Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Katunayake EPZ turned into battlefield - Pension act

Police, workers trade accusations - Katunayake EPZ closed today
May 30, 2011
By Lal Gunasekera and Norman Palihawadana
Over a dozen police personnel, including DIG Ravi Wijegoonewardene and many garment workers were injured in clashes between the police and the Katunayake Export Processing Zone (EPZ) workers  yesterday. The police alleged that they had no option but to use force after hundreds of garment workers targeted the Katunayake police station demanding that the government abandon its controversial Private Sector Pension (PSP) Bill. The police fired into the air, though some workers alleged that two protesters were shot dead and their bodies removed. The police denied the charge.

Govt. behind attack on ‘Udayan’ journalist – Media Movement for Democracy

31 May 2011
The government is behind the attack carried out against the ‘Udayan’ journalist S. Kavidharan states Media Movement for Democracy. The government could prove it otherwise by bringing in the perpetrators of the crime that occurred in a High Security Zone before the law emphasizes the Media Movement for Democracy.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Army barges into Noolaham Foundation meeting in Jaffna

We were allowed to proceed after a Tamil speaking person from the army in civil attire was allowed to sit among us and under the condition that copies of the presentations should be given to him. Soldiers were moving around the hall peeping in on the meeting. As we left, our names, identity card numbers and addresses and telephone numbers were recorded.

Tamil police 'hurt' after parade exclusion

By Charles Haviland
An ethnic Tamil policeman from northern Sri Lanka has said he feels hurt that he and 25 colleagues, also Tamils, were excluded from a big parade by the country’s security forces last week.
He said they were pulled out at the very last moment with no reasonable explanation.

Jaya & India’s Lanka Policy

V Suryanarayan /30 May 2011
In her first interaction with the media, soon after unprecedented electoral victory, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa assured the people that she will exercise pressure on the central government to revise its Sri Lanka policy not only to expose the heinous crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government during the last stages of the fourth Eelam War and bring the guilty to book, but also

Key nations skip Sri Lanka's 'terrorism' seminar

May 30, 2011
 Sri Lanka is to hold an international seminar starting Tuesday to share lessons on its bloody defeat of Tamil rebels, but major nations have declined to send delegations amid war crime allegations.
The island's government said the massive military offensive that finally defeated the Tamil Tigers two years ago was a victory over terrorism, and that other countries could benefit from studying its success.

UN expert: Video proves Sri Lanka war crimes

By FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press
 A U.N. human rights expert says gruesome new footage from the final days of Sri Lanka's civil war is authentic and proves war crimes took place there, challenging the government's claim that videos showing the army executing captured rebels in May 2009 are faked.

Unions issue threats

Trade unions have threatened to go on a general strike at several Free Trade Zones in the country if the police fail to release some garment factory workers arrested today following a protest.

UN urged to probe Lanka war crimes

Ms Pillai says HRC should reconsider its 2009 May verdict on Sri Lanka in light of "efforts to combat impunity worldwide"
Senior UN officials and sections of the international community have called for an international body to investigate alleged rights violations during Sri Lanka's civil war.

The only remaining suspect who was in hiding in the murder case involving accused Chandana Kathriarachi suddenly killed

It is reported that the only remaining suspect who was in hiding in the murder case involving the accused Chandana Kathriarachchi has suddenly been killed yesterday. This murder has occurred at Pusselawa , district. In the preliminary investigations it has been revealed that the chief suspect Nihal Suresh who was in hiding has died not under accidental circumstances. He has been in hiding in the Badulla District , it is learnt.

Military training for Unistudents:Hard lessons in roughing it out

Outdoor thrills and hazards give edge to pre-campus leadership training at Army camps.
 Nadia Fazlulhaq reports
Wild elephants, snakes and ravenous mosquitoes are some of the natural challenges that university students have had to face in their first week of leadership training at Army camps around the country. Hardly five days into their training and students, followed by their parents, are complaining about inadequate facilities and other problems at training camps.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mahinda Chinthanaya is the Human Rights Charter of the President

If what the President saying is true, why there is opposition to an independent investigation. Let an independent international investigation tell us, what the President saying is truth and nothing but the truth. Let them assert that the soldiers were holding the Human Rights Charter in one hand and that they did not kill a single civilian.

The new Indo-Lanka engagement: Getting the context right

May 29 / by Rajan Philips
Last Sunday’s editorials and commentaries were pre-occupied with the Joint Statement from Delhi following delegate-level discussions between External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris and his Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna. As a visiting dignitary, Peiris also had an audience with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and met with Foreign Secretary NirupamaRao and National Security Advisor ShivshankarMenon. No one seems to know what transpired with the Prime Minister, but one commentator picked on Peiris’s clasped-hands posing for the photographs. The Joint Statement, however, drew flak from everyone, Left and Right, some polite, some pungent, and many over-the-top.

