Peace for the World

Peace for the World
First democratic leader of Justice the Godfather of the Sri Lankan Tamil Struggle: Honourable Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Impeachment Of CJ Was Unlawful: Dramatic Failure Of GoSL To Peruse Meaningful Reconciliation, Human Rights – Jason Kenney

Bodhu Bala sena terrorist group totally destroys a Christian holy statue – the true inside story leaks out
(Lanka-e-News-30.Jan.2013, 11.45PM) A valuable statue of holy blessed ‘heavenly mother’ at the Seethawaka St. Mary’s church , Avisawella which was erected to commemorate the 150th jubilee had been completely destroyed by the Bodhu Bala Sena terrorist group.

This statue is 13 feet high and built at a cost of Rs. 6 lakhs by Christian devotees and completed on 27th January 2013. The most distressing and deplorable feature about this wanton destruction is , on the 28th January even before a day had elapsed after so much labor, love and money were spent on the construction and completed , it was totally devastated by this terror group setting fire to it.

Though complaints had been made to the Avisawella police in this connection , no action has been taken so far. SL Defense secretary Gotabaya the one and only of his kind in the world for notoriety has given instructions to the police not to expose this and to suppress the investigations.

Might we recall that lately this same Bodu Bala Sena terrorist group broke into a Hotel and stopped an event that was in progress. According to reports reaching Lanka e news inside information division , though this Bodu Bala sena ostensibly is led by some monks , it is truly operated by Gotabaya Rajapakse.

Some groups selected from the Army and Navy intelligence divisions are masquerading as civilians. One youth made a solemn confession to the Lanka e news inside information division that they are receiving instructions directly from Gotabaya.

Based on reports reaching Lanka e news inside information division , this Bodu Bala sena terrorist group is being operated by Gotabaya even keeping the State intelligence unit in the dark. Recently , they had held a most secretive and clandestine meeting where future plans were discussed.
It is noteworthy that the present regime which appoints sham Select Committees to falsely inquire into the harm inflicted on other religious followers is itself operating an extremist terrorist Organization . While the constitution expressly guarantees freedom for every citizen to follow his own religion , and if somebody is transgressing this , might we point out , it is the duty of the Govt. to enforce the law against the transgressor irrespective of his position or political affiliations ,rather than appoint bogus Select Committees.

( what is shown in red in the photograph is the statue that was destroyed)

Government formed Bodubala Sena to conduct anti-democratic activities: Vickramabahu
[ Wednesday, 30 January 2013, 02:18.04 PM GMT +05:30 ]
Leader of the left front Vickramabahu Karunaratne said at present government has formed a group name Bodubala Sena to conduct anti-democratic activities in the country.
Addressing media briefing in Colombo leader went on to say, SriLankan government announced that they are ready face resolution to be passing against the country at the 22nd UNHRC session in Geneva.
We all know that government was not in that position. They fail to implement LLRC recommendations in the country, leader said.

