« April 2012 |

May 20, 2012

May 20 - 26:

Unlawful killings by security forces in predominantly Tamil areas

US States Department Human Rights Report on Sri Lana for 2011

The major human rights problems were unlawful killings by security forces and government-allied paramilitary groups, often in predominantly Tamil areas, which led many to regard them as politically motivated, and attacks on and harassment of civil society activists, persons viewed as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathizers, and journalists by persons allegedly tied to the government, which created an environment of fear and self-censorship. [TW]

Second war to be tougher than first for Fonseka 

By Col R Hariharan 

The presidential pardon to General Sarath Fonseka (officially it is ‘ex-General’ as he has been stripped of his hard earned rank) after he completed only two years of a three-year jail sentence should come as no surprise. [TW]

Sri Lanka Civil Society action on LLRC Recommendations

 

In a situation where you have one soldier for every eight citizens, that you still have disappearances, and you can still have people daring to fly Tiger flags at a political rally..[TW]

Shared cultures and heritage for conflict resolution: A South Asia perspective

 By Dr.Sudharshan Seneviratne

The crippling impact of war and conflict, unleashed on most societies, has come to stay as a permanent feature and self perpetuating dynamic. Even after thousands of years of destruction to life, mind and matter, we have failed to learn from history [DBSJ]

Storify tweet digest: Fonseka released. Is it a ploy to deflect attention from Sri Lanka govt's lack of accountability for war crimes?

US embassy in Sri Lanka has welcomed the release of former army Commander Sarath Fonseka. [TW]

Ex-general to work for strong opposition

by R.K. Radhakrishnan 

Having watched the opposition parties lie in disarray from the confines of the prison here for over two years, the former Army chief, Sarath Fonseka was clear what the first step needs to be: “The need of the hour for the country is to ensure that there is a strong opposition.”

In his first interview after emerging from prison, he told The Hindu: [The Hindu]

Legacy of war - unemployment and homelessness

Life is slowly returning to normal in northern Sri Lanka, but three years after a decades-long conflict was officially declared over, jobs and housing are the prevailing concerns of returnees.

Most of the estimated 448,000 people displaced before or during 2008 by fighting between government forces and rebels wanting an independent Tamil state have returned to the Northern Province, according to the latest figures from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). [IRIN]

Congressman Danny Davis hopes for Sri Lanka peace and stability its citizens rightly deserve 

by Congressman Danny K Davis (D), Illinois, Marking the 3rd Anniversary of the “End of Civil War in Sri Lanka’ | Delivered in the 112th Congress on the Legislative Day of 17th May, 2012

 

Thank you Madam, Chairman

It is my pleasure to rise today, to note the 3rd Anniversary of the ending of the civil war in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Devolution and the concept of concurrency: Abolition or reform?

by Asanga Welikala

Among proponents of devolution as a means of power-sharing in Sri Lanka, one of the key bones of contention about the Thirteenth Amendment has been the Concurrent List. [DBSJ]

It is not possible to remove Armed Forces camps from North and reduce attention to national security

by Mahinda Rajapaksa

(Text of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s address to the nation, at the Armed Services Humanitarian Victory Parade, Galle Face, Colombo on May 19th 2012)

I need not state afresh that this day – the 19th of May – is now a great historic day in our country. [DBSJ]

When you read the book “Gota’s War” you learn that it does not means Gota won the war single-handedly

By Dr. Sarath Amunugama

I consider Mr. Chandraprema’s book “Gotas War” which was launched last week to be the finest and most comprehensive description and analysis of the fratricidal ethnic conflict which affected Sri Lanka for over six decades. [DBSJ]

Is G.L. Peiris lying about not giving the US a ‘very serious and good plan’?

