Rajapaksa Family Politics And Gotabhaya’s Presidential Candidacy.

By
D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s interview to the influential Indian English daily “The Hindu” has caused quite a splash among political circles in Sri Lanka. The ex- president was interviewed by Suhasini Haidar and Amit Baruah for the newspaper which has acquired a reputation over the years of being the most authoritative voice on Sri Lanka related issues in the Indian media. Incidently Suhasini Haidar is the daughter of maverick Indian politician Dr. Subramanian Swamy who displays consistent interest in the affairs of the Island nation. She is the diplomatic affairs and deputy resident editor of “The Hindu” in New Delhi. Suhasini whose forte is international relations has frequently complemented the efforts of Meera Srinivasan the current Colombo Correspondent of “The Hindu” in reporting on Sri Lanka. Amit Baruah too is an old Sri Lanka hand having worked as the newspaper’s Colombo correspondent earlier.

‘Janabalaya’-September 2018

He is now the resident editor of “The Hindu “ in New Delhi. It could be seen therefore that the Mahinda Rajapaksa interview was conducted by high -powered journalists who were well-informed about Sri Lanka.

Just as the sting of a scorpion is in its tail, the explosive impact of the interview was at the tail – end. Though the detailed interview possessed many interesting dimensions, what stirred the Sri Lankan political imagination were the two questions and answers at the end of the interview pertaining to the forthcoming presidential elections and the choices before Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Q &A were as follows –
Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Family Politics And Gotabhaya’s Presidential Candidacy.’ »

Ex-Cabinet Minister Re-iterates That Several LTTE Members Including Ex-Eastern Commander Ramesh Were Executed By Army After They Surrendered To Advancing Troops in 2009.


By Shamindra Ferdinando

Rebel UPFA MP S.B. Dissanayake has reiterated that the army executed some LTTE personnel including one-time LTTE Eastern Commander Thambiraja Thurairajasingham aka Ramesh after they surrendered to the advancing troops.

The declaration was made in response to a media query at the residence of former Deputy Speaker and National List MP Tilanga Sumathipala last week. Although, MP Dilan Perera tried to intervene on several occasions, Dissanayake, a Cabinet member of the previous Rajapaksa administration said that the media, too, were aware of some of those executed after they had surrendered though they remained silent. “Both you and we don’t talk about those who had been executed,” the National List MP said.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Cabinet Minister Re-iterates That Several LTTE Members Including Ex-Eastern Commander Ramesh Were Executed By Army After They Surrendered To Advancing Troops in 2009.’ »

Mahinda Loyalist Opposition Ready To Work With India Despite New Delhi Backing Rajapaksa Regime Change In Sri Lanka In Jan 2015

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday declared that it was ready to work with India in spite of misconceptions that may have led to New Delhi’s backing for the change of the Rajapaksa government in January 2015.

Former External Affairs Minister and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman Prof. G. L. Peiris explained that though there could have been faults on both parties, they had now realized the importance of a new relationship. Prof. Peiris was flanked by UPFA Kalutara District MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena and former Gampaha District JVP MP Siripala Amarasinghe.

Prof. Peiris said so in response to The Island query at media conference called by the SLPP at the Nelum Mawatha Office of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Loyalist Opposition Ready To Work With India Despite New Delhi Backing Rajapaksa Regime Change In Sri Lanka In Jan 2015’ »

Trying To Turn India Into a Land For The Hindus Alone Goes Against Our Idea Of India as a Nation.

By

Nirupama Rao

(The author is a former Foreign Secretary of India who served as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka also)

I am a Hindu by birth and by enduring faith. The house that I was born into that my grandfather built, had no special puja room — but the plaster of Paris statue of a flute playing Krishna, the Ravi Varma oleographs of a Lakshmi rising from a lotus with elephants trumpeting their joy at her presence, the veena-playing Saraswati, and our special deity Lord Guruvayurappan, with beautiful Kartikeya and his “vel”(spear) and his vehicle, the peacock made up the pantheon of our isthtadevatas.

On my trips to my “native place” as we say in Indian English, I remember how every evening, the vilakku (bronze lamp) was lit with cotton wicks we lovingly made, dipped in gingelly oil, and brought out to the verandah of the tharawad (Hindu matrilineal family) house, with the heralding word: “Deepam” (lamp) repeated two or three times, quietly, with deep reverence. We would greet the sight of this burnished lamp and its brave, bright flame in a prayerful namaskar with bowed heads in a moment of blessed quietude, as imaginary and heavenly angels murmured in the dusk of a tropical Kerala garden around us.

Wherever we lived as children travelling the length and breadth of India with my army officer father, my homemaker mother would gather us three sisters together at dusk to say our prayers after she had lit the little vilakku that graced a small corner of the bedroom, auspiciously positioned.

We sat down cross-legged on the bare floor, put our hands together in prayer, and recited our Om Namashivaya, and sang a few bhajans including Gandhiji’s favourite “Raghupati Raghava”. We must have sung with youthful fervour and reasonable harmony because in one of the towns we lived in, the neighbouring Malayalee Catholic family with whom we shared a wall, the Pereiras, would listen tell my mother how much they loved our “evensong”. Them being Christian, and our being Hindu did not matter in those simple days.

Continue reading ‘Trying To Turn India Into a Land For The Hindus Alone Goes Against Our Idea Of India as a Nation.’ »

Tony Ranasinghe Was Not The Conventional Sinhala Hero But a New Kind of Modern Hero.

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Ranasinghe Hettiarachchilage Ignatius Anthony de Silva, known to the world at large by his stage cum screen name Tony Ranasinghe, was one of Sri Lankan cinema’s handsomest and most lovable actors. He excelled in playing both lead and character roles.

This column focused last week on Tony Ranasinge’s dynamic duality as a lead and character actor and also briefly outlined the preliminary steps of his passionate quest in pursuit of the goal of becoming an actor. In this week’s article ‘Spotlight’ intends beaming more light on Tony Ranasinghe’s cinematic journey as an artistically-acclaimed popular actor.
Continue reading ‘Tony Ranasinghe Was Not The Conventional Sinhala Hero But a New Kind of Modern Hero.’ »

” So Press On Mr. Sumanthiran! Your Road Is The Road To Peace And Justice” – Ratnejeevan Hoole

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Today, 15 September, 2018, saw one of the few really intellectual activities in Jaffna at Veerasingham Hall: the first C.W. Thamotharampillai Memorial Lecture. CWT was a legendary Tamil literatist of the nineteenth century credited with discovering some of the oldest extant Tamil literature like the Tolkapiyam and other lost Tamil Sangam works. The hall was packed to capacity.

A product of Jaffna’s Batticotta Seminary, CWT was ranked first between the first two graduates of Madras University. He was a judge and Regent of the Kingdom of Puthukkottai, and guardian to Ponnambalam and Coomaraswamy Ramanathan when they studied at Presidency College. Indeed, CWT was one of Jaffna’s finest products in the intellectual sphere.

After Jaffna University History Professor Paramu Pushparatnam’s introduction to who Thamotharampillai was, there was a sort of mock interview of M.A. Sumanthiran, MP, by Provincial Councilor Kesavan Sayanthan. Sayanthan, an upcoming lawyer, asked questions based on common criticism of Sumanthiran and it seemed a healthy way of addressing such criticism.

For example, a question was “Is it true that you will leave the ITAK and join the UNP for the next elections as a nominated member?” Answer: No. Question, “How come you have not even rented a house in Jaffna and are so Colombo Centered?” Answer: “Why would I rent a house in Jaffna when I own one here.” Question: “Why do you say that federalism is not required? Why are you taking the party against what the people wanted and voted for?” Denying this was the cue for Sumanthiran’s lecture on “The Extent of Federalism Today.”

Continue reading ‘” So Press On Mr. Sumanthiran! Your Road Is The Road To Peace And Justice” – Ratnejeevan Hoole’ »

The House of a Thousand Memories Talks To Me…………Random Thoughts of a Childhood Long Gone.

By

Sunil Tantirige

A house talks…………Memories of a childhood long gone.

I have just returned to Toronto from a short trip to Sri Lanka. I have been going back to the old country every year to visit my ailing mom but this trip was different. Let me explain.

I grew up in Mount Lavinia, in a pretty normal middle class neighborhood. People who lived there were mostly professionals who served the Government of Sri Lanka in the 1960s and 70s. They were civil service officers, educators, postal service professionals, doctors, engineers and retired army officers. It was a multi-religious, multi-ethnic neighborhood, Singhalese living next door to Tamils, Burgers and Muslims. Buddhists sharing the area with Christians, Hindus and people of Islamic faith. Not a lot of mixing of these groups but aware of each other’s cultural activities and traditions. Everyone respecting other’s right to a normal life with friendships that cross racial and religious boundaries. This was before the 30 years of collective madness that tore the societies apart. I lived the story that Shyam Selvadurai wrote about in his book Funny Boy. We the kids all went to the same collection schools in Colombo, boys crazy about school cricket and girls crazy about Elvis Presley and later, of course the Beatles.
Continue reading ‘The House of a Thousand Memories Talks To Me…………Random Thoughts of a Childhood Long Gone.’ »

Lankan Envoy to Austria Priyanee Wijesekera and Five Embassy Staff on Extension Recalled to Colombo Immediately After President Sirisena’s Long – Distance Calls to Vienna Were Not Answered.

President Maithripala Sirisena has given marching orders to his ambassador to Austria and five other embassy staff for failing to answer his long-distance telephone calls, officials said Saturday.

Ambassador Priyanee Wijesekera was recalled after she failed to answer his calls last week and no responsible officer was there to respond to the President, an official source said.

Wijesekera was a former Secretary General of Parliament who was appointed ambassador post-retirement.

Continue reading ‘Lankan Envoy to Austria Priyanee Wijesekera and Five Embassy Staff on Extension Recalled to Colombo Immediately After President Sirisena’s Long – Distance Calls to Vienna Were Not Answered.’ »

Rajapaksa Govt Ex-ministers S.B.Dissanayake and Dilan Perera Admit That Some LTTE Members and Tamil Civilians Who Surrendered to the Armed Forces Were Killed.

Two former ministers who served during the Rajapaksa regime have admitted that LTTE members including Tamils who had surrendered to the Army had been killed.

This allegation has been levelled against the Sri Lankan security forces for almost ten years by the war affected Tamil including the Diaspora and the international Human Rights Organisations, and the charge was accepted by two former ministers who are working hard towards the unification of the Maithripala and Mahinda factions.

Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Govt Ex-ministers S.B.Dissanayake and Dilan Perera Admit That Some LTTE Members and Tamil Civilians Who Surrendered to the Armed Forces Were Killed.’ »

Ravi Karunanayake May Face Legal Action For Allegedly Lying Five Times Under Oath Before Presidential Commission of Inquiry But Ex-Minister Alleges “Travesty of Justice”.

By
Anurangi Singh

Officials of the Financial Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) dropped another bombshell last week, when they filed a B report in the Colombo Magistrate’s Court, in a first step to filing legal action against former Minister Ravi Karunanayake, for allegedly making false statements under oath before the Presidential Commission investigating the 2015 Treasury Bond issue that completed investigations late last year.

Filing the B report before Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dassanayake, CID officials requested court to issue several orders to facilitate further investigations.

After considering facts presented to him by Senior State Counsel Lakmini Girihagama with State Counsel Nadee Suwandurugoda, the Chief Magistrate issued a series of orders directing telecom providers to issue call records, SMS records and their contents, the time of these calls and messages all pertaining to several suspects including UNP Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake.

The Chief Magistrate ordered that the information obtained would be kept under safe custody of the court until necessary.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake May Face Legal Action For Allegedly Lying Five Times Under Oath Before Presidential Commission of Inquiry But Ex-Minister Alleges “Travesty of Justice”.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena,Ravindra Wijegunaratne and the Alleged Abduction For Ransom Racket By Navy Personnel.

By

The “Sunday Observer” Political Editor

At 3.30 am on September 10, Admiral Ravindra Wijeguneratne, the country’s highest ranking military official, boarded a Qatar Airways flight bound for Singapore. The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was travelling overseas to attend the 208th National Day celebrations in Mexico, according to his Office. The trouble was, September 10 was also the day Admiral Wijeguneratne was due to report to the CID to record an official statement regarding the allegation that the top military officer had harboured a suspect – a Navy man who was wanted in connection with the abduction and suspected murder of 11 Tamil youth, including five students.

Later that day, a letter was dispatched to the Fourth Floor – the famous CID headquarters. It was delivered by an official from the CDS’ office. The letter officially notified the CID that the Admiral had been called away on an official visit overseas, and would not be able to appear at the CID offices as scheduled last Monday (10). Instead, the letter requested CID officials to provide a fresh date after September 19, when he was scheduled to return to the island.

Late last week, the impending questioning and arrest of Admiral Wijeguneratne had taken on new political dimensions.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena,Ravindra Wijegunaratne and the Alleged Abduction For Ransom Racket By Navy Personnel.’ »

Case Filed Against Ex- Cabinet Minister Ravi Karunanayake by CID Under Sections 188 and 190 of Penal Code for Giving False Evidence Under Oath To the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Probing Treasury Bond Scam.

By Manopriya Gunasekara

The Criminal Investigations Division (CID) yesterday filed a case against former Finance Minister MP Ravi Karunanayake at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court for giving false evidence to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Central Bank bond scam.

The CID giving statements before Court said that MP Karunanayake had intentionally given false evidence while under oath, which was punishable under Sections 188 and 190 of the Penal Code.

The Colombo Magistrate ordered the CID to obtain statements from six individuals connected with the case including MP Karunanayake, Mela Karunanayake (wife), Onela Karunanayake (daughter), Global Transportation and Logistics Chief Accountant B.J.R. Sinnaiyya, Perpetual Treasuries Chief Arjun Aloysius and Bond Commission Secretary Attorney-at-Law Sumathipala Udugamsuriya.

