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  Updated April 25, 2019​ 

Sri Lanka Express

“Christians were martyred”
 
LA Catholic Diocese joins SL expats at packed meeting

The Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese joined Sri Lankan Catholics, Buddhists, and Muslims at a packed interfaith solidarity meeting Tuesday (April 23) at a church in Lomita in Los Angeles County to honor the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks.

The hastily organized meeting, widely publicized on social media, drew hundreds, a rare occurrence on a weekday evening. 

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Gota's response after being ambushed by Yasmine  Sooka' s process servers

“These lawsuits have been filed to delay the process and discourage me. I have handed the matter to my lawyers [in Los Angeles] to take care of and I’m looking ahead to what needs to be done for our country,” said former Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa commenting on the two civil lawsuits filed against him in the Central District of California.
 
“Let them attack, I’m prepared”  he said in an exclusive interview with Hassina Leelarathna. 





Julian Assange  Deserves Our Thanks for Making Governments More Transparent

Russians Didn’t Collude at Trump Tower but Americans Meddled at Temple Trees
Indian HC was not far behind

April 1, 2019 - The story of how American ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead directly interfered to help the UNP at the April 2004 Parliamentary Elections.   

At Temple Trees, Lunstead personally presented a photo of UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe with President George Bush to be used in the election campaign.

Indians also interfered - Indian HC Sen tried to secure plantation Tamil votes, telling Thondaman to support Ranil

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PM Ranil Wickremasinghe with President George Bush at the White House in 2003

Did SCOTUS  favor Buddhist death-row inmate, discriminate against Muslim?

 April 1, 2019 - The US Supreme Court last week blocked the execution of a Texas death-row inmate until the state could fulfill his request for a Buddhist priest to be present at his side during the execution.  The ruling came just weeks after the court turned down a similar request by an Alabama Muslim who asked for his imam to be allowed in the death chamber.

Islamophobia, discrimination, or has SCOTUS learned a lesson from its earlier (unpopular) ruling?  
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Mangala’s 30th Anniversary Bash ​​
& the Price of Power

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By Hassina Leelarathna



​Former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power in her keynote address at Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s “30th Anniversary in Politics” said she set aside her busy schedule to travel to Sri Lanka because “if there is one person who could get me to travel over 8,000 miles at the moment, it is Mangala.” 



Left: Minister Samaraweera with former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power.  Photo from Facebook 


What might have led to such an extraordinary friendship between “Khema’s Kolla” who started his career in the socialist cabinet of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the powerful world figure who is best remembered for her role in the decimation of several nations? 

A Wikileaks cache of reports by the US ambassador in Colombo suggest Mr. Samaraweera weaseled his way by presenting unsubstantiated information such as:

· The SL military had "special cells" using illegal methods to root out LTTE cadres and sympathizers
· Defense Sec. Gothabaya Rajapaksa was behind death threats he (Samaraweera) was receiving
· President Rajapaksa's "entourage of "extremists" did not want democracy and were intent on installing a "Sinhalese Buddhist supremacist, authoritarian regime."
· GOSL was timing attacks on media to coincide with major military victories like the capture of Killinochchi and Elephant Pass.
 
The ambassador's postings also reveal how Mr. Samaraweera:
· Spread fake news that he planned to carry "a dossier detailing the crimes of the Defense Sec. and the Army Commander" to Hillary Clinton when, by his own admission, he had no such evidence.
· Supported the call for an expanded OHCHR  (or UN monitoring mission) presence in SL to address "human rights" issues.
· Planned to seek asylum abroad due to "death threats."