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Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

A Book For All Sri Lankans : “Lest We Forget: the tragedy of July 1983”

In magerata on July 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Update II : දේශපාලුවා (Deshapaluwa) has some points that he / she would like answered. I am sure there are many in his shoes seeking the same. So if anyone could answer him, civilly, please do. Thanks

Update: Sanjana Hattotuwa let me know that there an extensive collection of material at Groundviews regarding the same subject. It is a collection of works by poets, writers, senior Government Ministers and Members of Parliament, renown scholars, human rights defenders, civil society activists, artistes, senior civil servants, a former Secretary of Defense and others. Of course many bloggers are there too. If you think it is not a place to visit, please think again. You will at least learn what and how others think. I visit Grounviews regularly and disagree with authors most of the time, nicely. Perhaps they need education too, and to do that you need to read and respond. Please visit http://www.groundviews.org/remember/ Sanjana also mentioned that this book and many others like this could be borrowed and bought at Social Scientists Association (SSA) library and bookshop. http://www.ssalanka.org/library.html. (The main website throws a warning flag but I have visited this link and found no harm)

How ever much we rant, real peace will not come if we do not accept the reality, and face it. Sri Lanka is in a greater need to shed race differences and accept all Sri Lankans to be the same. There are elements who believe that certain fractions of our society does not matter. They do matter, very much. Perhaps just like all parts or our bodies. Every part is necessary to form the body of Sri Lanka. Also there will be growths that need to be removed constantly, just like we trim our nails or nose hair. We do not cut off a hand just because of nails nor we cut off our noses because of the nose hair : likewise we should not treat any fraction of  society similarly. If we cut off any section, we will be a disabled society. We need everyone in order to live in harmony and to develop the country. Every human is no less or more than ourselves and need to be treated such.

I am a reader of many blogs published by Sri Lankans and I do post comments where ever I am allowed to : while I am happy with most responses I get, some throws me off. It is just multi point of views but many fail to express them in civilized manner, including me. All the politically energized commenters want only his or her view and actually look down on others and use filth to respond to a comment. At this point the original subject is forgotten and the battle of the pens show, how ugly we could get. At this point you realize the mountainous work ahead to bring everyone together. It is yet comforting to know, that we can do this.

Very recently I visited Redwood Forrest National Park. We had many wondrous hikes and during one I hurt my ankle. A day later, we were to do the most strenuous hike and I was not very sure of taking part in the hike. After contemplating for a while, I decided to take part. I spent most painful four miles or so of walking in my life, but the pain gradually disappeared and I completed one of the best hikes. I also managed to see touch decades old redwood trees, that only grow in this area, reaching into the sky as much as 115 meters or higher. I think even if it is hard, we need to work at it to bring everyone together. Let us start reading and listening to others, how ever hard it is.

So reminding of misdeeds and good deeds should go hand in hand. I think the following book accomplishes a part ot that. The picture of the naked man, on the cover, I will never forget. I do not want anyone to experience than man went through. It just blows my mind how cruel we could be towards other human beings. I think most of us show more love to our dogs than to our fellow humans.  It is important that we all work towards making people understand that we all are the same.

I was reminded of the book by one Rajiva Wijesinha, and it is special to me because my family knows many of the authors, and I remember Richard De Zoysa, specially, who departed us when I was only a tiny kid. My family remembers him as a one fine young man.

lest we forget

The book was published to commemorate the horrid and heroic events that took place July 1983. It was released on the 25thanniversary  by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies. According to my source, the book is available from International Book House at 151 A Dharmapala Mawata, Colombo 3. Further information may be obtained from the publisher at newpet@sltnet.lk or 037-2225884 or 011-2330742. It Cost Rs: 600.00

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

PART I – ANALYSIS

Political violence and the future of democracy in Sri Lanka – Gananath Obeysekere

The Bang and the Whimpers – Rajiva Wijesinha

1983 Anti-Tamil riots and militarization of the ethnic conflict – Kethesh Loganathan

The Massacres at Welikade – Rajan Hoole

Peradeniya – Towards Collapse? – Qadri Ismail

PART II – POETRY

Jean Arasanayagam

Nallur

1958…. ’71…. ’77…. ’81…. ’83….

