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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Falsehood and Statehood

( November 30, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Our sincere support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable rights, including the right to statehood, the President Rajapakse said recently.

Why this principle cannot be applied to the Tamils? Are the Tamils undesirables, therefore not entitled to the very same rights? Judgements cannot be made whilst stampeding the very same inalienable rights principle at home.Will now Israel recognise the inalienable rights of statehood of the Tamils? The President speaks for the oil and oil money and not with the heart of sincere feeling.

Independent Palestinian state, Lanka’s wish - President

“On this solemn occasion to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to reaffirm, on behalf of my government and the people of Sri Lanka, our sincere support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable rights, including the right to statehood,” states President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message to mark International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People which falls today.

The message adds: “Peace ensures security and that fundamental factor underscores the urgency of resolving the Middle-East conflict. This long standing unresolved conflict is a challenge to the values and aspirations of humanity.

“Having personally associated myself with the cause of Palestine for nearly forty years, I reiterate that the Palestinians have been denied their basic human rights for far too long and renew the consistent call of my government for the realization of a two-state solution.

“This year’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People comes at a fundamentally changed time with noteworthy developments.

“The Palestinian Authority leadership has submitted an application for admission of the State of Palestine to full membership in the United Nations. Palestine has been successfully completing its state-building programme, which has been widely endorsed by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations and others, as well as by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in Brussels in June, and in New York in September. There is emerging internal reconciliation between the relevant local political stakeholders.

“Therefore now is the time for collective resolve and action, to usher in an independent and viable Palestine State within secure borders, in peace and security. As I said in my address to the Sixty-Sixth United Nations General Assembly, it is a matter of profound disappointment that this has not yet happened.

We have a window of opportunity now and must make best use of it before it is too late.

It is time for decisive action rather than more desultory discussion. This will be in the interest of the security and the wellbeing of the entire region.

“It is the earnest hope and wish of Sri Lanka, to see the dawn of a Palestinian State flourishing in peace, harmony and prosperity in the near future,” the message adds.

Genocide History Repeating NOW in Sri Lanka by the Government against Tamil civilians.flv

Jobless youth protest under police attack

JVP protest

Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a street protest by the youth front of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) on Wednesday.
The Socialist Youth Organisation (SYO) that organised the protest against the 2012 budget proposals, says the government has ignored the country's tens of thousands of unemployed.
The youth were marching from the Technical Junction towards the Finance Ministry in Colombo to handover a petition that highlight their grievances when the police blocked their advance.
Tear Gas attack
They were blocked at the Lake House round about in Colombo where they came under an attack of tear gas and water canon.
SYO National Organiser Bimal Ratnayaka addressing protestors following the police attack said that there are 42,000 unemployed graduates alone in the country,
"It showed the inability of the President Rajapaksa's government to solve the ever increasing unemployment problem," he said.
Police too "seek help"
He said that police who prevented their march had come for help to JVP when they were in difficulties.
"They complain about unlawful appointments, promotions and other job related problems" he said.
Mr. Ratnayaka accused the government of compensating businessmen rather than giving relief to employees who lost their jobs as a result of closure of factories in the country.
"According to government statistics, there 300,000 who have lost jobs following closure of their work places. But government has given out 16 billion rupees as compensation to businessmen", he said.
Those businessmen, he said, have told the government that they could not find people for their jobs.
"Are we talking about Sri Lanka or another planet," exclaimed MP Bimal Ratnayaka

Sri Lankan Women Human Rights Defenders: Linking Past and Present Challenges *groundview journalism For citizens  29 Nov, 2011Photo by
 Eranga Jayawardena
As another year begins to draw to a close on post-war Sri Lanka, we can take stock of which changes, or the lack of change, we see around us. The full scope of human rights are still not available to civilians living in areas formerly controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which are now tightly controlled by the Sri Lankan armed forces, with strong restrictions prevailing on their right to move freely and their right to assemble, amongst other fundamental rights.Continue reading »

Navy officer granted bail

A navy officer who was held in remand custody for more than a year for allegedly selling 270,600 litres of diesel valued at Rs.21.9 million belonging to the Navy to private filling stations was released on bail by a Colombo Court yesterday.