Continue reading ‘Case Filed Against Ex- Cabinet Minister Ravi Karunanayake by CID Under Sections 188 and 190 of Penal Code for Giving False Evidence Under Oath To the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Probing Treasury Bond Scam.’ »

Cabinet Ministers Refuse to Go Along With President Sirisena’s Effort to Prevent Arrest of Chief of Defence Staff Ravi Wijegunaratne For Allegedly Helping Naval Officer Implicated in Abduction and Murdedr Racket to Evade Arrest.

President Maithripala Sirisena summoned an emergency cabinet meeting to defend the country’s senior-most military officer who is facing imminent arrest for allegedly shielding a mass murder suspect, but failed to secure agreement.

The noon meeting of the cabinet ended after heated exchanges, sources close to the administration said adding that the President failed in get support and the issue was put off until the return to the island of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Cabinet ministers had been told to maintain silence over the issue until the return of Wickremesinghe who is visiting Vietnam.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Ministers Refuse to Go Along With President Sirisena’s Effort to Prevent Arrest of Chief of Defence Staff Ravi Wijegunaratne For Allegedly Helping Naval Officer Implicated in Abduction and Murdedr Racket to Evade Arrest.’ »

TNA Spokesperson MA Sumanthiran Charges President Sirisena of Interference With the Judicial Process in Letting CDS Wijegunaratne Leave the Country and Says Party will Seek International Scrutiny Over the Issue.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Continuing controversy over Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Ravi Wijegunaratne, wanted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection with allegedly aiding and abetting Lt. Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi, a suspect in two major wartime cases, leaving for Mexico on Sept. 10 has taken a dramatic turn with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) demanding that the entire range of accountability issues here should be subjected to international judicial process.

Jaffna District MP and TNA spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran, PC, yesterday morning told The Island that President Maithripala Sirisena’s direct intervention in the matter left the TNA with no alternative but to call for international help. Sumanthiran emphasised that interference by ‘highest authorities in the country’ meant that the victims couldn’t expect justice through domestic judicial process.

The TNA has gone on the offensive ahead of President Sirisena’s address to the UNGA on Sept 25. Comprehensive international participation in local judicial process is allowed in accordance with Geneva Resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in Oct 2015. In March 2017, Sri Lanka, while reiterating its commitment to the Oct 2015 Resolution, assured Geneva it would be fulfilled by March 2019.

Continue reading ‘TNA Spokesperson MA Sumanthiran Charges President Sirisena of Interference With the Judicial Process in Letting CDS Wijegunaratne Leave the Country and Says Party will Seek International Scrutiny Over the Issue.’ »

Celebrated Composer – Pianist Dr.Tanya Ekanayaka’s Second Solo Album “Twelve Piano Prisms” To Be Released Worldwide by Naxos Records on Sep 14th

Internationally acclaimed award -winning Sri Lankan Dr.Tanya Ekanayaka’s second solo album will be released worldwide by Naxos Records on September 14th 2018. The album titled “Twelve Piano Prisms” comprises 12 new works for solo piano which evolved in 2016 and 2017.Dr.Tanya Ekanayaka herself performs the works/prisms in the album recorded by Roderick Buchanan-Dunlop and produced by Tanya for Naxos.

Regarded as one of Sri Lanka’s finest artistes, Dr.Tanya Ekanayaka is classically trained with a background in Asian and Popular music. The British concert composer- pianist is also a linguist, musicologist and record producer. Although she trained as a pianist, her compositional skills are the result of a purely intuitive and natural development.

Continue reading ‘Celebrated Composer – Pianist Dr.Tanya Ekanayaka’s Second Solo Album “Twelve Piano Prisms” To Be Released Worldwide by Naxos Records on Sep 14th’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Says He Could Contest Presidential Elections Despite 19th Amendment and Then Fight it out in Courts But Has Not Decided Whether to Take That Risk in Interview with “The Hindu”.

By
Suhasini Haidar and Amit Baruah

Former Sri Lankan President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa is in Delhi to deliver a public lecture on Wednesday on “India-Sri Lanka relations: the way ahead”. Speaking to The Hindu, the former President, who says he is “100%” confident his party will come to power in 2019, proposed a new mechanism for India and Sri Lanka to resolve all issues, especially economic issues. The mechanism would mirror the “Troika” formed in 2008-2009 of three Indian officials — National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh — and three Sri Lankan officials — Advisor Basil Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa and Permanent Secretary Lalith Weeratunga — to coordinate India-Sri Lanka ties during the war against the LTTE. in 2008-2009.

Mr. Rajapaksa also denied the charge that he set off incurred Sri Lanka’s debt trap by bringing Chinese companies into the Hambantota port project, saying that the situation had only been “messed up” by the present government.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q;
You have had a rocky relationship with India. Is your visit here a sign of reconciliation with the Modi government after 2015?

A;

Yes. Just before and after the elections [(in 2015], we had a lot of misunderstandings. Now of course, I think it is about time to move on.

Q:

In March 2015, in an interview to The Hindu, you had accused R&AW, the intelligence agency, of helping bring the opposition together, which led to your defeat. A few weeks ago you said that India must not “meddle” in political affairs in Lanka. Are you worried it will?

A;

It isn’t only India. I didn’t mention just India. I said no one should meddle with somebody else’s elections. It is an internal matter of a country whom the people decide to bring to power. That was in my mind. I think now they all have understood what went wrong at that time and what they did. So we need to forget about the past. This is the time to move forward and look forward.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Says He Could Contest Presidential Elections Despite 19th Amendment and Then Fight it out in Courts But Has Not Decided Whether to Take That Risk in Interview with “The Hindu”.’ »

Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijegunaratne Could not Have Left For Mexico Without the Knowledge of President Sirisena Who Is the Minister of Defence Charges NMSJ Co-convenor Sarath Wijesuriya.

President Maithripala Sirisena should take the responsibility for Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne leaving the country to participate in 208th Independence Commemoration Ceremony of United Mexican States, Sarath Wijesuriya, co-convener of the National Movement for Social Justice told the media yesterday.

Continue reading ‘Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijegunaratne Could not Have Left For Mexico Without the Knowledge of President Sirisena Who Is the Minister of Defence Charges NMSJ Co-convenor Sarath Wijesuriya.’ »

Sri Lankan Airlines Served President Sirisena a Plate of Cashew Nuts Which Even a Dog Could Not Eat On A Flight From Nepal to Sri Lanka.

Launching a scathing attack on the national carrier, President Maithripala Sirisena today said he was served “unedible cashew nuts” on a flight to Colombo last week.

Addressing a farmers’ event in Hambantota this monring, an angry Sirisena asked who approved unedible cashew for the national carrier.

“I returned to Colombo from Nepal via New Delhi last week. I was offered a plate of cashew nuts on the flight. Not even a dog can eat them,” the President said.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Airlines Served President Sirisena a Plate of Cashew Nuts Which Even a Dog Could Not Eat On A Flight From Nepal to Sri Lanka.’ »

In Sri Lanka the Term “Patriot” is Sometimes Defined as one who Defends Military Heroes Whatever the Charges Against Them and a “Traitor”as One Who Dares to Scrutinize Their Actions.

By Priyan Dias

Much rhetoric has been used in various media over the years, and recently too, on the subject of patriots and traitors. I feel constrained to express my views as well. Samuel Johnson in his Dictionary (1755) defined a patriot as “One whose ruling passion is the love of his country.” This is certainly a laudable goal and worthy of emulation by all citizens; it suggests a cause bigger than one’s self and hints at a sacrificial character. Why then did he also say that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”? Genuine patriotism is not easy to define. And the use of rhetoric often infuses the term with a very narrow content.

In any case allegiance to one’s country, while important as part of a social contract, is not absolute. We recognize this in Edward Snowden, who acted against the interests of his country (the U.S.) by leaking classified information in the wider interests of the world at large; also in Nelson Mandela, whose actions to end apartheid in South Africa got him labeled as a “terrorist.” What we see here is that true love of one’s country is not easy to define; and must be judged by higher universal norms of justice.

Continue reading ‘In Sri Lanka the Term “Patriot” is Sometimes Defined as one who Defends Military Heroes Whatever the Charges Against Them and a “Traitor”as One Who Dares to Scrutinize Their Actions.’ »

Romesh de Silva PC Appearing for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Makes Submission That Special High Court Has No Jurisdiction to Hear and Determine Case Where Ex-Def -Secy is Indicted on Criminal Misappropriation Charge.

BY K.S. Udaya Kumar

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva PC who appeared for former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa submitted that the Special High Court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine the action in the case where he is indicted with misappropriation in the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial Museum at Weeraketiya.

All the accused including Rajapaksa and six others were released on bail in Rs 100,000 cash and two sureties in Rs 1 million each and their passports impounded when the case came up for hearing yesterday (10).The Judges said that if they needed to travel overseas they would need to get the permission of the court.

Continue reading ‘Romesh de Silva PC Appearing for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Makes Submission That Special High Court Has No Jurisdiction to Hear and Determine Case Where Ex-Def -Secy is Indicted on Criminal Misappropriation Charge.’ »

Mt.Lavinia Additional Magistrate Authorizes CID to Question Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Ex – Army Commander Sarath Fonseka Over the Abduction and Torture of Senior Journalist Keith Noyahr.

Mount Lavinia Additional Magistrate Lochana Abeywickrama yesterday authorized the CID to question former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka on the abduction and torture of senior journalist Keith Noyahr in 2008.

Continue reading ‘Mt.Lavinia Additional Magistrate Authorizes CID to Question Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Ex – Army Commander Sarath Fonseka Over the Abduction and Torture of Senior Journalist Keith Noyahr.’ »

CID Was Informed of Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijegunaratne’s Departure to Mexico Only a Few Hours After He Left the Country.

By

Camelia Nathaniel

Former Navy Commander and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne had been summoned by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to give a statement yesterday but he had left the country on an official tour, CID sources said.

Speaking to the Daily News a CID official said that Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne had notified the CID of his official engagement only last morning, but by that time he had already left the country.

Continue reading ‘CID Was Informed of Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijegunaratne’s Departure to Mexico Only a Few Hours After He Left the Country.’ »

Ex -Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Six others Served Indictments, Released on Cash and Surety Bail, Passports Impounded Over DA Rajapaksa Memorial Monument Construction Case.

By
Lakmal Sooriyagoda

The Permanent High Court-at-Bar set up to hear high-profile financial frauds and corruption cases yesterday served indictments on former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and six others.

This is in connection with an incident that the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial in Medamulana was built using public funds amounting to Rs.33.9 million.

When the seven accused appeared before Trial-at-Bar Bench comprising High Court Judges Sampath Abeykoon (President), Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Janaki Rajaratne they were ordered to be released on bail.

Continue reading ‘Ex -Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Six others Served Indictments, Released on Cash and Surety Bail, Passports Impounded Over DA Rajapaksa Memorial Monument Construction Case.’ »

President Sirisena Will Make Statement in UN General Assembly on Sep 24 That Would Vindicate Lanka’s Security Forces From All Allegations Levelled Against Them.

President Maithripala Sirisena said that he is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on September 24 and he would make a statement to vindicate the Security Forces from all allegations levelled against them.

President Sirisena was speaking at the SLFP Nivitigala Bala Mandala meeting held at the Nivitigala public fair premises, on Saturday.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Will Make Statement in UN General Assembly on Sep 24 That Would Vindicate Lanka’s Security Forces From All Allegations Levelled Against Them.’ »

Ex-Navy Chief and Chief of Defence Staff Ravi Wijegunaratne Exits Lanka on Quatar Airways Flight to Doha at 3.33 am on Sep 10th to Attend Mexico National Day on Sep 16th Without Presenting Himself to CID as Scheduled on Monday Morning.

Former Navy Commander and Current Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne Who was scheduled to present himself at the Criminal Investigations Department(CID) Headquarters in Colombo on Monday Sep 10th 2018 morning at 10 am to record a statement has left the country on an earlier flight instead of appearing before Police as required.

Admiral Wijegunaratne had left for Doha on a Qatar Airways flight at 3.33am on Monday Sep 10th according to news reports.

The serving Chief of Defence staff is reportedly travelling to Mexico to attend the Mexico national day celebrations on Sep 16th 2018.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Navy Chief and Chief of Defence Staff Ravi Wijegunaratne Exits Lanka on Quatar Airways Flight to Doha at 3.33 am on Sep 10th to Attend Mexico National Day on Sep 16th Without Presenting Himself to CID as Scheduled on Monday Morning.’ »

Ex-Navy Chief and Current Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne Though Summoned by CID to Record Statement on Sep 10th Is Unlikely to Appear Before Police on Monday.

By

Darshana Sanjeewa

Former Navy Commander and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne had been summoned by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to give a statement today, CID sources said.

He was summoned to give a statement with regard to the abduction of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Navy Chief and Current Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne Though Summoned by CID to Record Statement on Sep 10th Is Unlikely to Appear Before Police on Monday.’ »

Pragmatic Politics of Plantation Tamil Leader Saumiyamoorthy Thondaman

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

When Sri Lanka known then as Ceylon obtained full freedom from British rule on February 4th 1948, the second largest ethnic community in the Island were the Tamils of recent Indian origin and not the Sri Lankan Tamil community. The 1ast official census before Ceylon got Dominion Status and then Independence from the United Kingdom was taken in 1946.According to the 1946 census the Island nation had a total population of 6 , 637, 300 people.Of this the breakdown for the Sinhala, Sri Lankan Tamil, Sri Lankan Moor , Indian Tamil, Malay, Burgher and Indian Moor ethnicities was as follows – Sinhalese – 4,620,500(69.41%); Sri Lankan Tamils – 733,700(11.02%); Sri Lankan Muslims -373,600 (5.61%); Indian Tamil-780,600 (11.73%); Malays -22,500(0.34%); Burghers – 41,900 (0.63%) and Indian Muslims -35,600(0.53%).

