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]