Maithripala Refuses At The Last Minute To Appoint Sarath Fonseka as Law and Order Minister So Ranil Whom President Did Not want As Prime Minister Becomes Law&Order Minister “Temporarily”.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe took the ministry of Law and Order in a bid to avoid an embarrassing hold up of the new cabinet as Sunday’s swearing-in was marred by President Maithripala Sirisena throwing a spanner in the works.

Political sources close to both sides said that Sirisena at the last minute refused to give the Law and Order ministry to Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka and Wickremesinghe stepped in to take the portfolio on a temporary basis.

Much of the anticipated major changes did not take place.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Refuses At The Last Minute To Appoint Sarath Fonseka as Law and Order Minister So Ranil Whom President Did Not want As Prime Minister Becomes Law&Order Minister “Temporarily”.’ »

Foreign Affairs State Minister Wasantha Senanayake Lashes Out at Cabinet Mini-reshuffle as a “Joke” and “Comedy” and says that it has made the Govt a “Laughing Stock” of the People.

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The much-awaited Cabinet reshuffle, which was to address the disagreements between the two coalition partners of the unity government and adverse public opinion on its progress, has come under fire in some quarters.

The mini reshuffle also took place behind closed doors. It was the first time journalists were not invited to cover a reshuffle.

Continue reading ‘Foreign Affairs State Minister Wasantha Senanayake Lashes Out at Cabinet Mini-reshuffle as a “Joke” and “Comedy” and says that it has made the Govt a “Laughing Stock” of the People.’ »

Mini – Reshuffle of UNP Ministers Undertaken in First Phase; Re-shuffle of UPFA/SLFP and Non-UNP Ministers Will Take Place In Other Phases.

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has sworn in new ministers from the United National Party with changes from his United People’s Freedom Alliance promised later.

Minister Ranil Wickremesighe is the law and order minister, and Kabir Hashim as minister of highways.

“I congratulate the newly appointed Cabinet, State and Deputy Ministers,” President Sirisena said in a twitter.com message.

“These changes as well as those soon to be made on the UPFA side of the government will strengthen us to better serve our people.”

Continue reading ‘Mini – Reshuffle of UNP Ministers Undertaken in First Phase; Re-shuffle of UPFA/SLFP and Non-UNP Ministers Will Take Place In Other Phases.’ »

Six Cabinet Ministers,Three State Ministers and One Deputy Minister Sworn In Before President Sirisena in First Phase Of Cabinet Re-shuffle.

Six Cabinet ministers, three state ministers and one deputy minister were sworn in before the President yesterday at the Presidential Secretariat in the long awaited Cabinet reshuffle.

Although there were expectations that there would be drastic changes in the Cabinet, during the reshuffle after a disastrous local council election for the government, the only major change was Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe being sworn in as the Minister of Law and Order, in addition to his current portfolios.

Continue reading ‘Six Cabinet Ministers,Three State Ministers and One Deputy Minister Sworn In Before President Sirisena in First Phase Of Cabinet Re-shuffle.’ »

Crucially Important Portfolio of Law and Order Assigned To Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe By President Sirisena; New Highways Minister is Kabir Hashim;State Minister Posts for Harsha de Silva and Ajith P Perera.

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has sworn in new ministers with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe as law and order minister, and Kabir Hashim as minister of highways.

Continue reading ‘Crucially Important Portfolio of Law and Order Assigned To Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe By President Sirisena; New Highways Minister is Kabir Hashim;State Minister Posts for Harsha de Silva and Ajith P Perera.’ »

Indian Cinema’s “Superstar” Heroine Sridevi (54) Passes Away In Dubai Following a Massive Heart Attack


An actor who has enthralled audiences across India, a talent powerhouse and one of India’s first female superstars, actor Sridevi passed away on Saturday night.

The 54-year old actor died in Dubai following a massive cardiac arrest.

Her death was confirmed by her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor to the Indian Express. Sridevi, her husband Boney Kapoor and daughter Khushi were in Dubai to attend a wedding.

Continue reading ‘Indian Cinema’s “Superstar” Heroine Sridevi (54) Passes Away In Dubai Following a Massive Heart Attack’ »

Agreement Reached Finally on Cabinet Re-shuffle After President Rejects Three Different Lists of Cabinet Changes Submitted by Prime Minister; Maithripala Rejects Ranil’sProposal to Appoint Sarath Fonseka as Law and Order Minister.

