Attack in War Memorial and Parliament at Canada’s Capital Ottawa:One Soldier and Assailant killed. One security guard injured.Over 30 shots fired in shocking incident

By

Les Whittington& Joanna Smith

OTTAWA — A Canadian soldier was killed and a Parliament Hill security guard wounded Wednesday morning in a chaotic attack on the nation’s capital that police believe involved more than one assailant.One assailant was killed.

Shootings occurred at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill. Contrary to early reports, no shooting occurred near the Rideau Centre mall, Ottawa police said.

Witnesses described seeing the soldier, who was serving as a ceremonial guard at the foot of the cenotaph, shot at point-blank range before the gunman ran off in the direction of Parliament Hill.

Sirens blared and buildings in the area went under lockdown as police and soldiers continued the manhunt into Wednesday afternoon.

Police said in a news release Wednesday afternoon that nobody had been arrested. Police are going on the assumption there is more than one shooter.

Continue reading ‘Attack in War Memorial and Parliament at Canada’s Capital Ottawa:One Soldier and Assailant killed. One security guard injured.Over 30 shots fired in shocking incident’ »

Shooting in Parliament and War Memorial in Ottawa by Dark-complexioned man wearing scarf:Timeline of Events


By
Sarah Boesveld

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

9:52 a.m. Gunfire at the National War Memorial. Reporter there said he saw one man go down and another run. He heard four shots.

9:54 a.m. Gunfire in Parliament’s Centre Block.

9:56 a.m. Reports of dozens of shots fired in Parliament. A reporter sees a motionless body on the ground outside the Library of Parliament.

Meanwhile, at the War Memorial, reports emerge that it is a soldier that was shot.

9:58 a.m. CPR being performed on the soldier by passersby.

9:59 a.m. Confirmed that “active shooter” still in the halls of Parliament.

10:00 a.m. Ottawa police tactical unit arrives at Parliament Hill.

Continue reading ‘Shooting in Parliament and War Memorial in Ottawa by Dark-complexioned man wearing scarf:Timeline of Events’ »

Gamini Fonseka and Lester James Peries: Cinematic relationship of an actor and director

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Ten years ago on 30 September the brightest light of Sri Lankan cinema went out. Gamini Fonseka, the monarch of Sinhala moviedom, passed away peacefully on that day. Gamini Fonseka was my favourite actor on the Sinhala silver screen and became an important part of my childhood. This week’s ‘Spotlight’ focuses on him on the occasion of his 10th death anniversary.

Gamini Fonseka and Lester James Peries

Gamini Fonseka and Lester James Peries

Since I have written several articles in the past about the personality of Gamini and the remarkable highlights of his successful acting career, I thought of deviating from the beaten track this time and writing this column differently. What I want to do here is to focus on the professional interaction between the actor Gamini Fonseka and the director Lester James Peries.
Continue reading ‘Gamini Fonseka and Lester James Peries: Cinematic relationship of an actor and director’ »

Will the TNA Reveal Truth About Killing of Kingsley Rasanayagam by LTTE Ten Years ago?

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The assortment of political parties known as the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) is regarded as the premier political configuration representing the Sri Lankan Tamils in Parliament, the Northern and Eastern provincial councils and various local authorities in the north and east.The TNA has in recent times ardently supported the ongoing probe on Sri Lanka being conducted by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. No other political grouping in Parliament has openly declared its support for the UN investigation in the manner that the TNA has.

Kingsley Rasanayagam

Kingsley Rasanayagam

The TNA seeks to take the moral high ground in justifying its stance on this account. It is supportive of the UN probe on the basis that the complete truth about the past needs to be confronted by the Sri Lankan people to achieve justice based unity and peace. True accountability is essential for genuine reconciliation and ethnic amity argues the TNA.The TNA advises the Government to support the UN investigation.

Continue reading ‘Will the TNA Reveal Truth About Killing of Kingsley Rasanayagam by LTTE Ten Years ago?’ »

Ben Bradlee the Crusading Editor of “Washington Post” who Directed Coverage of Watergate Scandal dies at 93.


By

MARILYN BERGEROCT & Ashley Southall

Benjamin Crowninshield "Ben" Bradlee (August 26, 1921 – October 21, 2014)

Benjamin Crowninshield “Ben” Bradlee (August 26, 1921 – October 21, 2014)

Ben Bradlee, who presided over The Washington Post’s exposure of the Watergate scandal that led to the fall of President Richard M. Nixon and that stamped him in American culture as the quintessential newspaper editor of his era — gruff, charming and tenacious — died on Tuesday. He was 93.

Mr. Bradlee died at home of natural causes, The Post reported.

With full backing from his publisher, Katharine Graham, Mr. Bradlee led The Post into the first rank of American newspapers, courting controversy and giving it standing as a thorn in the side of Washington officials.

When government officials called to complain, Mr. Bradlee acted as a buffer between them and his staff.

“Just get it right,” he would tell his reporters. Most of the time they did, but there were mistakes, one so big that the paper had to return a Pulitzer Prize.

Mr. Bradlee — “this last of the lion-king newspaper editors,” as Phil Bronstein, a former editor of The San Francisco Chronicle, described him — could be classy or profane, an energetic figure with a boxer’s nose who almost invariably dressed in a white-collared, bold-striped Turnbull & Asser shirt, the sleeves rolled up.

Continue reading ‘Ben Bradlee the Crusading Editor of “Washington Post” who Directed Coverage of Watergate Scandal dies at 93.’ »

20 Injured,3 Hospitalised as Police use Rubber bullets, Batons, Water Cannon and Tear Gas to Stop Undergraduates Protesting in Parliament.

A female undergraduate was hit in the abdomen with a tear gas canister fired at close range when the police yesterday (21) brutally attacked students from all State universities who marched to Parliament seeking solutions for their legitimate demands.

Police Special Task Force (STF) and Anti-Riot Squad personnel unleashed a vicious barrage of rubber bullets fired at close range whilst water cannons sprayed murky brown coloured water piercing the smoky fog of tear gas, resulting in three hospitalisations and 20 being injured.

Continue reading ‘20 Injured,3 Hospitalised as Police use Rubber bullets, Batons, Water Cannon and Tear Gas to Stop Undergraduates Protesting in Parliament.’ »

LTTE Revival Attempt leader Theiveegan’s mother Rajithamalar Sundaralingam (57) Stopped at Katunayake from Going to Canada with Valid visa.

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

CanadaFL112711

LTTE members and supporters active overseas had launched a special project to secure asylum for close relatives of dead LTTE cadres, a senior security official alleged yesterday.

The official was responding to a query by The Island regarding the arrest of Sundaralingam Rajithamalar (57), mother of Sundaralingam Kajeepan alias Thevihan killed during an army operation at Vedivachchikallu, south of Nedunkerni last April.

Rajithamalar was prevented from leaving the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) yesterday morning, though she had a valid Canadian visa.

Continue reading ‘LTTE Revival Attempt leader Theiveegan’s mother Rajithamalar Sundaralingam (57) Stopped at Katunayake from Going to Canada with Valid visa.’ »

GL Peiris States Geneva Ambassador Residence Contract was not given to Person with LTTE links and that Kshenuka Seneviratne was not Involved in deal.

External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday strongly defended Foreign Secretary Kshenuka Seneviratne as regards the renovation of the official residence of the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Geneva in 2009.

Full text of the media statement issued by the Ministry of External affairs is as follows-

“Extensive publicity has been given during the last few days to a series of allegations that Ms. Kshenuka Seneviratne, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs, has been guilty of impropriety in connection with the award of a contract for the renovation of the official residence of the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Geneva in 2009″

Continue reading ‘GL Peiris States Geneva Ambassador Residence Contract was not given to Person with LTTE links and that Kshenuka Seneviratne was not Involved in deal.’ »

“Remote Control Rule” in Tamil Nadu with Panneerselvam as Puppet Chief Minister and Jayalalithaa as Controlling Puppeteer.

by

N Sathiya Moorthy

[After presenting a bouquet to greet his leader, J. Jayalalithaa, on her victory O. Paneerselvam, seeks her blessings at her Poes Garden residence, Feb 2002]

[After presenting a bouquet to greet his leader, J. Jayalalithaa, on her victory O. Paneerselvam, seeks her blessings at her Poes Garden residence, Feb 2002]

While there is likely no bar on Jayalalithaa meeting with Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and his cabinet colleagues, she may not see senior government officials or see official files.

By asking J Jayalalithaa to direct her All India Anna Dravida Munetra Kazhagam party cadres not to indulge in acts of violence while granting her bail, did the Supreme Court shift the responsibility of the state on the law and order front to an individual?

While hearing Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy’s personal submission on threats of violence against him while hearing Jayalalithaa’s bail petition, the first bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu told her senior counsel Fali S Nariman that there had to be directions against such incidents.

Nariman submitted that Jayalalithaa herself would issue a statement in this regard — which the AIADMK headquarters promptly did before the day was out. In the statement, Jayalalalithaa asked party cadres not to indulge in violence.

In the AIADMK, her word is gospel for everyone down the line, to the last man and woman. The cadres can be expected to be more than careful in not jeopardising Amma’s freedom even remotely.

Continue reading ‘“Remote Control Rule” in Tamil Nadu with Panneerselvam as Puppet Chief Minister and Jayalalithaa as Controlling Puppeteer.’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe and Champika Ranawaka Must Engage and Bring the UNP and JHU Together.

By

Vishwamithra 1984

UNP9912

An Open letter to Ranil W and Champika R…

“I shall argue that strong men, conversely, know when to compromise and that all principles can be compromised to serve a greater principle.”

~Andrew Carnegie

This missive is addressed to Ranil Wickremesinghe and Champika Ranawaka, the Leaders of the United National Party (UNP) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) respectively. But it is not a “for your eyes only’ memorandum. Whoever wishes to read it could read the letter and draw his or her own conclusions and make their own assertions.

JHU050613

The country is evidently heading for a crucial election. The Presidential Elections which everyone is talking about and getting ready for is no election to elect Provincial Councilors or Pradesheeya Sabha members whose scope of work and horizon of vision are limited and perennially lacking in the national context. All Provincial Council administrations, except perhaps in the Northern Province, are blindly subservient to the ‘Center’, treating the terrain as a breeding ground for corrupt and nepotistic practices rather than for future parliamentarians.

Those who are already warming the governing seats in these councils are running amok, as was seen in the last five years and paying ‘puja’ to, as Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke quite rightly called, the “family politburo’ in order to receive more favorable grants and wishes for their own unsophisticated advancement.

It is in that context that the leaders of the UNP and JHU should look at the forthcoming Presidential Elections. It is incumbent upon them, if they are really serious about displacing the current President from office, to explore all possibilities, not just one or two, to secure an electoral victory at the Presidential Elections. What does Ranil have to do and what does Champika have to accomplish in order to come to a common understanding and launch a combined effort to achieve victory?
Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe and Champika Ranawaka Must Engage and Bring the UNP and JHU Together.’ »

Dr.Subramanian Swamy wants India’s Highest National Honour “Bharat Ratna” to be Conferred on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for Eliminating the LTTE.

New Delhi: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his government confer Bharat Ratna on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa under whose leadership the LTTE was eliminated.

Continue reading ‘Dr.Subramanian Swamy wants India’s Highest National Honour “Bharat Ratna” to be Conferred on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for Eliminating the LTTE.’ »

Saying 54 Committed Suicide&139 Died of Heart Attack Due to her Arrest,Jayalalithaa Orders 300,000 Rupees to each Family.

Putting up a brave front, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Sunday assured party workers that she will come out of the present case as she had successfully faced many challenges, saying her “public life amounted to swimming in a sea of inferno.”

In her first statement after walking out of the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison at Bangalore on Saturday, the former chief minister said she had been facing challenges in life for long.

“I have successfully come out of them. With your love and the grand support of the people of Tamil Nadu by my side, I am not going to be cowed down or lose heart,” said Ms. Jayalalithaa, who was sentenced to four years in prison in the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case.

Continue reading ‘Saying 54 Committed Suicide&139 Died of Heart Attack Due to her Arrest,Jayalalithaa Orders 300,000 Rupees to each Family.’ »

Rajapaksa Regime Continues to Increase Fuel,Electricity and Gas Prices after Winning Every Election”-Ranil Wickremesinghe

By Dharisha Bastians

The United National Party had built a middle class in Sri Lanka that the Rajapaksa administration has destroyed over the past decade, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe charged yesterday.

Speaking to UNP polling agents in Kotte yesterday, Wickremesinghe claimed that while President Mahinda Rajapaksa had promised that the savings from concluding the war would be passed on as a dividend to the people, this had not transpired.

“The middle class, the common people and the farmers find it very difficult to survive today. After winning every election, the Rajapaksa regime claimed it had obtained a mandate from the people, and continued to increase fuel, electricity and gas prices,” the Opposition Leader said.

He added that all the while, members of the Rajapaksa administration had been living the high life.

The Opposition Leader reiterated his demand for a Rs. 10,000 wage hike for public servants and up to 25% reductions in electricity tariffs.

Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Regime Continues to Increase Fuel,Electricity and Gas Prices after Winning Every Election”-Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Superstar Rajnikanth Writes to Jailed-bailed Jayalalithaa Greeting her as “respected Jayalalithaaji”and wishing her “Happy Deepavali”.

By
B. Aravind Kumar & Sruthisagar Yamunan

JJRK

A very personal and touching greetings by actor Rajinikanth and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi to AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa on Sunday have given a jolt to Tamil Nadu BJP.