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

Last week, Lankan society was electrified by the news that the Rajapaksas regime would accord Gen. Sarath Fonseka an unconditional pardon, on Saturday the 19th. It would have been a fitting act indeed. The 3rd anniversary of defeating the LTTE fell on May 19th, and Gen. Fonseka, together with Mahinda and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, comprised the politico-military triumvirate which led Lankan Forces to that historic victory. [TC]

Disturbing questions about National Savings Bank and The Finance Company

by Dr A.C.Visvalingam | President, CIMOGG

Recently the Board of the National Savings Bank (NSB) sought to explain why it purchased shares of The Finance Company (TFC) from two or three of the latter’s directors with a premium exceeding 50% of the market value at a time when the entire Stock Market was in dire straits. [TC]

May 22: Fortieth Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Republican Constitution

by Dr.Tissa Vitarana

Forty years ago, on May 22, 1972, at the Navarangahala in Colombo, the Parliamentarians of Sri Lanka concluded two years of sitting there as the Constituent Assembly, by passing and accepting the new autochthonous Constitution of Sri Lanka. [TC]

We are engaged in Revolutionary Praxis as advised by Marx

by Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne

Central bank governor Ajith Cabraal said “This would include the fact that Sri Lanka has recorded a more than 8% growth for two consecutive years in 2010 and 2011, and a projected growth of 7.2% this year. [TC]

If the past was the happy country of our memory the LTTE would not have come into being

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

In the collective memory of the Sinhala South, the past was a happy country, a place where all Lankans lived in amity and harmony. Vellupillai Pirapaharan spoilt it all by igniting a war out of nothing.

Three years after the victorious ending of the Eelam War, Sri Lanka is busy returning to that mythical past. The lessons a people learn from history depends on the history they remember and believe in. [TC]

Being a Treasure Hunter would have been a lot more fun than this Writing Job

by Namini Wijedasa

I have missed my vocation in life. I should have been a treasure hunter.

I fault my parents for this. They never told me it would be so easy, or so painlessly lucrative. All you need is a good archaeological site (and we’ve plenty of those), some basic implements—and a backhoe. These are large, heavy and conspicuous but easily available [TC]

Assets of those linked to terrorism to be frozen

By Chandani Kirinde

Assets of those designated by a Competent Authority as engaged in terrorist activity will be liable for seizure, according to new regulations formulated by the External Affairs Ministry. [TC]

China is so rich that it can now dictate the economic policy to the rest of the world including the USA

By M.S.Shah Jahan

When China wakes, it will shake the world” – Napoleon Bonaparte. Yes he warned 200 years ago. Truer words were never spoken. Chinese dragon has awakened now and it is about to shake the world to its foundations – starting with the United States. [TC]

We need freedom to create with and for everybody living in Sri Lanka

By Rasaiah Loganandan

Mr.Jeyasankar says that there has been a statement in the leaflets like this, distributed at the premier of the drama “Theatre needs no spoken language and it evolutes sans spoken language several decades ago” says the leaflet” [DBSJ]

May 12, 2012

May 13 - 19:

Minister G.L. Peiris presented LLRC implementation approach and plans to make it accessible both to Sri Lankans and to those outside Sri Lanka – US State Dept. 

US State Dept. Daily Press Briefing | Washington, DC 

Secretary met this morning for about 45 minutes with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Peiris. The foreign minister presented a very serious and comprehensive approach to the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission’s implementation and the plans that the government has, including plans to make it more public and accessible both to Sri Lankans and to those outside Sri Lanka, what the government intends to do in the implementation realm. [TC]

Ensuring TNA participation at the parliamentary select committee

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The political dialogue between the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil National Alliance(TNA)that progressed in fits and starts has reached a state of impasse for several months. The current deadlock is due to rigid positions adopted by both sides on the key question of a Parliamentary Select Committee(PSC). [DBSJ]

A victorious army keeps busy despite the lack of an enemy

THE ECONOMIST from the print edition

Let the army make it next time

IN THE run-up to Vesak, the holiest day in the Buddhist calendar, which this year coincided with the second anniversary of its victory against the Tamil Tiger rebels, Sri Lanka’s armed forces had plenty to do. [TC]

Dayan and Tamara targeted by External Affairs Ministry cabal selling out the country to US 