Kamala Das

A Certain Defect in the Blood

Richard de Zoysa

Apocalypse Soon

Gajagavannama

Animal Crackers

Basil Fernando

Just Society

Yet Another Incident in July 1983

Yasmine Gooneratne

Big Match, 1983 

Arjuna Parakrama

Wesak is here again

PART III – FICTION

The Lost One – Nirmali Hettiarachchi

Action Stations – Rajiva Wijesinha

PART IV – SPEECHES AND REFLECTIONS

TULF equals Terrorists – Cyril Mathew

SLFP’s nationalisation policies hit the Sinhalese businessman – Ranil Wickremesinghe

National Guilt and Expiation – Lakshman Wickremesinghe

A Diary of Society and Politics, 1983 – Rajiva Wijesinha

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Adi Vel 2010, Hindu Street Procession Returns To Colombo Streets After 16 Years

In Hinduism, magerata, Tourism on July 20, 2010 at 8:58 am

Adi Vel, A colorful Hindu festival will return to Colombo streets after a 16 years of hiatus. The 160-year-old Adi Vel Hindu religious ceremony, was held back due to terrorism menace that affected everything in Sri Lanka. The possession, Adi Vel 2010 will be held on July 23 and will travel many streets of Colombo, starting from Pettah and travel through York Street, Achilon Square and Galle Road, bringing blessings of Gods to everyone.

Hooked on Adi Vel

Photo by Deshan10

The trustees and members of Sammangod Sri Kathir Velautha Swami Temple and Manicavinayagak Temple extended an invitation to President Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees on Sunday (July 18) to participate in the 2010 Adi Vel Festival. The temple trustee Asok Kumar has said that the President Rajapaksa has assured him of the cooperation of the office and assured security for the Adi Vel festival as well.

As a small boy I used to watch that festival in Colombo but I was not very keen on those big carts and people performing with hooks attached to their bodies. I hate piercings, any kind! . Hope the Adi Vel will bring much happiness and peace to Magerata.

Presidential News

Sri Lanka – Monetary Policy Review – July 2010

In CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA, development, Economy, magerata, Sri Lankan Rupee on July 12, 2010 at 9:59 pm

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has released the monetary policy review for the month of July 2010. Again in Microsoft word format. I have puvlished the report in it’s entirety and you can also down load a copy of the same report in PDF format. Please follow the link given after the article to down load or to view the PDF file.

Monetary Policy Review – July 2010

The Monetary Board, at its meeting held today, has decided to reduce the Repurchase rate and the Reverse Repurchase rate by 25 basis points each with immediate effect.  Accordingly, the Repurchase rate and the Reverse Repurchase rate of the Central Bank would be 7.25 per cent and 9.50 per cent, respectively.

The monetary policy stance of the Central Bank was gradually eased during 2009 in view of the decline in inflationary pressures and the slowdown in economic activity. Several favourable developments were observed in response to the monetary policy measures taken by the Central Bank.

Inflation, as measured by the year-on-year change in the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (base=2002) (CCPI) has continued to decline, for the fourth consecutive month, reaching 4.8 per cent in June 2010, while annual average inflation reached 3.9 per cent in June. Strong growth in the domestic agriculture sector, as well as a decline in the price of key food items in the international market has had a favourable impact on the CCPI. Going forward, inflation is expected to remain subdued, at single digit levels, during the remainder of the year.

Growth in broad money continued to moderate during the first five months of the year. By end May 2010, the year-on-year growth in the broad money supply was 15.5 per cent compared to 18.6 per cent at end 2009. Credit flows to the private sector have been increasing since the latter part of 2009, and reached a year-on-year growth of 3.5 per cent by end May in contrast to a contraction of 5.7 per cent at end 2009. Credit to the private sector needs to continue to expand in the coming months as economic growth picks up. External trade also showed strong signs of recovery during the first four months of the year with exports increasing by 10.7 per cent and non-oil imports increasing by 29 per cent. The gross official reserves of the country including forex swaps were further enhanced by the receipt of two tranches of the IMF-SBA Facility to approximately US dollars 5.7 billion, as at 30 June 2010, which is equivalent to 6 months of imports. GDP growth in the first quarter of 2010 has been estimated at 7.1 per cent and the economy is expected to expand by around 7 per cent during the year. Taking into consideration these developments in the economy the Monetary Board has decided to revise the policy interest rates downward. In response to this, lending rates of commercial banks are expected to adjust further downward, stimulating economic activity.