In his letter, Mr. Rajinikanth, who is being wooed by the State BJP for several months now, said he was “very glad” to see her, a neighbour, back home in Poes Garden.

Addressing her as “Respected Jayalalithaaji,” he said he was praying for good times for her. “Always wishing you well for good health and peace,” he signed off with a ‘happy Deepavali’ greeting.

AIADMK leaders view it as a gracious, humane gesture and point out that the sympathy to her extended outside the cadre base, including those in high places.

With the BJP trying hard to rope him in to provide an iconic face to it, he could have extended his greetings to her in an effort to ward off any possible hindrance to the release of his movie Lingaa slated for a December release.

Continue reading ‘Superstar Rajnikanth Writes to Jailed-bailed Jayalalithaa Greeting her as “respected Jayalalithaaji”and wishing her “Happy Deepavali”.’ »

Govt charge that Ranil Wickremesinghe met LTTE Diaspora Representatives is”an Outright Lie” states UNP Leadership council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya M.P.

By

Dharisha Bastians

The United National Party has hit out against allegations by the Government that the main opposition party had been involved in a recent court ruling lifting sanctions against the LTTE in the European Union, calling it petty politicking for the forthcoming election season.

UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya said in a statement issued yesterday that the European Court of Justice ruling relaxing the terror controls on the LTTE was a failure of the Government, which should appeal the ruling legally by making submissions to the court.

“The UNP has never held a soft position towards the LTTE. Even the simplest minds will understand that if that were true, the LTTE had no reason to enforce a boycott to ensure the defeat of an UNP candidate at the 2005 presidential election,” Jayasuriya said in a media statement.

Continue reading ‘Govt charge that Ranil Wickremesinghe met LTTE Diaspora Representatives is”an Outright Lie” states UNP Leadership council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya M.P.’ »

Pvt Transport Minister C.B.Ratnayake Admits Lifting of EU Ban on LTTE will Boost Mahinda’s Election Campaign while Collecting Signatures for Petition against the move.

By

Franklin R. Satyapalan

Minister of Private Transport C.B. Ratnayake said yesterday that the European Court of Justice decision to lift the European Union Ban on the LTTE would have adverse effect on the initiatives taken by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to establish peace in the country. It would however unwittingly boost President Rajapaks’a bid to retain the presidency for a third term.

The minister who represents the Nuwara Eliya District is spearheading a campaign to collect 18 million signatures of Sri Lankans from Dondra to Point Pedro against lifting of the EU ban on the LTTE.

Continue reading ‘Pvt Transport Minister C.B.Ratnayake Admits Lifting of EU Ban on LTTE will Boost Mahinda’s Election Campaign while Collecting Signatures for Petition against the move.’ »

UPFA Gen Secy and Cabinet Minister Susil Premjayantha Confirms Presidential Election will be held in January 2015.


by

Maheesha Mudugamuwa

UPFA General Secretary and Environment and Renewable Energy Minister Susil Premjayantha yesterday confirmed that the presidential election would take place in January next year.

Addressing the media at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Head Office in Colombo he said that the election would not be an issue for the scheduled visit of Pope Francis from January 13 to 15.

He also said that the SLFP had started its election campaign last month and stressed that it had an early preparedness for elections as usual.

Continue reading ‘UPFA Gen Secy and Cabinet Minister Susil Premjayantha Confirms Presidential Election will be held in January 2015.’ »

Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran sends out Confusing and Contradictory Signals to India.

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

In a single stroke, Sri Lanka’s Northern Province Tamil Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran seems to have sent out confusing and contradictory signals to India. On the one hand, he wants India to play an active role in finding a ‘political solution’ to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. On the other, he boycotted the India-funded Colombo-Jaffna railway inauguration.

It was the second Wigneswaran-type ‘boycott’ of India, citing the presence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the reason – however justified or otherwise that be. Earlier, he had stayed away from the Sri Lankan delegation at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inauguration in May 2014.

The boycott at the time owed not to who had invited him for participation – the Sri Lankan Government, and not the Indian counterpart. Such a line might have been justified, even if only up to a point. It owed near-exclusively to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa heading the nation’s delegation – as was to have been the wont.

In his own way at the time, President Rajapaksa had sent out a signal to the Tamils of Sri Lanka – maybe, as they had apprehended, for India and the rest of the world to witness – when he invited Chief Ministr Wigneswaran (among the nine in the country) to join his Delhi delegation. In his own way, President Rajapaksa was also sending out a positive signal to India, by inviting Justice Wigneswaran to be on that delegation.

Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran sends out Confusing and Contradictory Signals to India.’ »

Jan 2015 Visit by Pope Francis to Sri Lanka may not take place if Presidential Elections are Scheduled a month before or after Pope Coming to Island.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis


Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo, has sought President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s early advice whether the visit of Pope Francis should go ahead or be cancelled in the light of the upcoming presidential election. The three-day visit is scheduled to begin on January 13 next year.

The request has gone in the form of a letter sent to President Rajapaksa this week. The Cardinal told the Sunday Times, “I wrote a confidential letter. I cannot tell you anything more. I am awaiting a response.”

Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith

Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith


Continue reading ‘Jan 2015 Visit by Pope Francis to Sri Lanka may not take place if Presidential Elections are Scheduled a month before or after Pope Coming to Island.’ »

Loan Conditions Eased by China in Return for Operating rights to four berths in Hambantota harbour Next Year


By Namini Wijedasa

SLC31412

News that Sri Lanka had granted Chinese state-owned companies operating rights to four berths at the Hambantota Port once they are completed next year has caught the shipping industry unawares.

There had been no tenders or prior announcements. But Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Priyath B Wickrama says the Government had agreed to such an arrangement with the Hambantota Port’s Chinese lenders as far back as 2010.

“We had an understanding with them when we took the loan,” he said in an interview with the Sunday Times. The loan agreement was signed with the Treasury.

He also revealed that, in exchange for these operating rights, the Chinese have consented to ease loan conditions. “That loan was a huge loan,” he said. “The Chinese Government (has) agreed to relax the loan conditions as well. So the terms of our Phase I loan and Phase II loan are being rearranged. Those negotiations are now ongoing with the Treasury.”

Continue reading ‘Loan Conditions Eased by China in Return for Operating rights to four berths in Hambantota harbour Next Year’ »

Govt Officials in North Boycott Opening of Mobile Service by Chief Minister Because Wigneswaran Boycotted President Rajapaksa.

Central Government officials boycotted a Northern Provincial Council mobile service, in what has been described as tit-for-tat, after Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneshwaran kept away from the District Development Council (DDC) meeting presided over by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Jaffna on Monday.

Chief Minister at Muruganantha college-Sep 8, 2014

Chief Minister at Muruganantha college-Kilinochchi-Sep 8, 2014

The mobile service was organised in Nedunkerny in Vavuniya to resolve public problems related to land, passports, birth and death certificates and development activities among others. It was held on Friday and Saturday. However, only NPC officials took part in the event, while Central Government officials from Vavuniya kept away.

Vavuniya’s District Secretary Bandula Harishchandra said the mobile service was arranged without the consent of the Governor and the Chief Secretary, and hence, the officials did not attend the event.

“They should have consulted the Governor or the Chief Secretary, who in turn would have contacted us to make the arrangements,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Govt Officials in North Boycott Opening of Mobile Service by Chief Minister Because Wigneswaran Boycotted President Rajapaksa.’ »

UNP Formulates 7 Point Minimum Common Programme for Enlisting Support to Contest Presidential Elections

UNP8712


The poll fever at last has extended to the main Opposition. The United National Party is also making a strong effort to go into election mode. One of the moves the party initiated this week is a shift in posture. It now wants it known that it has still not formally named a presidential candidate and a decision is pending.

This is in marked contrast to the discussion at the so-called G-20 meeting in the Parliament complex on October 10. Except for Daya Gamage, a financier of the UNP and its national organiser, all others in this group are MPs. The group has been named by leader Wickremesinghe to deal with matters related to the presidential election. This is including all media activity.

At that meeting Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa moved that the party should immediately announce that Wickremesinghe should be the party’s presidential candidate. The proposal was strongly endorsed by General Secretary Tissa Attanayake and Rosie Senanayake MP. However, as revealed in these columns last week, Wickremesinghe was not in favour of the move. He said such an announcement should only be made after the official proclamation was made. This assertion left little doubt that eventually Wickremesinghe would be the UNP’s presidential candidate.


Why then is a change in posture?

Continue reading ‘UNP Formulates 7 Point Minimum Common Programme for Enlisting Support to Contest Presidential Elections’ »

“A Pure Tomorrow Movement” Athureliye Rathana Thera’s “Ultimatum to President rajapaksa is Backed by Jathika Hela Urumaya

JHU020713


It is less than a handful who could muster such a political event with the hierarchy of the Government and the main Opposition in attendance.If that was a feat last Tuesday, the blunt message delivered by the convener was unsurpassed. A touch of irony was that it came from a United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) partner, a live wire that espoused the cause of the majority Sinhala-Buddhist people in the ruling coalition.



Venerable Athureliye Rathana Thera,
founder of Pivithuru Hetak (A Pure Tomorrow) issued an ultimatum to President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the upcoming presidential election should not be held without amendments to the Constitution first. Charging that the conduct of such election had neither been discussed with partners in the UPFA nor the Cabinet of Ministers, he demanded that, “polls should be according to the laws of the country and not according to an individual’s astrological charts.” He warned that “We will do everything possible, Sathyagrahas and protests included.”


Adding weight to Ven. Rathana Thera’s ultimatum is that he is a key player in the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and one of its MPs. His party is fully behind him. The JHU, whose annual convention takes place today, is set to endorse the new movement’s plan of action. Thus it will become part of the JHU’s own efforts too. Immediately thereafter a party delegation is set to meet President Rajapaksa next week to discuss the demands.

Continue reading ‘“A Pure Tomorrow Movement” Athureliye Rathana Thera’s “Ultimatum to President rajapaksa is Backed by Jathika Hela Urumaya’ »

Resumption of Train Service Provides Northern Farmers and Fishers Fresh Opportunities to Market Their Produce Effectively.

By

Arjuna Hulugalle

For those who have ceaselessly worked over the years to maintain the integrity of the country in its broadest sense, seeing the old, the young and the children waving the national flag gave hope for Peace, Unity and Stability in our nation. The train to Jaffna had brought with it a long awaited mutation and answered a deep seated yearning of all the “common” people from North, South, East and West. It is now for the leaders not to fail them.

Yal Devi at Jaffna-Oct 13, 2014-

Yal Devi at Jaffna-Oct 13, 2014-pic: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

Hardly, forty eight hours passed after the train service was inaugurated when the farmers of the Northern Province, a set of practical men and women saw a new vista which had eluded them for years. The Train was a new life line. The Northern Farmer and fishermen is a tribe of diligent men. The Train if used properly will give them a boost, which no hand out of the Government or an NGO can achieve. It is regaining their self respect by trading the fruits of their labour with markets that need them. It was so before the war and it could be so even now.

Continue reading ‘Resumption of Train Service Provides Northern Farmers and Fishers Fresh Opportunities to Market Their Produce Effectively.’ »

Travelling by Train Between North and South in the good old days without any Fanfare


by

A C B Pethiyagoda

pic courtesy of:  yamu.lk

pic courtesy of: yamu.lk

“Jaffna, here I come” proclaims President Mahinda Rajapaksa with arms lifted high as the Yal Devi Express comes into the Jaffna Railway Station after a lapse of 24 years. This was the caption of the front page picture in The Island newspaper on Tuesday 14 with all other newspapers and TV news channels highlighting this glad news. My first thought on seeing these pictures was that I had approached the rail station and alighted from the Jaffna train very many times long ago, with of course no fanfare. All of us Lankans are glad this link with the northern peninsula has been restored and grateful to the Indian subsidiary IRCON International which restored the line in three stages: Omanthai to Kilinochchi; Kilinochchi to Pallai and then to Jaffna.

The Jaffna Night Mail

My mind went back to my first train trip to Jaffna about sixty years ago as a teenager when I studied for the Higher School Certificate Examination (HSC) in agriculture at Jaffna College, Vaddukoddai, after successfully passing the Senior School Certificate Exam from Trinity College Kandy. After that initial journey, within a span of two years, I was a fairly frequent traveler in the Night Mail to Jaffna, (no Devi or Royalty then!). It was heavily patronized by Jaffna men working in Colombo and elsewhere in the South with their families left behind in their places of birth in the Peninsula.

I would entrain from the Fort Railway Station around 6.00 o’clock in the evening. Needless to say I traveled third class with uncushioned wooden seats relatively uncrowded unless it was a weekend with a public holiday attached at either end. There was the first class carriage with its immaculately upholstered seats and berths covered in white; the second class compartments with comfortable sleeperettes and a fine restaurant car catering to these two classes with good China and silver plated cutlery. I cannot recall the exact price of the ticket, but I am certain it was less than fifty rupees – third class. The journey took approximately twelve hours.

Continue reading ‘Travelling by Train Between North and South in the good old days without any Fanfare’ »

Why President Rajapaksa is Disqualified to Contest Presidential Polls a Third time.


By

Dr Reeza Hameed

President Rajapakse’s eligibility to seek a third term as President has become a contentious issue ever since former Chief Justice Sarath Silva declared several weeks ago that President Rajapakse is legally barred from contesting a third time. Some commentators have challenged Sarath Silva’s views and Chinthaka Mendis was one of them (see Chinthaka Mendis, ‘Why Sarath Silva is wrong’, September 14, 2014, The Island). In my view, Sarath Silva is right in his assertion that President Rajapakse is disqualified from bidding for a third term and that the Eighteenth Amendment did not remove the disqualification to which he became subject no sooner he was elected for a second term.

pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

The view that President Rajapakse is disqualified to contest a third term follows from a reading of the Constitution as amended by the Eighteenth Amendment, read together with the Interpretation Ordinance. A correct interpretation of the Constitution would lead one to the conclusion that the Eighteenth Amendment was only prospective in its operation and despite that amendment President Rajapakse’s disqualification continues.

