Sep 28 – Oct 4

Navarathri 2014: ♫ A Gala for The Guardian Goddess ♫

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha sentenced to four years imprisonment in the disproportionate assets case

By Siva Sivapragasam

A special court in Bangalore has sentenced Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa and her three associates – N Sasikalaa, J Elavarasi and V N Sudhakaran – to four years imprisonment in the Rs 66.65-crore disproportionate assets case. The Judge also imposed a fine of Rupees One Hundred crore. [MJ]

Jayalalithaa Jayaram: From Alluring Actress to Powerful Politician

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

(Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms.Jayalalithaa Jayaram is celebrating her 66th Birthday on February 24th. A condensed version of an article written on the occasion of her 60th birthday in 2008 is being reproduced here) [DBSJ]

The Assassination of Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike 55 Years Ago

By
D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The three –decade period of intense conflict from 1983 to 2009 has resulted in hundreds of political assassinations in Sri Lanka. Both Tamil and Sinhala armed groups have been responsible for these killings at different times and diverse locations. The killings of those who held or were holding high political office were so numerous during those times that most people lost count of such assassinations. [DBSJ]

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram Given 4 Years Jail Sentence and Fined 1Billion Rupees by Bangalore Special Court

By

Krishnaprasad & Sruthisagar Yamunan

The Special Court in Bangalore on Saturday convicted and sentenced Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to four years in prison and a fine of 100 crores, in the disproportionate assets case.

Since the sentence in the case exceeded three years, the special court does not have jurisdiction to grant bail and she will be taken into custody. [DBSJ]

Anti -Muslim Alliance Between Sri Lanka’s Bodu Bala Sena and Burma’s 969 Movement Leader Ashin Wirathu

By
Latheef Farook

The alliance between anti Muslim Sri Lankan racist outfit Bodu Bala Sena and Burma’s blood thirsty Buddhist Monk Ashin Wiruthu, responsible for slaughtering thousands of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, spells disaster for the island.

This extremely dangerous alliance, brought together by their common hatred towards Islam and Muslims, perhaps trained and financed by their new found Israel and United States friends , has all the ingredients to turn the island into a killing field from which it may unlikely to recover for decades to come under the existing local and global political environment.

This unholy alliance fits into the Zionist sponsored and United States led global anti Muslim campaign to justify the invasion and destruction of Muslim countries. This is the reason why the Muslims suspect the hate mongers as mercenaries of foreign forces.

The growing fear among the island’s besieged Muslim community is that “BBS-Asin Wirathu Alliance” may lead to a Rohingya type attack on the island’s Muslims. [DBSJ]

Sep 21-27:

A “Global” Praise: ♫ “Guardian Goddess” and Mother Nature

by K. Thirukumaran

Portrait of Bharathiyar in Chennai (1920)

Portrait of Bharathiyar in Chennai (1920)

“Yathum ure yavarum Kelir” – All the world is my world, all humanity is my fraternity:”- Kaniyan Pooongkundran-Translated by Rev Fr Xavier Thaninayagam

Sakthi is the “Guardian Goddess” of Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar. He has said that Navarathri is a favorite festival of his and that he look forward to celebrate it every year.

In 2014, Navarathri is from September 25th to October 3rd. Calendars in USA and Canada have marked the beginning date as September 24th.

Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar wrote many poems in praise of Sakthi. His famous praise of the goddess invoked Sakthi as Mother of the nation in the form of Muththumari, the main deity in numerous rural parts of Tamil Nadu. [TW]

USTPAC Welcomes the Oral Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2014 – The US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) welcomes the 22 September 2014 report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka. USTPAC commends the UN High Commissioner for a robust assessment of the challenges to justice, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka, and strongly supports his recommendations. [DBSJ]

Navarathri 2014: ♫ A Gala for The Guardian Goddess ♫

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The Holy ‘Nine Night’ Festival celebrating the Goddesses of Bravery, Wealth and Wisdom fall this year, in 2014 – from Sept 24/25th for 9 days, followed by Vijayathasami on the 10th day. The 10th day is celebrated particularly to start learning – education and the arts. [TW]

“Dr.Rajani Rajasingham Thiranagama was the NOBLEST of all my Pupils” Prof. Carlo Fonseka

(Full Text of Prof. Carlo Fonseka’s speech Scheduled to be Delivered at the Rajani Thiranagama Commemoration Meeting in Jaffna on September 20th 2014) [DBSJ]

Magical Influence of MHM Ashraff Over Muslim Masses Lingers on Even After 14 Years