Portrait of Savumiamoorthy Thondama is unveiled at the Sri Lanka Parliamentary complex to mark 100th birth anniversary-news.lk-pic: Photo by: Chandana Perera

According to the latest 2011 Census the Indian Tamils numbering 839,504 (4.12%) are the fourth -largest ethnicity in Sri Lanka. However the figures from the 1946 census reveal that the Indian Tamil community then living mainly in the Uva, Sabaragamuwa , Central and Western Provinces was the second largest ethnicity when the country was free of colonial bondage. The community consisting of people who had lived in the Island for a few generations as well as recent arrivals were an integral component of the newly independent nation then. The thee main sources of income and foreign exchange for the country 70 years ago were tea,rubber and coconut. The bulk of workers on tea plantations and rubber estates were Indian Tamils. They were also engaged as labourers in the sanitary , construction, trade and transport sectors.
Continue reading ‘Pragmatic Politics of Plantation Tamil Leader Saumiyamoorthy Thondaman’ »

Dynamic Duality Of Actor Tony Ranasinghe Who Played Both Lead and Character Roles In Films.

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Several dashing and debonair actors have graced the Sinhala silver screenover the years. Arguably the most lovable among these cinematic heroes wasthe dynamic Tony Ranasinghe who acted in both lead as well as character roles.

Tony Ranasinghe who was born on 31 July 1937 entered the film world in the early sixties of the last century. His brilliant career in filmdom spanning more than five decades came to an end with his passing away three years ago on June 16th 2015.

Tony Ranasinghe

‘Spotlight’ intends focusing this week on Tony Ranasinghe who was a multitalented, multifaceted personality. The boy hailing from Mutwal (Modera in Sinhala and Muhathuvaaram in Tamil) with a Roman Catholic background made his mark as an actor on both stage and screen. He acted in diverse roles ranging from romantic lovers to affectionate fathers and won awards for acting in both films and plays.

Tony also made the smooth transition from the big screen to small screen and shone in TV too as an actor and script writer. Likewise he wrote the screenplay and dialogues for some films too. In later life he transformed into a playwright translating and adapting many works of William Shakespeare into Sinhala.

Continue reading ‘Dynamic Duality Of Actor Tony Ranasinghe Who Played Both Lead and Character Roles In Films.’ »

Chaturangi Jayasooriya Led Sri Lanka Team With 2.08 m Tall Ace Goal-shooter Tharjini Sivalingam Beats Singapore 69 -50 in Final to Become Asian Netball Champions.

A rampant Sri Lanka outplayed Singapore 69-50 on Sunday (Sept 9) in the final of the M1 Asian Netball Championship at the OCBC Arena to win their first Asian title since 2009.

The young Sri Lankan side showed that they had the depth to complement their 2.08m goal-shooter Tharjini Sivalingam with three other players in the starting XI standing over 1.8m.

Continue reading ‘Chaturangi Jayasooriya Led Sri Lanka Team With 2.08 m Tall Ace Goal-shooter Tharjini Sivalingam Beats Singapore 69 -50 in Final to Become Asian Netball Champions.’ »

Fonterra Brands Refuses to Include Tamil Language on Packages of “Anchor” Butter Sold in Sri Lanka Where Tamil is an Offcial Language with 25% Tamil Speaking Population.

Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka has indicated that it has no plans to change its policy on the languages used in the packaging of its milk products in Sri Lanka.

Reacting to scathing comments and threatened governmental action for violating the country’s language policy, Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka said that it has a uniform policy in regard to the language used in the packaging throughout a East and South East Asia.

Continue reading ‘Fonterra Brands Refuses to Include Tamil Language on Packages of “Anchor” Butter Sold in Sri Lanka Where Tamil is an Offcial Language with 25% Tamil Speaking Population.’ »

Mahindas Wants to Crown His Eldest Son as his Political Heir but his Plans Are Jeopardised by Namal Himself With his Ill-advised Political Stunts Like the Janabalaya Protest.

By

The Sunday Observer Political Editor

In his haste to get somewhere fast, the young MP from Hambantota proved last Wednesday that he could really jeopardise his father’s dreams for the future:

“Everything the light touches is our kingdom.” Mufasa, Lion King

September 5, 2018 was supposed to be much more than just a mass mobilisation of support for former President Rajapaksa and his proxy party known as the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). Janabalaya, organised by the SLPP ‘youth wing’, was also about a passing of the torch.

Over a decade long presidency, Mahinda Rajapaksa groomed his eldest son Namal to be his successor in politics. The second boy, Yoshitha, dreamt of a military career, the youngest Rohitha dabbled in aerospace engineering. But Namal Rajapaksa’s destiny was to follow in the illustrious footsteps of his father, and his grandfather before that – the keeper of the flame and the political future of the Rajapaksa family.

In December 2019, Namal Rajapaksa will be 33 years old, two years shy of eligible age to contest for presidential office in Sri Lanka. Capturing the presidency in 2020 is just beyond the young politician’s reach. His best hope is to remain in politics – and out of prison – until 2025, and cash in on his father’s legacy to reach the highest office of the land. As Dr Jayadeva Uyangoda argued superbly in a political analysis published in a Sinhalese language weekly recently, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s sights are really set on 2025 and a presidential future for his eldest offspring. In 2019/2020, what the former President is truly seeking in a candidate who will contest from his party, is a place-holder for his son, someone who will pave the way for the rise of Namal in 2025. In essence, Mahinda Rajapaksa is looking for a regent, until his son and chosen ‘heir’ comes of age.

Continue reading ‘Mahindas Wants to Crown His Eldest Son as his Political Heir but his Plans Are Jeopardised by Namal Himself With his Ill-advised Political Stunts Like the Janabalaya Protest.’ »

Janabalaya Kolombata Comes to Colombo : Crowds,Carnival and Confusion

By

Azhar Razak, Aanya Wipulasena, Indunil Usgoda Arachchi, Rajitha Jagoda Arachchi

There was an air of anticipation in Colombo on the morning of September 5. The day had finally dawned of the ‘Janabalaya’ rally organised by the Joint Opposition led by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) which was slated to be the largest protest of its kind in the country’s political history according to its organisers. The SLPP Youth wing led by Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa claimed widely on social media that 500,000 supporters would descend on the country’s financial capital to hold the city hostage till the following day. Several days prior, the SLPP/JO had warned the public to remain home. Fearing chaos, parents kept children away from school, employees who could afford to take leave called in sick. Roads leading to Colombo were clear of traffic as buses carrying JO supporters along with trucks of cops and Special Task Force (STF) personnel were seen entering the city.

As the time drew nearer to the rally, employers were forced to give their employees the day off and many hurried to catch a bus or train to get home leading to a significant drop of productivity on the day. Shops usually open 24 hours a day hurriedly closed down. Train commuters were seen hanging precariously from the windows of overcrowded trains trying to make it home before the rally while others stood in winding queues in a bid to secure a train ticket.

Many commuters were also left stranded at the Colombo Fort Bus stand. According to one conductor of a Pettah – Moratuwa bus which was running the last run for the day, buses along the route were already much less with many being given by their owners to transport protestors to Colombo on the day. The situation even led to a tussle on the overhead bridge near the Fort Railway station between some commuters and JO supporters when one stranded commuter was heard complaining of the inconvenience to the public as a result of the rally which irked the ‘Pohottuwa’ supporters gathered there.

With organisers of the protest keeping the place of the rally a closely guarded secret till the very last minute around 2.30 pm the apparent main organiser of the Janabalaya Rally, MP Namal Rajapaksa visited the Bo tree junction in Pettah which appeared to be one of the focal points on the day to inspect the preparations.

Continue reading ‘Janabalaya Kolombata Comes to Colombo : Crowds,Carnival and Confusion’ »

Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksaand Six Others to be Served Indictments at Permanent High Court at Bar on Sep 10th Over Alleged Misappropriation of Around Rs 40 Million Public Funds For Constructing DA Rajapaksa Memorial in Medamulana.


By

Anurangi Singh

After three years of investigations and mounting accusations about delayed justice in corruption cases, former Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, arguably the most powerful member of the previous administration, will be indicted tomorrow (10), on charges of misappropriating tens of millions in public funds while his brother was President, to build a memorial for their parents in the Hambantota district.

The second case to be filed at the Permanent High Court at Bar will be taken up tomorrow, September 10, to serve indictments on the former Secretary of Defence and six others on allegations of misappropriation of State funds amounting to approximately Rs. 40 million through the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (LLRDC).

Continue reading ‘Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksaand Six Others to be Served Indictments at Permanent High Court at Bar on Sep 10th Over Alleged Misappropriation of Around Rs 40 Million Public Funds For Constructing DA Rajapaksa Memorial in Medamulana.’ »

Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran Along with Provincial Ministers K. Sivanesan and Ananthy Sasitharan Appear Before Appeal Court Regarding Alleged Contempt of Court Complaint Filed by Another Northern Minister B. Deneeswaran.

By
Lakmal Sooriyagoda

Northern Province Chief Minister and former Supreme Court Judge C.V. Wigneswaran and three others appeared before the Court of Appeal yesterday over a complaint that they have intentionally acted in contempt of the Court of Appeal order.

When the application came up before Justice Janak de Silva, the three respondents Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and two other Provincial Council Ministers Ananthi Sasitharan and K.Sivanesan were advised to appear in Court on September 18 as well.

This matter will be taken up before Court of Appeal two-judge-Bench on the next date.

Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran Along with Provincial Ministers K. Sivanesan and Ananthy Sasitharan Appear Before Appeal Court Regarding Alleged Contempt of Court Complaint Filed by Another Northern Minister B. Deneeswaran.’ »

UNP Jaffna District MP Vijayakala Maheswaran to Be Indicted at Court of Appeal Under Clause 120 of Penal Code for Allegedly Violating Article 157 of Constitution by the IGP as Advised by Attorney – General.

By
Kamani Alwis

Former Child Affairs State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran is to be indicted before the Court of Appeal under Article 157/A 3 for alleged violation of the provisions of the Constitution.

According to section 157A (1) of the Constitution, no person shall, directly or indirectly in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘UNP Jaffna District MP Vijayakala Maheswaran to Be Indicted at Court of Appeal Under Clause 120 of Penal Code for Allegedly Violating Article 157 of Constitution by the IGP as Advised by Attorney – General.’ »

Supreme Court Rejects Application to Suspend Contempt of Court Proceedings Against C.V Wigneswaran in the Appeal Court But Re-fixes for Support on Sep 28 the Special Leave to Appeal Filed by Northern Chief Minister Against Court of Appeal Court’s Interim Order.

By

Lakmal Sooriyagoda

The Supreme Court on Wednesday re-fixed for support on September 28, the special leave to appeal filed by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran challenging the Court of Appeal’s Interim Order to prevent Wigneswaran’s decision to remove B. Denishwaran from functioning as the Fisheries and Transport Minister in the Province.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Rejects Application to Suspend Contempt of Court Proceedings Against C.V Wigneswaran in the Appeal Court But Re-fixes for Support on Sep 28 the Special Leave to Appeal Filed by Northern Chief Minister Against Court of Appeal Court’s Interim Order.’ »

Colombo Municipal Council Deploys Additional Workers to Clean Up the City of Garbage and Litter Left Behind by “Janabalaya Kolombata” Protest Participants.

By
Camelia Nathaniel

The ‘Jana Balaya Kolambata’ protest campaign organised by the Joint Opposition (JO) had failed to get the desired outcome and turned out to be a flop while one person had died and 16 people were admitted to the Colombo National Hospital.

“One person who had died on admission to the Colombo National Hospital is said to have suffered a heart attack.

Another person died in an accident in Nittambuwa.He has got down from the bus to buy pineapples on his return from the Joint Opposition protest. He was knocked down by a vehicle while crossing the road and died on admission to hospital.

Eight people were admitted due to food poisoning while another eight persons were admitted due to minor injuries,” hospital sources said.

Several government ministers termed the JO protest rally as a huge failure.

Continue reading ‘Colombo Municipal Council Deploys Additional Workers to Clean Up the City of Garbage and Litter Left Behind by “Janabalaya Kolombata” Protest Participants.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Says Joint Opposition Organized “Janabalaya Kolombata” Protest Due to Sirisena – Wickremesinghe Govt Depriving JO of Leader of the Opposition Post in Parliament.

By Anura Balasuriya and Rathinda Kuruvita

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that the Joint Opposition (JO) had been compelled to launch ‘Jana Balaya Colombata’ campaign as the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government had deprived it of the post of the Opposition Leader.

Rajapaksa said that the government had recognized the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group consisting of only 16 members as the main Opposition party though the JO had 70 MPs.

Rajapaksa said so addressing JO activists opposite Lake House last night following a Satyagraha.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Says Joint Opposition Organized “Janabalaya Kolombata” Protest Due to Sirisena – Wickremesinghe Govt Depriving JO of Leader of the Opposition Post in Parliament.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Addressing 3000 Loyalists Engaged in “Satyaraha” at Lake House Roundabout Says -“Join Us To Topple This Govt Before Long”


By Chathuri Dissanayake

Nearly 3,000 loyalists of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday occupied the Lake House Roundabout in Fort and held a ‘sathyagraha’ after the ‘Janabalaya Colombata’ protest march organised by the Joint Opposition (JO) was wrapped up.

The Government members discredited the campaign as unsuccessful as it had failed to garner support from the wider public.

Addressing his supporters amidst loud cheering, Rajapaksa spoke of toppling the Government to bring an end to what he termed as the Government’s “separatism policies”. He also criticised the “sale of national assets” and pledged to form a new government in the future. Surrounded by loyalist parliamentarians, Rajapaksa called on the crowd to stand up against the Government, which he claimed to be “dictatorial” in its actions.

“Join us to topple this Government before long,” said a visibly tired but upbeat Rajapaksa as the crowd cheered, drowning out his voice.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Addressing 3000 Loyalists Engaged in “Satyaraha” at Lake House Roundabout Says -“Join Us To Topple This Govt Before Long”’ »

“Janabalaya Kolombata” Protest Turns Into Huge Merry-making Carnival Due to Lack of Serious Purpose and Planning by Namal Rajapaksa led Organizers.

Full of sound and fury, the Joint Opposition-Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Janabalaya demonstration reached Colombo Fort yesterday, but the protest took on a carnival like atmosphere with no major political speeches or centralized coordination to drive its key messages home.

The rally, which was set up to be a launch pad for Hambantota District MP and former first son Namal Rajapaksa, brought thousands to the Lake House round-about by 4 PM.

