தமிழ் சிறி

இன்று, யாழ்.களத்துக்கு... 22 வயது ஆரம்பம்.

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யாழிணையம்   Best Happy 22nd Birthday Cake with Colorful Candles GIF — Download ...    யாழிணையம்

இன்று... 22´வது  வயதில் காலடி 👣 எடுத்து வைக்கும்..
யாழ்.இணையத்திற்கு.... 🎂 இனிய பிறந்தநாள் 🎂 வாழ்த்துக்கள். 💓

கடந்த 21 வருடத்தில்... 
எத்தனையோ... மகிழ்ச்சியான செய்திகளையும்,
ஈழப் போரில்... எமது போராளிகளின் வெற்றிச் செய்திகளையும்,
சோகமான... செய்திகளையும்,  எமக்கு உடனே தந்து....
உலகில் உள்ள தமிழர்களுக்கு... தாய் மண்ணில்,  பாசத்தை ஊட்டியது அதன் சிறப்பு. 

🇦🇺 அவுஸ்திரேலியாவில் இருந்து...  🇺🇸அமெரிக்கா வரை, 🇱🇰
🇪🇺 இனிய நண்பர்களை 🇮🇳 அறிமுகப்படுத்தி....  🇦🇪
🇩🇪 புலம் பெயர் தேசத்தில்...  🇨🇦எங்கோ ஒரு  மூலையில், 🇳🇴
🇬🇧 நாம்,  தன்னம் தனியே ... இருக்கின்றோம் 🇫🇷  என்ற ஏக்கத்தை போக்கி... 🇨🇭
❤️  எம்மை..... அந்தத் தனிமையில்,  இருந்து  மீட்டு.....  எடுத்ததும், யாழ். களமே.  🥰

யாழ்.களம்  என்று... ஒன்று, உருவாகி  இருக்கா விட்டால்.. 
புலம் பெயர் தேசத்தில், பலரின் வாழ்க்கை...  திசை மாறி போயிருக்கும் என்பதும்,
தமிழை... எழுத பலர் மறந்திருப்பார்கள் என்பதும்,
பல கதாசிரியர்கள், கவிதை புனைவர்களின் ✍️ திறமை வெளியே வந்திருக்காது என்பதும்,
மறுக்க முடியாத உண்மை.  :)

அந்த யாழ்.களத்துக்கு  நன்றியுடன்,
எனது இனிய பிறந்த நாள் வாழ்த்துக்களுடன், 
நீடுழி.. வாழ்க, 🙏  என வாழ்த்துகின்றேன்.  💕 :)

Edited by தமிழ் சிறி
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யாழ் இணையத்திற்கு இனிய பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள்.

happy 22th birthday images happy 22th birthday to me happy 22th birthday quotes happy 22th birthday cake

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2007 யாழுடன் இணைந்தவன். 13 நீண்ட நெடிய வருடங்கள். மறக்கமுடியாத பல சம்பவங்கள்,நினைவுகள்..

ஆல் போல் இன்னும் வளர்ந்து விழுது பல எறிந்து வாழிய வாழியவே..

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யாழ் களத்திற்கு இனிய பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள்!!

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யாழ் இணையத்திற்கு இனிய பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள்

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வாழ்க யாழ் ...சிறப்புமிக்கதாய் வளர்க ...

 

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யாழ் இணையத்திற்கு இன்னும் பல்லாண்டு காலம் தமிழர்களுக்கு சேவை செய்ய இனிய பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள்!

யாழுடன் இணைந்து 16 வருடங்கள் ஆகின்றன என்பதால் யாழ் நகர்ந்து வந்த பாதையைக் கவனித்திருக்கின்றேன்.

முன்னர் தமிழ்த்தேசிய ஆதரவாளர்கள், மாற்றுக் கருத்தாளர்கள் என்று உணர்ச்சிபொங்க கருத்துமோதல்கள் இருந்தது. போர் முடிந்த பின்னர் மாற்றுக் கருத்தாளர்கள் ஓய்ந்து ஒதுங்கிவிட்டார்கள் அல்லது ஒதுக்கப்பட்டார்கள்.

