Well-known Lawyer Lakshan Dias Flees Sri Lanka After Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Threatens to Take Action in Two Days

Well -known lawyer and Human Right Defender Lakshan Dias has flown out of his motherland to an undisclosed destination for reasons of personal safety,it is learnt.

The outspoken lawyer had been receiving threats from different quarters after stating in a TV forum that over a 190 incidents of violence,harassment and intimidation against Christians and christian places of worship have occurred in Sri Lanka for the past two years since January 8th 2015.

It was on Jan 8th 2015 that President Maithripala Sirisena was elected to office. This statement irritated the governing establishment as it shattered the illusion that attacks against Christian churches had ceased after the Rajapaksa regime was booted out and the”Yahapalanaya”(Good governance)Govt under President Sirisena took over.

Though there had been mounting pressure on Mr. Dias for several days the immediate reason that compelled him to suddenly flee the country is attributed to a newspaper interview given by Justice and Buddha Sasana minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said informed sources.

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Over 90 Undergrads Including 20 Women Hospitalised Due to Brutal Crack Down on Student Protest by Special Task Force.


By Kapila Fernando

Sri Lankan police violently assaulted university students occupying the health ministry on Wednesday and have now broadened the crackdown, arresting the protest leaders.

The government has also threatened to take action against the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) and doctors who launched an “indefinite strike” to protest against the police attack and demand the government take over the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), a private medical college.

Thousands of students involved in Wednesday’s demonstration entered the health ministry building in Central Colombo, breaking police barriers and demanding a discussion with Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne. The Inter-University Student Federation (IUSF) leaders said they went into the building because they had been given no appointment to meet with Senaratne.

The demonstration was part of ongoing protests by students and GMOA members to demand that the government take control of SAITM, allocate 6 percent of gross domestic product for education, end school fees and resolve various problems in the health sector.

Continue reading ‘Over 90 Undergrads Including 20 Women Hospitalised Due to Brutal Crack Down on Student Protest by Special Task Force.’ »

Govt Doctors of GMOA Engage in Fisticuffs During Discussion: National Hospital Medico Hospitalised with a Broken Nose.

Sri Lanka’s striking doctors have sent a fellow medical officer to hospital with a broken nose on the same day they refused to treat thousands of other patients in a bid to spite the government.

Doctors discussing the current crisis over private medical education began punching each other both literally and figuratively with one of them ending with a serious nose bleed on Thursday at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo.

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“Pakistan Will Stand By You at Any Given Time” – Ex-Chief of Pakistani Spy Agency ISI Assures Mahinda Rajapaksa

By

Gagani Weerakoon

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa left to Pakistan last Monday afternoon to participate, as the guest speaker, at an event held at the Pakistan National Defence University.

Speaking at an event organized by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) and Global Village Space (GVS) Rajapaksa said terrorism is against the spirit of humanity and no country can prosper if people are compelled to live their lives under fear.

Delivering his speech on the topic of the talk which was ‘Sri Lanka’s Struggle for Peace and its Lessons for Pakistan and the Region,’ Rajapaksa said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka’s mutual relationship is sustained by cultural heritage, economies, and common stand on international issues.

“We are grateful for the unconditional and steadfast support we received from Pakistan. It is a matter of deep satisfaction that I was able to raise Sri Lanka’s voice with Pakistan. They have stood by us through thick and thin,” he said. Rajapaksa added there is no distinction between terrorists, mirroring the good versus bad Taliban debate in Pakistan.

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A Note of Tribute to my Father, Eric Cooray, On His 80th Birthday


By

Krishantha Prasad Cooray

Certain things are immeasurable and beyond definition. Love, for instance. Such things are however often recognizable, either in the joy or sorrow they create. And yet, there are instanes when we don’t see it at all or if we do, we call it something else. There’s love whose dimensions we don’t fathom or even cannot fathom. The love of a father is something like that.

Eric Cooray

Of course there are demonstrative fathers who shower their children with love; but even in such cases it is not easy to understand what exactly a father feels, what goes on in his mind, the quiet pleasures he experiences when his children do well and the great anxieties that torment him all the time.

My father, who will complete yet another year of his exemplary life on earth on the 26th of June, was never demonstrative. In fact he was and still is loathe to express emotion. He never said much and even now appears to have a steady rein on his feelings. And yet, as the years passed, I have come to realize that he tirelessly strived in his own way to take care of his family and to make sure that his sons grew into strong men and responsible citizens.

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Govt Doctors Strike Suspended After 3 Days Due to NMCRP Threat to Stage Poojas Invoking Curses on GMOA Executive Committee Members


Government doctors called off their three-day work stoppage Saturday shortly after a consumer protection organization threatened to invoke the wrath of gods on them and socially ostracize the striking medical officers.

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said they decided to “temporarily suspend” the trade union action after continuing a strike across all state-sector hospitals for three straight days to protest private medical education.

The consumer rights group, the National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP), had said it will from Sunday stage ceremonies in front of the homes of GMOA executive committee members to invoke curses on them for holding hundreds of thousands of patients to ransom.

“We were planning to launch our activities from Sunday, but we are pleased to note that the GMOA has called off the strike shortly after we issued our warning,” NMCPR leader Ranjith Vithanage said.

Continue reading ‘Govt Doctors Strike Suspended After 3 Days Due to NMCRP Threat to Stage Poojas Invoking Curses on GMOA Executive Committee Members’ »

Lasith Malinga the “Boy from Rathgama” Speaks his Mind Forcefully about Parrots,Monkeys and Armchair Ministers.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardena

In a country where people seldom challenge the political leadership of the day preferring instead to pay homage to blatant sycophancy, a refreshing contrast emerges from the ‘boy from Rathgama’ (as he identifies himself), one of Sri Lanka’s leading cricketers, Lasith Malinga.

Monkeys and Parrots

As someone entirely and quite unashamedly ignorant about the intricacies of the game per se, what gripped my attention was the manner in which Lasith Malinga took on Sri Lanka’s Minister of Sports, Dayasiri Jayasekera. Though the Minister himself seems not to have distinguished himself in a sporting career as such, he is of course, a favourite player of the game, ‘jump from one party to the next.

Malinga was responding to the Minister’s criticism that the country’s cricketers were too fat after Sri Lanka failed to reach the Champions Trophy semi-finals. In pithy and laughter-inducing Sinhalese, his exact response was “I don’t care about criticism from those who are simply warming chairs…what does a monkey know about a parrot’s nesting hollow? This is like a monkey getting into a parrot’s nest and talking about it.”

Continue reading ‘Lasith Malinga the “Boy from Rathgama” Speaks his Mind Forcefully about Parrots,Monkeys and Armchair Ministers.’ »

Elements Who Protected Gnanasara Thero Under Rajapaksa Govt Are Doing So Under “Yahapalanaya” Govt Also

By C.A.Chandraprema

The events that people saw unfolding last Wednesday proved beyond a shadow of doubt what this writer said in the last two columns – that the latest spate of anti-Muslim violence unleashed by the Bodu Bala Sena has been orchestrated by elements within the yahapalana government that are trying to win over a section of the Sinhala Buddhist vote which has been gravitating heavily to the Joint Opposition. We pointed out that both Champika Ranawaka and President Maithripala Sirisena had an interest in using the Bodu Bala Sena to split the Sinhala Buddhist vote and that the impunity enjoyed by the BBS in the past several weeks is due to patronage at the highest levels of the government. Last Wednesday Gnansara Thera created legal history by obtaining bail on three occasions in the course of a single day. In one case he was formally arrested and a statement was recorded from him and he was presented before a Magistrate and released on bail all within minutes.

Thus Gnanasara Thera broke the record set earlier by Hirunika Premachandra in the abduction case against her. Some people may be under the impression that all that was because of the broadside fired by the Ven. Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter against the government last Tuesday. Gnansara Thera came out of hiding the very next day. However there was no causal link between the statement made by the Ven Mahanayake Thera and Karaka Sanga Sabha of the Asgiriya Chapter and Gnanasara Thera’s release. His surrender to courts had been under discussion for days. This week’s Ravaya has in fact revealed that the police had through a hurriedly filed motion, amended their B report so that the offence for which he was to be arrested would be made bailable. Earlier it had been the ICCPR Act that had been cited which makes the incitement of ethnic or religious tensions a non-bailable offence. With the amendment of the B-report a different law had been invoked and it had been made possible to grant bail to Gnanasara Thera.

In fact the Bodu Bala Sena said at a press conference held on 16 June that Gnanasara Thera may surrender to courts in due course. Then at the press conference held by the BBS on 20 June, they stated more definitely that he would be present in courts the next day. It would have been inconceivable for the yahapalana government to put him behind bars. As we said last week, Ganansara Thera did spend some time behind bars under this government, but that was an unscheduled event which took place not due to any action taken by this government but due to steps taken by the Homagama Magistrate.

Continue reading ‘Elements Who Protected Gnanasara Thero Under Rajapaksa Govt Are Doing So Under “Yahapalanaya” Govt Also’ »

Will the TNA Field CV Wigneswaran As Chief Minister Candidate In the 2018 Northern Provincial Poll?

by N. Sathiya Moorthy

All is well that ends well – or, so goes the old adage. For the ruling Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the Tamil-majority Northern Province, it could well be just that and nothing more. The current truce between TNA leadership of R Sampanthan and Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran has the potential to blow up all over again as the NPC polls, due by September 2018, approaches.

The question is would the TNA re-nominate Wigneswaran as their ‘lead candidate’ for Elections-2018, or would look around for another? Or, would Wigneswaran go away without a fight, which he declared that he would join at the height of the recent party break-down over his sacking of all four ministers, in the place of two, who alone were found to be guilty of corruption and the rest by a panel of his choosing.

Though many senior party leaders have a strong legal background, as a retired Judge of the Supreme Court, Wigneswaran is possibly the only one in the TNA hierarchy so uniquely placed still to ‘judge’ the right and the wrongs of his ministerial colleagues. Having thus acknowledged the guilt of two of them, it’s anybody’s guess why he should go on to equate the other two on the same plane and ask them to ‘go on leave’.

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Gnanasara Thero the Wastrel Monk Who Has Become the Spendthrift of the Buddha’s Doctrine

By

Don Manu

Ah, just when one had wondered whether the absconding monk, that fugitive of justice, had renounced the pleasures of the world and sought refuge in some quiet corner of some dense thicket to meditate upon the wise counsel of the Buddha and seek alone his own path to redemption and not lead others down the garden path to incite racial hatred, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara emerged this Wednesday from his unknown kuti and surrendered to court and thus spared cops the blush of having being clueless as to his whereabouts.

Four police teams had been deployed to find him but for nearly a month his hideaway haven had kept the police baffled. Even a so called high tech definition sweep to round up similar fugitives had failed to reveal the secret den in which the runaway monk had meditated in.

It was indeed the return of the prodigal, the wastrel monk who had become the spendthrift of the Buddha’s doctrine which urges all to show tolerance to all faiths and creeds and to pay respect to another’s belief. Shrouded in saffron, in that designer robe of the mendicant, he had squandered the wealth of the Buddha’s teachings that had been poured to his bowl of alms ever since he was ordained. But he remained unrepentant; and by the smirk on his face when a tolerant court granted immediate bail to a man who had twice evaded warrant for his arrest, he almost seemed to show that it had given him some curious joy to cock a hoop and show his contempt to the majesty of the law and its enforcing arm.

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PTFDP Queries Finance Ministry About Granting License for Ethanol Distillery in East to Arjun Aloysius Owned WM Mendis Violating Govt Drug Policy


A Task Force, functioning under President Maithripala Sirisena, has queried the Finance Ministry on how approval was granted to establish an ethanol distillery in Batticaloa, contrary to government policy. The Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention (PTFDP) functions under the purview of President Maithripala Sirisena. The PTFDP has asked the Finance Ministry Secretary to explain how approval was granted to set up a new ethanol distillery in Kalkudah, Batticaloa, in violation of the National Drug Prevention Policy (NDPP).

W.M. Mendis is owned by Arjun Aloysius, the son-in-law of the Central Bank’s former Governor Arjuna Mahendran who is currently being investigated over the bond issue. Last year, the Excise Department gave approval to the company to set up a grain-based extra neutral alcohol (ENA) distillery on instructions from the Department of Fiscal Policy, both of which fall under the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry was then headed by Ravi Karunanayake.

The NDPP states that “No new licences will be issued for tobacco and alcohol production”. Now, PTFDP Director Samantha Kumara Kithalawaarachchi has asked Finance Ministry Secretary R.H.S. Samaratunga to submit a report on how W.M. Mendis & Co received permission to set up an ethanol factory in the East. Dr Kithalawaarachchi has pointed out in his letter that the PTFDP strives to create a country free of drugs and has been able to generate positive changes with the help of Government and NGO agencies.

Continue reading ‘PTFDP Queries Finance Ministry About Granting License for Ethanol Distillery in East to Arjun Aloysius Owned WM Mendis Violating Govt Drug Policy’ »

Police CID to Monitor Social Media to Take Action Against Individuals and Groups Inciting Religious and Ethnic Hatred

By Damith Wickremsekara

Individuals or groups trying to provoke religious or ethnic hatred on social media are to be monitored and action taken against them by the Criminal Investigations Department, a senior official said. Law and Order Ministry Secretary Jagath Wijeweera told the Sunday Times the decision was taken following a meeting with the police and other agencies.

He said the CID’s cyber crimes division would also closely monitor blogs, photographs and videos uploaded and take action against those found responsible for provoking hatred.

The measures are part of Government plans to reduce religious and ethnic tension.

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Blames Govt for “Most Brutal Attack on University Students Protesting Against SAITM”

By Methmalie Dissanayake

The manner in which the university students who were engaged in a protest march against SAITM on 21 June was the ‘most brutal’ attack carried out by any Government against the student movement in the entire history of this country, Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.

He said in a statement that it was very tragic to see a Government that came to power by giving so many promises to protect free education is now behaving in such a ‘barbaric’ manner.

“Medical students are not concentrating on their studies anymore and medical professionals also have given their final warning to the Government. Instead of finding a permanent solution to this matter the Government is continuously insulting and attacking these students and the professionals,” Rajapaksa added.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Blames Govt for “Most Brutal Attack on University Students Protesting Against SAITM”’ »

Ranil-Mangala-Chandrika Troika Must Be Dumped not only by President Sirisena but also the UNP

BY

DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

The impassioned, strongly worded statement just recently issued by the Asgiriya Chapter meant that the writing is on the wall. But there is more than one thing written on the wall, and there is also something written between the lines.

What the writing on the wall clearly says is that we have reached a point similar to that of 1955 when the Buddhist Commission issued its report. Already the government (effectively) of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe looks like that of Sir John Kotelawela in the famous Mara Yuddha cartoon, except that this leadership clique and its lifestyle isn’t seen as symbolized by the macho Sir John in the cartoon but more by Zou Zou Mohammed!

