What If Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been Attacked by Pro-LTTE Elements in Malaysia?

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Sri Lankans were shocked and disturbed in the first week of September by two violent incidents directed against a Buddhist prelate and a senior diplomat in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur(KL). In the first incident on Saturday September 3rd the chief Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia – Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera was attacked opposite the Buddhist Temple at Sentul in KL. This incident however was of a minor nature. In a more serious incident on Sunday September 4th , Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Malaysia Ibrahim Sahib Ansar was assaulted within the precincts of the Kuala Lumpur International AirportKIA). As is well known, the suspected assailants in both instances were members of the neo-fascist political outfit known as the “Naam Thamizhar Katchi (We Tamils Party) in Malaysia.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa at IACPP~Sep 2016

President Mahinda Rajapaksa at IACPP~Sep 2016

What must not be lost sight of in this regard is the salient fact that none of the victims were the intended targets of the perpetrators of violence initially. The real target of the neo-fascist Tamil thugs was none other than former President and current Kurunegala district MP, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Tamil groups campaigning against the entry of Mahinda into Malaysia had initially gone in search of the ex-president to both the Buddhist temple and the International airport. Though the Buddhist monk was manhandled and the High commissioner was assaulted they were not the original targets of the mobs. The real target of the “We Tamil” elements -wearing black tee-shirts with images of a tiger and Veluppillai Prabhakaran the former Leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) – was Mahinda Rajapaksa who is described by his detractors as a “war criminal”. It is felt that the violence directed at the Maha Thera and High Commissioner were to a great extent “side effects” of the Anti- Mahinda campaign. Ironically Mahinda Rajapaksa the real target was unscathed but the Thera and Envoy became victims of violence.
Continue reading ‘What If Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been Attacked by Pro-LTTE Elements in Malaysia?’ »

“Choice Words May Have Come out of my Mouth when Kamal Gunaratne was Behaving in a Childish Manner” – Sarath Fonseka in Interview

By
Priyantha Kodippily

Taking credit for the outcome of the war is continuing and with the launch of a book by Maj. Gen. Kamal Guneratne recently, the war victory has once again taken centrestage. In reply to our queries about Maj. Gen. Guneratne’s war effort as narrated in his book, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who was the Army Commander at that time, had this to share with us.


Q Victory has many sons, so they say. In our country from time to time many people have claimed responsibility for the war victory. Recently Major General Kamal Gunaratne published a book on the war. So far there have been many such books and this book is also one among them.

A;Kamal Gunaratne was one of the commanding officers of one battalion out of fifteen others, who were at the war front. His battalion was based from the beginning in Muhamale security cordon. It was I, who took him out of it and deployed for assault attack. He cannot move from place to place with his battalion on his own. I took them to forward assault attacks on January 2, 2009 after we wrested control of Kilinochchi.

Three-fourth of his book contains his past. It was I who entrusted him with a battalion. At that time there was a disciplinary action pending against him. Forgetting that temporarily, I assigned him the battalion, which he led from January to March.

Continue reading ‘“Choice Words May Have Come out of my Mouth when Kamal Gunaratne was Behaving in a Childish Manner” – Sarath Fonseka in Interview’ »

Wigneswarans and Gammanpilas are a Deadly Mix in the Lunatic Fringes of Political Spectrum

By
Lakdev Liyanagama

A protest campaign led by Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran last Saturday has attracted attention both in the North and South of the country, sparking speculation of a rise in Tamil extremism yet again, even as the government grapples with the delicate process of addressing the grievances of all ethnic groups while drafting a new Constitution.

Wigneswaran took the lead in staging ‘Eluga Thamil’ (‘Rise, Tamils’) in Jaffna last Saturday. Shops were closed and public transport came to a near standstill for the protest campaign which commenced with a march and ended with a public rally in Muttraveli. Fortunately, despite the inflammatory rhetoric, the campaign was incident free.

Addressing the rally, Wigneswaran said that the campaign was neither against the Sinhalese, Buddhism, the government nor the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), but it was a protest to press for solutions to the problems faced by the Tamil community.

Continue reading ‘Wigneswarans and Gammanpilas are a Deadly Mix in the Lunatic Fringes of Political Spectrum’ »

Primary Dealer Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Enjoys Capital Gains of 5.2 Billion Rs(580%) From “Bond Trading” During Year


Primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., which figured in the controversial bond trading that triggered an uproar in financial markets and political circles, has reported a staggering after tax profit of Rs. 5.1 billion, up by over 400% in the financial year ended 31 March 2016.

As per published accounts, the company has reported net interest income of Rs. 354 million against Rs. 106 million in FY15.

However, it has enjoyed capital gains of Rs. 5.2 billion from bond trading during the year, up by 580% from a year earlier.

The company, like many primary dealers, enjoys tax-free status, a development which critics are likely to question following reports of Perpetual’s stellar profits.

Continue reading ‘Primary Dealer Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Enjoys Capital Gains of 5.2 Billion Rs(580%) From “Bond Trading” During Year’ »

Desperate Tactics of Wigneswaran in North is Fuelling Racist Sentiments of Rajapaksa gang in the South – JVP

By Niranjala Ariyawansha

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Tuesday accused Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran of nourishing and triggering a possible racist backlash against Tamils in the South with his ‘wake up’ call to Tamils in Jaffna last week.

The JVP said Wigneswaran was resorting to desperate tactics because he has run out of strings to clutch at and in his desperation was only fuelling the sentiments of the racist Rajapaksa gang of the South.

General Secretary of the JVP, Tilvin Silva, speaking at a media briefing at the JVP headquarters Tuesday, said,”What happens is that Wigneswaran’s statement nourishes racist groups in the South. Even the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)has expressed their opposition to that statement. We strongly condemn that statement of Wigneswaran.”

Continue reading ‘Desperate Tactics of Wigneswaran in North is Fuelling Racist Sentiments of Rajapaksa gang in the South – JVP’ »

Sinhalese,Tamils and Muslims Must Unite Against Wigneswaran who is Trying to Revitalise LTTE Remnants in the North – Ajith Perera

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims of Sri Lanka must unite against Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, who is trying to revitalize the dying remnants of the LTTE in the North, Deputy Minister of Power, Ajith P. Perera said.

Addressing a group of United National Party (UNP) supporters in Bandaragama, Perera said Wigneswaran has no concern for the needs of the average citizen of the North.

Continue reading ‘Sinhalese,Tamils and Muslims Must Unite Against Wigneswaran who is Trying to Revitalise LTTE Remnants in the North – Ajith Perera’ »

Enhanced Devolution will Automatically Transfer More Power to Chief Minister Wigneswaran and his “Genocide Jockeys” of the Northern Provincial Council.

By
Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

You’ve heard of the “We Tamils” (who beat up High Commissioner Ansar). Now we have the “E-Tamils”–the “Eluga/Ezhuga Tamils” (or simply Eelam Tamils?). They shut down Jaffna, took over its streets, raucously demanding federalism, an international investigation and cleansing of the army and Sinhala Buddhist symbolism/presence from the North (thereby turning it into a mono-ethnic enclave).

Meanwhile the smooth operators Suma-Sam-Sara-Suren canvass federalism and an internationalized ‘war crimes’ investigation in the corridors of Colombo and Western capitals.

Quasi-federalism or enhanced devolution will automatically transfer more power to Chief Wiggy and his “genocide jockeys” of the Northern Provincial Council, who will eclipse Sampanthan.

The next Northern Chief Minister could be far worse than ex-Supreme Court judge Wiggy. It’s not the person, it’s the place. The place changes the person(s).

Continue reading ‘Enhanced Devolution will Automatically Transfer More Power to Chief Minister Wigneswaran and his “Genocide Jockeys” of the Northern Provincial Council.’ »

Informing Media that Ranil will Question UNP MP’s who went with President to US is an Attack on Maithripala


By

Upul Joseph Fernando

An incident of curiosity took place during the meeting between the Secretary of State of USA John Kerry and President Maithripala Sirisena in New York America. Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal who participated in this meeting, sent a note to John Kerry. Kerry who read the note asked Maithri about the situation of the UNP-SLFP National Government.

If Maithri had a doubt as to why Nisha Biswal sent a note to Kerry requesting him to ask about the National Government, it is justified. However, it would have been Mangala and Ranil who were really happy about Nisha Biswal’s note.

The reason is that Ranil was disturbed about the United National Party (UNP) parliamentarians who had gone to America with Maithripala. There is no doubt that Ranil would have been suspicious regarding the fact that his Members of Parliament had gone to New York without informing either him or his assistant. In the face of accusations targetting Ranil that he is using Mahinda in an attempt to divide the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) it is possible that Ranil could believe that Maithripala is attempting to get UNP parliamentarians to turn towards him.

Anyhow, there is no doubt that the news that Ranil’s faction was going to question the UNP Members of Parliament who went with Maithri would have succeeded in perturbing Maithri. That news item was definitely an attack on Maithri. If the UNP parliamentarians had gone to New York with Maithri without telling Ranil, this problem should have been discussed between Ranil and Maithri and settled. However, telling the media this has shown not only the country but the international community that there is a huge conflict between the two.

Continue reading ‘Informing Media that Ranil will Question UNP MP’s who went with President to US is an Attack on Maithripala’ »

India has not set Time Frame to Sign Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement with Sri Lanka says Nirmala Sitharaman

By P.K.Balachandran

India’s Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Tuesday, that India has not given any time frame for negotiating an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with Sri Lanka, although the Sri Lankan government would like it to be signed by December this year.

The visiting Minister told the media after talks with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Minister for International Trade and Strategic Development Malik Samarawickrama and other ministers, that ETCA will have to be negotiated in great detail, addressing all issues of concern to each of the two parties to the satisfaction of both.

India would like ETCA to be signed, but will not give it a time frame, she said. She placed emphasis on the need for an agreement which is based on the full trust of the two parties.

Continue reading ‘India has not set Time Frame to Sign Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement with Sri Lanka says Nirmala Sitharaman’ »

India to Invest Two Billion Dollars in Sri Lanka Within next 3 to 4 Years Announces Visiting Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.


By

Meera Srinivasan

India will invest $2 billion in Sri Lanka in the next three-four years, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.

India will invest $2 billion in Sri Lanka in the next three-four years, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.

Ms. Sitharaman, who was here for talks on the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), called on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and later met senior Ministers to discuss the terms of the agreement.

Continue reading ‘India to Invest Two Billion Dollars in Sri Lanka Within next 3 to 4 Years Announces Visiting Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.’ »

Body of Slain “The Sunday Leader”Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge Exhumed for Fresh Autopsy with Three Journalists as Witnesses

By Dharisha Bastians

The body of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was exhumed for a fresh autopsy yesterday, nearly eight years after he was brutally slain on the streets of the capital at the height of the war.

Swarms of police personnel hovered over the gravesite in a corner of the Borella Cemetery which was in lockdown during the exhumation process which concluded at noon.

White and blue tents were erected in front of Wickrematunge’s grave, for a magistrate and plainclothes police personnel to inspect the exhumation by forensic investigators.

Colombo Additional Magistrate Mohammed Mihal oversaw the exhumation which took place behind a curtain of black plastic to shield the proceedings from the street outside the cemetery fence.

Proceedings halted briefly after police spotted a drone camera and tried to locate the controller of the remote device which was flying over the open gravesite during the exhumation.

Continue reading ‘Body of Slain “The Sunday Leader”Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge Exhumed for Fresh Autopsy with Three Journalists as Witnesses’ »

UPFA and UNP General Secretaries Amaraweera and Hashim Condemn Wigneswaran for Arousing Communal Passions and Damaging Reconciliation Efforts

The government totally condemns the conduct of Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaren’s attempts to damage the ongoing reconciliation efforts by arousing communal passions in the North, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister and UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said.

Addressing a meeting which followed the opening of a new storeyed building at Debokkawa Maha Vidyalaya, Hambantota, he said attempts made to create division and disunity in the country by raising communalism and issuing various statements to such effect during a time when the government was earnestly involved in promoting unity, reconciliation and communal harmony could never be condoned.

Continue reading ‘UPFA and UNP General Secretaries Amaraweera and Hashim Condemn Wigneswaran for Arousing Communal Passions and Damaging Reconciliation Efforts’ »

Gammanpila Wants Wigneswaran Arrested for Misusing Northern Provinciak Council Personnel and Vehicles to Organize “Ezhugha Thamizh” (Rise Tamil)Rally in Jaffna

By

Lahiru Pothmulla

Opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila said today he was looking forward for the arrest of Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, who spearheaded a demonstration called ‘Eluga Tamil’ (Let Tamils Rise) by violating the Public Property Act.

He accused the Chief Minister of misusing his letterhead and deploying employees and vehicles of the Council in the demonstration held on Saturday in Jaffna urging a federal solution to the national question among several other demands.

The demonstrators demanded an end to militarization and Sinhala colonization in the so-called Tamil homelands.

Mr. Gammanpila told a news conference held at the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) office that for the first time, a Tamil separatist demonstration was held in the country with the backing of the State.

Continue reading ‘Gammanpila Wants Wigneswaran Arrested for Misusing Northern Provinciak Council Personnel and Vehicles to Organize “Ezhugha Thamizh” (Rise Tamil)Rally in Jaffna’ »

Was High Court Judge Shiran Gunaratne’s Telephones Tapped and E-mails Hacked by the Police CID?


Veteran lawyer Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, President’s Counsel, who has been openly criticising attempts at intimidation of the judiciary, has complained to the Bar Council over the weekend of an alleged instance of a “worst kind of judicial interference” whereby the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) bugged the telephones of a senior judge and also hacked his personal email.

While the Bar Council, at its meeting, Chaired by Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) President Geoffrey Alagaratnam, was discussing the question of character assassination of judges by some websites and a section of the print media Warnakulasuriya, quoting a reliable source, stated that following a media report well in advance that the Trial-at-Bar hearing the case against the killers of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, would acquit the accused, with the innuendo that a certain judge was partisan or had been bought over by the accused, the judge’s telephones including his official telephone and his registrar’s telephone in the office, had been tapped.

Thereafter, according to Warnakulasuriya, when the presiding judge at the Trial-at-Bar Shiran Gunarathne decided to acquit the accused, abuse and scorn were heaped on him by some websites.

Continue reading ‘Was High Court Judge Shiran Gunaratne’s Telephones Tapped and E-mails Hacked by the Police CID?’ »

Body of Slain”The Sunday Leader” Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge to be Exhumed Today(Sep 27th 2016)

By Dharisha Bastians and Chamodi Gunewardane

The body of Lasantha Wickrematunge, the slain editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, will be exhumed at the Borella Cemetery today for a fresh autopsy to determine the exact cause of his death in 2009.

The exhumation request was put forward to the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court by the CID earlier this month, after CID sleuths told court that their latest investigations had led to suspicions that Wickrematunge had not died from gunshot wounds as reported in 2011.

Two post-mortems conducted into the senior journalist’s death were contradictory, with one claiming the editor had died of gunshot wounds while the other found no evidence of a shooting on Wickrematunge’s person, the CID told court.

On 8 September, the Magistrate ordered the exhumation to take place before a judge on 27 September. Since the exhumation order was issued, Wickrematunge’s gravesite in the Borella cemetery has been under police protection to ensure the remains are undisturbed.

Colombo Additional Magistrate Mohamed Mihal will inspect the exhumation proceedings at the gravesite today(Sep 27).

Continue reading ‘Body of Slain”The Sunday Leader” Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge to be Exhumed Today(Sep 27th 2016)’ »

Re-defining Racism and Identifying Top Five “New” Racists in Sri Lanka

By

Eranda Ginige

When asked from Morgan Freeman (not Nelson Mandela) “how are we going to get rid of racism?” he answered in his god-voice “by not talking about it”.