“Punishing Sri Lanka” Myth or Reality?

May 28/ by Austin Fernando
Prof. Rohan Gunaratne- international terrorism expert- addressing the business community last week convincingly and openly cautioned that “India might ‘punish’ Sri Lanka”, if Sri Lanka leans elsewhere to India’s detriment. This is a very serious statement, especially if Indians do not intend doing so.

Sri Lanka’s Tamil nation question is not just an external issue for India

The joint statement is a good point of departure. Nonetheless, the two governments should have prepared a kind of road map with a definite time-frame so that both countries can minimise the internal pressure coming from its own population as well as the pressure on Sri Lanka emanating from the Western imperialist countries and the INGOs backed by them.

Tamil independence, a universal issue going beyond state reformation in Sri Lanka - TamilNet

29 May 2011
India could do much better by acknowledging the right to independence of Eezham Tamils, by working for international consensus towards it, by structuring an IC-facilitated transition arrangement for it, and by creating an environment for the diaspora to freely interact through Palaali and Trincomalee, for India’s own reconciliation with Tamils

Dengue rises again with 6,077 cases, 54 deaths in 2011 so far

By Mirudhula Thambiah
Dengue is on the rise again with 6,077 cases and 54 deaths in five months, Health Ministry officials said. Colombo with 1,976 cases was identified as one of the most vulnerable districts followed by Gampaha with 709 cases, Batticaloa with 465 cases, Kalutara with 361 cases, Ratnapura with 289 cases and Kurunegala with 253.

Opening Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay

 Let me also refer to the report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka, which concludes that there are credible allegations of a wide range of serious violations of international law committed by both the Sri Lankan Government forces and Tamil Tigers in the final stages of the conflict. It is incumbent on the Government to investigate these allegations and I also urge it to implement the measures recommended by the Panel. I fully support the recommendation to establish an international mechanism to monitor national investigations and undertake its own as necessary. It would be important for the Human Rights Council to reflect on the new information contained in this important report, in light of its previous consideration of Sri Lanka and efforts to combat impunity worldwide.

Ruling family want to transform university students into regimented enforcers of the Rajapaksa-project

28 May 2011 /by Tisaranee Gunasekara

“When an opponent says, ‘I will not come over to your side’, I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already’” Hitler (Speech in November 1933)
According to the Education Secretary, principals will have to undergo ‘Leadership training’ at the Rantambe camp: “If the Principal is weak that will be the end of the school.

President didn’t allow Devasiri to talk

May 28, 2011
The agitation by university dons for higher salaries is another issue that threatens to upset the applecart. The president of the Federation of University Teacher’s Associations Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri complains that at the discussion held last week with the president, he was not allowed to express his views freely with the president interjecting every time he tried to open his mouth. The president had even told Devasiri not to be a ‘Shylock’ (and keep demanding the proverbial pound of flesh).  What really is the issue involved here?  The salaries of academic staff are currently as follows:

Why devolution of power is required by the minority communities

Hegemonic nationalists oppose any devolution. They assert that any relaxation of direct control or authority introduces the possibility of secession. But safeguards can be put in place both constitutionally and administratively. This problem has to be addressed but it is no fundamental ground for rejecting devolution. The removal of the concurrent list is not enough.

Sri Lanka war crimes: Eleven groups jointly urge US to act on Sri Lanka at UNHRC

May 27, 2011
Carter Center; Human Rights Watch; Enough Project; Democracy Coalition Project; Freedom House; Open Society Foundations; International Crisis Group; Physicians for Human Rights; Citizens for Global Solutions; U.S. Campaign for Burma; and Amnesty International have jointly urged US to act on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council, in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gang attacks Tamil journalist in Jaffna city

28 May 2011,
32-year-old Staff Correspondent of Uthayan Daily in Jaffna, S. Kavitharan, was attacked Saturday morning around 6:30 by a gang believed to be operated by a paramilitary group, near the Jaffna Hindu College while the journalist was on his way to work, the officials at the paper said. A camouflaged group, of up to five members, attacked him with cricket bats.

Jesuit not guilty of Tamil Tiger ties

Priest and five others acquitted of all charges after court hearing
May 27, 2011
A Jesuit priest and five other people who were accused of having links with Tamil Tiger rebels have been acquitted after a court hearing on Tuesday.

Non-academic University Staff gives a 14 day ultimatum to the govt.

26 May 2011
Despite the ongoing trade union action by university academic staff demanding a pay hike, now thenon-academic staff of universities have threatened to opt for tough trade union action if their 'longprevailing' grievances that includes a salary increment were not addressed by the government within 14days.