Monks Put Religious Freedom At Risk

  • Muslim MPs in urgent talks with President
By Easwaran Rutnam- Thursday, January 31, 2013
The Sunday LeaderMuslim government parliamentarians had an urgent meeting last week with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other top officials in the government.
The meeting was to raise concerns over threats faced by Muslims in the country after a campaign was launched by a group of monks targeting who they claim are “extremist” Muslims.
The ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ mostly made up of Buddhist monks, was among those groups believed to have been involved in the campaign against Muslims in the country. However the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ said it had nothing to do with the hate campaign against Muslims.
Despite the denial, the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ had late last year urged the government to mediate and stop the issuance of halal certification on the island.
The monks had given the impression that the money collected by the local institution issuing the certification was channeling it to Hamas and Al-Qaeda.
Last week the Bodu Bala Sena insisted at a press conference that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist nation and there was no room for a multi religious concept.
The hate campaign against Muslims got ugly last week when a group staged a protest in Kuliyapitiya carrying placards, which degraded Islam. Last weekend a group of monks threatened the management of a clothing store in Maharagama and staged a protest outside the store saying the management was Muslim.
The hate campaign then spread fast on the Internet with Muslims in Sri Lanka being targeted on Facebook, blogs and Twitter.
Chairman of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL), N. M. Ameen told The Sunday Leader that they were concerned with the developments. He said that while the monks claimed the protests were against the so called “Muslim extremists” it was affecting ordinary Muslims as well. Ameen said that the Muslim Council had sought the immediate intervention of the President and the government on the issue.
JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake also raised the issue in Parliament last week and sough a response from the government. The response the government gave was that a Parliament Select Committee would be appointed soon to look at the issue.
However UNP MP Kabir Hashim told The Sunday Leader that response was not enough. He says he was surprised at the response when the first thing the government should do is stop the unrest. “There is a breakdown of the established law and order. There is a group purposely creating discord among communities. First the government must stop this. There is no need for a Parliament Select Committee to do that. The government seems to be trying to deviate from facing the problem,” the MP said.
He also noted that during the protest in Kuliyapitiya the police had failed to act. MP Hashim said that the UNP would be having meetings with religious leaders over the next few days to discuss the issue. Hashim also warned that various conspiracy theories would spread if the government fails to address the issue soon.
However the government insists it is not taking the issue lightly. Deputy Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs M. K. A. D. S Gunawardena said President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a committee to look into the issue.
“The government will not allow any religion to be abused. If something happens we will take legal action. All religions have equal rights.
We will deal with the issue based on the recommendations of the committee,” the Deputy Minister told The Sunday Leader.
Meanwhile, the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ issued a statement on its website urging the public not to use Facebook or the Internet as a whole to create discord among religions.
The ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ says its fight is against “terrorism” and the fight will continue. The ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ has scheduled public meetings early next month where the issue is likely to get aggravated further.
The Sri Lankan Constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom.
The Constitution states, “Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice”.
The Constitution gives a citizen, “the right either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, or teaching”. The Constitution accords Buddhism the “foremost place” and commits the government to protecting it, but does not recognize it as the state religion.
The US State Department report released last year on religious freedom noted that there were reports of abuses of religious freedom in Sri Lanka. The report said that although the government publicly endorsed religious freedom, in practice there were problems in some areas.
Hakeem slams hate campaign against Muslims
Leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem has slammed the hate campaign being carried out by some Buddhist monks against Muslims and also expressed dismay over the inability of the police to contain a protest staged by monks in Maharagama last Saturday.
Hakeem said that the derogatory references to the Muslims as a community, and the related isolated incidents that have taken place in different parts of the country in the recent past, are also a disturbing trend that ought to be reversed.
Hakeem said that law and order must be enforced to nip it in the bud and that the government is duty-bound to protect all communities equally including the weak and the vulnerable.
“At a time the country is recovering from a protracted thirty-years’ war, it is distressing to note that the conflict between ethnic communities are showing signs of flaring up again, aided and abetted by certain groups trying to discredit the government and the Sri Lankan State. We must act with restraint and tolerance, by not falling prey to vested interests that spread hate and religious bigotry and thereby inviting unwanted external interference. I believe that this could also be part of a conspiracy to isolate Sri Lanka in the international arena. As intelligent citizens who love our motherland we must not pay heed to those promoting religious disharmony,” he said in a statement.
We are not against Muslims - Bodu Bala Sena
The ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ says it has lodged a complaint with the police saying some groups were using the name of the organization to create a rift between Buddhists and Muslims.
Executive Committee member of the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ Dilantha Withanage told The Sunday Leader that the logo of the organization had been used in Kuliyapitiya during a protest by a group.
“We condemn any attempt to degrade any religion. We have nothing against Muslims. We were not involved in the Maharagama incident or in Kuliyapitiya. Our fight is only against unethical elements,” he said.
Withanage said that the main goal of the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ is to strengthen the Singhalese and Buddhism and not attack a religion.
He said that even if Singhalese Buddhists take part in unethical activities the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ would strongly oppose it.
“We will not promote anti-religious activities and that is why even on our website we put a statement against the campaign using Facebook,” he said.