Joining the marchers near the Colombo Fort Railway station, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and their security contingents rode in convoy through the crowds.

Continue reading ‘“Janabalaya Kolombata” Protest Turns Into Huge Merry-making Carnival Due to Lack of Serious Purpose and Planning by Namal Rajapaksa led Organizers.’ »

“Janabalaya Kolombata” Protest Comes to an End as Demonstrators Commence Leaving Colombo Despite Organizers Claim of Laying Overnight Siege to the City

The “Jana Balaya Kolambata” protest campaign has seemingly come to an end despite claims by Joint Opposition MPs to protest overnight and lay siege to the capital city.

JO activists started cleaning up the Lake House roundabout and the roads leading up to the area indicating that they had no plans to continue.

The Colombo Municipal Council members of the SLPP and youth wing of the party were also involved in the clean-up operation.

Continue reading ‘“Janabalaya Kolombata” Protest Comes to an End as Demonstrators Commence Leaving Colombo Despite Organizers Claim of Laying Overnight Siege to the City’ »

Large Numbers of Protest Demonstrators Walk In Search of Public Toilets as Inadequate Toilet facilities Pose Major Concern.

Despite National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa’s pledge to protest in Colombo over night, large swathes of protesters have already packed up and left the Lake House roundabout, our reporters said.

The rest of the crowd, however, are currently holding a candlelight vigil at the Lake House roundabout.

As of 10 Pm, none of the prominent leaders of the protest, including its organizer Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, were not seen among the protesters.

Continue reading ‘Large Numbers of Protest Demonstrators Walk In Search of Public Toilets as Inadequate Toilet facilities Pose Major Concern.’ »

Joint Opposition Protest Spearheaded by Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Eldest Son Namal rajapaksa MP Cripples Colombo.

Sri Lankan MPs, loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Wednesday took part in a massive protest rally in capital Colombo. Businesses, shops and schools closed by noon, resulting in Colombo coming to a virtual halt.

The protest titled ‘Janabalaya Colombata’ was spearheaded by Rajapaksa’s eldest son and MP, Namal Rajapaksa.

The JO expected over 200,000 protesters from all across the country to take part in the rally held at the Fort, the heart of Colombo’s business hub.

Continue reading ‘Joint Opposition Protest Spearheaded by Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Eldest Son Namal rajapaksa MP Cripples Colombo.’ »

Police Estimate Crowds at “Janabalaya Kolombata” Rally in Colombo at 50,000 Although Organizers Claim Hundreds of Thousands Joined Protest

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s supporters kept up a demonstration outside Lake House after a brief march from the Bo Tree junction. Party officials said they planned to stay overnight in Colombo.

President Rajapaksa and his former defence secretary brother Gotabhaya spent a brief time with the protesters, but were expected to re-join the crowd later in the evening, party leaders said.

They said hundreds of thousands of people joined the rally, but police said their estimate was that the crowd was about 50,000. Police said the crowd at Wednesday’s protest was about half the number that attended the JO mass rally to mark May 1 at the Galle Face grounds.

Continue reading ‘Police Estimate Crowds at “Janabalaya Kolombata” Rally in Colombo at 50,000 Although Organizers Claim Hundreds of Thousands Joined Protest’ »

Cabinet Decides to Authorise Police to Shoot Protesters Below the Knees with Rubbber Bullets if They Turn Unruly and Disrupt Civilian Life in Colombo During “Janabalaya Kolombata” Demonstration.


The Cabinet of Ministers today decided to empower the Police to shoot unruly protestors with rubber bullets below their knees if they disrupt civilian life in Colombo tomorrow.

The decision was made with regard to the protest march organized by the Joint Opposition tomorrow under the theme ‘Jana Balaya Kolambata.’

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Decides to Authorise Police to Shoot Protesters Below the Knees with Rubbber Bullets if They Turn Unruly and Disrupt Civilian Life in Colombo During “Janabalaya Kolombata” Demonstration.’ »

Joint Opposition Supporters Participanting in Protest Plan to Stay Overnight in Colombo After Demonstration Ends.

Opposition activists loyal to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa plan to stay overnight in Colombo after staging protests on Wednesday, party sources said.

The Joint Opposition rally spearheaded by Rajapaksa’s legislator son Namal hope to bring 200,000 supporters to Colombo in what they promise will be a show of force greater than their May Day demonstration at Galle Face.

Continue reading ‘Joint Opposition Supporters Participanting in Protest Plan to Stay Overnight in Colombo After Demonstration Ends.’ »

Joint Opposition Stalwarts Gather in Colombo To Finalise Arrangements for Protest rally at Mahinda Rajapaksa Chaired Meeting Conducted by Namal Rajapaksa

Parliamentarians and leading activists of the Joint Opposition met in Colombo, a short while ago, to discuss final arrangements for their protest rally in Colombo tomorrow.

The meeting, chaired by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was conducted by Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa.

Continue reading ‘Joint Opposition Stalwarts Gather in Colombo To Finalise Arrangements for Protest rally at Mahinda Rajapaksa Chaired Meeting Conducted by Namal Rajapaksa’ »

Joint Opposition Protest is a “Bili Poojawa” by ‘Namal Baby’ in an Attempt to Escape from Alleged Fraud and Corruption Charges Through Sacrificing his Father’s Supporters Says Mangala Samaraweera.


By

Ishara Mudugamuwa

Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said that today’s JO protest is a Bili Poojawa (Sacrifice) in the name of MP Namal Rajapaksa to cover up their past wrongdoings.

“This protest is aimed at influencing the judiciary and not forming a government,” he said.

Addressing the media at the Finance Ministry yesterday, Minister Samaraweera said that “Namal is attempting to sacrifice the lives of his father’s supporters in order to escape from the alleged fraud and corruption charges. If you are expecting that the government will fulfill your wish, Namal Baby you will be disappointed,” the Minister said.

Continue reading ‘Joint Opposition Protest is a “Bili Poojawa” by ‘Namal Baby’ in an Attempt to Escape from Alleged Fraud and Corruption Charges Through Sacrificing his Father’s Supporters Says Mangala Samaraweera.’ »

Mervyn De Silva, Journalism and Moscow

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

Mervyn de Silva wrote a brief bio-data on the smaller-sized of the Lanka Guardian notepaper/ letterheads in the last years of his life. It was rearranged into a narrative and appeared on the back cover of ‘Crisis Commentaries: Selected Political Writings of Mervyn de Silva’ published by the International Center for Ethnic studies, Colombo, 1999. It was Mervyn’s laconic look back at his life as he saw it in his late 60s. He never made it to 70. Here is his last CV just as he had typed it:

Continue reading ‘Mervyn De Silva, Journalism and Moscow’ »

President Sirisena Orders Heads of Defence Services Not to Release any Details to Police About Information Requested by CID to Help Investigate Cases Like Attacks on the Media and Abduction for Ransom Racket.


President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered that information of the three armed forces be not given in connection with ongoing court cases into murders and disappearances, ‘Anidda’ reports.

He issued the order at a meeting on August 28 at his Paget Road residence attended by the defence secretary, chief of defence staff and top defence and police officials, it says.

The CID says it needs certain information of the armed forces to take forward its investigations into the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunga, disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda and the abduction of Keith Noyarh, Upali Tennakoon and 11 youths etc.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Orders Heads of Defence Services Not to Release any Details to Police About Information Requested by CID to Help Investigate Cases Like Attacks on the Media and Abduction for Ransom Racket.’ »

Family and Friends of 25 Year Old Sri Lankan Nizamdeen Arrested by Australian Police for Alleged “Terrorism” Charges is Innocent and has been Framed by “Someone”.

By

Hafeel Farisz

Friends and family of 25-year-old Kamar Nizamdeen, who was arrested by the New South Wales Police on Thursday for alleged ‘terrorism’ charges, claimed that Nizamdeen was framed.

“He was an open minded Muslim who has been framed by someone with immense jealousy in heart. Jealousy on his accolades, his position and the type of character he has developed,” his 19-year-old brother said in a posting that is being circulated on Social Media.

Another friend, Shehan Bhavan posting on Facebook questioned as to the credibility of the evidence against him.

“Why would an IT savvy person like him have a notebook full of places in Sydney? he is being framed for his name,” he said.

Another friend posted “Absolutely unbelievable that this is happening to the Kamer we know and love” before adding sympathy toward the family.

Continue reading ‘Family and Friends of 25 Year Old Sri Lankan Nizamdeen Arrested by Australian Police for Alleged “Terrorism” Charges is Innocent and has been Framed by “Someone”.’ »

New South Wales Student Mohamed Nizamdeen Arrested on Suspected Charges is Nephew of Sri Lankan cabinet Minister Faiszer Musthapha State Australian Media.

Australian law enforcement authorities today announced that the New South Wales student accused of documenting plans in a notebook to assassinate two senior Australian politicians is the nephew of a Sri Lankan cabinet minister.

The ABC revealed Mohamed Nizamdeen, 25, is related to Sri Lankan MP Faiszer Musthapha, who is the country’s Sports and Local Government Minister.

The PhD student,, is also the grandson of Jehan Kamer Cassim, the late former chairman of one of Sri Lanka’s biggest banks — Bank of Ceylon.

Nizamdeen, who also worked as a UNSW business systems analyst, was arrested at the Kensington campus last Thursday.

Continue reading ‘New South Wales Student Mohamed Nizamdeen Arrested on Suspected Charges is Nephew of Sri Lankan cabinet Minister Faiszer Musthapha State Australian Media.’ »

Joint Opposition Refuses To be In Delegation to India as Mark of Protest Against Speaker’s Refusal to Let JO get Leader of the Opposition Post.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Joint Opposition has rejected Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s invitation to join a parliamentary group invited by the Lok Sabha as a protest against Jayasuriya’s decision not to recognise the JO as the legitimate opposition.

JO parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday told The Island that the grouping wouldn’t help the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe duo to deceive the Indian parliament.

Asked whether Speaker Jayasuriya had been informed of the JO’s decision, Gunawardena said that the Speaker’s Office was told of their move. Gunawardena alleged that the UNP-led ruling coalition was playing politics with the Opposition Leader’s position.

Continue reading ‘Joint Opposition Refuses To be In Delegation to India as Mark of Protest Against Speaker’s Refusal to Let JO get Leader of the Opposition Post.’ »

Wigneswaran, Sampanthan and the Presidential Task Force Boycott Issue

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
– Nursery Rhyme

Northern province chief minister Canagasabapathy Viswalingam Wigneswaran is a retired Supreme court judge. Much was expected of CV Wigneswaran when he was first elected chief minister of the Northern Province on behalf of the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) in September 2013. Sadly those hopes turned into dupes very soon. Wigneswaran adopted a confrontational political approach that left much to be desired. Projecting himself as a Tamil hardliner, the chief minister engaged in all types of disruptive politics while the Northern provincial administration deteriorated. The Northern provincial council (NPC) became the worst -run provincial administration in the country. Today the NPC board of ministers is in a virtual state of paralysis due to Wigneswaran’s obstinate refusal to comply with a court directive. The people of the north who welcomed the advent of the NPC in 2013 are waiting eagerly for its term of office to end in October 2018.

Sampanthan & Wigneswaran

The provincial councils of Sri Lanka do enjoy a certain quantum of devolution. They may not have maximum devolution but the powers available are adequate to plan and implement a reasonable amount of development projects. The Provincial council representing the war – afflicted people of the war – ravaged north had an extra responsibility and duty to harness all available resources for the betterment of the province. But this is not what happened. Instead of passing necessary statutes, the NPC busied itself with passing hundreds of useless, irrelevant resolutions. Finances allocated by the Treasury for development work in the province were under-utilised resulting in the remainder being returned to the Treasury.When major projects with international aid for the benefit of the North were initiated by the Government in Colombo, the NPC did not cooperate and instead obstructed them. When concerned Sri Lankan expatriates came up with blueprints to establish employment – oriented, income generating schemes they were rebuffed and rejected. The credo adopted by Wigneswaran and his cohorts was “Abilaashaigalae Mukkiam, Abhiviruthiyalla”(Aspirations are only important not Development).
Continue reading ‘Wigneswaran, Sampanthan and the Presidential Task Force Boycott Issue’ »

If Full Force of the Law is not Applied Due To Political Interference Against Superior Officers Allegedly Protecting Subordinates in Navy Abduction and Murder Racket it would Be the Last Nail in the “Yahapalanaya” Govt Coffin.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

The progress of ongoing criminal investigations into the grisly killing of several Tamil youths following a racket of abduction for ransom, spearheaded ‘allegedly’ (here, I use the term quite deliberately) by a Naval officer and others during 2008-2009 will be the crucible on which this Government and this Presidency’s commitment to promises made, will be tested most severely.


Fair differences between then and now

Unlike other instances of the killing of youths, such as what occurred in Trincomalee in 2006, ready excuses cannot be offered as to the chain of evidence becoming cold or pointing to key witnesses living overseas being reluctant to return to testify, as would be naturally the case given the trauma that they have had to undergo.

It must be fairly acknowledged that one distinguishing feature of the current ‘yahapalanaya’ administration is that the Navy suspect was arrested and produced before court which would have been out of the question if the Rajapaksas were still in power. Then again, the fact that the Court inquiring into the matter had proceeded to act according to law is also another demonstrable difference when compared to the past. These officers of the state must be commended to the highest extent possible for carrying out their functions with due diligence despite the enormous and impossible strains put on them by political forces.

Continue reading ‘If Full Force of the Law is not Applied Due To Political Interference Against Superior Officers Allegedly Protecting Subordinates in Navy Abduction and Murder Racket it would Be the Last Nail in the “Yahapalanaya” Govt Coffin.’ »

Explosive Revelations in Court Implicate Navy Top Brass With Abduction for Ransom and Murder racket Conducted by Navy Personnel.

