Mahinda Rajapaksa inspects development in southeast

Whilst the insufficiency of development in the North continues to be documented by the UN, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was taken on a tour of the southeast to inspect development in the region. The tour included two main reservoirs and ended with a visit to one of the holiest Buddhist temples, the Deegawapi temple, located in the Ampara District of the Eastern province. The Deegawapi temple and surrounding area has been renovated at a cost of 250 million rupees, with a further 400 million rupees allocated for renovation. Rajapaksa instructed officials that the premises of Deegawapi was sacred and that the legal rights of the land belong to the temple. The president took the time to walk through the town of Embilipitiya to meet residents and get an idea of their problems and asses the effectiveness of redevelopment in the town.

Blessings from a king

Photograph Daily Mirror Sinhala Grade 5 children worship the feet of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the town of Embilipitiya, as he toured the southeast.

Mahinda the merciful ruler of the law

In an act of proclaimed magnanimity the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the police not to proceed with prosecutions against parliamentarians and local politicians who have made defamatory remarks about him. As a mature politician, explained the president, he would ignore these statements, and ask the Inspector General of Police to pursue charges against those who defame 'ordinary people, public servants and entrepreneurs.

The Buddha graces yet another Vanni district

A Buddhist shrine has been opened by the Sri Lankan Army in Vavuniya north’s Kanakarayankulam , reports Uthayan. The post-2009 Buddhist colonisation campaign started off with scattered emergences of Sacred Fig trees and the popping up of Buddha statues around the Vanni and Jaffna areas, some of which have been expanded into full scale Viharas. The Kanakarayankulam shrine has been described as a huge statue, on a large mount under a newly planted Sacred Fig tree. It is reported that the opening of the shrine is a forerunner to the proposed building of the ‘Sri Sambuddharaje Vihara’. See more...

India ‘mischievously concealing’ training of Sri Lankan officers – Jayalalitha

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha has accused the Indian government of concealing training it provided to members of Sri Lanka’s security forces in the state since May. In a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalitha said Delhi was showing “excessive enthusiasm” for training Sri Lankan forces and that it “mischievously concealed ” training officers in Tamil Nadu. “I have expressed in no unclear terms the strong views of my government on imparting training to defence personnel belonging to Sri Lanka, “It is very clear that this fact of ongoing training since May 2012 has been mischievously concealed from my government, showing scant regard for the views of my government as well as for the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu,” she said. She criticised the decision to move Sri Lankan personnel to Bengaluru after she opposed their training in Tamil Nadu earlier this year.

Japan tells SL “visible outcomes” needed

Japan’s special envoy Yasushi Akashi has told Sri Lanka that visible outcomes on reconciliation must be demonstrated, as he concluded his 5-day tour of the island. Akashi, Japan’s special envoy during the 2002 peace process, told reporters "I reiterated (to Rajapaksa) the importance to take effective measures and demonstrate visible outcomes to the international community ". Whilst in Jaffna, Akashi reportedly encountered complaints from Tamil civil and religious society over tha lack of progress. In response, Akashi allegedly said the Tamil community needed to “show patience”. See some of...

UK Tamil student detained in Sri Lanka

A UK Tamil student travelling on summer vacation to Sri Lanka was detained by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Thursday, reported Tamilwin. The student, Thuwakaran Nagenthirarajah, is currently completing his higher education in London. According to Tamilwin, he was questioned for several hours as to whether he had participated in a protest in London against the Sri Lankan government, and links to the LTTE. The CID have ordered further investigations. Thuwakaran has denied all allegations.

The big bad CEPA

Sri Lanka is reluctant to sign the CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) with India, with many officials expressing a fear that CEPA would give India too much say in Sri Lanka's markets, work force and political affairs. According to Business Standard, officials from Sri Lanka's Minister of Commerce, described a "fear psychosis" over dependence on the Indian market, giving indirect leverage on political matters by Sri Lanka, as well as concerns that Indian access to Sri Lankan markets would destroy Sri Lanka's 'domestic industry'. One official also said : "Some sections of the...

FCO ignores SL and adds further warnings to travel advisory

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has ignored protests by the Sri Lankan government about its recent updates to travel advice over security on the island and has added further warnings. After the recent convictions of French tourists over pictures that were taken with statues of Buddha, the foreign office advice now warns against posing in front of statues. “You should avoid posing for photographs standing in front of a statue of Buddha. The mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is a serious offence and tourists have been convicted for posing for such photos,” the travel advice now...

Gotabhaya instructs military to convince world of their ‘magnanimity’

Addressing the occupying military in Vanni, secretary of defence Gotabhaya Rajapksa, noted that their foremost responsibility was to “ensure that all measures are adopted to win hearts and minds of the Northern civilians and prevent the recurrence of terrorism". After opening with this noble statement, the defence secretary went on to describe a series of welfare projects that have been launched for the sake of the military service personnel and “war hero families”. Gotabhaya outlined the importance of conveying to the international community that the military were disciplined, noble and met...