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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Indian court’s “clean chit verdict” to Narendra Modi

LF-logobannerLatheef-FarookNote- Sri Lanka’s mainstream media, under the influence of Sinhala extremists and perhaps,   Israeli influence, do not publish these articles. Therefore kindly circulate this article amongst all for wider circulation.
Zakia JafriBy Latheef Farook-30 Dec 2013
Indian Court's Verdict Shatters Muslims’ hope for justice from judiciary
Indian judiciary is fast collapsing in the face of rising RSS Hindutva which derives its inspirations from Hitler, Mussolini and now functions in close collaboration with Zionist Jews who turned Middle East into a killing field. Indications are that Indian Muslim can no longer turn to judiciary for justice under rising violent anti Muslim Hindutva forces.
gujrat3This is what one could conclude at the Ahmadabad magistrate court’s shocking, shameful and frightening verdict on Thursday 26 December 2013 stating that there no evidence to prosecute Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in a case relating to the anti Muslim pogrom in 2002. The verdict has given a clean chit to Narendra Modi and 58 others.

Sri Lanka major Tamil party to make representations to the UNHRC during sessions in March
Mon, Dec 30, 2013, 11:05 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Lankapage LogoDec 30, Colombo: Sri Lanka's major Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will make representations to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva during the March sessions next year.
TNA Spokesperson, parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran told the media that the party at its recent meeting in Vavuniya has discussed the measures to counter the government's alleged attempts to cover up several issues before the international community.
He explained that the government has failed to respect the resolutions adopted at the UNHRC in 2012 and 2013 on addressing post war issues and implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
He charged the government of trying to distract the international community with its census on human and material losses caused due to the conflict and said as a result, the Northern Provincial Council, will conduct a separate census.
According to Premachandran, the TNA will also brief the US delegation headed by US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal scheduled to visit Sri Lanka next month.

Good Shepherd Children's Home, Mankulam - A centre for Hope, Peace and Harmony -
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30 Dec 2013
Good Shepherd Children's Home, Mankulam

- A centre for Hope, Peace and Harmony -

By: Raymond Rajabalan

Life is about bringing hope to the hopeless and breathing life into people's lives. If you want the world changed, then understand that change starts with you. Just one small or one large act of generosity can impact lives - Benjamin Gresham

After nearly six years, I had the opportunity of visiting Sri Lanka last year, November 2013. Apart from meeting my relatives and friends, the highlight of my journey was a visit to the Good Shepherd Children's Home in the town of Mankulam.

Mankulam is located in northern Sri Lanka, about 3.5 hours drive south of City of Jaffna. A Major road A9 and a railway line connecting North and South of Sri Lanka goes through Mankulam. Mankulam is also located a few hours drive south of Kilinochchi and another few hours drive north of Vavuniya. Highway A34 connects Mankulam to eastern coastal City of Mullaitivu.

When we visited the Good Shepherd Children's Home located along Mullaitivu Road, we were pleasantly surprised by the variety of joyful emotions expressed by the 60 young children - both Christians as well as Hindus - who are being looked after with great care and compassion by a dedicated team led by a devoted nun Sr.Mary Rajesh. 

Though deprived of parental love, these innocent children having faced numerous trials during the civil war impressed us by their variety of talents. We were amazed by the dedication and service of the nuns and dozens of care takers who amidst trying conditions are determined to mould the lives of these children and train them to be productive members of the society.

As soon as we entered the spacious compound of the Children's Home, we were surprised to see the meticulously maintained garden with a variety of colurful flower plants and fruit trees, which obviously contributed to the peaceful atmosphere. The verdant vegetation within the compound was a clear indication of the dedication of the nuns who manage this organization. On seeing our group, the children came rushing and surrounded us and we all were overwhelmed by their pleasant response. Once we were intoduced to the children by Sister Mary, the children who had just returned from school had their lunch in a meticulously set up dining hall. After a short interval, the gleeful children gathered around us in and in the presence of Sister Mary Rajesh entertained us with variety of dance performances and some of them recited very meaningful poems that portrayed the sufferings they had undergone during the recent years.

Some of the children then displayed some beautiful hand crafted items and we were truly impressed by their creativity and talents.