People use racism senselessly and often as a weapon to silence others with different views, therefore has lost its real power. Calling somebody a racist is the easiest way to silence them. If you don’t like what the other person is saying and you know you can’t disprove them with facts, just call him or her a racist, you instantly win the argument.

From petty Facebook feuds to parliamentary debates, it’s an overly used tactic. While you are at it, you may also add words like sexist, xenophobic, homophobic and Islamophobic. You don’t need to know what they actually mean. Just go for the kill.

A racist is somebody who believes their group is better than another group of people. Traditionally, that distinction was based on a combination of biological, geographical and social-economical constructs attributed at birth or acquired later. Your skin colour, facial features, location of birth, parents’ occupation, language, religious beliefs, customs, traditions and the list goes on.

Continue reading ‘Re-defining Racism and Identifying Top Five “New” Racists in Sri Lanka’ »

Clarification Issued by Northern Provincial Council Leader of the Opposition S. Thavaraja About Post on dbsjeyaraj.com Blog

Dear Mr. D. B. S. Jeyaraj,

Article Titled: EPDP Motion in NPC Wanting Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s Intervention in “Uduvil Issue” Denied by TNA Councillors

I wish to draw your attention to an article that appeared in DBSJEYARAJ.COM on the 24th of September 2016 under the above caption written by Dharisha Bastians. This is a reproduction of an article written by her in the Financial Times.

The Article inter-alia states as follows: “The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on Thursday denied an opposition motion requesting Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to intervene in the Uduvil Girls’ College crisis, where students and parents have been protesting against the appointment of a new principal for the school.”

I have not brought any motion in the NPC on that date with regard to “Uduvil Girls’ College” as stated in the article. A motion, according to the standing order of the council, after the debate by the members has to be either approved or rejected by the council.

Continue reading ‘Clarification Issued by Northern Provincial Council Leader of the Opposition S. Thavaraja About Post on dbsjeyaraj.com Blog’ »

Prominent Journalist Kunda Dixit who Founded “Nepal Center for Investigative Journalism” now in Self-exile to Avoid Arrest

KATHMANDU, Nepal: A prominent local journalist who helped organize a gathering in Nepal of investigative reporters from throughout Asia was notably absent from the event, exiled to avoid possible arrest.

Journalist and publisher Kunda Dixit, who founded the Nepal Center for Investigative Journalism, is under investigation by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority.

Global Investigative Journalism Network executive director David Kaplan, who worked with Dixit for more than a year to bring more than 350 journalists from 50 countries to Nepal this weekend, said Dixit is being targeted for prosecution and detention by Nepali officials, underscoring broader concerns about press freedom.

“He fled Nepal just weeks before this conference because of a witch hunt in which he’s scared of being detained and imprisoned if he comes back here,” said Kaplan. “Kunda is one of our best and we are here because of him. We are all going to continue fighting for what Kunda believes in.”

Continue reading ‘Prominent Journalist Kunda Dixit who Founded “Nepal Center for Investigative Journalism” now in Self-exile to Avoid Arrest’ »

Will Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Split the TNA and ITAK and Form his Own Political Party?

By P.K.Balachandran

The “Ezhuga Tamizh” rally and general strike which were organized in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province on Saturday, represent a jockeying for power and position in Tamil nationalist politics rather than a genuine attempt to find a realistic and sustainable solution to the Tamil question, say independent observers of the North Sri Lankan political scene.

Scholarly and far sighted observers like writer Sivarasa Karunagaran and researchers Rajan Hoole and Ahilan Kadirgamar, fear that such attempts at mobilizing the Tamil masses on sensitive ethnic issues without thinking through the consequences, could take Sri Lanka back to the era of sharp and violent ethno-politics ,which as in the past, had only lead the Tamils to destruction sans any achievement.

The organizers of “Ezhuga Tamizh” the Tamil Peoples’ Council (TPC), had waxed eloquent about being a movement to being about the unity of Tamils cutting across party lines. But in reality, the TPC made no attempt to take into confidence the moderate Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), the main party in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which also has the largest number of Sri Lankan Tamil members in parliament and the Northern Provincial Council (NPC).

Continue reading ‘Will Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Split the TNA and ITAK and Form his Own Political Party?’ »

When Asked About Wigneswaran Led TPC Rally in Jaffna, TNA and Opposition Leader Sampanthan Says “People are Entitled to their Democratic Expression”

By

Meera Srinivasan

Thousands of Tamils on Saturday participated in a rally in Jaffna, led by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.

Thousands of Tamils on Saturday participated in a rally in Jaffna, led by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, drawing attention to “Sinhala colonisation” and “rampant militarisation” of Sri Lanka’s North and East.

The rally, titled Eluka Tamil [Rise, Tamil!], was organised by the Tamil People’s Council (TPC), an organisation that Mr. Wigneswaran heads. A host of Tamil political parties, including some constituents of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), participated.

Continue reading ‘When Asked About Wigneswaran Led TPC Rally in Jaffna, TNA and Opposition Leader Sampanthan Says “People are Entitled to their Democratic Expression”’ »

Bill Purporting to Amend Code of Criminal Procedure Act Takes Away the Existing Rights of Suspects Detained by Police

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

It is unfortunate that a Bill purporting to amend Sri Lanka’s Code of Criminal Procedure Act made public this week takes away existing rights to suspects detained by the police through constitutional precedents.

Torture is at the early stages

This is in relation to a suspect’s right to consult a lawyer of his or her choice at the earliest point after arrest. The amendment purports to give that right only after a suspect has been interrogated by the police and statements recorded. This is manifestly unacceptable at several levels.

For years, the demand by advocates had been to liberally interpret Article 13(3) of the Constitution which states that “‘any person charged with an offence shall be entitled to be heard, in person or by an attorney-at-law, at a fair trial by a competent court.” As criminal law practitioners are aware, long before glamorous notions of constitutional rights gripped our collective imagination, these same rights had been secured in a solid body of jurisprudence which was developed quietly and without much fanfare by Sri Lanka’s appellate court judges in relation to accepted criminal procedures.

Much of these safeguards were however displaced by national security laws to the point of negation.

Continue reading ‘Bill Purporting to Amend Code of Criminal Procedure Act Takes Away the Existing Rights of Suspects Detained by Police’ »

Muslim Women in Sri Lanka Fighting Back Against Unfair Marriage Laws

By

Smriti Daniel

Since 2014, Hasanah Cegu Isadeen has met with and interviewed some 700 Sri Lankan Muslim women. A lawyer, independent researcher and activist, Cegu is haunted by the stories she has heard.

She has met women who were married as young as 12 and forced into sex by their adult partners before they had even attained puberty. One woman described to Cegu how she was married off against her will. Plucked off the playground, she was dressed and carried to the marriage hall by her guardians. “I screamed and protested, and no one listened,” she told Cegu. “The ceremony went on. At night, I cried, I screamed, and that man was on me. No one came.”

Another woman recalled fighting her husband’s decision to take another wife. In retaliation, the man put out a burning beedi on the stomach of his three-year-old daughter. A quazi court – a religious court, based on the Muslim law Shariah, of which the quazi is judge – later refused to make him pay maintenance.

Continue reading ‘Muslim Women in Sri Lanka Fighting Back Against Unfair Marriage Laws’ »

Sobhitha and Ratana Theras Out! Champika – Nishantha Clique Grabs Absolute Control of Jathika Hela Urumaya.

By Niranjala Ariyawansha

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) whose advent into national politics also heralded the entree of Buddhist Monks to mainstream politics in the country, took a U-turn at the Party’s 13th Convention in Colombo yesterday with the Champika-Nishantha gang grabbing absolute control of the party.

The JHU Central Committee had taken steps to bring in some major changes at the 13th Convention held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium and unpredictably Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera who has led the party for the past 13 years relinquished leadership.

Adding to the dramatic turn in events the Convention witnessed Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera being stripped of the Party’s Chairmanship. He had been Party Chairman since its inception. His ouster brings the curtain down on the prolonged cold war between him and Minister Champika Ranawaka who was the Party’s General Secretary.

Continue reading ‘Sobhitha and Ratana Theras Out! Champika – Nishantha Clique Grabs Absolute Control of Jathika Hela Urumaya.’ »

3000 to 5000 People Took Part in “Ezhugha Thamizh” (Arise Tamil) Rally Held Outside the Jaffna Fort-New Indian Express

By PK Balachandran

The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, on Saturday gave a clarion call for a people’s movement to raise issues pertaining to the Tamil people and thereby strengthen the hands of their elected representatives.

Speaking at the “Ezhuga Tamizh” (Tamils Arise) rally at Jaffna, Wigneswaran said that the problems of the Tamil people cannot be solved just by getting elected to parliament or the provincial councils. They can be solved only by a people’s movement. Elected representatives cannot deliver the goods unless backed by a peoples’ movement, he said.

Wigneswaran said that he agreed to co-chair the Tamil People’s Council (TPC) because he saw the need for a non-partisan peoples’ forum to discuss and highlight the common problems of the Tamils. The “Ezhuga Tamizh’ rally and movement also have the objective of creating an awareness of the Tamils’ problems among the Tamils, the Sinhalese majority, and the international community.

Continue reading ‘3000 to 5000 People Took Part in “Ezhugha Thamizh” (Arise Tamil) Rally Held Outside the Jaffna Fort-New Indian Express’ »

Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi Versus TPC, PLOTE, EPRLF, EPDP, TULF, TELO and TNPF in Jaffna over “Arise Tamil” Rally

By
P.K.Balachandran

The Tamil Peoples’ Council’s call for an “Ezhuga Tamizh” (Tamils Arise) rally and a general strike in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces on Saturday, will test the support base of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), the dominant party in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

The Tamil Peoples’ Council (TPC), which is led by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran, is joined by the all the other parties in the TNA, such as the Eelam Peoples’ Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) led by Suresh Premachandarn; Peoples’ Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) led by D.Siddharthan; and Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization(TELO) led by Srikantha.

Also on the bandwagon are non-TNA parties like Eelam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP) led by Douglas Devananda; Tamil Eelam Liberation Front (TULF) led by V.Anandasangaree; and Tamil National Peoples‘ Front (TNPF) led by Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam.

Continue reading ‘Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi Versus TPC, PLOTE, EPRLF, EPDP, TULF, TELO and TNPF in Jaffna over “Arise Tamil” Rally’ »

EPDP Motion in NPC Wanting Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s Intervention in “Uduvil Issue” Denied by TNA Councillors

By Dharisha Bastians

The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on Thursday denied an opposition motion requesting Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to intervene in the Uduvil Girls’ College crisis, where students and parents have been protesting against the appointment of a new principal for the school.

The Uduvil school crisis was raised at the NPC just hours before retiring headmistress Shiranee Mills formally vacated the principal’s bungalow inside the school premises.

Mills handed over her keys to the bungalow and left the premises last afternoon, Daily FT learns, signalling that the crisis at the church-administered elite girls’ school was finally reaching its end.

Continue reading ‘EPDP Motion in NPC Wanting Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s Intervention in “Uduvil Issue” Denied by TNA Councillors’ »

Climate of Bankruptcy Where no Thought is Given to how the Tamils Would get out of the Mess They are In

By

Rajan Hoole

A. Rajasingham

A. Rajasingham

After nightfall on 21st September 1989, Rajasingam Master called on his bicycle at my mother’s home quite unexpectedly and delivered his pithy message, “Rajini has been shot.” His voice showed no evident emotion. After a brief exchange of words, he turned back. He was stoic, incorruptible, who lived by his strong sense of duty. Master, his wife MahilaAcca, and their daughters, Nirmala, Rajini, Sumathy and Vasuki were familiar to us from childhood days in the St. James’ Church choir. Had Master been more ambitious during his university days, he would have left his mark as an outstanding mathematician in our university. What he did as a school master at Hartley and Jaffna College was no less important. His zeal for catching hold of students who seemed to be in need of inspiration and getting them to work Mathematics problems remained a passion with him to the end of his life.

As a man called upon to manage church and school finances, he remained sharp and knew well the foibles of those he worked with. Having stuck on in Jaffna through times that saw the worst of moral and physical turpitude, he saw through people and their hypocrisy and opportunism, but kept things to himself. At best a wry smile might have escaped him. Whenever he undertook a commitment, he carried it through to the end and brooked no interference. As a trade union man, not only did he take up the cases of three teachers dismissed from St. John’s College in the late 1960s, against strong pressure from the Church, but did the impossible in ferreting out the money to meet the legal fees, using his knowledge of miscellaneous accounts.

Rajasingam Master’s personality would have been impoverished, but for Mahila, a superb classical pianist, singer and violinist in both the Western and Carnatic traditions. She trained choirs and during the war years, taught English Literature to Advanced Level students at Chundikuli Girls’ College. Despite these graces and accomplishments, she was not the withdrawn housewife. Her combative no-nonsense approach could be seen in her daughters. The word that one most readily associates with the Rajasingams, is Quality. Ben Bavink of Vaddukkottai and Amsterdam, a close friend of the Rajasingams, about a year after Rajini’s death presented to me his copy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ‘Letters and Papers from Prison’, which has the words, “Nobility springs from and thrives on self-sacrifice and courage…it demands a recovery of a lost sense of quality and of a social order based upon quality. Quality is the bitterest enemy of conceit in all its forms.”

Bonhoeffer, a prisoner of the Nazi regime, was thinking of recovery of quality in a post fascist society, the kind of society we are in now. A dominant feature of loss of quality is puruda– a word close to chicanery and farce, whose meaning in Tamil has been enriched through association with Tamil life and society during especially the fascist period (1986 – 2010), particularly when reverence was demanded under threat for the horrific and ridiculous. The Rajasingams were sticklers for quality and the ability of a society to lift itself back to quality depends on the presence of families strongly rooted in it. Rajini was killed because she would not compromise with puruda in politics that claimed the divine right to purify the ‘nation’ through murder.

The war being over, farce has assumed the dominant role in puruda. Why do our leaders who had the best of education and held responsible public office, feel impelled to praise the LTTE leader as a great man of genius and commitment, who failed to liberate the Tamils only because of traitors in our midst? Why not tell the truth that the ‘genocide’ at Mullivaykkal owed as much to the missiles of the Sri Lankan forces as to senior Tamil leaders lying to the world that the people held hostage by the LTTE were staying with them of their own free will and devotion?Why do these bankrupts lie about Thileepan who, under the watchful eye of the Leader’s men,thirsted to an excruciating death, as showing most nobly the Gandhian way of Ahimsa; when many ordinary members of the public who witnessed the event spontaneously exclaimed, ‘They killed him’?

Continue reading ‘Climate of Bankruptcy Where no Thought is Given to how the Tamils Would get out of the Mess They are In’ »

International Monetary Fund Wont Disburse 168. 1 Million US Dollars to Lanka Until Parliament Authorises Enhanced Value Added Tax Bill

By Paneetha Ameresekere

The IMF’s second tranche of US$ 168.1 million will not be disbursed until the enhancement in the VAT rate is authorized by Parliament.

This was indicated to reporters by IMF’s Mission Chief to Sri Lanka Jaewoo Lee at a media conference in Colombo yesterday. Government’s bid to increase the VAT rate by four percentage points to 15% was twice stalled by the Supreme Court (SC) recently which said government had not following proper procedures when forwarding such a Bill to the Legislature.

Cabinet however, recently approved the restructured VAT (Amendment) Bill which is yet to be tabled in Parliament.

Continue reading ‘International Monetary Fund Wont Disburse 168. 1 Million US Dollars to Lanka Until Parliament Authorises Enhanced Value Added Tax Bill’ »

Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission Opposes Proposed Amendment to Criminal Procedure Code Restricting Access to Lawyers by Suspects

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) says that the proposed amendment to Criminal Procedure Code will severely undermine constitutionally guaranteed rights of people.

