fonseka: Voice of our conscience

By Karu Jayasuriya MP 

Statement by Karu Jayasuriya, Member of Parliament on the occasion of the completion of 3 years of General Sarath Fonseka’s imprisonment and 6 years escaping death from the attack of the LTTE suicide bomber on the 26th April 2006

For a nation as a whole to be shaken on behalf of a decisive moment of an individual’s life is a rare occurrence. On 25th April 2006 we experienced such a rare occasion. [TC]

Implications and Ramifications of the Attack on the Dambulla Masjidul Khaira Mosque

By Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe

On 20th April 2012- Friday, a mob of some 2,000 led by Buddhist priests occupied and ransacked the Masjidul Khaira Mosque, obstructing those engaged in prayer. [TC]

ACJU issues appeal calling upon Muslims to observe April 26th as day of fast and prayer

The following is the text of an appeal issued on behalf of the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama by its General Secretary Ash Sheik M.M.A. Mubarak

Muslims of this country are deeply worried over the recent incident took place in Dambulla in which a gang stormed the Jumma Mosque of Dambulla and damaged the place on 20 April, Friday [TC]

Discovering the White Van in a Troubled Democracy

By J.C. Weliamuna

An analysis of ongoing “abduction blueprint” in Sri Lanka

In a country that has achieved so much in literacy, education and social development, is it not indeed unfortunate that “White Van” has frightened the entire nation? Appearance of a white van assures a disappearance of some one. [DBSJ]

Education is one area where we are badly serving the people of the North and rural children in general

by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP

The concerns raised at the last set of Divisional Secretariat Reconciliation Committees I facilitated this week in Mullaitivu and Vavuniya, after a long hiatus given an excess of travel in March, were both reassuring and upsetting. [TC]

Divergence and convergence of the USA and India over UN involvement

by Austin Fernando

There had been large scale local criticism of India and the USA, after the adoption of the UNHRC resolution in Geneva. [TC]

Demolition of Dambulla Mosque means loss of Muslim support to govt

By Latheef Farook

Prime Minister D.M. Dayaratne’s order to demolish a 65 year old mosque in Dambulla and instead build a mosque in another place strikes at the very root of religious freedom .It also shocked and hurt the island’s Muslim community. [DBSJ]

Dambulla incident shows govt has no vision or strategy to build co-existence among people of different religions

By Karu Jayasuriya MP

It is sad to note that there is a situation brewing up in the country, creating mistrust, suspicion and hatred amongst the people belonging to different ethnic and religious groups; when they were expecting harmony, reconciliation and co-existence in the country during the post war period. [TC]

Dambulla Mosque attack: Concerned citizens’ statement against religious intolerance

It is with great concern that we the undersigned protest against the growing trend of increasing religious intolerance in Sri Lanka with regard to minority religions. [TC]

Concern over misleading statement by M.L.A.M. Hizbullah on Dambulla Mosque incident

The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU – Council of the Muslim Theologians) and the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) notes with deep concern the misinformed and misleading statement made by Hon. M.L.A.M. Hizbullah – Deputy Minister of Child Development & Women’s Affairs at the meeting with Rev. Inamaluwa Thero on the 23rd of April 2012 in Dambulla. [TC]

Muslim Council of Sri Lanka statement on Dambulla Jumma Mosque incident

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about the unfortunate incident of the attempted destruction of a mosque and disruption to the Muslims obligatory Friday prayers on 20th April 2012 at Dambulla. [TC]

72 Illegal structures around in Dambulla Including Mosque and Kovil to be Removed within 6 Months

by Azra Ameen

A committee comprising the Maha Sangha (Buddhist priests), Divisional Secretary, the District Secretary and several other officials yesterday decided to remove all illegal constructions where a controversial mosque is located in the Dambulla area within the next six months, sources said. [TC]

Hill Country huge potential for tourism-British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, John Rankin

Devon water fall is situated 6 km west of Talawakele on the A7 highway. [TC]

Was 13th Amendment not discussed by President Rajapaksa with visiting Indian MPs? 

by R.K.Radhakrishnan

The events seem to be a replay. It was External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna then. It is India’s Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj’s turn now. A leading newspaper in Sri Lanka has claimed that no discussion was held regarding the devolution of powers to States when the Indian MPs delegation met President Mahinda Rajapaksa. [DBSJ]

72 Illegal structures around in Dambulla Including Mosque and Kovil to be Removed within 6 Months

by Azra Ameen

A committee comprising the Maha Sangha (Buddhist priests), Divisional Secretary, the District Secretary and several other officials yesterday decided to remove all illegal constructions where a controversial mosque is located in the Dambulla area within the next six months, sources said. [TC]

Indian MPs’ Sri Lanka visit: A clear message from Indian polity

by N Sathiya Moorthy

The six-day-long visit of a 12-member Indian parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka could not have come at a more inopportune moment in the contemporary context of bilateral relations — after New Delhi had voted against Colombo at the Geneva UNHRC. [DBSJ]

World Future Council: Defending the rights of future generations

By Judge C. G. Weeramantry, Ashok Khosla, Dr. Scilla Elworthy

Today, vast factory trawlers are vacuuming every living thing off the floor of the oceans. Toxic wastes are being dumped on poor communities whose governments turn a blind eye. Millions of acres of irreplaceable primeval forest are purposely being burned every year, to make way for cattle ranches. [DBSJ]

Though govt pledged to implement 55 recommendations at Geneva UPR in 2008 performance has not been satisfactory

By Jehan Perera

In the aftermath of the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva in March of this year where a special resolution on Sri Lanka was passed, Sri Lanka now faces the Universal Periodic Review that commences in October of this year. [TC]

Indians seem to lay great reliance on full implementation of the 13th Amendment

by S.L.Gunasekara

Members of Parliament of any country whatsoever are elected to look into and pass legislation to suit and benefit the people of their own country.

