Saturday, June 13, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

No More War | Wake Up Sri Lanka


Angelo Mathews Saved Six Outside Boundary - Best Cricket Moment - Sri Lanka v West Indies T20


Rae 'dumbfounded' after Sri Lanka denies him entry - Canadian Broadcasting Corporations


EU must stop preaching and increase aid to Sri Lanka - Nirj Deva, Member of the EU Parliament

As Sri Lanka comes out of the throes of a 35 year-old conflict, all Sri Lankans are joyous that the war is over. The International Community should stop preaching and extend its full cooperation to the government and the people in ushering in a new era of reconciliation and rapid development. These are the common sentiments expressed by all panellists.

An International Forum on Sri Lanka was held recently (5th June 2009) in the hallowed surroundings of the internationally-famed Oxford Union at the University of Oxford. Themed "Post Conflict Reconstruction & Democratisation of Sri Lanka’s Former Conflict Regions," it featured an eminent panel that were carefully selected to represent all the different stakeholders.

This is the first time a panel of this nature has been assembled to address the Sri Lankan situation in a comprehensive manner. The Forum offered an unparalleled opportunity to present a diverse range of views on the matter by the different stake-holders.

Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs and Deputy Finance Minister of Sri Lanka, was the Chief Guest. The Forum was organised by the Oxford Sri Lanka Society with collaboration of the Oxford Union

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sri Lanka vs West Indies - 20-20 worldcup 2009

Create Gotabhaya Regiment to Honour Defence Secretary

THE COLOMBO Buddhist Theosophical Society has requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa to create a new Regiment called “Gotabhaya Regiment” in the Sri Lanka Army in honour of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for the great national service rendered by him in giving proper guidance to the Security Forces in annihilating LTTE terrorism which had been a scourge for well over 30 years.

The society in a congratulatory message sent to the President for liberating this country from terrorism and re-uniting it under a single flag, said his mission got a tremendous boost due to the indefatigable services rendered by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who himself was a war veteran.

The message jointly signed by Society President S.P. Weerasekara and Secretary S.T. Hewavitharana said defeating terrorism would have been a dream if not for the astute and fearless leadership given to the Nation by the President.

Noting that the President’s name would go down in history in letters of gold along with warrior kings such as Dutugemunu, Parakramabahu the Great, Gajaba and Asela who brought the country under a single flag, the society has wished the President strength and longlife to enable him transform the country into a developed nation. (Courtesy: Daily News)

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Bob Rae says the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Canada, Daya Perera phoned him to apologize for his expulsion.

In an interview, the Sri Lankan high commissioner to Canada, Daya Perera, said it "might have been advisable" to allow Rae into the country to see for himself the aftermath of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war.

"The country has nothing to hide," Perera said.

Indeed, Rae said Perera phoned him to apologize for his expulsion.

OTTAWA - The federal government expressed "dismay and displeasure" to the Sri Lankan government Wednesday after Liberal MP Bob Rae was detained and booted out of the country.

Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Emma Welford called it "unacceptable treatment of a Canadian parliamentarian" and said it's absurd for anyone to suggest the former Ontario premier represented a security threat or is a supporter of the Tamil Tigers.

Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai, parliamentary secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, said he was also supposed to go to Sri Lanka this week to check on refugee camps. But the Sri Lankan High Commission in Ottawa denied his application for a visa.

"Their excuse was that they could not accommodate me," he said in an interview. "At least it saved me a long trip."

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Was UN Organization unwittingly responsible for Prabhakaran’s death?

Speculations are rife that it is because of the intense pressure brought to bear on the UN Organization by the Tamil Tiger sympathizers of the Tamil Diaspora across the World by pointing an accusing finger at the UN Organization officials over Prabhakaran’s death, that its Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is constrained to demand an International probe into the Sri Lanka (SL) war crimes.
Those who are aware of the circumstances surrounding the final hours of Velupilllai Prabhakaran and his Organization are also aware that Prabhakaran entertained the belief that the UN organization officials will rescue him. Even though the facts may be buried following the deaths of Prabhakaran, his family and leaders, the UN organization officials who held negotiations with Prabhakaran in his final moments knew fully well what truly happened.