போன வருடத்தில் இருந்து மத ரீதியாக பிளவுண்டு கருத்துமோதல்கள் நடக்கின்றன. இப்படி ஏதாவது ஒன்றைப் பிடித்துத் தொங்கிக்கொண்டு மோதிக்கொண்டு இருப்பதால் மாற்றங்கள் வருவதைவிட விரிசல்கள்தான் வந்துசேரும் என்பதை எப்போது உணரப்போகின்றோம்?

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யாழ் இணையத்திற்கு வாழ்த்துக்கள்.

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யாழ் இணையம் மேன்மேலும் வளர வாழ்த்துக்கள். 💐🍀

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யாழுக்கு பிற‌ந்த‌ நாள் வாழ்த்துக்க‌ள் / ( யாழ் )காலையும் நீயே மாலையும் நீயே எங்க‌ளின் உயிரும் நீயே / யாழின் பிற‌ந்த‌ நாளில் என‌து சிறு க‌வித‌ எத்த‌னை இன்ப‌த்தை யாழில் க‌ண்டு க‌ழித்து இருப்போம் ( அது ஒரு கால‌ம் அழ‌கிய‌ கால‌ம் 1f49e.png1f44f.png )

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, பையன்26 said:

யாழுக்கு பிற‌ந்த‌ நாள் வாழ்த்துக்க‌ள் / ( யாழ் )காலையும் நீயே மாலையும் நீயே எங்க‌ளின் உயிரும் நீயே / யாழின் பிற‌ந்த‌ நாளில் என‌து சிறு க‌வித‌ எத்த‌னை இன்ப‌த்தை யாழில் க‌ண்டு க‌ழித்து இருப்போம் ( அது ஒரு கால‌ம் அழ‌கிய‌ கால‌ம் 1f49e.png1f44f.png )

பையா..... வெள்ளிக்கிழமை  இரவு... யாழ். களம் எனக்குத்தான்(டா)  :grin:  🤣

Edited by தமிழ் சிறி

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எம் இனிய யாழுக்கு மனம் நிறைந்த பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள். பல்லாண்டு வாழ்க என வாழ்த்துகின்றோம்.

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வாழ்த்துக்கள்! 

தொடரட்டும்  படைப்புக்கள் 
இணையட்டும்   நட்ப்புக்கள்

வளரட்டும்  தமிழ், தேசம் 
'கப்பு முக்கியம்', பிகில் ! 

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யாழுக்கு இனிய 22வது அகவை வாழ்த்துக்கள்!!

happy-22th-birthday-gold-foil-260nw-1556

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யாழ் இணையத்திற்கு இனிய பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள்

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யாழ் இணையத்துக்கு  இனிய பிறந்த நாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள். மென் மேலும் வளர்ந்து 

விருட்ஷமாய் கிளை பரப்பட்டும்

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யாழ் இணையத்திற்கு இனிய பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள்

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மனதில் நீங்கா இடம் பிடித்து; பலரும் தூங்கா மடம் கொடுத்து
முகம் அறியா  பல உறவுகளை; தினம் சரியா  தேடித்தந்த தளம் இந்த யாழ்.
தேசம் தொலைத்த சோகத்திலும்; தமிழ் வாசம் வீச மலர்ந்தது இந்த யாழ்.
வேரின் முகங்கள் தெரிவதில்லை; நம் யாழின் ஸ்வரங்கள் மறைவதில்லை.
என் அந்திம வயதில் ஆறுதல் சொல்லி; என் பிள்ளைகள் மூன்றையும் முயலச்சொல்லி;
காலம் கடந்தும் காவியம் படைக்கட்டும் எங்கள் யாழ் !!!