President Rajapaksa recalls that troops went to the battlefront with gun, Human Rights Charter, food and love

‘Even though terrorism was eradicated from Sri Lanka, terrorists living abroad continue to work to destroy our country’

Sri Lankan free trade zone workers demonstrate against pension bill

By Nihal Geekiyanage/ 28 May 2011
About 25,000 workers from Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ)—mostly young female garment workers—walked out and demonstrated against the Rajapakse government’s pension bill on Tuesday. They defied their trade unions, which had called off the walkout, to stage the biggest ever protest held in the cheap labour zone since its inception in 1978.

Panadura police found to be in the wrong

28 May 2011/ By K. S.  Fernando.
Panadura Police sought to withdraw charges against eleven suspects including a Panadura Pradeshiya Sabha UNP member following objections raised by the counsel on behalf of the suspects. The request for withdrawal was subject to the right to file a fresh plaint in due course. 

Peace Dividend Skips Remote Villages

By Amantha Perera
UNNICHCHAI, Sri Lanka, May 28, 2011  - The road to Unnichchai in eastern Sri Lanka makes for a nerve-wracking journey trying to avoid large crater-like potholes, squeezing across narrow bridges, and passing by a patchwork landscape of paddy fields - both abandoned and cultivated - with not a building in sight.

LTTE denies KP’s allegation on Jaya’s life

by G Saravanan
A statement purportedly originating from the defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has rubbished jailed ex-LTTE leader K Padmanathan's recent claim that the Tamil Tigers had once planned to assassinate Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fresh probe on HR violation by an alleged criminal organisation is an eye wash

" In the presence of jumbo sized state military and intelligence service and the state backed paramilitaries and the violent government goons, the HRC is being engineered to do an exercise to undermine any further UN effort on war crimes  against Sri Lanka." 

Tamil Tigers sneak through Schagen (part 2)

The Dutch judiciary says that Tamil Tiger leaders in the Netherlands have played a prominent role in financing the civil war in Sri Lanka. The 10,000 Tamils in the Netherlands, police say, were under the iron grip of the guerilla group.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lanka withdraws on-arrival visa for Indians

May 26, 2011/Sutirtho Patranobis,
Sri Lanka on Thursday withdrew the on-arrival free visa facility for Indian tourists.
It means that Indians planning a trip to Sri Lanka after August should apply for their visas online for a fee or visit Lankan missions with an application.

Lawyers for Democracy Urges Independent Verification of Facts contained in UN Report on Sri Lanka; Asks for Professional Responses

As professionals, we have seen the deterioration of the institutional integrity and rule of law in this country for many years. As lawyers we have, from time to time, urged the succeeding governments to protect human rights of the citizens and establish Rule of Law.

Police Officer Talking Of Tamil Punishment

He paused, as if to assemble the rank and file of forces in his imagination: “I’m a police officer”, he declared, putting his authority to speak in no doubt. “They must be punished! All of them! There must be discipline!” Toxicity leached from his skin.

Jaya's govt to pass a censure motion against Rajapakse

There are active moves to get the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly to pass a motion of censure against President Rajapakse along the lines of the critical comments made by Smt Jayalalitha on May 14th. Those behind this move are some over zealous young AIDMK alliance MLA’s keen to catch their new CM’s attention.

Principals should be able to jump the walls

May 25, 2011: The Ministry of Education has decided to provide school principals with a three (3) month leadership training programme. Secretary to the Ministry of Education H.M. Gunasekara said  at a function today that 1000 principals at schools which are being developed with several facilities, will undergo this training at the Rantambe camp.

‘White Flag’ Trial-at-Bar

SF says felt he couldn’t work with President, Def. Secy, as Gota doubted his loyalty
May 25, 2011/ By A.J. Abeynayake
Former Army Chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka on Wednesday (25) said that he felt he couldn’t work with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, as the latter had doubted his loyalty during a meeting at the office of the Defence Secretary.

‘Norway planned to take away Prabhakaran’

By a Special Correspondent
The leader of the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera says that the onus is on the government to hold an inquiry and ascertain the truth regarding the alleged political asylum provided by the Norwegian Embassy to 12 suspected LTTE cadres.13-1

TNA disappointed again as govt. puts off response to its proposals

May 25, 2011,
By Franklin R. Satyapalan
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) left the sixth round of Bi-partisan talks, with the government yesterday, disappointed as the latter had once again not responded to its draft on devolution, TNA sources said.

Govt. to launch fresh probe on HR violations

26 May 2011/ By Sandun A. Jayasekera
Sri Lanka would appoint a five member panel of judges to initiate fresh investigations into Human Rights and Fundamental Rights violations in the North-East and report back to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRC), officials said.

The most important bilateral relationship for Sri Lanka is that with India not China

Consequently, the President is surely as responsible for what is contained in this communiqué as his minister. Indeed it would not be an exaggeration to say that the joint communiqué contains the measures the regime should take in order to neutralize any adverse consequences of the Panel Report.
25 May 2011/By Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Sri Lanka’s Muslims:The Forgotten Factor.

