Monday, December 31, 2007

Sri Lanka Cricket chief resigns

Colombo - Sri Lanka's cricket chief Jayantha Dharmadasa on Monday stepped down, clearing the way for former captain Arjuna Ranatunga to take over in the top job.

"He has offered his resignation in writing to the Sports Ministry secretary and will cease to be in office with effect from this evening," Sri Lanka Cricket spokesperson Samantha Algama said.

Dharmadasa's resignation as chairperson of Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee comes in the wake of a government decision to appoint Ranatunga.

Ranatunga, currently a ruling party legislator, led Sri Lanka to their lone World Cup triumph in 1996. He quit international cricket in 2000 after playing 93 Tests and 269 one-day internationals.

He is expected to be appointed next week, sources close to President Mahinda Rajapakse's office have confirmed.

The interim committee will then be reconstituted, with the sports minister nominating members to the new panel.

Dharmadasa, a prominent local businessman, took over as chairperson in 2005 after the then government decided to suspend the democratically elected cricket administration headed by Mohan de Silva.

IOL

Mervyn Silva - a shame!

Video: LTTE Casualties in Thoppigala operation



Courtesy: DefenceNet

Royal Asiatic Society 2nd Research Conference - Call for Papers

Sri Lanka's oldest academic body, the 164 year old Royal Asiatic Society Sri
Lanka will be holding its second research conference on March 28th and 29th 2008. It has now called for abstracts of papers to be presented on topics relating to the history, culture and society of Sri Lanka.

Since its inception as the first "modern" academic body in this country, the
RAS had concentrated on the history of this country. Its initiatives among others gave rise to the National Museum, Department of Archaeology and National Archives. As part of a series of fresh initiatives taken over the last few years such as an extended study of the Portuguese Encounter, the RAS initiated these research conferences. History of Sri Lanka will be a major focus. The closing date for abstracts is January 15, 2008 and the final papers will be due on February 29, 2008.

Researchers are requested to send their abstracts to

Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society,
Mahaveli Center,
96 Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha,
Colombo 7.

India a major factor in Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa

Colombo : India is "a major factor" in any resolution of the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict and Sri Lankans must realise this, says Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Asked about India's role in finding a solution to the dragging conflict, Rajapaksa told the state-run Sunday Observer: "India is a major factor and we have recognised it from the very beginning.

"Lots of people talk about the international community but we believe that India is the major factor in our problem.

"We have to realise the importance of India because it is becoming a superpower," he added.

Rajapaksa, a brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, added: "It is true that India has concerns over us. When they are powerful, they have to think about their security. It is natural they should be concerned about what is happening around them. So we have to be concerned about their concerns.

"Whatever steps we are taking, we are briefing them. We do not have anything to hide. We have won their confidence. We do not want to do anything that will harm their security and their concerns.

"They know that we are not against the Tamil community and we are doing all these only to defeat terrorism," he said.

IANS

Where are Sri Lanka's aboriginals, the Veddas?

As the ethnic war in pearl of theIndian ocean rages between the Sinhalas and the Tamils theundisputed original settlers of Sri Lanka- the Veddas- havealmost disappeared from the country says a new book.

"Practically unseen, they became the stuff of folklore-and tended to be remembered as elf likecreaturesw whoexisted in half-legend and half-reality. Knosn as 'Yakshas' insome Sinhalese accounts, a mystical mask is imposed on theiraboriginal identity," says the book 'Sri Lanka, A Land inSearch of Itself', by Mohan K. Tikku. A Senior fellow of theIndian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Delhi,Tikku was Hindustan Times correspondent in Colombo throughthe IPKF years.Those among the Veddas who were assimilated by the dominantculture and community, lived in the cities and the villagesto a settled life style, naturally, they lost touch with theothers who were left behind in the jungles. Most did not evenknow if they still survived, or how, the book says.

The Veddas inhabited the island at least 14,000 yearsago. If anyone, they are the original Sri Lankans. For itlooks like that at some point in pre-history- and quite closeto Sri Lanka's Neolithic period- these people crossed theshallow waters of what later came to be known as the PalkStrait to reach the island.

Like the Ho and Birhors of Chota Nagpur in Central India,the Vededas belong to the Austro-Asiatic family. Among theirother cousins are the Kubus of Indonesia, The sakai inMalaysia and the Aborigines of Australia, the author says.

Strangely, the people who inhabited the island long before either Tamils or the Sinhalese appeared on the scene have not been part of the 'me first' debate and the argument it generates. If at all, they have been practically ignored-pushed as they were beyond the margins of society.

PTI

Sunday, December 30, 2007

SLA overruns LTTE stronghold: several LTTE leaders injured- Mannar

Security forces advanced further into non-liberated Wanni area, today (December 29) following hours long artillery duel with LTTE elements in general area Parappakandal at Mannar defences, ground sources said.

Troops forced and held into the LTTE defences at Parappakandal, Mannar, a major terrorist fortifier, military sources said. Latest ground reports confirm several LTTE leaders including 'Adavan master' and Susilan were among the terrorist casualties.

According to troops, advancing military units were met with heavy LTTE resistance during the pre-hours since this morning at around 6.15a.m. 'Intel' reports citing intercepted LTTE communication said, hundreds of LTTE elements were on the flight due to increasing strife among its ground leaders following heavy beating at the hands of security forces. Bahnu, Laxman, Parthivan, Susilan and Adavan master were identified to have led LTTE terrorists during the heavy fighting today, ground sources further revealed.

LTTE terrorists have engaged heavy artillery barrages including 130mm and 122mm guns during its last efforts to hold the defences, security sources said. Troops launched decisive long range heavy gun fire before consolidating its positions, military sources added.

Meanwhile, MCNS reports stated, twenty terrorists were killed including two LTTE senior cadres.

More information will follow.

Defence.lk

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bharti Airtel in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO: Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel is looking to establish itself as a major player in the Island nation's mobile telephony space as it prepares to launch its $200-million operation here early next year.

Mobile penetration in Sri Lanka is pegged at around 30 per cent, with approximately 2 million mobile users being added each year.

"The Airtel philosophy is to stay beside the consumer and strive to find fresh and innovative ways to add value to their lives", CEO of Airtel Sri Lanka Amali Nanayakkara said in a statement.

Bharti Airtel Lanka Private Limited, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited, has already announced plans to launch 2G and 3G services in Sri Lanka by the end of the current financial year (2007-08).

Bharti Airtel has already signed a 150-million-dollar deal with China's Huawei Technologies to set up a mobile phone network in Sri Lanka.

"We see substantial growth in Sri Lanka, where the current mobile phone subscriber base is over six million users," Bharti Airtel's Executive Director Sanjay Nandrajog had said here last month.

Bharti plans to roll out the network in Sri Lanka over the next three years, covering 70 per cent of the tropical island, where it sees substantial room for growth.

Sri Lanka is estimated to have about 7.3 million fixed-line and mobile phone users. About 60 per cent of Sri Lanka's mobile market is controlled by Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telecom Malaysia.

The rest is shared between Mobitel, a unit of Sri Lanka Telecom, Tigo, part of Millicom International Cellular, and Hutchison Telecom.

India Times

Friday, December 28, 2007

China hands over tsunami projects to Sri Lanka

Three fishery harbors affected by the 2004 tsunami and reconstructed by the Chinese government were handed over to the Sri Lankan government on Friday.

In a simple ceremony held in Colombo, Chinese Ambassador Ye Dabo said he was very happy to see the completion of reconstruction of the Panadura, Beruwela and Kudawela fishery harbors located in Sri Lanka's western and southern coasts.

He said although China is a developing country and its aid is limited, the Chinese people are sincere and the Chinese government has always honored its commitments.

"We are always ready to provide assistance for the economic and social development of Sri Lanka, a time-honored fried of China, to the best of our abilities," said the ambassador.

Sri Lankan Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Felix Perera expressed his government's gratitude to the aid provided by China.

"Without the help of China and other friendly countries, it's impossible to imagine how Sri Lanka can stand up from the catastrophe," said Perera.

Commencing in early 2005, the three projects were completed ahead of schedule with sound quality, said representatives from the builder, China Harbor Engineering Company.

Fishery was among the major industries devastated by the 2004 tsunami, which killed nearly 40,000 people and left about one million people homeless in the island.

By Mu Xuequan, Xinhua

Al-Qaida claims Bhutto assassination

An Al-Qaida leader based in Afghanistan has claimed responsibility for the assassination of former Pakistan Premier Benazir Bhutto, whom he described as ''the most precious American asset.''

''We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat (the) 'mujahadeen','' al-Qaida Commander and spokesman Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid told the Italian news agency Adnkronos International (AKI) in a phone call from an unknown location.

Al-Yazid was described by AKI as the ''main al-Qaida commander in Afghanistan''. It reported that the decision to kill Bhutto was made by al-Qaida No. two, Ayman al-Zawahiri in October.

The report said death squads were allegedly constituted for the mission and one cell comprising a ''Punjabi volunteer'' of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi killed Bhutto.

Bhutto died after being shot by a suicide attacker, who later blew himself up near her armoured vehicles just after she had addressed an election rally at Rawalpindi near here.

The blast killed nearly 30 people.

During her campaign to drum up support for her Pakistan People's Party, Bhutto had repeatedly attacked elements who were fomenting extremism and militancy in northwestern region of the country and vowed to crack down on militant groups.

Bhutto, who returned to Pakistan from exile two months ago, had earlier survived a suicide attack on her homecoming procession in Karachi on October 18 that killed 140 people and injured hundreds more.

Baitullah Mehsud, a militant leader who was recently made head of Tekrik Taliban-e-Pakistan - a coalition of Pakistani Taliban groups, had reportedly issued threats that he would send suicide bombers to target Bhutto.