Continue reading ‘Why President Rajapaksa is Disqualified to Contest Presidential Polls a Third time.’ »

European Conspiracy to Condemn Sri Lanka for Human Rights Violations while Removing Ban on the LTTE

by

C.A.Chandraprema

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The fact that the General Court of the European Court of Justice has rendered invalid the listing of the LTTE as a terrorist organization in the EU has caused much consternation in Sri Lanka. It has to be noted that bodies like the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the European Court of Human Rights often deliver judgments that cause much distress in member states of the EU itself so it’s hardly surprising that we would find one of their rulings disconcerting.

The decisions of these courts is one of the main reasons why the Conservative government in Britain is promising to have a referendum before the end of 2017 to decide whether Britain is going to remain a member of the EU or not. Reading the judgment of the ECJ, it appears on the face of it that the EU Council did put up a fight to keep the LTTE on the list of terrorist organizations and subject to financial sanctions and asset freezes. But certain circumstances makes one wonder whether there was some unholy collusion within the EU structure to have the ban on the LTTE lifted.

Back in 2006 when the EU finally made the decision to include the LTTE in its list of terrorist organizations it was amidst great reluctance on the part of some EU states. Mangala Samaraweera was then the foreign minister of the UPFA government and it was he who was involved in the negotiations with the EU states to have the LTTE declared a terrorist organization. It had been an uphill struggle all the way and the LTTE would never have been declared a terrorist organization in the EU if not for the unstinting support of the last Republican government in the USA.

Continue reading ‘European Conspiracy to Condemn Sri Lanka for Human Rights Violations while Removing Ban on the LTTE’ »

UNP must get all opposition parties to support the UNP nominee for Presidential elections as the common candidate.


By

C.A.Chandraprema

It now seems almost a certainty that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will be contesting Mahinda Rajapaksa even though the UNP’s decision making bodies have not yet made a formal decision to that effect. Those who were in favour of the UNP leader contesting the presidential poll under the green colour and the elephant symbol expect thereby to rally support for the party countrywide and capitalize on the recovery seen in the Badulla district at the recent Uva PC elections. They also entertain the hope of victory if the overwhelming majority of the minority vote comes to the UNP. There was (and still is) another school of thought in the party that in order to ensure victory, all the political parties in the South like the JVP and Fonseka’s party also have to be taken on board and if what is required for this is to field a candidate from outside the political party system that everyone can agree on, then the party should make the sacrifice and take a step backwards and support the common candidate. The latter group also argues that if the objective is to abolish the executive presidency, then there is no point on insisting on a UNP candidate for what would essentially be an interim presidency to abolish the institution.

The latter group’s argument certainly has logic to it. But what they have not considered is what would happen if the so called common candidate from outside the party system is defeated. As of now, this group is so sure of victory if a common candidate acceptable to all parties is fielded, that they are willing to risk everything on one massive wager. But they have to ask themselves whether the risk is worth it. If the UNP agrees on a common candidate from outside for a second time and loses, that will have a devastating impact on the party. At the parliamentary elections that follow upon the presidential election, the UNP will be decimated and it may take another ten years to recover from a blow like that. Besides for a national party to encourage their rank and file to vote outside the party is suicidal. The SLFP has never encouraged their members to vote for outsiders at national elections. In 1994, Chandrika Kumaratunga collected small parties around herself, instead of asking her party to vote for some common candidate outside the party.

Continue reading ‘UNP must get all opposition parties to support the UNP nominee for Presidential elections as the common candidate.’ »

President Rajapaksa sending clear signals to Sinhala-Buddhist constituency that he is standing between Sri Lanka and Tamil separatism

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

In Paris, April 8, 2009-pic: Geoff Wong

In Paris, April 8, 2009-pic: Geoff Wong

The decision of Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran to boycott all functions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his politico-administrative turf seems to have been born out of sheer Tamil frustration at not being able to get their constitutional due under 13-A. So should be the Northern Provincial Council decision in not associating with the presidential visit. It’s only half true, though.

In the reverse, continual attempts by President Rajapaksa to reach out to the Tamils of the war-torn North should be seen as the Government’s desperation at wanting to do the right thing by the community, to whatever extent possible. In this, the role of the President as the Head of the Sri Lankan State should not be confused with his political role as the leader of the ruling SLFP-UPFA. This does not mean that the Government has done enough.

Nor should the Tamil thinking, as always in the post-war years, be limited to the incumbent’s intentions to run for a third term in a row, after amending the Constitution to facilitate the same after re-election in 2010. If so, they are in danger of misunderstanding the limited or larger signals emanating from the majority Sinhala-Buddhist polity. The latter is not confined to either President Rajapaksa or the SLFP-UPFA combine.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa sending clear signals to Sinhala-Buddhist constituency that he is standing between Sri Lanka and Tamil separatism’ »

“Ravana Balaya” Buddhist Monks led by Saddhatissa Thera Clash with Foreign Employment Bureau Chairman Amal Senadhilankara.

By

Nirmala Kannangara

General Secretary of Ravana Balaya, Ven. Saddhatissa Thera accused the management of Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) of failing to ensure the safety of migrant workers in Middle East countries.

Following last Thursday’s incident at the SLBFE where the Buddhist monks led by Saddhatissa Thera had a heated argument with the Bureau Chairman Amal Senadhilankara over the issues faced by the migrant workers in the Middle East countries, Saddhatissa Thera said that Senadhilankara was over agitated as he (Saddhatissa Thera) had to reveal the truth of the fate of our migrant workers in the Middle East countries.

“All our attempts to meet Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera to discuss these issues failed and that was why we informed SLBFE Chairman’s office that we want to meet him.

Continue reading ‘“Ravana Balaya” Buddhist Monks led by Saddhatissa Thera Clash with Foreign Employment Bureau Chairman Amal Senadhilankara.’ »

Sajin Vaas Gunawardane Keeps Silent when Journalists asked him about Chris Nonis assault Incident and not Getting an Audience with Pope.

By

Hemanth De Silva

External Affairs Ministry Monitoring MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardane said yesterday the EU decision to lift the ban on the LTTE was a shot in the arm for the LTTE and the diaspora.

He told a media conference held at the Balapitiya SLFP head office that with this decision all EU members would regard the LTTE as a legitimate organization.

Mr. Gunawardane remained mum when journalists asked him about his alleged assault on former Sri Lankan High Commissioner Chris Nonis and on reports that he was not allowed to the Vatican during the recent visit by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Continue reading ‘Sajin Vaas Gunawardane Keeps Silent when Journalists asked him about Chris Nonis assault Incident and not Getting an Audience with Pope.’ »

Jayalalithaa not released from Jail on Friday as Court Order did not reach on time but release scheduled for Saturday.

As soon as news of Jayalalithaa’s bail reached them, jubilant All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadre gathered outside the Parappana Agrahara, Central prison complex on Friday. They were desperate to catch a glimpse of their general secretary by evening, but were in for yet another disappointment as the formalities for her release could not be completed in time.

Former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa arrives at the HAL Airport after being released on bail from Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara in Bangalore on Saturday. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash-courtesy: The Hindu

Former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa arrives at the HAL Airport after being released on bail from Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara in Bangalore on Saturday. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash-courtesy: The Hindu

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Prisons) P.M. Jayasimha said: “Ms. Jayalalithaa could not be released from prison on Friday since we did not get the court orders in time. Her release is an eventuality on Saturday.”

He added that he met her on Friday after she was granted bail. “She was calm and her health is also fine,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa not released from Jail on Friday as Court Order did not reach on time but release scheduled for Saturday.’ »

Breaking 3 week Silence, Jayalalithaa From Jail, asks AIADMK Cadre not to Defame Judiciary and Appeals for Calm.

By

B. Aravind Kumar

Breaking her nearly three-week long silence since she was lodged in a Bangalore prison after being convicted by a special court there in the assets case, AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa on Friday evening called upon her party cadre not to say or do anything that could besmirch the Judiciary’s majesty at any level, and help in upholding peace and order in Tamil Nadu.

In an appeal from jail following her lawyer’s assurance to the court, Ms. Jayalalithaa said that as the leader of the party founded by M.G. Ramachandran and one that was inspired by the ideals of C.N. Annadurai, she continued her service in public life by drawing strength from the path shown by the party’s founder-leaders to “have the heart to bear any adversity.”

Jayalalithaa asks cadre not to defame judiciary

Ms. Jayalalithaa has asked party workers not to defame the judiciary and help to maintain law and order in the State.

Continue reading ‘Breaking 3 week Silence, Jayalalithaa From Jail, asks AIADMK Cadre not to Defame Judiciary and Appeals for Calm.’ »

India, Sri Lanka and the Legacy of the British Empire:Review of Harshan Kumarasingham’s A Political Legacy of the British Empire


By

Kalana Senaratne

In our long discussions about Sri Lanka’s post-independence political history, India’s large shadow falls inevitably upon us, bringing with it a curious and mixed effect; it is both alarming and inspiring at times, but also quite disheartening and dispiriting on other occasions. We were both part of the British Empire, both Mother Lanka and Mother India, but an analysis of our respective post-colonial histories shows the contrast; and as a consequence, there is, somewhere in the air, a sense of jealousy too, drifting from here to there. How differently have we grown since then, how strangely have we acted and reacted, and in what mysterious and frightening ways have our paths crossed over the past few decades?

It is the crucial first decade of this post-independence story which forms the central topic of Harshan Kumarasingham’s wonderful work, entitled: A Political Legacy of the British Empire: Power and the Parliamentary System in Post-Colonial India and Sri Lanka. Published in 2013, the book examines this first decade of, what Kumarasingham calls, the two “Eastminsters”; i.e. countries which altered and adapted the Westminster system to suit their own soil while maintaining core Westminster institutions and conventions (p. VIII). The emphasis placed on this first decade is most apt, for he correctly considers those years to be forming the “critical juncture period” which led to “path dependent” outcomes. Certainly, the manner in which the political leaders intervened in the political affairs of their respective countries has come to have a lasting effect.

Continue reading ‘India, Sri Lanka and the Legacy of the British Empire:Review of Harshan Kumarasingham’s A Political Legacy of the British Empire’ »

Enough Reason to Sack SB Dissanayake-In Another Country,In Another Time…..

BY
MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E

There are those in which world who don’t mince their words. Being forthright has its pluses and minuses. Honesty is rewarded but then again in this day and age deceit is far more profitable. A silver tongue that is owned by a person of integrity is quite potent. The Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake is not such a man.

He doesn’t mince his words, this everyone knows. Integrity is not his strongest suit. He has a loose tongue which has got him into trouble many times, even earning him a jail sentence on one occasion. Just the other day, after students of Sabaragamuwa University tried to block him from attending the opening of a new hostel, ‘SB’ blurted out, ‘ඡන්ද කාලේ නිසා ඉවසනවා…නැත්තම් අට්ටාලවලට සලකන හැටි අපි දන්නවා’ (we are restraining ourselves because it is election time…or else, we know how to ‘treat’ these “shelters” [where students conduct satyagrahas]).

He was able to attend the function thanks to the road being cleared by water cannons. A few days later some thugs ‘treated’ the attalaya and some students whom he had earlier referred to as flies, ants and leeches (මුන් මැස්සෝ කූඩැල්ලෝ කූඹියෝ). They were assaulted. The ‘Attaalaya’ was destroyed. Few would believe that SB didn’t have a hand in all this. And this, going by SB’s un-minced words and what they implied was ‘soft stuff’ (in view of impending elections). We can only imagine what kind of ‘treatment’ the likes of SB have dished out and envisage dishing out in other times.

Continue reading ‘Enough Reason to Sack SB Dissanayake-In Another Country,In Another Time…..’ »

Referendum to Establish Independent Tamil Country must be held in Tamil Nadu State of India and not in Sri Lanka.

By

Udaya P. Gammanpila

The Scottish Government held a referendum on 18 September 2014, to seek public opinion on gaining independence from the United Kingdom. Fifty five per cent of the people voted against independence at that referendum. Inspired by this referendum, Tamil separatists now propose holding a similar referendum in the North and East of Sri Lanka, to determine the declaration of a separate State called Tamil Eelam. Although Sri Lankan media have not paid adequate attention to this move, it has now become a hot topic in international media. Hence, it is pertinent to analyze the relevance of that Scottish referendum in Sri Lanka.

Scotland is a very old country which possesses evidence of human habitats since 12,000 years ago. It emerged as a nation in the 5th century. By the 18th century, it had developed as a commercial, industrial and intellectual hub in Europe. The 18th century was so fateful for Scotland that it disappeared from the world map as a result of the Scottish king becoming the king of England as well. In fact, royal gain was a loss to the nation.

Continue reading ‘Referendum to Establish Independent Tamil Country must be held in Tamil Nadu State of India and not in Sri Lanka.’ »

Inapproriate Attempt to Rename Elphinstone Theatre After Gamini Fonseka is a Cheap Bid for Political Popularity.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

It is easy to recall the quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet.”

We seem to be increasingly obsessed with the changing of names, whether the new names have any relevance to a place or event, or not; and there is nothing sweet about this whole idea.