By

Maneshka Borham

The Naganathan residence on Shoe Road, Kotahena is dark and dreary. Inside, it is as though time has stood still for the once happy Naganathan family, since the abduction of their son, Rajiv Naganathan, almost 10 years ago by a suspected, organized Navy abduction for ransom gang. Since his disappearance, Rajiv’s parents, especially, his mother Sarojini Naganathan has left no stone unturned in the search for her only child. Her only focus is the return of her child. Splitting her time between caring for her ailing husband and numerous court visits, Sarojini now spends most of her days at kovils and temples, praying for the return of her son, and inviting the fury of the Gods upon those who took him away from her.

Before all this anguish (September 17, 2008, was the last time Sarojini saw her son) those were happier times. The International School educated Rajiv had just been accepted to a University in the United Kingdom and, had left home to spend time with friends before leaving Sri Lanka. The five friends including Rajiv went mysteriously missing that day, in Badowita, Dehiwala on their way to meet a man identified as Mohamed Ali Anwer, later revealed to be the informant of the abductors.

Recalling the day, Sarojini says, it was she herself that withdrew money for her son so he could treat his friends. She wavers between profound emotion when speaking of Rajiv, and shaking anger at the mere mention of his abductors.

Continue reading ‘Explosive Revelations in Court Implicate Navy Top Brass With Abduction for Ransom and Murder racket Conducted by Navy Personnel.’ »

“If People are not Moved by the Struggles of Families of Disappeared Persons then Something is Wrong with our Country” Says Human Rights Commission Chair Dr.Deepika Udagama.

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama believes attitudes of the people must change for the country to move forward and adequately address the sufferings of families of disappeared persons.

“We should not look at this through a political or racist perspective,” she said, and pointed out that some harbour negative feelings toward the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). She commended the OMP for being the first State affiliated organisation to mark the International Day of the Disappeared and acknowledged more support needed to be given to institutions like the OMP to promote reconciliation and harmony.

“Still, those trying to find their missing loved ones are called traitors, while those responsible for the disappearances may be regarded heroes,” she said delivering the keynote address at an OMP event to mark the International Day of the Disappeared.

Continue reading ‘“If People are not Moved by the Struggles of Families of Disappeared Persons then Something is Wrong with our Country” Says Human Rights Commission Chair Dr.Deepika Udagama.’ »

62,338 Sri Lankans Including Nearly 30,000 Security Forces Personnel “Blacklisted” by Authorities to Prevent them Leaving Sri Lanka reveal State Intelligence Circles.

By

Leon Berenger

A total of 62,338 Sri Lankans are currently on the country’s blacklist and are prevented from leaving the country, unless they obtain prior Court approval, senior State intelligence sources revealed yesterday.

According to the sources, who cannot be named for obvious reasons, the figure includes close to a 30,000 security force personnel starting from the lowest ranks to senior most officers with some of them facing various charges in the country’s Courts.

Most of the SF personnel are on the list for being Absent Without Leave (AWL) while there are those who are facing criminal charges in various Courts, they said.

Continue reading ‘62,338 Sri Lankans Including Nearly 30,000 Security Forces Personnel “Blacklisted” by Authorities to Prevent them Leaving Sri Lanka reveal State Intelligence Circles.’ »

System “L” of Mahaweli Project Being used to Spearhead Colonization of Northern Mainland With “Outsiders” and Not With Sincere Intention to Provide Water to Northern Farmers.

By Manekshaw

A mammoth gathering of protestors in Mullaitivu on Tuesday (28) chanted slogans to halt colonization under the Mahaweli System L in the Northern Province being carried out with State patronage.

The Northern Provincial Council has been agitating that land powers under the 13th Amendment be granted to it.

However, it was evident from the mammoth protest, plans have also been mooted to divert the longest river in the island to spearhead State-backed colonization in the province.

From the time the Mahaweli Project was initiated, the Mahaweli remains a great blessing to farmers in areas where it flows.

However, the Mullaitivu agitation highlighted that System L of the Mahaweli Project, covering Vavuniya, Mannar and Mullaitivu districts has been worked out to spearhead colonization with outsiders from the Northern Province and not with the sincere interest of providing water for the Northern farmer.

Continue reading ‘System “L” of Mahaweli Project Being used to Spearhead Colonization of Northern Mainland With “Outsiders” and Not With Sincere Intention to Provide Water to Northern Farmers.’ »

Details of Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Family’s Assets Made Available to Sri Lankan Govt for Due Action by FBI After Conducting Probe.

A team of Sri Lankan judicial officers visited the United States recently on a US government sponsored tour.

The last item on their itinerary was a visit to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters.

Continue reading ‘Details of Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Family’s Assets Made Available to Sri Lankan Govt for Due Action by FBI After Conducting Probe.’ »

President Sirisena Recommends To Constitutional Council That Attorney -General Jayantha Jayasuriy be Appointed Chief Justice After Present Chief Justice Priyasath Dep Retires Next Month.

President Maithripala Sirisena will recommended to the Constitutional Council the appointment of Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya as the new Chief Justice.

The present incumbent Priyasath Dep retires next month.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Recommends To Constitutional Council That Attorney -General Jayantha Jayasuriy be Appointed Chief Justice After Present Chief Justice Priyasath Dep Retires Next Month.’ »

All Arrangements in Place for Arrest of Ex-Navy Commander and Current Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne for Shielding Chief Suspect in Abduction and Murder of 11 Youths for Ransom Case

Arrangements are in place for the long-awaited arrest of Sri Lanka’s senior-most military officer in connection with an extortion racket and the horrific murder of 11 young men, official sources said.

The Colombo Fort magistrate on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne after the CID said it had evidence of him shielding the main suspect, a navy intelligence officer.

Despite the unprecedented order seeking the arrest of a military officer equivalent to the rank of a four-star general in the army, Wijegunaratne continued to receiving visiting foreign dignitaries.

Incidentally, Wijegunaratne was attending the funeral of one of his predecessors, General Rohan Daluwatte, when the court made the stunning pronouncement against him.

Continue reading ‘All Arrangements in Place for Arrest of Ex-Navy Commander and Current Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne for Shielding Chief Suspect in Abduction and Murder of 11 Youths for Ransom Case’ »

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s Son Chatura Senartne MP’s Fairy-tale Wedding Takes Place at “Temple Trees” in a “Maharajah Palace”Decor with More Than 1500 Guests

It was a lavish, fairy-tale wedding for more than 1,500 guests at one of Sri Lanka’s best known addresses on Thursday (Aug 30)

Chatura, the son of Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne, and a parliamentarian himself was given in marriage by his father Rajitha Senaratne at a gala wedding ceremony at ‘Temple Trees’ – the official residence of the Prime Minister.

Continue reading ‘Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s Son Chatura Senartne MP’s Fairy-tale Wedding Takes Place at “Temple Trees” in a “Maharajah Palace”Decor with More Than 1500 Guests’ »

Envisaged Protest Rally by Joint Opposition in Colombo On Sep 5th Places Coalition Govt In Tricky Situation.

(Excerpted from the “Sunday Times”Political Column of September 2nd 2018)

Wednesday’s protest rally by the ‘Joint Opposition’ has come under heavy focus of leaders of the ruling coalition.

Whilst the ‘JO’ wants to induct large crowds, coalition leaders want to do just the opposite — prevent as many from taking part. Indications of who will win the ding-dong battle will be known within the next 48 hours. Yet, it has set off alarm bells in the coalition. The Western Province Transport Authority has banned from yesterday until September 8 all private bus operators undertaking special tours. Only buses operating on specified routes on permits issued to them will be permitted on the roads. Violators will have their permits cancelled. Other than that first blow, more are due, say government sources.

The ‘JO’ is keeping the venue a secret. “We have sought approval for five different venues. Our organising committee will decide on Tuesday the exact location,” Wimal Weerawansa, leader of the National Freedom Front (NFF), and one of the front liners, said. Such approval would have to come from both the Colombo Municipal Council and the Police. A safe guess is that ‘JO” marchers may converge on the Galle Face Green.

Perhaps to allow all MPs to assist ministers in showcasing the government’s different achievements, also on Wednesday, President Maithripala Sirisena is in favour of Parliament sessions not being held on Tuesday and Wednesday. With no visibility of any such move, it is not clear whether there is any other reason behind it. In fact, the Leader of the House, Lakshman Kiriella, told a party leaders’ meeting in Parliament that Sirisena has made this suggestion to him. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya who presided asked how this could be done since it would violate accepted traditions. It is unlikely that sittings will be cancelled.

Continue reading ‘Envisaged Protest Rally by Joint Opposition in Colombo On Sep 5th Places Coalition Govt In Tricky Situation.’ »

For Past Three Years Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was Seen as Someone Above the Law Who Could Not be Arrested and Brought Before Courts.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

Public interest in the handling of fraud and crime that prevailed under the Rajapaksa Regime shows a new interest with the action by the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar over two key figures in the past regime. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary, and six others, were noticed to appear before the new court with regard to misappropriation of funds over construction of the D. A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial. This followed the High Court also issuing notice on Gamini Sedera Senarath, Chief of Staff of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and three others, on misuse of public funds under the Public Property Act, Penal Code and Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

These cases mark a major change in what was seen as a long delay in the fight against corruption by of the former regime, which was a major pledge of the in the political campaign to defeat the re-election of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2015. There was major public concern about investigation and legal action delays on matters of corruption by those in the Rajapaksa Regime. This led to criticism by President Maithripala Sirisena over attempts to cover up some of these probes, and led to ministerial changes in the UNP branch of the ruling coalition.

Continue reading ‘For Past Three Years Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was Seen as Someone Above the Law Who Could Not be Arrested and Brought Before Courts.’ »

Ex -Def -Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Issues Statement Urging all Professionals and Intellectuals to Support the “Janabalaya Kolombata” Rally on Sep 5th in Colombo.

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, yesterday, issued a statement urging people to join the planned Joint Opposition protest in Colombo on Sept 5.

Alleging that there are also dangerous and concerted efforts to compromise peace and reconciliation in the pursuit of personal political interests, the war veteran said that it was evident in the ongoing constitutional reform initiatives as well as the witch-hunts launched against military personnel who had made untold sacrifices to rid the country of terrorism. The former Defence Secretary asserted that all true Sri Lankans would observe those developments with great dismay.


The following is the text of the statement issued by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa;

“Sri Lanka has never, in its long history, fallen to the political, social and economic depths that the nation has witnessed in recent times. Having recognised the dangerous trends across all sectors, we have engaged in various processes and readied ourselves to take up the challenge of rectifying the status quo in a systematic manner. A large number of professionals and intellectuals from all walks of life, irrespective of their religious and ethnic identities, have rallied around us for this purpose.

Continue reading ‘Ex -Def -Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Issues Statement Urging all Professionals and Intellectuals to Support the “Janabalaya Kolombata” Rally on Sep 5th in Colombo.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero Refused Leave To Appeal to Supreme Court Against His Contempt of Court Conviction By the Court of Appeal.

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Court of Appeal yesterday refused Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara thera, leave to appeal to the Supreme Court against the recent judgment of the Court, which convicted him of contempt of court and sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for six years.

The Court of Appeal recently convicted the Venerable Galagodaatte Gnanasara thera of contempt of court and imposed a sentence of six years rigorous imprisonment.

Gnanasara thera disturbed the proceedings of the Homagama Magistrate’s court, when the inquiry in respect of the disappearance of Pradeep Ekneligoda was in progress.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero Refused Leave To Appeal to Supreme Court Against His Contempt of Court Conviction By the Court of Appeal.’ »

“It Does Not Matter Whether Mahinda Rajapaksa Can Contest for Presidency if Whoever is Elected the Next President Forms Government With Mahinda as Prime Minister” States Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

By

Kaushi Sendanayake

It is not a matter of whether Mahinda Rajapaksa can contest for the Presidency once again or not, as long as whoever becomes the President at the next election forms a Government with him (Mahinda) as the Prime Minister, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.

He was responding media queries after appearing before the Investigation Unit of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) today (29), to give evidence regarding the formation and initial operations of Mihin Lanka during his tenure as a Director of its Board.

Continue reading ‘“It Does Not Matter Whether Mahinda Rajapaksa Can Contest for Presidency if Whoever is Elected the Next President Forms Government With Mahinda as Prime Minister” States Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.’ »

25 Year old Sri Lankan Named Nizamdeen in Australia on a Student Visa Arrested in Sydney For Suspected Terror Offences Targeting “Symbolic Locations”.

A 25-year-old Sri-Lankan named M. Nizamdeen was arrested over suspected terror-related offences in Australia.

The Australian law enforcement authorities said he was in Sydney on a student visa, and was arrested after finding “symbolic locations within Sydney” listed as possible targets in his notebook

Officers from NSW’s Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) arrested Mohamed Nizamdeen at Kensington, in Sydney’s south-east.

The University of New South Wales contractor appeared in Waverley Local Court today where he was refused bail, with the matter adjourned to October 24.

Continue reading ‘25 Year old Sri Lankan Named Nizamdeen in Australia on a Student Visa Arrested in Sydney For Suspected Terror Offences Targeting “Symbolic Locations”.’ »

A new Constitution is a fundamental necessity. The Sinhala majority should accept it – M. A. Sumanthiran

speaking in Sinhala in Galle All the problems of Tamil People won’t b solved by a new Constitution, but a new Constitution is fundamental. Without this, no issue an be addressed, said TNA Spokesman M. A. Sumanthiran speaking in Sinhala an an event in Galle on Constitutional Reform.

Continue reading ‘A new Constitution is a fundamental necessity. The Sinhala majority should accept it – M. A. Sumanthiran’ »

Maverick Indian Politician Dr.Subramanian Swamy wants India’s Highest Civilian Award “Bharat Ratna” to Be Given to Sri Lankan Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa for Freeing His and “Bharatiya” People From LTTE Terrorism.

Indian politician Dr. Subramanian Swamy said former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa should be given the Bharat Ratna award for freeing Sri Lanka and India from the LTTE terrorism.

“Just as we have awarded Bharat Ratna to Mandela for freeing his people we should award MR for freeing his people and Bharatiyas from LTTE terror,” Swamy tweeted.

Continue reading ‘Maverick Indian Politician Dr.Subramanian Swamy wants India’s Highest Civilian Award “Bharat Ratna” to Be Given to Sri Lankan Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa for Freeing His and “Bharatiya” People From LTTE Terrorism.’ »

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister “Kalaignar” Karunanidhi’s 65 Year Old Son M.K.Stalin Is Elected President of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) Amidst Protests by Elder Brother M.K.Azhagiri.

