Heal Lanka deemed too controversial

The track ‘Heal Lanka’ by singer/songwriter Ras Ceylon has been deemed too controversial by some local radio stations, a statement released today said.The statement by Ras Ceylon says the song was recently re-mastered and has been getting regular radio play on several prominent stations in Sri Lanka. But on March 7th 2013, he received a notice from one radio station stating that “due to the current political climate in Sri Lanka” they are taking his track off rotation “until the situation gets better.” “It appears that the radio station might be under the pressure of a person or entity, who has decided that their agenda is more important that what the people want,” the statement said.In addition to this Ras Ceylon says there have been intended acts of intimidation used against his Sri Lanka based Film Team that shot and are in the process of editing the music video for the song. This is at a time when “Heal Lanka” was moving up on several request-line based countdown shows and despite the public requesting the song. “The day before I was given notice of the song being banned from radio, an incident occurred involving the harassment of the Film Team by an unknown group of hostile men. All of this gives us reason to believe that an unidentified person or group with no connection to any legal authoritiesare responsible for the threats towards “Heal Lanka” and our team,” he said.“What I have to say as a Sinhalese-American Rapper is when will the situation get better? Also I would like to ask the question, what is so controversial about HEALING? The lyrics to “Heal Lanka” speak for themselves and I do not regret any statements, message or ideas that one gets from the song because it was made with the intentions of opening up a dialogue for a better Sri Lanka for all her children. By birth I belong to the majority ethnic group “Sinhalese” of Sri Lanka and I refuse to condone or be silent to any forms of bigotry, intolerance or repression of a people based strictly off their ethnicity, religion, class or caste. Also after living and working in Sri Lanka for the better part of 2012, I know first hand that the people of Sri Lanka share a unity of spirit that exists in every distinct community within our beautiful island,” he said.Ras Ceylon says ‘Heal Lanka’ was written in 2010 and he wrote it in response to him being falsely associated with a “Boycott Sri Lanka” campaign out of Canada. “The song was made to clarify my position and give a mission statement for post-war Sri Lanka, that it is time to Heal. It’s disappointing that just a few years into this time of reconciliation which is going on in the country, certain reactionary entities are trying to create a fake new enemy at home to make their own hidden agendas fruitful. I have nothing but love for Sri Lanka and all Sri Lankans so I will continue to push for open, honest dialogue amongst all of our people. Now is the time more than ever that we need to Heal Lanka. Despite the threats my team and I are determined to complete the video and make sure it gets airplay around the world. Thank you to all who have shown support for “Heal Lanka” thus far, we will continue to push for lasting peace,” he said. (Colombo Gazette) read more

UN envoy delivers revised Cyprus document to two sides

“With these letters he conveyed a revision of his proposed Basis for Agreement on a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem, which had been conveyed to the two sides on November 11,” a UN spokesman said in a statement released in Nicosia.The document was revised following intensive consultations with the two sides participating in the negotiation, according to the statement. “These consultations were stepped up in the past few days following receipt last week of the two sides’ comments, suggestions and requests, with Mr. de Soto and his colleagues shuttling between the two leaders and their colleagues with a view to improving the text.”In his letter, the Secretary-General asks the two leaders to give the revision the most urgent consideration with a view to reaching a decisive conclusion this week, so that a reunited Cyprus may accede to the European Union. The Secretary-General has asked the two sides to be available in Copenhagen later this week should that prove necessary.”Cyprus has a rendezvous with history,” the Secretary-General said in his letter. “It should not be missed.” read more