By
D.B.S. Jeyaraj

This is a period of time in Sri Lanka which is referred to as “Ashraff season” in lighter vein by observers of the Sri Lankan Muslim political scene. The Country witnesses a series of meetings and events paying tribute to the late Muslim Congress leader MHM Ashraff during this period. From the date of his death September 16th to the date of his birth October 23rd this season of more than five weeks would result in Ashraff being commemorated by Muslim political leaders notably those of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. [DBSJ]

Sep 14-20

Kurai Ondrumillai ♫ Song by Rajaji ♫ Rendered by Haricharan ♫ Featuring SV Temple, Pittsburgh, PA

No regret whatsoever ♫ No Worries Krishna

by K. Thirukumaran

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There are many translations of the Tamil devotional song “Kurai Ondrumillai” penned by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (10 December 1878 – 25 December 1972), the last Governor-General of India. A notable in-depth analytical translation is on the Wikipedia by Gopalkrishna Gandhi. I attempt here a lucid translation of the lyrics.

It is notable that one Tamil word “Kurai” applies to many nuances throughout the song, but no single English word seems to be the right fit.

The song is solitary evidence as to why Rev. Father Xavier S. Thaninayagam, referred to Tamil as the language of Bhakthi, “The devotion to the sacred and the holy.” [TW]

Sacrifice in Silence of a Generation: A Tribute for my parents and their Generation

By K. Thirukumaran

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Ammah: Since god cannot be everywhere,

Everyone here has this most selfless person in her or his own lives. [DBSJ]

Comrade Bala Tampoe: Life and Times of a Legendary Trade Union Leader-1

By

D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Philips Balendra Tampoe

Philips Balendra Tampoe

When news reached me in Toronto that Philips Balendra Tampoe popularly known as Bala Tampoe had passed away in Colombo on September 1st 2014, I felt somewhat guilt ridden and remorse stricken. The reason for these feelings was that with Bala being no more there was no way in which I could undertake an envisaged project concerning the veteran Trade unionist.The project was to do a series of interviews with Bala Tampoe in a biographical mode and compile them into a book. [DBSJ]

Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama: Unforgettable Symbol of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tragedy

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

It was 25 years ago on September 21st 1989 that Dr. Rajini Thiranagama nee Rajasingham was killed in Jaffna. She was 35 years old at the time of her death.The 25th anniversary of her death is to be commemorated through a series of events next week in the northern capital. This is the first time that such a commemoration of Rajini’s memorable legacy is to be held in Jaffna, since the one held in 1989, a month after her death. [DBSj]

Sep 7 – 13:

MSB101812TWMarking the Death Anniversary of an Eternal Poet ♫

Today September 11, 2014 marks the 93rd death anniversary of the great poet Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathi.

Here is his song, Nirpathuve Nadapathuve ~ Rendered as Veena Instrumental by Rajesh Vaidhya [TW]

Comrade Bala Tampoe: Life and Times of a Legendary Trade Union Leader-1

By

D.B.S. Jeyaraj

When news reached me in Toronto that Philips Balendra Tampoe popularly known as Bala Tampoe had passed away in Colombo on September 1st 2014, I felt somewhat guilt ridden and remorse stricken. The reason for these feelings was that with Bala being no more there was no way in which I could undertake an envisaged project concerning the veteran Trade unionist.The project was to do a series of interviews with Bala Tampoe in a biographical mode and compile them into a book. [DBSJ]

“Maavai” Senathirajah Elected Unanimously as Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi President at 15th Party Convention in Vavuniya

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

71 Year old Somasundaram Senathirajah popularly known as “Maavai” Senathirajah was unanimously elected as the President of the premier Tamil political party the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) at the party convention held in Vavuniya today (September 6 2014). [DBSJ]

Aug 31 – Sep 6

Why Narendra Modi Wants Sri Lanka to Build on the 13th Amendment

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

MRNMRS082914

Astute Observers consistently following the erratic course of Sri Lankan Tamil politics were in for a pleasant surprise last week. The premier political representatives of the Sri Lankan Tamil people configured electorally as the Tamil National Alliance(TNA)embarked on a passage to India to meet the recently elected Prime minister Narendra Modi and key officials in New Delhi. [DBSJ]

Aug 24-30

Indian PM Modi Tells TNA that ALL Stakeholders Must Engage Constructively to Find Political Solution Built Upon the 13th Amendment of Sri Lankan Constitution

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday urged Sri Lanka to ensure “equality, dignity, justice and self-respect” for its Tamil minority.

