Mahinda Did not Make Maithripala Prime Minister Despite Maithri Helping Mahinda Become PM Under Chandrika.


By

Upul Joseph Fernando

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The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) went to Rajarata from Horagolla before it went to Medamulana. After the death of Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, Prime Minister W. Dahanayaka contested the 1960 March election from a separate party. The SLFP was led by C.P. de Silva, an MP from Rajarata. Sirima Bandaranaike who took reins of the SLFP in the July 1960 election wanted C.P. de Silva to take the lead.

Therefore, C.P. de Silva appeared as the Deputy Prime Minister. He was the MP for Polonnaruwa.

CP was the Leader of the House of the Sirima Bandaranaike Government, who did not care for CP and preferred her nephew Felix Dias Bandaranaike, disappointed CP crossed-over to the UNP and toppled the government in 1964.

Another MP from Rajarata, Maithripala Senanayaka was the Deputy Prime Minister who acted as Prime Minister during Premier Sirima Bandaranaike’s foreign tours in the 1970-77 Government. When the UNP Government took away her civicl rights, Maithripala asked for the party’s leadership from her.

Anura Bandaranaike also supported him but Sirima ill-treated Maithri by supporting her daughter, Chandrika and son-in-law Vijaya Kumaratunga. Maithri broke away from the party and supported the UNP at the 1982 Referendum. Maithri rejoined the SLFP, but Chandrika put his name in the National List in 1994 and did not offer him a seat.

The leaders of Rajarata have served the Bandaranaikes but they have not returned that goodwill in the same vein. Maithripala Sirisena is the leader who rose from Rajarata after Maithripala Senanayaka. He was appointed as the Secretary of the SLFP in 2001.

Chandrika wanted to appoint him as Prime Minister in 2004. If she was successful, the leadership of the SLFP would have gone from Horagolla to Rajarata. But, Maithri rejected it and proposed Mahinda for the post. Mahinda became the President later, and Maithripala of Rajarata was disillusioned as usual.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Did not Make Maithripala Prime Minister Despite Maithri Helping Mahinda Become PM Under Chandrika.’ »

President Rajapaksa says he has “Files” on the Four Ministers Who Quit his Govt but wont use them


By

Dharisha Bastians

President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a thinly-veiled threat against his former ministers who quit his Government on Friday that he had ‘files’ on them all.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Seven ruling party members quit his coalition Government last week, four of them holding ministerial portfolios. “I have enough files on their activities, but I won’t use them,” President Rajapaksa told crowds at the opening of the A12 Highway between Trincomalee and Anuradhapura.

He told the audience that his door was like a saloon door. “Anyone can go. Anyone can come,” President Rajapaksa noted.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa says he has “Files” on the Four Ministers Who Quit his Govt but wont use them’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Vows to Conduct Non – Violent Campaign Without Mud Slinging, Character Assassination and Free of Hate and Vengeance

By

Dharisha Bastians

Forty-eight hours after he announced his intention to challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a January poll, Maithripala Sirisena said the Government is facing a major crisis.

“There has been a great shakeup. So there will be challenges for us going ahead,” the former Health Minister said, after discussions with Kotte Naga Vihare Chief Incumbent and architect of the common Opposition platform, Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero yesterday.

He was accompanied to the temple by former Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne who also defected on Friday, UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya and UNP Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake.

Sirisena vowed to carry out a clean campaign that was free of hate and vengeance.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Vows to Conduct Non – Violent Campaign Without Mud Slinging, Character Assassination and Free of Hate and Vengeance’ »

Even if Mahinda Rajapaka Leaves the SLFP ,I wont Leave the Party says Nimal Siripala de Silva

By

Dharisha Bastians

The political week is poised to start with a bang, with a buoyant Opposition promising more defections from the ruling UPFA coalition, while the Government vowed yesterday that it had put measures in place to stop the bleed.

Crossover and counter-crossover speculation is rife, with several Government MPs expected to cross the chamber symbolically tomorrow during the Third Reading of the Budget.

Budget will be defeated, with the Government in command of a 157 majority in the 225 seat Parliament.
With the series of SLFP defections so far and the JHU’s withdrawal of support, the Government numbers could be down from 161 seats to 152, dangerously close to losing its two-thirds majority in the House that it has enjoyed since 2010.

“I give you my assurance as a Minister of Cabinet and I say this with responsibility. There will be no more conspirators and no more defections to the Opposition,” Power and Energy Minister Pavitra Wanniarachchi told the daily UPFA press conference at the SLFP Headquarters in Colombo yesterday.

The Government had been engaged in a major operation overnight on Saturday, the Minister told journalists.

Continue reading ‘Even if Mahinda Rajapaka Leaves the SLFP ,I wont Leave the Party says Nimal Siripala de Silva’ »

Life and Times of Tiger Supremo Thiruvengadam Veluppillai Prabhakaran

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

If Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)leader Thiruvengadam Veluppillai Prabhakaran was alive now,he would be celebrating his 60th birth anniversary on November 26th.The tiger supremo who was killed in Mullaitheevu district on May 19th 2009 was for decades the determining force in Sri Lankan politics.Though Prabhakaran is no more, the Sri Lankan Tamil people are yet to recover fully from the ravages of the long war fought by the LTTE.A battered and shattered community is slowly struggling to pick up the pieces and resume a peaceful, normal life that was torn asunder by years of long conflict.

VP6014N

The evolution and growth of the armed struggle for the goal of Tamil Eelam saw many Tamil militant groups emerge across the politico-military horizon. There was a time when nearly 34 outfits-big and small-existed.Among all these, the single organization that kept the Tamil armed struggle alive for decades was none other than the LTTE led by its autocratic numero uno Prabhakaran.From its de-jure birth on May 5th 1976 to its de-facto death on May 19th the LTTE under Prabhakaran fought on relentlessly towards its avowed objective of a separate Tamil state until the very last.

Prabhakaran who commenced his militant career with a single pistol had over the years built up the LTTE into a powerful movement running a shadow state and acquired the status of being a self-styled “Tamil national leader” (Thesiyath Thalaiver). When alive he was regarded as all powerful by his followers and supporters.He was once described by the LTTE’s political strategist, Anton Stanislaus Balasingham, as both “the president and prime minister of Tamil Eelam”. The ephemeral nature of power was illustrated vividly by the death of Prabhakaran who controlled what was perhaps the most powerful guerilla organization in the world and was raised to divine status as “Sooriyathevan” (Sun God) by his sycophantic followers.
Continue reading ‘Life and Times of Tiger Supremo Thiruvengadam Veluppillai Prabhakaran’ »

Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s Attempt in 2013 to Obstruct Justice to Safeguard Son Daham who Attacked Asela Waidyalankara

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Nov 21, 2014-pic via: facebook.com/PresidentMaithripala

Nov 21, 2014-pic via: facebook.com/

(Former Health minister Maithripala Sirisena is the man of the moment having quit the UPFA Govt and coming forward as the common opposition candidate challenging incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the Presidency with the slogan “Supirisidu Nayakathwayak, Maithree Palanayak”.This article was written by me at a time when Maithripala Sirisena was riding high as a powerful govt minister. This particular piece is about how Maithripala Sirisena’s son daham Sirisena and his drunken friends assaulted Asela Waidyalankara in front of his wife at a beach resort in Paasikudah in Batticaloa district.Asela the son of Senior DIG Police Ravi Waidyalankara was hospitalised as a result of the assault.In what was a blatant abuse of his ministerial powers, Daham’s father Maithripala allegedly used his political clout to obstruct justice in a bid to save his son from being penalised for the assault. I wrote this article in detail then as none of the mainstream media publicised what had happened in full then. This article which was first posted on March 1st 2013 is being re-posted here without any changes………..DBSJ)
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Sri Lanka today is a land of perplexing paradoxes and ironic contradictions. A former Army commander is forcibly dragged to captivity and court-martialled on flimsy charges by military personnel and officers who served under him.

The De jure Chief Justice of the country is “removed” from office on the basis of an adverse report presented by partisan Govt MP’s after Parliamentary Select Committee proceedings amounting to a Kafkauesque trial.

~ Asela Waidyalankara in Hospital ~ pic via: twitter/MangalaS ~ Mangala Samaraweera

The latest episode in this serial is the incident in the East where the only son of the serving Deputy Inspector General of Police is ruthlessly assaulted in an area within his father’s official jurisdiction. While the victim of the assault lies in a Colombo hospital, the father of the chief assailant a powerful cabinet minister is engaged in brazen efforts to thwart the course of justice to safeguard his son.

Continue reading ‘Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s Attempt in 2013 to Obstruct Justice to Safeguard Son Daham who Attacked Asela Waidyalankara’ »

Why Should Anyone Vote For Maithripala if he wont be President after 100 days and Ranil will be Prime Minister?

BY

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

Two cheers then for Maithripala Sirisena whose act of resistance and rebellion is truly heroic. Why cheer at all? And why two cheers instead of three? Hearty cheers are entirely warranted because Maithripala Sirisena has produced a Black Swan event; a real game changer.

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Having argued in the print and electronic media for years that Ranil Wickremesinghe should not be the Opposition’s presidential candidate, that a viable Opposition candidate must be one whose profile would cut into the incumbent’s monopoly of populist-patriotism, and as someone who has commended Maithripala Sirisena on many of my fortnightly TV shows, I am delighted at his candidacy. However, I am unconvinced about his electoral prospects and platform.

Maithripala Sirisena has rendered the Presidential election a real race instead of the walkover it would have been with Ranil Wickremesinghe as Mahinda’s opponent.

More importantly he has reintroduced competition and balance into a hitherto unipolar system.

Even if he loses the Presidential election, he would hopefully have founded a dissident SLFP; a centrist alternative to the populist neo-conservatism of the Rajapaksa regime.

Thereby he would have made feasible the prospect of defeating the government at the parliamentary election or at a referendum.

Continue reading ‘Why Should Anyone Vote For Maithripala if he wont be President after 100 days and Ranil will be Prime Minister?’ »

Home vs Home “Battle of the Blues”Gets Underway as Maithri Challenges Mahinda with the UNP Cheering all the way.

By

Don Manu

Struggling to hold back the insistent tear, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena on Friday came out of the UPFA closet to declare himself as the UNP led joint opposition parties’ choice to challenge President Rajapaksa for the presidency of Lanka.

“My wife Jayanthi, my children Charuni, Dahranie and Dhaham, they all came to me and said thaththe, we are prepared to even die, thaththe you take any decision. We have seen the immense strains you have been under as the secretary of the party and as a minister of this government.Thaththe we know what you are thinking when you come home, know what you are thinking when you lie on your bed, know what you are thinking from the way you talk to us. If, the secretary of the party, the Sri lanka Nidahas Pakshaya that runs this government and a minister of this government can have this mental pressures then it is proof of what mental pressures the innocent people of this country must be suffering under this government”, Maithripala Sirisena said with a choke in his voice,, before picking up the gauntlet and climbing aboard the joint opposition howdah placed firmly on the back of the UNP elephant to ride to the starter’s post.

Continue reading ‘Home vs Home “Battle of the Blues”Gets Underway as Maithri Challenges Mahinda with the UNP Cheering all the way.’ »

Will Defections from UPFA Govt Affect Rajapaksa Regime in Third Reading of Budget Vote?


By

Chandani Kirinde

When President Mahinda Rajapaksa presented the United Peoples Freedom Alliance’s (UPFA) 10th consecutive Budget to Parliament on October 24, a month ahead of the usual Budget period, it was obvious it was intended to win favour with voters at an early Presidential poll. What was not so obvious were the rumblings within the President’s own Party, which would spill over just days before the Budget was set for final approval.

The discontentment within the Ruling Party first came to light when two members of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), one of the UPFA’s constituent Parties, decided to stay away during the vote at the end of the Second Reading of the Budget. It did not seem more than a hiccup at the time, with the Budget being passed by a majority of 100 votes, 157 voting for and 57 against.

However, with the Third Reading of the Budget set for tomorrow, the recent high profile defections from the main constituent party of the UPFA, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), led by its General Secretary, Maithripala Sirisena, the vote may prove to be a close call for the Rajapaksa administration.

Continue reading ‘Will Defections from UPFA Govt Affect Rajapaksa Regime in Third Reading of Budget Vote?’ »

Can Cross Overs Swing the Balance to the Extent of Giving Opposition the Two-thirds Needed for Constitutional Change?

By

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya

When a workers’ uprising in 1953 in East Germany was crushed using tanks, the German poet Bertolt Brecht in a famous poem asked, if people disagree with the rulers:

“Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?”

The bitter irony of his words resonates with a brewing discontent in Sri Lanka’s political landscape that set the stage for the revolt within the ruling UPFA coalition, and the dramatic turn of events leading to the appointment of an SLFP stalwart, the party’s former General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, as the Opposition’s common candidate.

Friday’s live-broadcast press conference at the New Town Hall where the announcement was made, showed that this was very much an SLFP event — the emotional speech of former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge being one of its highlights. Four of the five UPFA defectors were from the SLFP. The UNP and JVP were not represented. This will be the first presidential contest in Sri Lanka where the two main contenders are from the same political party, though they will campaign on different policy platforms.

Thus the Opposition’s seemingly intractable problem of identifying a suitable presidential candidate has been resolved in a most unexpected manner. The UNP’s Working Committee, we are told, has unanimously approved Sirisena’s appointment.