The Rajapaksa Search For A Suitable Enemy

Colombo TelegraphBy Tisaranee Gunasekara -January 31, 2013
“…a regime of rare destructiveness”. Michael Burleigh (The Third Reich: A New History)
Constitutions cannot resist tyranny. People do; or don’t.
Preventing the formation of a critical-mass capable of resisting the Rajapaksa- Behemoth would be of paramount importance for the Ruling Siblings.
An opposition which unites Lankans across ethno-religious/class-caste divides would be the ultimate Rajapaksa nightmare. The Siblings would be able to deal with a Sinhala opposition or a Tamil/Muslim opposition. But a Lankan opposition can mount an insurmountable challenge to Rajapaksa power. Consequently the Siblings would want to prevent any collusion between the Sinhala poor/middle-classes (impoverished by Rajapaksa-economics) and the minorities (disempowered by Rajapaksa-politics), against the one common enemy.
A wilfully blind, ignorant and phobic Sinhala nation is a sine-qua-non for an opposition fragmented along ethno-religious lines.
The Sinhalese must not understand that the aim of Rajapaksa politics is the creation of a Rajapaksa dynasty. The Sinhalese must not realise that the Rajapaksas’ counter-Robin Hood economic strategy seeks to extract every last rupee from the poor and the middle-classes to pay for the exhibitionist projects and orgiastic lifestyles of the Ruling clan.
Most Sinhala people still have faith in the myth of the Rajapaksa development miracle. They believe that the hardships they are experiencing are ephemeral, that an economic Shangri la of Rajapaksa making is just round the next bend. When an iniquitous price hike cuts them to the bone, they tell themselves that the Rajapaksas, as vanquishers of the LTTE, are worthy of blind-trust.
The LTTE was a serious impediment to the Rajapaksa goal of absolute and permanent power; thus winning the war was vital to Rajapaksa interests. There is no such axiomatic nexus between people-friendly development and Rajapaksa rule. On the contrary; the Rajapaksas are averse to sharing economic benefits (as they are loath to sharing political power) even with fellow Sinhalese. Their proclivity for centralisation extends to the economy as well. They regard national assets (including the exchequer) as their private property, to be used as they wish. Using financial-stalking horses and dummy-organisations, the Siblings are acquiring ever larger chunks of the economy. Rajapaksaising the economy is a necessary and inevitable component of the process of fusing the Lankan state with the Ruling Family.
The aim of Rajapaksa politics is Rajapaksa power; the aim of Rajapaksa economics is Rajapaksa profit.
Take, for instance, the defence sector which consumes the biggest slice of national income. According to a recent study on global defence corruption by the Transparency International, in Sri Lanka, “executive power almost exclusively controlled the defence sector, including authorising payments that are not vetted by Parliament or other departments” (Financial Times – 30.1.2013). The report mentions opaque purchases, ‘secret payments’ and military’s un-scrutinised encroachment of commercial spaces. National defence, like everything else, has become a Rajapaksa-business, for Rajapaksa-profit.
The Siblings are begging the IMF for another loan of $1 billion (even as they plan to spend Rs.15 billion to build a mega sports project in Hambantota for 2017 Asian Youth Games). In order to qualify for the IMF loan, the Rajapaksas will have to impose more indirect taxes and devalue the rupee further (causing price hikes) while slashing social spending (quantitatively and qualitatively eroding services indispensable to the poor and the middle classes).
The withdrawal of the GSP+ is beginning to affect the garment sector, causing factory closures and job losses. As the Rajapaksas continue to flout democratic norms and national and international laws in their pursuit of absolute and permanent power, more economic sanctions will be visited onSri Lanka. (Incidentally, the cost of these punitive measures will be borne by ordinary Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims and not the Rajapaksas. The Rajapaksas will not be daunted by any sanction which does not target them directly, such as a travel ban on the Ruling clan. Imagine the horror of not being able to go sightseeing/study/shop in the Imperialist West!)
European aristocrats sold their own land to maintain their extravagant lifestyles, and thus dispossessed themselves. The Rajapaksas, in order to maintain their rule, are selling land belonging to Sri Lankaand thus dispossessing Lankans. Currently the 13th Amendment is the only law preventing the Siblings from grabbing any land they please whenever they please. Ere long, the 13th Amendment will be replaced with the 19thAmendment and land turned into a centralised subject, amidst the collective ‘patriotic cheers’ of the Sinhala hardliners. After that, the Rajapaksas will be able to grab-and-sell land to any well-heeled foreigner at will, dispossessing Lankans (including many Sinhalese) of their homes and livelihoods.
The Sinhalese must be prevented from seeing this dystopian reality.
As the Sri Lanka Human Development Report 2012 warned, “Unless more and better jobs are created, unless the fruits of growth are more evenly distributed… might be difficult to contain social discontent”.
That discontent must be channelled away from the regime.
Thus the search for a suitable enemy….
Sowing National-disunity to Save Rajapaksa Power
A gaudily opulent public recreational area called the ‘WetlandsPark’ was built in a public land in Nawala, at the cost of Rs.81 million of public funds. After a few days of egalitarianism, a ban was imposed on three wheelers and motorcycles using the car park. By this means, access to the new park was restricted to the poor/middle classes. The new ‘affluent’ face of the park is visible in the parked vehicles and the promenading owners.
Religious/racial populism is needed to hide this anti-popular nature of Rajapaksa rule.
President of Ecuador Jose Pepe Mujica, addressing the UN, asked, “Is it possible to talk of solidarity and of ‘being all together’ in an economy based on ruthless competition?”
In a county characterised by gross power and wealth imbalances, unity is possible only in the face of an overarching threat and against an omnipresent enemy.
For any despot threats and enemies are indispensable. They enable the normalisation of the abnormal and the justification of the unjustifiable; they create a siege mentality, which makes people act in ways which are in total variance with their humane instincts and enlightened self-interests. Threats and enemies are invaluable in persuading a populace to acquiesce in their own subjugation; when people feel threatened, they tend to implement/tolerate deeds they would not countenance in psychologically less exerted times.
When fate is not considerate enough to provide a despot with a suitable enemy, he conjures one.
Take Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s self-declared modern day Pharaoh. In 2010, the Mubarak regime accused a fundamentalist Islamic group (linked to Al-Qaeda) for a drive-by shooting in Nag Hammadi and the bombing of the Al-Qiddisine church in Alexandria. Subsequent information indicates that these attacks were orchestrated by the Mubarak regime. “The diplomatic papers, first cited by Al-Arabiya Arabic news channel, allege that former interior minister Habib El-Adly established a black ops unit in 2004, supervised by 22 security officers, with drug dealers, Islamic militants and security personnel on its payroll. The unit’s role: carry out false flag acts of provocation and sabotage around the country aimed at diverting people’s attention away from the regime’s corruption and unpopular political manoeuvres” (IPS/ICH – 13.3.2011).
As economic conditions worsen, the Rajapaksa-need for a suitable enemy will intensify. Who better than a racial/religious other?
Many abodes inside security fence demolished yesterday. Kurumbasitti people perturbed.