Sri Lankan Shining in Geneva Through Two Inventors at ‘Inventions’ Exhibition

The inventions of Dr S.J.B Lenadora and Mr Dinesh Katugampala took the forefront at the ‘Inventions Geneva’ Exhibition, winning prestigious Gold and Silver medals at the event. ‘Inventions Geneva ’ which is the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, is considered to be one of the most important in the world. [TC]

Mahinda Samarasinghe speaks out on the UNHRC sessions in Geneva

by Manjula Fernando

Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who led the Sri Lankan delegation to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) sessions last month, speaking to the media for the first time since his return to the country, says Sri Lanka faced a David and Goliath situation against the world’s ‘superpower’ in Geneva. [TC]

The mysterious lady who knelt at the President’s feet and related a tale

by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, MP

Last week, I was told, a mysterious lady approached the President while he was at a funeral, knelt at his feet, and came out with a terrifying story. The person who told me the story evidently thought of the lady as she who must not be named, but she was nothing like the fictional character who could not be named. [TC]

All have to do their bit so Sri Lanka comes true to its 18th century name ‘Serendip’

Reading between the lines on Indian delegation to Colombo

by Col. R. Hariharan

There are both positives and negatives in the reports on the Indian parliamentary delegation’s six-day visit to Colombo. The reports include a statement of Mrs Sushma Swaraj, the multi-party delegation leader issued at the end of the visit, as well as inputs on the press conference she addressed in Colombo. [TC]

An attempt to answer some questions Tamils ask

By Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

In response to my comments on the article in’ “www.dbsjeyaraj.com” by S.Venkatanarayan titled, ‘Who says Sinhalese are against devolving powers to Tamils? That’s absolute rubbish! says Chandrika Kumaratunge, ‘Quaero’ asked the following questions. [DBSJ]

I felt we had won a moral victory, a battle well fought – Tamara Kunanayagam

By Ayesha Zuhair

In an e-mail interview with Ayesha Zuhair of the Daily Mirror, Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam,Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, discusses the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka which was adopted at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and the challenges ahead. [DBSJ]

Tamil Eelam is for Tamil Nadu politicians what the full moon is for hungry wolves -The Hindu

Tamil ‘Eelam’ is for Tamil Nadu politicians what the full moon is for hungry wolves. All their howling is indicative, not of any yearning for a distant, dreamy Eelam, but of the baser urges of the politics of the here-and-now. [TC]

Visit of Indian MP’s is a beginning in bridging the India-Sri Lanka communication gap

By N Sathiya Moorthy

The delegation may not be as representative as it could have been, and should have been, but the initiative goes a long way in crossing the mental and physical barriers of politicians from each country understanding the other. [TC]

Minister Fowzie denies meeting PM over Dambulla Mosque 

Prime Minister w/ MP Cader met in Gampola to discuss the Dambulla Mosque & announced like all Muslim MP’s agreed to relocate  [TC]

Indian delegation visit has not brought any good says TNA Batticaloa MP Ariyanenthiran 

by Arthur Wamanan

In an exclusive interview with The Nation, TNA Batticaloa District Parliamentarian P. Ariyanenthiran said no differences or different opinions within the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on the scheduled joint May Day rally in Jaffna. [TC]

Sushma Swaraj says President Rajapaksa will Enforce 13th Amendment Provisions and ‘Go Beyond it’ 

By Anthony David and Nadia Fazlulhaq

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will enforce provisions of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and “go beyond it,” India’s Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj said yesterday. [TC]

Post-Geneva reality and the predicament Sri Lanka is in today 

by Tissa Jayatilaka

One can understand to a certain extent the angst of some Sri Lankans over the injury caused to national pride by the ‘Geneva Resolution’ of March 2012. [TC]

Evidence of Sri Lanka’s bursting asset price bubble is apparent in all markets 

by Dr.Arujuna Sivananthan

A bubble in economics refers to a period in which a product or asset is traded in high volumes at prices that are at significant variance with its intrinsic value. [TC]

Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe faced with major crisis in Tea Industry 

by C.A. Chandraprema

Following fast upon the US resolution drama in Geneva, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is once again involved in a major controversy, this time involving his Ministry – Plantation Industries under which the Tea Board and the Tea Council functions. [TC]

‘Sinhalese will be granted certain limited rights as long as they obey the Rajapaksas’ 

by Tisaranee Gunasekara 

In the second week of April, on Sinhala and Tamil New Year’s Day, seven Tamil houses in Dilithura (a village in Elpitiya, Galle) were looted and burnt, because one young Tamil man did not call a Sinhala soldier on leave, ‘sir’. Instead of arresting the perpetrators of this orgy of arson and looting, the police arrested two Tamil youths [TC]

Madhu forest sanctuary in Mannar District being systematically destroyed through excavating sand and felling trees 

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Heavy excavating machinery rumbles relentlessly inside the Madu forest sanctuary — digging into the earth and felling trees — while truckloads of tipper lorries driven by drivers halfway drunk by 11am, packed to the brim with soil dug up, race through the road which runs through the sanctuary. [DBSJ]

JVP are ‘Bolsheviks’ using Nationalism as tactic to gain power

by Patali Champika Ranawaka

There is still much debate surrounding the alleged abduction of Premakumar Gunaratnam. It is yet to be established whether he faked his own abduction, or whether he was indeed abducted by members of the security forces. [DBSJ]

Hirunika Premachandra will seek justice for her father in Sri Lanka and will not internationalize issue 

by A Special Correspondent

The daughter of slain Presidential Trade Union Advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra said that she is in possession of vital evidence which could further implicate the chief suspect in the case pertaining to her father’s gruesome murder on October 8 last year. [DBSJ]

‘I will engage in Political activities with progressive elements in Sri Lanka and other Countries’-Kumar Gunaratnam 

Central Committee member of the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) Kumar Gunaratnam spoke to LAKBIMAnEWS about the allegations levelled against him, his many aliases and the future plans of the FSP in an interview with Rathindra Kuruwita: [TC]

April 15, 2012

Apr 15 - 21:

Fighting Food Fascism: The Beef-eating festival at Osmania University 

It looks like Foucault’s “real political task” is what the organisers of the recent beef-eating festival at Osmania University set out to do: they fought the “food fascism” that kept beef out of the menu, reminded the secular state that a university hostel mess was not Sankara math, and criticised the imposition of caste-Hindu dietary diktats on Dalits from within the confines of a seemingly neutral educational institution. [DBSJ]

The legitimate needs of Tamil people for equality, dignity, justice and self-respect in Sri Lanka 

By Sushma Swaraj

Distinguished representatives of the media,

I am happy to lead the All-Party delegation of Parliamentarians from India on this important visit to Sri Lanka. We are happy to meet you and share our impressions from this visit. I would like to start by introducing my colleagues from the delegation. [TC]

How do people who call themselves Sinhalese and Tamils know they are Sinhalese and Tamils?