How do we understand the Asgiriya Chapter’s statement—because the crucial challenge is to comprehend it, whether or not one agrees with it in whole or in part (and I for one, do not). The statement is a throwback to the 1940s and 1950s, and is a nationalist cultural backlash against a perceived erosion of the national by the alien. I am greatly helped by the writings of my late father Mervyn de Silva in understanding it

Continue reading ‘Ranil-Mangala-Chandrika Troika Must Be Dumped not only by President Sirisena but also the UNP’ »

Inter-University Bhikku Balamandalaya Convenor Ven Thampitiya Sugathananda and Inter University Students Federation Convenor Lahiru Weerasekera Arrested.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Police investigating Wednes-day’s Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) ‘raid’ on the health ministry arrested three key student leaders yesterday as the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) strike against the heavy handed use of the police to oust the protesters, entered its second day.

Among the suspects taken into custody are Ven Thampitiye Sugathananda, Convenor of the Inter-University Bhikku Balamandalaya and IUSF convenor Lahiru Weerasekara.

A squad of policemen from the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) and the Maradana police arrested Weerasekera and Faisdeen Faizan Mohammed yesterday afternoon as they left the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), Maradana, after having briefed the media on the latest situation.

Weerasekera and Mohammed were remanded till July 5 after being produced in the Maligakanda Magistrate Dulani S. Weeratunga.

Continue reading ‘Inter-University Bhikku Balamandalaya Convenor Ven Thampitiya Sugathananda and Inter University Students Federation Convenor Lahiru Weerasekera Arrested.’ »

Arrogant and Foolish Attempt to Deny The Persecution of Christians in Sri Lanka-Letter to Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

By

Prof. Asoka Ekanayaka

Emeritus Professor A,N,I. Ekanayake has written an open letter to Justice and Buddha sana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe about the recent comments made by the minister regarding recent incidents of harassment against Christians in Sri Lanka. The full text ofof the letter is as follows –

June 22, 2017

Hon Dr Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha PC
Minister of Justice

Dear Dr Rajapaksha,

Arrogant and Foolish Attempt to Deny the Persecution of Christians in Sri Lanka

I was shocked and outraged to see a video news clip in which you sought to deny the numerous incidents involving the harrassment of Christians in this country in recent times while crudely condemning a reputable lawyer who had brought the relevant facts to light threatening to have him removed from the bar. Your arrogant and emotive reaction reflects a deplorable ignorance about the facts pertaining to Christian persecution in the country if not a deliberate attempt to subvert them on the principle that the shame and embarrassment accompanying the revelation of the truth is more important than the truth itself – which therefore must be covered up.

It is clear that your ill conceived remarks derive from a pronounced Buddhist bias. It shows that you know nothing of Christianity. It would seem that you are quite ignorant about the definition of a ‘Christian’ in a plural society and utterly misinformed about what constitutes the Christian Church. In this the 500th year of the Protestant Reformation ( which you have probably not even heard of ! ) where roughly half the Christians in the world are non Roman Catholic you seem oblivious to the existence of Christian denominations outside the Roman Church. Your equating Christianity with the Roman Church imagining that Cardinal Malcolm Ranjit can be a spokesman for Christians in Sri Lanka is on par with the naivety of a first year law student !

Moreover as a Buddhist politician preoccupied with your own political agenda you are obviously unaware of trends in the Christian Church where Cardinal Malcolm Ranjit has become a controversial figure even within the Roman Catholic denomination , who having betrayed the faith by his religious pluralism and open hostility to evangelical Christians, is consequently deeply distrusted amongst Christians many of whom would not even consider him to be a Christian from a strictly Biblical perspective.

Continue reading ‘Arrogant and Foolish Attempt to Deny The Persecution of Christians in Sri Lanka-Letter to Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’ »

Wigneswaran’s Moves Against Corrupt ministers has Nothing to do with the Rights of the Tamil Masses

By K. Ratnayake

A factional clash that erupted last week between Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leadership ended yesterday after a political compromise.

Wigneswaran, a retired supreme court judge, became the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) chief minister after being appointed as the TNA’s leading candidate in the 2013 elections. Although he had not previously been a member of the alliance, he was brought into the organisation by TNA leader R. Sambandan because he was regarded as a reliable figure by the Colombo establishment and the international powers.

Differences within the Tamil elite, however, came to the surface last week when Wigneswaran removed two NPC ministers on corruption charges and sent two others on compulsory leave. The four ministers were members of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), the dominant party in the TNA.

TNA leaders, including R. Sambandan and M. A. Sumanthiran, opposed the chief minister’s ruling, declaring that placing the two ministers on compulsory leave was an arbitrary decision. ITAK councillors responded by presenting a no-confidence motion against Wigneswaran in the NPC.

Continue reading ‘Wigneswaran’s Moves Against Corrupt ministers has Nothing to do with the Rights of the Tamil Masses’ »

Cricketer Lasith Malinga to be “Investigated” for Comparing Sports Minister Jayasekera to a Monkey in a Parrot’s Nest

Fast bowler Lasith Malinga is being investigated by Sri Lanka’s cricket board after comparing the country’s sports minister to a monkey, the BBC reported.

Sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara told Sri Lanka’s players they were too fat after they failed to reach the Champions Trophy semi-finals.

Malinga, 33, responded by saying he did not care for criticism “from those who are simply warming chairs”. “What does a monkey know about a parrot’s nesting hollow?” he added.

Continue reading ‘Cricketer Lasith Malinga to be “Investigated” for Comparing Sports Minister Jayasekera to a Monkey in a Parrot’s Nest’ »

President Sirisena Jeopardises Child Protection in Sri Lanka By Firing Renowned Child Protection Specialist Sajeeva Samaranayake

By

Dr.Prasanna Cooray

Shivers were sent down the spines of the good governance aspirants when President Maithripala Sirisena, in most unwelcome manner, removed Sajeeva Samaranayake, Deputy Chairman National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). It is understood that no reason has been cited for his removal in the letter of expulsion. The NCPA comes under the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, whose minister is Ms. Chandrani Bandara. (To put the record straight, good governance aspirants, if at all still remain, since the establishment of the yahapalana government two and a half years ago, are few and far between and a disillusioned lot.).

The yahapalana government seems to have a special predilection for sacking good people. It was exactly a year ago they got rid of Prof. Krishantha Weerasuriya, former WHO South Asian advisor of medicinal drug policy, from the CEO post at the newly established National Medicinal Drug Regulatory Authority (NMRA), for dubious reasons only best known to them.

The media reported that an affidavit submitted by Samaranayake to a court in Melbourne had been the bone of contention. This document had been issued in connection with a case of a Sri Lankan woman, who after separating from her husband had migrated to Australia with her two under aged sons. Supposedly, therein, Samaranayake has stated that there is not enough protection for the children in Sri Lanka and the victim support procedures related to children are inefficient.

Samaranayake maintains the position that he as an official of the NCPA should take all decisions and actions in the best interests of children. This goes without saying even for the affidavits issued to foreign courts. This in turn, will also facilitate the foreign court to make its judgment in the best interest of children and ensure their maximum wellbeing. At the same time, Samaranayake as a legal expert has sufficient expertise and experience to express his independent and unbiased opinion.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Jeopardises Child Protection in Sri Lanka By Firing Renowned Child Protection Specialist Sajeeva Samaranayake’ »

New Delhi Based Hindu Maha Sabha(Loktantrik) Wants Indian Govt to Support Bodu Bala Sena and Its “Prestigious Monk” Gnanasara Thero.

By

PK Balachandran

The anti-Muslim Sri Lankan Buddhist monk, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), has several serious cases against him relating to hate speech, blasphemy against the Quran, instigation of violence, and contempt of court.

And yet, he has been evading arrest for long periods, and when arrested, has always got out on bail quickly.

The reason – Gnanasara Thero has supporters at the highest political levels and perhaps even in the general population.

He is also operating at a time when governments, both in the South Asian region and elsewhere, tacitly support the majority community against the minorities.

While Hindu majoritarianism is holding sway in India under the Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi, the majority Sunni Muslims in Pakistan stage violent attacks against the minority Hindus, Christians and sub-sections of Muslims like the Shias and Ahmadis with impunity.

Neither in India nor Pakistan are perpetrators booked.

Continue reading ‘New Delhi Based Hindu Maha Sabha(Loktantrik) Wants Indian Govt to Support Bodu Bala Sena and Its “Prestigious Monk” Gnanasara Thero.’ »

Widespread Violence Backed by State Officials Against Christians in Sri Lanka States Verite Research Report.

Violence and discrimination against minority Christians is widespread in Sri Lanka with the support of state officials and institutions at the local level, a think tank that analysed data over two decades has said.

“The figure suggests that, for the past two decades, on average, an attack has taken place against a Christian person or group every week,” Verité Research, a Colombo-based think tank, said. “This trend has continued despite repeated government changes during this period.”

Verité analysed 972 cases of discrimination and violence compiled by a Christian group, National Christian Evangelical Association of Sri Lanka (NCEASL).

Local officials are also enthusiastically implementing a state circular against places of worship, which had no legal basis.

Continue reading ‘Widespread Violence Backed by State Officials Against Christians in Sri Lanka States Verite Research Report.’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Is Sri Lanka’s Vladimir Putin and not Sri Lanka’s Donald Trump

By DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

The entire discussion or debate about the BBS, Gnanasara Thero and extremism is missing something. The discussion confuses ultra-nationalism, chauvinism, Islamophobia and extremism with the real issue: incitement to violence.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Whether an ideology is extremist or not is one issue, but it is an issue that is difficult to resolve. What is far easier to resolve, legally and morally, is the issue of whether or not an action or statement constitutes an ‘incitement to violence’ against an individual or a collective.

It is morally slippery to avoid the central issue that is present before our very eyes, namely incitement, and instead to shift attention by merely equating all forms of chauvinism and denouncing them all equally.

It is still worse to brush under the carpet the issue of incitement by stating that the BBS extremism is but a “reaction” to Islamic extremism.
Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Is Sri Lanka’s Vladimir Putin and not Sri Lanka’s Donald Trump’ »

Wigneswaran now wants to Remove NPC Chairman CVK Sivagnanam for his “role” in the No Confidence Motion Against Chief Minister.


By

P.K.Balachandran

Even as the spat between Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran and the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) leader R.Sampanthan ended in a compromise on Monday, with both sides abandoning brinkmanship, new issues have been raised to muddy the political waters in the Tamil-majority province. writes P.K.Balachandran in Daily Express

On Monday itself, Chief Minister Wigneswaran asked the Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), C.V.K.Sivagnanam, to quit that post for his “partisan” role in the bid to present a No Confidence Motion against him.

Sivagnanam had led 15 NPC members to Governor Reginold Cooray to tell him that they intend to move a No Trust Move against Chief Minister Wingeswaran.

Continue reading ‘Wigneswaran now wants to Remove NPC Chairman CVK Sivagnanam for his “role” in the No Confidence Motion Against Chief Minister.’ »

Dinesh Gunawardena’s Efforts to Undo Damage Done By Former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera Must Be Appreciated.


by Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka

Making his submission in a long speech at the most recent parliamentary debate on Geneva called by JO leader Dinesh Gunawardene, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe made a seriously inaccurate interpretation of the Resolution adopted by majority vote at the May 2009 UN Human Rights Council 11thspecial session on Sri Lanka.

The error or misreading was of the Joint Statement of 23rd May 2009 between then Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and President Mahinda Rajapaksa, issued only days after the end of the war.

As Minister Samarasinghe said, the Joint Statement was incorporated into the Resolution at the Human Rights Council at the final stages of drafting. The very fact that a communique together with the UN Secretary General was released at the highest level in Colombo while intense negotiation were ongoing on the draft resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, made it inevitable that Sri Lanka’s negotiating partners within and outside the Non-aligned Movement would insist on its inclusion.

Knowing the significance of such a Joint Statement, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative in Geneva at the time Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka and the head of the Peace Secretariat Prof Rajiva Wijesinha independently had misgivings on the wording. The senior Foreign Ministry officials on site in Kandy where it was drafted included Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona and Additional Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam. It was said the Joint Statement was co-drafted by Sri Lanka and staff of the Secretary General of the UN.

Continue reading ‘Dinesh Gunawardena’s Efforts to Undo Damage Done By Former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera Must Be Appreciated.’ »

Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran who Once Wanted Army to Quit North Now wants to Unleash Army Against “Black Sheep” in Jaffna

Northern province chief minister Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran who earlier demanded that all the armed forces should be withdrawn from the North is now singing a different tune after the majority of Northern provincial councillors have indicated they have no confidence in him as chief minister. Wigneswaran who pompously and pugnaciously who earlier declared “Army Go, go, Air Force Go, go, Navy Go go” has now shamelessly changed his stance.

CV Wigneswaran

Wigneswaran now has threatened to utilise the services of the armed forces and unleash the army against people described by the chief minister as “Karuppu Aadugal” (Black goats or black sheep).

Religious leaders in Jaffna were shocked by Wigneswaran’s announcement that he would unleash the army if necessary when a delegation called on the chief minister to express concern over the tense and volatile situation in Jaffna. Wigneswaran however refused to reduce the tensions. He arrogantly declared “Let them withdraw the no confidence motion against me. Otherwise volatile situation will continue”.
Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran who Once Wanted Army to Quit North Now wants to Unleash Army Against “Black Sheep” in Jaffna’ »

Mervyn de Silva Required the Western-educated Elite to be Janus-like, Looking Simultaneously Towards the National and the Universal

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

“The humanist’s article of faith embraces a human heritage. All literature is part of that…”
–Mervyn de Silva (1972)

The recent death of Prof. Siri Gunasinghe led to a rich discussion of the question of Sinhala — and Ceylonese/Sri Lankan — culture. Sri Lanka (and earlier Ceylon) has witnessed not only a clash of cultures but clashes within cultures. While there has been a clash between the Westernized and the anti-western elites, within Sinhala culture itself there has been a clash between the moderns and the traditionalists, and within the westernized elite, a clash between the Western-oriented and the national oriented– the mimics and the synthesizers. These protracted cultural, intellectual and ultimately political struggles still unfold. In the writings of Mervyn de Silva whose 18th death anniversary falls tomorrow, June 22, the cultural question is addressed in its complexity with penetrating lucidity, and a resolution — almost a strategic direction — suggested.

Continue reading ‘Mervyn de Silva Required the Western-educated Elite to be Janus-like, Looking Simultaneously Towards the National and the Universal’ »

Sri Lanka Report by UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges will “Violate Country’s Sovereignty and Tarnish Image” says Justice Minister

By
Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana

While rejecting the allegations made by UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges, Monica Pinto in her report to United Nations Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka’s judicial system, the government today said the report was a violation of the country’s sovereignty.

“We are surprised by the allegations made by her who was in Sri Lanka for only seven days. Her knowledge on the judicial systems of various countries is questionable ” Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said making a statement in Parliament claiming that he is revealing the official stance of the government on Ms. Pinto’s report.