25 May 2011/ by Daniel Kitts
An E-Mail Interview with A.R.M. Imtiyaz

Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict is one of the most polarizing and heated in a world full of ethnic conflicts.

For a sample, check out this episode of The Agenda, aired in 2009 shortly after Sri Lankan forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, a.k.a. The Tamil Tigers), a rebel army that fought for a separate Tamil homeland in northern Sri Lanka for more than a quarter century:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Military Deny Permission to Hold Sports Meet. Issue Resolved after Altercation

25 May 2011
The military tried to stop a sport meet taking place in Vadamarachchi saying permission had not been obtained from the army and this had created a tense situation in the area.
All arrangements had been completed and the sports meet of Nethaji sports club in Kothiyaladi, Valvettithurai was about to start.

Sri Lanka GA concedes more than 50,000 continue as refugees in Jaffna alone

25 May 2011
Around 55,700 people still live the life of refugees in Jaffna, conceded Sri Lanka Government Agent in Jaffna, Mrs. Imelda Sugumar on Tuesday. The number includes people who lost their homes by the confiscation of lands by the occupying Army in Jaffna for ‘High Security Zones’ (HSZ) and those who have Jaffna connections and have come from Vanni after the war.

People in cloth sheds, Buddhist stupas built in Vanni

25 May 2011
Genocidal Sri Lanka’s ‘reconciliation’ in Vanni, abetted by its international partners is building huge Buddhist stupas there, while keeping Eezham Tamil natives in cloth tents. If building Buddhist establishments and new Sinhala-military townships in Vanni is the job of the state and re-building houses for the war-ravaged people and providing them with ‘milk and bread’ are the jobs of others

The continuing disinformation campaigns in Sri Lanka: Is mainstream media complicit?

25 May, 2011
For the second time in a fortnight, subscribers to the Daily Mirror newspaper have been entreated to an interesting disinformation campaign that appears to be conducted with those embedded within, and possibly with the full support of the Sri Lankan Army and its network of patriots.

Militarization of Lankan society?

Feizal Samath
Just as government troops prepared this week to celebrate the second anniversary of the decimation of Tamil separatist rebels, thousands of young, new entrants to national universities across Sri Lanka on Monday began entering military camps for a three-week training course that has triggered an intense debate as to whether the country is heading towards a militarized society.

UN Sri Lanka Report Not Transmitted to Geneva, Ban Waits for What?

By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, May 24 -- Not only has UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon not asked for any Security Council, General Assembly or Human Rights Council action on the UN Panel of Experts report on war crimes in Sri Lanka -- he hasn't even transmitted it to Geneva, his spokesman acknowledged to Inner City Press on Tuesday:

Sri Lanka mocks Obama, Ban Ki-Moon

R. K. Radhakrishnan

People in this friendly town woke up on Monday a full page advertisement in its newspapers mocking U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

The advertisement reproduced in full below, sought to place in perspective the rationale behind Sri Lanka being questioned for eliminating terrorism in its backyard. The United Nations Expert Panel appointed by the Secretary General, had five findings against Government of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka rejected the report, called it the Darusman report

The dynamics of caste politics in Jaffna

Caste divisions in Jaffna are based on professions that people have been hereditarily engaged in. Agriculture is considered the profession of the Vellala caste, which is the most dominant caste in Jaffna. Nalavar and Pallar work as toddy tappers and labourers in gardens. Parayar, who beat the drums at funerals, are treated like slaves. Vannar wash clothes and Ambattar work as hairdressers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Non Aligned Movement urged by Al to ensure survivors of Sri Lanka conflict can seek justice

24 May 2011
Members of Non-Aligned Movement have a critical part to play in ensuring these terrible abuses never happen again and that survivors of the conflict can seek justice, thus laying the groundwork for reconciliation.

Friday Forum wants transparency process for city planning and urban development

23 May 2011, 8:31 pm
The Friday Forum has demanded that the government ensure that city planning and urban development activities are carried out within a transparent process which takes into account the concerns of people in regard to their homes and property.

Point Pedro to Mullaiththeevu coast encroached by Sinhala fishermen

24 May 2011
The northeast coast of the Jaffna and Mullaiththeevu districts of the country of Eezham Tamils, from Kat-koava’lam in Point Pedro to Mullaiththeevu is encroached in recent days by hundreds of Sinhala fishermen supported by occupying Sri Lanka’s Army and fisheries officials.

A better and just society can only be built on democracy and good governance – JVP Leader

24 May 2011 15:33
The Leader of the JVP Somsawansa Amarasinghe participated at the 5th Asia Riches Forum held in San Men Xia city in China from 18th - 20th May 2011where he made the keynote address .

China backs Sri Lanka

Ananth Krishnan
China on Tuesday said it supported the Sri Lankan government’s efforts towards reconciliation, and indicated it would back the country against any international pressure following a recent United Nations report accusing the government of war crimes.