Agence France-Presse

Benazir Bhutto timeline

Picture: Benazir Bhutto's wedding day

Jun 21, 1953: Born in Karachi

1976: After spending her childhood in Pakistan and embarking on her higher eduction at Harvard, she is elected president of the Oxford Union while reading PPE at Lady Margaret Hall.

Apr 4, 1979: Her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, is executed for the murder of a political opponent, two years after he was ousted as prime minister in a military coup.

Apr 10, 1986: Miss Bhutto returns from exile in London to lead the Pakistan People’s Party that her father founded.

Dec 1, 1988: Aged 35, she becomes the first woman prime minister of a Muslim nation after winning parliamentary elections.

Aug 6, 1990: Her government is dismissed on grounds of corruption and a failure to control ethnic violence.

Oct 19, 1993: Miss Bhutto takes the oath for a second term as prime minister.

Nov 5, 1996: Second administration is dismissed amid accusations of nepotism and undermining the justice system.

April 14, 1999: A court finds Miss Bhutto guilty of corruption while she is out of the country. The conviction was later quashed, but Ms Bhutto remains in self-imposed exile, living in Britain and Dubai.

Oct 5, 2007: President Pervez Musharraf signs a corruption amnesty covering other cases against Miss Bhutto, opening the way for her return and a possible power-sharing agreement.

Oct 18: Miss Bhutto flies in to Karachi and her welcoming parade is hit by a suicide attack, killing 136. She later accused the government of a cover-up in the investigation.

Oct 22: She receives a death threat from a “friend of al-Qa’eda” in a letter which says she could be stabbed, attacked in her car or in her bedroom.

Oct 27: Miss Bhutto leaves Karachi for the first time since the attack and is greeted by 4,000 jubilant supporters chanting “Long live Bhutto” in her ancestral village of Garhi Khuda Baksh in Sindh province. She is pictured standing up through the sun roof of her bullet proof car.

Nov 3: President Musharraf announces emergency rule. Miss Bhutto said it was Pakistan’s “blackest day” and threatens to bring her supporters on to the streets in mass demonstrations.

Nov 9: Miss Bhutto is put under house arrest in Lahore to prevent her leading a pro-democracy rally and security forces round up thousands of her supporters.

Nov 13: Authorities put her under house arrest for a second time in a week. Miss Bhutto calls for the first time for President Musharraf to quit and bring an end to his “contaminated’’ rule of Pakistan. She says she would no longer pursue power-sharing talks with a “dictator”. She also indicates a desire to build an alliance with other opposition leaders, including Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister.

Nov 30: She launches her campaign manifesto, promising jobs, housing and healthcare. The move defies an all-opposition party election boycott. The politician and former cricketer Imran Khan accuses her of “betrayal”.

Dec 8: Three supporters of Miss Bhutto are killed when gunmen attack one of her party’s regional offices in Naseerabad.

Dec 10: Mr Sharif’s party announces it will participate in Pakistan’s parliamentary elections after failing to persuade Miss Bhutto to join a boycott.

Dec 15: President Musharraf lifts emergency rule.

Dec 25: Miss Bhutto accuses President Musharraf of failing to stop the spread of Islamic militants and promises to crack down on groups if she wins parliamentary elections.

Dec 27: Assassinated in Rawalpindi.

(By Richard Edwards)


Pictures: Just before Benazir Bhutto's assassination


Video

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mervin Silva held hostage by Journalists

Sri Lankan commandos have rescued a government minister from a television station where he was being held hostage after he apparently tried to storm it.

Journalists locked up Labour Minister Mervin Silva after one of his aides allegedly assaulted a news director.

Furious journalists refused to let the minister leave until he had apologised.

Mr Silva was splattered with red paint. He also needed treatment for a minor head wound apparently caused by a fall as he was escorted from the building.

Mr Silva had gone to the state-run Rupavahini television to complain that it had not covered a speech he gave on Wednesday marking the re-opening of a bridge destroyed by the 2004 tsunami.

"A henchman of the minister forcefully pulled the news director and all employees are protesting demanding an apology," Rupavahini's director-general said.

The news director's shirt was ripped open, reports said.

In a statement interrupting regular scheduling the TV said the minister was being held in an office by the staff - and pictures showed Mr Silva in a small room flanked by police.

Dozens of staff could be seen protesting in the corridors, refusing to let him leave pending an apology.

Commandos and police with tear-gas were deployed around the television station as the stand-off continued.

"If my action is considered as a wrong act, I would like to apologise to the employees," the minister said, in front of a battery of cameras.

Journalists jeered as the security forces led him out of the building.

The Sri Lankan media minister, Lakshma Yapa, criticised Mr Silva's storming of the station, calling it "unfortunate".

BBC


Video

'Lay down arms' before talks - President to Tamil Tigers

MATARA, Sri Lanka (AFP) - Sri Lanka's president used a tsunami mourning ceremony to repeat a vow to crush Tamil rebels before conducting peace talks to end Asia's longest-running ethnic conflict.

President Mahinda Rajapakse, addressing a public rally in this southern heartland of the majority Sinhalese, said the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) may not resume peace talks without first being militarily defeated.

"We are for a political settlement. But there is no point in talking about a political settlement without first defeating terrorism," the president said during a ceremony marking the third anniversary of the Asian tsunami.

The tsunami claimed an estimated 31,000 lives in Sri Lanka, where over 60,000 people have been killed in the LTTE's demand for a separate state for minority Tamils since 1972.

"The LTTE is not interested in negotiations. They must be made to realise that problems cannot be solved through the barrel of a gun," he said, adding that the Tigers must be forced to lay down arms.

He said security forces had already scored major victories against the guerrillas in the past year and hoped to build on them.

"Like we overcame the tsunami tragedy, we will face the threat of terrorism and overcome it soon," he said at the tightly guarded Sanath Jayasuriya grounds in this coastal town 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of Colombo.

Rajapakse's comments came as Sri Lanka's navy said Wednesday that at least 40 rebels were killed in a sea clash with suspected Tamil Tiger vessels off the island's northern coast of Jaffna.

The military did not give its own casualty figures but said one naval craft was damaged during the explosion when two rebel boats were destroyed.

However, the rebels claimed they had sunk a navy fast attack craft and damaged two naval boats during the sea battle, the pro-rebel Tamilnet.com web site reported.

The president, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said the military wrested control over the eastern province from the Tigers in July after heavy fighting and there would be no let up in the military drive.

Rajapakse's brother Gotabhaya, who is the country's defence secretary, had earlier announced that security forces will move to dismantle the mini state of the Tigers in the north of the island.

Heavy fighting in the north of the island has claimed a high death toll among combatants since a Norwegian-arranged truce began to unravel since December 2005, according to both sides.

"We have recorded unprecedented military gains and they, no doubt, will pave the way for a political solution," Rajapakse said.

"There is no point in talking about a political solution without militarily crushing terrorism."

Rajapakse observed two minutes of silence at 9:25 am local time when the first giant waves lashed the coastline in a disaster that also displaced a million people and also followed three school bands across a six-lane bridge, the widest in the country, that was damaged during the tsunami.

The wall of water created by the massive earthquake off Indonesia on December 26, 2004, killed about 220,000 people in a dozen countries on the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka's post-tsunami reconstruction work has been dogged by graft and renewed fighting between Tamil rebels and troops.

Foreign aid pledges for rebuilding topped 3.2 billion dollars, but Sri Lanka says it has received only 1.2 billion dollars.

And out of that, 634 million dollars -- less than 20 percent of the original amount pledged -- had been spent by the end of November, according to Transparency International, an international watchdog on corruption.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sri Lanka's cinnamon farmers seek divine help to spice up trade

SEENIGAMA, Sri Lanka (AFP) — Sri Lanka at the weekend revived an ancient ritual of offering the first cinnamon harvest to the gods, three years after a devastating tsunami wiped out centuries-old plantations here.

In a pageant involving traditional dancers and elephants, farmers resplendent in white walked three kilometres (two miles) in bright sunshine, carrying 90 kilos (41 pounds) of their precious virgin harvest to a shrine.

Sri Lanka is the world's leading cinnamon supplier but waves of sea water gushed inland and destroyed lush plantations when the 2004 Boxing Day tragedy left 31,000 people dead and a million homeless across the country.

Saturday's ritual to bless the industry saw some producers carry their cinnamon in wicker baskets, while others took unprocessed bark, leaves and oil, leaving a trail of the strong aroma.

They moved with piety at the southern temple town of Seenigama, which suffered one of the highest death tolls from the tsunami as well as seeing most of its crop wiped out.

"I brought along two bottles of cinnamon oil as part of my offering," Kingsly Mendis, 39, told AFP as he walked with more than 1,500 growers and workers to the Seenigama Temple, 96 kilometres south of Colombo.

For centuries, nearly half of Sri Lanka's cinnamon trees grew along the southern coastal line, which was also a magnet for European colonists and Arab traders to the southern seaport town of Galle, a former capital of the island.

Before that, Sri Lanka's Sinhalese kings were known to have used cinnamon, whose Latin botanical name cinnamomum zeylanicum is derived from the island's former name, Ceylon, to pay mercenaries for protection.

With replanting already under way, farmers in Balapitiya, Hikkaduwa and Ambalangoda, all towns in the Galle district, are hoping for a better crop to lift prices, to keep the centuries-old industry afloat.

K. P. Mahinda, a 51-year-old farmer who lost all but two cinnamon trees to the tsunami in his modest plot, offered a sapling from his nursery.

Survivors of the tsunami are finding that contrary to their initial fears, the soil is richer and cinnamon is growing rapidly.