The love and reciprocation we received from the children was amazing. Even though it was our first visit to this Children's Home, we soon felt at home and we enjoyed ever moment of our stay. The way these children mingled with us and posed for photographs was a great experience .The children were happier than anyone could imagine. It was one of those moments that reminded us of the power of human spirit and hope.

The children then bombarded us with a variety of very intelligent questions wanting to learn about so many things, especially about the life in West. After a few hours, we left the Children's Home promising Sister Mary Rajesh and the children that we will return the following day. The next day afternoon we once again visited the Home and that day being the birthday for two of the children, we shared birthday cakes and sweets with all of them.

We had a pleasant discussion with the children and at times we were mesmerized by their intelligence. We then inquired us about their immediate needs from Sr. Mary Rajesh. She explained in detail the difficulties she faces in running the home and looking after 60 young girls. She explained to us that it was mainly due to the donations from expatriate community that so far she has been able to manage to run the home as effectively as possible. We saw for ourselves the audited financial statements that indicated a very efficient administration of the funds and were convinced that more funds are needed to meet the growing needs of the Home.

We understood the enormous nature of running such an organization and after providing some donation we promised Sister Mary to do our best once we return to Canada. Already some here have come forward to help the Children's Home in whatever possible way.

This definitely is a worthy cause and Lord God will abundantly bless all those who help those who are in need. Those who would like to know more about this noble institution can contact the administrator of the Home Sr. Mary Rajesh at her email address frjames2010@ 

(This article is exclusively written for The Monsoon Journal and will appear in the January 2014 - print edition)
 By Raymond Rajabalan 

The Year 1988: The Red Moon Over Sri Lanka And The Dawn Of New Wisdom

By Rajan Hoole -
Rajan Hoole
Rajan Hoole
Colombo Telegraph“So bloody was the march of revolution, and the impression which it made was the greater as it was the first to occur… Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question inaptness to act on any…. even blood became a weaker tie than party, from the superior readiness of those united by the latter to dare everything without reserve. For such associations had not in view the blessings derivable from established institutions but were formed by ambition for their overthrow. Moreover, the confidence of members in each other rested less on religious sanction than upon complicity in crime…
“Oaths of reconciliation, being proferred by either side only to meet an immediate difficulty, held good only so long as no other weapon was at hand. But when opportunity offered, he who first ventured to seize it and to take his enemy off his guard, thought this perfidious vengeance sweeter than an open one, since, considerations of safety apart, success by treachery won him the palm of superior intelligence. Indeed, it is generally the case that men are readier to call rogues clever than simpletons honest, and are ashamed of being the second as they are proud of being the first.” - Thucydides, on the civil war at Corcyra (Corfu) (427 BC), from his History of the Pelopponesian War, between Athens and Sparta (431-404 BC)
The Moon occupies a special place in the human psyche. By comparison, the effects of the Sun are easily comprehended. The qualities that occur in relation to it are heat, light, beauty and sunstroke. The effect of the Moon is on the other hand subliminal. It calls forth the wilder emotions without one being conscious of it. Its transforming effect on the mind is far less understood. 1988 was the year when the JVP’s terror worked subtly on the minds of the people in the South. It targetted individuals carefully, and more than paralysing the Government it paralysed minds. It convinced a broad section of the impressionable young that it stood for honesty, justice and equality and was a genuine alternative to the corruption that was only too visible in the ruling class.
Very remarkably, it made a significant section of the intelligentsia rationalise the previously unrationalisable and accept the previously unacceptable. Their world was turned upside down. As opposed to the self-seeking opportunism in the upper segments of society, the JVP, the underdog and a victim of state repression, seemed to exemplify the qualities of courage and sacrifice. By an extension of the logic, many were only too ready to accept that the victimhood and sacrifice of JVP rank and file, also gave the JVP leaders the right to sacrifice whomever they chose on the road to their supposedly socialist goal.

