President permits singing of National Anthem in Tamil- Mano

In a significant reconciliatory move, President Mathripala Sirisena will be sending a circular to all institutions saying that there is no bar on singing the Lankan national anthem in Tamil.

He will thus be lifting an unofficial ban current since 2010, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa let it be known that government will frown on singing the anthem in Tamil. Schools and other institutions, which have been utilizing the Tamil version of &#8220Sri Lanka Matha, Apa Sri Lanka&#8221 because 1951, stopped performing so.

Sirisena announced his choice to lift the language bar when the leader of the Democratic Peoples&#8217 Front (DPF), Mano Ganeshan, raised the issue at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Tuesday.

&#8220The President stated that he would send a circular saying that there is no ban on singing the national anthem in Tamil. He also stated that he would have the matter cleared by the National Security Council,&#8221 Ganeshan has told the New Indian Express.

It was in 1951 that newly independent Lanka adopted Shantiniketan-educated Ananda Samarakoon&#8217s Sinhalese-language song &#8220Sri Lanka Matha, Apa Sri Lanka&#8221 as the national anthem. Simultaneously, a Tamil version, &#8220Sri Lanka Thaaye Nam Sri Lanka&#8221, composed by the Lankan Tamil poet, M.Nallathambi, was also adopted. For decades, both versions have been sung, even though only the Sinhalese version had constitutional sanction.

But the victory of the Lankan armed forces over the Tamil Tigers in 2009, resulted in Sinhalese-nationalist parties like the National Freedom Front (NFF) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) demanding a ban on the Tamil version on the ground that nations sanction use of only 1 language for singing the national anthem.

On December 12, 2010, Home Minister W.D.John Senewiratne introduced a cabinet paper to officially disallow singing the anthem in Tamil. President Rajapaksa, who headed the cabinet, did not officially commit himself to Senewiratne&#8217s proposal, but word went around that his government did not favor the use of the Tamil version. In the Tamil regions, the Security Forces insisted on the use of the Sinhalese version only. The Tamils&#8217 argument that in several nations, which includes Canada and South Africa, the anthem is sung in various languages fell on deaf ears.


Back To The Future Rugby In The Time Of “Yahapalanaya”

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

I produced a specific effort to attend the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) vs Kandy Sports Club (KSC) game for a range of causes, chief of which was to see whether or not there had been a alter in what has grow to be a war rather than a rugby encounter and I use the word “war” literally rather than metaphorically!

The early indications had been that, as that American master of the malapropism said, so several years ago, it was “déjà vu all over once again.”

The stage appeared set when, in spite of being 1 of a relatively couple of current paid-up members of the KSC, I was not permitted access even up to the club gates (on the public road that goes past them!) to drop off my companion who has a critical heart condition that precludes walking any distance. The police manning the entry point told me that my car was NOT among those permitted access to the location adjacent to the club. I am beginning to wonder no matter whether I am now regarded as a “security risk” in some circles, a status now even the late-unlamented Rajapaksa Regime did not accord me (not to my expertise anyway!)

EmilAnyway, having dropped off my partner some considerable distance from the Club, on the promise that she would stroll additional slowly to the club premises, I parked about two miles away and walked back to the grounds. If nothing at all else, even if not by decision, that provided a “constitutional” that I may well not otherwise have had that afternoon!

Coming events seemed to cast their (prior) shadows when I observed scores of SLN personnel along the road, armed with assault rifles. Also, while I do not know regardless of whether the SLN had bought, actually, thousands of tickets for their personnel, at this match as they have accomplished in the previous, a part of the “parking problem” was the quantity of buses bearing SLN licence- and private-plates parked along the roads serving the Nittawela grounds of the KSC. In case there is any doubt on that score, no Kandy supporters use charter buses to get to the grounds of the Club they support, the vast majority merely trudge up the hill!

When I arrived in the Members’ seating location of the pavilion, I discovered that my partner had succeeded in persuading a couple of non-members to give up their seats to a couple of septuagenarians who had paid an annual membership charge for the privilege of watching a handful of rugby matches every single year. I was also somewhat bemused to see, seated in a single of the better seats in that very enclosure a lady who was, until relatively recently a member of a single of the “ruling Kandyan families” that is reported to be in the process of participating in a dynastic coming-collectively. It does look that ANY association with the “right” folks, no matter how short-term, brings with it particular privileges not available to those who go the orthodox route of paying their dues!

