Sunday, October 24, 2010

UN’s effort to preserve the Rights of the Child

By Pushpi Weerakoon

On a global basis almost 11 million children die annually because of child poverty. Over the last ten years, two million children have been killed in conflict, a million have been orphaned, over six million have been seriously injured or permanently disabled, and over ten million have been left with serious psychological trauma. Despite international legislation, child trafficking, prostitution, and abuse are still widespread. 75 million children of primary school age in South Asia alone go without education. And an estimated 158 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 – one in six children in the world – are forced into child labour.

Sri Lanka among the top

Sri Lanka is among the top 20 in the world for gender equality according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2010 compiled by the World Economic Forum.

Ranking at 16th place, it is above all South Asian nations and second only to Philippines from the Asian region. Sri Lanka stands above developed countries such as United States, Netherlands, Canada, Australia and many other European countries.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sri Lanka records strong post-war growth


(AFP) – 3 hours ago

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka's economy expanded 7.1 percent during the first quarter of this year, the statistics office said Friday, as the island picks itself up after a long civil war.

The growth for the January-March period, up from 1.6 percent at the same point last year, was boosted by expansion in farm produce and services.
"This promising growth was mainly backed by prevailing peace across the country and also easing of the global economic recession to a certain extent," the department said in a statement.

The economy has continued to benefit from stability after the 37-year conflict against separatist Tamils ended in May last year.
Agriculture, which includes rice, tea, rubber and fishing, expanded 9.0 percent, compared with 3.0 percent a year earlier, lifted by a 47.2 percent growth in tea production.

Friday, June 25, 2010

HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL, et al. v . HUMANITARIAN LAW PROJECT et al.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL, et al. v . HUMANITARIAN LAW PROJECT et al.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
Argued February 23, 2010—Decided June 21, 2010 No. 08–1498. *
________________________________________

It is a federal crime to “knowingly provid[e] material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.” 18 U. S. C. §2339B(a)(1).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

PULLING SRI LANKA TOGETHER CONSTITUTIONALLY

Dr A.C.Visvalingam
President, CIMOGG
www.cimogg-srilanka.org
June 22, 2010

Most of our politicians, intellectuals and other opinion-makers continue to give prominence to the issues that divide us and offer myriad solutions to deal with the fragmented society that we have become. What is really needed is to look at what we are (a motley collection of Veddahs, Sinhalese, Tamils, Moors, Malays, Burghers, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, other groups and random mixes of all of these) and find ways and means of creating a common Sri Lankan identity, so fashioned that every member of these groups would accept it without reservation in order that it is only mutual respect and shared interests, and not compulsion, that will help to unite the Nation.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Former Head of LTTE Fund Raising Helps Arrange Talks between Pro-LTTE and Govt.


P K Balachandran
Express News Service
21 Jun 2010

COLOMBO: Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, the former head of the LTTE's fund gathering and arms procurement operations abroad, who is now in detention in Sri Lanka, had helped bring top overseas leaders of the militant organisation for talks with the Sri Lankan government in Colombo last week.

Prof Rohan Gunaratna, Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Studies at Nanyang University in Singapore told Express on Sunday that a ninemember delegation comprising "countryhead level" leaders of the LTTE had flown into the island for a fiveday tour and talks with high government and military officials, particularly, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. "All key leaders, barring the USbased Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, who heads the rival Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), were here," Gunaratna said.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ex-LTTE members get training and jobs in textile industry

EX-FEMALE cadres currently undergoing rehabilitation are to undergo garment industry related “On the Job” training and are to join the Garment sector work force at Tri-Star Apparels chain of garment factories on successful completion.

As the first step, Tri-Star apparel whilst giving training opportunities for 150 ex-female combatants at the Ratmalana garment factory will absorb them as permanent employees on completion of the training. They will get hostel accommodation at the factory along with food and other basic needs.

The Visit of a Life Time

Ms Sharlene De Chickera, Manager Career Services of EDEX

“A child more than all other gifts that Earth can offer to declining man, brings hope with it and forward looking thoughts”…George Eliot

The day was June 2nd 2010. Our mission was to receive 86 school boys from Trincomalee District and host them at Royal College, for a day!

The trip was planned by the Army, in terms of organizing an educational trip to Colombo for a group of students from three schools in the Echchalampattu area in the Tricomalee district.

The main objective of the trip was to enable these students to visit Colombo schools, and gain exposure to the lifestyle and day-to-day activities of their peers, thereby enjoying the peace and harmony established after a 30 year war.

Sri Lanka mass wedding for former Tamil rebels


By Charles Haviland
BBC News, Vavuniya

Monday, 14 June 2010

"Tell Vivek to come over here!" the young girls begged us.