The salinity of the soil is hit by regular monsoon rains but salt levels are still higher than they were before the 2004 tragedy, according to agricultural experts.

"The soil is so rich that the small cinnamon plants are growing fast," said D. Kusumawathi, 54, a third-generation farmer, who is among hundreds of small-time growers.

Sri Lanka, which controls nearly 90 percent of the world's cinnamon market, exported around 12,000 tonnes last year, earning in excess of 60 million dollars, according to the spice council here.

Cinnamon trees, which can grow as high as 30 feet (nine metres), are ready for harvest after three years. The quills, which look like Havana cigars, are rolled from the bark of the cinnamon tree.

The slimmest quills fetch high prices, and this year the going rate was around 890 rupees (8.10 dollars) a kilo, producers said.

"Prices were extremely good this year in the overseas market," Mendis said.

About 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of land in Sri Lanka is under cinnamon cultivation. Some 30,000 people are employed in chopping off cinnamon branches and turning out quills.

Security Forces conduct medical clinic for civilians in Jaffna

The Commander of the Security Forces, Jaffna , Major General G.A.Chandrasiri organized and conducted a medical clinic consisting of an Army Medical Corps team for civilians in the 511 Brigade area on Sunday (23) December 2007.These civilians were residents from the villages of Neerveli, Karandan and Kopay, in Jaffna.

The Medical clinic held in the Neerveli Athiyar Hindu Vidyalaya was well attended with over 300 patients seeking medical attention. Army doctors and staff not only attended on the patients but also provided the required drugs and other medical requirements .Most of the patients were 'displaced' persons with low income levels. These economic as well as the living conditions were often reflected in not only adults but also their children being easily susceptible to common ailments due to malnutrition . These ailments were in the form of colds, cough, 'flu, bowel diseases, dental disorders and afflictions etc as a result of their being deprived of the accepted nourishment levels . They also needed immunization and vaccinations against typhoid and other diseases due to poor sanitary and living conditions. Thereafter, everyone who attended the clinic were provided with lunch while 300 food parcels were also distributed among them .

All those who attended the clinic voiced their appreciation for the medical facilities provided by the Army and the arrangements made by the Commander of the Security Forces to make the medical clinic a great success.

MCNS

Sri Lanka family reunited with abducted baby on Christmas Eve

COLOMBO (AFP) — The abduction of a newborn boy from a Sri Lankan hospital ended happily on Christmas Eve with police finding the baby after a search that kept the nation on tenterhooks.

"We are Buddhists but prayers from everyone helped. Yes, this is our Christmas baby," the child's father Wasantha Fernando told reporters after he and his wife were reunited with the baby at a police station here.

A round-the-clock search by police led them to a woman who allegedly grabbed the boy, named Gavishra, hours after he was born last week while his mother was in the restroom of a Colombo hospital.

President Mahinda Rajapakse thanked the police for their efforts in quickly solving the case and spoke with the officers to convey his gratitude, spokesman Chandrapala Liyanage said.

"The president was very pleased to hear that the baby had been found," Liyanage said. "This was a case which attracted attention of everyone and the president is very happy with the work of the investigators."

The parents thanked police and the media for keeping the story in the public eye.

Thousands of people had called in with information that led authorities early Monday to Gavishra and the alleged kidnapper, police said.

Fernando and his wife Shamalee, 29, sobbing with relief, said they were overjoyed their nightmare had ended.

"We had not done any harm to anyone so we knew we would find the baby," Fernando said.

Tears ran down the parents' cheeks while week-old Gavishra, dressed in a blue shirt, slept cradled in his mother's arms as photographers mobbed them.

Two more newborns were abducted from the same Colombo South hospital in the past two years and police said they were questioning the same woman in connection with those cases.

"We want to see if there has been an organised racket in selling stolen babies," police deputy-inspector general N. K. Illangakoon said, adding that hospital staff were under investigation for possible collusion.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Forget peace talks: S.Lanka militant-turned-minister

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Holding talks with the Tamil Tigers' shadowy leader would be a blunder and there will be no peace unless he is killed, Sri Lankan militant-turned-minister Douglas Devananda has warned.

Social Services and Welfare Minister Devananda, a minority Tamil vehemently opposed to the Tigers, says he has escaped more than a dozen assassination attempts.

The last was on Nov. 28, when a female bomber officials say was sent by Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran made her way into his ministry in central Colombo.

Devananda was watching closed-circuit TV footage of visitors in the ministry's offices and hallways when the woman blew herself up, killing one of his aides.

"Prabhakaran ... is anti-human," Devananda told Sri Lanka's Foreign Correspondent's Association late on Thursday, after showing journalists a recording of the attack. "You have to compare (him) with Pol Pot or Hitler ... He has to die."

"As long as Prabhakaran is alive, he won't allow anyone to solve the problem (conflict) amicably," he added. "If the president goes again for talks, it's a blunder."

Prabhakaran is infamous for his use of suicide attackers as part of his campaign to create a separate state for Tamils in the island's north and east.

Devananda himself took up arms against the state with other militant groups in the late 1970s and 1980s. He remains at the top of the Tigers' hit list.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the door is open to peace talks with the rebels, but his government has also vowed to wipe out the Tigers military.

Thousands have died in renewed fighting since early last year after a 2002 ceasefire pact broke down. The last round of a series of abortive peace talk initiatives fell apart last year.

Since 1983, about 70,000 people have died in the two-decade civil war and many hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

FUTURE CHIEF MINISTER IN NORTHEAST?

Devananda heads the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) and analysts say he has close ties with a renegade former Tiger commander who analysts say helped the government drive the mainstream rebels from their eastern strongholds.

He wants to be the future chief minister for north and east Sri Lanka.

"I have the right to be the chief minister of the north and east," Devananda said.

He also wants the government and other political parties to decentralise power to provincial councils, rather than wait for divided parties to try to reach an elusive consensus on devolution.

"The Tamil people have grievances. They should be dealt with with a political package," he said.

Devananda, who adopted the alias Douglas because it was his karate teacher's name, laughs as he recalls a series of attempts on his life.

He was once forced to dive into the Palk Strait separating Sri Lanka from India in 1996 to escape a rebel attack and spent the whole night in the sea.

The minister, who founded the militant Eelam People's Revolutionary Front (EPRLF), which later morphed into his political party, has no regrets about his own violent past.

He says killings he was responsible for were in self-defence. He also jokes about his former militancy and rivalry with the Tigers in the 1980s, when they were both fighting the state -- and often each other.

"If the LTTE killed anyone from my organisation, I balanced that when I was in EPRLF," he laughed.

Ironically, it is precisely through agreeing to peace talks that Prabhakaran could torpedo his foe Devananda.

"If tomorrow Prabhakaran comes genuinely for negotiations, I will give up politics and go, because I don't want to be an obstacle," he said.

"But the reality is Prabhakaran won't come, and I won't go."

By Simon Gardner

Friday, December 21, 2007

Presidential Commission takes issue with IIGEP allegations

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Serious Violations of Human Rights, yesterday objected strongly to a statement issued by the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) claiming that 'the current inquiry does not meet international standards'.
Justice Nissanka Udalagama, Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry said that he could not comprehend how the IIGEP concluded that the COI's investigations were not transparent when the IIGEP itself has been given the opportunity and have in fact questioned witnesses in detail during the sessions.

He also pointed out that in effect the IIGEP has not been present at over half of the sessions and for this reason too the allegations lack credibility. He added that the IIGEP observation that there had been no full and timely disclosure by COI is not acceptable.

Justice Udalagama also made clear that the statement made by the IIGEP that its recommended corrective actions have not been adopted by the COI is contrary to facts.

"Due to the lack of an adequate presence of the IIGEP at the sessions, the collective wisdom of the eleven members of IIGEP is unfortunately not reflected in the Group's observations as was intended in the Presidential invitation to the IIGEP.

"The COI has developed a scheme of witness protection which elaborates rigorously researched rules and study of international best practices. Copies of such rules were shared with the IIGEP at the beginning of the COI's term and did not receive any adverse comments."

Justice Udalagama expressed disappointment that the IIGEP has preferred to raise objections in the public domain when in fact the opportunity for comment and criticism was available but not made use of.

News.lk

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sri Lankan conflict - opinion as a response

Grateful thanks to S.C. Wirasinghe's article titled "Sri Lanka – A comprehensive view of the current situation." This is a rare and worthy description of the conflict in Heladiva (SL) closer to the truth as it is.

"Tamil Nadu politicians cannot survive unless they speak openly about Sri Lankan issues..."

Not they cannot survive but their pro-Tamil stance is 100% dedication in aiming for the eventual independent Tamil Nadu (Tamil Country). Tamilism is so strong the prime qualification has to be a full-blooded Tamil in Tamil Nadu for an important official appointment. We need to understand the justification of their agenda. Tamils are a great population of the world with 70 million Tamils of Tamil Nadu and over 30 million Tamils settled in host national countries like Heladiva (SL), Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa, UK etc. But the Tamil nation of Tamil Nadu within the Indian subcontinent are not strong enough to free it from the Indian governance. Toward this ultimate goal our tiny Hela Island was found to be the convenient first step along with the focus of Tamil expansionism wherever possible. Our island became the prime target due to most of the past rulers being pro-Tamil who were installed by the parting then British cunning land robbers. These pseudo Sinhela rulers fobbed the nation as our leaders who are still attempting to support the insidious Tamil invasive terror trying to form a second Tamil Nadu out of our tiny indigenous island country, with its only 17 million Hela Nation. It is time to expose to the world that Tamil national struggle is justifiable and it can ONLY be waged in Tamil Nadu and not in a host national country like Heladiva. This will get the Tamil national struggle off our backs and stop their heinous attempt to get it at the cost of our extinction and our land being invaded. FOR THE TAMIL NATIONAL LIBERATION THE RESPONSIBILITY LIES SOLELY WITH THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT. One more factor which the Tamil entity is exploiting is the clause mindlessly entered within the UN constitution that minorities can have self determination if so wished. UN should be challenged on this clause as chaotic if every non indigenous minority in host national countries start to demand carving out additional countries for themselves, in addition to their lands of national origins left behind for pastures anew. Enter the zone of “invasion by migration”!!

