Mahinda Rajapaksa Is A Sinhalese Extremist – Lee Kuan Yew #TAMIL #SRILANKA


Lee Kuan Yew, the Father of Singapore and father of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore has described Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a Sinhalese Extremist and what happened in Sri Lanka in 2009 as ethnic cleansing.

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This statement of Lee is a matter with great import. All these years criticism from outside was dismissed by the Sri Lankan government as by colonialists. But this is by a respected Asian leader. After Singapore’s Senior Minister has spoken thus, will Singapore feel free to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November?

These comments were made during lengthy conversations with the author of the book

Prof. Thomas Plate, Citizen Singapore: How To Build A Nation – Conversations with Lee Kwan Yew, Marshall Cavendish, 2011.

Surprisingly such comments of great import in a 2011 book are making it into the public domain only 2 years later.

Author Thomas Gordon Plate is an American journalist, internationally syndicated columnist and a Professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA as its Distinguished Scholar of Asian and Pacific Studies.

Specifically Lee Kuan Yew has said of President Rajapaka and Sri Lanka, “[Sri Lanka] is not a happy, united country. Yes, they have beaten the Tamil Tigers this time, but the Sinhalese who are less capable are putting down a minority of Jaffna Tamils who are more capable. They were squeezing them out. That’s why the Tamils rebelled. But I do not see them ethnic cleansing all two million-plus Jaffna Tamils. The Jaffna Tamils have been in Sri Lanka as long as the Sinhalese.”

Plate: “So what Asia saw was ethnic cleansing?”

Lee: “That’s right.”

Plate: “They [the Tigers] will come back, you think?”

Lee: “I don’t think they are going to be submissive or go away. The present President of Sri Lanka believes he has settled the problem; Tamil Tigers are killed and that is that.”

Plate: “See, that’s really a fascinating point, because to the extent that we have any sense of who you are at all, we think of you as this hard-boiled force- first guy. But in fact your system of government is much softer, consensual and intelligent, whereas what the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka are doing is a caricature of an LKY who never existed.”

Lee: “I’ve read his speeches and I knew he was a Sinhalese extremist. I cannot change his mind.”

colombo  telegraph

We have not called anyone terrorist in Madras Cafe, says actor John Abraham


The actor defended his upcoming film after a Tamil outfit sought a ban on the film for allegedly portraying LTTE in a bad light.

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Actor-producer John Abraham‘s upcoming film Madras Cafe has run into trouble with Pro Tamil outfit Naam Thamizhar requesting the Tamil Nadu government to  ban the movie.

Alleging that the film portrays the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a bad light, outfir founder Seeman has asked for a preview of the film before its official release on August 23.

The film, which stars John and Nargis Fakhri in the lead roles, is a political spy thriller set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan Civil War of the 1990s.

However, the actor who was in Chennai on Monday to release the trailer of Madras Cafe, has strongly refuted the allegations.

Talking to reporters, the actor said, “We have not called anyone ‘terrorists’ in the film. We haven’t taken sides… This film doesn’t take any sides. We probably will show them (those opposing the film) the film.”

“The film is not biased and is based on facts and actual situations,” he added.

The actor went on to add, “If someone wants to take a political mileage out of it, I can’t stop that. A lot of research has gone into the making of the film and it is unbiased. We have not taken any sides.”

While the John said that talks with to distributors in Sri Lanka were on for the release of the film there, Naam Thamizhar founder Seeman threatened to thwart any attempts to screen the film without a preview.

“Let them show us the preview before the release or else we will not only protest in front of all the cinema halls but also buy all tickets and shout slogans inside the movie halls not letting others watch it,” media reports quoted Seeman as saying.

Director of the film Shoojit Sircar has said, “The censor board has given U/A certificate, which means they don’t see anything objectionable in the content. Otherwise they would have cut the scenes. So, I would request them to watch the film first.”

Jaya demands bold stand from Centre on issue of SL 13th Amendment


Voicing concern over the fate of the 13th Amendment to Sri Lankan Constitution that agreed to devolve some authority to provinces, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today called for a “bold stand” by India, saying it cannot remain a “passive bystander.” In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she referred to the March 27, 2013 resolution by the state assembly and reiterated her demand for the Centre moving a resolution in the United Nations Security Council for a referendum on ‘Tamil Ealam’ (homeland).

The 13th Amendment is part of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, whereby Colombo agreed to devolve some authority to provinces but that government had been giving indications of late that it may repeal it despite New Delhi’s concerns. Jayalalithaa told Singh that there were “disturbing signs” about Sri Lankan government not being serious about Tamils’ rehabilitation, besides its attempts to dilute 13th Amendment.

