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]