Concern over accelerated city plan

The Friday Forum, a group of intellectuals had issued a statement expressing concerns at the steps taken for accelerated development of the city of Colombo.They say the group was formed to consider current issues of public interest with a view to making a contribution to peace, democracy, good governance and social justice in Sri Lanka.

BASL condemns army assault on judge

May 23, 2011, 
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka yesterday condemned the assault on the District Judge of Matara by army personnel on Sunday (22).
The BASL called upon the IGP and the Commander of Army to bring those suspected of having participated in the assault before the Law.

Military Conference to Whitewash War Crimes

Invited Countries Should Stay Home, Press for Accountability
May 23, 2011 
This conference is nothing more than a public relations exercise to whitewash abuses. No professional, law-abiding military should take part in this farce. 
    -Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch

TNA appeals to Russia, China

24 May 2011 / By Kelum Bandara
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will request Russia and China to urge the Sri Lankan government to work out a long lasting political solution to the national question, parliamentarian and party media spokesman Suresh Premachandran said yesterday.

FR petitions challenge leadership training

24 May 2011
By Susitha R. Fernando
Five separate fundamental rights applications were filed in the Supreme Court yesterday by the Ceylon Teachers Union and four students who secured university entrance this year challenging the leadership training at army camps for students entering the university.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sir, Please Treat us Kindly

If the government does not want to resolve this issue through negotiations by blindly accepting the views of the Treasury Secretary, the university system and the country would definitely lose its best scientists, engineers and medical people who cannot be replaced easily. If the government adopts at least pragmatic perspective taking into consideration its own survival, it should perceive that listening to collective action is always beneficial to the country and its posterity.

by Sumanasiri Liyanage

Asian States Failed to Make the UN Human Rights Council Elections Meaningful

(20 May 2011, Geneva/Bangkok)
The United Nations General Assembly today elected 15 new member States to the Human Rights Council (Council), a 47-member intergovernmental body mandated to promote universal respect for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Seats to the Council are allotted by regional groupings, and today’s election saw the inclusion of 4 new Asian members to the Council, namely India (181 votes), Indonesia (184 votes), the Philippines (183 votes) and Kuwait (166 votes). Kuwait was the last-minute candidate State, replacing Syria which had deferred its bid for a seat amidst its deplorable human rights record as protesters in the country continue to face severe and violent repression.

Colombo targets Nalloor for Sinhalicization of the country of Eezham Tamils

22 May 2011,
The occupying genocidal Army of Sri Lanka targets Nalloor, the former capital of the Kingdom of Jaffna, for focusing its agenda of Sinhalicisation of the country of Eezham Tamils in the island, news sources in Jaffna said. The occupying Army passed curfew-like orders this weekend prohibiting the movement of people in the locality of the Nalloor Kanthasaami Temple,

Hoole Saga takes Mask Off Douglas Devananda : Implications for the President and Nation Building

  Every month before the meeting of the Council Douglas has what he calls a “pre-Council Meeting” in his office where he gives instructions on how to vote on every issue. The university is thus under Douglas’ complete control.
“But Douglas through his ambitions to control the university has injected a new brand of communalism based on caste and religion despite his pretence of Marxism. It has always been part of his makeup,” says Hoole,

Sajith frowns on further militarisation of society ( militay training for unistudents)

May 22, 2011
Co-Deputy leader of the UNP Sajith Premadasa accuses the government of further militarising the society despite the conclusion of the war in May two years ago.
The Hambantota District MP who is also the Deputy Opposition Leader urged the government to abandon a plan to provide a three-week training to some 10,000 university entrants
. In a media statement, MP Premadasa expressed serious concern over the Defence Ministry being involved in the project.

Don’t send’em for training - JVP

23 May 2011
By Yohan Perera
The JVP yesterday requested the parents of students who had been selected to the universities not to send their children for leadership training in military camps which is scheduled to begin today.
JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a news conference yesterday that they wanted the parents not to send their children for the proposed training programme. “Take a firm decision as there is no provision in the law for the higher education authorities to take action against your children if they fail to attend the training sessions,” Mr. Dissanayake told journalists yesterday.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

‘Sinhalisation’ continues, not only in Jaffna, but also in Colombo

The masses, climbed into an array of vehicles, some parents had kids sitting in the boot of cars as they toured the country viewing the many Vesak spectacles and queuing up outside the generous dansala’s.

Removing the Emperor’s Clothes

But let us not get side-tracked by the apparent stupidity of the Ministry of Higher Education. This is not about leadership training; this is part of the regime’s plan to control dissent.  Rather than producing young people with inquiring, critical minds; young people who are passionate and who are willing to fight for causes they believe in, this regime wants a generation of mindless robots who will obediently follow orders.