Modi made the appeal when a six-member delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Sri Lanka’s main Tamil political party, called on him. [DBSJ]

The Fishermen of Mannar are now far Ahead of the Farmers in their Journey to Sustainability

by Thulasi Muttulingam

TMMF4

For a young woman who cowered heavily pregnant in a bunker during shelling and despaired of life for herself or her child, Jeyaranji has come a long way. She and her fellow community members have been through a lot; war, displacement, poverty, exploitation – but they are yet resilient and resourceful. Getting these literally shell-shocked people back on their feet has been an arduous task. But this one intervention has given them a buoyancy and hope that has an impetus of its own. [DBSJ]

Aug 17-23:

India Reiterates Commitment to “Substantially Addressing Aspirations of Tamil Community for Equality, Dignity, Justice and Self-Respect Within United Sri Lanka”

India was keen on engaging with the Sri Lankan government and all political parties to help with the ongoing reconciliation process in the island nation. [DBSJ]

No regret whatsoever ♫ No Worries Krishna

by K. Thirukumaran

Krishna SV

There are many translations of the Tamil devotional song “Kurai Ondrumillai” written by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (10 December 1878 – 25 December 1972), the last Governor-General of India.

It is notable that one Tamil word “Kurai” applies to many nuances throughout the song, but no single English word seems to be finding the right fit.

The song is a solitary evidence as to why Rev. Xavier Thaninayagam referred to Tamil as the language of Bhakthi, “The devotion to the sacred and the holy.” [TW]

Reigniting Theatrical interest in Jaffna’s Younger Generations

By Thulasi Muttulingam

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An eight day festival of drama and theater, specifically targeting children (but also catering to adults), just recently came to an end in Jaffna.

Timed to coincide with the Nallur Festival currently ongoing, when people are in a relaxed, entertainment seeking mood as they wend their way along the roads leading out of the temple after their evening prayers – the festival occurred in a by lane adjoining the temple precincts from August 12-20. [MJ]

First Open Heart Surgery performed in Jaffna

Oxonian Heart Foundation welcomes donations to save lives of patients with heart problems

By Siva Sivapragasam

Sixteen-year old orphaned girl Archana is all smiles today after the hole in her heart was closed by open heart surgery, the first of it’s kind done in Jaffna.

The first open heart surgical operation in more than 30 years has been performed in Jaffna on Archana at the private Northern Central Hospital with the support of the Oxonian Heart Foundation (OHF). The patient Archana orphaned when she lost both her parents in the Northern war. [MJ]

33 TNA Provincial Councillors from North and East Write to Navi Pillay Requesting UN Probe to Determine Whether Genocide of Tamils Has Occurred in Sri Lanka

33 Tamil National Alliance(TNA)Provincial councillors comprising 28 from the North and 5 from the East have written to outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms.Navanetham Pillay outlining three specific requests regarding the on going investigation into Sri Lanka by her office.The TNA councillors have jointly urged ms.Pillay and her in coming successor to take the three requests into consideration. The TNA provincial councillors want the UN probe to investigate incidents affecting the Tamil people in the Island from at least the year 1974 and determine whether Genocide has taken place and also wants the probe to be conducted from Tamil Nadu in India if the Sri Lankan Govt forbids entry of the UN investigators into Sri Lanka [DBSJ]

♥ Baby Krishna: Eternal bliss giver ♫

Presenting song to celebrate Birthday of Krishna Today August 17th:

Song rendered by R. Balasarawathi (b: Aug 28, 1928 ) ♫
Lyrics: A. Maruthakasi (Feb 13, 1920 – Nov 29, 1989) ♫
Attempt at Translation by K. Thirukumaran ♫

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Baby Krishna lullaby ♫

Baby Krishna the Blue hued
Come by dear
Come you give me a kiss
Eternal bliss giver with plays
Dear son come by [TW]

Monsoon Journal – August 2014

untitled

Published from Toronto [TW]

OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka

The OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) will seek to develop regular dialogue and cooperation with other United Nations entities, including its specialized agencies, interested institutions and academics and non-governmental and community organizations.

Any state, individual or organisation may submit information in writing to the OISL. Submissions to the OISL may be sent to: oisl_submissions@ohchr.org

In carrying out its work, the OISL will be guided at all times by the principles of independence, impartiality, objectivity, transparency, integrity and “do no harm”. [UN]

UN rights experts urge halt to Sri Lanka’s deportations of Pakistani asylum seekers

United Nations human rights experts today expressed their grave concern over the detentions and forced deportations of Pakistani asylum seekers in Sri Lanka back to their homeland where violent attacks against religious minorities have spiked in recent years.

“States must guarantee that every single asylum claim is individually assessed with due process and in line with international law,” according to press release issued by UN Special Rapporteurs on minority issues, Rita Izsák, and on freedom of religion and belief, Heiner Bielefeldt. [UN]

UN Refugee Agency alarmed as Sri Lanka deports families seeking asylum

The United Nations refugee agency today expressed alarm that recent deportations of asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka back to Pakistan were growing in size and scope despite international calls to stop sending them back to a place where their lives could be in danger.

