SRI LANKA NEWS

Religious sobriety, fanaticism and violence in our land

26th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Religious sobriety, fanaticism and violence in our land  As the authority of any government is held responsible for the administration of civilized society, the government should be held accountable for the non-prevention of fanaticism and violence. Non-disapproval, non-condemnation, non-prevention and tardy action will surely be interpreted as further encouragement given to the spread of fanaticism and violence that government is partial to. That others who accuse us do wrong by applying double standards is no excuse for us to do wrong to our own people. Nor should they be surprised when other individuals assess our rulers as authoritarian, dictatorial and hypocritical. The unpalatable truth is that most people of all religions and the prominent politicians of the two main parties are more keen to be […]

Rein in violent elements or face the consequences’

26th June 2014 // 0 Comments

SLMC Chairman and Productivity Promotion Minister Basheer Cegudawood (Batticaloa District MP) has warned that the ruling coalition will have to face catastrophic consequences unless tangible action is taken immediately to rein in extremist Sinhala organisations. Parliamentarian Cegudawood has asserted that President Mahinda Rajapaksa will lose the support of the vast majority of Sinhala Buddhist electorate which abhorred sentiments propagated by organisations such as the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and Ravana Balaya (RB), besides losing the backing of the Muslims as well as other minorities. The SLMC Chairman made these observations recently while addressing the 64th Annual General Meeting of the Young Men’s Muslim Association (YMMA) at the auditorium of Madeena National School at Madawala. Referring to recent violence against Muslims living in Alutgama, Beruwela and […]

‘Govt. censored media in Aluthgama’

25th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan government had imposed a media censorship in the areas of Beruwala and Aluthgama, preventing local media from reporting the correct details of the clashes which occurred in the area, leader of the government affiliated political party Jathika Hela Urumaya – Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera says. Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya, the Thera stated that due to this ‘censorship’, incorrect details with regard to this incident had ended up spreading round the world. The JHU leader has also said that if an Islamic extremism existed within the country, it cannot be defeated through creating Sinhalese extremism. It is also imported that the Muslim masses should refrain from activities that hinder national unity, the Thera has further said. National unity Meanwhile, representatives of the Muslim […]

Sri Lanka-Born Hollywood Conman Jailed in United Kingdom

25th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Los Angeles:  A Sri Lanka-born conman, claiming to be a Hollywood film producer, has been jailed for over three years after stealing 1.6 million pounds from United Kingdom taxpayers while living a life of luxury in the United States.Damita Nikapota, 47, is believed to have spent the proceeds of his crime on a Hollywood lifestyle which included a Spanish-style villa in Malibu, California, and extensive travel to places such as the Cannes Film Festival and Sri Lanka.Nikapota made a number of fraudulent Value Added Tax or VAT repayment claims beginning in 2006 via his Los Angeles-based film company, AS Productions Limited, for film production costs totalling more than 11 million pounds.He claimed to be involved in, among other film projects, the production and filming of a […]

Watareka thero arrested over claims

25th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The police have arrested the venerable Watareka vijitha thero, a Buddhist monk who openly spoke against the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), over allegations had staged a recent attack on himself. Watareka vijitha thero was arrested after he was discharged from the Colombo National hospital where he was receiving treatment. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that legal action is to be filed against the monk over the staged abduction and attack. The monk was produced in court and remanded. However lawyers of the monk say he had been forced to confess to staging the attack. The monk was was found assaulted and left on the road in the Panadura recently with his hands tied to the back and cut wounds on his lower part of the body. Ajith […]

UN names 3 experts for Lanka probe

25th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced today that three distinguished experts have agreed to advise and support the team set up to conduct a comprehensive investigation of alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, as mandated by the Human Rights Council in March. The investigation will look into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the last years of the armed conflict. The experts are Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who has also served as a UN diplomat and mediator and is renowned for his international peace work, Ms Silvia Cartwright, former Governor-General and High Court judge of New Zealand, and judge of the […]

Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award Winners!