After Prabhakaran’s hopes based on the Indian Gen. elections evaporated, he pinned his hopes on the UN Organization. It is a huge question mark as to who imparted this idea to Prabhakaran that his life will be saved by the UN Organization’s intervention. However, it is a fact that Prabhakaran anticipated UN Organization’s intervention at the final moments to save him. It is his labouring under this delusion during this crucial period which eventually led to his death.

It is a mystery to the Tamil Tiger sympathizers that Prabahakaran who has a reputation for being extremely clever at seeking out alternative courses of action in a crisis did not decide on such action plans in these circumstances. They are of the opinion that , he would have had several plans :say , plan A, B or C, which he could have used to save his life.

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Lanka will not beg for aid: Central Bank Chief

Sri Lanka would never go after donor countries or agencies with a begging bowl for aid hereafter, despite the fact that the IMF could approve at any moment the first trance of the US$ 1.9 billion loan that Sri Lanka has negotiated, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said.

He said the World Bank, ADB and several other friendly countries had responded positively for assistance for the reconstruction and resettlement process,

“We have the capability to stand on our own and necessary funds are available locally for the resettlement and reconstruction in the North. With our new found dignity and identity in the international community Sri Lanka does not want to go after anyone for aid with bended knees. But we accept whatever assistance offered without strings and with respect,” Mr. Cabral stressed.

“No risk is involved in obtaining the IMF loan as it is entirely a non political transaction between the IMF and a member state. Besides, we have a right to seek IMF funds as a member and the IMF has an obligation to approve it in due course. The IMF has categorically said the loan will be approved,” Governor Cabraal told the Daily Mirror yesterday.

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Canadian MP detained in Sri Lanka and is to be deported soon - Proud to be a Sri Lankan

Staunch pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Canadian parliamentarian Bob Rae who arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport at 11.30 last night with a one-way ticket has been detained and is to be deported soon, say Immigration and Defence sources.

Bob Rae had hit out at Sri Lanka while speaking in the Canadian Parliament recently and accused the Sri Lankan government of carrying out genocide against the Tamils and killing of innocent civilians. Not stopping at that, he had demanded that Sri Lankashould be banned from the Commonwealth of Nationsas well.

With his well known pro Tiger stance and his possessing only a one way ticket raises serious doubts of his intentions in the island, say officials.

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About Bob Rae

From his Web Site

Sri Lanka News - A Personal Perspective
We are told that celebrations have broken out in the Sinhala community in Colombo. That is understandable, but it should be a celebration marked with sadness as well.

The north of the country has been devastated - there will be no pictures on state controlled television of the dead and wounded, the villages destroyed. I can remember some years ago a senior government official expressing shock at the physical destruction in and around Jaffna when he paid a visit after the ceasefire. "I had no idea it was that bad". I expressed deep surprise that he didn't know, the hospitals and schools destroyed, the homes wiped out, the sheer scale of the physical destruction.

"The war is over", the crowds will shout. But there is a difference between a war ended by agreement and a war ended by death and destruction.

If there is no magnanimity in victory there is no victory. I think of the possibilities of peace in the years after 2000 and I weep at the lost opportunity, the lost lives. So many dead now that were once alive, debating the possibilities of peace.

I shall go back to the Vanni, because the effort must still be made. But it is hard not to cry at what has been lost, how much life has been destroyed. And what must still be done to bring justice to the peace that is being proclaimed so loudly.

Bob Rae's Web Site

Battle for top Tiger spot begins

BANGALORE - With the entire top brass of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) eliminated in the final stages of the Sri Lankan government's military offensive last month, a succession struggle for the leadership of the LTTE is underway among Tigers abroad. The LTTE's chief of international relations, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, believed to be the senior-most Tiger alive, is the frontrunner for the top job.

