அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு

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அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு.

'' நீதி, மதம், அரசியல், சமுதாயம் சம்பந்தமான எல்லாவித சொல்லடுக்குகளுக்கும் பிரகடனங்களுக்கும் வாக்குறுதிகளுக்கும் பின்னே ஏதாவதொரு வர்க்கத்தின் நலன்கள் ஒழிந்து நிற்பதைக் கண்டுகொள்ள மக்கள் தெரிந்துகொள்ளாத வரையில் அரசியலில் அவர்கள் முட்டாள்தனமான ஏமாளிகளாகவும் தம்மைத் தாமே ஏமாற்றிக்கொள்வோராகவும் இருந்தனர், எப்போதும் இருப்பார்கள். பழைய ஏற்பாடு ஒவ்வொன்றும் எவ்வளவுதான் காட்டு மிராண்டித் தனமாகவும் அழுகிப் போனதாகவும் தோன்றிய போதிலும் ஏதாவது ஒரு ஆளும்வர்க்கத்தின் சக்தியைக் கொண்டு அது நிலைநிறுத்தப்பட்டு வருகிறது. சீர்திருத்தங்கள், அபிவிருத்திகள் ஆகியவற்றின் ஆதரவாளர்கள் இதை உணராத வரையில் பழைய அமைப்பு முறையின் பாதுகாவலர்கள் அவர்களை என்றென்றும் முட்டாளாக்கிக் கொண்டே இருப்பார்கள். இந்த வர்க்கங்களின் எதிர்ப்பைத் தகர்த்து ஒழிப்பதற்கு ஒரே ஒரு வழிதான் உண்டு. அது என்ன?

பழைமையைத் துடைத்தெறியவும் புதுமையைச் சிருக்ஷ்டிக்கவும் திறன் பெற்றவையும், சமுதாயத்தில் தாங்கள் வகிக்கும் ஸ்தானத்தின் காரணமாக அப்படிச் சிருக்ஷ்டித்துக் தீரவேண்டிய நிர்ப்பந்தத்திலிருக்கிறவையுமான சக்திகளை, நம்மைச் சூழ்ந்துள்ள இதே சமுதாயத்துக்குள்ளேயே நாம் கண்டுபிடித்து, அந்தச் சக்திகளுக்கு ஞானமூட்டிப் போராட்டத்துக்கு ஸ்தாபன ரீதியாகத் திரட்ட வேண்டும். இது ஒன்றேதான் வழி. ''

மாமேதை தோழர் லெனின்
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Friday, 29 January 2016

விழுப்புர முக்கொலை: மாணவி கோமளாவின் துணிகர வாக்குமூலம்

விழுப்புர முக்கொலை: மாணவி கோமளாவின் துணிகர வாக்குமூலம்

இரண்டாம் இணைப்பு:

இந்த வாக்குமூலம் புதிய தலைமுறைத் தொலைக் காட்சியின் நேர்படப் பேசு 25-01-2016 நிகழ்ச்சியில் ஒளிபரப்பப்பட்டு அதன் பகுதி You Tube இல் வெளியாகி இருந்தது.

அதன் இணைப்பு வருமாறு:


ஆனால் இந்த  You Tube இணைப்பில் இருந்து அந்த ஒளி நாடா நீக்கப்பட்டுவிட்டது.

எனினும் வாசகர்கள் புதிய தலைமுறை இணைப்பில் கோமாளாவின் துணிகர வாக்கு மூலத்தைக் கேட்க முடியும்.

கீழ்க்காணும் இணைப்பை அழுத்தி நேர்படப் பேசு 25/01/2016 நிகழ்ச்சியை அழுத்தவும்.



Monday, 25 January 2016

விழுப்புர முக்கொலை







கல்லூரி மாணவிகள் 3 பேர் தற்கொலையில் மர்மம்: பெற்றோர் புகார்!


விழுப்புரம்: கள்ளக்குறிச்சி அருகே தனியார் ஹோமியோபதி கல்லூரி மாணவிகள் 3 பேர் கிணற்றில் குதித்து தற்கொலை செய்து கொண்ட சம்பவத்தில் மர்மம் உள்ளதாக அந்த மாணவிகளின் பெற்றோர் புகார் தெரிவித்து உள்ளனர். அந்த சம்பவம் அந்தப் பகுதியில் பெரும் பரபரப்பை ஏற்படுத்தி உள்ளது.

விழுப்புரம் மாவட்டம் கள்ளக்குறிச்சி அருகே பங்காரம் என்னும் இடத்தில் தனியார் ஹோமியோபதி மருத்துவ கல்லூரி ஒன்று இயங்கி வருகிறது. இக்கல்லூரியில் பயின்ற 2-ம் ஆண்டு இயற்கை மருத்துவம் படித்த மாணவிகள் மோனிஷா, சரண்யா, பிரியங்கா ஆகியோர் நேற்று கல்லூரிக்கு எதிரே உள்ள கிணற்றில் குதித்து தற்கொலை செய்து கொண்டனர்.

இந்த தகவல் அறிந்து சம்பவ இடத்திற்கு விரைந்து வந்த காவல்துறை மற்றும் தீயணைப்புத்துறையினர், 2 மணி நேரம் போராடி மாணவிகளின் உடல்களை கிணற்றில் இருந்து மீட்டனர். அதன்பின் அந்த உடல்களை, விழுப்புரம் மருத்துவக் கல்லூரி மருத்துவமனைக்கு பிரேத பரிசோதனைக்காக அனுப்பி வைத்தனர்.

மேலும், மாணவி ஒருவரின் பையில் இருந்து கடிதம் ஒன்றை போலீசார் கைப்பற்றி உள்ளனர். அதில், தற்கொலைக்கான காரணம் எழுதப்பட்டிருப்பதாகவும், கல்லூரியில் வசூலிக்கப்படும் கட்டணத்துக்கு சரிவர ரசீது தருவதில்லை என்றும், நிர்வாகம் அடிப்படை வசதிகளை செய்து தரவில்லை என்றும், அதை கண்டிக்கும் வகையில் தற்கொலை செய்துகொள்வதாகவும் அவர்கள் குறிப்பிட்டு உள்ளதாக தகவல்கள் வெளியாகி உள்ளது.

ஏற்கனவே, இதே கல்லூரியை சேர்ந்த மாணவிகள் சிலர், எந்தவித அடிப்படை வசதியும் இல்லாமல் இயங்கி வரும் இந்த இயற்கை மருத்துவக் கல்லூரியில், மாணவிகளை வேலை செய்யச் சொல்லி வற்புறுத்தியும், சரியாக உணவு வழங்காமல் கல்லூரி நிர்வாகம் கொடுமைப்படுத்தியதாக கூறி விழுப்புரம் மாவட்ட ஆட்சியர் அலுவலகம் முன்பு விஷம் குடித்து தற்கொலைக்கு முயன்றனர். அப்போது ஆர்.டி.ஓ. விசாரணை நடத்தப்பட்டு சம்பந்தப்பட்ட மாணவிகளுக்கு டி.சி. வழங்குமாறு விழுப்புரம் ஆட்சியர் உத்தரவிட்டார். ஆனால் அந்த உத்தரவை மதிக்காத கல்லூரி நிர்வாகம், மாணவிகளுக்கு டி.சி. வழங்க மறுத்துள்ளது.

தற்கொலை செய்து கொண்டதாக கூறப்படும் மாணவி சரண்யாவின் பெற்றோர் கூறும்போது, "அங்கே சரியான சாப்பாடு வசதி, அடிப்படை வசதிகள் இல்லை என்று அவள் பலமுறை கூறி வந்தாள். படிப்பு சொல்லிக்கொடுக்க ஆசிரியர்களும் இல்லை. கழிவறையை கூட நாங்கள் தான் சுத்தம் செய்ய வேண்டி உள்ளது என்றாள். அதை நாங்கள் கல்லூரிக்கு சென்று கேட்டால், உடனே எங்கள் மகளை கல்லூரி நிர்வாகத்தினர் திட்டுவதாகவும் அவள் கூறினாள்.