Anyway, the rugby game itself was closely contested and the SLN eked out a 1-point win which proved to be a Pyrrhic victory since, it wasn’t enough to give them the championship the complicated rules of which saw the KSC as the 2015 Champions. One particular of the bright spots of the afternoon was the absence, compared to matches past, of violent or hazardous play and a referee who did not seem to be “under orders” of any kind!

Once the stage was set up for the distribution of the awards and trophy, with the usual bellowing by an announcer who believed in the superiority of volume more than clarity, we had been treated to yet another dose of déjà vu.

At this point, rather than more than-use the word “bizarre” I’d like to replace it with the a lot more appropriate “sinister” for what follows.

Not even during the playing days of the Rajapaksa Crown Princes on the SLN team had we observed the kind of armed presence on public access roads around the Nittawela grounds that we saw on March 15th. Now, we had a sailor in uniform, armed with an assault rifle on the stage exactly where the presentation was to be created! This was certainly an additional “first” for The Debacle of Asia in the matter of an occasion celebrating a national sports championship. There had been sufficient cameras flashing and video becoming shot to prove this beyond the semblance of a doubt. And given the presence of Very Extremely Senior SLN personnel all through this bizarre sequence of events, there can be small doubt that all of it had their seal of approval, not to mention that of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union and the Kandy Sports Club’s notoriously supine “leaders.”

You want a bit of icing on this distinct cake? The trophy that was presented was courtesy of Dialog, the Telco, and doing so, front and centre, actually, was no significantly less that Hans Wijesuriya, the man beneath whose watch, this very publication, Colombo Telegraph (CT) and many other websites, had been blocked, stopping each and every Sri Lankan’s proper to details. I would suggest that this gentleman’s time could have been much more appropriately spent in explaining to the Criminal Investigation Division of this nation the certain democratic practice he was applying by presiding over the blocking of such as CT rather than becoming the cynosure of all eyes at a national sporting occasion!

On the other hand, I suppose that this could be regarded as straightforward proof, if such proof is needed, that it pays handsomely to act in assistance of a violent and corrupt government with no risk whatsoever of any so-known as subsequent “reformers” making sure that the law and order they claimed to champion is applied against those who prevented the citizens of this nation from enjoying their elementary democratic rights.

And for the seal of (current) government approval, if one had been necessary, you had the lately-minted President of the United National Celebration who is also the economic Godfather of the KSC as everybody knows, as an active participant in all of this, with customary smile and bonhomie!

Does any person need to have the irony of all this pointed out to them? Or is it simply yet an additional instance of what several of us preserve pointing out: that the current lot, claiming to rescue us from the most corrupt and violent regime this nation has ever knowledgeable, are no far better than those they replaced? Is this simply farce, Sri Lankan style, or a Greek Tragedy getting played out on an Asian stage?

Sovereignty And The Port City

By Ranil Senanayake

Ranil Senanayake

Ranil Senanayake

Throughout the world, the owning or holding of and that belongs to yet another sovereign nation, termed “territories held” have recently been largely returned. The Panama Canal was returned to Panama in January 2000, Hong Kong was returned to China by the United Kingdom in 1997, and Portugal returned Macau Island to China in 1999. The notable worldwide exception has been the US base in Cuba. This history is interesting, as it will certainly have a bearing on the historical events that we are attempting to set in motion.

In 1903 right after the turbulent period following the wars of independence, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an agreement with Cuba’s new government, leasing Guantanamo bay for two,000 gold coins per year. History notes that the agreement was forced on the new Cuban government to give the U.S. navy permission to occupy the bay. As Cuba attained much more independence and the Platt Amendment was annulled a new lease was negotiated between the Roosevelt administration and a Cuban government that integrated Fulgencio Batista as one of 3 signatories. When the Revolution triumphed in 1959, the new Cuban government requested that Guantánamo be returned to Cuba. Instead of returning it, the U.S. banned its soldiers stationed at the bay from entering Cuban territory. Right after this the Guantánamo base became a constant source of friction between the two nations. Ever because, Cuba’s contact for the return of the location that the United States occupies is based on the principle of sovereignty,”

Port CitySovereignty implies supreme energy or authority. When utilised as national sovereignty the authority of a state to govern itself or yet another state. Typically, it is granted to foreign diplomatic missions and regional laws are not implemented on these lands as seen in the case of Julian Assange, sheltering from the British police, in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The query that should concern us is: Will giving outright ownership of our land to non-diplomatic entities, dilute our authority to enforce the laws of the land inside such lands? It is in this context that the agreements entered to by our Government and foreign Firms ought to be looked at. A deal as crucial as this ought to not have be left to a few bureaucrats, politicians and businessmen to choose, it must have been put prior to the men and women. Who will define the limits of our sovereignty over the new landfill? These drooling more than the possibility of producing a rapid buck must slow down and think.