Continue reading ‘Can Cross Overs Swing the Balance to the Extent of Giving Opposition the Two-thirds Needed for Constitutional Change?’ »

Nation Transfixed as Minneriya’s Maithripala Launches Full Frontal Attack on “Raja-Pakshaya”Dominance.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Four short years ago, it would have seemed quite unbelievable that esoteric concepts such as ‘an independent judiciary,’ ‘the Rule of Law, ‘the 17th Amendment’ and ‘abolition of the Executive Presidency’ would be tripping off the tongues of Sri Lanka’s citizenry, from a humble tea kiosk owner in an obscure corner off Pilimatalawa to a rural school principal in Mahiyangana.

Launching a full frontal attack

At that time, the Rajapaksa Presidency’s 18th Amendment enthroning an already powerful Executive Presidency was accomplished by a pliant Supreme Court with protests therein confined to a few solitary voices. The general citizenry, as it were, remained blissfully untroubled by these sophisticated goings-on in the far-away capital.

And amongst the so-called intelligentsia, (if Sri Lanka ever possessed such a class), extreme myopia prevailed. Indeed, some opined, notwithstanding the profound perversity of this sentiment, that a ‘little bit of authoritarianism’ would be good for the country. Certainly the ruinous impact of this thinking could not have become more evident in the years that followed.

This week, as the shock breakaway of formidable sections of the old-guard Sri Lanka Freedom Party from ‘Raja-pakshaya’ dominance, led by none other than the now deposed General Secretary of the Party, Minneriya’s Maithripala Sirisena transfixed the nation, we have come full circle.

At this group’s first press conference on Friday, a full frontal attack was launched on the Rajapaksa capture of Sri Lanka’s democratic process, including the judiciary, the police, the public service and electoral mechanisms. An unequivocal promise to restore the 17th Amendment and abolish the Executive Presidency was made with definitive time limits.

Continue reading ‘Nation Transfixed as Minneriya’s Maithripala Launches Full Frontal Attack on “Raja-Pakshaya”Dominance.’ »

It was Former Norwegian Envoy Hans Brattskar who First Informed Govt that the LTTE was Conscripting Two Persons per Family

By

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

(Full Text of Speech Prepared by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P. for the debate on the Votes on the Ministries of Justice and of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms during the Committee Stage of the Budget Debate, November 21st 2014 that was Not delivered because of the common candidate press conference)

I rise to speak on the votes today of two important Ministries. My main concern will be rehabilitation, where I think the Ministry can be proud of its work in having rehabilitated around 12,000 former combatants after the conclusion of the conflict with the LTTE in 2009.

This is of special concern to me, Mr Speaker, because as Head of the Peace Secretariat I was deeply worried about plans for rehabilitation. Nothing was being done about this, in part because the subject was then the preserve of the Ministry of Justice, which was more concerned then with what might be termed judicial issues. This was understandable, since there was much concern then about child soldiers, given the brutality of the LTTE in its system of forced recruitment.

In this regard, Mr Speaker, I must pay tribute to the Norwegian ambassador in place when I was first asked to work in this field, Mr Hans Brattskar. He was categorical in his response to the LTTE when it tried to remove the subject of child soldiers from the agenda of its discussions with government in June 2006. He made it clear that the Sri Lankan side had every reason to raise the issue, and perhaps it was that which led to the LTTE dodging those talks.

Continue reading ‘It was Former Norwegian Envoy Hans Brattskar who First Informed Govt that the LTTE was Conscripting Two Persons per Family’ »

Unlike the Fonseka Campaign of 2010 the Challenge Posed by Sirisena to the Rajapaksa Regime is Formidable.


By

Kalana Senaratne

It had to happen that way, and the break was only possible with a serious split within the regime. The moment had come for members of the SLFP to take the plunge. And when finally Vasantha Senanayake, MP, crossed over (the first member of the brave ‘suicide squad’) and mentioned that he knew who the common candidate was, the matter was settled. It had to be Maithripala Sirisena.

And yet it was somewhat remarkable, in this day and age of unprecedented surveillance, how the opposition forces kept the regime guessing, until a couple of hours before Minister Sirisena left it. But the gates are now open; this is set to be a wonderful and exciting battle, but also a very grotesque one. So grotesque that even the Pope would feel helpless.


Sirisena-campaign

The challenge posed by Maithripala Sirisena appears to be a formidable one. His is unlike the Fonseka-campaign of 2010, for the individuals are two very different political animals, the former being a seasoned politician, a man with a following within the SLFP voters and has stood by the SLFP, and one that all parties, including the UNP, have no serious problem endorsing as a ‘common’ candidate; especially against the present regime. Fonseka was a man who could have been easily isolated, and was. Not so, Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘Unlike the Fonseka Campaign of 2010 the Challenge Posed by Sirisena to the Rajapaksa Regime is Formidable.’ »

UPFA Administrations in Uva,Western and Central Provinces may fall soon if Councillors Defect for Multi-million Rupee Cash Prizes.

Following the cross over of former SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena and several other ruling party parliamentarians to the opposition, a lot of horse-trading is being done at the provincial council level to seize the power of at least three provincial councils before the next presidential election.

Highly placed political sources told The Nation that three provincial councils – namely Uva, Western and Central – are vulnerable to an unexpected development of that nature. In some Provincial Councils, the opposition had expressed willingness to offer cash prices standing at Rs 10 million to Provincial Councillors who are ready to cross over.

Continue reading ‘UPFA Administrations in Uva,Western and Central Provinces may fall soon if Councillors Defect for Multi-million Rupee Cash Prizes.’ »

Action will be taken against a Dozen SLFP Parliamentarians Identified as Potential Defectors .

About a dozen SLFP MPs have been identified as potential defectors and action would be taken against them, the AFP news agency reported yesterday quoting an official close to the president who asked not to be named.

AFP also quoted former Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne saying that the ruling party was split and many more were expected to jump ship. But he said that the dissidents were unlikely to try to block the national budget coming up for voting on Monday.

Continue reading ‘Action will be taken against a Dozen SLFP Parliamentarians Identified as Potential Defectors .’ »

Maithripala Sirisena is main Actor in the “Common Candidate” Mega Teledrama with Script Written by Ranil Wickremesinghe.

by

Maheen Senanayake

Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has been appointed General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva announced at a hastily organized press conference at party headquarters yesterday.

Six party stalwarts including, John Seneviratne, Nimal Siripala de Silva, AHM Fowzie, Dallas Allahaperuma, Susil Premjayanth and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa took the head table 45 minutes behind schedule to make the announcement.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena is main Actor in the “Common Candidate” Mega Teledrama with Script Written by Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

Dissolution of Parliament Likely if Large Scale Defection of Govt MP’s to Opposition Continues

Government seniors were this week considering the possible early dissolution of Parliament, the Sunday Times learns. Consultations at the highest levels were held on the pros and cons of dissolving Parliament.

This comes against the backdrop of the revolt by a section of ruling UPFA Ministers and MPs who have opted to back the opposition’s common candidate, former SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena at the January 8th presidential election against incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Mr. Sirisena’s party post was handed over to Petroleum Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and the Health Ministry was taken over by President Rajapaksa.

Continue reading ‘Dissolution of Parliament Likely if Large Scale Defection of Govt MP’s to Opposition Continues’ »

Boozing Increases Rapidly in Post-war Jaffna with 15,000 Litres of Arrack,Beer and Toddy Being Consumed Daily.

More than 15,000 litres of alcohol are consumed daily in the former war-torn district of Jaffna – a dramatic increase in liquor consumption patterns, statistics from the Excise Department reveal.

Figures show some 6 million litres of arrack and beer and 5m litres of toddy were consumed last year in Jaffna district, which has a population of under 600,000.

Continue reading ‘Boozing Increases Rapidly in Post-war Jaffna with 15,000 Litres of Arrack,Beer and Toddy Being Consumed Daily.’ »

“Maithripala Sirisena has Fallen into an Opposition Trap”says Mahinda Rajapaksa.

In response to former SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena’s announcement yesterday at the Colombo New Town Hall that he would be standing for the upcoming presidential election as the common opposition candidate, President Rajapaksa at a gathering at Temple Trees has Mr Sirisena has fallen into a trap by the Opposition.

The President made these comments yesterday at a gathering of Indigenous Medical Practitioners at Temple Trees. While addressing the attendees the President had remarked that Mr Sirisena had fallen into the opposition’s trap the same way former Army commander Sarath Fonseka did in 2010. The president further added that he felt sorry for Mr Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘“Maithripala Sirisena has Fallen into an Opposition Trap”says Mahinda Rajapaksa.’ »

Tamil National Alliance has Suddenly Started Acting as if they care about Presidential Politics in Sri Lanka.


By Sudat Pasqual

The normally intransigent Tamil National Alliance has suddenly started acting as if they care about presidential politics in Sri Lanka. The president, deputy president and at least one of the deputy secretaries of the TNA have been making coy statements about who the Alliance will support if a presidential election were to be held next year.

Wow, the TNA seem willing to take their subservient attention away from their diaspora mafia, however briefly, and actually consider acting in the best interests of their constituents in, get this, SRI LANKA! Praise is to Lord of Land and Police Powers.

Maybe the TNA feels neglected by all the hoopla and attention about a common candidate. Not many observers have paid much attention to the position of the TNA vis a vis a presidential election. Or, the TNA may be getting a whiff of Rajapaksa blood in the political air and is jostling for a place at the trough. Separate and equal. Slurp, slurp.

Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance has Suddenly Started Acting as if they care about Presidential Politics in Sri Lanka.’ »

“Mahinda Gamana”: From the Mahagedara in Medamulana to the Janadhipathi Mandiraya in Colombo

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa, known to his country and the world at large as Mahinda Rajapaksa, celebrated his 69th birthday yesterday (18 November). Sri Lanka’s fifth Executive President has been at the helm of the nation for nine years since November 2005. Currently he is poised to create a record of sorts by contesting presidential elections for the third time. Whether he wins or loses History would be made.

7th Deyata Kirula Exhibition, Ampara-Mar 24, 2013-pic via: facebook.com/NamalSL

7th Deyata Kirula Exhibition, Ampara-Mar 24, 2013-pic via: facebook.com/NamalSL

Once the presidential poll is in progress the media spotlight will beam on this son of the Ruhunu even more powerfully than the past in the days to come. It is perhaps a sign of the times that the Editor of the Daily FT has asked me to write a personality piece about President Mahinda Rajapaksa at this juncture.

Delving deep into research about the man from Medamulana and his colourful background is both an interesting and fascinating task. There is no doubt that Mahinda Rajapaksa the politician is demonised by his opponents and deified by his supporters. On the other hand there is no denying that the metamorphosis of Mahinda from a mischievous boy into becoming the responsible Head of State is a tale worthy of narration. In that context the Daily FT Editor’s request provides an opportunity to shift focus from the current politics of the President to that of his personal story and family history.

Continue reading ‘“Mahinda Gamana”: From the Mahagedara in Medamulana to the Janadhipathi Mandiraya in Colombo’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa will Secure a Third Term Regardless of who Challenges him say UPFA MInisters

by

Shamindra Ferdinando

President Mahinda Rajapaksa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa

UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha and National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday said that incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa was capable of securing a third term hands down regardless of who challenged him at the next presidential election.

Addressing the media at SLFP headquarters yesterday afternoon, they said the UPFA was confident of a comfortable victory at the forthcoming poll.

The media briefing was held about two hours before former SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena, MP, announced his candidature as the common candidate.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa will Secure a Third Term Regardless of who Challenges him say UPFA MInisters’ »

7 UPFA MP’s Cross Over to Opposition as UNP Endorses Candidacy of Maithripala Sirisena

By

Dharisha Bastians

The United National Party Working Committee, the party’s apex decision-making body yesterday endorsed the candidature of Maithripala Sirisena as the common Opposition candidate.

Following months of uncertainty about whether UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would contest President Rajapaksa in the 2015 election, the Working Committee formally endorsed the selection of the former Health Minister.

Earlier in the day, the UNP’s special committee on elections, dubbed the G20, met to discuss the issue of Sirisena’s candidacy.

UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya spoke in favour of the SLFP General Secretary, saying it was a viable choice and urging the UNP to throw its weight behind his candidacy.

Continue reading ‘7 UPFA MP’s Cross Over to Opposition as UNP Endorses Candidacy of Maithripala Sirisena’ »

Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena Pledges to Appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister of his Cabinet.

By

Dharisha Bastians

The Opposition pulled off a coup early barely 24 hours after the declaration of snap presidential polls, stealing President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party stalwart to run as the incumbent’s main challenger.

pic via: facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

pic via: facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

Maithripala Sirisena, Health Minister and General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party – the main constituent in the ruling UPFA coalition – quit the Government and announced his entry as the common opposition candidate at what is tipped to be a January poll.

“I am the common candidate,” said Sirisena, who received a tumultuous welcome at New Town Hall in Colombo, when he stepped out of his official convoy. Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne accompanied Sirisena to the venue of the press conference to officially announce his candidature.

Continue reading ‘Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena Pledges to Appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister of his Cabinet.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena to be Common Opposition Presidential Candidate Under “Supirisidu Nayakathwayak, Maithree Palanayak”Slogan.

Polonnaruwa District Parliamentarian Maithripala Sirisena has announced that he would contest as the common candidate of the opposition at the forthcoming Presidential elections. He made this announcement at a special press conference at New Town Hall Colombo a short while ago.