“This report will tarnish Sri Lanka’s image and violate the country’s sovereignty,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Report by UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges will “Violate Country’s Sovereignty and Tarnish Image” says Justice Minister’ »

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Rejects Media Reports Accusing him of Providing Refuge to Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero.

Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe yesterday rejected media reports accusing him of providing refuge to Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Galagodatte Gnanasara Thero.

The Minister, rejecting support of the BBS General Secretary, said: “There is no reason for me to give refuge but I have been accused by the media of harbouring him. I have been also accused of making use of my powers as Minister of Justice to provide him with safe refuge. This is false.

Continue reading ‘Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Rejects Media Reports Accusing him of Providing Refuge to Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena and Gnanasara Thero’s Chief Protector in “Yahapalanaya”Govt is Obviously President Maithripala Sirisena Himself.

by C.A.Chandraprema

The Bodu Bala Sena press conference held last Friday without the missing Ganansara, was very interesting in many respects. The statement made by Dilanthe Vitanage, its self styled ‘CEO’ was especially important. The most vital part of what he said was that it was Champika Ranawaka and Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera who had egged Gnanasara towards violence (prachandathwaya). What he said in Sinhala was “Gnanasara hamuduruwo prachandanthwayata yomu kale Champika Ranawakai Athureliye Rathana Hamuduriwoi.” Vitanage was obviously trying to explain away the links that the BBS had and still has with the JHU but in the process, made certain definitive statements which need to be taken note of by all Buddhists. Gnanasara is undoubtedly the biggest disaster to befall the Buddhist community since Mapitigama Buddharakkitha and Talduwe Somarama. As Vitanage said, Champika did indeed use Ganansara as his personal ‘hit man’. For example, Gnanasara was one of the monks who had disrupted meetings of the Anti-War Front led by Kumar Rupesinghe and Dr Rajitha Senaratne in 2005/06.

ly fed up with the LTTE. We recall that when this Anti-War Front tried to hold a meeting somewhere in Polonnaruwa, there had been more people waiting to disrupt the meeting than to participate in it! Yet Gnanasara was sent by Champika on such missions. What that reveals is absolute unscrupulousness and cynicism and a willingness to use anything and anybody to achieve a political purpose. Champika wears the white cloth and banian ‘national suit’ and puts on a demeanour of being a devout Sinhala Buddhist upasaka mahattaya with a manner of speaking to match. At one point, he and several other members of the JHU actually took temporary ordination and they were seen with shaven heads walking single file with eyes cast on the ground as monks are supposed to walk.
Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena and Gnanasara Thero’s Chief Protector in “Yahapalanaya”Govt is Obviously President Maithripala Sirisena Himself.’ »

“By his Betrayal Wigneswaran has Created a Serious Problem for Sampanthan who Brought him into the Party”

By

Zahrah Imtiaz

The Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) has withdrawn the petition of No-Confidence submitted to the Governor, against Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran.

Wigneswaran yesterday ceded to the call of the leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and agreed to permit two ministers to continue to work, until the fresh probe is concluded.

The issue which brought the North to a standstill and the TNA almost left in tatters, came to a temporary halt after Wigneswaran agreed to permit Balasubramaniam Deniswaran and Dr. Pathmanathan Sathiyalingam who were to be subjected to a fresh probe, need not go on leave until the inquiry is complete.

“There was no punitive action taken against the two Ministers concerned. They are entitled to draw their salary and use their vehicles etc.

It is in order to give protection to the Witnesses that it was said that they should take leave while the Inquiring Committee sat,”wrote Wigneswaran to Sampanthan yesterday.

Continue reading ‘“By his Betrayal Wigneswaran has Created a Serious Problem for Sampanthan who Brought him into the Party”’ »

“All’s well that ends well”- Sampanthan and Wigneswaran Write Letters Addressing Each Other as “Dear Wignes” and “Dear Sam”.

Opposition and TNA leader R Sampanthan has written to Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran that the no-confidence motion against the latter will be withdrawn. The former has assured the latter that there will be no punitive action against two ministers.

In his letter to the Chief Minister dispatched yesterday Samapanthan said that he had informed the Governor of the Northern Province that the no-confidence motion would be with drawn.

Sampanthan has, in his letter, said the dispute had been sorted out thanks to the mediation of Srila Somasundara Thesika Ganana Sambanda Paramachchariyar Swamy and Jaffna Bishop Justin Bernard Gnanapragasam.

Continue reading ‘“All’s well that ends well”- Sampanthan and Wigneswaran Write Letters Addressing Each Other as “Dear Wignes” and “Dear Sam”.’ »

C.V. Wigneswaran Backs Down From Earlier Stance by Using Meetings with Hindu and Christian Prelates in Jaffna as Possible Reason for Change

Sri Lanka’s Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran on Monday backed down from his earlier insistence that the two Ministers against whom he had ordered a fresh probe, have to go on leave till the pendency of the inquiry.

This is expected to pave the way for a compromise with his opponent, R.Sampanthan, the leader of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) the dominant group in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC).

Wigneswaran gave in because Sampanthan had said that he will advise the Ministers not to interfere with the investigations.

Wigneswaran’s revised stance followed a meeting he had with prominent religious leaders of the Northern Province such as Srila Sri Somasundra Thesika Gnana Sambanda Paramachchariyar Swamy Peedathipathy of the Hindu Nallai Aatheenam and Rev. Justin Bernard Gnanapragasam, Catholic Bishop of Jaffna on Monday.

Continue reading ‘C.V. Wigneswaran Backs Down From Earlier Stance by Using Meetings with Hindu and Christian Prelates in Jaffna as Possible Reason for Change’ »

TNA Leader Sampanthan “Saves” Wigneswaran By Informing Governor Cooray that No Confidence Motion Against Northern Chief Minister will be Withdrawn

Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran & TNA Leader R. Sampanthan

By

Meera Srinivasan

Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran will continue in the post following an understanding with Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan, days after a large bloc of governing council members withdrew support.

On Monday, the Chief Minister agreed to reverse his controversial directive to two provincial ministers that Mr. Sampanthan had earlier objected to.

Following negotiations, Mr. Sampanthan told the Northern Province Governor that the Council members would withdraw their motion of no-confidence. “All’s well that ends well,” the TNA veteran said in a letter addressed to the CM. Mr. Sampanthan also called for an early meeting with the CM “to further discuss all issues”.

Continue reading ‘TNA Leader Sampanthan “Saves” Wigneswaran By Informing Governor Cooray that No Confidence Motion Against Northern Chief Minister will be Withdrawn’ »

Allegations of Corruption Against CV Wgneswaran Will be Brought Into the Open at the Appropriate time” States TNA Jaffna MP Sreetharan.

The spat between the Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, and the senior-most leader of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R.Sampanthan, continued on Sunday, with Sampanthan refusing to accept Wigneswaran’s latest condition for restoring normalcy.

Wigneswaran had asked Sampanthan to give a guarantee that the two Ministers, P.Sathiyalingam and T.Kurukularaja, will not interfere in the inquiry ordered against them. Sampanthan replied that he will advice them not to interfere in any independent legal inquiry, but added that he cannot give any guarantee in this regard.

On Wigneswaran’s insinuation that Sampanthan’s party, ITAK, is acting independently of him, Sampanthan said that he is not the current President or the General Secretary of the ITAK.

Sampanthan also said that Wigneswaran cannot ignore a senior leader like Mavai Senathirajah (President of the ITAK) who had fought for the Tamils and suffered in the process. Sampanthan reminded Wigneswaran that when he was made Chief Minister in 2013, he had said that he would need the wise counsel of Senathirajah.

Continue reading ‘Allegations of Corruption Against CV Wgneswaran Will be Brought Into the Open at the Appropriate time” States TNA Jaffna MP Sreetharan.’ »

TNA Leader Sampanthan Advises CV Wigneswaran to Seek the Guidance and Political Advice of ITAK President “Mavai” Senathirajah to resolve NPC Crisis

Leader of the opposition and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader Rajavarothayam sampanthan has urged his revolting Chief minister of the Northern Province, Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran to abide by the advice and political guidance of Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi (ITAK)’s c president Mr. Somasundaram Senathirajah known popularly as “Mavai”Senathirajah in matters concerning the current crisis prevailing in the Northern provincial council if and when necessary. Mr.Sampanthan in a letter sent as reply to Mr. Wigneswaran’s earlier missive has reminded the chief minister of his declaration in front of all leaders of the TNA constituent parties that he would require Mr. Senathirajah’s ” political advice and guidance in the administration of the Northern Provincial Council”. Mr. Sampanthan has asked Wigneswaran to pose the question to himself as to whether the chief minister had fulfilled the pledge he made in 2013 about adhering to Mr. Senathirajah’s advice. Sampanthan also points out the sacrifices made by Senathirajah and observes that a leader of his worth cannot be sidelined.

CV Wigneswaran “Mavai” Senathirajah & R. Sampanthan

The letters sent by Mr. sampanthan to Mr. Wigneswaran have been released to the media by the TNA Media office. Mr. Wigneswaran has not responded to requests by the media that he release copies of his leters to the media

The text of Mr. Sampanthan’s reply to Mr. Wigneswaran is as follows –


18.06.2017
Justice C.V. Wigneswaran
Chief Minister – Northern Province

My Dear Wignes,

Thank you for your letter dated 17.06.2017.

I shall only deal with the issue before us, whether any punitive action is justified at present against the two Ministers who have not been found guilty by the Board of Inquiry appointed by you. It is this punitive action taken by you against the said two Ministers, despite their not having been found guilty by the board of inquiry, which is the cause of the present crisis.
Continue reading ‘TNA Leader Sampanthan Advises CV Wigneswaran to Seek the Guidance and Political Advice of ITAK President “Mavai” Senathirajah to resolve NPC Crisis’ »

Chief Justice Appoints Five Judge Bench to Hear Supreme Court Appeal by Galle District MP Geetha Kumarasinghe.

By

Lakmal Sooriyagoda

The Chief Justice has nominated a fuller bench comprising five judges of the Supreme Court to hear an appeal filed by Galle district parliamentarian Geetha Kumarasinghe.

A five-judge-Bench headed by Chief Justice Priyasath Dep will hear this appeal in due course.

Continue reading ‘Chief Justice Appoints Five Judge Bench to Hear Supreme Court Appeal by Galle District MP Geetha Kumarasinghe.’ »

Police Announce Arrest of 14 Persons for Alleged Involvement in Communal Violence But Gnanasara Thero Still “Eludes” capture.

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

Police headquarters yesterday announced the arrest of 14 persons, including some members of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) in connection with ongoing investigations into communal violence.

Addressing the media at the Information Department, police spokesman DIG Priyantha Jayakody said that eleven Sinhalese, two Muslims and a Tamil had been arrested so far by investigators. He said that among the arrested Sinhalese were BBS members.

Continue reading ‘Police Announce Arrest of 14 Persons for Alleged Involvement in Communal Violence But Gnanasara Thero Still “Eludes” capture.’ »

Greedy Elements Cut off Fingers From Bodies of Recent Flood Disaster Victims to Rob Gold Rings.

By Cyril Wimalasurendre

The General Secretary of the National Bhikkhu Front (NBF) told the eleventh convention of the Front in Kandy on Saturday (17) that many who died in the recent floods and landslides in Ratnapura and Southern Sri Lanka had their fingers cut to remove gold rings.

Venerable Wakamulle Uditha Thera, Secretary General NBF lamented that some greedy elements did not even spare a dead body.

Continue reading ‘Greedy Elements Cut off Fingers From Bodies of Recent Flood Disaster Victims to Rob Gold Rings.’ »

Complaint to Police FCID About Northern Chief Minister and his “Strategic Adviser” Misappropriating 50,000$ Donated by Tamil Canadians to the NPC

A Group of concerned Canadian citizens of Sri Lankan Tamil origin are engaged in the process of submitting a formal complaint through lawyers to the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) of the Sri Lankan Police about alleged misappropriation of funds by Northern Province Chief Minister Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran and his “adviser” Nimalan Karthigeyan Rasiah.

Toronto, Jan – 2017

The complaint to the Sri Lankan Police FCID concerns a sum of 50,000 Canadian dollars that was handed over in Toronto for the Northern provincial council to be utilised for rehabilitation and re-sellement projects in the North. The money was allegedly accepted on behalf of chief minister Wigneswaran by Mr. Nimalan Karthigeyan Rasiah who was introduced to Canadian Tamils as an Australian citizen now working as a consultant to the Northern provincial council and as “strategic adviser” to the chief minister. Apparently Mr. Rasiah popularly known as Nimalan was in charge of Wigneswaran’s itinerary in Canada while the Northern chief minister visited Canada in January 2017.
Continue reading ‘Complaint to Police FCID About Northern Chief Minister and his “Strategic Adviser” Misappropriating 50,000$ Donated by Tamil Canadians to the NPC’ »

Wigneswaran in Fighting Mood Planning to Defy TNA- ITAK Leadership by Appointing Four New Provincial Ministers From EPRLF, TELO and PLOTE.

Controversial Northern province chief minister Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran who has lost the confidence of at least 22 out of 38 Northern provincial councillors is in a fighting mood and is planning to defy the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) and Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi (ITAK)leadership said informed Jaffna sources yesterday.

Jaffna – June 16, 2017

TNA leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan and ITAK president Somasundaram Senathirajah have both requested Wigneswaran to resolve the current political crisis in the Northern provincial council by letting Transport minister Dr. P.Sathiyalingam and Transport minister B.Deneeswaran to continue as provincial ministers and if necessary to take action only against Agriculture minister P. Aingaranesan and Education minister T. Gurukularajah.

A three member commission of inquiry was appointed by Wigneswaran to probe the corruption and abuse of power charges against the four provincial ministers and issue an “advisory” report for him to take action against thouse found”guilty”if necessary.

The inquiry commission comprising two retired high court judges and a former Government Agent issued a report finding Aingaranesan and Gurukularajah of being “guilty” in some of the charges and Sathiyalingam and Deneeswaran “not Guilty” of any charge levelled.
Continue reading ‘Wigneswaran in Fighting Mood Planning to Defy TNA- ITAK Leadership by Appointing Four New Provincial Ministers From EPRLF, TELO and PLOTE.’ »

CV Wigneswaran Accuses Colombo of Hatching Plot to Oust Him as Chief Minister Citing Sarath Fonseka’s Alleged Statement in Jaffna as Proof.

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday accused ‘Colombo’ of a plot to oust him from office as the Chief Minister of the Northern Province.

Standing on a podium set at the entrance of his residence in Jaffna yesterday, the former Supreme Court Judge told a sea of supporters congregated there that when Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka visited Jaffna two weeks ago he had said that ‘very soon Wigneswaran will be ripped off his post’.

He noted: “Between us there isn’t any issue and I was wondering why he made that statement, but it provided a clue that the plot was hatched in Colombo,” he added.

On seeing the overwhelming support he has been receiving since the ‘no confidence’ motion was brought against him, the Chief Minister asserted that he ‘was on the right path’.

“I knew there was a plot to oust me. I am not worried about the persons behind it but I know how it was planned to corner me,” the Chief Minister said.