A senior spokesperson for the HRCSL told The Island that the proposed amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act was meant to deprive suspects access to lawyers until their statements were recorded violated the rights already guaranteed by the State under rules made by the Inspector General of Police under the Police Ordinance.

The HRCSL has requested the UNP-SLFP coalition to withdraw the controversial amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure and to continue to recognise and enhance the rights of suspects to have access to their lawyers.

The spokesperson made available to The Island a copy of the letter HRCSL Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama has sent to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with copies to Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC and Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake.

The following is the full text of the missive:

“The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is gravely concerned, that the Bill published in the Gazette on the 12th of August 2016, proposing to amend the Criminal Procedure Code, will deprive suspects arrested and detained by the Police of access to Attorneys-at-law, prior to the recording their statement, and will adversely impact on the constitutionally guaranteed rights of persons including the citizens of Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission Opposes Proposed Amendment to Criminal Procedure Code Restricting Access to Lawyers by Suspects’ »

Assault on Sri Lankan High Commissioner Ansar in Kuala Lumpur Airport by Malaysian “We Tamils/Naam Thamizhar”

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

An official Ambassador is defined as a diplomat of the highest rank accredited to a foreign Govt as the resident representative of his or her own country. The equivalent designation to an Ambassador among Commonwealth Nations is the High Commissioner. Since an Ambassador or High Commissioner is the premier representative of his or her country any honour bestowed upon him or her in the host country is a respect afforded to the envoy’s country. Likewise any insult or injury caused to a High Commissioner or Ambassador is an affront to the envoy’s own country. It is in this context that the recent assault on Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, His Excellency Ibrahim Sahib Ansar at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport by a gang belonging to the “We Tamils Party” has to be viewed and condemned.

Lankan Envoy Ansar & CCTV Security Camera Footage of the insident

Lankan Envoy Ansar & CCTV Security Camera Footage of the insident

September 4th 2016 being a Sunday was a holiday but not so for Lankan envoy in Malaysia Ibrahim Sahib Ansar. He and his loyal staffers at the Sri Lankan mission in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur(KL) in accordance with protocol requirements were busy catering to the arrival and departure of Sri Lankan cabinet ministers to and from Malaysia. Industry and Commerce minister Rishad Bathiyudeen was to arrive in the morning to participate at the annual Pangkor International Development Dialogue(PIDD). Minister of Primary Industries Daya Gamage and Deputy Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Anoma Gamage along with two Sri Lankan MP’s were scheduled to depart in the afternoon. They were returning after attending the 9th International Conference of Asian Political Parties(ICAPP)held in Kuala Lumpur.
Continue reading ‘Assault on Sri Lankan High Commissioner Ansar in Kuala Lumpur Airport by Malaysian “We Tamils/Naam Thamizhar”’ »

TNA Chief Minister Wigneswaran Urges Tamils to Join “Ezhuga Thamizh”(Arise Tamil)Mass protest in Jaffna

By Dharisha Bastians

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has urged Tamil people to participate in a demonstration scheduled in Jaffna tomorrow, to oppose the systematic settlement of Sinhalese people in the Tamil dominated region and the erection of Buddhist statues in an area devoid of Buddhist devotees.

“Tamil speaking brothers and sisters, I urge you to participate in the Ezhuga Tamil demonstration,” a letter by Chief Minister Wigneswaran that was published on Wednesday said.

The Tamil People’s Council (TPC) led by Chief Minister Wigneswaran is leading the ‘Ezhuga Tamil’ (Arise Tamil!) demonstration, which has also garnered the support of the EPRLF and PLOTE – both constituent members of the Tamil National Alliance – and the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) led by Gajen Ponnambalam. EPDP Leader Douglas Devananda is also leading support for the rally.

Continue reading ‘TNA Chief Minister Wigneswaran Urges Tamils to Join “Ezhuga Thamizh”(Arise Tamil)Mass protest in Jaffna’ »

UNP led Coalition Govt has Given 255 Million Rupees Tax Rebate to Avant Garde Maritime Services Alleges JVP in Parliament

By Kushan Subasinghe

Parliament was told yesterday that the ruling UNP-led coalition had given major tax rebates to Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS) under investigation by different agencies, including the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC).

The revelation was made by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene assured that the government would look into the matter and inform Parliament of its findings.

Continue reading ‘UNP led Coalition Govt has Given 255 Million Rupees Tax Rebate to Avant Garde Maritime Services Alleges JVP in Parliament’ »

CSI Bishop Daniel Thiyagarajah to Launch Impartial Probe into Alleged Attacks on Protesting Uduvil Girs College Students

By Dharisha Bastians

Head of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI), Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah has promised an impartial inquiry into allegations of attacks against students demanding an extension of service for a retiring headmistress at an elite girl’s school in Jaffna.

The Uduvil Girls’ College, a private school managed by the JDCSI has been in the eye of a storm since the beginning of this month, after past pupils, students and a group of parents cried foul over the appointment of a new principal and what they referred to as the ‘forcible retirement’ of outgoing headmistress, Shiranee Mills.

Past pupils and parents claim that the protesting students were attacked by several members of the staff supporting the new principal on 7 September, one day before the school term started at UGC.

Continue reading ‘CSI Bishop Daniel Thiyagarajah to Launch Impartial Probe into Alleged Attacks on Protesting Uduvil Girs College Students’ »

“Reconciliation will Ensure Permanent Peace” – President Sirisena tells U.N. General Assembly

By Saman Indrajith in New York

President Maithripala Sirisena declared at the UNGA on Thursday that the on-going reconciliation process would guarantee that Sri Lanka wouldn’t have to face war and terrorism again. The President called for international collaboration and blessings for the on-going Sri Lankan effort.

The President was addressing the 71st session of the UNGA, New York. Commenting on post-January 2015 presidential polls, the President said: “My government has taken effective measures to strengthen democracy, rule of law and good governance in the country paving the way for a positive change to ensure that there will be no more wars on the soils of my country, Sri Lanka. The reconciliation process that is underway today has learnt from the bitter experience of a brutal war of three decades. It will guarantee that my country will not see the cruelty of war and terrorism again and that all communities will live peacefully in a rational and a free-thinking Sri Lanka. For this noble purpose, Sri Lanka welcomes the collaboration and the blessings of the world.”

The following is the full text of the President’s statement:

“I am extremely happy to take part in this 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I wish to bring to the notice of Your Excellencies the current situation in my country. For the last twenty months, I have given the leadership to usher a new era of social, political and economic transformations in my country.

Before I came to power, people in my country were living in fear and suspicion. I could end that period and lay the foundation for strengthening rule of law and restoring democratic rights for the people of Sri Lanka to live happily in a free and democratic society.

My government’s intention is to make the people of Sri Lanka one of the happiest among the world communities. For that purpose, the government is committed to strengthening freedom and democracy, while achieving economic prosperity. The government is committed to make the people of Sri Lanka a developed nation.

Continue reading ‘“Reconciliation will Ensure Permanent Peace” – President Sirisena tells U.N. General Assembly’ »

ECJ Advocate-General Eleanor Sharpston Citing Procedural Mistakes Wants LTTE and Hamas to be Removed from EU “Terror List”


BRUSSELS: A top EU lawyer on Thursday said Islamist movement Hamas and Sri Lankan rebel group LTTE should be taken off the bloc’s terror list because procedural mistakes invalidated the decision to put them on it.

The European Union imposed travel bans and asset freezes against Hamas and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam under 2001 rules. The groups subsequently contested being kept on the bloc’s terrorist black list.

The General Court, second to the European Court of Justice, found in their favour in 2014 on the grounds the EU had based its decision on publicly available information, not on a finding by a competent authority.

Continue reading ‘ECJ Advocate-General Eleanor Sharpston Citing Procedural Mistakes Wants LTTE and Hamas to be Removed from EU “Terror List”’ »

Comments by Sarath Fonseka About Wijedasa Rajapakshe, Mahinda &Namal Rajapaksa, Weerawansa and Aluthgamage Expunged from Hansard Record

Rural Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday caused furore in by using unparliamentary language when he spoke of former President and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, MP Namal Rajapaksa, MP Wimal Weerawansa, MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe.

Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala directed that certain statements made by Minister Fonseka be expunged.

The former Army Commander lashed out at Minister over the Avant Garde affair.

Wimal Weerawansa refutes Sarath Fonseka’s allegations of transfer of land gift to wife

A heated argument broke out in Parliament between Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and MP Wimal Weerawasa over an allegation made by Field Marshal Fonseka, claiming that MP Weerawansa had transferred a land valued at Rs. 300 million on a deed of gift to his wife.

Continue reading ‘Comments by Sarath Fonseka About Wijedasa Rajapakshe, Mahinda &Namal Rajapaksa, Weerawansa and Aluthgamage Expunged from Hansard Record’ »

Colombo District MP Hirunika Premachandra and Eight Others Indicted and Granted Bail in Colombo High Court

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Colombo High Court Judge, Padmini N. Ranawaka Gunetillake, yesterday served indictment on UNP member of Parliament for Colombo District, Hirunika Premachandra and eight others.

The Attorney General had filed indictment in the High Court accusing Premachandra and others of abduction and assault of a youth, on December 21, 2015, at Dematagoda.

The Court granted bail in Rs. 50,000 cash and two sureties of Rs. 500,000 for each accused.

Continue reading ‘Colombo District MP Hirunika Premachandra and Eight Others Indicted and Granted Bail in Colombo High Court’ »

Insidious Move to Falsely Condemn 97.000 Metric tons of Rice as Unfit for Consumption and Sell off as Animal feed Exposed by Opposition MP

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

A member of the anti-corruption parliamentary watchdog committee, UPFA MP Weerakumara Dissanayake yesterday alleged that there was an ongoing move to categorize a large stock of rice declared unfit for human consumption under questionable circumstances as animal feed.

MP Dissanayake claimed that it was being done so as to sell the stock as animal feed.

The revelation was made at the weekly Joint Opposition media briefing held at the Dr N.M. Perera Centre, Borella.

Speaking on behalf of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Anuradhapura District MP Dissanayake alleged that a national crime was being committed by the government.

Former JVPer and National Freedom Front member Dissanayake contested the last parliamentary polls on the UPFA ticket.

Dissanayake said that a stock of approximately 97,000 MT had been sealed in the wake of an inquiry initiated by the ruling coalition following the January 2015 presidential polls.

Continue reading ‘Insidious Move to Falsely Condemn 97.000 Metric tons of Rice as Unfit for Consumption and Sell off as Animal feed Exposed by Opposition MP’ »

Let Commodore Ajith Boyagoda who was Imprisoned by LTTE for 8 Years Live in Peace with his Family now.

By

Bandula Jayasekara

Though I had heard of Ajith Boyagoda as the Navy officer who was held in captivity by the LTTE terrorists for eight years, I only met him recently. First, when he walked into the News 1st office to hand over his book ‘A Long Watch – War, Captivity and Return in Sri Lanka’, beautifully written by Sunila Galappatti. I got a feeling of sadness as I spoke to the bearded former Navy officer. For a moment I thought he was in his own lost world, pushed away by several people he once worked with. I thought there was a certain loneliness about him and asked myself how if I were held a prisoner like Ajith, in the jungles of Wanni by a brutal terrorist group for eight long years. I wanted to put myself in his shoes or his shackles and to go back to those dark days. I couldn’t. It scared me. We spoke for a few minutes and then realised we had a mutual friend in the evergreen, laughing machine, Commander HU Silva. I called HU and told him that his batch mate Ajith was with me and that he would come on Sirasa News 1st Pathikada the following day. HU said “Adey u LTTE Karaya” (He is an LTTE cadre) and teased Ajith.

We both laughed. Ajith said, “That is HU. He isn’t like others.” Later HU called and told me, “He is a good, honest fellow. I got angry when I read the first few chapters of his book but, felt sorry for him later.” I had heard over and over, the accusation made by several people in the establishment, and people who knew nothing about Boyagoda, that he worked for the LTTE after he was taken prisoner. The ship ‘Sagarawardane’ was destroyed and sunk by the terrorists in September 1994. Later, I asked that question from Ajith. He has even countered the accusation in his book in detail; how the LTTE approached him to work for them and how he refused them politely and they said nothing to him thereafter. I also heard from another former very senior officer of the Navy that they heard reports that Ajith was seen with the LTTE Sea Tiger leader Soosai at three different places and he was not in chains as claimed by him in the book.

Continue reading ‘Let Commodore Ajith Boyagoda who was Imprisoned by LTTE for 8 Years Live in Peace with his Family now.’ »

Development of Harbours in India will not Affect Colombo Port’s Role in India’s Global Trade reassures Indian Envoy


By Madushka Balasuriya

The Indian Government yesterday sought to reassure Sri Lanka that India’s burgeoning investment on developing its ports will pose no threat to the Port of Colombo, noting they have urged Indian companies to invest in the expansion of the Colombo Harbour.

“There is a fear that once India develops its infrastructures and, particularly, ports in the eastern and western coasts, they will prove to have a detrimental impact on the Colombo Port. I do not believe that will happen,” said outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha, speaking on the opening day of the Colombo International Maritime Conference last evening.untitled-1

“At the rate that India is going it will need all the ports that it can use for transporting or receiving its cargo as part of its imports. I think the Colombo Port will play an extremely important role in India’s global trade in the foreseeable future.

Continue reading ‘Development of Harbours in India will not Affect Colombo Port’s Role in India’s Global Trade reassures Indian Envoy’ »

Three Years After Being Elected Northern Provincial Council has Lost its Credibility with the Local Population.

By

Ahilan Kadirgamar

On September 21, 2013, tens of thousands of Tamils living in Sri Lanka’s heavily-militarised North decisively voted in the long-delayed provincial elections. They had waited for two and a half decades to make their voices heard and elect their own government.

Despite the promise of development and election handouts from then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, they gave the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) a massive mandate, with C.V. Wigneswaran becoming the Chief Minister.

Continue reading ‘Three Years After Being Elected Northern Provincial Council has Lost its Credibility with the Local Population.’ »

Sri Lanka and India will Jointly Operate 30 Oil Tanks to Kick-start Plan to Develop Trincomalee into Regional Petroleum Hub.

By

Meera Srinivasan

India and Sri Lanka will jointly operate 30 oil tanks in Trincomalee, kick-starting a plan to develop the coastal town into a regional petroleum hub, Sri Lanka’s Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody said.

He was referring to a proposal that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced during his March 2015 visit to the island-nation, according to which Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Lanka IOC would operate the farms together.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka and India will Jointly Operate 30 Oil Tanks to Kick-start Plan to Develop Trincomalee into Regional Petroleum Hub.’ »

Govt Hospital Doctors in North Have Examined 96 Ex-LTTE Cadres in 3 weeks to see if they have been Injected with Poisonous drug by Army

By

P.K.Balachandran

Doctors at the government hospitals in the five districts of the Northern Province have, in the past three weeks, examined 96 former cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) following allegations by Tamil politicians that Tiger combatants who had surrendered to the Sri Lanka army at the end of Eelam War IV, were injected with some poisonous drug.

Following a complaint by one of the cadres that he was feeling highly debilitated after being injected with some drug at an army-run rehabilitation centre, some Tamil politicians in the Northern Province said that 107 rehabilitated cadres had died mysteriously after the end of the war. The Northern Provincial Council passed a resolution calling for an investigation. Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran even requested visiting US Air Force doctors to examine some of the cadres.

The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government denied that poisoning had taken place and rejected the proposal to involve foreign doctors, but agreed to get the cadres examined by Tamil doctors from the Northern Province.