Sri Lanka won this battle with the help of countries like India, US and Britain - Professor Rohan Gunaratna

  • The government should try to establish a mainstream Tamil political leadership in the North and East.
  • Norway has played a sincere and genuine role in bringing about peace during the CFA period
  • Sri Lanka should invite the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalithaa to Sri Lanka and explain the reality.

University students get marching orders for leadership programme

With the “Leadership and Positive Attitude Development” programme scheduled to start tomorrow at various Army camps, Nadia Fazlulhaq speaks to concerned parents of new entrants to universities, students’ unions and officials involved in the programme

The disputed leadership programme organized by the Higher Education Ministry in collaboration with the Defence Ministry has officials defending it as a programme aimed at making universities violence-free while parents of university entrants and students union leaders have voiced concern.

Govt Militarising uni students: UNP

22 May 2011
The United National Party (UNP) today condemned the government’s decision to go a ‘leadership’ training programme for university new entrants inside military camps.“There is no legal provision to conduct such programme and it has not been discussed in parliament as well”, the UNP said in a statement.

Case dropped against author Sarah Malanie Perera

By ANIQA HAIDER / May 22, 2011

A BAHRAIN-based author who was stranded in Sri Lanka for nearly 14 months after being accused of blasphemy has had the case against her dropped.
Sarah Malanie Perera was detained via emergency laws in Colombo in March last year for alleged "anti-state" activities and links to Islamic militants.

5 proposals from JVP to government to establish democracy & prevent imperialist intervention

Withdrawing of emergency regulations, revoking ‘Prevention of terrorism Act’, releasing Gen. Sarath Fonseka, releasing Tamil political prisoners and establishing media freedom are the five proposals of the JVP.

Sri Lanka defends Buddhism – against London restaurant

TamilNet, 22 May 2011,
Sri Lanka’s Sinhala nationalist constitution - introduced in 1972 in contemptuous dismissal of the protests of the Tamils and their elected leaders - makes it “the duty of the state to protect and foster” Buddhism. This is a responsibility Sri Lanka’s High Commission in Britain apparently takes very seriously: according to a London newspaper, the mission has “whipped up” a campaign against a local Nepalese restaurant, the ‘Greedy Buddha’, whose owner is being bombarded with abusive and aggressive emails and letters, some of which threaten violence.

G.L.Peiris visit a flop: India browbeats Lanka

Sunday Times    
  • Minister agrees to develop on 13th Amendment with Tamil parties, will include police and land powers
  •     New Delhi non-committal on international probe on alleged war crimes; sellout on fishing crisis
While these celebrations were in full swing in all Buddhist countries, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris was in New Delhi on an official visit, in what was the only political and diplomatic activity for the week. Alas, by all accounts, the visit was not a success for Sri Lanka.

Uni students in police training before Army stint

By Gayan Kumara Weerasingha
Around 1500 university students have already been absorbed into the Police Training College (PTC) with the intention of providing them with leadership skills, Police department sources said.
A Police department source added that these students have been absorbed into PTCs situated at Pathgama, Mahiyangana, Elpitiya, Kundasale and Nikaweratiya.

JVP, PNM in islandwide protests against Indian interference

By Chris Kamalendran
Two separate fronts are set to launch protest campaigns against Indian pressure on the Sri Lanka government to amend the Constitution, probe human rights abuses and finalise Indian commercial projects in the country.

Lanka launches pre-emptive strike at UNHRC

By Chandani Kirinde
Sri Lanka is to carry out a pre-emptive campaign ahead of the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva next week to ward-off any moves to trigger a debate on allegations of human rights violations during the last stages of the fighting against the LTTE.

Buildings belonging to Sabaragamuwa university taken over for military training camp

A building complex in Buttala belonging to the Sabaragamuwa university has been taken by the Higher Education Ministry to commence a military school, it is learnt.

Residents in Buttala have raised objections to the move with the Higher Education Ministry saying that the buildings should not be used for a military establishment.

Undestanding Gotabaya Rajapaksha

Out of the three brothers of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya is the most arrogant and brainless one, due to his inability to cope up with and handle the most important Ministry in the country due to his in-experience to administer it and his lack of education and the heavy work load under his authority has created many problems for him to handle this Ministry.

Is external pressure the only way Sri Lanka can be prevented from remaking old mistakes?

No peace dividend; no political solution: the post-war conduct of the Rajapaksas indicate a mindset unresponsive to voluntary internal reforms, be it on devolution, good governance or human rights. This leaves us with a conundrum – is external pressure the only way Sri Lanka can be prevented from remaking old mistakes and retrogressing into past-nightmares?