Activities were advanced to completely demolish the houses belonging to people located inside the permanent security fences constructed by forces at Waligamam North.
Accordingly, yesterday through Bulldozers some houses were completely demolished at Kurumbasitti area was stated. Due to this action, the area people were much disturbed.
Regarding this incident it was further said, the massive land consisting 24 Grama Sevaka divisions in the Waligamam north is under the control of army which are declared high security zone.  Last year February 19th, the forces erected a permanent security fence on the border area of this high security zone.
Currently inside the permanent security fence, to construct a roadway, activities were advanced to demolish dwellings through bulldozers.
The first stage of activities begun yesterday to demolish the abodes located at Kurumbasitti Amman temple northern area. Due to this reason, people who have registered for resettlements in these areas are much tensed. 
Thursday , 31 January 2013

Conspiracy to kill 257 Tamil detainees in CRP ?, 11.45PM) 257 Tamil prisoners who were in the Colombo remand prison (CRP) had been transferred to the Welikade new Magazine prison for no known reason , according to reports reaching Lanka e news. These transfers had been done during the last two days and completed by yesterday noon.

This kind of action had never taken place in the remand prisons in its history. These detainees are suspects only and not convicts who are in remand for long periods without any charges being filed or remanded on court orders. No charges have yet been filed against many of them . It is to be noted they are all Tamil detainees and in remand custody.

Since the Magazine prison is where the convicts are , and is already lacking space and facilities , suspicions are mounting among the prisoners and other prison officers whether this transfer of prisoners without any reason into the Magazine overcrowding it is a conspiracy.

These transfers have been effected by the CRP Prison Authority in charge Emil Ranjan a pro Gota Gorakaya .Chandana Ekanayake the Prison Authority who is in charge of the Magazine prison is a pro Gota fanatic. Being the Chairman of the athletics committee , even when Gota goes for physical exercises this stooge .joins him in the walk. When inquiries were made from this scourge of a stooge about the transfers, he had said ‘ These are LTTE members . If there occurs an incident like previously , they will all die’. It will not be out of place if we reveal here, Gota recently sent the forces unlawfully to the Welikade prison , and created a riotous situation , when some prisoners whom he wanted killed were murdered , and some others whom he wanted released were abducted and taken away with impunity. 
Army cultivates in peoples properties. Waligamam north people in pandemonium. letdown from resettlement.