Continue reading ‘Govt Hospital Doctors in North Have Examined 96 Ex-LTTE Cadres in 3 weeks to see if they have been Injected with Poisonous drug by Army’ »

Jaffna District TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran Breaks his “Silence” Over Controversy About Uduvil Girls College Principal Issue.

By Dharisha Bastians

As parents associations continued to push for the reinstatement of retired principal Shiranee Mills at Uduvil Girls’ College (UGC), TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran broke his silence on the controversy surrounding the elite Christian girls’ school in Jaffna last weekend, denying allegations of interference the thorny issue and claiming that the crisis was being exploited by political opponents seeking to discredit him.

“There has been a lot of political interference in this matter, but not from me. That is the truth. I did not get into matters related to the new principal appointment or the retirement of the old principal,” Sumanthiran asserted during a press conference in Jaffna over the weekend.

The Jaffna District MP has come in for severe criticism over the UGC crisis, with parent associations, past pupils, academics supportive of Mills and members of his own party accusing him of political interference and abuse of power. Sumanthiran represented the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI) which manages UGC in legal action during a major church split in 2005, and subsequently in a case involving Principal Mills in 2008-2009. The Diocese is now being accused of unfairly retiring Principal Mills at 60 years, when UGC principals have often served well over the age of 65.

“Not a day went by without my name being mentioned in connection with the controversy,” the TNA Lawmaker told reporters.

Continue reading ‘Jaffna District TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran Breaks his “Silence” Over Controversy About Uduvil Girls College Principal Issue.’ »

Maj – Gen Kamal Gunaratne Asks Govt to stop Harassing Directorate of Military Intelligence Officials

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Former General Officer Commanding (GoC) of 53 Division Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne has urged the government to stop rapid deterioration of the country’s premier intelligence service, the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI).

Gajaba Regiment veteran Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said the country would have to pay a very heavy price unless the ongoing harassment stopped.

Appearing on ‘360’ on Derana, anchored by Sanka Amarjith, the Maj. Gen. expressed serious concern over unprecedented developments pertaining to some DMI personnel, including two officers holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel who had to sleep on mats at the CID after being arrested in connection with a high profile case.

Having served the Army for 35 years, Maj. Gen. Gunaratne retired early this month.

Continue reading ‘Maj – Gen Kamal Gunaratne Asks Govt to stop Harassing Directorate of Military Intelligence Officials’ »

Abandoning Cheaper Coal Fired Power Plants will Increase Electricity Costs for Consumers in Sri Lanka

By Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya

Nobody wanted the power plant in Norochcholai except the power system planners who were determined to ensure the country got its electricity at the lowest possible cost. With their knowledge of what exactly was happening with power generation in other countries, they knew the only way to rescue the power sector from the financial mess and recurring power cuts, was to build strong, large capacity, cheaper power plants. Norochcholai was the first such power plant.

Decision makers who have no idea of power system engineering, economics or operational aspects, played ball games with power plants. President 1 said, “Go to Trincomalee”, and studies and designs were done. Conflict pushed the project site to Mawella in the South. President 2 said, “Leave Mawella, go to Norochcholai”, and drawings for Mawella were thrown into the Mawella Bay, and designs were done again for Norochcholai. Prime Minister then said in 2002, “Oh no not Norochcholai, go back to Trincomalee”. However, by then, engineers who had realised the bitter truth and calculating daily, what the country was paying for oil to produce electricity, stood ground. “Norochcholai or nothing else”, said the engineers. Professional institutions joined with unions pledging solidarity and kept the pressure on the government to do it.

And it was done and completed in 2015, full 30 years from the first day electricity planners said, “Build coal-fired power plants; they will stabilise the supply and reduce costs”. So Norochcholai fulfilled a historic need, caused many diesel power plants to be retired, and enabled the Minister to boast that he had closed the diesel power plants. No harm; in a national project that brought electricity costs down from Rs 23 to Rs 15 per unit, and that too when exchange rates went up from Rs 100 to 145, the credit goes to all. Declining coal prices too helped.

Continue reading ‘Abandoning Cheaper Coal Fired Power Plants will Increase Electricity Costs for Consumers in Sri Lanka’ »

People are Tired of Seeing VIP’s of last Regime Being Arrested, Released on Bail,Re-arrested, remanded and Hospitalised

by Somapala Gunadheera

I read The Island editorial of September 16, 2016, on the above caption, with avid interest. It was characteristically forthright and impartial. The discerning would find it as a whistleblower to those in power.

The editorial made the undeniable assumptions that the public perception was that bribery and corruption were rampant under the previous government and that some holding ministerial posts in the current Government had apparently been able to cleanse themselves of their sins to all intents and purposes. In the background of the SC order to take action against Namal Rajapaksha for defying the summons of the CIABOC, the editorial raises the question whether any member of the present Government defying the summons of the same Commission had been similarly dealt with. To clinch its point, the editorial suggestively asks whether any JO worthies would ask in Parliament how many MPs have been asked to appear before the CIABOC and how many have ignored the summons? In this scenario, ‘the coming colour is not good’ for those in power.

To sum up the present deadlock, people are getting tired of seeing VIPs of the last regime being arrested and re-arrested in a row and being remanded. These personages capitalize on their arrests by triumphantly exhibiting their handcuffs on their way to the remand jail and boldly claiming that they are being unfairly victimized as a shield to cover up the failures of the Government in power. Then follows a procession of politicians, displaced by the present regime, visiting the remanded.The privileged visitors make similar claims and carry parcels, immune to regular inspection. The main purpose of remand, which it to keep the prisoner incommunicado, is defeated by this traffic.

Strangely, the remand order works far more effectively than the most advanced techniques to discover hitherto for undetected ailments of the remand prisoner and he is placed in a special ward soon after arrival in prison. Some VIPs go through this procedure repeatedly but the Public are yet to see the proof on any guilt attributed to those remanded.

Continue reading ‘People are Tired of Seeing VIP’s of last Regime Being Arrested, Released on Bail,Re-arrested, remanded and Hospitalised’ »

Clarence Wijewardena is Alive to us now as he was in his day;the Audience for his Music has not died

By

Uditha Devapriya

image

He was a vocalist and a composer. He sang and he scored. He also wrote. His melodies survive reassessments when it comes to applauding him. The man, not surprisingly therefore, wielded different sensibilities and abilities. And in the end, music lovers in this country understood, despite the few who called him out for all the wrong, slanderous reasons, that what he gave went beyond just being revolutionary. His songs became landmarks, true. But none of them were ever uprooted from the land of his birth.

How can one assess him, though? Epitaphs for the dead are written by those who knew them intimately, after all. Consequently, the best answer to that I can give is that his contribution to our music industry made him known to both the young and the old, both those who were born during his time and those who came to be after he’d long gone by. His work, in other words, were beloved by all and detested by a few, and consequently, he is as alive to us as he was in his day.

I remember Annesley Malawana, in a television interview, referring to himself as a “jack of all trades and master of none.” He was being modest there. The truth is, those who entered the music industry in his day were, in more ways than one, masters in nearly every discipline. They knew how to write, how to score, and how to voice both. Annesley was a master in that sense. The same can be said of this week’s star, who worked with him: Clarence Wijewardena.

Clarence didn’t stop at the conventional three-minute song. He went for melodies and compositions that didn’t only draw attention to their words, but made us aware of the rich, vibrant work and research that had gone into them. They were simple (and thankfully so), but that didn’t stop us from noticing how effortlessly they’d been conceived.

Continue reading ‘Clarence Wijewardena is Alive to us now as he was in his day;the Audience for his Music has not died’ »

Jaffna International Film Festival to be held for 2nd Successive Year in North from Sep 23rd to Sep 26th 2016

By

Channa Bandara WIJEKOON

When cinema was flourishing in this country in the pre-separatist war era films starred by Gamini Fonseka and Vijeya Kumaratunga were shown in packed houses in the North. Even a Sri Lankan Tamil film genre was active in the peninsula at the time.

This golden era saw cultural events of the South being taken to Jaffna and vice versa. Dr Victor Ratnayake still recalls how his one-man concert SA was staged in the Veerasingham hall in Jaffna amidst heavy cheering and greetings by the compassionate Tamil populous. That was the good old days. The rest is history.

Revival process of the Northern peninsula after a 30 year conflict has encompassed diverse areas of vast importance and cinema is no exception.

Continue reading ‘Jaffna International Film Festival to be held for 2nd Successive Year in North from Sep 23rd to Sep 26th 2016’ »

How are the UNP and SLFP Faring Separately and Collectively in the Coalition Govt?

By

Vishwamithra

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
~Henry Ford

One does not have to look anywhere else. Daily headlines in the mainstream newspapers have been telling a most riveting story. Political winds have been blowing in opposite directions as far as the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) are concerned. Ever since the presidential and later the parliamentary elections, the UNP has been the recipient of a minuscule but a benevolent tailwind while the SLFP has been buffeted or pounded by an unenviable headwind.

From the response of the SLFP proper and its breakaway group’s mutterings and actions, one could ascertain that, in the coming months, the advantage is going to remain with the UNP. The badgering and criticism the Rajapaksas were confronted with and the trickling effect such badgering had on the Rajapaksa-entourage has looked crushing. The ‘purity-of-purpose’ image that the old regime attempted to advance throughout the past decade has been tarnished. The credit that was granted, mainly due to the war-victory, is waning and the players in the game have been exposed as players of the country’s coffers and people’s susceptibilities.

The Rajapaksas have not only misspent their political capital they rightfully earned, they squandered the people’s trust to such an unbelievable level and are trekking a tortuous journey on the borders of defeatism. The political calculus that they inaccurately formulated is now haunting them and the bizarre pageant of corrupt practices and dishonest conduct while in power are making a replay in slow motion before a public that is more aware and cognizant of nuanced undertones of this cynical enterprise called politics.

Protection of alleged ill-gotten wealth and material richness cannot be a reward for winning the war against the LTTE. Having deserted the supreme characteristic of leadership which consists of honesty and honour, these politicians are still trying to convince the masses that they be given, not a second chance, but third, fourth or fifth one.

Continue reading ‘How are the UNP and SLFP Faring Separately and Collectively in the Coalition Govt?’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa wants Govt to Amend its Value Added Tax Bill Proposals in the Interests of the People.

Former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged the government to amend the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill as those struggling to make ends meet had been deprived of promised relief.

The follwing is the text of the statement issued by former President’s Office:

“A Bill to increase the currently applicable VAT rate by thirty six per cent has been gazetted. Accordingly, the VAT on goods and services will increase from 11% to 15% and cause hardship to the consumer. This increased VAT is to be imposed even on private medical care which had always been exempt from VAT. This imposition will cause an immediate 15% increase in private medical costs. For example, a by-pass heart operation that presently costs about Rs.700,000 would in future cost Rs.805,000. Many ordinary people make use of private medical services today. This tax attempts to raise revenue through sickness and suffering. The more serious the illness, the more money the government would be squeezing from the hapless patient.

The increased VAT is to be imposed on the small and medium wholesale and retail trade as well.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa wants Govt to Amend its Value Added Tax Bill Proposals in the Interests of the People.’ »

M.S.Subbulakshmi: A Voice for all Seasons

By Aparna M Sridhar

(This is the birth centenary year of India’s renowned classical music singer M. S. Subbulakshmi who was born on September 16th 1916. Much activity is on in various parts of India and the world to celebrate the centenary of “MS” who was praised as the Queen of Song by India’s first prime minister Jawarhalal Nehru. The Bengaluru-based classical music monthly magazine”Saamagaana-The First Melody brought out its September Issue as a MS special focusing entirely on the much –loved singer’s life,personality and accomplishments. This article from the magazine written by its editor Aparna Sridhar is re-produced here with permission to denote the MS Subbulakshmi birth centenary)

M.S. Subbulakshmi

M.S. Subbulakshmi

M.S. Subbulakshmi, India’s much loved musician, embodied all that is great about India, and she showed us that one does not have to be apologetic about anything Indian.

As we reflect on her stature and achievement, it is also perhaps needed in many ways to make sure we testify to and reclaim the sheer magnificence, significance and glory of both, rescuing her legacy from a diminishment to which a certain discourse would like to politely or not so politely consign her, using disingenuously everything from feminism and modernism, to even, rather ironically, classicism.
Continue reading ‘M.S.Subbulakshmi: A Voice for all Seasons’ »

Elephants in Dehiwela Zoo Have Been Kept in Chains from its Inception in 1939.

By Risidra Mendis

For most of us, the Dehiwala Zoo is a place of interest as there are so many animals to be viewed; but for some others, it is a place where large animals that cannot speak are forced to entertain and are confined to small areas and remain chained for most of their lives.

image

Elephants at the Dehiwala Zoo cannot remember a day when they were free of chains. The Dehiwala Zoo commenced operations in 1939 and is one of the oldest zoos in Asia; however, since its inception no director general saw it fit to rid these poor animals of their chains.

When Ceylon Today visited the Dehiwala Zoo, the most heartbreaking sight was that of a baby elephant lifting its front leg and trying to remove the chain with the trunk and another in another similar scene, another elephant calf was trying to remove its chain from the leg by its trunk. This is the stress and trauma these majestic animals are put through just so that visitors can come and stare at them. These elephants in captivity are highly stressed and this is visible by the way they sway backwards and forwards while confined to their small enclosures and kept for viewing.

Continue reading ‘Elephants in Dehiwela Zoo Have Been Kept in Chains from its Inception in 1939.’ »

“Arumugam Thondaman has not been Showing Even an Inch of Concern Towards Plantation Workers” says Cabinet Minister Mano Ganesan

By Lankesh Gooneratne

Sri Lanka’s tea industry is almost synonymous with the Tamils of Indian origin, living and working in the sprawling tea plantations in the picturesque up-country region. Descending from the workers brought here by the British colonizers as indentured labourers from South India, the life of these people is one of abject poverty and utter misery.

Also known as Indian Tamils, they were first brought here in 1823 and ever since, they have been toiling in tea, rubber and coconut plantations, with minimum facilities under near inhuman conditions.

The Indian Tamils were, from the inception, a disenfranchised lot. They were brought here as labourers but were not granted basic human rights. By the time Ceylon was granted Independence from the British on 1948, in the Upcountry region, around 1 million out of the 8 million total Tamil population were living in poverty.

Continue reading ‘“Arumugam Thondaman has not been Showing Even an Inch of Concern Towards Plantation Workers” says Cabinet Minister Mano Ganesan’ »

Study by Cairns(India) has Identified Natural Gas Reserves Estimated at US 12 Billion Dollars in a Section of Gulf of Mannar Basin


By P.K.Balachandran

Sri Lanka is exploring possibilities of private investment in oil refining and has invited several foreign companies, including Indian companies like Reliance, to come up with proposals, the Minister for Petroleum, Chandima Weerakkody, told the Foreign Correspondents’ Association here on Monday.

He said that he will be visiting India soon to meet his Indian counterpart. Officials told Express that the visit could take place either in October of November.

Weerakkody said that Sri Lanka is looking to get investments to the tune of US 4 billion in the petroleum sector to meet domestic demand and also exploit export potential, keeping in view the strategic location of the island nation.

Continue reading ‘Study by Cairns(India) has Identified Natural Gas Reserves Estimated at US 12 Billion Dollars in a Section of Gulf of Mannar Basin’ »

Is Transitional Justice a Trick, Treat or Trap for Sri Lanka?


By

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

It must surely be thought odd that I am even undertaking an effort to intervene here on a subject that requires comment by lawyers or political scientists. But as a concerned citizen-observer I have some worries and since I have not seen any debate whatsoever in the media, I want to raise some questions and hopefully contribute to an informed public discussion.

When and who decided that what Sri Lanka needed in the post-war period was ‘Transitional Justice’? Where and on what basis did they decide that?