The suspense for Sri Lankans, kept in the dark for two weeks over the political crisis triggered by results of the local polls, will end today (Feb 25th).

The Presidential Secretariat on Friday informed new ministers to be present at a swearing-in ceremony at 11 this morning (Sunday Feb 25th). The move signals the continuation of the SLFP-UNP coalition with most differences resolved, at least for the moment.

The past two weeks have seen President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe locked in a see-saw exercise. Sirisena has rejected, at least on three different occasions, some of the names forwarded by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for Cabinet portfolios. They have also had a string of one-on-one meetings in this regard.

Continue reading ‘Agreement Reached Finally on Cabinet Re-shuffle After President Rejects Three Different Lists of Cabinet Changes Submitted by Prime Minister; Maithripala Rejects Ranil’sProposal to Appoint Sarath Fonseka as Law and Order Minister.’ »

“Ai Ek Ekkanawa Maath Ekka Kotawanney” (why are you pitting others against me?): President Sirisena Reprimands Malik Samarawickrema For Lying and Trying To Instigate Rishad Bathiuddin .

(Excerpted From “Sunday Times”Political Column)

On the subject of a ‘major’ cabinet reshuffle, which President Sirisena sought, there were delays with some candidates for portfolios not getting his approval. The process has not been without dramas.

One was when Minister Malik Samarawickrema met Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiuddin at ‘Temple Trees’ to tell him that Sirisena was not happy with his performance. Hence, he planned a change in his portfolio.

In the alternative, he said, he may lose some institutions like the Food Department and the Consumer Affairs Authority.

Continue reading ‘“Ai Ek Ekkanawa Maath Ekka Kotawanney” (why are you pitting others against me?): President Sirisena Reprimands Malik Samarawickrema For Lying and Trying To Instigate Rishad Bathiuddin .’ »

When actress Jayalalithaa reigned as uncrowned Queen of Tamil cinema

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

(Former chief minister of Tamil Nadu Ms.Jayalalithaa Jayaram was born on February 24th 1948. The glamorous actress turned politician who passed away in 2016 would have turned seventy were she among the living now. This article originally written in 2016 is being re-posted here to denote “Amma”s 70th birth aniversary)

The demise in 2016 of alluring actress turned powerful politico Jayalalithaa Jayaram has caused a void in the politics of India’s Tamil Nadu state.

A “Milk offering & shower” to the Chief Minister by her supporters

The 68-year-leader of the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (AIADMK) served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from 1991-96, 2001-06 and from 2011 to date. Jayalalithaa hailed as “Amma” (meaning mother/madam) was virtually the uncrowned queen of Tamil Nadu during her years of rule as Chief Minister.

Fabulous film career

There was however an earlier phase in her life when the beautiful Brahmin woman reigned as the uncrowned queen of Tamil cinema for over a decade from the mid-sixties to mid-seventies of the 20th century. ‘Spotlight’ being a column focused on cinema related matters – returns after several weeks and – re-visits the fabulous film career of actress Jayalalithaa.
Continue reading ‘When actress Jayalalithaa reigned as uncrowned Queen of Tamil cinema’ »

How Mahinda Trapped Maithripala With The SLFP Party Leadership

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena is currently in the throes of an acute political crisis after the local government poll results. It was only some weeks ago that a pugnacious and cocky President Sirisena threatened to wield his “kaduwa”(sword) against members of his own govt and opposition as part of his self-declared crusade against corruption. Little did he realise while twirling his vocal sword that a ‘Damoclean sword’ in the form of the local poll verdict was hanging over him. Instead of being able to dictate terms to his perceived targets through his political swordplay, the President himself is in the unenviable position of being at their mercy now. Maithripala Sirisena faces the bitter prospect of political “Hara-Kiri” if he does not get help from either Ranil Wickremesinghe or Mahinda Rajapaksa or possibly both. How have the mighty fallen!

There was a time not so very long ago when Maithripala Sirisena earned the respect and goodwill of the nation. Now that larger than life image is diminishing into a pathetic caricature. The reason or reasons for this downfall are quite clear. Maithripala Sirisena was elected President on a platform of reform. He was elected to govern a country. Instead he preferred the parochial task of being leader of a discredited political party.
Continue reading ‘How Mahinda Trapped Maithripala With The SLFP Party Leadership’ »

Evergreen Memories of Actor-Politician Vijaya Kumaratunga

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Popular film actor- politician Vijaya Kumaratunga was shot dead in cold blood on February 16th 1988. He was standing near the front gate of his Kirulapone residence on Polhengoda road and talking to an acquaintance when the assailants on a two-wheeler struck. Vijaya was shot twice in the back and fell on the ground.The gunman then got off the motor cycle pillion and walked up to Vijaya lying motionless and pumped more bullets into his head and face. Thus ended the life of a charismatic leader who may very well have altered the destiny of this nation if he were not cruelly killed at the age of 42.