By Dr. A.C. Visvalingam

In its modern form, the origins of the so-called National Question go back to the early twentieth century. [DBSJ]

Wimal Weerawansa has become a joke after he left our party – Vijitha Herath

by Dianne Silva

JVP MP Vijitha Herath spoke to Dianne Silva of the Daily Mirror about drama revolving around the disappearance of Premakumar Gunaratnam, the survival of the JVP and the interference of India in internal matters of Sri Lanka [DBSJ]

Why 13th Constitutional Amendment rammed through by India irritates Sri Lankans

by Lucian Rajakarunanayake

I have known Nirupama Subramaniam to be an observant journalist during here six years or more posting in Sri Lanka, first as a visiting journalist for ‘India Today’, later as correspondent for the ‘Indian Express’ and finally for the ‘Hindu’, to which she wrote the recent Lead Opinion (April 7) – ‘Lessons to learn from Geneva’, which was an analysis of the recent UNHRC vote against Sri Lanka. [TC]

Corruption, intrigues and power games in modern China

by M. S. Shah Jahan

“Corruption is the most crucial threat to the ruling party”.

At an annual meeting of anti-corruption officials on March 26th, China’s Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, had little progress to point to. He said there were still frequent corruption cases in departments that possess great power and in areas where the management of funds is centralized. [TC]

Sri Lanka’s Maj-Gen Prasanna Silva’s immunity questioned in UK Parliament

Yesterday, Thursday 19 April 2012, under Business Statement by the Leader of the House Sir George Young, a question was raised by the Labour Member of Parliament, Hon. Siobhain McDonagh for Mitcham and Morden on the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs’ decision not to declare Major General Prasanna Silva (Defence Attaché at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London) persona non grata [TC]

Sri Lankan mosque forced to abandon prayers by protesters

BBC News

A mosque in Sri Lanka has been forced to abandon Friday prayers amid community tensions in the central town of Dambulla. [TC]

Video: Lifestyles, living conditions and livelihood challenges

Struggles of Upcountry Tamils, Jaffna Muslims and Tamils in High Security Zones 

Jovita Arulanantham presents reports featuring , living conditions of upcountry Tamils, Muslim returnees in Jaffna and families returning to High Security Zone in Tellippalai; the reports were recently aired on ‘Connections’, a TV series from Young Asia Television: [TC]

Indian leadership miffed by Rajapaksa defiance wanted to rap Colombo on the knuckles

by Seema Sengupta

India’s decision to vote in favor of a United States sponsored UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution censuring the Sri Lankan government for alleged Human Rights aberration during the ethnic conflict has raised several eyebrows. [TC]

UNHRC Resolution: Sri Lanka is ‘Test Case’ for US to Continue Assault on International Law 

by Dharshan Weerasekera

The United Nations Human Rights Council at its recent sessions held in Geneva, adopted a US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka, expressing dissatisfaction with the pace of reconciliation and accountability since the end of the war with the LTTE, urging the government to make haste in implementing the recommendations of its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, and also calling for other more credible measures to ensue accountability. [DBSJ]

President Rajapaksa’s Instructions are Being Ignored to the Detriment of the Country 

by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

I was quite saddened by some of the responses to my article about ‘Letting down the President’, which recorded instances in which I thought the President’s instructions had been completely ignored, to the detriment of the country. [TC]

Mystery behind the sudden emergence and exit of Premakumar Gunaratnam 

Defence Secretary responds to allegations

By Ayesha Zuhair

Speaking exclusively to the Daily Mirror, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa sheds light into the dramatic appearance and disappearance of Premakumar Gunaratnam. [TC]

The failures of the Ministry of External Affairs – encroachment or sheer incompetence? 

by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

The recent intrigues by the nastier elements in the Ministry of External Affairs have prompted some thought about the confused and confusing nature of the diverse elements that make up the current government. The need to examine this in greater detail has been made clearer by the strange affair of Mr Gunaratnam. [TC]

Genuine reconciliation will never be achieved until and unless terrorism threat is eliminated and third party intervention stopped

By Eymard de Silva Wijeyeratne

The word ‘reconciliation’ is being abused to a point and pitch that makes it a vehicle for wreaking vengeance. The UNHRC has acted in a manner reminiscent of Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin (perhaps unfairly called the mad monk). [TC]

Kumar Gunaratnam alias ‘Gemunu’ led JVP in guerilla war against Indian Army in 1989

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The enforced “disappearance” and dramatic “re-appearance” of Premakumar Gunaratnam alias Kumar/Kumara Mahathaya a.k.a. Noel Mudalige has evoked much interest into the revolutionary antecedents of this colourful personality who was at one time a key leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) or People’s Liberation Front.