Continue reading ‘CV Wigneswaran Accuses Colombo of Hatching Plot to Oust Him as Chief Minister Citing Sarath Fonseka’s Alleged Statement in Jaffna as Proof.’ »

“Chief Minister Wigneswaran Created an Unnecessary Crisis and Stirred the Hornet’s Nest” says TNA Leader Sampanthan.

By

Kelum Bandara

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan said yesterday Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran had created an unnecessary crisis by opting to take action against two provincial ministers not found guilty of any allegation.

He said this in reference to the no-confidence motion submitted against the CM by the members of the Ilankai Tamil Arachu Katchi (ITAK).

Mr. Sampanthan told Daily Mirror that the CM had appointed a committee comprising two retired judges and one senior civil servant to look into corruption allegations against the NPC ministers.

Continue reading ‘“Chief Minister Wigneswaran Created an Unnecessary Crisis and Stirred the Hornet’s Nest” says TNA Leader Sampanthan.’ »

Will the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Administration Betray the People by Ceding the Stage to Extremism?

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

“…the inexplicable actually happens.”

Tadeusz Borowski (This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentleman)

When Philip Pullman’s provocatively titled book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, came out, it was greeted by the British public not with death-threats, lawsuits or mob-violence, but words. In his own response to the book, Dr. Rowan Williams, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, neither screamed ‘heresy’ nor demanded a book-banning. His was a reasoned critique; praise and blame and, in conclusion, a reiteration of the literary superiority and the practical relevance of the New Testament.

It was not always so in England, in Europe and within Christianity. Once, and not so long ago, Mr. Pullman’s book would have been banned, and he would have faced incarceration, if not worse. The Christian West paid a heavy price for religious intolerance, in blood and devastation, in lost opportunities and retarded progress. The nadir of politicised Christianity and the theocratic experiment came with the Thirty Year War. Fought mainly along Catholic vs. Protestant lines, it claimed around nine million lives and turned Central Europe, its main battleground, into a wasteland, with survivors condemned to a life of destitution and barbarity, not excluding cannibalism.

When Christian Occident was mired in religiously-motivated bloodletting, Hindu, Buddhist and Islam Orient were places of relative tolerance. Asia, Africa or the Middle East never underwent the equivalent of a Thirty Years War or Roman/Spanish Inquisition. It was the East rather than the West which became a breeding ground for enlightened rulers whose political visions were far in advance of their times, from Ashoka to Akbar. The East did persecute the religious-other, but not universally or continuously as did Europe, and not with such unrelenting brutality. There were beheadings and incarcerations, but no systematic auto-da-fes or witch hunts. Perhaps the most potent symbol of that difference was the final Eastern outpost in the West, the city of Granada. Islamic Granada in Catholic Spain was a metropolis of mosques, synagogues and churches, gardens and libraries, Europe’s sole oasis of religious pluralism. In his lyrical drama Almansor, Heinrich Heine expressed in three short lines the transformation of Granada from a haven of tolerance into a hell of fanaticism, after it fell to Spain:

“I hear the poor old woman as she weeps –

She liked to eat roast goose on Friday, therefore

Now she herself is roasted, for God’s glory.”

Continue reading ‘Will the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Administration Betray the People by Ceding the Stage to Extremism?’ »

A Tribute to Padmini Coomaraswamy My “Pathma Sinnamma”

by Radhika Coomaraswamy

Padmini Coomaraswamy (Pathma Sinnamma), known to many as the wife of former Sri Lankan Cricket Captain Sathy Coomaraswamy gently passed away a few weeks ago. She was the only elder Coomaraswamy left in a country that has lived with so much hatred and bitterness. I sometimes want to shake a fist at destiny for depriving those who lived through the worst of times the right to enjoy the fruits of the future.

For the Coomaraswamy, Pathmanathan and Suntheraligam clan who once dominated the streets of Nallur, Jaffna and who now live in all parts of the world, she was the only remaining connection to Nallur; the Nallur that blossomed with Subash ice cream, every colour of glass bangles and temple celebrations that were an occasion for the family to get together to revive our bonds of love and honour.

In August 1983 I went to Jaffna with Pathma Sinnamma and my cousin. I had a strong mother, grandmother and powerful aunts and they overwhelmed Pathma Sinnamma who was always, quiet, peaceful and comfortable in herself like the Goddess Parvati. But that August, because of the July riots, most of the family did not come to Nallur so I had the joy of having Pathma Sinnamma all to myself. Behind the mask of Parvati, there was this extremely knowledgeable lady who was full of fun. Anjalendran, my cousin, and I reminisced recently about the times she would remove the Parvati mask to giggle and laugh at one of my cousin’s outrageous stories verging on slander and to wink and ask for second helpings of dessert that the doctor had strictly forbidden.

In the 1980s Pathma Sinnamma gave me a book of “Home Remedies”. In it were all the organic ways to clean and beautify the home, deal with the common cold and other medical ailments and how to take care of the garden. It has become a Bible for me and is kept near my bed as a major reference book. If there were a finishing school for wives and daughters she would have been its Principal.

Continue reading ‘A Tribute to Padmini Coomaraswamy My “Pathma Sinnamma”’ »

Island-wide 4 Hour Crackdown by 11,558 Police Results in Arrest of 665 Wanted Persons but NOT Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero.

Thousands of police backed by Information Technology carried out a major search operation across the country yesterday (Saturday) and arrested over 650 wanted persons, but the high profile fugitive Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) leader, Galagodaatte Gnanasara, was not among them.

Police said in a statement that they completed the four-hour operation at 3.00 a.m. on Saturday and executed warrants for the arrest of 595 people wanted by courts while another 70 evading police summons were also rounded up.

However, Ven. Gnanasara, who is wanted for questioning in connection with several allegations of hate crimes as well as a warrant issued by a Colombo magistrate, was not netted during the search that involved 11,558 police, including 55 women constables.

Continue reading ‘Island-wide 4 Hour Crackdown by 11,558 Police Results in Arrest of 665 Wanted Persons but NOT Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero.’ »

TNA Leader Sampanthan “Advises” Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran not to Violate Natural Justice Principles by Taking Action Against Ministers Found not Guilty.

Tamil National Alliance(TNA) and opposition leader Rajavarothayam sampanthan has written to Northern Province chied minister Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran urging him not to take any action against the two Provincial ministers who were exonerated of charges by the board of inquiry appointed by Wigneswaran to probe allegations of corruption against the NPC board of ministers.

The text of the letter is as follows –


16.06.2017
Hon. Justice CV Wigneswaran,
Chief Minister Northern Province
My Dear Wignes,

Thank you for your letter of 14.06.2017 with copy of speech made by you.

I wish to state the following. The board of inquiry appointed by you conducted investigations in respect of four ministers. The inquiry had been concluded and their report submitted to you. Two have been found guilty and two others have not been found guilty.

You stated in the Provincial Council that you would act on the basis of the report of the board of inquiry.

You have called for the resignations of the two ministers found guilty. No one has complained about that decision.

The complaint is about the action taken by you against the other two ministers in regard to whom there is no finding of guilt by the board of inquiry. This action is being seen as a violation of the principles of natural justice and unwarranted.

Continue reading ‘TNA Leader Sampanthan “Advises” Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran not to Violate Natural Justice Principles by Taking Action Against Ministers Found not Guilty.’ »

Crisis of Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran’s Own Making

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Last night (June 15th) as I went to Jaffna Town to pick up some dinner at the Indian shop Amul, the shopkeeper was concerned whether they should open today in response to the Tamil Makkal Peravai (TMP, Tamil People’s Great Front) call for the closure of all shops in support of the embattled Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran (CVW)s.

Daily wage earners were in silent meditation about survival if everything was closed. My baker wondered if his loaves would have buyers today. Valampuri, had already announced in a special Rs. 10 bulletin that shops would close today.

This morning I had to go to the hospital. Many shops, but far fewer than in usual boycotts, had closed. Patients, after years under the LTTE were quiet about their real feelings but their resentment came through as they grumbled about having to use trishaws. A lady who had waited long for her Echo Cardiograph could not miss that because of the trishaw charge.

Jeyasekaram, Chairman Jaffna Chamber of Commerce, commented that normally shopkeepers asked them if they should comply with a boycott request but this time they had not been consulted. The Jaffna bus stand had only one bus. Many shops were doing business as usual with one door open. Said a shopkeeper, “When the TMP usually has a sexual predator from the university who has been detained by the police as their chief speaker, we do not support them but shut our doors in an abundance of caution.”

Continue reading ‘Crisis of Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran’s Own Making’ »

No Confidence Motion Against Chief Minister Wigneswaran Likely to be Passed with 22 out of 38 Northern Provincial Councillors Supporting it

The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), which is the largest constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), is confident of passing the proposed No Confidence Motion against the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran.

Jaffna District MP M.A.Sumanthiran told newsin.asia on Friday, that the ITAK has the numbers with 15 having signed the memorandum submitted to the Governor and another seven pledging support.

With 22 of the 38 members of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) supporting the motion, it will be passed. To get through the motion needs only 20 votes.

The Chief Minister’s side has 15 members as per the petition that it gave to the Governor Reginold Cooray on Thursday

The Governor has asked the Chief Minister to prove his majority on the floor of the House within seven days.

Continue reading ‘No Confidence Motion Against Chief Minister Wigneswaran Likely to be Passed with 22 out of 38 Northern Provincial Councillors Supporting it’ »

Wigneswaran Gives the Impression that he is Ready for a Compromise but Actually he is not.

Two of the ousted Ministers in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province have reportedly refused to accept Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran’s fresh condition to defuse the political crisis gripping the Tamil-majority province.

In his discussion with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Supremo, R.Sampanthan, Chief Minister Wigneswaran had said that he will allow P.Sathiyalingam and B.Deniswaran to continue to function as Ministers while an inquiry into charges against them is on, provided they give “in writing” an undertaking that they will not interfere with the inquiry. It appears that Sampanthan was agreeable to this condition and had said that the plan to table a No Confidence Motion against Wigneswaran will be given up.

But the two ministers said that they will not give any such thing in writing. They had also categorically refused to work with Wigneswaran.

Continue reading ‘Wigneswaran Gives the Impression that he is Ready for a Compromise but Actually he is not.’ »

Sampanthan Engages in Talks With Wigneswaran to Reach a Settlement to Prevent Potential Break- up of Tamil National Alliance

Tamil National Alliance(TNA) and opposition leader R.Sampanthan is currently engaged in negotiations with Northern province chief minister C.V. Wigneswaran to bring about a “Settlement” Between warring factions of the TNA.

TNA Jaffna district MP. Sivagnanam Sreetharan and Mannar Dist MP Charles Nimalarajan have exerted pressure on Sampanthan to talk to Wigneswaran and arrive at an undertanding and truce instead of going ahead with moves to oust Wigneswaran as chief minister. Both MP”s have the backing of influential pro-LTTE elements in the Tamil Diaspora and have been urged by those sections to prevent the “Diaspora Darling” Wigneswaran from being removed as chief minister.

Pro-LTTE Diaspora elements are also strongly supporting a motley group of organizations, parties & individuals to mount a coordinated campaign to resist the removal of Wigneswaran.
Poster campaigns, processions and demonstrations are being held with the help of Diaspora funds. The “Alternative outfit”headed by Wigneswaran known as the Tamil Peoples Council has called for a “Hartal” to protest against the move by 21 members of the Northern provincial council in submitting letters and affidavits to Northern Governor Reginald Cooray stating that they have lost confidence in Wigneswaran and urging his removal

While the Ilanklai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK)members of the Northern provincial council with the exception of Ms. Ananthy Sasitharan are opposed to Wigneswaran continuing as chief minister , the other constituent parties of the TNA namely the PLOTE, EPRLF and TELO are supportive of Wigneswaran in this matter.
Continue reading ‘Sampanthan Engages in Talks With Wigneswaran to Reach a Settlement to Prevent Potential Break- up of Tamil National Alliance’ »

TNA Leader Sampanthan Tries to Safeguard Wigneswaran but Northern ITAK Councillors Determined to Oust Wigneswaran

The political conflict in Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, which escalated dangerously on Thursday, appeared to be heading for a workable compromise as the day wore on. But efforts to arrive at a compromise ran into trouble in the evening when the Jaffna unit of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) insisted that it would not budge an inch from its stand that Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran should quit.

Sources said that the matter is now left to the Chief Minister and the head of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and ITAK stalwart, R.Sampanthan. They are expected to talk it over on Friday.
Continue reading ‘TNA Leader Sampanthan Tries to Safeguard Wigneswaran but Northern ITAK Councillors Determined to Oust Wigneswaran’ »

Northern Governor Cooray will Write to Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran About His Losing the Confidence of Majority in the N.P.C.

By

Meera Srinivasan

High drama ensued in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province on Thursday after a large bloc of members of the Provincial Council wrote to the Governor, expressing “no confidence” in Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.

CV Wigneswaran

Their move comes in the wake of the Chief Minister’s call to two provincial ministers to resign and to two others to go on compulsory leave, based on a report on corruption charges facing them. A committee appointed by Mr. Wigneswaran had found two of the accused ministers guilty, while the enquiry found insufficient evidence against the two others, whom the Chief Minister nevertheless asked to go on leave.

“I cautioned him against taking action on Ministers who were not found guilty, it is unfortunate that he took the decision without consulting the leader of our party,” said R. Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

Continue reading ‘Northern Governor Cooray will Write to Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran About His Losing the Confidence of Majority in the N.P.C.’ »

Colombo Fort Magistrate Issues Arrest Warrant Against Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero For Failing to Appear in Court.

By

Shehan Chamika Silva

Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today issued arrest warrant against Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera for not appearing before court over two of his on going cases at the Fort Magistrate’s Court.

When the two inquiries into the allegations of defaming Quran and assaulting on a Jathika Bala Sena media conference in 2014 were taken into consideration, the Thera was not present in court yesterday at the Fort Magistrate’s Court.

Continue reading ‘Colombo Fort Magistrate Issues Arrest Warrant Against Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero For Failing to Appear in Court.’ »

Anti-Muslim Violence in Aluthgama ,Beruwela, Dharga Town, Welipenna and Matugama Three Years Ago.

By
Ayesha Zuhair

Exactly three years have lapsed since the Aluthgama riots – a seismic event in the history of Sri Lanka’s troubled ethnic relations. June 15 and 16, 2014 saw mobs in a well-organised manner, unleash collective violence on Muslim-owned businesses and homes in Aluthgama, Beruwala, Dharga Town, Welipenna and Matugama in the district of Kalutara, located along the island’s south-western coastal belt. The rioting resulted in the loss of four lives, injuries to 80 and caused extensive damage to property.

Apart from the tangible losses, the violence of June 2014 brought into full focus the very real and devastating consequences of a coordinated programme by divisive forces to drive hatred, fear and suspicion into the minds of the Sinhala-Buddhist population. A result of the anti-Muslim sentiment cultivated in the post-war period, the rioting and looting in Aluthgama and its neighbouring towns marked one of Sri Lanka’s darkest moments, severely impairing relations between the country’s Buddhist and Muslim communities on the one hand, and among the minorities and an indifferent then government on the other.

