Aug 31 – Sep 6

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

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

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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

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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

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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]

Jul 20-26:

Anatomy of an Anti-Tamil Pogrom: Thirty-first Anniversary of “Black July” 1983

(This article was posted last year to denote the 30th anniversary of Black July 83 and is reproduced here again in view of the 31st anniversary without any change except a minor one in the heading)

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The tragic history of post – independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka have been subjected to mass –scale mob violence in the years 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983. The anti-Tamil violence of July 1983 was the most terrible and horrible of them all. It remains etched in memory even after 30 years. [DBSJ]

How the Famous Tamil Poet Subramania Bharati Responded to the First World War

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BY A.R. VENKATACHALAPATHY

Born in 1882, Subramania Bharati’s political career began in the end of 1904. Less than four years later he would be forced into exile, an ordeal that would extend to well over a decade. The years spent in exile in the French enclave of Pondicherry, between mid-1908 and late 1918, subsume the years of the Great War, and it is not entirely coincidental that Bharati should choose to end his exile within a week of the signing of the Armistice. How did the great poet respond to the Great War? [DBSJ]

Assassination of Tamil Leader Appapillai Amirthalingam by the LTTE 25 Years Ago

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

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July 13th 1989 was the date on which the well-known Sri Lankan Tamil leader Appapillai Amirthalingam was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE).The former leader of the Opposition was a national list MP of the Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF)at the time he was gunned down in Colombo. [DBSJ]

July 13-19:

From the Fist Sized Heart of Poet Vaali

by K. Thirukumran

The heart is the size of one’s fist, and Vaali’s blossomed mystically melodious lyrics from it to eternal fragrance and fame.

‘Evergreen’ Lyricist and poet Vaali passed away a year ago today, July 18th in Chennai at the age 82. He was born as S. Rangarajan in Thiruparaithurai near Tiruchi on 29 October, 1931. [TW]

Bodhu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero Makes Arrangements to visit Australia on a “Spiritual Awakening Mission”

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Bodhu Bala Sena General-Secretary Ven.Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero is scheduled to visit Australia on a “spiritual awakening mission” in a few weeks time it is learnt.

The notorious monk known for articulating racial and religious hatred against minority communities in Sri Lanka and instigating violence will be conducting a series of meetings in different cities of Australia where he will explain the basic tenets of Buddhism.

Gnanasara Thero is also expected to speak about the situation prevailing in Sri Lanka and explain the underlying reasons behind the influx of asylum seekers sailing in boats seeking political refuge in Australia. [DBSJ]

Lester James Peries and the Making of his Path-breaking Sinhala film “Rekava”

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

‘Rekava’ or the line of destiny was the path-breaking film by Lester James Peries which altered the destiny of Sinhala cinema. (Though Rekava is spelled with both a ‘v’ as well as a ‘w’ in English, I am sticking to v because the original titles shown in the film spelled it with a v).

Rekava, the first feature film to be made by Lester, was released in December 1956. It was hailed as a turning point in the decade-long evolving history of Sinhala cinema. Prominent journalist Mervyn de Silva described Rekava as “the birth of Sinhala cinema” itself when writing about it. [DBSJ]

Jun 29-Jul 5:

TNA Must Take Lead in Presenting Evidence About LTTE Violations at The UN Probe

By

D.B.S. JEYARAJ

Outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navanetham Pillay known as Navi Pillay has presented a “fait accompli” as her parting gift to an unreceptive Sri Lanka!

TNA Parliamentarians M.A. Sumanthiran MP and R. Sampanthan MP

TNA Parliamentarians M.A. Sumanthiran MP and R. Sampanthan MP

After weeks of speculation and expectation the UN Human rights chief has formally announced the setting up of an investigative panel to conduct a comprehensive probe of alleged human rights violations committed by both sides during the war between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).The investigation that is mandated by a resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva during March 2014 will delve into related and relevant incidents that occurred between the years 2002 and 2009. [DBSJ]