“The Sinhalese were misguided in trying to introduce Sinhala as the official language of Sri Lanka”.

There was no misguidance in except that the official Hela (Sinhela) language policy was not carried through but halted due to Tamil pressure. This come down is due to the fact that after independence we never had our National Leaders but a bunch of racist pro-Tamil leaders garbed in Sinhela names due to intermarriage. Language is the backbone of a single Nationhood, more than one language will pave the way for multi-nationalism, an upside down political concept encouraged to breakaway, only allowed in our island country.

“A Tamil homeland?”

Homeland can mean where one is born or where one set up home. This rhetoric of the non indigenous Tamils in Heladiva simply means a Tamil sovereign national country. Fully justifiable for the sovereign National Tamil country, for which no lengthy debate is required when we have the most fundamental tangible self-evident fact of the glaring existence of Tamil Nadu (Tamil Country), though hidden within the Indian subcontinent. Because inviolable national sovereignty is an entitlement to ONLY the indigenous nation of a particular land and not for being born or set up home there irrespective of how many or how long they lived there. The only community in Heladiva who have a right to have a separate homeland if so wish are our indigenous Vedi generation. But they will not ask for it as they are our ancient Hela people and never will be a threat to us.

“Basic human rights……”

There is a gross error in human rights even within the international echelons, mixing up human rights with national rights. Human rights and civil rights are the rights entitled to non indigenous minorities in host indigenous national countries. Their national rights are intact in the lands of their national origins they left behind. Such rights like language, culture and religion of non indigenous minorities in host countries will prevail only within their private domain unofficially, without a threat in any form to the national sovereignty of the host nation. When these clear justifiable parameters are properly understood and learn to uphold our National Hela Sovereignty steadfastly, barking will surely stop and the world will stand with us as it can become their problem too.

by Anura Seneviratna

Lakdiva Sinhala location name usage (Sinhala article by Ananda Wijesinghe)

lk~qQv sQAhL s}`n-n`m x`vQwy

aw&vX&yQ!

- a`nn~q vQ@j~sQAh - k#nd`v


@l`v# @k`w#@nk @h`~ @v@sn kQsQym|m mQnQs~ j`wQyk~~ @v@w`w~, ovEn~ nQyw vX@yn~m wvw~~ j`wQykt @vns~ vn~@n~ ovE@n`vEn~ k}`krn x`;`@vnQ. iAgQYsWn~ iAgYWsQ j`wQy vn~@n~, ovEn~@g~ mvE bs iAgYWsQ x`;`v b#vQnQ. jpnEn~ jpnEn~ vn~@n~q jpn~ bs wm mvE bs b#vQnQ. cWnEn~ vWnEn~ vn~@n~q, jrm`NEvn~ jrm`NEvn~ vn~@n~q, qmQLyn~ qmQLyQn~ vn~@n~q, sQAhLyn~ sQAhLyQn~ vn~@n~q e@lsm#yQ. s$m j`wQyk~ vQsQn~m sQy x`;`vt mvE bs y#yQ kQyn~@n~ q e b#vQnQ.


uc|c`rN pY@x~qy:

e@s~ vR klW, kvr @h`~ j`wQ@yk vEv is~mwSvW @p@Nn, pY{`nwm ann&w` l]Ny em j`wQyt a`@v|nQk x`;`v vWm @n`v#L#k~vQy h#kQ sQq{`n~w@ykQ. @mm kr#@N~qW vd`w~ k#pW @p@Nn nQyw a`@v|nQk l]Ny vn~@n~, kQsQym|m vcnyk~ vQvQ{ j`wQkyQn~@g~ mEvQn~ vQvQ{ a`k`r@yn~ uc|c`rNy @k@rnE l#bWmyQ: svkWy mvE x`;`@vn~ jnQw uc|c`rN svr@yn~ b#h#r vWmt k`tw~ nEpEUvn~ @hyQnQ.


uq`hrNyk~ gw@h`w~: iAgQrQsQ j`wQk@ykSt @k`LB y#yQ kQv @n`h#k. e~ nQs` ovEn~ @k`LBt kW@y~~ klm|”bE kQy`y. swvr#s gNn`vkt psEv# vEvq ovEnt @k`LBt @k`LB y#yQ kQv$h#kQq? @n`h#k~@k~ m#yQ! g`l~lt @g`~l~~ y#yQq, k$gl~lt @k~@g`~l~~ y#y~q, wAgl~lt t#A@g`~l~ y#yQq ovEhE aqw~ kQywQ.


s}`n-n`m qmQLkrNy h` Il`m| sAkl~p@y~ upw:

@mm uc|c`rn vQprWw x`v@y~ svx`vyy @w~r#m| g#NWmt qmQL uc|c`rNyn~ h#r @vnw~ uph#rN kSmtq? ap mvE bQ@m|m an`qQmw~ k`lyk~ pEr` jWvw~vn. @qmL bs k}` krn, o|n$m qmQL j`wQk@yk vQsQn~ vEvq a@p~ vcn” -– enm|: – pEq~gl n`m, gY`m n`m, ngr n`m, s}`n n`m a$ vQvQ{ vcn uc|c`rNy krNE@y~ wm mvE b@shQ nQyw blp$@mn~ b#h#r @n`kth#kQ, k#pW @p@Nn @qmL x`;`my hEr#v rFgw~ uc|c`rn svrykQnQ. qmQL@y`~, @k`LB y#yQ kQy`gw @n`h#kQ b#vQn~ @k`Um|pE y#yQ @n`kQyw~q? mWgmv y#yQ kWmt a@p`@h`sw~ b#vQn~ nWr@k`Um|pE y#yQ kQywQ. g`l~lt g`@@l kQywQ. am|p`rt am|b`@ryQ kQywQ. sQrQ@g`~Nkn~qt (@g`~kn~n @n`@hw~ wYQkSN`mlyt) kQyn~@n~ wQr#@k`~Nm@@l kQy`y. @s`~mpEr (@h`~ s`mpEr) yn~nt s`m|pRr~ y#yQ kQywQ. mdkLpEvt kQyn~@n~ mt|tk~klp~pE y. @k`t@h~nt @k`t|tn~@c|@nyQ y#yQ kQyn~@n~q eprQq~@qn~m#yQ. @m| pQLQb[v qQgS atEv`-TWk` kSmtq?


xYW lAk`@v| kvr @h`~ pY@q~X@yk s}`n-n`m @qmL x`;`my uc|c`rn svr$pyk~ @gn a#w~@w~ @mkW uc|v`rN vQl`xy@y~ @vns nQs`m#yQ. sQAhLyQn~~ qQgS klk~ @my s#L#kS@y~ u@p~]`@vnQ.


ax`g&yy nm|, @mkW nQr#w~s`hW (i@b|m# en) uc|c`rN qE;~krw`v, anQywQn~ uwSr sh n#@gnhQr pL`w~ @qk sQy @qmL nQjbQm#yQ @l`vt hdg` kWmt @bqEm|v`qW IL`m| k`ryQn~t angQ psEbQmk~ sLs` qWWWmyQ. ad-sQyvsrkt pmN @pr @m| l]Ny vth`gw~ avs}`v`qW, @bqEm|v`qW kSt @q~Xp`lk@y`~ @mm ww~w~vy uprQm @lsQn~ pY@y`~jnyt @gn#, sQAhL s}`n n`myn~ qmQLkrny hQw`-mw`m kYm@yn~ wWv^ kLh: whvEr# kLh. @v|gvw~ kLh. sQAhLy`@g~ nQ@qY`pgw, a#l~m#r#N @n`s#L#kQl~lm qmQLkrNyt b`{` vQrhQw, kdQnm|, an`y`XW up`y m`rgynt prWvrwny vn~nt v#dQkl~ gQ@y~ n#w. uwSr# h` n#@gnhQr @q-pL`@w~ @qmL-Il`m| sAkl~p@yk nQrm`Ny ew#nQn~ a#r$BQNQ.


nQjbQm| sAkl~pyt ud-@gdQ qWm:

qQvyQ@n~ uwSr# h` n@@gNhQr @q-pL`@w~~ s}`n-n`m nQyw qmQLkrNykt lk~vR@y~ @mm vkY @q~xp`ln v&`p`ry mwyQ. vrQn~ vr, ap@g~ @q~X@pY~mW vQq~vwSn~, @q~XWy @mn~m# vQ@q~xWy iwQh`sZyn~ h` pEr`vQq&`Zyyn~ vQsQn~ mwS krnE l#b, a@p~ s}`n-n`myn~@g~~ nQv#rqQ uc|c`rny h` lQvWm @k@s~ vQy yEwSq yn~n @l`v pEr` @v@sn sQyU xYW l`AkQkyQn~ @mn~m, r@t| @q~xp`lkyQn~, pEvw~pw~ kl` @v|qQn~, h` qhskSw~-ekk~ pYbl mhjn a`ywn sh r`j& a`ywn v#nQ bl-@]wYyn~ @h`[Qn~m q#n sQtQyh. e@wkSqE vEvw~, vsr gNn`vk~m @mm kr#n @n`wk` h#r, em @qpL`@w~ s}`n-n`m nQv#rqQ @lsQn~ @n`lQyn - @n`kQyn bv pYkt kr#@nkQ. e mwSq @n`v, vrQn~ vr bLyt pw~ rjyyn~q ww~ n`m vQk^w~wWn~ e~ e~ a`k`r@yn~m gYhNy kL` vQn`, e~v` nQv#rqQ kQrWmt kQsQqE pQyvrk~ @n`@gn, e~v`m whvEr# vn~nt id h#rQyh. eym, aq j`wQ@y~ mhw~ ax`g&yyt mELQk vQy. I-NQy` @qmL nQjbQm| sAkl~py ml~PLg#n~vWm u@qs`, @mm @qpL`@w~ @@wQh`sQk sQAhL s}`n-n`m @qmLkrNyt lk~vW, e@s~ vQk^wwQkL ayErQn~m# p#v#wWmt h` x`vQwyt id h#r wQbWm brpwl @ls mMp`q` a#wQ b#v| q#n~ p#h#qQLQvW wQ@b|.