Thirty years have passed since the brutal assassination of Vijaya Kumaratunga but the handsome filmstar-politico remains evergreen in the collective memory of his numerous fans and followers. In his thespian career of more than two decades , the dashing and debonair Vijaya enthralled millions of film goers with his scintillating screen performances. He acted in 114 films in all. Several of his films were released after his death. Almost all of his films were financial successes. Due to the political machinations in the cinema sphere, Vijaya was seldom bedecked with laurels for his acting skills but as far as the film going masses were concerned , he was their popular idol. Vijaya starred mainly in – run of the mill- movies that entertained but he did act in some films that were different and made a difference too. Like Sinhala cinema’s Super Star Gamini Fonseka, Vijaya Kumaratunga too was commercially valued and artistically acclaimed as a film actor.
Continue reading ‘Evergreen Memories of Actor-Politician Vijaya Kumaratunga’ »

“Sunday Leader”Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga was Assassinated By Military Intelligence Operatives: Police Top Brass Suppressed and Destroyed Evidence Incriminating Army; Details Emerge Via Disclosures made By Ex DIG and EX SSP.

The arrest of a retired senior Deputy Inspector-General has revealed how the police scuttled its own investigations to protect military intelligence men who carried out the assassination of editor Lasantha Wickrematunge.

Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara who is currently in remand custody has allegedly instructed his juniors to not only botch the investigation, but also destroy evidence gathered from the crime scene, according to a confession by Senior Superintendent Hemantha Adhikari.

It was Adhikari who led the investigation into Wickrematunge’s assassination in January 2009 under the immediate supervision of DIG Nanayakkara who at the time was in charge of Western Province (south).

Fearing his own arrest, Adhikari, who is currently serving as a security officer of the Dhammika Perera-owned Hayleys Group, made a length statement to the Mount Lavinia magistrate who is inquiring in the murder.

Continue reading ‘“Sunday Leader”Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga was Assassinated By Military Intelligence Operatives: Police Top Brass Suppressed and Destroyed Evidence Incriminating Army; Details Emerge Via Disclosures made By Ex DIG and EX SSP.’ »

Can a Re-shuffle of Politically Crooked Persons Engaged In Bad Govt Bring Benefits To The People?


By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

A fortnight of jiggery-pokery in politics has now led to big talk about a Cabinet reshuffle.

Can any shuffling of this set of politically crooked persons engaged in bad government bring anything good for the people? The two weeks of a power struggle within a hugely skewed team in government, and the pretense of an attempted power grab by the suddenly booming team of the continuing scoundrels in politics, and a government that could hardly bring any benefits to the people.

The proposed shuffle is a move by the President, who leads this pack of knaves, to show he is not out of the reigning knavery in this largely defeated democracy.

This pack has everything from hearts that cheat the people, diamonds that hoodwink the voters, spades that shovel the dirt of corruption, and clubs that beat the people to dirty profit, with kings, queens, and knaves or jacks of these four types. Of course, there are jokers too – those who believe the people are meant o be fooled.

Continue reading ‘Can a Re-shuffle of Politically Crooked Persons Engaged In Bad Govt Bring Benefits To The People?’ »

LTTE Supporters In UK Succeed In Getting Britain To Pressures Sri Lanka Into Recalling Defence Attache Brigadier Priyanka Fernando From London.

by Shamindra Ferdinando

The government has, under heavy pressure from the UK, carried out its decision to recall Sri Lanka’s military attache in London, Brig. Prinyanka Fernando, despite a presidential intervention.

When the government announced its decision to recall the brigadier, following an incident where he allegedly made a throat slitting gesture in front of a group of British LTTE supporters of Sri Lankan origin, in London, on Feb. 04, President Sirisena, ordered that he be reinstated.