To be continued..
*From Rajan Hoole‘s “Sri Lanka: Arrogance of Power  - Myth, Decadence and Murder”. Thanks to Rajan for giving us permission to republish. To read earlier parts click here

Deported Journalist Claims Torture in SL

The New Indian Express
Published: 29th December 2013 
Tamil Nadu journalist Tamil Prabhakaran arrived in Chennai on Saturday after the Sri Lankan Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) handed him over to the Immigration Department for deportation.
The TID had apparently concluded after interrogation that he had no terrorist links and had not indulged in terrorist activity, and that the only fault was that he had violated visa regulations.
Speaking to reporters at the Chennai airport, Prabhakaran claimed he was psychologically tortured and subjected to probe like a ‘criminal or terrorist’.
“I was subjected to psychological torture and repeatedly subjected to investigations like a criminal or a terrorist when I had done nothing wrong,” Prabhakaran said.
Prabhakaran, who had gone to Sri Lanka on a tourist visa, was detained on December 25 in Kilinochchi district in the former war zone of North Lanka by the local police. After overnight interrogation, they handed him over to the Terrorist Investigation Division, which took him to Colombo to find out why he was taking pictures of military installations and interviewing Tamil politicians when he was on a tourist visa.
While Lankan authorities asserted that he was doing journalistic work while being on a tourist visa and taking pictures of army camps and troops, Prabhakaran categorically denied taking pictures of any military area and said he had only captured a few photographs of certain civil functions.
“Even they were taken in the presence and knowledge of Lankan authorities and the arrest came much later,” the journalist said.
Officials of the Indian High Commission in Colombo were given consular access to the detainee and they had found him to be quite alright. After investigations, TID told the High Commission that Tamil Prabhakaran had no terror links but had violated visa regulations and, therefore, he would be handed over to the Immigration Department for deportation.
In Chennai, he said: “I was repeatedly interrogated and they kept me in handcuffs throughout my detention period, even when I was sleeping. I was subjected to emotional and psychological torture.”
Claiming that the Lankan authorities treatment of him was a violation of human rights, Prabhakaran said, “I was given petrol when I asked for water and was subjected to several more types of torture that are a clear violation of human rights. I will release proof for this shortly,” he added.

Sri Lankan TID declares ‘shadow war’ on Tamil journalists in North

TamilNet[TamilNet, Tuesday, 31 December 2013, 09:10 GMT]
“We will not abduct you or take you for 4th floor for interrogations. But, we will make sure you die in the road hit by our encounter teams in natural accidents and dispute-like killings. You will not become heroes among your own people and die like street dogs,” is the message re-iterated by the so-called ‘Terrorist Investigation Department’ interrogators, who operate various interrogation-cells in the North chasing the journalists in Jaffna. A Colombo-based media rights activist observing the pattern of the psychological warfare by the TID on journalists in Jaffna described the unfolding scenario as Colombo's latest ‘shadow war’ on Tamils, similar to the one that preceded the 2009 genocidal onslaught. 

On Friday, SL military intelligence officers claiming as investigators from the ‘Terrorist Investigation Department’ appeared at Valampuri Tamil newspaper office in Jaffna at 1:00 p.m. They instructed the Staff Reporter of the paper, Uthayarasa Chalin, to come to the TID station situated at Naavalar Road at the premises of former Namathu Eezhanadu Paper at 3:00 p.m. 

The journalist went there after informing to all media watchdogs. The TID interrogators asked some initial questions and instructed Mr Chalin to come for a detailed session the following day. 

The journalist was being harassed since he did a story on the collective rights of Tamils to observe remembrance of their war-dead Tamil fighters on Tamil Heroes Day. 

In a story, he had interviewed the president of the University Teachers Union Mr I. Rajkumar, who had underlined the resolve to remember the war-dead Tamil fighters on November 27 remembrance, highlighting it as a collective right of Tamils. 

On Saturday, when the journalist went for the second session, the interrogators asked him the address of the residences of Mr I Rajkumar and TNA MP S. Sritharan. 

The journalist, seeking to avoid controversies, replied in the negative responding that he didn't know the addresses. The interrogators assaulted him as they pointed at a log of date and time when the journalist had, in fact, visited the residences of Mr Rajkumar and Mr Sritharan.

After assaulting the journalist, they placed a document written entirely in Sinhala and asked him to sign it. When he declined, the interrogators attacked him. They said that it was the explanation he had given to them which was recorded in Sinhala and forced him to place his signature on the document. 