Those opposed to Pathmanathan have started a "vicious campaign maligning him as a traitor and being in the pay of RAW or the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] or the Sri Lankan government. He is accused of having even betrayed Prabhakaran," said Jeyaraj.

Ironically, this section that accuses Pathmanathan of delivering the Tiger chief to the Sri Lankan army in return for his own amnesty from the government also claims that Prabhakaran is not dead.

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Needed: A different war - The Island Editorial

It is heartening that a project has been launched to rehabilitate street children living in appalling conditions. Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera yesterday spelt out measures to be adopted to deliver those unfortunate ones from their suffering. This noble cause deserves public support and State assistance.

IGP Jayantha Wickrameratna flanking Ven. Gunawansa at a media briefing yesterday viewed the rehabilitation of street children as an effective way of starving the underworld of recruitment in the future. One could not agree with him more!

More than one half of people in the Colombo City live in slums and shanties and some of their offspring also end up in the underworld. The rehabilitation of marginalized children is therefore not only a meritorious deed but also a prerequisite for preventing them from falling prey to anti-social elements and ensuring social well-being..

Underpinning the IGP's statement at issue is the age-old bromide that prevention is better than cure. However, the police must not lose sight of the pressing need to take drastic action against the prevailing crime syndicates which have made this country unsafe for children and grown-ups alike. Terrorism has been defeated and the long arm of the law is now without an excuse for its failure to combat crime and raise the woefully low conviction rate which stands at four per cent.

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Bill introduced for appointment of Chief of Defence Staff

The government yesterday (9), introduced a Bill in Parliament to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff who will be responsible for the co-ordination between the Armed Forces and the Defence Ministry and for the setting up of the committee of the CDS.

Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake presented the Bill.

The President will appoint the CDS from among the persons serving as Commander of the Army or Commander of the Air Force as the case may be, the Bill said.

The CDS shall function under the direction, supervision and control of the Secretary to the Defence Ministry.

When an officer of a force is appointed the CDS, he shall relinquish his current position, but would continue to be a member of the regular force of the service to which he belonged.

The CDS shall, subject to the pleasure of the President, hold office for a term of two years. An officer serving as the CDS shall be eligible to be reappointed in like manner for one more term of two years, provided that in a time of emergency, the President may reappoint the officer serving as the CDS for any number of such terms of office.

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Our release a miracle says escaped pow

Our release from LTTE clutches is really a miracle. There are no words to express our joy, G. H. Chaminda Kumara Hewage of the Sri Lanka Navy who was among the five servicemen freed after three years in LTTE custody told the Daily News.

"On November 9, 2006 there was a threat of an LTTE attack on the Green Ocean ship. We became captives when we went to defend the ship.

"On that day we went in a Dvora gun boat. We had to abandon it due to an engine failure. LTTE boats surrounded us; we jumped into the sea and started swimming. But it was a useless effort.

"We were taken prisoners by the LTTE and conducted to the LTTE Peace Secretariat and handed over to Pulidevan. He extracted our personal information and handed us over to the LTTE police chief Nadesan and we were in custody at Kanakapuram LTTE cell. Even the ICRC intervened on behalf of us, Nadesan said we will be freed after an inquiry.

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"Let's find Pillay another job" - Divaina editorial

The editorial of 'Divaina' newspaper in its June 09 issue, titled "Let's find Pillay another job", stresses that Navanetham Pillay is not suitable to hold the position of UN human rights commissioner.

It says the conduct of UN human rights commissioner Navanetham Pillay shows to what extent the concept of communalism has spread in the international arena. Being of Tamil origin, she has taken the side of Tamil terrorists and demanded human rights investigations against Sri Lanka. She acted when Prabhakaran was losing the war.