Continue reading ‘LTTE Supporters In UK Succeed In Getting Britain To Pressures Sri Lanka Into Recalling Defence Attache Brigadier Priyanka Fernando From London.’ »

Sirisena-led SLFP Must Establish New Relationship With Mahinda Rajapaksa By Recognizing Him as The Pre-eminent Leader of the Anti-UNP Forces.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

I was born at a particular moment, 1956, into a center-left familial universe and culture. In 1956, Mervyn, aged 26, was introduced to SWRD Bandaranaike by his senior at university, Nimal Karunatilleke, a former Communist who had joined the MEP, the winning coalition of 1956, and whose victory in Matale, beating the feudal UNP candidate, was the first result that came in on Radio Ceylon, heralding the Silent Revolution.

SWRD Bandaranaike promptly instructed Mervyn to take over as the foreign affairs commentator of Radio Ceylon, in place of the Britisher the UNP had typically kept in that sensitive post. When Mervyn protested that he knew nothing of the subject, his proper province, including on the airwaves, being English literature and literary criticism, Bandaranaike had walked into his library, returned with an armful of books and dumped them into Mervyn’s lap. “Atoms for Peace” was the title of one, Mervyn recalled decades later.

From 1956, Mervyn was firmly of the pro-SLFP center-left in political terms while remaining temperamentally and intellectually the left-liberal he had always been. His firmest friends in 1956 were the Rajapaksas, Lakshman and George. My father was an SLFP and Bandaranaike loyalist, who was buddies with the Rajapaksas and quite fond of Mahinda. Mahinda Rajapaksa wrote in the Daily News shortly after my father’s death in 1999 that:

“Whenever I met him, which happened to be at least twice a month during the last 25 years, I always made it a point to have a serious chat even for a minute…First I came to know Mr.de Silva through my cousin the late Mr. Lakshman Rajapaksa. Both of them were regulars at the Orient Club. Being a Royalist he was also very close to late Mr. George Rajapaksa, his fellow alumni. Being only a student of politics, I remained a passive participant at the meetings Mr.de Silva had with my cousin, Lakshman and George, gathering valuable points. However I came still closer to him after I became a Member of Parliament in 1970. The frequency of meetings grew after the formation of the Sri Lanka Committee for Solidarity with Palestine, when the journalists who launched this organization elected me as its President. Mr. Mervyn de Silva was one of the Patrons.”

Continue reading ‘Sirisena-led SLFP Must Establish New Relationship With Mahinda Rajapaksa By Recognizing Him as The Pre-eminent Leader of the Anti-UNP Forces.’ »

Govt Must Counter Adverse Allegations Made Against Sri Lanka at UNHRC Sessions Through UN Affiliated NGO Reports That Are Heavily Influenced By Pro-LTTE Diaspora Organizations.


By

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

The UN Human Rights Council’s first sessions for the year, also known as the ‘High Level Segment’ on account of the participation of high level delegates such as Ministers and even heads of states, is due to commence in a few days, on the 26th of February and will continue until the 23rd of March. It is the 37th regular session of the UNHRC.

It is at this session that the High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will present an interim report on the implementation of Resolution 30/1, which will be his final report on the subject as he completes his 4-year term this summer. His earlier reports caused controversy because he called on all member states of the UN to apply ‘universal jurisdiction’ to those Sri Lankans who are accused of war crimes. This mechanism enables arrest and prosecution in other countries. The final report is to be presented at the 40th session in March 2019.

It is also at this upcoming session that the final report on Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) which took place last year will be officially adopted. The report includes recommendations made by other countries for the improvement of human rights in Sri Lanka as well as voluntary commitments made by Sri Lanka. One of those voluntary commitments by Sri Lanka includes a controversial promise to establish a judicial mechanism with special counsel: “Fulfil commitments contained in Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 towards the operationalization of the Office on Missing Persons, and the establishment of a truth seeking commission, an office for reparations, and a judicial mechanism with a special counsel.”

Continue reading ‘Govt Must Counter Adverse Allegations Made Against Sri Lanka at UNHRC Sessions Through UN Affiliated NGO Reports That Are Heavily Influenced By Pro-LTTE Diaspora Organizations.’ »

Former Inspector -General of Police Jayantha Wickremaratne Faces Imminent Arrest For Alleged Concealment of Evidence in the Lasantha Wickrematunga Murder Case

Former IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne is facing imminent arrest for concealing evidence in relation to the murder of Lasantha Wicrkremagtunga.

The investigation teams have now established that the evidence of the murder had been destroyed under instructions of some top Police officers.

It is learnt that former DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara and former SSP Hemantha Adhikari have already given statements to the CID in this regard.