Thursday , 31 January 2013
By reasoning national defense, the people of Waligamam north for the past 23 years was denied access for resettlements by the forces, but currently  the 180 acres of land from that area is utilized for agriculture activities based on skills is according to sources.
People are in a disturbed state of not able to get resettled in their native lands, and the activities of forces are making them more frustrated was said by the area people.
Mayility area which was denied for resettlement to the people so far was recently launched by a Yogurt factory and in this state, agriculture activities on skills basis have commenced, hence a fear has cropped up amidst the people who were eagerly waiting for resettlement in the locality.
Due to the 1990 civil war, people from the Waligamam north, left their native lands. 23 years have gone, but still they are not able to return to their native lands are sheltered in welfare camps and some living temporarily with their relations and friends.
By reasoning out national security, the forces are denying access for resettlements in 24 Grama Sevaka divisions in the Waligamam north. Due to this reason, 25 thousand and 328 persons from 7 thousand and 601 families are affected.
In this situation, the forces are confiscating the lands belonging to the people from that   area, have commenced cultivations.
People are in the state of depression owning to the reason that they are unable to resettle in their native lands and continuing to live in welfare centers, but forces current activities are continuing.
According to the instruction given by Jaffna district Military Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe to Colonel Buddhika Gunaratne who is in charge of military agriculture unit, has returned from Egypt have introduced modern spray system irrigation and have commenced cultivations.
The first stage of activities is advanced in the three acres of land through spray system irrigation methods for cultivating onions.
This modern irrigation system will be expanded to the 180 acres of lands where cultivations are advanced.
Meanwhile one thousand 249 persons who are waiting for resettlements from the Palaly south (J/252) Grama Sevama division coming under the  Tellipalai divisional secretariat where military are carrying out cultivations, one thousand 837 persons from 475 families in the Palaly east J/253 Girama Sevaka division, one thousand 689 persons from 440 families in the Grama Sevaka unit J254 located at Palaly north, 613 persons from 164 families from J/255 Girama Sevaka division in the Palaly north west, 821 persons from 226 families from J/256 Grama Sevaka unit located in Palaly west are in the expectation for resettlement have registered and eagerly waiting to return to their native lands is according to information.

Sri Lanka’s tryst with reconciliation: Where are we today?