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She said “our worst fears” on the intentions and motives of the present Sri Lankan regime appeared to be coming true, while referring to setting up of a Parliamentary Select Committee by President Mahinda Rajapakse to review the 13th Amendment. ”The hawkish Sinhalese right wing groups have been resorting to agitations and protests to pressure the Sri Lankan Government to repeal the 13th Amendment prior to the elections to the Northern Provincial Council proposed to be held in September later this year. In public statements, the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapakse has directly called for the repeal of the 13th Amendment,” she said.

She said a delegation led by Sri Lankan Minister Basil Rajapakse had also met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, “presumably to justify their stand in this matter.” Jayalalithaa said people of the state and elswehere are “justifiably alarmed” over the move and charged the Lankan government with never being serious about genuine devolution of powers.

The merger of Northern and Eastern provinces into one administrative unit as contemplated in the accord was ”dismantled” by the Lankan Government in 2007, following an order of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court nullifying it, she said. ”The demerger of the North Eastern Council has to be construed as a serious setback to the Indo Sri Lankan accord and, perhaps, as a sinister first step leading to the eventual abrogation and repeal of the 13th Amendment, which has starkly appeared on the agenda now,” she said.

Jayalalithaa said India cannot afford to be a “passive bystander at this juncture,” saying “we have a commitment to protect the life and liberties of Tamils in Sri Lanka, whose distinct identity and cultural presence in Sri Lanka, particularly in the Northern and Eastern regions, was the guiding principle behind the accord that led to notification of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution.”

India should see to it that reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Tamils, by establishment of democratic institutions of Self-Government, was “not derailed by the insidious attempts now being made by the Sri Lankan Government to jettison the 13th Amendment,” she said.

Such a development would spell doom for the lives and liberties of Lankan Tamils, who will again face the prospect of a return to thraldom (bondage, slavery, servitude) under the Sinhalese military and majority, she said while expressing fears of impact to the security in the region. “In the present turn of events, when the Sri Lankan Government is acting with impunity to take away even the limited political rights available to the Tamils, I strongly urge Government of India to take all possible steps to bring pressure to bear upon the Sri Lankan Government not to take any steps to repeal or even dilute the 13th Amendment in any manner,” she said.

New Delhi should ensure the process of democratic decentralization, integral to the survival of Tamils in Sri Lanka, was in no way jeopardised. “I hope that the Government of India, as a leader in the region and as a champion of human rights and democracy, will decisively take a bold stand in support of the much discriminated against and long suffering Tamil minorities in Sri Lanka,” she said.

Jayalalithaa also referred to the Mar 27, 2013 resolution adopted by the Assembly and said she wished to reiterate it. The Assembly had adopted a strongly-worded resolution demanding a referendum for a separate Tamil Eelam (homeland) in the United Nations Security Council.

PTI

Shane #Watson has worked as hard as anybody around his cricket: Ricky #Ponting


Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has lent his support to under-fire vice-captain Shane Watson, saying he backs Shane’s decision to return home at the time of the birth of his first child.

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Watson was barred by team management from taking part in the third Test against India in Mohali along with three other cricketers for disciplinary reasons.

The all-rounder flew back home to be by the side of his wife Lee Furlong. The couple announced Thursday the birth of their son Will.

“Shane worked as hard as anybody around his cricket, there’s no doubt about that,” Ponting was quoted as saying by The Age.

“He’s obviously made a blue here – I don’t like to refer to it as homework because it wasn’t homework – not getting his tasks done that were given to him by the coach.”

“I’ve never known him to be anything other than a very good team player and a great bloke to have around your team.”

Ponting, who Thursday scored his 80th first class hundred in a Shield match against Victoria, praised Watson’s commitment and passion for the game and asked the media not to look too much into high-performance manager Pat Howard‘ comments on Watson’s team commitment.

“I loved every moment that I played with Watto,” he said.

“To tell the truth, I think I understood him and his personality as well as anyone that I ever played with.”

“I tried to get as close to him as I could.”

Ponting said, “I tried to know him as well as I could both on and off the field and I actually felt by doing that I got as much out of him as I could as a player.”

Ponting said Howard’s comments were made under pressure.

“Pat’s known Shane for 12 months and (Australian captain) Michael (Clarke) and Shane have known each other for the best part of 20 years,” he said.

Ponting, who also returned home from Sri Lanka two years ago to be alongside his wife, said Watson’s decision to fly back home was the right one.

“(It’s) obviously a personal decision and he probably doesn’t care how it looks,” he said.

“What the girls go through when we’re away is hard enough as it is but there’s certain things in your personal life you don’t want to miss.”

Karunanidhi warns of pulling out of UPA over Sri Lanka


DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Friday warned his party will pull out of the UPA government if India does not press for an independent international probe against those responsible for the genocide in Sri Lanka in the US-sponsored resolution in the UNHRC against the island nation.

In a statement issued here late night, Karunanidhi, referring to the US sponsored resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), said: “India should take steps to amend the American resolution to include thatt those war criminals responsible for the genocide in Sri Lanka be identified, hold a free international enquiry against them and take time bound appropriate action.”

