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]