They were former Tamil Tiger members and fighters seated in the guest enclosure at a mass wedding of their friends and comrades.

But their main focus was Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, who had come along with the son of the Sri Lankan president after touring northern Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Walking Down Memory Lane

I remember the day we finally ended the battle against terrorism. It was May 19th mid afternoon when my father got the call saying that the war is finally over and they have found the body of the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, near the lagoons.

I remember my father first calling the Defense Secretary and letting him know. Then he called the President to convey the good news. He then left for office to give the good news to all Sri Lankans. At once we could hear fire crackers all around the city. Everyone was celebrating victory in their own way with their own reasons. To me, it was a relief that at least my father's life won't be endangered anymore. For once, the whole country was together. This was a good feeling and I was glad I was in
Sri Lanka to enjoy it and feel the glory of peace.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

WINNING THE INVISIBLE CONFLICT: Is Sri Lanka headed for sustainable peace?

By Pushpi Weerakoon - MA in Conflict Transformation

Background

On Tuesday 19th May 2009 – the day after the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka, declared victory over the Tamil Tigers, bringing to a close 26 years of conflict. With the routing of the LTTE, and the reclamation of all occupied territory, it was announced that the conflict in Sri Lanka had come to an end.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Journey through Two Forms of English

By Sanjeewa Karunaratne, Asian Tribune

Prior to my last visit to Sri Lanka, I exchanged a few emails with my bank manager with regard to the transfer of some funds. When I met him he asked, “How long have you been in the U.S.?” I said, “10 years.” He replied, “Well, you still don’t know how to spell cheque!”

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Arrest and Detention of Gen. Fonseka - A Legal Perspective

by Sarath N. Silva LLM. PC. Retired Chief Justice

Every living being by nature cherishes liberty, security and freedom of movement. Law evolved as an instrument of regulation of human conduct and recognized from the earliest times that certain rights pertain by nature to all members of the human family. This body of rights that stem from Natural Law is appropriately designated Human Rights. The United Nations being the foremost international organization, established in the aftermath of the holocaust - the 2nd World War, as its first official act in December 1948 adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its Preamble specifically states that the Declaration is a "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family (and) is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the World".

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sri Lanka Garners Support Against U.N. Probe

By Thalif Deen, ipsnews.net

UNITED NATIONS, Mar 11 (IPS) - Sri Lanka, which won a grueling decades-long battle against one of the world's most ferocious terrorist organizations last May, has scored a diplomatic victory in its ongoing war of words with the United Nations.

The largest single political coalition has, in a rare rebuke, lambasted Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his decision to appoint a panel of experts to advise him on "accountability issues" relating to post-conflict Sri Lanka, where the country's military has been accused of human rights violations and alleged war crimes.

Sri Lanka tourism reaches dizzying heights last months

By Srilal Miththapala, eTN | Mar 11, 2010

Tourist arrivals for February 2010 reached a high of 57,300, surpassing February 2009 arrivals by a resounding 67.7 percent. While certainly February has always been the peak month of the Sri Lankan Tourism calendar, this year it is not only the increase in numbers but also the relative increase in yields that is noteworthy. For many years during the conflict, hoteliers had to resort to discounting to fill their rooms, but not so this year. Hence earnings from tourism should also show a healthy increase (these figures are only available quarterly).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who will save Sri Lanka?


I have watched Sri Lanka, the days leading up to her presidential election of January 26, and now sit in disbelief in its aftermath, eerily reminiscent of the post election days in Iran several months ago.

I write a friend to inquire about the reports I am hearing. She writes back to say that she is not comfortable discussing politics; she is not certain if her internet postings are being monitored; Sri Lanka’s present state feels to her, more like that of Myanmar and she does not want trouble for herself and her family.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

A response to the response by Sanjeewa Karunaratne: Are Buddhism and Its Clergy, the Root Cause of Sri Lanka’s Problems?

By Prasad Mapatuna

Are Buddhism and Its Clergy, the Root Cause of Sri Lanka’s Problems? I don’t think so!

Anyway, I am thankful to Sanjeewa for reading the long essay on religion and governance. Although it is doubtful whether Sanjeewa read it in its entirety, it is understandable not having the time or frame of mind to read all of the rants.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Response to Understanding the Change of Value Systems: Are Buddhism and Its Clergy, the Root Cause of Sri Lanka’s Problems?