The latest in this name change craze is the news that once the refurbishing of the Elphinstone Theatre at Maradana is completed it is to be named Gamini Fonseka Theatre or Rangahala, in memory of that great star of the Sinhala cinema.

Continue reading ‘Inapproriate Attempt to Rename Elphinstone Theatre After Gamini Fonseka is a Cheap Bid for Political Popularity.’ »

Newly Restored Northern Trains Earn 3 Million Rupees in Four Days but there is no Huge Profit.

By

Sanath Desmond and Lahiru Pothmulla

The Railway Department has earned over Rs. 3 million in four days from trains running along the newly-restored northern line to Jaffna, Superintendent of Railways G.W. Sisira Kumara said.

He said the average income from the air-conditioned inter-city express was Rs. 5 lakhs. “This is a generous income. We get a fair income from the normal express trains as well,” he said.

This however had not earned in a huge profit for the department, he said. “We can cover maintenance costs with this money but there is no huge profit. This is a service to the people by the government,” Mr. Kumara said.

Continue reading ‘Newly Restored Northern Trains Earn 3 Million Rupees in Four Days but there is no Huge Profit.’ »

“Elections Commissioner who Deprived me of Voting Rights is a Scarecrow and a Disgrace to Ambalangoda People” says General Sarath Fonseka


by

Kamal Bogoda

SF82512

Leader of the Democratic Party (DP) and former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that depriving him of his right to exercise his franchise by the Elections Commissioner with a presidential election on the horizon demonstrated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was scared of facing him in a presidential contest.

Addressing a news conference at Kotte, the war winning general challenged President Rajapaksa to face him at the forthcoming presidential election.

“The Democratic Party will not give in to the repressive action of the President and his cohorts and there are persons in our party who could garner more votes than I and we will take a decision to field one of them as a presidential candidate if the need arises and the Democratic Party will do everything necessary to oust Rajapaksa,” Fonseka vowed.

Continue reading ‘“Elections Commissioner who Deprived me of Voting Rights is a Scarecrow and a Disgrace to Ambalangoda People” says General Sarath Fonseka’ »

Former Army Chief and Presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka to be Disenfranchised by Elections Commissioner on Advice from Attorney-General.

By

Ranjan Kasthuri

pic via: facebook.com/sarathfonseka

pic via: facebook.com/sarathfonseka

The name of Sarath Fonseka the former army commander and the leader of the Democratic Party is to be removed from the voters list by the Election Commissioner on the instructions of the Attorney General.

This decision had been taken after the Elections Commissioner requested Attorney General for a ruling on whether Mr. Fonseka was entitled to vote.

Continue reading ‘Former Army Chief and Presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka to be Disenfranchised by Elections Commissioner on Advice from Attorney-General.’ »

How Jayalalithaa Sparkled on Silver Screen in her Actress Avatar as Uncrowned Queen of Tamil Cinema.

by

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The recent conviction and consequent imprisonment of Jayalalithaa Jayaram on charges of acquiring disproportionate wealth during her past term of office (1991-96) has resulted in the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister being under media spotlight for many days now. This week’s ‘Spotlight’ column too will be about Jayalalithaa but the focus will be on certain aspects of her family background, early life and scintillating career as a film star and not on her politics or present plight.

JJM

People looking at her physical corpulence – which may be a sign of her ill-gotten opulence – would not believe that the rotund lady of today was at one time slim and lissom. Indeed she was and a ravishing beauty too! As a sparkling actress on the silver screen, Jayalalithaa was the uncrowned queen of Tamil cinema during the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies of the last century. She was the dream girl of many a teenager and the favourite pin-up star of myriad fans.
Continue reading ‘How Jayalalithaa Sparkled on Silver Screen in her Actress Avatar as Uncrowned Queen of Tamil Cinema.’ »

As it happened: a minute-by-minute account of Jayalalithaa bail hearing

By

Krishnadas Rajagopal

10.30 am: The First Court of the country presided by a bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu and Justices Madan B. Lokur and A.K. Sikri assembles for the day. The courtroom is jam-packed. Many lawyers from Tamil Nadu and AIADMK cadre present in the inner sanctum of the court and also visitors’ gallery.

IMG_8393.PNG

11.30 am: Senior advocate Fali S. Nariman, for former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa, enters the courtroom in his quiet fashion. Lawyers make way as the senior advocate proceeds to the front row reserved for lawyers in the inner sanctum. He is accompanied by senior advocate KTS Tulsi, who represents two of the accused.

11.40 am: Item 65 on the board is called. Arguments commence with Mr. Nariman driving right into the Karnataka High Court’s bail order. He says the High Court judge has committed an error. Says the High Court refers to the 2012 case law – State of Maharashtra Through CBI, Anti Corruption Branch, Mumbai vs. Balakrishna Dattatrya Kumbhar – which deals with stay of conviction and not suspension of sentence.

Continue reading ‘As it happened: a minute-by-minute account of Jayalalithaa bail hearing’ »

Supreme Court Stays Sentence and Grants Bail to Jayalalithaa,Sashikala, Ilavarasi&Sudhakaran While Subramanian Swamy Tells Court he faces Threat.

by

J.Venkatesan &Krishnadas Rajagopal

In a big relief to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered her release on bail in the Rs. 66.65 crores disproportionate assets case in which she was sentenced to undergo four years’ simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 100 crores.

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justices Madan B. Lokur and A.K. Sikri also granted bail to the three other accused Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi on their furnishing two solvent sureties to the satisfaction of the special judge, Bangalore. The Bench stayed the operation of the sentence imposed by the trial court on the four accused.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Stays Sentence and Grants Bail to Jayalalithaa,Sashikala, Ilavarasi&Sudhakaran While Subramanian Swamy Tells Court he faces Threat.’ »

Jailed Tamil Nadu Ex-Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Granted Interim Bail till December 18th by Supreme Court

By

Krishnadas Rajagopal

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, who was sentenced to four years’ simple imprisonment and imposed a Rs. 100-crore fine for her offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on Friday.

The interim bail is applicable till December 18, 2014. The Chief Justice has asked for paperbook to be ready by then, after which a date will be set for the appeal hearing.

“Not a day’s time more will be given after December 18,” Chief Justice of India Dattu said

Continue reading ‘Jailed Tamil Nadu Ex-Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Granted Interim Bail till December 18th by Supreme Court’ »

“No one can ever call Ranil Wickremesinghe a Rogue, a Racist or an Undemocratic Person-Harin Fernando

By

Chamitha Kuruppu

The UNP’s biggest stumbling block has been the deep divisions within the party, especially between the Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa factions, said newly-appointed Deputy National Organiser of the United National Party and Opposition Leader of the Uva Province Harin Fernando.
“Sajith Premadasa’s re-entry and appointment as the Deputy Leader is indeed a positive move and a popular choice, for which I have been personally lobbying. Everybody is watching and expecting Sajith Premadasa to work tirelessly to establish credibility among his supporters and lead the party to a resounding victory,” Fernando asserted, in an interview with the Daily FT.

Following are excerpts:

Continue reading ‘“No one can ever call Ranil Wickremesinghe a Rogue, a Racist or an Undemocratic Person-Harin Fernando’ »

“I am the only Sinhala Speaking Tamil Politician Recognized by the Sinhala People too”-Mano Ganesan

By

C.A.Chandraprema


Leader of the Democratic People’s Front and former Colombo district parliamentarian Mano Ganesan who now commands over 15% of the Colombo city vote speaks to C.A.Chandraprema about his choice of a common opposition candidate for the forthcoming presidential election and the logic of ethnicity based politics.

Q. If we start off from the most important current controversy, are you in favour of an apolitical common candidate from outside the party system or are you willing to support a UNP candidate at the forthcoming presidential election?

A. The candidates have been shortlisted now. The apolitical candidate is Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera and the political candidate is Ranil Wickremesinghe. As a party leader in the opposition, I cannot commit myself to a candidate at this moment. A common understanding has not been arrived at yet.

Q. In your view, who would have a better chance of defeating Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ranil Wickremesinghe or Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera?

A. Both have the ability of winning as the common opposition candidate. We are now close to finalising a decision on the candidate. But I cannot divulge anything now. I can say that both Ranil Wickremesinghe and Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera will play important roles in the common opposition. The UNP cannot think of defeating Mahinda on its own. In fact Mahinda is also not contesting alone but with an alliance. So the UNP needs to get accustomed to the culture of political alliances.

Continue reading ‘“I am the only Sinhala Speaking Tamil Politician Recognized by the Sinhala People too”-Mano Ganesan’ »

AIADMK Elements Target Judges and Defame Judiciary for Sentencing their “Goddess”Jayalalithaa to Jail for Corruption

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

Can courts punish popular leaders for offences under the law?

That is the question that is being debated by supporters of former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa following her conviction by a special court in Bangalore which handed down a four-year jail term and Rs 100 crore fine on her in a corruption case.

That is also the kind of defence the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supporters and sympathisers are proffering over the violent protests unleashed across Tamil Nadu, and to a much lesser extent in Bangalore, following her conviction and imprisonment, saying it was an inevitable consequence of a member of the subordinate judiciary punishing a mass leader.

But that cannot explain the cadre conduct. It cannot explain away why those cadres read meanings and motives into the judgment, and made defamatory statements on television and in posters that they had plastered all across the state.

Continue reading ‘AIADMK Elements Target Judges and Defame Judiciary for Sentencing their “Goddess”Jayalalithaa to Jail for Corruption’ »

TULF Gen-Secy V. Aanandasangaree Welcomes Resumption of Trains to North and Thanks President Rajapaksa for Returning Jewellery to the People.

(Full text of an open letter sent by Veerasingham Aanandasangaree, Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front(TUL to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa)

“His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse
President of Sri Lanka

Your Excellency,

Official Visit to the North

I wish you all success in your historical three day visit to the North.

Commencement of the Yarl Devi train service to and from Jaffna and the implementation of certain important projects are very much welcomed by the people of the North.

Whatever valuable and useful project you may undertake in the North, the Tamil people may not give you any credit until you make the Tamils genuinely feel that you are the President not only for the North and East but of the entire country and that you are treating every one equally.

Continue reading ‘TULF Gen-Secy V. Aanandasangaree Welcomes Resumption of Trains to North and Thanks President Rajapaksa for Returning Jewellery to the People.’ »

Sri Lankan Govt Concerned Over EU Annulling LTTE Proscription as People of Sri Lankan Origin in Europe may be Pressured by Tigers again.


The External Affairs Ministry has, in a media statement, expressed the government’s concern over the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) yesterday (16), to annul the EU regulations proscribing the LTTE.

The Full text of the External Affairs Ministry statement is as follows :

“The defendants of this case have been the Council and Commission of the European Union, together with two member states, the Netherlands and the UK.

“Expectedly, the ECJ judgment requires in-depth study by all the defendant parties. It is noteworthy that the Court has stressed the annulments to be “on fundamentally procedural grounds” and “do not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of the LTTE as a terrorist group.”

Further it is observed from the decision of the ECJ that “the effects of the annulled measures are maintained temporarily in order to ensure the effectiveness of any possible future freezing of funds”.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Govt Concerned Over EU Annulling LTTE Proscription as People of Sri Lankan Origin in Europe may be Pressured by Tigers again.’ »

European Union General Court Annuls Anti-Terrorism Sanctions Against LTTE on Technical Grounds but Keeps Assets Frozen.

European Union judges have struck down anti-terrorism sanctions imposed on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)organization by citing a technicality, but ruled that the assets of the Sri Lankan group should remain frozen for the time being.

The bloc’s lower court said a decision by EU leaders in 2006 to place the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on a list of terrorist organisations had been based on “imputations derived from the press and the Internet” rather than on direct investigation of the group’s actions, as required by law.

However, the court rejected the LTTE’s contention that it was exempt from EU anti-terrorism legislation because it was engaged in an “armed conflict” with the Sri Lankan government and bound by the laws of war. The court, which stressed it was taking no view on whether the LTTE was a terrorist organisation, said EU laws on terrorism also applied to armed conflicts.

Reproduced below is the full text of the Press release issued by the EU in this regard –

General Court of the European Union
PRESS RELEASE No 138/14
Luxembourg, 16 October 2014

Judgment in Joined Cases T-208/11 and T-508/11
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) v Council

The Court annuls, on procedural grounds, the Council measures maintaining the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on the European list of terrorist organisations.

Continue reading ‘European Union General Court Annuls Anti-Terrorism Sanctions Against LTTE on Technical Grounds but Keeps Assets Frozen.’ »

“I have the courage to commit suicide if I am not allowed to live the way I want”-Minister Mervyn Silva


Well-known for his conduct and controversial statements Minister Mervyn Silva has come to the limelight once again with yet another allegation that there are some people who prevent him from carrying out his duties as a people’s representative.

Recently, “Daily Mirror” had the opportunity of seeking the minister’s views on the subject and on a range of other issues at a face-to-face session with him when he did not mince his words.

Q.Why have you made yourself scarce these days?

Is a lion so commonplace for you to see it whenever you want? Is an eagle a commonplace sight? Can you meet or see the Queen at Buckingham Palace whenever you want? Is it easy for you to see an Arahat in a forest retreat? I am not interested in doing trivial things. I make it a point to appear in the public eye whenever the need for it arises. I am always prepared to respond to the media. I make myself available to Buddhist monks first and secondly to media.

Continue reading ‘“I have the courage to commit suicide if I am not allowed to live the way I want”-Minister Mervyn Silva’ »

The Stars Foretell that a Presidential Poll Ahead of Feb 2015 will be more Favourable to Mahinda Rajapaksa


By

Dharisha Bastians

The Yal Devi chug-chugged to the Jaffna railway station on Monday, helping President Mahinda Rajapaksa fulfill an important post-war promise. After 24 years, Sri Lanka’s major southern towns were reconnected to the Tamil historic and cultural heartland of Jaffna by rail, once the easiest and most economical way to travel between the two ends of the island.