By Surendra Ajith Rupasinghe

The Summary dismissal of Ms. Tamara Kunanayagam from Geneva, along with a concerted attack being launched against Dr. Dayan Jayatileke and Tamara Kunanayagam accused for being responsible for the defeat over the US-led resolution, is part of a veritable coup d’état being hatched by crony upstarts in the Ministry of External Affairs [TC]

Thousands missing three years after war ends

Three years after the government of Sri Lanka declared an end to decades of civil conflict with separatist rebels, thousands of people are still missing, according to the UN and Sri Lankan activists. [TC]

“Dubbing Sri Lankan Conflict as ‘war without Witness’ is Simply not True” 

By Frances Harrison

Today marks three years since the end of the fighting in Sri Lanka . I would like to mourn the dead but still I do not know how many. Estimates range from seven to 147,000. It is a shocking difference.

How is it possible in this world of satellites, rolling news and internet we have no idea how many human beings really perished, even rounded up to the nearest thousand? [DBSJ]

Multi-party parliamentary select committee will consider constitutional amendments-G.L. Peiris at Capitol Hill

External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris attended a a series of Capitol Hill meetings on Wednesday, the second day of his four-day official visit to Washington. [TC]

Gen. Sarath Fonseka to be released over the weekend

By Shamindra Ferdinando

General Sarath Fonseka, former commander of the Sri Lanka Army and defeated presidential candidate will be freed over the weekend, according to highly placed sources. [TC]

Ranjini deemed genuine refugee earlier now detained as security risk

by Michael Gordon

Ranjini was found to be a genuine refugee before ASIO decided last week she is a security risk for Australia. But the government won’t tell her why, and now she’s facing a life in detention. [TC]

Sri Lankan Supreme Court petitioned to disqualify Tamil political parties under Sixth Constitutional Amendment 

by R. K. Radhakrishnan

Most Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka could become things of the past if the Supreme Court acts on a petition that seeks disqualification of the parties for retaining the demand for a separate state in their party documents, called constitutions.

Long after the Tamil political parties dropped their demand for a separate state, their unamended party constitutions, in which the demand for a Tamil Eelam are stated, have come to haunt them. [DBSJ]

Muslims’ peaceful response to vandalism at Dambulla Mosque

By Latheef Farook

Muslim community’s overall response to vandalism at the Dambulla mosque by a mob led by Ven Inamaluwa Sumangala Thero on Friday 20 April 2012 has been “calm and dignified”. [DBSJ]

Dambulla outrage: Manifestations of anti Muslim racism are going since 1975

By Izeth Hussain

There has been much comment on the so-called Dambulla incident, which might have more appropriately been called the Dambulla outrage, not incident. In this article I want to focus on aspects that have not been brought out adequately, or not at all. [TC]

Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Three areas where swift action is needed 

By Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Sri Lanka: Reconciliation and Justice – Frontline Club, London 16 May 2012

The following remarks had been prepared in the belief that speakers would have about 10 minutes each. [DBSJ]

Sri Lanka’s Nationality Conflict: Contemporary Political Scenario 

By Suresh Premachandran M.P.

Text of a paper presented at a symposium in Oslo, Norway 

The root cause of the nationality conflict in Sri Lanka is based on two mythical believes masqueraded as history that is ‘Sinhalese are the son of the soil’ others are aliens. The island is blessed by Buddha thus, ‘the island is the land of Buddhism’. [DBSJ]

Preventing ‘outsiders’ from entering domain will not allow Tamil Drama to grow beyond what it is today

by Parakrama Niriella

A Reply to S.Jeyasankar

Kaliman Vandi and History of Sri Lankan Tamil Theatre” was the title given to the write up by Sivagnanam Jeyasankar of the Eastern University , on the Tamil adaptation of the Sankskrit drama “Mruchakateeham” assumed to be written by Chudrakha between 400 – 500 AD. [DBSJ]

Video: Buddhist structures in the North: Co-existence or Colonization? 

