October 16, 2014
Sri Lanka: Threatened journalists form Network of Investigative Journalists

Sri Lanka: Threatened journalists form Network of Investigative Journalists

Sri Lanka Brief16 October 2014
Following threats by an organized group to stop an awards presentation ceremony to investigative journalists arranged by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), those present formed themselves into an ‘Investigative Journalists Action Committee’ and requested the President and the government to hold an investigation immediately and arrest those responsible.
    Following is the full text of the statement.
As media personnel who on invitation participated at the presentation of certificates for journalists trained on investigative journalism on 15th October 2014 at 10am at Hotel Janaki, Colombo, we are deeply disturbed by the threats leveled against us by an organized group calling themselves ‘Rata beragath deshapremi balakaya’. The group threatened to attack and even kill those who attended the meeting.
As journalists who provide a yeomen’s service to the general public in the dissemination of information in our country, we are most concerned about the current restrictive and unsafe environment created for media personnel where they are unable to even attend an event organized to present certificates for training received to enhance their professional capabilities, without receiving death threats.
When analyzing the series of events which took place from the time this meeting was confirmed, it is clear to us that State Security Forces were very much involved in the intimidation that followed. On 13th October Intelligence Officers have made several inquiries from the journalists involved in this program about the nature of the program. On the evening of 14th October phone calls were made to the venue informing them to cancel the meeting and to the participants asking them to refrain from attending.
Furthermore, on the 14th evening threats were made to staff members of Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), Jayasiri Jayasekera, one of the trainers of this program as well as to Janoor Kichilan and Amadoru Amarajiva, both participating journalists, from the number 0756245489. Later in the night a text message generating from the number 0725436266 was once again sent to them and a few others from the group ‘Rata beragath deshapremi balakaya’ warning them against attending the event scheduled for the following day.
Participants travelling to Colombo for the event continued to receive threatening calls throughout the night of the 14th and on the 15th morning. At around 10am on the 15th two individuals riding an unmarked motorbike threw a parcel with a notice marked “last warning” towards the entrance of the hotel in broad daylight. Due to this tense atmosphere the organizers were compelled to relocate the event at a safer location. While the event was going on at this new location calls were made to personal mobile phones of two of the organizers using the landline number 0112438359 asking them to reveal the name of the new location and threatening to kill them if they did not do so.
We are not naïve enough to believe that such actions could be carried out by civilians or civil groups. We very strongly state that these degrading and illegal actions were carried out by state sponsored elements. Those of us who have been involved in this profession for years know fully well that even during the height of the war journalists were not pursued, intimidated and persecuted on this scale.
Since TISL and their staff were also threatened, they will probably stop doing training further. We are very much concerned as to who would provide training to Sri Lanka’s journalists hereafter.
As citizens and journalists who respect the law of the land and media ethics, we will at no stage accept such lawlessness, irrespective of the power and the high standing of its perpetrators. We consider the labeling of journalists as LTTE supporters an insult of great magnitude especially considering the service rendered towards national security and exposing criminal activities by journalists. We challenge this cowardly group to come forward and prove this allegation without working behind hiding themselves.
The threats we faced yesterday cannot be viewed as personal threats towards journalists. Rather it was a threat leveled against media freedom, citizen’s right to information and citizens’ democratic rights. We earnestly request His Excellency the President, the government, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense as well as the Inspector General of Police and other relevant authorities to investigate into the matter urgently and arrest the perpetrators accountable.
Amidst the dark clouds of threats and intimidation that journalists present formed an “Investigative Journalists Action Committee” to promote investigative journalism in Sri Lanka. These dark events have only fuelled our commitment and determination towards upholding and protecting all democratic rights including the freedom for media, freedom of publication, right to information and the right to association.
Restricting media freedom plunges the entire society into darkness and creates an environment where lawlessness will rule. We implore our fellow citizens to stand against such intimidation and come forward to protect democracy and freedom.
On behalf of the Investigative Journalists Action Committee,
Janoor Kitchilan M. Liyanarachchi
0777678381 0772981254

October 16, 2014
A garrison state?