Image courtesy Centre for Human Rights
The dominating narrative is dichotomous: at one end of the spectrum is the view that reconciliation has been achieved with the conclusion of the armed struggle and at the other end is the contention that reconciliation has not even begun to take place since the end of the war. The perceptions are equally remarkable. International interest in the imperative is in no small measure. The impact on domestic stability remains uncontested. Whichever viewpoint is adopted, consensus can be achieved only on the limited.
The danger of such a scenario does not augur well for Sri Lanka, a nation in transition having emerged from the throes of a three-decade conflict. Post-war efforts at reconciliation are undoubtedly taking place through both organized and natural processes; however the importance of the endeavour being state-led cannot be overstated.
The final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) calls upon the Government, among other things, to work towards a political solution acceptable to all communities. The home-grown mechanism, independent in nature though commissioned by the Government, was developed to reflect upon and recommend action, and drew on solicited and unsolicited submissions from the public in all areas of the country and hence has been hailed for its credibility and transparency. The report has been widely welcomed by key players and stakeholders across the board.
A National Action Plan (NAP) for implementation of the recommendations of the Final Report of the LLRC was drawn up by a distinguished team of government administrators appointed by President Mahinda Rajapakse. This team of persons worked at short notice to produce a document detailing designated implementing agencies and key performance indicators for each recommendation adopted. Civil society involvement was suggested though not included at that stage of the process. However, the plan by the President’s office was to widen stakeholder participation by involving civil society in the monitoring of the implementation of the NAP. The NAP is a useful document in that it incorporates aspects such as Key Performance Indicators which would undoubtedly increase the efficiency of the implementation process. The NAP was then adopted in Cabinet in August 2012 and the UN Human Rights Council was duly informed that a Task Force would oversee the implementation of the NAP.
While it is a fact that there have been several meetings held at the Presidential Secretariat of the designated Ministries stated in the NAP, what is both valuable and indeed necessary at this juncture is an efficient coordinating mechanism to ensure the swift, competent and coherent follow up of implementation activities. Accordingly, an institutionalized mechanism to coordinate implementation activities will be immensely beneficial and must include a robust reporting and visibility strategy to communicate to both national and international stakeholders the status, progress and challenges in the implementation process.
We must realize that obstacles and impediments encountered in the implementation process should be acknowledged and is not a sign of weakness or inefficiency on the part of the country; such must be recorded and duly communicated to the public since it will reflect both commitment and seriousness in fostering reconciliation on the part of the government, the lack of which is a chief concern and criticism emanating from several national and international quarters. 
A significant lacuna in the implementation of LLRC recommendations is that reconciliation is currently being approached in a vacuum, separate and isolated from other related and critical national governance issues. It is in such a context that there exists and remains a need for a nationally adopted policy on reconciliation: a vision for reconciliation and fostering a sense of togetherness between the communities is starkly and conspicuous in its absence. A vision and policy that is state-led and has the consensus and buy-in from all factions in government is the need of the hour.
Such will serve four key purposes: First, it will help the process of reconciliation, inter-ethnic amity and national unity. Second, it will increase faith in the State by the minority communities and also demonstrate to the international community that Sri Lanka as a nation is keen and serious about achieving inter-ethnic unity. The latter becomes critical given the fact that the Sri Lankan conflict and post-conflict era has been under intense international scrutiny.
Third, such a project will provide vision and direction for post-war efforts in the country to the government, civil society, religious leaders, the business community, the media, the educationists and other stakeholders and ensure that efforts are coherent and coordinated. Fourth, it will demonstrate commitment to reconciliation, inter-ethnic harmony and national unity by the State and the government.
As a prerequisite to instituting a vision for national reconciliation, the Government of Sri Lanka needs to engage major concerns that have haunted inter-ethnic relations in the country for over three decades. Without correcting them, all efforts towards reconciliation will fail. While the Government’s efforts in the rehabilitation and resettlement processes in the North-East have been commendable, it is imperative that the important next step is taken – reaching out to the Tamil community to address their concerns and grievances.
A National Policy on Reconciliation was prepared by the Office of the Presidential Advisor on Reconciliation in early 2012 which clearly address the aspect of consolidating peace in the interests of genuine healing and reconciliation, both comprehensively and convincingly.
The Draft Policy was initially produced by a small group of persons characterized by multi-party, multi-ethnic representation. The Draft Policy was then circulated to leaders of all political parties and followed by a discussion with Members of Parliament including those Cabinet Ministers actively involved in working on issues of reconciliation.
Thereafter, the Draft Policy was taken through a process of consultation with key national stakeholders including religious leaders, civil society and the media. Following the several rounds of consultation, feedback and comments were carefully considered by the core group originally involved in drafting the Policy and amendments were incorporated as relevant into the existing framework before which a Final Consolidated Draft Policy was produced. The Final Consolidated Draft Policy on Reconciliation was then submitted to President Mahinda Rajapakse and the Presidential Secretariat for consideration.
While the end of the war has opened up unique opportunities to achieve lasting and sustainable peace and harmony, there remain key aspects that need to be addressed with some urgency.
To ensure that the dividends of national initiatives trickle down to grassroots level, there needs to be put in place systematic and systematized training programmes in soft skills and educational opportunities. To this end, forging public-private partnerships will be essential and critical though the challenge is that we still remain governed by a command-state economy which is wholly inappropriate in modern times. State control of training facilities and programmes with a monopoly over deliverables must be considered an artifact of the past that is not adequate to deal with the challenges of our times.
A second challenge is in the area of governance where any productive movement is hampered by a tussle between those advocating and opposing the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. It is imperative that consensus be achieved on the fundamental requirement for post-war Sri Lanka, where there is expansion of power to institutions that are best placed to be responsive to the needs of local citizenry.
To this end, there must be a strengthening of local government institutions, citizen-consultation and accountability mechanisms. Sadly, while the focus has to be on ensuring responsiveness to the needs of grassroots communities and individual citizens, the current pre-occupation seems to centre on various formulations of power devolution to suit petty political pursuits.
A third challenge to achieving successful reconciliation and peace is the lack of a holistic understanding of the demands of restitution. An over-emphasis on issues of war-crimes has led to the subverting and neglect of issues which will most benefit the people of the country, both victims and survivors, of the rights to assuage grief, public mourning, psychosocial empowerment and above all a restoration of dignity.
A related challenge to restitution is that the emphasis on economic and infrastructure development with the almost negligible focus on human development which will eventually be counterproductive to the national reconciliation agenda.
A word on advocacy must be made in the context of Sri Lanka’s national reconciliation agenda. It is time to realize that exerting excessive pressure is not the panacea for inaction or negligence; on the contrary, it will only provide the much yearned oxygen to hardliners who weave conspiracy theories in an attempt to divert attention from what really matters. Alternatively, an approach of constructive engagement is the way forward and must be recognized by both national and international stakeholders.
Understanding the limitations of the national administrative system that is incapable of rebutting false allegations, and responding positively to real and genuine concerns of benefactors, communicating both progress and obstacles towards implementation of the recommendations of national mechanisms such as the LLRC is perhaps the reality that is bound to haunt our efforts in moving forward towards reconciliation, peace and stability.
While the substantive aspects of reconciliation must be at the core of achieving national stability, developing robust institutional mechanisms, effective coordination systems, a rigorous reporting strategy and an over-arching vision for reconciliation remains the need of the hour.
This article is part of an initiative to document and share the progress of the Sri Lanka government’s official reconciliation process. If you are interested in finding out more about the implementation progress of the LLRC recommendations, please visit Vimansa, a website independent of Groundviews, which will be launched in the first quarter of 2013.