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He has released his slogan for the upcoming Presidential election next year titled,‘Supirisidu Nayakathwayak, Maithree palanayak’.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena to be Common Opposition Presidential Candidate Under “Supirisidu Nayakathwayak, Maithree Palanayak”Slogan.’ »

Presidential Elections to be held on January 8th 2015 Confirms Elections Department.

The Department of Elections has now confirmed that the declared presidential election will be held on January 8, 2015.

According to officials of the department nominations for the presidential race are to be called on December 8.

Continue reading ‘Presidential Elections to be held on January 8th 2015 Confirms Elections Department.’ »

“My Wife Told me not to go Against the President but my Fight is Against Executive Presidency not him”-Rajitha Senaratne

By

Deepal Warnakulasuriya

Parliamentarian Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has said that the Executive Presidency was the cause for the start and the end of the war.

Speaking at a special media briefing, Dr. Senaratne stated that the Executive Presidency had also been the cause for several problems within the country including the the JVP insurrection.

Continue reading ‘“My Wife Told me not to go Against the President but my Fight is Against Executive Presidency not him”-Rajitha Senaratne’ »

Chandrika Kumaratunga Announces Return to SLFP to Back Maithripala Sirisena at Presidential Poll.

By

Deepal Warnakulasuriya

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge said that she had come back home to the SLFP through today’s move to back Maithripala Sirisena’s candidature as the common candidate.

Press Briefing-Nov 21, 2014

Press Briefing-Nov 21, 2014

Addressing the special media briefing today said she was forced out of the SLFP on her birth day and no one stood up for her.

“I asked President rajapaksa to take the party leadership in a responsible manner, but he didn’t want to listen me,” she said.

Continue reading ‘Chandrika Kumaratunga Announces Return to SLFP to Back Maithripala Sirisena at Presidential Poll.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Pledges to Abolish Executive Presidency Within 100 Days if He Emerged Victorious at Election

Former Health Minister and General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Maithripala Sirisena today revealed that he would be the ‘Common Candidate’ from the opposition to challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming presidential election in January.

Sirisena made the announcement at a tightly packed media briefing held at New Town Hall in Colombo this evening, thus ending days of speculation regarding who will be the much discussed common candidate.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Pledges to Abolish Executive Presidency Within 100 Days if He Emerged Victorious at Election’ »

Maithripala Sirisena, Rajitha Senaratne,MKDS Gunawardena, Duminda Dissanayake Stripped of Portfolios by Mahinda Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MPs who formed a breakaway group to support the opposition’s common candidate have been stripped of their ministerial portfolios and privileges on the orders of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena, Rajitha Senaratne,MKDS Gunawardena, Duminda Dissanayake Stripped of Portfolios by Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Says “This may be my last State Function” at Battaramulla Event Amidst Speculation that he will Quit Govt.

SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena addressing an event at Battaramulla a short while ago said, ‘this may be my last state function’, amid widespread speculation that he might break ranks with the incumbent regime.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Says “This may be my last State Function” at Battaramulla Event Amidst Speculation that he will Quit Govt.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena When Questioned About Being Common Opposition Candidate Laughs and Laughs and Laughs……

By

K.G. Karunarathene and Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena told our sister paper in Gampaha that that there was talk going around that he was going to resign from the government.

The Minister had gone to the funeral of Silumina Consultant Editor Karunadasa Suriyaarachchi in Gampha as a representative of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government, to express his condolences.

While he was there, a journalist attached to the Lankadeepa Newspaper questioned the minister on the reports that he was ready to leave the government and become the Common Candidate to compete against the incumbent President-:.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena When Questioned About Being Common Opposition Candidate Laughs and Laughs and Laughs……’ »

President Rajapaksa Seeking Unprecedented Third Term Signs Proclamation at Auspicious Time of 1.32 PM on Nov 20th 2014


By

Dharisha Bastians

President Mahinda Rajapaksa put Sri Lanka on the mark for snap presidential polls early in the new year, by signing a proclamation yesterday announcing his decision to seek re-election for an unprecedented third term in office.

At the auspicious time of 1:32 PM on 20 November, President Rajapaksa placed his signature on the proclamation requesting the Commissioner of Elections to prepare for presidential elections two years ahead of schedule.

“Know Ye that by virtue of the powers vested in me by paragraph (3A) of Article 31 of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, I, Mahinda Rajapaksa, President, do by this Proclamation, hereby declare my intention of appealing to the People for a mandate to hold office, by election, for a further term,” the proclamation states.

The proclamation follows the unanimous endorsement of President Rajapaksa at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Central Committee meeting at Temple Trees on Wednesday night.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Seeking Unprecedented Third Term Signs Proclamation at Auspicious Time of 1.32 PM on Nov 20th 2014’ »

UPFA Gampaha District M.P. Wasantha Senanayake Announces his Crossover to the UNP at Sirikotha.

United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Gampaha District Parliamentarian Wasantha Senanayake joined the United National Party (UNP) a short while ago at party headquarters, Sirikotha.

Speaking to journalists at a media briefing a short while ago at Sirikotha, Senanayake said that he considers transparency to be vital and the present Constitution was behind many of the ills the country was facing. He said that the executive presidency should not be abolished but reformed.

Continue reading ‘UPFA Gampaha District M.P. Wasantha Senanayake Announces his Crossover to the UNP at Sirikotha.’ »

UNP Condemns Attack on Sadaham Sevana Buddhist Temple where JHU Parliamentarian Athureliye Rathana Thero Resides.

(Text of Press Release Issued by the United National Party)

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It is with a profound sense of sadness and shock that we condemn the attack on the Sadaham Sevana Buddhist Temple, the residence of Venerable Athureliye Rathana Thero, the parliamentarian representing the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU).

Continue reading ‘UNP Condemns Attack on Sadaham Sevana Buddhist Temple where JHU Parliamentarian Athureliye Rathana Thero Resides.’ »

Angry Mob Surrounds JHU Chairman Athureliye Rathana Thero’s Sadham Sevana Temple at Rajagiriya

Police security was tightened around the temple led by Jathika Hela Urumaya Chairman Athuraliye Rathana Thero yesterday, after the premises was surrounded by an angry mob days after the party announced it was quitting ministerial positions in the ruling UPFA coalition.

pic via: sadahamsevana.org

pic via: sadahamsevana.org

Rathana Thero’s Sadhaham Sevana temple in Rajagiriya was surrounded by unidentified protestors who alleged he was illegally occupying Government land.

Election monitors have referred to the incident as the first attempt at intimidation ahead of the proclamation of snap elections by the President.

Condemning the attempt to intimidate Rathana Thero, the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections said he had been at the forefront of attempts to field a common Opposition candidate at the forthcoming polls.

Continue reading ‘Angry Mob Surrounds JHU Chairman Athureliye Rathana Thero’s Sadham Sevana Temple at Rajagiriya’ »

Rumblings of Discontent Heard as Liberal Party Leader Rajiva Wijesinha M.P. Writes to President Rajapaksa.

(Text of Letter sent by Liberal party leader and National list MP Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha to President Rajapaksa on behalf of the party expressing disappointment at current developments)

Your Excellency

At the last meeting of the Executive Committee of the Liberal Party, it was decided, as requested by them, to support the request of the Left Parties that national elections not be held in the short term.

We too feel that it would be better instead to embark on the reforms that have been pledged in Your Excellency’s manifesto as well as in other contexts.

These reforms should be based on the vision Your Excellency used to express regarding bringing government closer to the people, and ensuring greater responsiveness and accountability in respect of local needs. The need for devolution is something the Liberal Party has always stressed, but we have also been conscious of the need for national security.

Continue reading ‘Rumblings of Discontent Heard as Liberal Party Leader Rajiva Wijesinha M.P. Writes to President Rajapaksa.’ »

C.Rudhraiah the Tamil Fillm Director who made the Great Film “Aval Appadithaan”Passes away at 68

Tamil film director C. Rudhraiah, who took inspiration from the French New Wave Film Makers, and made two remarkable films—Aval Appadithan and Gramathu Athiyayam—died here on Tuesday. He was 67 and is survived by his wife, a daughter and son.

C. Rudhraiah

C. Rudhraiah

‘Aval Appadithan’, espousing the idea of feminism, failed to make any impact in the box-office though the stars of the film included Kamal Hassan, Rajinikant, Sivachandran and Sripriya. Kamal Hassan sang ‘Panneer Pushpangale’, one of the finest film songs, in the music of Ilayaraja.

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“It was released on a Deepavali Day in 1978. But its second release achieved the success,” said Tamil writer Vannanilavan, who along with Ananthu wrote the dialogues for the film. Vannanilavan said Rudhraiya was a great admirer of French New Wave Film Makers, who were known for their iconoclastic ideas and experiments on social ideas.

Continue reading ‘C.Rudhraiah the Tamil Fillm Director who made the Great Film “Aval Appadithaan”Passes away at 68’ »

“Superstar”Rajnikanth says he is hesitant not afraid to enter politics just as his new film “Linga”is to be released

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

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It was waiting to happen. Rajnikanth-watchers cannot be blamed if they were expecting something like this from the ‘Superstar’ ever since his upcoming film, Lingaa, was launched.

Now that the film is closer to release date — which is yet to be fixed but could be his birthday, December 12 — Rajni has spoken his mind on one of his, and their, pet themes, once more.

Answering requests and appeals from fellow film personalities for him to enter politics at the launch of the audio-cassette of Lingaa in Chennai over the weekend, the Superstar only had this to say. Yes, he was not ‘afraid’ of politics, but was still a ‘little hesitant’.

“Everybody wants me to enter politics. I’m aware of its depth and danger. I’m not afraid, but just a little hesitant,” Rajni said. And in his true philosophical style, he added: “It’s not in my hands. If god wills, I will serve the people.”

Continue reading ‘“Superstar”Rajnikanth says he is hesitant not afraid to enter politics just as his new film “Linga”is to be released’ »

No Restrictions on Basil Rajapaksa Effectively Presenting Himself as the Main Decision Maker in Government.

By

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

Underlying Basil’s solipsism was his political ambition. He made no bones about the fact that he saw himself as his brother’s successor. Indeed, he had been put into Parliament before the 2010 election, though a resignation of a National List member that was engineered, on the grounds that there had to be a Rajapaksa available for appointment as President if anything untoward happened to the incumbent. And though soon after the election of 2010 Mahinda Rajapaksa introduced a constitutional amendment to remove term limits, so that Basil’s hope of being seen as necessarily the government candidate in the next election was dashed, the President placed no restrictions on him presenting himself as effectively the main decision maker in government.

So, in addition to his work in the North, he set about taking control of developmental projects all over the country. Tourism was brought under the Ministry of Economic Development, which allowed him soon after the government was formed to sell a prime block of land in Colombo to Shangri-La hotels, a crass measure since it made it difficult afterwards to refuse outright ownership to such investors. Fortunately, after a great outcry, the principle that only long leases should be permitted was accepted, but again the move was typical of Basil’s propensity to push through deals quickly, regardless of wider consequences.

Continue reading ‘No Restrictions on Basil Rajapaksa Effectively Presenting Himself as the Main Decision Maker in Government.’ »

Greatest Despair is Lack of a Credible Challenger from the Opposition to Combat Mahinda Rajapaksa

By
Dharisha Bastians


“..And may the odds be ever in your favour”

Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

‘At the stroke of the midnight hour’ on 20 November, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who turned 69 years old on Tuesday was tipped to finally rubber-stamp and reveal the world’s worst kept secret. On 19 November 2014, President Rajapaksa completed the mandatory four years in office before he was constitutionally empowered to call snap elections for the presidency.

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Speculated for months nationally and internationally, prefaced by two months of ‘soft campaigning’ by President Rajapaksa’s re-election team and Opposition squabbling and intrigue, the die shall finally be cast. Soon, Sri Lankans will embark on a brief six-week journey on the road to electing their seventh executive president.

Over the years, major national elections have often taken on an air of excitement and expectation in Sri Lanka. Incumbents are always unpopular, voters spy small chances to cast a revolutionary franchise. There are always surprises in the ring – pleasant and unpleasant. Violence is never a stranger to Sri Lankan polls. And yet promises of change and new beginnings whisper in the wind.
The election scheduled for early 2015 is a very different beast.

Continue reading ‘Greatest Despair is Lack of a Credible Challenger from the Opposition to Combat Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Consensus Emerging for Karu Jayasuriya to be Joint Opposition Candidate for Presidency


by

Zacki Jabbar

pic via: facebook.com/KaruJayasuriya

pic via: facebook.com/KaruJayasuriya

The Joint Opposition Front (JOF) to contest the next Presidential Election was expected to be formally established on Friday, informed sources said.

The parties to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) based on a six-point programme, would include the United National Party(UNP), Jathika Hela Urumaya(JHU), National Movement for Social Justice(NMSJ), Democratic Peoples Front(DPF), Nava Sihala Urumaya(NSU), National Unity Alliance(NUA) and Eksath Janatha Peramuna(EJP).

Arjuna Ranatunga MP, was also expected to sign the MoU the sources said, adding that a consensus had emerged among the parties that UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya should be named the JOF’s Common candidate. “The formation of a strong Opposition Front is more important than who our candidate is since the objective is to abolish the executive presidency which has been the main cause for the chaos resulting from the deteriorating law and order situation and rampant corruption at the highest levels.”

