Mangala Samaraweera Clarifies-Ranil Wickremesinghe will be head of All Party “National Unity”Cabinet.

Please release the following clarification to the media as the reporting of the press conference held by me on 27/11/14 was unclear and somewhat misleading in some newspapers.

In a Parliamentary democracy executive powers are vested in Parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers. The Prime Minister is, as the term implies the ‘first among equals’.

Continue reading ‘Mangala Samaraweera Clarifies-Ranil Wickremesinghe will be head of All Party “National Unity”Cabinet.’ »

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Great Heroes Day Event Observed by the LTTE

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

November 27th 1989 was the day on which the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)first observed its annual “Maaveerar Naal” or Great Heroes Day (GHD).Twenty five years have passed since then and the silver jubilee of the event is today Nov 27th 2014.

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The event continues to be observed on a large scale by sections of the Global Tamil Diaspora despite the military debacle suffered by the LTTE in May 2009. The event has lost much of its lustre after the demise of tiger supremo Veluppillai Prabhakaran.These are days of decline when compared to the manner in which Great heroes day was observed when the LTTE ruled the roost. Nevertheless commemorating the fallen tigers as great heroes annually remains an enduring tiger legacy despite the LTTE being militarily decimated in Sri Lanka.
Continue reading ‘Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Great Heroes Day Event Observed by the LTTE’ »

Life and Times of Tiger Supremo Prabhakaran: 60th Birth Anniversary of LTTE Leader ON Nov 26

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

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

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

Prabhakaran who commenced his militant career with a single pistol had over the years built up the LTTE into a powerful movement running a shadow state and acquired the status of being a self-styled “Tamil national leader” (Thesiyath Thalaiver). When alive he was regarded as all powerful by his followers and supporters.He was once described by the LTTE’s political strategist, Anton Stanislaus Balasingham, as both “the president and prime minister of Tamil Eelam”. The ephemeral nature of power was illustrated vividly by the death of Prabhakaran who controlled what was perhaps the most powerful guerilla organization in the world and was raised to divine status as “Sooriyathevan” (Sun God) by his sycophantic followers.
Continue reading ‘Life and Times of Tiger Supremo Prabhakaran: 60th Birth Anniversary of LTTE Leader ON Nov 26’ »

Sri Lankan Plantation Workers Denounce UPFA Govt Over Koslande Landslide Tragedy

Thousands of plantation workers from several tea estates in Sri Lanka’s central highlands Nuwareliya district have held strikes and demonstrations over the landslide at Koslanda that killed about 200 workers and family members on October 29.

Demanding housing in secure locations, workers have rallied in a number of towns, including Bogawanthalawa, Maskeliya and Hatton. They raised slogans condemning President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government, plantation managements and trade unions for leaving them exposed to landslide disasters for years.

The landslide was the biggest disaster in Sri Lanka since the 2004 tsunami. It destroyed a kilometre-wide strip of land where about 150 plantation workers’ families lived in Meeriyabedda estate. Seven “lines”—long buildings divided into 20 small living quarters or “line rooms”—were flattened. A dozen bodies have been recovered, with many more still missing, buried under mud and earth.
It poured with rain in the area during the weeks before the landslide but the estate management and government authorities took no action to evacuate the people.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Plantation Workers Denounce UPFA Govt Over Koslande Landslide Tragedy’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Expected an Easy Coronation but now Faces a Tricky Election:Is there a Fault in his Stars?


“AN INVINCIBLE personality, a blessed man, he will win a big victory.” In the opinion of Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena, issued from his swish astrological headquarters in the southern port of Galle, the prospects for Sri Lanka’s president are unambiguously bright. Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa has called an election two years early, to seek an unprecedented third term. Why not? Polling will happen on January 8th, and eight is a lucky number.

For Mr Rajapaksa, a Virgo, the stars are benign. Some see the president as the fulfilment of an ancient prophecy, the reincarnation of a great southern king (who also had combed-back hair and a lush moustache). He is destined to make Sri Lanka prosper, says the astrologer, and will be the best friend of Buddhism, its main religion: “There is no temple he has not visited.”

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Expected an Easy Coronation but now Faces a Tricky Election:Is there a Fault in his Stars?’ »

“Sirisena-Ranil” Ticket Approach will Make People Believe they are Voting for Sirisena but will be voting for Ranil


By

Tamara Kunanayakam

The surprise announcement that Maithripala Sirisena will be the common Presidential candidate who will face the current incumbent at the forthcoming elections and his promise to abolish the Executive Presidency within one hundred days has raised hopes that an alternative is finally in the air.

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Although there are a lot of ‘ifs’ on the way, including the need for a 2/3 majority in the legislature for constitutional change, of concern is Sirisena’s announcement of UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe as Prime Minister before holding General Elections.

By adopting a “Sirisena-Ranil” ticket approach, the architects of the Common Candidate – the UNP and sections of the SLFP – are effectively giving the voter a single election choice for the office of President and Prime Minister, trapping the people into a Ranil premiership in a most unprecedented and undemocratic manner.

Continue reading ‘“Sirisena-Ranil” Ticket Approach will Make People Believe they are Voting for Sirisena but will be voting for Ranil’ »

Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva gets to Stay at Exclusive “Navy House” at Kankesanthurai in the High Security Zone.

Many an eyebrow has been raised over former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva staying at ‘Navy House’ at Kankesanthurai high security zone.

The Defence Ministry last night said that the former Chief Justice had been accompanied by head of anti-doping agency Prof. Arjuna de Silva.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva gets to Stay at Exclusive “Navy House” at Kankesanthurai in the High Security Zone.’ »

How Maithripala Sirisena Became Common Opposition Candidate Without Mahinda Rajapaksa Knowing.

By

Dharisha Bastians

It all began with the stars. It was apt therefore that less than 24 hours after President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared he would be seeking a third term in office two years ahead of schedule, certain celestial bodies began to wreak all manner of mischief inside his ruling party.

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Believers in astrology put last week’s political dramas down to the influence of the planet Saturn, the ‘Great Malefic’ of the astrological firmament. There was a major movement of the planet on 2 November 2014, which astrologers say could result in sudden deaths, bad luck and punishing circumstances. The planet is known to be the great obstructer, moving slowly during transition, slowing momentum and making courage falter in the physical realm. Saturn is the punishing father, the grim reaper and the consummate mischief-maker, creator of controversy and abrupt change in the mortal realm.