Having come to understand the best way of getting the government's war offensives halted was to by conducting a human rights inquiry against Sri Lanka, commissioner Pillay launched a campaign to prop up support for that. Her wish is yet to be fulfilled, and it is apparent she would go to any length to see that is done.

Why do we all of a sudden remember Pillay, is a character who should be forgotten? That is because her opinion and estimate of armed struggles and civilians has come under criticism by Algeria. That country says it is the habit of Mrs. Pillay to report all conflicts in the world as being equal. Algeria's argument is fully correct.

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Sri Lanka launches massive manhunt to recover LTTE weapons

Having vanquished the LTTE, the Sri Lankan Army has launched a massive manhunt to recover their weapons, especially claymore mines and other destructive explosives, in the northern areas to facilitate the early resettlement of displaced Tamils in their towns and villages.

"The army fears that LTTE has buried stockpiles of explosives and weapons in the thick jungles of Wanni," military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara told visiting Indian journalists here.

After having accounted for most of the top LTTE leadership in the just-concluded long military campaign, he said the military was now focused on tracing the whereabouts of the large number of "sleeper cells" of the Tigers. He said there are no signs of the presence of LTTE cadres in the northern areas liberated from the outfit last month.

"We are recovering claymore mines, hand grenades and other ammunition which are either hidden or abandoned by the Tamil Tigers. We still suspect that there are huge quantities of weapons in the areas. We are searching the places thoroughly," he said.

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Prabhakaran was obstacle for Tamil's future: SL minister

Colombo: Velupillai Prabhakaran was an "obstacle" for the future of Tamils in Sri Lanka and with his death the road is now clear for the government to address the "genuine political" grievances of the community by devolving powers to northern region, a senior Tamil leader said on Tuesday.

Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare K N Douglas Devananda said the government should now hasten the process of resolving the decades-old ethnic conflict by implementing the 13th amendment under the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 in full.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sri Lanka vs Australia - ICC Twenty20 WorldCup 2009


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Ruining Lanka's chances of finding a solution - The Island Editorial

Prabhakaran is dead and an LTTE rump is limping along overseas. It is sure to suffer some splits before long. There may be internecine clashes among the surviving senior Tigers staking claims for leadership. Prabhakaran died intestate, so to speak, and the LTTE's unaccounted for wealth in many hands may cause the aspiring leaders to fall out and break ranks. So, the LTTE’s revival as a military outfit in this country is out of the question. However, this does not mean that everything is going to be hunky dory for us.

Nothing could be more unfavourable to democracy than the unbridled militarisation of a society. That a country faced with war against a formidable enemy is compelled to unleash extremely ferocious forces perhaps disproportionate to the real threat is only too well known. And what needs to be done immediately after the conclusion of any military campaign is to put the genie back into the bottle, look after the war affected civilians and remove the politico-economic causes of the conflagration so that it won't recur.

Regrettably, instead of helping Sri Lanka achieve these daunting tasks, the western powers have resorted to a course of action that militates against her normalisation and conflict resolution processes. An aid blockade they have slapped as part of a witch hunt and their campaign to press war crime charges against some Sri Lankan leaders by way of retaliation are fraught with the danger of leading to the country's politico-economic instability in this crucial postwar period. The worst affected by their action will be the war displaced who would face a double whammy, should the economy suffer a debilitating setback.

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Two new MPs take oaths today

wo new MPs will be sworn in before Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara today, Parliamentary sources said yesterday.

Nandimitra Ekanayake would be sworn in to fill the vacancy created by the death of Matale District MP Alick Aluvihare while Chandima Weerakkody would

fill the seat that went vacant after the death of Galle District MP Amarasiri Dodangoda. Nandimitra Ekanayake was a UPFA member of the Central Provincial Council while Chandima Weerakkody was the chairman of the State Mortgage and Investment Bank.

