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, October 31, 2013

Fate of Tamil propagandist - new evidence from Sri Lanka

New footage obtained by Channel 4 news shows Tamil journalist Isaipriya alive and held by the Sri Lankan Army, contrary to earlier government reports.

JONATHAN MILLER Foreign Affairs Correspondent-THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER 2013

New video showing the fate of a Tamil propagandist & TV presenter is a stark reminder of Sri Lankan government cruelty. Until now they insisted Is Aipriya died in combat. Warning: distressing images.

Credible Sri Lankan War Crimes Investigation on the Horizon

Karunyan Arulanantham

Karunyan  Arulanantham

homepageAt the United Nations General Assembly's (UNGA) 68th session in late September, a major stipulation was laid out by UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in reference to the shocking slaughtering of tens of thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil civilians in the spring of 2009.
Given strong evidence that Tamil civilians were killed primarily by government forces -- many in schools, hospitals and government-declared safe zones -- the High Commissioner called upon Sri Lanka to "use the time between now (September 2013) and March 2014 to engage in a credible national process with tangible results, including the successful prosecution of individual perpetrators, in the absence of which [the High Commissioner] believes the international community will have a duty to establish its own inquiry."
Such a strong statement that includes a concrete deadline has been sorely needed, because Sri Lanka has already received more than enough time to address the war crimes allegations through its own internal processes. In May 2009, soon after the fighting ceased, the Government of Sri Lanka and the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, issued a joint statement underlining the importance of an accountability process. But after a full year, the government had failed to keep this commitment. In the face of this inaction, the Secretary-General appointed a Panel of Experts to examine Sri Lanka's compliance. The Panelconcluded the following year there was "credible evidence" that the Government of Sri Lanka (as well as its opponent during the armed conflict, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE) had committed breaches of international humanitarian and human rights laws "some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity."
Now, more than two years after the Panel's report, the High Commissioner visited Sri Lanka for a week this past August and found, unsurprisingly, that nothing had changed. The Sri Lankan government has held no one accountable for the mass atrocities committed over four years ago. This, of course, only stands to reason since the current regime -- headed by President Mahinda Rajapaka and his brothers -- is among the accused for committing the 2009 atrocities.
Would anyone credibly ask Syrian President Assad to investigate his own army's use of chemical weapons? Of course not.
As the last four years have shown, repeated pronouncements by U.S. and numerous other officials recommending that Sri Lanka take proper action have done nothing to bring even the slightest measure of justice for the horrific crimes of 2009. Furthermore, the government continues to harass and kill journalists, allow Christian and Muslim religious communities to be attacked with impunity, confiscate land owned by Tamils, and maintain a massive military presence in Tamil areas, particularly in Sri Lanka's Northern Province. That, in turn, gives rise to sexual assaults, disappearances, and other crimes.

The High Commissioner's latest statement offers, at long last, much more than another request for action that is sure to fall on deaf ears. If the Sri Lankan government fails to act within the next six months, she says, the international community must do what the Sri Lankan government has not and establish an international accountability mechanism for the atrocities that occurred over four years ago.

Such a step would not only help to slow, or even reverse, Sri Lanka's descent into authoritarianism, but more importantly, it would vindicate the basic human rights principles that the international community purports to hold in the highest regard. The Secretary General's Panel of Experts observed that "the conduct of war represented a grave assault on the entire regime of international law designed to protect individual dignity during both war and peace." The international community cannot credibly condemn the mass killings in Syria, the Congo, and elsewhere while it continues to turn a blind eye to Sri Lanka's own atrocities of 2009. The High Commissioner's statement, and in particular, her fixed timeline, represent an important step in the right direction. Now the international community must prepare to follow through and show the world that its commitment to accountability for massive human rights violations is more than empty rhetoric.