The interrogators have also questioned the journalist on his educational background, about fellow Tamil reporters in Jaffna. They also questioned him about the activities of the Jaffna Press Club. 

The victim journalist has earlier escaped an encounter-like-accident from a killer-squad at Neeraaviyadi.

Another reporter working for Uthayan, Dileep Amuthan, also escaped a similar ‘encounter-accident’ recently, when he was chased and hit by a three-wheeler at Thellippazhai. Mr Dileep narrowly escaped from the accident but had sustained wounds from the accident-encounter. 

The SL military intelligence is running killer squads in North and East. These squads are prepared to assassinate the targets in ‘road accidents’ or by creating dispute-like scenarios, the visiting media activist from Colombo said after concluding a fact-finding mission to Jaffna and Vanni on Monday.

Some time back, the TID operatives from Naavalar Road were approaching the Yarl Thinakkural newspaper management to provide personal details such as their residential address of two staff reporters, Punitharoopan Winslow and Tharmapalan Vinojith.

The paper management declined to provide such details to the TID investigators. 

However, the SL military intelligence operatives were almost chasing the two staff reporters for a while. 

Later, two other reporters of Yarl Thinakkural, Nitharshan and Hamshan, were being harassed by the SL military intelligence, including threats. 

The threat, consistently coming from all the anonymous callers claiming to be TID operatives or the visiting interrogators of the TID to the residences of the journalists was to be ‘prepared for death’ like ‘street dogs’ in ‘encounter like’ killings. “We will not make you heroes”, was also a message being passed to the journalists. Such messages are provided after the journalists get assaulted at interrogation sessions. Anonymous callers claiming to be from TID also threaten journalists with the same message. 

The TID interrogators usually have detailed translations of the news reports filed by the journalists and a log of their activities with time and places monitored by the intelligence network of the SL military and its agents. 

Recently, In Vanni, the regional correspondent of Uthayan paper was attacked at his house. Three relatives of an EPDP operative were behind the incident. An investigation was launched on the incident, but nobody was punished. 

The SL military experimented already in 2001 in accident-style assassinations on media activists. Two key media workers of Uthayan paper were subjected to such attacks, and one was killed. Another key worker had sustained injuries. 

Apart from harassments of psychological threats seeking to curb the activities of the journalists, the SL military squads are also prepared to commit assassinations on Tamil journalists, the media rights activist who has been interviewing the affected journalists told TamilNet on Tuesday.

Human Rights Consciousness Is Gripping The World – And So It Must Be

By Shyamon Jayasinghe -December 31, 2013 
By Shyamon Jayasinghe
By Shyamon Jayasinghe
Colombo TelegraphMany amongst us seem to be unable to grasp the true importance of human rights. The notion just surfs over our consciousness as something abstract or out there-perhaps in a Platonic world of Universals. Self-appointed patriots of Lanka- especially the humorless types living overseas- who are burdened with the self-delusion of ownership of the island- simply hate anything associated with the human rights discourse. With the run up to the Geneva meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in March this year government leaders are nervous about the whole idea. Yet, leaving specific sensitive situations apart, the notion of human rights or “HR,” is simply about the basic dignity of you and me as individuals. Let’s ask ourselves the question: ‘shouldn’t we be allowed to live in dignity, in security and without fear?’ At this point an abstract concept becomes a live reality.
We are witnessing today a revolution in global consciousness about human rights.  By that I mean that pursuing the goal of human rights is essentially a modern phenomenon. Human civilization has no doubt erupted in the past with numerous brutalities and unkind treatment to fellow beings. Slavery was regarded as acceptable and even fashionable among the affluent in the West. Persecuting dissent in religion or politics was normal. Remember the Spanish Inquisition? Beating down Aboriginals and hunting them down in the bush was something of a sport in the Australia of the past.  Sri Lankan critics of HR are in the habit of citing such instances to scorch the Western powers over the UN rights issue. What is wrong about such a critique is that all those actions had been part of the spirit of the times or the moral zeitgeist of an era. Such behaviors are now rejected as unacceptable and even abhorrent. The line has been drawn between the old era and the new and we have to honor that. Those in power among the diverse human collectivites called countries or nations cannot be allowed to continue in such abusive behavior. Human civilization must move ahead.
I am not saying that the Western powers are not guilty of HR abuse even today. They certainly are. Particularly after George Bush’s “war on terror,” America and its allies were open to such allegations. The US naval base at Guantanamo Bay was the scene of torture. The invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan raised our eyebrows. Hopefully, all this would soon be forgotten as a reaction to the grave Nine Eleven threat to the survival of the United States of America and to European civilization.                         Read More   