If we are getting threatened with all sorts of economic repercussions at this early stage of the partnership, what sorts of pressures will the future have to deal with? If we do not see the writing on the wall, as seen from the existing reactions, which do not take into account the wellness and well getting of the natives (us) as essential at all and focus only the enterprise side of the equation, is the price to us not obvious?

Let us examine at arguments for continuing with the project. The China Communications Building Organization (CCCC) may sue us, yes they might, but the knife cuts each ways. If they have transgressed the laws of the land and/or if we can establish damage to our environment as a consequence of their actions, they could be sued back as harm wrought to Sri Lanka by a private entity.

A fear has been expressed that “There is hardly anything that strong nations do not do to safeguard their interests, financial or otherwise”. If this worry comes accurate, what need to be thought of the men and women that placed this nation in such a precarious position? They will be related to those who facilitated the loss of our independence in 1815. Considering that then, it was safeguards of the financial interests of yet another nation that was paramount, till we achieved independence. Are we fearful that the pattern be could be repeated?

Once this nation was proudly non-aligned. We have been friendly with everyone. We believed in equanimity so a lot that when China was unfairly excluded from the international economic order for their political beliefs, we stepped out of line and presented to barter for our mutual wants. Out of that came the popular Rice-Rubber pact. Can we not act in the defense of our resources, our overall health and properly getting, our capacity for wealth creation, independent of partiality not topic to global political groupings?

In the light of the current state of confusion it would be very very good for the legal profession to test what the law says about ‘Sovereignty’. A judicial definition will facilitate the existing discussion on the Port City.

Ravi Karunanayake’s Brother-In-Law Appointed MD of Sri Lanka Insurance coverage

It is revealed that one particular T.M.R. Bangsa Jayah, brother-in-law of the Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake, has been appointed as the Managing Director (MD) of Sri Lanka Insurance coverage Corporation.

Bangsa Jayah has served as a Sergeant of Sri Lanka Police and is a brother of Minister Karunanayake&#8217s wife Mela. He is tipped to obtain a month-to-month salary of Rs. 600,000 as the MD. The Corporation is an institution coming beneath the purview of Karunanayake as the Finance Minister.

According to Sri Lanka Insurance coverage web site, (, “Mr. T.M.R. Bangsa Jayah is a retired commissioned Police Officer, who has experience in the Police service for 29 years. In the course of his profession with the Police Division he worked as the Chief Safety Officer for the Deputy Speaker and North-East Governor. He is a item of St.Anne&#8217s College, Kurunegala and has studied additional in Aquinas College, Colombo. Throughout his school period he has excelled in sports like Cricket and Soccer. He is a member of College Cadetting Group and has held rank of Firm Sergeant Main. After his schooling he has completed his Initial In Laws at the Law Faculty, Colombo. Mr. Bangsa Jayah has expertise in building industry for a lot more than 15 years and he has been a principal partner in a effectively identified piling organization.”

In Defense Of Arjuna Mahendran

By Sarath de Alwis

Sarath De Alwis

Sarath De Alwis

I am time, the destroyer of all I have come to consume the planet. That one particular is dear to me who runs not right after the pleasant or away from the painful, grieves not, lusts not, but lets things come and go as they happen.” The Gita

Funds markets need laws, guidelines and regulations. The integrity, competence and judgment of the Monetary Authority is what is at stake right now. Lee Kwan Yew in his memoirs describes how he set up the capital market in Singapore and dismissed critics who complained of overregulation. ‘In Hong Kong what is not expressly forbidden is permitted in Singapore what is not expressly not permitted is forbidden’.

To take up the assignment, Arjuna Mahendran gave up a lucrative profession in International Banking and his Singapore Citizenship. When he sought much more time, he was persuaded to take more than immediately and his nationality problem was resolved by quickly tracking the approach.

Had he waited till April to take more than, the bond fiasco would have been under the watch of an individual else or there would have been no fiasco at all.

The rocket science of bond trading is explained by a central banker in a paper presented in 2008. The Added Superintendent of Public Debt Department Central Bank of Sri Lanka Mr.C.P.J. Siriwardene explains the growth of the Bond Market place.