Sara Refuse To Participate In De Facto CJ Appointment FR Case Because Bench Fixed By Respondent Mohan Pieris

October 31, 2013 
The Centre for Policy Alternatives and Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, who had petitioned the Supreme Court by a fundamental rights case FR No. 23/2013 directly challenging Mohan Pieris‘ de facto appointment and operating as Chief Justice, refused to participate in the case when it was taken up today (30.10.2013) in the afternoon.
Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu - Co-Convenor CMEV
Colombo TelegraphThis was in protest at Pieris (6th respondent in the case) appointing a special bench of 5 judges, without all judges being required to hear the case. The counsel who appeared for CPA had withdrawn from appearing any more in the case, after the 5 selected judges (S. Marsoof, Chandra Ekanayake, Sathya Hettige, Shanthi Eva Wanasundera and Rohini Marasinghe) backed away from taking a stand that only if all judges are allowed to try the case without Pieris making any selection of judges.
When the case was taken up, counsel Viran Corea appearing with Luwie Ganeshathasan instructed by Namal Rajapakse informed to the court that they are appearing today only to inform court that the CPA and Dr. Saravanamuttu will not be party to such proceedings, where bench fixing is done against natural justice. Court was informed of this position in the motion filed by the petitioners on 18.09.2013.
Colombo Telegraph is able to reveal today that the motion informed court of the following facts and the reasons for the petitioners losing faith in the controversial process:
WHEREAS a five-member bench of Your Lordships’ Court that was constituted by the 6th Respondent was disinclined to have steps taken to secure determination of this application by a full bench;
AND WHEREAS Learned Counsel for the Petitioners withdrew from making submissions in respect of the subject matter of this application after seeking leave of Your Lordships’ Court for same, on the basis that it is inconsistent with the Principles of Natural Justice and improper for the 6th Respondent in this case who has a personal interest in this case to nominate certain Hon Members of Your Lordships’ Court to hear this case leaving out others, which fact was intimated to Your Lordships’ Court in Open Court on the last date;
AND WHEREAS consequently, in the totality of the aforesaid circumstances, the Petitioners are placed in a position where they do not wish to participate in the further disposal of this matter, which pertains inter alia to vital issues affecting integrity of judicial process;
I respectfully MOVE to inform Your Lordships’ Court that the Petitioners do not with great respect, wish to participate in the further disposal of this application in the given premises.
A copy of this Motion has been sent by registered post to the Attorney General and the Attorney-at-Law appearing on behalf of the 3rd and 5th Respondents and the registered post article receipts are attached hereto in proof of same.
On this 18th day of September 2013
Attorney at Law for the Petitioners
In this situation with the petitioners and their counsels refusing to participate, Attorney General Palitha Fernando and a team of lawyers from AG’s Department asked the judges to dismiss the case. He urged that the Supreme Court doesn’t have the power to try the case and to dismiss it without looking into the merits of the case.
The judges said they will make their order later without a date being given (called as ‘order reserved’).
Senior lawyers and law academics contacted by Colombo Telegraph who asked not to be named, said that any order dismissing the case by a bench handpicked by the 6th respondent in the case would be illegal according to basic legal principles.

US, South Korean ambassadors meet Wigneswaran in Jaffna

TamilNet[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 October 2013, 23:50 GMT]
The US Ambassador in Colombo, Michele Sison, visited Jaffna Wednesday to greet the newly elected Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran in the presence of media at a photo session at the Chief Minister's residence. The US Ambassador told the journalists in Jaffna that the NPC election was a ‘big milestone’ for the people of the Northern province. The provincial administration under unitary and genocidal Sri Lanka, set up in Jaffna by Indo-US ‘strategic partnership,’ focuses on every inroad it could make without conceding any of the fundamental aspirations of Eezham Tamils, commented political observers in Jaffna, adding that the picture is becoming increasingly clear that the Tamil struggle has to be now waged directly against Washington and New Delhi. 

“This is my first call on Honourable Chief Minister in Jaffna, of course we have met many times in Colombo, Sir. We have discussed the many challenges that the Chief Minister and his ministers are now facing in bringing solutions to many requirements and needs. [...] We discussed livelihood and we discussed land issues, she said. 

