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Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Nocturnal Rendezvous With Narendra Modi

25th May 2017 // 0 Comments

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Vesak festivity in Sri Lanka acquired an international dimension this year with the Island nation hosting the United Nations International Vesak day. The icing on this Vesak event cake was the participation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as chief guest in the celebrations. Even though President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe basked in the glow of Narendra Modi’s brief trip described officially as a “religious visit”, the political highlight of the Indian premier’s stay in Sri Lanka was the nocturnal rendezvous with former Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The meeting between Modi and Rajapaksa was held late at night on Thursday May 11th 2017. The meeting came as a surprise to many because it was not part of the original itinerary […]

New Constitution will turn Sri Lanka into a de-facto confederation within a federation

25th May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Dayan Jayatilleka – Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka As confirmed by Dr. Jehan Perera’s latest column, the PM disclosed in Mannar that Indian Prime Minister Modi had urged him, President Sirisena and ex-Presidents Kumaratunga and Rajapaksa to solve the ethnic problem by bringing in a new Constitution without delay. The PM said that this will indeed be undertaken, and a draft document presented in a week or two, with a draft Constitution ready for adoption in two or three months. What the new Constitution really hopes to achieve are the political and economic aims of the PM and his allies and the economic and strategic aims of his foreign patrons. What is the underlying intent and core content of the new Constitution? What is its very […]

Implement the law properly, that will solve half the problems

25th May 2017 // 0 Comments

   BY SHAAHIDAH RIZA If the law was implemented equally amongst all, the extremist elements will be contained and reconciliation can be achieved said United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene. In an interview with Ceylon Today he noted that foreign elements control the extremists who have been responsible for the hate motivated attacks in the recent past. Abeywardene added that these extremists were trained and funded by these foreign elements and were used to oust former President Mahinda Rajapaksa by causing discord amongst minorities, so that the latter would turn against the then President. Excerpts follow: ? What are your views on the Cabinet reshuffle? A: The UNP leadership has betrayed its party. This is the first step of a long journey […]

No one pretends the situation is perfect

24th May 2017 // 0 Comments

What we want in return is for Sri Lanka to honour the commitment that it’s already made on human rights, labour rights and environmental standards EU consumers demand high standards and we make no apology for that The European Commission, the legislative body of the European Union, granted GSP Plus status to Sri Lanka, providing enhanced market access to the EU under the special scheme which came into effect last week. While the government hailed the opportunity for economic development, political and civil society groups have pressured the European Parliament to debate the restoration of the GSP Plus tariff preferences to Sri Lanka, scheduled to take place on May 31 in Brussels. Against this backdrop, the Dailymirror approached Political, Trade and Communication Section Head of the […]

Today, the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils is worse than that in the 80s

24th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Today, Eelam is heard only in the occasional slogans of a few regional parties like the MDMK, PMK and VCK In public sphere too, the cause doesn’t elicit the response it did a couple of decades ago. It has been eight years since the Sri Lankan civil war ended the bloody way it began with the demand for an independent Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. Today, Eelam is heard only in the occasional slogans of a few regional parties like the MDMK, PMK and VCK and some fringe organisations and social media where a few young and restless try to reinvent the romanticism of a lost struggle. In public sphere, the cause doesn’t elicit the response it did a couple of decades ago. While there […]

Mahinda, Mathiri or Ranil are politicians and will never implement their promises, as they are true followers of Lord Buddha

23rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today called for unity in the country saying there cannot be room for another war but was not prepared to give powers to the provincial councils as per the Sri Lankan constitution because it gives some rights to the minorities in North and East. He and President Mithiri fear giving equal rights to the minority will reduce their support among the Sinhalese. He says the unity must be protected to take the development agenda of the country forward and he did not speak of the promises made to the minority of sharing powers through provincial councils since  8 January 2015. Wickremesinghe was speaking at an event held at Temple Trees today which was attended by participants from the North and South. The […]

British politicians call for a stop to continuing genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka

23rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

At the Mullivaikal Genocide (Sri Lanka) Remembrance Day 2017 held at the Hyde Park, London on the 18th of May 2017, organised by the British Tamils Forum, several British politicians called for an end to the continuing genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Mullivaikal is a narrow stretch of sandy baron land in the north eastern part of Sri Lanka between the Indian Ocean and the Nanthikadal lagoon. This small stretch of land was declared a safe zone by the Sri Lankan government and around 300,000 Tamils took refuge in this narrow stretch of land to save their lives. Instead they were mercilessly massacred by the advancing Sri Lankan armed forces. The UN Panel Report on Sri Lanka (UN POE) in 2010 estimated that more […]