Even though Gunaratnam alias Mudalige has now broken away from the JVP and together with comrades of a similar mindset, formed a new political party known as the Frontline Socialist Party (Peratugami Samajawadi Pakshaya) his significant contribution to the JVP over a period of nearly 30 years cannot be easily overlooked or dismissed lightly. [DBSJ]

Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka at China-UNESCO forum on ‘Confucianism and New Humanism’

On Monday 16th April, 2012, Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka moderated one of three panels of a seminar on “Confucianism and New Humanism in a Globalized World” organized by UNESCO and the Confucius Institute Headquarters of the People’s Republic of China. [TC]

How Gotabhaya ‘helped’ Col. Karuna go to UK on a diplomatic passport under a false name

by Ranjith Jayasundera

Hello Friends,

There is a raging controversy on about the abduction and release of Frontline Socialist Party leaders Kumar Gunaratnam and Dimuthu Attygalle. [DBSJ]

Sandhya Ekneligoda, Wife of missing Sri Lankan journalist speaks out to WSWS

By Panini Wijesiriwardane and Wasantha Rupasinghe

Sandhya Priyangani Ekneligoda, wife of disappeared Sri Lankan journalist and cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda, recently spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about her ongoing struggle to discover what happened to her husband, and the continuing harassment of the Sri Lankan authorities. [DBSJ]

Instead of Abducting they could have asked me to come

Dimuthu Attygalle Interviewed by Arthur Wamanan

Dimuthu Attygala, a controversial character last week, found a few minutes to speak to The Nation just after her appearance at the party office in Kotte after missing 72 hours. [TC]

Bringing Kumar Gunaratnam to Party Convention would have been our biggest publicity

Arthur Wamanan Interviews Pubudu Jayagoda

The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) says it has no need to stage a publicity gimmick and points the finger at the government for the abduction of two of its members. [TC]

The failure of the Ministry of External Affairs to think or write or discuss

by Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

One of the most preposterous charges laid against Dayan Jayatilleka in the Ceylon Today diatribe is that he writes too much. [TC]

Al Jazeera Video: Costs hit New Year celebrations in Sri Lanka 

The rising cost of living means that festivities are a little subdued this year in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Will launch of Frontline Socialist Party lead to revival of ‘Left’ in Sri Lanka?

By Niel Wijethilaka and K. Govindan (Nava Sama Samaja Party)

More than 5,000 people packed Colombo’s Sugathadasa stadium for the inaugural conference of the Peratugami Samajawadi Pakshaya (Frontline Socialist Party – FSP) on 9 April 2012. [DBSJ]

‘Hey Geneva’ by Ajith Kumarasiri! Birth of Sinhala Blues?

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Hello Friends

Hey Geneva” is a song performed by musician-singer-composer Ajith Kumarasiri at his live concert”No More” at Punchi theatre in Borella on March 31st 2012. [DBSJ]

Constant obsession with achieving victory and a dominant concern with not being defeated

by Friday Forum

The Resolution No 19/2 on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka that was adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on 22nd March 2012 calls upon the government of Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) that was appointed by the President. [TC]

What would have been Gunaratnam’s fate if he was not an Australian Citizen?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Does one need to possess foreign citizenship to practice basic rights of life, liberty and free expression in Sri Lanka? [TC]

It is easier to abduct a person than to get your kids ready for School

by Namini Wijedasa

State media reported last week that the government will upgrade security at the Colombo National Museum. One cannot argue with the merits of this move, however spectacularly overdue it might be. [TC]

‘We never deported him; he could have stayed but he wanted to leave the country’-Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

by Shamindra Ferdinando

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that many of those listed missing during the war could have obtained new identities courtesy foreign governments. [DBSJ]

Govt must clarify its stand on implementing the LLRC Report Recommendations

By Javid Yusuf

It would be unwise to brush aside the resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council last month in Geneva as being of no consequence to Sri Lanka. We could choose to ignore it only at our own peril. [TC]

‘Who says Sinhalese are against devolving powers to Tamils? That’s absolute rubbish!’ says Chandrika Kumaratunga

by S.Venkatnarayan

Former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has vehemently rubbished the claim being made by some people in the present government that the majority Sinhalese are opposed to devolving political power to the minority Tamils in her island-nation. [DBSJ]

Remembering CP de Silva the ‘Minneriya Deviyo’

By K.H.J. Wijayadasa

Birth centenary of Charles Percival de Silva is on April 16th

Men of great distinction and high calibre such as Charles Percival de Silva are rarely born. Such men live in the hearts of the people long after their demise. Popularly and fondly remembered as C.P. he dominated the administrative, social and political life of Sri Lanka in the mid 20th century. [TC]

Unprecedented double honours from Wisden for Sanga

Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara has achieved the unprecedented feat of being selected as both Wisden’s Leading International Cricketer in the World and one of its Five Cricketers of the Year, in the 2012 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, published in the UK on Thursday 12 April [TC]

April 07, 2012

Apr 8 - 16:

By downgrading ties with India and US, Sri Lanka is in danger of cutting its nose to spite its face

By Sudha Ramachandran

BANGALORESri Lanka’s Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka’s recent announcement that Colombo was considering raising the issue of the safety of India’s nuclear power plants with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been widely interpreted in the Indian media as retaliation for India’s vote supporting an anti-Sri Lanka resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) recently. [DBSJ]

India has thrown a life line For Sri Lanka in Geneva that must be grasped

by M. Sooriasegaram

Time has come for all Sri Lankan people to come together to defend the sovereignty and independence of their mother country. People of Sri Lanka have a historic role to play at this juncture. [DBSJ]

M.I.A. Wrote the Music for Julian Assange’s New Talk Show

by Jeff Bercovici

It’s T-minus four days until Julian Assange‘s new talk show debuts on Russia Today, and while no one’s saying who the first guest will be, one interesting detail has come to light: The show’s theme music was written by Sri Lankan hip hop star M.I.A. [TC]

The Sri Lankan Tamil Catholic Priest who taught Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani

By Frances Bulathsinghala

A 73-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil, presently living in Colombo, proudly remembers that he had taught Yousuf Raza Gilani, the prime minister of Pakistan, way back in the 1960s at the La Salle High School in Multan. [TC]

Australia Has Just Been Given a Taste of “How It Works” in Sri Lanka

by Hamish McDonald

D.R. Kaarthikeyan is a name renowned in India. He was the police officer who led the investigation into the assassination of the former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991 by a woman wearing a belt bomb who came up close in a chaotic election rally. [TC]

LTTE leader Prabhakaran is alive and will re-emerge says TNA MP Shritharan in Tamil Nadu

by D.B.S Jeyaraj

Sri Lanka’s Tamil National Alliance MP from Jaffna District Sivagnanam Shritharan has stated in India that LTTE leader Prabhakaran is alive.