Continue reading ‘Former Inspector -General of Police Jayantha Wickremaratne Faces Imminent Arrest For Alleged Concealment of Evidence in the Lasantha Wickrematunga Murder Case’ »

President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Reach Agreement on Strengthening Finance Ministry Under Mangala Samaraweera and Appointing Sarath Fonseka as Law and Order Minister; Fate of SLFP Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Dayasiri Jayasekara and Chandimal Weerakkody Uncertain in Cabinet Re-shuffle

Sri Lanka’s Finance ministry is set to be restructured as part of the major shakeup in the government following its humiliating local council election defeat two weeks ago, official sources said Thursday.

State-owned banks, insurance and the central bank will be brought back under the Finance ministry, the sources said adding that the media portfolio is likely to be taken out.

The media subject was also attached to the Finance ministry when Mangala Samaraweera was made minister of both after Ravi Karunanayake was forced to step down after he was implicated in the bond scam.

The government believes that the media ministry will become more important in the run up to the 2019 presidential election and there should be a strong politician leading it.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Reach Agreement on Strengthening Finance Ministry Under Mangala Samaraweera and Appointing Sarath Fonseka as Law and Order Minister; Fate of SLFP Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Dayasiri Jayasekara and Chandimal Weerakkody Uncertain in Cabinet Re-shuffle’ »

Ravi Karunanayake Lobbying Hard To Get Minister Post in Cabinet Re-shuffle but President Sirisena Firm About Taking Action Against Ex-Finance Minister.

Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake is lobbying hard for a Cabinet portfolio at the reshuffle, sources within the UNP said.

Karunanayake had to step down from his position in the wake of the Treasury Bonds fiasco.

The Presidential Commission into the Treasury Bonds Commission recommended criminal action against Karunanayake and the UNP internal committee appointed on the matter recommended that he should not hold any party positions until the end of the investigations.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Lobbying Hard To Get Minister Post in Cabinet Re-shuffle but President Sirisena Firm About Taking Action Against Ex-Finance Minister.’ »

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and UPFA Gen -Secy Mahinda Amaraweera Re-iterate in Parliament that the National Coalition Govt Will Continue To Function Unitedly.

Sri Lanka’s Prime minister and his junior coalition partner made separate statements in parliament Wednesday pledging to uphold their uneasy National government amid opposition questioning the arrangement.

Ranil Wickremesinghe said the status quo was being maintained while the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) general secretary Mahinda Amaraweera seconded the Premier’s statement.

The two formal statements addressed opposition allegations that the National government arrangement had ended in September and the current cabinet was illegal.

Continue reading ‘UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and UPFA Gen -Secy Mahinda Amaraweera Re-iterate in Parliament that the National Coalition Govt Will Continue To Function Unitedly.’ »

Members of the Same Govt Criticised Each Other During an Election Campaign For the First Time In Sri Lankan History Says Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne

by Zacki Jabbar

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday that for the first time in the history of election campaigns in this country, members of the same government had publicly criticised each other, having forgotten the principle of collective responsibility.

Addressing the post-cabinet press briefing at the Information Department, Senaratne said one of the main reasons for the defeat of the UNP and SLFP at the recent local council elections was the two parties trading various allegations. “This led to the loss of a lot of votes for both the UNP and SLFP”.

Continue reading ‘Members of the Same Govt Criticised Each Other During an Election Campaign For the First Time In Sri Lankan History Says Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne’ »

UN Stops Lt.Col R. Wasantha Kumara Hewage From Leading 12th Force Protection Company In UN Peacekeeping Mission To Lebanon(UNIFIL) Pending Review of Alleged Human Rights Violations Committed In Kiinochchi and Puthukkudiyiruppu During War Against LTTE

In a rare acknowledgement of failure in its screening process, the United Nations has stopped a Sri Lankan military commander from going for a peacekeeping mission in the middle east.

Up until several rights watchdogs and Tamil organisations wrote to the head of UN peacekeeping urging to stop Lieutenant Colonel Rathnappuli Wasantha Kumara Hewage, he was scheduled for deployment to Lebanon on 18 February 2018.

Detailing the commander’s wartime record in a period when extensive violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law perpetrated by the Sri Lankan security forces, the letter condemned the UN for failing to screen Lieutenant Colonel Hewage.