Continue reading ‘How Maithripala Sirisena Became Common Opposition Candidate Without Mahinda Rajapaksa Knowing.’ »

No “Executive Prime Minister” Post for Ranil; Maithripala will Remain President Without Dictatorial Powers – UNP


by

Shamindra Ferdinando

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The UNP yesterday declared that the joint Opposition would retain the executive presidency sans what it called dictatorial powers currently exercised by incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Maithripala Sirisena would remain the President, it said.

The announcement was made by top UNP spokesman Mangala Samaraweera, MP, at a media briefing held at UNP headquarters, Sirikotha. The UNPer emphasised that the process of transferring power to the Cabinet of Ministers would be done in accordance with the Constitution.

The former minister dismissed the notion that Sirisena’s victory would pave the way for UNP National Leader to receive the post of executive Prime Minister. “There is no such thing. The Prime Minister is the head of Cabinet of Ministers.”

Continue reading ‘No “Executive Prime Minister” Post for Ranil; Maithripala will Remain President Without Dictatorial Powers – UNP’ »

How to Contain Dissent, Prevent Defections and Punish Defectors by Maintaining “FILES” Systematically.

By

Liyanage Amarakeerthi

Rumour had it for many years that our president contained the dissent of his colleagues by manipulating a set of ‘files.’ President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently heard saying something like this, “Reverend Sir, I have files of those who left me. But I don’t want to use them.” It is important to note who, the addressee is here: he was directly addressing the Buddhist monks. We just happened to overhear it. What the president was saying must be true primarily because he would not tell a lie to the Maha Sangha whose blessings he often invokes and on whose blessings he has thrived. Yes, the president must be having the files and that was why many other politicos decided to stay back and sing for supper.

So, there must be files. Then, it is the president who must be held responsible for not ‘using’ those files. His statement was directed at those ministers who are still with him rather than those had already left. What is in a file? That is the question. The concept of files needs to be revisited.

Continue reading ‘How to Contain Dissent, Prevent Defections and Punish Defectors by Maintaining “FILES” Systematically.’ »

“Constitutional Revolution” will Take Place 100 days After the new President takes Office says Mangala Samaraweera.

By
Dharisha Bastians

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President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s first campaign manager in 2005 was breathing fire against nine years of his rule yesterday, promising major constitutional reform and insisting that the January 2015 election will really be a contest between democracy and dictatorship.

UNP Communications Director and Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera issued a strong critique of the ruling Rajapaksa administration during a press briefing yesterday, saying the Government was abusing power to thwart the electoral process.

“Orders have gone out from the Law and Order Ministry Secretary that massive cut outs of President Rajapaksa, due to be unveiled shortly and produced at the cost of millions of rupees, are to be given 24-hour security,” Samaraweera charged at Sirikotha yesterday.

The MP said the main opposition party had made a sacrificial decision to back a common candidate to create what he called a “constitutional revolution” 100 days after the new President takes office.

Continue reading ‘“Constitutional Revolution” will Take Place 100 days After the new President takes Office says Mangala Samaraweera.’ »

Jathika Hela Urumaya Vows to Defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa at January Presidential Election

By
Dharisha Bastians

The Jathika Hela Urumaya, a key constituent of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance has vowed to defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the January presidential election, but remains undecided on whether it will support the common opposition candidate.

The party maintained it would reach a decision after discussing its proposals for constitutional reform and good governance with the Opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena.

After quitting their positions in the Government only early last week, JHU leaders who convened at New Town Hall in Colombo yesterday, made speeches that were dripping with contempt for President Rajapaksa’s administration.

Continue reading ‘Jathika Hela Urumaya Vows to Defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa at January Presidential Election’ »

Mahinda says Convicted Indian Narcotics Smugglers were Guilty but he Released them Because Friendship with India was more Important.

By

Suhasini Haidar

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Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday said he would credit Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “foreign policy” for Mr. Rajapaksa’s decision to release five convicted Tamil Nadu fishermen.

Speaking to The Hindu in an exclusive interaction after he met PM Modi in Kathmandu, President Rajapaksa said, “Since he has come to power PM Modi has opened out to the relationship with Sri Lanka. It is his foreign policy and his outreach that led to my decision.”

When asked if he had decided to free the fishermen, rather than transferring them as sentenced prisoners to India, because he believed the fishermen were innocent, as the Indian government has maintained, Mr. Rajapaksa told The Hindu, “Absolutely not. I was absolutely sure that they were guilty, as our courts had convicted them. But I felt that our friendship with India was more important.”
Continue reading ‘Mahinda says Convicted Indian Narcotics Smugglers were Guilty but he Released them Because Friendship with India was more Important.’ »

Tamil Nadu State BJP Trying to Politicise Release of Five Convicted Narcotics Smugglers by Sri Lanka may be Counterproductive.

by

N Sathiya Moorthy.

By orchestrating a Delhi visit by the five Tamil Nadu fishermen pardoned from death sentence in neighbouring Sri Lanka before they returned home, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre might have bitten more than it could chew in ‘Dravidian’ Tamil Nadu.

Having claimed all the credit for the release of the five fishermen for and on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — if it was the latter’s intention and done with his knowledge — state BJP leaders, including Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan and state party president Tamizhisai Soundararajan, are already at a loss for words when the Dravidian polity is targeting neighbouring Karnataka for planning two check-dams on the Cauvery at Mekedatu, purportedly to meet drinking water needs.

The state BJP leaders’ silence on the two river water disputes is as deafening as their voices were loud on the fishermen issue.

Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu State BJP Trying to Politicise Release of Five Convicted Narcotics Smugglers by Sri Lanka may be Counterproductive.’ »

“Canadians of Tamil Heritage Commemorate Remembrance day and Tamil Heroes Day in November”-Rathika Sitsabaiesan M.P.

(Statement by Ms. Rathika Sitsabaiesan MP for Scarborough—Rouge River, NDP in the Canadian Parliament on Nov 25th 2014)

pic via: facebook.com/rathikaspage

pic via-facebook/rathikaspage

Mr. Speaker, as Canadians of Tamil heritage, in November, we commemorate two important events: Remembrance Day and Tamil Heroes Day.
Continue reading ‘“Canadians of Tamil Heritage Commemorate Remembrance day and Tamil Heroes Day in November”-Rathika Sitsabaiesan M.P.’ »

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

BY

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Common Opposition Led by UNP and SLFP Stalwarts Seeks Restoration of Democratic Space and Systemic Change.