Shritharan said that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran was alive&safe& that he would re-emerge again. [DBSJ]

Pictorial: Women as tuk tuk drivers in Jaffna for the first time

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Head Turners ~ Women tuk tuk drivers in Jaffna. [TC]

Whose Arms Will Embrace You? The United States and the Beijing Consensus

by Amarnath Amarasingam

The United States is increasingly playing a game of subtle communication in the international arena. I suspect we had a passing glimpse of this at the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council, which gathered in Geneva last month. The question is: who is the United States talking to and what is it trying to say?

Govt must ensure ‘White van’ abductions and all forms of involuntary disappearances are stopped

by Mothers and Daughters of Lanka

We are deeply disturbed by the events leading to the disappearance and subesequent ‘reappearance’ of Dimutu Attygalle and Premakumar Gunaratnam two senior leaders of the newly constituted Frontline Socialist Party (FSP). [TC]

Kumar Sangakkara chosen by Wisden as Leading Cricketer in the World plus One of Five Cricketers of the Year for 2011

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara has been chosen as both one of the Five Cricketers of the Year and the Leading Cricketer in the World for 2011 in the 2012 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, it was announced on Wednesday. [DBSJ]

India and Pakistan jointly oppose UNESCO initiative to ensure protection of journalists

Washington – South Asia News Agency

Pakistan and India both opposed the Unesco’s initiative, other than Brazil. In all these three countries, journalists’ murders are rarely investigated. An arm of the United Nations, Unesco, has started looking into the killings of journalists. [TC]

Chinese Tourist flow to Sri Lanka doubles from 2009 to 16,000 in 2011

China is most likely to turn into the world No. 1 international tourism source market within the year 2012. Destinations all over the world are increasing their efforts to welcome Chinese visitors. [TC]

Video: Kumar Gunaratnam tells Australian media he was abducted and tortured in Sri Lanka 

By Leesha McKenny and Dylan Welch

THE Australian man abducted in Sri Lanka over the weekend has contradicted the claims of the Colombo government, claiming it abducted him, and were it not for Canberra’s intervention he would have faced certain death. [TC]

Is Sri Lanka targeting India’s Koodankulam project as retaliation for UNHRC vote in Geneva? 

By Indrani Bagchi

NEW DELHI: In what is seen as an apparent retaliation for India’s vote against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council, Sri Lanka’s energy minister has said they were threatened by the Kudankulam nuclear plant, in case of a Fukushima-like disaster. [DBSJ]

India’s economic engagement with Sri Lanka is broader and deeper than China 

by M. Ramesh

During a visit to Sri Lanka last week, this writer caught up with a diplomat and the conversation ran as follows: [TC]

Chandrika Kumaratunga says something serious must have happened for India to vote against Sri Lanka at UN 

By Suhasini Haidar

Former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga on Tuesday said that she was rather bewildered by India’s decision to vote against the country at a US-sponsored UN resolution seeking action against Lanka on the purported war crimes committed during its almost three-decade-long war against the LTTE. [TC]

Sri Lanka was divided into two factions at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva 

By Guido Paola Brunetti

The divisions within the Sri Lankan delegation to the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council in March 2012 reflected at least two different political orientations, which had already become manifest at the 18th Session of the Council in September 2011. [TC]

Tamils fearful about re-appearance of disappearances

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj 

The Long – suffering Tamil ethnicity in Sri Lanka is once again getting apprehensive and fearful!

The war between the Security forces of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended three years ago. This resulted in one set of problems faced by ordinary Tamils becoming non – existent. Some problems continued while a new set of problems also emerged. [DBSJ]

An Overview of the ‘Enforced Disappearances’ Phenomenon

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Hello Friends

The spectre of “Enforced Disappearances” is looming large on the Sri Lankan horizon again!

The recent disappearance and reappearance of leftist political activists Premakumar Gunaratnam and Dimuthu Attygalle have very effectively beamed the spotlight on this curse both nationally and internationally. [DBSJ]

The Koodankulam protest is to assert democracy

by V. Suresh

By all accounts, the 230-day anti-Koodankulam nuclear power plant protest by villagers of Idinthakarai and Koodankulam in Tirunelveli district has been totally Gandhian. [DBSJ]

External Affairs Ministry Statement on Premakumar Gunaratnam and Dimuthu Attygalle

The Ministry of External Affairs wishes to inform the Diplomatic Missions, the United Nations and it Specialized Agencies and other International Organizations based in Colombo of several matters relating to the sequences of events involving Mr. Premkumar Gunaratnam and Ms. Dimuthu Attygalle. [TC]

Key role of LLRC Report in addressing both international and national concerns

By National Peace Council

The resolution on Sri Lanka passed at the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 22 called on the government to implement the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission appointed by the government to address the issues of post-war transformation of the country. [TC]

‘Disappeared’ Kumar Gunarathnam released and deported at 7:40 AM

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Aussie citizen Kumar Gunarathnam released due to Australian pressure. What about “Disappeared” woman activist & ex-JVP MP Dimuthu Attygalle? [DBSJ]

Sri Lanka is tied down to the commitment it has made to friends during the UNHRC vote 

by N. Sathiya Moorthy

The Government needs to be congratulated for taking the vote in its stride. It owes as much to the political leadership’s ready acceptance of political realities elsewhere.

