Jaffna University Faculties of Agriculture and Engineering to be Established in Kilinochchi

The Ministry of Higher Education is implementing a project that focuses on further developing the Jaffna University’s Faculties of Agriculture and Engineering.

“The Faculty of Agriculture, which was functioning at Kilinochchi, had to be shifted to the Jaffna University premises owing to the escalation of war and operated there under difficult conditions particularly due to limited space available,” said Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education Mr. P. Ranepura.

The Faculty is being shifted to Kilinochchi and will be renovated. Meanwhile, the Engineering Faculty that was functioning with limited facilities in Jaffna is also being relocated to Kilinochchi and further developed.

“We have drawn up plans to develop this Faculty as a priority development project of the Northern region,” Mr. Ranepura said.

Sri Lanka has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Government through which India will provide financial assistance worth Rs. 600 million towards the development of these two faculties that will include infrastructure facilities and other requirements, including lecture halls, a conference hall, a computer laboratory, a library, a sports complex and administrative offices.

The Government of India has also agreed to extend its support for the development of the curricula, and organising faculty exchanges, training and research through affiliation to a prestigious Indian institution. A committee representing the Governments of Sri Lanka and India has been appointed to initiate and oversee the project.

“The expansion of the University of Jaffna to Kilinochchi is being done in line with the ‘University Township’ development plan,” Mr. Ranepura said. “With this development, there will be a lot of benefits to the community living in the area.”

Sources:

Ministry of Higher Education
High Commission of India in Colombo

http://llrcaction.gov.lk/en/news/702-jaffna-university-faculties-of-agriculture-and-engineering-to-be-established-in-kilinochchi.html

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Achchuveli Industrial Complex Declared Open in Jaffna

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The Achchuveli Industrial Complex in the Jaffna Peninsula was declared open last week under the Uthuru Wasanthaya (“Northern Spring”) Programme.

“Achchuveli industrial area was destroyed by the terrorists 25 years ago, but President Rajapaksa’s ‘Mahinda Chinthana – The Way Forward’ and ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ rebuilt it,” said Governor of the Northern Province Maj. Gen. (Retd) G.A. Chandrasiri.

The entire park extends over a total area of 65 acres and is being developed in two stages. The first stage consisted of the development of 25 acres at a cost of Rs. 300 million. Of this amount, the Sri Lankan Government contributed Rs. 50 million while the Indian Government provided the remaining Rs.250 million for infrastructure development within the industrial zone.

The development of this industrial park in Jaffna is expected to provide direct and indirect employment to more than 10,000 people in the region. More than eight companies have already commenced construction of factories during the first phase of the project.

“Small entrepreneurs also will be highly benefited from such (an) industrial zone,” Governor Chandrasiri said. “Other industrial zones have been already established in areas such as Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya. The construction of another zone in Mullaitivu is currently in progress.”

The Sri Lankan Government provided basic facilities to the industrial park, including electricity, widened roads, pipe-borne water, a drainage system and a waste water treatment plant.

Sources:

Ministry of Economic Development
Northern Provincial Council

http://llrcaction.gov.lk/en/news/705-achchuveli-industrial-complex-declared-open-in-jaffna.html

Atchuveli Industrial Zone Construction work expedited – 11 August 2014

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“Atchuveli Industrial Zone will turn out to be a national asset, where the productions from this zone not only benefit the local residents, but also to the country’s economy. More and more investments and ventures flow into the zone means more income.This has created many job opportunities as well. The Indian government has granted US$ 220 million worth of assistance.The industrial zone will be boost to the province and is on way forward to create more opportunities to potential investors and business sector as well. Once the construction work is complete, this zone will contribute immensely to economic growth of the province.”

Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda and Governor of the Northern Province GA Chandrasiri paid an inspection visit to Atchuveli Industrial Zone on 11th August 2014.

They had discussion with the relevant officials to expedite the construction works. The construction works are in progress and the industrial zone will be declared open coming 21st August.

The discussion focused on the work plans of entrepreneurs and job opportunities available in the zone.

http://www.np.gov.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3058:atchuveli-industrial-zone-construction-work-expedited-11-august-2014&catid=8&Itemid=114

Foundation stones laid down in Atchuveli Industrial Zone – 16 April 2014

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“The project will be implemented under full grant assistance of the Government of India with an estimated outlay of Sri Lankan Rs. 192 million (US$ 1.7 million). The completion of the project is expected to provide a boost to economic activities in the Jaffna Peninsula and generate local employment, both direct and indirect, for about 2,000 people.
It is also expected to lead to flow of significant investments to increase production capacities in the sectors of textiles, plastic and leather products, food processing, agro-based industries, oil and fibre products, etc., thereby resulting in better utilisation of local resources.