Differently-abled girl creates history at A’Levels

For the first time in Sri Lanka a girl whose arms and legs do not work due to a weak nerve condition, has passed the GCE Advanced Level Examination with flying colours by giving oral answers at the 2012 A/L examination.

U.G.Thilini Nimesha a student of the Ambanpitiya School for Children with Special Needs in Kegalle had made her parents proud by passing the Advanced Level exam with flying colours.  She had obtained two A passes, one B pass and a C pass in the Arts stream. She had got through her O/L examsecuting five credits also by answering the question papers orally.

Nimesha’s mother who is a deputy principal and her father, a math teacher were thrilled to hear the news of their daughter’s achievement. Nimesha is unable to write as she has a weak nerve condition and her wrist not being positioned properly, but she has managed to rise against all odds to be the first to pass A/Ls by giving oral answers. (Chaminda Jayalath)

Hard word is the success. Mithurika comes first in Jaffna

Success is the hard work, was said by Vembadi Ladies College student Migunthan Mithurika who had achieved to come in the first place in the Biology section in the entire Jaffna District at the recently released G.C.E.Advanced Level examination results.
Concerning her success she gave a special interview to "Udayan" print media said, the examination results give me much pleasure. I consider this as a gift for my perseverance. “I immediately revise the lessons of the day and get involved to other work”.
Due to this practice, education was not a burden to me. If we revise our lessons daily which are taught to us, grasping the lessons would be very easy. I thank all my teachers who were much assistance to my success.
 Mithurika is a student of Jaffna Vembadi Ladies College, is a resident of Thenmarachchi Usanai and her father Gunasingham Migunthan is a Professor attached to the Agriculture faculty and mother Prof.Thushanthi Mihunthan is a Senior Lecturer in the Agriculture, Mechanical department. 
Thursday , 31 January 2013


US sure India will go with it again in new Lanka resolution
January 31, 2013 
The United States is sure that India will support a country-specific resolution sponsored by it in the coming session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The U.S. representatives revealed here that it had “decided to sponsor a procedural resolution at the March 2013 session of the U.N. Human Rights Council along with international partners”.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Moore told select media here that “the resolution will be straightforward; it will be a procedural resolution, and it will build on the 2012 resolution which called on Sri Lanka to do more to promote reconciliation and accountability. The resolution will ask the government of Sri Lanka to follow through on its own commitments to its people, including the implementation of the LLRC [Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission] recommendations.” Responding to a question, a transcript of which has been posted on the U.S. Embassy website, Mr. Moore said he was sure that India and all the countries that voted with the U.S. last year would follow the same lead this year: “And the reason there would be another resolution this coming March is because we and the other 23 members of the Human Rights Council who voted for the resolution in 2012 believe that the government of Sri Lanka needs to fulfil the commitment that it’s already made through the LLRC to its people,” he said.