The physical reconnection has immense psychological significance. Regular trains between Colombo and Jaffna ensured the people of the south remained linked to those in the north; terrain and geography were familiar, trade and educational links ran deep.

For nearly a quarter of a century, that link was broken. Between the vicious fighting between Government forces and the LTTE and the lack of connectivity by rail and road, distance set in between communities, geography became alien and Northern Sri Lanka was lost to an entire generation.

Jaffna, when it was accessible, was a hub of commerce and culture. Tamil children studied in Colombo and returned to the North during the holidays, sometimes bringing along their southern friends into conservative Tamil homes. The link ensured the people from both the north and the south remained empathetic to each other, despite simmering political tensions.

It is harder to be a racist or a separatist, when kinship, friendship and memories are shared between communities. For the LTTE, it was essential that this link be broken. Without interaction between the two communities, it became easier to demonise the entire Sinhalese community; easier to bend the Tamil people of the North to its will.

Continue reading ‘The Stars Foretell that a Presidential Poll Ahead of Feb 2015 will be more Favourable to Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Rajapaksa Regime is not the Executive Presidency but the “Family Politbureau” or “Extended Family Central Committee”.

BY

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

HOW A WEAK OPPOSITION COULD STILL PLAY IT SMART

It was exactly fifty years ago, in 1964, when I was 7 years old, that my father introduced me to the political personalities who would visit our Ward Place flat and took me around for public rallies including election meetings. Having closely observed Sri Lankan politics for half a century, I cannot but conclude that taken as a collective (and with a few individual exceptions) Sri Lankan politics today has the dumbest opposition I’ve ever seen in this country.

There is a line of Mao Ze Dong to a group of influential Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, which became so famous that it was trendy as a putdown on Western universities. It went: “You say you want to make a Revolution, but you don’t know where the bourgeoisie is…!” The same is true of the contemporary Sri Lankan Opposition, be it the political parties or the civil society intelligentsia. They say they want a democratic change of regime but they do not know what the regime is.

The regime is not the executive presidency. The Executive Presidency is not even the center of gravity of this regime. It is not the main decision making agency. That agency is the “family Politbureau” and the “extended family Central Committee”. The Executive Presidency has been reduced to a façade and the opposition is busily targeting that façade rather than the real power structure.

Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Regime is not the Executive Presidency but the “Family Politbureau” or “Extended Family Central Committee”.’ »

Phenomenal Influence of Films and Film Personalities on Politics in India’s Tamil Nadu State

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The South Indian state of Tamil Nadu has been ruled alternately by two “Dravidian”political parties since 1967.One is the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham(DMK)under the command of nonagenarian Muttuvel Karunanidhi. The other party currently in the saddle is the All- India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham(AIADMK)which is led by Jayalalithaa Jayaram who was removed from chief ministerial office due to being convicted for corruption.Both the DMK and AIADMK face an uncertain political future at this point of time due to the uncertainty factor concerning their respective leaders.

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DMK leader Karunanidhi is in the twilight of his eventful life and it is only a matter of time before the law of nature prevails.The heir apparent is Karunanidhi’s son MK Stalin but there are grave doubts as to whether he has what it takes to steer the ship in the manner his father has done for 45 years. Besides Stalin’s elder brother MK Azhaghiri has already revolted against the prominence afforded to the younger sibling. The danger of the part fragmenting after Karunanidhi’s demise looms large on the horizon.There is also the possibility that Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi and wife Dayalu may be convicted in connection with cases of corruption in the near future.

Continue reading ‘Phenomenal Influence of Films and Film Personalities on Politics in India’s Tamil Nadu State’ »

” Decision on TNA Participation at Railway Inauguration Event was Prerogative of Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran says ITAK chief Mavai Senathirajah.

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is in a quandary over the ongoing large scale Indian funded projects meant to facilitate post-war reconciliation process.

The five-party TNA on Monday (October 13) boycotted the inauguration of the 38 km Pallai-Jaffna railway line with the participation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Indian High Commissioner, Y.K. Sinha joined President Rajapaksa at the inauguration ceremony.

Addressing officials in Jaffna, a smiling President Rajapaksa declared that former battlefields had been now turned into paddy fields. Some of the bloodiest battles were fought along the Kilinochchi-Jaffna stretch of the road.

India has provided a USD 800 mn concessional credit line in accordance with the Indo-Lanka joint declaration issued on June 9, 2010, at the conclusion of President Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi.

Continue reading ‘” Decision on TNA Participation at Railway Inauguration Event was Prerogative of Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran says ITAK chief Mavai Senathirajah.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa has been Unable to Defeat the Anti-Tamil Collective Consciousness of the Sinhalese


By

Harsha Gunasena

In defeating the LTTE, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, then Army Commander and the then military leaders did a wonderful job by way of strategic military plans and implementing the same.

Sun Tzu, a military commander who lived in China in 5th century BC wrote a book called ‘The Art of War,’ where he discussed military strategies at length. This book is used today as well not only in war but also in marketing, management, sports and statesmanship.

Sun Tzu was of the view that the greatest victory was that which required no battle. “Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa has been Unable to Defeat the Anti-Tamil Collective Consciousness of the Sinhalese’ »

British Airways Decision to Cancel Flights to Sri Lanka from next year due to Non – Profitability and not Because of Human Rights Issues.

British Airways says the decision to cancel flights to Sri Lanka was not related to political issues in Sri Lanka but purely on non-profitability.

Following the recent announcement by British Airways that it was cancelling flights to Sri Lanka from next year, some diaspora groups had attempted to give the impression the move was relate to concerns over Sri Lanka’s human rights record.

However Christopher Fordyce, Regional Commercial Manager – South Asia, British Airways told The Sunday Leader in an email that the decision to suspend flights between Colombo and London was a difficult one to make and was related to non-profitability.

Continue reading ‘British Airways Decision to Cancel Flights to Sri Lanka from next year due to Non – Profitability and not Because of Human Rights Issues.’ »

Foreigners Without Defence Ministry Approval Banned From North Due to Information About Foreign Elements Trying to Create Communal Discord.

By Anuradha Herath and Zahrah Imtiaz

Foreigners, who wish to visit the North, will need prior approval from the Defence Ministry, Military Spokesperson, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said, at a media briefing yesterday (15).

Soon after the war ended in May 2009, foreigners were banned from entering the North, without prior permission from the military. Nevertheless, this ban was lifted a few years ago, only to be reintroduced yesterday.

“The Defence Ministry has received information that certain foreign elements are trying to create communal discord in the North and that cannot be allowed,” said Wanigasooriya, explaining the reason behind the new regulation.

Continue reading ‘Foreigners Without Defence Ministry Approval Banned From North Due to Information About Foreign Elements Trying to Create Communal Discord.’ »

Inauguration of Pallai-Jaffna reconstructed railway track and signal system built by IRCON International Ltd under concessional Indian Line of Credit

(Text of Media Communique Issued by the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka)

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1. A ceremony was organised on October 13, 2014 to mark the inauguration of the Pallai-Jaffna reconstructed railway track and signal system. The ceremony was graced by H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, Hon’ble Kumara Welgama, Minister of Transport, Hon’ble Douglas Devananda, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development, H.E. Y. K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India, Hon’ble Rohana Kumara Dissanayake, Deputy Minister of Transport, Hon’ble Maj. Gen. (Retd.) G.A. Chandrasiri, Governor of Northern Province, Hon’ble Murugesu Chandrakumar, MP, Hon’ble Selvesthiri Alantin, senior officials from the Ministry of Transport, Sri Lanka Railways, the Northern Province and officials from IRCON International Ltd.

2. As part of the ceremony, the dignitaries undertook a train journey from Pallai to Jaffna on the reconstructed track. The 38 km long Pallai-Jaffna railway line has been reconstructed as part of reconstruction of the Northern Railway line in Sri Lanka under a concessional credit line amounting to about US$ 800 million provided by the Government of India to the Government of Sri Lanka. This commitment was recorded in the India-Sri Lanka Joint Deceleration issued on June 9, 2010 in New Delhi during the visit of H.E. the President of Sri Lanka. The segments already completed under this project include the Medawachchiya-Madhu Road segment, inaugurated on May 14, 2013; the Omanthai- Kilinochchi segment, inaugurated by H.E. the President of Sri Lanka on September 14, 2013; and the Kilinochchi-Pallai segment inaugurated by the Hon’ble Minister of Transport on March 4, 2014.

Continue reading ‘Inauguration of Pallai-Jaffna reconstructed railway track and signal system built by IRCON International Ltd under concessional Indian Line of Credit’ »

Channel 4 Documentary “No Fire Zone:The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”Made by Callum Mcrae is Nominated for an Emmy Award.

By
Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

The Channel 4’s No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka – a supposedly investigative documentary about alleged human rights violations, that took place during the final weeks of the war in Sri Lanka in May 2009, is one of four documentaries nominated for the International Emmy Awards 2014 in the USA.

However, Military Spokesperson, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya, who down played the controversial film of Macrae’s Emmy nomination called it ‘nothing but a sensational piece of falsehood.’

“I am not an artiste to view his piece of ‘art’ but all what is can say it’s a piece of rubbish work and he is nominated for it with a vested interest.”

“What more can I say?” he said adding, “We requested on several occasions to come forward even before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to produce the original footage to counter his footage but he refused to do so. Even now we have the Missing Persons Commission sitting. There too he can produce it as evidence material. Why can’t he?” the Brigadier questioned.

Continue reading ‘Channel 4 Documentary “No Fire Zone:The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”Made by Callum Mcrae is Nominated for an Emmy Award.’ »

Douglas Devananda Submits Four Requests to President Rajapaksa on Iranaimadhu Water,”Thesathin Magudam”Projects,,Release of Detenues and Return of Lands.

The District Development Progress Review meeting of the Northern Province chaired by President Mahinda Rajapaksa was held on Monday (13) in Jaffna.

The meeting commenced with a welcome speech by Minister Douglas Devananda. Minister Devananda at the conclusion of his speech made a few requests to the President on behalf of the people in the North.

Continue reading ‘Douglas Devananda Submits Four Requests to President Rajapaksa on Iranaimadhu Water,”Thesathin Magudam”Projects,,Release of Detenues and Return of Lands.’ »

EU Proposes Ban on Export of Fisheries Products Caught by Sri Lankan Vessels to Countries in Europe from January 2015.


(Text of Press release issued from Brussels by the European Commission on 14 October 2014)


Illegal fisheries: green cards for five countries, but red card for Sri Lanka

In its fight against illegal fishing activities worldwide, the European Commission has today proposed to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from illegal fishing. The move comes after four years of intense dialogue with the country after which it could not demonstrate that it sufficiently addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In contrast, the Commission today confirmed that Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu, which had received warnings at the same time as Sri Lanka, have successfully taken measures to tackle illegal fishing. Consequently, the Commission proposes to lift the trade measures imposed in March this year against Belize.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: “Our policy of resolute cooperation is yielding results. Five countries receive today our appreciation for getting serious on illegal fishing. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Sri Lanka. I hope that the message we are sending today will be a wake-up call for this country.”

Continue reading ‘EU Proposes Ban on Export of Fisheries Products Caught by Sri Lankan Vessels to Countries in Europe from January 2015.’ »

The UNP General Secretary is a Joker of the Highest Order Without any Political Acumen Whatsoever.

by

Vishwamithra 1984

“Swordsmanship untested in battle is like the art of swimming mastered on land.”
~Hanshiro Tsugumo (a warrior without a lord)

Those who do not learn from history will be condemned to relive it. The United National Party (UNP) and the mainstream parliamentary Opposition in Sri Lanka should be condemned for throwing away a fighting chance to grab electoral victory at the forthcoming Presidential Elections. That is, if they choose to go alone without the help of the rest of the Opposition in the forthcoming Presidential Elections. Everything that could go right for the opposition went right in the Uva Provincial Council (PC) elections. And they managed to save face and show the rest of the country that the UNP is still breathing and stirring to wake up.

In the wake of the Uva PC elections, the average UNPer, Sirisena of the South, Mohamed of the East, Theagarajah in the North and Kandasamy in the Hill country started breaking their cobwebs; they realized that there is a chance, a fighting chance, at ousting this corrupt, nepotistic and dictatorial regime. But to their utter dismay, the leaders of the Opposition don’t seem to have realized that.

Instead of prepping and motivating the supporters to achieve greater heights, challenging the three-term controversy, bringing the people to the road and exerting every ounce of pressure upon this regime and the Rajapaksas, they chose to indulge in an orgy of premature celebrations; disbursements of party positions and cake-cutting ceremonies that punctuated the days when organization should have been the order of the day.

The Party is in the hands of political tyros and social nincompoops. People who have never won an election are in charge. The General Secretary is a joker of the highest order. With no political acumen whatsoever, he is declaring the Party positions with no context in mind.

Continue reading ‘The UNP General Secretary is a Joker of the Highest Order Without any Political Acumen Whatsoever.’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe says UNP Will Not Accept any New Devolution System Other Than Existing Provincial Council Scheme.

By

Yohan Perera

The main opposition UNP yesterday said it was not prepared to accept any form of a new devolution system other than the existing provincial council system and was ready to adopt a balanced foreign policy in developing ties with China, India and the West alike.