By

B Sivakumar and D Govardan

No other political prince in India would have waited so long for the coronation. And when it happened on Tuesday, 21 days after his father M Karunanidhi passed away, Stalin sought to accept the DMK crown with humility and hope, promise and poise.

Elected unopposed as DMK president at the party’s general council meeting, Stalin opened his acceptance speech with the admission that he would not be a match for his father. In fact, he indicated that he could be different from Karunanidhi. “We are not against (God) believers,” he said, signalling a willingness to steer the party beyond rationalism, for wider acceptance in changed times.

While S Duraimurugan was elected treasurer, Stalin ensured that his ascension had the blessings of his extended family, notwithstanding his older brother M K Alaigiri’s whimper of protest.

Continue reading ‘Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister “Kalaignar” Karunanidhi’s 65 Year Old Son M.K.Stalin Is Elected President of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) Amidst Protests by Elder Brother M.K.Azhagiri.’ »

Skeletal Remains of More Than 90 Bodies Excavated at Site of What Was Earlier a Co-operative Whole Sale Depot Near Bus Terminal In Mannar


By

Anbarasan Ethirajan of BBC News in Mannar

Experts in northern Sri Lanka are trying to identify the remains of dozens of bodies in a mass grave in the country’s former war zone.

So far the skeletal remains of more than 90 people have been unearthed in the north-western town of Mannar.

The mass grave is the second biggest found in the north since the end of the conflict in 2009.

The 26-year war between troops and separatist Tamil rebels left at least 100,000 people dead, and many missing.

A court ordered detailed excavations at the site – a former co-operative wholesale depot near the main bus terminus – after human remains were found by workers digging foundations for a new building earlier this year.

“The entire area can be divided into two parts. In one segment we have a proper cemetery. In the second part, you have a collection of human skeletons which have been deposited in an informal way,” said Professor Raj Somadeva, a forensic archaeologist from the University of Kelaniya near Colombo, who is leading a team of experts at the site.

Continue reading ‘Skeletal Remains of More Than 90 Bodies Excavated at Site of What Was Earlier a Co-operative Whole Sale Depot Near Bus Terminal In Mannar’ »

President Sirisena Assures TNA Leader Sampanthan That No Lands Are Being Allocated to Settlers From Outside Areas in the Mullaitheevu District Under the Mahaweli Irrigation Scheme.

(text of a Press Release Issued by the Tamil National Alliance Media Office on 28.08.2018)

The Meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the Development of the North and East took place yesterday (27.08.2018) at the Presidential Secretariat. The meeting was presided over by His Excellency the President.

Several ministers and government members of Parliament and Government Officials participated at the meeting. All the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Members of Parliament headed by Hon R Sampanthan the Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance, including Hon Mavai Senathirajah Leader of the ITAK, Hon Selvam Adaikkalanathan Leader of the TELO and Hon Tharmaligham Siddarthan Leader of the PLOTE and all other district Parliamentarians other than Hon M.A. Sumanthiran Jaffna District, and Hon. SivashakthiAnanthanVanni District were present. Mr. Sumanthiran is out of the country.

Mr. Sampanthan Thanked the President for inviting the TNA to the meeting and stated that he would raise some fundamental issues. He stated, that 16 out of the 18 Tamil members of Parliament from the North and East are from the TNA and the TNA has more members from the North and East in Parliament than all other political parties put together. The democratic verdict of the people of the North and East should be respected.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Assures TNA Leader Sampanthan That No Lands Are Being Allocated to Settlers From Outside Areas in the Mullaitheevu District Under the Mahaweli Irrigation Scheme.’ »

“Hopes” Raised About Mahinda Rajapaksa Being Eligible to Contest Presidential Elections Again Appears to be a Diversionary Tactic To Contain Candidate Crisis in Joint Opposition.

By

The Sunday Observer” Political Editor

It came like a bolt from the blue.

All of a sudden, the concerted preoccupation of the Rajapaksa proxy Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and Joint Opposition camp is to push the theory that the former President, twice elected and once defeated in presidential elections over a decade, can contest a fourth time in 2019.

It has been three years since the 19th Amendment was enacted, restoring term limits on the executive presidency. In all this time, the JO, whose members voted overwhelmingly in favour of enacting the 19A, never contested the 1978 constitutional provision that ‘no person who has been twice elected to the office of President by the people, shall be qualified thereafter to be elected to such office by the people’ [Article 31 (3)].

But the latent realisation dawned on the SLPP leadership after a technical legal argument put forth by renowned jurist and former secretary to the Ministry of Justice, Dr Nihal Jayawickrema. Dr Jayawickrema wrote a lengthy legal analysis pointing out that neither Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa nor Chandrika Kumaratunga were barred from contesting the presidency again by provisions in the 19A. His arguments, discussed elsewhere in this newspaper (See interview on Page 10) rests on the premise that the 19A created a new office of the president by repealing and replacing Article 30 of the constitution, instead of merely changing a word in the relevant section to shorten the presidential term, from ‘six’ years to ‘five years.

Continue reading ‘“Hopes” Raised About Mahinda Rajapaksa Being Eligible to Contest Presidential Elections Again Appears to be a Diversionary Tactic To Contain Candidate Crisis in Joint Opposition.’ »

Nearly 100 Skeletons Including Those of 8 Children Retrieved after 58 Days of Excavation in Mass Grave in Mannar District; “Bodies Were Found Piled up in a Limited Space”.

By

Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lankan authorities have excavated nearly 100 skeletons at a mass grave in Mannar, located in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, where state armed forces and Tamil rebels clashed in a 30-year civil war.

According to local media reports, some locals living in the Tamil-majority province, whose relatives went missing during and after the war, have raised concern about the bodies possibly having links to the many enforced disappearances reported in Mannar.

Continue reading ‘Nearly 100 Skeletons Including Those of 8 Children Retrieved after 58 Days of Excavation in Mass Grave in Mannar District; “Bodies Were Found Piled up in a Limited Space”.’ »

Fears of Chinese Expansion and the Strategic Importance of Trincomalee To India and Other Powers Like Japan and USA


By

P.K.Balachandran

The port town of Trincomalee in Eastern Sri Lanka is known for its scenic beauty eminently qualified to be featured in the National Geographic Channel.

But historically,it has been noted for something very different – its strategic value as a naval base.

Trincomalee’s military value had been grasped by world powers from the time of the Portuguese in the 17th Century. The Dutch, British, French, Indians, Americans and the Japanese have eyed it in succession.

As on date, India, US and Japan are making a beeline to Trincomalee and trying to convince the Sri Lankan government to accept their presence “in Sri Lanka’s interest,” citing a potential maritime security threat to it from expansionist China. This stems from the worry that China could threaten the present free and rule-based international maritime commerce in the “Indo-Pacific region.”

In August, Trincomalee saw the USS Anchorage of the US Seventh Fleet with Marines on board drop anchor there to hold “humanitarian” exercises with the Sri Lankan Navy. Coinciding with the first ever visit by a Japanese Defence Minister to Sri Lanka (including Trincomalee), the Japanese sent a destroyer Ikazuchi to berth there.

Asked why this is happening now, Sri Lanka’s leading maritime security expert, Adm. Dr. Jayanatha Colombage, said that with the Chinese exclusively ensconced in Hambantota port with a 70% stake and a 99 year lease on it, and having a container terminal at Colombo port also, the only port of value still available in Sri Lanka is Trincomalee.

Continue reading ‘Fears of Chinese Expansion and the Strategic Importance of Trincomalee To India and Other Powers Like Japan and USA’ »

China Suspects “Discomforted Neighbour” India of Backing Public Resistance Protests in Jaffna Against China Funded Housing Projects for the Northern Province.

China, through top level diplomatic channels, has asked from the Sri Lankan government if a “discomforted neighbour” was behind the protests in Jaffna against the housing project funded by Beijing, Asian Mirror learns.

This comes in the wake of the public resistance to the Chinese-funded project to build 40,000 houses in the Jaffna district.

Continue reading ‘China Suspects “Discomforted Neighbour” India of Backing Public Resistance Protests in Jaffna Against China Funded Housing Projects for the Northern Province.’ »

Attorney -General Files 49 Charges For Criminal Breach of Trust and Misappropriation of Money Relating D. A. Rajapaksa Memorial Against Ex-Def -Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Six Others; Accused Issued Summons to Appear Before Special High Court on Sep 10.


By Manopriya Gunasekara

The Special High Court yesterday issued summons to Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and five others to appear before the Court on 10 September over misappropriation of funds to erect the D. A. Rajapaksa statue in Weeraketiya, Madamulana.

The case, heard as the second in the Special High Court,was filed under the Public Property Act by the Attorney General.

Continue reading ‘Attorney -General Files 49 Charges For Criminal Breach of Trust and Misappropriation of Money Relating D. A. Rajapaksa Memorial Against Ex-Def -Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Six Others; Accused Issued Summons to Appear Before Special High Court on Sep 10.’ »

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa May Not Seek Election To The Office Of President Again As He Is Disqualified From So Doing Under The 19th Constitutional Amendment.


By

Dr Reeza Hameed

The Nineteenth Amendment has once again become the subject of controversy, and its current focus concerns the provision in the Nineteenth Amendment that disqualifies the same person from being elected as President for more than two terms.

The two-term limit is not a constitutional innovation. A provision imposing a term limit was in the Constitution as it was originally enacted in 1978 but it was repealed by the Eighteenth Amendment enacted during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure as President. It was re-introduced by section 3 of the Nineteenth Amendment which inserted the following new paragraph as Article 31(2) of the Constitution:

“No person who has been twice elected to the office of President by the People, shall be qualified thereafter to be elected to such office by the People.” (emphasis added).

This prohibition was reinforced by section 21 of the Nineteenth Amendment which added Article 92(c) of the Constitution which disqualified a person who “has been twice elected to the office of President by the People” from being elected to the office of President thereafter. This is identical to the paragraph that existed as Article 92 (c) of the 1978 Constitution before it was repealed by the Eighteenth Amendment.

It has been argued, nevertheless, by some, including Professor G.L. Peiris and ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva, that these provisions do not disqualify Mahinda Rajapaksa from seeking a third term. Mahinda Rajapaksa has already served two terms as President but if this argument holds, then he would be eligible not only to run for a third term but also a fourth.

Continue reading ‘Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa May Not Seek Election To The Office Of President Again As He Is Disqualified From So Doing Under The 19th Constitutional Amendment.’ »

“Medamulana Mahinda” and the Political Rise Of “Ruhunu Rajapaksas”

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The rise and growth of “political families” is a common occurrence in Sri Lanka. Ever since the Island known formerly as Ceylon gained limited forms of representative democracy through the Legislative and State Councils during British rule, the practice of members of the same family seeking posts through elections became widely prevalent. The advent of Parliamentary elections coupled with freedom from colonial bondage saw the political dynasty phenomenon gain further mileage. Political families began proliferating at multiple levels from local authorities to the supreme legislature.

Family politics is now a familiar feature of Sri Lanka’s political landscape cutting across race, religion, caste and creed. A perusal of a list of Sri Lankan political families in alphabetical order starting from the Abdul Majeeds of the East and going down to the Yapa Abeywardenas of the South would reveal that ethnicity is no bar to political family bandyism in Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘“Medamulana Mahinda” and the Political Rise Of “Ruhunu Rajapaksas”’ »

While India Retains Contol Over Trincomalee Tank Farm, the USA and Japan Eye Trinco Harbour in a Bid To Counter Balance China’s Clout in the Bay of Bengal.

By P.K.Balachandran

The United States and Japan have both cast their eyes on the Eastern Sri Lankan port of Trincomalee to counterbalance the presence of the Chinese in Hambantota in the South and Colombo in the West and its growing clout around the Bay of Bengal.

The Trincomalee harbor was meant to be a major Allied logistics base. By the end of the 1930s, the British had built 101 giant oil tanks to supply ships and aircraft. During World War II, on April 9, 1942, a Japanese Kamikaze (suicide) aircraft had crashed into one of the tanks which was reduced to a molten mass. More than 700 civilians were killed in that air raid.

In the 2000s the Sri Lankan government handed over the tanks to the Indian Oil Corporation to be used in collaboration with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. However only some tanks were refurbished and are now being used.

But India has plans to refurbish more tanks to serve an emerging market in the Bay of Bengal area and South East Asia. Japan has the same intention. But the US appears to be more interested in the strategic value of the Trincomalee port, vis-à-vis an increasingly belligerent China.

Continue reading ‘While India Retains Contol Over Trincomalee Tank Farm, the USA and Japan Eye Trinco Harbour in a Bid To Counter Balance China’s Clout in the Bay of Bengal.’ »

Ex-Army Chief Sarath Fonseka Berated Senior Officers For Not Removing LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s Uniform and got them to Display his Corpse in a Loin Cloth when Lying at Nandhikkadal Reveals Maj-Gen Chaggie Galage.Lying at Nandhikkadal and

Senior Army officer Major General (retired) Chagie Gallage had revealed that it was former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka who ordered to take the LTTE uniform off Velupillai Prabhakaran’s dead body.

Prabhakaran’s dead body was found from the Nandikadal area on the morning of May 19, 2009, following heavy gunfire.

Gallage was a Brigade Commander during the final phase of war and was in the battle field when the LTTE leader’s body was recovered.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Army Chief Sarath Fonseka Berated Senior Officers For Not Removing LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s Uniform and got them to Display his Corpse in a Loin Cloth when Lying at Nandhikkadal Reveals Maj-Gen Chaggie Galage.Lying at Nandhikkadal and’ »

Maithripala and Mahinda Did Not Discuss Politics During the “Warm and Congenial”Meeting with Tea at the Rajapaksa Family Residence in Medamulana.

No ‘politics’ was discussed at the meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the latter’s residence in Medamula this morning, a highly placed source close to the former President told Asian Mirror.

The discussion took place afer Sirisena paid last respect to the former President’s deceased brother, Chandra Rajapaksa, at the former President’s personal residence this morning.