Bribery Commission operational again

May 20, 2011
The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has recommenced investigations into complaints on alleged acts of bribery and corruption, a press release issued by Information Department said yesterday.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Journalist arrested and severely tortured by Panadura Police

Urgent Appeal
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mr. Niroshan Premaratne, a professional journalist attached to the Independent Television Network (ITN) of Wickremasinghe Pura, Battaramulla, Colombo was illegally arrested and severely tortured by police officers attached to the Panadura Police Station on 8 May 2011

Who will punish the ruling classes of Sri Lanka and bring them to justice?

The panel report  falsely accuses LTTE and its leadership, the force spearheading the decades-old liberation struggle, of using Eelam Tamils as ‘human shields’ and of even ‘point blank shooting of civilians’!
By Democratic Students’ Union/ NewDelhi
19 May, 2011
Two years back, on 18 May 2009 the Sri Lankan army claimed to have killed Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of LTTE, along with hundreds of his comrades.

Difficult reconciliation between North and South, as government aid proves insufficient

In Omanthe near Jaffna, along Palali Road, the army runs 60 restaurants and motels. Local Tamils wonder why soldiers should manage businesses, which they could do as well. Of course, the military has deeper pockets and can outcompete civilians.

Tamil youth reported missing after SLA-arrest in Batticaloa

TamilNet, 20 May 2011
19-year-old Diluxon Anandarajah, taken away by the Sri Lanka Army intellligence from his house located in Zone-A of “Swiss” village at Kokkuvil in Batticaloa on 15 May has been reported missing, according to a complaint lodged by his mother with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka. According to the complaint, SLA intelligence officer Suresh had taken away her son for ‘investigation’.

Tamil university students get Sinhala summons for military course

TamilNet,20 May 2011
Genocidal regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa in further militarization of state in the island introduces an obligatory course conducted by the military for all students selected for the universities. The three-weeks course in selected centres of the SL Armed Forces begins on Sunday and Tamil students received summons letters in Sinhala, BBC News said Thursday.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Two years since end of the war, Solve issues of Tamils immediately – ‘We are SriLankans’

20 May 2011
The government has failed to find solutions for the issues of the people in the North and the East despite the war has been over for two years points out ‘We are SriLankans’. Issuing a letter to the media ‘We are SriLankans’ states.
“It is two years since the end of the war with the LTTE. Throughout last two years Mahinda Rajapakse regime organized various ‘commemorations’ to retain the mentality of the war victory within the masses and the security forces. Today too several such ‘commemorations’ have been organized by the government.

SL Military harasses mourners in Jaffna at Remembrance event

TamilNet,19 May 2011
Sri Lanka Army soldiers on Thursday rounded up the mourners who were taking part in prayers at Kalaith-thoothu Hall in Jaffna, remembering thousands of their kith and kin slain in the genocidal war in Vanni in 2009.

GOVT. uses emergency to silence dissent- Tilvin

20 May 2011
Whenever there is a proper foreign policy coupled with professional diplomats, all these problems can be handled without any harm to the country. Unfortunately, we lack it today.

EU not seeking regime change here: Envoy

20 May 2011 02:03
By Sandun A. Jayasekera

European Union Ambassador Bernard Savage yesterday reiterated that Sri Lanka needed to take follow-up action in line with the recommendations made by the United Nation Secretary General’s Advisory Panel Report but emphasized the EU had no intention of bringing about a regime change in Sri Lanka.
“The allegations are serious and we have taken note of the findings of the three-member panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

SC orders postponement of leadership training

20 May 2011
By S.S. Selvanayagam
The Supreme Court today directed the Attorney General to consider instructing the relevant authorities to postpone for one week the impugned mandatory training in military camps for the students who are eligible to enter the State Universities.
The Court made this direction in the wake of the training for the first batch which is scheduled to be commenced on May 23, 2011 at several Army Camps.

A new Chief Justice for the dying judiciary of Sri Lanka

May 19, 2011/Basil Fernando

CJ wearing the same colour of Presidents Satakaya!

The appointment of the first lady Chief Justice would normally have been a day for great celebrations. However, in the context of the attack on the Sri Lankan judiciary since the adoption of the 1978 Constitution such a celebration would belie the actual situation of the judiciary as well as all the administration of justice institutions in the country. The 200-year-old tradition of judicial institutions was undermined by the constitution itself and 33 years of practice under this constitution has greatly subordinated the judiciary to the all-powerful executive presidential system.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

“Colombo must initiate settlement to ease pressure”

In other words, they were discussing the shuffling of Central, provincial and concurrent lists in a way that devolution of powers to the provinces was maximised. This message was conveyed “very categorically” by each of Mr. Peiris' interlocutors — Dr. Singh, Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.

India should perform its legitimate duty of protecting the rights of the Tamil ethnic people – Dr. K.Veeramani

18 May 2011
Rallies were held around the globe by Tamil organizations on Wednesday – May 18th, which the organizers have marked is a “Time to mourn; A time to reflect; A time for resurgence and creating awareness towards seeking “Justice for Genocide Victims of Tamil Eelam.”