“If this request is not heeded, it will be meaningless for the DMK to continue in the central government,” he added.

DMK, with 18 members in the Lok Sabha, is a key constituent in the central United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

IANS

Russian Cricket Team Starts Spring Preparations


The United Cricket League Russia is preparing for the 2013 games. The popularity of this sport, which has a great following worldwide, until recently was relatively unknown in Russia, points out Tanvir Khan,a member of the team management. He says that it is not surprising that the vast majority of players in the Russian League are Indians, Pakistanis, natives of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka having Russian residence permits. They are all in the majority of cases, like me, either graduates of Russian universities, businessmen or students.

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Tanvir Khan: “The United Russian Cricket League unites eight teams of 11 players each. Some of them are very good and great players. Last year, the League of United Russia was recognized and registered with the International Cricket Council (ICC) in London.

We also have 200 additional players. And among them are a few Russians. Our matches are held at the Moscow State University’s (MSU) baseball stadium which has an artificial turf cover. We play every Saturday and Sunday during the four months of favorable weather conditions. These games invariably attract quite a few Russians, some of whom want to try their hand at the game and have shown impressive results.”

Having crossed from Europe, from its homeland in Britain, to the colonies in South Asia and Africa, cricket has become extremely popular there. And now in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka it is revered as a national sport. The young students, who had come to Russia from these countries to study during the past decade or so, just could not give up their passion for cricket. We are organizing matches in Russia for the 13th year and are also participating in international matches, says Tanvir Khan. And very successfully too for we have won Silver in the European championship.

This year we have scheduled 64 games – says board member of the League of United Russia, Tanvir Khan. We expect the arrival in Moscow of teams from Latvia and Estonia. And then we shall visit them in Riga. Our colleagues in Belgium have invited our team for a friendly match. And this is not at all the complete list of our travel plans for which preparations are on going.

On May 1, this year, the Russian team will hold its first home match at the cricket stadium in MSU. It is possible that some Russian players will also take part in the match. This sport is gaining more and more recognition among the Russians.

Future Chinese Naval Bases Overseas – What Would They Be Like?


The recently realized but long in its planning, transition of the Pakistani port of Gwadar to the Chinese management company has led to a series of negative reactions from the Indian experts. India is concerned about a gradual increase of the activity of the PLA Navy in the Indian Ocean and the transition to Chinese port authorities in countries such as Pakistan or Sri Lanka and sees it as a move to encircle India within a chain of Chinese military bases. But in reality, the creation of permanent military bases here is unlikely, says the expert of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, Vasily Kashin.

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According to the expert, military bases, located in the neighboring countries of India will be almost useless in case of a military confrontation between China and India. Being isolated from its mother country, the bases will be within range of Indian aviation and cruise missiles and therefore be quickly destroyed. On the other hand, the presence of a constant and a large military base in Pakistan would in turn make China a hostage of the unstable Pakistani domestic politics.

At the same time, the growing global presence of Chinese Navy will sooner or later raise the issue of establishing an appropriate global infrastructure. Already Chinese naval ships that are involved in anti -pirate patrolling off the coast of Somalia are actively using the ports of Oman, Yemen and Djibouti for restocking. Each Chinese squad, along the Somalian coast, also includes transport logistics. Usually these cargo ships restock fuel and other supplies at the local ports and then transport these to the warships at sea .The Chinese navy pays a great deal of attention to the detailed procedures involved in the transfer of fuel, food and water in the open sea.

In 2011, the Government of Seychelles directly proposed China to create a permanent military base in the islands. In response, China’s Defense Ministry stressed that the database will not be created so as not to damage the unique ecology of the islands. Although some Chinese military experts, such as Rear Admiral Wu Shengli, directly called for the establishment of foreign military bases to support operations of the fleet, the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry of China have always denied the existence of such plans. At the same time they do not exclude the possibility of overseas supply points, without deployment of troops on the territory of other countries.

So, we can assume that China will adhere to a step by step approach to the creation of an infrastructure of global military presence. For the start, probably, they will follow the tried and tested tactic of the USSR- to start with the development of infrastructure of the bases overseas by creating logistics points.

An example of such an object can be considered the similar Russian point in the Syrian city of Tartous. It consists of a few warehouses and workshops onshore and a pier to which a floating workshop can be docked. Only a few permanent ground staff members are required to maintain this point. The creation of such structures avoids attracting too much attention and also avoids accusations of expansion.

This work can be developed after the implementation of some of the more important programs of the Chinese navy, in particular the formation of battle ready aircraft carrier groups. It is unlikely that for the supply bases, ports in friendly countries in the region that are already under the control of Chinese companies, such as Gwadar, will be used. Already, The Chinese Navy has no obstacles in using these ports. On the other hand, the creation of special infrastructure for the Chinese navy may be more practical in the less developed countries on the eastern coast of Africa.