The project will be implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development of the Government of Sri Lanka. Necessary technical expertise and project management services will be provided by the United Nations (UNOPS).”

An event to lay foundation stones for three factories in the Atchuveli Industrial Zone was held on 16th April 2014. Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda and Governor of the Northern Province GA Chandrasiri participated as chief guests and laid down the stones. Indian Consul General, Jaffna V.Mahalingam also participated at this event.

A plastic pipe factory, a fishing net factory and a factory of Hemas are to be constructed in the zone. This industrial zone is being established with the 225 million rupees financial support of Indian Government and 50 million rupees financial support of Sri Lankan Government.

This project is expected generate many job opportunities which will benefit the local residents at various categories.

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http://www.np.gov.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2890:foundation-stones-laid-down-in-atchuveli-industrial-zone-16-april-2014&catid=85:min-gs&Itemid=20

Sri Lankan & Indian Catholic Fishermen Get St Anthony’s Blessing at Kachchathivu Annual Feast

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Annual feast of St. Anthony’s Church Kachchathivu on Sunday (16) drew a huge crowd from Sri Lanka and India. Over 5200 Catholic fishermen from both countries had arrived with their families to fill the small island where majority stayed their night with Sri Lanka Navy’s protection.

Sri Lanka Navy had taken necessary steps to provide security and all facilities including water, food, and medicine for the crowd. Vicar General Jaffna Rev. Fr. Dr. Justin Gnanaprakasam conducted the prayers. Rev. Fr. Sahayaraj of Rameswaram, Rev. Fr. Amal Raj of Delft and a large number of catholic priests also attended the feast.

Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayanath Kolombage, Director General Coast Guard Rear Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne and Commander Security Force – Jaffna Major General Udaya Perera were also among the participants.
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Updated on 19.03.2014

Inadvertently, the name of Rear Admiral Sarath Dissanayake, Commander Northern Naval Area is not mentioned in the text above. He who coordinated the event on behalf of the Sri Lanka Navy too was among the distinguished crowd.

 

http://www.cimicjaffna.lk/Cimicnews_2014_03_17.php

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

Continue reading

The fog of war in Sri Lanka

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By Michael Roberts and Padraig Colman

Reporting of the civil war in Sri Lanka has tended to distort various aspects of the violence that ensued, particularly in terms of the number of civilian casualties and the causes of their deaths.

Although Western media have been critical of both sides in the conflict between the Sinhala-dominated government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), they tend to see Tamils (and thus the LTTE) as underdogs.

Sri Lankan Tamils have been emigrating since the fifties. There is a substantial body of intelligent and prosperous Tamils abroad alienated from Sri Lankan politics and governments. The patriotism of expatriate Tamils increased when the government defeated the LTTE in 2009. They are receptive to the propaganda of Tiger activists.

Tamil nationalists or sympathizers now hold key positions in the west. Sri Lankan government PR is ineffective in comparison with the coordinated campaign of the Tamil diaspora using such outlets as the BBC, ABC, Sky, Channel Four, New York TimesDer Spiegel and their like.

The result has been distortion.

  • Western media erroneously describe it as “a war without witnesses” even though a restricted number of foreign reporters were transported to the rear battle front on several occasions.(1)
  • The received wisdom is that at the end of war there was “merciless shelling” and “extermination” and that subsequently some 300,000 civilians were “interned” in “concentration camps”. Both claims are exaggerations, the latter being quite gross.
  • Ban Ki-Moon’s Panel of Experts (Darusman Report) said that “a number of credible sources have estimated that there “could have been as many as 40,000 civilian deaths”. Despite the questionable methodology pursued by this panel, (2) its guesswork became a definite figure of at least 40,000 civilian dead; and, in the indelible words of a British parliamentarian named Lee Scott, 40,000 “slaughtered”.

British parliamentarians did not allow for the following factors during the last five months of the war in the patch of LTTE territory we term the “Vanni Pocket”:

  • It was difficult to distinguish between civilians and combatants;
  • The LTTE often fired on Tamil civilians;
  • US Ambassador Butenis confirmed the government’s claim that they made a conscious decision to prolong the war and risk more SL Army casualties in order to protect civilians. Red Cross representative Jacques de Maio, Robert O Blake of the US State Department and Jim Grant of UNICEF echoed this in their secret memoranda during the height of the war;
  • The Sri Lankan authorities knew that USA and India were tracking the battles on satellite and would spot any inordinate use of force; Continue reading

Reconciliation and the role of India

Reconciliation and the role of India

Presentation by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, MP

At the Observatory Research Foundation

Delhi, December 13th 2013

I must admit to being deeply worried about the current state of relations between India and Sri Lanka. I contrast this with the excellent situation that obtained in 2009, when India was the chief component of the protective barrier against efforts to stop us eradicating terrorism from our shores. One might have thought that this was a goal the whole world would have supported, but sadly this is not an ideal world and countries will naturally put their own self interest first. Fortunately, not only did India’s interests coincide with our own at that stage, but given the terrible toll terrorism funded by external sources was taking on both our countries, I think it is also true to say that we worked in accordance with the highest moral perspectives.