வாழ்த்துக்கள். 🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻 🙏 🌻  🌻 🌻 🌻

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pink-tilted-tiara-and-number-22-hi.png

 

அன்று பிறந்தது யாழ்களம்

இன்று சிறந்ததும் அதேகளம்

நின்று வளர்த்தது தமிழ்வளம்

யாழ் சென்று பரந்தது உலகதளம்

 

கருத்துக்கள உறவுகளின் கருத்துக்கள் பரவி தரனியும் உயர்வு காணும் காண்போம்.🙌

 

யாழிணையத்திற்கு உளம்கனிந்த பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள்.!!:100_pray:

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யாழ் இணையத்திற்கு இனிய பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துகள்

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On 3/31/2020 at 7:52 AM, Sasi_varnam said:

மனதில் நீங்கா இடம் பிடித்து; பலரும் தூங்கா மடம் கொடுத்து
முகம் அறியா  பல உறவுகளை; தினம் சரியா  தேடித்தந்த தளம் இந்த யாழ்.
தேசம் தொலைத்த சோகத்திலும்; தமிழ் வாசம் வீச மலர்ந்தது இந்த யாழ்.
வேரின் முகங்கள் தெரிவதில்லை; நம் யாழின் ஸ்வரங்கள் மறைவதில்லை.
என் அந்திம வயதில் ஆறுதல் சொல்லி; என் பிள்ளைகள் மூன்றையும் முயலச்சொல்லி;
காலம் கடந்தும் காவியம் படைக்கட்டும் எங்கள் யாழ் !!!

வாழ்த்துக்கள். 🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻 🙏 🌻  🌻 🌻 🌻

அருமை ந‌ண்பா , க‌விதை மிக‌வும் அழ‌காய் இருக்கு ந‌ண்பா 💞👏

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On 3/30/2020 at 1:18 PM, கிருபன் said:

யாழ் இணையத்திற்கு இன்னும் பல்லாண்டு காலம் தமிழர்களுக்கு சேவை செய்ய இனிய பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள்!

யாழுடன் இணைந்து 16 வருடங்கள் ஆகின்றன என்பதால் யாழ் நகர்ந்து வந்த பாதையைக் கவனித்திருக்கின்றேன்.

முன்னர் தமிழ்த்தேசிய ஆதரவாளர்கள், மாற்றுக் கருத்தாளர்கள் என்று உணர்ச்சிபொங்க கருத்துமோதல்கள் இருந்தது. போர் முடிந்த பின்னர் மாற்றுக் கருத்தாளர்கள் ஓய்ந்து ஒதுங்கிவிட்டார்கள் அல்லது ஒதுக்கப்பட்டார்கள்.

போன வருடத்தில் இருந்து மத ரீதியாக பிளவுண்டு கருத்துமோதல்கள் நடக்கின்றன. இப்படி ஏதாவது ஒன்றைப் பிடித்துத் தொங்கிக்கொண்டு மோதிக்கொண்டு இருப்பதால் மாற்றங்கள் வருவதைவிட விரிசல்கள்தான் வந்துசேரும் என்பதை எப்போது உணரப்போகின்றோம்?

இதை அண்டைக்கே எழுதுவோம் என்று இருந்தேன் கிருப‌ண்ணா , யாழின் பிற‌ந்த‌ நாளில் எழுதுவ‌துக்கு என் ம‌ன‌ம் இட‌ம் கொடுக்க‌வில்லை

2006 , 2007 , 2008 , இந்த‌ கால‌ப் ப‌குதியில் எம் போராட்ட‌ம் ப‌ற்றிய‌ எழுத்துக்க‌ள் தான் அதிக‌ம் , 

எல்லாள‌ன் தாக்குத‌ளின் போது யாழ் க‌ள‌ திரி எவ‌ள‌ தூர‌த்துக்கு போன‌து என்று உங்க‌ளுக்கு ந‌ல்லாவே தெரியும் /

க‌ட‌ந்த‌ கால‌ங்க‌ளில் தாய‌க‌ பாட‌ல்க‌ள் , த‌மிழீழ‌ காணொளிக‌ள் , த‌மிழ் சினிமா க‌தைக‌ள் ,

யாழ் உற‌வுக‌ள் ஆளை ஆள் ப‌ம்ப‌லுக்கு கிண்ட‌ல் அடிச்சு எழுதி சிரிச்ச‌ கால‌ம் போய் ,