(Text of Statement Issued by the United National Party on November 27th 2014)

It was long foretold, not in the stars but in the minds of all righteous and just citizens of this country that the 2015 presidential election would be a historic and decisive contest.

pic via: facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

pic via: facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

Presidential contests have traditionally been battles between the two main parties, each of which fields its own candidate in the race. After nine years of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rule, it was incumbent that the battle lines were redefined in order to effectively challenge the current morass of political leadership in Sri Lanka. The election before us therefore is not merely about choosing the next president. There is a much greater choice that faces the voter in January 2015.

This presidential race is a battle between democracy and autocracy. Between corruption and good governance. Between the rule of law and impunity. It will decide whether Sri Lankans will enjoy peace with dignity and equality or peace of the conquered and oppressed.

Continue reading ‘Common Opposition Led by UNP and SLFP Stalwarts Seeks Restoration of Democratic Space and Systemic Change.’ »

Sajin Vas Gunawardena was the most Bizarre Character who Influenced President Rajapaksa After the 2010 Polls.

By

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

Undoubtedly the most bizarre of the characters who influenced the President in the period after the election of 2010 was Sajin Vas Gunawardena. He was not a relation, and he did not have the professional or academic credentials of the other characters discussed here. Indeed he had hardly any qualifications but, ever since Mahinda Rajapaksa became President, he occupied positions of trust and responsibility.

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It was claimed that the reason for the confidence the President reposed in him was because, while a clerk in the Middle East, he had helped the President with the technology during a presentation that might otherwise have been a disaster. But it is also likely that, after they thus became acquainted, he was able to serve the President in a variety of ways that commanded his affection and his confidence.

The first escapade in which he was involved under a Rajapaksa Presidency was the setting up of a budget airline. Called Mihin Air, in honour of Mahinda, it rapidly lost a lot of money, though Sajin himself became very wealthy during his tenure in office. Before long Mihin Lanka was handed over to Sri Lankan Airlines to be managed, and the losses of both together – the Board of the latter chaired by the President’s brother-in-law Nishantha Wickremesinghe – continued a drain on public funds for many years.
I first came across Sajin when I was appointed to head the Peace Secretariat, and was told that he was the point of liaison between the Secretariat and the President’s Office. In fact he had no interest in or understanding of our work, and I liaised mainly through the President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunge, though in those days I generally had immediate access to the President if this was needed.

Continue reading ‘Sajin Vas Gunawardena was the most Bizarre Character who Influenced President Rajapaksa After the 2010 Polls.’ »

Was Sirisena made Common Candidate According to a Game Plan Devised by the USA After Maithripala Went to Harvard in 2013?

by

Upul Joseph Fernando

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Maithri changed after he went to Harvard, says Mahinda, to everyone these days. So Mahinda is trying to indicate that the United States is behind Maithri’s pole vault. In June 2013, the Harvard School of Public Health recognized Maithtri as ‘2013 Harvard Health Leader’ and gave him an award. But now only Mahinda says that Maithri changed after that visit.

However, somewhere in 2011, Maithri met a diplomat in charge of political affairs when Patricia Butenis was the US Ambassador in Colombo. What that diplomat told Maithri about Sri Lanka was conveyed to Mahinda by Maithri and Mahinda viewed that as an interference in internal affairs. That was reported in The Island in the following manner; “The UPFA alleges the US Embassy is increasingly interfering in domestic political issues, thereby undermining the government.
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Continue reading ‘Was Sirisena made Common Candidate According to a Game Plan Devised by the USA After Maithripala Went to Harvard in 2013?’ »

Who will Really Rule Sri Lanka if Mahinda Loses and Maithripala Wins the election?

BY

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

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Like the majority of my fellow citizens I am an undecided voter. My father Mervyn de Silva used to characterize me slightly critically, as “a Romantic”, and the romantic in me would like to vote for change. But right now, I cannot make that decision because the Realist in me raises a fundamental question: “who rules?” Or rather, who would rule, if Mr. Sirisena wins? Sadly, the answer to that question is not “Mr. Sirisena, would, of course”.

That is because Mr. Sirisena has told us categorically that he would abolish the executive presidency within one hundred days. He has also told us that he would appoint Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister, when he could have said instead that the Prime Ministership would be given to the UNP (the party, not the person). In addition, as Maithripala’s media conference and more tellingly his homage at the Bandaranaike Samadhi tells us, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga would be a key player in the bloc that succeeds Mahinda Rajapaksa.

So the question—and it is the most basic question of politics– remains: who will rule? We know who will not rule, namely Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Is that good enough? Is that enough to make a decision to vote for Maithripala? Not for me, and I daresay, not for the majority of our citizens. That may have been enough if the President were quite as unpopular as President Jayewardene in his last few years in office. But that is not the case with Mahinda. Furthermore, even in the case of JRJ, the voter was fastidious about whom we would replace him with—Sirima Bandaranaike or Ranasinghe Premadasa? In short, would we go back to the bad old days of ’70-’77, or forward to a socially fairer future?

Continue reading ‘Who will Really Rule Sri Lanka if Mahinda Loses and Maithripala Wins the election?’ »

Actress Kushboo Sundar Joins Congress Party and will Clear Misundertanding About Party’s Role in the Sri Lankan Tamil Issue

By

Sruthisagar Yamunan

Actor Kushboo Sundar, who made a surprise entry into the Congress on Wednesday, said her priority would be to clear the misunderstanding about the party’s role in the Sri Lankan Tamils’ issue.

Kushboo Sundar

Kushboo Sundar

Speaking to The Hindu on the phone from New Delhi after she joined the grand old party in the presence of party president Sonia Gandhi, Ms. Kushboo said choosing the Congress was not a sudden decision. “The talks have been on for a long time. It was a baseless rumour that I wanted to join the BJP. I think the Congress, with its focus on inclusiveness, is the right party to lead the country,” she said.

Continue reading ‘Actress Kushboo Sundar Joins Congress Party and will Clear Misundertanding About Party’s Role in the Sri Lankan Tamil Issue’ »

LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s 60th Birthday Observed in Tamil Nadu by Pro-Tiger Activists like Vaiko, Seemaan, Nedumaran and Kolathur Mani

MDMK chief Vaiko, an ally of the ruling NDA at the Centre, and pro-Tamil outfits on Wednesday celebrated the 60th birth anniversary of slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran.While Vaiko celebrated the birth anniversary of Prabakaran at a village in Tirupur District, Nam Tamilar Katchi chief and film director Seeman cut a cake in the city.