I’m not an LTTEer

    December 29, 2013

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

Bishop of Mannar, Dr. Rayappu Joseph, in an interview with Ceylon Today says he has always been accused of being an LTTE supporter by senior ministers of the government and adds that he thinks Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, who recently accused him of being a spokesperson for the LTTE, is misusing his position as the government spokesperson, using official platforms to utter personal opinions.

Following are excerpts:

Q: You have been called a ‘controversial bishop’. Why are you branded so?

Local contacts of visiting Indian journalist exposed to TID interrogators in Colombo

TamilNet[TamilNet, Sunday, 29 December 2013, 21:34 GMT]
In one of the strongest investigations and monitoring conducted so far on a foreign journalist visiting the island, the experienced interrogators of the notorious ‘Terrorist Investigation Department’ of Colombo had not only confiscated the electronic and non-electronic possessions from the young journalist from Tamil Nadu, but also monitored and traced all his contacts from the moment he landed at Colombo airport for the second time, informed media sources in Colombo told TamilNet Sunday. In the meantime 22-year-old Maga Thamizh Prabhagaran, when contacted by TamilNet after his deportation to Chennai, said he was subjected to ‘psychological torture’ like condition at the hands of the TID interrogators in Colombo and that the TID had his Tamil book of his first visit translated when they questioned him on his affiliations. 

The journalist was arrested by the Sri Lankan military in Ki'linochchi on Wednesday and deported to India on Saturday after extensive interrogations in Vanni and Colombo. 

A prominent member of a media rights group in Colombo told TamilNet on Sunday that anonymous callers from the TID had already issued threats at least to two local contacts, who were allegedly in touch with Mr Prabhagaran. 

When contacted by TamilNet, Maga Prabhagaran said he was extensively questioned on his Tamil Nadu political links. The TID interrogators were questioning on the kind of relationship he had with Tamil leaders and activists in Tamil Nadu. 

The TID interrogators were particular on his contact with Mr Vaiko, the general secretary of the MDMK and Mr Pazha Nedumaran. They had a photo of him and Mr Vaiko during their questioning. The interrogators were also interested to know about whether there was any link between him and Mr Seeman of Naam Thamizhar. 

He also added that the TID interrogators were also questioning him on his contacts in the island. They were keen in knowing which Tamil politicians in the island, with whom he was in touch during his first and second visit to the island. 

Mr Thamizh Prabhagaran, who was on a ‘tourist visa’ trip to the North, has defended himself by saying that he was only filming open facilities and that he had entered none of prohibited places as being claimed by the SL military.

However, it would not be possible to anyone filming activities in North to avoid SL military being captured in filming, as the SL military presence is virtually everywhere inseparable from the civilians, sources in Vanni told TamilNet. 

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan TID has stepped up threats against local journalists this weekend, rights activists in the island say.