YATV Webcast

The emergence of new Buddhist structures in the North has raised concerns among local residents:

“Leaving Keerimalai, the road to Mathagal, leads to a sign board Dambakola pattuna; the port to which the sapling of the sacred Bo tree was brought to Sri Lanka by Maharath Sangamitha from India. Statues and structures depicting this event which took place over 2,000 years ago have been recently built.” [TC]

Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga Flays India in the Presence of President and New Delhi Envoy

Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga on Monday asserted that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would have reacted differently if he had come under the same pressure as the late President J. R. Jayawardene. J. N. Dixit had been lucky that he had had to deal with JRJ and not President Rajapaksa, Weeratunga said. [TC] 

People in the North feel welfare measures by the Govt is due to Western pressure 

by Jehan Perera

The first green shoots of new life are emerging after a long period of drought in the north of the country, parts of which were not under government control for close on three decades, and where a terrible war was fought to its bitter end three years ago. [TC] 

Radhika Hails Capture of Senior Lords Resistance Army Commander in Uganda 

New York, 14 May – The Ugandan army last Saturday captured Caesar Acellam Otto, one of the top military leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army, in the Central African Republic. [TC]

Three rehabilitated youths allegedly released last year are still missing – Mano Ganesan 

Three Tamil youths who had undergone rehabilitation and were to be released last year are yet to reunite with their families and are reportedly missing. [TC] 

People of the North must be allowed to remember and mourn the loss of their loved ones publicly

by National Peace Council

The third anniversary of the end of the war will be celebrated in the coming week. In the past two years this has taken place with victory parades and with public commemorations of war heroes by the Government although many people would say it was not appropriate after a civil war when citizens of the country were killed in large numbers. [TC]

Denizens of the Ministry of External Affairs have no understanding at all of Foreign Policy 

by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP

The more extreme elements in the Ministry of External Affairs have at last put their cards on the table in the form of an article by the wife of one of its rising stars. [DBSJ]

The significance of Sri Lanka’s success at the UNHRC in Geneva, May 2009 

by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka 

May is the month of the diplomatic success of Sri Lanka and its friends at the Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in 2009. That battle and victory are now the target of criticism and historical revisionism. [DBSJ]

Some quick notes on Mr. Jayasankar’s review on ‘Kaliman Vandi’

by Dr.Sunil Wijesiriwardena

I was puzzled and shocked by the extremely hostile review written by Mr. Jayasankar of the Tamil production of the Mirchakadikam, [DBSJ]

Frontline Club discussion today on Channel 4 TV Films and Sri Lankan situation 

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Frontline Club in Britain will host discussion on impact of channel 4 documentaries on Sri Lanka & current situation today May 16 2011 at 7 pm

The Frontline Club discussion on Sri Lanka & British Channel 4 TV films sounds interesting as it has an impressive panel of participants [DBSJ]

‘Gota’s war’ book launch function turns Into an India bashing session

by R.K. Radhakrishnan 

“…When the Vadamarachchi operation commenced, the Prime Minister of India at that time, Rajiv Gandhi, issued a strong statement against the operation…Sri Lanka could have been rid of terrorism [at that time, but for the] high-handed interference of the then Indian envoy, Mr. J.N. Dixit,” said Mr. Weeratunga, to an audience that comprised all top elected leaders and officials and diplomats in Sri Lanka, including President Rajapaksa and the Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha. [DBSJ]

Over 500 people on indefinite hunger strike since May 1st in protest against Koodankulam nuclear plant 

By Sam Rajappa

THE manner in which the authorities have been trying to crush the agitation of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, which is no longer a mere protest against generating electricity by using nuclear energy to boil water, is shocking. [DBSJ] 

This is a country that does not honour the constitution – its supreme law 

By M.A. Sumanthiran MP

Speech by M. A. Sumanthiran on Adjournment motion in Parliament (11th May, 2012

Thank you Mr. Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity given to me to speak on this Adjournment Motion moved by the Hon. Member for Kandy District. Before I get on to what I wish to state, I’d like to deal with some very interesting matters that the Hon. Acting Minister for Media just stated to this House. [DBSJ] 

‘Tamil Tigress’ by Niromi de Soyza: An unfolding saga describing the Best and Worst of the Tigers 

By Prof. V.Suryanarayan

TAMIL TIGRESS: MY STORY AS A CHILD SOLDIER IN SRI LANKA’S BLOODY CIVIL WAR. | Niromi de Soyza (Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 2011), pp. 308, Price not mentioned.