Continue reading ‘Consensus Emerging for Karu Jayasuriya to be Joint Opposition Candidate for Presidency’ »

Sections of UNP Trade Unions want Ranil Wickremesinghe as Presidential Candidate with the Elephant Symbol.

by

Shamindra Ferdinando

RWUNP052313

An influential section of the UNP is bringing pressure to bear on the party Working Committee to nominate its National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to contest the upcoming presidential election with newly appointed Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, MP, playing a significant role.

Convenor of UNP trade union organisation at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Ananda Palitha yesterday told The Island yesterday that there shouldn’t be a further delay in unanimously naming Wickremesinghe as the UNP candidate.

Responding to a query, Palitha revealed that his union on behalf of trade unions affiliated to the party and others backing Wickremesinghe’s candidature would write to all members of the decision making Working Committee tomorrow (Nov. 21) demanding that the leader be named the UNP’s presidential candidate.

Continue reading ‘Sections of UNP Trade Unions want Ranil Wickremesinghe as Presidential Candidate with the Elephant Symbol.’ »

Mahinda Releasing Convicted Indian Smugglers to Appease Modi may Boomerang on Sri Lanka.

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

It was reported in the media last week that President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Premier Narendra Modi discussed the issue of the five Indian fishermen convicted by a Colombo Court for drug offences and sentenced to death.Though there were rumours earlier that Modi telephoned Mahinda, New Delhi reports indicated that it was Mahinda who had telephoned and expressed the desire to speak to Modi. Mahinda is reported to have told Modi that he was prepared to grant presidential amnesty to the five fishermen.

Despite these developments between the two leaders, the Indian High Commission in Colombo is readying to appeal against the High Court verdict to the Court of Appeal. The Mahinda-Modi telephone conversation appears to have embarrassed the Indian High Commission here. Even in the past during the rule of the Congress Party in India, Mahinda’s Government had issues with the Indian High Commission in Colombo.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Releasing Convicted Indian Smugglers to Appease Modi may Boomerang on Sri Lanka.’ »

President Rajapaksa Commutes Death Sentence for 5 Indian Drug Smugglers and Releases them to Indian High Commission.

By

Meera Srinivasan

The five Indian fishermen on death row in Sri Lanka on drug-trafficking charges, walked free on Wednesday, after President Mahinda Rajapaksa used his executive powers to commute their death penalty.

High Commissioner of India, Y. K. Sinha, met the five fishermen after their release to ascertain their well being.- pic via: twitter.com/Madrassan

High Commissioner of India, Y. K. Sinha, met the five fishermen after their release to ascertain their well being.- pic via: twitter.com/Madrassan

The five have been released into the care of the Indian High Commission before being sent back to India, an official said. It is learnt that they will serve no further jail term in India.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision on the release appears to be a commutation of the fishermen’s sentence to the term already served.

The gesture, described by the Indian High Commission here as humanitarian, ended three weeks of uncertainty over their fate, after the Colombo High Court sentenced them to death on October 30. It follows intense diplomatic activity, which saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking to Mr. Rajapaksa on November 9, and several behind-the-scenes talks.

The five fishermen — Emerson, P. Augustus, R. Wilson, K. Prasath and J. Langlet, all hailing from Tamil Nadu — were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy in November 2011. Three Sri Lankan fishermen were also sentenced to death with them.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Commutes Death Sentence for 5 Indian Drug Smugglers and Releases them to Indian High Commission.’ »

Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s Request to meet Narendra Modi Denied to Avoid “wrong Message”to Sri Lanka Govt

By

Suhasini Haidar

Chief Minister Wigneswaran

Chief Minister Wigneswaran

Intense pressure from New Delhi convinced Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa to commute the death penalty of the five Indian fishermen.

To begin with, the legal process was guided by the Indian High Commissioner Yash Sinha in Colombo. In addition, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is due to visit Sri Lanka in the next few months had also worked the phones, particularly with Foreign Minister GL Peiris, who is also a lawyer by training. At least two senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are also understood to have sent direct messages to President Rajapaksa in the past few weeks.

Next, NSA Ajit Doval is believed to have conveyed the government’s intention to pursue the issue seriously.

Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s Request to meet Narendra Modi Denied to Avoid “wrong Message”to Sri Lanka Govt’ »

Kuttan from Kerala,the Legendary Doorman of Galle Face Hotel Dies at 94 After 72 Years of Service


Kottarapattu Chattu Kuttan, the legendary hotel doorman, who served world leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Richard Nixon at the famous Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, has died.

GFHK

The Indian-origin doorman of the country’s iconic hotel, known as Kuttan, passed away peacefully at the age of 94 on Tuesday after a brief illness.

“The iconic doorman at the Galle Face Hotel who made history for being one of the oldest hotel employees in the world. Passed away peacefully in the early hours of 18th November 2014. May his soul rest in peace!,” Galle Face Hotel said on its Facebook page on Kuttan’s death after serving the institution for 72 years.

Sanjeev Gardiner, the hotel’s chairman, said it was a “truly sad day“.

Continue reading ‘Kuttan from Kerala,the Legendary Doorman of Galle Face Hotel Dies at 94 After 72 Years of Service’ »

“Thiru K. Pathmanabha Shared a Common Birthday with my Mother”- Rajiv Gandhi

By

Rajiv Gandhi

RGIG

(Statement of condolence issued by former Indian Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi when Comrade Pathmanabha was assassinated by the LTTE in 1990)

I met Thiru K. Pathmanabna in Delhi just a few days before his tragic assassination. It is hardly believable that one so young, so bright, so full of life, with so much to contribute to his people, should no longer be with us. That our Government was unable to provide him protection is a matter of national shame. We extend our sincerest sympathies to his wife and the other members of his family.
EPRLF_KP
Continue reading ‘“Thiru K. Pathmanabha Shared a Common Birthday with my Mother”- Rajiv Gandhi’ »

Comrade Pathmanabha Our Leader and Mentor

By the EPRLF Central Committee

Thiru K.Pathmanabha

Thiru K.Pathmanabha


(Comrade Pathmanabha alias Nabha a.k. a. Ranjan ,the Secretary-General of Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation front(EPRLF)who was born on November 19th 1951. The following Excerpts are reproduced from the blogspot in his memory run by a loyalist faction of the EPRLF to commemorate his 63rd birthday. Comrade Nabha was gunned down by the LTTE in Chennai on June 19th 1990)

Comrade Pathmanabha was born on 19th November 1951 into a middle class family from Kankesanthural in Jaflha. Despite a stable and a harmo­nious family background, comrade Nabha refused to be lulled into a self centered complacency that Is typical of any ‘middle class’ existence. His first exposure to social movements that was able to demonstrate its ca­pacity to challenge the rigidity and backwardness of the caste ridden Jaffna society was the anti-caste struggle of the mid 60s. Although Comrade Nabha’s family belonged to the dominant vellala caste, he was particularly sensitive towards and angered by the human degradation inherent in an acutely caste ridden and caste conscious society. The anti caste movement in the middle 60s. which encompassed the broad left and pro­gressive Intelligentsia, had a lasting impact on Comrade Nabha who was then In his mid-teens. It is necessary to mention here that one of the centers of the anti-caste agitation was the Mavattapuram Hindu Temple which was located in the neighborhood where Comrade Nabha lived and noto­rious for barring entry to those of the depressed castes.

During the late 60s and early 70s. Comrade Nabha was caught-up in the turmoil of youth unrest and student movement which then had become a world-wide phenomenon. While the youth movements all over the world were closely linked to agitations against U.S. Imperialist aggression against the Vietnamese people, they also had their internal dimensions and specificities depending on the socio-economic and political situation prevailing In each society. In the Sri Lankan context, the youth movement was the direct result of unemployment and landlessness. while the upheavals amongst the Tamil youths were, in addition to the above factors, fuelled by stale discrimination in the sphere of land, employment and education. The 1971 insurrection led by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). despite its adventurist nature, introduced for the first time into the Sri Lankan polity, the element of armed struggle.

Continue reading ‘Comrade Pathmanabha Our Leader and Mentor’ »

Campaign run by Elite-strategists in Colombo Cannot help Opposition win the Forthcoming Presidential Elections.


by
Vishwamithra 1984


“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
~Margaret Mead

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Allow me to say it at the very outset: No campaign run by a group of elite-strategists, cloaked in suits and ‘Satakayas’, cooped up in air-conditioned rooms in Colombo and smoking cigars and sipping cognac and wine will help the Opposition to win the forthcoming Presidential Elections. They need to make this look not only like a ‘people’s campaign’, they ought to decentralize the campaign to such an incredible extent, each and every voter must feel that he or she is directing this campaign.

“Martin Luther King announced the Poor People’s Campaign at a staff retreat for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in November 1967. Seeking a ‘middle ground between riots on the one hand and timid supplications for justice on the other,’ King planned for an initial group of 2,000 poor people to descend on Washington, D.C., southern states and northern cities to meet with government officials to demand jobs, unemployment insurance, a fair minimum wage, and education for poor adults and children designed to improve their self-image and self-esteem… The Poor People’s Campaign was seen by King as the next chapter in the struggle for genuine equality.” (Source: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Global Freedom Struggle)

The impending Presidential Election battle between the people of Sri Lanka, the average voters and the reigning powers is going to assume colossal proportions before long. The only way to dispel fear from the minds of the voter is to make him confront it head-on, from the day of nominations to the exact hour when the results are declared. There must not be rest in between, none whatsoever! The fear of loss of a job, the fear of losing privileges, the fear of ‘White Vans’, the fear of intimidation and assault and even the fear of death must be dared and challenged and defeated. Then and only then the desired result would be attained.
Continue reading ‘Campaign run by Elite-strategists in Colombo Cannot help Opposition win the Forthcoming Presidential Elections.’ »

JHU Gives President Rajapaksa “Birthday Present” by Resigning Minister Posts and Refusing to Support Mahinda’s Re-Election Bid.

By

Dharisha Bastians

Striking a heavy blow on President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 69th birthday yesterday, the JHU, a key constituent ally in the ruling UPFA Government, threw in the towel and refused to support his re-election bid.

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Making a widely-anticipated announcement in Colombo yesterday, Jathika Hela Urumaya monks and laymen announced that the party would quit ministerial portfolios they hold in President Rajapaksa’s Government and the Western Provincial Council.

The Buddhist monk-led party said it was stepping out of roles of responsibility within the UPFA Government because the President had refused to agree to several key constitutional amendments ahead of a presidential election.

“We wish President Rajapaksa a happy birthday, and we hope he accepts our announcement as a gift that aims to show the way, according to Buddhist principles and from a true friend,” JHU Leader Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thero told a packed press conference at the National Library Auditorium last morning.
The JHU had been engaged in wide discussions with the Government regarding important constitutional reforms including limiting the powers of the executive presidency and establishing the independence of the Judiciary, the party said.

Continue reading ‘JHU Gives President Rajapaksa “Birthday Present” by Resigning Minister Posts and Refusing to Support Mahinda’s Re-Election Bid.’ »

Champika Ranawaka and Udaya Gammanpila Resign as Ministers but Jathika Hela Urumaya with Govt Parliamentary Group.

by

Shamindra Ferdinando

Having failed to clinch an agreement with the SLFP on a seven-point plan to address several contentious issues including parliamentary democracy and good governance among other matters ahead of the next presidential election, JHU General Secretary Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday announced an action plan to pressure the government.

Addressing the media at the National Library Services and Documentation Board, after having handed over a letter informing President Mahinda Rajapaksa of his decision to give up Science, Technology and Atomic Energy portfolio, Ranawaka said that Udaya Gammanpila would give up Agriculture, Agrarian Development, Minor Irrigation, Industrial and Environment portfolio of the UPFA-run Western Provincial Council.

Responding to a query, Ranawaka said his party would continue to remain with the UPFA parliamentary group.

The JHU had been accused by a section of the government of pushing for the abolition of executive powers at the behest of the NGOs and Western powers, Minister Ranawaka said.

Continue reading ‘Champika Ranawaka and Udaya Gammanpila Resign as Ministers but Jathika Hela Urumaya with Govt Parliamentary Group.’ »

Absolutely Wrong to say Indian Intelligence Agencies Supported Tamil Militant Groups with the Aim of Creating Tamil Eelam

by

Col R Hariharan

(Text of an E-mail interview with Dr Parasaran Rangarajan, editor-in-chief of the International Law Journal of London, on November 16, 2014 is reproduced here)

Q: It is well known that the official position of the government of India never advocated for the separation of Sri Lanka with Tamil Eelam but operations in the 80’s were conducted via the External Intelligence Agency of the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) to arm the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) whose main goal was to form a separate state. How do you explain this in terms of contradiction of actions of the separate institutions of state?

Continue reading ‘Absolutely Wrong to say Indian Intelligence Agencies Supported Tamil Militant Groups with the Aim of Creating Tamil Eelam’ »

If India were to feel threatened by every Chinese movement, no Indian can sleep in peace, now or ever.

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

Three Chinese naval vessels calling on Sri Lankan ports in over six months – two of them submarines that can only be offensive platforms – and sections of the Indian strategic community is disturbed once again. They are even more concerned about Colombo’s purported nonchalance to India’s concerns, expressed to visiting Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, brother of the nation’s President who was reportedly called in mainly for the purpose a couple of weeks ago.

It’s not known if Sri Lanka had informed India about the Chinese naval visits, or if it is required by security protocols or precedents between the two. If not, did Sri Lanka make any effort at concealing/downplaying the Chinese naval visits from India or the rest of the world? Three, does India have reasons to believe that anything secretive might have happened with or on board these vessels that should be of concern, now or later?