Media’s Darling Diaspora Kids Become Goodwill Ambassadors

(December 31, 2013, London Sri Lanka Guardian) The sound and fury after Canadian MP Ms Sathsabiesan spoke eloquently in three languages in the Canadian parliament when war was escalating in 2009 in Wanni fizzled out no sooner than TVs and media turned their attention to other events unfolding. Young and beautiful she is, she became the media darling for diaspora Tamils and Tamils living in Sri Lanka.
Then there is MIA, daughter of former Tamil militant Prof. Arudpragasam (comrade of LTTE leader Pirabhakaran in the early stages of Tamil militancy) who used her charms and incredible fashion sense to bring Sri Lanka before the world media with her rap and hip-hop music in almost porn-like strutting on stage. That she went on to earn her living as a pop star is another matter.
Children and youth in the Tamil diaspora raised thousands of pounds and dollars for the Tsunami and war victims with their cultural shows and they really went for it with their parents supporting them.
Having said that, both of the afore-mentioned darlings are welcome in their own sweet and cute ways to do their bit to raise the subject of human rights pertaining to Tamils in Sri Lanka.
But when it comes to action, we need movers and shakers with experience. One could hardly make these two sweet and cute little things sit together with Northern Province Chief Minister Wigneswaran, MPs Sumanthiran or Sampanthan. Certainly these sweet and cute little things would be soothing ointment for ageing and sore eyes but they would hardly comprehend the intricacies of diplomacy and politics no matter how many degrees or accolades they have piled up in their portfolio.
One does not know the purpose of Ms Sathsabiesan’s visit to Jaffna. Is it to garner evidence of war crimes and other issues affecting Tamils or is she here to reclaim some ancestral property? Who is footing her travel expenses? Is it the Canadian Government or the Tamil diaspora or is she footing the bill herself from her own pocket or her family’s?
The young and eager Indian journalist Pirabakaran was mentally tortured and his trade tools confiscated by the TID on his recent visit to Wanni. Actor and poet Jeyapalan too was arrested on blind suspicion by the security forces in November this year. Can Ms Sathsabiesan show the same boldness in Jaffna as she did in Canadian Parliament to record and take photographs to present as evidence at the UNHRC sessions. It is hardly possible and almost impossible. On the other hand she may surprise us all.
But the media loves a bit of sensation just like the actresses who are coming out of the woodworks to contest elections in order to prove they have not only got acting talent and beauty but brains. Bless their make-up and shimmering dresses.
Ms Sathsabeisan certain has grabbed Sri Lanka media’s attention. Enjoy is what I say.
(The writer has been a journalist for 24 years and worked in national newspapers as sub-editor, news reporter and news editor. She was Colombo Correspondent for Times of India and has contributed to Wall Street Journal where she was on work experience from The Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, California. Currently residing in UK she is also co-founder of EJN (Exiled Journalists Network) UK in 2005 the membership of which is 200 from 40 countries. She can be reached at

Resettled survivors of Vanni onslaught languish in Batticaloa

TamilNet[TamilNet, Monday, 30 December 2013, 17:14 GMT]
95% of the 1080 families of Batticaloa Tamils who survived the 2009 genocidal onslaught in Vanni and resettled back in Batticaloa district have been completely neglected from any help and still languish without basic facilities. When the families displaced from Batticaloa to Vanni in 2004 from different places of the district, Karuna group paramilitary destroyed their houses and their possessions were robbed. When they returned to their district, surviving the genocidal onslaught, Europe-based NGOs and UN agencies provided temporary huts to these families. All support stopped there, and these huts became the ‘markers’ for these families to get isolated from further aid, the families complain. They have also been sidelined from the Indian housing assistance. 

These families are systematically discriminated in the provision of humanitarian aid in the district through the influence exerted on the civil administration by the SL military operated paramilitary elements. 

Of 4,000 houses to be constructed in the Eastern Province under the Indian housing plan, 2,000 units are allocated to the victims in Batticaloa district. The Vanni survivors are neglected also from the provision of housing scheme due to various interferences in the selection of beneficiaries, the affected families complain. 

The families of Vanni survivors, who were originally displaced from Koa'ra'laip-pattu North (Vaakarai), Koa'ra'laip-pattu South (Kiraan), Vavu'natheevu, Koa'ra'laip-pattu, Paddip-pazhai, Poara-theevup-pattu and Ma'n-munaip-pattu were resettled into 10 DS divisions when they came back to the district surviving the genocidal onslaught, barbed-wire internment and SL military detention.

Movement for Equal Rights meeting in London

equal eMovement for equal rights (MER) held a meeting to commemorate the International Human Rights day on the 15th of December 2013 at Savoy court, North Harrow.
A remarkable day indeed as Nelson Mandela was buried in South Africa on the same day. It was a good idea to commemorate human rights day as there are lot of human rights violations happening around the world and especially in Sri Lanka. Mr Nuwan Jayaweera made the first speech and we were reminded of that fact that many human rights violations were occurred in Sri Lanka past few decades.  Mr Nuwan jayaweera emphasized that, while those violations are happening country’s political leadership embarked on forcing new liberal economic policies on populace. The abstract form of the speech was later translated to Tamil by a member of the audience. Thereafter two speeches were done in Tamil by two gentleman. Unfortunately there were no translations of these speeches to English or Sinhalese. So I cannot comment on any of the ideas of the learned speakers. I found this is rather disappointing. It is partially my own fault as I should have learned Tamil, but as a speaker of three languages I think I never had a good chance to learn the language. I am sorry about that fact (about myself), but I think organizers should have provided the translation.

