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India trying to build a power base in the North and East says JVP

June 14 (SL) The JVP says that India is trying to build a power base affiliated to it in the North and East of Sri Lanka by calling for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva told The Sunday Leader that since the government had not implemented the 13th Amendment in full since it was introduced 22 years ago through the Indo-Lanka Accord, more..

LTTE: Remnants and sympathisers

June 14 (TC) The LTTE as a terrorist-cum-insurgent organisation is dead. So is most of its leadership at the senior levels, including Prabakaran, its head. One cannot say with equal confidence that all its trained cadres, whether in insurgency or terrorism or both, have been fully accounted for either killed or captured. Its dead leaders have not left detailed documentation of their set-up giving details of the number trained, the number of losses, more..

Women's views on prevention of torture - Interview 6

June 14 (LG) B. Yvonne is a 34 year old mother who resides in Kandy. She had to visit police stations due a robbery of her household items. She talks here about the lessons she learned. Q: What do you think about the policing system in your country? The law is not implemented by the police officers. There are good laws but they are not implemented by the police. The officers may record a statement, but by the next day this completely disappears. more..

Sri Lanka becoming battlefield for proxy cold war between China and India

June 14 (TC) The Indian International Film Awards (IIFA) became a test of strength between the Rajapakse administration and Tamil Nadu Tamils, and, at the end of the day, Colombo was the loser. Most major Bollywood stars, giving threadbare excuses, stayed away from the event, which is said to have cost Sri Lankan taxpayers close to a billion rupees. more..

'No one will be on our side if India is against us'

June 14 (LG) Your browser may not support display of this image. President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for India recently and he is set to show his Indian counterpart a draft of the proposed Constitutional amendments. This is seen by many as a gesture of subjugation and their requests to open a Deputy High Commissioner’s office in Kandy and a consulate office in Hambanthota and their insistence of implementing the 13th Amendment are more..

Karunanidhi and the politics of Tamil culture

June 14 (LG) Sri Lankan newspapers have had no coverage of the World Classical Tamil Conference that begins in Coimbatore on June 23. The Karunanidhi administration in Tamil Nadu is sponsoring the event. 2011 is an election year in Tamil Nadu. Karunanidhi, allied to the Congress party in New Delhi, just celebrated his 87th birthday. His DMK is on a strong wicket until such time that he retires. That would likely lead to a split in the party between his two sons, more..

'Weerawansa has no right to juggle with democracy'

June 14 (NF) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, while stressing that it is the public who have the right to select the President and not the politicians or political parties, notes that Wimal Weerawansa has no right to juggle with the country’s democracy. “These people are now made to sing hosannas. They have become signal posts who would raise their hands for anything even to those that destroy democracy. more..

An open and very important letter to Aprara, Aparna and Anoma and Top brass

June 14 (LG) I thought of writing this letter, out of concern for your well-being and Sri Lanka’s national security, to you three in particular and the other stakeholders in general and with some suggestions to avoid a situation nobody in Sri Lanka would like to wish. I know you as a family are going through a lot on the daily basis and your life is very rough nowadays. I know there were solid sacrifices and contributions by more..

IUSU representatives threatened with death in Jaffna

June 14 (TN) Unknown gunmen on motor cycles speaking fluent Sinhalese threatened Inter University Students’ Union (IUSU) representatives Sunday as they were returning after being denied entry into Jaffna University for the second time during the week-end, IUSU representatives staying in a lodge in Jaffna University surroundings said. IUSU representatives had been turned away at the main gates by Jaffna University Vice-chancellor Saturday morning when more..

Sri Lanka one country, unitary state: Namal Rajapaksa, in Jaffna

June 14 (TN) “Sri Lanka is one country and a unitary state,” Namal Rajapakse, MP and son of President Mahinda Rajapaksa said speaking at the event where Minister Douglas Devananda officially inaugurated a boat service Sunday around 11:00 a.m at Ma’n’niththalai jetty in Poonakarai. “Douglas is a model person to the Tamils of the country as he sets an example by cooperating with the government in the development of the whole country,” more..