Very clear instructions from President Rajapaksa are being simply ignored

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Over the last few years I have been astonished at the manner in which very clear instructions from the President are simply ignored. [TC]

Strategic reasons behind India supporting the Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC

by P.S.Suryanarayana

A comprehensive calculus of ethnic, political, and strategic factors has shaped India’s firm vote against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council on 22 March 2012. In a broad sense, India has cast a Diaspora Vote, which is compatible with the so-called ‘Indira Doctrine’ of the 1980s. [DBSJ]

What was considered mission impossible then is now mission possible in Myanmar

By M. S. Shah Jahan

April 1st, that is traditionally called a day to fool or a day of fools for fun making, got different significance in the international arena of politics and economy in 2012 when Myanmar government fooled the entire world by allowing the home imprisoned political leader, thin and fragile but lion hearted Aung San Sau Kyi (Kyi is pronounced as jee) to contest and win a land slide victory in the by election, and also introducing a currency reform to redeem the plagued economy. [TC]

We must implement comprehensive action program that is not restricted to conditions laid down in UNHRC Resolution only 

By Victor Ivan

It is correct for Sri Lanka to express its protest against the US sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution against Sri Lanka. Yet, the government had apparently failed to mobilize the protest move in a manner conducive to safeguarding the dignity of the country. [DBSJ]

Abduction of political activists Premakumar Gunaratnam and Dimuthu Attygalle 

Political activists and leaders of the People’s Struggle Movement in Sri Lanka , Mr. Premakumar Gunaratnam[1] and Ms. Dimithu Attygalle[2] disappeared on 6th April 2012. [DBSJ]

How Tamil Women in UK can Help War-Affected Women in North – East Sri Lanka Through Thrift and Credit Co-operatives 

By Rajani Iqbal

Today we are assembled here to commemorate the International Women’s Day that falls in March, 2012. I wonder whether the women in the war affected parts of Sri Lanka today would be happy to commemorate this day or whether they would look at it in despair due to the sad plight in which they find themselves, following the conclusion of the war in 2009. [DBSJ]

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has revealed the real nature of the Rajapaksa reigime 

By Tisaranee Gunasekara Gotabhaya Rajapaksa does not want the national anthem to be sung in Tamil. Two more Buddha statues are being erected Jaffna by the Lankan Armed Forces. The statues of two Tamils, one Indian and one Englishman, located in the Batticaloa town High Security Zone, have been beheaded. [TC]

Legal reform needed to make Superior Officers responsible when human rights abuses occur 

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

In the months following the March 2012 rebuke administered to the Sri Lankan government by the United Nations Human Rights Council, critical self introspection is necessary as to some of the basic assumptions which drive the post Geneva discussions [TC]

Sri Lanka is on agenda of UN Human Rights Council after Geneva Resolution-Mohan Pieris 

By Namini Wijedasa

The return of criminal activity to Jaffna is a sign that things are back to normal, says Mohan Pieris, advisor to the Cabinet and former attorney general, who was a key member of the government’s delegation to Geneva. [TC]

Asking Rajapaksas to implement LLRC recommendations is like asking an ogre to cut off his own fingers

By Tisaranee Gunasekara 

Whenever the Rajapaksa administration is in need, the Tiger emerges from the underworld into a brief but useful life. [TC]

Nava Sama Samaja Party appeals on behalf of ‘disappeared’ JVP dissident leaders 

Two leaders of the Frontline Socialist Party (JVP dissident group) Kumar Gunarathnam and Dimuthu Attygalle (Women and International Affairs secretary) were separately abducted in the early hours of Saturday 7 April 2012 from Kiribathgoda and Godagama respectively (suburbs of Colombo) [TC]

Concerted attempt to replace External Affairs Ministry Secy and remove efficient non-career diplomats 

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha M.P

I was delighted to have (also) been attacked in an article in ‘Ceylon Today’ that basically attempted to say that what it termed the monumental loss at Geneva was largely due to Dayan Jayatilleka (and, in parenthesis as it were, to me). [TC]

JVP ‘Dissident’ Group Leaders Kumar Gunaratnam and Dimuthu Attygalle made to ‘Disappear’ 

by G.H.Ajith Kumara

This is to inform you of the disappearance of two leaders of the movement for people’s struggle and the Frontline Socialist party [TC]

Is Dayan Jayatilleka the target of a witch-hunt? 

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

April is here and it’s spring time now. My thoughts turn to Paris . They say that the seasonal charm of Spring is best embraced during April in Paris . I remember the old Frank Sinatra song about Paris in April. [DBSJ]

India believes it has succeeded in sending out a powerful message to Sri Lanka 

By Nirupama Subramanian

As Sri Lanka mulls over last month’s United Nations Human Rights Council resolution, it may look back with nostalgia at its 2009 triumph at Geneva. Then, barely a week after its victory over the LTTE, a group of western countries wanted a resolution passed against Sri Lanka for the civilian deaths and other alleged rights violations by the army during the last stages of the operation. [TC]

D.E.W. Gunasekara must not betray the old left by his willingness to swim along with the current tide

By Shanie | Notebook of a Nobody 

Pieter Keuneman was a leader of the Ceylon Communist Party and a cabinet Minister in the 1970 coalition government led by Sirimavo Bandaranaike. [TC]

Did Sri Lanka misconstrue that everything was fine internationally including India? 

By Austin Fernando

Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa was a rights defender. Among political demands during ‘Pada Yathra’ he led, were two, i.e.: (1) Premadasa Regime should take responsibility for the disappearances taken place (2) implementing a peace solution instead of warring. [TC]

April 01, 2012

Apr 1 - 7:

Good Friday: A Sombre day in the Christian calendar 

By saba-Thambi

Good Friday commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

People in general query the meaning of the name “Good Friday” when it was in fact the darkest day in the liturgical calendar. Some argue that the word ‘Good’ derived from the old English synonym for “holy” and the others state that it has been altered from the word “God” to ‘good’ as in the derivation of the word “Good bye” from the origin of the phrase “God be with ye”. [TC]

‘You do not want the TNA because you want to remove the roots of our right to equality, justice and dignity’ 

by Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committees, we are discussing in the House today, an Adjournment Motion pertaining to the Resolution passed at the UN Human Rights Council at the 19th Session last month. [DBSJ]