இப்போது ம‌த‌ ச‌ண்டையில் வ‌ந்து நிக்குது , ம‌த‌ ச‌ண்டை திரிக‌ளுக்குள் நான் க‌ருத்து எழுத‌ விரும்புவ‌து இல்லை , கார‌ண‌ம் அது என‌க்கு ச‌ரி ப‌ட்டு வராது /

சிறுவ‌ய‌து முத‌லே சைவ‌ ம‌த‌த்தில் தான் இருந்தேன் , அதே ம‌த‌த்தில் என் மீதிக் கால‌மும் இருக்க‌ விரும்புகிறேன் 🙏


 

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    • நன்றி ச‌கோத‌ரா , கோட்டை தாக்குத‌ல் ப‌ற்றிய‌ முழு விப‌ர‌மும் இதில் இருக்கு 🙏 / கண் க‌ண்ட‌ தெய்வ‌ங்க‌ளுக்கு வீர‌ வ‌ண‌க்க‌ம் 🙏    
    • With debt crunch looming, Sri Lanka needs help from its friends Marc Jones  Published: 19 hours ago         By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's finances were fragile long before the coronavirus delivered its blow, but unless the country can secure aid from allies like China, economists say it may have to make a fresh appeal to the IMF or default on its debt. All the tell-tale crisis signs are there: a tumbling currency, credit rating downgrades, bonds at half their face value, debt-to-GDP levels above 90% and almost 70% of government revenues being spent on interest payments alone. The IMF seems the obvious option -- Sri Lanka has already asked the Fund for a 'Rapid Credit Facility' -- but securing a new longer-term arrangement might not be straight forward.  The new government veered off its soon-to-expire current IMF program late last year by slashing taxes, including VAT and the 'nation-building' tax brought in after the island's long-running civil war in 2009. In February, the IMF warned Colombo was set to miss its 2019 primary surplus target "by a sizable margin", and the economic outlook has deteriorated dramatically since then. Sri Lanka's central bank sought to allay fears of a default in a statement last week, calling speculation "baseless" and vowing the country will "honor all its debt service obligations in the period ahead". External debt payments between now and December amount to $3.2 billion. Other costs could bring that up to $6.5 billion in the next 12 months, Morgan Stanley estimates, and with FX reserves of just $7.2 billion, it has described the situation as a ‘tightrope walk’. The crunch point looks likely to be a $1 billion international sovereign bond payment due in October. "The market is pricing in the risk of a credit event there," said Aberdeen Standard Investments' Kevin Daly, pointing to the recent drop in some of country's bonds to under 50 cents on the dollar and rise in borrowing costs to over 20%.  "If they were to seek an IMF funding program that would at least address some concerns, but let's not forget the last fiscal measures sent the wrong signal." One view, dismissed by the central bank, is that delayed parliamentary elections may have hampered decisive policymaking, including how to navigate the economic hit from the pandemic.  Ratings firm S&P Global estimates that only recently-defaulted Lebanon spends a larger proportion of revenue on bond interest payments. Add to that the hammerblow from the virus. Tourism, which accounts for nearly 12% of the country's economy and 11% of jobs according to World Bank, has been floored again just a year after the Easter Sunday suicide bombing attacks. (Graphic: Collapse in tourism in March (YoY % change) - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/editorcharts/xegpbkbzevq/eikon.png) IMF OR BUST? Sri Lanka's sizable textiles industry has been shredded too as global retailers shut up shop during lockdowns. Morgan Stanley forecasts the fiscal deficit will reach 9.4% of GDP this year, while a primary balance deficit of 3% of GDP would be more than 4 percentage points off stabilizing debt levels. "The room to kick the can down the road is not really there any more," said Mark Evans, an analyst at Ninety One, formerly Investec Asset Management. Sri Lanka "probably has the capacity to service its debt obligations this year," he added. "But much beyond that it becomes more questionable without a credible (fiscal consolidation) plan that could unlock IMF and other multilateral support." Other bilateral support could potentially come from China, especially as Beijing was a backer of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's elder brother Mahinda, who ruled the island from 2005 to 2015 and is now its Prime Minister. With one of the deepest ports in the world, Sri Lanka has also long been a target of Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road scheme, while regional power India has been vying for deals to counter China’s influence. China's foreign ministry didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the possibility of help. Sri Lanka's central bank said last week it was engaging with "all investment and development partners".  It is working on currency swap and credit lines with both India's central bank and the People's Bank of China and Beijing, and also seeking assistance from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and other multilaterals.  Aberdeen's Daly said any signals of debt help from China could trigger a relief rally in bond prices but IMF support was still likely to be needed and that would come with stringent conditions. "They would have to do an about face to get an IMF program, but that is probably one of only things they can to address the concerns about debt sustainability." (Graphic: Sri Lanka's bonds have tumbled since coronavirus took hold - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/editorcharts/yxmvjkkgxpr/eikon.png) (Additional reporting by Swati Shetye in Mumbai and David Lawder in Washington, additional graphic by Tom Arnold in London; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