uwSr# h` n@@gNhQr pL`w~ @qk ek~@k`t, bl`w~k`rW @ls @mlc|C @qmL - wYs}yn~ lv` @h`~ rt @bq`, InQy` @qmL-nQjbQm| sAkl~py jy@gn,– @qmL IL`myk~ a#t#vW@m| @@ewQh`sQk kSmn~wYNyt qmQL-Il`m| k`ryQn~ vQsQn~ @mkW s}`n-n`m vQk^wQym p`vQv|cQ krnE lbn ayEr# q#n~ q#n~ q#kQy h#kQy. a@p~ j`wQk - gwQyk~ b#v| @n`kQy` @n`h#kQ, @p`qE@v| o|n$m @qyk~ sQqEvn~nt id h#r, o@h~ o|n$ ekk~ vEn`@qn~~ y#yQ krb`@gn, @n`wk` i[W@m| pYwQvQp`k q#n~ q#n~ mEU rtm vQ[vnE lbn bvq rhsk~ @n`@v|.


m`vQl~oy qmQL-wYs} stn:

psEgQQy a@g`~s~wS m`s@y~qW, evkt a@p~ mvE bQm# n#@gnhQr @p@qs~hQ k#l$ ark~@gn sQtQ rt vnsn mQnWmr# @qmL wYs}@y`~ (LTTE) @g`~kn~n (sQrQ@g`~Nkn~q @hvw~ Trincomalee) qQs~wQrQk~k@y~ gn~wl`@vn~ (kn~w@l~) ob|@bhQ, @s`~mpEr pY@q~X@y~ jnw`vt p`NWy h` @g`vQw#n~ s[h` jly s#p#yR m`vQl~-o@y~ @s`@r`vE avhQr kLh. @qmL jnw`v@g~ InQy` g#l#vEm|k`ryQn~y#yQ kQy`gn~n` @mkW qmQL wYs}@y`~, sQAhL sh mEs~lQm| jny` mwS @n`v, qhs~ gNn~ vR wm @qmL j`wQkyQn~q, @mnyQn~ q#dQ pQdNyt @g`qEr# kLh.


vh` kYQy`wmk vR, @q~X@y~ mEr-@q~vw`vn~ vR a`r]k hmEq` vQsQn~ qr#NE stn~ v#q. qmQL @ml~cCyQn~ pLv` hrQn lqh. anwSr#v#, wkwWr# wYs~}v`qW qmQL @k`tQn~@g~ pWdnyt pw~ em @p@qs~ v#sQ qhs~ sAK&`w @qmL, sQAhL, mEs~lQm| a$ skL jnw`vn~@g~ p#n~ pvs nQvmQn~, a@g`~s~wS 9v#nQq` r`wYW 8.00t a@p~ vW@r`~q`r @sbL bla#NQ vQsQn~ m`vQl~ - o@y~ @s`@r`vE arQn lqW. qmQL wYs~}yQn~@g~ npEr# qs`v uq`vR@y~ ew#NQnQ.


sQAhL s}`n-n`m x`vQw@y~ v#qgw~km is~mwS@v|:

a@p~ @p_r`NQk s}`n-n`m x`vQwy@y~ v#qgw~km yLQw~ q#dQ @lsQn~ is~mwS vR@y~ @m| avs}`@v|qWy. k`ly`@g~ a#v$@mn~ a@p~m @n`s#L#kQLQmw~ k@mn~, @k@mn~ a#l~-m#r#N,E sQAhL -– n`m ax`vQwy mRlWkvR, uwSr# h` n#@gNhQr sQAhL ann&w`vy@y~ vw~mn~ blp$m, vQq&Ew~-pNQvEd hEvm`r# pq{wQ (e-mail forums) mgQQQn~ @l`v pEr` @v@sn q$-hQw#wQyn~@g~ pEUl~ s`kcC`vt b[En~ vQy. a@p~ ip#rNQ sQAhLy` h` sQAh@L~ g#n ugw~ vQq~vwSn~ klk~ wQs~@s~ s`mEhQkvw~, wnQ-wnQv# @p_q~glQkvw~ @mm vQ;yy arxy` krnlq prQ@y~;N, @@wQh`sQk kr#NE @s`y`, ss[`, vWmAXnyt x`jny kQrWm|, p#rNQ @l~KN h` @k_wSk`g`r a#sE@rn~ @s`y` b#lWm| h` sQwQym| krnyq x`;`my sm`n km| h` prs~prw`q, uc|c`rN pY@x~qyn~q, @mnyQn~ pLvW (h` mEqYNqv`r@yn~ eLQ @n`qEtR) a#wQ iwQh`sZyQn~@g~q, pEr`vQq&`ZyWn~@g~q, @l~kKyQn~@g~ @p`w~pw~q, m`yQm| @p`w~ q, nm| @p`w~ q, vQw~wQ @p`w~ q, p#rNQ mQNEm|kr# - sthn~ @p`w~ a`qQy q a#sEr#@k`t s#k#sEnE iw` agn` an~wr~j`l w#n~nk~ @hvw~ @vb| advQyk~ (Web-site) q$ntmw~ nQr~m`NyvW hm`ry.


sQAhL s}`n-n`m @vb|-advQy:

vw~m@nhQ ax`vQw@yn~ ytpw~vW, qmQLkrNyvW a#wQ sQAhL s}`n-n`m, e~v`@y~ @@ewQh`sQk h` pEr`vQq&`w~mk psEbQm, ekW n`myn~m @qmL a`@rn~~ m$w yEg@y~ bQ[W avEw~ a#wQ a`k`ryy h` e~v`@y~ ip#rNQ s}`ngw sAyEk~wQy @mn~m jnpYv`qy`XYQw psEbQmq,  aq`l sQwQym|q q#k~@vn @mkW @vb|-advQy, @qmLt ww~sm sQAhLt @y@qn gY`m-n`m sthn~q shQwv (sQAhL bsQn~m ekW n`myn~q qk~vmQn~) s#k#sW a#w~@w~ iAgYWsQ x`;`@vnQ. @mkW an~wrj`l-w#n~nt @n`@h`w~ @vb| advQyt pQvQ@sn mM @m@s~y: 

http://www.geocities.com/place.names/barelist.htm

ihw qk~v` a#wQ j`l-w#n~n (@vb|-advQy) h` aq`l s}`n-n`m g@v|;N ktyEwS, ekl vQ@q&`~qy srsvQ@y~ up kSlpwQ vX@yn~ ktyEwS kL a`c`r\y cn~qY {r\mvr\{n mhw`@g~ pE@r`~g`mQw~w~vy@yn~ yEw~ kNd`ymk~ vQsQn~ sQqE@k@rnE lbyQ.


sQAhL s~}`n n`myn~ x`vQw` kL yEw~@w~ a#yQ...?

yt kQynlq sQAhL s}`n-n`m x`vQw@y~ v#qgw~km vE klW, I-nQy` qmQL nQjbQm| sAkl~py h` in~ jnQwvW wQ@bn, ap@g~~ kSd` qQvyQn kd-kd @k`t, Il`m| - @bqEm|v`qy jyg#NW@m| qmQL pYyw~nyyn~ pr`jy@k`t, r@t| e~kWy x`vy sErFkWm u@qs` aw&`vX& mEl`{`ryk~ vWm u@qs`m pmNk~ @n`@v|. sQAhL-@b_q{ ur#myn~ wv qErtw~ vns` q#mW@m| vkY qmQL pYyw~Nyn~ akYQy kQrW@m| pYbL aAgyk~ vX@yn~ q, sQrQlk pEr` sQAhL s~}`n n`myn~, aq`L sQyUm p`rXvyn~ vQsQn~ sQyU kl~hQ x`vQw` kL yEwSy. uwSr sh n#@gnhQr @qmL-nQjbQmk~ @n`vnb#v| in~ sn`}@v|. @l`v pEr` vsn qmQLyn~ vQsQn~ I-nQy` j`w&n~wr pYj`v wvqErtw~ rvtnE lbn~@n~ @mnyQnQ.


qmQLyQn~ vQsQn~ @l`~ pEr` pYc`ry kr h#r, sQy l`b`l qmQL prpErq (@n`mM yvmQn~) ugn~v` a#wQ ovEEn~@g~ v&`j lk~-ur$my pQLQb[ iwQh`syt mRl`{`ry h` blvw~ s`{kyq vW a#w~@w~ sQAhL s}`n-n`m qmQLkrNym b#v| spEr` av@b`~{ kL yEwS k`ly q#n~ p#mQN wQ@b|.