“So this new resolution would reflect our support for those commitments, our continued support. And for the people of Sri Lanka as they continue to face these important issues,” he said.

Official confirmation of the Indian stand was not available. But it is reliably learnt that the issue did figure in all the recent high-level engagements. Sri Lanka has responded to the U.S. announcement, saying that it will defend its rights record. Significant progress has been made, it rcontended, in implementing the recommendations of the LLRC, which went into the causes of the war with the Tamil Tigers, the Hindu reports.

Another US Resolution on Sri Lanka: The Road to Nowhere?

Photo courtesy JDS
So it looks like the US will bring another resolution on Sri Lanka at the next session of the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva this March. Quite frankly – I am shocked.
Mahinda-SamarasingheUS foreign policy as it relates to Sri Lanka has been confusing and is replete with complications and contradictions.
One can’t help but wonder: Where is all of this heading? Is this a road to nowhere?
I really wish I knew. But at this point, I’m not sure that anybody does.
If the US goes ahead with another (weak) resolution, what would be the point? It would accomplish nothing. And what does that mean for US foreign policy in Sri Lanka, or – more broadly – what might that mean for American foreign policy in the region?
The US didn’t seem to be that concerned about human rights here when people were being slaughtered in 2009. Make no mistake about it: Washington knew what was happening. As a friend of mine (who is well-versed on what actually transpired) told me, “Nothing that occurred in 2009 happened suddenly. People had to have seen it coming.”
I suppose another resolution on Sri Lanka at the HRC would be better than nothing. At least we would know that diplomatic pressure won’t fade away entirely. Nonetheless, I’m still left wondering if any of it matters. If the time for tougher, stronger action has not yet come, when would it ever? Is the US really going to aim for another light resolution and pretend that it will change the regime’s behavior?
It won’t. Another weak resolution won’t mean anything to anyone—except the regime in power.  It will simply mean they’re still winning.
Which leads to another question: Would the US really be pushing for another resolution if the Chief Justice had not been impeached?
It’s an interesting counterfactual to consider. Counterfactuals can be particularly thought-provoking because nobody knows what would have happened. Maybe the impeachment saga crossed a line that made inaction or policy inertia (at least as it relates to human rights) impossible. I suspect that it did.
As far as I can tell, President Obama has no Syria policy and well over 60,000 people have been killed there. And make no mistake: the rebels, a variegated group – to say the least – are not saints. And then in Mali, the French are leading the way. The US is providing intelligence. That’s it. No boots on the ground. It’s one thing for the US to “lead from behind” in Libya; France’s establishment of a more muscular foreign policy in North Africa is another issue altogether.
I’m not suggesting that the US should be intervening in either place, but the conflicts in Syria and Mali are arguably of much greater strategic interest to the US than Sri Lanka. And yet it looks like Washington is prepared to spend diplomatic resources again on a small island nation, albeit only in the form of another watered-down resolution which will provide no impetus for change.
On the other hand, a meaningful resolution will require a lot more work. Is it possible to get a meaningful resolution through the HRC this time around? More importantly, is that something the US really wants?
The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is blatantly lying to people about its implementation of the LLRC recommendations. Groundviews recently published something that made this very clear.[1] Deception with this regime isn’t sporadic; it’s systematic because the GoSL can’t afford to be candid about the current state of affairs.
It’s very clear that Barack Obama wants his legacy to lie in sweeping domestic changes. He wants to get out of protracted wars and avoid diving into another conflict like Syria or Mali. And it looks like he’s going to do that. His nominees for State and Defense are both men who will be reluctant to use military force abroad. Obama likes his drones – in spite of the “collateral damage” to civilians and his Nobel Peace Prize – but he fundamentally believes in using American power in a more limited way. Barack Obama is not yet a champion of human rights overseas; he probably never will be.
I’m really tired of reading about how the United States government is concerned about developments in Sri Lanka. If Washington really is concerned, Obama should prove it by making diplomatic isolation a reality for the regime in Colombo. To put it more bluntly, when it comes to human rights in Sri Lanka, Washington should “go big or go home.” Things are bad here and getting worse. Sri Lankans who are not happy with recent governance trends have a right to know who their friends really are.