A garrison state?

Why is the Sri Lankan army running parks, shopping arcades, a vet clinic and a beauty salon? 
A bulldozer covered with armour plates in the military's war memorial at Elephant Pass, Jaffna. Photo: Flickr / koolb
A bulldozer covered with armour plates in the military’s war memorial at Elephant Pass, Jaffna.
Photo: Flickr / koolb
twitter iconBy Tisaranee Gunasekara-13 October 2014
Just two years ago, the Urban Wetlands Park was an abandoned tract of land. Located between Sri Lanka’s commercial capital, Colombo, and administrative capital, Kotte, it functioned as an unofficial marketplace for building materials.
Today the trucks of sand, tiles and bricks are gone, as are the garbage and mud. In their place are shady trees and ornamental shrubs, neat walkways and an imposing fountain. But the chief jewel of this beautifully laid-out and meticulously maintained public park is an army tank. It attracts a lot of attention. Children clamber over it while adults inspect it. Sometimes, a soldier in uniform will explain its intricacies to the avid visitor.
An army tank in a public park would be an anomaly, but the Urban Wetlands Park is not just another public facilities. The Lankan army built it and handles its day-to-day maintenance. Uniformed soldiers are ubiquitous here, making sure that visitors follow rules, such as keeping off the grass.
Where is Sodi Shambo? by Sharmila Purkayastha
The Urban Wetland Park belongs to a new category of public facility which is becoming thick on the ground in Sri Lanka. Built, reconstructed and maintained by the military, these ventures range from parks, shopping arcades and cricket stadiums to hotels, restaurants, a veterinary clinic, a beauty salon and even a cruise ship. These projects provide the military a legal entry into the economy and civil society.
The Long Eelam War, which transformed the Lankan military from a semi-ceremonial entity into a brutally effective fighting force, ended in 2009. Though the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is gone, the military remains more visible than ever. Defence costs still consume the largest chunk of the national budget. According to the 2012 Global Militarisation Index, Lanka is ranked 36th, far ahead of its Southasian compatriots, including India (74th) and Pakistan (47th).
Militarisation is an all too familiar phenomenon in the developing world. But Sri Lanka’s brand of militarisation is qualitatively different from the standard developing-world models. Generally, the boundary line between military and civil spaces are violated by the military, either directly – through coups – or indirectly, by imposing its will on weak civilian administrations – Pakistan being an excellent case in point. There are leaders, who use military power to create personal dynasties; but they are former soldiers and the relationship between these familial regimes and their militaries resembles a marriage of equals – Egypt under Hosni Mubarak is an ideal example.
What the Rajapaksas need is not a neutral military, but a partisan military, which will throw its weight behind the chosen Rajapaksa candidate (brother or son).
What Sri Lanka is experiencing is something very different from this ‘of the military, by the military, for the military’ brand of militarisation. The Lankan militarisation drive is spearheaded by civilian leaders of a democratically elected government. Militarisation in Sri Lanka has not turned the military into an independent power centre, capable of imposing its separate agenda on civilian rulers. On the contrary, the military is rapidly being transformed from an apparatus of the state into an arm of the country’s elected civilian president, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa is the Minister of Defence and Urban Development, while his younger brother, Gotabhaya, is the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry. It is these two siblings, and not generals or admirals, who constitute the leading force in Lankan militarisation. Their purpose is not the promotion of military interests or the creation of a quasi-military regime, but a furtherance of their strictly civilian project of familial rule and dynastic succession.
Since his election as the president in November 2005, Mahinda Rajapaksa has worked relentlessly to turn his family into Sri Lanka’s imperium in imperio. The many public facilities named after him – from a loss-making budget airline to a new airport which earned less than USD 130 in May 2014 – is only the ludicrous tip of the iceberg that is Southasia’s newest political dynasty. Rajapaksa brothers are in charge of defence, development and finance – offices that consume most of the national budget. The eldest sibling is the Speaker of the Parliament. Sons, nephews and other relations clog the upper echelons of state and government. In 2013, Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was removed via a questionable impeachment and replaced by former Attorney General and legal advisor to the Ministry of Defence, Mohan Peiris (a close ally of the family who had lied to the UN Committee Against Torture about the whereabouts of a disappeared journalist). Businessmen close to the first family are beginning to dominate the private sector economy. Important religious, professional and social institutions are increasingly coming under Rajapaksa control, either directly or through proxies.
But this near-omnipotent family edifice is built on a foundation which is far from secure. The Rajapaksas currently control the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), but the party’s real loyalties are believed to be with its founder’s daughter, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. Mahinda Rajapaksa is a veteran within the SLFP, but brothers Gotabhaya and Basil, and son Namal, are relative newcomers. Their meteoric rise is reportedly resented by party stalwarts of long standing. This lack of acceptance may not affect the family’s grip on power so long as Mahinda Rajapaksa remains president; however, in a post-Mahinda conjuncture, it can upset the succession plan.
Months after winning the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2010, the Rajapaksas managed to pass a constitutional amendment which removed presidential term limits and rendered the electoral playing field blatantly uneven. But Mahinda Rajapaksa is 68 years old and ill-health or death can nullify the advantages gained through the 18th Amendment. According to the Sri Lankan constitution, if the sitting president dies or is incapacitated, the prime minister becomes acting president; within a month a new president must be chosen by the Parliament, via secret ballot. Since the Rajapaksas are still far from hegemonic within the upper and middle echelons of the SLFP, the possibility of a section of the ruling party uniting with the opposition to elect a non-Rajapaksa as the new president is a very real one.
In such a closely contested succession crisis, the military might be able to tilt the balance. The Lankan military, unlike many of its counterparts in the developing world, has desisted from meddling in popular politics. This neutrality can seriously undermine the succession plans of the ruling family. What the Rajapaksas need is not a neutral military, but a partisan military, which will throw its weight behind the chosen Rajapaksa candidate (brother or son). They need the military tactically as well, to defeat electoral challenges and destroy democratic dissent. To ensure such a partisan intervention by the military, two key preconditions must be fulfilled: the military must be under Rajapaksa control; and the economic interests of military leaders must be tied to the continuation of Rajapaksa familial rule.
It is this very specific political context which gives Lankan militarisation its sui generis nature.
- See more at: http://himalmag.com/garrison-state/#sthash.DUubb8Dc.dpuf