Vaiko cut a cake in Erode at 7.30 p.m.,coinciding with the time of birth of Prabakaran, partymen said.Vocal pro—Tamil leader Pazha Nedumaran observed the anniversary of Prabakaran, whose outfit is banned in the country, by planting a sapling at Thanjavur.Other pro-Tamil leaders like Kolathur Mani have issued greetings and messages on the occasion.

Continue reading ‘LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s 60th Birthday Observed in Tamil Nadu by Pro-Tiger Activists like Vaiko, Seemaan, Nedumaran and Kolathur Mani’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Receives Rousing Welcome at UNP Headquarters and Opens Election Operation Office in “Sirikotha”.


by

Dasun Edirisinghe

Opposition Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena received a rousing welcome when he arrived at the UNP headquarters, Sirikotha, yesterday.

Sirisena, flanked by UNP national leader Ranil Wickremeisnghe, Chairman of the Leadership Council Karu Jayasuriya, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake and several other MPs, addressed a gathering there for the first time.

Sirisena also opened an election operation office at Sirikotha to handle the Opposition’s presidential election campaign.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Receives Rousing Welcome at UNP Headquarters and Opens Election Operation Office in “Sirikotha”.’ »

Warning Maithripala Sirisena not to take the UNP Lightly,Tissa Attanayake says he is Ready to Resign as General-Secretary.

By

Ifham Nizam

At yesterday’s ceremony in UNP headquarters, Sirikotha to welcome Opposition Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena took an unexpected turn with UNP General Tissa Attanayake striking a discordant note. He said if one thought the party could make any headway without its colour or symbol or candidate at an election, one was sadly mistaken.

A visibly resentful Attanayake said the real UNPers had been shortchanged at all levels of the party and he, too, had not been spared.

He was ready to give up the post of General Secretary any time he declared, stressing that the interests of UNPers had to take precedence over everyone else’s. He told Sirisena that the UNP should not be taken lightly.

Attanayake is one of the UNP seniors who wanted to field a UNP presidential candidate.

Continue reading ‘Warning Maithripala Sirisena not to take the UNP Lightly,Tissa Attanayake says he is Ready to Resign as General-Secretary.’ »

UPFA Wanni District MP from Rishad Badhiutheen’s All Ceylon Peoples Congress Hunais Farook Crosses Over to the UNP

All Ceylon Peoples Congress Parliamentarian from the Wanni District Hunais Farook who was elected on the UPFA symbol Betel in the 2010 hustings has crossed over from the Government and joined the United National Party.

Hunais Farook regarded as the right hand man of ACPC leader and cabinet minister Rishard Badhiyutheen participated in a UNP meeting at Sirikotha that was also attended by common candidate of the opposition Maithripala Sirisena and UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Continue reading ‘UPFA Wanni District MP from Rishad Badhiutheen’s All Ceylon Peoples Congress Hunais Farook Crosses Over to the UNP’ »

Rajiva Wijesinha Tells Global Tamil Forum not to Interfere in Presidential Poll as it would be Advantageous to Rajapaksa Regime.

by

Shamindra Ferdinando

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The Sri Lankan military had fought a relatively a clean war against the LTTE, when compared with others engaged in such operations, UPFA National List MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha told a special live Al-Jazeera programme ‘inside story: clinging to power in Sri Lanka’ anchored by Jane Dutton late last week.

Liberal Party Leader Prof. Wijesinha was responding to allegations made by Global Tamil Forum (GTF) spokesman Suren Surendiran that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the final phase of the offensive on the Vanni east front in early 2009.

The one-time head of the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat asserted that President Rajapaksa earned the appreciation of the vast majority of the people for eradicating LTTE terrorism.

However, Prof. Wijesinha faulted President Rajapaksa for not consulting others when launching post-war projects in war-torn areas. Prof. Wijesinha went onto assert that there had been a lot of development since the conclusion of the conflict.

The military brought the Vanni offensive to a successful conclusion in May 2009. The Diaspora set up the GTF soon after the conclusion of the war.

Continue reading ‘Rajiva Wijesinha Tells Global Tamil Forum not to Interfere in Presidential Poll as it would be Advantageous to Rajapaksa Regime.’ »

President Rajapaksa Addressing 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu says Terrorism Remains a Fundamental Security Challenge


President Mahinda Rajapaksa says defeating LTTE militarily five years ago has paved way for a new security environment in the SAARC region.

pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

Addressing the 18th SAARC summit in Kathmandu yesterday (November 26), the President said terrorism still remained a fundamental security challenge both regionally and internationally and Sri Lanka could not remain complacent in maintaining safeguards against its possible resurgence.”

“We owe it to ourselves and our peoples to ensure that the radical views of a few and misplaced agendas of some others do not undermine the security and well-being of the large majority of peace loving people, firstly, in the member states and then, in the region as a whole.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Addressing 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu says Terrorism Remains a Fundamental Security Challenge’ »

Prof. Chelva Kanaganayagam: Demise of an Exemplary Mentor, Teacher and Guide.

by

Anupama Mohan

Professor Chelva Kanaganayakam, 1952-2014

Professor Chelva Kanaganayakam, 1952-2014

I have known Professor Chelva Kanaganaykam since August 2004 when I joined the PhD programme in English at the University of Toronto and he became my Departmental mentor. In the five years that followed, Chelva, as he urged all his students to call him, was exemplary as a mentor, teacher, and guide, and he shaped the trajectory of my dissertation as well as the directions in which my interests within Postcolonial Studies grew.

I realized very early in my association with Chelva that he has been for many students like me a role model: not only has he been a successful academic (his long list of publications at very reputed presses makes this manifest), but he has also been an influential public intellectual representing the very best in cross-cultural exchange. At U of Toronto, Chelva taught courses in Sri Lankan literatures and South Asian Studies (I have myself taken and audited many) that provided multiple perspectives on the histories and cultural traditions of a region that has far too often made headlines in the Western world over reports of conflict and violence.

In the course of completing my dissertation, Chelva also encouraged me to make a research trip to Sri Lanka (whose literatures formed a substantial part of my dissertation), wrote letters of support for me that helped me garner the requisite funding for such a trip, and over the years, he shaped my thought and perspectives as I wrote my dissertation.

Continue reading ‘Prof. Chelva Kanaganayagam: Demise of an Exemplary Mentor, Teacher and Guide.’ »

“Opposition also has “Files”on the Activities of the Rajapaksas”-Chandrika Hits Back!


By

Dharisha Bastians

Presidential challenger Maithripala Sirisena hit back against the Government yesterday, saying his removal as General Secretary of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) was unlawful.