25th June 2014 // 0 Comments

NBA All-Star and philanthropist Steve Nash, dancer and choreographer Wen Wei Wang, physician and activist Izzeldin Abuelaish and other community leaders from across Canada are among the winners of the fifth annual 2013 RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant awards, presented by Canadian Immigrant Magazine. The awards celebrate the inspiring stories and achievements of immigrants to Canada. Go to http://canadianimmigrant.ca/canadas-top-25-immigrants for the complete list of award winners and their profiles. “These 25 award winners are a diverse group, ranging from artists to philanthropists to entrepreneurs from a variety of ethnicities across the country,” says Margaret Jetelina, editor of Canadian Immigrant Magazine. “Each of these winners has an inspiring story about overcoming challenges and making their country a better place to live. We are proud to present […]

Lyca’s Gnanam Foundation has donated 3000 Million Rupees to War effected in Srilanka

25th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Lyca’s Gnanam Foundation, established in December 2010 with a noble objective of supporting the marginalised people around the globe in achieving a sustainable means of livelihood, proudly moves to the next phase of charity in war-ravaged Sri Lanka, committing a mammoth 3000 million rupees on various projects.   The motto of the Lyca’s Gnanam Foundation is — give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for lifetime.

UK cop got £400,000 after Lankan visit

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

A British police trainer who identified bodies in Sri Lanka following the 2004 Tsunami disaster has won a £400,000 settlement from his former employers after suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the Press Association reported. David Collins, 45, worked 16-hour days managing a mortuary and described the experience as a “production line of bodies” following the huge wave which killed 228,000 people around the Indian Ocean. When he returned to Britain, Mr Collins did not receive any de-brief from his employer, the National Police Improvement Agency, where he was a trainer in forensics, photography and crime scene preparation. Since his experience in Sri Lanka recovering and identifying bodies, he developed mental health problems and had to leave his job. He is now receiving therapy for PTSD. […]

Violence Against Muslims And The Character Of The BBS

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Laksiri Fernando – After the organized violent attacks on the Muslim community in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga town in mid-June, the political character of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has come to the sharp focus. Some have condemned it as ‘terrorist’ and some others as ‘fascist’. All are fine as political rhetoric or words of strong condemnation of the heinous crimes that they have committed against the Muslim community. The acts in fact are both ‘terrorist’ and ‘fascist’ in soft meanings of the terms. However, one central question posed is whether there is a need ‘to unite with the Devil’s grandmother,’ whoever she is, in the struggle against the BBS. I am particularly referring to Dayan Jayatilleka’s first article, “Is the BBS the Boss?” This united front proposition […]

President Rajapaksa Scolds his Dummy Muslim Ministers at Cabinet Meeting.

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sparks flew at the weekly cabinet meeting held on Thursday June 19th when the issue of anti Muslim violence instigated by the Bodhu Bala Sena in Aluthgama and Beruwela was discussed Heated arguments occurred between Muslim cabinet ministers Rauff Hakeem and Rishad Badhiutheen on the one hand and Buddhist cabinet ministers Champika Ranawaka on the other. The bone of contention was the Bodhu Bala Sena(BBS). While the two Muslim ministers were harshly critical of the BBS and wanted the outfit proscribed the Buddhist ministers defended the BBS and argued against a ban on the Buddhist organization alone. Both Hakeem and Badhiutheen had wanted action to be taken against Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero for his inflammatory anti – Muslim speech in Aluthgama. The highlight of […]

Anti-Muslim Attacks Continue: Two Mosques , Four Businesses and Two Houses Stoned in Kurunegala District, Dehiwela and Panadura

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Anti-Muslim violence continued in the form of scattered attacks in the Kurunegala district of the North-Western or Wayamba Province and in Dehiwela and Panadura in the Western Province A gang of hoodlums transported in vehicles carrying Buddhist flags and banners went on the rampage throwing stones and small pieces of metal at Islamic places of worship and Muslim owned Businesses. The gang suspected of belonging to the Bodhu Bala Sena was armed with clubs and rods but there were no reports of physical violence anywhere. The gang also attempted to torch a Mosque but the rapid deployment of Police and Special Task Force Personnel to the trouble spot prevented the mob from setting alight the Mosque. Two Mosques situated in Pannala and Kakunugolla in Kurunegala […]

Sri Lanka’s non-cooperation with UN probe similar to North Korea, Iran and Syria.