Anatomy of the LTTE military debacle at Aanandapuram 

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

This article was first written on April 10th 2009 under the heading”Top Tiger Leaders killed in a major debacle for LTTE”.Subsequently it was updated,revised and posted under the current heading. [DBSJ]

‘I Used Myanmar As An Example, Just As Others Have Used Israel And Cuba As Examples’– Amb. Dayan Jayatilleka 

By Dianne Silva

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Paris Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka has come under scrutiny in recent days for his controversial remarks in the aftermath of the passing of the United States sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council Sessions, last month. Certain remarks that were misconstrued as having compared Sri Lanka to Myanmar, a call for reform of Sri Lanka ’s foreign policy strategy and his unorthodox independent style of functioning have put him in the spotlight and opened his actions up for criticism. [DBSJ]

Theepan of the LTTE: Heroic saga of a Northern warrior 

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Hello Friends

Today April 4th is the third death anniversary of Velayuthapillai Bhagheerathakumar alias Theepan of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE). He died in the decisive battle of Aananthapuram along with several frontline commanders and hundreds of cadres of the tigers in that confrontation. [DBSJ]

UNHRC vote in Geneva shows that Muslim countries were Sri Lanka’s sincere friends 

By Latheef Farook

In times of crisis in Sri Lanka, Muslims countries have always come to the island’s rescue with no strings attached. This friendly gesture was demonstrated once again by Muslim countries when they voted against the US sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council resolution against Sri Lanka. [DBSJ]

Text of Letter sent to Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka by Ministry of External Affairs

Letter dated March 30th 2012 sent by Mr.W.A.S. Prasanna, Actg Director General (Overseas Administration) states thus: [DBSJ]

‘An Insiders Account of the JVP’ By Lionel Bopage 

Book Review by Prof.V.Suryanarayan

Rebellion, Repression and the Struggle for Justice in Sri Lanka – The Lionel Bopage Story (Written by Michael Colin Cooke) (Agahas Publishers, Colombo, 2011), pp. 566, Price US Dollars 25/- [DBSJ]

New Farmland grab: Sri Lanka’s farmlands are being aggressively marketed as investment for agro-export agriculture 

by B. Skanthakumar

This article is published to draw attention to the forthcoming Global day of Peasant struggle on April 17th 2012: [TC]

Measures Taken by the Government of Sri Lanka and International Bodies To Investigate and Hold Accountable Violators of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law 

Report to Congress

OFFICE OF GLOBAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE | US Dept. of State

This report is submitted pursuant to the Conference Report (H. Conf. Rep. No. 112-331) accompanying the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (Div. I, Pub.L. No. 112-74). [TC]

Mahinda Rajapaksa went to Geneva frequently during UNP rule and wanted the UN to intervene in Sri Lanka to uphold human rights 

by Mangala Samaraweera MP

Noting that both the Rajapaksa administration and the nation are now at a decisive juncture, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera urges the government to decide whether it will follow the footsteps of the Emperor Dharmasoka or the dictator Robert Mugabe. [TC]

Nothing justifies the appalling savagery and all-out war launched against entire Tamil population in the name of fighting Tiger Terror 

by Aijaz Zaka Syed 

Riding the tiger is an art that isn’t easy to master in the best of circumstances. While a tiger’s back may be the safest place to be when you are riding it, you should be ready for what comes when the ride inevitably ends. [TC]

SJV Chelvanayagam’s Son Chandrahasan will return permanently to Sri Lanka after 27 years in India

by B.Kolappan

Ever since he arrived in Chennai in August 1983 after violence broke out against Tamils in Sri Lanka, S.C. Chandrahasan and his family lived with the hope that in three months they would be back in their motherland. [DBSJ]

Distressingly for Rajapaksa administration ‘Accountability’ will be the elephant in the room

by Gibson Bateman

Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs, G.L. Peiris, has recently given one additional reason for the passage of a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva: “collective commitments.” [DBSJ]

Storify: A tableau of Sri Lankan women with diverse talents and accomplishments

A Celebration of Role Models ~ A picturesque project by Reach Out, Sri Lanka: [TC]

UN OCHA provides update on Menik Farm conditions after Mar 31st heavy rain

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

· On 31 March 2012 around 17:30hrs Menik Farm welfare camp was hit by a downdraft caused by the inter-monsoon rainy season injuring over 20 people and damaging 942 shelters, 76 latrine units and affecting 896 families living in Zone 1. Damages to Zone 0 were minimal [TC]

People can have freedom while not being liberated but they cannot be liberated while not having freedom

By Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

Liberation’ (Viduthalai in Tamil and Vimukthi in Sinhalese) has come to mean many things to many Tamils of Sri Lanka. What the word means to any individual or a group of people under normal circumstances, will depend on what they need to be liberated from. [TC]

MSF hopeful on Sri Lanka Ministry of Health promise to develop mental health care in Kilinochchi

MSF Ends Mental Health Program in Kilinochchi District

After 18 months of activity, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) mental health program that provided counseling to people resettled in Kilinochchi district, in the north of Sri Lanka, ended in April 2012. [TC]

Sri Lanka does not possess the resource base to counter the United States

Palitha Kohona Interviewed by Dianne Silva

The Mission to the United Nations, along with other Sri Lanka Missions elsewhere, including in Geneva, worked hard to lobby support against the US sponsored resolution at the Human Rights Council [TC]

India appears to have done everything possible to push Colombo into Beijing’s stifling embrace

by Ajai Sahni

If such an outcome were to be secured in Iraq or Afghanistan or, now, even in Pakistan, it would be embraced by the West as an unadulterated and righteous triumph. [DBSJ]

Is ‘News Story’ about 150 Tamil ‘Terrorists’ being trained in Tamil Nadu true or inspired mischief? 