UNP national leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who addressed journalists after a meeting with Janasetha Peramuna leader Ven. Battaramulle Seelarathana Thera last evening, said sticking to the 13th Amendment, a balanced foreign policy, scrapping of the executive presidency and introducing a system where a prime minister and a cabinet would be responsible to Parliament and depoliticising are the components to which all opposition political parties could agree to when it came to fielding a common candidate at the next presidential election.

He also said one set of law should be implemented in the North and South but the focus should be on any special issues faced by the people in the North and the East.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe says UNP Will Not Accept any New Devolution System Other Than Existing Provincial Council Scheme.’ »

Large Crowds Greet Train Service Re-launched in Jaffna by President Rajapaksa but Chief Minister Wigneswaran is absent.

By

Meera Srinivasan

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran stayed away from a ceremony on Monday in which President Mahinda Rajapaksa re-launched train services to Jaffna.

AP pic-courtesy: via The Hindu

AP pic-courtesy: via The Hindu

pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

pic via: twitter.com/AzzamAmeen

pic via: twitter.com/AzzamAmeen

When contacted, Mr. Wigneswaran told The Hindu: “Our letter to President refers to our keeping away from all functions he is staging in the Northern Province,” referring to an October 10 letter, in which he said the Sri Lankan government had carried out consultations in the North without informing the Provincial Council.

A huge crowd gathered on Monday morning to see the special train that chugged into the reconstructed Jaffna station, nearly 25 years after the island’s civil war destroyed the region’s rail network.

President Rajapaksa flagged off the train at Pallai, about 40 km from Jaffna, and travelled in it along with several Ministers and his brother Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Continue reading ‘Large Crowds Greet Train Service Re-launched in Jaffna by President Rajapaksa but Chief Minister Wigneswaran is absent.’ »

How the Democracy Movement in Hong Kong Resembles and Differs from the Arab Spring Uprisings.

By

Charitha Ratwatte

Joshua Wong is a charismatic, small-made, teenage schoolboy, going on 18 years, who wears rectangular glasses and sports a soup-bowl haircut. The other night he stood before an ocean of protesters who had taken over downtown Hong Kong, holding two microphones and addressing the massive crowd. His deep voice was drowned out by cheers. The crowd did not mind, they knew him and his message well.

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Pic via: twitter.com/PekingMike

Young Joshua has been at the centre of the democracy movement in Hong Kong which has rattled Beijing’s hold on the city. On 1 October, the day on which the People’s Republic of China – of which Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region – celebrates the takeover of China by the Communist Party 65 years ago, the Beijing-appointed Chief Executive of Hong Kong Leung Chun-ying raised the Chinese flag as the National Anthem played at the location from which the protesters were barred. Leung is the CEO of Hong Kong, chosen by a Beijing-appointed committee, by 689 votes – the protestors’ derisive nickname for Leung is ‘689’!

Joshua Wong’s reaction: “When I heard the National Anthem starting to play, I did not feel moved as much as angry. When it tells you, ‘Arise! All those who refuse to be slaves!’ – how is our treatment today any different from slaves?”

Continue reading ‘How the Democracy Movement in Hong Kong Resembles and Differs from the Arab Spring Uprisings.’ »

Former Miss Sri Lanka Turned Actress Jacqueline Fernandez to Play Lead Role with Three Female Co-stars in British Film “Definition of Fear”..

Former Miss Sri Lanka and Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez has been offered a lead role in a British film, The Definition of Fear.

The ‘Kick’ star revealed that the film’s makers approached her from London.

“They were keen to sign me. The offer came from them, without me taking any initiative. It came as a shock to me. They have offered me the lead role. I am excited to work with Simpson, who has directed actors like Al Pacino and Penelope Cruz,” she said.

Continue reading ‘Former Miss Sri Lanka Turned Actress Jacqueline Fernandez to Play Lead Role with Three Female Co-stars in British Film “Definition of Fear”..’ »

Moratuwa University Senior Lecturer Arrested and Remanded over Allegedly Threatening to kill Sajin de Vass Gunawardena within five days near Dehiwela Library.

By

Suranjith Perera

A Moratuwa University senior lecturer was yesterday remanded by Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Rangajeewa Wimalasena when produced in Court by the Colombo Crime Division for allegedly threatening External Affairs Monitoring MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena by SMS.

Senior lecturer Kotagamage Duminda Leshan Perera of Hena Road Mount Lavinia was remanded till October 17.

Police said he was arrested following investigations on a complaint made by the parliamentarian on several short messages he had received on his mobile phone that he would be killed within five days near the Dehiwala public library. The complaint said the messages were in abusive language.

Continue reading ‘Moratuwa University Senior Lecturer Arrested and Remanded over Allegedly Threatening to kill Sajin de Vass Gunawardena within five days near Dehiwela Library.’ »

“Attack on Sabaragamuwa University Students is Directly Attributable to some Govt Politicians”-Karu Jayasuriya.

(Text of statement S issued by Karu Jayasuriya, Chairman Leadership Council, UNP and Gampaha district M.P. on Oct 13th 2014)


What was unleashed at the Pambahinna junction along the Colombo Badulla main road on a group of Sabaragamuwa University Students is by no means an action by a civilized Government of a civilized nation that values basic human dignity. Launching of peaceful demonstrations is an inherent right within a democratic system and no person has any right to rob that from anyone.

The Sabaragamuwa University students launched this Satyagraha campaign as a protest against the abolition of the University Students Unions, suspension of some students fromthe University and non-implementation of recommendations of the Human Rights commission. It was against this kind of peaceful and just campaign that some political thugs were unleashed.

According to eye witness reports as well as those of the police investigations, these attacks were directly attributable to some Government politicians in the local area. Therefore,there is no moral right for the Government to abdicate from its primary responsibility.

Continue reading ‘“Attack on Sabaragamuwa University Students is Directly Attributable to some Govt Politicians”-Karu Jayasuriya.’ »

Iconic “Yarl Devi” Express Train Resumes Journey to Jaffna from Today October 13th

By

Meera Srinivasan

As an engineer testing the newly-laid tracks in northern Sri Lanka, Ravindra Yadav is extra careful.

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“People tend to cross the tracks any time,” he says, driving a posh-looking yellow-coloured engine over tracks shimmering in the sun. Honking several times along the way, he adds: “You can’t blame the people. They are not used to a train coming this way.” It may not be easy for someone to anticipate a train if he has not seen one in this part of the country in the last 25 years, says Mr. Yadav, one of the 400 people from India that IRCON brought to Sri Lanka to work on restoring Sri Lanka’s Northern Rail line.
Flagging off Yal Devi

On Monday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will flag off the iconic Yal Devi Express’s journey up to Jaffna, extending its run further into the island’s former war zone, from Pallai to Jaffna.

Indian Railways subsidiary IRCON has restored the section from Omanthai to Pallai in the Northern Province, which was damaged during the three decade-long civil war. The project, being executed with a $800 million line of credit from the Indian government, covers two key rail routes in the Tamil-majority Northern Province.

Continue reading ‘Iconic “Yarl Devi” Express Train Resumes Journey to Jaffna from Today October 13th’ »

Next Presidential Election will be held Before January 15th 2015 says Keheliya Rambukwella.


by

Zacki Jabbar

The next Presidential election was likely to be held before Jan. 13 2015 the government said on Friday night.

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, who is also the Cabinet Spokesman, when asked for a tentative date for the Presidential Poll amidst various time frames ranging between January to March being mentioned by members within the ruling UPFA , told The Island that it might be held around mid January 2015.

Queried if the election would be conducted before or after Pope Francis’s visit to Sri Lanka, which is due to take place from January 13 to 15, the Minister replied “I think it will be before his arrival.”

Continue reading ‘Next Presidential Election will be held Before January 15th 2015 says Keheliya Rambukwella.’ »

President Rajapaksa States he will Abolish Executive Presidency if Tamil National Alliance and Tamil Diaspora Give up Tamil eelam Demand.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday announced in Kilinochchi that he was ready to abolish the Executive Presidency, if the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Tamil Diaspora gave up the demand for the creation of a Tamil Eelam in the country’s North and East and made an announcement to that effect.

Addressing a public rally where land deeds were gifted to the Tamil people in Kilinochchi, the President stressed that the TNA and the Tamil Diaspora should make a sincere announcement that they would shun Eelam to exist under a unitary character of the country.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa States he will Abolish Executive Presidency if Tamil National Alliance and Tamil Diaspora Give up Tamil eelam Demand.’ »

Northern Provincial Council has not Utilised Funds Allocated by Govt for Development Charges President Rajapaksa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday accused the Tamil National Alliance controlled Northern Provincial Council government of hampering the development of the Northern Province.

Addressing a public rally in Kilinochchi held to distribute land deeds to 20,000 people in the Northern Province, President Rajapaksa said the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) is not cooperating with Government’s plans of development for the Province.

The President said that the government has provided a significant amount of services for the welfare of people in the North and despite concerns raised within the ruling party the government held the elections for the NPC last year to give people in the North a voice.

Therefore, the NPC should now stand firm with the expectations of the people with whose votes they were elected and fulfill their needs, the President said.

Continue reading ‘Northern Provincial Council has not Utilised Funds Allocated by Govt for Development Charges President Rajapaksa’ »

President Rajapaksa Humorously Mimics Chris Nonis and Tells Govt MP’s that Ex-Envoy was not Assaulted


*President talks to Kshenuka,Prasad&Dilan Ariyawansa and says “No Assault took place”


*Mahinda Refers to Nonis as “Eyagollo amuthu type ekey minissu ney”(they are a strange type of people)


*Basil Tells Elder brother “Ehema kiyanna honda nehe”(it is not good to say like that)

CNMR

* British Foreign Secy Philip Hammond tells Nonis “Now you understand why we are pushing against Sri Lanka over human rights violations.”

*Ex-Maldivian President Nasheed says “What they are doing to me in Maldives, they are doing to you in Sri Lanka.”

*Chris Nonis was not Invited but welcomed at Dinner Hosted by Dilan Ariyawansa

Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam Separated Sajin and Chris when Attack on Nonis took place

*External Secy Kshenuka Seneviratne kept Saying “Go Chris, go Chris”…

*JVP Alleges Kshenuka’s husband had dealings with LTTE Connected Company

*Chris Nonis did not complain to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith but the Colombo Arch Bishop Telephoned him.

UPFA parliamentarians caught a glimpse last Friday of how opinions clashed at the highest levels over an unexpected issue that haunts the Government — the alleged assault on Chris Nonis, the then Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom by Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, the Monitoring MP for the External Affairs Ministry at a dinner party in New Jersey, a suburb of New York.
Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Humorously Mimics Chris Nonis and Tells Govt MP’s that Ex-Envoy was not Assaulted’ »

Bodu Bala Sena’s Deputy Financial Secretary Wellampitiya Sumanadharma Thera Jailed and Bailed for Alleged Land Transaction Fraud.

By

Camelia Nathaniel

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has once again come under the media spotlight for the alleged involvement of its Deputy Finance Secretary, Ven. Wellampitiye Sumanadhamma Thera, in a fraudulent land transaction.

The monk had allegedly been involved in a financial misappropriation of Rs 7.5 million, and he was arrested last week on a complaint made by a businessman, Mervyn Perera. It was reported that the monk had sold a plot of land in Boralesgamuwa to the businessman, claiming that he was the owner. However, investigations had revealed that the said land was not privately owned by the monk but was Sanghika property (owned by the Buddhist order of monks in common).

Ven. Wellampitiye Sumanadhamma Thera was reportedly the leader of the group of monks who had invaded the Ministry of Trade and Industry a few months ago, claiming that Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera had been hiding inside. The monk who was arrested while hiding in a house in Peliyagoda, was handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). Subsequently, after being produced in Court last week, he was released on bail.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena’s Deputy Financial Secretary Wellampitiya Sumanadharma Thera Jailed and Bailed for Alleged Land Transaction Fraud.’ »

Mervyn Silva Threatens to Quit Govt Over Liquor License Being Issued to new Hotel in Kelaniya without his Knowledge

By

Don Manu

Even as Jayaram Jayalalithaa must be pondering over her future fate and wondering whether she has reached the end of her road, Lanka’s very own Minister Mervyn Silva was busy last week conducting his own last rites in preparation, perhaps, for his imminent departure.

Last Saturday at a meeting held in Peliyagoda, he declared that he had no use for big vehicles and security personnel and that though they were good for those in his own party who have been reduced to katussas, it meant nothing to him if he was denied the chance of being able to serve the people.

“I will easily give up these vehicles, I have my own vehicles,” he announced, “I received no help from the Government to serve the people. For the last one and a half years, I was not allowed to serve the people. It has pained me a lot; it has angered me a lot. In the coming days, if the Government does not give any hand to help me serve the people, I will give up these vehicles and this ministership and go home.”

Continue reading ‘Mervyn Silva Threatens to Quit Govt Over Liquor License Being Issued to new Hotel in Kelaniya without his Knowledge’ »

143 Arrests over 373 Complaints about Fraudsters Getting Money by Posing as Associates and Relatives of President Rajapaksa and Family members.


By Nadia Fazlulhaq

Whether it’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa or MP Namal Rajapaksa, the Rajapaksa name is a goldmine for inventive rogues who scam the public by pretending to be anything from the President’s elephant supplier to the First Lady’s chauffeur.

A staggering 143 arrests have been made by a Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU), set up to investigate complaints of cheats posing as close associates of the President, his family and close relatives and the President’s Secretary, Lalith Weeratunga.

A total of 373 such complaints have been lodged with the SIU.

The most recent incident was on Monday, when a man from Deniyaya was arrested by the SIU for cheating a man from Kuliyapitiya of Rs.190,000 to supposedly secure a job at the Bank of Ceylon.