Based entirely on propaganda, this virulent anti-Muslim campaign conjured a narrative in which the Muslim minority was falsely portrayed as representing economic, cultural, demographic and political threats to the Sinhala-Buddhist majority. By levelling unsubstantiated allegations of growing ‘radicalisation’, it sought to demonise the vastly peaceful and well-integrated Sri Lanka Muslims.

Aluthgama was the culmination of a hate campaign which began on September 10, 2011 with the demolition of a Muslim shrine in Anuradhapura, believed to have been around 400 years old. As the monk-led mob attacked the religious site, police personnel stood by watching idly. Eerily enough, the visuals of the incident exposed the crux of the issue: the unwillingness of law enforcement agencies to enforce the law, and arguably even their complicity in the crimes, as violence targeting the country’s Muslim and Christian minorities escalated sharply over the suceeding months.

Continue reading ‘Anti-Muslim Violence in Aluthgama ,Beruwela, Dharga Town, Welipenna and Matugama Three Years Ago.’ »

Northern Governor Cooray to Inform Chief Minister that 22 of 38 Councillors oppose him;NPC Chairman CVK Sivagnanam Likely to Replace CV Wigneswaran as CM

Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray is expected to “officially” inform Northern chief minister C. V. Wigneswaran that he has lost the confidence of the majority of Northern province councillors in general and those elected from the majority of Councillors elected from the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) in particular.

Governor Cooray

The Governor has officially requested the Northern chief minister C.V.Wigneswaran to come and see him in person and be appraised of the current situation where a number of Northern Provincial councillors are opposed to Wigneswaran continuing as Northern chief minister.

22 Northern councillors have submitted affidavits and/or letters to the Governor saying they have no confidence in CV Wigneswaran as chief minister and asking the Governor to remove him.

The TNA obtained 30 of the 38 NPC seats at the 2013 Provincial poll.
Continue reading ‘Northern Governor Cooray to Inform Chief Minister that 22 of 38 Councillors oppose him;NPC Chairman CVK Sivagnanam Likely to Replace CV Wigneswaran as CM’ »

21 Northern Provincial Councillors Seek Consent of Northern Governor Cooray to Dismiss C.V.Wigneswaran as Chief Minister.

In a surprisingly swift move, 21 of the 30 members of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on Wednesday petitioned provincial Governor Reginold Cooray for permission to move a No-Confidence Motion against Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran.

In all probability, the Governor will accede to the request and the motion may be moved on Thursday, an MP from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said.

Contenders for the Chief Ministership are the Chairman of the NPC, C.V.K.Sivagnanam, and Health Minister Dr.P.Sathiyalingam.

Continue reading ‘21 Northern Provincial Councillors Seek Consent of Northern Governor Cooray to Dismiss C.V.Wigneswaran as Chief Minister.’ »

Unsolved Murder in Broad Daylight of Batticaloa Journalist Aiyathurai Nadesan

by
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Aiyathurai Nadesan

Jaffna District MP, Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran waxed eloquent during the course of the adjournment debate in Parliament on June 6th 2017. M. A. Sumanthiran who is also the official spokesperson of the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) and its premier constituent, the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi (ITAK) emphasised that they stood “for a country that is not divided, a country in which all the peoples will be proud of their equal status to live without discrimination or fear”. Speaking further Sumanthiran lamented the fact that there was much discrimination along ethnic lines in many spheres in the country. He pointed out that there was discrimination even in the matter of taking action to ensure justice for journalists victimised in the past.

The TNA Parliamentarian who is also a lawyer touched upon the issue of attacks on journalists in this regard and stressed that there was discrimination in addressing such matters too.

Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran MP

“Even in taking action, there is blatant discrimination. We commend you for taking action in the case of Prageeth Eknaligoda; in the case of Lasantha Wickramatunga, but there was a course of Tamil journalists who were killed. Why has the Government not moved one finger in respect of one of those assassinations? Why? Are Tamil journalists any less citizens of this country than Sinhala journalists? Is that your view? You do not have to answer that. It is blatantly obvious what your view is, when you do not do what you are supposed to do; when you do not do the right thing for certain sections of the community, but rush to do other things”.
Continue reading ‘Unsolved Murder in Broad Daylight of Batticaloa Journalist Aiyathurai Nadesan’ »

Champika Ranawaka and Jathika Hela Urumaya “Connected” to Gnanasara Thero and Bodu Bala Sena.

by C.A.Chandraprema

Even though police teams are supposedly scouring the country for him, the monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara has not been arrested as this goes to press. He is supposed to appear in courts tomorrow but it seems unlikely that he will. He has evaded two court appearances already and if he was going to make an appearance tomorrow, he may not have evaded courts on the previous two occasions. Rumours are rife that Gnanasara is being protected by a prominent minister, and the name mentioned in this regard is that of Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe. The reason why speculation swirls around Rajapakshe is probably because he had facilitated meetings between the President and some radical monks including Gnanasara to sort out some issues. However, hiding fugitives and that kind of thing would be out of character for Minister Rajapakshe and it is unlikely that he would get involved in any such thing as the Minister of Justice.

The surprising thing is that nobody has yet suggested the possibility that Gnanasara could be hiding in Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s house. During the previous government, everything that Gnanasara did was ascribed to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and that was one of the reasons why the Muslims voted en masse against the Rajapaksa government. Given the propensity of the present powers that be to blame everything on the Rajapaksas, it is surprising indeed that nobody has tried to lay the blame for Gnanasara’s latest antics on the Rajapaksas. Even though the Rajapaksas are not in power, you can always blame the supposed pro-Rajapaksa ‘deep state’ for protecting Gnanasara. Instead they seem to have fixated on a different Rajapakshe. Be that as it may, to have a proper understanding of who is actually behind the Bodu Bala Sena, you have to trace its history.

The BBS first made its appearance on the scene in 2012 with the anti-halal campaign. This a few months after several monks including Gnanasara returned from a trip to Norway where he met Erik Solheim among others. From that time onwards, every step of the way, the Jathika Hela Urumaya made common cause with everything that was done by the BBS. The street action was taken by the monks of the BBS led by Galagodaatte Gnanasara while the JHU held press conferences, defending or encouraging the action taken by the BBS. Whether it was the anti-halal campaign, the anti-cattle slaughter campaign, and even the Aluthgama riots, the JHU was behind the BBS fully. In the wake of the Aluthgama riots, Champika Ranawaka distributed aid to the Sinhala victims of the riots. What ignited the Aluthgama riots was the accusation that a Buddhist monk had been assaulted by Muslims. When President Mahinda Rajapaksa wanted to take action against the BBS, it was Ranawaka who had opposed any such move in cabinet and said that the monks should not be touched and if any monk is arrested he would bring the entire monkhood onto the streets.

Continue reading ‘Champika Ranawaka and Jathika Hela Urumaya “Connected” to Gnanasara Thero and Bodu Bala Sena.’ »

21 Northern Councillors Want Chief Minister Removed as Wigneswaran Tries to Oust all 4 Provincial Ministers and Take Over All Their Functions

In a dramatic and politically significant twist a no confidence motion is being mooted against Northern province chief minister Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran by several Northern province councillors belonging to the Tamil National Alliance(TNA). At least 21 signatures have been obtained so far in this regard it is learnt. The TNA has 30 of the 38 seats in the Northern provincial council. Efforts are on to enlist more signatures within the next 24 hours.

Once the list of signatures is finalised a document will be submitted along with affidavits to Northern province governor Reginald Cooray urging him to dismiss the chief minister from office as he has lost the support of a majority of Northern Province councillors. Simultaneously a special sitting of the Northern provincial council is to be convened where the no confidence motion will be debated and put to the vote. Already there are 21 votes in support of the no confidence motion out of the 38 member Northern council. Even if more signatures are not obtained the current number of 21 is enough to unseat Wigneswaran as chief minister.

Though Wigneswaran himself contested under the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kstchi (ITAK)symbol of house on behalf of the Tamil National Alliance, a number of TNA Northern councillors have lost confidence in the former Supreme court judge due to Wigneswaran’s controversial unilateral conduct in recent times.
Continue reading ‘21 Northern Councillors Want Chief Minister Removed as Wigneswaran Tries to Oust all 4 Provincial Ministers and Take Over All Their Functions’ »

Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran Enmeshed in Corruption Controversy May be Removed From Office Cautions ITAK President S. Senathirajah MP

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran is likely to be removed from office soon by the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK) which fielded him as the chief ministerial candidate of the political formation known as the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) in September 2013.

It is learnt that the ITAK is seriously contemplating the removal of Wigneswaran as chief minister in the context of the current corruption scandal that has rocked the Northern province

The “Kaalaikkathir” newspaper published in Jaffna reported yesterday that ITAK president Somasuntharam Senathirajah alias “Mavai” Senathirajah had directly warned Wigneswaran that several Northern provincial councillors belonging to the ITAK have demanded that Wigneswaran be removed from office and cautioned the chief minister that the party may have to give serious consideration to the possibility if Wigneswaran persisted with his anti-ITAK activity despite being elected to office from that party.

Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran Enmeshed in Corruption Controversy May be Removed From Office Cautions ITAK President S. Senathirajah MP’ »

Gnanasara Thero Files Fundamental Rights Petition in Supreme Court Seeking Interim Order to Prevent Police from Arresting him

By
Lakmal Sooriyagoda

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera filed a Fundamental Rights petition at the Supreme Court today, seeking an Interim Order preventing Police from arresting him over several allegations.

Filing a Fundamental Rights petition through a counsel, Gnanasara Thera sought an Interim Order preventing the Organized Crimes Prevention Division from arresting him until the investigations against him concluded and obtained advice from the Attorney General in this regard.

Gnanasara thera cited the OIC of Organized Crimes Prevention Division and three others as the respondents.

Continue reading ‘Gnanasara Thero Files Fundamental Rights Petition in Supreme Court Seeking Interim Order to Prevent Police from Arresting him’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Wants Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt to Stop Creating Racial Tensions and Cause Racial Conflict.

By Roosindu Peris

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the government should stop acting in a way that would cause racial conflict in the country.

He added that certain politicians in the government have been acting in a way which has caused racial tension within the people.

MP Wimal Weerawansa further conveyed his opinion on people of power causing racial tension within the country.

Courtesy:Adaderana.lk

Bodu Bala Sena Issues Warning That it has the Power to Mobilise Buddhist Community to Resort to Extremes if Needed.

Issuing a chilling warning about the power the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) holds to mobilise the Buddhist community to resort to extremes if needed, the organisation’s spokesperson Dilanthe Vithanageaccused the Police of lying about the BBS connection to a youth who was recently arrested.

“We strongly deny that the youth arrested by the Police is a member of the BBS. If a person is a member of any organisation, they should have a membership card, a membership identity card and fill up a form. We don’t have such membership in our organisation,” Vithanage said.

Vithanage insisted that BBS does not have any membership, adding that none of the organisers in the BBS who hold responsible positions within the organisation were consulted to verify if the arrested youth was a member.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Issues Warning That it has the Power to Mobilise Buddhist Community to Resort to Extremes if Needed.’ »

Dinesh Gunawardena Calls for the Repudiation of the UN Human Rights Commissioner Report on Sri Lanka and the UN Human Rights Council Sri Lanka Resolution.

Leader of the joint opposition group in Parliament and Colombo District MP Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena has submitted an adjournment motion in Parliament calling for the repudiation of the “biased report of the office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka of 10 February 2017” and the repudiation of the “United Nations Human Rights Council’s biased resolution of 23 March 2017 on Sri Lanka”. Mr Gunawardena in his resolution has also emphasised that “positive action be taken to defend the war heroes and the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, unitary state, and the constitution of this country and the safety of its people”.

Dinesh Gunawardena who is also the leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna(MEP) has pinpointed several alleged flaws in the UNHRC report and resolution and observed that the Govt has bound itself by endorsing the UN resolution. As such Mr. Gunawardena has called for the repudiation of both the UNHRC Report and UNHRC resolution.

The full text of the resolution is as follows –

Continue reading ‘Dinesh Gunawardena Calls for the Repudiation of the UN Human Rights Commissioner Report on Sri Lanka and the UN Human Rights Council Sri Lanka Resolution.’ »

After Many days Police Arrest Member of Bodu Bala Sena Suspected of Arson Attacks Against Muslim Owned Businesses.

Police in Sri Lanka have arrested a key figure from an extremist Buddhist organisation blamed for a series of hate crimes against Muslims that has drawn international censure.

The 32-year-old man from the radical Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or Buddhist Force, is the first suspect to be arrested in connection with arson attacks against Muslims that have stoked religious tensions.

Police spokesman Priyantha Jayakody said investigations were continuing into 16 “major incidents” of arson since April that hit Muslim homes, businesses, mosques and a cemetery.

“We are taking a tough stand against such crimes,” he told reporters.

Police were criticised for failing to bring the radical Buddhist group to heel by capturing its fugitive ringleader Galagodaatte Gnanasara, as the minority Muslim community endured attacks with stones and petrol bombs.

Continue reading ‘After Many days Police Arrest Member of Bodu Bala Sena Suspected of Arson Attacks Against Muslim Owned Businesses.’ »

President Sirisena Tells Families of “Disappeared” in Jaffna That he will Take up their Issue at National Security Council Meeting

By

Meera Srinivasan

The Sri Lankan government will soon release a list of persons who surrendered to the Armed forces in final phase of the country’s civil war, President Maithripala Sirisena assured families of disappeared persons in Jaffna on Monday.

His promise comes 112 days after hundreds of relatives of missing persons, said to be forcefully disappeared, began a protest in Kilinochchi in the Tamil-majority Northern Province. On May 30, the 100th day of the agitation, families blocked a key highway connecting the island’s south to the north to draw attention to the government’s perceived inaction on their numerous complaints.

They had also sought a meeting with President Sirisena.

On Monday, the President, along with and a team of senior ministers and bureaucrats, met eight representatives of the protesting families at the Governor’s secretariat and held discussions for 40 minutes, those present at the meeting told The Hindu.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Tells Families of “Disappeared” in Jaffna That he will Take up their Issue at National Security Council Meeting’ »

“Ex-Eastern Chief Minister Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan Languishes in Remand Prison for More than One and a half Years” – Counsel

By S.S. Selvanayagam

Senior Counsel brought to the notice of the Supreme Court that Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan is being kept in remand custody for more than one and a half years and that his client has little or no access to relevant documentation.

Counsel also brought to the notice of the Court that the State has filed Objection minus important documents and pleaded that he be given further time to file Counter Objection.

The Bench comprising Justices Sisira J. De Abrew, Upaly Abeyrathne and Anil Gooneratne fixed the matter for 26 October.

The Court, on 24 January last year, granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights petition filed by Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan.