The suspect, G. Siri Lal Ranjith of Ruwanwella and another six suspects including three navy personnel, two Ceylon Petroleum Corporation employees and two fuel filling station owners were arrested by CID for committing an offence which came under the Public Property Act.

Filing a bail application before Colombo Fort Magistrate, defence counsel Jayantha Dias Nanayakkara with Ms. Ramani Abeygunawardena moved to grant bail to the suspect on the basis of the health condition of the suspect’s little daughter due to the separation from the father. Counsel also had stated that the conclusion of the preliminary inquiries into the matter and the one year remand period of the suspect should also be taken into consideration in granting bail to him. Counsel Nanayakkara had tendered several medical reports showing the bad health condition of the suspect’s daughter.

Magistrate Ms. Lanka Jayaratne observed that the Court had sought the Attorney General’s advice regarding the matter for a period of long time and it was pending. The Magistrate further observed that the Court had sent several reminders to the Attorney General and maintained that it would take a long time and as such his daughter’s health condition could further deteriorated. Finally, the Magistrate maintained that the health condition of the child could be considered as an exceptional circumstance and ordered that the suspect be released on a cash bail of Rs.15,000 and two sureties of Rs.250,000. The other suspects were further remanded till December 14. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)

Rathika Sitsabaiesan on Sri Lanka in Parliament – October 29, 2011

Ms. Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Scarborough—Rouge River, NDP): 
Mr. Speaker, on Friday we learned that the government plans to slash $31.5 million from immigration settlement services in Ontario. Community organizations are already struggling because of similar cuts last year and the year before. Ontario remains the number one destination for immigration in Canada. Why is the government making it harder for newcomers to access the services that they need?
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC):
To the contrary, Mr. Speaker. We are now providing three times more in funding for immigrant settlement services in Ontario than was the case under the previous Liberal government. Next year, Ontario newcomers will receive more than was the case in 2005. It is true, however, that the number of immigrants settling in Ontario has declined quite significantly, from 64% to 52% of newcomers. They are going to other provinces; it is only fair that the settlement dollars follow the newcomers and that we have fair funding across the country.
Ms. Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Scarborough—Rouge River, NDP): 
Mr. Speaker, the minister says he is doing better than bad. I guess that is the level that the government has set for itself.
With this shuffling of funds, we are still looking at an overall cut of $6 million and $45 million in cuts from two years ago, but the number of newcomers is at an all-time high. Pitting province against province is not going to solve the deficit.
This decision to cut services in Ontario was done without planning and with no warning. New Canadians are huge contributors to prosperity in this country. Will the minister maintain the key supports and services they need to thrive in this country?
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, the premise of the question is completely inaccurate. There has been a great deal of planning by my officials over the course of two years to ensure that the adjustment in funding from Ontario to provinces with growing immigration numbers happens in an orderly fashion.
In terms of giving people notice, we just gave notice this week to the small number of organizations in Ontario that will be affected at the beginning of the next fiscal year. We have given them several months' notice.
The question is, why does the member think that newcomers to Ontario should be receiving $4,000 per capita in settlement services but that those in the rest of the country should receive only $3,000? We believe that newcomers all across Canada deserve the same support.
Courtesy: Parliament of Canada - November 29, 2011
Published on: Nov 30, 2011 19:41:17 GMT

Rathika Sitsabaiesan-Statements in the House

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions
November 29th, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.
Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON
Mr. Speaker, the minister says he is doing better than bad. I guess that is the level that the government has set for itself.
With this shuffling of funds, we are still looking at an overall cut of $6 million and $45 million in cuts from two years ago, but the number of newcomers is at an all-time high. Pitting province against province is not going to solve the deficit.
This decision to cut services in Ontario was done without planning and with no warning. New Canadians are huge contributors to prosperity in this country. Will the minister maintain the key supports and services they need to thrive in this country?
Posted by Thavam

