Formation of Hindu Political Group “Siva Senai” seen as a Regressive step in Sri Lankan Tamil Politics
By PK Balachandran
The formation of a Hindu political group “Siva Senai” (Siva’s Army), with the vowed purpose of defending Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus from “other religious groups” and securing for the Hindus their rightful place in Tamil political parties commensurate with their dominant status in Tamil society, is seen by observers as a regressive development in Sri Lankan Tamil politics.
Veteran columnist D.B.S.Jeyaraj sees it as an attempt to bring back an inter-religious division in Tamil politics which was there in the first three decades of post-independence Sri Lanka. Jeyaraj remembered that in the 1970 parliamentary election in Kakesanthurai, C.Suntharalingam, an orthodox Hindu, had challenged Samuel. J.V.Chelvanayakam, the Christian leader of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), by asking voters to choose between the “Siluvai” and the “Soolam” – the Cross and Trishul. But the largely secular Tamils chose neither and voted for Chelvanayakam. the Christian leader of the secular Federal Party. [DBSJ]
Canada will Celebrate January as Tamil Heritage Month from 2017 Onwards
Come January, when Tamils around the world will celebrate Thai Pongal, the whole of Canada will celebrate it as Tamil Heritage Month. Festivities for the inaugural Tamil Heritage Month across Canada will commence in January 2017, which coincides with the Canada 150 celebrations. [DBSJ]
Lankan Plantation Workers Protest for More than a Week Demanding Raise of daily Wage from 620 Rs to 1000 Rupees
Thousands of Indian origin Tamils, employed in Sri Lanka’s famed tea estates, are on protest for a week now, demanding higher wages.
They are asking for a daily wage of LKR 1,000 (around Rs. 450), which estate owners have deemed high, citing the current “risk-prone” business environment. [DBSJ]
“Wigneswaran is a Politician and not a Racist who is Trumping up Nationalism Because he is Unable to Show Results”- Mahinda Rajapaksa
Former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa took a moderate stance on issues pertaining to controversial Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and the release of Tamil political prisoners that were at odds with his usual rhetoric, in discussions with journalists from the Tamil media yesterday. [DBSJ]
When Asked About Wigneswaran Led TPC Rally in Jaffna, TNA and Opposition Leader Sampanthan Says “People are Entitled to their Democratic Expression”
Thousands of Tamils on Saturday participated in a rally in Jaffna, led by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.
Thousands of Tamils on Saturday participated in a rally in Jaffna, led by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, drawing attention to “Sinhala colonisation” and “rampant militarisation” of Sri Lanka’s North and East. [DBSJ]
What If Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been Attacked by Pro-LTTE Elements in Malaysia?
Sri Lankans were shocked and disturbed in the first week of September by two violent incidents directed against a Buddhist prelate and a senior diplomat in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur(KL). In the first incident on Saturday September 3rd the chief Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia – Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera was attacked opposite the Buddhist Temple at Sentul in KL. This incident however was of a minor nature. In a more serious incident on Sunday September 4th , Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Malaysia Ibrahim Sahib Ansar was assaulted within the precincts of the Kuala Lumpur International AirportKIA). As is well known, the suspected assailants in both instances were members of the neo-fascist political outfit known as the “Naam Thamizhar Katchi (We Tamils Party) in Malaysia. [DBSJ]
Assault on Sri Lankan High Commissioner Ansar in Kuala Lumpur Airport by Malaysian “We Tamils/Naam Thamizhar”
An official Ambassador is defined as a diplomat of the highest rank accredited to a foreign Govt as the resident representative of his or her own country. The equivalent designation to an Ambassador among Commonwealth Nations is the High Commissioner. Since an Ambassador or High Commissioner is the premier representative of his or her country any honour bestowed upon him or her in the host country is a respect afforded to the envoy’s country. Likewise any insult or injury caused to a High Commissioner or Ambassador is an affront to the envoy’s own country. It is in this context that the recent assault on Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, His Excellency Ibrahim Sahib Ansar at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport by a gang belonging to the “We Tamils Party” has to be viewed and condemned. [DBSJ]
Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s Murder and Hirunika’s Quest for Justice
Former parliamentarian and presidential adviser Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra known as “Lucky Aiya” was gunned down along with three of his bodyguards in Mulleriyawa on October 8th 2011. The past few years have been a taxing period of struggle for Bharatha’s daughter Hirunika Premachandra –now a Colombo district MP – as she sought justice for her father’s killing. Finally Hirunika’s quest for justice triumphed on September 8th 2016 exactly four years and eleven months after Bharatha’s death. [DBSJ]
“Dharussalam” in the Eye of a Political Storm Within The Muslim Congress
by D.B.S. Jeyaraj
“Dharussalam” meaning “abode or house of peace” is the name given to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) headquarters at 53 Vauxhall lane in Slave Island or Colombo 2. The impressive seven storey structure was constructed mainly through the untiring efforts of M.H.M. Ashraff the legendary leader of the SLMC. “Dharussalam” was officially declared open on October 23rd 1998.Ashraff formed a trust on July 23rd 1999 and vested Dharussalam in that trust. The trust was named ‘Leaders Obligatory Trust for Unity and Sri Lankan Identity’ and was known by the acronym LOTUS. An executive board for the trust was also set up. Another company Unity Builders Ltd was formed to administer and maintain Dharussalam. Ashraff who headed both the LOTUS and its Executive board during his lifetime was killed in an air – crash on September 16th 2000. [DBSJ]
Is Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Against the Search for Truth About Missing Catholic Priests?
ByUpul Joseph Fernando
Senior Journalist D. B. S. Jeyaraj had written an article to a weekend English newspaper. The article was based on the disappearance of Father Thiruchelvam Nihal Jim Brown from a Catholic church in the North. At a moment when laws have been prepared to establish an office to inquire into disappeared persons, it was stated in this article that it was the responsibility of the Maithri-Ranil government to look into the disappearance of this clergyman as well. On the very same day Jeyaraj had written this article, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith had given an interview to a Sunday Sinhala newspaper. [DBSJ]
When a Tamil Catholic Priest went Missing in Jaffna Ten years Ago
by D.B.S. Jeyaraj
Exactly ten years ago on August 20th 2006 a member of the Catholic Clergy along with a member of the Catholic Laity went missing in the north.The clergyman was Fr.Thiruchelvam Nihal Jim Brown who was serving as a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna.The Layman was Wenceslaus Vimaladhas a social worker.[DBSJ]
“White –Vanning Culture” and the Lucrative Industry of Abducting Tamils for Ransom
August 11th 2016 was a day of well-deserved pride for the people of Sri Lanka. The Island nation’s parliament on that day passed legislation to set up an office of missing persons(OMP) in the country. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Affairs minister Mangala Samaraweera hailed the passage of the OMP bill as “historic”. Addressing a press briefing soon after the Bill had been ratified, Minister Samaraweera said the new law would give relief to the loved ones of thousands from the north and south of the country who had disappeared. “This is the first step towards rectifying the mistakes during the past 68 years,” said Samaraweera [DBSJ]