Continue reading ‘“Ex-Eastern Chief Minister Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan Languishes in Remand Prison for More than One and a half Years” – Counsel’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Wants Govt to Prepare Country for an Inevitable Future Without any European Union Trade Concessions.

Parliamentarian and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in a statement yesterday cautioned the Government not to create unrealistic expectations following Sri Lanka regaining the GSP Plus concessions from the European Union.

Following is the full text of his statement.

“The European Union restored GSP+ to Sri Lanka on 19 May 2017. The EU has three GSP schemes. The GSP scheme for the least developed countries with a per capita income below USD 1,025 provides zero duty access to the EU market. The ‘general GSP’ scheme for lower-middle income countries with a per capita income between USD 1,025 and USD 4,035 allows access to the EU market on payment of a concessionary import duty. These two EU-GSP schemes have undoubtedly helped many developing countries to build export industries. The EU’s GSP+ scheme allows lower-middle income countries which would normally be charged a concessionary import duty, to enjoy zero duty access to the EU market – but at a heavy price. Applicants for GSP+ must ratify 27 international conventions and place themselves under the political supervision of the EU.

As a result, only nine countries including Sri Lanka have joined the GSP+ scheme.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Wants Govt to Prepare Country for an Inevitable Future Without any European Union Trade Concessions.’ »

Gnanasara Thero Unable to Appear in Court due to Threat to Life, says Counsel

By S.S.Selvanayagam

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero was not present at the Court of Appeal yesterday (12), being represented instead by a senior criminal lawyer who told the Court that his client had stayed away as he faced a threat to his life.

The Contempt of Court matter against him came up before a bench comprising justices L.T.B. Dehideniya and S. Devika De L. Tennakoon.

President’s Counsel Tirantha Walalaliyadde PC, with Shashika Mithuna Arachchi, appeared for Gnanasara Thero and informed Court06 that there were instances where people had been shot within the Court premises and his client was not safe.

In response Justice Dehideniya demanded his presence in Court.

Continue reading ‘Gnanasara Thero Unable to Appear in Court due to Threat to Life, says Counsel’ »

16 Northern Councillors from EPRLF,PLOTE and TELO Write to Chief Minister Wigneswaran Demanding Dismissal of all Four Provincial Ministers Facing Corruption Charges.

Parties in the Tamil National Alliance including EPRLF, TELO and PLOTE have demanded the dismissal of four Ministers in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) who were charged with mass scale corruption.

A special committee appointed by the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran has recommended to remove Agriculture Minister Ponnuthurai Ayngaranesan and Education Minister Thambyrajah Gurukularajah

EPRLF, PLOTE and TELO parties in the alliance have expressed in one voice the importance of removing these provincial ministers who were accused of corruption.

Continue reading ‘16 Northern Councillors from EPRLF,PLOTE and TELO Write to Chief Minister Wigneswaran Demanding Dismissal of all Four Provincial Ministers Facing Corruption Charges.’ »

Gnanasara Thero Who was Reported Sick Last Time Keeps Away From Court This Time Due To Getting Death Threats

By
Lakmal Sooriyagoda

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera was absent in Court today for the hearing of the alleged offensive behaviour inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court case, citing that he has received death threats.

The Court of Appeal observed that Court will have to issue warrant against the accused if he failed to appear in Court on next inquiry date.

President’s Counsel Tirantha Walaliyadda with Counsel Sasika Mithunaarachchi appearing on behalf of Gnanasara Thera told Court that their client was not appearing in Courts since he has gotten death threats.

However, at a previous occasion, counsel who appeared on behalf of Gnanasara Thera tendered a medical certificate to Court informing that Gnanasara Thera was being treated at a hospital for an illness

. Continue reading ‘Gnanasara Thero Who was Reported Sick Last Time Keeps Away From Court This Time Due To Getting Death Threats’ »

Gnanasara Thero Keeps Away From Appeal Court Stating He will be Shot Within Court Precincts. Instead of Issuing Warrant Court Fixes New Dates on July 18,19 &20

Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero was pnce again absent from court when the case concerning his alleged contempt of court charge was taken up by the court of appeal on Monday June 12th 2017.

The court of appeal was informed by the Senior Lawyer representing Gnanasara Thero that his client is unable to present himself in Court as the Bhikku was facing threats to his life.

The Contempt of Court matter against Gnanasara Thero came up before the Appeal court Bench comprising Justices L.T.B.Dehideniya and S. Devika De L. Tennakoon.

Continue reading ‘Gnanasara Thero Keeps Away From Appeal Court Stating He will be Shot Within Court Precincts. Instead of Issuing Warrant Court Fixes New Dates on July 18,19 &20’ »

Labour Party’s Thangam Debonnaire Whose Father is a Sri Lankan Tamil Wins Bristol West Constituency Again Polling Almost 2/3 of Votes

By Neville de Silva in London

London-born Ranil Jayawardena whose father is of Sri Lankan origin, was re-elected from the Conservative Party to the British parliament from the North East Hampshire constituency with a healthy majority of almost 28,000 votes. Jayawardena who first won this seat at the 2015 general election got 65.6 per cent of the votes cast garnering 37,754 votes, up from the 35,573 votes he received in 2015.

Thangam Debonnaire MP

Pic via: twitter.com
/ThangamMP

His majority this time was slightly diminished but way ahead of his closest rival. Jayawardena who was previously a local councillor serving as deputy leader of the Borough of Basingstoke and Deane before he took to national politics served on the Commons’ Home Affairs Committee after he entered parliament in 2015.

The Labour Party’s Thangam Debbonaire whose father is a Sri Lankan Tamil retained the Bristol West constituency winning almost 2/3rd of the vote in a constituency that saw a huge turn out of 77 per cent. She gained 47,213 votes over her Conservative Party rival who obtained 9,877 votes.

Continue reading ‘Labour Party’s Thangam Debonnaire Whose Father is a Sri Lankan Tamil Wins Bristol West Constituency Again Polling Almost 2/3 of Votes’ »

Four Minority Community Parties Led by Hakeem(SLMC), Ganesan (TPA), Bathiuddin(ACMK) and Devananda(EPDP) Want a “United Republic of Sri Lanka” Provision in New Constitution.

An updated draft of a new Constitution has incorporated several new features but a cloud of uncertainty hangs over how soon political parties would be able to reach any consensus.

Main among them are the two principal partners in the Government – the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP). Each seems to be waiting for the other to make its position known. The draft, in the form of an interim report, was originally formulated in November last year and updated only in May this year by the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly.

The very first discussion on the provisions of this draft last month ended abruptly after heated exchanges. It was over the existing provision in the Constitution that “The Republic of Sri Lanka is a unitary state.” The “Joint Opposition” (led by Dinesh Gunawardena) insisted that this provision be retained. So did the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) headed by Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. They also sought another amendment in addition. That was to include the following provision: “Any amendment or repeal and replacement of the Constitution shall only be made by Parliament and the People, in the manner provided for in the Constitution.”

However, four other parties — the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (led by Minister Rauff Hakeem), Tamil Progressive Alliance (a grouping of plantation sector political parties headed by Minister Mano Ganesan), the All Ceylon Makkal Katchi (led by Minister Rishad Bathiuddin) and the Eelam People’ Democratic Party (led by Douglas Devananda) — are proposing an amendment. They want the provision changed to “Sri Lanka shall be known as ‘United Republic of Sri Lanka.’ In Sinhala that would be “Sri Lanka Eksath Janarajaya” and in Tamil “Aikkaya Elankai Kudiyarasu.” The word ‘unitary’, some of these party members say, would run counter to new provisions on devolution.

Continue reading ‘Four Minority Community Parties Led by Hakeem(SLMC), Ganesan (TPA), Bathiuddin(ACMK) and Devananda(EPDP) Want a “United Republic of Sri Lanka” Provision in New Constitution.’ »

President Sirisena Takes Employees Trust Fund(ETF) From Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and Re-allocates it to Development Assignment Minister Marapana.

President Maithripala Sirisena has taken away some of the functions of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and assigned them to Tilak Marapona, the new minister of Development Assignment.

The cash-rich Employees Trust Fund (ETF) which was under the Prime Minister was also taken away and given to Marapona who will now be responsible, among other things, for the implementation of the ETF Act of 1980.

Marapona will have to assist the prime minister in monitoring and evaluation of national policies. Prime Minister’s responsibility of coordinating with other ministries on implementation of policies now becomes a function of Marapona’s ministry.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Takes Employees Trust Fund(ETF) From Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and Re-allocates it to Development Assignment Minister Marapana.’ »

Recent Incidents of Violence Make Aluthgama Residents Fearful as Anniversary of June 2014 Anti-Muslim Attacks Draws Near

By

Asanthi Warunasuriya

A spate of incidents in the recent past targeting Muslims has spread fear among residents in Aluthgama of a repeat of the June 2014 riots.

Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe assured there would never be another communal riot in this country again.

However, residents of Dharga town in Aluthgama told The Sunday Leader they live in fear. While, there were some who expressed satisfaction at the security being provided by the current regime, others said they live in fear that at any moment another riot could flare up. This fear in them is a result of the riots that stirred the area around three years ago.

Speaking to Police Spokesman DIG Priyantha Jayakody regarding the fear that has engulfed people regarding an impending riot, he said he is of the view that there is no need for such fear as even the IGP had issued notice last Sunday to all station OIC’s, SSP’s and officers of all police stations to address even the most trivial racial incidents and bring those responsible for creating such incidents to book and resolve these issues without letting them get out of hand.

Continue reading ‘Recent Incidents of Violence Make Aluthgama Residents Fearful as Anniversary of June 2014 Anti-Muslim Attacks Draws Near’ »

Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi karunanayake Entrusted with National Lotteries Board and Development Lotteries Board

By

Anuranghi Singh

The duties, functions, departments and statutory institutions that fall under the newly assigned ministries were gazetted in an Extraordinary Gazette last Friday, affirming earlier reports but there were a few surprises as well.

Ravi Karunanayake has been entrusted with National Lotteries Board and Development Lotteries Board while Minister of Mass Media and Finance, Mangala Samaraweera has been entrusted with the duties and functions of providing information and publicity material to Sri Lankan Missions abroad. This function of the publicity division of the foreign ministry will now come under a director general.

Continue reading ‘Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi karunanayake Entrusted with National Lotteries Board and Development Lotteries Board’ »

Public Mood Against Present Political Leadership is Turning Hostile and Downright Ugly.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

The profound disgust felt by citizens of this country towards elected representatives on both sides of the political divide is without a doubt. This week’s adjournment debate in Parliament on the deaths and misery caused by recent catastrophic floods in the country reinforces that disgust.


Reducing Sri Lankans to beggars

What surfaced predominantly were cheap political shots aimed at each other with some national suit clad worthies evidently glorying in the discomfiture of their fellows. Conspicuously lacking was the identification of the disaster as a grievous tragedy over and above party political lines.

No emphasis was laid on the prioritizing of a professional disaster prevention policy along with a mechanism to prevent as much as possible, the awful fury of natural calamities instead of wailing to the heavens and distributing relief after disaster strikes. Reducing once self sufficient members of thriving village communities to the level of beggars waiting for handouts is not something to boast about. That much is clear.

Meanwhile empty promises to appoint yet another parliamentary committee (proposed by the so-called Joint Opposition apparently) or to hold an international conference to bring together donors for flood relief by the Government only arouses more infuriation. Is this all that can be suggested?

Continue reading ‘Public Mood Against Present Political Leadership is Turning Hostile and Downright Ugly.’ »

Northern Provincial Minister T.Gurukularajah Steps Down From Post to Facilitate Inquiry of Corruption Charges Against Him.

A Northern Provincial Council (NPC) minister yesterday stepped down from his portfolio until allegations of corruption, abuse of power and misuse of funds were fully probed. Education, Sports and Cultural Affairs Minister T. Gurukularaja conveyed his decision to the President of his party- the Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK)- Mavai Senathraja yesterday.

He said the allegations were baseless and, until the allegations were probed, he was stepping down. The move came after a three-member committee appointed by Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran submitted a report last week on allegations against Mr Gurukularaja and the Provincial Agriculture Minister P. Ingaranesan.

After the report was handed over to the CM, a majority of the members in the Council, both, from the ruling party and the opposition, demanded that the two ministers be removed with immediate effect. The CM informed the Council that both ministers had been given time till yesterday to submit their explanations. However, both of them ignored the directive.

Continue reading ‘Northern Provincial Minister T.Gurukularajah Steps Down From Post to Facilitate Inquiry of Corruption Charges Against Him.’ »

Plastic Rice “Scare” Spreads in South Indian States: Media Outlines Five Easy Ways to Identify “Plastic Rice”

The Plastic rice rumour that spread like wild fire in Sri Lanka has started spreading in India too. Moreover there are allegations of plastic sugar too.

The Southern Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana have been prone to such allegations of plastic rice and plastic sugar. Furthermore there are rumours about plastic eggs and adulterayed milk too. Over 30 people have been arrested for spreading rumours.

However Indian media reports have oitlined five methods to identify plastic rice or other plastic food items.

Continue reading ‘Plastic Rice “Scare” Spreads in South Indian States: Media Outlines Five Easy Ways to Identify “Plastic Rice”’ »

31 Year old Ranil Jayawardena of Sri Lankan Origin Retains North East Hampshire Constituency for the Conservatives Polling 37,754 Votes in UK Elections

Thirty -one year old Ranil Jayawardena of Sri Lankan origin was re-elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for the North East Hampshire Constituency in the current elections to the UK House of Commons.

Jayawardena who polled 37,754(66%) votes obtained a majority of 27,772 over his nearest contender Barry Jones from the Labour party who obtained 9982(17%)votes.

Continue reading ‘31 Year old Ranil Jayawardena of Sri Lankan Origin Retains North East Hampshire Constituency for the Conservatives Polling 37,754 Votes in UK Elections’ »

SLFP MP’s in Govt Debating Whether to Continue Backing Maithripala Sirisena Or to Shift Support to Mahinda Rajapaksa


By
P.K.Balachandran

A cheerless domestic situation, both political and economic, has put the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by President Maithripala Sirisena at crossroads. Its members are wondering whether they should stick to Sirisena or respond to the call of former Sri Lankan President and former party chief, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to rally round him and face the next parliamentary elections due in 2020.

There are three more years to go for the next parliamentary elections, which is a long time in politics. But given the inertia in the economy, the political confusion at the top governmental level, and the uneasy alliance between the SLFP (Sirisena) and the United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, younger SLFP leaders and party cadres are worried about their electoral prospects.

The top leadership of the SLFP (Sirisena) and UNP are aware of this. That is why the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government is not holding local body elections which are long overdue, and is wary about facing the Provincial Council elections due in the first half of 2018.

Continue reading ‘SLFP MP’s in Govt Debating Whether to Continue Backing Maithripala Sirisena Or to Shift Support to Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Condemns Rumours Linking His Name With Bodu Bala Sena and Justice Minister Rajapakshe in Connection with Recent Burning of Muslim Owned shops


Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa today denied allegations of any connection with the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or the recent attacks aimed at Muslim owned shops.