Continue reading ‘UN Stops Lt.Col R. Wasantha Kumara Hewage From Leading 12th Force Protection Company In UN Peacekeeping Mission To Lebanon(UNIFIL) Pending Review of Alleged Human Rights Violations Committed In Kiinochchi and Puthukkudiyiruppu During War Against LTTE’ »

“Gotabhaya Protection Strategy”(GPS) of Ranil and Maithripala Fails at Local Govt Poll With Both UNP and SLFP Getting Politically Defeated.

The power struggle between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe ended with both being badly bruised, but the acrimony also exposed the failure of their long-term political strategies.

The run-up to the February 10 local government elections deepened the differences within the uneasy coalition and saw Sirisena declaring that his government was more corrupt than the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.

In sharp contrast, Wickremesinghe desisted from criticising the junior coalition partner and even moved to rein-in his United National Party young bucks who tried to snipe at Sirisena.

What was at stake was not just the 341 local government bodies. At stake was the general elections of 2020. A new president must be in office by January 2020 while the earliest a parliamentary election can be held is February 2020.

Aides say both men are hoping to be candidates at the next presidential election despite Sirisena having declared at the beginning of his five-year tenure that he will not seek re-lection.

The local government election result was a bolt that not only brought both men down to earth but also sparked a blame game, not so much on bread and butter issues, but on their political manoeuvrings that may have backfired.

Continue reading ‘“Gotabhaya Protection Strategy”(GPS) of Ranil and Maithripala Fails at Local Govt Poll With Both UNP and SLFP Getting Politically Defeated.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Cannot Politically Survive Without Feeding into Xenophobia and Sinhala Buddhist Ultra-nationalism.

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

Sri Lankan politics is cheap. The depth of that cheapness is proof in the two stark choices that the people have now been given. One is the return of the old regime with all its nastiness. Forty four per cent of the voters had chosen that. And the other is to continue with the UNP under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose incompetence, should, more than anything else, be blamed for the resurgence of the Rajapaksas. Through his indecisiveness in governance, Mr. Wickremesinghe de-legitimized the whole spectrum of yahapalanaya.

Yet, even with his worst mistakes, the other alternative is cringingly terrifying. Mr Rajapaksa if given a chance will destroy even the modest achievements that this administration has so far achieved, and set communities against each other to strengthen his nationalist vote base. Some groups of Muslims have already complained about a new wave of attacks since the Pohottuwa’s election victory. Mr Rajapaksa cannot politically survive without feeding into xenophobia and Sinhala Buddhist ultra-nationalism. While, most of his voters are not bigots, a fair bit of his socially conservative vote base tends to overlook those anomalies. Those around him are political opportunists. They are there to ride the gravy train on their own and not so much to serve the national interest. Minister Susil Premajyantha has announced 15 more would join the JO this week.

On the other hand, Mr. Wickremesinghe is a very weak leader to face off this Rajapaksa juggernaut. His ego and his preference to his Royal College Society at the expense of the competent leaders of the party had magnified his deficiencies. But, still, given the sorry status of our politics, he seems to be the only one available to lead. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was mentioned as an alternative. He is, of course, a gentleman. But other than the charisma of a moderate nationalist leader, what else he offers, such as in terms of an economic vision, is not clear. There are others also vying for the leadership. They are poorly equipped to the job.

Mr. Wickremesinghe seems to have survived a mild party revolt, and also secured the numbers to form a UNP government. But, it is not yet clear whether he had dissected the causes of the failure of the first three years of yahapalanaya. If he proceeds along the same path, even if the government survives for the next three years, we will see the return of the Rajapaksa regime at the next general election.

To give the devil its due, Mr. Wckremesinghe is not corrupt, not a tyrant, without dynastic ambitions, and perhaps the only one who has a long term economic vision. But this is not Denmark. Sri Lanka’s social and economic conditions require certain other traits to lead the country to success.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Cannot Politically Survive Without Feeding into Xenophobia and Sinhala Buddhist Ultra-nationalism.’ »

Time has come for Maithripala and Ranil To Do a “Doodh ka doodh aur pani ka pani” (making things crystal clear) About Alleged Crimes Of the Rajapaksas

By Colonel R Hariharan

After Mahinda Rajapaksa’s fledgling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) handed out a shocking defeat to both the UNP and the SLFP in the Local Government (LG) elections, the three-way political power game has become more complex than before. A gloating Rajapaksa, past master in political manoeuvring, is demanding fresh elections after dissolving the Parliament, though he knows it would not happen as both the SLFP and UNP would never oblige him.