The suspect had posed as Shiranthi Rajapaksa’s driver. He was produced before the Kuliyapitiya Magistrate and is in remand.

Continue reading ‘143 Arrests over 373 Complaints about Fraudsters Getting Money by Posing as Associates and Relatives of President Rajapaksa and Family members.’ »

Nonis Resignation Accepted but Sajin Denies Assaulting Chris While Kshenuka Says Nonis Abused her in Foul Language – President Rajapaksa Orders Inquiry.


By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

In what appears to be a remarkable turn of events , President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered a twin pronged inquiry into the incident in New York on September 24 involving Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Dr. Chris Nonis, Galle district Parliamentarian and External Affairs ministry monitoring MP Mr. Sajin de Vass Gunawardena and External Affairs Ministry Secretary Ms. Kshenuka Seneviratne.

SajinNonis

President Rajapaksa has instructed External Affairs Minister Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris to conduct an internal inquiry within the Ministry to acertain the truth about two related matters pertaining to the incident.The inquiry will firstly focus on whether Sajin de Vass Gunawardena did assault the envoy to UK Dr. Nonis .The probe will secondly focus on the conduct of Dr. Nonis prior to the alleged assault and examine whether the high Commissioner acted in a provocatively undignified manner.

The first part of the probe has been necessitated by a complaint and resignation submitted by Dr. Nonis to President Rajapaksa and Prof.Peiris.The second part of the investigation is a result of a formal complaint lodged by External affairs ministry secretary Ms. Kshenuka Seneviratne in which she alleges that Dr. Nonis in an intoxicated state abused her in foul language.

Continue reading ‘Nonis Resignation Accepted but Sajin Denies Assaulting Chris While Kshenuka Says Nonis Abused her in Foul Language – President Rajapaksa Orders Inquiry.’ »

External Affairs Ministry Deteriorates to Pathetic State While “Honourable” Minister Prof. GL Peiris Maintains Deafening Silence.

(Text of Editorial Appearing in the “Sunday Times”of October 12th 2014 Under the heading “EAM like a madhatter’s dinner party”)

Prof. G. L. Peiris

Prof. G. L. Peiris

There is nothing so deafening as the External Affairs Ministry’s continued silence on the resignation of Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in no less a capital than London, on a complaint that he was assaulted by a Government MP designated as ‘Monitor’ to the very same Ministry.

The honourable thing for any ‘Honourable’ Minister in charge of the Ministry to do would be to inform the country of the circumstances that had led to this unprecedented event. Yet, two weeks have passed since the incident transpired at a dinner party in New Jersey and there has been nothing.

The President had personally herded the delegation to New York for the United Nations General Assembly; External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris and the Ministry Secretary were in the team. One could assume, therefore, that these higher-ups are in possession of the facts, particularly as the Secretary was also among guests at the party. News of the assault has already been widely publicised but the Ministry maintains an information blackout.

Continue reading ‘External Affairs Ministry Deteriorates to Pathetic State While “Honourable” Minister Prof. GL Peiris Maintains Deafening Silence.’ »

Hundreds of People Stopped at Oamanthai as Travel Ban to North is Suddenly Imposed on Foreign Passport Holders as President Rajapaksa Begins 3 day Trip to Jaffna.

The Government has imposed an indefinite travel ban on visits by foreign passport holders including tourists to the North, a senior Army officer said yesterday.

The Army’s Media Director told the Sunday Times that the restrictions had been imposed in view of threats posed by some foreign passport holders who were acting in a manner detrimental to national security.

The announcement came as President Mahinda Rajapaksa today begins a three-day visit to the north where he will take part in a series of functions in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Jaffna including the opening of the railway track from Pallai to Jaffna.

Continue reading ‘Hundreds of People Stopped at Oamanthai as Travel Ban to North is Suddenly Imposed on Foreign Passport Holders as President Rajapaksa Begins 3 day Trip to Jaffna.’ »

Senior External Ministry Officials P.M. Amza and Prasanna Gamage Relieved of Duties and Subjected to CID Probe over Critical E-mail about Sajin de Vass Gunawardena

CID detectives have been called in to probe an email allegedly critical of Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Monitoring MP for the External Affairs Ministry.Detectives have recorded statements from P.M. Amza, former Director General of Economic Affairs, and Prasanna Gamage who was attached to the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) Secretariat. Both officials have been relieved of their responsibilities.

As exclusively revealed in the Sunday Times of September 28, the two career Foreign Service officials were relieved of their responsibilities on instructions from Mr. Vass Gunawardena. The orders were sent from New York where Mr. Vass Gunawardena was a member of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s official entourage to the UN General Assembly sessions.

Continue reading ‘Senior External Ministry Officials P.M. Amza and Prasanna Gamage Relieved of Duties and Subjected to CID Probe over Critical E-mail about Sajin de Vass Gunawardena’ »

“Jayalalithaa came to me for Help when I was a Cabinet Minister but her Attitude Towards me Changed After She Became Chief Minister”

By

Dr.Subramanian Swamy

I took oaths on November 21, 1990, as the senior most Cabinet Minister of the Chandrashekhar-led Janata Party government with two portfolios—Commerce and Law and Justice. As the party President then, I was instrumental in working out a coalition with the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress Party to dislodge the V.P. Singh coalition government and was, hence, a very powerful Minister in the Chandrashekhar Cabinet.

Ms. Jayalalithaa was then in “exile” in Hyderabad, as head of a splinter Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) faction. She was afraid of being assassinated by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which had taken office in Tamil Nadu in 1989. She called me after I took office because she had met me twice earlier, once in the Delhi airport when our flight had been delayed for three hours. In that meeting, we came to know each other, gossiping on a wide variety of topics.

On the phone after I became Minister, she urged me to protect her from Karunanidhi which I did by ordering the highest level security of Z+. Later, she invited me to dinner and told me her woes from childhood. I did feel sympathy for her then.

Continue reading ‘“Jayalalithaa came to me for Help when I was a Cabinet Minister but her Attitude Towards me Changed After She Became Chief Minister”’ »

Jayalalithaa being Jailed has Caught LTTE Linked Sections of Tamil Diaspora Off-guard.

bY

N Sathiya Moorthy

If someone in Sri Lanka thought that the jail-term handed down to Jayalalithaa, until then the Chief Minister of the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu, would ease avoidable political tensions across the Palk Strait, they should be sadly mistaken. If they thought that pre-occupation with pending bail petition(s) and appeals against the Special Trial Court’s order in Bangalore, capital of the neighbouring State of Karnataka, would digress her attention away from major issues involving Sri Lanka, again they could be proved wrong.

IMG_8290.JPG

At the end of the day, it’s about issues, and not just personalities. Or, it’s about perceptions on issues. In this case, it’s about perceptions of issues pertaining to Sri Lanka in sections of the polity and the people in Tamil Nadu. Whether right or wrong, those perceptions would not go away just because an incumbent Chief Minister is not around, or has been imprisoned in a corruption case, pertaining to her earlier term in office.

Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa being Jailed has Caught LTTE Linked Sections of Tamil Diaspora Off-guard.’ »

Former Chief Justice Sarath Silva is Playing a Dangerous game by Misinterpreting Constitutional Provisions to Plug a Political Line.


By

C.A.Chandraprema

Last Wednesday in a statement to the Daily Mirror, former Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva put out a new set of arguments against Mahinda Rajapaksa being able to contest a presidential election for the third time. The Daily Mirror article was titled “MR can’t seek opinion on 3rd term: Ex-CJ”. The gist of the former CJ’s new argument was:

(a) The President cannot seek the opinion of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of seeking a mandate for a third term. He can seek the opinion of the Supreme Court on an issue of public importance, or to obtain an interpretation on the constitution. The latter could only be done during the course of judicial proceedings and not otherwise. However, the matter under consideration was merely a personal disqualification of the incumbent President. When the Supreme Court’s opinion is sought in a matter of public importance it is in the exercise of its advisory jurisdiction. This isn’t an issue which falls within that ambit because it’s a personal disqualification for the incumbent. If the President so decides he could seek an opinion in his private capacity from private individuals but that’s as far as he can go!

(b) Section 31 (3A) of the Constitution states that the President can proclaim an election any time after the expiration of four years in office, however, it specifically states ‘notwithstanding anything to the contrary in preceding provisions’. The succeeding provision 31 (3)(d) stipulates that that the incumbent has to hold office for the full six years commencing from the date of election. Accordingly the Supreme Court has computed the date of assuming of the second term to be November 19, 2010. The provision is a fait accompli. The President must hold office for the entirety of the six years and cannot call for an early election.

(c) There has been a debate about whether the Interpretation Ordinance is applicable when interpreting the Constitution. Judicial precedent is very clear and a nine-judge bench has held both on the validity of Section 6 (3) of the ordinance to the constitution and on the repeal of laws.

Continue reading ‘Former Chief Justice Sarath Silva is Playing a Dangerous game by Misinterpreting Constitutional Provisions to Plug a Political Line.’ »

Sri Lanka has the Largest Number of Ministers and Ministries and the Shortest Budget Debate for any Country in the World.

By

Eran Wickramatne M.P.

The Rajapaksa administration is trying to ram the 2015 budget through parliament by deliberately cutting the debate short, in yet another attempt to undermine democracy, Parliament and in the process the rights and freedoms of the people of this country.

Article 148 of the Constitution specifies that Parliament has full control over finances.

The most important scheduled debate in Parliament is the Budget debate.

A citizen cannot be taxed a single rupee without Parliaments approval. That approval is not limited to the vote in Parliament by the use of an artificially created majority. The debate in itself is a part of the approval process.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka has the Largest Number of Ministers and Ministries and the Shortest Budget Debate for any Country in the World.’ »

DMK Wants Contempt of Court Proceedings Initiated Against AIADMK Members Denigrating Judge who Sentenced Jayalalithaa for Corruption.

DMK on Saturday appealed to the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court and Madras High Court to initiate contempt proceedings against AIADMK workers for allegedly denigrating the special judge who awarded four years jail term to their leader Jayalalithaa in a wealth case and the verdict itself.

“The Chief Justices of the Supreme and Madras High courts should take contempt action against AIADMK ministers and partymen,” a resolution adopted at the meeting of DMK’s lawyers’ wing here said.

The resolution, however, did not specifically name any leader of the AIADMK for what it called “denigrating” the judgement of Bangalore Special Court Judge, John Michael Cunha, who had on September 27 sentenced Ms. Jayalalithaa to four years simple imprisonment in the disproportionate assets case.

The judge was denigrated “personally” and acts “inimical” to the cordial relationship between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were being done by AIADMK functionaries, it alleged.

Continue reading ‘DMK Wants Contempt of Court Proceedings Initiated Against AIADMK Members Denigrating Judge who Sentenced Jayalalithaa for Corruption.’ »

French writer Patrick Modiano wins the 2014 Nobel prize in literature


By
Paul Owen,Mark Brown&Alison Flood

Patrick Modiano has been named the 111th winner of the Nobel prize for literature.
The 69-year-old is the 15th French writer to win the prestigious prize, worth 8m kronor ($1.1m or £700,000).

His name was announced at a short ceremony in Stockholm with Peter Englund, the Nobel Academy’s permanent secretary, reading a citation which said Modiano won “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation”.

Modiano is well known in France but something of an unknown quantity for even widely read people in other countries. His best known novel is probably Missing Person, which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1978 and is about a detective who loses his memory and endeavours to find it.

Continue reading ‘French writer Patrick Modiano wins the 2014 Nobel prize in literature’ »

Pakistani Campaigner Malala Yousafzai(17) and Indian Child Rights Activist Kailash Satyarthi(60) win 2014 Nobel peace prize


By Paul Owen &Mathew Weaver

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi have won the Nobel peace prize, says committee chairman
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage education campaigner shot on school bus in 2012 by a Taliban gunman, has won the 2014 Nobel peace prize.

Malala won along with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian children’s rights activist.

The two were named winner of the £690,000 (8m kronor or $1.11m) prize by the chairman of the Nobel committee – Norway’s former prime minister Thorbjoern Jagland – on Friday morning.

Continue reading ‘Pakistani Campaigner Malala Yousafzai(17) and Indian Child Rights Activist Kailash Satyarthi(60) win 2014 Nobel peace prize’ »

Uninvited Chris Nonis Gatecrashed the Private party in US where he was Allegedly Assaulted Reveals Keheliya Rambukwella.

By Ravi Ladduwahetty

Sri Lanka’s former High Commissioner to London, Dr. Chris Nonis, “gate-crashed” the private dinner party, to which he was not invited, Government spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the weekly news conference yesterday.

Rambukwella said that though Dr. Nonis went uninvited, he was welcomed. The Minister said that the media also blew the incident out of proportion as the incident took place at a private dinner party.

Continue reading ‘Uninvited Chris Nonis Gatecrashed the Private party in US where he was Allegedly Assaulted Reveals Keheliya Rambukwella.’ »

Jailed Jayalalithaa Seeks Bail from Supreme Court on the Grounds that she “is a Woman,66 Years old and Suffering from Ailments”.

By Sruthisagar Yamunan & Krishnadas Rajagopal

Thirteen days after entering the Parappana Agrahara prison in Bangalore, three-time former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging the October 7 Karnataka High Court order refusing to suspend the execution of her sentence and grant bail in a disproportionate assets case.

Ms. Jayalalithaa, who was Tamil Nadu Chief Minister at the time of her conviction, was sentenced to four years’ simple imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 100 crore for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Her co-accused — Sasikala Natarajan, V. Sudhakaran and J. Elavarasi — were sentenced to four years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10 crore each.