மேலும், எங்கள் மகள் இறப்பு குறித்து கல்லூரி நிர்வாகத்தினர் எங்களுக்கு எந்தவித தகவலும் தெரிவிக்கவில்ல. காவல்துறையில் இருந்து தான் எங்களுக்கு தகவல் வந்தது. அதுவும் உங்கள் மகள் கிணற்றில் விழுந்து தற்கொலை செய்து கொண்டுள்ளார் என்று சொன்னார்கள். இங்கு வந்து பார்த்தால் அவள் தலை உள்ளிட்ட பல இடங்களில் காயங்கள் உள்ளது. அவள் தற்கொலை செய்துகொள்ளும் ஆள் இல்லை. இந்த இறப்பில் மர்மம் உள்ளது" என்று கண்ணீர் வடித்தார்.

இதனிடையே விழுப்புரம் சரக டி.ஐ.ஜி. சரண்யாவின் பெற்றோரிடம் விசாரணை நடத்திய நிலையில், அந்த கல்லூரி தாளாளர் வாசுகி சுப்பிரமணியனை கைது செய்வதற்காக போலீசார் சென்னை விரைந்துள்ளதாக தகவல் வெளியாகி உள்ளது. வாசுகியின் கணவர் சுப்பிரமணியன் சிறுநீரக கோளாறு காரணமாக சென்னை போரூரில் உள்ள ஒரு தனியார் மருத்துவமனையில் அனுமதிக்கப்பட்டு உள்ளதால், அங்கு வாசுகி இருப்பதாக போலீசாருக்கு தகவல் கிடைத்துள்ளது.

3 மாணவிகள் தற்கொலை சம்பவம் தமிழகத்தில் பெரும் பரபரப்பை ஏற்படுத்தி உள்ளது.


Sunday, 17 January 2016

Beware the great 2016 financial crisis

Beware the great 2016 financial crisis, 

warns leading City pessimist

Albert Edwards
Albert Edwards joins RBS in warning of a new crash, saying
oil price plunge and deflation from emerging markets will overwhelm central banks, tip the markets and collapse the eurozone
Larry Elliott Economics editor

Tuesday 12 January 2016 19.25 GMT Last modified on Wednesday 13 January 2016 00.20 GMT

The City of London’s most vocal “bear”* has warned that the world is heading for a financial crisis as severe as the crash of 2008-09 that could prompt the collapse of the eurozone.

Albert Edwards, strategist at the bank Société Générale, said the west was about to be hit by a wave of deflation from emerging market economies and that central banks were unaware of the disaster about to hit them. His comments came as analysts at Royal Bank of Scotland urged investors to “sell everything” ahead of an imminent stock market crash.

“Developments in the global economy will push the US back into recession,” Edwards told an investment conference in London. 

“The financial crisis will reawaken. It will be every bit as bad as in 2008-09 and it will turn very ugly indeed.”

Fears of a second serious financial crisis within a decade have been heightened by the turbulence in markets since the start of the year. Share prices have fallen rapidly and a slump in the cost of oil has left Brent crude trading at barely above $30 a barrel.



“Can it get any worse? Of course it can,” said Edwards, the most prominent of the stock market bears – *the terms for analysts who think shares are overvalued and will fall in price. “Emerging market currencies are still in freefall. The US corporate sector is being crushed by the appreciation of the dollar.”

The Soc Gen strategist said the US economy was in far worse shape than the country’s central bank, the US Federal Reserve, realised. “We have seen massive credit expansion in the US. This is not for real economic activity; it is borrowing to finance share buybacks.”

Edwards attacked what he said was the “incredible conceit” of central bankers, who had failed to learn the lessons of the housing bubble that led to the financial crisis and slump of 2008-09.

“They didn’t understand the system then and they don’t understand how they are screwing up again. Deflation is upon us and the central banks can’t see it.”

Edwards said the dollar had risen by as much as the Japanese yen had in the 1990s, an upwards move that pushed Japan into deflation and caused solvency problems for the Asian country’s banks. He added that a sign of the crisis to come was the collapse in demand for credit in China.

“That happens when people lose confidence that policymakers know what they are doing. This is what is going to happen in Europe and the US.”

Europe has shown tentative signs of recovery in the past year, but Edwards said the efforts of the European Central Bank to push the euro lower and growth higher would come to nothing in the event of a fresh downturn. “If the global economy goes back into recession, it is curtains for the eurozone.”

Countries such as France, Spain and Italy would not accept the rising unemployment that would be associated with another recession, he said. “What a disaster the euro has been: it is a doomsday machine in favour of the German economy.”

Source: The Guardian Uk 13-jan-2016

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Entire JK our integral part: India

Entire JK our integral part: India

"We have seen recent media reports stating that various options are under consideration in Pakistan regarding the political status of Gilgit-Baltistan.
 "India's position is crystal clear on this. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir which includes areas currently under Pakistan's occupation is an integral part of Union of India," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson VikasSwarup said.
Press Trust of India
New Delhi, Publish Date: Jan 15 2016 12:44AM | Updated Date: Jan 15 2016 1:25AM

ENB File Photo
In sharp reaction to Islamabad's reported move to make strategically located Gilgit-Baltistan a province, India today said the entire Jammu and Kashmir including Pakistan Administered Kashmir is its integral part.

"We have seen recent media reports stating that various options are under consideration in Pakistan regarding the political status of Gilgit-Baltistan.

"India's position is crystal clear on this. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir which includes areas currently under Pakistan's occupation is an integral part of Union of India," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson VikasSwarup said.

Gilgit-Baltistan is strategically located and provides the only land link with China. The USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is also proposed to pass through the area, which India objects due to the disputed status of the region.

He said India's concerns are regarding "exploitation of resources" and implementation of economic projects in Pakistan Administered Kashmir are well known and have been shared with all the countries and organisations concerned.

There were reports that Pakistan was planning to make Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province.
Elections were held in Gilgit-Baltistan region in June last year. India had objected to the elections strongly, saying it is an attempt by Pakistan to "camouflage its forcible and illegal occupation" of the regions which are its integral part.

Replying to a question on whether India was seeking extradition of Khalistani militant Paramjeet Singh alias Pamma from Portugal when some Sikh advocacy groups were opposing such a move, Swarup said government wants him to face trial for the crimes he committed in India.

"As far as we are concerned, Paramjit is a known terrorist and has Interpol Red Corner notices against him. He was detained by authorities in Portugal on December 18, 2015 based on these Red Corner alert.

"He is accused of a number of criminal cases in India including the murder of the president of Rastriya Sikh Sangat and for this reason we are seeking his extradition from Portugal," the spokesperson said. 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

BORDERS MIA

BORDERS MIA




MIA's Borders: artist braves boats and barbed wire in video crusade for refugees
Rap artist releases self-directed video for new track Borders that follows refugees on hazardous journey to Europe, as lyrics chastise governments’ failure to act

Harriet Gibsone
Friday 27 November 2015 14.28 GMT Last modified on Wednesday 9 December 2015 14.25 GMT

Most artists would be incapable of approaching a subject as serious as the refugee crisis in song. Not MIA, however, whose new album is on course to politicise pop once again. “The world I talked about 10 years ago is still the same,” she recently posted on Twitter. “That’s why it’s hard for me to say it again on a new LP.”



Today, the British artist of Sri Lankan descent premiered Borders, a track that proves she remains unique in her ability to implement ideas about pop culture and important global topics. With it comes a self-directed video, which makes a compelling statement on the continuing migration crisis, chastising the response of European politicians and lamenting the arrival of border fences to keep out migrants. The video mimics the hazardous journeys faced by migrants, showing a flotilla of boats laden with refugees. Other scenes show individuals scaling massive fences topped with barbed wire, a reference to the series of securitised border fences erected by number of countries to keep out refugees.

The track, which sonically fuses eastern and western styles, questions the fabric of modern society – politics, identities, privilege, “being bae”, “breaking the internet” and smartphones – before reducing the world down to its essentials: your values, your beliefs, your families, your power.