Then we had, as a general "habit" of many other Front Line Socialist party organised meetings I have attended "the call to Sri Lanka" via skype. As usual, with many delays we had the convener of the Movement for Equal Rights in Sri Lanka on the line with his translator. He spoke in Sinhalese and we had a Tamil translator there. Well done.  I wouldn't find anything different he said about what's happening in Sri Lanka, compare to the lecture given by Mr Kumar Gunarathnam in one of the first meetings last year or the speech by Nuwan Jayaweera earlier on. In the first meeting of MER Mr Gunarathnam eloquently spelled out problems facing Sri Lankan population regarding human rights and how nationalistic parties supporting this with their unabated nationalism. The current convener Mr Ravindra Mudalige repeated the same ideals except he added the TNA to the equation as well. According to him TNA is as nationalistic as UNP. There are no arguments about that. UNP MPs were trying to score nationalistic points regarding MP Sridharan's speech last few weeks.  I may not condone the separatism and Sridharan's nationalistic course or the UNP MPS replies, however I am clear about the rights of the Tamil people to live in dignity and respect in their own land. Whether we called it self-determination or limited autonomy or fully powered provincial council is mere a formality. While we should oppose the TNA's nationalist position, we must not forget that, they are the most vociferous advocates for the Tamil people's rights in Northern and Eastern provinces at this moment in time. They are getting the wrath of the government, armed forces and southern media for that matter. Do the MER wanted to jump into that band wagon?
We were allowed to ask few questions and few did. One of them was Comrade Nirmala Rajasinghem. She did not identify herself. I think presidium should have recognized work done by her in human rights front and her role as one of the founding members of the Sri Lankan Democracy forum and frequent writer to the Open Democracy website. She was the first women to be detained under the prevention of terrorism act according to Open Democracy website and I remember she was freed by the LTTE from Welikada prison. (reference: She left the LTTE due to its serious human-rights abuses and also LTTE was accused of assassinating her sister, a well-known human rights activist Rajini Thiranagama. Rajini was one of the founding members of University Teachers of Human rights (Jaffna).  Her question was answered but not required level of authority or assurance by Nuwan Jayaweera or  the Convener of the forum Ravindra Mudalige. This is a serious lapse on their part, as obviously they haven't done their homework.
There was a Muslim gentlemen who asked what the objectives of the MER as it was not clear to him, and he has said he converted himself to Islamic religious person from a Marxist and he would like to know what MER thinks about Muslim issues radicalised by the young Muslims. He particularly wanted to know what the MER's stance about Niqab is. This is an important issue as, even though I assume myself to be a leftist I am against women wearing niqab. Niqab for me a garment of suppression of women by male dominated society and I would not like anyone to force women to wear a niqab. Most of the Muslim countries lack basic human rights and most countries do not allow women to drive, Marry on their will, there are also many honour killings as well. I am also against segregation of women and men in lecture halls at British Universities. But I would have liked to listen to this gentlemen and if his opinion is fair than I would have agreed with it. There were no time to accommodate his request and reply from presidium was "working Class Struggle". Apparently MER is there to facilitate working class struggle and unite the masses for it. There I was thinking Frontline Socialist party's main objective was to unite and lead the working class in Sri Lanka.
I would like to emphasize the fact that I would not undermine anyway the organizers hard work to get the people into these forums and organize such an event. They put themselves in the line of fire while organising these events. Convener of MER Ravindra Mudalige and his Tamil translator may even put themselves in danger (as shown in the recent past in Jaffna and Trincomalee) when they are courageously taking part in rallies, demonstrations and discussions.
However in this whole period of time apart from mentioning disappearances of Lalith Kumar Veeraraj and Kuhan Muruganandhan they have not mention any other specific human rights violations by the state. Very recently Sri Lankan police gunned down suspects of a crime without resorting to lawful path. This happens very often and torture of suspects in Police Stations across the country is ripe. They have mentioned the land grab of the North but failed to mention any concrete places they are happening. These are important. When we level an allegation then we should back them up with facts.  What we need is not an another forum, discussion with Skype connection and continually  repeat same points over and over as in apolitical ralley. What they need is to research the subject of the discussion more and allow the people to air their opinions and handle the discussion forum. Then formulate the response at the end of the forum with the approval of the majority. What is not clear is, what they have achieved here except just to show "headquarters" that they had organised a meeting.