My curiosity about this was aroused after a conversation with an overseas visitor to our home, representing a major UN related agency, who admitted that the concept of Transitional Justice (TJ) derived from a Latin American context, the criteria for its applicability had not been fully developed, and that even at the UN it had been used inappropriately and indiscriminately, and in quite a few cases to little benefit.

My other conversations with staff working for INGOs revealed that the overseas funding was earmarked and plentiful for projects that involved Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka, which does not make for the most conducive atmosphere for awkward questions of local applicability.

Continue reading ‘Is Transitional Justice a Trick, Treat or Trap for Sri Lanka?’ »

Agreement Reached to set up a Senate Comprising Representatives of all nine Provinces Discloses Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in Jaffna.

The new constitution is being formulated by parliament sitting as a constitutional council. Once the new constitution is passed in parliament it has to be adopted by the people at a referendum, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe when he opened the new administrative complex of the Jaffna Kachcheri on September 17.

The Prime Minister said initial discussions have also been started regarding the executive presidential system but no finality has still been reached. A final decision would be taken after discussing devolution of power. A decision had been taken to take the system of devolution of power to the grass roots level by extending it not only to the Provincial Councils but also to Pradeshiya Sabhas and Town Councils.

A firm decision has also been taken to protect and safeguard the country’s territorial integrity at all costs.

Continue reading ‘Agreement Reached to set up a Senate Comprising Representatives of all nine Provinces Discloses Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in Jaffna.’ »

How Mobile Service Providers are Fleecing Mobile User Customers Through Third Party Billing for “Unwanted” Services


By Namini Wijedasa

Sri Lanka’s Mobile Service Providers (MSP) have fleeced millions of customers through third-party billing, a practice by which they are charged for value-added services they did not knowingly enlist for.

Third-party billing arises from “mobile customers mistakenly joining subscription services by simply clicking on an advertisement or web page”. Registration takes place without the knowledge of the subscriber. Charges are automatically slapped on the bill, whether post or prepaid. And if customers do not inquire about the added fees, the companies continue levying them by default.

Also called “cramming,” the practice is so serious that T-Mobile US was, in 2014, forced to pay out US$ 90 million to settle a Federal Communications Commission suit that alleged the company had turned a blind eye to third parties charging their customers for services they did not want. Phone companies in Sri Lanka have also looked the other way, without suffering the consequences.

The largest settlement in a cramming case was the US$ 105 million coughed up in 2014 by AT&T, which agreed to the fine “to resolve allegations that it billed for monthly subscriptions that consumers never authorised and didn’t want”. Around US$ 80 million of the fine was to refund customers.

It is not clear just how much Sri Lanka’s MSPs and their partners have earned from this unscrupulous business tool. There have been no questions asked by the Regulator so far. Considering the subscriber bases of respective companies–the largest company has more than 11 million customers, with 9.5 million of these being the prepaid category–and how widespread the problem is, the amount is likely to be high.

Continue reading ‘How Mobile Service Providers are Fleecing Mobile User Customers Through Third Party Billing for “Unwanted” Services’ »

♥’Kaatriniley Varum Geetham’-Melodiously Sung by M.S. Subbulakshmi in/as “Meera”♫

By
D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Favourite Film Songs – 8

Madurai Shanmugavadivu Subbulakshmi known as MS Subbulakshmi or more popularly as ‘MS’was a sublime singer who ruled the Indian classical music world for over five decades.Blessed with a divine voice,immeasurable talent and ethereal beauty she captivated the hearts and minds of innumerable fans. MS was acknowledged at the time of Indian Independence as the “Nightingale of India”. Former Indian premier Jawaharlal Nehru once paid her a huge compliment saying ‘Who am I a mere Prime minister before a Queen, the Queen of Music’?

MS Subbulakshmi

MS Subbulakshmi

MS Subbulakshmi was born on September 16th 1916 in the southern city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. The current 2016 is her birth centenary year. Subbulakshmi whose pet name in childhood was Kunjamma trained in Carnatic music under Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and learnt Hindustani music from Pandit Narayanarao Vyas. Subbulakshmi’s mother Shanmugavadivu Ammaal was a Veena exponent hailing from the “Isaivaelalar” community. Her father Subramania Iyer was a Brahmin lawyer. She married Thiyagaraja Sathasivam known as “Kalki”Sathasivam who co – founded the popular Tamil weekly magazine “Kalki” and remained at its administrative helm for many decades.
Continue reading ‘♥’Kaatriniley Varum Geetham’-Melodiously Sung by M.S. Subbulakshmi in/as “Meera”♫’ »

Marketing Sri Lanka To Foreign Film-makers as a ” Cinema Friendly Paradise” to Shoot Movies.

By Namini Wijedasa

As film destinations go, Sri Lanka nearly has it all. From rolling hills to verdant rainforests, and sandy beaches to historical ruins, a range of locations accessible within hours of each other. The workforce is educated and genial, the costs are low. And Sri Lanka is today the most peaceful nation in the region.

But, despite several famous films having been shot here over the past few decades, the country has failed to garner the attention it merits from international moviemakers. Now, film production and distribution companies are calling for a coordinated effort to reverse this trend. That would require more than advertising. It would need a well thought out strategy supported by tax incentives for filmmakers.

The companies–there are several–promise it would be worthy investment. “Everybody knows about how beautiful Sri Lanka is,” said Chandran Rutnam, internationally renowned filmmaker and Chief Executive Officer of Film Location Services. “Now, we have to make Sri Lanka film-friendly.”

Continue reading ‘Marketing Sri Lanka To Foreign Film-makers as a ” Cinema Friendly Paradise” to Shoot Movies.’ »

Wimal Weeawansa Tells Malwatte Mahanayake Thera About Mass Graves with Thousands of Bodies in Kilinochchi Army camp

By

Rasika Jayakody

UPFA Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa ran into a trouble when he met the chief prelate of the Malwatte chapter, Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddartha Sumangala Thera, last week to discuss about the government’s plans for a new constitution.

Weerawansa, speaking to the Mahanayake Thera, said the new constitution was being drafted to fulfill the needs of separatist elements, including the Tamil National Alliance.

He also said, through the new constitution, the government was trying to allow foreign judges and prosecutors to examine into war crimes during the final phase of war.

He urged the Mahanayake Thera to intervene the government’s efforts to formulate a new constitution, dubbing it as a great threat to the country’s sovereignty.

Continue reading ‘Wimal Weeawansa Tells Malwatte Mahanayake Thera About Mass Graves with Thousands of Bodies in Kilinochchi Army camp’ »

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera Calls for Ban on Destructive Fishing Practice of Bottom Trawling.

By

Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has called for a ban on bottom trawling, a destructive fishing practice that harms marine ecosystems.

Mr. Samaraweera made the appeal at the recent ‘Our Ocean 2016 conference’ in Washington DC, ahead of high-level talks between India and Sri Lanka on the Palk Bay conflict.

Sri Lankan Tamil fisher-folk have for long expressed concern over bottom-trawling by Tamil Nadu fishermen in Sri Lankan waters. The Indian fishermen are reluctant to give up trawling which, they argue, employs hundreds of people.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera Calls for Ban on Destructive Fishing Practice of Bottom Trawling.’ »

Politically Marginalized Tamil Diaspora Extremists Resorting to Violence Abroad to get Public Attention

By P.K.Balachandran

Extremist Diaspora Tamil groups, which are politically marginalized since the minorities-friendly President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe came to power in Sri Lanka in 2015, are now resorting to well publicized violence to stay in the public eye.

This is the explanation given by moderate Tamil leaders for the recent violent incidents overseas.

Continue reading ‘Politically Marginalized Tamil Diaspora Extremists Resorting to Violence Abroad to get Public Attention’ »

Seven Sri Lankan Tamil parties Write Joint Letter to Indian Prime Minister Modi Expressing Concern Over Attacks Against Tamils in Karnataka State

By P.K.Balachandran

Seven Sri Lankan Tamil parties have written a joint letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing “deep concern” about the attacks on Tamils in Karnataka over the Cauvery waters issue.

The letter dated September 14, was handed over to the Indian Consul General in Jaffna, A.Natarajan, by top leaders of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK); Eelam Peoples’ Revolutionay Liberation Front (EPRLF); Peoples’ Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE); Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO); Eelam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP); Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF); and Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF).

Continue reading ‘Seven Sri Lankan Tamil parties Write Joint Letter to Indian Prime Minister Modi Expressing Concern Over Attacks Against Tamils in Karnataka State’ »

Sirisena- Wickremesinghe Govt Takes Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

by Tisaranee Gunasekara


Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

Eliot (Four Quartets)

It should have been a time of confidence. The long Eelam War had been won, the opposition was floundering and the Rajapaksas were at the acme of their prestige and popularity. Sumanadasa Abeygunawardane, the astrologer (whose pleasing predictions were rewarded with directorships at the National Savings Bank and the Employees Trust Fund and an advisor-post at the ITN) proclaimed the verdict of the stars: “President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Rajapaksas will rule this country for a long time…. The Rajapaksas will become beloved leaders of this country…. The next chapter in Sri Lanka is reserved for the Rajapaksas.”i

Unfortunately success led not to relaxation but to paranoia. The Rajapaksas saw treachery behind every bush, conspiracy under every stone. So when Chandrasiri Bandara, an astrologer known for his pro-opposition views, made an unfavourable prediction, the regime reacted with ferocity. Mr. Bandara was arrested, taken to the CID and grilled.

This unprecedented act of repression had its desired effect, in the short term. Mr. Bandara came out of custody in the safe guise of a born-again Rajapaksa man. During the run up to 2015 Presidential election, when astrological predictions played the role allocated to opinion polls and statistical forecasts in less superstitious lands, Mr. Bandara predicted a resounding Rajapaksa victory and pledged to shoot himself if proven wrong – on live TV.

The Buddha in Samaññaphala Sutta categorised astrology, demonology et al as ‘animal arts’ii (The extensive list mentioned in the Sutta includes palmistry, reading omens and signs, interpreting celestial events and dreams, making predictions for state officials, chasing demons, casting auspicious times, predicting life spans, forecasting political or natural events and casting horoscopes). But in Sri Lanka, said to be repository of the Buddha’s teachings in their purest form, his followers regard astrological predictions with the reverence that adherents of theistic faiths accord to the words of their particular god or prophet.

Continue reading ‘Sirisena- Wickremesinghe Govt Takes Two Steps Forward and One Step Back’ »

Gang of Five Sprays Toxic Gas at Audience in Paris to Disrupt Meeting Addressed by ITAK Leader and TNA senior MP “Maavai” S. Senathirajah

By Manekshaw

A week after Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia Ibrahim Sahib Ansar was attacked at the Kuala Lumpur Airport by a group of five persons believed to be the sympathizers of the now defunct LTTE, a meeting attended by the Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian and the Leader of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) Mavai S. Senathiraja came under toxic gas attack in Paris last Monday (12).

Despite France proscribing the LTTE, the political activities of the outfit were carried out extensively in Paris until its collapse in 2009.

Rivalry among the pro-LTTE factions even led to gun fights and killings in the French capital a few years ago.

However, the manhandling of the Sri Lankan envoy at the Kuala Lumpur Airport last week and the toxic gas attack at the meeting attended by Senathiraja in Paris last Monday have highlighted the elements which were still active in creating obstacles to the efforts aimed at strengthening peace and reconciliation in the island.

Continue reading ‘Gang of Five Sprays Toxic Gas at Audience in Paris to Disrupt Meeting Addressed by ITAK Leader and TNA senior MP “Maavai” S. Senathirajah’ »

Genetic Studies Show that Tamils from South India have Contributed to the Genetic Composition of Present day Sinhalese.

by Adrija Roy Chowdhury

When three years back, a Sri Lankan envoy sought Indian support on the basis of the claim that the Sinhalese people are descendents of Bengalis and Odias, there was an upsurge of perplexity and outrage among large sections of the Indian population. However, subsequent research has shown that the Sinhalese, who make up about 75 per cent of the Sri Lankan population might very well have descended from inhabitants of ancient East India.

The “Mahavamsa”, arguably the greatest chronicle of Sri Lanka, narrates an interesting episode that marks the origin of the Sinhalese people. As per the mythological record, the foundation stone of the Sinhalese community was laid by King Vijaya who had travelled there from North-West India in 543 BC and founded the first Sinhalese town by the name of Tambapani. One of the murals at the Ajanta caves carry an elaborate depiction of King Vijaya’s travel to the Sinhalese town.

King Vijaya was the son of Sihabahu the ruler of Sihapura in Gujarat. Sihabahu’s mother in turn was the daughter of the king of Kalinga in Eastern India. Legend goes that she conceived Sihabahu (etymologically meaning lion’s arm) with a lion who had kidnapped her.

The nature of origin myths is such that it can never prove or disprove a certain theory. However, by becoming part of local folklore, they do give some indication to the way in which the Sinhalese people remember their past. In the case of the hereditary lineage of King Vijaya, while the exact details of the story may or may not be true, what can be said with certainty is that the Sinhalese community does trace some connection to present day Bengal and Odisha. The legend gains particular currency when one realises the importance of the lion’s symbol in Sinhalese tradition.

Continue reading ‘Genetic Studies Show that Tamils from South India have Contributed to the Genetic Composition of Present day Sinhalese.’ »

Remembering MHM Ashraff the Legendary Leader of the Muslim Congress on his 16th Death Anniversary

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

September 16th 2016 is the sixteenth death anniversary of Mohammad Hussein Muhammad Ashraff, the uncrowned sultan of the Amparai district Muslims and legendary leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). The pioneering president of the SLMC was Ahammed Lebbe of Kattankudi with whom Ashraff co-founded the party in September 1981. It was however MHM Ashraff who gave the Muslim Congress a new vision and direction after he assumed formal leadership of the party in 1986.

M. H. M. Ashraff (23 October 1948-16 September 2000)

M. H. M. Ashraff (23 October 1948-16 September 2000)

Thanks to Ashraff’s visionary zeal and missionary energy the SLMC achieved many, many things during the fifteen years he was at the party’s helm. His charisma, political acumen, dedication and sterling qualities of leadership enabled Ashraff to mould the long overlooked Eastern Muslims into a viable political entity and lead them like a latter day Moosa Nabhi or Moses through the wilderness on the route to a promised land of milk and honey.

As in the case of Moses it was not Ashraffs destiny to enter the promised land as a mysterious airplane explosion obliterated one of the brightest stars of the Lankan political firmament in the prime of life. Until death he remained the undisputed “Thesiya Thalaiver” (National Leader) of the North – Eastern Muslims

Continue reading ‘Remembering MHM Ashraff the Legendary Leader of the Muslim Congress on his 16th Death Anniversary’ »

Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s Murder and Hirunika’s Quest for Justice

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Former parliamentarian and presidential adviser Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra known as “Lucky Aiya” was gunned down along with three of his bodyguards in Mulleriyawa on October 8th 2011. The past few years have been a taxing period of struggle for Bharatha’s daughter Hirunika Premachandra –now a Colombo district MP – as she sought justice for her father’s killing. Finally Hirunika’s quest for justice triumphed on September 8th 2016 exactly four years and eleven months after Bharatha’s death.