Sinhalese students irk Jaffna on Mu’l’livaaykkaal Day

TamilNet, 9 May 2011,
A few Sinhala students recently admitted to Jaffna University chose the Mu’l’livaaykkaal Day to erect a decorated pandal at Thirunelveali Junction to ‘celebrate’ the birth of Buddha and to distribute eatables to passers by, while the Eezham Tamils subjugated to the extent of not being able to even openly observe the remembrance of their dead were silently mourning on Wednesday.

Press USA, UK and France to talk to China, Russia: Vidar Helgesen

TamilNet,19 May 2011
“I'm not the best-placed person to suggest how China and Russia could be convinced and how one could pass a resolution at the UN Security Council. One should pose this question to the governments of USA, United Kingdom and France, those who negotiate with China and Russia in New York,” said Vidar Helgesen, the highest-ranking diplomat who headed the Norwegian facilitated peace process, in a video documentary released

Sri Lanka upset over asylum cases

May 18, 2011 
Norway’s ambassador to Sri Lanka has been called in for an apparent scolding by Sri Lankan authorities in Colombo, after Norwegian officials helped 12 persons leave the country and start new lives in Norway. Opposition politicians in Norway are upset as well.

Two Years After Mullivaikkal – Kiribath Or Paal Soru?

The Rajapaksa troika needs to accept this simple truth. They’ve got to be honest at least to themselves. President Rajapaksa needs to sideline political clowns, to have sensible and practical advice with accurate information. 

by Kusal Perera
Sri Lanka was sent a very confidential message by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton through Assistant Secretary for Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs,

Message from Big Brother - editorial, The Island

May 18, 2011,
India has asked Sri Lanka to devolve power, probe human rights violations and withdraw emergency regulations, among other things. This kind of diplomatic pressure amounts to interference in this country's internal affairs, but in diplomacy and war, might is right whether one likes it or not.

Fabrication of charges and mega lies

Why has Sri Lanka descended to this lower depth? The intelligence officer’s revelation is not unique. People are exposed to mega lies all the time. Antennas brings bring such lies to homes day and night, every day.

by Basil Fernando
According to a media report, a former army intelligence officer told the Mount Lavinia Magistrate last week (12 May) that he was told by the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) to claim that a top army official was involved in the killing of former Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha. Such a statement made to court should lead to inquiry.

Through the 2,600th Sambuddha Jayanthi Government invades the North and East

 The security forces and police have organized massive Vesak celebrations, carnivals and dansels in the North and East of the country following a directive by the Presidential Secretariat to use the 2,600th Sambuddha Jayanthi to celebrate the second anniversary of the assassinationn of LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on a grand scale.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Two years since the end of war

 Two years after the end of the war, most Sri Lankans feel a sense of relief that there is no more fighting, and that the Tamil Tiger bomb attacks which used to rock towns and cities including the capital no longer take place.
Waiting for the lost relatives
Some families are still waiting for the missing

Sri Lanka bending backwards to please Amma?

Sensing the new role and the whole new set of powers she enjoys with her position, the Sri Lankan counterparts will most definitely want to be in Jaya’s good books.
May 18, 2011
New Delhi, May 18: Amma-raj is back in Tamil Nadu and Jayalalithaa will reign Tamil Nadu as the new Chief Minister for the third time. With congratulations pouring in from all quarters, it seems the good wishes are coming in from the detractors as well.

Sri Lanka:UNHRC should act - AI

Sri Lanka: Human Rights Council Support for an International Investigation is Necessary to Address Impunity for Violations and Abuses of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
Date: 17th May 2011
The armed conflict in Sri Lanka had been over for less than ten days when on 27 May 2009 the UN Human Rights Council adopted a Resolution praising Sri Lankan Government efforts “to ensure the safety and security of all Sri Lankans and to bring permanent peace to the country,” while ignoring credible allegations that war crimes had been committed by both sides.

What will be the effect of Ms Jayalalithaa’s first salvo against Rajapaksa?

It would only be fair to conclude that like thousands of her fellow countrymen, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has probably been genuinely moved by the UN panel report on war crimes and human rights violations during the Eelam War. ..So there is a strong possibility that she might scale down her rhetoric on Sri Lanka Tamil issue to enable New Delhi to take positive steps to meet her demands midway. In real terms India’s Sri Lanka policy in the coming months may turn out to be less tilted in total support of Mahinda Rajapaksa as in the past.
18 May 2011,
By Col R Hariharan

Calls for war-crimes probe escalate as Tamils commemorate massacre

18 May 2011,
Amid increasing calls by world's premier human rights NGOs, newly elected Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for independent international investigations into alleged accusations of war-crimes committed by Sri Lanka on Tamils, Tamil expatriates in several countries in the West are preparing to commemorate the massacre of Tamil civilians during the final phase of Sri Lanka war.