May 20 – 26:

Military scale down necessary in Sri Lanka North and East

In this, the ninth edition of ‘Ask the High Commissioner’ series, High Commissioner H.E . John Rankin also responded to the question, “if there is a need of scale down of military presence in Northern SriLanka”, and pointed that, “there needs to be a scaling down of the military presence in the North and East of Sri Lanka.” [TW]

Sarath Fonseka: Historic confluence of twin processes

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The “release” of General Sarath Fonseka Former Army commander and erstwhile contender for the 2010 Presidential stakes from jail due to remission of his prison sentences by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has infused fresh excitement into the Sri Lankan Political scenario. [DBSJ]

International action urged to provide accountability in Sri Lanka

Remembering the Third Anniversary of the End of the Civil War in Sri Lanka

Excerpts from speech by Hon. Jean Schmidt of Ohio in The House of Representatives, Friday May 18, 2012: [TW]

Credible Sri Lanka plan of action on LLRC yet to be determined

Excerpts of speech by Hon. Michael G. Grimm of New York in The House of Representatives, Friday May 18, 2012: [TW]

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]

January 23

In pictures: Tsunami – looking back [BBC News]

The BBC’s Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai has travelled widely through Sri Lanka in recent weeks witnessing the devastation wrought on her country by December’s Indian Ocean tsunami.

This small selection of her photographs gives some indication of the task ahead for those who survived. [BBC]

Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai:

Journalism is more passion than profession.

How easy is it to be a female Journalist in Asia, especially a war ravaged country like Sri Lanka? Working for eleven years a Journalist, I have witnessed people suffering and seen fellow Journalists paying
the price for covering the war in the recent past. Many Journalists
have lost their lives, some left the country while others live in fear. Do you want to challenge yourself as I do?

The special charm of Palani

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THIS GOD of Love, beauty and knowledge has been exerting His charm on millions of people in South India The word Muruga is derived from the Tamil word `Murugu’ which means honey, beauty, fragrance and eternal youth. He is handsome, brilliant, elegant and enchanting. He symbolises valour, youthfulness, benevolence and compassion. [Hindu]