October 16, 2014
Five Ways The Rajapaksas Hijacked Parliament

Five Ways The Rajapaksas Hijacked Parliament

By Niranjan Rambukwella -October 16, 2014
The composition of Parliament today is not what voters intended it to be in 2010. By allowing cross-overs, the voter’s primary choice – his or her choice of party – has been denied. This is because Sri Lanka has a proportional system of representation. This means that the number of seats a party obtains is roughly proportionate to the number of votes it obtains in elections. However, the executive and the courts have distorted this principle, and thus the public’s will. In general elections, voters first vote for a party, they then record preferences for candidates from that party. But candidates are allowed to cross-over, even though they have been selected first on the basis of their party.
MR71612aColombo TelegraphThe legislature cannot effectively check and scrutinize the executive. 47 percent of MPs[1] are ministers (or monitoring MPs) and are thus part of the executive. They are bound by convention to vote with the government, and also by the convention of collective responsibility which means they cannot scrutinize the executive and hold it to account. In other words, Parliament has become a rubber stamp for Cabinet. This is why in the UK no more than one-sixth of MPs may be part of the executive.[2]
The committee system is largely dysfunctional. The committees are where the real business of parliament is transacted: bills are debated, ministries are held to account and implementation is checked First, there are too many committees and too few backbenchers – if almost half the Parliament is comprised of ministers, then each backbencher is unable to perform his scrutinizing function effectively. Second, the chairmen of the two most important committees – the Public Accounts Committee and the COPE – are ministers. The UK convention is that the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is member of the opposition, and certainly not a member of the executive.
The President can also take over ministries, making them largely unaccountable to Parliament. So much so that now 40 percent of the budget is controlled by the President, who I need not remind you, is subject to legal immunity. He is also not a member of the house, and thus cannot be held to account through its processes – i.e. debate and the committee system. For example, ministers are asked questions and compelled to explain their decisions in consultative committees; the President who is minister for many critical ministries – defence, law and order, finance, ports, highways etc - never attends consultative committee meetings.
Finally, the President has tremendous power over Parliament as he can dissolve it as his pleasure: he or she “may, from time to time, by Proclamation summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament”[3].  This over mighty power, along with the other tremendous powers the executive president wields, were supposed to be balanced by Parliament’s power to impeach the President: but try getting an impeachment past Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, the President’s brother.