Writing about his literary career, Robert Frost once wrote: “I have never started a poem yet whose end I know. Writing a poem is a discovery”. I was in the same predicament when I started reviewing Niromi de Soyza’s absorbing account as a Tamil Tigress. [DBSJ] 

Those who are in charge of Defence establishment would be held responsible if any harm comes to Hirunika’s life and limb 

by Asela Premachandra

Six months after assassination of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra who was a former Parliamentarian, on an election day in Mullariyawa, now, one of the week-end newspapers in Sri Lanka has reported that “Contract” has been given to two under world gangs to assassinate Hirunika Premachandra who is the only daughter of Bharatha in order to stop her relentless pursuit of justice for her father’s and three of his political supporters’ brutal murders which were committed in the broad day light. [DBSJ] 

Ayodhya and Dambulla: The situation in Sri Lanka is entirely different from India 

by Patali Champika Ranawaka

Was the JHU directly involved in the attempt to remove the Dambulla mosque?

This was the question posed to me by an Indian journalist who contacted me recently.  [DBSJ] 

Is GL or Sajin the External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka? 

By Our Diplomatic Editor

The names of Sajin Vass Gunawardena and G.L. Peiris were to cause some confusion at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban, South Africa last Wednesday. [DBSJ] 

Inadequate attention to accountability leads to abuse which is then difficult to correct 

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP 

Thanks to the indefatigable efforts of its Chairman, the simple but brilliant idea of dividing into sub-committees given the amount of work, and the dedicated commitment of the three chairs of sub-committees, COPE last year was able to cover more ground than any previous Committee. [TC] 

‘Grease Poodham’ in Navanthurai: Supreme Court Grants 51 Jaffna Tamil petitioners leave to proceed 

by Namini Wijedasa

The Supreme Court on Thursday granted leave to proceed with petitions filed by 51 Jaffna Tamils who allege that the military and police assaulted them in the aftermath of the ‘grease yaka’ (devils) incidents in the peninsula last year. [TC] 

Time for State -led Reconciliation Programmes for the building of relationships between and within communities 

by Salma Yusuf

As Sri Lanka makes its way from a phase of post-war to post-conflict, the potential, the challenges and the successes are worthy of reflection. [TC]

Independent International Investigations required to look into allegations regarding serious violations of International Law 

by M.A. Sumanthiran

Adjournement motion Speech made by Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran in the House on May 11th 2012: [TC]

Selected information from Tamil Culture In Ceylon – A General Introduction by M.D. Raghavan

Compiled by Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

In his words Raghavan claims his book incorporates a number of cross-sectional studies of a number of Tamil societies in the different provinces and survey of the Northern Province, supplemented by a few incidental aspects in other provinces of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). [DBSJ]

Nationalist Suppression of the Tamil Past to Create Dominant Self-Images: Individual and Collective 

by S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole | UGC Coordinator for Engineering, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka (Now with Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI)

Presented at Tamil Studies Conference Session 3F, University of Toronto, May 12, 2012

Chairman Sir/Madam Chairman, Friends: In this presentation I will attempt to show that Tamil images of our past are full recreations (through suppressed memory, the theme here), to assert our superiority over others and often have little to do with accuracy. [TC] 

Who will come to the streets to stop Mahina betraying the heroic war of Sinhala chauvinism? 

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

The leader of the opposition claimed that the Jaffna May Day rally and the protest was a grand success. Over ten thousand participated in the rally in spite of the campaigns of the government, jacked up by racist campaign of Premadasa. [TC]

The death of Sri Lankan diplomacy by suicide took place in Geneva on March 22

by Jayantha Dhanapala

The death of Sri Lankan diplomacy by suicide took place in Geneva on 22 March. For 64 years, it had served the country well despite the size of its professional cadre and persistent political meddling by all regimes.