Hirunika Premachandra

Hirunika Premachandra

According to newspaper reports a tearful Hirunika Premachandra, who had regularly attended the trial proceedings of her father’s killing told reporters outside the court room that the verdict in the case may have been very different if the Government had not changed last year.“If the government didn’t change we would not have got this verdict. This verdict was only possible because we have a new president who has restored the independence of the judiciary,”. “There was no place my mother and I didn’t go crying for justice. Today, justice has been served for my father’s murder,” she added. Speaking further Hirunika Premachandra said “Justice was achieved because the supremacy of law is protected under the new President.I cannot be happy that they were sentenced to death. I am not that inhumane. But injustice was served to us. We still suffer at home. I still hear my father’s voice when I go home.Now, justice has been served.”

hp-bl

Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three of his bodyguards were killed on October 8th 2011 in what was described as a shoot-out near the Walpola junction close to Mulleriyawa town about six miles away from Colombo city.Another bodyguard was seriously injured. Elections to several local authorities were being held on that day. Among these was the Kotikawatte-Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha.Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra had been engaged in hectic canvassing for his protégée Prasanna Solangaarachchi on that day when the incident occurred.The clash was not between two rival political parties. It was between two groups of fellow United Peoples Freedom Alliance(UPFA)activists. One group was led by Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra . The other was led by the then Colombo district MP Duminda Silva.Those who had witnessed the incident told the authorities as well as the media that Duminda Silva had provoked the clash and along with his sidekicks had been responsible for the deaths of Bharatha and three others.
Continue reading ‘Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s Murder and Hirunika’s Quest for Justice’ »

Does Chandrika Knows More Than SWRD, Sirimavo, JR Jayewardene, Premadasa, and Lord Soulbury About Federalism?

By

DR. Dayan Jayatilleka

One must thank Chandrika for letting the cat out of the bag. In her recent address to “the national secretariat for national reconciliation” she has called for a federal, semi-secular constitution. (http://www.dailymirror.lk/115874/CBK-calls-for-a-federal-semi-secular-constitution). I shall bypass the issue of semi-secularism and the role of Buddhism in the Constitution because it has been quite adequately dealt with, not by a Sinhala Buddhist extremist, but precisely by the senior-most member of the Catholic clergy on the island, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. Instead, let’s talk about federalism.

Chandrika’s call for federalism was entirely consistent with her SJV Chelvanayakam memorial lecture in which she identified the political “monopoly” allegedly enjoyed by Sinhalese as the main source of all our conflicts and advocated its dismantling. Obviously federalism is her chosen instrument for such dismantling.

This is also consistent with Chandrika’s political packages of 1995 and 1997 which called for the redefinition of Sri Lanka as a “union of regions”, as well her PTOMS which would have conceded a greater share of power in the North – to the ratio of 3:2–to the Tigers than it would have to the elected Sri Lankan Government (or the Muslims).

Continue reading ‘Does Chandrika Knows More Than SWRD, Sirimavo, JR Jayewardene, Premadasa, and Lord Soulbury About Federalism?’ »

Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga Wants A Federal, Semi-secular Constitution to Bring about Proper Reconciliation.

Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga called for a joint effort of all parties to compile a federal semi-secular constitution in order to bring about a proper reconciliation in the country.

Ms Kumaratunga, who was speaking at a seminar organized by the national secretariat for national reconciliation in Colombo, said Sri Lanka should learn a lesson from number of countries which have resolved their issues by formulating federal and secular constitutions.

“South Africa resolved its conflict through a federal constitution. Nigeria resolved its conflict by the same means. In India there are 36 languages and dialects, and number of religions such as Jain Buddhism, Sheikism. It was a country which never had unitary status as there were several kingdoms within that country in the past. However the British brought them all together. Leaders like Nehru and Gandhi drew up a federal constitution for India as a means of gaining independence. The Indian Constitution treats that country as a Secular State. India has become a stable nation as a result of its federal and secular constitution,” Ms Kumaratunga said.

Continue reading ‘Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga Wants A Federal, Semi-secular Constitution to Bring about Proper Reconciliation.’ »

Sri Lankan Army Strength Under 4 Commands in North Gradually Reduced From 152 Battalions Stationed in North When War Ended in May 2009 to 104 Now

By Shamindra Ferdinando

In the wake of outgoing UNSG Ban Ki-moon calling for a further reduction of Jaffna peninsula based Army deployments, the military told The Island that the fighting strength there had been substantially reduced along with gradual releasing of land held for security purposes.

The process commenced in Oct 2010 about 18 months after the successful conclusion of the Vanni offensive. The military brought the war to an end in May 2009.

Health Minister and Co-Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said on Wednesday that a media delegation from Colombo had been given information regarding the vacation of land during a recent visit to Jaffna. Dr. Senaratne responded when The Island sought an account from Military Spokesman Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne regarding the Army giving up land since Oct 2010.

Brigadier Seneviratne said that Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake had briefed the visiting journalists on the issue.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Army Strength Under 4 Commands in North Gradually Reduced From 152 Battalions Stationed in North When War Ended in May 2009 to 104 Now’ »

Uduvil Girls College Student Protesters Have Demonstrated the Value of Non-violent Collective Action

By Niyanthini Kadirgamar and Esther Surenthiraraj

Images of the week-long protest held by the Students of Uduvil Girls College (UGC), filling the news last week, have spread beyond the community of Uduvil. The issue is now of wider social concern and has led to a debate about the role of private schools and the future of education in Sri Lanka.

The students’ protest and demands received support from parents, and UGC alumni, although they were disregarded by the school’s management board. As tension mounted, other groups including the Ceylon Teachers Union expressed concern and condemned violent actions to suppress student dissent. Subsequently, the students appealed to various actors including President Sirisena himself, while he was on a visit to Jaffna.

In the highly politicised and sensationalised reporting of the events, the concerns of the parents and students who are most impacted by the school were drowned out. Parents and students are concerned about the quality of education, of accountability for abuses against students, curtailing the interference of church politics, and democratising the management of the school.

Continue reading ‘Uduvil Girls College Student Protesters Have Demonstrated the Value of Non-violent Collective Action’ »

Ex-Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage Arrested for Alleged Illegal Property Acquisition and Remanded till September 22nd

By

Lakmal Sooriyagoda

Former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage arrested over a complaint that he had allegedly purchased properties through illegally acquired money was yesterday ordered to be remanded till September 22 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris.

The former minister was arrested by the CID for alleged money laundering.

The CID alleged that Aluthgamage has purchased a house at Kynsey Road, Colombo 7 from an individual named Christopher Roshan for Rs 27 million. The CID alleged that the suspect has failed to disclose how he was able to raise the money for the purchase of the house and further alleged that he had committed an offence that comes under section 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage Arrested for Alleged Illegal Property Acquisition and Remanded till September 22nd’ »

Sri Lanka Not Mentioned by UN Human Rights Chief Prince Zeid in his Opening Address at UNHRC 33rd Session in Geneva


By P.K.Balachandran

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, did not mention Sri Lanka in his opening address at the 33 rd. session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Tuesday.
This was because the theme of his speech was the problem of countries not giving access to UN rights investigative teams and the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government in Sri Lanka, which came to power in January 2015, has been giving access to UN rights teams.

The new government has also been making some progress in implementing the October 2015 UNHRC resolution on war time rights violations.

Among the countries which have not given the UN rights investigators are: the US, Indian, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Israel Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Turkey, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Gambia, and Crimea.

India denied access to a UN team meant to investigate the violence in Kashmir saying that it has mechanisms to deal with the crisis democratically and that much of the trouble in Kashmir is due to terrorism exported by Pakistan to India. Pakistan said that it can allow a UN team to visit its portion of Kashmir if India also gives similar access.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Not Mentioned by UN Human Rights Chief Prince Zeid in his Opening Address at UNHRC 33rd Session in Geneva’ »

It was not Right to Hurt Major-General Kamal Gunaratne One day After his Retirement

By

Bandula Jayasekara

Major General , Kamal Gunaratne who commanded the elite 53 division of the Sri Lankan Army retired from on the 5th of September and launched his book ‘Road to Nandikadal – True story of defeating the Tamil Tigers’ both in Sinhala and English, on his birthday, 6th September.

I have met Kamal twice or thrice before he came on the programme, News 1st ‘Pathikada’ the day after his retirement. It was the longest chat I had with him. Sri Lankans know him and how his elite division ended the life of terrorist leader Velupillai Prabahkaran in Nandikadal.

This column isn’t about the book; it’s about my observations and of my thoughts. I asked him direct questions and he answered most directly. May be he couldn’t answer some directly. May be he didn’t know some answers. It is true, in life we don’t have answers to all our questions. If we had answers to all our questions life would be more beautiful, and may be even more confusing. Who knows.

I am of the view that ‘Road to Nandikadal‘ is one of the best books written on the ending of terrorism in Sri Lanka, that too by a soldier who spent thirty five years of his life battling them. I will never call it a war because late Lakshman Kadirgamar always said a war is fought between two countries.

Continue reading ‘It was not Right to Hurt Major-General Kamal Gunaratne One day After his Retirement’ »

Neither Sri Lanka Nor India Can Unilaterally Opt Out of Sampur Power Plant Joint Venture but Colombo Yet to Inform New Delhi Officially of Pull-Out.

By P.K.Balachandran

The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it is opting out of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Venture to set up a coal-fired 500 MW power at Sampur in the Eastern Province.

The ill-fated JV between the Ceylon Electricity Board and the National Thermal Power Corporation of India (NTPC) has been on the drawing board since 2006 and has faced many challenges in the past ten years.

The Sri Lankan government’s decision to abandon coal as the fuel is in line with the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government’s policy of protecting the country’s environment. The government wants investors to generate power using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or diesel.

However, the final decision on the Sampur power plant will have to be taken by the India-Sri Lanka governmental Joint Working Group (JWG). No unilateral decision can be taken by either country.

Continue reading ‘Neither Sri Lanka Nor India Can Unilaterally Opt Out of Sampur Power Plant Joint Venture but Colombo Yet to Inform New Delhi Officially of Pull-Out.’ »

Mahinda and Gota Trying to use Gen. Gunaratne’s “Road to Nandikadal” Book to Travel on the “Road to Power” Again.

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

Last week a function was held at Ananda College, Colombo, to launch the book Road to Nandikadal by Major General Kamal Gunaratne. Neither the President, nor the Prime Minister or any Member of Parliament or Minister of this government had been invited for this function. Only former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had received invitations.

The Major General presented the book to Mahinda Rajapaksa. During Mahinda’s Government, if a Major General invited only the Opposition and presented a book he had written, only to the Leader of the Opposition, the Major General would have been branded a Tiger and the stars of the Major General would have been removed and there was a chance he would even have been deprived of his pension.

What, Mahinda Rajapaksa did to Sarath Fonseka and the Majors General, who supported Fonseka, was the same. A certain group was sent to prison, while another group was sent home on compulsory leave. The main accusation Mahinda and others made against Fonseka was having relations with politicians of the Opposition, while still in the Army official uniform. They said it was a disloyal act and took Fonseka to the Military Court and punished him. The offence that Fonseka had committed was speaking to politicians of the Opposition on the telephone.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda and Gota Trying to use Gen. Gunaratne’s “Road to Nandikadal” Book to Travel on the “Road to Power” Again.’ »

C.V.Wigneswaran who Presented Infamous “Genocide” Resolution Rewarded For his “Bad Behaviour” With Meeting with UN Secy-Gen Ban Ki Moon

By
Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

Would India have allowed Ban Ki moon to travel to Kashmir and have a political dialogue with strident Kashmiri nationalists?

The Sri Lankan Government permitted and facilitated a meeting between the UNSG with the Northern Provincial Council and its Chief Minister. Every parent knows that you do not reward bad behaviour with a gift.

Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran presented the infamous Genocide Resolution to the Northern Provincial Council and then handed it over to a visiting senior UN political official.

He was rewarded for that move with the kind of meeting that no Sovereign State arranges between the UN Secretary General and the Chief Minister of a restive border province, in which a truculent separatist psyche is far from dead.

Continue reading ‘C.V.Wigneswaran who Presented Infamous “Genocide” Resolution Rewarded For his “Bad Behaviour” With Meeting with UN Secy-Gen Ban Ki Moon’ »

Suspicion Directed at Influential Figure in Defence Apparatus Under Previous Govt for Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Murder

By

Rasika Jayakody


“Deceit for personal gain is one of history’s most recurring crimes. Man’s first step towards change would be thinking, counter-arguing, re-thinking, twisting, straightening, perfecting, then believing every original idea he intends to make public before making it public. There is always an angle from which an absolute truth may appear askew just as there is always a personal emotion, or a personal agenda, which alienates the ultimate good of mankind.”

– Criss Jami, Killosophy

In a major development, the Police will exhume the remains of former Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, on September 27, following an order by the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court.

The order was issued after the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) informed the Mount Lavinia Magistrate that the postmortem inquiry into the former Editor’s death was suspicious.

After the exhumation, the CID will conduct tests to ascertain whether the findings of the JMO report tally with Wickrematunge’s remains. It was widely known that the authorities under the previous regime attributed Wickrematunge’s death to gunshot wounds. On the contrary, there was no exit wound on the journalist’s head nor was there any spent cartridges at the place where he was killed. This raised serious doubts about the cause of his death.

According to highly placed Police sources, the experts will conduct a further autopsy to ascertain the cause of death, following the exhumation. It was rumoured that the journalist had been killed by piercing to his head with a sharp weapon and that no firearm had been used in the process.

The same suspicions were raised when the Police re-commenced inquiries into the killing of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, February, last year, after a new government came to power. There were problems relating to the initial post mortem inquiry carried out by former Colombo Chief JMO Ananda Samarasekera. After the CID made submissions to the Colombo Additional Magistrate, permission was granted to exhume the rugby player’s body. The investigations carried out after the exhumation of Thajudeen’s body pointed out discrepancies in the previous post-mortem inquiry. Some assume that the exhumation of Wickrematunge’s body will produce the same divergent result, drawing parallels between the cases of Thajudeen and Wickrematunge.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the journalist’s death has plunged a few top-brass Police officers into hot water. They are currently under investigation for attempting to cover up evidence with regard to Wickrematunge’s murder. It all began when information about his notebook surfaced, last year, during the initial phase of the inquiry.

Continue reading ‘Suspicion Directed at Influential Figure in Defence Apparatus Under Previous Govt for Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Murder’ »

Resistance to Expansion of Pallenkandal St.Anthony Shrine Within Wilpatu National Park is a Matter of Law and Principle not Religion or Politics

By Rohan Wijesinha

The recent resistance of many conservationists and conservation agencies to the expansion, in the last few years, of the Pallenkandal Shrine, within the boundaries of the Wilpattu National Park, is based on Law and Principle, and is not a matter of religion, ethnicity or politics. It is also a matter of conservation – the preservation of the remaining wild places and wild creatures for the future health and prosperity of Sri Lanka. Any attempt to make it otherwise, by any of the parties involved on either side of the breach, should be strongly resisted.

History records that, the Roman Catholic missionary, Saint Joseph Vaz, came to Sri Lanka in 1687 and was in the Puttalam region in 1690. Local tradition says that in his movement down South from Jaffna to Puttalam, he built a series of small chapels for use by the beleaguered Catholics undergoing Dutch persecution, mainly fishing communities. One of these small churches, though inland from the coast, it is alleged is Pallenkandal, though there does not seem to be any contemporary written record that confirms this.

There is no doubt, however, that this little chapel was in existence prior to the establishment of the Wilpattu National Park in 1938, and hosted an annual feast for the fishing communities of Puttalam, a couple of hundred, who would erect temporary shelters for the three days of the feast, which were taken down when they returned home. There was little damage done to the environment surrounding this charming little chapel, an area of approximately a quarter of an acre, if that. The chapel then returned to the quiet of its surrounds for another year, steeped in the sanctity of the natural creation that surrounded it.

Continue reading ‘Resistance to Expansion of Pallenkandal St.Anthony Shrine Within Wilpatu National Park is a Matter of Law and Principle not Religion or Politics’ »

Only Colombo Tamils can Tame Tamil National Alliance and Navigate Them to Reality


By
Gomin Dayasri

In the South, children of good governance overwhelmed the descendants of nationalism. Presidential elections were a contest between the Kids of 2015 and Veterans of ’56. Heirs of ‘56 stood steadfastly behind their leadership on conviction in defeat. Impatient kids of 2015 left ‘Yahapalana’ regime in disgust after victory. Sincerity of both sides is beyond doubt.