Borders is the first track we’ve heard from new album Matahdatah since Swords back in July. According to a statement from her label, both songs and videos are part of “a truly global and characteristically DIY MIA project. The two pieces will ultimately come together in a larger body of work that explores the concept of Borders, an element of which will be a full-length album and film experience entitled Matahdatah.”


Her fifth record will be released on Interscope Records. Until then, you can watch the video below.
The Guardian

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

பாணின் விலை அதிகரிப்பு


பாணின் விலை அதிகரிப்பு
12-01-2016 08:52 PM

450 கிராம் பாணின் விலை, ஒரு ரூபாயால் நாளை நள்ளிரவு முதல் அதிகரிக்கப்படவுள்ளதாக பேக்கரி உரிமையாளர் சங்கம் அறிவித்துள்ளது. 

இதன்படி, தற்போது, 450 கிராம் பாணின் விலையானது 54 ரூபாயாக இருக்கையில், நாளை நள்ளிரவு முதல் அதிகரிக்கப்படவுள்ள ஒரு ரூபாயுடன் சேர்த்து, 450 கிராம் பாணின் புதிய விலை, 55 ரூபாயாக அமையவுள்ளது. 

`உலகமய` அரசின் உள்ளூர் ஆட்சி!

அன்றும் இன்றும் அந்நிய மயமே ஆட்சி நலம்!




Sri Lankan police fire on protesting free trade zone workers
By W.A. Sunil and Ruwan Liyanage
1 June 2011

On Monday, thou sands of police officers launched a violent attack on free trade zone (FTZ) workers in Katunayake who were protesting against the Sri Lankan government’s private sector pension bill. During the resulting clashes, police twice opened fire with live ammunition. Altogether, more than 200 workers were injured and about 100 arrested.

After the confrontation, which included the mobilisation of thousands of troops, the government shut down the FTZ for two days. Thousands of police and security personnel have been stationed in the area, which is close to the capital, Colombo. All vehicles are being checked and any FTZ workers who live outside the zone are being prevented from entering.

This is the second police crackdown against FTZ workers in months. In February, the police attacked striking workers at the Hong Kong-owned Bratex factory, an undergarment producer in Katunayake, and arrested several workers on trumped-up charges.

Monday’s protest was held in direct defiance of the Free Trade Zone and General Services Workers Union (FTZGSWU), which had called on workers not to stage any industrial action. The demonstration was a continuation of the struggle initiated by the FTZ workers on May 24 against the pension bill, which will effectively cut wages and require at least 10 years of continuous employment to qualify for a monthly pension amounting to just 15 percent of a wage.

Workers in zone No.1 of Katunayake FTZ, which has three zones, began the walkout. By about 9.30 a.m. thousands of workers had joined the demonstration, which was peaceful until the police intervened.

Between 11.30 a.m. and noon, according to workers, police entered zone No.1 through the main gate and began to attack the protesters with batons and tear gas. When workers retreated into factories for their safety, the police forcibly entered the premises and continued the assault. Angry protesters retaliated with whatever they could find. The police then fired live ammunition at workers, injuring a number of them, one critically.

After hearing about the police attack, at around 3.00 p.m. thousands of workers from zones No.2 and 3 joined the protest, condemning the police action and demanding the release of their arrested colleagues. By this stage, about 40,000 workers, mostly young females, were involved. They flooded onto the main road running through the FTZ, demonstrating and chanting slogans against the government.

With the police unable to control the large crowd, the government deployed police special task force (STF) officers and hundreds of soldiers. Army officers asked for a return to work, but the workers demanded the release of all those arrested. When the police refused to do so, outraged workers attacked the police station with stones.

Some 15 police personnel, including high ranking officers, were reportedly injured, and several police vehicles damaged. Police again opened fire on about 500 workers who stormed the station, wounding at least eight.

Inspector General of Police, Mahinda Balasuriya, claimed that the protesting workers had tried to grab arms from the police station—an allegation that protesters denied. Balasuriya defended opening fire on the demonstrators. “When a large crowd stormed in, police fired in the air and then later fired at them to control the gathering,” he declared at a press conference.

Speaking to the WSWS, one worker said some of those arrested could not walk because of severe injuries. Their clothes had been drenched in blood. “The police dragged captured workers along the ground, while beating and kicking them,” an eyewitness said.

Local residents and FTZ workers at Biyagama, closer to Colombo, and Koggala in south also condemned the police attack

Sri Lanka police brutality emerge on Sirisena anniversary

ENB Poster 12-01-16
Sri Lanka police brutality emerge on Sirisena anniversary
By Our Police Correspondent
Jan 10, 2016 12:29 PM GMT+0530 | 1 Comment(s)
USE OF FORCE:  File photo of Sri Lanka's riot police
ECONOMYNEXT - Barely a month after Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission censured the police for brutally assaulting university students, investigators have found another horrific excess that killed one man and wounded many, including children and pregnant women.

As President Maithripala Sirisena marked his first year in office on Saturday, senior investigators found that the Embilipitiya police led by an Assistant Superintendent (ASP) had gone on the rampage seriously undermining his good governance credentials.

A senior investigator said they discovered that the ASP and his men not only carried out the illegal action, but also tampered with evidence and altered official records to mislead senior officials and the judiciary.

Criminal investigators had two versions, one from the police – 21 of whom have been transferred out of the Embilipitiya police pending investigations into the January 4 incident, and the other from the victims.

Police initially maintained that they were responding to a 119 emergency call complaining of loud speakers being used at a party and causing disturbance to neighbours. Four police on mobile patrol had given conflicting statements to investigators on how they were beaten by party goers.

The police had also fired an automatic rifle, a fact that had been suppressed from the highest level in the police department, an investigator who asked not to be named said.

Police had said they summoned reinforcements and in the ensuing clash a man fell to his death from the third floor.

"We have found that policemen did not face any danger at any stage of the incident, but the only explanation is that an officer used excessive force to attack unarmed people as collective punishment," he said.

Party goers say that four policemen on mobile patrol had demanded alcohol and when it was refused there had been fisticuffs resulting in the subsequent carnage.

Investigations showed that the 119 call was not about the level of sound, but it had been made when more than a dozen police in civilian clothes armed with sticks and poles barged into the party and went on the rampage smashing everything within reach.

Witnesses told investigators that even an ASP had been carrying a stick and was seen beating women and children.

There was blood splattered on the walls of the banquet hall. It is at this stage a man is either pushed or falls from the third floor while trying to escape the marauding police.

Security has been stepped up in Embilipitiya Sunday ahead of the funeral of the Sumith Jayawardana, 29 who was a father of one. His pregnant wife was among those assaulted by police. The inquest into the death is due to take place on Monday.

The Human Rights Commission which last month ruled that police had violated not only local laws but also the UN Human Rights Charter (This ruling was given after police Senior Superintendent Ajith Rohana erroneously attempted to take cover of the UN  charter to justify attacking students).

The police has reportedly appealed the HRC decision which awarded damages to the victims and ordered the IGP to take disciplinary action against the police culprits.

The commission has now uncovered shocking details of other police brutality in Embilipitiya in recent  times while investigating the latest case of abuse.

“The Embilipitiya incident is a good example of how the mind-set of the police is yet to change although a new administration that promised good governance is in power,” a human rights official said. 
(COLOMBO, January 10, 2016)

=======================================================================================
Police brutality in Sri Lanka

January 8 2016
29 வயது சுமித் பிரசன்னாவின் பொலிஸ் படுகொலையை எதிர்த்து   எம்பிலிப்பிட்டி மக்கள் போராட்டம்



Oct 2015

HNDA Student Protest 




June 2011*
Katunayaka Free Trade Garament Factory workers  brutally Attacked by SL Police




June 2008
A protest demonstration held by Inter University Bhikku Front to demand the government to solve their issues was attacked by police using tear gas and water cannons. Later the Buddhist Bhikkus were baton charged and some of them were dragged into police vehicles. 11 Buddhist Bhikkus have been arrested by the police after dispersing the peaceful demonstration by the Bhikkus.