E01: The spectacular beauty & life-threatening dangers of Sri Lanka’s Southern Expressway *groundview journalism For citizens  30 Nov, 2011

We drove down to Galle today on the newly opened E01 road, more commonly known as the Southern Highway / Expressway. Setting off at 6.33am, we were in Galle at 7.45am, and setting off after a leisurely breakfast at around 9.45am, we were back in Kottawa around 10.45am. Many will take this same journey in the days and weeks ahead just to experience the road, Sri Lanka’s first highway. To be able to go to Galle and return in such a short time is, for those used to the 3 – 4 hours it takes along Galle Road, nothing short of incredible.
Our impressions of the journey follow along with some photos of E01.

Screen Shot 2011-11-30 at 12.30.11 PMphoto

Testimony of Elaine Pearson before the House of Commons of Canada regarding Human Rights in Sri Lanka

NOVEMBER 1, 2011
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for inviting Human Rights Watch to testify at this timely and important hearing. Over the last two decades, my organization, Human Rights Watch, has documented human rights violations in Sri Lanka, especially violations committed by security forces and the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) during the conflict which ended in May 2009. Today I will talk about the lack of accountability for alleged war crimes, particularly in its final stages, and also about the current human rights situation in the country.

Alleged war crimes committed by LTTE and government forces

With regard to the final stages of the conflict, Human Rights Watch has interviewed hundreds of victims and witnesses to abuses, we have analyzed photographs, video, and satellite imagery.[1]We issued a report in February 2009, War on the Displaced: Sri Lankan Army and LTTE Abuses Against Civilians in the Vanni,[2]based on firsthand information gathered by our researchers. Since the war ended we continued to gather more information.

Tamils Call For War Crimes Tribunal

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 

As Tamils gathered this week to remember those who died in the civil war, the call for an independent investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka is getting louder, writes Brami Jegan
Yesterday I joined hundreds of thousands of Tamils across the world — in the UK, France, Germany Switzerland, America and India — to remember those who died in the 26-year struggle for our independence. It was day of haunting sadness.
The day is called "Maaveerar Naal". Veerar in Tamil means "warrior or hero". Maa means "great". Naal means "day".   Full Story>>>

Whether history is different to Tamils and Sinhalese, asks Jaffna academic

TamilNet[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 November 2011, 06:38 GMT]
A single event that took place in the University of Jaffna on the Heroes Day, Sunday, has captivated the minds of Tamils all over the world, more than the diaspora functions marked by ever increasing participation of people but in some instances showed hijack aimed at dividing, capturing and ‘softening’ the struggle by the very forces against whom the spirit of the Day was meant for. Amidst all the oppression against the Day, by genocidal Sri Lanka backed by imperialism especially the Indian one, unidentified people lit the Heroes Day flame atop a tall building in the Jaffna University to shine like the star of hope. The Sinhala brethren should understand the event in the same vein of they take pride in Sri Sumangala hoisting the lion flag in Dalada Maligawa even after the British conquest of Kandy, an academic in Jaffna said. 

Heroes Day torch
Heroes Day torch lit atop the terrace of the Balasingham hostel in the University of Jaffna on Sunday, 06:05 p.m.
Further comments from the academic in Jaffna:

Wariyapola Sri Sumangala
Wariyapola Sri Sumangala Thera [Image courtesy:]
Wariyapola Sri Sumangala Thera, the Anunayaka (deputy chief) of the Asgiriya Chapter of Buddhist monks, removed the Union Jack hoisted by a British soldier at the Paththiruppuwa (the octagonal pavilion) of the Dalada Maligawa in 1815 and re-raised the lion flag of the Kandyan state, even though there was a military conquest and the king was captured. 