“I briefed the Chief Minister on a number of projects we are undertaking here in the North, Sir. A 12 million dollar USAID project focused on livelihood, poultry, dairy, vegetable gardening and assessed some 5,000 families over the next two years, particularly women-headed households, Sir.”

“I briefed the Chief Minister on our expansion of our English-language training programs as well as assistance at Jaffna University through our Fulbright program.

“I look forward to many more meetings up here, Sir. I do believe that we can partner with you and your provincial council to support your endeavours up here Sir.

“Of course, we agree with you that a united democratic Sri Lanka in which all citizens can live in dignity and in prosperity is the goal of all of us as international partners of Sri Lanka, with your support Sir,” Ms Michele said thanking Mr Wigneswaran in the presence of the media. 

When the journalists asked on whether they discussed about the houses being demolished by the SL military in Valikaamam North, the US Ambassador wanted Mr Wigneswaran to respond to media. 

The Chief Minister said he had explained certain issues to the US Ambassador. “But, this is a political matter which has to be taken up with Sri Lankan Government [implying it was an internal affair]. We can't achieve anything by talking about this to foreign officials. But, I have explained that such things are taking place,” he said. “She can't express any opinion on this matter,” he said adding that he had contacted Mr Sampanthan the day before yesterday and asked to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan President. 

The genocidal war that was waged against the nation of Eezham Tamils by 30+ Establishments led by the USA, and the ongoing structural genocide, are not internal affairs. The USA, now hiding behind Wigneswaran to respond to the question of structural genocide, never cared the responses of hundreds of thousands Tamils when the war designed by it ended in genocide, commented Tamil activists for alternative politics in Jaffna. 

When a reporter asked Mr Wigneswaran whether he has received any invitation to take part in the CHOGM, Mr Wignesweran responded: “No such invitation had come so far. Only papers have written about this. Perhaps we may receive invitations. Let us see. We will think about it when it comes.” 

Mr Wigneswaran described the visit by the US Ambassador as a positive signal for ‘people-to-people’ relationship between the people of Northern Province and the people of the USA. 

The South Korean Ambassador Jongmoon Choi also visited Jaffna on Wednesday and promised assistance in the fields of vocational training and livelihood projects. Mr Jongmoon Choi said that the CM had asked about Korea providing employment opportunities for the youth in North in South Korea and said he had promised to arrange Korean language instructors to be present in Jaffna to provide Korean language training to the youth so that they can seek job opportunities in the Republic of Korea.

“Unlikely to go to CHOGM”: Wigneswaran

October 30, 2013  
  • No official invitation to address CHOGM despite media reports, says Chief Minister
  • By Dharisha Bastians in Jaffna
    Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is unlikely to make an appearance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that will get underway in Colombo next month, but his party will steer clear of calling for an Indian boycott of the summit.
    Speaking to the Daily FT at his office in Jaffna, the Chief Minister said despite media reports, there was no official invitation yet from the Government for him to attend or speak at the summit.
    “I do not think I will be going,” Wigneswaran cautiously noted, adding that he would be guided by the TNA decision on his attendance at the summit.
    “I will ask the TNA to advise me on whether or not to attend CHOGM. I will go along with the party’s decision,” the Chief Minister said. TNA Leader R. Sampanthan on a recent visit to Chennai had made it clear that while the Tamil alliance was grateful for the solidarity from Tamil Nadu but stopped short of calling for a boycott of the summit in Colombo by the Indian Prime Minister, Wigneswaran added.
    “Who are we to ask him not to come?” he said. TNA General Secretary Marvai Senathirajah announced last Saturday (26) that the party would boycott the summit and its Chief Minister would not be in attendance. However, when the dates for the next Northern Provincial Council session were being finalised last Friday afternoon after the inaugural sitting, the date was reportedly set for 11 November because the Chief Minister may be at the summit from 15-17 November, Council sources said.  TNA Constituent allies are vehemently opposed to the TNA participating in CHOGM but Senathirajah claimed the party would meet foreign delegations on the sidelines of the event.
TNA to submit HR report to British PM