Ratnapura




===============================
*Katunayaka Free Trade Garament Factory workers  brutally Attacked by SL Police

Sri Lankan police fire on protesting free trade zone workers
By W.A. Sunil and Ruwan Liyanage 
1 June 2011
On Monday, thou sands of police officers launched a violent attack on free trade zone (FTZ) workers in Katunayake who were protesting against the Sri Lankan government’s private sector pension bill. During the resulting clashes, police twice opened fire with live ammunition. Altogether, more than 200 workers were injured and about 100 arrested.

After the confrontation, which included the mobilisation of thousands of troops, the government shut down the FTZ for two days. Thousands of police and security personnel have been stationed in the area, which is close to the capital, Colombo. All vehicles are being checked and any FTZ workers who live outside the zone are being prevented from entering.

This is the second police crackdown against FTZ workers in months. In February, the police attacked striking workers at the Hong Kong-owned Bratex factory, an undergarment producer in Katunayake, and arrested several workers on trumped-up charges.

Monday’s protest was held in direct defiance of the Free Trade Zone and General Services Workers Union (FTZGSWU), which had called on workers not to stage any industrial action. The demonstration was a continuation of the struggle initiated by the FTZ workers on May 24 against the pension bill, which will effectively cut wages and require at least 10 years of continuous employment to qualify for a monthly pension amounting to just 15 percent of a wage.

Workers in zone No.1 of Katunayake FTZ, which has three zones, began the walkout. By about 9.30 a.m. thousands of workers had joined the demonstration, which was peaceful until the police intervened.

Between 11.30 a.m. and noon, according to workers, police entered zone No.1 through the main gate and began to attack the protesters with batons and tear gas. When workers retreated into factories for their safety, the police forcibly entered the 

premises and continued the assault. Angry protesters retaliated with whatever they could find. The police then fired live ammunition at workers, injuring a number of them, one critically.

After hearing about the police attack, at around 3.00 p.m. thousands of workers from zones No.2 and 3 joined the protest, condemning the police action and demanding the release of their arrested colleagues. By this stage, about 40,000 workers, mostly young females, were involved. They flooded onto the main road running through the FTZ, demonstrating and chanting slogans against the government.

With the police unable to control the large crowd, the government deployed police special task force (STF) officers and hundreds of soldiers. Army officers asked for a return to work, but the workers demanded the release of all those arrested. When the police refused to do so, outraged workers attacked the police station with stones.

Some 15 police personnel, including high ranking officers, were reportedly injured, and several police vehicles damaged. Police again opened fire on about 500 workers who stormed the station, wounding at least eight.

Inspector General of Police, Mahinda Balasuriya, claimed that the protesting workers had tried to grab arms from the police station—an allegation that protesters denied. Balasuriya defended opening fire on the demonstrators. “When a large crowd stormed in, police fired in the air and then later fired at them to control the gathering,” he declared at a press conference........

Local residents and FTZ workers at Biyagama, closer to Colombo, and Koggala in south also condemned the police attack.

I will not govern the country without advice & guidance of Maha Sanga – President



I will not govern the country without advice & guidance of Maha Sanga – President

President Maithripala Sirisena says he would not govern the country without the advice and guidance of the Maha Sanga.

He said a group of extremists are creating conspiracies stating that the government is going to deprive the place of the Buddhism through the new amendments to the constitution. He requested everyone not to contribute that fundamental sin which divides the country, nation as well as Maha Sanga.

The President made these remarks at the ceremony held today (Jan. 10) at the Sri Bodhiraja Temple, Colombo Fort to offer the Chief Sanganayaka position of the Colombo to the Chief Incumbent of the Sri Bodhiraja Temple, Colombo Fort, Karmavagacharya of the Asgiri Sector of Shyamopali Maha Nikaya Nikula Dharmakeerthi Ven. Sri Seelarathana Pannasarabhidana Nayaka Thero.

The President emphasized that the new constitution never includes any clause to harm the place of Buddhism or the unity of the country. “The people who make such statements are doing so not because of their patriotism or the responsive feeling for the Buddha Shasana, but because of their ambition to reach their political goals”, the President said.

“I am bound to protect the Buddha Shasana according to my pledge given to the people when I undertook the leadership of this country on January 08, 2015. I also am bound to protect it as a real Buddhist who was born and brought with the influence of the temple in the village. I will be committed to build a fair society for justice by safeguarding not only the Buddhism, but also all religions of this country”, President Sirisena said.

The President presented the vijinipatha (the fan) to Ven. Sri Seelarathana Pannasarabhidana Thero at this occasion.

The President also was presented the book ‘Pannasarabhinandana’ in this ceremony.

Sampanthan insists no demand for a separate state

Sampanthan insists no demand for a separate state
By admin on January 12, 2016 -

Opposition leader and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan today insisted that there is no more a demand for a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka.

Speaking in Parliament today the TNA leader said that the Tamils have, during the recent elections, backed a political solution within the framework of a united and undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka.

He said the Tamils hope the new Constitution which has been proposed, will resolve the National issue.

Sampanthan said that the demand for a separate state resulted in a war which pushed the country backwards.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

கழகக் கை நூல்: காலனியாதிக்கமும் காலநிலைப் பேரிடர்களும்


நூல் அறிமுகம்

தமிழக வெள்ளப் பேரிடர் தொடர்பாக கழகம், `வெள்ளம் வரட்சியினால் ஏற்படும் பேரிடர்கள் அற்ற புதிய உலகம் படைக்க ஏகாதிபத்தியத்தையும்,காலனியாதிக்கத்தையும் எதிர்த்துப் போராடுவோம்` என்று முழங்கி ஒரு கை நூலை வெளியிட்டுள்ளது.

இக் கை நூல் தமிழக கால நிலைப் பேரிடர்களை, சர்வதேசப் பரிமாணத்திலும்,குறிப்பாக ஏகாதிபத்திய காலனியாதிக்க அரசியல் சமூக வரலாற்றுப் பின் புலத்திலும் எடுத்து விளக்கி, அதன் பகுதியாக உள்நாட்டு நிலைமைகளை ஆராய்கின்றது.

இவ் ஆய்விலிருந்து  யுத்ததந்திர செயல்தந்திர மற்றும் உடனடிக் கடமைகளை வகுத்தளிக்கின்றது. 

பூமிக் கிரக  வெப்ப உயர்வுப் பிரச்சனைக்கும், காலனியாதிக்க போர்கள் ஏற்படுத்திய இயற்கைக்  கட்டுமான அழிவுக்கும் இடையில்  ஒரு தர்க்க ரீதியான இணைப்பைக் காட்டுகின்றது.

இக் கை நூலை மேற்காணும் படத்தில் அழுத்தி கண்டறிந்து படிக்கலாம்.

படியுங்கள்! பரப்புங்கள்! நிதி ஆதாரம் வழங்குங்கள்!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Sri Lanka's 2015 budget deficit hits 7.2 pct of GDP


Sri Lanka's 2015 budget deficit hits 7.2 pct of GDP
Jan 08, 2016 17:52 PM

COLOMBO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's budget deficit overshot to 7.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, against a revised target of 6.0 percent, swelled by unexpected payments for contractors, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

The minister had revised the 2015 target to 6 percent of GDP on Nov. 20 from the original 4.4 percent, due to unexpected spending and a revenue fall.

But on Friday, Karunanayake told Reuters "Last year's budget deficit was 7.2 percent."

The new figure puts the deficit much higher than the 5.5-6.0 percent the International Monetary Fund had estimated it would be.

The accountant-turned-politician said the government had to spend heavily on contractual payments for infrastructure projects started by the previous government led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was defeated in polls in January 2015.

Also, the new government implemented some populist policies.

"We ensured that all that was to be paid was put in the last year's budget," the minister said. "Why should we put it in this year?"

For 2016, Sri Lanka aims for a budget deficit of 5.9 percent of GDP.

The IMF has warned Sri Lanka not to have loose monetary and fiscal policies, and urged structural reforms to safeguard economic stability.