“I am still the legal General Secretary of the SLFP,” Sirisena said, as he addressed media personnel following a visit to the Bandaranaike Memorial in Horagolla.

Due process had not been followed in the stripping of his SLFP membership and his position in the party, the Opposition candidate explained.

Continue reading ‘“Opposition also has “Files”on the Activities of the Rajapaksas”-Chandrika Hits Back!’ »

Rajapaksa Family Accounts for 56% of Govt Expenditure- Eran Wickremaratne

UNP National List lawmaker Eran Wickremaratne slammed the Government’s 2015 Budget, saying it was not worth the paper it was written on, after the UPFA moved drastic amendments to the numbers within 10 days of its presentation.

Addressing Parliament during the Third Reading of the UPFA’s 2015 Budget which passed with a 95-member majority on Monday evening, Wickremaratne charged that the ruling Rajapaksa family account for 56% of total Government expenditure.

Wickremaratne said the Budget had been presented on 24 October and the Government had moved amendments on 5 November, increasing expenditure by 356 billion rupees.

Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Family Accounts for 56% of Govt Expenditure- Eran Wickremaratne’ »

Maithripala Sirisena’s Somersault in the air without a Trapeze Partner at the other end and a safety net beneath.


BY
DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

“The correctness or incorrectness of the political line decides everything”- Mao (1971)

As a former student of Mao Ze Dong thought, the genial Maithripala Sirisena may recall Mao’s point that “the correctness or incorrectness of the political line decides everything”. He must also hope that Mao was wrong, because the Sirisena campaign has so far, not got its political line correct, to put it mildly. This may sound like the quibble of a political scientist from the Marxian traition, but it isn’t. The incorrectness of Mr. Sirisena’s political line or rather, the political line drawn up for Mr. Sirisena which he has adopted, can provide a dangerous opening for the Establishment –‘The Brotherhood’—to launch a counterreformation which can choke off the valuable political space which has opened up with Maithripala’s courageous rebellion, and roll-back its potential.

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The most strategically serious of the errors of the Opposition candidate’s political line is the promise of the fast track abolition of the executive presidency. There are two ways to reform or abolish a constitution. One is the constitutional way and the other is extra-constitutional. Maithripala’s hundred day project is outside the framework of the Constitutional process for constitutional change. It is extra-constitutional; indeed unconstitutional. The constitutional path for the abolition of the executive presidency requires a two thirds majority in the legislature, the consent of the Supreme Court and a Referendum.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena’s Somersault in the air without a Trapeze Partner at the other end and a safety net beneath.’ »

There is no Escape for Anyone who Continues to be Part and Parcel of this Administration

By

Vishwamithra 1984

“Fantastic tyrant of the amorous heart. How hard thy yoke, how cruel thy dart. Those escape your anger who refuse your sway, and those are punished most, who most obey.”
~Matthew Prior

MR BROS

There is no escape. Not for anyone who continues to be part and parcel of this administration. The story begins way back in 2009. No. I’m not talking about the war. Over the last thirty years, of course, many hands have been stained with blood; blood of our countrymen and women. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam and their bedfellows of the Tamil ilk on the one hand and Sri Lankan security forces, the Police, Rohana Wijeweera-led Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna in the nineteen eighties were all embroiled in an orgy of violence and killing and a massacre of the members of the Maha Sangha is not being spoken about even as a footnote to this macabre carnages.

The people got so immune to the flood of violence and became accustomed to random assassinations as just another ‘killing incident’.The list is endless. From Lasantha Wickrematunga’s daytime assassination to the assault on Poddala Jayantha and Upali Tennekoon from amongst media men and women, the killing of Roshana Chanaka and wounding of more than 500 workers in the Free Trade Zone at Katunayake and the Rathupaswela incident where three persons died due to being shot at by the Army while 33 others sustained injuries, also due to shooting by the Army all carry stains of blood of innocent men and women of Sri Lanka. Lasantha Wickrematunga of the Sunday Leader and freelancer Prageeth Ekneligoda stand out as two vanished monuments to the freedom of expression. Whose hands have been dirtied with their blood?

The list of those who were subjected to torture and mayhem at the hands of the Government’s ‘security forces’ is too long to catalogue in one column. Whether these so-called ‘security forces’ came from official or private sources, nobody seems to know for sure. While the cries and screams of those who perished have gone unheard and unheeded, most of those who suffered physical injuries and warnings have fled the country in search of safer shelters. The self-censorship that has been imposed upon themselves by our journalists for the last few years is claiming its victims, candid and honest reporting being one of many.

Continue reading ‘There is no Escape for Anyone who Continues to be Part and Parcel of this Administration’ »

President Rajapaksa will Himself End the Executive Presidency Before 2020 says Minister Dullas Alahapperuma.

By

Nadira Gunatilleke

President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the opening ceremony if an Exhibition in Ampara, Mar 23, 2013

President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the opening ceremony if an Exhibition in Ampara, Mar 23, 2013

When all international challenges, the LTTE threat and the threat of separatism ends, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will himself declare that he is the last Executive President of Sri Lanka, SLFP Treasurer and Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma told the Daily News yesterday.

Minister Alahapperuma said the day President Rajapaksa announces an end to the Executive Presidency will come definitely before 2020 (2015-2020). Till then “Sri Lanka will go forward and thrive with the Executive Presidency and defeat all existing challenges in the next few years,” he said. The minister said there is a major difference between unity and “organising things as a gang.”

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa will Himself End the Executive Presidency Before 2020 says Minister Dullas Alahapperuma.’ »

UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa Says Dream of the Party Even Today is to Elect a UNP’er as President”

by

Shamindra Ferdinando

UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, MP, has said that he still dreamt of a president from the UNP.

pic courtesy of: facebook.com/sajithpremadasa

pic courtesy of: facebook.com/sajithpremadasa

Reminiscing of his father, Ranasinghe Premadasa’s commitment to securing a commanding five-sixth majority in Parliament for the then JRJ’s government, MP Premadasa said that the party always dreamt of electing a UNPer as the president. “Even today our dream is the same,” Premadasa said, adding that it was his personal opinion.

The Deputy Leader was addressing Kurunegala District UNP Bala Mandalaya on Sunday (Nov 23).

Commenting on UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe giving up his candidature at the presidential election scheduled for January 8, 2015 to accommodate SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena as the common candidate, MP Premadasa stressed that decision had been unanimously endorsed by the Working Committee.