Wigneswaran Invites Indian PM To Jaffna; Manmohan Likely At CHOGM

October 31, 2013 
As controversy over the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s attendance at the CHOGM in Colombo continues Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran invited the Indian head of government to visit Jaffna after the TNA’s victory in the provincial polls.
In a letter to Dr. Singh dated Monday (28) Chief Minister Wigneswaran thanked the Prime Minister and India for “persuading the Sri Lankan government” to hold the Northern Province elections under the 13th Amendment, The Hindu newspaper reported.
Manmohan Singh
The Chief Minister told the Indian Prime Minister that he had won the elections in the province by a “sizeable majority.”
“Basically, Mr. Wigneswaran would like Dr. Singh to engage both in Colombo and Jaffna. This also shows that Sri Lanka’s Tamil community wants India to remain engaged on issues important to them such as national reconciliation, political devolution of power and resettlement of the displaced,” The Hindu said quoting official sources.
Meanwhile another Indian newspaper reported this morning (31) that following a meeting of the Congress Party high officials last night a decision had been reached that the Indian PM would travel to Sri Lanka for the summit.
“In taking a bold decision to go to Colombo despite political sentiments in Tamil Nadu, the PM has prioritized the need to ensure India does not lose vital clout with the Sri Lankan government allow other powers like China to gain stronger leverage,” the Times of India newspaper reported from New Delhi.
The newspaper said that while not travelling to Sri Lanka will be read as a severe snub to the island nation and can harm India’s goodwill severely, the government is also leaning on the reported support of Chief minister C V Wigneswaran for the PM attending the CHOGM.

PM may travel to Colombo, DMK warns of 'consequences'

Latest News
All India | Edited by Deepshikha Ghosh | Updated: November 01, 2013

New Delhi The Prime Minister is likely to attend a Commonwealth summit in Colombo this month, ignoring a collective demand from parties in Tamil Nadu to boycott the event to protest against Sri Lanka's alleged war crimes against ethnic Tamils.

Sources in the Prime Minister's Office say that the Foreign Affairs Ministry believes that the PM should attend the conclave which brings together all leaders of Commonwealth nations.  

M Karunanidhi, the chief of the DMK, a regional party which quit the PM's coalition in March, warned today that if Dr Manmohan Singh attends the conclave, "his party has to face the consequences."

The Tamil Nadu state assembly had adopted a resolution urging that the PM skip the event.  He said recently, "Will consider the sentiments of the Tamil people."
Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan, who belongs to the Congress, met with the PM today and urged him to miss the Colombo session.

The DMK and the Congress partnered in Tamil Nadu to fight the last two national elections together. Mr Karunanidhi pulled out of the union government after India refused to accuse Sri Lanka of genocide in the final months of its civil war in 2009. Parties in Tamil Nadu say the island's Tamil population was subjected to atrocities by the defence forces that won a decades-long civil war against the rebel Tamil Tigers.

Cameron to meet Tamil Diaspora in UK ahead of CHOGM

camaron lgoBritish Prime Minister David Cameron is to meet members of the Tamil Diaspora in the UK to discuss the situation in Sri Lanka and Tamil concerns ahead of the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo next month.
The meeting is to take place at No. 10, Downing Street on November 7th.
Cameron has confirmed participation at the CHOGM summit in Colombo, but has said he would use the opportunity to raise concerns the international community has on Sri Lanka.
Foreign Secretary William Hague, Minister of State Hugo Swire and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Alistair Burt will also participate at the meeting on the 7th.
The Tamil Diaspora will be represented by the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), British Tamil Forum (BTF), Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), British Tamil Conservatives (BTC), Tamils for Labour and Tamil Co-ordinating committee(TCC).
During Cameron’s visit to the North, he will also donate 10,000 Sterling Pounds towards the Jaffna library as a goodwill gesture.