Nationalists won the war over terrorism while good governance is irritably searching for a single conviction on corruption. Reason – Nationalism arises from mind and heart; good governance comes via textbooks and seminars. Descendants of 2015 are more fertile in the prevailing conditions while the offspring of ’56 are a dying breed unless Wigneswaran and Sampanthan revitalises the embryo with their ongoing stupid acts.

North desired to downsize the rejoicing South and avenge the defeat of its home-sprung bad boy, their lad. Feeling of misplaced pride is common in defeat, where terrorism was configured as nationalism. TNA feeds their voters on this diet, to keep the main communities apart and pocket the Northern vote.

Gruesome deeds of the LTTE were discounted by the Northerners; provided it did not hurt their homeland people if the incidents occurred in the despised alien South.To the Northerners, Southerners are as aliens as Afghans, Kurds or Syrians, during the war.

Not so to the dismayed Colombo Tamils that voted for UNP, but supported the LTTE clandestinely whenever they overran the defence forces; unavoidable, on a study of primitive tribal values.

Continue reading ‘Only Colombo Tamils can Tame Tamil National Alliance and Navigate Them to Reality’ »

Govt Informs Supreme Court that Joint Venture Project Signed With India to Construct Coal -Fired Power Plant at Sampur in Trinco District Is Stopped


The Government has assured the country’s apex court that it will not pursue a coal-fired power project in Sampur due to opposition by environmental groups, a decade after Sri Lanka signed a joint venture with India to construct the plant.

When the case against the Sampur coal-fired power plant filed by the Environmental Foundation Ltd. (EFL) was taken up in the Supreme Court yesterday, Additional Solicitor General Sanjaya Rajaratnam told the court that the Ministry of Power and Energy had decided a coal power plant would not be constructed in Sampur in the Trincomalee District.

As a result of the assurances by the Government, EFL has informed the Supreme Court that it was withdrawing its fundamental rights petition. “EFL then told the court it would not proceed with the petition and the proceedings were terminated,” EFL Head of Legal Gayani Hewawasam told Daily FT. However, EFL reserves the option to return to court if the Government changes its policy.

Continue reading ‘Govt Informs Supreme Court that Joint Venture Project Signed With India to Construct Coal -Fired Power Plant at Sampur in Trinco District Is Stopped’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Did Not Expect Even in his Wildest Dreams for Duminda Silva to Murder his One Time Buddy Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra

By
Ranga Jayasuriya

It is rather strange that nobody has yet cried ‘conspiracy’ over the High Court sentencing Duminda Silva and four others to death last week on charges of murdering Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others. Perhaps that indifference, even of his fellow travellers in the former regime, is understandable. Judging by the public reactions to the court verdict, Silva is deeply unloved. But, that is a bit confusing though; here was a man who polled the highest number of preferential votes at two consecutive provincial elections — in the second, he obtained a whopping on 165,000 votes, and then went to win a seat in parliament obtaining 146,000 votes at the 2010 general elections.

He could well have won this time had not President Maithripala Sirisena refused him nomination even after his name appeared in the nomination list. Going by the calibre of most individuals who made it to Parliament from the UPFA in last year’s election, Mr Silva’s chances were a near certainty. Had that happened, he could well have another rather insalubrious accolade to his name: The first sitting parliamentarian to be sentenced to death. His counsel say he and others would appeal.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Did Not Expect Even in his Wildest Dreams for Duminda Silva to Murder his One Time Buddy Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’ »

Uduvil Girls College Student Protest Ends After Meeting Between Parents and CSI Bishop Daniel Thiyagarajah: Retiring Principal Shiranee Mills Hands Over Duties to Successor Suneetha Jebaratnam.

By Dharisha Bastians

After a week of protests and turmoil, the crisis at the Uduvil Girls’ College appeared to be drawing to a close, with retiring principal Shiranee Mills formally handing over duties to her successor last evening.

The breakthrough was a result of waning support for the protests over the appointment of a new principal and what past pupils and demonstrating students called the forcible retirement of Principal Mills, after the problems at the elite Jaffna girls’ school took a major political turn at the end of last week.

Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah who heads the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India which manages Uduvil Girls’ College held a three-hour meeting with parents of students attending the school, at which he assured the safety of the protesting students and promised to set up a committee to look into complaints that the schoolgirl demonstrators had been assaulted the previous week.

He requested the parents at the meeting to ensure their children attended classes and continue with their school activities as usual, in order to restore normalcy.

Continue reading ‘Uduvil Girls College Student Protest Ends After Meeting Between Parents and CSI Bishop Daniel Thiyagarajah: Retiring Principal Shiranee Mills Hands Over Duties to Successor Suneetha Jebaratnam.’ »

Former “Eelanadu” News Editor and Veteran Journalist “Mahan” K.G.Mahadeva (76) Passed away in Tamil nadu

By Ananth Palakidnar

Veteran Tamil journalist K.G. Mahadeva, who served as the Senior News Editor of the Eelanadu, in Jaffna, passed away, at the age of 76, in Chennai on Sunday (11).

Mahadeva, who hailed from Batticaloa, served in the Seithi (News) publication from the upcountry in the sixties before joining Eelanadu, Jaffna, which was one of the leading regional news dailies founded by late Valachchenai Paper Mills Chairman K.C. Thangaraja in 1958.

Mahadeva played a key role as a News Editor at Eelanadu, Jaffna which was set on fire by hooligans, on the same night the Jaffna Public Library was set ablaze, for its unbiased contribution in 1981.

Continue reading ‘Former “Eelanadu” News Editor and Veteran Journalist “Mahan” K.G.Mahadeva (76) Passed away in Tamil nadu’ »

Army that has Handed Back 7210 out of 11,269 Acres in Palaly Cantonment and High Security Zone to Civilian Owners will not Return even an inch of 4.419 Acres Being Retained now

by Sirimewan Kasturiarachchi

The army would not return even an inch of the 4,419 acre land belonging to the Jaffna camp and Palaly Military cantonment, Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj Gen Mahesh Senanayake said.

He said that the Palaly High Security Zone had encompassed around 11,269 acres until 2010 and 7,210 acres had been given back to their original owners on government instructions and now the army was not in a position to return any more lands owing to security requirements in the former war-zone area.

Continue reading ‘Army that has Handed Back 7210 out of 11,269 Acres in Palaly Cantonment and High Security Zone to Civilian Owners will not Return even an inch of 4.419 Acres Being Retained now’ »

Promised Security in Malaysia for Sri Lankan Envoy Ibrahim Sahib Ansar and Sri Lankan High Commission in Kuala Lumpur has not Materialised so far.

By

P.K.Balachandran

An appalling lack of security at the airport and a corrupt Malaysian administration are blamed for the brutal assault on the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Malaysia, Ibrahim Sahib Ansar, by local Indian Tamil radicals at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on September 4.

Informed sources told Express that security at the KLIA is no lax that anyone can enter it and go up to the immigration area without any security check of their person and bags. There is no concept of VVIP security to ensure that high risk individuals are protected against demonstrators, thugs or terrorists.

In fact the Sri Lankan envoy was beaten up by intruding thugs in the “No Entry” (High Security) area.

Envoy Ansar had alerted the police well in advance about a potential threat to Sri Lankan dignitaries in view of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to Kuala Lumpur to attend an international political parties’ conference. But no special security systems were put in place.

Continue reading ‘Promised Security in Malaysia for Sri Lankan Envoy Ibrahim Sahib Ansar and Sri Lankan High Commission in Kuala Lumpur has not Materialised so far.’ »

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Opposes Colombo Municipal Council Plan to Dump city Garbage in 35 Acre Land at Ja-Ela.

by Norman Palihawadane

The Colombo Municipal Council gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court last week to utilise a 35-acre land at Ja-Ela for dumping of city’s garbage hereafter, but Head of Catholic Church Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday expressed opposition to polluting the northern suburb of Colombo.

The authorities, responsible for garbage disposal, should take action to dump garbage at a location uninhabited by people, Cardinal Ranjith said. He said he would make a request from the CMC on behalf of the people of Ja-Ela, which is a very populous area, to change the plan to dump garbage there.

Dumping garbage in Ja-Ela would contaminate water bodies and pollute the entire area, the prelate said.

Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Opposes Colombo Municipal Council Plan to Dump city Garbage in 35 Acre Land at Ja-Ela.’ »

“Maverick” Indian Politician Dr.Subramanian Swamy of BJP Honoured with “Tamil Ratna” Award by American Tamil Sangam

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has been honoured with ‘Tamil Ratna’ award by a body of Tamil diaspora here for fighting corruption and working for more transparency in the functioning of the government.

The America Tamil Sangam awarded the ‘Tamil Ratna’ to the senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP, who is currently on a visit to the US.

Continue reading ‘“Maverick” Indian Politician Dr.Subramanian Swamy of BJP Honoured with “Tamil Ratna” Award by American Tamil Sangam’ »

Ranjith Mulleriyawa was Known for His “Simple”Farming Advocacy and work on Chronic Kidney Disease

By

Gamini Seneviratne

People would have known him for his advocacy of simple farming and his work on Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD, thanks mostly to his work no longer regarded as of ‘Unknown’ origin). He passed away without ceremony in his home town, Kandy, and his remains cremated yesterday.

Royal in our time had a farm at Narahenpita to which we were taken once a week for hands on experience of farming. There was no paddy there but bananas and vegetables. Ranjith wasthe only boy who actually did what we were expected to do – work on the land.

Continue reading ‘Ranjith Mulleriyawa was Known for His “Simple”Farming Advocacy and work on Chronic Kidney Disease’ »

SLFP Internal Battle Reflects Crisis of Present Political Party System in Sri Lanka

By Dr.Pradeep Peiris

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s 65th anniversary hit news headlines this time mainly due to the party’s current internal power struggle. Since January 2015, the SLFP has been embroiled in a bitter internal power struggle between its current leader Maithripala Sirisena and his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The SLFP founded by S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike (centre) evolved under the leadership of his widow Sirima Bandaranaike, daughter Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa and now President Sirisena

After losing the Presidential election and having handed over the SLFP leadership, Rajapaksa started a new battle to regain power. His first priority seems to be to capture power within the party, despite the hullaballoo about a new party under his leadership. To counter the Rajapaksa-threat, Sirisena has not only had to secure his leadership within the party but also work to prevent the party’s ground level leadership joining Rajapaksa in his endeavor to form a new party. So, undoubtedly, the SLFP is experiencing an unprecedented internal crisis at the time it celebrates its 65th anniversary.

Continue reading ‘SLFP Internal Battle Reflects Crisis of Present Political Party System in Sri Lanka’ »

Maithripala and Ranil will Continue with SLFP-UNP Alliance to re-build Sri Lanka and Push Mahinda Into Corner


By P.K.Balachandran

Both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday clearly indicated that the on-going fruitful alliance between their respective parties – the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (SLFP) – will continue in order to develop Sri Lanka and maintain its sovereignty.

That the alliance between the two major Sri Lankan parties, which jointly head a “unity government” will continue for the foreseeable future, came out clearly from the speeches of the President and Prime Minister at a rally held here to mark the 70 th. anniversary of the UNP.

While Sirisena said that the alliance will help “develop Sri Lanka and enable it to move forward as a sovereign nation for many year to come,” Wickremesinghe said that those who had sought the help of the terrorist and separatist LTTE to win an election have no right to criticize the alliance between the SLFP and the UNP.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala and Ranil will Continue with SLFP-UNP Alliance to re-build Sri Lanka and Push Mahinda Into Corner’ »

Uduvil Girls College Students Wanting Re-instatement of Sherine Mills as Principal Fall at President Sirisena’s Feet Seeking his Intervention.


By Dharisha Bastians

Students of the Uduvil Girls College (UGC) in Jaffna handed over a petition to President Maithripala Sirisena opposite the Jaffna Library yesterday, as crisis deepens in the church administered school over a popular headmistress who was retired this week.

Falling at the President’s feet last afternoon, the schoolgirls wept and appealed to him to intervene to reinstate Shiranee Mills as Principal of UGC.

dailyFT.lk

dailyFT.lk

In their petition, the students asked President Sirisena to ensure their safety and wellbeing and ‘release the school from the grip of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI) by making changes in the governing body’.

“Don’t worry, don’t worry, I will take action,” President Sirisena soothed the crying school children and their parents at the Subaramaniam Park where he was attending an anti-narcotics programme the Government had organized during his Northern tour.
Continue reading ‘Uduvil Girls College Students Wanting Re-instatement of Sherine Mills as Principal Fall at President Sirisena’s Feet Seeking his Intervention.’ »

Penang Dep Chief Minister II Ramasamy wants Malaysian Govt to Expel Assaulted Sri Lankan High Commissioner Ibrahim Sahib Ansar

By

Vanesha Shurentheran

Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P.Ramasamy had raised five issues regarding the protest against allowing former Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse into the country and the arrest on five Malaysians for assaulting Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ibrahim Sahib Ansar.

“First, despite more than 500 police reports made by various Tamils groups in the country for the organizers not to invite Rajapakse, the Malaysian government rode a roughshod over the feelings and sentiments of Tamils.

“Rajapakse is considered a war criminal and who was responsible for the genocide against Tamils in the north and east of the country during the civil war that ended in 2009,” said DAP deputy secretary-general at a press meet in Komtar earlier today.

Ramasamy said that while he does not condone acts of violence against anybody, but the assault against Ansar, had a background.

Continue reading ‘Penang Dep Chief Minister II Ramasamy wants Malaysian Govt to Expel Assaulted Sri Lankan High Commissioner Ibrahim Sahib Ansar’ »

Tepid Response From Sri Lankan Govt to Damning Report by UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

BY

SANJA DE SILVA JAYATILLEKA

The September session of the United Nations Human Rights Council will start on the 13th of this month. There is a report on Sri Lanka due to be presented there. It is the Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on its mission to Sri Lanka.

I am no lawyer or any kind of expert but as I have closely observed the Council from a ringside seat (in the years 2007-2009) and am familiar with it, I checked it out. Even someone like me can see when a report is making a wildly expansive claim. At first glance it seemed to me that the members of the Working Group were making lurid allegations against the Sri Lankan state. Then I wondered if they were making them against the LTTE, which would certainly fit. It quickly dawned on me that they meant the State after all, since they refer to “counter-terrorists activities” – and that could only be the State.

Here’s what they say:

“Para 6:Enforced disappearances have been used in a massive and systematic way in Sri Lanka for many decades to suppress political dissent, counter-terrorist activities or in the internal armed conflict. Given the context in which they occurred, many enforced disappearances could be considered as war crimes or crimes against humanity if addressed in a court of law.”

That’s heavy. Using the phrase “massive and systematic” here makes it tantamount to a war crime, as they rightly point out. But why is it even there?

Continue reading ‘Tepid Response From Sri Lankan Govt to Damning Report by UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.’ »

“Dharussalam” in the Eye of a Political Storm Within The Muslim Congress

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

M. H. M. Ashraff (23 October 1948-16 September 2000)

M. H. M. Ashraff (23 October 1948-16 September 2000)

“Dharussalam” meaning “abode or house of peace” is the name given to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) headquarters at 53 Vauxhall lane in Slave Island or Colombo 2. The impressive seven storey structure was constructed mainly through the untiring efforts of M.H.M. Ashraff the legendary leader of the SLMC. “Dharussalam” was officially declared open on October 23rd 1998.Ashraff formed a trust on July 23rd 1999 and vested Dharussalam in that trust. The trust was named ‘Leaders Obligatory Trust for Unity and Sri Lankan Identity’ and was known by the acronym LOTUS. An executive board for the trust was also set up. Another company Unity Builders Ltd was formed to administer and maintain Dharussalam. Ashraff who headed both the LOTUS and its Executive board during his lifetime was killed in an air – crash on September 16th 2000.