If the answers to these questions are convincing, there is no reason for the Indian strategic community to keep talking about the ‘China bogey’ all the time, as if they could not afford to miss any opportunity to flag it – real and imaginary. India is far away and far ahead from 1962, and they can trust the Indian security apparatus (of which most of them were a part until the day before) to do what is needed under the circumstances. The same may go with truant neighbours, if any.

Continue reading ‘If India were to feel threatened by every Chinese movement, no Indian can sleep in peace, now or ever.’ »

After Meeting with Mahinda and Gotabhaya at House of Tiran Alles , Sobitha Thera Gets Admitted to Hospital and Goes Silent.

Democratic National Alliance (DNA) parliamentarian Tiran Alles who successfully supported the enthronement of Sajith Premadasa as the Deputy Leader of the UNP, had carried out another political feat. If one thought he was serving the interests of the UNP earlier, this time, however, it became clear that he was serving the interests of the UPFA even more.

He arranged a meeting for Ven. Sobitha Thera with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. It was on Wednesday night at 345/33, Kuruppu Lane, Colombo 8. The venue is the house of Tiran Alles’ father, the late R.I.T. Alles.

Continue reading ‘After Meeting with Mahinda and Gotabhaya at House of Tiran Alles , Sobitha Thera Gets Admitted to Hospital and Goes Silent.’ »

Mangala Samaraweera will Remain with UNP Despite Having Dinner in Moratuwa with Mahinda and Namal Rajapaksa.

The dinner at the Moratuwa residence by the Bolgoda Lake of Mangala Samaraweera on November 3 was something both special and significant. The guests were President Mahinda Rajapaksa and son, HambantotaDistrict parliamentarian Namal.

It was special because it was the first time since being sacked as a Minister seven years ago from the Rajapaksa Government; that Mangala Samaraweera was sitting down to a private dinner with the President. It was significant because that was the culmination of an understanding he had reached on some issues — a prelude to joining the UPFA Government –during talks first with Namal and later with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.

Continue reading ‘Mangala Samaraweera will Remain with UNP Despite Having Dinner in Moratuwa with Mahinda and Namal Rajapaksa.’ »

Mahinda has won the next Presidential Election even Before it has been Officially Declared.

By

C.A.Chandraprema

One thing that became clear over the past few days is the manner in which president Mahinda Rajapaksa has kept the lines of communication open between himself and even his bitterest critics and opponents. On Thursday last week, the websites were full of the news that the president had met Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera at the house of DNA parliamentarian Tiran Alles in the company of SLFP veteran Nimal Siripala de Silva and others and tried to charm the monk into withdrawing from the floundering common candidate platform.

The anti-govt. websites had portrayed this meeting as a case of ‘threatening’ Ven. Sobitha. But the senior monk himself scotched such rumours. The opposition platform probably fears that Ven. Sobitha would succumb to the Rajapaksa charm. Indeed President Rajapaksa has no reason to threaten anybody. The whole common candidate drama is now an embarrassing fiasco with well known anti-government websites like Colombo Telegraph and Sri Lanka Mirror reporting that even Maithree Wickremesinghe and Sunethra Bandaranaike are being considered to be the common candidate!As far as anybody can see, MR has already won the next presidential election even before it has been officially declared.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda has won the next Presidential Election even Before it has been Officially Declared.’ »

“Captain Cool”Arjuna Ranatunga Ready to Contest Presidential Poll as Common Candidate of the Opposition.

By

Waruni Karunarathne

Former Sri Lanka cricket captain and opposition MP Arjuna Ranatunga says he is ready to be the common opposition candidate for the next Presidential elections.

Ranatunga has already extended support to the campaign led by the leader of the People’s Movement for a Just Society, the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha thero. “My politics is based on the country’s requirement. If other parties and the public want me to be the common candidate, I will accept it.

If they believe I am the suitable candidate and if they request I will not hesitate to come forward for the country,” MP Ranatunga told The Sunday Leader.

Continue reading ‘“Captain Cool”Arjuna Ranatunga Ready to Contest Presidential Poll as Common Candidate of the Opposition.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa is Foxier than the Old Fox Junius Richard Jayewardene


After spending three thousand two hundred and eighty eight days in office as Sri Lanka’s fifth Executive President, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to issue a proclamation calling for a presidential election within the next four days. It will be, arguably, his most controversial political gamble yet

Rajapaksa cleared the first hurdle in his third race for the Presidency on Monday when the Supreme Court opined that there was no legal impediment against him contesting for the country’s highest office for an unprecedented third time. Few expected the court to say anything otherwise, anyway.


Nine years ago, when Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa, assumed office, not many would have predicted that he would still be at the helm of affairs of the state almost a decade later. But he is — and he plans to do so for many more years to come, much to the chagrin of an Opposition that is trying to counter him. Like a champion boxer, Rajapaksa has kept winning round after round in a 15-round bout. The Opposition is like the punching bag now with no strength to take the champion on.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa is Foxier than the Old Fox Junius Richard Jayewardene’ »

Ruwanthi de Chickera’s Play Without Words”Walking Path”Walks Again at Lionel Wendt on November 21 and 22

By

Uditha Jayasinghe

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Brilliant and brave are two appropriate words to describe Ruwanthie de Chickera. Her latest venture, a play without words titled ‘Walking Path,’ is returning to the Lionel Wendt on 21 and 22 November. It will be staged at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Grab your tickets for a thought provoking and unique experience.
In an interview with the Weekend FT, ahead of the play Ruwanthie shared her thoughts on ‘Walking Path’ and as per her usual style presented stark insights into Sri Lanka’s society.

Following are excerpts:

Q:Was there any special reason for bringing ‘Walking Path’ back on the boards?

We only ran it for two days when we opened in July. It was something new and we were not sure how the audience would take to it. But the response has been overwhelming. So we feel that there are more people who would want to see this play, now that they have heard about it. The word has gotten out about the play – that it is something new and unusual, we have had excellent reviews – there are students of theatre who want to see it, because of its style; the play has been selected for an international theatre festival in December. All these are reasons for staging it again……

Continue reading ‘Ruwanthi de Chickera’s Play Without Words”Walking Path”Walks Again at Lionel Wendt on November 21 and 22’ »

Karu Jayasuriya Being Candidate Would Rattle Rajapaksa Regime Far More Than Ranil Wickremesinghe Would.


BY

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

Karu candidacy would rattle the regime’s cage far more than a Ranil one would, and that cage badly needs rattling

The best, as they say, must not be the enemy of the good. I have long advocated that the best kind of candidacy for the Opposition would have been or would be a Karu-Sajith or Sajith-Karu ticket, i.e. a ticket that symbolized the UNP Reformist option of 2011-2013. That ticket no longer exists. That bitter fact is probably far more Karu’s fault than that of anyone else, but right now, all that must be regarded as water under the bridge.

Given that reality, I think that a Sajith candidacy would be the best for the UNP and the Opposition. That too seems unlikely to materialize unless the UNP suddenly comes to its senses and holds a secret ballot among its elected representatives.

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Karu Jayasuriya

This being absent from the agenda, the choice seems to come down to a Ranil candidacy or a Karu one. Of the two, a Ranil candidacy is the weakest because it would be the most vulnerable to regime propaganda attack which will have a wide social resonance.
Continue reading ‘Karu Jayasuriya Being Candidate Would Rattle Rajapaksa Regime Far More Than Ranil Wickremesinghe Would.’ »

Officially Sanctioned Unofficial Execution of JVP Supremo Rohana Wijeweera 25 Years Ago

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Patabandi Don Nandasiri Wijeweera known to the world at large as Rohana Wijeweera was killed twenty –five years ago on November 13th 1989.The revolutionary leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) or Peoples Liberation Front was 49 years old at the time of his death. The mastermind behind two bloody insurrections – in 1971 and from 1987 to 89 – was taken into custody on Nov 12th in the Kandy district and brought to Colombo. With Wijeweera’s capture and death the second JVP insurgency petered down gradually and ended.

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The second JVP insurgency lasting for more than three years resulted in thousands of people being brutally killed by both the JVP as well as the counter insurgency forces comprising Police, para-military and security personnel. While no reliable estimates are available of the number of killings done by security personnel and other agents of the state, there are official figures of the killings done by the JVP.

Continue reading ‘Officially Sanctioned Unofficial Execution of JVP Supremo Rohana Wijeweera 25 Years Ago’ »

Dilan Perera Envied by Colleagues as Upeshka Swarnamalie Requests and gets Post to Monitor his Ministry.

By

Don Manu

The most envied minister in the UPFA cabinet this Sunday morning must undoubtedly be the Minister for Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Dilan Perera. Not only for his dashing looks and his jet black hair for a man of his age but mainly for receiving presidential benediction and special dispensation for his Badulla election flop.

It came in the form of 30-year-old Kuwait-born television actress, UPFA MP Upeksha Swarnamalie, better known as Paba after her popular screen role, charged with the presidential warrant to keep eyes focused on Dilan and his ministry and to monitor progress.

It had the ministers gritting their teeth in disbelief and undisguised envy, wondering if this was the reward for a simple failure what would be the gift for an electoral catastrophe.

Continue reading ‘Dilan Perera Envied by Colleagues as Upeshka Swarnamalie Requests and gets Post to Monitor his Ministry.’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Must Cast Aside Fears and Enter Presidential Race Irrespective of Victory or Defeat

By

Don Manu

Leader of the House Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said it best when he told Parliament on Tuesday, “The Supreme Court has given an excellent judgment.”

Now with the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling, a vehement ‘yes ‘resounded ten times round the table for added comfort, the sibilant squeaks of moribund dodos that peeped out of the deadwood to hold otherwise have been silenced; and the way has been cleared of lingering nettles, for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest for a third consecutive term of presidential office without any legal bar to give him the blues.

The only question left for him to ask now, and, this time, receive answer not from the Supreme Court but from the entire nation, is: “Contest against whom?”

Whilst the President has conducted his affairs impeccably and has shown himself to be a decisive man of action by voluntarily requesting the judicious hands of Supreme Court judges to lift the pall of murky doubt as to his eligibility to contest again and reveal the true landscape in legal light, there is Bedlam in the opposition camp.

Adorned in the whitest white of legitimacy’s softest fleece and sashed with the purple seal of supreme approval, the President has presented himself at the starter’s post and is already on his mark; whistle in hand, ready to blow the race to a start. As things stand in the opposition locker rooms, he might as well sound it and get the sprint over with.

So what’s the problem bedeviling Siri Kotha?

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Must Cast Aside Fears and Enter Presidential Race Irrespective of Victory or Defeat’ »

“TNA Should not Encourage External Factors Including the UN to Interfere with Sri Lanka”-Douglas Devananda

By

Arthur Wamanan

Jaffna District Parliamentarian and General Secretary of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), Douglas Devananda, says that he welcomed the Supreme Court determination that allowed President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the Presidential polls for the third time since he was the only leader to provide a dignified peace to the country where all people are treated equal.

In an interview with The Nation, he criticized the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for indulging in selfish politics that deprived the Tamil people of their rights, and misleading them through false claims. “The TNA should realize the reality and come to terms with it. They should not encourage external factors including the UN to interfere with Sri Lanka and should try to solve issues by discussions. The Government has always been open for discussions. They should use these opportunities to discuss and solve the issues,” he said.


Following are excerpts of the interview:

Q. The Supreme Court gave a decision that President Mahinda Rajapaksa can contest for a third time. What impact would that have on the people, especially those in the North and East?

Continue reading ‘“TNA Should not Encourage External Factors Including the UN to Interfere with Sri Lanka”-Douglas Devananda’ »

Can Chandrika Kumaratunga Contest Presidential Elections for a Third Time Like Mahinda Rajapaksa?

By

Zahrah Imtiaz

When Leader of the House, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, announced in Parliament on Tuesday, 11 November, the Supreme Court Opinion on the third presidential term of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the immediate reflection in the minds of many was; ‘if Mahinda can, so can Chandirka’.

The matter, however, is not so straightforward.

As the Opposition is frantically looking for a common candidate, to bring all parties in the Opposition onto a common platform to defeat President Rajapaksa, the former President too, has sought a comeback. Whether she is qualified to do so, is another matter altogether.

Continue reading ‘Can Chandrika Kumaratunga Contest Presidential Elections for a Third Time Like Mahinda Rajapaksa?’ »

UNP Affiliated Eksath Bhikku Peramuna Warns Ranil of Withdrawing Support if Karu Jayasuriya is not made Presidential Candidate.

Eksath Bhikku Peramuna, affiliated to the UNP has warned that it will withdraw support for the party at the upcoming presidential election unless UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya is declared the presidential candidate.

Ven. Girambe Ananda Thera has, in a letter to UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, insisted that it is the UNP prerogative to name the presidential candidate in accordance with the campaign spearheaded by Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, convenor of the Movement for Just Society.

Ven. Ananda has stressed that former Deputy Leader of the UNP is the only one suitable in the party to be the Opposition common candidate.

Continue reading ‘UNP Affiliated Eksath Bhikku Peramuna Warns Ranil of Withdrawing Support if Karu Jayasuriya is not made Presidential Candidate.’ »

Erik Solheim says Norway made Economic Resources Available to the LTTE Peace Secretariat with full Knowledge of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

By

Lakna Paranammana

While rejecting the allegations of supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Norwegian peace facilitator Erik Solheim said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was fully supportive of Norwegian peace efforts and encouraged Norway to continue and had asked Norway to keep him informed of developments.