ArjunaTreasury bonds are traded through competitive auctions carried out by the Central Bank on a standard basis. Primary dealers who have been involved in the government debt industry considering that 1992 have direct access to the major auctions. According to the present regulatory framework, principal dealers must subscribe the complete sale and single main dealer minimum investment level is set at 10 per cent of the volume of sale to stay away from any possibility of below subscription. The present auction method is on several price tag basis. Given that 2000, all auctions are performed electronically employing an on &#8211 line technique. Prior to each and every auction, the debt authority accesses the prospective investors by means of major dealers to make sure the availability of funds for the full subscriptions. Private placements of Treasury bonds also take place as a contingency to accommodate unexpected borrowings to keep away from market shocks by providing big volumes to the auctions and cancellation of planned bond auctions. Productive 21 bidders are informed on the identical day of the auction and the settlement is two days right after the auction (T+2 technique). Given that the establishment of the principal dealer method, the Central Bank continued its part as a debt manager to create the major dealer system. They incorporate streamlining of dealers (removing nonactive dealers, appointing new dealers, and so on.), introducing necessary regulatory framework for dealers and building up close connection among main dealers and the Central Bank.

Dr. Harsha De Silva the Deputy Minister of Preparing has announced that the committee of three lawyers will examine all issues and trace any irregularities up to 2012. His erudite posturing and justifying of three mediocre lawyers on a voyage of discovery tracing misdeeds up to 2012 amounts to bottom trawling for red herrings.

This writer did not know who Mr. Gamini Pitipana was till finding out that he was to be the chairman of the probe committee. These days Google does much much more than Dunn &amp Bradstreet. So the name was googled. What  appeared was mind goggling. Royal College Class of ’72. Lawyer at Law. Apollo foods Private Ltd. In the absence of any further details from the usually expansive ,Dr.Harsha what should we make of the meagre details? That Mr.Pitipana is discovered in the law and could cook? Is that what is expected of an old Royalist buddy? Cook a report?

Let us get back to the planet of bond trading. A basis point is a hundredth of a percentage point. To make it easier, if a yield moves from 5.5% to 5%, it has moved 50 basis points.

Naturally Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe thinks that the average quantum of gray matter which serves to process data in the brain of the typical Gamarala’ in Sri Lanka is far less than one basis point! But ‘Gamaralas’ are starting to run out of patience. Moving from bad governance to excellent governance the ‘Gamaralas are now experiencing a spell of ugly governance. Certainly really ugly governance at that.

It would be grossly unfair to accuse Governor Mahendran of withholding any data pertaining to his son in law. Sri Lanka is a small nation. The incestuous world of the money market place knew about the two Arjunas. Ranil Wickremesinghe decided to play Sri Krishna and persuaded the elder Arjuna to battle in the harsh world of greed.

Arjuna Mahendran is only a man. Energy is not of a man. Wright Mills the author of ‘Sociological Imagination’ the seminal study of twentieth century society identifies 5 problems we face right now in a cost-free marketplace economy alienation, moral insensibility, threat to the spirit of democracy, disregard to human freedom and most significantly the conflict in between bureaucratic rationality and human purpose.

The issues such the one that is discussed are commonplace.

“Wealth does not center in the particular person of the wealthy. Celebrity is not inherent in any character. To be celebrated, to be wealthy, and to have power demands access to main institutions.” What is nauseating with the governance style of the Prime Minister is that he reminds us of the commandant of Auschwitz who insisted “I never got complaints!”

Case Against Airplane Withdrawn

The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) nowadays informed Colombo Magistrate Nishantha Pieris that no offence had been committed in the incident where a little airplane was found in the shops belonging to CSN Television Channel at Narahenpitiya and that the case would be withdrawn.

Detectives said according to investigations the airplane was 1 built by Ray Wijewardene and not in flying situation and had been handed over to former President&#8217s son Yoshitha Rajapaksa by film director and producer Chandiran Ratnam.

The CCD sought a Court order to return the airplane to the late Ray Wijewardene&#8217s household and that the case would be withdrawn.

Counsel Niroshan Siriwardena appearing for CSN Television Channel and Mr. Rajapaksa said the plane was kept in the shop to be utilized as a show item.

Complete Story

An Open Letter To Narendra Modi

By Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera

Dear Mr Prime Minister,

I join my compatriots in extending a warm welcome to you to Sri Lanka. Almost 28 years have passed because Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (RG) visited this island. As you are effectively aware, his visit was shrouded with some very complicated and unpleasant issues for the duration of the periods quickly prior to, in the course of and after his go to. It is hoped your pay a visit to will be a prelude to a new connection based on friendship amongst equals and mutual respect.