q]QN in~qQy`nE swSr# a`kYmNQkyQn~ vQsQn~ vrQn~ vr krn lq mhw~ vQn`Xyyn~ @k@s~vwSqE, vsr @qqhs~ wSn~sQyyktq a{Qk k`l prQc”|@C~qyk sQt qQvyQn b#b#LvR qhs~ sAK&`w @b_q{ sQq~{s}`n, uwS@rhQ q, n#@gnhQr pl`@whQq ek@s~ p#v#wSNQ. vrQn~ vr sQqEvR @c`~L, p`N~d&y ynE@vn~ iwQh`s@y~ h[En~vnE lbnlq qkSNE in~qWy –qmQL a`kYmNQkyQn~ vQsQn~ vQn`X kr qmn lq qhs~ gNn~ @b_q~{ pEjNWy s}`nyn~@g~ n;T`v@X~; wvmw~ emty. pEr`vQq&`w~mk h` @@ewQh`sQk vtQn`kmQn~ yEk~wvEq, sQAhL-@b_q~{ ur#myt i[Er` @qs~ @qn~n`vRq, @mm ip#rNQ @b`qE sQq~{s}`n h` ntbEn~ qmQQL wYs~}yQn~ vQsQn~ kYm@yn~ vQn`X kr@gn# @ywQ. e~ mwm @k`~vQl~ q iqQkrwQ. sQAhLy`@g~ ur#my mk` q#mW@m| @@ewQh`sQk v#d pQLQ@vl vw~mn~ qmQL-wYs~wyQn~ vQsQn~ ys-rMt aKNdv iqQrQyt @gn#ymQn~ pvwW.


n`gqWpy eq` sms~} y`p`ptEnmq…..?

y`p`ptEn - @n`@h`w~ n`gqWpy h` wvw~ kSd` prQm`N@y~ qRpw~ rFskQn~ vtvR vw~mn~ y`pn ar{qvWpyy, a`qWk`lWn lk~qQv# awWXyQn~m# v#qgw~, @h~LQ @b_q~{ m{&s}`nyk~ vRv` nQs#ky. eq` y`p`ptEnq, anEr`{pEry v#nQ pEjNWy m{&s}`nyk~ vR bvt pEr`vQqE-kr#NE emty.


kQwSvsQn~ 523n~ vsrkt @pr (@wvrk~m#) lk~qQvt p#mQNQ @g_wm bEqrj`Nn~ vhn~@s~@g~ 2v#nQ lAk` gmny sQqEEvR@y~ n`gqWpyt b#v| s[hn~@v|. kSd`bNd` (cR@l`~qr) sh @l`kSbNd` (m@h`~qr) yn n`g - @g`~wYQk rjkSmr#n~ @q@qn`@g~ stn~-pQvQsEm| ww~w~vyk~ smhn~ krnEvs~ bEqEn~vhn~@s~@g~ @mkW p#mQNWm sQqEvR b#v|q pYkty. e@s~ vR vQt, bEqEn~vhn~@s~ v#dm krn~nt a#w~@w~, aq qmQLyQn~ vQsQn~ nyQnwWvE nmQn~ h[En~vnE lbn kSd` n`gqQp -– qRpwt @n`v, ekW n`g @g`~wYQk rjqhnt (rj m`LQgyt @h`~ em# aAgnyt,,,?) b#v| s#L#kQm vd` pYz` @g`~vry. ekl em qEpw jn sRn& qQvyQnk~ vn~ntq a#wQ b#vQn~, un~vhn~@s~ em qEpwt qQv`-vQhrNy s[h` @h`~ vdQn~nt a#w#yQq sQwQy h#k.


@k`yQ h#tQ @k@s~ vEvq, in~ sQyvs~ gNnk a#v$@mn~ psE lk~qQv bEqEssEN pQhQtEvW@mn~q psEv, sQrQm`@b`~ X`K`vk~ sh, inEw~ anwSr#vE wvw~ an`qQmw~ k`lykt psE xYW qLq` vhn~@s~ q uwSr#qQg~-n#v|@w`tQn~ (qB@k`LptENQn~) lk~qQvt @gn e~@mn~ anwSr#vq, klQn ~kl e~ prQsr@y~ sQy-qhs~ gNn~ @b_q{ sQq{s~}`n i[QvE b#v|, pY@q~Xy pEr` a#wQ awQ vQX`l ntbEn~ pYm`N vlQn~ @pNWy`yEwSy. e@mn~m#, y`pny vt` a#wQ kSd` qRpw~vlq ip#rNQ @b_q{ n;T`v@X~; @s`y`@gn a#w.


@m|v`@y~ ip#rNQ sQAhL s}`nn`myn~ qmQLkrNyt lk~@k`t, @qmL – IL`myk~ nQrm`Ny kQrW@m| pYvNw`vyk~ @g`dnM`, ey mQNWmr# wYs} kYQy`vLQn~ jyg#NWmt vlQkn @mvn~ yEg@yk, r@t| s`v`{Qpw&ytq, sQQAhLy`@g~ @b_q~{ sAs~k^wQk prQsryt a#wQ hQmQkm| mELQNEpEt` q#mWm u@qs`q @k@rn @qmL j`wQv`qW sEn`mQ@yn~ mvEbQmw~, bEq{ X`snyw~ mEq`g#NW@m| uq`r @m@hvr sQhUn~ @ls upn~ s#mt ayw~ iw` v#qgw~vRq, awQ uwSm|vRq, p#h#r @n`h#rQyyEwS k`ry& x`r@ykQ. sQAhL s}`n-n`m q#n~ ylQ whvEr# kL h#k~@k~ nQrwSr# x`vQw@n~m# pmNQ.


pEr`vQq&`-k#NWm|:

yt kQynlq y`p`ptE@n~ v#qgw~ ww~w~vyy psE k`lvl#qW n`gqWpyt pmNk~ sWm`vn w#nt, klQn~ - kl sQqEvR hQn~[E - qmQL a`kYmNQkyn~ kYQy`krn~nt a#wQ b#v| nQs#ky. y`p`ptEn pEr~` p#v#wQQ @b_q~{ sQq{s}`nyn~@g~ sQy-qhs~ gNn~ n;T`v@x~; a#wQ b#vQn~, y`pn-adqQvyQn pEr` k#NWm| qQyw~ kQrWm s[h` pEr`vQq&` @qp`rw@m|n~wSv @m@hy#vWmt rjy vQsQn~ h#kQw`k~ kdQnmQn~ pQyvr gw yEwSy.


bQrQw`NW sm@y~ a`rm|x@y~qW ovEn~ vQsQn~ sQqEkrn lq pEr`vQqE k#nWm| svl~pyk~ sh m$w x`g@y~ c`rl~s~ @g`dkSBE@r - k#nWm| svl~pyk~ h#r#NEvQt, lk~ rjyn~ vQsQn~ @m| pQLQb[ unn~qEvk~ @n`q#k~vW@m| anQsQ PLvQp`k sh a`qWnv q#n~ xSk~wQvQ[QmE. k`LQAg-m`G @c`~l a`kYmNQk v&sN@yn~ uwSr#-m#q sh uwSr#kr@y~ qhs~ gNn~ vQh`r - q`g#b| vlt sQqEkL @ml~c|C vQn`Xy@yn~ @mpQt iwQrQv# wQbR @ssE @b_q~{ ntbEn~ @b`@h`myk~ vw~mn~ qmQL @k`tQ-wYs~}yQn~ vQsQn~ q#ntmw~ mELlQNEpEt`, vQn`X@k`t a#w. a#w#m| ntbEn~ mw @k`~vQl~ q @g`dnM`, qmQL wYs~} n`yk @v|UpQl~@l~ pQrp`hrn~ - nm#wQ I-nQy` ir#@qvQy` v[Qw~l!


a@p~ j`wQk h` a`gmQk ur#myn~ pQLQb[ ytgQy`@v| m$wm g@v|;Ny @ls s#L#kQy h#k@k~, pEr`vq&` vkYvrwW yn vQr#q`vlQ@yn~ q @g_rvkrnE l#bR, pRj& ell`vl @m|{`nn~q s}vQryn~ vhn~@s~@g~ agn` g@v|;N b#v|q @mhl` sQhQpw~ kL yEwSmy. wmn~ vhn~@s~@g~ pEr`v|q&`w~mk @s`y`g#nWm| q p`qk@k`t, un~vhn~@s~ vQsQn~ pLkrn lq p`vWN ps~s – uw~wr ps~s(2003 vsr) nm#wQ @p`w, a@p~ sQAhL - @b_q{ ur#my pQLQb[ v#qgw~ sQhQvtnykQ.


amwk kL @n`h#kQ, v#qgw~ kr#Nk~:

@mw#n~hQqW @v@ssQn~ sQhQpw~ kL yEwS wvw~ ek~ v#qgw~ kr#Nk~ pmNk~ vEvq mwk~~ kQrWWm vtW. XYW qn~w {`wSn~ vhn~@s~ @mrtt v#dm krvE qn~w kSmr# sh @h~mm`l` kSmrQy gmn~ gw~ b#v| s[hn~ qB@k`LptEn (vw~mn~ kAksn~wSry) sQt y`pn ngry qk~v` vE mM @qps# @b`qE pEjNWy s~}`n vlQn~ ghNvE b#v| pYkty. qB@k`LptEn n#v| @w`t sQt, cRLpEr, @g`~wmUvw~w, cn~qn, kqEr#@g`d, sAG`r`m, udEvQl, prN n`gvQh`ry v#nQ ip#rNQ gY`m in~ smh@rkQ.


a#w#m| vQt, Itq @pr k@lkqW sAGmQw~w` mh` @wrNQy vQsQn~ sQrQm`@b`~ X`K`-smQ[En~ v#dmkrvn lq~@q~ q emgQn~m# vQy#yEwS bvtq anEm`n krnE l#@b|.