Amid heavy borrowing to cover the budget deficit, Sri Lanka's rupee has hovered around record lows since the central bank floated it on Sept. 4. It has fallen around 6.6 percent since then.

Karunanayake said the floating rupee has not helped boost exports.

"To be very frank, an approach will be looked at. We will control (the rupee)," the finance minister said when asked the steps government is contemplating to ease pressure on the rupee.

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS PRESSURE

A decline in foreign reserves may limit the government's attempt to defend the rupee, analysts say. Sri Lanka has already decided to seek an IMF loan to support its balance-of-payments.

Sri Lanka last year borrowed $1.5 billion from an Indian currency swap, $2.15 billion through two 10-year sovereign bonds and more than $1.7 billion from development bonds to repay foreign loans while defending the currency.

Karunanayake admitted that the balance of payments will face pressure if there is a reduction in worker remittances, which totalled more than $7 billion in 2014.

He said the government is looking to get $3 billion-$4 billion in deposits from foreigners to help "overcome" balance of payments problems.

Sri Lanka's domestic banks have already received around $1.5 billion through such deposits, he said.

Sri Lanka ahead of others in good governance - PM

Sri Lanka ahead of others in good governance - PM
January 8, 2016  05:11 pm

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that a country which was sidelined by the international community and one the wolrd had no expectations from, has today come forward within just one year.

He was addressing the main national ceremony to mark the one year completion of the democratic governance, established under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, held at the BMICH in Colombo today (Jan 8).

Wickremesinghe said that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who recently visited the island, told him that Sri Lanka is very lucky because the two major political parties were able to unite and form a government.

He told me that if it continues this way for several more years, Sri Lanka will be the leader in the region, the PM said.

“We ahead of others in good governance,” he said.

He stated that the January 8 revolution was the result of the entire country uniting irrespective of religions, race or politics.

The PM stated that a person told him one day that “this is not a revolution, it’s a miracle.”

“Within one year, a country which was sidelined and had no expectations from the world has today come forward. Everyone including the President made large sacrifices,” he said.

We can be immensely pleased with what we have achieved within this one year, he said, while thanking President Maithripala Sirisena for coming forward and giving leadership to the change.

Within this one year all the political processes have been commenced and that the laws which need approval from Parliament have already been prepared, Wickremesinghe stated.

He stated that Parliament will convene tomorrow (9) to prepare a constitution for the creation of a Constitutional Assembly and that good governance will be confirmed from there onwards.

He stated that there are those who oppose the proposal being brought tomorrow as well as those who agree with it. “I think it is an attitude difference.”

Tomorrow we have to decide whether we change our attitude to go forward in the path of good governance or whether we continue to remain stuck in the same old politics which was rejected by the public, he said.

“We who have come this far will not give up the fight.” 

Happiest day of my life: President on day he quit govt

Happiest day of my life: President on day he quit govt
January 8, 2016  05:43 pm



President Maithripala Sirisena says that the day he quit the previous government and gave up his ministerial portfolio to contest the presidential election as the common opposition candidate, was the happiest day of his life.

The President made these remarks at the national ceremony to mark the one year completion of the democratic governance, held today (Jan. 08) at the BMICH.

“I accepted the most dangerous challenge and risk on November 21, 2014 when I left the then government after working for 13 continuous years as the General Secretary of the party, 26 years in parliament and 48 years in the SLFP.”

“If someone asks me on what day was I the happiest, I will say that the happiest day of my life was the day I gave up all my positions and left the government,” he said.

“The happiness of giving up power and being free of responsibilities.”

President Sirisena says after a completion of a year as the servant of the people, the agenda for the next five years will be the building of the motherland to a great nation in the world.

“Some people ask me what will be my place after the completion of my tenure as President when I agreed to abolish the powers of the Executive Presidency. My answer to them as well as for those who are not asking the same question from me, is I don’t think about my place in five more years, but think about the place of this country over the period of five years”, he said.

“The people brought us to power, expecting the social democratization of our country. Also , they expect a good economic management in good governance by ending the corruption, fraud and irregularity in this country”, the president said.

In the task of building the modern Sri Lankan state it is essential to bring about the national reconciliation and the unity among the communities in this country by leaving off the mistrust and suspicion among them, he said.

When we talk about constitutional changes some sections of the society says we are attempting to divide this country, he added.

Some say we are trying to destroy the place given to Buddhism in this country and some say we are focusing to endanger the national security of the country by weakening our security forces on foreign advices the President said that adding perhaps our achievements may not be felt or seen or understand, but those are the essential ingredients of transformation towards the righteous society.

President Maithripala Sirisena granted a presidential pardon to a former LTTE cadre, convicted on charges of attempting to assassinate him in 2006 at the event.

The convict was sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment by the Polonnaruwa High Court on July 3, 2015 and it was upheld by the Supreme Court.

The launch of the book titled “One Nation Great Power” took place parallel to this event.

The keynote address of this ceremony delivered by former Governor and Ambassador Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who is the grandson of Mahathma Gandhi.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative  Subinay Nandy also addressed the event.

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Opposition Leader  R. Sambandan, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Ministers, MPs, politicians, artiste and many others participated in the event.

'இந்தியாவும் அமெரிக்காவும் தான் ஆட்சி மாற்றத்துக்கு காரணம்' : பசில்

'இந்தியாவும் அமெரிக்காவும் தான் ஆட்சி மாற்றத்துக்கு காரணம்' : பசில்

இலங்கையில முன்னாள் ஜனாதிபதி மகிந்த ராஜபக்ஷவின் ஆட்சிக்கு எதிராக புதிய ஆட்சியைக் கொண்டுவருவதில் இந்தியா, அமெரிக்கா போன்ற நாடுகள் பின்னணியில் இருந்து செயற்பட்டதாக மகிந்த

ராஜபக்ஷவின் சகோதரர்களில் ஒருவரும் முன்னாள் அமைச்சருமான பசில் ராஜபக்ஷ தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.

புதிய ஆட்சி ஏற்பட்டு ஓராண்டு பூர்த்தியாகின்ற நிலையில் பிபிசிக்கு அளித்துள்ள பேட்டியிலேயே பசில் ராஜபக்ஷ இந்தக் கருத்தை வெளிப்படுத்தியுள்ளார்.

ஓராண்டுக்கு முன்னர் புதிய ஆட்சி மாற்றத்திற்கு வழிவகுத்த ஜனாதிபதி தேர்தலின் தோல்விக்குப் பின்னர் அமெரிக்கா புறப்பட்டுச் சென்றிருந்தவர், பின்னர் இலங்கை வந்திருந்தபோது, அவர் மீது நிதி மோசடிக் குற்றச்சாட்டில் விசாரணைகள் பாய்ந்தன.

கடந்த ஏப்ரலில் கைதுசெய்யப்பட்ட சிறையில் அடைக்கப்பட்ட பசில் ராஜபக்ஷ, பின்னர் மருத்துவமனையில் சேர்க்கப்பட்டு, பிணையில் விடுவிக்கப்பட்டார்.

பொருளாதார அபிவிருத்தி அமைச்சராக இருந்த காலத்தில் திவிநெகும என்ற வறுமை ஒழிப்புத் திட்டத்தில் நடந்துள்ளதாகக் கூறப்படும் பெரும் முறைகேடுகள் தொடர்பில் அவர் மீது விசாரணைகள் நடக்கின்றன.
மகிந்த ராஜபக்ஷவின் ஆட்சியை கவிழ்க்க இந்தியா, அமெரிக்கா போன்ற பலம்கொண்ட நாடுகள் முக்கிய பங்களிப்பு செய்துள்ளதாக பசில் ராஜபக்ஷ குற்றம்சாட்டினார்.

'குறிப்பாக இந்தியா,அமெரிக்கா, ஐரோப்பிய ஒன்றிய நாடுகள் பல என்று எமக்கு எதிராக அணிதிரண்டிருந்தன. சர்வதேச மட்டத்தில் அந்த நாடுகள் கொடுத்த அழுத்தங்களுக்கு அப்பால் உள்நாட்டிலும் அழுத்தம் கொடுத்தன' என்றார் பசில் ராஜபக்ஷ.