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Pro-LTTE Janani badly defeated in EU polls - Deva Aditya in grand victory

The pro-LTTE Janani Jananayagam, who contested the European Union election, was badly defeated obtaining only 29 per cent of the votes, reports reaching Colombo from London stated yesterday.

News reports said: Janani, known as 'Jani' among the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora, only obtained a few votes though the LTTE's vocalist 'MIA' came to her rescue during the campaign to urge Tamils to vote for her.

MIA is a Sri Lankan born, so called singer unheard of in the music scene in Sri Lanka and a pro-LTTE activist who had reportedly staged some less attended musical events to collect funds for the LTTE.

Her defeat is described as another blow to the LTTE at international level.

Meanwhile, Niranjan Deva Aditya won a second term polling over 80,000 votes, considered a high number in the voting pattern at the EU election.

Sri Lankan born Deva Aditya is a very popular figure in the United Kingdom among all Sinhalese and Tamils living over there.

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Peaceful campaign in Melbourne on violence against Sri Lankans - Sri Lanka Week’ begins tomorrow

Only a handful of Sri Lankan expatriates in Australia are behind all the violence and the anti-Sri Lanka campaign to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka. A small group of patriotic Sri Lankans, domiciled in Australia, will be launching a peaceful campaign in Melbourne to convince the Australian public that some elements with vested interests are behind it, Susantha Katugampola, Attorney-at-law, and one of the key organisers of the campaign, said.

At a media conference in Colombo, organised by the Prime Minister’s Office, he said that some of the Australian media had given a totally negative picture about what was going on in Sri Lanka in the last few months "Hence we need to convince the Australian public that it was the now decimated LTTE and not the security forces who are responsible for these crimes."

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LTTE downfall a happy ending – C’wealth Secy. Gen

During his meeting with Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, on 5 June, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama provided a detailed account on the progress of rehabilitation and re-settlement programmes outlined by the government, a press release issued by the Sri Lankan High Commission in the UK said yesterday.

The release said: "He said that highest priority has been given to improving conditions of the IDPs, resettle the displaced at the earliest which would be an integral part of the reconciliation process.

While congratulating Foreign Minister Bogollagama for the decisive defeat inflicted on the LTTE, Secretary-General Sharma said that he is confident Sri Lanka will move ahead with re-construction and reconciliation process.

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French Tamils reject LTTE proxies for EU Parliament

Paris – June 8 – French voters elected 78 MEPs for the EU Parliament, including 14 each from the Green Party and the Socialists, but rejected outright the LTTE backed Tamil candidates who fielded under independent group for Ile de France district that includes Paris. EPP topped the list with 30 seats while the Liberals came fourth with 6 seats after the Greens and the Socialists.

French voters of Tamil origin from Sri Lanka, Mauritius, East Africa and India cast their votes in favour of socialist and left parties. The Tamil group backed by the front organizations of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was routed in the election.

The Independent group headed by Jean Marie Julia from Pondicherry could not even get the votes of the French citizens of Pondicherry origin because the list included 18 Sri Lankan Tamils backed by the LTTE. "Julia had a chance of getting elected if he had contested from a socialist party," Joe Samuels, a Pondicherry Tamil in Paris said. "But our people rejected his list because it contained names of several LTTE supporters. Our people detest violence and they don’t want anybody who believes in violent politics".

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sri Lankan President grants amnesty to military deserters

Sri Lanka’s President on Sunday marked a key Buddhist event by granting a pardon to 585 jailed military deserters, government officials said. The pardon applied to deserters serving up to a year in jail after being convicted by a military court.

The amnesty announcement coincided with Poson poya day, marking the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka more than 2,500 years ago. They were released from Welikada, the main prison in Colombo and several other jails across the country. Most of the desertions took place several years ago, a military official said, adding there had been no exodus in recent years despite heavy fighting with the separatist Tamil Tigers who were eventually defeated last month. In 2003, the government moved to legally discharge from the security forces 51,000 deserters.