    • பிழையான பதில்.  சிறி லிங்காவை வைத்து செக்கிழுக்க போகிறார்கள். Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy is Non-aligned, Both India and China are Valued Friends: PM Mahinda Rajapaksa In an exclusive interview, the Sri Lankan PM asserted that Tamil people want prosperity and peace, not a separate homeland, and asked Tamil politicians to realise that a separate state is just not feasible. D P Satish Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa gave an exclusive interview to CNN-News18 as he completed 50 years in active politics on Wednesday.  Elected to Sri Lankan Parliament as the youngest MP at 24 in 1970, Rajapaksa has been the President of Sri Lanka twice and the Prime Minister on three occasions. He was also a leading, young voice of the opposition during JR Jeyawardene and Ranasinghe Premadasa’s tenure from 1977 to 1993.    Credited with ending the 30-year-long brutal Tamil Eelam war (LTTE) for a separate homeland in 2009 and speeding up economic development of the island nation during his previous tenure, Rajapaksa is now serving his third term as the Prime Minister along with his younger brother Gotabaya as the President.    In this freewheeling chat, Rajapaksa maintained that Sri Lanka wants to maintain good relations with both India and China as the two countries find themselves involved in another border standoff.  Asserting that Tamil people want prosperity and peace, not a separate homeland, he asked the Tamil politicians to realise that a separate state is just not feasible, and also declared that he would never allow terrorism, be it Tamil or Islamic.    Here’s the full text of the conversation:    Q. You have completed 50 years in active politics, in public life. You are the most senior leader in the SAARC, who is still leading a nation. How do you look back at all these years in public life? Ans. It has certainly been a very eventful 50 years. During this entire period, we have had peace only in intervals. Less than a year after I was elected to Parliament in May 1970, Sri Lanka was ravaged by the first insurgency of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. When I became President in November 2005, the biggest challenge that I faced was the separatist terrorism of the LTTE. We have faced challenges and we have been able to overcome them together. Looking back, I am grateful that I was able to fulfil 50 years in politics, in service to my people. Q. As the President between 2005 and 2015, you destroyed LTTE and restored peace. Do you think it was the toughest job you handled in the 50 years? Ans. That would have been a difficult task for any leader. I was blessed to inherit an experienced and gifted team in the leadership of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Police, along with the best Intelligence service a President could ask for. Management of the forces was paramount, and I knew of only one man I could trust that service to, my younger brother. In fact, Gotabaya as defense secretary was the first appointment I made as President in 2005.  For all of us who were involved in the war, it will no doubt remain one of our greatest achievements and it was my privilege to give them that political leadership and protection to execute that victory. After all, the LTTE as a terrorist organisation had been given the highest rankings in the world by the FBI.  Q. You were out of power for five years between 2015 and 2019. Please tell us about those years. Ans. When the election results were announced, I wasted no time in putting my affairs in order and leaving straight to our family home in Weeraketiya to enjoy my retirement. The people, however, made a statement asking me to return and lead them once more. As I looked around and saw how the supposed political leadership of Sri Lanka was crumbling with the harassment of intelligence officers and the persecution of public servants under my tenure, I realised my job was not done yet. The job of grooming the next generation of leaders was in my hands as a father of this nation. I asked the then-present government to be accountable for their actions and leading by example, hopefully set a precedent for future MP’s to lead in integrity and honesty. Q. You have seen SAARC from its inception in 1985. Do you think it is still relevant? Ans. Regional cooperation is all important. It is an absolute necessity. It’s what enables us to remain strong. The SAARC may not be functioning as it should due to issues between member states. Problems exist, but we have to keep lines of communication open and cooperation has to take place between regional players.  