y`pn@y~ @b`qE-s}`n sQwQym:

ihwQn~~ s[hn~ krnlq @vb|-advQyt pQvQsQ vQgsQn~, ehQ sQAhL s}`n-n`m l#yQs~wSvt ihlQn~ qk~v` a#wQ @ktQ h#[Qn~vWm| anEv, ek~ ek~ awSr# j`l-pQtE vQv^w~w krw~m#, uwSr# h` n#@gnhQr pL`w~ q~vyy pEr` pvw~n` h` p#v#wQ apYm`N @b_q{ sQq{s}`nyn~ h[En`gw h#kQ@v|. h[En` g#NW@m| phsEv s[h` ehQ s[hn~kr a#wQ y`pn@y~ @b_q{ s~}`n ynE@vn~ qk~v` a#wQ sQwQy@m|, nQl~ p`t akSrQn~ (q#nt - iAgYWsQ a]r@yn~ pmNQ)~ uwSr#kr@y~ @b_q{ s~}`nyn~ @pn~v` wQ@b|.


y`p`ptE@n~ @b_q~{ n;T`v@X~; awS@rn~ kqEr#@g`d vQh`r@y~ wvmw~ iwQrQv# a#wQ ntbEn~ vR q`g#b| sAK&`v pmNk~ h#tkQ (60). pQrQnQvn~ p$ rhwSn~ vhn~@s~~l`@g~ x;~m`v@X~; @h`~ X`rWrQk {`wS e~v`@y~ w#n~pw~ vn~nt a#w ynE jnpYv`qyyQ. ehQ qk~nt l#@bn vtq`@gyk vw~mn~ C`y`r$pyk~q @mhQ phw pL@v|.


kqEr#@g`d yn~n m$w k`lWN qmQLkrN@yn~ anwSr#v#, kn~w@r`~@dyQQ ynE@vn~ v&vh`ryt lk~vW a#ww~, @mm @@ewQh`sQk sQq{s~}`n@y~ ntbEn~ qmQL wYs}ynt vQn`X@k`tgw @n`hW, wvmw~ vQr`jm`Nv# p#v#wWmm# vQ;~myjnky.


kqEr#@g`d pEr`N vQh`r@y~ - vtq`@gy shQw prQv`r q`g#b| kQhQpyk~


@qmL-Il`m| v`qy pr`jy krmE!

@mhQ ihwQn~ s[hn~ krn lq an~wrj`l-w#n~nt (Web-Site) pQvQ@sn~n#yQ @l`v# @k`w#nvEv @v@sn sQyUm sQAhL @q~X@pY~mWn~@gn~ il~l`sQtQnE l#@b|. ehQ q#k~@vn sQAhLS s}`n - n`myn~ h#mq`, sQyU wn~hQqW x`vQw` krn @mn~ q il~l`sQtQnE l#@b|.


e@mn~~m#, XYQ lAk`@v| r`j& p`lkyQn~, r`j& @s~v`vn~hQ nQyEk~wyQn~, r`j& - @n`vn sh a@nkSw~ mhjn`ywn, @svc|C`ywn, pY`@q~XWy prQp`Ln @]wYyn~, a`r]k @s~v` pY{`NQn~ sh nQyEk~wQyn~ @mn~m#, sQyU jnm`{&`wnyn~, pYv&w~wQpwY kl`-@v|qWn~, v`rw`kr#vn~, gSvn~vQqElQ h` r$pv`hQNW a`ywn sh @mkW-@n`kW q$-hQwk`mW sQyl~ln~@gn~ q @mm v#qgw~ avX&w`vy @n`pQrQ@hl` itE@vnE a#w#yQ a@p~]` @k@r. sQyUm m`{& @v|qWn~t @mhQl` kLh#kQ agn` j`wQk @m@hvr amQLy. awQ pYbly. yEg@y~ pYbL a#v#sQy`@vk~q @v|.


@mnyQn~, Il`m|v`qW qmQL-nQjbQm| sAkl~p@yn~ jnQwv# rtt vQnkrn j`wQk v&sny pr`jy krmE. @qmLkrNyt lk~vW a#wQ qQvyQ@n~ sms~} s}`n n`myn~ h[En`@gn#, aq`L sQAhL n`myn~@g~ x`vQwy @n`pm`v# qQyw~krmE. e@s~ kQrWm kQsQ@s~w~m j`wQv`qyk nm|~ @n`@v|.


wvq, @mhQ mElQn~ qk~vnlq prQqQm @qmL jnw`vt sQy @qmL x`;`my-svr@yn~~ uc|c`rNy kLh#kQ prQq~@qn~m iqQrQytq e~ e~ s}`n-n`myn~ Xb|qkQrWmt @h`~ lQvWmt @h`~ @myQn~ b`{`@vk~ @k`@hw~m# sQqEvn~@n~ n#wQ bvq s#L#kQy yEwSy. sQAhLy` vn`hW, a#w awWw@y~ sQtm @ssE j`wWn~@g~ sAsk^wQy, bs, jWvn rt`, a#q#hQLQ h` vw~pQLQ@vw~ smwn~hQl` gr#kL bv mEU @l`vm qNW. XYW lAk`v @n`@h`w~ sQAh@L~ h#r#NEvQt, r@t| jnghN@yn~ sQyyt 9k~ pmN vE (aq @mm sAK&`, @l~KNvlt pmk~ sWm` @vyQQ) sEUwrykt, ehQ bhEwr (75%) pErv#sQyn~t hQmQ sQyUm ayQwWn~ h` vrpYs`q @k@rhQ, vcn@y~ prQsm`p~w`r}@yn~m# sm-w#n~ pQrQnm` a#wQ (bst pmNk~ @n`@v|) @vnw~ kvrnm| q#yk~ @h`~ rtk~ @v|q…? @n`@v|m#yQ…!

· ap a`qrNWy lk~ mv qQ@n~v`!!

· @b`qE ssEN @l`v b#b#@l~v`!!!

- a`nn~q vQ@j~sQAh

Ananda Wijesinghe

e-mail anandaw1@yahoo.co.uk

Buddhist Sites Map: also Attached


~

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Significant number of urban Tamils back Rajapksa's policy: Poll

Colombo (PTI): Contrary to popular beliefs, a significant segment of Tamilians living in urban Sri Lanka has endorsed President Mahinda Rajapaksa's policy to deal with LTTE and maintain law and order, according to an opinion poll.

Twenty-one per cent of the non-upcountry Tamils and 42 per cent of the Muslim community, the main minority ethnic groups, are satisfied with the law and order situation in the island country, the opinion poll by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), an autonomous body, reveals.

Around 49.8 per cent Muslims and 20 per cent non-upcountry Tamils are also pleased with the way the government is fighting the battle against terror, it says.

The survey shows that the overwhelming majority of the Sri Lankan people are satisfied with the way the President is conducting the war.

It says that 87.3 per cent of the country's main ethnic group (Sinhalese) surveyed support the government's war on terror while 84.4 per cent approve its rule of law.

"This proves that the great majority of the Sri Lankan population is behind the government in its campaign against terror," an official statement said.

The results of the November 2007 survey, in general, reflect the opinion of Sri Lankans who live in eight provinces (excluding the North, East included) on issues such as war, peace, security, the economy, human rights, media freedom, corruption, balances of military power among other areas.

The Hindu

Sri Lanka – A comprehensive view of the current situation

Sri Lankans must learn from history. For over 2000 years, Tamil Chieftains from South India have invaded Sri Lanka several times, and indeed temporarily occupied parts of the country. They were always beaten back. However, their remnants settled peacefully in the country. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorist group, which has close links to organizations in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu (meaning "the Land of the Tamils"), even uses the tiger emblem of those ancient Chola invaders of Lanka. The symbolism cannot be ignored. The patient aspiration to take over most, if not all, of Sri Lanka has never died, and in the last century, taken various guises such as the pre-independence 50/50 movement, the proposed merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces to form a "homeland" within a loose federation, and the terrorism perpetrated for the formation of a separate country called Tamil Eelam in a region of Sri Lanka that includes, and is bigger than, the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Thus, in dealing with the central issue faced, essentially the future of Sri Lanka as one island, one country, one government, we must consider the next centuries and millennia; not simply the issues facing the generations that are present today.

Who are the minority?

The Tamil community of Sri Lanka has significant interaction with the Tamil Nadu State. The Tamil language, culture, Hindu religion, geography, similar caste structure and inter-marriage bind them closely. Tens of thousands of people from Tamil Nadu came to Sri Lanka as illicit immigrants ("kallathoni") in the fifties to the seventies. Sri Lankan Tamils either escaping or even fermenting the violence in the Northern Province have been able to land in Tamil Nadu easily and live there more or less at will. LTTE cells, supply bases, training classes, and naval operations running people and arms operate freely, except for rare police raids.

Tamil Nadu politicians cannot survive unless they speak openly about Sri Lankan issues and in support of the positions of the WTM. Tamil Nadu MP's in the Lok Sabha are vociferous in their interference in Sri Lankan internal matters. Given that the homeland of Tamils exists in the form of Tamil Nadu, with a population of almost 70 million, one must question why another is needed in tiny Sri Lanka, unless the ultimate goal is amalgamation.

The Sinhala people of Sri Lanka have no such connection with India. The Sinhala are an ethnic group that is strictly a Sri Lankan mix of many ancient migrations from Northern India, other Asian countries and aboriginal people, with no current common language, religion, or intermarriage with India. Both have legitimate aspects that help their claim to be a minority.

