10th August 2018

Weerawansa had given NHDA houses to his family members says Minister

10th August 2018 // 0 Comments

Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa and Joint Opposition (JO) Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa locked horns in Parliament yesterday (9), despite repeated orders from Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to stop arguing after Weerawansa alleged that Premadasa was hiring workers in excess of the need, to the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA). Weerawansa, at the beginning of yesterday’s Parliamentary sitting, claimed that Premadasa was hiring workers in excess of needs to the NHDA, on daily wages. This manner of hiring workers was causing huge financial burdens to the Institution, Weerawansa further claimed. Premadasa replying to this said that he had not recruited any worker to the permanent cadre of the NHDA.  “I have not distributed houses built by the NHDA to close associates and family members unlike my […]

BJP refuses to set free seven Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts who had been in jail for 27 years

10th August 2018 // 0 Comments

The seven Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts jailed in Tamil Nadu cannot be released, the Indian Government told the Supreme Court today, asserting that the case involves the assassination of a former Prime Minister, NDTV reported. The CBI, which investigated the case, has opposed the release of the seven convicts, the court was told.  Tamil Nadu had been informed of the decision on April 18, the centre told the court. The seven convicts had been in jail for 27 years.  The court had asked the centre to decide and respond to Tamil Nadu’s request to release them. A constitution bench of top Supreme Court judges had said in 2015 that the convicts cannot be released without the central Government’s consent. The convicts, Perarivalan, Murugan, Santhan, Nalini Sriharan, […]

Sampanthan to remain as leader of the opposition

10th August 2018 // 0 Comments

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan is to remain as the leader of the opposition. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament today that under the Parliament standing orders he cannot change the post of Speaker. The joint opposition however raised concerns over the decision and insisted that the decision be reconsidered. Jayasuriya however refused to change his decision saying it was in line with the Parliament standing orders. Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said that the demand by some joint opposition members to appoint a new opposition leader can be considered, only if those members leave the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and become independent members of Parliament. (Colombo Gazette)

Colombo high rises a major fire risk, says UK expert

10th August 2018 // 0 Comments

The fire risk in high rise buildings in Colombo is very high according to Dr. David Kirkham. Why? Because many developers are using combustible cladding. Cladding is a covering or coating on a building. It was made infamous by the Grenfell Tower fire in the salubrious area of North Kensington in West London which left 72 people dead last year. File picture of the collapsed Wellawatte building Dr. Kirkham, an internationally recognised expert in fixed fire-fighting systems, has examined in minute detail the causes behind the Grenfell Tower fire, labelled “The Shame” by a public enquiry in the UK. Why shame? Simply because it needed a major disaster for legislation to be changed in the UK. “I hope Sri Lanka is clever enough not to […]

Jaffna’s New Citizen Journalists: From The Community, For The Community

10th August 2018 // 0 Comments

Every Friday, Benislos Thushan, a programme officer at the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) boards an overnight bus from Colombo to his hometown in Jaffna. He lands at dawn on Saturday and a few hours later, goes to the American Corner—the American Centre’s educational outreach branch—to conduct weekend classes on digital storytelling. “One of the things that really excites me about coming every Saturday and Sunday to Jaffna..,” he says, “is to be with these young people who are passionate about storytelling, who want to go out, and who want to tell stories.” Having been caught in the crosshairs of the war and growing up in a refugee camp during his early childhood, Thushan recognises vacuums that need to be filled in Jaffna […]

Lies & Mahinda Rajapaksa

10th August 2018 // 0 Comments

By Sarath de Alwis – Sarath De Alwis The former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has warned buyers of our national assets that he would review those deals when returned to power.  He has asserted most forcefully, that the current government had no mandate to sell national assets. He has vehemently condemned the “authoritarian manner” adopted by the government in leasing out the sea port in Hambantota and the airport in Mattala – the outstanding national assets that he built for us after ending a debilitating war.   Mahinda Rajapaksa is outstandingly non-moral. He does not utter false hoods. He does not speak the truth either. He manufactures facts. He is a strange creature, who lives in the world where knowledge exists on sufferance. On reading the former president’s brave declarations in […]

Mannar mass grave excavation Media and NGOs banned, why?

10th August 2018 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Police have obtained a written Order from the Mannar Magistrate not to permit the Media and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), that are working closely on the missing and enforced disappearances issue, to visit the Mannar mass grave site to collect information or report on it. Police have claimed that several Media outlets have misinterpreted the information given to them by the officials at the burial site. Police have urged the Media and NGOs to obtain permission from the Mannar Magistrate through the Magistrate’s Court Registrar when seeking to visit the site. Ceylon Today learns this move is to prohibit journalists and NGOs from visiting the site, due to the Media allegedly misinforming the public on the findings at the mass grave. NGOs […]

Indian Tamils ! Know your limits please!

10th August 2018 // 0 Comments

[Karunanidhi, who earned sobriquets of ‘Thalaivar’ (The Leader) and ‘Kalaignar’ (The Artist) from his ardent followers, became DMK president in 1969 and held the position till his death] – Thalaivar Karunanidhi is dead, leaves void in Tamil Nadu – by Press Trust of India One who did not groom an heir to a secular institution confirms high level of subjectivity. The official retirement age in Indian Public Service is reported to be 60. Thalaivar Karunanidhi therefore retired from position of Thalaivar at the 34 years ago. Thereafter he was Kalaignar – free to do as he pleased. Tamil Nadu failed to draw the line between Structural leadership and Spiritual leadership. The other example of indiscriminate mixing of the two through subjective powers is Mr N […]

Overwhelming minority vote consisting of Tamils and Muslim, is still against the Rajapaksas.

10th August 2018 // 0 Comments

By Vishwamithra – “When a political organization loses contact with its origin, it declines and risks implosion.” ~Robert Esposito Some writers whose political insensitivities and bare naiveté have been mistaken for objective analysis are still defending the indefensible atrocities of the Rajapaksa era. Their insensitivities have taken them from being mere Rajapaksa supporters to the fringe politics of post-Independent Sri Lanka. Ceylon, as it was called then, has undergone unrecognizable changes; she has embraced nihilist aspects of political evolution; ethnic violence has erupted multiple times and led to a thirty-year old war that ended in the decimation of a terrorist army that was never seen in Ceylon in the last half of the millennium. That war has enlarged the gulf between the two peoples. Tamils are being perceived […]

Implement the 13th Amendment in full.

10th August 2018 // 0 Comments

By Dayan Jayatilleka – Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka “…an instant invitation to an overpowering onrush of self-righteous recidivism, against which reason can only erect the feeblest defences.” ~ Mervyn de Silva, ‘Paradise & Hostage to the Past’, Far Eastern Economic Review, January 1984 One of the most distressing moments of my turbulent life was a fleeting episode at the Shangri-La conclave some months ago organized by Viyath Maga. It was something that was generated by the ideological atmosphere and social semiotics of that event. It was when a well-known and respected name in the IT industry, who operates from both Colombo and Jaffna, an articulate, cosmopolitan Sri Lankan of Tamil ethnicity, Mr. Mano Sekaram, thought fit to open his presentation by thanking the organizers for “the gesture of inclusivity” they had made […]