Responding to the allegations levelled against him by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on actively funding the LTTE, Solheim stated that economic resources were only made available to the LTTE Peace Secretariat and that it was done with the full knowledge of the Government of Sri Lanka under different leaders, including President Rajapaksa.

Continue reading ‘Erik Solheim says Norway made Economic Resources Available to the LTTE Peace Secretariat with full Knowledge of Mahinda Rajapaksa.’ »

President Rajapaksa Accuses Norway and Erik Solheim of Financing the LTTE During the War.


President Mahinda Rajapaksa has demanded that the Norwegian government must probe the funding of the LTTE during the island’s three-decade civil war, alleging that Norway financed Tamil Tigers.

“They (Norway) gave money to the LTTE. The Norwegian government must investigate. We have evidence on how they funded the terrorists,” Rajapaksa said addressing a political gathering in Kurunegala.

He specifically blamed former Norwegian minister and peace facilitator Erik Solheim for backing the LTTE.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Accuses Norway and Erik Solheim of Financing the LTTE During the War.’ »

“JVP Leader Rohana Wijeweera Groaned While Being Thrown Into the Incinerator”-Eye Witness Account of Army Photographer Indrananda de Silva

By

Udeni Saman Kumara

Rohana Wijeweera

Rohana Wijeweera

(Former Lance Corporal of Sri Lanka Military Police, Indrananda de Silva, reveals the last moments of JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera before he was killed after interrogation)

Q: What is your name?

A: Indrananda de Silva.

Q: Do you remember November 1989?

A: The most unfortunate incident of my life took place in that month.

Q: What were you then?

A: I was a Lance Corporal of Sri Lanka Military Police.

Q: What was your duty?
A: I was the photographer for Military Police.
Continue reading ‘“JVP Leader Rohana Wijeweera Groaned While Being Thrown Into the Incinerator”-Eye Witness Account of Army Photographer Indrananda de Silva’ »

Does President Rajapaksa Think that China Would be Supportive of his Pursuing a Narrow, Political Agenda in Sri Lanka?

By

Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

(Text of Speech made in Parliament on November 14th 2014 by Tamil National Alliance Leader and Trincomalee District MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan)

Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

1

14/11/2014

ගරු ආර්. සම්පන්දන් මහතා
(மாண்புமிகு ஆர். சம்பந்தன்)
(The Hon. R. Sampanthan)

I believe I have 30 minutes, Mr. Chairman, but the Hon. John Amaratunga has agreed to grant me five minutes more.
Continue reading ‘Does President Rajapaksa Think that China Would be Supportive of his Pursuing a Narrow, Political Agenda in Sri Lanka?’ »

Princess “Yarl Devi” Rules the Hearts of her People Once Again!

Text and Pictures by Thulasi Muttulingam

To many people the world over, the ‘people’s princess’ might be an accolade reserved for Diana; for the people of Jaffna however, it is the Yarl Devi. They have waited a long time now for her home-coming – a long anticipated reunion realized only recently with the opening of the Jaffna station by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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Depending on whom you ask, her arrival heralds different memories for different people; for some, it’s memories of being excited children taking family trips to Colombo with their parents; for others, memories of the convenient and efficient transport system they utilized as civil servants returning home on week-ends; for yet others, the joy of serving her and her passengers faithfully as station masters…
Continue reading ‘Princess “Yarl Devi” Rules the Hearts of her People Once Again!’ »

“T-shirt Thugs in 2 White Vans and 1 Red Benz came to World Trade Centre to Assault me During Hiru TV Debate”-Ranjan Ramanayake M.P.

By

Anura Bandara Rajaguru


United National Party MP Ranjan Ramanayake, in an interview with our sister paper Mawbima said, there was a plot to assault him at the Hiru TV debate and he left in order to avoid an unpleasant incident.


Following are excerpts:


Q:
What actually happened at that television debate? What happened behind the scene?

A: I must thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about what happened. There was a scheme behind the incident. Our intelligence sources scented it. I was aware that my telephone conversations were being recorded. I was under surveillance. My Facebook account was hacked and information extracted.

I continued to express my views via television debates and social media. I discussed the budgets of the Head of State and extravagances of the offspring. I criticized the ministers. Although I did not complain to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, I had done the necessary thing. As a result, Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara is seeking Rs 500 million in damages from me. Nimal Lanza is seeking a damage of Rs 1 billion. There are others too.

Continue reading ‘“T-shirt Thugs in 2 White Vans and 1 Red Benz came to World Trade Centre to Assault me During Hiru TV Debate”-Ranjan Ramanayake M.P.’ »

Deepika Padukone Illuminates Hindi Screen with Flaming Successes in Succession


By

Dinesh Raheja

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone

A cheesy line of dialogue in the Diwali blockbuster Happy New Year proffering a rather simplistic piece of wisdom can be paraphrased thus: “There are two types of people in the world—winners and losers”. Few people these days can be tagged with a rare degree of sanguineness than the film’s leading lady, Deepika Padukone, and she is undeniably a winner. Her seemingly obvious triumph is unique for the surprising fact that a few years back she was a hair’s breadth away from being labelled a loser, headed for a plateau peo¬pled by interchangeable B-town beauties.

Yet, look at Deepika today! The 28-year-old has racked up five money-spinners and a clutch of acting trophies in two years, with HNY opening to a staggering Rs 100-crore weekend. What’s more, the dimpled Deepika’s cartilage-defying moves and glib Marathi accent pro¬vide perk and passion to the testosterone-¬heavy film. Shahrukh Khan, her co-star in a trio of hits now (Om Shanti Om, Chennai Express and Happy New Year), reflects, “I think Deepika was always a star. We had shown the OSO song Aan¬khon mein teri to Amitji (Bac¬hchan) and he had prophesied, ‘She will be a huge star!’” About his protegee’s remarkable trajectory, Shah¬rukh observes, “I have not¬hing to do with her success. She has earned it…. She has made great choices. Besides Cocktail and Finding Fanny, she has wisely chosen commercial films.”

Continue reading ‘Deepika Padukone Illuminates Hindi Screen with Flaming Successes in Succession’ »

No Decision Taken by Mahinda Rajapaksa to Issue Presidential Pardon for Five Indian Narcotics Smugglers Sentenced to Death.

by

Meera Srinivasan

A day after Sri Lankan Deputy Minister Prabha Ganesan announced that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was ready to pardon the five Indian fishermen facing death penalty, presidential spokesperson Mohan Samaranayake on Wednesday told The Hindu: “Until now, no decision has been taken to that effect.”

Asked why Mr. Ganesan made an announcement to the contrary, sources close to the President’s office said Mr. Rajapaksa only spoke of possibly commuting the death sentence to life.

On Tuesday, an appeal was filed against the Colombo High Court’s sentence awarding death to the Indian fishermen, and three Sri Lankans, for alleged drug trafficking. In a late evening development on Tuesday, Mr. Ganesan — who met the President to offer his support in the coming elections — told the media that the President was ready to pardon the fishermen if India did not go ahead with the court appeal.

Continue reading ‘No Decision Taken by Mahinda Rajapaksa to Issue Presidential Pardon for Five Indian Narcotics Smugglers Sentenced to Death.’ »

Indian High Commissioner Y.K.Sinha has Detailed Discussions with TNA Leader R. Sampanthan and SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem.

By

Lakshmi Jayakody

Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R. Sampanthan, and Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Rauff Hakeem, have reportedly met Indian High Commissioner, Y.K. Sinha last Saturday (8), authoritative sources disclosed.

High Commissioner H.E. Y.K.Sinha at the flag hoisting ceremony at India House on Republic Day - 26 January 2014

High Commissioner H.E. Y.K.Sinha at the flag hoisting ceremony at India House on Republic Day – 26 January 2014

They said the two minority party leaders have had detailed discussions with the Indian Envoy.
These talks have lasted three hours, but the details were not disclosed.

Political analysts view these talks as crucial with a presidential election likely to be announced early next week.

Continue reading ‘Indian High Commissioner Y.K.Sinha has Detailed Discussions with TNA Leader R. Sampanthan and SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem.’ »

“Thamil Eelam is not Separation:it is the name of our Motherland”-Northern Provincial Council Chairman CVK sivagnanam.

BY

Mirudhula Thambiah

Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chairman, C.V.K. Sivagnanam replying to the allegations kept forward by the Opposition Leader S.Thavarasa said the TNA- council is definitely a better administrator.”We are better administrators. I’m responsible for what I’m saying. We are not second to any administrators, we have no corruption or any extortion,” he said.

Following are the excerpts:


Q:
Last week Opposition Leader Thavarasa said the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has progressed only up to 25.17 % over the past year. Is that correct and why couldn’t you progress more?

A: I totally deny the statement by Thavarsa. I don’t know what denominator he had used to arrive at the said percentage. According to our Provincial Council Budget and the Appropriation Act passed in December 2013, our total expenditure is Rs 15, 526 million.Our capital expenditure is Rs 1, 876 million. According to the progress review report by the Northern Chief Secretary,Rs 19, 481 million is the total expenditure of the NPC.

Continue reading ‘“Thamil Eelam is not Separation:it is the name of our Motherland”-Northern Provincial Council Chairman CVK sivagnanam.’ »

Rajnikanth,Kamal Haasan and the Influence of Actors in the Politics of Tamil Nadu.

By

N Sathiya Moorthy.

On his 60th birthday on November 7, Tamil cinema’s ever-green actor Kamal Haasan signed up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s‘Swachh Bharat’ (‘clean India) campaign. With that, he also took with him, his fan-following under the ‘Kamal Haasan Narpani Mandram’ (welfare club).

It is one thing that Modi promptly tweeted Kamal’s initiative, but the actor clarified that there was ‘no political philosophy’ behind it.

A self-acknowledged non-believer, who otherwise swears by Dravidian icon, ‘Periyar’ E V Ramaswamy Naicker, Kamal obviously wanted to send out a clear message that his joining the ‘Clean India’ campaign did not mean that he approved of Modi/Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Hindutva’ agenda or any other.

It did not mean much in political terms as Kamal Haasan, almost since the start of the welfare club named after him, had made it clear to his fans that entering politics was not his cup of tea.

In comparison, Tamil cinema’s other ‘super-star’ Rajnikanth, often accused of using his film-releases to send out a ‘political message’ to garner additional expectation at the box-office, has stayed away from his fans and crowds on his birthday (December 12) for years now.

Continue reading ‘Rajnikanth,Kamal Haasan and the Influence of Actors in the Politics of Tamil Nadu.’ »

Ven.Rahula Thera of “Namal Uyana”Fame Advises Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa not to Enter Active Politics.

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island” of November 13th 2014 Under the heading “Monk’s advice to mandarin”)

Politics is a disease which popularity predisposes some people to. Those who excel in their chosen fields are often asked whether they intend to take to politics. Some of them stoop so low as to go behind politicians, seeking nominations or allow themselves to be lured into partisan politics. Among them are scholars, former judges, sports personalities and various other professionals like doctors, engineers, accountants et al.

Ven. Rahula Thera of the Namal Uyana fame has recently urged Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa not to take to active politics. The monk is of the view that the top bureaucrat can continue to render a better service to the country while holding his current position.

Defeating terrorism is thought to be Gotabhaya’s greatest achievement. True, winning a protracted war considered ‘unwinnable’ is no mean achievement. But, he can preen himself on winning a bigger war elsewhere—on public roads. He got Sri Lankan drivers to wear seat belts, a task that many thought was impossible! He has also been instrumental in carrying out urban beautification and densification projects in the face of stiff resistance from some quarters.

Continue reading ‘Ven.Rahula Thera of “Namal Uyana”Fame Advises Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa not to Enter Active Politics.’ »

Jathika Hela Urumaya Ready to Help President Mahinda Rajapaksa Become Another King Mahasen.


by

Zacki Jabbar

President Mahinda Rajapaksa who once walked from Colombo to Kataragama calling for the abolition of the executive presidency could become another Mahasen if he only listened to reason, a constituent member of the UPFA government said yesterday.

Leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Omalpe Sobitha Thera addressing a rally at Muttiah Park in Colombo, organised by the Peoples Movement for a Just Society, headed by Sobitha Thera and his very own party member and Chairman of the National Council for a Clean Tomorrow, Rathana Thera calling for an end to the executive presidency, observed that Rajapaksa was similarly placed as King Mahasen

Though Mahasen was today remembered as a great leader towards the latter stages of his rule he did a lot of wrong things and many in his inner circle including his trustworthy Minister and friend Maghavannabaya had launched a public campaign to oust him. Even as public protests gathered steam, Maghavannabaya visited the King taking along with him some of his favourite food, which prompted Mahasen to query why he was working against him and also trying to be his friend, to which Maghavannabaya replied: ” You are a great King, but of late you have been treading a wrong path. We, have no personal vengeance against you. It is our love for the country and its people that has forced us to agitate against you. The King having listened patiently apologised and changed his ways. That is why Mahasen is even today remembered as a great King.”

Continue reading ‘Jathika Hela Urumaya Ready to Help President Mahinda Rajapaksa Become Another King Mahasen.’ »

Confident Mahinda now Confused. Rajapaksa Regime has been Cornered by the USA Through its UNHRC Game Plan.

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

USSL032213

Two years ago everyone who visited Temple Trees or the President’s House and came out used to say, ‘Mahinda is confident’ and was focusing on the immediate challenges before him. However, within the past years those who go there to meet Mahinda say, ‘Mahinda is confused’.