The right and wrong pertaining to Poddala Jayantha

By Malinda Seneviratne

Poddala Jayantha, Secretary of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association was abducted and assaulted on June 1, 2009. The ‘who’ and the ‘why’ of this attack is yet to be determined and I believe it is of little use to engage in conjecture.

On the other hand, this attack is not the first on a journalist. Over the years many journalists have been abducted, attacked and even killed. Some of these incidents have been investigated to conclusion and some have not.

I am not a member of any media collective. I believe that there are people out there who prefer quiescent journalists to relatively independent ones (‘an independent journalist’ is a non-existent creature) and I know that politicians are pretty sensitive creatures who for the most part don’t have what it takes to stomach criticism. At the same time, we have to keep in mind that journalists are hardly the saints they would like people to believe they are. Journalists are not above the law; they don’t enjoy any special immunity. They have enemies and not all of these enemies are in the Government.

We know that some arrests have been made. We know that Poddala Jayantha was quite an activist, even though one might not agree with the causes he championed or endorsed the policies his fellow-travellers.

Today, there are few, if any, who would stand up and say ‘this was wrong!’ when the news came that Poddala Jayantha had been attacked. Why? First, it was Poddala Jayantha who was attacked. He not only spouted nonsense on occasion regarding the situation in the country, but his organization had intimate dealings with forces that were actively operating to destabilize the country and give leg-room for the Tigers. Under these circumstances and especially after all such efforts have been comprehensively squashed, few would be ready to stand with Jayantha as per the basic civil duty of opposing anything outside the framework of the law. This is after all a period when everyone is a ‘patriot’ and when it is not easy to not be one.

Poddala Jayantha was never a patriot in the sense that he belonged to a motley group of disgruntled Enjoyists (NGO activists) whose livelihoods depended on bad mouthing the Government, the Sinhalese and the Buddhists. The organization he was associated with, the Working Journalists’ Association and its sister organizations in the sphere of agitation are moreover are currently in the dock (along with Jayantha and his pals Sunanda Deshapriya and Balasuriya) for perpetrating fraud. He was certainly a man whose hand can be held even in a moment of tragedy only with trepidation.

Let me repeat, I do not wish to go into the ‘who’ and ‘why’ of this attack. At the same time, one needs to remember that there have been strident ‘expose and kill’ calls regarding journalists and others deemed to have acted against the national interest. Such cries have been raised perhaps by a nationalist urge that has spilled over the boundaries of reason and the need to respect the structures that dispense justice in this country. A moment of euphoria cannot be grudged a nation that has suffered for 30 years under the shadow of terrorism, but that does not justify in any way the call for lynch-mobs.

I should mention also, that not all ‘patriots’ lighting crackers in the print and electronic media were exactly patriotic during those long years when one was called ‘war monger’ or ‘racist’ for saying that the LTTE must and can be defeated militarily. As my friend Shamindra Ferdinando observed in a good-humoured tone laced with a dash of irony, the media war was the private property of ITN and Rupavahini. Until they came into the picture, the media and journalistic fraternity in general was ‘unpatriotic’, they would have us believe.

This mindless ‘call for blood’ may or may not have precipitated this incident. It may be come from elsewhere, but it should alert all of us to the dangerous consequences of irresponsible journalism. On the one hand, a cogent argument can be made for arguments of the Jayantha-asked-for-it kind, even though, strictly speaking Jayantha was not a journalist and not even a working journalist but a person who profited from activism and a man who is under a shadow for defrauding organizations he is associated with. On the other hand, this lets-bypass-the-law attitude is the bread and butter of the worst kind of anarchy possible. We can’t afford it.

If Jayantha was victim of some personal, non-political feud, it’s a different matter, but if the attack had some other, clearly political motivation then we are sitting on a time-bomb. It is silly and tragic because there are better, and in the long run, more effective ways of neutralizing the Poddala Jayanthas in our media scene. They have to be exposed, it’s that simple.