[1] 106 senior ministers, ministers, deputy ministers, project ministers and monitoring MPs
[2] http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN03378.pdf
[3] http://www.priu.gov.lk/Cons/1978Constitution/Chapter_11_Amd.html

October 16, 2014
Written in the stars!

Written in the stars!

  • His popularity may be slightly dented. His electoral invincibility is finally shaken. The minority communities appear to have deserted him en masse. Even his nationalist allies are threatening to work towards his defeat. But to the polls President Mahinda Rajapaksa will go, seeking a third term in office. For that is what the stars decree. And a fractured and incoherent opposition, rather than his own strengths, will be his best hope in a January presidential election
October 16, 2014  
President Mahinda Rajapaksa waves at people gathered to witness the resumption of Yal Devi train service to Jaffna after a 24 year lapse on Tuesday  – Pic by Shantha Ratnayake

The Yal Devi chug-chugged to the Jaffna railway station on Monday, helping President Mahinda Rajapaksa fulfill an important post-war promise. After 24 years, Sri Lanka’s major southern towns were reconnected to the Tamil historic and cultural heartland of Jaffna by rail, once the easiest and most economical way to travel between the two ends of the island. 

October 16, 2014
Sri Lanka - Country of Concern: latest update, 30 September 2014

Sri Lanka - Country of Concern: latest update, 30 September 2014

Foreign &
OfficeLatest Update: 30 September 2014

The human rights situation in Sri Lanka remains largely unchanged from the previous quarter.

October 16, 2014
வடமாகாணம் இலங்கையின் ஒரு பகுதியா? அல்லது தனி ஒரு நாடா? பாதுகாப்பு அமைச்சிடம் ஆனந்தன் எம்.பி. கேள்வி!

வடமாகாணம் இலங்கையின் ஒரு பகுதியா? அல்லது தனி ஒரு நாடா? பாதுகாப்பு அமைச்சிடம் ஆனந்தன் எம்.பி. கேள்வி! 