In a facebook post, Rajapakse strongly condemned the false rumours linking his name with the BBS and Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in connection with the atrocious burning of Muslim owned shops in the recent past.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Condemns Rumours Linking His Name With Bodu Bala Sena and Justice Minister Rajapakshe in Connection with Recent Burning of Muslim Owned shops’ »

“This Was a Great Victory for Sri Lanka and a Much Needed One” -Kumar Sangakkara

By Kumar Sangakkara

This was a great victory for Sri Lanka and a much-needed one. It meant a lot to the Sri Lanka team to chase down that very stiff total and to do it with such ease will have been hugely satisfying.

Kusal Perera retired hurt 47. Sri Lanka need 43 runs in 36 balls. Gunaratne is the new batsman #CT17 #INDvSL #RoarLionsRoar –
via: facebook.com
srilankacricket

There is no doubt, Sri Lanka would have had a few worries coming into this game given recent form, injuries to key players, and the suspension in the last game of stand-in captain and in-form opener Upal Tharanga.

Tharanga’s suspension though created a great opportunity for Dhanuska Gunathilake. He had previously been left-out of the playing XI but remained in the squad with a point to prove. And what an inclusion he proved to be, as he led the Sri Lanka run-chase, ably joined by Kushal Mendis. The two youngsters are two stars for the future and they showed that they not only have youth and skill, but also the temperament.

The return of Angelo Mathews naturally strengthened the Sri Lanka side immensely. He was missed sorely against South Africa and he guided the Sri Lanka middle-order with just the innings that Sri Lanka needed. He knows how to play under pressure, he is the best batsman that Sri Lanka has, and he showed it again today with a masterful knock, guiding Sri Lanka to victory.

Continue reading ‘“This Was a Great Victory for Sri Lanka and a Much Needed One” -Kumar Sangakkara’ »

The Ideology, Rhetoric and Politics of DMK Leader and Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi.

By
A.S.Panneerselvan

THE 1957 elections to Parliament and the State Assemblies constituted a defining moment. It established the democratic credentials of a country newly liberated from colonial rule; it was the first round of elections after the linguistic reorganisation of the States; and it was the first indication that the Indian National Congress could no longer invoke the freedom struggle to win popular support as people started evaluating governance.

It was the year two brilliant orators, one in Hindi and the other in Tamil, entered Parliament and a State Assembly, respectively: A.B. Vajpayee made his Lok Sabha debut and M. Karunanidhi entered the Legislative Assembly. At a deeper level, these two politicians represent two contending and confronting ideas about India. Vajpayee represents a homogeneous, uniformed, monolithic imagination of India. Karunanidhi represents a heterogenous, varied, multi-tiered and multilayered imagination of the country.

Continue reading ‘The Ideology, Rhetoric and Politics of DMK Leader and Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi.’ »

Govt is Conducting the “Gnanasara Drama” to Postpone the Local Authority Polls as it Knows it will be Defeated alleges Joint Opposition

The government is attempting to delay the local government elections by using Galagodatte Gnanasara Thera to divert attention from the real issues, the joint opposition said today.

JO spokesman Gamini Lokuge told a news conference that the government was reluctant to hold the elections because it knew it would be defeated.

Continue reading ‘Govt is Conducting the “Gnanasara Drama” to Postpone the Local Authority Polls as it Knows it will be Defeated alleges Joint Opposition’ »

Tamil Nadu MDMK Party Leader Vaiko Denied Entry Into Malaysia Due to his Alleged Links With the LTTE

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) Chief Vaiko (Vaiapuri Gopalswamy) was denied entry into Malaysia today due to his alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), The Asian News international (ANI) reported.

The MDMK Chief was stopped at the Kuala Lumpur Airport and questioned for several hours on his alleged links with the Tamil rebel group and later denied permission to enter the country.

Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu MDMK Party Leader Vaiko Denied Entry Into Malaysia Due to his Alleged Links With the LTTE’ »

Match Winning Captain Angelo Mathews Happy About Sri Lanka’s “Papare” Band Being in Full Force at the Oval

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said that no one really expected Sri Lanka to win by beating India in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Group B encounter, Indian Media reported today.

Addressing the post- match conference held in London last night, Mathews has said he hoped that the victory may just bring back smiles in the faces of the countrymen after the tragic times in recent past where hundreds of people lost their lives due to a devastating flood.

@OfficialSLC

“It was very pleasing for us to give them a win because we had some terrible times in the recent past, especially with losing a lot of lives due to floods and we are very grateful that we could give them a reason to smile,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Match Winning Captain Angelo Mathews Happy About Sri Lanka’s “Papare” Band Being in Full Force at the Oval’ »

Sri Lanka Stages Superb Run Chase To Beat Champions Trophy Holders India by Seven Wickets

Sri Lanka staged a superb run chase to stun India and keep alive their Champions Trophy challenge as Kusal Mendis inspired a famous seven-wicket victory over the holders on Thursday.

Needing 322 to avoid a second successive Group B defeat, Sri Lanka powered to a memorable triumph at The Oval thanks to key contributions from Mendis (89), Danushka Gunathilaka (76) and captain Angelo Mathews (52).

@OfficialSLC

Mathews admitted earlier this week that many experts expected his underdogs to be thrashed by in-form India.

But Sri Lanka defied the odds to win with eight balls to spare and they can qualify for the semi-finals if they beat Pakistan in their final group match in Cardiff on June 12.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Stages Superb Run Chase To Beat Champions Trophy Holders India by Seven Wickets’ »

Vasantha Obeysekere, his House on Lauries Road and the Film “Dadayama”

by
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Versatile Film Director and Script Writer Vasantha Obeysekere breathed his last on 8 April. Vasantha, born on 29 December 1937, was 79 years of age when he passed away peacefully in Colombo.

In a creative career that spanned nearly five decades, Vasantha made 13 feature films and several documentaries. He won many accolades and awards at multiple levels for his films. Most of his creations were commercial successes too – satisfying both the connoisseur as well as the common rasika. More importantly, Vasantha was an intrepid and innovative director who went off the beaten track and ventured into new vistas of filmmaking. His films possessed distinctive hallmarks indicative of his unique directorial style.

The landmark movies made by Vasantha Obeysekere comprised a baker’s dozen. His films in chronological order are ‘Vesgaththo’ (Masked Men), ‘Valmathuwo’ (Lost Ones), ‘Diyamanthi’ (Diamonds), ‘Palangetiyo’ (Grass Hoppers), ‘Dadayama’ (The Hunt), ‘Kedapathaka Chaya’ (Reflections in a Mirror), ‘Maruthaya’ (The Storm), ‘Dorakda Marawa’ (Death at the Doorstep), ‘Theertha Yathra’ (Pilgrimage), ‘Salelu Warama’ (Web of Love), ‘Asani Warsha’ (Wrath & Rain), ‘Sewwandi’ (Chrysanthemum) and ‘Aganthukaya’ (The Outcast).
Continue reading ‘Vasantha Obeysekere, his House on Lauries Road and the Film “Dadayama”’ »

“Operation Re-shuffle” Key Objective Was Removing Ravi Karunanayake as Finance Minister

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The Oxford English dictionary defines the word compromise as being “an agreement or settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions”. Sri Lanka witnesed a political compromise of sorts between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe when the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United National Party(UNP)leaders displayed a show of unity in bringing about a mini re-shuffle of portfolios among members of their cabinet.

Officially it was a bi -lateral exercise between the president and prime minister who despite differences acted together in conformity with the constitution in effecting changes to the cabinet of ministers.Unofficially it was a trilateral exercise as former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga also played a constructive role in evolving a consensus and compromise in bringing about a cabinet re-shuffle. Due to the political compromise reached between President Sirisena and Prime minister Wickremesinghe with the endorsement of Ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga, a minor re-shuffle of ministerial portfolios took place on Monday May 22nd.
Continue reading ‘“Operation Re-shuffle” Key Objective Was Removing Ravi Karunanayake as Finance Minister’ »

Muslim Owned Shop in Nugegoda Set Ablaze While Police Continue to Claim They are Searching for BBS Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero.

The Sri Lankan government, on Wednesday said the police were continuing search operations to hunt for a controversial Buddhist monk who was wanted for making alleged hate speeches and attacks against the minorities in the island country.

Cabinet Spokesperson, Rajitha Senaratne said according to information, the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thero,was in the country but was still in hiding.

“I do not know why there is a delay but police are continuing to search for him,” Senaratne said.
He added that there was an arrest warrant against the monk.

Continue reading ‘Muslim Owned Shop in Nugegoda Set Ablaze While Police Continue to Claim They are Searching for BBS Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero.’ »

“It’s Quite Likely a Govt Minister is Protecting Gnanasara Thero. Otherwise Police Would Have Arrested and Produced hm in Courts” – Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne

by Zacki Jabbar

Health Minister and Co-Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne says it is possible that one of his ministerial colleagues is hiding the Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galagodatte Gnanasara Thera, who had gone underground, after a court warrant was issued for his arrest recently.

Continue reading ‘“It’s Quite Likely a Govt Minister is Protecting Gnanasara Thero. Otherwise Police Would Have Arrested and Produced hm in Courts” – Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne’ »

Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne Admits Possibility of Gnanasara Thero Evading Arrest Because He is Being Protected by a Cabinet Minister.

By

Sandun A. Jayasekera

Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne said today a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Bodu Bala Sena leader Galagodatte Gnanasara Thera and CID detectives have been deployed to take him into custody over allegations of inciting religious and racial hatred.

Responding to a journalist at yesterday’s weekly news briefing, he said it would be a difficult task for the police to arrest him if he was being protected by a minister.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne Admits Possibility of Gnanasara Thero Evading Arrest Because He is Being Protected by a Cabinet Minister.’ »

Ex-Army Chief Daya Ratnayake Discloses to Inquiry Commission About a “Group” Dismantling Machinery from Kankesanthurai Cement Factory and Sold it as Scrap Iron.

by Hemantha Randunu

Former Army Commander Lt Gen Daya Ratnayake was questioned by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry proving serious acts of fraud, corruption and abuse of power, state resources and privileges for more than three hours yesterday on dismantling of old machines at the former Cement Factory at Kankesanthurai and selling them as scrap iron.

Lt Gen Ratnayake told the commission that a group of persons in defiance of his orders as the Army Commander had dismantled the machines and sold them as scrap iron.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Army Chief Daya Ratnayake Discloses to Inquiry Commission About a “Group” Dismantling Machinery from Kankesanthurai Cement Factory and Sold it as Scrap Iron.’ »

The Whole Truth About Lalith Athulathmudali’s Assassination is Delved Into in Detail By Prof.Ravindra Fernando in his Book.


By

Vijitha Yapa

If asked who is the single individual in politics whose life affected me most, the choice with no hesitation would be Lalith Athulathmudali.I live in Claessen Place and he moved in to Paget Road as Minister of National Security and was my rear neighbour, once removed on the left. (Interestingly President Sirisena’s residence is now a rear neighbour, once removed, but on the right).

.During walks either in his home or the SSC grounds,the changing political scenario was the main topic with Lalith On the morning of the signing of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord he told me he is boycotting the ceremony at President’s House and then added, “by midnight the Indian troops will be in Jaffna “.I went to the Sunday Times office and rushed Tyronne Devotta and photographer Pushpakumara Matugama to Jaffna and their exclusive reports and photos helped establish the Sunday Times.

Wondering how to turn disaster into truimph, the arrest of the 13 LTTE leaders by the Indians and his insistence to JR and the IPKF that they must be brought to Colombo was a turning point.

The suicides led to the LTTE blaming the IPKF and he was overjoyed when the IPKF were attacked and the LTTE began fighting the Indians. “All going according to plan,” he beamed .When columnist Suranimala (Lassnatha Wickramatunge) wrote that Sirisena Cooray had refused President Premadasa’s request to help him form the cabinet , Premadasa was furious saying I was trying to divide him from Sirisena and targeted me and attacked me publicly at Gangarama. On the night that Richard de Soyza was abducted, Lalith phoned me and said,”You are next on the list” and asked me to move into his Inner Flower residence. I chose instead to move into the Oberoi for a few hours through my friend the GM Ranil Bible until I could take the first flight to Singapore. A few hours later he phoned my wife and said, “They found Richard’s body. There is turmoil.You can ask Vijitha to come back”

These three episodes of many illustrate how Lalith worked with friends, specially in the media. When Professor Ravindra Fernando, who is the author of Murder in Ceylon (the famous Sathasivam Case) and Murder in the Vicarage ( the sensational double murder byFather Mathew Peiris) said he wants to write a book on the truth of the murder of Lalith,

I was one of the first to welcome it.

Continue reading ‘The Whole Truth About Lalith Athulathmudali’s Assassination is Delved Into in Detail By Prof.Ravindra Fernando in his Book.’ »

Susanthika Jayasinghe Ready to Finance Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera’s Election Campaign From Proceeds of Her Medal Sale.

by Norman Palihawadane

Sri Lanka’s only female Olympic medalist, Susanthika Jayasinghe says that she has received offers from both Sri Lanka and abroad for her silver medal following recent media reports.

“They have offered as much as Rs 250 million. I too did not know the medal would be worth that much,” Jayasinghe told The Island yesterday.

The ace sprinter said that she regretted that the country’s Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera’s failure to give due recognition to an Olympic medal though the entire world knew of its value.

Jayasinghe said that she could earn a fortune by selling her medal and was willing to give a portion of her earnings to develop the country’s sports. “I could even sponsor Minister Jayasekera’s next election campaign if he likes,” she said.

Continue reading ‘Susanthika Jayasinghe Ready to Finance Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera’s Election Campaign From Proceeds of Her Medal Sale.’ »

Sports Minister Wants to Legally Prevent Sportspersons Like Susanthika Jayasinghe From Selling Medals won at International Competitions.

By Ajith Alahakoon and Kushan Subasinghe

Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera told Parliament yesterday that the Sports Act would be amended to bar sportspersons from selling their medals won at international events.

While moving a motion in respect of the Sports Act for debate, the Minister said that the winners at international games had to be prevented from selling the medals they secure, representing the country.

Noting that some outdated provisions of the Act needed updating, the Minister said that radical changes had to be introduced to the Act to meet the present-day needs and a committee had been appointed for that purpose.

Continue reading ‘Sports Minister Wants to Legally Prevent Sportspersons Like Susanthika Jayasinghe From Selling Medals won at International Competitions.’ »

“Last Govt Was Not Afraid to do the Wrong Thing But This Govt is Afraid to do the Right Thing”-MA Sumanthiran

(Text of Speech made in Parliament by Jaffna District MP Mathiabaranam Abraham Sumanthiran During the Adjournment Motion Debate on June 6th 2017)

06.06.2017/ 4.48 – 5.03

[4.48 p.m.]
ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
(மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
(The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)

Thank you, Hon. Presiding Member, for this opportunity to speak at this Adjournment Debate.