GR welcomes Cameron’s planned Jaffna visit

By Shamindra Ferdinando- 

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said those campaigning for an international war crimes tribunal against Sri Lanka would try to exploit British Premier David Cameron’s forthcoming visit to the Jaffna peninsula next month.

The UK premier’s visit would be a platform for the human rights groups as well as the LTTE rump to reiterate unsubstantiated allegations against the army during the last few weeks of a 30-year war, the Defence Secretary told The Island.

Premier Cameron is due here to lead the UK delegation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Head of the Commonwealth, the Queen will be represented by Prince Charles.

Asked whether he felt uneasy about international media attention being drawn to Jaffna, a smiling Rajapaksa said that the British Premier as well as any other Commonwealth leader, interested in visiting the Jaffna peninsula or any other part of the Vanni region, could do so. Recollecting attempts at the end of war to depict the peninsula as an open prison camp, the Defence Secretary said that nothing could be as beneficial to Sri Lanka as Premier Cameron’s visit.

The Defence Secretary said: "Since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, many  international figures had visited the Jaffna peninsula and the Vanni. United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Navanethem Pillay recently flew to Jaffna, stayed there overnight and then drove along the A9 to Iranamdu airfield for a special flight to China bay. We believe such international visits could help us counter lies propagated by the LTTE rump and a section of the media. Western leaders can see the actual ground situation for themselves in the Northern Province. "

Delegations visiting Jaffna will utilise the Palaly airfield geared to handle both military and commercial flights.

Noting that the UK had sent back over 1,000 Sri Lankans since the conclusion of the conflict, the Defence Secretary said that the British delegation and the accompanying media would be able to examine whether there were any push factors for people to seek political asylum abroad.

The Defence Secretary urged the foreign media to inquire into the rehabilitation of ex-LTTE combatants. Emphasising that Sri Lanka’s success in reintegrating into society those who had once fought for a terrorist organisation was unique, the Defence Secretary said that the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) could furnish them with data relating to the ongoing project as the UN agency, too, was involved in the process.

The former Commanding Officer of the First battalion of the Gajaba Regiment (IGR) said that the use of children as cannon fodder by the LTTE had continued until last few weeks of the conflict. The Defence Secretary recollected the LTTE going ahead with the forcible recruitment of children even after signing an agreement with the UN to do away with the despicable practice way back in May 1998. "Child soldiers remained an issue until the eradication of the LTTE in May 2009. Since then, there hasn’t been a single case of child recruitment. Those who had remained mum when children were thrown into battle and civilians used as human shields are now pushing Commonwealth nations to boycott the Colombo summit," the Defence Secretary said.

He said that those visiting the Northern Province would be surprised to note the progress made in de-mining since the end of the war. Appreciating the support extended by foreign governments and NGOs, the Defence Secretary said the de-mining project spearheaded by the Sri Lankan military was rapidly coming to an end.

The Defence Secretary expressed satisfaction that the government had been able to pave the way for the setting up of the first Northern Provincial Council ahead of the Commonwealth summit. "I hope the British delegation will appreciate the efforts made by Sri Lanka to restore normalcy in the Jaffna peninsula. In accordance with the post-war security strategy, the strength of the army deployed in the peninsula is down to 15,000. At the height of the conflict, the army maintained 45,000 personnel there," he said.