'CEPA was not signed in India'

June 14 (NF) Despite numerous claims and rumours to the effect that the CEPA agreement was to be signed during the president’s visit to India, no such thing took place, said Prof. G. L. Peiris, minister of External Affairs this evening. The government of India, as a gesture of supporting the relocation of internally displace people, had agreed to construct 50,000 houses, said the minister who added, “Now that it is a gift, not a loan at all”. “Apart from that, very substantial economic assistance was given to Sri Lanka, more..

BOI invites expats to invest in N-E

June 14 (MoD) The Board of Investment (BOI) has extended an invitation to the Sri Lankan expatriate groups to invest in the development of the country and in particular the North and the East. The Chairman/Director General, BOI, Jayampathi Bandaranayake, said that in today's global context, there are Sri Lankan nationals who have taken up citizenship in many countries around the world, and a substantial number of them are with emotional ties with more..

Sri Lanka India CEPA: How valid are the criticisms?

June 14 (LBO) The recent protests in Colombo by a vocal group of businesses have brought to the fore the issue of CEPA and its merits and demerits in the Sri Lankan context. Any independent observer will agree that the debate has got shrouded in emotion, and at times, borders on irrational eeriness. This vocal group in Sri Lanka will not countenance a healthy debate on the issue and scoff at the very mention of the word CEPA. more..

People in glass houses…

June 14 (GV) “Where you from” asked the precocious teenager from Jane, a World Bank official I was escorting to a remote hillside community in the middle of Sri Lanka to show a community based micro hydro system. She proudly said, “America”. She and I were both shocked at the response that followed; “Boo Bush Boo Bush!” accompanied by a thumbs down. Jane had just told me how embarrassed she was to call herself an American after Bush’s tragic unprovoked attack of Iraq soon after 9/11. more..

India chagrined at Lankan ties with Pakistan and China

June 14 (RN) •New Delhi is wary of the increasing role of China in Sri Lanka, which, many in strategic circles here believe, is part of Beijing’s strategy to encircle India in the sub-continent. •Helping China in its designs in Sri Lanka is Pakistan. •Pakistan is reported to have supplied al-Khalids (Pakistan’s main battle tank) and advanced rocket launchers to Sri Lanka in recent years. more..

Sri Lankan Tamil's tie the knot in mass detention centre wedding

June 14 (Guardian) Held in a detention camp for former separatists from Sri Lanka's Tamil minority, with priests from three different faiths and a Bollywood film star as a witness for 53 couples, it was never going to be a normal wedding. But the sun shone, the festivities went off without a hitch and smiling ex-combatants received their certificates of marriage from happy ministers. more..

Namal leads the way towards privatizing the Marine University & the German Technical Institute!

June 14 (NM) Several media reports exposed that UPFA MP Namal Rajapakse, had already set up the initial plans to privatize Sri Lanka’s marine university. It is reliably learnt, the university has been taken away from the Fisheries Ministry and has been placed under the Youth Affairs Ministry. Foreign companies are to be given permission to commence various courses at the university and more..

Sri Lanka regime's ugly game in between India and China

June 14 (LP) 'Though the Tiger is no more and Lankan Tamils are cowed, Indian Tamils and Diaspora Tamils together can still pose a formidable challenge to Colombo. And their capacity to do so will remain so long as the problems of the Lankan Tamils are unresolved." -Thisaranee Gunasekara evaluating the outcome of the IIFA-2010 Bollywood award ceremony held in June in Colombo. Sri Lanka President visited India following the IIFA debacle and more..

Address problem of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, Centre urged

June 14 (Hindu) The Communist Party of India (CPI) has urged the Central government to consider sympathetically the ‘pathetic case' of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who are neither in a position to return to Sri Lanka nor are they treated as citizens of India. The CPI national council on Sunday expressed concern that over four lakh Sri Lankan Tamils who came to India were leading a ‘captive life' in the camps of Tamil Nadu and more..