Clearly, one cannot simply assume, as many NGO's and countries do, that the Sinhala need no protection of their rights, but that only the Tamils of Sri Lanka do so. Some would argue that it is the Sinhala who are an ethnic minority in South Asia, with no connections to any Indian State, and that they are the one's who require protection.

Aspirations of international Tamil organisations

We must not make the mistake of focusing only on one Sri Lankan terrorist group. The local terrorists, the LTTE, are controlled to a large extent, supported and nourished by the World Tamil Movement (WTM) an international organization that is similar to Al Qaeda, which spans Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and many other countries. The WTM is administered by the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC). The LTTE is the violent arm of the WTM. It is a truism that time is on the side of those who wish to unravel constitutional and political structures of nations. The WTM strongly believes, indeed knows, that time is on their side. The WTM and its partner the 'Tamil Nadu Liberation Front' have a plan to combine the so called Tamil Eelam with Tamil Nadu since it has realized that Tamil Eelam is not a viable economic entity. There is a significant body of literature on this subject. There is even discussion of annexing the Maldives as well as large parts of Indian States such as Kerala to form what they call "Greater ('Vishala') Tamil Nadu" (GTN). (See a map of the GTN in: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/ltte-maps.htm)

The above aspirations are not so unrealistic if one considers a time scale of centuries. Indeed in 1988 the LTTE revealed the plans for a GTN when it invaded and tried to take over the Maldives. A small "victory" in the present era, such as a federal constitution for Sri Lanka, will be seen as simply a stepping stone to further "victories" in future. It is much easier to dislodge a "state" from a federation, than a land area that has no politically recognized boundary. The push for Tamil Eelam will continue to occur over the next decades and centuries, regardless of any new constitution for Sri Lanka that is signed by current Tamil leaders. Any one who believes otherwise is very naïve and does not understand history. The large numbers of Tamils who reside in Sri Lanka and think otherwise are a helpless but significant minority that is terrorized by the LTTE.

The LTTE terrorist group

With direction, funds and intellectual support from the WTM, the LTTE has killed thousands of people of all ethnic groups including large numbers of Tamils. It invented suicide bombings, used over 250 suicide bombers to kill mostly civilians, trains other terrorist groups of the world, kidnaps Tamil children, has mastered human shield tactics, runs an arms smuggling and drug selling operation through WTM ships, and collects enormous funds from Tamils of the world. It has murdered almost all senior civilian Tamil leaders of Sri Lanka as well as many leading Sinhala politicians. It is banned all over the world. It will never support even a true short term peace. It has used every lull in the fighting, formal or informal, to further its cause and prepare for future terrorist activities. While it is active, it will never allow moderate Tamil leaders to negotiate an agreement. Its real leaders are anonymous leaders of the WTM, mostly professional Tamils from the West who arm the active terrorists, provide intellectual support, carry on drug and arms smuggling operations, provide legal assistance, and mount massive international disinformation and lobbying campaigns. Only the WTM can cause the LTTE to stop its violence. The moderate Tamil leaders of Sri Lanka cannot influence the WTM with its vision of Eelam and subsequently the Greater (Vishala) Tamil Nadu. It is a fundamental mistake to assume that the LTTE is in control and is simply supported by the WTM. In fact the WTM has a long term plan, funds and influence, and its terrorist arm is the LTTE.

Responsibilities of the Sinhala

The Sinhala majority of Sri Lanka made a fundamental mistake after Sri Lanka obtained independence from the UK, when it failed to a large extent in its stewardship of all minorities including sub groups such as Eastern Tamils.. The Sinhalese were misguided in trying to establish Sinhala as the official language of Sri Lanka. The majority has a responsibility to support the reasonable aspirations of minorities, even if the same minorities also make other unreasonable demands.

Attacks by Sinhala thugs on Tamil people

Body counts are not useful; nevertheless, it should be noted that the LTTE and other Tamil terrorist groups (the latter, by now destroyed by the LTTE) have killed in order of magnitude more Sinhala and Muslim and indeed Tamil civilians since the early eighties, in comparison to those killed by Sinhala thugs. It should also be noted that the majority of Sinhala people helped and protected Tamils in 1983 when such riots erupted in response to the first LTTE massacre of a vehicle full of soldiers. Tamil families are the witness to the support of the majority of ordinary Sinhala families that protected them at risk to themselves. The inability or unwillingness of the Sri Lankan Government of that time to prevent that violence is inexcusable. The 1983 incident, and the 1950's attempt to make Sinhala the official language are the two crutches that the WTM/LTTE keeps using to demand separation. I believe that Sinhala people, even the less educated classes, now recognize the foolishness and uselessness of such thuggery, as it is they who have had to prosecute the war through the "volunteer" armed forces. No current leader, group or political party would support such activities, given the price that has been paid, and the magnificent opportunity that was handed to the WTM/LTTE propaganda machine. Indeed, today's leaders of all parties would work actively to prevent such a situation. It is noted that there has been no violence from the Sinhala community for over a quarter of a century when they have been subject to suicide bombs and LTTE massacres of whole villages.

Role of international organizations and foreign countries

The international community has not fully recognized that the WTM is similar to Al Qaeda. They are not concerned about the long term prospects for Sri Lanka in terms of future millennia. Many of these countries and organizations, including the Indian Civil Service, have been infiltrated by the WTM. For them, a ceasefire together with a federal constitution for Sri Lanka, with a separate state for the combined North and East will be a superb solution! They will not be around to suffer the consequences when the next round of separation begins in a few decades, from the new vantage point of a "state".

Only the USA had banned the LTTE before September 11, 2001, even though front and leadership organizations such as the WTM and WTCC continued their work unabatedly. After September 11, 2001, others have done so too. Though even organizations such as the WTM are now in some difficulty Western countries have shown only half hearted interest in closing them down, due to their infiltration of political parties and organizations. Obviously, a major difficulty is that Sri Lanka requires development and military assistance from countries such as the USA and Japan.

A Tamil homeland?

The Oxford English Dictionary describes a homeland as "an autonomous state inhabited by a particular people", while the Merriam-Webster Dictionary says it is "a state or area set aside to be a state for a people of a particular national, cultural or racial origin". An examination of the concept of a homeland in the context of Sri Lanka shows how untenable it will be. Imagine a homeland of a combined Northern and Eastern Province "set aside" for Tamils to essentially "inhabit" and be "autonomous" within Sri Lanka. First of all the Sinhala and Muslim people in the Eastern Province will not accept such a concept of combining a Province, in which they are a joint majority, with a larger Northern Province dominated completely by Tamils. Secondly, the majority of Tamils who now "inhabit" areas outside the so called "homeland, will want to continue to do so. Indeed hundreds of thousands of Tamils have voted with their money against the homeland concept by buying real estate in the Colombo District. That also indicates that they have put the 1983 incident behind them. There is no chance that they will want to "inhabit" the "homeland". Nor should they have to go to the "homeland".

Thirdly and more recently, Eastern Province Tamil parties have come out against a merger. If the Northern and Eastern Provinces are the homeland of Tamils, are the rest of the provinces the homeland of Sinhala people? Muslims and Sinhala should be able to live freely in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Tamils should be free to live in all provinces of Sri Lanka, operating actively in their language. The WTM wants a "homeland" in a major portion of Sri Lanka where only the Tamil language, culture and governance etc is extant, while they also want full and complete rights in all other parts of the country. That is not a sustainable solution. The only real solution is for all people to be able to live freely and operate actively in their own language, and practice their own culture, in all provinces of Sri Lanka.

A referendum of course will not end in a meaningful finality: Sri Lanka cannot and will not endanger its sovereignty by allowing any third party to run a referendum. Thus a rejection of the joint sate concept will not be accepted by the WTM/LTTE on the convenient basis that the Sri Lankan Government rigged the election. On the other hand, the WTM/LTTE will do their best to rig the election by violent and other means. Thus a fair referendum will be impossible to hold. This is not stated from a view that a referendum should be held if it is possible to hold a fair one. The case has been made earlier that under no circumstances should a merger be even contemplated.

Basic human rights of individuals and society as a whole

In theory, human rights are guaranteed under the Sri Lankan constitution. However, given the national fabric has been torn apart since the 1980's by one of the world's most vicious terrorist groups, the LTTE, human rights in some cases have fallen into the cracks. That is no excuse and an independent judiciary, Attorney General, Police and elected leaders must ensure that human rights are guarded while also ensuring the rights of society as whole.

Take the example of a terrorist who has parked a truck bomb. The only information available is that the bomb will detonate in one hour and that it is designed to kill about a thousand people. The terrorist has been apprehended. Injection of a 'truth serum' has not worked. Physical punishment meted out will elicit the required information. How are the authorities to balance the rights of the terrorist, against the right to life of the 1000 people? There are no easy answers to human rights issues and the only solution is to make an honest attempt each and every time to consider the balance of rights.

Developed western countries, that are fighting a dirty war against the Al Qaeda under difficult circumstances, require our understanding. They must equally understand the problems facing Sri Lanka, a small developing country, as it struggles to find that balance while fighting an enemy with a worldwide network and organization. Sri Lanka's legal, governing and other institutions have not had the time to establish the traditions, just 50 years after 500 years of colonial rule, that, for example, a UK will have.

The future of Sri Lanka

In a forthcoming article, the writer will explore a possible future for Sri Lanka with ideas about a unitary country, active National language rights, new idea about Provincial language rights with asymmetry, Provinces with new rights as the unit of devolution, the key aspects to be controlled by the National Government, the Presidency, the military defeat of the LTTE, a renewed commitment to human rights, a truth and reconciliation commission, support for reasonable aspirations of Tamils, and a true multi ethnic armed force.

By S.C.WIRASINGHE, BSc (Ceylon), PhD (Berkeley), DSc Honoris Causa (Moratuwa)