The link between suicidal diplomacy and political directions received from Colombo is becoming obvious after the adoption of the resolution with anti-US and anti-Indian statements and actions being leaked to the media. [DBSJ]

UNP has chosen a hazardous route by aligning itself with TNA

by Gomin Dayasri

Are we living in the Wonderland of Alice or in a sorry State called Alas?

Government blunders with self-inflicted gaffes and goofs to display its mounting incompetence – UNP reciprocates by keeing the government buoyant in promoting serially unpopular causes to alienate and annoy voters. We sure lead a life between phonies. [TC] 

President must intervene and scotch attempt to remove Tamara Kunanayakam from Geneva 

by Prolanka

Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s former Permanent Ambassador to the UN, Geneva, was compelled on to another posting, much against her wishes, and as far as is known without any valid grounds for such a move. [TC]

May 05, 2012

May 6-12

Professor Maunaguru: Icon of Indigenous Tamil Culture 

By Thulasi Muttulingam

There was a time in the not too distant history of this country when Tamil culture and arts were appreciated and explored in depth; Post 1983 and the intensification of the war however, all that came to a grinding halt in many parts of the country. As Tamils dispersed both within the country and abroad, the last thing on their minds was the preservation and / or promotion of their arts. [TC]

UNHRC Resolution: Justice and Responsibility Confront Sovereignty, Development and Diplomacy

by Jude Fernando 

Dangerous pride, hatred, and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless cavalries; and men do reverence before false gods of nationalism and materialism. The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.” Martin Luther King Jr. [TC]

Was There any Meaning in Sampanthan’s Act of Waving the national flag in Jaffna? 

By S.L.Gunasekara

The UNP contested the elections for the Eastern Provincial Council under the name and symbol of the SLMC and under the leadership of Hakeem who has been a Minister in the Governments of Kumaratunga, Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa and is presently a Minister in his multitudinous cabinet. [DBSJ]

As Third Anniversary of Armed Conflict draws near Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa speaks out to ‘Business Today’ Magazine 

On May 19, 2012 Sri Lanka celebrates the third year anniversary of the end of the conflict that gripped this country for three decades. The LTTE – the most ruthless terrorist organisation was destroyed by our gallant Armed Forces under the guidance and direction of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the political leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. [DBSJ]

Curfew declared as prelude for massive police crackdown on peaceful protest against Koodankulam Nuclear plant 

By Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy

Curfew orders have just been promulgated in our area once again right after our planning meetings with the youth, women, community elders and the Idinthakarai village committee on May 8, 2012. Thousands of police personnel are being posted in and around Koodankulam in haste. [DBSJ]

The battle she fought in Geneva for the country should not be belittled 

(This is the text of an Editorial titled “Targeting Tamara” which appeared in the “Daily Mirror” of May 7th 2012) The latest turn of events to relocate Ms. Kunanayakam to a Latin American country, when Sri Lanka is heading for another crucial encounter in the UNHRC in August, signals a portentous threat to the country’s chances of surviving another blow. [TC]

Ambassador Kunanayakam unanimously re-elected as Chairperson/Rapporteur of the UN HRC Working Group on the Right to Development 

Only one week after her return from the 13th Session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII) in Doha, where she was elected by acclamation as an Asian Vice-Chair of the Conference and member of the Bureau, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam, was unanimously re-elected, also by acclamation, and in the presence of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, for a second term as Chairperson/Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on the Right to Development. [TC]

The lessons not learnt: The Geneva Debacle of March 2012

By Devanesan Nesiah 

The outcome in Geneva last year (March 2011) of the voting on Sri Lanka’s conduct of the war and related human rights record was very clearly in favour of the Sri Lankan government. [TC]

Sri Lanka: In need of a SRI LANKAN identity 

By Deneth Karunarathne

Since the defeat of the LTTE Sri Lanka as a whole has been looking forward to marching forward. Slowly but swiftly things have started to fall into place. During the ceremonial opening of Parliament on May 19, 2009, President Mahinda Rajapakse declared that the LTTE had been militarily defeated. [TC]

Let the unity among Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims be victorious 

By Nimalka Fernando 

We fully endorse the resolution passed on this May Day affirming the rights of migrant workers. As a woman, I am proud to state that the economy of this country is heavily dependent on female labour. [TC]

President Rajapaksa orders transfer of Tamara Kunanayakam from Geneva to Havana with effect from July 1st 

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Tamara Manimekhalai Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka ’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva has been transferred out from her current station with effect from July 1st 2012.