Continue reading ‘UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa Says Dream of the Party Even Today is to Elect a UNP’er as President”’ »

Electing Sirisena as President will Serve no Purpose Except Bringing Ranil back to Power Through the Back door.

by

Dr Upul Wijayawardhana

pic: facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

pic: facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

Maithripala Sirisena, the ex-minister of Health, announcing that he is the ‘long-awaited’ common opposition Presidential candidate is the “Et tu, Brute” moment of our time, some may argue, perhaps with good justification. Others may say he tried to portray himself as righteous (Dharmishta), justifying his actions by quoting from The Dhammapada. He started with AppamadoAmathapadam – pamadomaccunopadam, Appamattanamiyanti – ye pamattayathamata, which, according to the translation by Venerable Narada reads: ‘Heedfulness is the path to the deathless, heedlessness is the path to death. The heedful do not die; the heedless are like unto the dead.’ Though not entirely appropriate, may be, he used this to highlight the urgency for abolition of the Presidency, which he is prepared to do, if elected President!

He catalogued many instances where President Rajapaksa prevented him from doing the right thing and gave the impression that he lumbered along. It would have been credible had he the guts to resign on any one of these issues, giving up all the frills and perks of office, rather than enjoying them till the last moment; when his conscience had a reawakening with the kind offer made by Ranil and Chandrika!

Continue reading ‘Electing Sirisena as President will Serve no Purpose Except Bringing Ranil back to Power Through the Back door.’ »

It is difficult to believe that Mr Sirisena made his move for the sake of the country as he claims

by Rohana R. Wasala

pic courtesy of: facebook.com/BBCSinhala

pic courtesy of: facebook.com/BBCSinhala

“It is a royal thing to be ill spoken of for good deeds.”
– Greek philosopher Antisthenes (445-365 BCE) commenting on the kingly prerogative, quoted with approval by Roman Emperor, Stoic philosopher and soldier Marcus Aurelius (121-180 CE) in his philosophical work ‘Meditations’

Until Maithripala Sirisena and his followers from the SLFP joined them recently, the opponents of Mahinda Rajapaksa seemed to hold it more important for the remainder of the comprehensive development programmes launched under his stewardship to be open to the danger of being scuttled, for the country to be ruled by someone willing to pander to Western whims which usually run counter to our national interest, for the zombie of dead separatist terrorism to continue to stalk the streets of the north indefinitely poisoning the minds of innocent Tamil youth, for the political and military leaders who rid the country of terrorism and ushered in steady economic growth to be hauled before an international war crimes tribunal for offences not committed, for the country to be plunged into political instability and for every other imaginable destabilizing mischance to befall the nation than that their bête noire should be elected to a third term by the popular vote.

But they don’t clearly spell out cogent enough reasons that justify their call for the ouster of a president who performs satisfactorily well under difficult conditions or for the abolition of the executive presidency which has proved useful in governance, and harmless when not abused. I don’t deny that there may be problems concerning both the office and the office-bearer. But why this helter-skelter hurry, by a motley group of politicians enjoying little public support for all their vehemence, to do away with the presidency and to send the president home, when more pressing problems vitally important for the very survival of the state remain to be tackled?

Continue reading ‘It is difficult to believe that Mr Sirisena made his move for the sake of the country as he claims’ »

Two Buddhist Monk Organizations Affiliated to UNP Endorse Maithripala Herath as Common Opposition Candidate.

by

Shamindra Ferdinando

Two organisations of Buddhist monks, affiliated to the UNP, yesterday pledged their support for Maithripala Sirisena as the common presidential candidate, though both seemed confused about his post-presidential election role.

The Eksath Bhikku Peramuna and the Eksath Jathika Bhikku Peramuna vowed to bring an end to what they called the authoritarian Rajapaksa regime by installing Sirisena as president. Responding to a query, Ven. Thalpotha Dhammajothi Thera said that contrary to media reports, Sirisena, would continue as President with the executive presidency stripped of the current draconian features.

However, Ven. Bopitiye Dhammissara Thera said that Maithripala Sirisena would remain only a titular president.

The monks briefed the media after meeting MP Maithripala Sirisena yesterday in Colombo.

Continue reading ‘Two Buddhist Monk Organizations Affiliated to UNP Endorse Maithripala Herath as Common Opposition Candidate.’ »

President Rajapaksa Must Use the 2/3 Majority he now has in Parliament and Introduce a New Constitution

By

Somapala Gunadheera

Today’s burning issue is the struggle to find a common candidate to contest at the oncoming presidential election. That choice will affect only the next election. But the highest national priority is undoubtedly to save the country from the shackles of autocracy imposed on it by Constitutional amendments made by successive self-seeking rulers. If the inroads made into the people’s freedoms are allowed to continue unabated and widen themselves further, this land is bound to end up in a banana republic, sooner than later.

The tide of despoliation can be set back only through an apposite amendment of the Constitution. Such an amendment necessarily calls for a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Just now there is such a majority, regardless of the subterfuges under which it was engineered. In the background of the ongoing political turmoil, the chances are that the lineup in Parliament would change breaking up its composition. In that process, the two-thirds majority would be lost forever or for a long, long time. In that scenario it would be prudent for all Parties in Parliament to come together to promulgate a new Constitution.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Must Use the 2/3 Majority he now has in Parliament and Introduce a New Constitution’ »

“JHU Wants to Strip Some Powers of Executive Presidency and not Abolish it”–Athuraliye Rathana Thera


By

Shihara Maduwage

JHU032013

Last week, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) stalwart and its General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to cross over to the opposition and his nomination as the common opposition candidate shocked the country. In an interview with Daily Mirror Jaathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) General Secretary and the leading figure of the Pivithuru Hetak (Clean Tomorrow) National Council Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera revealed that he had played an instrumental role in this political twist.

Q: As a party has the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) reached a decision on whether to support Mr. Maithripala Sirisena as the common candidate?

I don’t think there will be any issues with regard to the JHU’s support. But the JHU has to reach an agreement on common principles with Mr. Sirisena. Even on Sunday, the party’s Central Committee held discussions. Without reaching an agreement on these principles, JHU won’t extend their support. In other words, the party’s support would be conditional.

Continue reading ‘“JHU Wants to Strip Some Powers of Executive Presidency and not Abolish it”–Athuraliye Rathana Thera’ »

Sajin Vaas Gunawardena Turned the President Against Chris Nonis by Using the “Portugese -Catholic” Card

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

By

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

One of the reasons I still continued to have hopes about Mahinda Rajapaksa was that his instincts have always been sound. This was exemplified when I called him to complain about what the Bodhu Bala Sena had been up to in Aluthgama. Instead of attempting to defend them, as I had feared, he promptly declared that they were involved in a conspiracy to bring his government into disrepute. He claimed that they were funded by the Americans and the Norwegians, and that they were determined to alienate him from the Muslims.