Army Back Out In The North After Pillay, Int’l Polls Monitors Leave The Province

Colombo Telegraph
OcOctober 31, 2013 |
Troops in the Northern Province including the capital of Jaffna were back out in their numbers again this month after being largely confined to barracks during the visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillayand the Northern Provincial Council elections that were closely monitored by international observer missions.
Maj Gen Mahinda Hathurusinghe - Jaffna Commander
The presence of armed soldiers was very rare in the week leading up to the September 21 poll after foreign polls observers and diplomatic observation teams from several embassies in Colombo travelled to the North.
Similarly when High Commissioner Pillay toured the region for two days military personnel were largely confined to barracks and major checkpoints like the one at Elephant Pass, the corridor that leads to the Jaffna peninsula were dismantled.
But troops are out in their numbers in the region once more and welfare shops, canteens and restaurants operated by the military are still widely in operation.
The military will be confined to barracks once more when British Prime Minister David Cameron visits Jaffna on the sidelines of CHOGM, sources said.
As international calls mount for scaling down troops in the former conflict zones to allow for normalisation of the region in the post-war phase, President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday announced that there would be no withdrawal of the military from the North.
“How will less troops help the Tamil people in the North,” the President asked addressing the convocation of the Kotalawela Defence Academy on Tuesday.

EPC silent on appropriation of Tamil lands in Thennaimaravadi

The location of Thennai-maravadi
TamilNetKokku'laay[TamilNet, Thursday, 31 October 2013, 01:16 GMT]
The Mahaweli Development Authority that is under the control of the Colombo government is engaged in appropriating several acres of lands belonging to Eezham Tamils in their traditional village of Thennai-maravadi on the border of Trincomalee district and Mullaith-theevu district, despite repeated appeals to Eastern Provincial Council by the concerned people and their elected representatives. On Tuesday, a team of Mahaweli ‘Development’ Authority officials visited the lands to earmark these lands for appropriation. 

The issue was brought to the notice of the last monthly session of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) held on October 29 by Mr.S.Thandayuthapani, the leader of the Opposition and the leader of Tamil National Alliance councillors.

Tamil owners of these lands were uprooted due to war several years ago and are now trying to resettle and start their lives afresh. 

The management of these lands comes under the EPC administration. Colombo government, without the knowledge of the EPC, cannot be allowed to appropriate the lands that come under the administration of the Kuchchave’li Divisional Secretariat Division, Thandayuthapani said in his appeal to the Chief Minister of the EPC. 

The Eastern Provincial Council should protest to the move by the Colombo government, he said. 

Meanwhile, completely ignoring the question of the territorial integrity of Tamil homeland in the island, Washington and New Delhi, now talk about North and East in separate terms.

While the structural genocide in the East is treated as a foregone conclusion by these powers, the US Ambassador visiting Jaffna on Wednesday and hailing the NPC as a ‘big milestone’ for the people of the ‘Northern Province’, dodged the question put to her by the media on the SL military land appropriations in Jaffna. She passed the question to the CM of the NPC to respond. 

The Day Of Commemoration For The Disappeared – May God Save Us From Madness

Colombo Telegraph
By Basil Fernando -October 31, 2013 

Basil Fernando
On 27 October, about 400 persons from the north and south, most of whom are family members of disappeared persons, gathered at the Monument for the Disappeared at Raddaluwa, Seeduwa. Like the gatherings in previous years, this year’s too was a very sad spectacle to watch. Several of the persons carried flowers or a candle to place before their loved ones, whose photographs are set in the marble of the monument.
There are many disappeared family members whose photographs have not yet been displayed, though all the participants find affinity in each other’s acts of respect for their lost loved ones.
This is not, however, just a commemoration of the dead. What binds these people together is the wounds they carry, not only of their losses but also of the hurt that comes from those acts of cruelty being committed by agents of the state. Perhaps the most wounded people among all Sri Lankans are the family members of the disappeared. Their suffering is so complex because they have been denied any kind of explanation of what might have happened to their lost family members. The most elementary courtesies that the state extends even in the most difficult circumstances are not extended to them.
The public message from the state is that it will not in any way respond to these persons. Some regret may be expressed privately but, for all official purposes, the policy is one of complete denial. Not only were the disappearances conducted in a secret manner but the state wants all information about them to remain a secret forever.
Appointment of “commissions” for cosmetic reasons only add insult to injury.
The family members cannot erase their memories. However, the state wants them to live as if they have lost their memory about their disappeared loved ones. To have a vivid memory and to live as if one does not have memories is impossible unless one goes mad.                       Read More     
Vatican commission denounces Tamil genocide