Resettled Tamils complain increased harassments by SL military at Kudumpi-malai

23rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 May 2017, 22:09 GMT] The deployment of Sinhala military belonging to 232 Brigade Headquarters of the occupying Sinhala military at Kudumpi-malai (which is also known as Thoppik-kal and Baron’s Cap) in the interior of the northwestern hinterland of Batticaloa is not only a demographic and structural threat, but also a cultural threat, complain Tamil villagers. More than 500 Eezham Tamil families were living there during the times of the LTTE. Only 120 families have managed to resettle there amidst the deprived infrastructure and basic facilities to them. Their temples are still under SL military occupation. Tamil Heroes Cemetery, which was the largest one in the district, has been fully bulldozed and a Sinhala military base is built there. Monuments of SL military’s […]

Northern Province Development: My Preferences

23rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

By C.V. Wigneswaran – C.V. Wigneswaran A few years ago a group of officials from the Northern Provincial Council met a farmer in Vavuniya and asked for his preferences in respect of some matter. The old man braced himself up, looked at the officials and said “Sirs! I am 78 years old. This is the first time I am hearing of officials wanting to note down what my preferences are. Hitherto you decided what was best for me. Never asked me what I want”. Government Economic Development Programme and Jaffna District Development Projects under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Hon’ Ranil Wickremesighe at the Jaffna District Secretariat on 19th May 2017 at 3 pm views of Chief Minister, Northern Province: Hon’ Prime Minister, Hon’ Ministers, Hon’ Members of Parliament, Hon’ […]

Victory over Remembrance: A day of division

23rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

Featured image by Raisa Wickrematunge On May 18, 2009, Sri Lanka ended a decade long civil war. The day after, May 19, has traditionally been celebrated as “Victory Day” and marked with military parades. That is, until May 19, 2015, when Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne announced that the Government of Sri Lanka would instead mark “Remembrance Day” in memory of those who had lost their lives. The move gave fresh hope to families of the North, who often had their memorial day activities blocked while the news simultaneously broadcast images of the “Victory Day” parades. In 2015, families were able to commemorate the fallen, but under surveillance. It has been increasingly apparent however that these changes are only cosmetic in nature. On May 17, courts […]

Reversing the growing trust deficit in the North

23rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera During the period of the previous government May 18 became a day of tension in the North. The previous government celebrated the war victory over the LTTE in the South of the country, while prohibiting any public memorial services for those who died in the last battles in the North. The report last week that police in the North had obtained a court order to put on hold a commemoration event in Mullivaikkal scheduled for May 18, the day the war ended, therefore took the centre stage of public attention in the North. It seemed that the prohibition was for all commemoration services for the victims of the war and that the past had returned to haunt the present. However, the court […]

Resolving the National Question: Where is the key?

23rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Sumanasiri Liyanage “We all know the old joke about a guy looking for his lost key under the street light; when asked where he lost it, he admits that it was in a dark corner. So why he looking for it here, under the light? Because the visibility is much better here.” (Zizek Jokes. 2004) The current debate on constitutional change reminded me of this old joke about drunkard guy looking for a lost key. I shall use the old Marxian term – the national question – rather than the conventional terms – the Tamil ethnic question or the ethnic problem – commonly used in the current discourse. It has been incessantly argued with some justification that a new constitution or revolutionary changes in […]

Probe Commissions now just name boards – ACF

23rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

Many extremely corrupt individuals who carried out thieving to the maximum in the Mahinda Government were given Cabinet Ministry posts on behalf of the SLFP because of the government of good governance. They are doing everything they can to protect their friends and previous masters.  PRECIFAC carried out investigations into big fish such as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabhaya, Basil, Namal, Shashindra, Mahindananda, Wimal Weerawansa, Sarath Kumara, Jagath Pushpakumara and Semasinghe, They were summoned and questioned. There is no difference between the Bribery Commission during Mahinda’s time and Commission of the present, during Maithripala’s time. In both no work was done, only noise. The Bribery Commission, the Large Scale Corruption Commission and the Corruption Secretariat have simply become name boards only. The thieves from then […]

Trump trumped by media he threatened

23rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

During his presidential election campaign last year the ever-loquacious and unpredictable Donald Trump threatened to change Washington which he called a swamp.  Not even four months after occupying the Oval Office Trump is sinking in the swamp he said he would clean up. Caught up in a labyrinth of charges of misconduct and worse, several Congressional and prosecutorial investigations into them, it seems to have escaped many that the week of leaks that produced these shocking revelations came from the media. US President Donald Trump. Pic Reuters The American media that had been threatened during the campaign, journalists assaulted and manhandled and discriminated against once in the White House, has hit back hard at the man who promised new laws to curb the media and […]

