Irrigation Week 2013 in Eastern Province Inaugurated

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Irrigation Week – 2013 was organized by the Department of Irrigation, EPC with the co-ordination of Central Irrigation Department. The opening ceremony of Irrigation Week 2013 was held on 21.10.2013 at the Meenodaikattu Konawaththa Grounds in Addalaichenai.

Eng. I.L.Thowfeek, Deputy Director of the Irrigation, Ampara District presided the function.

Hon. Minister of Road Development EPC M.S.Uthumalebbe, (MPC) was the chief guest at this ceremony and inaugurated the Irrigation Week – 2013.

The irrigation schemes, those are MeenodaiKattu, Konawaththa vadichchal scheme and Vallakundu Vadichel Scheme were started and laid boundary stones for Konawaththa scheme relating to the Irrigation week – 2013.

Thousand Acres of land in Addalaichenai will be benefited through this development schemes and which are important for the farmers of the particular area.

Eng. S.Thilagaraja, Director, Department of Irrigation, EPC, Eng. S.Weerasingha, Regional Director of Central Irrigation Department, Eng. U.L.A.Nasar, Deputy Director of Irrigation, Ampara Range, Mr. I.M.Haneefa, Divisional Secretary, Divisional Secretariat, Addalaichenai, Mr. U.L.A.Haja Mohideen, O.I.C, Akkaraipattu, and Eng. M.I.M.Z.Ibrahim, Irrigation Engineer also participated at this event.

http://www.ep.gov.lk/DetailsEventnew.asp?lan=0&eid=329

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The legacy of Lakshman Wickremesinghe, Thirty Years After

bishopLakshman Wickremesinghe, Bishop of Kurunagala from 1962 to 1983, died 30 years ago, on October 23rd. He was undoubtedly the most impressive Anglican Bishop Sri Lanka has produced, and with every year that passes his stature seems to grow.

Much has been written about him recently, most notably in Rajan Hoole’s detailed assessment of what happened in July 1983. Hoole shows how those events contributed to his premature death for, though he had a heart condition and had been advised to take things slow, he threw himself into trying to assuage the hurt felt by Tamils who had suffered in the state sponsored attacked on them.

He had been in England in July, taking the much needed break his doctors had advised, and trying to set down his thoughts on an oriental view of Christianity. In the last conversation we had, on the phone for I got to England on the day he was due to leave, he assured me that he would take things slow, in trying first to understand what had happened, and how the social dispensation into which he had been born had turned rabid. But seeing the suffering and the bewilderment, he did not rest, being the first Sinhalese dignitary to go up to Jaffna to apologize for what had happened.

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CHOGM motor rally starts journey from Nallur Temple

CHOGM Nallur Temple

A motor rally has been organized by Rupavahini Cooperation, Sri Lanka National Television with the support of Sri Lanka Youth and the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, to create awareness regarding the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which is scheduled to be held in Colombo in November 2013. The rally started its journey before the historical Nallur Temple on 21st October 2013.

 All religious leaders, Parliamentarian Sylvesthiri Allentine, Secretary to the Governor L.Illaangovan, Additional Govt Agent of Jaffna District Rubiny Varathalingam, Vice Chancellor of Jaffna University Vasanthy Arasaratnam, Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Hathurusinghe, officials from Military and Police, officials from Rupavahini Cooperation and several school children took part in the event.

The vehicular procession will travel across the country and will then arrive at the Galle Face Green in Colombo. The participants inked their signatures on the banner to mark the event.

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http://www.np.gov.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2611:another-chogm-motor-rally-started-journey-from-nallur-21-october-2013

Counting the Dead and Paying the Cost

The Daily Mirror reported last week that between November 30 and December 10, the government would carry out a census of those who were killed or who had disappeared, during the war years – July 1983 to May 2009. The subject dealt elsewhere in writings as the numbers game.

LLRC

For those affected or accused it is no game. The impact is quite serious. The LLRC recommended were ,’ Conduct a professionally designed household survey covering all affected families in all parts of the island to ascertain first hand the scale and circumstances of death and injury to civilians, as well as damage to property during the period of the conflict.