The Kandyan Convention between the British and the chieftains of Kandy was being discussed at the time, and Sri Sumangala insisted to the military conquerors that unless the convention was signed deciding on the transfer of sovereignty, Union Jack could not replace the Lion Flag. 

Three years later, when a rebellion took place in Kandy against the British rule, Sri Sumangala removed the Tooth Relic of Buddha (regarded by the Sinhalese as the possession of which gives the right to any one to rule over them) from Dalada Maligawa, went into hiding, and later handed it over to the chieftain, Keppetipola Disawe, who was leading the rebellion.

The British captured the relic and Sri Sumangala in 1818, and after convicted for ‘treason’, Sumangala was imprisoned in Jaffna.

British imperialism eventually bowing down from the island and hoisting the lion flag at Paththiruppuwa becoming an annual ritual ever since the independence of Sinhalese are matters of history.

The Kandyan Convention never satisfied the Sinhalese. 

Rather than remembering the Kandyan Convention, an elite decision to collaborate with the conquerors, today’s Sinhalese take pride only in the resistance shown by Sri Sumangala.

If the Sinhalese could apply their sentiments in an enlightened way in understanding the Eezham Tamils – their sibling nation for centuries in the island – they could see why the Eezham Tamils have to regain their sovereignty by struggling against agent-imperialists in Colombo backed by imperialists.

Bringing in foxes, apes and donkeys to replace the tigers and showing those as leaders willing to collaborate, is the age-old tactic of imperialism re-enacted in the case of Eezham Tamils. But as history shows, that will not last long.

If the Sinhala masses and their elite think that they have a ‘common history’ for Sinhalese and Eezham Tamils in the island, then rather than being carried away by the agent-imperialists, they should help restoring the sovereignty of Eezham Tamils for peaceful co-existence and for partnership in facing the threats of imperialism in the island. 

If they don’t see it, then they only concede that ‘history is different’ to Eezham Tamils and Sinhalese, and thus everything else too are different.

Japan urges Sri Lanka to probe war crimes

Japan, a top aid giver to Sri Lanka, on Wednesday urged the island's government to probe war crimes allegedly committed while defeating Tamil rebels and pressed Colombo to improve human rights.

Japan said it wanted "genuine reconciliation" in Sri Lanka after troops crushed Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 and declared an end to nearly four-decades of ethnic strife that claimed up to 100,000 lives.
Tokyo's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi, said there was a "perception of insecurity" despite the end of conflict.
"I emphasised the vital need to improve the human rights situation in this country," Akashi told reporters at the end of a four-day visit to the island for talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse and other leaders.
Akashi said many Sri Lankans still spoke of "disappearances" in Tamil areas, military occupation of private property and heavy presence of soldiers in the island's northeast.
"We have no means to verify if these statements are true but I must say that there is a certain degree of common thread running through these comments," Akashi said.
He said Sri Lanka must do more to address accountability issues, which have also been raised by international rights organisations.
However, Akashi stopped short of calling for an international probe and said Sri Lanka could have its own investigative mechanism.
"I reiterated the importance of national reconciliation in order to achieve a lasting peace," said Akashi, who had been a key figure in raising $US4.5 billion ($A4.50 billion) for peace-building in Sri Lanka in 2003.

He said Japan will await Sri Lanka's publication of its own findings into the final stages of the war.
The report of the government-appointed Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was handed over to Rajapakse last week and he is expected to present it to parliament next month.
The UN has said that at least 7,000 civilians were killed in the first four months of fighting in 2009, but Sri Lanka has insisted that its troops did not kill a single civilian and has resisted calls for an international probe.


Akashi in Lanka

Japan's Special Peace and Reconciliation Envoy to Sri Lanka Yasushi Akashi addressed the media a short while ago. Pix by Nisal Baduge