30 October 2013
The Vatican’s ‘Justitia-et-Pax’ (Justice and Peace) commission in the Jaffna diocese has denounced the genocide against the Tamil people and called on The Holy See to exert political pressure on the government of Sri Lanka.
"A genocide of the Tamil people is in progress in Sri Lanka" said a complaint by the commission’s president Father Mangalarajah to the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican’s embassy, in Sri Lanka.
The Vatican’s news agency, Agenzia Fides, reported that it had received a letter from the Father, noting some “basic, unresolved issues” for Tamils.

The letter highlighted the lack of transparency and accountability for human rights violations, calling for justice "for the killing of thousands of innocent civilians", and demanded an international investigation into missing people and the use of cluster bombs and chemical weapons.

It also criticised the confiscation of Tamil lands, saying that 90% of the occupied territories during the war have not yet been returned to its rightful owners, including the Catholic Church, which lost three parishes with churches, chapels and schools.

The letter denounced the government sponsored "ethnic, cultural and religious colonisation" by Singhalese settlers and detailed “coercive population control” in the Tamil population. The plight of thousands of Tamil political detainees, languishing in state prisons, was also highlighted.

The vulnerability of Tamil women and girls was also highlighted, saying that families with girls lived in constant fear and that there are many cases of sexual abuse by the military. In areas vacated by the army, human remains and graves are found, which could be people that were disappeared.

Controversy over dropping of Maj. Gen. Dias from ICRC event down under

By Shamindra Ferdinando-

An urgent review of Sri Lanka’s relationship with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was necessary in the wake of the humanitarian agency’s refusal to accommodate Major General Jagath Dias, on a programme scheduled to be held in Australia, authoritative governmentsources told The Island on Tuesday night.

Perhaps, the ICRC’s presence here was no longer necessary due to the conclusion of the conflict four years ago, sources said, adding that the Defence Ministry and the armed forces  chiefs were in the process of formulating policy in response to punitive action taken against senior officers on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations directed at those in command of the fighting formations during Eelam war IV.

Maj. Gen. Dias had been sidelined for being the General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the 57 Division deployed on the Vanni central front. Subsequently, the Gajaba regiment veteran served at Sri Lanka’s diplomatic mission in Germany before receiving an appointment at army headquarters.

A senior official said that earlier, the US deprived senior army officers of prestigious courses on the basis of what is widely called the Leahy Law or Leahy Amendment, introduced by Patrick Leahy in 1997. He accused the ICRC of acting unfairly on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations directed at the army though there weren’t any specific accusations against the 57 Division.

The Leahy Amendment envisaged denial of military assistance to countries or at least specific units responsible for alleged atrocities unless tangible measures were taken against the perpetrators of violations.

Asked on what ground Maj. Gen. Dias was dropped from the programme, an ICRC spokesperson in Colombo said that the ICRC requested the Sri Lankan army to nominate a participant for a workshop on healthcare in danger situations, scheduled to be held in Sydney in December. Denying that it refused to accommodate Maj. Gen. Dias in the programme, the official said that procedural matters, relating to international travel, were beyond the control of the ICRC. The ICRC declined to clarify what it meant by procedural matters relating to international travel.

The Defence Ministry said that a section of the international community continued to humiliate Sri Lanka, for standing up to terrorism, after failing to settle the crisis through negotiations. As the ICRC had been deployed in Sri Lanka since 1989 on the invitation of the then government and it couldn’t have been unaware of the circumstances leading to the resumption of war in June 2006, the Defence Ministry said.