The Central Bank has also decided to revise the monetary programme for 2010, and accordingly, the targets for reserve money and broad money, which were published in the “Road Map: Monetary and Financial Sector Policies for 2010 and beyond”, on account of the subsequent developments in the economy. The key factors underlying this revision are an expected increase in the growth in nominal GDP and the inclusion of information on the fiscal sector from Budget 2010, which was presented to Parliament in June 2010. Broad money is expected to grow at a rate commensurate with the revised nominal GDP growth of 14.5 per cent. The budget for 2010 envisages that the deficit would be contained at 8 per cent in 2010, with further reductions expected in 2011 and beyond. Several developments within the monetary aggregates, which were observed during the first half of the year, have also underscored the need for a revision. Expansion in reserve money was higher than expected, particularly during the first quarter of 2010, partly due to increased demand for currency with the end to the conflict. As a result, the money multiplier has also shown a contraction, requiring a higher amount of reserve money to maintain broad money within the targeted levels. Considering these developments, the targets for quarterly growth in reserve money for the third and fourth quarters of 2010 are revised as follows:

Revised Targets for 2010 (quarterly average)

Revised Targets – 2010
Q3 Q4 Annual Average
Rs. Billion 335.8 350.3 334.0
year-on-year growth (%) 21.6 19.7 21.2

The release of the next regular statement on monetary policy will be on 20 August 2010.

Sri Lanka Monetary Policy Review – July 2010

Dance In A Triangle

In magerata, Sri Lankan Bloggers, Sri Lankan Internet on July 10, 2010 at 11:54 pm

I was walking through the campus today and remembered the blogger named “Dance in a Triangle“, when I saw this place. If you think I should have showed the whole window, sorry, I wanted to miss a triangle from it too! Yes one could dance up there! (If you want to see larger versions, keep on clicking on the Photos.

dance in a triangle

Another “angle” of triangles.

Dancing triangle

Yes this is the same roof seen from another angle! So it is in tri “angles” now.

Curved angles

Sri Lanka External Sector Performance April 2010

In CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA, Economy, magerata, Sri Lankan Rupee on July 8, 2010 at 7:04 am

Central Bank Of Sri Lanka has released another press release regarding the external sector performance of the country for the month of April in 2010. The document also carries the data for April 2009 for comparison.

Sri Lanka earnings from exports 2009-2010

In April 2010, we have a trade deficit : the total external sector performance balance is negative  in numbers at -($115.4 million) after adding the workers remittances($308.2 million) to the balance of imports($967.1 million) and exports($543.5 Million).  During the month of April in 2009, we had a balance of trade ($83.5 million), a trade surplus.
The numbers for the first quarter of 2010 also shows a trade deficit, it is again negative in numbers at -($-686.1 million) after adding the workers remittances($1198.8 million) to the balance of imports($4191.9 million) and exports ($2307.0 Million).  During the first quarter of 2009, it was a positive figure of  balance ($198.8 million).
The workers remittances are trending upwards and according to the CBSL : During the first quarter of 2010, workers’ remittances increased by 14.5 per cent over that of the corresponding quarter of 2009 to US dollars 1,199 million. The gross official reserves, with and without Asian Clearing Union (ACU) funds, increased to US dollars 5,440 million and US dollars 5,215 million, respectively, by end April 2010.
Sri Lanka’s Earnings from exports grew by 24.2 per cent in April 2010 to US dollars 543 million led by higher earnings from the industrial and agricultural sectors.There were significant increases in exports of machinery and equipment, comprising mainly of transport equipment such as boats and bicycles and electrical equipment such as transformers, static converters, inductors and insulated cables. Earnings from exports of rubber products, petroleum products and diamond and jewellery have also performed well.  Export earnings from textiles and garments have increased marginally to US dollars 227 million in April 2010 after seven consecutive months of year-on-year declines.
Lower exports of fresh and frozen fish from Sri Lanka, have resulted in lower earnings from food, beverages and tobacco exports. The earnings this sector have declined by 7.3%.
Agricultural exports, which was 24.4% of export earnings in April 2010, increased year-on-year, reflecting the sound performances by the tea, rubber, coconut and minor agricultural sectors. Thanks to higher oil prices, the average export price of natural rubber increased by 126.7 per cent, from US dollars 1.39 per kg in April 2009 to US dollars 3.16 per kg in April 2010. But Sri Lankan rubber industry could not reap much profit due to heavy rains during April 2010.