Former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also welcomed the President and joined in the brief discussion.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala and Mahinda Did Not Discuss Politics During the “Warm and Congenial”Meeting with Tea at the Rajapaksa Family Residence in Medamulana.’ »

President Sirisena Goes to Medamulana Residence of Rajapaksas After Four Years and Condoles With Chamal, Mahinda and Gotabhaya Over Their Brother Chandra’s Demise.

President Maithripala Sirisena visited the Medamulana residence of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning to pay last respect to Chadra Tudor Rajapaksa, the younger brother of the former President.

Sirisena was first greeted by former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa. Then former President Mahinda Rajapaksa also joined him.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Goes to Medamulana Residence of Rajapaksas After Four Years and Condoles With Chamal, Mahinda and Gotabhaya Over Their Brother Chandra’s Demise.’ »

Fresh Indictment Filed by Attorney – General in Permanent High Court -at – bar Against Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya and Six Others Over Construction of DA Rajapaksa Memorial Monument and Museum at Medamulana.

By

Lakmal Sooriyagoda

The Attorney General (AG) yesterday filed indictments in the Permanent High Court-at-Bar against former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and six others including former Chairman and members of the director board of the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (LRDC).

This is in connection an incident that the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial in Medamulana was built using LRDC funds amounting to Rs.81.3 million.

The indictments were filed against seven accused former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, LRDC Chairman Prasad Harshan de Silva, Bhadra Udulawathi Kamaladada, Sudammika Keminda Artigala, Saman Kumara Abraham Galappatti, Devage Mahinda Saliya and Srimathi Mallika Kumari Senadheera.

Continue reading ‘Fresh Indictment Filed by Attorney – General in Permanent High Court -at – bar Against Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya and Six Others Over Construction of DA Rajapaksa Memorial Monument and Museum at Medamulana.’ »

Provincial Council De-limitation Committee Report Defeated in Parliament bu 139 to 0 With Govt MP’s Including Minister Who Presented Bill in Parliament 5 Months Ago Voting Against It.

Sri Lanka’s government may have set a record in the history of Westminster parliamentary system by voting Friday to defeat a crucial de-limitation report it had commissioned and introduced in the House.

Minister Faiszer Musthapha also voted against the “Report of the Delimitation Committee for the Delimitation of electorates in Provincial Councils” which he himself introduced in the legislature to clear the way local elections.

MPs voted 139 against and none in favour.

Continue reading ‘Provincial Council De-limitation Committee Report Defeated in Parliament bu 139 to 0 With Govt MP’s Including Minister Who Presented Bill in Parliament 5 Months Ago Voting Against It.’ »

TNA Parliamentarians Reject Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s Call to Boycott the Presidential Task Force on North – Eastern Development.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Thursday turned down Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s request to boycott the meeting of the Presidential Special Task Force on Northern Development which is scheduled to be held on August 27.

TNA Parliamentarians at a meeting held at the Opposition Leader’s office under the patronage of TNA leader R. Sampanthan on Thursday insisted that they should participate in this meeting to ensure development of the Northern Province.

Continue reading ‘TNA Parliamentarians Reject Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s Call to Boycott the Presidential Task Force on North – Eastern Development.’ »

Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka Vehemently Criticises Special Task Force Commandant M. R. Latheef in Parliament Describing the Senior DIG as a “Bull in a China Shop”.

by Saman Indrajith

Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka railed against police Special Task Force (STF) Commandant Senior DIG M.R. Latheef making a controversial statement in Parliament yesterday.

The minister used the time allocated to him in the Parliamentary debate to speak on the recent arrests of his political supporters, trying hard to convince that those arrests were made based on fabricated and false evidence.

The irked minister heaped a series of accusations on Latheef as well as several other STF officers even naming them. He allegedly linked Latheef’s brother-in-law to the Cocaine consignment discovered at the Orugodawatte Container yard in 2016.

Continue reading ‘Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka Vehemently Criticises Special Task Force Commandant M. R. Latheef in Parliament Describing the Senior DIG as a “Bull in a China Shop”.’ »

Malik Samarawickrama Reveals in Parliament that the Attorney -General Had Opined There was no Need to Present Sri Lanka – Singapore Free Trade Agreement to Parliament.

By Saman Indrajith

Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama informed Parliament that the Attorney General had said that there was no need to present the Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement to Parliament.

The Minister said so when Ministers Lakshman Kiriella and Arjuna Ranatunga contradicted each other in Parliament yesterday while speaking on Cabinet approval for the Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA.

Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, in response to a supplementary question by UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena, said that he had not seen the FTA with Singapore yet. MP Gunawardena requested the minister to oppose the liberalisation of petroleum sector under the agreement and save the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation from privatisation.

Continue reading ‘Malik Samarawickrama Reveals in Parliament that the Attorney -General Had Opined There was no Need to Present Sri Lanka – Singapore Free Trade Agreement to Parliament.’ »

Colombo Chief Magistrate Recalls Notices Served on Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Six Others Over D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial Museum Case by Colombo Addl agistrate as”Illegal” but Impounds Passports of All Seven Suspects.

By

Kavindya Perera

Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday recalled the notice issued on former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had been ordered to appear before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court on 7 September, as a suspect in the case where he is alleged to have misappropriated State funds to the tune of Rs. 90 million in the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum at Weeraketiya.

Magistrate Dissanayake recalled the notice when the said case was called for hearing through a motion filed by the FCID.

Continue reading ‘Colombo Chief Magistrate Recalls Notices Served on Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Six Others Over D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial Museum Case by Colombo Addl agistrate as”Illegal” but Impounds Passports of All Seven Suspects.’ »

“Kalaignar” Karunanidhi Made Lasting Imprint On Tamil Cinema as a Film Script Writer

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Muttuvel Karunanidhi, known to the Tamil-speaking world as “Kalaignar” (artiste),passed away at the age of 94 in Chennai on 7 August. Karunanidhi had been Chief Minister of India’s Tamil Nadu state for a total of 19 years. Hewas Chief Minister of Tamil Nadufive times from 1969-71, 1971-76, 1989-91,1996-2001 and 2006-11. No other Tamil Naduchief minister has been in office for so long.

Another record was that of being party leader for nearly 50 years. He was the undisputed leader of the DravidaMunneraKazhagham (DMK) since 1969,leading the party through thick and thin for 49 years. The Dravidian patriarch was first elected to the State legislative assembly in 1957 and has not lost an election he contested personally since then. Few Indian politicians can boast of such an unbroken record.“Kalaignar” Muttuvel Karunanidhi was no ordinary politico but a veritable political institution.

Kalaignar and Nadigar Thilagam

‘Spotlight’ however does not intend to beam on Karunanidhi’s politics at this juncture.As is well known this column focuses on films, film personalities and film related matters. This column however would be focusing on“Kalaignar” Karunanidhi’s immense contribution to Tamil movies in a cinematic career spanning more than six decades of his life.
Continue reading ‘“Kalaignar” Karunanidhi Made Lasting Imprint On Tamil Cinema as a Film Script Writer’ »

The Sweet and Sour Real Life Romance of Reel Actors Savitri and Gemini

by
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The recent release and box-office success of the Telugu biographical movie‘Mahanati’ (Great Actress) has created a great deal of interest inthe famous South Indian actress Savitri. The bio-pic simultaneously released in Tamil as ‘Nadigaiyar Thilagham’ (Doyenne of Actresses) is about yesteryear actress K.Savitri who was known as Savitri Ganesh after she married Tamil romantic actor Gemini Ganesan also known as R. Ganesh and Gemini Ganesh.

Maya Sundari (1967)

Savitri ruled the roost in Telugu and Tamil filmdom for nearly 15 years in the fifties and sixties of the last century and was hailed as the finest actress of her time. The actress was extremely popular with Tamil and Telugu audiences during her time and enjoyed what could be termed as a cult following at the peak of her career.

The titular role of ‘Mahanati/Nadigaiyar Thilagam’ denoting Savitri is played by a young actress Keerthy Suresh who is of mixed parentage with a Malayalee father and Tamil mother. The key role of actor Gemini Ganesan/Ganesh is played by Dulquer Salman the son of Malayalam Super Star Mammooty. The film has evoked much curiosity about the real life romance between Savitri and her actor husband Gemini Ganesan. Although the couple had separated in later life, theirs was a love story that captivated film fans of an earlier era.

In recent times I have been requested by many Rasikas and admirers of the Gemini-Savitri duo to write about the real life romance of these two great reel life actors.This week’s ‘Spotlight’ therefore focuses briefly on a glamorous romance that began with great sweetness but sadly soured at the end.

Continue reading ‘The Sweet and Sour Real Life Romance of Reel Actors Savitri and Gemini’ »

Has Controversial Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva Violated Article 110 of Constitution by Presentian Himself as Part of Lawyer Team Looking After Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Interest During CID Questioning About Keith Noyahr Abduction?

Former Chief Justice Sarath Silva may have openly violated constitution by presenting himself as legal counsel for ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa who was questioned by police in connection with the abduction of journalist Keith Noyahr.

Official sources noted that the police Criminal Investigation Department (CID informed the Mount Lavinia Magistrate that Silva was present as part of the legal team of Rajapaksa when he was questioned at his Wijerama Mawatha home on August 17.

Continue reading ‘Has Controversial Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva Violated Article 110 of Constitution by Presentian Himself as Part of Lawyer Team Looking After Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Interest During CID Questioning About Keith Noyahr Abduction?’ »

If Courts Rule in Favour of Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Presidential Candidacy That Would Change the Course of Politics in Sri Lanka

by

Lakdev Liyanagama

Three and a half years after he was ousted from power, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was the focus of attention last week. Although some of the reasons for the publicity Rajapaksa generated may not have been to his liking, other events may have reignited presidential ambitions for the country’s fifth Executive President.

Rajapaksa hit the headlines when officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) recorded a statement from him last Friday regarding the abduction and assault of the then Deputy Editor of The Nation, Keith Noyahr.

Noyahr was abducted and assaulted on May 22, 2008 in Dehiwala. In the hours after his abduction, Karu Jayasuriya, who was the Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs in the Rajapaksa led government, was alerted by Noyahr’s colleagues. Jayasuriya telephoned Rajapaksa to inform him. Hours later Noyahr was released by his abductors, battered and bruised but alive to tell the tale.

Noyahr has since left the country and is now domiciled in Australia. However, investigators have pieced together the jigsaw relating to his disappearance and visited Australia to interview the journalist. Several army personnel including former Military Intelligence Director and Chief of Staff of the Army, Major General (Retired) Amal Karunasekara are in remand custody over Noyahr’s abduction and assault.

Previously, investigators had recorded Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s statement regarding his intervention. The interview with Rajapaksa was a natural follow-up on that. The CID forwarded Rajapaksa’s statement to the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Continue reading ‘If Courts Rule in Favour of Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Presidential Candidacy That Would Change the Course of Politics in Sri Lanka’ »

UNP Breakaways Planning to Form New Party With Ex- Party secy Tissa Attanayake as Leader and Ranil’s former Pvt Secy Sudath Chandrasekera as Gen-Secy with Alleged Backing of ex-cabinet minister Ravi Karunanayake?

Plans are afoot to start a United National Party breakaway party under the leadership of the party’s former General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, Asian Mirror reliably learns.

Although the new party will not align itself with the SLFP or the Joint Opposition, it will pressurise the government to protect the interests of the UNPers.

“It is now clear that we cannot wage that battle while being in the party. It is time to step out of the party and exert pressure on the party leadership,” a stalwart of he movement told Asian Mirror.

Continue reading ‘UNP Breakaways Planning to Form New Party With Ex- Party secy Tissa Attanayake as Leader and Ranil’s former Pvt Secy Sudath Chandrasekera as Gen-Secy with Alleged Backing of ex-cabinet minister Ravi Karunanayake?’ »

Does M. Karunanidhi’s Son and Successor M.K.Stalin Have The Leadership Skills of his Father To Lead the DMK Party to Victory at the Polls?

By Colonel R Hariharan

The passing away of Muthuvel Karunanidhi, 94, last of the leaders groomed in the Dravidian stable of rationalist godfather “Periyar” EV Ramasamy Naicker, leaves a huge void in Tamil Nadu politics. The leader, endearingly called Kalaignar (pronounced kalainyar, meaning gifted scholar) by his party cadres, was a man for all seasons. The rise of “Mu Ka” (his initials in Tamil) as he is known in political circles in the state, from backwoods of Tamil Nadu to the helm of the state as chief minister five times is a testimony to his political leadership and team work skills.

A man gifted with creative ability to write fiction, drama, poetry, political articles and movie scripts, he skilfully blended propaganda in his flowery oratory to build the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). His carefully worded speeches and writings often had a political barb, indicating his mindset.

He followed his mentor CN Annadurai when he founded the DMK in 1949, calling for secession from India to create an independent Dravida Nadu, comprising the four southern states. However, the huge popular support to the government during the 1962 Chinese invasion made the DMK abandon its ideas on secession.

Continue reading ‘Does M. Karunanidhi’s Son and Successor M.K.Stalin Have The Leadership Skills of his Father To Lead the DMK Party to Victory at the Polls?’ »

Erosion of our Institutions Is so Great That Mere Regime Change or replacing One Bunch of Politicians With Another Wont Get Country Back on the Democratic Track

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

The three years during which Sri Lanka breathed (or was it gasped?) in freedom’ seems to be the rather messily translated refrain which the United National Party at least is trumpeting to all and sundry as this month (August 2018) notes three years of the National Unity government being voted into power.

No call for fireworks and jubilation

On its part, the other coalition partner, the remnants of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and President Maithripala Sirisena is markedly silent in its celebration of this anniversary, in equal parts sullenly and awkwardly so.

Certainly there is no denying that this three year passing is not a marvelous thing of fireworks and wild jubilation. As images crowd the nation’s eye of a solemn President with minimum fanfare and little cost, pledging to the nation at Independence Square that he will lead the people from the crushing decade of Rajapaksa misrule in January 2015, even the cynical and jaded among us, took a step back.