Sri Lanka: One Island Two Nations

Posted: 2014-10-16 05:55:06 | Last Updated: 2014-10-16 05:57:05 
வடமாகாணம் இலங்கையின் ஒரு பகுதியா? அல்லது தனி ஒரு நாடா? பாதுகாப்பு அமைச்சிடம் ஆனந்தன் எம்.பி. கேள்வி! 
வடமாகாணம் இலங்கையின் ஒரு பகுதியா?  அல்லது தனி ஒரு நாடா? பாதுகாப்பு அமைச்சிடம் ஆனந்தன் எம்.பி. கேள்வி!
வடமாகாணம் இலங்கையின் ஒருபகுதியா அல்லது ஒரு தனிநாடா என பாதுகாப்பு அமைச்சிடம் கேள்வி எழுப்பியுள்ளார் தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் வன்னி மாவட்ட நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் சிவசக்தி ஆனந்தன்
இலங்கையின் வடபகுதிக்கு பயணிக்கும் வெளிநாட்டு பிரஜைகள் அனைவரும் பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் நகர அபிவிருத்தி அமைச்சின் முன் அனுமதியைப்பெற வேண்டும் என்று பாதுகாப்பு அமைச்சின் ஊடக நிலையத்தின் பணிப்பாளரும், இராணுவ பேச்சாளருமாகிய பிரிகேடியர் ருவான் வணிகசூரிய நேற்று புதன்கிழமை விடுத்துள்ள அறிவிப்புக்கு மறுப்பும் கண்டனமும் தெரிவித்து விடுத்துள்ள ஊடக அறிக்கையிலேயே அவர் மேற்கண்டவாறு கேள்வி எழுப்பியுள்ளார். 
அந்த ஊடக அறிக்கையில் அவர் மேலும் தெரிவித்துள்ளதாவது:- 
வெளிநாட்டு கடவுச்சீட்டுகளை உடையவர்கள் வடக்குக்கு செல்வதாயின் பாதுகாப்பு அமைச்சின் முன் அனுமதியை பெற வேண்டும் என்று அமுல்படுத்தப்பட்டிருந்த நடைமுறையை இறுதி யுத்தம் முடிவடைந்து இரண்டு வருடங்களில் அதாவது 2011ஆம் ஆண்டு ஜூலை மாத தொடக்கத்தில் நீக்கியிருந்த இலங்கை அரசு, கடந்த 15.10.2014 அன்று அதாவது இறுதி யுத்தம் முடிவடைந்து ஐந்து வருடங்களில் மீண்டும் நடைமுறைக்கு கொண்டு வந்துள்ளது. 
பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் நகர அபிவிருத்தி அமைச்சின் இந்த அறிவிப்பை வெளிநாடுகளிலிருந்து வட பகுதிக்கு செல்பவர்களை கட்டுப்படுத்தும், அல்லது அச்சுறுத்தும் ஒரு நடவடிக்கையாகவே நாம் பார்க்கின்றோம். இதை விடவும் இலங்கையின் வேறு எந்த ஒரு பகுதிக்கும் பயணிப்பதற்கு விதிக்கப்படாத நடைமுறையானது வடக்கு மாகாணத்துக்கு மட்டும் விதிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளமையானது சிறீலங்கா அரசின் இராணுவ மேலாதிக்க மனோநிலையின் வெளிப்பாடாகும். 
வடபகுதி மண்ணும் அந்த மண்ணுக்குரிய தமிழ் பேசும் மக்களும் தொடர்ந்தும் இராணுவ முற்றுகைக்குள் வைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளார்கள் என்பதற்கும், வடபகுதிக்கு யார் யார் வருகிறார்கள்? யார் யார் வடபகுதி மக்களை சந்தித்து பேசுகின்றார்கள்? என்று சிறீலங்கா அரச இயந்திரம் வடபகுதி மக்களை மிகத்தீவிரமாக கண்காணிக்கின்ற அதேவேளை அம்மக்களை சந்தித்து பேச வருபவர்களை பின்தொடர்ந்து செல்கின்றது என்பதற்கும் பாதுகாப்பு அமைச்சின் குறித்த அறிவிப்பு நல்லதொரு எடுத்துக்காட்டாகும். அத்துடன் சிவில் நிர்வாகத்தில் இராணுவ தலையீடுகள் தொடர்ந்தும் தமிழ் மக்களின் இருப்பை, இயல்பு வாழ்க்கையை குலைக்கின்றன என்பதற்கும் குறித்த அறிவிப்பு கட்டியம் கூறுகின்றது. 
கூடவே இலங்கையின் வேறு எந்த பகுதிக்கும் பின்பற்றப்படாத நடைமுறையை வடக்குக்கு மட்டும் அமுல்படுத்த பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் நகர அபிவிருத்தி அமைச்சு அறிவித்திருப்பதானது, தமிழ் மக்களை அடக்கி ஆள நினைக்கும் அரச பயங்கரவாதத்தின் இராணுவ மயப்படுத்தும் சிந்தனையின் ஓர் அங்கமே ஆகும். மேலும் வடமாகாணம் இலங்கையின் ஒரு பகுதியா? இல்லை தனி ஒரு நாடா? என்றும் இயல்பாகவே கேள்வி எழுகின்றது. 
தமிழ் பேசும் மக்களை மட்டும் இலக்கு வைத்து மேற்கொள்ளப்படும் இத்தகைய அடக்குமுறை, ஆக்கிரமிப்பு நடவடிக்கைகளையும், வஞ்சிப்பு மற்றும் குரோத நோக்கங்களில் அமைந்த செயல்களையும் நாம் வன்மையாக கண்டிக்கின்றோம். 
தமிழ் மக்களை காரணம் காட்டி சர்வதேச நாடுகளின் உதவியை பெற்று தாக்குதல்களை செய்த இலங்கை அரசு, இன்று அதே தமிழ் மக்களை வைத்து மறுவாழ்வு என்றும், அபிவிருத்தி என்றும் சர்வதேச நாடுகளிடம் கையேந்தியும் கடன் பெற்றுமே பிழைப்பு நடத்தி வருகின்றது. ஆனால் போரால் கடுமையாக பாதிக்கப்பட்ட தமிழ் மக்களை இலங்கை அரசால் பெறப்பட்ட உதவிகள் முழுமையாக சென்றடையவில்லை. மாறாக எமது மக்களின் மறுவாழ்வு, வாழ்க்கைத்தர மேம்பாடு, சுயபொருளாதார ஊக்குவிப்புகளில் புலம்பெயர்ந்து வாழும் எமது தாயக உறவுகளே தமது பங்களிப்புகள் ஊடாக கணிசமான அளவில் செல்வாக்கும் அக்கறையும் செலுத்தி வருகின்றனர். 
எனவே சமுக பொருளாதார மேம்பாட்டுக்கும் பங்களிப்புக்கும் விடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ள பாரிய அச்சுறுத்தலாகவும், சவாலாகவும் பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் நகர அபிவிருத்தி அமைச்சின் அறிவிப்பு உள்ளது. - என்று சிவசக்தி ஆனந்தன் எம்.பி கடிந்துள்ளார். 