Sri Lanka expenditure on imports 2009-2010

All major categories of imports increased in April 2010, increasing the expenditure.  Expenditure on imports of intermediate goods increased, mainly led by higher petroleum and fertilizer imports.  Import price of crude oil averaged at $85.02 per barrel in April 2010 vs $54.45 per barrel in April 2009.  Expenditure on imports of consumer goods increased by 63.6 per cent, imports of sugar, milk products and other food items were responsible for higher expenditure. Import of milk products expenditure alone increased by 258.6 per cent in April 2010. Expenditure on investment goods also increased in April 2010, led by higher imports of transport equipment, particularly motor cycles, followed by machinery and equipment such as electrical equipment and printing machinery.
A link to the CBSL “DOC’ in PDF format available after the jump.

External Trade Performance April 2010, Sri Lanka

The local copy in PDF; Sri Lanka External Sector Perfomance April 2010

The CBSL Press release (The original in Microsoft DOC format)

DBSJeyaraj Goes Intermestic, Credits India For Elimination Of LTTE

In comment war, magerata, Politics, Press Freedom, Reconciliation on July 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

over and over

Over and Over

Ramirez

How intermeshed we are. As the heading says, that is what DBSJeyaraj, in his brilliant way of writing is doing. Some how I fail to grasp the true meaning of what he is saying. I learn something evertime he write something on Sri Lanka.

But I don’t buy every thing he says either, India may have wanted LTTE gone, but I doubt it was the largest morsel on their plate as DBSJeyaraj wants us to believe. India sure did play a major role, but even DBSJeyaraj not able ponit out exactly what the roles are. It is also understandable, ‘cos I doubt all these governments share everything with him.

What is more interesting than his writing is the comment deluge the articles attract. Perhaps because he is a great journalist and writer, he knows how to write. He can take one on a run with his ability to mix true facts with some not so straight ideas and have all believing, everything.

He does publish most reader comments, I said most because I know he did not publish a few comments I left on his site. They were not abusive comments but I was questioning some of his uttering. Perhaps he thought, I was seeking SEO link seeking blogger. But in that case he only helped me. If that is the case, you can search for DBSJeyaraj or DBS Jeyaraj on Google and you will find on the first results page, usually. So now I turn my comments on DBSJeyaraj‘s Articles to posts like this one.

If it was for another reason, I do not know what it is. Perhaps he did not like my moniker, ‘cos it is not his “Magerata” 🙂 . I leave comments on Groundviews too, some I agree and most I disagree. I am careful not be abusive to the writer nor the commentors. I do not hesitate to write, what I feel, think and infer, in my broken English. It does not mean that I hate another person or disrespect.

So I will continue to read, and comment. If you are interested, you can follow DBS Jeyaraj on Google search above and read his latest post.

Sri Lanka’s Colombo Consumers’ Price Index For Years 2008, 2009, 2010 Released.

In CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA, development, Economy, magerata, Sri Lankan Rupee on July 1, 2010 at 12:32 am

Colombo Consumers’ Price Index June 2010

Finally after nagging over a period, Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), has released the current Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI) in PDF format. So now most of the people in the world will be able to read without having to search for Microsoft Word or a compatible reader. Hope they will stay on PDF, from here onwards.

The document lists Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI)2008, 2009 and 2010 and is much easier to compare how Sri Lankan economy is progressing. I know there are many who cry foul at various conducts of the government but wanting to bring down the country’s economy to appease their wishes is a bit moronic.
I love white water rafting. If you are capable and believe in yourself,  you can ride the river, be it a fast or slow, any which way you want and have control. Rough waters or the temperature of the water does not deter me. Progress should continue while we mold the country in to what we all wish for.
The country is surely progressing and there are many pot holes to be filled on the way to success as well as the regular roads that weave through the country. No one should or want to break or blow up a road because it has pot holes. Should be the same for the government as well.
Reform at any price, NO! Reform yes.
You can find the latest Colombo Consumers’ Price Index here (PDF).
The source of data : Department of Census and Statistics, Sri Lanka.