Local effort to send baseball equipment to Sri Lanka

June 14 (DP) Sri Lanka Friendship Foundation has done much to support the native land - to rebuild in the aftermath of the tsunami, and now with the end of its decades long civil war. But its baseball that has now captured the imagination of the sports loving nation—and a local effort has begun to help equip youth that are quickly rising to the par of their international peers. The sport was introduced to the country through the American Embassy around 1985, more..

Foreign Trade Agreements: Another invasion?

June 14 (DM) The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA had been negotiated over two years ago. If India is now seen pressing for its activation we need to not only question why but more importantly ask whether our Government is likely to and activate these documents without safeguarding the interests of the country. One of the most discerning of arguments in Sri Lanka is that following the terrorist element that has more..

India wary of China’s increasing role in Lanka

June 14 (TI) The growing influence of China in Sri Lanka, which may upset New Delhi’s geo-political interests in South Asia, appears to have compelled the South Block weigh the pros and cons of removing restrictions on arms sales to the island nation. Official sources said the enhancement of defence ties between India and Sri Lanka figured in talks between the two sides during the recent visit of more..

Indian fishermen long to fish in troubled Sri Lankan waters

June 14 (DP) War isn’t bad for everybody. There might be a general outrage among Indian Tamils on the recent war in northern Sri Lanka and the comprehensive military defeat of the LTTE, but fishermen along the State’s coast — especially on the Ramanathapuram coast — lament the end of war! When the war was on, the fishermen of this region fished in abundance in the troubled waters. They took their boats and trawlers into the Sri Lankan waters, more..

Debating CEPA or destroying the debaters?

June 14 (LG) Economic policy is not so much debated in Sri Lanka, as it is declaimed. The 2004 election campaign claim about removing the plug that connected Sri Lanka to the world economy is an example. The English media both print and electronic show some interest in economic matters, though much less than their Indian or Thai counterparts. The Sinhala and Tamil media focus on the political, almost to the total neglect of the economic. more..

Education: Big issues, small interventions and sticking-plasters

June 14 (DM) There have been howls of protest about the decision of ban tuition classes on Sundays. The objections have come from those who claim to be defending general freedoms and religious freedom in particular. The arguments are pretty simple. For example, it is held that the choice should be up to the parents. If they prefer to send their children to tuition classes instead of Sunday Schools, that’s their business and more..

Federalist And Anti-Federalist Fundamentalisms

June 14 (LG) Sri Lanka has peace but is not yet at peace with itself. The critics who say that peace has not yet arrived in Sri Lanka are wrong. For anyone who has lived through 30 years of war, the absence of war-deaths and of organised armed violence against the state and society, is peace. But it is a cold and bitter peace on the island and a cold war outside, with elements in the diaspora supporting the separatist cause. more..

One year after the ‘Great Victory’

June 14 (LG) One year after the ‘great victory’ two students of the Spoken English Diploma meet for a celebratory drink. Pandang Pakshe: So-so, how-how? One year has come and gone and gone and come. Just like yesterday, no? Vipaksha: Come and gone and gone and come? What for the telling. Lafin also comin, no? I don’t know whether I am coming or going. No job, no money. Hell of a joke no? Only patriots get jobs ah? more..

Tinkering for trouble

June 14 (LG) The country is in low intensity ferment over the style of governance of the Rajapaksa regime. The administration’s mantra that the president knows best, has got the goat of many people who feel there is a gradual throttling of democracy of the J. R. Jayewardene archetype. People may also feel in spite of the Dixit dominated excesses of those times, that there was a positive Indian influence which held sway over more..

Sri Lankan government prepares for austerity measures

June 14 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government last week presented parliament with expenditure estimates as part of an appropriation bill for 2010. The large allocations for debt repayments and defence indicate that savage cuts will be made elsewhere, in particular to social spending, when the budget is finally brought down on June 29. President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is under pressure from the IMF to slash the budget deficit, more..

6 SLA soldiers rape young mother in Visuvamadu

June 14 (TN) A 25-year old mother of two children was raped by six Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers last Sunday night in the resettlement village of Redbarna located at the border of Mullaiththeevu district, Jaffna daily Uthayan reported. The incident occurred when the soldiers entered the house when the mother was alone. The family relocated to the village two weeks earlier as part of the resettlement program. more..