October 16, 2014
It Is Not The Govt That Is Militarized But The NPC: Rajapaksa Media

It Is Not The Govt That Is Militarized But The NPC: Rajapaksa Media

October 15, 2014
Today’s editorial of the Rajapaksa-state run newspaper Daily News has accused Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran as the individual bearing a military mindset and of working with the TNA to sabotage government attempts to bring better days to the war affected residents of the Northern province.
Mahinda GotaColombo TelegraphDN Editor Rajpal Abeynayake has pointed to the statements made by President Rajapaksa on several occasions in reference to the Northern provincial council where he has accused the Council of not use the finances allocated in the budget and being non-cooperative when the government attempts to fulfill dire needs of people in the North.
Abeynayake has accused the CM and the NPC is making deliberate attempts to sabotage the good intentions of the government and has stated that it is a result of the TNA Provincial Councillors and the NPC being unable to leave the LTTE mentality behind.
Although the government is being accused by many parties of making attempts to militarise the country, Abeynayake has gone on to state that it is the NPC that should be demilitarised and not the government, which he has described as the ‘only entity thats aware that the people of Jaffna and the rest of the province have transited from under the LTTE jackboot and want the full benefits of civilian life that comes as a peace dividend’.
Furthermore in the editorial, Abeynayake has accused the TNA and the NPC of leading the Northern residents of being responsible for the present plight which they are suffering today, claiming it is a result of TNA’s political grandstanding.

October 16, 2014
Wither The New Turn?

Wither The New Turn?

| by Tisaranee Gunasekara
“….the inexplicable actually happens.”
Auschwitz, Our Home – A Letter (Tadeusz Borowski)
( October 16, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Travel restrictions are back. Foreigners can no longer visit the North without Defence Ministry permission.
Why re-impose such a restriction now, more than five years after the victorious end of the war?
“Defence Authorities had received credible information that some elements were trying to destabilise the North and create disharmony among ethnic communities in the country” , claimed the military spokesman. That official explanation can be dismissed as another Rajapaksa lie. In any case those who try to ‘create disharmony among ethnic communities’ are not foreigners but Lankans; and most are ensconced in the Rajapaksa-embrace, officially or unofficially. 