'அந்த நாடுகள் பகிரங்கமாக இதனைச் சொல்லியிருக்கின்றன. அமெரிக்கா தங்களின் வருடார்ந்த அறிக்கையில் 2015-இல் தமக்கு கிடைத்த வெற்றி என்று இலங்கையின் ஆட்சிமாற்றத்தை வர்ணித்துள்ளது.

அதைவிட வேறு சாட்சி என்ன வேண்டும்' என்று கேள்வி எழுப்பினார்.
முன்னாள் ஜனாதிபதி மகிந்த ராஜபக்ஷவின் ஆட்சிக்காலத்தில் மிகவும் செல்வாக்கு மிக்கவர்களாக இருந்த அவரது மூன்று சகோதரர்களில் ஒருவர் தான் பசில் ராஜபக்ஷ என்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

ஐ.நா.தமிழனுக்கு அன்பளிப்பு!



Ban hails progress in Sri Lanka after one year

January 8, 2016 08:28

BanUN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon has congratulated President Maithripala Sirisena, and the Government and the people of Sri Lanka on the first year of the country’s political transition.

Ban said he is encouraged by the Government’s commitment to a broad reform agenda that aims to realise durable peace, stability and prosperity for the Sri Lankan people.

The Secretary-General acknowledges the initial steps the Government has taken to strengthen good governance, advance reconciliation and implement the resolution of the Human Rights Council of October 2015.

He urges continued progress in these areas and emphasises the need for inclusive consultation processes to address issues of transitional justice.

The Secretary-General supports the Government’s efforts to advance a nation-wide dialogue to achieve a long-term political settlement acceptable to all. In this regard, he welcomes the Government’s announcement to commence constitutional reform. He called on all stakeholders to cooperate in a spirit of inclusion and good faith.

The Secretary-General remains committed to supporting Sri Lanka’s reform initiatives to secure long-term peace, prosperity and respect for human rights, including through financial support from the Peacebuilding Fund and technical assistance.

He commended Sri Lanka’s leadership in working to transform the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals into reality on the ground.

The domestic accountability process on the war will begin next week

The domestic accountability process on the war will begin next week,
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today.

He said this following talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Børge Brende at the Foreign Ministry in Colombo today.

“The domestic mechanisms through which we are trying to address this past, are in the process of being developed and the consultation process to design these mechanisms, will begin next week,” the Foreign Minister said.

He also noted that on Saturday a special session of Parliament will form a constitutional council, a committee consisting of the whole Parliament, which will begin the serious business of consulting the people and drafting a new constitution for Sri Lanka that reflects the aspirations of all Sri Lankans.

Samaraweera also said that he and Minister Brende discussed expanding Norwegian development assistance, especially technical assistance for the fisheries sector and solar power generation.

In addition, he said they explored the possibility of expanding Norwegian investment in Sri Lanka, both through portfolio and foreign direct investment.

Minister Samaraweera said that he is confident that regular high level interaction at all levels will pave the way for a stronger relationship between Norway and Sri Lanka, which in turn will benefit both countries and the people. (Colombo Gazette) 07-01-2016

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Shiites-Sunni 'divide' and the The Oil map by M.R. Izady Jon Schwarz


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia executed Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr on Saturday. Hours later, Iranian protestors set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran. On Sunday, the Saudi government, which considers itself the guardian of Sunni Islam, cut diplomatic ties with Iran, which is a Shiite Muslim theocracy.

To explain what’s going on, the New York Times provided a primer on the difference between Sunni and Shiite Islam, informing us that “a schism emerged after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632” — i.e., 1,383 years ago.

But to the degree that the current crisis has anything to do with religion, it’s much less about whether Abu Bakr or Ali was Muhammad’s rightful successor and much more about who’s going to control something more concrete right now: oil.

In fact, much of the conflict can be explained by a fascinating map created by M.R. Izady, a cartographer and adjunct master professor at the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School/Joint Special Operations University in Florida.

Shiites-Sunni 'divide' and the  The Oil map  by M.R. Izady
What the map shows is that, due to a peculiar correlation of religious history and anaerobic decomposition of plankton, almost all the Persian Gulf’s fossil fuels are located underneath Shiites. This is true even in Sunni Saudi Arabia, where the major oil fields are in the Eastern Province, which has a majority Shiite population.

As a result, one of the Saudi royal family’s deepest fears is that one day Saudi Shiites will secede, with their oil, and ally with Shiite Iran.

This fear has only grown since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq overturned Saddam Hussein’s minority Sunni regime, and empowered the pro-Iranian Shiite majority. Nimr himself said in 2009 that Saudi Shiites would call for secession if the Saudi government didn’t improve its treatment of them.

shia-oil-cropped-2 The map shows religious populations in the Middle East and proven developed oil and gas reserves. Click to view the full map of the wider region. The dark green areas are predominantly Shiite; light green predominantly Sunni; and purple predominantly Wahhabi/Salafi, a branch of Sunnis. The black and red areas represent oil and gas deposits, respectively.

Source: Dr. Michael Izady at Columbia University, Gulf2000, New York

As Izady’s map so strikingly demonstrates, essentially all of the Saudi oil wealth is located in a small sliver of its territory whose occupants are predominantly Shiite. (Nimr, for instance, lived in Awamiyya, in the heart of the Saudi oil region just northwest of Bahrain.) If this section of eastern Saudi Arabia were to break away, the Saudi royals would just be some broke 80-year-olds with nothing left but a lot of beard dye and Viagra prescriptions.

Nimr’s execution can be partly explained by the Saudis’ desperation to stamp out any sign of independent thinking among the country’s Shiites.

The same tension explains why Saudi Arabia helped Bahrain, an oil-rich, majority-Shiite country ruled by a Sunni monarchy, crush its version of the Arab Spring in 2011.

Similar calculations were behind George H.W. Bush’s decision to stand by while Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons in 1991 to put down an insurrection by Iraqi Shiites at the end of the Gulf War. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman explained at the time, Saddam had “held Iraq together, much to the satisfaction of the American allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia.”

Of course, it’s too simple to say that everything happening between Saudis and Iranians can be traced back to oil. Disdain and even hate for Shiites seem to be part of the DNA of Saudi Arabia’s peculiarly sectarian and belligerent version of Islam. In 1802, 136 years before oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia, the ideological predecessors to the modern Saudi state sacked Karbala, a city now in present-day Iraq and holy to Shiites. The attackers massacred thousands and plundered the tomb of Husayn ibn Ali, one of the most important figures in Shiite Islam.

Without fossil fuels, however, this sectarianism toward Shiites would likely be less intense today. And it would definitely be less well-financed. Winston Churchill once described Iran’s oil – which the U.K. was busy stealing at the time — as “a prize from fairyland far beyond our brightest hopes.”

Churchill was right, but didn’t realize that this was the kind of fairytale whose treasures carry a terrible curse.

Additional reporting: Murtaza Hussain

==================

M. R. Izady, PhD

 
1Dr. Izady received his college education in the United States, finishing his doctorate in Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia University, New York in 1992.  He has taught at various American and European institutions such as Harvard University (1990-95), Smithsonian Institution (Washington, 1996), Uppsala University, (Sweden, 1997), Free University of Berlin (Germany, 1998), and Fordham University (New York, 1998-present).  Dr. Izady has also testified before two U.S. Congressional committees.  During the past eight years, Dr. Izady has been an Adjunct Master Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and History at the USAF Special Operations School/Joint Special Operations University (JSOU/USAFSOS), Hurlburt Field, Florida.
Dr. Izady’s expertise has been in the education and preparation of military and diplomatic personnel being deployed in various volatile and unstable areas of the world.  He has provided comprehensive training in cultural, social, economic political and security fields here in America and in Europe.  The military units he has trained range from the Special Operations Commands (Hurlburt Field, Fort Bragg and Coronado) to CENTCOM, the Naval Academy and the National Defense University.  His training has also included the 1st Special Forces, Ft. Carson, CO, the Army Corps of Engineers, Winchester, VA, the Army Intelligence and Security Command, Belvoir, VA, and various Reserve and National Guard units in the US.  In Europe, he has provided training for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Reimstein, Germany and Special Forces units, Mildenhall, UK. 
THE KURDS
Dr. Izady has published and lectured extensively on ethnic and socio-historical topics on Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.  For six years, he served as the editor-in-chief of The International Journal of Kurdish Studies and is presently serving as the editor for the English edition of the Encyclopedia CyrticaHis first book titled The Kurds: A Concise Handbook was modeled after the U.S. State Department country handbook series and has been exhibited by theU.S. Information Agency around the world. 