Ambassador Kunanayakam was sent an official facsimile message from External Affairs Ministy secretary Mr.Karunatilake Amunugama dated May 7th 2012 which informed her that she was being given notice of transfer as Ambassador to Cuba and that she should take up duties in Havana with effect from July 1st 2012. [DBSJ]

People in the North have become inmates of an open air prison

By Dharmasiri Lankapeli

Firstly, at this historic rally I apologise to the people in the North for not being able to address them in the Tamil language, as well as for the inability to provide them my speech in Tamil translation. [TC]

Protesting people on hunger strike against Koodankulam Nuclear Plant: Appeal to Indian Civil Society and International Community

by S.P. Udayakumar

The indefinite hunger strike has been going on for the past 7 days. Some 25 men have been on the fast since May 1 and 302 women and 10 more men have joined the strike on May 4, 2012.

More and more women are eager to join the indefinite hunger strike but because of logistical issues such as space, bedding and toilet facilities, we are not in a position to accommodate them all. [DBSJ]

13th Amendment Concluded Argument on Power Devolution Within a United Sri Lanka Without Revisiting Unitary State Concept 

by N. Sathiya Moorthy

With hopes, if not indications, of an early revival of some form of consultative process on power-devolution in the air in Sri Lanka, there is an accompanying need for contextualising some of the well-entrenched political positions on arguments in the matter. [DBSJ] 

Only Mahinda Rajapaksa matters in his ‘hangers on’ govt of self-seeking ‘yes’ men 

by S. L. Gunasekara

There was a time, not too long ago when even a relatively small increase in prices led to consternation among the public. Thus, an increase of even 10 cents in the price of a gallon [not litre] of petrol; or of 2 or 3 cents in the price of a cigarette made the people throw up their hands in collective horror and seek to cut down on purchases of such commodities. [DBSJ] 

National unity cannot be imposed by National Security 

by Jehan Perera

The dominance of national security considerations in the actions of the government have been highlighted again in the hundreds of detentions that have taken place in recent days in the East, especially in the Trincomalee area. [TC]

The message from the Jaffna May Day Rally from the TNA and for the TNA

by N. Sathiya Moorthy

There is a message from the Jaffna rally, both from the TNA and for the TNA. Sampanthan used the occasion once again, urging the Government to create conducive conditions for the TNA to join the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) mooted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership, for resolving the ethnic issue through a nation-wide political consensus [TC] 

Tamil Nadu leaders have to understand the changes that have taken place in the political firmament of Sri Lanka 

By Col. R. Hariharan

May Day celebrations in Sri Lanka this year saw an unusual sight. R Sampanthan, the septuagenarian leader fighting for Sri Lanka Tamil rights and president of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), standing shoulder to shoulder with the United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, waved a Sri Lanka flag to the cheers of a massive crowd in Jaffna celebrating the May Day. [TC]

Storify: ‘Blessed Wesak to all in Sri Lanka’

 

Dehiwala Wesak Kalapaya [TC]

Order the Armed Forces to stop their atrocious activates against the people 

by Veerasingham Anandasangaree

Text of a letter sent by TULF Secretary-General and former Parliamentarian Veerasingham Anandasangaree to Pressident Mahind Rajapaksa over the recent mass arrests in Trincomalee district

Your Excellency

I refer to the recent incident in Trincomalee in which youth, young girls and elders were arbitrarily and unjustly arrested and a good number of them detained. [DBSJ]

‘We are fighting to save the 2,300 year old Buddhist Heritage that is ours’ 