“In all, 88 Pakistanis had been sent home since 1 August. Initially, those deportees had been men previously placed into detention, but now whole families were being deported,” Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) told reporters in Geneva today. [UN]

Aug 10-16:

Desmond de Silva, Geoffrey Nice and Michael Crane Reputed for Whitewashing Govt Crimes,Getting Immunity for Heads of State and Saving Dictators Facing War Crime Charges

by Mangala Samaraweera M.P.

The United National Party (UNP) has consistently maintained that the opening of the floodgates of international scrutiny can be avoided only through an independent and credible local investigation to inquire into the serious allegations against the Rajapaksa regime of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. [DBSJ]

Press Release by Oblate Provincial in Colombo about Illegal Intrusion and disruption of a Meeting at Centre for Society and Religion

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As the Provincial Superior of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (Colombo Province), I wish to express my feelings of deep disappointment and frustration over the deplorable and despicable incident that transpired at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), at 281, Deans Road, Colombo 10, on Monday, August 4, 2014.

CSR is the social justice arm of the Oblate religious order and has always championed the cause of the poor and the marginalized, whatever be their race or creed. [DBSJ]

Five Years After the Capture of Ex-LTTE Chief “KP” in Malaysia

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

It was five years ago on August 5th 2009 that Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias “KP” the chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was captured in Malaysia and brought to Colombo in a well-planned operation amounting to an “extraordinary rendition”.

KP who had served for many years as the chief arms procurer of the LTTE heading a tiger department known euphemistically as “overseas purchases” was discontinued from his post in 2002 after the Oslo facilitated ceasefire came into force. Tiger Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran re-absorbed him into the movement years later and appointed KP as head of the LTTE’s newly created International relations department in January 2009. [DBSJ]

Aug 3 – 9:

U.S. Embassy Concerned by Meeting Disruption, Calls for Sri Lanka Government to Enforce Rule of Law

On August 4 a meeting that included U.S. Embassy officials was interrupted by angry protesters, including a group of monks. The mob forced its way into the meeting on the grounds of a Colombo Catholic church, where families of disappeared persons from the civil conflict were sharing their stories with civil society groups and members of the diplomatic community. [TW]

Aftermath of Amirthalingam Assassination: Attempt to Absolve LTTE

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

An official delegation representing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) was engaged in negotiations with the Government of President Ranasinghe Premadasa in Colombo when Former Leader of the opposition Appapillai Amirthalingam and his colleague Vettivelu Yogeswaran were assassinated by a tiger hit squad on July 13th 1989. [DBSJ]

Jul 27-Aug 2

Ramanujan: Vaali’s Newest Krishna Melody ♫

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Amarar – “Evergreen” Vaali has once again penned a divine Krishna ♫ composition for the newly released biopic on Mathematical genius – “Ramanujan”. [TW]

Legacy of riots overshadows Eid in Sri Lanka

Tensions persist in Aluthgama and other Sri Lanka towns hit by communal violence as the fasting month of Ramadan ends.

by Dinouk Colombage

Tensions persist as Muslim and Sinhalese communities in the Sri Lankan town of Aluthgama try to rebuild their lives in the wake of communal riots.

The two-day violence in June overshadowed the traditional observance during Ramadan, which has been a stressful time for local Muslims who were forced to rebuild damaged homes and businesses [AJE]

US concerned over disruption of workshop for Sri Lanka North Journalists

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U.S. Embassy Concerns on Media Freedom in Sri Lanka

The United States is deeply concerned by the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of a journalism training session in Colombo over the weekend. The eventual cancellation of this training, which was focused on digital security for Jaffna-based journalists and financially supported by the U.S. government, was accompanied by a series of threats and intimidation of training participants and other journalists around the country, including threats against at least one journalist who made a statement criticizing the government over the cancellation. [TW]

Sivaji Ganesan: Tamil cinema’s versatile actor par excellence

By

D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The first Tamil film which impacted on me greatly during childhood was ‘Veera Pandiya Kattabomman’. It was a kind of bio-picture about a ‘Paalayakkaaran’ or Polygar (feudal chieftain) who defied the British during the last decade of the 18th Century and paid the supreme penalty. Kattabomman whose full name was Veera Pandiya Kattabomma Karuthaiyya Nayakkar governed an area known as Paanchaalankurichi which is in the Thoothukkudi District of Tamil Nadu state in India. [DBSJ]

Workshop for Tamil journalists in Colombo disrupted

by MEERA SRINIVASAN

In an apparent case of intimidation of journalists, a group of persons disrupted a training programme organised for Tamil journalists on Saturday.

Journalists from Jaffna had travelled south to Colombo for a workshop on electronic media organised by the Free Media Movement, a collective working for media rights in Sri Lanka. [The Hindu]