US No evidence to support North Korean ‘hydrogen bomb’ claim



White House: No evidence to support North Korean ‘hydrogen bomb’ claim


During a daily press briefing Jan. 6, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the administration is skeptical of North Korea's claims to have carried out a hydrogen bomb test. (AP)

By Anna Fifield January 6 at 2:48 PM

TOKYO — World leaders slammed North Korea on Wednesday for carrying out a fourth nuclear test, an explosion that Pyongyang claimed was a powerful hydrogen bomb but whose strength was strongly questioned by international experts and American officials.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said initial data from various monitoring sources were “not consistent with North Korean claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test.”

Nuclear monitors also said the magnitude of the blast suggested an atomic explosion rather than one produced by an exponentially more powerful hydrogen device — potentially more than 1,000 times more destructive than the bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima near the end of World War II.

In New York, meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council gathered in an emergency session and strongly denounced the reported test as a “clear threat to international peace and security,” said Elbio Rosselli, the envoy from Uruguay, which currently holds the council presidency.

He said the council would begin work on a new resolution. But Rosselli did not specify possible further U.N. measures against the North, which described the device as an “H-bomb of justice” needed for defense against the United States.

“Regardless of whether this is a hydrogen test or a normal, vanilla device, this is a very serious provocation,” said James Acton, co-director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

North Korea's three previous nuclear tests since 2006 have been met with international condemnation, including resolutions and sanctions from the Security Council. But the response has done nothing to deter Pyongyang.

Despite the widespread skepticism about the North’s assertion, data from the blast will be carefully scrutinized for any hints of technological advances in its nuclear program. Even incremental progress would demonstrate that the North has been able to develop its expertise despite international sanctions and other pressures.

The test also appeared to be part of efforts by the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, to project strength at a time when the country faces increasing isolation, including growing strains in its critical lifeline with China.

The North’s renegade status has been further underscored by the nuclear deal reached last year between Iran and world powers, including the United States and China. Under the pact, Tehran agreed to limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of international sanctions.

Over the past decade, Iran has developed capacities to make nuclear material, but its leaders insist they do not seek an atomic weapon.

In contrast, North Korea “is apparently willing to accept international isolation,” said Earnest.

In Vienna, Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, said a seismic reading on Wednesday was “slightly down” compared with the level from the North’s last nuclear test in 2013.

A full analysis by the watchdog group could take days as experts look at other data including airborne radioactive isotopes, said Zerbo.

A U.S. dry fuel hydrogen, or thermonuclear, bomb tested in 1954 at Bikini Atoll had a yield of 15 megatons, making it more than 1,000 times as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb.

In Seoul, South Korean President Park Geun-hye put her military on alert and said North Korea would pay a price for the test, which she called a “grave provocation.” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a similar message, describing it as “a major threat” that Japan “absolutely cannot accept.”

The United States pledged to stand by its allies in the region.

“We do not and will not accept North Korea as a nuclear armed state, and actions such as this latest test only strengthen our resolve,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said in a statement.


“The answer to North Korea’s threats is more pressure, not less,” said Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.


White House: no evidence to support North Korea's hydrogen bomb test claims  

But the severity of any international response will depend on the level of political will in China and Russia, both veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council and the closest thing North Korea has to friends.

After a nuclear test in 2013, the first of Kim’s tenure as North Korea’s leader, China supported expanded sanctions against the country, although it is not clear how strictly Beijing has enforced the restrictions on its neighbor.

Still, China also condemned the test Wednesday.

“Today [North Korea] ignored the general objection from the international community and conducted a nuclear test once again. As to this matter, China strongly opposes,” Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, told reporters in Beijing.

Although China remains North Korea's biggest patron, relations have been severely strained since Kim took power and detonated a nuclear device a month before Xi Jinping took over as president of China.

Russia, which declared 2015 a “year of friendship” with North Korea, also condemned the detonation and called for international nuclear talks with North Korea to resume.


Russian President Vladimir Putin, who gave Kim a rare foreign invitation for a visit last year, ordered a full study of data from Russia’s monitoring stations, said the spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.

“The first H-bomb test was successfully conducted,” the official Korean Central News Agency said in a statement issued shortly after a special announcement was broadcast on state-run television. It said it needed the weapon for defense against the United States, which it described as “the chieftain of aggression” and a “gang of cruel robbers.”

“Nothing is more foolish than dropping a hunting gun before herds of ferocious wolves,” the statement said in North Korea's trademark colorful prose.

But there were immediate questions about the claim. Nuclear experts noted that the yield appeared to be similar to North Korea’s three previous atomic tests, rather than the “enormous” yield that would be expected if it had been a thermonuclear explosion.

Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Calif., said Wednesday’s explosion looked very similar to past tests and was not enormous, suggesting it was not a hydrogen bomb.

Either way, Pyongyang’s action presents a new challenge to the outside world, which has struggled to find ways to end North Korea’s nuclear defiance.

“North Korea’s fourth test — in the context of repeated statements by U.S., Chinese and South Korean leaders — throws down the gauntlet to the international community to go beyond paper resolutions and find a way to impose real costs on North Korea for pursuing this course of action,” said Scott Snyder, a Korea expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Simon Denyer in Beijing, Michael Birnbaum in Moscow, Yoonjung Seo in Seoul, Yuki Oda in Tokyo and Carol Morello and Karen DeYoung in Washington contributed to this report.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Blair Sri Lankan peacemaker


Blair wants to be peacemaker here

N. Ireland peacemaker for Lanka

From Neville de Silva in London

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is sending a special envoy to Colombo this week to assist in getting the peace talks with the LTTE back on track.

The appointment of Paul Murphy who was closely involved in the Northern Ireland peace negotiations that eventually brought a political settlement is an indication that Britain intends to take a much more “hands on” role to revive Sri Lanka’s stalled talks than it had done before in the hope of bringing about a lasting political solution, informed political sources said.

The Sunday Times of September 17 exclusively reported that Mr. Blair had decided to appoint a special envoy with experience in negotiating peace following discussions he had with President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the latter’s visit to London in August.The two leaders met at “Chequers”, the British prime minister’s country residence where they discussed the Sri Lanka situation.

Following President Rajapaksa’s request, Mr. Blair is sending Paul Murphy, a former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, who had earlier served as political development minister for Northern Ireland.

Mr. Murphy was at the heart of the Northern Ireland negotiations which led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 that brought an end to the menacing problem of IRA terrorism.

Mr Murphy is remembered as a skilled problem solver during his time in Belfast from 1997 to 2005 first at the Northern Ireland Office and later as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he was succeeded by Peter Hain in a cabinet reshuffle.

Mr. Murphy is currently heading the security and intelligence committee of the House of Commons. The tireless and soft spoken negotiator will be assisted by Christopher Maccabe, a senior civil servant who is director of the Northern Ireland Office in Belfast. How long the two men spend in Sri Lanka is not quite certain yet but it is expected that they would want to meet a range of persons who are stakeholders and have direct interest in the issue.

This could mean a stay of anything between a week to two weeks, the sources said.
=================
Blair wants to be peacemaker here

Will former British Prime Minister Tony Blair be the latest peace maker in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process?
The talk in the corridors of the Foreign Ministry in Colombo is that the prospects are high. They say the overtures to join in came from Blair, Britain’s Labour Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007. His main occupation now is a consultancy business and engaging in charitable work. He was also a West Asia peace maker who made more than 150 visits to the region, alas, to no avail.