GSP plus: Renewed opportunities and policy imperatives

23rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

The European Union’s decision last week to restore the GSP plus concession allows Sri Lankan exports tariff free entry to its 28 countries. This could be a turning point in the country’s trade as the EU is a foremost market for the country’s exports. This opportunity must be seized to increase exports to the EU by adopting economic policies that would increase production of tradable goods. Background Sri Lanka became a beneficiary of GSP Plus in 2005. It lost this concession in December 2009, as the country could not meet the conditions of UN Conventions on civil and political rights, on torture and rights of children. The withdrawal of GSP plus was a serious setback to our exports. Our exports to the EU increased during […]

Gnanasara Shows Police He Is Above The Law, As Muslim Owned Shops And A Mosque Attacked In Kurunegala

22nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

An incident in Kurunegala last night showed how the notorious Bodu Bala Sena’s (BBS) General Secretary Galagoda Atte Gnanasara was above the law, amidst claims by the hardcore Buddhist group that their supporters thwarted attempts by the police to arrest Gnanasara, who has been known for inciting racial hatred between Buddhists and Muslims in Sri Lanka. With just a week to go for Muslims to observe their holy month of Ramadan, the minority community in Sri Lanka was once again penalized on Saturday night with the BBS accused of instigating groups to launch an attack across Muslim owned shops as well as at a mosque in Kurunegala. The government remained tight lipped on the incident, while even the country’s mainstream media chose to ignore the […]

Federalism Is Good For The North, But Better For The South!

22nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Veluppillai Thangavelu – Veluppillai Thangavelu On April 26, 2017 Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine delivered the keynote address at the SJV Chelvanayakam’s 40th death anniversary commemoration held at Kathiresan Hall, Bambalapitiya. The function was organized by the llankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) the party founded by Chelvanayagam on December 18, 1949 after he broke off from the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC). TNA Jaffna District Member of Parliament M. A. Sumanthiran presided. R. Sampanthan, MP and Leader of the Opposition and the TNA leader also addressed the meeting. In his keynote address Minister Rajitha Senaratne has posed the question FEDERALISM: WHY ONLY FOR TAMILS?  Naturally the Minister’s query has evoked much discussion by way of pros and cons in political circles. Dayan Jayatilleka, an ultra-Sinhala Buddhist nationalist and reputed to be the political […]

8th year candle light vigil will happen as planned

21st May 2017 // 0 Comments

PM Modi  wants all protests in Tamil Nadu against Sri Lankan government stopped, and Weak Tamilnadu government agrees after a deal of NOT dissolving the current government NOT taking any action against corruption by MP’s.  MAY 17 MOVEMENT Remembering and paying homage to the dead is a cultural event. It’s the basic right of the Tamils. All the ethnic groups in the world have the right and pay respect to their departed. The political charters around the world ensure the rights of the people to carry on the birth and death rites which are long embodied in their culture. The UN defines this as a natural right that has to be protected. Based on this an event is conducted every year, for the past 7 years in […]

Apart From Grandstanding Internationally, cheating Sri Lankan Govt Must Deliver at Home By Expediting Re-settlement of War Displaced People

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Meera Srinivasan After 20 years in India, wearing a “refugee” tag that led her from one camp to another, it was only in December 2016 that Edward Selyn, 55, returned home. Until a few days ago, she was among a group of people seated under a tent in Mullikulam village in Mannar, in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, protesting in the scorching heat for a month, demanding that the Sri Lankan Navy release her land. She was displaced in 1996 with her entire family, after the civil war broke out. Now, eight years after the war ended and months after her return, Ms. Selyn has not stopped feeling displaced. “I had all my documents and deeds, but still could not get back to the land where […]

Chief Minister Wigneswaran Says He Wont Let North Be Used as a “Vassal Province For The Benefit Of Wayward Investors”.

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has said that his administration would not like industries coming up in the province to use locally available resources and would want them to deploy resources procured or purchased from outside the province. “In working out our industries we would prefer not to use our natural resources internally available, if alternatives from elsewhere could be procured or purchased,” he said speaking at a meeting on the economic development of Jaffna District in Jaffna on Friday. Wignswaran said this in the presence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. . Presumably , the Chief Minister said this with a view to preserving the Northern province’s natural resources .But one wonders whether other provinces would allow their resources to […]

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