October 16, 2014

Foreigners need Defence Ministry clearance to visit North

Sri Lanka: One Island Two Nations

logoOctober 15, 2014 
Foreigners and foreign organizations who wish to visit North will need to obtain prior clearance from the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Army Spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said.
Wanigasooriya added that the decision was taken following details received by the government intelligence regarding some groups who attempts to provoke public disturbance and conflicts among civilians in North.
He added that the foreigners will need to submit details on the purpose of their visit, and then only the authorities will grant permission to visit the North, including Jaffna.

October 16, 2014
5 m dollar commission to petroleum minister!

5 m dollar commission to petroleum minister!

 Thursday, 16 October 2014 
anura ex-1Petroleum minister, attorney Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, has been paid a five million dollar commission by Swiss-Singapore Overseas Enterprises for having extended its crude importation contract for the next three years, after it had lapsed recently.
The minister was paid the commission in Singapore last week.
Yapa had spent October 03, 04 and 05 in Singapore at this company’s expense, and returned home on October 06. He has deposited the money in a bank in Singapore.
Lawyer Yapa was the chairman of the committee that inquired into the impeachment motion moved by the Rajapaksa regime against 43rd chief justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. The president had promised him, then the minister of environment, ‘a ministerial position that can earn him money’ for having sacked the CJ illegally and unethically. Accordingly, at the last cabinet reshuffle he was appointed the petroleum minister.
The pictures below show minister Yapa and the brokers holding initial talks with representatives of the company in Dubai.
anura ex-2

October 16, 2014
If Rajapaksa Goes for Illegal Third Term He Should be Defeated – JVP

If Rajapaksa Goes for Illegal Third Term He Should be Defeated – JVP

Sri Lanka Brief[JVP has extensive mobilisation capacity]-16/10/2014 
“Mahinda cannot a third time – No illegal presidential elections!”
News have been published that incumbent president Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, before his second term concludes and immediately after he completes four years of his term, is preparing to go for a presidential election. It is evident that this presidential election is against the constitution which is the fundamental law in our country and violates its clauses. As such, we believe all people in this country should know the important facts regarding for what purpose is the sudden presidential election is to be held, could it be held legally, what would be the outcome of an illegal presidential election and how could it be avoided.
If Rajapaksa Goes for Illegal Third Term He Should Be Defeated – JVP by Thavam

October 16, 2014
DG plays casinos with SLBC money

DG plays casinos with SLBC money

 Thursday, 16 October 2014 
slbc 123
The director general of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation comes to the institution evey night in an inebriated state and gets hundreds of thousands of rupees of SLBC money from the finance division through one Ekanayake and goes to play casinos, say Corporation employees.
If he wins, the money is returned on the next morning.
But, if he loses, he will take several days to return the money, until such time a certain director of the SLBC covers up the fraud.
Over this, the chairman summoned Ekanayake to the meeting of heads of division, questioned him and severely warned him, but the DG continues to play casinos with SLBC money.
Meanwhile, plans are being made to hand over a SLBC circuit bungalow in Nuwara Eliya, re-acquired through legal action after being leased to a friend of minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, to a friend of finance division’s Ekanayake.
The plan is to obtain Rs. 1.5 million as the lease money, but only Rs. 900,000 will go to the corporation, while the rest will be shared by the DG, the director, Ekanayake and office bearers of the SLBC’s SLFP union.
Their plan is to be implemented within the next few weeks by misleading the board of directors.
The chairman and the subject minister do not seem to know this abuse of state property, and employees question as to whether not even the president can see