The story seemed to me implausible, even though I knew there was some basis for his allegations. What had been the precursor of the BBS had received funds from the Norwegians, and though I believe the Norwegian government as represented by its regular diplomats in Colombo acts in good faith, I have no similar confidence in Mr Solheim and his acolytes. One of them, who once boasted to me of his acquaintance with Mr Solheim, was Arne Fjiatoff, who had been the godfather of, if not the BBS, its principal lay spokesman Dilantha Withanage.

I have little doubt, given that he has also recently been fishing in troubled waters in Burma, that he had a shrewd inkling of what they were up to.

With regard to the Americans, we have long known that they will recruit anyone to bring down what they are most worried about at any point, with no concern for possible consequences.
Continue reading ‘Sajin Vaas Gunawardena Turned the President Against Chris Nonis by Using the “Portugese -Catholic” Card’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Obtains Blessings of the Asgiriya and Malwatte Mahanayakes


By

Dharisha Bastians

President Mahinda Rajapaksa changed after the war ended and peace was achieved, his main opposition challenger, Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday.

“The executive presidency ruins people and misdirects them. It is a problem with the system, irrespective of individuals,” Sirisena told journalists in Kandy yesterday.

He said the SLFP had been agitating against the executive presidency since 1978.

“As far as I know, the Sri Lankan executive presidency has no parallel in the world for the enormous amount of power it affords the holder of office,” Sirisena explained.

The Opposition candidate explained that there had been discussions about the problems with the executive presidential system within the Government while he served. “All the ministers and MPs talked about it, whatever they might say in defence of the system today,” he revealed.

Sirisena said if elected, he would towards restoring democracy and rule of law in the country.
Since announcing his candidacy and deciding to leave the Government, Sirisena said he felt relieved.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Obtains Blessings of the Asgiriya and Malwatte Mahanayakes’ »

2015 Budget Passed with 152 Votes for and 57 Against Without Crossovers from Govt or Opposition

By

Ashwin Hemmathagama

President and Finance Minister Mahinda Raja-paksa’s 2015 Budget was comfortably passed in Parliament yesterday, with no crossover dramas to mar the process to allocate monies to meet recurrent, capital and other State expenses next year.

At 5:30 p.m. yesterday, the vote on the Third Reading of the Budget was taken by name and was passed with a majority of 95 votes.

The Government, which was beleaguered by defections late last week, received total 152 votes in favour.
There were 57 votes against from the UNP, TNA and NDP and 15 MPs were absent. In a noteworthy development, the seven MPs from the UPFA who defected to the Opposition were not in Parliament during the Third Reading of the Budget yesterday.President Rajapaksa’s former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who declared himself the common Opposition challenger in the 2015 presidential race last Friday, was not present in the House since he was travelling in Kandy and Anuradhapura..

Much-anticipated crossover dramas did not ensue, with both Government and Opposition members rumoured to be planning to pole-vault telling the House that the speculation was false.

Budget 2015 happens to be the 69th Budget of independent Sri Lanka and the 10th Budget of the United People’s Freedom Alliance Government. The Budget process for 2015 was initiated on 24 October, with the presentation of Appropriation Bill 2015 to Parliament. This was followed by the Budget Speech delivered by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 24 October.

The Budget has since moved into committee and debate stage, in order to meet the Legislative requirements to ensure the Government allocations are passed constitutionally in the House. The Committee Stage Debate commenced on 3 November to debate and discuss the respective estimates of heads of expenditure listed under each Ministry.

The Ministry of Finance and Planning, which happens to be the last of the ministries in this list, had a full-day debate prior to the vote-taking last evening in Parliament with the participation of all members.

Opening the debate, Opposition lawmaker Dr. Harsha de Silva charged that the Government was increasing debt and burdening the public.

Continue reading ‘2015 Budget Passed with 152 Votes for and 57 Against Without Crossovers from Govt or Opposition’ »

Supreme Court’s opinion on the President’s Reference uses Unjudicial Language to Castigate Contrary Views

by

Reeza Hameed

At last, the Supreme Court’s opinion on the President’s reference has seen the light of day, albeit unofficially, and it makes for miserable reading.

The feature that stands out in the opinion is not only the unctuous tone which the Court has adopted in responding to the President’s request for an opinion, but also the sanctimonious view it has taken of the importance of its own opinion given in an advisory capacity, and the un-judicial language with which it has chosen to castigate those who have taken a view contrary to its own. The engagement of the Court in this manner on a controversial issue at the request of a person who sought its opinion on his capacity to stand for re-election at a poll that he was about to announce is bound to affect its own dignity and standing in the eyes of the public both at home and abroad.

The defining characteristic of the Court’s jurisdiction under Art 129 is that the question that is referred to it by the President must be one of public importance. The recent reference related to the qualification of the incumbent President in his individual capacity and nobody else. He did not even pose the question as to the qualification of any other person who has been previously elected for two terms. Naturally, the public had an interest in knowing the Court’s opinion on the questions but that does not make it a question of public importance.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court’s opinion on the President’s Reference uses Unjudicial Language to Castigate Contrary Views’ »

Speaker Commends Resourcefulness of the Opposition in “Stealing” a Supreme Court Opinion while Azwer makes an ass of himself.

By

Saman Indrajith

If the Opposition could steal a copy of the full report of the Supreme Court opinion on the incumbent President contesting a third term that indicates its resourcefulness and talent, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said in Parliament yesterday.

Speaker Rajapaksa said so after Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga claimed to have in his possession the full report of the Supreme Court opinion on the incumbent President contesting a third term and requested the Speaker to include it in the Hansard once it was tabled for public to know what was in it.

Continue reading ‘Speaker Commends Resourcefulness of the Opposition in “Stealing” a Supreme Court Opinion while Azwer makes an ass of himself.’ »

“Ensure Maithripala Sirisena’s Victory to Enable UNP Govt being Formed Before Sinhala New Year”-Ranil Wickremesinghe

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

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

UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has urged UNPers to ensure Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s victory at the forthcoming presidential election so as to form a UNP government before Sinhala New Year next year.

Wickremesinghe called for the abolition of the executive presidency to save the country from what he called the dictatorial Rajapaksa regime. The UNP leader was addressing Galigamuwa UNP Balamandalaya yesterday in support of Sirisena.