For President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, more than power, credibility has become the main issue. They are trying to retain their credibility on multiple fronts – as leaders of the unity coalition that set out to provide an alternative to Rajapaksa’s autocratic rule, to survive as leaders of the party in the face of challengers making deals to dethrone them and to show the people that they can still deliver on what they promised before the end of this term.

The current situation faced by the three leaders – Rajapaksa, Sirisena and Wickremesinghe – may be aptly described as ‘wheels in wheels’ – a number of different influences, reasons and actions which together make a situation complicated and difficult to understand, as Collins dictionary says. But, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe duo has a bigger burden than Rajapaksa, who is at the barricades, heckling them from the periphery.

Continue reading ‘Time has come for Maithripala and Ranil To Do a “Doodh ka doodh aur pani ka pani” (making things crystal clear) About Alleged Crimes Of the Rajapaksas’ »

Opposition Leader Sampanthan Castigates and Exposes in Parliament the Malicious, Vicious and Fallacious False ropaganda of Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna During Polls

(Full Text of Speech made in Parliament on February 19th 2018 by Leader of the Opposition and Tamil National Alliance(TNA) Parliamentary Group Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan)

19.02.2018/4.36 p.m. – 4.48 p.m. /

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


Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I thought I would say a few words on this debate, Sir. People have delivered a verdict and, in a democracy, the people’s verdict must be respected. The Hon. Member who moved the Motion and the Hon. Member who seconded the Motion have referred to various matters. I think, Sir, I will primarily do a brief analysis of the result of the Local Authorities Election held on 10th of February.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna polled 44.69 per cent of the votes cast at that election. The United National Party polled 32.61 per cent. The United People’s Freedom Alliance polled 8.90 per cent. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party polled 4.48 per cent. If one was to add the percentage of the votes polled by the United National Party, the United People’s Freedom Alliance and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, those three parties put together polled 45.99 per cent, almost 46 per cent.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna polled 44.69 per cent, that is almost 2 per cent less than the other three parties put together.

The People’s Liberation Front – JVP – polled 6.26 per cent and the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi polled 3.06 per cent. If one was to add the percentage of votes polled by those two parties together with the percentage of votes polled by the United National Party, the United People’s Freedom Alliance and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the total would be 55.31 per cent. So, in other words, parties opposed to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna have polled 55.31 per cent and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna has polled only 44.69 per cent. This is indisputable. [Interruption.]

ගරු කථානායකතුමා
(மாண்புமிகு சபாநாயகர் அவர்கள்)
(The Hon. Speaker)

Please, do not disturb him. Everybody has the right to speak.

Continue reading ‘Opposition Leader Sampanthan Castigates and Exposes in Parliament the Malicious, Vicious and Fallacious False ropaganda of Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna During Polls’ »

Parliament Debate on Inquiry Commission Reports Postponed Indefinitely Following Sumanthiran MP Raising Issue About PRECIFAC Report Being Available only in Sinhala and Not in Tamil or English.

By Saman Indrajith

Parliament sittings were limited to about 40 minutes yesterday as the House decided to postpone indefinitely the debate on the Bond Commission and PRECIFAC reports due to non-availability of English or Tamil translations of the PRECIFAC report.

The decision was taken after TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran brought to the notice of the House that the party MPs would not be able to participate in the debate as the PRECIFAC report was available only in Sinhala even up to yesterday.

The adjournment debate on the two reports was a continuation from February 6. As Sumanthiran was explaining to the House the language issue faced by them, MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara asked him to speak on the Bond report which was available in English. This remark developed into a heated exchange between the two MPs.

Continue reading ‘Parliament Debate on Inquiry Commission Reports Postponed Indefinitely Following Sumanthiran MP Raising Issue About PRECIFAC Report Being Available only in Sinhala and Not in Tamil or English.’ »

Mystery Surrounding “Missing” Presidential Inquiry Commission Report Into Death of SLMC Leaer MHM Ashraff Takes New Turn.


The mystery surrounding the missing report of the Presidential Commission that inquired into the death of former minister and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress founder M.H.M. Ashraff has taken a new turn, with the the commission secretary saying he handed over a copy to the National Archives.

In a statement to the Right to Information Commission, the Ashraff Commission Secretary said he had informed the Department of the National Archives that he had handed over the commission report along with relevant files to the National Archives on January 24, 2002. He had stated that the report was given to the Presidential Secretariat as well and clarified that he did not know why only the final three pages of the Commission Report were with the responsible authorities but not the rest of the pages.