Three Churches Attacked On Christmas Eve

Colombo TelegraphDecember 31, 2013
“As the world prepared to celebrate Christmas on the 24th evening, three churches in the South of Sri Lanka were attacked by mobs”, says the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL).
File photo
File photo
1. The pastor of the Assemblies of God church in Angunukolapalassa was surrounded by a mob of over 300 villagers together with Buddhist monks, demanding he stops all worship services planned for Christmas day. The mob alleged that there was a police complaint made by a Buddhist monk against the pastor’s religious activities. However, the pastor cited his fundamental rights and refused to stop holding services. The pastor was provided police protection from the night of the incident.
2. The same night, the Assemblies of God Church in Hikkaduwa was attacked by a group of unidentified assailants throwing fire crackers into the church premises and into the pastors residence adjoining the church.
3. At approximately at 11.30p.m., another group of unidentified assailants began to hurl stones at the Light House ChurchHikkaduwa. Some minor damage was reported with glass windows being shattered by the stones.
All three pastors have lodged police complaints in the respective area police stations.

Suffi Muslim Shrine At Potuvil Attacked By Another Islamic Group

Colombo TelegraphDecember 31, 2013 |
Meanwhile a Muslim shrine at Potuvil, belonging to the Suffi sect was attacked by another Islamic group last Friday (27) with the promise that a mosque would be built on that spot within three months, the Island reported.
File photo
File photo
According to the newspaper, the Chairman of the Islamic Solidarity Front (ISF) Reyyaz Salley told them that about 50 to 60 persons had attacked the 300-year-old shrine. He claimed about 10 to 15 shrines and 25 mosques had been attacked all over the country by the extremists in recent years. Potuvil police said they were investigating the incident. Salley also said that the Wakfu Board, had jurisdiction over religious issues but it had been dissolved two month back, and a new board had not been appointed.

Tamils for Obama Congratulates TGTE Prime Minister Rudrakumaran for Election to his Second Term

rudrakumarThe Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) re-elected Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran as their Prime Minister for their second Parliamentary term on December 6, 2013.

During his first term, the TGTE gained diplomatic recognition from two countries, South Sudan and Northern Ireland.
Additionally, TGTE promulgated a Freedom Charter on May 18, 2013 (this was inspired by the African National Congress's Freedom Charter in South Africa).
Presently, in addition to the campaign for an international investigation, TGTE is also campaigning for an International Protection Mechanism for Sri Lankan Tamils and to secure the release of documents on Tamils prepared by the Office of the Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General on Prevention of Genocide.
"Rudrakumaran and Tamils for Obama share the same goal. Both believe that referendum among Tamils inside Sri Lanka and Tamil diaspora will contribute to the political solution to the conflict" said a spokesman for Tamils for Obama.
"Also, we see the purpose of TGTE as laying the foundation for an independent Tamil Eelam and democracy in the northeast of Sri Lanka" he continued.
"Under Rudrakumaran's leadership, we trust that process has begun.”
"It is noteworthy that TGTE's Constitution mandates that it should realize its political objective only through peaceful and democratic means" continued the spokesman.
Mr. Rudrakumaran practices law in Manhattan, New York.
Tamils for Obama is a politically active group of Tamil Americans. They believe that over 70,000 Tamil civilians were massacred during the last weeks of the Sri Lankan ethnic war. They have also watched the behavior of the Sri Lankan Singhalese victors after the war, and strongly conclude that Tamils in Sri Lanka will only be safe when this unfortunate island is divided into two states.
To contact the group, call at (516) 308-2645 and speak to, or leave a message for, the Communication Director, Tamils for Obama.