Mahinda who thought that Ranil would contest him at a future Presidential Election, started a campaign against Ranil, labelling the latter as a ‘Tiger’ though such an election is yet to be announced. Then Mahinda gave up that campaign. Last week it was heard that Mahinda had congratulated Karu Jayasuriya as the Common Opposition Candidate. However, Karu had said there was no such decision taken. Now, it is learnt that the government is exploring ways to counter if Chandrika becomes the common candidate. Rumours of the return of Mangala Samaraweera to the government also spread in a confused manner. That was an indication it was difficult to capture Opposition MPs to the government though the latter boasted much in that direction.

Continue reading ‘Confident Mahinda now Confused. Rajapaksa Regime has been Cornered by the USA Through its UNHRC Game Plan.’ »

Once Monolithic UPFA Pillars are Shaking, Roof Leaking and Outer Paint is Peeling off Layer by Layer


By

Vishwamithra 1984


“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

~George Orwell

Mahinda-Chinthana

No politician in the world would ever relinquish power on his or her own volition, unless there is something drastically imposed upon him or her by an outside force or an irreversible debilitating condition has set in the physique of him or her. Such is the addictive quality of power.

Political power is the most potent ‘aphrodisiac’ in the world, Henry Kissinger once said. It could lure a most unsuspecting damsel into lust; it could sway the strongest of men into submission and it could also turn a most vociferous opponent into the charmer’s vision.

When one gets accustomed to this sensuous workout of political power, life outside it looks uninteresting and dull. The usual Blue Label whiskey, evening cocktail parties, scrumptious banquets at Embassy-get-togethers ending up with an occasional visit to the exclusive rooms and tables in the nearest casinos are a bit too much to say adieu to. Caught up in the vicious cycle of power and glamour, politicians build an illusionary universe; a universe whose realities are as impermanent as morning dew and as fleeting as the wanton gusty winds across a barren desert.

They mistake those who crave friendships and acquaintances for life-long friends; they abandon those whose financial and social standing couldn’t keep up with the progressive rise which they themselves had accomplished.

Entwined in a web of mythical superiority of power and enrapturing sense of comfort and luxury, ruling classes, wherever they are, desperately cling on to power because that very power is infusing oxygen into their daily existence. When one describes this phenomenon of power’s lustful dynamics, another may be driven to think that those who are caught up in the web are acutely aware of this process.

Continue reading ‘Once Monolithic UPFA Pillars are Shaking, Roof Leaking and Outer Paint is Peeling off Layer by Layer’ »

13th Constitutional Amendment is Deeply Flawed but There Can be no Question of Rolling it Back

By

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

Rajiva Wijesinha

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP


(Text of a presentation by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha M.P. at the international seminar held on November 6th and 7th 2014 on “An Appraisal of India’s Neighbourhood Policy: Way Forward“at the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata.India)

In the period leading up to the victory over the terrorist Tigers of Tamil Eeelam in 2009, India and Sri Lanka enjoyed an excellent relationship. It was clear that, despite the opposition of politicians in Tamilnadu, India was supportive of the military initiatives of the Sri Lankan government. More importantly, it assisted Sri Lanka in dealing effectively with the efforts of some Western countries to stop the Sri Lankan offensive, and then to condemn it after the military success of May 2009.

This was most obvious in Geneva, where the Indian Permanent Representative, together with his Pakistani counterpart, comprised the negotiating team that accompanied the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative, Dr Dayan Jayatilleka, into discussions with Western nations that had wanted a resolution critical of Sri Lanka.

Since then the relationship deteriorated. In 2012 India voted in favour of a resolution put forward by the United States that was strongly critical of the Sri Lankan government. And though much aid and assistance was given to Sri Lanka for reconstruction after the war, India seems to feel that this is not properly appreciated – as evinced by recent remarks by the Indian High Commissioner.

Conversely, a response to his speech in a Sri Lankan newspaper displays even great angst, culminating in the complaint that ‘In the more recent past, India repeatedly voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva whereas in view of India’s domestic political constraints, all India had to do was abstain which Sri Lanka would have appreciated immensely.’ Before that there had been a catalogue of the support offered in the eighties by India to terrorist movements in India.

Continue reading ‘13th Constitutional Amendment is Deeply Flawed but There Can be no Question of Rolling it Back’ »

Survey of 520 Sri Lankan Tamil Refugee Families in India Shows 67% Dont Want to Return and 23% want to Return.

By

Pheroze L. Vincent

A survey by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, among the one-lakh-odd Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India has found that 67 per cent of them want to remain in India.

Only 23 per cent of the 520 families surveyed wanted to return to the island nation, while four per cent wanted to migrate to a third country where they had relations, said the TISS survey.

The study titled ‘Exploring Durable Solutions for Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees in India’ was released by Rafael Garcia, Country-Director of Adventist Development and Relief Agency, India, at the India International Centre here on Monday.

Continue reading ‘Survey of 520 Sri Lankan Tamil Refugee Families in India Shows 67% Dont Want to Return and 23% want to Return.’ »

Tamil Refugees in India ready to Return Home but well-structured Repatriation Process with Tripartite MOU Needed

By

B. Kolappan

The overwhelming feeling among the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India is to return home, but the repatriation process should be well-structured with the backing of a Memorandum of Understanding among India, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, according to S.C. Chandrahasan, founder, Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR).

Asked about Sri Lanka’s Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s appeal to the refugees to return home, he said the Sri Lakan Tamils wanted to protect their soil and end their refugee status.

Mr. Wigneswaran, who was here on a private visit, had said the return of the refugees was important to ensure adequate representation for Tamils in Parliament and to foil the government’s design to alter the demography of traditional Tamil areas.

Continue reading ‘Tamil Refugees in India ready to Return Home but well-structured Repatriation Process with Tripartite MOU Needed’ »

CV Wigneswaran wants Return of Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees in India to Prevent Govt”Design”to Settle Sinhalese in Tamil Areas.

The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, made a strong case on Monday for the return of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu to their homeland, saying it was necessary to prevent the government’s “design” to settle the Sinhalese in the traditional Tamil areas.

Addressing a press conference here along with his Health Minister P. Sathyalingam and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, he said that over 1.2 lakh Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka were living in India, and their presence back home was necessary to ensure Tamil representation in parliament.

He said most of the refugees had left behind their land and property in Sri Lanka. If they continued to live in India, their property would be appropriated by the Sri Lankan Army. “They will settle Sinhalese in the traditional Tamil areas, and it will change the demographic pattern of the Northern Province,” he said.

Continue reading ‘CV Wigneswaran wants Return of Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees in India to Prevent Govt”Design”to Settle Sinhalese in Tamil Areas.’ »

Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran wants India to Reverse on Going Militarisation of Tamil Majority Regions in Sri Lanka.


by

B. Kolappan

Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran on Sunday made a fervent appeal to India to prevail upon his country to reverse the ongoing militarisation of the Tamil-majority region and stop what he called harassment and abuse of minorities there.

Mr. Wigneswaran, on his first visit since being elected, alleged that militarisation was taking place “not due to any real security threat, but to maintain a stranglehold over the populace; subjugate them and make them compliant; and to stifle any form of democratic or political dissent.”

Delivering the K.G. Kannabiran Memorial Lecture, organised by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) here, Mr. Wigneswaran, a former judge of Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court, said that in the last few weeks, the government was arresting and openly intimidating those trying to collect evidence for an U.N.-backed investigation into violations of human rights.

Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran wants India to Reverse on Going Militarisation of Tamil Majority Regions in Sri Lanka.’ »

“Did India Acquire Weapons from Sri Lanka?”-Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa Orders his “Malli” Defence Secretary Gotabhaya to Answer.

By

Saman Indrajith

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Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa has called for a clarification from Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as regards a statement attributed to Indian Defenec Minister regarding India acquiring weapons from Sri Lanka.

The statement has been made in the Lok Sabha.

The Speaker was responding to a query raised by UNP Ratnapura District MP Thalatha Atukorale and listed on the Order Paper for the fourth time yesterday.

MP Atukorale asked whether the statement attributed to Indian Minister of Defence was true and if so the time period in which the transaction had taken place, the types of weapons, funds received from India and any documentary proof that would ensure the transparency of that transaction.

Continue reading ‘“Did India Acquire Weapons from Sri Lanka?”-Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa Orders his “Malli” Defence Secretary Gotabhaya to Answer.’ »

“LTTE was Bribed at 2005 Election.Otherwise I would have been elected President”-Ranil Wickremesinghe


by

Zacki Jabbar

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe

Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe while urging the European Union Council to appeal against last month’s decision by its General Court to lift the ban on the LTTE imposed on May 29,2006, yesterday expressed regret that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had still not taken any steps in that regard.

“I will also take up this matter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom,” Wickremesinghe said adding that Rajapaksa was mollycoddling the LTTE, with an eye on the next presidential election.

Wickremesinghe observed that the President had failed to challenge the LTTE’s appeal against its proscription by the European Union (EU) Council and was disinterested in contesting the ban on the LTTE being overturned, even though nearly one month had lapsed.

“President Rajapaksa’s conduct has clearly indicated who is in toe with the Tigers. The LTTE was bribed at the 2005 presidential election. Otherwise, I would have been elected President. For the last ten years Mahinda has been unfairly accusing me of being a traitor, but it is he who is in touch with the LTTE.

When I went to London last month to meet members of the UNP UK branch, the government accused me of meeting the Tamil diaspora. I challenge the President to reveal as to whom he had met during his recent visits to the US and Europe without levelling baseless allegations against me.”

Continue reading ‘“LTTE was Bribed at 2005 Election.Otherwise I would have been elected President”-Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

“I have a Problem when Ex-LTTE Eastern Commander “Col”Karuna Talks about Human Rights Violations and Killings”.

By

Col. R. Hariharan

Sri Lanka Deputy Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan, known as Karuna Amman in his earlier incarnation as LTTE commander of Batticaloa, accused the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) of rape and killings during its war against the LTTE in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 90.

Speaking in Parliament on November 4, he said the IPKF had raped several Tamil women and also killed Tamils and “there is evidence for that.”

Of course, as a parliament member Karuna has every right to draw attention to human rights violations, though it was made 26 years too late.

In a democracy, human rights violations committed by any person including the army, police or anyone including political parties is totally unacceptable and cannot be condoned. They have to be inquired into. Human rights watchdogs have been created for this purpose.

Continue reading ‘“I have a Problem when Ex-LTTE Eastern Commander “Col”Karuna Talks about Human Rights Violations and Killings”.’ »

“The Phantom of the Opera”Produced by Jerome de Silva is the Greatest Show I have seen at the Lionel Wendt Theatre”.

by

Prof.Carlo Fonseka

Jerome de Silva is manifestly the brains, brawn and high-voltage energy behind this production of the world famous The Phantom of the Opera, I was invited to see on 10th of October. In the 1970s Jerome’s haunting voice impinging on my consciousness through radio mesmerized me long before I met in the flesh the phantom to which that voice belonged.

When we finally met, I discovered that we had both been Josephians, albeit at different periods. Fortunately for theatre in Sri Lanka, Jerome had defected to St. Peter’s College, Colombo to put the finishing touches to his secondary school education. St. Peter’s had inspired in Jerome a passion for the theatre which is what has made him tick in maturity.

In 1992 a group of Peterites founded the Workshop Players’ Organization—the WSP Family – a nonprofit outfit dedicated to theatre. Having indulged their passion for musical theatre as best they could in a third world artistic environment for over two decades, they have climaxed with an unbelievable production of The Phantom of the Opera.

Greatest Show

I roundly declare that it is the greatest show I have ever seen at the Lionel Wendt Theatre. I hasten to add that the appellation “greatest show” applies unreservedly to the technological and stagecraft aspects of the production I saw. It was spectacular and magnificent. It was beautiful, a joy to behold. Given my innocence about the artistic intricacies of the musical genre of opera, I would be a fraud to pretend that I am equipped to judge the quality of the singing which is the quintessence of classical opera.

Because, however, I sense that I have some music in myself and that I am “moved with concord of sweet sounds” I feel that I am entitled to hazard an opinion for what it is worth. It seemed to me that the singing of all the players was pitch-perfect, impeccably phrased, melodious and harmonious. They were all emotionally convincing.

For a wrong reason I single out for special praise Sean Amarasekara who played Phantom. The reason is that Sean is, even like me, a medic with a passion for music. When I first heard him sing as a mere boy I told his mom Dr. Suriyakanthi Amarasekara the superb anaesthesiologist, and a favourite erstwhile pupil of mine, that her son had been born for opera singing and not for commercial “doctoring” (in the literal sense).

His scintillating performance as Phantom provided proof, if further proof were needed, that his natural place is the musical theatre and not the operating theatre. Moreover, Sean satisfied my vanity by amply vindicating my prophetic judgment about his singing potential. Sean was extraordinary, but not exceptional. He was ably supported by the other players of the WSP family to make the performance of The Phantom of the Opera an unforgettable musical experience. A couple of friends who had seen The Phantom in London told me that by this production at the Lionel Wendt Jerome de Silva had wrought a miracle on a third world stage.

The Future

Let us face it: in our country opera of The Phantom variety is very much an elitist musical indulgence. The excellent publication produced by the WSP to mark the production served to educate me on many aspects of the opera. One thing I gathered was that the current production of The Phantom cost “millions” and that the production was made possible mainly by the phenomenal generosity of Cargills (Ceylon) PLC. I will concede that not all accumulators of lucre are as ugly as sin. And the Gospel according to St. Luke says that “everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.” Cargills (Ceylon) has certainly fulfilled this biblical requirement. The challenge for the WSP Family now is how to make The Phantom accessible to many more theatre – goers with a taste for serious musical theatre. Given Jerome de Silva’s amiability, accessibility and ability “to move with kings nor lose the common touch” I think that he is the wizard best equipped to attempt the impossible enterprise.

The famous Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith judged that without State support arts in a capitalist society cannot flourish. This is surely true of our own country. The WSP Family has dedicated groups involved in Sinhala Theatre production. One remembers that Jerome played a critical role in the acclaimed Sinhala film called Akasa Kusum. He freely lends the fruits of his knowledge and experience in the field of drama to less privileged theatre people in our country. His choreography for the Sinhala production of Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s The Trojan Women won the award for the best choreography in the Stage Drama Festival in 2000.

The philosophy of the WSP Family is admirable: promoting peace through drama. As it happens, the theme of The Phantom is humane: how those with short frames, bald heads and pot-bellies (even like me!) through no fault of theirs have to be made acceptable to society. In this opera, the first time Phantom with his deformed face receives a kiss from a woman, (on his forehead) the experience overwhelms him with emotion. After that humane encounter, Phantom became kinder and more tolerant. That experience mellowed him. In the end the function of art is moral. Let us hope that Jerome de Silva will be resourceful enough to bring this theatrical experience to a much wider audience.

Courtesy:The Island

India’s Security Concerns are about Sri Lanka Becoming Strategic Ally and Partner of China in the Indian Ocean Region.

by

Col. R. Hariharan

by Hasantha Wijenayake-courtesy: LakbimaNews

by Hasantha Wijenayake-courtesy: LakbimaNews

security concerns are not limited to the PLA N submarine’s visit to Colombo only, but to the larger issue of Sri Lanka becoming China strategic ally and partner in China’s strategic power projection in the Indian Ocean Region

India expressed “serious concern to India’s national security” to Sri Lanka Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa when he met the Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval at New Delhi on October 20, 2014 over the docking of a Chinese submarine “Great Wall No.329” in Colombo harbour along with the support ship “Changxing Island” from September 7 to 14, 2014.[i] The wrong identification of the diesel-electric Song class submarine as a nuclear-propelled submarine (SSN) sensationalised the first reports on the incident adding to public concern in India.

The two Chinese naval ships were docked in the Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) in which China has invested $500 million, indicating the possibility of China using its commercial infrastructure assets in Sri Lanka for military purposes.

After the Defence Secretary’s visit, Sri Lanka Naval Chief Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera also visited New Delhi at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Admiral RK Dhowan apparently to discuss the same issue. Talking to the media Admiral Perara allayed India’s fears on increasing Chinese military presence in the island nation. He said “We will never compromise on national security of India. India’s security is our security.”[ii]

Admiral Perera also downplayed the worry about China making any strategic inroads into the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). “They are coming normally for operational goodwill visit….For your information there is no Chinese military presence….the interest is very commercial,” he added.

But even after all this, yet another Chinese submarine – this time a nuclear-propelled one – “Changzheng-2” along with a PLA Navy (PLAN) escort warship “Chang Xing Dao” docked in Colombo on November 6, 2014.[iii]

Continue reading ‘India’s Security Concerns are about Sri Lanka Becoming Strategic Ally and Partner of China in the Indian Ocean Region.’ »

Supreme Court Gives Green Light for Mahinda Rajapaksa to Contest Presidential Elections for a Third Time.

By

Ashwin Hemmathagama

President Mahinda Rajapakse has received what a Senior Minister described as the “much-wanted favourable interpretation” from Supreme Court.

Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management and the Leader of the House of Parliament Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday informed the Parliament the Supreme Court has given the greenlight, allowing the President to stand for another round of elections.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Gives Green Light for Mahinda Rajapaksa to Contest Presidential Elections for a Third Time.’ »

A rediscovery of Ravana as a southern hero combating northern imperialism is a fallout of Hindu-Hindi nationalism.


by

M.S.S. Pandian

(Noted scholar and Jawaharlal Nehru University Professor M S S Pandian, considered an authority on the study of Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu, has passed away following a cardiac arrest.This Article written by him 16 years ago is reproduced from “Outlook India”magazine of Nov 2nd 1998.MSS was then with the Madras Institute of Development Studies)

Ravana at Thirukoneswaram-Trincomalee, Sri Lanka-courtesy-pic by: drs.sarajevo

Ravana at Thirukoneswaram-Trincomalee, Sri Lanka-courtesy-pic by: drs.sarajevo

If you insult Ravana, you are insulting me,” declared M. Karunanidhi at a recent book-release function in Chennai. For the state organiser of the Hindu Munnani, Ramagopalan, who is always wide awake to find an anti-Hindu in Karunanidhi, this remark simply meant that Karunanidhi had not changed over the years.

What irked Ramagopalan equally was the attempt by the cadres of the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, not many days ago, to set aflame effigies of Rama in protest against Ram Lila celebrations in the north.

Karunanidhi has, of course, changed, perhaps not enough. Despite placating devotees of Rama both local ones like Ramagopalan and those holding power in Indraprastha like Advaniji – so as to save his government from Article 356, his romance with Ravana is enduring.
Continue reading ‘A rediscovery of Ravana as a southern hero combating northern imperialism is a fallout of Hindu-Hindi nationalism.’ »

Remembering MSS Pandian, the Mentor and Teacher Extraordinaire


By

Aakshi Magazine

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Noted scholar and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Professor M.S.S. Pandian, considered an authority on the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu, died on 10th November 14, following a cardiac arrest. Pandian, 57, died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, where he was rushed following a cardiac arrest. He is survived by his wife S. Anandhi and a daughter.

For those of us who were taught by him, MSS Pandian left an indelible mark, and his sudden death is hard to process.
Continue reading ‘Remembering MSS Pandian, the Mentor and Teacher Extraordinaire’ »

Eminent Social Scientist and Leading Authority on the Dravidian Movement, Prof. MSS Pandian Passes Away.

By

S. N. Vijetha

Prof. MSS Pandian

Prof. MSS Pandian

M.S.S. Pandian, an eminent social scientist who wrote extensively on the Dravidian Movement, south Indian politics, cinema, caste, identity and several other socially relevant issues, passed away after a sudden heart attack here on Monday.

Prof. Pandian, 53, was moved from his residence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences where he was declared dead. He is survived by wife and daughter.

He was serving in the School of Social Sciences’ Centre for Historical Studies and his sudden death has put the entire department in shock.

“He was a very good guide and although I was not his direct student, he helped me a lot whenever I asked him to,” said Ambedkar, a student at the SSS.

Continue reading ‘Eminent Social Scientist and Leading Authority on the Dravidian Movement, Prof. MSS Pandian Passes Away.’ »

“Common Presidential Candidate may go to Jail if Plans go Awry”warns Defeated 2010 Contender Gen.Sarath Fonseka

* Ven. Sobitha Thero, Ranil, Chandrika and Fonseka and others form common platform

* Key demands: Abolish executive presidency; implement 17th Amendment; introduce new electoral system

* Ven. Sobitha says President must walk the talk and deliver his original promise and he can do it in the next two years without holding snap polls

* Warns failure will lead to Opposition fielding a trustworthy common candidate seeking mandate for change for the better

* Urges likeminded groups to join national movement; mega rally planned tomorrow

* Ranil says existing Parliament could empower change; calls for masses to demand for free and fair polls

* CBK alleges current regime abusive, endangering true democracy, violating fundamental rights, eroding independence of Judiciary, public service, Police and media

The country’s leading Opposition parties and groups said yesterday they were uniting to usher in a new era of true democracy, justice and prosperity for Sri Lanka, agreeing to abolish the executive presidency and revert power to Parliament.

Spearheading what is described as a national movement, are National Movement for Social Justice headed by Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Democratic Party Leader Sarath Fonseka, MP Arjuna Ranatunga, Democratic People’s Front (DPF) Leader Mano Ganeshan and Muslim Tamil National Alliance (MTNA) Leader Azath Salley. Though not present yesterday but lending his support to the cause is Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero.

Continue reading ‘“Common Presidential Candidate may go to Jail if Plans go Awry”warns Defeated 2010 Contender Gen.Sarath Fonseka’ »

Complaints Without European Language Translations of Supportive Documents in Tamil and Sinhala for Sri Lanka Probe Rejectd by UN

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has rejected submissions as regards accountability issues in Sri Lanka on the basis the complainants couldn’t provide English, French, Spanish or Russian translations of all supporting documents.

Petitions and Inquiries Section of the OHCHR has ruled that those wanting to lodge complaints should meet three main conditions including translated documents.

A senior government official told The Island that the OHCHR hadn’t demanded supporting documents to be in English, French, Spanish or Russian when it called for submissions in accordance with a UNHRC resolution adopted in late last March.

Continue reading ‘Complaints Without European Language Translations of Supportive Documents in Tamil and Sinhala for Sri Lanka Probe Rejectd by UN’ »

“Sivaji”Ganesan, “Gemini”Ganesh,”Silk”Smitha, “Sowcar”Janaki,”Jayam”Ravi,”CID”Shakunthala-Film Name Phenomenon in Tamil Cinema.

by

Mohan V.Raman

It’s not a nickname; it’s not a surname, middle name or even a first name. It’s a unique phenomenon that takes a film you became famous with, or a character you played, adds it to your name and lo and behold — you get a totally different name. It’s the process by which Villupuram Chinnaiah Mandrayar Ganesha Murthy becomes Sivaji Ganesan.

It is this new name that I call the nom du film or simply the film name phenomenon that’s fairly unique to the Tamil film industry. We see something similar only in the world of American sports or gangsters perhaps — Tiger Woods and Magic Johnson; Scarface Capone or Bugsy Malone come to mind.

There’s a logic to these names. They could be based on physical attributes like ‘Gundu’ Karuppaiah or Kalyanam, ‘Semia’ Mani, ‘Kulla’ Mani and ‘Omakuchi’ Narasimhan. Smitha supposedly had skin as smooth as silk and became ‘Silk’ Smitha. It could be based on the actor’s ability — thus, Mani’s talent for quick repartee got him the moniker ‘Counter’ Mani, which was soon corrupted to ‘Gounder’ Mani and then ‘Gounda’ Mani.

Continue reading ‘“Sivaji”Ganesan, “Gemini”Ganesh,”Silk”Smitha, “Sowcar”Janaki,”Jayam”Ravi,”CID”Shakunthala-Film Name Phenomenon in Tamil Cinema.’ »

“The Judiciary in Sri Lanka Played a Major Role in Foisting Second-Class Citizenship Upon the Tamil Speaking People”

by

C.V. Wigneswaran

(Text of the Inaugural Kannabiran Memorial Lecture Delivered by the Sri Lankan Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister Justice C. V. Wigneswaran at the event organized by the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties in Chennai on November 9th 2014)

K.G.Kannabiran

K.G.Kannabiran

1
Gurur-Brahmaa Gurur-Vissnnur-Gururdevo Maheshvarah |
Gurure[-I]va Param Brahma Tasmai Shrii-Gurave Namah

Honourable Chairman, distinguished guests, my dear Bharathian brothers and sisters!

We are gathered here today to remember one of India’s greatest human rights’ leaders and jurist – the late Mr.K.G.Kannabiran. He was the President of your People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) from the year 1994 to 2008. His period of office saw PUCL climbing to great heights as a human rights’ organisation. He was, I am told, deeply humble and humane as a person, passionately and intensely committed to protecting democracy and human rights, not just in India but across the globe. He was absolutely fearless in opposing the stifling of freedom and crushing of dissent.
Continue reading ‘“The Judiciary in Sri Lanka Played a Major Role in Foisting Second-Class Citizenship Upon the Tamil Speaking People”’ »

UNP will Seek Mandate from People at Elections to Abolish Executive Presidency and Enact a New Constitution for a New Republic.

By Ranil Wickremesinghe Leader of the United National Party and the Opposition

Ranil Wickremesinghe | Leader of the United National Party and the Opposition

Ranil Wickremesinghe | Leader of the United National Party and the Opposition

The Republic of Sri Lanka established by the 1970 Constituent Assembly is based on two legal instruments. Firstly, the Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka enacted by this Constituent Assembly; Article 12 (1) of this 1972 Constitution reiterated the validity of Ceylon Independence Act 1947 passed by the UK Parliament. Secondly, the Republic of Sri Lanka Act 1972 enacted by the UK Parliament with the consent of the Government of Sri Lanka. This Act amended the Ceylon Independence Act 1947 by substituting “Sri Lanka” for “Ceylon”. Under the provisions of this Act:

Sec. 1 (1) No Act of Parliament of UK passed on or after the appointed day shall extend or deemed to extend to Sri Lanka as a part of the law of Sri Lanka, unless it is expressly declared that Sri Lanka has requested and consented to the enactment thereof.

(2) From the appointed day, His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom shall have no responsibility for the Government of Sri Lanka.

First Schedule

No law and no provision of any law made after the appointed day by the Parliament of Sri Lanka shall be void on the grounds that it is repugnant to the law of England.

Thus the establishment of the Republic was given legal validity by our former colonial masters, the UK Parliament, by enacting the Republic of Sri Lanka Act 1972.

Continue reading ‘UNP will Seek Mandate from People at Elections to Abolish Executive Presidency and Enact a New Constitution for a New Republic.’ »