Jaffna Students Take Part in Ranminithenna World Children’s Day Programme

2014_10_02_1_5A group of Jaffna students got opportunity to take part in World Children’s Day celebration organized on October 1st by the government at Ranminithenna, in the down south when the 7thth Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps (7 SLAWC) at Kankasanthurai (KKS) arranged a trip for them in collaboration with Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC). The memorable journey included travel by air and visits to the Parliament and SLRC to give Northern students firsthand experience in functioning of those places.

Fifteen boys and five girls from Vasavilan Central College, Point Pedro Hartley College, Ilavalai St. Henry College, Kokkuvil Hindu College, Nelliady Central College, Jaffna Hindu College and Jaffna Central College and five teachers were initially taken to Colombo by road on 29thth by the Commanding Officer 7 SLAWC Major Chandrika Rajaguru who stayed with children and teachers throughout the journey. She was assisted by Second Lieutenant N. Narenthra of 20thth National Cadet Corps Headquarters Jaffna. On 30thth they visited the Parliament, SLRC and other places.

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US seeks to eventually partition Sri Lanka – Tamara Kunanayakam

The United States has no genuine interest in accountability or reconciliation in Sri Lanka, but is seeking a strategic military base in Asia, says Tamara Manimekhalai Kunanayakam, onetime Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Holy See.

In a wide ranging interview with Ceylon Today, Kunanayakam said, the US would demand more concessions using the resolution as a tool and charged the UN Rights Chief as a ‘US instrument’ doing Washington’s bidding.

Kunanayakam also alleged the resolution was aimed at demonstrating Sri Lanka’s alleged failure to demonstrate accountability and to showcase the island as a failed State to maximize on concessions, including a demand to create a US military hub in Sri Lanka.

Excerpts from the interview:

 By Dilrukshi Handunnetti

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Governor on Inspection Visit to Jaffna Railway Station – 09 February 2014

“Completing the railway line from Kilinochchi to Pallai is yet another milestone of the steadily progressing Northern Railway restoration project. The train, when it drove in from Killinochchi to reach Pallai, made history, giving hope to many thousands of residents of the area that the resumption of train services would soon recommence. According to the construction agency, Ircon International Ltd., the track works between Killinochchi and Pallai are fully completed, with a few finishing touches left to be completed shortly.

The reconstructed railway line from Omanthai to Kilinochchi was commissioned and dedicated to the public of Sri Lanka on 14 September 2013 by the President at a colourful ceremony held at the Killinochchi station yard. The reconstructed track was the first segment of the Omanthai – Kankasanthurai line. The second segment, Kilinochchi – Pallai, of approximately 30 kilometres is now being readied to be added to the railway network of the island nation.”

Governor of Northern Province GA Chandrasiri paid an inspection visit to the Jaffna Railway Station on 09th February 2014 and observed the reconstruction work of the station.

For almost three decades the Jaffna-Colombo train service was interrupted due to the civil war. After the end of the hostilities in 2009, the railway stations and tracks along the Vavuniya – Jaffna railway path have been reconstructed in a rapid phase. Now the train services extended till Kilinochchi station. It is expected that the train will hit the Jaffna station in April 2014.

Governor had discussion with the officials and instructed them to expedite the work.

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Governor on Inspection Visit to Jaffna Railway Station – 09 February 2014

“Completing the railway line from Kilinochchi to Pallai is yet another milestone of the steadily progressing Northern Railway restoration project. The train, when it drove in from Killinochchi to reach Pallai, made history, giving hope to many thousands of residents of the area that the resumption of train services would soon recommence. According to the construction agency, Ircon International Ltd., the track works between Killinochchi and Pallai are fully completed, with a few finishing touches left to be completed shortly.

The reconstructed railway line from Omanthai to Kilinochchi was commissioned and dedicated to the public of Sri Lanka on 14 September 2013 by the President at a colourful ceremony held at the Killinochchi station yard. The reconstructed track was the first segment of the Omanthai – Kankasanthurai line. The second segment, Kilinochchi – Pallai, of approximately 30 kilometres is now being readied to be added to the railway network of the island nation.”

Governor of Northern Province GA Chandrasiri paid an inspection visit to the Jaffna Railway Station on 09th February 2014 and observed the reconstruction work of the station.

For almost three decades the Jaffna-Colombo train service was interrupted due to the civil war. After the end of the hostilities in 2009, the railway stations and tracks along the Vavuniya – Jaffna railway path have been reconstructed in a rapid phase. Now the train services extended till Kilinochchi station. It is expected that the train will hit the Jaffna station in April 2014.

Governor had discussion with the officials and instructed them to expedite the work.

“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