The progress has been – Using data on ‘Population and Housing Census 2012′ covering the entire country including North and East Provinces for the first time since 1981, Department of Census and Statistics is taking following initial steps to conduct a survey on affected families.

Steering committee comprising senior officers of relevant Ministries and Agencies meets fortnightly to discuss activities related to the census on death/injuries to persons and property damages due to conflict.

The methodology suitable to conduct the census was devised and data collection forms were designed. Both were pre-tested in selected GN divisions in Vavuniya, Polonnaruwa and Mullativu districts in order to cover different conflict situations since 1982.

The outcome of the pre-test was evaluated by DCS working group. Final draft to be submitted. Department of Census and Statistics is planning to conduct an Economic Survey covering entire country which will generate most of data on the affected families.

The second LLRC recommendations was to ,’Take all necessary measures for implementation of the [Registration of Deaths Act] at the administrative level.. Give adequate publicity to the relevant provisions of the Act through media, Grama Niladharis etc., especially in the conflict affected areas.’

The progress has been-During 2011, 37 and 761 deaths were registered in the Northern and Eastern Provinces respectively. In 2012, these numbers were 38 and 801. In addition, 29 mobile services were held during 2011 in various DSDs in North and East to issue death certificates. Services were also held in Mullaitivu District Secretariat in September 2012.

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Mother Sri Lanka representatives meet Governor – 18 October 2013

Mother Lanka

A delegation headed by Ms. Janaki Kuruppu – Chairperson and Founder of Mother Sri Lanka called on Governor of Northern Province GA Chandrasiri at his office on 18th October 2013.

Mother Sri Lanka which is an initiative of the President’s Office rolled out its’ initiative of engaging the next generation of Sri Lankans to understand the value of Responsible Citizenship, Unity and National Pride through the aptly named Project RUN in over 1300 schools covering all 25 districts of the country.

The project is to be extended to the Northern Province. Therefore the team met Governor and explained their activities and sought the support of the province to run the project successfully.

http://www.np.gov.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2610:mother-sri-lanka-representatives-meets-governor-18-october-2013

Launches of Mirrored Images

DSC03751Mirrored Images, an anthology of Sri Lankan poetry, edited by Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha and published by the National book Trust of India, New Delhi, was launched at the Indian Cultural Centre, Gregory’s Road, Colombo, on 20th of September. The function was presided over by His Excellency Y.K.Sinha, High Commissioner of India for Sri Lanka. Hon. Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, M.A.Sikander, Director, National Book Trust of India and Mr.Claude Martinez of the Alliance Francaise de Kotte, were the Guests of Honour.

In his address, H.E. Y.K.Sinha mentioned about the cultural ties between the two countries and stressed the need for translations in order to enhance the understanding between people of different tongues. Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha, while welcoming the guests and audience said that his intention is to showcase Sri Lankan poetry in all three languages since independence. He also appreciated all those who supported him in his endeavour. The book was launched by the Hon. Minister by handing over the first copy to H.E. the High Commissioner. The speeches by Hon.Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Mr.M.A.Sikander and Mr.Martinez were followed by the recital of poems from the anthology by poets Anne Ranasinghe, Ariyawansa Ranaweera, So.Pathmanathan  and Ayathurai Santhan.

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55 Division Organizes a Coaching Camp for Football Players

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Headquarters 55 Division of Veththilaikerny, in another Civil Military Coordination (CIMIC) affair, organized a coaching camp for football players competing in the tournament organized by the 55 Division for the second year.

With coordination of the Civil Affairs Officer of the Division Headquarters and the Commanding Officer of the 19th Sri Lanka National Guard, Mr. S.K.P. Silva, coordinating officer of Sri Lanka Football Federation and coach national beach football team, Mr. Lakmal Sampath and Mr. Rohitha Kumara, school football coaches gave a two day training to 150 players including youths, soldiers and school players on 05th and 06th September at Uduththurai Senthamil ground.

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http://www.cimicjaffna.lk/Cimicnews_2013_09_10_1.php

“Mirrored Images” – a move towards unity (and sanity)

I had the good fortune to participate at the launch of Mirrored Images, an anthology of Sri Lankan Poetry edited by Rajiva Wijesinha.  The book was published by the prestigious National Book Trust of India.