Maithripala Sirisena has assured the UNP that Wickremesinghe will be made the executive Premier no sooner he assumed the presidency.

Continue reading ‘“Ensure Maithripala Sirisena’s Victory to Enable UNP Govt being Formed Before Sinhala New Year”-Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

“We will Convert Parliament into a Constituent Assembly and Abolish Executive Presidency without 2/3 Majority” –Rajitha Senaratne


By

Lakna Paranamanna

RS_11_24

Former Fisheries Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has always cut a rebellious figure in the local political arena and this image was further boosted when he left the government on Friday to join the common opposition movement that has fielded SLFP stalwart Maithripala Sirisena as the much anticipated common candidate to contest against President Rajapaksa at the upcoming presidential polls. From believing President Rajapaksa was fit to win the Nobel Prize, what prompted Dr. Senaratne to abandon the government and pledge his support to a candidate competing against President Rajapaksa at the upcoming elections?

In a candid interview with “Daily Mirror”, Dr. Senaratne spoke of his controversial decision and the changes he envisions for the future of Sri Lanka under a new leadership.

Q What prompted you to make this controversial move?

Continue reading ‘“We will Convert Parliament into a Constituent Assembly and Abolish Executive Presidency without 2/3 Majority” –Rajitha Senaratne’ »

President Rajapaksa Secures the Support of all UPFA Elected Representatives in Polonnaruwa District

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

Following Polonnaruwa District MP and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential election, the latter yesterday addressed all elected UPFA representatives in the Polonnaruwa District.

President Rajapaksa received an assurance from UPFA representatives they would stand by the SLFP leader.

UPFA parliamentarians and Pradeshiya Sabha members representing the Polonnaruwa District as well as Polonnaruwa District members of the UPFA-run North Central Provincial Council were quoted as having told the President there was no one else who could match his leadership.

They called upon the country to rally around President.

The meeting was held at the Central Bank holiday bungalow near the Somawathie Temple.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Secures the Support of all UPFA Elected Representatives in Polonnaruwa District’ »

Revolt by Maithripala Against Despotic Regime Proving the Resilience of sri Lankan Democracy

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

pic: UKInSriLanka

pic: UKInSriLanka

It was indeed a pleasant surprise! Last week’s political developments tell us that democracy in Sri Lanka is regenerating its own, even after much of its attributes were dismantled by the current regime.

That unique ability is a special property of democracy, but it is a pleasant surprise to find it in our system, after it came under a sustained attack by a familial autocracy. But, make no mistakes, this is Asia’s oldest democracy, no matter it had ups and down in its chequered independent history.

The unassuming Sri Lanka Freedom Party General Secretary and a bunch of ruling party defectors have now proved that even in its weakest moment, Sri Lankan politics can withstand a sustained beating and re-emerge pretty much intact. They may also be trying to prove that not all politicians are spineless sycophants. That also is reassuring.

Continue reading ‘Revolt by Maithripala Against Despotic Regime Proving the Resilience of sri Lankan Democracy’ »

Catholic Church Denounces Attempts by Govt and Opposition to Exploit Visit by Pope Francis for Presidential Election Campaign.

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

pic via: facebook.com/news.va.en

pic via: facebook.com/news.va.en

The Catholic Church has again strongly opposed attempts by the SLFP-led ruling coalition and the Opposition alliance to use the forthcoming papal visit to the advantage of their respective presidential election campaigns.

The Church has intervened in the wake of several Catholic politicians launching poster and billboard campaigns.

Director, Media Information Centre for the Papal visit, Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando said that political posters and cut-outs with the images of the Holy Father had been displayed in some parts of the country. Rev. Fr. Fernando requested respective political parties to remove them immediately, while urging them not to exploit the papal visit to their political advantage.

Continue reading ‘Catholic Church Denounces Attempts by Govt and Opposition to Exploit Visit by Pope Francis for Presidential Election Campaign.’ »

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

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

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

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

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

Sri Lanka today is a land of perplexing paradoxes and ironic contradictions. A former Army commander is forcibly dragged to captivity and court-martialled on flimsy charges by military personnel and officers who served under him.

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

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

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

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

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


By

Upul Joseph Fernando

MS_1123

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


By

Dharisha Bastians

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

MR_FILES

via: twitter.com/rangaba

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

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

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

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

By

Dharisha Bastians

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Dharisha Bastians

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Don Manu

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

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

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

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


By

Chandani Kirinde

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

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

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

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

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

By

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

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

Launching a full frontal attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

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

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

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

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

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

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


By

Kalana Senaratne

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

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


Sirisena-campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by

Maheen Senanayake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


By Sudat Pasqual

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

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

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

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

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

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by

Shamindra Ferdinando

President Mahinda Rajapaksa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa

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

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

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

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

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

By

Dharisha Bastians

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Dharisha Bastians

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

pic via: facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

pic via: facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_8618.PNG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Deepal Warnakulasuriya

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

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

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

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

By

Deepal Warnakulasuriya

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

Press Briefing-Nov 21, 2014

Press Briefing-Nov 21, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

K.G. Karunarathene and Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa

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

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

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

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

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


By

Dharisha Bastians

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UNP72412

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

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

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

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

pic via: sadahamsevana.org

pic via: sadahamsevana.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Excellency

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

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

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

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

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

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

C. Rudhraiah

C. Rudhraiah

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

AP4

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

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

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

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

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

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

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

By
Dharisha Bastians


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

Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

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

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

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

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


by

Zacki Jabbar

pic via: facebook.com/KaruJayasuriya

pic via: facebook.com/KaruJayasuriya

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

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

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

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

by

Shamindra Ferdinando

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

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

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

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

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

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

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

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

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

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

By

Meera Srinivasan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Suhasini Haidar

Chief Minister Wigneswaran

Chief Minister Wigneswaran

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

By

Rajiv Gandhi

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

I met Thiru K. Pathmanabna in Delhi just a few days before his tragic assassination. It is hardly believable that one so young, so bright, so full of life, with so much to contribute to his people, should no longer be with us. That our Government was unable to provide him protection is a matter of national shame. We extend our sincerest sympathies to his wife and the other members of his family.
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Comrade Pathmanabha Our Leader and Mentor

By the EPRLF Central Committee

Thiru K.Pathmanabha

Thiru K.Pathmanabha


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

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

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

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


by
Vishwamithra 1984


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

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

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

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

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

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

By

Dharisha Bastians

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

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

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

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

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

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

by

Shamindra Ferdinando

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

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

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

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

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

by

Col R Hariharan

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

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

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

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

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

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

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

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