One FO source whispered that he is now in contact with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera with regard to his possible new assignment. The Foreign Minister was in Britain on holiday recently. The FO source pointed out that it was during Blair’s tenure that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) set up its so called headquarters in London despite an official ban on the terrorist organisation. Then, when even former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, sought meetings with him through diplomatic channels during her frequent visits to Britain, she was understandably, rebuffed. The British Premier’s office took up the position that the then Sri Lankan President was merely trying to make what was a private visit seem an official one back to her constituency at home.

Now, that peace has arrived in Sri Lanka, the man who allowed Tiger guerrillas to direct a war from Sri Lanka is hell bent on accelerating the reconciliation process which is largely under Kumaratunga.  Has he given up on West Asia and looking for a new assignment? Well, at least some of Blair’s new friends in Sri Lanka believe so.
============
British Prime Minister Tony Blair be the latest peace maker in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process?

( January 3, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Will former British Prime Minister Tony Blair be the latest peace maker in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process?

The talk in the corridors of the Foreign Ministry in Colombo is that the prospects are high. They say the overtures to join in came from Blair, Britain’s Labour Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007. His main occupation now is a consultancy business and engaging in charitable work. He was also a West Asia peace maker who made more than 150 visits to the region, alas, to no avail.

One FO source whispered that he is now in contact with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera with regard to his possible new assignment. The Foreign Minister was in Britain on holiday recently. The FO source pointed out that it was during Blair’s tenure that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) set up its so called headquarters in London despite an official ban on the terrorist organisation. Then, when even former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, sought meetings with him through diplomatic channels during her frequent visits to Britain, she was understandably, rebuffed. The British Premier’s office took up the position that the then Sri Lankan President was merely trying to make what was a private visit seem an official one back to her constituency at home.

Now, that peace has arrived in Sri Lanka, the man who allowed Tiger guerrillas to direct a war from Sri Lanka is hell bent on accelerating the reconciliation process which is largely under Kumaratunga. Has he given up on West Asia and looking for a new assignment? Well, at least some of Blair’s new friends in Sri Lanka believe so.

Sri Lanka To Ban Tobacco Cultivation By 2020

Sri Lanka To Ban Tobacco Cultivation By 2020

Monday, 04 January 2016 18:51

President Maithripala Sirisena said today that he expects to ban tobacco cultivation by 2020.

He made this observation during a ceremony of handing over letters of appointment to Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment field assistants.

Sirisena stated that the purpose of taking this decision is to prevent the damage and health issues caused by smoking cigarettes.

http://www.asianmirror.lk/news/item/13895-sri-lanka-to-ban-tobacco-cultivation-by-2020

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PAKISTAN PM ARRIVES IN SRI LANKA

=================================
PM ARRIVES IN SRI LANKA ON THREE-DAY OFFICIAL VISIT
Monday, 04 January 2016 17:54 Posted by Zulqarnain Ali

COLOMBO: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday arrived in the Sri Lanka's capital Colombo to hold meetings with the Sri Lankan leadership on issues of mutual interest.
 Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe received Prime Minister Sharif on his arrival at the Bandranaike International Airport.

A red carpet was rolled out for Prime Minister Sharif and a contingent of Sri Lankan forces presented static guard of honour to him.

Two children clad in traditional dresses presented bouquets to Prime Minister Sharif and Begum Kalsoom Nawaz.

The Prime Minister's delegation included Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan, Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and National Security Advisor Lt Gen (retd) Nasir Khan Janjua.

Pakistan's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (retd) Syed Shakil Hussain and senior officials of the Sri Lankan government were present at the airport.

The Prime Minister is undertaking the visit on the invitation of President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.

During his stay in Colombo, the Prime Minister will lead the bilateral and delegation-level talks to be joined by the Sri Lankan President, Prime Minister and cabinet ministers.

The two countries will sign several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding in the areas of health, science and technology, trade, statistics, gem and jewellery, money laundering and terrorism financing, and culture.

The Prime Minister will attend a state banquet hosted in his honour by the President Maithripala and a lunch by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Prime Minister Sharif will deliver a special lecture to parliamentarians, ministers and members of diplomatic corps, on the invitation of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies.

The Prime Minister will also visit the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic, International Buddhist Museum and Jinnah Hall in the historic city of Kandy.

The two governments have maintained high-level bilateral interactions including President Maithripala's state visit to Pakistan from April 5-7, 2015. Prime Minister Sharif and President Maithripala also met on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session

in New York in September and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in November last year.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy friendly and cordial relations. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1948. Since then, the bilateral relations have grown from strength to strength.

Being members of SAARC and Commonwealth, Pakistan and Sri Lanka cooperate closely and coordinate with each other on issues of common interest and regional and international concern.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

US OUSTS CHINA in Sri Lanka



US OUSTS CHINA

The United States will soon oust China as Sri Lanka's single largest investor when it spearheads a US$ 2.5 billion investment into a petroleum refinery in the South, making the US$ 1.4 billion Chinese Port City pale into insignificance.

This will happen shortly with the world's largest oil refinery contractors, operators and managers – Fluor Corporation of USA spearheading a US$ 2.5 billion investment, backed by three or more international petroleum giants, catering to the local and export markets.

Ceylontoday, 2016-01-03 02:03:00 Read 2132 Times

BY Ravi Ladduwahetty

The United States will soon oust China as Sri Lanka's single largest investor when it spearheads a US$ 2.5 billion investment into a petroleum refinery in the South, making the US$ 1.4 billion Chinese Port City pale into insignificance.

This will happen shortly with the world's largest oil refinery contractors, operators and managers – Fluor Corporation of USA spearheading a US$ 2.5 billion investment, backed by three or more international petroleum giants, catering to the local and export markets.

Fluor, based in Texas and with worldwide representation, has topped the FORTUNE Magazine's Most Admired Companies in the Engineering and Construction List and has been ranked No. 1 for fourth consecutive year in 2015.

The designing of the project, which is also being done by UOP of USA, the world's largest oil refinery designer, has already begun and the physical construction will commence in six months, sources close to the deal told Ceylon Today.

It is also moot to know that UOP has also been instrumental in designing the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation's Sapugaskanda Refinery many years ago.

Fluor Corporation, which is a major player in the global petroleum industry, will be joined by other International petroleum players from Korea, Japan and China, who will participate in the funding, coinciding with the construction of the project, which will commence by around June 2016, they said.

The project will have a refining capacity of 100,000 barrels per day, when completed late 2018 or early 2019, will be for both the local market and export. This venture will significantly slash the local fuel prices as there is no freight cost in imports.

The deal has been struck with a group of senior management personnel who held very senior positions in the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and made a comprehensive proposal to set up a petroleum refinery in Sri Lanka. What is all the more striking is that the project will proceed without any guarantees from the Government of Sri Lanka, they said.

These sources also pointed out the significance of the project, given that for over 15 years Sri Lanka has imported nearly 50 per cent of its requirement of diesel and petrol at an enormous cost as the CPC's refinery was not able to refine all of Sri Lanka's needs of fuel. CPC refinery now needs extensive upgrading and expansion to continue its operation and is now in search of funding to undertake the necessary modernization at Sapugaskanda.

A major Sri Lankan company has also evinced interest as an investor. The Government of Sri Lanka has requested that this be located at Hambantota.

It is reported that the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka was unable to give 500 acres in a single bloc near the Port in Hambantota.

Therefore, it will release adequate land already identified in two blocks both inside and outside the Port premises. Investments terms are expected to be finalized early this year. The area inside the Port will be for the refinery and the area outside the Port will be for the tank farm.

UOP has designed refineries worldwide and is easily the biggest refinery designer in the world. This refinery is expected to be in operation in late 2018 or early 2019. It will be an export-oriented refinery, which will have a significant impact on petroleum prices within Sri Lanka, while also ensuring its energy security.