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

NOT seen any meaningful negotiations of the very tricky political issues related to federalism Visiting senior official says other countries to categorically reject cooperation are North Korea, Iran and Syria 5 years after the war, deterioration of human rights all over Sri Lanka: Keshap US official flags Aluthgama riots in all his meetings with Govt. officials The United States has expressed dismay at the vote in the Sri Lankan Parliament urging the Government not to extend cooperation to an UN investigation into alleged rights violations in the last seven years of the war. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Atul Keshap, who was in Colombo on a three-day visit last week, said other countries that had categorically refused to cooperate with similar probes […]

The Whims Of Minister Wimal Weerawansa

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajiva Wijesinha – For each man kills the thing he loves By each let this be heard The coward does it with a kiss The brave man with a sword The last few weeks have seen an appalling erosion in the image of the government. In a piece that traced our unfortunate decline from the great military and diplomatic successes of 2009, I had written of cracks within the government, but after that we had two Cabinet Ministers refusing to support the Government in a Vote of Confidence. This is unprecedented, and I believe has never happened in this country before. But there has been total silence from senior members of the government, and I suspect I am the only person who has written to the […]

Dickwella religious representatives exchange numbers – No room for external influences

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

In an exemplary act of solidarity religious leaders, both Muslim and Buddhist, met at the Muhiyibdeen Jumma Mosque at Yonakpura, Dickwella, recently. Chief Incumbent Priests of eight Buddhist temples in Dickwella led by Dickwella Shasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya President Ven Godellewela Rathananda Thera spent close to two hours at the Mosque last Monday night. The decision to visit the mosque was made on the instructions of Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dullas Alahapperuma. The delegation of monks accompanied by members of Dickwella Pradeshiya Sabha led by Chairman Krishali Muthukumarana, Dickwella Police OIC, Lasantha Dadallage and other Government officials were warmly welcomed by the Moulavi of Muhiyideen Jumma Mosque Mohamed Akbar Mohamed Shamil. Speaking to The Nation, Dickwella Pradeshiya Sabha led by Chairman Krishali Muthukumarana […]

The Muslims of Sri Lanka: A community under siege?

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

June 2014 will go down in the annals of Sri Lankan history as a turning point in ethnic relations, with large scale communal violence being unleashed on a most hapless minority. This month saw the worst acts of violence targeted against the country’s second largest minority, the Muslims, since the infamous anti-Tamil pogrom of July 1983. This month has been aptly termed ‘Black June’. In the South-Western coastal towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala, hysterical mobs looted and torched scores of shops and other business establishments. Innocent lives were lost. Mosques were damaged and copies of the Holy Quran destroyed. Homes were broken into and vandalized. Decades of hard work were brought down to zero as the state authorities failed to protect unarmed civilians and their […]

Sinhala Fascism Cannot be Defeated

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA “Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.” -WB Yeats, The Second Coming The Aluthgama attack on the Muslims was followed by several incidents, the exact nature, causes and perpetrators of which have yet to be ascertained. These are the acid attacks on the Police in Mawanella, the abduction and torture of Ven Watarekke Vijitha thero (a long standing target of the BBS), and the fire that gutted the ‘No Limit’ store in Panadura. To me what […]

UN Assistant secretary general for political affairs meets TNA

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Visiting UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez met TNA Representatives for the second time in Colombo yesterday.Earlier the UN envoy and the TNA had lengthy discussions on the developments of the process for a political solution, Parliament Select Committee and resettlement projects when they met on Saturday in Jaffna.TNA Media Spokesman MP Suresh Premachandran told our news team that further views were exchanged during the meeting between the two parties yesterday.UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez met SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem on an earlier occasion and had discussions.Meanwhile External Affairs Ministry sated the government representatives also expect to exchange views with the UN envoy during his stay in the country.

Sri Lanka: Women’s Insecurity in the North and East

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS Women in Sri Lanka’s predominantly Tamil-speaking north and east are facing a desperate lack of security in the aftermath of the long civil war. Today many still live in fear of violence from various sources. Those who fall victim to it have little means of redress. Women’s economic security is precarious, and their physical mobility is limited. The heavily militarised and centralised control of the north and east – with almost exclusively male, Sinhalese security forces – raises particular problems for women there in terms of their safety, sense of security and ability to access assistance. They have little control over their lives and no reliable institutions to turn to. The government has mostly dismissed women’s security issues and exacerbated fears, […]

90,000 Tamil War Widows Suffer in Sri Lanka: Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam

24th June 2014 // 0 Comments

On this international widow’s day (June 23); in Sri Lanka over 90,000 Tamil war widows continue to suffer even after the end of the war five years ago in 2009, said Mrs.Balambihai Murugadas, Minister of Homeland Development Affairs, Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE). According to a May 2012 report by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Human Rights and Democracy; there are up to 90,000 Tamil war widows in the North & East of Sri Lanka. Several reports including by Human Rights watch and Amnesty International reported of several cases of Sri Lankan Security Forces carrying out rape and sexual violence of Tamil women with impunity. Recently there have been discoveries of mass graves throughout the Tamil homeland, including burnt bodies of many women. […]

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