Q. Sri Lanka has emerged as a top global tourist destination under your regime. Coronavirus seems to have hit tourism hard. What is the way out? Ans. Although the tourism industry has been affected worldwide, we have had it slightly worse with the Easter tragedy from last year still having an effect on the industry. In the short term, we are looking at ensuring that the livelihoods of those engaged in the industry, are preserved until it is able to resume normalcy. There are suggestions that local tourism could keep the hotel industry going in the short term and that is being looked into.  Q. Currently your younger brother Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the President. You are the Prime Minister. There are conflicting reports about how you are going to define this arrangement in future. Are you for return to Parliamentary democracy and a ceremonial President? Ans. Any Constitutional change will have to be discussed after the new Parliament meets. I think everybody universally accepts that we cannot continue with the 19th Amendment and the present Constitution as it is. Q. What has gone right and wrong with India in the last 50 years and how do you see the India–Lanka relationship? Ans. There have been ups and downs in the bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka. Whenever the relationship deteriorated as in the 1980s and in 2014, both countries have suffered. Between 1948 and 1980, India-Lanka relations were on a good footing. I think we have now once again gone back to that previous era when there was a strong relationship between our nations. This should be continued under all governments on both sides.   Mahinda Rajapaksa in his young days. He was elected to Sri Lankan Parliament as the youngest MP at 24 in 1970. Q. When you look back at your political career, who all do you remember…those who mentored you and those who challenged you? Ans. From the beginning, it was my mother who encouraged me to get into politics. I am forever grateful for her urging that has shaped my life.  Then it was Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike who provided me with the opportunity to serve my country by giving me nominations to contest the 1970 General Election. These were the defining leaders in my life who molded me into the person I am today. Q. Do you think that Tamil issue is settled? Ans. Before I go into this answer, it is important to note that the issues the Tamil people have in Sri Lanka are very different to the issues that the Tamil politicians have. It has been my joy to serve the people and avail them of opportunities and luxuries denied to them previously with projects and development to help with the reconciliation process.  Ans. However, with the politicians, the road has been long and hard. Tamil politics in this country has for too long been dominated by the idea of carving out a separate Tamil state in in the north and east of Sri Lanka or at the very least obtaining devolution of power to an extent bordering on a separate state. This is not a practical proposition. Most Tamils live outside the North and East. In the East, the Tamils are a minority. The majority of the population of the Colombo city are Tamils and Muslims.  The population of Sri Lanka is mixed so beautifully that a separate Tamil state is just not feasible. The Tamil politicians should take note of these ground realities and adjust accordingly. Q. Islamist terrorism is raising its ugly head in Sri Lanka. Even the ISIS has entered the stage. How do you deal with it? Ans. It is certainly a very serious issue. The previous government was not able to control it as was evident last year. If they had continued in power, India and neighbouring countries off the Bay of Bengal would have been at risk. The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka was the biggest attack by ISIS on a civilian target anywhere in Asia and probably the world. All the suicide bombers were educated and wealthy Sri Lankans. The government at the time had all the information necessary to stop the events that took place.  However, as it stands right now we have it under control, as we have once again strengthened our intelligence network. We also understand the importance of working together with the intelligence network worldwide by sharing information and cooperating with our foreign intelligence counterparts. Radical extremism is something that I will not allow and will address it at every turn. Q. Coming to Sri Lanka’s ties with China, do you think you will have to change the arrangement in the post coronavirus-world? Ans. Sri Lanka follows a non-aligned foreign policy with all nations. Both India and China are valued friends. Shri Jawaharlal Nehru and Premier Zhou Enlai of China formulated the Pancha Shila doctrine of respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and peaceful co-existence. Those are the principles we, too, have adopted and will continue to foster in the coming years. Q. What are the best and the worst moments of your life in the last 50 years? Something you always cherish and something you want to forget.  