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha had already collected An Anthology of Sri Lankan Short Stories for NBT, beside, of course, his modest collection of Modern Sri Lankan Poetry in English.  But this is a more ambitious work which has drawn from Sinhala. Tamil and English representative works.   The volume which runs to 400 pages contains 138 poems written in Sinhala and Tamil translated into English and 72 poems originally written in English.

These poems were written over the last five decades during which the island nation – after independence – went through radical political, Social and economic changes.  It also witnessed the deterioration of the relationship between the Sinhalese and the Tamils which culminated in a bloody civil war.  War means death, destruction and displacement. It also leaves, in its wake, thousands of widows and the disabled who become the responsibility of the country.  That was – and is – the context in which these Sri Lankan poets worked.  So, understandably, a substantial number of the poems in this collection are disturbing and sad.

Appropriately, Hon. Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister of National languages and Reconciliation graced the function.  Present in the audience were senior writers, critics and media persons.

“Genuine poetry”,   said T.S.Eliot “can communicate even before it is understood” This was affirmed as I first read out the Tamil originals of my poems.  At the launch, the audience, mainly non – Tamil, sat in husband silence because, I believe, the reading was infused with so much passion.  Their understanding was complete with the English version that followed.

Anne Ranasinghe, the veteran, (she is 80!) had to be helped to her seat but her reading was clear and well – articulated.  A.Santhan read his Bigger Match with a brief introduction about a correspondence that occasioned the poem. Continue reading

Reconciliation towards Achieving Social Justice: Youth Perspectives

by Selyna Peiris, Attorney-at-Law

Keynote Speaker at the National Policy for Social Integration; Discussion Forum on Access to Justice and Legal Resources jointly Organised by the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations & Strategic Studies and the Ministry of Social Integration and National Languages, September 2013.

The topic at hand contains a few terms, which are “buzzwords” in post-war Sri Lanka and used by many in various circles when addressing different development and social integration issues. Let me pick some out and attempt at the outset to connect these terms to today’s discussion and set the foundation for my presentation.

First let us begin with defining what “Social Justice” should be in the Sri Lankan context. Paraphrasing many a definition, one which suits the context is that “Social Justice”refers to the idea of creating an inclusive and democratic society that is based on the principles of equality and unity; one that understands and values human rights and further recognizes the dignity of every human being. If that is the desired goal, then how do we “reconcile” our fragmented society towards this? Sri Lanka as we all know is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural diverse Island. A unique particularity about the composition of this multicity is that more than half the population is of one religion, ethnicity and culture. This is therefore naturally reflected in the representations at the administration, policy-making and legislating bodies within the country. In light of this and among other reasons, the “other” or the minority of this composition may often feel excluded. Since Independence, we have seen that this feeling of exclusion has led to various conflicts in our society. Therefore, the process of reconciliation should then entail changing the relationships of these antagonistic parties for the better by taking actions that make one’s view or belief compatible with the others.  More importantly, it should contain actions which are genuinely seen as being collectively beneficial for all Sri Lankans.

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Nagarkovil Ilantharans Wins 55 Division Football Cup

2013_09_16_10Inter-sports club football tournament organized by the 55 Division of Veththilaikerny came to an end on Thursday (12) making Nagarkovil Ilantharans the champions. The tournament commenced on 1st of September with participation of 11 Sports Clubs in the area.

Ilantharan players defeated St. Marys of Kaddaikadu recording a 05-03 victory after a hard battle. The tournament was organized for the second time by the 55 Division and Commander 552 Brigade Colonel Deepal Wanniarachchi attended the inauguration.

Award ceremony was held on Thursday (12) with participation of General Officer Commanding 55 Division Brigadier Ajith Wijesinghe, the Chief Guest. Catholic priests, General Officer Commanding 51 Division Brigadier Chula Abeynayake, Brigade Commanders and senior officers of Army and Police witnessed the award ceremony.

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http://www.cimicjaffna.lk/Cimicnews_2013_09_16_1.php