By Col. R. Hariharan According to a news item in the Colombo daily “The Island,” Sri Lanka intelligence services have received information that around 150 terrorists who returned to Sri Lanka from India were now hiding in the North and the East. [DBSJ]

Tamil Nadu State Govt delays implementing pledge given to PNAME about releasing imprisoned protesters and withdrawing cases 

Text of a press Release issued by PMANE on April 1, 2012

The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) entered into a negotiation with the Tamil Nadu State officials on March 27, 2012 with the assistance of some credible and respectable mediators. [DBSJ]

Strengthening Tamil Moderates and weakening Tamil Ultra-Nationalists necessary in Sri Lanka 

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Tamil Nadu’s mood is more hostile to Sri Lanka than it is not; it is more influential in Indian politics than it has been since the years of MGR; it is and will always be next door. [TC]

Northern Fishers affected by encroaching Sinhala Fishers from South and Tamil Fishers from India 

By Sumith Chaaminda

Newly initiated development projects in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in post-war Sri Lanka are expected to open new avenues towards ethnic reconciliation, as proclaimed not only by government media but also by the mainstream development scholarship. [TC]

IMF Approves US$ 426.8 Million Disbursement for Sri Lanka

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the seventh review of Sri Lanka’s economic performance under a program supported by a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). [TC]

The ‘ethnic issue’ has thrived on the sense of insecurity of the Sri Lankan state structure

by N Sathiya Moorthy

President Mahinda Rajapaksa‘s reiteration of the Government’s commitment to “walk an extra mile to establish permanent peace through reconciliation” should be a welcome reaction to the Geneva vote. [TC]

Srinath Perera Committee: Attempt to submit a predetermined set of recommendations in a guise of a report 

by Karu Jayasuriya MP 

On close scrutiny of the report submitted by the Srinath Perera P.C. Committee appointed to investigate and report on the alleged incidents at Siri Kotha on 19th December, 2012 , on the day of the election of office bearers, it is obvious that the report is a culmination of a pre conceived partial course of action. [TC]

External Affairs Ministry threatens to charge Dayan Jayatilleka under Penal Code 

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

In an unprecedented and controversial move Sri Lanka ’s Ministry of External Affairs has threatened to charge the country’s Ambassador to France Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka under the Penal code!

It is learnt that the External ministry’s overseas administration division Acting Director General Mr. W.G.S.Prasanna has sent a lengthy five page letter to Dr.Jayatilleka outlining certain charges relating to alleged “wrongdoing ” by Dr.Jayatilleka in the conduct of the affairs of the Embassy in Paris. [DBSJ]

Imperative for Sri Lanka to deflect attention from UNHRC Resolution and develop a realistic action plan

by Shanaka Jayasekara

On the face of it, the Indian decision to vote in support of the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka seems a departure from its stated doctrine for the Indian sphere of influence. [TC]

Cornered administration does not intend genuinely implementing LLRC recommendations at all

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

So now the truth is plain to see, unvarnished and appalling in its consequences for Sri Lanka. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), says the Government at a press briefing this week, has exceeded its mandate and therefore only those recommendation that are ‘feasible’ will be implemented. [TC]

This is the time to repair and re-launch USA – Sri Lanka Relations 

by Teresita Schaffer

Teresita Schaffer, a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, was U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka from 1992-1995

The meeting in Geneva is over, leaving a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. It’s time to put Sri Lanka’s political rebuilding on track, and repair US-Sri Lanka relations in the process. [DBSJ]

Kolonnawa in firm grip of criminal mafia with political influence 

By Chandana Kariyawasam and Wijitha Nakkawita

Kolonnawa, a suburb of Colombo, is bizarre. It came to the limelight a few months ago when one of its prominent citizens, former Member of Parliament, was killed. [DBSJ]

Post Geneva challenge posed by Sri Lanka to British Foreign and Commonwealth Office 

By Westminster Insider

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) mandarins play the long game, and, as a matter of policy doctrine believe credible domestic inquiries of war crimes and crimes against humanity provide more durable solutions than those externally imposed. [DBSJ]

On the campaign trail in Burma with Aung San Suu Kyi 

by Marwaan Macan-Markar

For Aung San Suu Kyi, next week’s by-election is an attempt to reach out to the people and affirm her credentials as a unifier of Myanmar. [DBSJ]

Dismantling a dictatorship peacefully in Myanmar 

By Marwaan Macan-Markar

(As Burma heads for an election on April 1st this analysis written in January is reproduced here due to its current relevance. The writer is a Sri Lankan journalist now working for IPS in Bangkok - DBSJ)

BANGKOK, Jan 23, 2012 (IPS) – As he dismantles a 50-year military dictatorship without a shot being fired, Burmese President Thein Sein is resorting to the political art of compromise. [DBSJ]

Sri Lanka like Muhammed Ali in reverse stings like a butterfly and floats like a bee

by Gamini Weerakoon

The day after the much ballyhooed UNHRC Resolution against Sri Lanka was adopted, we thought that the Rajapaksa government had finally got it right. [TC]

Jaffna High Court delivers verdict in favour of Gods Own children Foundation 

Press Statement by Gods Own children Foundation

On 22 March 2012, the Jaffna High Court delivered a auch awaited verdict in Favour of Gods Own children Foundation. [TC]

Sri Lankan policy cannot continue to be premised on the Medamulana doctrine 

By Tisaranee Gunasekara 

24 hours before adopting the resolution on Sri Lanka, the UNHRC approved, with a mammoth majority, another country specific resolution on Israel. [TC]

Maldives must investigate sexual harassment of detained women protesters-Amnesty International 

Maldives authorities must immediately investigate allegations that police beat and sexually harassed four women detained during an anti-government rally, Amnesty International said. [TC]

Philip Gunawardena – The Red Lion From Boralugoda

By Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne

Don Philip Rupasinghe Gunawardena, popularly known as Philip, was considered to be the founder of the Marxist movement in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Bovine Home Economics of Bandula Gunawardena

by Namini Wijedasa

When Wimal Weerawansa called for a boycott of American products, his cabinet colleagues said they don’t share his views. It was not the official stance of the government, they insisted. Don’t take much notice. [TC]