Ans. My best moment, easily, was when we ended a 30-year-war that was deemed terminal and unending. Never again would we as a nation lose another one of our children to terrorism. Never again would blood be senselessly spilled under war. Instead, an era of peace, harmony and growth to hope and look forward to. What more can I ask for? My worst and most painful experience which I would strive to forget, is the manner in which myself and all those associated with me were treated between 2015 and 2019. I don’t believe any political leader and democratic opposition had to face such vicious and systematic persecution and vilification in post-independence history. MPs, government officials and even members of the business community who stood by me were hauled in for questioning by the then government and some imprisoned on flimsy excuses. Even my son Yoshita, who is in the navy as an officer and had nothing to do with politics, was among those imprisoned in that manner. MPs who supported me were deprived of their party positions for standing by me. Gotabaya was also specifically targeted and harassed. It was painful and sad because when I was in power from 2005 to 2015, I never persecuted or harassed the democratic opposition. We did not waste our time doing that. We were busy winning a war, developing the country, making Sri Lanka self-sustainable, strengthening the agricultural sector, constructing roads and laying a platform for a powerful future.   
    • The 'narco-state' trying to kick its drug habit Getty Images Concern is mounting that Guinea-Bissau's efforts to stem the flow of drugs to Europe and the US have suffered a setback after a military-backed president took office, writes journalist Ricci Shyrock.  Court documents show that the loot seized in Guinea-Bissau's largest ever drug bust last September included more than 20 vehicles, among them a "cinnamon coloured" Mercedes Benz, $3m (£2.5m) stashed in bank accounts, $90,000 worth of wine and porridge found in a warehouse, and, of course, 1.8 tonnes of cocaine hidden in sacks of rice.  Dubbed Operation Navara, the seizure culminated in 12 men - of Bissau-Guinean, Colombian, Mexican and Portuguese nationalities - being sentenced to between four and 16 years in prison last month.  Getty Images Guinea-Bissau's islands make handy smuggling points Although the two ringleaders were sentenced in absentia after they managed to evade arrest, the case was hailed as a legal success for the West African state in its efforts to shed its reputation as a major transit hub for cocaine flown or shipped from Latin America to Europe and North America.  "For us, this is the result of over eight years of investment, so we look forward to making sure that the future of Guinea-Bissau might be much safer from the infiltration of drug traffickers and transnational criminal networks," said Antonio Mazzatelli, the regional head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  The US, along with the UN, labelled the former Portuguese colony along the Atlantic Ocean a "narco-state" more than 10 years ago, the first time that such a label had been given to an African state.  "I'm sceptical of that definition in the case of Guinea-Bissau," said Mark Shaw, co-author of a new report entitled Breaking the vicious cycle: cocaine politics in Guinea-Bissau.  "There are networks which certainly protect drug trafficking, but they are also quite courageous elements within the judicial police and within the political system who have stood up to drug trafficking," he added in an interview. 'Cocaine coup parallels' But his report, published by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, warns that the cocaine trade could increase after Umaro Cissoko Embaló became president in February following disputed elections in December. AFP West Africa's regional body has now recognised Umaro Sissoco Embaló as Guinea-Bissau's president Although there is no suggestion that Mr Embaló a former prime minister and ex-army general , is part of the drug trafficking network, there is concern about the fact that he appears to have the backing of key military figures.  