Ven.Inamaluwe Sumangala Thero Interviewed by Niranjala Ariyawansha

Ven. Inamaluwe Sumangala Thero, the Chief Priest at the Rangiri Dambulla Viharaya was in the forefront in recent times leading a protest at Dambulla to relocate a mosque which was within the sacred Vihara land, disputed by the Muslim fraternity. The issue is yet on the boil and the government has not resolved this sensitive stand off. [DBSJ]

‘I have not Resigned from my Post in Geneva nor is it my Intention to do so’-Tamara Kunanayakam 

An Interview with Namini Wijedasa

On April 28, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris telephoned Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, and instructed her to leave. She was told to choose between Brazil and Cuba for her next posting. [DBSJ]

In a country where both democracy and rule of law are in abeyance development is an impossibility 

By Tisaranee Gunasekara Last week, as the country prepared to celebrate Vesak, treasure-hunters descended on Villachchiya in Anuradhapura. The residents claim that they heard the sound of mechanised digging throughout the night. In the morning they informed the police and ventured out in numbers to catch the nocturnal criminals. [TC]

Regime’s Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism is the main factor providing it mass support

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunararatne

The economic consequences of the decisions made by the Mahinda regime, to satisfy the international money lenders, are becoming intolerable. [TC] 

Camel’s Milk, Cow’s Milk…Lanka Goes the Milky Way! 

by Namini Wijedasa

Not long ago, one of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s little geniuses suggested that Sri Lanka imports camels from the Middle East so that Sri Lankans could drink camel milk. [TC] 

UNP May Day rally in Jaffna was a small but useful step towards building up confidence of Tamil people 

By Javid Yusuf

The UNPs decision to hold its May Day rally in Jaffna was the subject of a number of taunts from its critics. The SLFP rightly claimed that this was made possible by the Government’s achievement in defeating the LTTE. [TC] 

‘People Want us to Unite and Form a UNP Administration as soon as Possible’-Karu Jayasuriya 

by Rathindra Kuruwita

United National Party (UNP) Gampaha district MP Karu Jayasuriya spoke to LAKBIMAnEWS about his participation at the R. Premadasa memorial meeting on May 1, his attempts at maintaining party unity and the display of the LTTE flag during the UNP rally in Jaffna. [TC] 

Sri Lanka plagued by problems and malaises sourced to familial nature of Rajapaksa rule 

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

These are hard times, globally, and Sri Lanka is not immune to the general contagion. The country is struggling with a weak rupee, a falling rate of savings, a huge debt burden, high levels of youth unemployment and bulbous inequality. None of these are signs of a healthy economy or indications of popular wellbeing. [TC] 

From 2012 Vesak onwards Sri Lankans must learn to live together in peace and harmony 

by Tissa Jayatilaka

Two Veask Poyas have come and gone and three years have sped by since May 2009 when the prolonged war with the LTTE ended. [TC]

Vesak Full Moon Poya day: The saga of the Buddhahood 

By Gamini Jayasinghe

Vesak full moon poya day is of special significance to Buddhists due to three main incidents taken place on this day. The last birth of the Bodhisattva took place on a Vesak full moon poya day. [TC]

A Buddhist Monk and child abuse in London

by Dushy Ranetunge in London

This is a personal journey, which has touched our lives deeply and thus I will not pretend that it is an unbiased account. I have changed the names of the persons involved to attempt to safeguard the little privacy that they have. [DBSJ]

Mobs, Monks and the Problems of Political-Buddhism

By Kalana Senaratne

It is always a curious and odd little matter, to witness how even Buddhists become so obsessively attached to ‘sacred’ lands and in protecting them, commit acts seemingly prompted by hatred, delusion and ill-will. [DBSJ]

Let us make Commitment to National Unity and Religious Co-existence During Wesak Season

by Mahinda Rajapaksa

Let us in this Vesak season pave the way to success in this world and the next, by a eschewing all disputes and divisions and making a commitment to national unity and religious co-existence through seeing the true light of Buddhist teaching, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. [DBSJ]