Jaffna - Poonaryn ferry service resumes

June 14 (MoD) A ferry service from Poonaryn to Jaffna started on Sunday after about fifteen years facilitating free movements for civilians in the north. The service had ceased after the LTTE destroyed the causeways and jetty on either side and dominated the areas carrying out terrorist activities. People had to travel on land for hours to reach these two destinations which lie in the seeing distance each other of about thirty minute sail across the lagoon. more..

'We succumb to power and forget justice'

June 14 (NF) We live in an authoritarian society today where good and evil are forgotten, says Ranil Wickramasinghe, Opposition Leader. He made these comments at the opening ceremony of the Pagoda of the Shri Jayawardenama Vihara down Shakiya Mawatha in Ratmalana. A group including Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya attended this event. “Today we live in a society where good and evil are forgotten. more..

Jaffna Archeological sites under branch office

June 14 (LP) A programme to conserve the Dutch Fort in Jaffna in now underway under the supervision of the Archaeological Department together with the Ministry of National Heritage and Cultural Affairs. The conservation programme is launched at a cost of Rs Rs.104 million under the Netherlands co-operation program. A new branch office of the Archaeological Department was declared open recently where more..

'Temple, centre of village development'

June 14 (LP) Minister of Public Management Reforms Rathnasiri Wickramanayake urged the necessity of developing the temples in the villages and the importance of Sunday School education for Buddhists children. Minister made these observations attending a function at the Horana Sri Poorwarama Temple yesterday. He also stated that people are now drawn away from religious activities this could be one reason for the down fall of more..

'Opposition criticism on CEPA is a fear psychosis'

June 14 (GDI) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella today dismissed the opposition criticism on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement CEPA as a mere fear psychosis and described the proposed agreement as the further development of the already existing Free Trade Agreement FTA with India. Sri Lanka signed the FTA with India ten years ago. As we went along both the countries found hindrance and bottlenecks in further undertaking the FTA. more..

Court revokes life term, gives death for murder

June 14 (KT) The Court of Appeal on Sunday quashed a life term and awarded death to a man convicted for premeditated murder. The Presiding Judge, Eissa Sharif, gave the 24-year-old Sri Lankan resident capital punishment for killing the husband of his paramour. The Court of First Instance had on April 5 pronounced him guilty of killing the victim, also Sri Lankan, and sentenced him to life term, and deportation thereafter. more..

Salman Khan’s next film to shoot in Sri Lanka

June 14 (LP) Popular Indian actor Salman Khan is to commence shooting of his new movie in Sri Lanka next month and is expected to be in the country for three months. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that the government has already held discussions on the matter with the Indian actor. Khan, who arrived in Sri Lanka for the IIFA has reportedly cancelled the shooting of his new movie in India titled Mursi and is to now begin shooting a movie in Sri Lanka next month. more..

BBC meets its match in Sri Lankan Defense Secretary

June 14 (MT) With its foreboding lighting effects that appear to have been plucked straight out of Dante’s dark epic Inferno—and cleverly devised one suspects to reduce its willing, and oftentimes unsuspecting, “victims” to submission—the BBC’s HARDtalk program has attained a universal reputation (or should that be notoriety?) for tough and bruising interviews that border on intimidation. more..

'Govt. publishes false propaganda to create communalism in universities in the South'

June 14 (LT) The government is trying to create friction among university students in the south by spreading false propaganda stating that students of the Jaffna University attacked students of Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) says convener of the IUSF Udul Premaratne. Speaking to ‘Lankatruth’ regarding news published in certain media that students of Jaffna University attacked members of IUSF, more..

PC Minister refuses to undertake responsibility on education

June 14 (DM) Provincial Education Minister Wimalaweera Dissanayake said he would not accept any responsibility for education in the East so long as the Governor continued to hold office. He pointed out that his decision was corollary to the Governor’s action in solely handling the task of positioning the graded principals in the East. He was the elected representative of the people in the East and more..