As I sat listening to speeches on both sides of the House, I thought the Debate was reaching heights of absurdity and hypocrisy. There has been a murder in broad daylight. Some people have informed the police of this murder. But the issue seems to be: “Who informed the police? Why did you inform the police?” That is what is being debated in this House today, not that there has been a murder. “Why did you go and tell the police?” One is pointing the finger at the other. “You are the one who told the police.” And from the other side another one is pointing the finger at this side and saying, “No! No! You are the one who told the police.” That is the sad state of affairs that this country has come to. No one is worried about the fact that there has been a murder.

That is the gist of the Debate between the so-called Joint Opposition and the Government today. The Government is bending backwards trying to say, “We are not going to allow anybody to be punished.” The Joint Opposition says, “You are trying to punish.” Nobody is talking about the crime. No one is talking about the victims. No one is talking about what is right and what is wrong. Both are competing with each other, trying to excel each other in claiming that they are better at covering up. One says, “We covered up well. You have now revealed it.” And the Government says, “No! No! You are the one who exposed it. Now we are covering up.” Shameless conduct both by the movers of the Resolution and those who are replying on behalf of the Government! Why cannot you face reality? Why can you not be truthful? Why can you not act with honour and tell the people of this country the reality. Why do you have to beat around the bush? That is why I call it hypocrisy.

There were references made to 1988/89 period, a comparison between that and 2008/09 period. Why do we even have to go there? Is not a wrong a wrong to whoever it happens? Have we descended to a point when the Representatives of the Tamil people have to ask the question “If it happens to Sinhala youth, you will do and if it happens to Tamil youth, you will not?” Do we even have to raise that as a question in this House?

Continue reading ‘“Last Govt Was Not Afraid to do the Wrong Thing But This Govt is Afraid to do the Right Thing”-MA Sumanthiran’ »

“UN Human Rights Council Resolution is not Against Sri Lanka”-R.Sampanthan in Parliament


(Text of Speech made in Parliament by Leader of the Opposition and Trincomalee District MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan During the UNHRC Resolution Debate on June th 2017)

06.06.2017/3.47

ගරු රාජවරෝදියම් සම්පන්දන් මහතා (විරුද්ධ පාර්ශ්වයේ නායකතුමා)
(மாண்புமிகு ராஜவரோதயம் சம்பந்தன் – எதிர்க்கட்சி முதல்வர்)
(The Hon. Rajavarothiam Sampanthan – Leader of the Opposition)

Mr. Presiding Member, this Resolution has been moved by the Joint Opposition.

The objective of the Resolution is the attempted repudiation of the Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and also the Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council.
Unfortunately, I do not think such steps are within the competence of this honourable House and I might, perhaps, safely say that it is not the will of the present House.

I might say very clearly that the Sri Lankan State is bound by the Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council and that it is the bounden duty of the Sri Lankan State to implement that Resolution. We should really work towards how that can be achieved without any harm being done to this country. That should be our objective.

I do not want to approach this matter in a spirit of confrontation. I want to approach it from the perspective of what would be in the best interests of the country and all its people while ensuring truth and justice.

The causes and events that led to this situation, to this Resolution being adopted, occurred during the tenure of the former Government. The present Government took over when conclusions, decisions, had been arrived at by the UN Human Rights Council. Not having been able to contain the situation despite being given every opportunity from 2012, the former Government could not have contained the situation when decisions had been arrived at in 2015 by the UN Human Rights Council.

Continue reading ‘“UN Human Rights Council Resolution is not Against Sri Lanka”-R.Sampanthan in Parliament’ »

Mangala Samaraweera Got Dramatically Transformed After He Kissed Ravi Karunanayake

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka


“It’s just a kiss away Kiss away, kiss away”
‘Gimme Shelter’, The Rolling Stones

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera kisses his successor Ravi Karunanayake as the former assumed office as new Finance Minister in Colombo on May 25 following a cabinet reshuffle earlier in the week PHOTO BY – ISHARA S.KODIKARA – courtesy: The Island.lk

As in the fairy tale, a dramatic transformation occurred when Minister Mangala Samaraweera planted a smooch, on his successor Ravi Karunanayaka’s cheek. Except that the transformation occurred in the kisser, Mr. Samaraweera.

A transformed Mr. Samaraweera seemed to see himself in the mirror as the President of Sri Lanka. In his first official event as Finance Minister at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce late last month, he outlined sweeping changes which constituted a perspective for a drastic change of Sri Lanka. It was a macro change that no one has been mandated to implement and certainly has not been articulated by Sri Lanka’s elected President.

Samaraweera delivered the keynote speech at the inauguration of the “Sri Lanka Investment & Business Conclave 2017: Growth through Partnerships”, organized by the CCC. (‘Mangala Maps Way Forward’, Daily FT)

While he has been removed from the Foreign Ministry for the second time (the first being by President Sirisena’s predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa), Mangala thinks that what he has been appointed to do is to extend that which he did as Foreign Minister. As the Daily FT reported, he made his first speech as Finance Minister while “keeping a foot in his previous portfolio as Foreign Minister…”

The (patronizing) message issued from Ottawa on May 18 by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to mark the 8th anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s war, revealed exactly what Mangala did as Foreign Minister:

Continue reading ‘Mangala Samaraweera Got Dramatically Transformed After He Kissed Ravi Karunanayake’ »

“2015 Defeat Enabled me to Identify all the Betrayers and Conspirators who were Around me”- An Interview With Mahinda Rajapaksa


By

Kelum Bandara


Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, prior to his departure to Japan, spoke to Daily Mirror about the current situation of the country in the aftermath of the Cabinet reshuffle and his plans for future politics. He shared the following:

Question:

How do you look at the current political climate in the context of the Cabinet reshuffle?

It was not a reshuffle as such. It was just a change of a few heads. The one, dubbed as the best Finance Minister in the world, was assigned with a different portfolio. Instead, the Finance Ministry was assigned to Mangala Samaraweera. There was a change in the Port and Shipping Ministry. That was actually to facilitate the selling off of the Ports. Arjuna Ranatunga, who held he was stripped of it because he was opposed to the concept. We cannot call it a reshuffle. If the government intended to do so, it should have been done with a purpose. It was a just a change of ministerial posts to execute the same policy line. This would not serve any purpose.

It is in speculation that some institutions such as the Development Lotteries Board, Sri Lankan Airlines and Mahapola Scholarship Fund are going to be placed under the purview of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. This is a joke.


Q:

You mentioned that Minister Ranatunga was removed because he voiced against some projects. Why do you say so?

Arjuna voiced against the sale of national assets in the Cabinet. That should have been the reason. The President has control over everything. I must say that. Yet, the UNP portfolios have been shuffled among its members and the SLFP ones. Some young MPs waited in earnest to get posts. Today, they are a desperate lot.


Q
From your point of view, what would the end result be?

That is the fear we harbour. We fear that this would lead to a situation similar to Greece where the economy collapsed. Be that as it may, there is no option for this government. It has to go borrowing or find money through selling off the assets.

Continue reading ‘“2015 Defeat Enabled me to Identify all the Betrayers and Conspirators who were Around me”- An Interview With Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

“Unlike Literature Songs are Meant to be Sung not Read” – Bob Dylan in Nobel Speech.

Text of Nobel Lecture Recorded on June 4th 2017 by Bob Dylan who was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature)

When I first received this Nobel Prize for Literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature. I wanted to reflect on it and see where the connection was. I’m going to try to articulate that to you. And most likely it will go in a roundabout way, but I hope what I say will be worthwhile and purposeful.

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If I was to go back to the dawning of it all, I guess I’d have to start with Buddy Holly. Buddy died when I was about eighteen and he was twenty-two. From the moment I first heard him, I felt akin. I felt related, like he was an older brother. I even thought I resembled him. Buddy played the music that I loved – the music I grew up on: country western, rock ‘n’ roll, and rhythm and blues. Three separate strands of music that he intertwined and infused into one genre. One brand. And Buddy wrote songs – songs that had beautiful melodies and imaginative verses. And he sang great – sang in more than a few voices. He was the archetype. Everything I wasn’t and wanted to be. I saw him only but once, and that was a few days before he was gone. I had to travel a hundred miles to get to see him play, and I wasn’t disappointed.

He was powerful and electrifying and had a commanding presence. I was only six feet away. He was mesmerizing. I watched his face, his hands, the way he tapped his foot, his big black glasses, the eyes behind the glasses, the way he held his guitar, the way he stood, his neat suit. Everything about him. He looked older than twenty-two. Something about him seemed permanent, and he filled me with conviction. Then, out of the blue, the most uncanny thing happened. He looked me right straight dead in the eye, and he transmitted something. Something I didn’t know what. And it gave me the chills.
Continue reading ‘“Unlike Literature Songs are Meant to be Sung not Read” – Bob Dylan in Nobel Speech.’ »

Namal Rajapaksa Indicted on Money Laundering Charges Amounting to Rs 30 Million With Two Other Gowers Coroprate Services Ltd Directors

By

Yoshitha Perera

The Colombo High Court today served indictments on UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa and two other directors, Sujani Bogollagama and Senani Samaranayake of Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited on charges of money laundering involving a sum of Rs.30 million transacted through the company.

The Colombo High Court later released them on the previous bail conditions imposed by the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court.

Continue reading ‘Namal Rajapaksa Indicted on Money Laundering Charges Amounting to Rs 30 Million With Two Other Gowers Coroprate Services Ltd Directors’ »

Muslim Politicians Must Learn From Disastrous Course of Tamil Politics About How NOT To Approach a Problem

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

Last week, I argued why a fringe ethno-religious extremism articulated by the Bodu Bala Sena should be tackled forthwith with intensity and pro-actively. Now the lead monk of the BBS, Galabodaatte Gnanasarathera, who has been absconding has admitted himself to a hospital, his lawyers informed Court.

The BBS is a malign force. However though its rhetoric is disturbing and repugnant, its involvement in ‘actual violence’ is marginal. Its real danger is as an agent of radicalization and reviving of old prejudices of some segments of conservative Sinhala Buddhists.

In ideal conditions, such rhetoric should either be rebuffed as rubbish or tolerated as a matter of freedom of expression. But, the world we are living in is not an ideal place, and countries like ours which are multi-cultural and multi-ethnic and suffer multiple, economic, social, cultural and ethnic fault lines, cannot afford such differences to be exploited under the guise of pluralism of ideas. (Or we could well turn a blind eye, until reality sinks hard as Theresa May the British Prime Minister admitted early this week (after the third terrorist attack in two months) that there was far too much tolerance for extremism in Britain).

Continue reading ‘Muslim Politicians Must Learn From Disastrous Course of Tamil Politics About How NOT To Approach a Problem’ »

South Korean Actress Lee Young ae Known Popularly in Sri Lanka as “Changumi” Donates US 50,000 Dollars for Flood Relief Work in the Island.


South Korean Actress Lee Young-ae, popularly known as ‘Changumi’ in Sri Lanka has donated around US $ 50,000 (Roughly Rs.7.6 million) to support flood relief efforts in Sri Lanka, a statement said.

She has become a household name in Sri Lanka because of her role as ‘Changumi’ in the tele-drama ‘Sujatha Diyani’ serialized in Sri Lanka.

The Chairman of the Korea Foundation for Persons with Disabilities Lee Seong-gyu formally handed over Actress Lee Young-ae’s contribution to the Charge d’ Affaires of Sri Lanka in the Republic of Korea Sasanga Nikapitiya on Monday (5) at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Seoul.

Continue reading ‘South Korean Actress Lee Young ae Known Popularly in Sri Lanka as “Changumi” Donates US 50,000 Dollars for Flood Relief Work in the Island.’ »

Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena Lambastes Govt For Unpreparedness to Cope With Recent Natural Disaster.

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday said the government’s unpreparedness and slow response had aggravated the situation during the recent natural disasters which caused widespread destruction in eleven districts.

Declaring the recent flooding as the worst that hit the country after the boxing day tsunami of 2004, leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) and JO parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardena stressed that the disasters had exposed lack of preparedness on the part of the government machinery to manage disasters.

He alleged that the government had remained clueless about the state of affairs in the affected areas in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

“It is true that a natural disaster can’t be stopped but their impact can mitigated if there is a proper mechanism in place to meet such emergencies,” Gunawardena added.

Continue reading ‘Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena Lambastes Govt For Unpreparedness to Cope With Recent Natural Disaster.’ »

Courts Allow Namal Rajapaksa MP To Seek Compensation from Police FCID For Alleged Wrongful Arrest and Detention.

By A.J.A. Abeynayake

Additional District Judge Colombo Chamath Madanayake on Friday, rejecting the position taken by the Attorney General that Namal Rajapaksa MP had no provision under the statutes to seek compensation from the officers of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), allowed the petition filed by Rajapaksa seeking Rs. 200 million compensation from the OIC of the FCID and two of its officers to proceed with the case and fixed the date of hearing for July 12.

Rajapaksa has, in his petition, said that it was unlawful for the FCID to take him into custody without conducting investigations and keep him in remand custody on a false charge.

Continue reading ‘Courts Allow Namal Rajapaksa MP To Seek Compensation from Police FCID For Alleged Wrongful Arrest and Detention.’ »

Cabinet Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa Defends The Manner in Which His Disaster Management Min istry Responded to Recent Floods and Landslides.

By Chathuri Dissanayake

Launching a fresh line of defence against the criticism levelled at his ministry for its delayed response, Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadharshana Yapa came out strongly saying that had his officials not responded in time the death toll would have been much higher.

Highlighting the need to bring in new laws to manage evacuations during disaster situations, the Minister claimed disregard for weather warnings was the reason for the high death toll.

“We did our best, there is a system in place,” Yapa said.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa Defends The Manner in Which His Disaster Management Min istry Responded to Recent Floods and Landslides.’ »

Sri Lanka Is Voted as Both Asia’s Leading Adventure Tourism and Tourist Destination for 2017

Adventure-seekers and intrepid globetrotters looking to blaze new trails in Southeast Asia will want to consider adding Sri Lanka to their travel bucket list, after the country claimed the title of leading destination and leading adventure tourism destination for Asia over the weekend.

At the World Travel Awards Asia and Australasia 2017, which were held in Shanghai, Sri Lanka claimed the title of leading destination for the region, an award that reflects a country’s range of tourism products and services.

The country was also named the leading adventure tourism destination.

Winners are based on an online voting process cast by industry leaders and travel professionals.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Is Voted as Both Asia’s Leading Adventure Tourism and Tourist Destination for 2017’ »

Susanthika Jayasinghe Suspends Decision to Auction Her Olympic Silver Medal Folowing President Sirisena’s Intervention.

By

Darshana Sanjeewa

Following President Maithripala Sirisena’s intervention, Olympic medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe has decided to put on hold her decision to auction the silver medal she won in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

She told Daily Mirror that an officer from presidential secretariat had informed her over the phone that the President would look into the matter.

Continue reading ‘Susanthika Jayasinghe Suspends Decision to Auction Her Olympic Silver Medal Folowing President Sirisena’s Intervention.’ »