The special leave petition was filed by her legal team in the Supreme Court Registry during the evening after hectic preparations which went on through the day.

Lawyers of Ms. Jayalalithaa said the petition sought relief from incarceration on the grounds that she is a woman, 66-years old and suffering from ailments.

Continue reading ‘Jailed Jayalalithaa Seeks Bail from Supreme Court on the Grounds that she “is a Woman,66 Years old and Suffering from Ailments”.’ »

Dep-Speaker Chandima Weerakkody Refuses to let JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake Raise Nonis Assault Issue in Parliament under Standing Orders.

By Gagani Weerakoon and Skandha Gunasekara

An attempt by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, to raise the issue of an alleged assault on Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the UK, Chris Nonis, in Parliament yesterday, proved futile with Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody not granting leave to proceed.

The Deputy Speaker prevented MP Dissanayake, on the grounds that the statement was against Standing Orders, when the latter tried to make a special statement on the matter under Standing Order 23-2.

“If you want to raise the issue, you have to do it through a substantive motion,” the Deputy Speaker told the DNA Parliamentary group leader.

The JVP MP had asked permission from the Speaker to make the statement under 23/2 of Standing Orders which says “a matter of public importance may be asked at the conclusion of questions by the Leader of the Opposition or a leader of a recognized political party after due notice has been given to the minister concerned.”

Continue reading ‘Dep-Speaker Chandima Weerakkody Refuses to let JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake Raise Nonis Assault Issue in Parliament under Standing Orders.’ »

Jayalalithaa Conviction in India Shows What we Lack in Sri Lanka Under Rajapaksa Regime-An Independent,Fearless Judiciary.

By

Vishwamithra 1984


“The bedrock of our democracy is the rule of law and that means we have to have an independent judiciary, judges who can make decisions independent of the political winds that are blowing”.

~Caroline Kennedy

Extremists of both corners of the political spectrum, in India as well as in Sri Lanka, must still be celebrating the conviction of Jayalalitha, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State in southern India.

Jayalalitha, while in power managed to rouse the base instincts of both Tamils in India and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. But moderates in the two neighboring nations must be equally enamored by the sheer audacity of a robust, vigorous and independent Judiciary without which no country, especially a democratic republic, could advance the cause of freedom, freedom of choice and liberty for all people.

The politics of Jayalalitha in particular and Tamil Nadu in general, has never been acceptable to the great majority in Sri Lanka. This is true whether one is Sinhalese, Tamil or Muslim. Utterly partisan and polarizing both in substance and execution of politicking, Tamil Nadu, the southernmost State in India has been a thorn in Sri Lanka’s politics since the early years of Ceylon’s nationhood in centuries after the Christian Era began and the battles and wars fought between Lanka and the Cholas and Pandyans of South India.

Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa Conviction in India Shows What we Lack in Sri Lanka Under Rajapaksa Regime-An Independent,Fearless Judiciary.’ »

Hindu Extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of India says “NO” to Buddhist Extremist Bodu Bala Sena of Sri Lanka

An Indian Hindu nationalist group said Wednesday that it has no intention of forming an alliance with a hardline Buddhist group in Sri Lanka.

The radical Sri Lankan Buddhist organization Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) on Tuesday said it was in “high-level” talks with India’s Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist group linked to India’s ruling party.

Both groups are viewed as hostile toward minority Muslims in their respective countries.

Continue reading ‘Hindu Extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of India says “NO” to Buddhist Extremist Bodu Bala Sena of Sri Lanka’ »

Telling the 15 Year old Story of Wijaya Kumaratunga Memorial Hospital at Seeduwa

by
Prof.Carlo Fonseka – Chairman WKMH, Seeduwa

Vijaya Kumaratunga (9 October 1945-16 February 1988)

Vijaya Kumaratunga (9 October 1945-16 February 1988)


Please give me a little space to tell the world how a minor hospital has served to perpetuate the nostalgic and melancholic memory of a major film actor – Wijaya Kumaratunga – the most adored cinema idol Sri Lanka ever had. He is also the most venerated political actor in recent memory because he brought so much courage into his principled politics, and paid the price for it.

As Ernest Hemmingway poignantly said, if people bring so much courage to this world, the world kills them in order to break them. He was killed in broad daylight as he stepped out of his home at Narahenpita on 16 February 1988. His little daughter and son saw him being gunned down, and more than a quarter of a century after the traumatic experience avoid politics like the plague.

For my part, after speaking on behalf of his family at his sensational televised funeral on 22 February, I resolved never to speak in public about my incomparable martyred nephew. Even President Chandrika Kumaratunga failed to persuade me to change my resolve.

What I am going to do here is to recount briefly the great service that the small hospital – WKMH – built in Seeduwa, the village where Wijaya was born and bred, has done over the years to render his memory gratefully remembered by the people of his area
Continue reading ‘Telling the 15 Year old Story of Wijaya Kumaratunga Memorial Hospital at Seeduwa’ »

“Sri Lanka is referred to as ‘Sinhale,’ ‘Sinhala Deepa’ or ‘Heladiva’in History and Archaeology”-Udaya Gammanpila of JHU

By
Chamitha Kuruppu


The Constitution should meet the aspirations of the nation, not those of an individual or a political party, stressed Udaya Gammanpila. Gammanpila, who is in political limelight once again following his challenge to United National Party’s Harin Fernando, pointed out: “In our Constitution, whatever features that had been tailor-made to meet personal needs of any president, politician or political party are bad features and should be amended at the earliest.”

A Minister of the Western Provincial Council
and a leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya, Gammanpila asserted: “Uva election results clearly say that the Government’s popularity generated by the military victory is over, but it has perished after five years. Due to this reason itself the Government leaders should look at why they lost the immense popularity generated by the military victory so fast.”

Following are excerpts from the interview:


Q: Why did you challenge Harin Fernando?

Continue reading ‘“Sri Lanka is referred to as ‘Sinhale,’ ‘Sinhala Deepa’ or ‘Heladiva’in History and Archaeology”-Udaya Gammanpila of JHU’ »

“Only 114 Ex-LTTE Combatants are Undergoing Rehabilitation now while 84 others face Legal Proceedings”-Ravinatha Aryasinha at Geneva UN.


(Text of Press Release Issued by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN, Geneva)

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation to the Human Rights Committee Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha asked the Human Rights Committee to “judge Sri Lanka in proportion to the challenges Sri Lanka has continued to face as a country emerging from a 30 year terrorist conflict”.

The Ambassador made this observation in responding to comments made during the consideration of Sri Lanka’s 5th Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by the Human Rights Committee, which was held on 7-8 October 2014 in Geneva. The Human Rights Committee comprises a body of independent experts from 18 countries that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its State parties.

Continue reading ‘“Only 114 Ex-LTTE Combatants are Undergoing Rehabilitation now while 84 others face Legal Proceedings”-Ravinatha Aryasinha at Geneva UN.’ »

AIADMK Sponsored Protests Over Jayalalithaa Conviction Come to an End After Dr. Subramanian Swamy warns of Dismissing Tamil Nadu Govy under section 356.

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

In rejecting former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s bail application on Tuesday, October 7, Karnataka High Court Justice A V Chandrashekara cited several Supreme Court verdicts on corruption and its approach towards handling bail applications of the high and mighty in corruption cases.

As Justice Chandrasekhara reportedly observed during the hearing on Jayalalithaa’s bail application, only the Supreme Court had granted bail to Lalu Yadav — but not before the Rashtriya Janata Dal spent 10 months in prison.

A cursory reading of trial Judge John Michael Cunha’s verdict revals that his judgment seems to have taken into account all possibilities of appeals flowing to the high court and/or the Supreme Court.

The judgment has also addressed most, if not all, of the procedural issues that any defence team would have raised, or wanted to raise in the appeals courts — and come up with explanations and reasoning for the court rejecting the defence arguments in each one of the issues flagged.

Continue reading ‘AIADMK Sponsored Protests Over Jayalalithaa Conviction Come to an End After Dr. Subramanian Swamy warns of Dismissing Tamil Nadu Govy under section 356.’ »

Bodhu Bala Sena wants Sri Lanka Re-named as “Sinhale”with Sinhala Buddhists Recognized as the Sole Historical and National Race of the Country.

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody

Introducing a constitutional draft for the country, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) said Sri Lanka should be renamed ‘Sinhale’, with Sinhalese Buddhists being recognized as the historical and national race of the country.

The BBS acknowledged that the country had only one race (the Sinhalese), linguistically the Sinhala language, the Tamil language and the indigenous tongue of the Veddahs existed alongside the religious groups – Sinhala Buddhists, Sinhala Hindus, Sinhala Catholics, Sinhala Christians and Sinhala Muslims.

‘While the freedom to follow one’s religion of choice remained, the propagation of religions, other than Buddhism, using foreign or government funds, will be forbidden. Vesak Poya Day will be made the National Day. Learning of Sinhala, Tamil and English will be made compulsory for all.’

‘The State’s spiritual leader will be the ‘Sangharaja Mahanayake Thera’, and he will appoint a 50-person Supreme State Advisory Council, upon whose advice the National People’s Representatives’ Council will suggest how to rule the country. The Supreme State Advisory Council will appoint a Cabinet of 10 Senior Ministers to advice and assist the Sangharaja Mahanayake Thera.’

Continue reading ‘Bodhu Bala Sena wants Sri Lanka Re-named as “Sinhale”with Sinhala Buddhists Recognized as the Sole Historical and National Race of the Country.’ »

Was President Rajapaksa Misinformed by Sajin Vass Gunawardena that due to his own Efforts the US had Softened its Stance on Lanka?

By
Upul Joseph Fernando

Diplomatic circles focused attention on President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent view that, following his talks with United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, he (Rajapaksa) felt that the US had softened its stance on Sri Lanka. It is not known that Mahinda took such a view due to the cordiality of Kerry or what was prompted to him by External Affairs Ministry Monitoring MP, Sajin Vass Gunawardena, who spearheads the effort to change the US stand on Sri Lanka through a PR firm employed by Colombo at a heavy cost.


Chris Nonis controversy

Following the Chris Nonis controversy, Sajin who emerged into the limelight again is reported to be carrying his Tab to Temple Trees to show Mahinda that the stand of the West was now being softened through his efforts. The only factor to the benefit of Sanjin is that the process adopted by US and other Western countries with regard to war crimes and human rights violations being slow in nature. That process is customary to those countries. But Sajin may impress that because of his efforts the process was being delayed or could be abandoned. Since Sajin wanted US PR firms involved to soften the US stand, Mahinda must be thinking on same lines on a softened stand.

Continue reading ‘Was President Rajapaksa Misinformed by Sajin Vass Gunawardena that due to his own Efforts the US had Softened its Stance on Lanka?’ »

Senior Lawyer Ram Jethmalani Appearing for Jayalalithaa tells High Court that Trial Court Verdict Against her is Flawed.

By
Sruthisagar Yamunan & Krishnaprasad

The Karnataka High Court witnessed hectic arguments by lawyers of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and the others convicted in the disproportionate assets case during the hearing of their bail applications on Tuesday.

Appearing for Ms. Jayalalithaa, senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani quoted profusely from the trial court order to say that the very basis of its evaluation of the assets was flawed.

During his hour-long arguments, Mr. Jethmalani said the trial court judge had on many instances taken on the role of a “witness” to prove points that even the prosecution did not press.

Continue reading ‘Senior Lawyer Ram Jethmalani Appearing for Jayalalithaa tells High Court that Trial Court Verdict Against her is Flawed.’ »

Convicted Jayalalithaa to be Treated as “Corrupt”Until Exonerated by a Superior Court Rules Karnataka High Court Judge Chandrashekera

By
Krishnaprasad & Sruthisagar Yamunan

Rejecting the bail plea of AIADMK chief and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu and three others, Justice Chandrashekara of the Karnataka High Court said, “When a public servant was found guilty of corruption after a judicial adjudicatory process conducted by a court of law, judiciousness demands that he should be treated as corrupt until he is exonerated by a superior court.” He was quoting the Supreme Court 2001 verdict in K.C. Sareen Vs CBI, Chandigarh.

The judge said though there was no statutory ban on suspending the sentence operating in corruption cases, verdicts of the apex court made it clear that the courts would have to apply their mind to the facts of each case. “The present case is not a fit case to suspend the sentence,” he declared.

Continue reading ‘Convicted Jayalalithaa to be Treated as “Corrupt”Until Exonerated by a Superior Court Rules Karnataka High Court Judge Chandrashekera’ »

Jayalalithaa Will Seek Redress from Supreme Court Against Karnataka High Court Denying Bail to her.

By S Venkat Narayan

NEW DELHI, October 7: The Karnataka High Court in Bangalore on Tuesday refused to suspend the sentence imposed last fortnight on Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK Chief Jayaram Jayalalithaa and her three aides by a special court in the disproportionate assets case and refused to order their release on bail.

Jayalalithaa and three others, Ms V Sasikala, Sudhakaran and J Ilavarasi are likely to move the Supreme Court on Wednesday challenging the Karnataka High Court order. Sources said besides senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, another leading criminal lawyer Sushil Kumar is also being approached to argue the case for bail.

The High Court not only refused to grant of bail but also declined to stay the sentence of four-year imprisonment and INR 100-crore penalty imposed on her in the 18-year-old INR 66.65-crore disproportionate assets case.

Continue reading ‘Jayalalithaa Will Seek Redress from Supreme Court Against Karnataka High Court Denying Bail to her.’ »