The deterioration of relations amongst India and Sri Lanka commenced about 1980 when Indira Gandhi (IG) was elected Prime Minister for the second time. Sri Lankan President JR Jayewardene’s (JRJ) pro-western foreign policy antagonized India immensely, prompting IG to adopt a hostile attitude and embark on a mission to punish JRJ. A virtually purpose created issue was at hand in the separatist movement by some young males in Sri Lanka’s Tamil community. Relations deteriorated from 1980 when India below the direction of IG and assisted by its intelligence arm RAW and Tamil Nadu state government began destabilizing Sri Lanka by way of delivering a protected haven for separatist groups, instruction facilities, weapons instruction and funding for their activities and culminating with India repeatedly voting against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva from 2010 departing from its preceding policy of not voting on country specific issues. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s (MR) ‘Look East’ policy by forging closer economic and military ties with China who have extended unconditional support to Sri Lanka more than the years and the willingness by China and Pakistan to sell arms to GoSL when India was reluctant to give weapons need to be pointed out in this context.

Modi SirisenaTo reset relations, it is needed for each countries to produce an atmosphere of mutual trust. Notwithstanding the initiatives by the Sirisena government, there exists a huge trust deficit in our relations. The perception of double requirements on India’s part prevails even in these days. Your meeting with a TNA delegation in Delhi and National Security Advisor Ajith Doval meeting with Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka does not go down properly in the light of cancellation of talks with Pakistan at Foreign Secretary Level on the grounds of Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Delhi having discussions with Hurriyat leaders stating “talk to them or talk to us”. Getting involved in the Tamil situation in Sri Lanka and at the very same time insisting on the exclusion of Pakistan in the Kashmir issue is a case in point. In response to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s (RW) comment in the course of an interview final week that India ought to show the exact same magnanimity to Italian sailors at the moment held in India that they request for South Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters, Indian Foreign Minister Ms Swaraj had supposedly informed RW that “these are two various problems. Concerns of fishermen are a humanitarian concern. It is an concern of livelihood”. What Ms Swaraj and India want to comprehend is that it is a livelihood situation for our Northern fishermen as properly. Further, India’s ‘humanitarian’ problem is for Sri Lanka a ‘humiliating’ problem. In a manner of speaking, it is a repetition of the 1987 episode – only this time not our airspace by IAF transporters and fighter jets but our maritime boundaries by South Indian fishermen.

It is in the interest of each Sri Lanka and India to reset our relations to a pre-1977 level when issues amongst the two countries had been settled amicably with mutual respect. The Sirisena government has taken some initiatives to address one of India’s primary concerns i.e. the Colombo Port City Project which has been temporarily suspended. Even if the suspension is lifted, re-negotiation of the clause giving portion ownership to the Chinese to a 99 year lease is in the cards. On the other hand, India is however to demonstrate with any tangible efforts, its desire to reset relations except by graciously getting Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera initially and then President Maithripala Sirisena in Delhi. The problem of South Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters has received practically no interest from India.

Leaving politicians and the bureaucrats aside, it is relevant to take into account the emotions, sentiments, dignity and self-respect of the majority of the citizens in this country. While not condoning the act, one of Sri Lanka’s sons displayed his feelings with the butt finish of his rifle in 1987 for the duration of the guard of honour accorded to RG when he visited Colombo to sign the Indo &#8211 Sri Lanka accord. That accord to us Sri Lankans was a contemporary day surrender of our independence. Creating homes, rail roads etc. contribute towards enhancing relations only marginally. Such action is akin to providing a discomfort killer for a physique pain. It does not contribute towards treating the root cause. The reality is that the majority in this country nevertheless really feel strongly of the manner in which India violated this nation with impunity. At least some really feel India continue to do so covertly.

The Sirisena government has decided to accord you the honour of addressing our Parliament, an honour India did not see fit to accord to President Sirisena throughout his current check out to India. You will be the fourth Indian Prime Minister to do so after Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962, Indira Gandhi in 1973 and Moraji Desai in 1979. The Indian historian and author AG Noorani in a current essay in India’s Frontline magazine wrote “India’s relations with Sri Lanka will heal only if there is a sincere realisation of previous blunders and of the grave harm that India inflicted on a hapless neighbour too modest to retaliate”. This would be an ideal chance for you to set the record right. It would call for but 3 sentences of admission of errors of the previous, regret over them and an assurance of non-repetition. It can be appropriately worded preserving India’s dignity. Such an act would help millions in this nation to lastly bury the ugly previous and move on and also a great beginning for India to genuinely and constructively engage in resetting its relations with Sri Lanka and its folks.