BBS To Surround Ministry Of Buddha Sasana Soon

Colombo TelegraphOctober 31, 2013 
The hardline Bodu Bala Sena group is scheduled to surround the Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Ministry in a short while in order to protest against its failure to live up to the promises made to the organisation.
Galagodaaththe Gnanasara
A tight security cordon has been placed at the Ministry. Police armed with riot gear and batons are currently at the gate of the Ministry at Dharmpala Mawatha.
The BBS says that although the Sri Lankan Constitution guarantees the foremost place to Buddhism in the country, this provision has been reduced to mere words alone.
The BBS has called for the Buddha Sasana Ministry to be brought under the Ministry of Defence run by Secretary to the Ministry Gotabaya Rajapaksa in order to ensure Buddhism is given its due place and protected in Sri Lanka.

Dambulla Kovil Attacked; Hindu Politico Says Mosques And Kovils Must Not Be Shifted

October 24, 2013 
Hindu politicians have issued an urgent appeal to President Mahinda Rajapaksa asking him to act immediately to stop an old kovil in Dambulla from being shifted, after the temple was partially dismantled by a group recently.
Bhadrakali Mata Statue /File photo
Colombo TelegraphDr.N Kumar Guruparan, Western Provincial Councillor and Deputy Leader of the Democratic Peoples’ Front and Spokesman for the Hindu Front said the President needed to take steps to safeguard the Badhrakaali Amman Kovil and the Moor Mosque in Dambulla where violent protests erupted last year when hardline Buddhist groups insisted the mosque and kovil were encroaching on sacred ground near the Dambulla Golden Temple.
Guruparan said on October 21, in the early hours of the morning, the temple trustees had invaded the temple premises and removed its roofing. A month ago, he said, the statue of the deity Badhrakaali had been smashed and thrown into a well. “There is a group of Buddhist fundamentalists eager to change the history of tamils and Hindus’ and Muslims’ in Dambulla demolishing the temple and Mosque in prominent palace.This issue and deliberate attack on Badrakaali amman temple  is still continuing, the deity’s statue was smashed and thrown in to the well not even a month back. Guruparan said the trident in the premises had been used to remove the roofing.
“As we know  Hon Parliamentarian R. Yogarajan with the assistance of Hindu Businesman donated a new statue, handed over at the temple. Mr. Yogarajan  also had discussions with the UDA and the Ministry of Religious Affairs to obtain a more spacious land in another location in Dambulla to rebuild this temple. I also held discussions with UDA officials  to stop shifting the residences and the Temple.

Eric Fromm’s Views On The Buddhist Philosophy

By Ruwan M Jayatunge -October 31, 2013 |
Dr. Ruwan M Jayatunge MD
Colombo Telegraph“Buddhism helps man to find an answer to the question of his existence, an answer which is essentially the same as that given in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and yet which does not contradict the rationality, realism, and independence which are modern man’s precious achievements. Paradoxically, Eastern religious thought turns out to be more congenial to Western rational thought than does Western religious thought itself” Erich Fromm
The Social Psychologist and Humanistic Philosopher Eric Fromm was vastly influenced by Freud and Karl Heinrich Marx. He became a follower of Neoanalytic tradition.  In later years Fromm started reading Zen Buddhism in depth.  He saw Buddhism as a philosophical-anthropological system based on observation of facts and their rational explanation. (Buddhism and the Mode of Having vs. Being – Erick Fromm 1975). Fromm believed that Buddhism is a completely rational system which demands no intellectual sacrifice.
Fromm’s interest towards Buddhism was obvious. Among the Western scholars Caroline A. F. Rhys Davids was one of the pioneers to conceptualize canonical Buddhist writings in terms of psychology. Professor William James was making some comparisons between the consciousness and thought process that was described in the Western Psychology and what the Buddha had taught two millenniums ago.  Many former members of the Freud’s Psychoanalytic society were reading Buddhist philosophy and making evaluations. By this time Carl Jung had highlighted the mind analysis in Buddhism. Therefore Fromm’s interest towards Buddhism was not an abrupt event.  Read More