This includes former chief of staff General Antonio Indjai, who seized power in a coup in 2012 partly to "achieve control of the rapidly growing lucrative cocaine trade", the report said. Gen Indjai has previously denied any wrongdoing or involvement in trafficking. Yet the report notes: "The parallels between the 'cocaine coup' of 2012 and the seizure of power in early 2020, one that also had clear military backing, have been pointed to by several local observers." Convicted drug kingpin freed The military has been influential in Guinea-Bissau since independence from Portugal in 1974. It has staged at least nine coups, leaving the West African state with weak state institutions. Some say this has made the country a fertile ground for drug barons. AFP Five things about Guinea-Bissau Source: UN, World Bank, WHO "Traffickers use as their first instrument, corruption," said Mr Mazzitelli. "These criminal markets, they generate large benefits for a few, but the price of it is paid by the rest of the population," he added. Former navy chief Bubo Na Tchuto is one of the the most high-profile officials to have been convicted of drug trafficking. Involved in several failed coup attempts, he was designated a "drug kingpin" by the US and was arrested by its troops in a sting operation off the West African coast in 2013. AFP Ex-army chief General Antonio Indjai (L) took power in the "cocaine coup" of 2012 Na Tchuto pleaded guilty the following year to conspiring to import drugs to the US, but was sentenced to only four years in prison because of "good behaviour" and for co-operating with investigators. He is back in Guinea-Bissau, but is now keeping a low public profile. Mr Shaw's report said Gen Indjai was the main target of the 2013 operation. However the "canny old general" suspected something fishy and sent Na Tchuto out to sea to meet the drug dealers who turned out to be US agents. More on Guinea-Bissau: The political instability has led to vital reforms being put on hold, including upgrading Guinea-Bissau's only two prisons. The 10 convicted men are currently being held in a poorly guarded detention centre in the capital, Bissau. "Even the guards, they don't have the tools to stop someone from leaving the prison," said former Justice Minister Ruth Monteiro. @UNODC_WCAfrica Cocaine was seized near the capital last September The trial of the men took place in the capital, Bissau, by default. It was meant to take place in the central town of Bissorã, where they were arrested, but there was no prison vehicle to take them there from the detention centre. They have all appealed against their conviction, but the Appeal Court, which is supposed to hear the case, has never been set up in the 45 years since independence.  So the appeal will now go to the Supreme Court, which has a history of not hearing drug cases. Cocaine hidden with fish 'for al-Qaeda' All this has raised fears that the case will quietly disappear, and the men will walk free. "We are right now a paradise for drug traffickers," said Ms Monteiro, who was the justice minister when the 10 were arrested last September. She said it was vital to fight the drug barons as some of their activities also fund militant Islamist activity in the region. Ricci Shryock The military wields enormous influence in Guinea-Bissau The seizure in March 2019 of nearly 800kg of drugs hidden in the false bottom of a Senegalese-registered truck loaded with frozen fish in Safim town, some 15km (nine miles) from the capital, was a case in point. "After our investigations, we were convinced the drugs were on the way to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb," Ms Monteiro said. Drug money 'funds election campaigns' Experts say that drug traffickers are well-entrenched in the region, and refer to the fact that one of the ringleaders on the run - Braima Seidi Ba, who is a national of both Guinea-Bissau and Portugal - has been hopping between The Gambia, Guinea and Mali to evade capture. The other ringleader - Ricardo Ariza Monje, who is a national of both Mexico and Colombo - is believed to have returned to Latin America. The March consignment was widely believed to be linked to raising money for electioneering in the run-up to parliamentary elections in Guinea-Bissau scheduled for later that month, Mr Shaw's report said. "It was said that the drugs were to have been driven over the Senegalese border, then on to Mali, Mauritania and northward up the coast, before being loaded onto boats bound for the European markets," the report added. You may also be interested in: Colombian cocaine farmers' message to UK user: You can quit Guinea-Bissau's judicial police force, regarded as the country's most-effective law-enforcement agency, has been leading the fight against drug cartels, with the help of investigators from the UN, the UK and Portugal. Newly installed President Embaló replaced the agency chief, but after concern was raised about his initial nominee he gave the post to a respected former deputy attorney general, Teresa Alexandrina da Silva. Mr Shaw said drugs were a "pernicious injection" into Guinea-Bissau's politics, and it was vital to put an end to trafficking. "Drugs damage the politics, development, democracy," he said. "And unless the issues are resolved, it will continue to drive conflict in the small country. Ordinary Bissau-Guineans deserve much better."