Sunanda Deshapriya went to the UN recently and vomited all over his shirt-font. All that needs to be done is to challenge him to substantiate his assertions in public. Or admit he is chicken. All that needs to be done is to ask Nimalka Fernando, who bent backwards to make the world believe Sri Lanka was ‘failed state’, how and why she uses the word ‘motherland’ these days when talking about this country.

Those ‘anti-Sri Lanka’ journalists, and yes, there are many such creatures, should not be beaten up or shot, just as the anti-Sri Lanka media outfits should not be torched. They have to be exposed. They can be investigated and action filed if there is evidence of wrong-doing. The ideological positions should be dismantled by solid argument backed by fact. Any other way would be disastrous in the short-term and the long, locally and internationally.

I hope Poddala’s attackers are brought before the law. And I hope that those who disagree with Poddala Jayantha’s politics call him out for being ideologically puerile, intellectually slow and for being moral fraud and a crook to boot. The same goes for Sunanda Deshapriya. All that needs to be done is an independent investigation of the affairs of the Free Media Movement, for example the Conflict Sensitive Reporting Programme which Sunada Deshapriya conducted with IFJ (International Federation of Journalists) and FMM (Free Media Movement) in 2004.

That would be lynching enough. Anything else, leave it to the Police. Citizens do not have police powers and for good reason. Citizens should never be encouraged to take on such powers unless of course the structures of justice have collapsed beyond resurrection. That would be time for a revolution. We are nowhere close to that. In short, the media should be responsible, especially today when emotions are running high. This is the time it is imperative that everyone is sober.

(Malinda Seneviratne is a freelance writer who can be contacted at

J. Asoka N. De Silva as Chief Justice?

With the retirement of Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva on June 7, speculation is rife among the legal fraternity of another senior most justice, Joseph Asoka N. De Silva being appointed to the highest seat in the Judiciary of Sri Lanka.

With his familiarity with international law, especially on allegations of genocide, ethnic cleansing etc. legal sources point out that he stands a better chance than the others of being appointed as Chief Justice at the current juncture.

J. Asoka N. De Silva who is familiar with national as well as international law. After graduating from the University of Ceylonin 1971, He was enrolled as an Advocate of the Supreme Court in December 1972. After a short period in the private Bar he joined the Attorney General’s Department in April 1974. He became a Senior Deputy Solicitor General on 1987 and after serving 22 years in the Attorney General’s Department he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal in 1995.

Justice Asoka De Silva became the President of the Court of Appeal in February 2001 and later elevated to the Supreme Court in August 2001.

Justice De Silva was appointed to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) as a permanent judge by the United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan in August 2004. Justice De Silva served the ICTR as one of the 16 permanent judges in the tribunal in Trial Chamber II.

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Rise in Sri Lanka holiday bookings: UK travel operator

Key2holidays, a specialist online travel operator, has seen a dramatic increase in Sri Lanka holiday bookings, and attributes this to the recently achieved peaceful political climate, making the region safe to travel to. With holiday bookings increasing by 420 percent, Sri Lanka has now made it into Key2holidays’ top 3 destinations, out of the 30+ countries to which Key2holidays offers value-for-money tailor-made travel arrangements.

Speaking about the spike, Gemma Kidby, Key2holidays’ dedicated Indian Ocean product manager, commented, “Now is the time for a luxury Sri Lanka holiday: the island offers world-class beaches, inspiring cultural tours and 5 star accommodation at 3 star prices. The military offensive that deterred the cautious away from Sri Lanka holidays is coming to an end, and confidence is restored.”

In response to the rising Sri Lanka tourism industry, a brand new 5 star boutique hotel has opened on the beach of Wadduwa, catering to the growing market for Sri Lankaluxury holidays. It is not surprising that the hotel has chosen this west coast location, as this unspoiled area is peaceful and ‘safe’ and is just 1.5 hours away from the airport.

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