By Sanjeewa Karunaratne

It is interesting to observe an attempt to sling mud at a religion using catchy phrases and the results of an opinion poll. The foundation of the article is an international survey conducted by the Gallup Organization about religion. Based on the survey results, the article finds, “Almost all the topmost religious countries belong to “developing/underdeveloped” category of nations in the world” and “the least religious countries studied include several with the world's highest living standards.” Thus, authors argue, “socio-economic status of a country improves when the religiosity drops.” It relates these results to Sri Lanka and suggests Buddhism and its clergy are the root cause of socio-economic and ethic problems in Sri Lanka. Does this claim resonate with world history?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Understanding the change of value systems

By Prasad Mapatuna

I've been hearing these post election speeches by Buddhist clergy in TV and it is apparent that they need a value system upgrade!

The starting point of the new wisdom should be the realization we are not governed by a monarch anymore. We should stop living in the past and look forward for positive changes fitting to the new governance model of parliamentary democracy. Even after living more than half a century in a parliamentary democracy with universal suffrage, most of our self-proclaimed moral leaders and self-styled guardians of the heritage seem to think that we are still ruled by a king and are fond of dolling out governance advices fitting only to a medieval kingdom.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Leadership required for successful Reconciliation and Development in post conflict Sri Lanka

By Pushpi Weerakoon (MA Conflict Transformation)


It has been argued that there are six phases in the evolution of conflict situations – malaise, incipient crisis, denied conflict, open conflict, war, and reconciliation and reconstruction. Of these, arguably the most challenging and complex are the last. Tensions easily arise between reconciliation needs, development ambitions and politics in a post-conflict state. Hence managing a post-conflict environment in a state requires exceptional leadership.

An email from Sri Lanka

Hey buddies, now the competition is over. So be neutral and do your own findings without depending on ‘controlled’ media. The serious allegation on polls rig is yet to be isolated. No matter whom we support we must stand against if the win is 'artificial' . Until this allegation is rejected ‘transparently’, this country remains in a dire state. Everybody over here is scared to talk against the decision. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Update from Sri Lanka Part II

By Ru Freeman
Jan. 27, 2010

Meanwhile, after a long drawn out drama that involved Sarath Fonseka refusing to leave the hotel and making a public statement saying he was afraid for his life and requesting security, he has finally left the hotel without fuss. (This was one of those moments when I wished we had the American tradition of the losing candidate conceding victory).

Update from Sri Lanka Part I

By Ru Freema
Jan. 27, 2010

It is 3.20pm now and we are awaiting the announcement by the Commissioner of Elections confirming results. There are rumors being spread by SMS within Sri Lanka - and, I'm sure, abroad - that Sarath Fonseka is being threatened. He is at the Trans Asia hotel. I went there and had no trouble getting through - the streets are not closed off, although there is questioning of drivers and searching of vehicles coming into the hotel parking lot.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Morning After

By Ru Freeman

It is now 2 a.m. on the 27th of January, 2010 in Sri Lanka and the election results are 68.32% for President Mahinda Rajapakse and 31.32% for Sarath Fonseka. Maybe it is no big deal to win against someone who did not take the trouble to register himself to vote in the elections in which he was asking the country to vote for him. But it is a big deal to win against a candidate backed by major Western and European powers, and by native nay-sayers who would rather have a candidate who couldn’t find himself a party and was subsequently backed by two who had been responsible for much brutality in Sri Lanka throughout the 1980s than support the President who brought them peace.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cast your vote, defeat violence in 2010 presidential election

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"The best way to defeat heinous objectives of those who orchestrate violence and impunity is to go and cast your vote on 26th January, and bring true victory to democracy and then to whoever the candidate you wish to elect."

By Thrishantha Nanayakkara

On 26th January, 2010 Sri Lankans vote in the first presidential election after a 30 year war comes to an end. The decision they take will decide the future of the peaceful society in which their children and grandchildren live.

Boston Lanka News January 25, 2010

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

SRI LANKA: Elections - What Can We Expect on 26 January?

By Pushpi Weerakoon

As presidential elections draw closer, the race between incumbent President Rajapaksa and opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka continues to be a neck-to-neck one. However, at this juncture, Rajapaksa may be marginally better positioned to deliver on promises, given that the political parties backing Fonseka have differing ideologies.

Time to strengthen CWW Kannangara vision

The liberation from the iron fist of Government financial regulations will serve another vital purpose. That is none other than the urgent need to revitalize the research culture in Sri Lankan universities.
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By Thrishantha Nanayakkara, PhD

(November 18, Washington, Sri Lanka Guardian) Every human baby born to this world has the right to obtain an education. The article 26 of the Universal declaration of human rights clearly identifies education as a human right in itself as well as being an indispensable means of realizing other human rights.

Boston Lanka News January 11, 2010

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Boston Lanka News January 18, 2010

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