Used to hearing politicians make promises and break them with impunity, we caught ourselves believing for just a moment that perhaps this was going to be a break from the past. Those first six months had their disappointments but as a new Government took control just months later and even with all its flaws, a 19th Amendment reversing the ills of the 18th Amendment in some part was passed, there was still some reason to hope, even with increasing skepticism as the case may be.

Continue reading ‘Erosion of our Institutions Is so Great That Mere Regime Change or replacing One Bunch of Politicians With Another Wont Get Country Back on the Democratic Track’ »

Why Is Mahinda Trying Hard to Become a President With Clipped Powers Instead of Easily Becoming a Prime Minister Empowered by the 19th Constitutional Amendment? – The Island

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island” of August 21st 2018 Under the Heading “Why this hullabaloo?)

Mahinda has set the cat among the pigeons, as is his wont. He has got his backers in the Joint Opposition (JO) to say he can run for President again. This argument is not of recent origin, though. It has been there since the introduction of the 19th Amendment. Some JO legal experts have held that the term limit therein cannot have retroactive effect, and Mahinda can contest a presidential election again. However, this is the first time the JO has gone public with its contention. Never a dull day in this land like no other!

Minister of Higher Education and former Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC, has shot from the hip. He declared, on Sunday, that Mahinda was disqualified from seeking another presidential term. The 19th Amendment debarred a twice elected president from contesting a presidential election again, he maintained. He also issued a dire warning that any presidential candidate who furnished false information as regards his or her eligibility to contest would be committing an offence punishable by a three-year jail term. But JO stalwart Dinesh Gunawardena is convinced otherwise. He says the 19th Amendment is flawed and Mahinda can contest a presidential election again.

Continue reading ‘Why Is Mahinda Trying Hard to Become a President With Clipped Powers Instead of Easily Becoming a Prime Minister Empowered by the 19th Constitutional Amendment? – The Island’ »

Siyam Nikaya Kotte Chapter Mahanayake Writes to President Sirisena Saying Gnanasara Thero Spoke For the Country and that Imprisoning Monks Who Speak for the Country Would be Seen As a Challenge to the Entire Bhikku Community

In a letter to President Maitripala Sirisena with regard to the imprisonment of Bodu Bala Sena general secretary Ven. Galagodaathte Gnanasara Thera, the Mahayanayake of the Kotte chapter of the Siyam Nikaya, the Most Ven. Ittapane Dhammalankara Thera has highlighted several points including the one that if monks who speak on behalf of the people and the country were imprisoned, it would pose a challenge to the entire Bhikkhu community.

Continue reading ‘Siyam Nikaya Kotte Chapter Mahanayake Writes to President Sirisena Saying Gnanasara Thero Spoke For the Country and that Imprisoning Monks Who Speak for the Country Would be Seen As a Challenge to the Entire Bhikku Community’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Nishantha Wickremesinghe, Sajin Vass Gunawardena and Kapila Chandrasena Noticed to Appear Before Presidential Inquiry Commission Probing Alleged Airline Malpractices on Aug 23,24 and 29

By

Manopriya Gunasekera

The Presidential Commission to inquire into allegations of large scale frauds and malpractices in SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering Ltd and Mihin Lanka (Pvt) Ltd has issued notices to four persons including former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremesinghe to appear before it.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Nishantha Wickremesinghe, Sajin Vass Gunawardena and Kapila Chandrasena Noticed to Appear Before Presidential Inquiry Commission Probing Alleged Airline Malpractices on Aug 23,24 and 29’ »

SLPP Chairman Prof GL Peiris Will Move District Court To Seek Clarification From Supreme Court as to Whether Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa is Eligible to Contest Presidential Elections.


By Shamindra Ferdinando

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman Prof. G. L. Peiris will soon move the District Court, seeking a clarification as regards President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eligibility to contest the 2019 presidential election.

Prof. Peiris revealed his party’s plan, yesterday, at a media briefing at the Nelum Mawatha Office of former President Rajapaksa.

Former External Affairs Minister Peiris said in terms of the Article 125 of the Constitution, the District Court could refer the matter to the Supreme Court for a ruling. According to him, the Supreme Court will have to make its ruling known to the District Court within two months.

Acknowledging that only the Supreme Court could interpret the Constitution, Prof. Peiris said that if necessary he was ready to go before the District Court in his capacity as the SLPP Chairman.

Continue reading ‘SLPP Chairman Prof GL Peiris Will Move District Court To Seek Clarification From Supreme Court as to Whether Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa is Eligible to Contest Presidential Elections.’ »

Senior State Counsel Reveals in Court that Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Told CID That He Could Not Remember If There was a Journalist Called Keith Noyahr at the Time of the Alleged Abduction

By
Shavini Madhara

Making a statement on the abduction and assault on Nation Newspaper Deputy Editor Keith Noyarh in 2008, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa informed the CID that he could not remember if there was a journalist called Keith Noyarh at the time of the alleged assault incident, the prosecution informed court yesterday.

Senior State Counsel (SSC) Lakmini Girihagama appearing on behalf of the CID made this revelation when the magisterial inquiry into the assault and abduction of journalist Keith Noyarh came up before Mount Lavinia Additional Magistrate Lochana Abewickrama. She also submitted the Court that the CID officials had recorded a statement from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa last Friday (August 17) regarding this incident.

Filing a further report in the Court, SSC Girihagama said the former President in his statement also stated that he could not remember whether he received a telephone call from the then Minister and incumbent Speaker Karu Jayasuriya regarding the incident.

Continue reading ‘Senior State Counsel Reveals in Court that Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Told CID That He Could Not Remember If There was a Journalist Called Keith Noyahr at the Time of the Alleged Abduction’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Wants to Find Out Whether He is Eligible to Contest Presidential Elections Again.


By

Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who served two consecutive terms in office from 2005 to 2015, appears keen on a third, despite a legislation barring him from contesting.

“There is an opinion that I can contest again, we need to find out if I am eligible,” he told reporters, on the sidelines of an event at a Colombo suburb on Saturday.

19th Amendment

Among other things, the 19th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution, passed three months after Mr. Rajapaksa was unseated in January 2015, revived a clause in the 1978 Constitution that said: “No person who has been twice elected to the office of President by the People, shall be qualified thereafter to be elected to such office by the People.”

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Wants to Find Out Whether He is Eligible to Contest Presidential Elections Again.’ »

Northern Chief Minister Accuses Northern Governor of Planning To Construct Buddhist Temples In Kilinochchi After Provincial Council is Dissolved:Cooray Dismisses Allegation as false& Challenges Wigneswaran To Prove it by Identifying Locations.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray has denied allegations that he was planning to construct two Buddhist temples in one-time LTTE stronghold Kilinochchi soon after the dissolution of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) run Northern Provincial Council later this year.

Cooray, a former MP said so in response to Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s recent declaration in Jaffna print media that the Governor’s Office was making arrangements to build two temples.

Northern Governor Cooray has challenged retired Supreme Court Judge Wigneswaran to reveal the locations where the alleged constructions were to take place.

Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Minister Accuses Northern Governor of Planning To Construct Buddhist Temples In Kilinochchi After Provincial Council is Dissolved:Cooray Dismisses Allegation as false& Challenges Wigneswaran To Prove it by Identifying Locations.’ »

Supreme Court Will Reject Requests From “Others” On Eligibility of Ex-Presidents Contesting Presidential Poll for Third Time as Only President Sirisena is Entitled to seek Supeme Court Opinion On the Question Says Wijedasa Rajapakshe


By

Amali Mallawaarachchi

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is not qualified to contest the upcoming Presidential election, Higher Education Minister Wijeyedasa Rajapakshe said yesterday.

He said that according to the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, a former President is barred from contesting any Presidential election.

The provisions stipulate that no President can hold the Executive Presidency for more than two terms.

He pointed out that some groups are trying to establish a notion that former President Rajapaksa could contest in the coming Presidential Election based on certain legal arguments.

Minister Rajapakshe further said neither former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga nor Mahinda Rajapaksa are allowed to run for a third term as the 19th Amendment to the Constitution does not allow so.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Will Reject Requests From “Others” On Eligibility of Ex-Presidents Contesting Presidential Poll for Third Time as Only President Sirisena is Entitled to seek Supeme Court Opinion On the Question Says Wijedasa Rajapakshe’ »

♥’Kaatriniley Varum Geetham’-Melodiously Sung by M.S. Subbulakshmi in/as “Meera”♫

By
D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Favourite Film Songs – 8

Madurai Shanmugavadivu Subbulakshmi known as MS Subbulakshmi or more popularly as ‘MS’was a sublime singer who ruled the Indian classical music world for over five decades.Blessed with a divine voice,immeasurable talent and ethereal beauty she captivated the hearts and minds of innumerable fans. MS was acknowledged at the time of Indian Independence as the “Nightingale of India”. Former Indian premier Jawaharlal Nehru once paid her a huge compliment saying ‘Who am I a mere Prime minister before a Queen, the Queen of Music’?

MS Subbulakshmi

MS Subbulakshmi

MS Subbulakshmi was born on September 16th 1916 in the southern city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. The current 2016 is her birth centenary year. Subbulakshmi whose pet name in childhood was Kunjamma trained in Carnatic music under Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and learnt Hindustani music from Pandit Narayanarao Vyas. Subbulakshmi’s mother Shanmugavadivu Ammaal was a Veena exponent hailing from the “Isaivaelalar” community. Her father Subramania Iyer was a Brahmin lawyer. She married Thiyagaraja Sathasivam known as “Kalki”Sathasivam who co – founded the popular Tamil weekly magazine “Kalki” and remained at its administrative helm for many decades.
Continue reading ‘♥’Kaatriniley Varum Geetham’-Melodiously Sung by M.S. Subbulakshmi in/as “Meera”♫’ »

Joint Opposition Would Approach Supreme Court in early September to Clarify Whether 19th Constitutional Amendment Has Debarred Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa From Contesting Presidential Elections or not .

Prof. G.L.Peiris, a former Sri Lankan Minister for Constitutional Affairs who is currently one of the leaders of the Joint Opposition (JO), has said that there is no constitutional bar against any person being President of Sri Lanka more than twice, even though the 19 th.Amendment (19A) enacted in 2015 says that a person cannot be President more than twice.

Resolving the apparent contradiction, Peiris told newsin.asia that the clause in the 19A which put a cap on the number of times a person can be President, refers to the post of President as defined by the 19A and not to the post of President as defined in the constitution which existed before 19A.

Continue reading ‘Joint Opposition Would Approach Supreme Court in early September to Clarify Whether 19th Constitutional Amendment Has Debarred Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa From Contesting Presidential Elections or not .’ »

Regime Change in Sri Lanka May Cause Unmanageable Political Conflict,Ethnic and Social Polarization and Make Violence Necessary For Both Regime Survival and Regime Resistance.


by
Jayadeva Uyangoda

Political discussions in the country at present are largely dominated by questions around two themes: which individual will win the next presidential election and which political party will win the next parliamentary election.

These are no doubt important questions, but there is a more serious political question about what will happen to Sri Lanka’s democratization agenda in the years to come. Political and social activists, who have made direct contributions to regime change in 2015, are particularly preoccupied with the latter question.

They are also quite worried about the indications that Sri Lanka is moving in the direction of another phase of direct assaults on democracy.

The recent reports that plans are afoot in some quarters to profile citizens into two categories as patriots and traitors on the basis of psychiatric indicators, however bizarre they may sound, actually smack a little bit of Nazism.

Continue reading ‘Regime Change in Sri Lanka May Cause Unmanageable Political Conflict,Ethnic and Social Polarization and Make Violence Necessary For Both Regime Survival and Regime Resistance.’ »

Neither Mahinda Rajapaksa Nor Chandrika Kumaratunga Are Eligibele To Contest Presidential Elections for a Third Time Due to 19th Constitutional Amendment says MP and Constitutional Expert Dr.Jayampathy Wickremaratne

There is no lacuna or provision in the 19th Amendment and its application for legal arguments to be made that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is eligible to contest in the upcoming 2019 presidential election, a top constitutional expert said, amid frantic attempts by the Joint Opposition to push for a third term for the controversial ex-President.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution has no retroactive effect, Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne, PC and MP told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

“Neither former presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga nor Mahinda Rajapaksa could contest for a third term, according to the law brought in by the 19th Amendment, he added. “If either Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga or Mahinda Rakapakse had been elected President on January 8, 2015 and the 19th Amendment was enacted on May 15, 2015, then the disqualification would not have applied in the current term as the election had already been held.”

Continue reading ‘Neither Mahinda Rajapaksa Nor Chandrika Kumaratunga Are Eligibele To Contest Presidential Elections for a Third Time Due to 19th Constitutional Amendment says MP and Constitutional Expert Dr.Jayampathy Wickremaratne’ »

“Former Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa Are Eligible to Seek Election To the Office of President whenever an Election is Held” – Ex-Justice Secretary and Constitutional Expert Dr.Nihal Jayawickrama.


By

Dr Nihal Jayawickrama

One of the declared objectives of the Government in introducing the Bill for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was to restore the provision that no person who had been twice elected to the office of President by the People shall be qualified thereafter to be elected to such office by the People. That provision in the 1978 Constitution had been repealed in 2010 by the 18th Amendment.

Did Parliament achieve the objective of reviving that disqualification? It would appear that that endeavour failed.

Why?

1. The 19th Amendment, by repealing and replacing Article 3 of the Constitution, abolished the existing office of President and replaced it with a new office of President.

The office of Executive President was established by Article 30 of the 1978 Constitution. It read:

30. (1) There shall be a President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, who is the Head of State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

(2) The President of the Republic shall be elected by the People and shall hold office for a term of six years.

In 2015, section 3 of the 19th Amendment provided as follows:

Article 30 of the Constitution is hereby repealed and the following substituted therefor:

30. (1) There shall be a President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, who is the Head of State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

(2) The President of the Republic shall be elected by the People and shall hold office for a term of five years.

Continue reading ‘“Former Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa Are Eligible to Seek Election To the Office of President whenever an Election is Held” – Ex-Justice Secretary and Constitutional Expert Dr.Nihal Jayawickrama.’ »