Dharussalam 2

After Ashraff’s tragic demise in 2000 there was a leadership tussle between his widow Ms. Ferial Ashraff and the party Secretary – general of the time Rauff Hakeem. Eventually the mantle of Muslim Congress leadership fell on Hakeem’s shoulders. Effective control over the SLMC headquarters “Dharussalam”also passed to the party leader’s hands gradually.How this state of affairs came about is an interesting tale worthy of recounting at another time. As of now Rauff Hakeem in his capacity as Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader is in overall control of party headquarters”Dharussalam”.
Continue reading ‘“Dharussalam” in the Eye of a Political Storm Within The Muslim Congress’ »

“Justice has been Served for my Fathers Murder”says Hirunika Premachandra While Duminda Silva States “I am Innocent”

By

Dharisha Bastians

The high profile Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder trial came to a dramatic end yesterday, with ex-Parliamentarian Duminda Silva, a close ally of former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa being sentenced to death for the murder of the SLFP politico by the Colombo High Court yesterday.

A three judge bench of the High Court issued death sentences on Silva and four others when the verdict was delivered on the assassination of Premachandra, a former SLFP parliamentarian who was gunned down in Kolonnawa five years ago.

The bench announced a divided verdict in the high profile case with the majority decision in favour of sentencing Silva and four others to death.

High Court Judge Pathmini N. Ranawaka delivering the majority verdict before a packed court house yesterday noted that the prosecution had proved during the trial that Silva had led the others in the attack that resulted in Premachandra’s murder.

Continue reading ‘“Justice has been Served for my Fathers Murder”says Hirunika Premachandra While Duminda Silva States “I am Innocent”’ »

Death Sentence for Duminda Silva,”Dematagoda Chaminda”, Thushara De Mel, Sarath Bandara and Absconding Janaka Galagoda.

By Ishara Ratnakara

The Colombo High Court (CHC) yesterday sentenced to death former Parliamentarian Duminda Silva and four others in one of Sri Lanka’s most high profile murder cases. They were all found guilty of murdering former MP and Presidential Adviser Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others.
The three-member Trial-at-Bar Bench was divided in its verdict with two members finding the defendants guilty and the Chairman saying they should be acquitted.

Those convicted and sentenced to death were, former Police constable Anura Thushara de Mel, Chaminda Jayanath alias Dematagoda Chaminda, Sarath Bandara, Priyantha Janaka Bandara Galagoda (who is absconding) and former MP
R. Duminda Silva.

Continue reading ‘Death Sentence for Duminda Silva,”Dematagoda Chaminda”, Thushara De Mel, Sarath Bandara and Absconding Janaka Galagoda.’ »

” If not for Change in Government the Verdict May have been Different” says a Tearful Hirunika Premachandra.

Former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s daughter Hirunika Premachandra, addressing the media after the verdict of the Colombo Chief Magistrate said justice was achieved because the supremacy of law is protected under the new President.

“If the Government had not changed, maybe the verdict would have been different,” the weeping UNP MP said.

“Justice was achieved because the supremacy of law is protected under new President,” she stressed.

Continue reading ‘” If not for Change in Government the Verdict May have been Different” says a Tearful Hirunika Premachandra.’ »

“Duminda Silva Should be Held Responsible for the Whole Incident” Observes High Court Judge Padmini N. Ranawaka in Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra Murder Trial

By
Lakmal Sooriyagoda

Five accused including former Defence Ministry Monitoring MP Duminda Silva were yesterday sentenced to death by Colombo High Court for committing the murder of four persons including former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra on October 8, 2011.

However, the verdict was divided two to one with Judges Pathmini N.Ranawaka and M.C.B.S. Moraes finding five accused guilty on 10 charges including committing and conspiring to commit the murder of four people while Justice Shiran Gunaratne the President of Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar found the thirteen accused not guilty of all seventeen charges.

While handing out the judgment two Judges Pathmini N. Ranawaka Gunatilleke and M.C.B.S. Moraes unanimously decided that the prosecutors have proved the five accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Continue reading ‘“Duminda Silva Should be Held Responsible for the Whole Incident” Observes High Court Judge Padmini N. Ranawaka in Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra Murder Trial’ »

Trial at Bar Chairman Shiran Guneratne Acquits all 13 Accused but High Court Judges Padmini Ranawaka and MCBS Morais Convict Five and Discharge Eight

By Chitra Weeraratne

Two Judges out of the three High Court Judges, who comprised the trial-at-bar yesterday convicted former Parliamentarian Duminda Silva and four others of the conspiracy to murder and commit the murder of former Parliamentarian and presidential adviser, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra.

Death penalty was imposed on the convicts for that crime.

Continue reading ‘Trial at Bar Chairman Shiran Guneratne Acquits all 13 Accused but High Court Judges Padmini Ranawaka and MCBS Morais Convict Five and Discharge Eight’ »

Five Including Duminda Silva Sentenced to Death in Divided Court Decision Over Killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and Three Body Guards on Oct 8th 2011

Former Parliamentarian Duminda Silva and four others were sentenced to death today by the Colombo High Court after being found guilty in the murder of former MP and Presidential Advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others in 2011.

Former MP Premachandra, was killed on October 8, 2011 in a clash between two groups at Walpola, Mulleriyawa.Former MP Duminda Silva too was critically injured in the incident. Aside from Mr. Premachandra, the others who were killed were identified as his body guards.

In a divided judgement delivered by a special three-judge bench, the accused were found guilty of shooting dead four individuals, including Mr. Premachandra on the evening of October 8, 2011 in Kolonnawa.

Continue reading ‘Five Including Duminda Silva Sentenced to Death in Divided Court Decision Over Killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and Three Body Guards on Oct 8th 2011’ »

Tamil National Alliance After Sampanthan Likely to Fragment and Disintegrate.

By

Dharisha Bastians

On 23 May 2009, four days after Sri Lanka’s civil war had come to its brutal and bloody end, Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon arrived in the island.

On a quick trip to the embattled Northern Province the UN Chief flew over the final theatre of battle in Mullaitivu, an area still smouldering from deadly fighting, where a panel of UN experts would later estimate that tens of thousands of people had been killed. From his helicopter, Ban gazed down upon a scorched landscape that was heavily cratered and scattered with debris. To meet with President Mahinda Rajapaksa whose Government had just defeated the LTTE and claimed victory in a 26 year armed conflict, the Secretary General had to make a flying visit to Kandy. With all the travel packed in to the UN Chief’s visit in 2009, he had fit in one last important meeting at the Bandaranaike International Airport shortly before his departure.

Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, the leader of the largest Tamil party represented in Parliament was to meet the Secretary General at BIA. Sampanthan arrived at Katunayake at the appointed time, but was barred from proceeding towards the meeting area by security personnel. Security officials informed the TNA Leader that he could not proceed because Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, defence secretary at the time was of the view that “the airport was not a meeting place”. Sampanthan reached out to UN officials stationed in Sri Lanka, including Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne to gain access, but the effort proved futile and the veteran Tamil politician was compelled to forgo the meeting.

Seven years later, on his second visit to Sri Lanka, Ban Ki Moon landed in a very different country.

This time he would fly to the northern capital of Jaffna to meet with Sampanthan and a delegation of TNA legislators at the historic Jaffna Library on a sweltering afternoon. Having once lost an opportunity to brief the UN Chief, the 83 year old leader of the TNA seemed determined to make their meeting count last Friday (2). Sampanthan who generally reserves his more fiery remarks on the ethnic question for political speeches delivered in the North and East, surprised observers at the meeting with his assertiveness.

Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance After Sampanthan Likely to Fragment and Disintegrate.’ »

LTTE Woman Bodyguard of Tiger Chief Prabhakaran’s Daughter Dwaraka Surfaced in Malaysia After War Ended.

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

The appearance of the Tiger woman soldier in Malaysia who was in charge of the security of Dwaraka, Velupillai Prabhakaran’s daughter during the end of the war in Vellamulliwaikkal was a surprise to the Tamil community living in Malaysia as well. It was a mystery at that time how, after Dwaraka died, she went to Malaysia. There are a large number of Tamil Tiger leaders who surrendered to the Army and later went abroad, subsequent to Prabhakaran being destroyed on information received from Karuna Amman.

The media, then, had reported that these persons had paid large sums of money and fled to foreign countries. Many of them fled to Malaysia. There are also a large number of Tiger leaders who went to Europe from Malaysia later. KP came to Malaysia to meet the Tamil Tiger leaders who fled to Malaysia from the North. There, KP was taken into custody. However, the leaders who fled to Malaysia are still among the living. When you consider the protests that targeted Mahinda Rajapaksa recently during his visit to Malaysia, the power of the Tiger leaders who live in Malaysia is quite apparent.

Continue reading ‘LTTE Woman Bodyguard of Tiger Chief Prabhakaran’s Daughter Dwaraka Surfaced in Malaysia After War Ended.’ »

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe Cuts a Pathetic Figure Trying to Defend the Indefensible Remarks of Ban Ki Moon.

(Text of Editorial Appearing under the heading “Thus spake Ban ” in “The Island” of September 8th 2016)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has come and gone, but brouhaha one of his controversial remarks triggered has not yet died down. The government was over the moon about Ban’s visit, but now it has been left with egg on its face. How sad!

The UNSG, delivering a lecture, Sustainable Peace and Achieving Sustainable Development Goals, at Colombo Hilton last week, went out of his way to bracket Sri Lanka with Rwanda and Bosnia while speaking of the Vanni war. His comparison was not unintentional, at all. It was calculated to have the impact he had in mind. It looks as if he had come all the way here to say just that!

The government seems to think the UNSG came here in appreciation of its style of governance. He only wanted to dictate the tempo of the process of initiating the proposed war crimes probe, justify the UNHRC action and remind the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration of its commitment to the Geneva resolution.

He apparently wanted to come out with something to shock the conscience of the global community while international media attention was on this country so as to give the UNHRC war crimes probe project a turbo boost. He succeeded in his endeavour.

Continue reading ‘Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe Cuts a Pathetic Figure Trying to Defend the Indefensible Remarks of Ban Ki Moon.’ »

Govt will not Seek Clarification from Ban Ki Moon about References to Rwanda, Srebrenica and Sri Lanka in his Colombo Speech.

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The government would not seek any clarification from the United Nations (UN) regarding the UN Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon’s comparison of civilians deaths during the Vanni war with acts of genocide in Rwanda and Serbia in 1994 and 1995, respectively, Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Karunarathna Paranawithana said yesterday.

Responding to a query by The Island during the post-Cabinet media briefing at the Government Information Department, the Deputy Minister said the GoSL would not seek clarification as UNSG’s remarks were not mentioned in his prepared speech made at the Colombo Hilton during Moon’s recent visit to Sri Lanka and therefore UNSG’s personal comments would not be accounted as that from the UN.

Continue reading ‘Govt will not Seek Clarification from Ban Ki Moon about References to Rwanda, Srebrenica and Sri Lanka in his Colombo Speech.’ »

Govt Wants to Recruit More Tamil Speakers to the Armed Forces, Police and Prisons Dept

The Government is exploring the possibility of encouraging more Tamil-speaking members of the public to join the Police, Armed Forces and Prisons Department in order to cater to the needs of those in the country’s north and east.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday attributed this dearth to the LTTE’s frequent killings of Tamil-speaking members of the Police and Armed Forces, which in turn dissuaded potential new recruits.

“It is an issue to have few Tamil speakers in the Police, Armed Forces and Prisons Department. In fact, the first Army Commander, Major General Anton Muttukumaru, was a Tamil. But a major issue came up after 1978. The Tamils in the police force were the first to investigate LTTE incidents. Unfortunately, they were killed to stop the flow of information through Tamil areas. The LTTE also prevented Tamils from joining the Police and Armed Forces. The 1983 riots added to the problem,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Govt Wants to Recruit More Tamil Speakers to the Armed Forces, Police and Prisons Dept’ »

Prime Minister Ready to send a Delegation to Malaysia to “Discuss”with “Naam Thamilar” Indian Tamil Group that Attacked Envoy.

By Saman Indrajith

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday that the government had called for a detailed report from the Malaysian government on the attack on Sri Lankan envoy at the Kuala Lumpur Airport.

He said the Sri Lankan government had made a formal request from the Malaysian government to implement law against those responsible for the assault.

The Premier said so joining government and opposition MPs who made speeches condemning the LTTE activists assaulting Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia Ibrahim Sahib Ansar on Sunday.

MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena: Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, UNPs Daya Gamage, Anoma Gamage and I were invited to attend the ICAPP conference in Kuala Lumpur. It was so unfortunate that the LTTE activists assaulted our High Commissioner Sahib Ansar at the Kuala Lumpur Airport. He received injuries. This is an insult against the Lankan government. The government should take into account seriously how the LTTE activists staged protests displaying LTTE flags to prevent former President Rajapaksa attending and addressing the conference and issuing threats against him. Why the government is silent on LTTE activists assaulting a Lankan bhikkhu inside a temple there. We demand to know the action taken by the government in the face of these brutal acts which strain the good relations we have with Malaysia. It is a serious situation. Why doesn’t the government take the security of former President seriously? We do not blame the Malaysian government. What would be the response of Sri Lankan government?

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe: I condemn the attack on Lankan High Commissioner on Sept. 04. I have instructed the Foreign Ministry to summon Malaysian High Commissioner in Colombo and inform our displeasure immediately. It is the duty of the Foreign Ministry to provide for facilities for the MPs, former Prime Ministers and former Presidents when they go abroad.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Ready to send a Delegation to Malaysia to “Discuss”with “Naam Thamilar” Indian Tamil Group that Attacked Envoy.’ »

LTTE Leader Prabhakaran was Killed on May 19th 2009 and Tiger Intelligence Chief Pottu Ammaan on May 18 th – Maj Gen Kamal Gunaratne

by Shamindra Ferdinando

Former General Officer Commanding elite 53 Division Maj. General (retd) Kamal Gunaratne, whose troops killed LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and some of the latter’s top lieutenants during the final confrontation on the morning of May 19, 2009 has strongly disputed UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s comparison of Vanni offensive with cases of genocide in Ruwanda and Serbia in the 1990s.

Gunaratne said that he deeply regretted the UNSG’s unsubstantiated statement.

Appearing on Sirasa Pathikada, the Gajaba Regiment veteran emphasized that had Sri Lanka adopted such a policy none of those who surrendered to the Army as well as those arrested by the Intelligence Services on the Vanni east front would have been alive today. The veteran estimated the number of those who had surrendered and arrested at over 12,000 personnel. The war veteran was responding to programme host Bandula Jayasekera.

Responding to another query, Gunaratne said that as an officer who had served the Army for 35 years he was ready to face proposed judicial inquiry into accountability issues.

Continue reading ‘LTTE Leader Prabhakaran was Killed on May 19th 2009 and Tiger Intelligence Chief Pottu Ammaan on May 18 th – Maj Gen Kamal Gunaratne’ »

Malaysian Branch Members of South Indian “We Tamils Party”were Involved in Attack on High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur – Ranil Wickremesinghe

The assault on the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia by LTTE supporters at the Kuala Lampur International Airport came was condemned in Parliament yesterday.

Both Opposition and Government MPs voiced their concern and criticised Malaysian authorities for failing to provide adequate security for diplomats as is agreed to in international conventions.

According to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Malaysians responsible for the attack were followers of a minority extremist political movement based in South India.

Continue reading ‘Malaysian Branch Members of South Indian “We Tamils Party”were Involved in Attack on High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur – Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »