President Maithripala Sirisena intervened directly to stop police covering up the murder of two Jaffna university student and got five police officers immediately interdicted.
Shortly after police headquarters dismissed the death of two students as a fatal motorcycle accident, Sirisena got the information department to issue a fresh statement setting the record straight.
“Five police officers suspected for the case have been arrested and immediately interdicted,” the information department statement said contradicting Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara’s headquarters.
Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Intervened Directly to Stop Police Covering up Shooting of Two Jaffna Undergrads in Kokkuvil as a Motor Cycle Accident.’ »
Police investigations into the attack on a nightclub in Colombo two weeks ago, where a security guard was injured and property was damaged by an unidentified group, has ended without a trace of the persons responsible for the attack.
OIC Maradana Police- Chief Inspector Sarath Perera told the Sunday Times that there was no formal complaint about the incident, and the President’s office had informed they were conducting their own investigations to ascertain whether any persons connected with the President’s House or its security were involved in the incident. Therefore, the police investigations have ended.
Continue reading ‘Investigation Into Colombo Night Club Attack Allegedly Involving Daham Sirisena Stumped Due to Victim “Inability” to Identify Perpetrators’ »
The Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) finding that former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran was directly responsible for a controversial Treasury bond scam in 2015 is being hotly challenged by the United National Party MPs on the committee.
It is learnt that the COPE report has also recommended that Mr. Mahendran and officials involved be investigated and the monies recovered from the former Governor.
A UNP COPE member who said he was not authorised to speak pointed out that the final draft report “has not yet been approved”.
Continue reading ‘UNP MP’s in COPE Refuse to Accept Central Bank Report Approved by 8 Committee Members;Final Vote with all 26 Members Likely’ »
Two students of Jaffna University died on Thursday night in an incident of alleged police shooting. Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) commenced investigations on Friday.
The two students, Natarajan Kajan and Pounraj Sulakshan, were travelling on a motorbike near Kulappiddy junction in Kokuvil area of Jaffna peninsula.
“The post-mortem examination report revealed that there was a gunshot injury in the body of the rider,” police spokesman Ajith Rohana told The Hindu on Friday. Following the alleged police shooting, five policemen suspected in the case were arrested and “immediately interdicted,” he said.
Continue reading ‘Two Jaffna Varsity Undergrads Killed in Police Shooting at Kulappiddy Junction in Kokkuvil.5 Policemen Arrested and Interdicted.’ »
by Saman Indrajith
Parliamentary watchdog committee, COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises), yesterday approved its Chairman’s report holding former Central Bank governor Arjuna Mahendran responsible for Treasury bond scandals. The report recommends legal action against those involved in the scams and the recovery of losses from them, according to a senior COPE member.
The COPE met around 9.30 am in Parliament yesterday, following heated exchanges over the Mahendran issue the previous day, and the division continued resulting in UNP members of the committee saying that they would not agree with Chairman, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti’s report. Of the 14 members of the COPE, who met yesterday, eight representing the UPFA and the JVP endorsed the Chairman’s report. They are Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Lakshman Seneviratne, Chandrasiri Gajadheera, Priyankara Jayaratne, Lasantha Alagiyawanne, Weerakumara Dissanayake, Bimal Ratnayake and Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa.
Continue reading ‘COPE Report Finds Ex-Governor Arjuna Mahendran Responsible for Treasury Bond Scams and Recommends Legal Action Against Those Involved.’ »
A stormy session ensued at yesterday’s COPE meeting over its final report on the Central Bank (CB) Treasury Bonds investigation.
During a special meeting attended by 14 out of the 26 members of the COPE, the report was endorsed by eight members, while five UNP MPs declined to accept it.
The UNP MPs have stated that they would present a separate report to the House.
The COPE presided by its Chairman JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti met at 9.30 a.m. at the Parliamentary Complex to finalise the report, which is expected to be tabled in the House next Tuesday.
Continue reading ‘Only 14 of 26 MP’s Attend COPE Meeting in which 8 MP’s Approve Report on Treasury Bond Scam but 5 UNP MP’s want to Submit Separate Report.’ »
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) unequivocally condemns the incident that took place in Jaffna today, killing 2 university students.
The leader of the TNA, and The Leader of the Opposition, Hon R Sampanthan MP met His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena while attending an event in Trincomalee this morning and raised concerns regarding the incident.
Since then, a special police unit has been deployed to Jaffna to investigate the incident on the orders of the President and the police officers who had allegedly involved in the incident has been taken into custody.
Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance Unequivocally Condemns Incident in Jaffna in which Two Undergraduates were Killed’ »
By Saman Indrajith
The UNP team within the Parliamentary watchdog committee COPE fought a losing battle for seven hours yesterday against the JVP and the SLFP over the report on former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s involvement in the treasury bond scams.
The UNPers, from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm yesterday, tried their level best to absolve Mahendran’s of wrongdoing, but failed to change the content of the COPE Chairman’s report, according to a senior COPE member.
The UNP team of MPs attacked the very foundation of the COPE report being prepared with the intention of presenting to Parliament on Oct 25. Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe ably assisted by Ajith Perera led their attack while their colleague Dr Harsha de Silva tried to bolster those arguments theoretically.
They sought to justify the method Mahendran had adopted to auction the treasury bonds.
Continue reading ‘MP’s from UNP in COPE Fight 7 Hour Battle with MP”s from JVP and SLFP to Absolve Ex – CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran of Wrong Doing’ »
By Shamindra Ferdinando
Alleging that President Maithripala Sirisena had caused a serious crisis at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) yesterday stressed that the President was now responsible for ensuring its smooth functioning.
President Maithripala Sirisena castigated the CIABOC, Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at an event attended by the military top brass at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) on Oct 12.
President Maithripala Sirisena would have to appoint a person more efficient than Mrs Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe who quit the post of Director General, CIABOC in the wake of the President accusing the institution of pursuing a political agenda, NMSJ declared yesterday.
Addressing the media at its Nawala office, NMSJ leader Prof. Sarath Wijesooriya, Saman Ratnapriya and Rev. Father Stanley Fernando emphasized the need to continue with all investigations undertaken by Mrs Wickramasinghe.
Continue reading ‘NMSJ Wants President Sirisena to Appoint a Person More Efficient than Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe as CIABOC Director-General’ »
By Saman Indrajith
The government yesterday presented to Parliament its estimated expenditure for the next year in which the expenses of the President’s office rose by three times while defence allocation has been pruned down.
The appropriation bill presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has estimated the total government expenditure of over Rs 1,819 billion (Rs 1,819,544,000,000). The amount is a decrease when compared with the government expenditure in 2016 of Rs. 1,941 billion.
The limit on borrowings for 2017 has been set at Rs 1,489 billion (Rs 1,489,205,436,000).
The allocation to the President’s Office which was Rs 2.3 billion in 2016, has been increased to around Rs 6.4 billion (6,452,679,000) in the next financial year, indicating a three-fold increase. Of this amount, around Rs 1.9 billion will go towards Recurrent Expenditure, while the rest will be for Operational and Development activities under the President’s Office.
Continue reading ‘Allocations for President Sirisena’s Office Increased from Rs 2. 1 Billion in 2016 to Rs 6.4 Billion for 2017’ »
By P K Balachandran
The US Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Rita Izsak-Ndiaye, has suggested to the Sri Lankan government to set up a fully-empowered Minority Rights Commission under the constitution which is now being drafted.
Speaking to the media at the end of her nine day tour of the island in which she met a cross section of people both from the minority communities and the majority Sinhalese-Buddhist community, Izsak-Ndiaye said that in the short term, government should set up a “dedicated minority rights mechanism” with representatives of the minorities to coordinate policies and actions on minority issues.
She urged the government to consider “affirmative action” to give adequate representation to under-represented communities in the government, judiciary, armed forces and law enforcement. Representation here should be along ethnic, religious, linguistic and gender lines. She pointed out the minorities are aggrieved that they are not adequately represented in national institutions and decision making structures.
Continue reading ‘UN Rapporteur On Minority Issues Rita Izsak-Ndiyaye Recommends Independent Minorities Commission For Sri Lanka’ »
President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday told the Lankadeepa that searching UPFA MP Kumar Welgama’s estate for illegally keeping bulletproof vehicles was an immature act.
The President said the government was inconvenienced due to such immature acts.
“Whatever people say, I should say that it is an immature act,” he said.
President Sirisena said if police received information about keeping government vehicles illegally, there were ample methods and technical apparatus to search for them without engaging in immature acts.
Continue reading ‘Police Searching Kumar Welgama MP”s Estate for Bulletproof Vehicles was an Immature Act says President Sirisena’ »
By P K Balachandran
Sri Lanka has rejected India’s offer to set up solar energy plants at Sampur in Eastern Sri Lanka.
The Indian offer had been by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of the BIMSTEC summit in Goa earlier this month.
The Secretary to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Power, Suren Batagoda, told Express on Thursday, that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) will execute the solar power project at Sampur, and India will set up a 500 MW power plant at Kerawelapatiya near Colombo on the West coast using Liquefied Natural Gas as the fuel.
Continue reading ‘India Offers to Set up Solar energy Plant in Sampoor but Sri Lanka Says “No Thanks. We can do it on our own”.’ »
When Maithripala Sirisena decided to contest against Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 2015 presidential poll, he took his life in his hands. He was not the only one, but as Rajapaksa’s direct challenger, Sirisena would be most-hated, and therefore, most at risk.
With the fate of Rajapaksa’s last challenger still fresh in Opposition memory, precautions were taken to protect the ‘Common Candidate’ from instantaneous reprisals the morning after the election, should the results favour the incumbent. Opposition strategists believed that the few hours the Rajapaksa regime would be forced to spend locating the common candidate could mean the difference between life and death for Sirisena. So once he had cast his vote in Polonnaruwa on 8 January 2015, Maithripala Sirisena and his family went into hiding for the night, in a remote coconut estate in Kurunegala. To conceal the movement of the future first family, the small convoy of vehicles carrying the Opposition candidate moved into the property under the cover of darkness.
Less than two years into his presidency, Maithripala Sirisena appears to have forgotten who he was hiding from on that dangerous day in January, 22 months ago. He has forgotten the fear that gripped the Common Opposition camp when campaigning ended 48 hours before the election.
Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena by his Speech has Betrayed the People who Elected him President on Jan 8th 2015’ »
By Uditha Jayasinghe
Loyalists of President Sirisena yesterday attempted to flip the narrative on his controversial speech criticising anti-graft commissions by insisting that the President was venting his frustration at the slow progress of crucial investigations and acknowledged the Head of State was wary of repercussions from the military establishment.
A visibly agitated Cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne took political analysts and State media to task during the weekly Cabinet briefing, lambasting them for what he termed as “misunderstanding” the context of the President’s speech made at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) last week. He also invited them to listen to the full speech as he had done to clear any issues.
President Sirisena had “clarified” his speech at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday night, Dr. Senaratne told reporters, launching an extensive explanation including the background of what motivated his headline grabbing remarks.
Continue reading ‘Agitated Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne Acknowledges that President Sirisena is Wary of Repercussions from Military Establishment’ »
In an apparent refusal to walk back his onslaught against the Government’s anti-corruption agencies, President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday accepted the resignation of Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe.
Director General Wickramasinghe tendered her resignation on Monday (17) hours before President Sirisena returned from the BRICS summit in Goa, India.
After nearly 48 hours of silence on the issue, Government sources confirmed yesterday that the President had accepted her resignation.
Continue reading ‘After 48 Hours of Silence Govt Confirms President Sirisena has Accepted Resignation of CIABOC Dir-Gen Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe’ »
Sri Lanka has imposed daily power cuts nationwide following breakdown at a China-built power plant in Norocholai, a coastal town 140 km north of Colombo.
The coal power plant, which came up at an investment of $1.4 billion, is Sri Lanka’s largest and has a capacity of 900 MW. The Power Ministry resorted to load-shedding following a technical problem, according to Sulakshana Jayawardena, Director (Development), Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy. “Everybody blames the plant, but it is actually a transmission failure,” he told The Hindu on Tuesday, a day after the one-and-a-half-hour power cut-plan came into effect.
Continue reading ‘Nationwide Power Cuts in Sri Lanka Following Breakdown in China-built $1.4 Billion Coal Power Plant at Norachchoalai’ »
Indian Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar is to visit Sri Lanka with a business delegation this weekend, to promote Indian business and investment in the island nation in accordance with the Narendra Modi government’s policy of using diplomacy to promote India’s trade and investment abroad.
An unstated but important aim of the visit, which is to begin on Saturday, is to compete with China, which has a large economic footprint in Sri Lanka and other countries in India’s neighborhood.
The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government in Sri Lanka has shed its initial reservations about Chinese investments and interests in Sri Lanka, and is going all out to woo Chinese investments in several big ticket infrastructure and industrial projects.
Indian officials however made it clear that Jaishankar will not be discussing the proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with Sri Lanka. ETCA, a controversial subject in Sri Lanka, is being negotiated by the Commerce Ministries of India and Sri Lanka and only two meetings have taken place so far.
Continue reading ‘Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar to Visit Colombo this Weekend With Delegation to Promote Indian Investment and Commerce in Sri Lanka’ »
(Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was interviewed by the “Sunday Lankadeepa”. The following are excerpts translated into English)
Q Are you aware of the present political situation in the country?
Although I am not directly involved in politics, I am quite aware of the day to day happenings in the country. I am concerned about what the people have to say. I observe that the various measures taken by the government are moving at snail’s pace. There is speculation that the efforts of the previous regime in various fields of development are at a standstill. The government does not have a proper framework to develop the country. They only expected to oust the former government.
In my view, the security of the State is in jeopardy due to the policies adopted by the present government or else due to a weak spearhead leading the security activities of the country. In particular, the approach taken by the current government to handle security concerns in the North is disappointing.
It is the same when it comes to development projects. The main slogan of those who once vied to capture power was centred on the anti-Chinese campaign. However, their actions went against their words when they had a taste of power. These ad-hoc decisions adversely affected the development process of the country, bringing all activities to a standstill.
Although we received monetary assistance from the World Bank to develop Colombo, Galle and Kandy, we were defeated before we could do justice to our undertaking. We completed three years of the five-year project, and had two more years to go. But after no progress was made on this project, funds remained idle. There should be something grave to keep the projects idle when funds are available.
This is the nature of today’s politics. People are only busy in taking political rivals to the FCID, Bribery Commission and courts. Many in the present government are engaged in big time corruption. But none of them is tried nor grilled. The authorities hunt only those who criticize their policies.
Q The present government came to power on the promise of taking the criminals to court. How can it be wrong?
Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Ready to Contest Presidential Elections with Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Consent and Support’ »
Upul Joseph Fernando
Subsequent to the controversial statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena that summoning Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Navy Commanders to Court regarding the Avant Garde Accusation was wrong, the following day which was Thursday, Indian High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha had met Maithri.
Although sources from the Indian High Commission said the meeting was to discuss Maithri’s trip to India, we cannot say whether Maithri’s controversial speech was also subject to discussion on that occasion.
India is a country that has an eye on the behaviour of the Security Forces of Sri Lanka. The reason is Sri Lanka is a neighbouring country to India.
Continue reading ‘Indian Envoy Y.K. Sinha had Meeting with President Sirisena One day After Maithri’s Controversial Speech.’ »
by Shamindra Ferdinando
Catholic clergy assisted the Negombo police Monday evening (Oct 17) in ending a protest at Kurana level crossing near the Negombo Town Hall on the Colombo-Chilaw road.
Protesters, mostly fishermen, blocked the road for several hours against the government decision to allow dredging of sand in the Negombo-Dikowita deep seas to reclaim land from the sea to build the proposed Port City. Thousands of students, office workers as well as foreigners were affected by the protest.
Fishermen’s organisations launched the protest campaign close on the heels of Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith urging President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe not to permit dredging of sand.
The Cardinal warned of an ecological disaster and destruction of livelihoods of fishermen if the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration implemented the controversial project undertaken by the previous government.
Continue reading ‘Catholic Church Inspired Fisherfolk Launch Protest Campaign Against Dredging of Sand in Negombo-Dikowita Seas for Colombo Port City Project’ »
by Hemantha Randunu
The Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) yesterday morning descended on a 250-acre estate belonging to MP Kumara Welgama (UPFA, Kalutara District) at Horawala, Matugama, claiming they had information that two bullet proof cars were hidden there. They left-empty handed after an exhaustive search.
The team carried out the search for about two hours. A senior police officer told The Island that a team headed by an ASP had carried out the search operation on a court order obtained from Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne.
The police team comprising about 50 officers and men entered MP Welgama’s property at 9.45 am, causing quite a stir in the area.
Continue reading ‘Over 50 Policemen in Unsuccessful 2 hour Search for 2 Bullet Proof Vehicles in UPFA Kalutara Dist MP Kumara Welgama’s 250 Acre Estate in Matugama’ »
In an interesting turn of events, Dilrukshi Dias Wickremasinghe, the dynamic Director General of the Bribery Commissioner, tendered her resignation on Monday morning, without citing any reason.
The nearest reason for the Bribery Commission Director General’s resignation was the controversial speech made by President Maithripala Sirisena, addressing a military welfare event in Colombo, last week.
In his speech, the President criticised the conduct of the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID), the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Bribery Commission saying they followed a ‘Political agenda’ when they took legal action against former heads of security forces. The President’s remark, without doubt, created a major controversy in the political sphere as some analysts described it as a veiled attack on the UNP.
Shortly after the President’s speech, it was rumoured that the Bribery Commission Director General was preparing to step down from her position. However, the situation seemed under control when a group of ministers, led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, met the President for a special meeting, on Thursday night. Following the positive outcome of the meeting, many believed that Wckremasinghe would not resign from the position and the independent bodies, appointed under the 19th Amendment, would function as usual.
Wickremasinghe’s resignation came as a shock to the UNP as the party MPs were of the view that the Bribery Commission Director General had decided to remain in the position after consultations with the Prime Minister.
Continue reading ‘Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe’s Resignation Shows There are Still Public Servants with Integrity and a Backbone’ »
Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka, addressing media yesterday at the Department of Government Information, said the government had no special reason to halt the Colombo Port City Project and would go ahead with it.
He was referring to protest by fishermen in Negombo yesterday, alleging that dredging and sand mining from the seas around in their areas for the Colombo Port City Project was depriving them of a livelihood.
Minister Ranawaka said that if the fishing communities were being adversely affected by the sand mining they would be compensated.
Continue reading ‘Champika Ranawaka says Colombo Port City Project Will Go Ahead Despite Protests by Affected Fisherfolk’ »
Labour and Trade Union Relations Minister John Seneviratne yesterday announced that following discussions in Colombo between plantation employees and the trade unions, an agreement had been reached to increase the wages of estate workers to Rs. 730 a day and provide them 300-days work a year.
An agreement was also signed yesterday effective for two-years from October 15, 2016.
The Minister said now the plantation workers were paid a daily wage of Rs. 620 and it was revised every two years in keeping with a mutual agreement between the employers and trade unions.
Continue reading ‘Daily Wage of Plantation Workers to go up by Rs 110 from 620 to 730 Announces Labour Minister John Seneviratne’ »
Vote to Regret – be it North or South. Blame attaches to the Vote, tailed by regret,directed at the candidate that succeeds in picking your vote. Time for jubilation was short as the expectations were too high: fallout was rapid.
Did you fault yourself in voting for a regime change or otherwise, overthrowing a regime that was corrupt to the rim and brought another to office, corrupt to the edge? Watched, in vain, your valued vote that courageously dispatched home, over-baked parliamentarians: returned to a higher office of ministerial rank in a government of Mr. Good Governance via the national list. He trusted defeated candidates for disloyalty to Rajapaksa matters little – since you have learnt to suffer any indignity gracefully.
Realised your folly belatedly, too late to revise or rectify. Fire burns in the loins with seething anger as prices rise in the market square that makes them non-affordable.
Would you vote again to punish the regime that cheated you to restore good governance: by bringing a discredited bunch back to office? Are you a subscriber to lax governance?You rightfully wanted to teach a lesson that you never learnt? That is the nature of democracy, silly!
Don’t plead for lack of options — (what could we do? Who else is to vote?) You are the master of your own household, use your grey cells, if any.
Elections are orchestrated and the results manipulated by the party in office. It is important to set a trend by winning early rounds at local authority elections. It creates a drift, as it did at the miniscule cooperative election results, inching towards the Joint Opposition.
Continue reading ‘Does President Sirisena Prefer to Appoint Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as Prime Minister Ahead of Ranil Wickremesinghe?’ »
Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who was in London on a visit and scheduled to return to Sri Lanka only later this week, has decided to return early in view of the deepening political crisis within the ruling coalition,Daily FT learns.
Former President Kumaratunga, who played a major role in effecting the defection of Maithripala Sirisena from the Rajapaksa Government, will return to the island today, authoritative sources told Daily FT.
Continue reading ‘Ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga Returns Urgently from UK to Resolve Coalition Govt Crisis Between President and Prime Minister’ »
There were two disturbing developments last week. First, it was President Maithripala Sirisena’s speech at an event held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, where he expressed his ‘displeasure and disgust’ at the hauling before the court of the former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and three former commanders of the Navy, in a case filed by the Bribery Commission.
The President’s speech sent shivers across the country, for it implied a clear departure from the pledges, he made during the election – and had tried to live by with a varying degrees of success since in power.
Many observers viewed it as a growing rift between the President and the UNP, the main constituent party of the Unity Government, being played out in public. The President later said he had been ‘misquoted’ and ‘quoted out of context.’
Continue reading ‘President Sirisena is Perhaps Trying to Make a Point.’ »
By Dharisha Bastians
Director General of Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe tendered her resignation yesterday, as the fallout continues from President Maithripala Sirisena’s furious outburst against Government agencies investigating corruption last week.
Wickramasinghe, a former Additional Solicitor General and President’s Counsel, tendered her resignation to President Sirisena yesterday, after she returned from overseas. She told a television news program that she had tendered her resignation, but declined to provide reasons for her decision.
The Director General, who functions as the chief executive of the independent anti-graft Commission, is the first top official to quit since President Sirisena’s speech last Wednesday, in which he claimed the Commission and other police units investigating corruption were acting on a political agenda.
Several attempts were made to contact Wickramasinghe for comment yesterday, but she remained unreachable.
Continue reading ‘Bribery Commission Director-General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe Tenders Resignation to President Sirisena Immediately After Returning From Malaysia’ »
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran revealed that he had received an e-mail in Sinhala, from a person in Balapitiya around the end of September and later,a telephone call , presumably from the same person, claiming that he had come to know of a conspiracy to get a contract killer to assassinate Sampanthan, on payment of Rs 25 million and blame it on the LTTE, to make out the organization is still active.
The CM said the man confirmed that he was the one who sent the email. “He gave details as to how he came to know about it. Who was to be contracted for the killing and so on.”
Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran was tipped off by a Balapitiya source about Alleged Plot to Kill him and TNA Leader Sampanthan through a “Contract” for 25 million Rupees.’ »
It was with a sense of considerable anger that I read Prime Minister Modi’s comments on Ravana, the great King of Sri Lanka.
PM Modi seems to be unaware that many activists in India have diametrically opposite views to many men of India who view the Ramayana as a justification for feminine subjugation. They have done this for centuries.
Indian men often name their daughters Sita hoping they will be replicas of the humble and subservient heroine of the Ramayana. Rarely do Indian men name their daughters Draupadi after the feisty heroine of the Mahabharata, who dared to argue with men.
Continue reading ‘Narendra Modi is Wrong in Calling Ravana a “Terrorist” Whereas he was the Real Hero of the Ramayana’ »
By Dasun Edirisinghe
The SLFP yesterday denied any rift between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in an attempt to quell rumours after the President’s public outburst against the CID, FCID and CIABOC.
Addressing the media at the party headquarters in Colombo, SLFP Treasurer and Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare S. B. Dissanayake said a section of parliamentarians including the members of the Joint Opposition was dreaming of forming a government by next April, but nobody could topple the present regime.
“There is no problem between the President and Prime Minister though the Joine Opposition was jubilant,” he said, adding that the government would continue.
Continue reading ‘“There is no Problem Between the President and Prime Minister” says SLFP Cabinet Minister SB Dissanayake’ »
By P K Balachandran
The Director General of the Sri Lankan Commission on Bribery and Corruption, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, sent in her resignation on Monday, following President Maithripala Sirisena’s public outburst last Wednesday against the “politicization” of the commission’s working.
Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe, appointed in February 2015, is generally believed to be the choice of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. But the Prime Minister and the President belong to two different political parties, the former to the United National Party (UNP), and the latter to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SFLP). The UNP-SLFP coalition, which was formed to defeat former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2015 and to run the government jointly thereafter, is now showing cracks thanks to clashing political interests and agendas.
Continue reading ‘Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe Resigns as Director-General After President Sirisena’s Tirade on Politicization’ »
The Director-General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, tendered her resignation a short while ago.
Continue reading ‘Bribery-Commission Director-General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe Resigns After President Sirisena’s Verbal Onslaught.’ »
Businessman Thirukumar Nadesan, who was arrested by the FCID this morning in connection with a controversial land in Malwana, was released on bail by Pugoda Magistrate D. A. Ruwanpathirana.
He was released on a cash bail of Rs. 50,000 and two sureties of Rs. 1 million each.
Continue reading ‘Businessman Thirukumar Nadesan Arrested by Police FCID Over Basil’s Malwana Land Issue is Released on Cash bail by Pugoda Magistrate’ »
Police have fired tear gas at fishermen congregating at the Galkanda crossing on the Negombo-Puttalam railroad.
The fishermen have been protesting there since morning.
Continue reading ‘Police Fire Tear Gas in Galkanda at Negombo Coastal Fisherfolk Protesting Against Massive Sandmining for Colombo Port City Construction.’ »
Police teams have found that records on the phone belonging to the soldier who killed himself last week, after claiming responsibility for the death of Lasantha Wickremetunga, have been wiped out.
Police have contracted the help of the mobile phone provider, to track down records of the deleted short message service (sms) and phone conversations the retired soldier had, in the days leading up to his death.
The body of 51-year-old Illandarige Jayamanne was found hanging in his house, alongside a note claiming responsibility for the murder of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickremetunga.
Continue reading ‘Phone Records Wiped out of Ex-Soldier found Hanging in his house After Confessing to Killing Lasantha Wickrematunge’ »
To say that President Maithripala Sirisena caused a flutter with his outburst against the CID, FCID and Bribery Commission at a ceremony held to distribute land and houses to disabled soldiers at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, would be an understatement. Various people have come up with various interpretations of why the president lashed out at these institutions. Some say that this was in retaliation for the release of CCTV footage of the attack on the ‘Clique’ night club in which his son Daham is alleged to have been involved. The CCTV footage could not have been leaked to the press without the police being involved. Earlier, the President’s own media director Wasanthapriya Ramanayake had stated to this column that there is a direct link between these police units and sections of the media and that a conversation he had with an FCID officer over the telephone had been reported on a website operated from overseas within two hours.
We wrote about that episode involving the President’s media director on an earlier occasion. Ramanayake would have informed the President of his experiences. Most people think the FCID obtains statements only from those shown on TV giving ‘voice cuts’ outside the FCID premises, but in reality, the place is like a busy factory with statements being obtained every day from dozens of government employees up and down the hierarchy. Ramanayake told this writer that before he was asked to give a statement, many employees below him in the Information department had been brought to the FCID and that they were working their way upwards and that this process had generated a great deal of resentment among government servants. He said he is convinced that the FCID was doing this deliberately to turn government servants against the government.
This was the kind of feedback that President Sirisena was getting even from his closest staffers. Several incidents piling up one on top of the other would have led to the President’s outburst. Even in October last year the President had criticized the CID for having summoned Wasantha Karannagoda to record a statement and had wanted to be kept informed whenever a head or former head of a branch of the armed services is summoned to record a statement. The President was obviously sensitive to the fact that he was the commander in chief of the armed forces and also the Defence Minister and when key members of the armed forces are hauled before the CID and FCID the public resentment is aimed more at him than any other member of the government. During his outburst a visibly angry President lashed out at the way members of the intelligence services had been kept in remand for months without proper charges being brought against them.
What had obviously angered him most was the fact that former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and three former Navy Commanders had been taken to courts by the Bribery Commission without keeping him informed. He was obviously acutely aware of the toll that such incidents were taking on his role as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
Continue reading ‘Is President Sirisena Trying to Reach Separate Peace with Joint Opposition as an Exit Strategy for Himself?’ »
Summons and charge sheets were served in Court last Friday to Hambantota District Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa for the alleged offence of contempt of the Bribery Commission.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justices Priyasath Dep and Buwaneka Aluvihara, fixed the matter for 30 November for Rajapaksa to consider whether to plead guilty to the charges.
The Supreme Court on 15 September directed the Bribery Commission to file a charge sheet against Rajapaksa over the alleged offence on or before 3 October. The Court rejected preliminary objections raised by Rajapaksa over the commencement of contempt proceedings.
The Court on 3 August directed the Bribery Commission and Rajapaksa’s Counsel to submit written submissions on the alleged offences on or before 29 August.
Continue reading ‘Namal Rajapaksa Charge Sheeted and Served Summons for Alleged Offence of Contempt by Not Appearing Before Bribery Commission.’ »
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which is highly dissatisfied with the Sri Lankan government’s new draft law to replace the existing draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), is confident about getting it modified when it comes before the oversight committees of parliament.
TNA MP M.A.Sumanthiran told Express on Sunday, that he would take it up when it comes before the two relevant Parliamentary Oversight Committees, the one on Justice and the other on National Security, at the end of this month.
“I am a member of both and am confident of success,” the Supreme Court Senior Counsel turned political leader said. He said he has several Supreme Court observations to back his claim.
Continue reading ‘MA Sumanthiran MP is Confident of Modifying Draft Anti – Terrorism Laws Through Parliament Oversight Committees’ »
President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent outburst against his government’s investigation arms shocked many within political circles here, sparking speculation over a perceived rift between him and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
However, days after the two leaders met in Colombo top political sources said the ruling SLFP-UNP coalition faced no imminent danger of a split.
“The meeting went very well, it was very smooth,” Finance Minister and UNP politician Ravi Karunanayake told The Hindu on Saturday. Confirming reports that the two leaders decided to jointly head a new committee that will look into various priorities of the government, he said contrary to “media rumours” the leaders had no differences. “Our enemy is Mahinda Rajapaksa, not anybody within this government.”
It all began with President Sirisena slamming the country’s Bribery Commission and Police on Wednesday for “working to political agendas”, without keeping him informed.
Continue reading ‘No Danger of Imminent Split in Govt Despite President Sirisena’s Shocking Outburst Against Investigative Agencies’ »
Sri Lankan Muslim women are banking on the framers of the country’s new constitution to raise the minimum age of marriage for Muslim girls to the national statutory level of 18.
Under the existing Muslim Marriage and Divorce (MMDA) Act 1951, there is no minimum age as such, except for the stipulation that, if a girl is below 12, the permission of the Quazi is required, says the Muslim Personal Law Reforms Action Group (PMLRAG). There is also no requirement for the consent of the girl if she is less than 18.
According to PMLRAG, data on registered Muslim marriages from four divisions in two Eastern districts, show over 143 cases of underage marriage in 2014 and over 118 cases for the first few months of 2015.
All this is because Article 16(1) of the present Constitution allows these discrepancies.
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Muslim Women Hope New Constitution will Raise Minimum Age of Marriage to 18 for Girls’ »
by Nanda Pethiyagoda
Invited to the premiere of Usaviya Nihandayi produced by H D Premasiri and Prasanna Vithanage and directed by Vithanage at the Regal Cinema on October 4, I returned with my head in a fair whirl and my sensibility determined to unravel the questions and opinions and write a comment on the one hour Sinhala film with English subtitling.
I had to hold my critical horses, however, due to a court injunction delaying the public screening of the film.
First thought and comment: it was a complete success in a new genré of Sinhala film. It was stunning; revealing with no hiding of names or important personages intertwining incidents of rape of two innocent and helpless women by a power that holds their husbands’ fate in its sexually greedy hand.
There is also no shying away from being starkly true to facts with reported questions and answers, often very intimate and explicit.
Continue reading ‘Prasanna Vithanage’s Stunning “Usaviya Nihandayi” (Silence in the Courts) is a Complete Success in a New Genre of Sinhala Film.’ »
President Maithripala Sirisena’s speech at a military welfare event in Colombo, on Wednesday, created an unexpected controversy in the country’s political sphere.
In his fiery speech, the President hit out at the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID), the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Bribery Commission for carrying out investigations to benefit what he termed as political agendas.
Expressing his strong displeasure over producing former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and three former Navy Commanders before court, the President said the independent commissions should function in a responsible manner, within their frameworks.
Continue reading ‘Fake Twitter and Facebook Accounts in Ravi Karunanayake’s Name Used to Spread False Story about President Sirisena taking Over Law and Order Ministry’ »
A police alert shortly after President Maithripala Sirisena’s controversial remarks heightened fears of a “coup” similar to the alleged action of his predecessor in trying to remain in power by using force.
Police across the capital were ordered by a senior Deputy Inspector-General to remain on maximum alert with further instructions due on Thursday as the nation grappled with Sirisena’s controversial remarks last week.
President Sirisena signalled his honeymoon with the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe may be over after lambasting the country’s top three anti-graft bodies for politically-motivated prosecutions.
Two of the three institutions — the police Criminal Investigations Division and the newly set up Financial Crimes Investigation Division — are under the Law and Order ministry of Sagala Ratnayake, a strong Wickremesinghe loyalist.
Continue reading ‘Police on Maximum Alert as “Coup” Fears are Heightened After President Sirisena’s Aborted Attempt to take Over Law and Order Ministry’ »
For the first time in his 21-month tenure as President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena fired strong salvos at his own United National Front (UNF) Government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
He warned he would take action if the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) and the Bribery Commission were working on a “political agenda.” He said he was displeased and even disgusted at the manner in which former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and three former Commanders of the Navy were hauled up before the courts recently.
Sirisena, however, when on Thursday night. He met Premier Wickremesinghe and a group of UNP ministers and a deputy who went to see him to seek clarification on his public remarks. Sirisena said his speech had been reported “out of context” by the media. The UNP delegation trooped into the President’s Paget Road residence around 9 p.m. after the President and Premier had together attended a religious ceremony at the ancient Walukaramaya temple in Kollupitiya. The UNP-President meeting ended at 1 a.m. the next day.
During the discussion, Sirisena insisted that he had not called for either Gotabaya Rajapaksa or the three former Commanders of the Navy be absolved of charges. He said the investigations against them should continue though the meeting saw some tense moments of raised voices. Sirisena insisted that during the concluding stages of his speech at the SLFI, he had in fact asserted that no one would be able to change the present Government. He had only taken exception to the manner in which CIABOC had conducted investigations involving two former ministers and probes in general by the CID and the FCID. As Minister of Defence he had not been kept informed, was his complaint, he said.
The President and the Prime Minister seen at the Walukarama Temple on Thursday night. Soon after that they had a late night meeting to settle the dispute over the President’s outburst on Wednesday.
The self-inflicted crisis for Sirisena really began last Tuesday evening.
Continue reading ‘PRime Minister Wickremesinghe Heads Damage Control Exercise by Govt to Defuse Self- Inflicted Crisis Caused by “Aiyo” Sirisena’s Intemperate Remarks.’ »
The scarlet satakaya is still there but gone is the strident oratory, the purpled emotive prose that made 5 million people worship at his altar last year, as the liberator of the nation, Dutugamunu style.
Mahinda Rajapaksa has at long last come to realise that beating the hackneyed drum of Sinhala chauvinism will no longer suffice to ensure a return to power without the support and vote of all sections of the Great Lankan public. No doubt he has come a long way to arrive at this milepost. But he still has a long way to go. But for starters, it will do.
Even as Oscar Wilde discovered in his prison cell at Reading Gaol while staring at his little tent of blue prisoners call the sky, how he had been the spendthrift of his genius, and how its squander had brought him to that horrible pass; so it seems has Mahinda Rajapaksa learnt, from his internment in the political wilderness, how he had been driven by fates and by his acolytes to become the spendthrift of the goodwill a grateful nation bestowed on him on 19th May 2009; and how its reckless squander had landed him beyond the people’s pale.
Surveying the Lankan landscape he once held as his fiefdom, and finding on it the patch of blue Wilde found in the sky, Rajapaksa has voyaged purgatory to soul search his sins and hit upon de Profoundis and realised, if there ever were to be a reincarnation for him, a place of heaven at the helm of Lanka’s tower of power, first he must wear the coarse sack cloth of the penitent, and perform penance on crawling knees and beg forgiveness before those whom he had scalded at the heights of his presidency.
First it was to the Tamils, he said Vannakkam.
Continue reading ‘On Going Attempt by Mahinda Rajapaksa to Re-brand Himself as the Born Again Ultimate Liberal’ »
Kishali Pinto Jayawardene
A draft policy and legal framework aimed at a new law on counter-terrorism to replace Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) may well be a classic case of the cure being far worse than the disease.
A bare reading of the draft immediately gives rise to several questions that gravely impact on the protection of life and liberty. As reported, the Cabinet has forwarded the draft to a parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security. It is hoped that this Committee will give its most anxious consideration to the contents and breadth of what is proposed.
Whole range of new offences
The draft framework proposes a whole range of new offences, apart from the primary offence of terrorism. The additional offences include ‘terrorism related’ offences, ‘associated’ offences as well as an offence of Espionage. These encompass a variety of problematically broad acts.
Continue reading ‘Proposed New Counter-Terrorism Law Seems to be Worse Than the Prevention of Terrorism Act it Seeks to Replace’ »
By Chris Kamalendran
The Judicial Medical investigation into the death of retired Army Sergeant Major Edirisinghe Jayamanne has ruled out foul play.
Sgt Maj Jayamanne, 52, was found dead at his home in Kegalle on Friday, along with a note, allegedly confessing to the murder of former the Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge.
An initial report on the postmortem examination performed by Dr R. Alagiyawanna on Friday, confirmed that, the deceased exhibited no external injuries to suggest foul play and that, he had committed suicide by hanging himself.
Continue reading ‘Initial Post-mortem Report Rules out Foul play in Suicide of Sgt.Maj Jayamanne the Self-Confessed Killer of Lasantha Wickrematunge’ »
By P K Balachandran
The recent public outburst of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena over being kept in the dark about certain key decisions of the administration led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickemesinghe, has led to the decision to set up a committee to coordinate policies in matters of national and political importance.
The panel will keep track of the investigations into the questionable deals of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government; the treatment meted out to top officials of the Rajapaksa regime; progress in matters relating to the proposed war crimes probe; and the drafting of a new constitution for the country.
President Sirisena had publicly berated the administration for not informing him about the decision to question former navy chiefs and temporarily incarcerate former Defense Secretary, the war winning Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Sirisena said that as the C-in-C and Defense Minister, the investigators were duty bound to inform him.
Continue reading ‘Co-ordinating Committee to be set up in a bid to Appease President Sirisena Annoyed with UNP for Taking him and SLFP for Granted.’ »
by Saman Indrajith
There’s a pithy Sinhala saying about teachers, students and urination: Gura hitagena hujja karana kota golayo duva duva hujja karanava (If the teacher urinates while standing, then the students would urinate while running). Soon after the President firing verbal salvos against the FCID, CID and the CIABOC we see his SLFP ministers in the government queuing up to give voice cuts criticizing those institutions, but in a nastier way.
This was also seen after the President criticized the proposals on the VAT. All SLFP ministers in the Yahapalana government found fault with the VAT quite forgetting their collective responsibility as Cabinet Ministers. It was the same case with regard to the Treasury Bond scandal and former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. After the President said Mahendran should resign from the post, his cohorts in the government immediately offered amplification of their master’s voice.
The mee-haraka and ela-haraka (a buffalo and a cow) when yoked make an odd couple and this oddness inherent in the Yahapalana regime is pretty obvious. Splits and disagreements within the ranks were to be expected. Local Government and Provincial Council Minister Faiszer Musthapha being forced to eat humble pie by his UNP colleagues in Parliament is just one example.
Continue reading ‘Minister Faiszer Mustapha whose firm earlier Provided Legal Advice to Uva Chief Minister now Tries to Defend him in Parliament’ »
A meeting between President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe took place at 5.30 PM on Thursday. Daily FT learns that the meeting between the President and Prime Minister had been amicable, despite the prevailing tension. The two leaders had resolved to iron out their issues, aides said, speaking confidentially. The President’s speech on Wednesday had taken the Premier by surprise, highly placed sources said. Wickremesinghe held talks with senior officials and a party MP ahead of his meeting with the President on Thursday to discuss the major tension points within the ruling coalition that may have led to Sirisena’s outburst.
Adding a strange twist to the prevailing political drama, actor politician and Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake reportedly played mediator during the crisis, to convince both President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe that the alliance had to be safeguarded at all costs. Ramanayake, often known as ‘One Shot’ after a character in his films, briefed the Prime Minister for one hour about the corruption allegations against members of the ruling coalition.
Continue reading ‘President Sirisena’s Angry Outburst was Triggered by Bribery Commission’s Recent Action Against AHM Fowzie and Priyankara Jayaratne over Minor Allegations’ »
By Dharisha Bastians
Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has hailed President Maithripala Sirisena’s fiery speech on Wednesday that drew sharp criticism from civil society and opposition political parties and exposed a major rift in the ruling UNF-SLFP coalition.
Speaking to the BBC Sinhala Service from China, where he is currently attending a defence summit, the powerful former official in the Rajapaksa Government said he was “happy the President had finally understood the truth” state institutions probing corruption allegations.
Denying that he had spoken with Sirisena before the President’s outburst earlier this week, the former Defence Secretary vowed that there was no ‘secret pact’ between the current President and the former ruling family.
Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Denies Existence of ” Secret Pact” Between President Sirisena and Rajapaksa Family’ »
by Hemantha Randunu
Investigations into the murder of former Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga took a new turn with a retired sergeant major of the army intelligence unit committing suicide by hanging himself at his home in Kegalle after allegedly signing a letter admitting to the killing, police headquarters sources said yesterday.
The dead sergeant major was identified as Edirisinghe Jayamanne (52), a resident of Karandupana, Kegalle.
A note believed to have been written by the retired sergeant major said: “It was I who killed Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, My friend Malinda Udalagama, who has been arrested for it is not responsible for the murder. Please release him.”
Continue reading ‘Suspicious Suicide of Ex-army Intelligence Operative with Letter in Pocket “Confessing” to Murdering Lasantha Wickrematunga’ »
By PK Balachandran
The formation of a Hindu political group “Siva Senai” (Siva’s Army), with the vowed purpose of defending Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus from “other religious groups” and securing for the Hindus their rightful place in Tamil political parties commensurate with their dominant status in Tamil society, is seen by observers as a regressive development in Sri Lankan Tamil politics.
Veteran columnist D.B.S.Jeyaraj sees it as an attempt to bring back an inter-religious division in Tamil politics which was there in the first three decades of post-independence Sri Lanka. Jeyaraj remembered that in the 1970 parliamentary election in Kakesanthurai, C.Suntharalingam, an orthodox Hindu, had challenged Samuel. J.V.Chelvanayakam, the Christian leader of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), by asking voters to choose between the “Siluvai” and the “Soolam” – the Cross and Trishul. But the largely secular Tamils chose neither and voted for Chelvanayakam. the Christian leader of the secular Federal Party.
Tamils generally ignored communal appeals and sent many Christians like Alfred Duraiappah, C.X.Martyn and Joseph Pararajasingham to parliament, Jeyaraj said.
Continue reading ‘Formation of Hindu Political Group “Siva Senai” seen as a Regressive step in Sri Lankan Tamil Politics’ »
by Maheesha Mudugamuwa
UPFA General Secretary and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said on Thursday that though a number of independent commissions had been appointed to look into corruptions, the officials of those institutions would not always be independent and they might have political agendas.
He was addressing the media at the opening ceremony of a Boat Exhibition at Dikowita Fisheries Harbour.
Clarifying President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement that he would take action against the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) as well as the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) for pursuing a political agenda, Minister Amaraweera said President Sirisena had given an opportunity for those institutions to work independently and he was not interfering in any of the work carried out by them.
Continue reading ‘Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera Says Officials Probing Corruption May have Political Agendas and not be Independent’ »
President Sirisena’s criticism of corruption investigating bodies has drawn a sharp response from civil society representatives, who held a media briefing yesterday to condemn the remarks and attempts to demoralise the Bribery Commission and Police.
Speaking to reporters at the news conference, Co-convenor of late Sobitha Thero’s National Movement for a Just Soeicty and trade union leader Saman Ratnapriya said the remarks were “deeply problematic.”
“The whole country is shaken by these statements,” Ratnapriya charged, adding that President Sirisena’s remarks seemed to be a throwback to the Rajapaksa era. He urged President Sirisena to ‘go back and read the Yahapalanaya manifesto”.
Ratnapriya said the Purawesi Balaya was expressing “disgust” and condemnation of the President’s remarks.
Continue reading ‘Indignant Civil Society Representatives Urge President Sirisena to “Read the Yahapalanaya Manifesto”Instead of Demoralising Bribery Commission and Police’ »
By Dasun Edirisinghe
Purawesi Balaya, a collection of civil society organisations which campaigned for President Maithripala Sirisena’s successful presidential bid, yesterday found fault with the President for his allegations against the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
Addressing the media at the Centre for Society and Religion in Maradana, head of the National Movement for Social Justice Prof. Sarath Wijesooriya said they would have to take to the streets against the present government if the present trend continued.
“President Sirisena is trying to protect former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family over corrupt acts they committed during their tenure,” he claimed, adding that they did not expect the government to shield those who were responsible for corruption under the previous regime.
Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Trying to Protect Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaka and Family Over Corrupt Acts Committed During Their Tenure’ »
By Shamindra Ferdinando
One-time head of the Customs Revenue Task Force Nagananda Kodituwakku yesterday revealed that 20 vehicles which had been imported by affluent persons using vehicle permits issued to sitting members of Parliament were registered by the Commissioner General of Motor Traffic.
Appearing on Sirasa ‘Pathikada’ anchored by Bandula Jayasekera, attorney-at-law Kodituwakku said that he had obtained all relevant information pertaining to importation of the vehicles as well as their registration from Customs and Commissioner General of Motor Traffic on the basis of Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Kodituwakku revealed the names of all 20 members of parliament who had sold permits as well as the buyers. He also mentioned the tax exemption received by new owners.
All members of parliament voted for the RTI Act in the wake of high profile campaign spearheaded by several NGOs.
Continue reading ‘20 MP’s Have sold their Duty Free Import Vehicle Permits to “Affluent”Persons to Purchase Toyota Land Cruisers.’ »
By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole
Member, Election Commission
I belong to the so-called Independent Election Commission. I do not know why they call us Independent because I do not see that word in any of the legal instruments that appointed us. That, however, is the perception of the public. They expect us to act independently and hold the long overdue local government (LG) Elections immediately. It is a normal expectation in a democracy.
In the meantime, many contradictory statements with different dates by the Minister for Provincial Councils and Local Government (Faiszer Musthapha), the President, and the PM, among many others, have added to the confusion. The Island editorial (13.10.2016) gives as reason “The entry of a new political force led by the Rajapaksas into the fray will make the situation worse for the ruling coalition” and bets its bottom dollar that “the government will postpone the mini polls indefinitely on the pretext of finalising electoral reforms.” The evidence seems to suggest that The Island is right.
The Joint Opposition periodically visits the Commission demanding LG Elections. Everyone outside the government blames us saying we are independent and must hold elections. The JO at a public meeting even accused our Chairman of being partial to the government. We are the punching bag.
Continue reading ‘An “Independent” Election Commission Must Conduct Local Authority Polls without Delay Regardless of Govt Manipulation.’ »
Shiv Sena in Mumbai has extended its support to a new Sri Lankan Tamil outfit called ‘Siva Senai’, triggering concerns among the mainstream politicians of the island nation that sectarian outfits will reopen wounds of a 20-year-old civil war that ended only in 2009.
The Siva Senai, based out of Vavuniya in the Tamil-dominated northern Lanka, is led by Maravanpulavu Sachithananthan.
The party takes its name from Lord Shiva and plans to fight “coercive conversion” from Hinduism to Buddhism, the dominant Sinhalese religion.
Mumbai’s Shiva Sena leader Sanjay Raut told News18 that his party extends support to the new Lankan outfit. “Our party is a Hindu party. We support the cause of Hindus all over the World. We support Siva Senai,” he said.
Sinhalese leaders fear the militant nature of the new Siva Senai could break the status-quo prevailing in Northern Lanka while Tamil leaders are wary that outfits like Senai would split Tamil unity.
The ‘Siva Senai’ was launched recently by a group of Hindus in Sri Lanka at Tamil dominated town Vavuniya in Northern Province.
Continue reading ‘India’s Hindu Party “Shiv Sena” Supports Formation of “Siva Senai” in Sri Lanka to Promote Cause of Hindus.’ »
By PK Balachandran
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s public outburst against the arrest or questioning of top defense officials associated with the Rajapaksa regime without his knowledge, has brought out a major fault line in the coalition government which is running the island nation.
Ever since the traditional arch rivals, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP), formed a coalition in January 2015, collective decision making has proved to be problematic. President Sirisena, heading the SLFP, has often overturned key decisions taken by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe heading the UNP.
The President, who is attempting to secure full control of the SLFP from his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has to address the concerns of his party and its traditional voter base. In that process, he has used his Executive powers to overturn several unpopular decisions taken by the UNP, which dominates the cabinet by virtue of its greater strength in parliament.
Continue reading ‘President Sirisena’s Public Outburst Against Officials Investigating Corruption Reveals Cracks Between SLFP and UNP in Govt’ »
Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith heeding representation made by Fishermen and People’s Organisations distrubed by the large scale dredging of sand from seashore for the filling up of the Port City, appealed to authorities to address their concerns.
The text of Cardinal Ranjith statement;
Representations have been made to me by fishermen and people’s organisations in the Negombo and Dikowita coastal belt, expressing grave concern at the massive dredging of sand from seashore planned for the filing up of the Port City Project. They are terrified about the huge operation now being prepared for this and the possible ecological disaster that might happen within this area. They also state that already the areas in which the fish lay the eggs and are breeding grounds are being severely affected by this sand mining.
Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Concerned over Massive Sandmining Along Negombo and Dikowita Coasts for Colombo Port City Project.’ »
Sandun A Jayasekera
While declining to comment on the views expressed by President Maithripala Sirisena on the FCID at a function held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on Wednesday, its Chief DIG Ravi Waidyalankara said action could be taken in case the President or the Government was not happy with the manner in which the FCID functioned.
Continue reading ‘President or Govt Can Take Action if Unhappy with Functioning of Police FCID says its chief DIG Ravi Waidyalankara’ »
Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has once again led an outcry against transferring of Colombo garbage to Ja-Ela.
In a joint communiqué addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,Cardinal Ranjith has drawn their attention to the fact that the land that has been proposed by the Colombo Municipal Council for dumping its garbage at Ja-Ela is in a thickly populated area surrounded by streams and rivers flowing into the Negombo lagoon.
The communiqué signed by several other prominent people of the area, including Ven. Balagalle Dhammaseeha thera, Ven. Narampanawe Wimalajothi thera, State Minister of City Planning and Water Supply Sudarshani Fernandopulle and Rev. Fr. Priya Jayamanne, has also pointed out that most of this in the area also consume well water.
Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Protests to President and Prime Minister About Dumping Colombo City Garbage in Ja-Ela.’ »
Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL), the controversial primary dealer connected to the family of former Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran, has recorded a mammoth after-tax profit in excess of Rs.10 billion within a period of 14 months, according to a draft report by the Central Bank, which has been leaked to the public domain by a whistleblower within the bank.
Based on the published accounts of PTL, Daily Mirror last week reported that the primary dealer recorded an after tax profit of Rs. 5.1 billion for the financial year ended in March 31, 2016, against a Rs.960 million profit during the previous year.
Continue reading ‘Central Bank Report Leaked by a “Whistleblower”Reveals Perpetual Treasuries Ltd has made Mammoth Rs.10.1 Billion After Tax Profit in 14 Months.’ »
By Dharisha Bastians
The Opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna yesterday levelled sharp criticism at President Maithripala Sirisena over his shocking outburst against the Bribery Commission and Police on Wednesday, and urged the Head of State to refrain from making statements that would weaken criminal investigations and prosecutions.
In a special media release issued yesterday, the JVP said President Sirisena’s remarks posed major challenges to the aspirations of 6.2 million Sri Lankans who voted against corruption in the January 2015 presidential election.
“By casting doubt about the political motivations of the Bribery Commission, the FCID and the CID, the President has made a very grave statement,” the JVP said in its news release.
Continue reading ‘JVP Criticises President Sirisena Strongly for Making Statement Against Anti-Corruption Action by Bribery Commission and Police FCID’ »
via THE ECONOMIST
BOB DYLAN might not seem to have much in common with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and William Butler Yeats. But as of October 13th, they are bound together by the Nobel prize in literature.
The Swedish Academy has awarded the medal annually since 1901 “to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”, as requested by the will of Alfred Nobel.
Mr Dylan won this year’s accolade “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. Few people would challenge that description of his impact on popular music. Many have questioned the decision to recognise it with the same honour that was once bestowed upon George Bernard Shaw, Jean-Paul Sartre and Rudyard Kipling.
Continue reading ‘Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize in Literature for “Creating new Poetic Expressions Within Great American Song Tradition”.’ »
Maithripala Sirisena has a problem that pre-dates his presidency. It’s a ‘problem’ that first manifested on the white sand beaches of Passikudah in February 2013. The sequence of events bore uncanny resemblance to the events at a popular nightclub in Union Place, Colombo last weekend. A perceived slight led to a vicious assault by a gang of unruly, inebriated boys, led by the son of powerful minister in President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Cabinet. The victim, who was critically injured in the assault was the son of DIG Ravi Waidyalankara, then in charge of the Batticaloa area. Waidyalankara, now a Senior DIG, presently heads the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) that is probing some of the biggest corruption cases against leaders of the Rajapaksa Government.
The Passikudah case took a predictable turn. Thirteen boys, including Daham Tharaka Sirisena, the son of then Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, were arrested on assault charges by the Kalkudah Police and granted bail. The suspects were granted bail even though the victim of the assault was still in ICU, being treated for critical injuries. The 13 suspects faced a single Court date one month later, with the Valaichenai Magistrate giving an order to have the case transferred to a Mediation or Reconciliation Board, a quasi judicial body that ‘settles’ minor disputes. Out of the glare of the public eye, the assault case fell off the radar. There was speculation that the Waidyalankara family was reluctant to pursue the case too vigorously, given the political climate prevailing at the time.
Continue reading ‘Sensitive Spots: President Maithripala and Son Daham Sirisena-Prime Minister Ranil and Friend Arjuna Mahendran’ »
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recent remarks that Buddhism would be given the foremost place in Sri Lanka’s new Constitution has sparked concern among sections.
“As a state, the President, I and all of us protect Buddhism, not through words, but through action,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said recently, the State-run Daily News newspaper reported.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said all political parties and religious leaders across faiths had “no issue in giving priority to protect Buddhism in the country.” He added the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main political grouping here representing Sri Lanka’s northern Tamils, agreed to retain those articles protecting Buddhism in the existing Constitution unchanged.
Continue reading ‘Explicit Granting of Foremost Place to Buddhism in new Constitution is Discriminatory to Other Religions says TNA Spokesperson Sumanthiran MP’ »
By PK Balachandran
A group of Sri Lankan Tamils have formed “Siva Senai” (Siva’s Army) to enable Hindus to face “threats” from other religious groups in the island nation, says the Senai’s Lead Organizer, Maravanpulavu Sachchithananthan, a former UN official turned Tamil nationalist and publisher.
Speaking to Express on the meeting held in Vavuniya recently in which it was decided to form such an organization, Sachchithananthan clarified that the Sri Lankan “Siva Senai” has no links with the Siva Sena in India. He also denied that it is meant to be a militant group.
“It is based on the ancient Tamil dictum that all thought, word and deed should be based on Anbu (Love), Aram (Morality or Religion) or Arul (Grace). We will adopt the path of dialogue in resolving issues with other religious groups and take to action if necessary,” he said.
Continue reading ‘“Siva’s Army”(Siva Senai)Formed to Enable “Saivaite” Hindus face threats from Christians, Muslims and Buddhists in Sri Lanka’ »
By Dharisha Bastians
President Maithripala Sirisena slammed the Bribery Commission and two Police divisions for what he called their “hauling” of the former defence secretary and naval commanders to court earlier this month.
In a shocking outburst that laid bare a widening chasm between the Head of State and other Government agencies and political actors within the ruling coalition, President Sirisena charged that the Bribery Commission, the CID and the FCID were working to a political agenda.
Military commanders who had executed the war and the former Defence Secretary had been “hauled” into court by the Bribery Commission last week, the President said, speaking at a function to present land and houses to military personnel at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute yesterday.
“I am expressing my disgust at this turn of events. Three navy commanders who served during the war and the former Defence Secretary were hauled into court,” the President charged during his speech.
Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Blasts Bribery Commission and Police for Charging Gota and 3 Ex-Navy Chiefs in Courts’ »
A group of Hindus in Sri Lanka has launched ‘Siva Senai’, an organisation to “protect Hindus from threats from other religious groups” in the island.
A ceremony was recently held in Vavuniya, a Tamil-majority town located in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province.
Clarifying that the organisation had no direct links to Shiv Sena, the right-wing political party in Maharashtra, the group’s Chief Organiser Maravanpulavu Sachithananthan told The Hindu: “But we have their support.”
Continue reading ‘“Siva Senai”(Sivas Army)Launched in Vavuniya to Protect Hindus of Sri Lanka , After Consulting Indian Right-wing Hindu outfits like Shiv Sena,RSS and VHP,’ »
By PK Balachandran
An agitation in Sri Lanka’s tea plantations involving about 225,000 workers of Indian Origin since September 26, is adding to the woes of the island nation’s tea industry which is seeing new lows in production, exports and earnings for a variety of internal and external reasons.
Almost a fourth of Sri Lanka’s one million plantation workforce have been either on a strike or agitation demanding a minimum wage of LKR 1000 per day. But plantation companies are not willing to go beyond LKR 720 per day from the present LKR 620 per day and insist that any wage increase will have to be based on productivity.
The worker’s demand is based on three factors: rising cost of living; non arrival at a Collective Agreement since 2013, and the non-availability of avenues of advancement for workers.
Continue reading ‘225,000 Plantation Workers Agitate from Sep 26th for Rs.1000 Daily Wage but Estate Management Ready for only 720 Rs.’ »
Deputy Mass Media Minister Karunarathna Paranavithana, addressing the media during the Cabinet press briefing today, said President Maithripala Sirisena had asked for a special inquiry into the nightclub brawl, last Saturday.
In the wee hours of Saturday (October 8), reports that the President’s son Dahan Sirisena was involved in a brawl at a nightclub at Colombo 2, reached the media.
Initial investigation revealed that bouncers at the entrance of the club had told Sirisena they could not accommodate all of his bodyguards that night, as the nightclub was filled to capacity.
The two parties reached compromise, and Daham was allowed inside with five bodyguards.
Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Orders Special Inquiry into Colombo Nightclub Brawl Allegedly Involving his son Daham.’ »
Upul Joseph Fernando
During the time of the war when the Rajapaksa Government was hunting for media who were against the Rajapaksas, innocent journalists who wanted to save their lives fled to India. India granted them visas on requests made by western countries led by America.
The Rajapaksas were angered because India granted visas to journalists who were against their government. The group consisting of Basil, Gotabaya and Lalith Weeratunga who were sent to deal with India then by Mahinda expressed their opposition to India for granting visas to journalists opposed to the government.
Since the then Indian High Commissioner in this country Alok Prasad was also a pet of the Rajapaksas; he also submitted facts against issuing of these visas. India which accepted the request of the Rajapaksas, immediately ordered the Sri Lankan journalists who came to the country to save their lives to leave. At the same time they halted the issue of Indian visas to journalists who requested them. That is how India, honoured the requests of the Government of Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘China Inviting Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for Xiangshan Forum is a Slap in the Face to Spineless Maithri-Ranil Govt’ »
It was 4.30 in the evening on Sunday and thousands had already queued up outside the municipal grounds here for a show that was to begin two hours later.
Jaffna has had its share of high-profile visitors from abroad, mostly politicians and diplomats, but none that has held a huge audience captive for five hours.
The excitement began that morning, when playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam’s chopper landed in Jaffna. Eager fans had gathered near the landing area, looking skyward and holding their mobile cameras up. “I cannot repay their love,” SPB said on his Facebook page, sharing a photograph he had taken of the crowd.
Continue reading ‘“Indha Mannukku Vanakkam” (Greetings to this Soil): Popular Singer SP Balasubrahmanyam Performs for the First time in Jaffna.’ »
If Pakistan had been our neighbour and we had Muslim majority provinces, we would probably have had a complex and troubled relationship with Pakistan and unstinted friendship with India, but our geographic destiny was otherwise.
Prudent, pragmatic leaders of Sri Lanka, beginning with DS Senanayake, always tried to balance off our great neighbour, because of the potential/latent threat from Tamil Nadu and its effect/influence on the Tamil populace of the island.
With the South Asian region splitting in 1971, Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike resisted heavy parliamentary pressure from her powerful coalition partners, the pro-Soviet Communist party and the pro-Bengali Indophile LSSP, to support the ethically sound cause of the birth of Bangladesh. The (then) influential Daily News argued editorially that Ceylon should temporarily “tilt to the Islamabad–Beijing axis” as its national interests would be jeopardized by the successful precedent of secession under Indian auspices.
There was a joke doing the rounds in DPL circles in Colombo, sourced to an exchange between a High Commissioner and the Editor of the Daily News. “Question: When will Colombo recognize an independent Bangladesh? Answer: After the last country in South Asia does so.”
Continue reading ‘Present Govt May be Seen as a “Poodle” Co-Owned and Shared by USA and India’ »
BY M. M. Zuhair PC
Remember those chilling utterances of the so-called Al-Qaeda leaders, captured on video and seen around the globe, threatening to attack Western capitals in retaliation for the US-led coalition invading Middle-Eastern countries? Do you recall seeing those horrific pictures displaying knife wielding ISIS executioners about to chop off the heads of foreign journalists?
You must have seen hundreds of such revulsive video clips and pictures publicised worldwide. But I am yet to see clippings of executions actually being carried out! I have not seen even post-execution shots! In any event how were they allowed to photo record the pre-execution scenes? If ISIS brutality is what was to be shown then, one might expect blurred versions of the executions or post-execution pictures to be put out. May be it is never done?
A British based Journalism Bureau says fake news and DVDs were in fact produced by a British company working for the US Defence Ministry in Camp Victory in Iraq during the invasion of Iraq. The contents of the vast volumes of fake news productions are however still not clear.
The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, in a report released on Sunday 2nd October 2016 has exposed the Pentagon for having contracted, during the US led war in Iraq, a British lobbying cum PR firm to produce (a) fake news in Iraq (b) fake Al-Qaeda propaganda DVDs (c) mostly made in the style of Arabic news networks.
Continue reading ‘London’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism expose ‘Fake news’ and ‘False flags’ in US-led war in Iraq’ »
By P K Balachandran
The Colombo District Court’s temporary injunction last week against the release of noted Sri Lankan film maker Prasanna Vithanage’s film Usaviya Nisandai (Silence in the Courts) has brought to the fore the issue of the immunity of judges from public criticism of their conduct.
Campaigners for social justice have expressed concern over the injunction against the film which, according to Director Vithanage, is a docu-drama based on real life incidents of sexual misconduct involving a District Judge.
“The film was passed by the Public Performance Board with a ‘U’ certificate long ago. It had been shown in several festivals abroad and there had been special shows in New Delhi and Colombo also. But just before it was to be released in theaters here in the first week of this month, an injunction was obtained. The case is to be heard again on October 19,” Vithanage told Express.
Continue reading ‘Injunction Against Prasanna Vithanage’s “Silence in the Courts” Film Raises Issues About Judicial Immunity’ »
Sri Lanka did not pull out of the SAARC summit, the country only expressed regret that the prevailing environment in the region was not conducive to hold the event, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the parliament on Friday.
His response comes in the wake of media reports interpreting Sri Lanka’s statement as a decision to “pull out” of the summit or “boycott it.”
Observing that the General Provisions of the Charter of the SAARC prescribes that “decisions at all levels shall be taken on the basis of unanimity,” the Minister said: “The moment one country says that they are unable to attend a SAARC Summit, a Summit cannot be held. There was, therefore, no question of Sri Lanka pulling out of SAARC, or Sri Lanka saying that we will not attend the Summit as there was no Summit to attend.”
Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Did not Pull Out of or Boycott SAARC Summit Because There was no Summit to Attend’ »
A mob allegedly linked to President Maithripala Sirisena’s son Daham is said to have gone on rampage at a leading night club in Colombo after they were denied entry on the early hours of Saturday. An employee of the club who received head injuries is being treated at the Colombo General Hospital. Police say they are investigating.
The latest incident is disappointing, not for its gravity — many get into bar fights and that is a malady as ancient as the invention of booze, though one would expect better behaviour from the sons and daughters of public figures. The latest affair is disappointing for the current Government, and the President himself has, with a seeming genuineness, been trying to make a clear break from the past, when the abuse of power was itself a pastime of the rich and the politically powerful.
However, it is not easy to make that clear break and worse still his own son is now implicated in reenacting the past.
The acid test for the Government and the President himself would be how they respond to this. They themselves could reenact the past; cover up the incident, make the police tell the courts that CCTV footage is lost and no evidence found and still better, try to prove the suspects were at a pirith puja at the time the so-called incident happened. Gag the media or it can let the police investigate the incident freely, file charges if there are any, and let the rule of law take its own course.
Continue reading ‘Acid Test for President and Govt Lies in Their Response to Alleged Involvement of Daham Sirisena in Nightclub Attack’ »
Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa yesterday filed two defamation law suits in Colombo District Courts against two officials of the Police Financial Crimes Investigation Unit (FCID) for allegedly causing damage to his reputation through the arrest over investigation related to the Indian owned Krrish Group.
Rajapaksa claims that he was arrested by the FCID over a baseless complaint made by the Convener of the Anti-Corruption Front Wasantha Samarasinghe, regarding misappropriation of Rs. 70 million rupees given by the Indian Group Krrish. He has named Chief Inspector R.A.K. Ranawaka and Sub Inspector Shantha Lal of FCID as defendants with a claim of Rs. 200 million as compensation.
Continue reading ‘Namal Rajapaksa Files Two Defamation Lawsuits Claiming 200 million Rs Damages From Chief Inspector Ranawaka and SI Shanta Lal of Police FCID Over Krrish Probe’ »
Several persons accompanying President Maithripala Sirisena’s son Daham Sirisena have allegedly assaulted security personnel at the posh night club “Clique”at Union Place in Colombo Two in the early hours of Saturday October 8th 2016. Some of those involved in the attack were “officers in civils” of the Presidential security division entrusted with the task of protecting Daham Sirisena it is alleged.
However it is learnt reliably that a concerted effort is being currently undertaken by “higher authorities”together with the proprietors of the nightclub to suppress details of the incident and turn the story around in a bid to “absolve” Daham Sirisena from blame in the incident.
Daham’s parents President Maithripala Sirisena and First Lady Ms. Jayanthy Sirisena are currently in Thailand on an official visit.
The upmarket “ Clique”nightclub located in Union place now known as Dr. Colvin R de Silva mawatte is owned by a trio of businessmen namely Jayasuriya,Rajabdeen and Farooq . The nightclub catering to elite sections of Colombo society is usually open from 6 PM to 2 am. On Fridays and Saturdays it is open from 6 pm to 4 am.
Continue reading ‘President Maithripala’s Son Daham Sirisena Allegedly Involved in Attack on “Clique” Nightclub in Union Place’ »
Veteran film director Prasanna Vithanage’s film, ‘Silence in the Court’ was at the centre of a major controversy when the Colombo District Court issued an injunction against the screening of the film, following a lawsuit filed by former judge Lenin Ratnayake.
A day before the injunction order was issued, the film was screened at the Regal Cinema, Colombo, to a selected audience that included politicians, activists, journalists and artistes. ‘Silence in the Court’ was a documentary based on the controversy surrounding Ratnayake, which made headlines in media, in the late 90s, under the Presidency of Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.
It was alleged that Ratnayake raped the wife of an accused on the pretext of obtaining a statement about her husband and also to have embezzled funds while functioning as a clerk at the National Insurance Corporation. At the time the allegations surfaced, Ratnayake served as the Magistrate of Mahawa.
Continue reading ‘Ex-District Judge Lenin Ratnayake Gets Injunction Against the film”Silence in the Court”About the wife of an Accused being Raped by a Magistrate’ »
Speaking in parliament on Friday Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that contrary to reports published in the media, Sri Lanka had not pulled out of the SAARC summit which was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on 9 and 10 November and that the Sri Lanka foreign ministry had put out a statement saying that the environment in the region was not conducive to holding the SAARC summit only after four other nations had pulled out of the Summit and that according to the SAARC charter, the summit could not be held even if one country pulls out and by the time SL issued its statement the SAARC summit could not be held anyway. Despite this explanation offered by the foreign minister, the statement that the foreign ministry issued did indicate a pullout without mentioning the word.
What our foreign ministry statement said was that “Sri Lanka regrets that the prevailing environment in the region is not conducive for holding the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad on 9th and 10th November 2016. The General Provisions of the SAARC Charter require that decisions at all levels shall be taken on the basis of unanimity, and this applies to the convening of meetings of Heads of State or Government of SAARC Member States as well. As a founding member of SAARC, committed to regional cooperation, Sri Lanka hopes that the steps required to ensuring our region’s peace and security will be taken to create an environment that is conducive for the pursuit of regional cooperation. Sri Lanka condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stresses in this regard, the need to deal with the issue of terrorism in the region in a decisive manner.”
The entire Indian press seemd to have interpreted the statement by the Sri Lankan foreign ministry as a pullout and indeed the wording of that statement could not be interpreted as anything else. The latter sentences of that statement seemed to follow in the lines of Indian interpretations of what was going on in the border. It was a testimony to the effectiveness of the Indian espionage agency RAW that none of the Muslim political parties in Sri Lanka like the SLMC or the ACMC expressed solidarity with Pakistan. In this regard, India has come a long way since a decade ago when they were complaining that Pakistan was infiltrating South India using Tamil speaking Muslims from Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘No Major Sri Lankan Muslim Party Expressing Solidarity with Pakistan is Testimony to Efficiency of Indian Espionage Agency RAW’ »
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the premier Tamil political group in Sri Lanka, fears that the proposed new law to replace the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) may well be old wine in a new bottle with most of the controversial provisions being retained.
“It may even be worse than the PTA going by the influence of the Security Establishment on government’s thinking on these matters,” TNA’s spokesman and MP, M.A.Sumanthiran, told Express on Sunday.
“The Law Commission in its report to the government on replacing the PTA had apparently given suggestions which would have put the new law in line with international best practices. But I hear that the government consulted the Security Establishment and rejected the commission’s suggestions.”
Continue reading ‘Security Establishment Influences Govt into Drafting New Laws Worse than the Draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act(PTA)’ »
by Shamindra Ferdinando
Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that intelligence services had been relentlessly pursuing him.
Rajapaksa maintained that intelligence services had checked on his movements and also inquired from various hotels information pertaining to his visits and those with him.
The war veteran told The Island that he couldn’t see any justifiable reason to keep him under surveillance as he didn’t pose a threat whatsoever to national security. “I believe they have far more important assignments than to follow me,” Rajapaksa said, urging the government not to engage in silly games.
Asked whether he felt threatened by government actions, Rajapaksa emphasized that those who had been inquiring about his movements could be briefed regularly. “I have nothing to hide from those now in power nor posed a threat to anyone.”
Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Placed Under Surveillance by the same Intelligence Services Commanded by the Ex-Def Secy Earlier’ »
Come January, when Tamils around the world will celebrate Thai Pongal, the whole of Canada will celebrate it as Tamil Heritage Month. Festivities for the inaugural Tamil Heritage Month across Canada will commence in January 2017, which coincides with the Canada 150 celebrations.
The House of Commons of the Canadian Parliament unanimously adopted a motion in this regard earlier this week, much to the delight of the strong Tamil community there.
The motion was moved by Canadian politician of Tamil origin, Gary Anandasangaree, MP for Scarborough-Rouge Park constituency, and it was discussed in the House in May and September.
In an indication of the special place that the community has among the people, parliamentarians from all major political parties spoke in favour of the motion, extolling the contributions made by Tamil Canadians to the growth of Canada in various aspects.
Continue reading ‘Canada will Celebrate January as Tamil Heritage Month from 2017 Onwards’ »
by Saman Indrajith
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assured Parliament yesterday that the process of making a new constitution would continue unhindered by the statements made by various individuals, both in the North and South.
The Prime Minister stressed that the new Constitution would be made by the Constitutional Assembly and the Steering Committee, and would not be influenced by any Chief Minister.
Continue reading ‘Process of Making a new Constitution Would Continue and not be Influenced by any statement made by a Chief Minister – Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »
Imagine walking into a bakery in order to buy a cake and being told that the price will only be revealed after the cake has been consumed, and no receipts will be issued.
This bizarre state of affairs is what prevails in our private hospitals. Doctors’ fees for treatment and surgery are arbitrary, undisclosed till the time of the patient’s discharge, un-receipted, and largely untaxed. The crass commercialization of medicine is bad enough; far worse is the non-applicability of norms assumed in normal commercial practice to the medical profession.
How has this situation come about? The middle-classes are largely to blame for their silent complicity in such a ludicrous system. We haggle over labour prices with our plumbers, carpenters or builders. But when it comes to doctors and lawyers, we meekly submit.
Continue reading ‘There is a Moral Vacuum at the Heart of our Medical Profession’ »
The Planters’ Association, yesterday, tossed the ball back on to Plantation Minister Naveen Dissanayake’s court to reach a compromise with the trade unions demanding a wage increase.
Discussions between plantation companies and trade unions ended in a stalemate as two of the main trade unions, Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) and Joint Estate Workers’ Union, both signatory to the collective agreement, were not present. The CWC claimed that they were not invited to yesterday’s discussion and are to meet on 13 October for negotiations.
Continue reading ‘Estate Worker Wage Increase Discussions Between Plantation Management and Trade Unions End in Stalemate Due to Absence of Main Trade Unions Including CWC’ »
An interim injunction by the Colombo District Court has temporarily halted the screening of Prasanna Vithanage’s latest film, ‘Usaviya Nihadai’ (Silence in the Courts’).
The film opened at the Regal Cinema in Colombo on Tuesday (4).
Colombo District Judge N.U. Gunasekara made the order consequent to a lawsuit filed by former District Judge Lenin Rathnayake, seeking a permanent injunction to prevent the screening of the film.
Continue reading ‘Prasanna Vithanage’s “Silence in the Courts” Film “Silenced” Temporarily Through Interim Injunction in Colombo District Court’ »
The Eluga Thamil rally on September 24 in Jaffna was nothing but the continuation of efforts to keep reactionary Tamil nationalism mobilised after the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009. The forces that organised this protest have been active with the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), the Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) and more recently the Tamil People’s Council (TPC). Their chauvinist Tamil nationalist rhetoric attempts to capture the political mainstream in Jaffna and carve out a space within the Tamil political sphere dominated by the TNA.
The polarising politics centred on the projection of victimhood and the call for international intervention is not new, the genocide resolution by the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) last year was one such instance. However, the Eluga Thamil protest requires careful analysis as it has not only kindled ethno-nationalist emotions, but also put people on the streets without any realistic political path ahead.
The Eluga Thamil rally has also caused much confusion in the South. Is the protest an effort to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil people? Is this a decisive blow to the TNA and a serious challenge to the TNA’s approach of engaging Colombo over the last two years? Are these signs of a resurgence of Tamil militancy? The answer to all three questions is in the negative; due to the reactionary character of the rally’s engagement, the narrow political base of the mobilisation and the post-war debilitation of the Tamil community.
However, the Eluga Thamil protest is a worrying development in the downward trend of Tamil politics; characteristically, it seeks to co-opt genuine people’s grievances into reactionary Tamil nationalist ends. It reflects the lack of self-criticism needed to address the tragedy that has engulfed the Tamil community. Though I argue that the Eluga Thamil protests, much like Rajapaksa’s Pada Yathra, is a farce, it is a wake-up call to the country; chauvinist politics on both sides of the divide are again trying to reclaim the political mainstream.
Continue reading ‘Eluga Thamil Rally is a Continuation of Efforts to Keep Reactionary Tamil Nationalism Mobilised After Defeat of LTTE’ »
When Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran took over as the country’s first democratically elected Chief Minister of the war-torn Northern Province, bureaucrats were awed by his stature and personality.
Soft strains of classical sitar music played over the sound system of the Provincial Council chamber in Kaithady, Jaffna shortly before the Chief Minister made his maiden address at the newly elected assembly. Bureaucrats chose the music carefully because Wigneswaran himself was a ‘master sitarist’, and they hailed the new leader of the Northern Province as a ‘rajarishi’ or Chief Sage. An erudite man of deep religious faith, Wigneswaran had the unmistakable air of statesman about him when he was first elected to office.
In an election campaign fraught with tension, abuse and military led intimidation, the people of the Northern Province voted overwhelmingly for the Tamil National Alliance in the provincial council polls of September 2013. The TNA won 30 out of 38 seats – a two-thirds majority – in the Northern Provincial Council being constituted for the first time.
Running the provincial administration was never going to be easy. Contentious devolution arrangements, a military Governor and an administration in Colombo with a solid mistrust of ethnic minorities made for a rocky road for the new provincial assembly. The NPC was also the first real test of the India designed 13th Amendment to the constitution that offered limited powers over regional affairs to provincially elected leaders, in the postwar period.
TNA Leader R. Sampanthan’s choice for Chief Minister seemed like a masterstroke at the time. Wigneswaran was born in the capital Colombo and schooled in Kurunegala and Anuradhapura before entering Royal College – the educational institution most closely associated with the country’s ruling classes. He speaks Sinhalese fluently and during his career in the judiciary, Wigneswaran served in courts in the north and south. Having lived most of his life in the ethno-religious melting pot that is the capital, Wigneswaran was a far cry from an insular Tamil regional politician.
The TNA’s choice for Chief Minister was hailed widely in moderate circles of the South. There was certainty that Wigneswaran would bring to the new provincial administration the measured political approaches TNA leadership had adopted in the national arena in the post-war period.
Continue reading ‘Decline and Fall From Grace of Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran’ »
Dr. Devanesan Nesiah
In The Island of 21 September 2016, Thivanka Perera posed the question “How about the widows of the 600 policemen?”. The rest of the article does not merit a response, but this question does .In the course of the decades of violent conflict in our island, there have been many terrible atrocities committed by several of the parties to the conflict, including the LTTE, the State and other militants. I will not attempt to assess the relative magnitude of the culpability of the different parties; these vary from atrocity to atrocity, but in the case of the nearly 600 murdered policemen, the primary culpability lies indisputably with the LTTE, second with the state for even unwittingly facilitating that massacre and then failing to follow up, and third with all of us for not pressing for a comprehensive inquiry.
A curious feature of the litany of violence through the war years is the flux of changing opportunistic alliances that facilitated many of the worst atrocities, followed by opportunist pollusion to cover up between parties that were on opposite sides in other atrocities (and in the above case the same atrocity).
Continue reading ‘It is not too late for a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Probe the Massacre of 600 Policemen by the Tigers at Rufuskulam in 1990’ »
By Dasun Edirisinghe
Some parliamentarians of the Joint Opposition (JO) had announced that a new party would be formed at the Saturday’s rally in Ratnapura, but its leaders including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa clearly stated it would only be a political rally and such a thing would not happen there, the SLFP said yesterday.
Addressing the media at the party head office in Darley Road, SLFP senior Vice President and Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations W. D. J. Seneviratne said his niece, Ratnapura District MP and JO activist Pavithra Wanniarachchi’s claim that a new party would be formed at the Ratnapura rally had bee contradicted by the statements issued by JO leaders including the former President Rajapaksa and former Minister Dullas Alahapperuma.
Continue reading ‘No Announcement of New Party would be made on October 8th at Ratnapura Joint Opposition Political Rally’ »
Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on Thursday passed a resolution seeking an investigation into Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran’s charge that he has been continually receiving information about a plot to assassinate him and put the blame on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
“The resolution asked the Inspector General of Police to investigate the complaint and, if necessary, increase security for the Chief Minister,” the Chairman of the NPC, C.V.K.Sivagnanam , told Express.
On Tuesday, the Secretary General of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Mavai Senathirajah had said that he had asked TNA chief, R.Sampanthan, to discuss the matter with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, and seek enhanced police protection for Wigneswaran.
Senathirajah told the media that Wigneswaran, having been a Supreme Court judge before entering politics in 2013, would not have made a charge of such seriousness in writing, without grounds.
Continue reading ‘Northern Provincial Council Passes Resolution Urging Investigation into Alleged Conspiracy to Assassinate Chief Minister Wigneswaran’ »
Emphasising the need to resolve the Tamil fishermen issue, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said unless a solution is found there will be a “lot of problems” for the country’s fishermen who are being deprived of their catch.
Wickremesinghe, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, said he has taken up the matter with his Indian counterpart and plans to arrange a meeting of ministers concerned in this regard.
Fishermen from Tamil Nadu being detained and their boats getting captured by Sri Lankan authorities has been a sensitive political issue in the state.
Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Asks Narendra Modi to Resolve Issue of Indian Fishermen Poaching in Sri Lankan Waters’ »
By Rajasingham Jayadevan
First and foremost, let me welcome your forthcoming visit to London to inter-twine a relationship between the London Borough of Kingston and the Northern Provincial Council (NCP)to exchange knowledge and experiences between the two Councils.
I am one of those who overwhelmingly supported your election as Chief Minister of NCP that you won with landmark support from the people three years ago.
But unfortunately, the past three years of the NCP has caused considerable consternations for many. The issues fundamental and legal have been undermined and the NCP is only pulling through by engaging in matters that are outside its very scope of governance.
This is my effort to initiate and energise a public debate to dissect in a critical light your performance as the Chief Minister of the NCP with the hope that there will be due diligence conduct in the management of the Council at least in your remaining years in office.
Continue reading ‘What Would Ex-Supreme Court Judge Wigneswaran’s Verdict be on the Northern Provincial Council and Chief Minister?’ »
Drawing lessons from the 30-year long war in the island nation, the visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday categorically ruled out war as an option between the two nuclear-powered countries and lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s restrained approach on the matter.
“I don’t think war is an option for anyone,” the Sri Lankan Prime Minister said when asked if the situation between the two countries can escalate militarily.
Sri Lanka also exhorted India and Pakistan to tackle the issue of cross-border terrorism or the future of the regional grouping SAARC looks bleak.
Continue reading ‘“War is not an Option for India and Pakistan says Sri Lankan Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in New Delhi.’ »
By Shamindra Ferdinando
Alleging that a confidential investigation report in respect of operations undertaken by the Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) pertaining to Central Bank bond scams in 2015 had been held up by an interested party, National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, yesterday urged the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka to take up follow-up action without further delay.
Weerawansa said that the ‘on-site examination’ had been carried out by the Public Debt Department with a view to apprising the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka comprising Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy (Chairman), Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Mrs M. Ramanathan, C.P.R. Perera and Nihan Fonseka.
The NFF leader vowed to pressure the government, both in and outside parliament over the delay in taking up the report finalised in Sept. 2016. Having examined various transactions, the investigators had made a series of recommendations, including a mandatory corporate governance code for Primary Dealers (PD). They had also recommended tough penalties among other measures, he said.
Bidding at off-market rates invariably caused escalation of government borrowings, the MP pointed out.
Continue reading ‘Confidential Investigation Report Into Operations of Perpetual Treasuries Pertaining to Central Bank Bonds was Finalised in Sep 2016’ »
by Shamindra Ferdinando
Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday faulted the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government for not tackling the threat posed by the likes of Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran propagating separatist sentiments.
Prof. Peiris alleged that the government lacked the political will to counter the ongoing eelam campaign.
The former Minister asserted that the country was in turmoil for want of proper political leadership. Prof. Peiris was addressing the media at Dr N.M. Perera Centre, Cotta road, Borella.
Commenting on Senior Vice President of the SLFP Nimal Siripala de Silva, MP demanding that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) take disciplinary measures against Wigneswaran, Prof. Peiris emphasised that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration should take up the former Supreme Court judge’s challenge.
Continue reading ‘Prof GL Peiris Faults Govt for not Tackling Threat Posed by Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran in Propagating Separatist Sentiments’ »
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) may ask Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to order a police investigation into Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran’s contention that a plot is being hatched in South Sri Lanka to kill him and blame the Tamil Tigers for it.
TNA’s General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah told Express on Wednesday that he has asked party chief R.Sampanthan to take the matter up with the President, and seek enhanced police protection for Wigneswaran.
Senathirajah said that Wigneswaran, having been a Supreme Court judge, would not have made a charge of this nature in writing and publicized it, without grounds. The matter deserves to be investigated by the police.
Continue reading ‘TNA Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s Contention that a Plot is Being Hatched in South to Kill him and Blame Tigers for it.’ »
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has warned that if the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) does not deliver the goods satisfactory to all the member states, Sri Lanka will have to look for other options.
However, he suggested ways to keep SAARC going as it can play an important role.
Wickremesinghe made these remarks in his speech on “Sri Lanka and its place in the world” at the Main Hall of the New Zealand parliament on Monday.
Referring to the indefinite postponement of the 19 th. SAARC summit at Islamabad because of a military confrontation between members India and Pakistan, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister said that holding the summit is a “matter of great importance” because SAARC can play an important role in the South Asian region.
Continue reading ‘If SAARC Does not Deliver Sri Lanka will have to look for Other Options Warns Lankan Premier Wickremesinghe’ »
By Saman Indrajith
Chairman and Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation yesterday admitted before the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) that 12 henchmen of Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had been recruited on the recommendations of the minister’s wife, according to highly placed sources.
Two top officials of the corporation admitted before the COPE that out of 61 workers they had hired after assuming duties in the corporation, 43 had been recruited without following stipulated procedure.
The COPE summoned top officials of the corporation including the Chairman and MD yesterday to Parliament. Two female officials cried when they accused the higher officials of using foul language on women. All lower ranking officials complained that they had to undergo numerous difficulties because of the present management.
Continue reading ‘12 Henchmen Recruited by Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation via Recommendation Letters from Dr.Rajitha Senaratne’s Wife Serve as Health Minister’s Staff’ »
By Dharisha Bastians
Joint Opposition Legislators demanded an official Government response condemning statements made by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in Parliament yesterday, saying his remarks at a controversial rally in Jaffna had been in violation of the constitution he was sworn to protect.
Raising a question in the House last afternoon, Joint Opposition Convenor and UPFA MP Dinesh Gunewardane said the Chief Minister’s statements at the Eluga Tamil (Rise, Tamil!) rally were dangerous because they were harmful to the country, endangered the peace and violate the constitution.
Gunewardane claimed Wigneswaran was demanding that the construction of Buddhist places of worship in the North was discontinued and seeking the removal of all Buddhist statues already in place in the region. He was also calling for the removal of Sinhalese families living in the North and wants to prevent any further Sinhalese settlements in the area, Gunewardane charged.
Continue reading ‘TNA Leader Sampanthan Defends Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran in Parliament as a “very Responsible Person”.’ »
The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) leadership is urging protection for its Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, in the wake of his own claims that there was a plot to assassinate him.
ITAK President Mavai Senathirajah told Daily FT he has urged TNA Leader R. Sampanthan to inform the President and request the IGP to investigate the threats and provide additional police protection to the Chief Minister. In a message that was read out at a book launch in Jaffna last Saturday (1) Chief Minister Wigneswaran revealed that his life was under threat.
“I have been receiving information continuously that there are efforts being taken to kill me and to put the blame on the LTTE,” he said, in the message that was read out at the Saraswathy Hall.
Continue reading ‘ITAK Leader Senathirajah Wants TNA Leader Sampanthan to get President Sirisena to Provide Security to CV Wigneswaran and Investigate threats to his Life.’ »
Thousands of Indian origin Tamils, employed in Sri Lanka’s famed tea estates, are on protest for a week now, demanding higher wages.
They are asking for a daily wage of LKR 1,000 (around Rs. 450), which estate owners have deemed high, citing the current “risk-prone” business environment.
Continue reading ‘Lankan Plantation Workers Protest for More than a Week Demanding Raise of daily Wage from 620 Rs to 1000 Rupees.’ »
NEW DELHI: After lending its support to India’s fight against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe arrived in the national capital on Tuesday.
He met Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. His visit has come at a time when Sri Lanka along with other member states of the
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) boycotted the Summit scheduled in Islamabad condemning terrorism in the region.
The majority pull out of the countries have been unprecedented in the history of the regional grouping. The Indian quest to isolate Pakistan regionally came after the attack masterminded by Jaish-e-Mohammad on the Army base resulted in the death of 19 soldiers.
Continue reading ‘After Lending Support to India’s Fight Against Pakistan Sponsored Terrorism, Sri Lankan PM Wickremesinghe Arrives in New Delhi’ »
Medical examinations conducted on former LTTE cadre were negative for any traces of poison, the Northern Province Health Ministry said yesterday.
A total of 146 rehabilitated former LTTE members have undergone the test conducted by the provincial health authorities.
Continue reading ‘After Testing 146 ex-LTTE Cadres Northern Province Health Ministry Says no Poisonous Substance Detected’ »