But the aim we shared then, of eradicating terrorism on our shores, went hand in hand with another commitment, which was the promotion of pluralism in Sri Lanka. This again is a moral goal, but it also has a practical dimension, in that the full incorporation of the Tamil people in the body politic in Sri Lanka would have reduced the potential for future terrorism.

Sadly Sri Lanka has not pursued the Reconciliation process with the commitment it requires. Given its urgency I believe we should try to understand the reasons for this, and try to overcome them. In this process India has a significant role to play.

Continue reading

Getting the balance right – David Cameron and foreign relations

Soon after David Cameron had left Sri Lanka, the Sunday Times in England published a satirical piece about his visit. It accused him of behaving like a public school prefect and treating the Sri Lankan President like a fag, a junior schoolboy who was at his beck and call.

Cameron’s was certainly a brilliant performance, full of British bravado. Having decided, correctly in my view, that he would attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, he had to contend with the anger of those who have in effect been running British policy with regard to Sri Lanka, which has been deeply negative about our success in overcoming terrorism in this country. He had therefore to put in an aggressive performance to keep them happy, and this he certainly did.

I do not mean only the extremist members of the diaspora, who have been enormously successful in lobbying British politicians where it matters. Having concentrated their attentions initially on Labour, and obtained brilliant results through David Miliband, they were quick to switch in 2010 when the Conservatives won, while the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry floundered, and did not even bother to appoint a High Commissioner to England for a lengthy period.

Continue reading

A Response to Rajan Phillips and L. Jayasooriya

A few comments on the paper delivered in Brazil indicate how deeply Sri Lankans have absorbed the oppositional mindsets that Nirmal Verma and Tagore deplored. One generalization occurred in the Sunday Island, to which a response was made. Another appeared only in the electronic media, but was obligingly sent in. Published here are the response to the Sunday Island and a response to another comment, since it seems important to explain to those who seem confused the idea between a nation in which there is a majority of a particular religion, and characterizing the state as that of a particular religion.

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The Editor

Sunday Island

 

Dear Sir

I read with some interest Rajan Philips’ account of ‘Anglo-Indo-Lanka ties and tangles from DS Senanayake to Mahinda Rajapaksa’  in your columns last week. In the midst of an interesting thesis, he made a gratuitous reference to a paper I had delivered in Brazil last month, and claimed that my thesis seemed to have been ‘to attribute the foreign policy differences between DS Senanayake and the UNP, on the one hand, and SWRD Bandaranaike and the Left on the other, to the difference between a supposedly dichotomous Western view of things and a contrastingly unifying Eastern vision’.

I am grateful to him for having so graphically illustrated a dichotomizing view of things, and sorry that his mindset seems to be ‘Western’ in this regard, as defined by Nimal Verma and Tagore. I did not talk about differences between Senanayake and Bandaranaike, and indeed I pointed out that the Rubber Rice Pact with China was signed during a UNP regime. I did note that J R Jayewardene had abandoned traditional Sri Lankan foreign policy because of his decision to enter the Cold War on one side, but I would certainly not describe the traditional UNP, as represented by the Senanayakes, as dichotomizing.

I attach a copy of the full paper and hope that you might be able to publish it in full, since Mr Philips’ account is misleading.

Yours sincerely

Rajiva Wijesinha

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Thanks for writing to me personally. I am sorry you have only blind copied to others, so please do pass this on to all those others as well. I have taken the liberty of copying this to many of those on these lists who have written to me personally recently, but I assume there are many more.

I have long realized that few people read carefully, and that comments on what others say are

a) based generally on what one assumes they have said

b) intended to make points one makes anyway

In this instance it seems that you, like Shenali, have confused my criticism of those who think Sri Lanka is a Buddhist state with those who refer to it as a Buddhist nation. The latter is not a problem, since it means a nation where the majority is Buddhist, which is of course true of Sri Lanka. But thinking of Sri Lanka as a Buddhist state (or of France as a Catholic state) is inaccurate, since this is not the case constitutionally, and it is generally not acceptable to give a state a particular religious identity when there are substantial portions of its populace who belong to other religions. Continue reading