October 16, 2014

Ravana Balaya accosts with FEB Chairman

Ravana Balaya accosts with FEB ChairmanOctober 16, 2014logo 
A group of monks representing the Ravana Balaya Organisation, this afternoon, met the Chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB), and alleged that the FEB not doing enough to protect the Sri Lankan employees in the Middle East countries.
Convener of the Ravana Balaya, Ven. Ittakande Saddhatissa Thero, said that the employees in the Middle East are harassed daily and suffer a lot, however, the FEB has failed to take adequate steps in a bid to suppress it. Saddhatissa Thero said the employees in the Middle East who seeks shelter must be brought back the country without any delay. 
An argument also erupted with Saddhatissa Thero when the FEB Chairman Amal Senalankadhikara charged the Ravana Balaya for storming into his office without a prior appointment.

October 16, 2014
UN chief says 800m people do not have enough healthy, nutritious food

UN chief says 800m people do not have enough healthy, nutritious food

 Date: 15/10/2014

Tehran, Oct 15, IRNA – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message on World Food Day, 16 October 2014, said more than 800 million people do not have enough healthy, nutritious food to lead active lives.

According to a press release issued by the UN Information Center, the full text of his message reads:

Today, and every day, we eat thanks to the labours of family farmers. They run the vast majority of farms in the world. They preserve natural resources and agro-biodiversity. They are the cornerstone of inclusive and sustainable agriculture and food systems. 

It is fitting that in this International Year of Family Farming, there are 100 million fewer hungry people than just 10 years ago. Sixty-three countries have halved the portion of their population which is undernourished. Our vision of zero hunger is within reach.

But there is much work to be done. More than 800 million people do not have enough healthy, nutritious food to lead active lives. One in three young children is malnourished.

Family farmers are key to unlocking global progress. But they are at a disadvantage when it comes to access to technology, services and markets. And they are acutely exposed to extreme weather, climate change and environmental degradation. 

Ensuring equal access – particularly for women – to productive resources is essential to empowering the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers to help eradicate poverty and safeguard the environment.

At the Climate Summit in New York last month, more than a hundred organizations and governments pledged to work more closely with farmers, fishers and livestock keepers to improve food security and nutrition while addressing climate change. The Zero Hunger Challenge and the Scaling Up Nutrition movement are catalyzing partnerships with governments, civil society and the private sector. The Committee on World Food Security, has made impressive progress on responsible investments in agriculture, addressing food losses and waste, and taking action to promote sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. 

In 2015 we have an opportunity to turn the tide, by achieving the Millennium Development Goals, shaping a new agenda for sustainable development, and fostering a meaningful universal climate agreement. A world free from poverty and hunger, where all people have realized their right to adequate food, is central to the future we want.

On this World Food Day, let us resolve to end hunger in our lifetimes.

October 16, 2014
சமவுரிமை இயக்கம்: மீண்டும் ஒரு தற்கொலை முயற்சியா?

கனடாவில் ரொன்ரொடோ நகரில் சமவுரிமை இயக்கத்தின் முக்கியஸ்தவர்களும் முன்னிலை சோசலிக் கட்சியின் தலைவர்களும் பங்குபற்றிய கூட்டம் நடைபெற்றது. கூட்டதிற்கு வழமையாக வருகின்றவர்களே வந்திருந்தார்கள். அதிலும் வழமையாக வருகின்ற முக்கியமான சிலரைக் காணமுடியவில்லை. “சமவுரிமைக்கான இயக்கம் எனக் கூறப்பட்டபோதும் ரொரன்டோவில் வாழ்கின்ற சிங்கள முஸ்லிம் நண்பர்களைக் காணமுடியவில்லை. மாறாக கருத்துரை வழங்குவோராக சிங்களவர்களும் தமிழர்களும் இருந்தனர். கேட்போராக தமிழர்கள் மட்டுமே இருந்தனர்” என ஒருவர் குறிப்பிட்டார். ஆகவே இக் கூட்டமே இவர்களது அடிப்படை நோக்கத்தையே கேள்விக்குள்ளாக்குகின்றது. 

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