The Commission Secretary had sent in the clarification following an Order by Sri Lanka’s Right to Information (RTI) Commission to the National Archives to ascertain the same in an on-going inquiry being conducted by the RTI Commisson.

In the RTI Commission’s Order dated January 16, 2018 (http://www.rticommission.lk/web/images/pdf/basheer-segudawood-en.pdf), it is recorded that the Commission Secretary had stated that it is now over 15 years since the handing over of the report took place and that there should be letters and/or documents indicating the receipt of the documents.

Continue reading ‘Mystery Surrounding “Missing” Presidential Inquiry Commission Report Into Death of SLMC Leaer MHM Ashraff Takes New Turn.’ »

Changes Brought About by the 19th Constitutional Amendment are Designed to Free Parliament and the Prime Minister from Subservience to the President.

By

Dr.Reeza Hameed

The President cannot remove the PM

Following the large gains made at the local government elections at the expense of the UNP and SLFP by the Mahinda Rajapaksa led SLPP, the pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa opposition has been calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister on the basis of the spurious claim that the government has lost its mandate to govern.

Rajan Philips (‘The government’s consummate crisis in the face of Mahinda’s unconsummatable win’, The Island 17, November 2018) has stated quite rightly thatSLPP’s success at the local elections“cannot directly enable Mahinda Rajapaksa to replace the government at the national level.” As Rajan Philips has pointed out, “how would the local government election results ever justify Nimal Siripala de Silva worming his way to Temple Trees as Prime Minister of a minority government?”

The local government elections were not intended to provide a mandate to govern at the centre but that has not prevented the opposition parties baying for the Prime Minister’s blood demanding that the President sack him.This is a crisis that has been manufactured to unsettle the government of which the President himself is a partner. The President seems not to know his own powers in this regard and sought the Attorney General’s advice but the latter has informed him that he, the Attorney General, alone cannot give an opinion on the matter and advised the President to consult the Supreme Court.

Continue reading ‘Changes Brought About by the 19th Constitutional Amendment are Designed to Free Parliament and the Prime Minister from Subservience to the President.’ »

Maithripala Fails in Treacherous Bid to Topple Ranil By Conspiring With Dayasiri Jayasekera After Entering Karu Jayasuriya Brokered Peace Deal Earlier With Prime Minister.

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena’s party on Monday aborted its move to topple Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, but vowed to press for a major reform of the unity government’s cabinet.

Sirisena’s spokesman and minister S. B. Dissanayake said the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and its United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) decided to remain in the government and end the uncertainty over the future of their coalition.

The humiliating defeat for Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) at the February 10 local elections triggered calls for his resignation although Sirisena’s SLFP/UPFA suffered an even bigger defeat making him a lame duck president.

Orchestrating calls for a change in the UNP leadership, Sirisena even attempted to secure the support of his nemesis Mahinda Rajapaksa to cobble together a shaky coalition but failed to secure the necessary parliamentary majority.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Fails in Treacherous Bid to Topple Ranil By Conspiring With Dayasiri Jayasekera After Entering Karu Jayasuriya Brokered Peace Deal Earlier With Prime Minister.’ »

Maithripala and SLFP/UPFA in Tactical Retreat After Failing To Get Enough MP Support to Oust Ranil as PM; Will Remain in Govt and Continue Efforts to Undermine PM.

By Dharisha Bastians

President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party announced it would remain in the ruling national unity coalition yesterday, ending a week of political uncertainty and abruptly ending its campaign to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, although some members warned the ‘ceasefire’ was temporary.

After lengthy discussions with President Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat last afternoon, the SLFP decided to remain in Government and agitate for major changes in the UNP-led Cabinet of Ministers. The SLFP was persuaded by the President to continue to the status quo, after Speaker Karu Jayasuriya brokered a peace deal between Sirisena and his Prime Minister at Paget Road on Sunday night (18 February), highly placed sources told Daily FT.

Despite soliciting the support of the Joint Opposition led by President Sirisena’s political arch enemy Mahinda Rajapaksa, the SLFP had been unable to muster the numbers to dismiss Premier Wickremesinghe constitutionally through a no-faith motion in Parliament, Daily FT learns.

But several SLFP members fired warning shots soon after the decision was announced, indicating that efforts to oust Wickremesinghe would continue.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala and SLFP/UPFA in Tactical Retreat After Failing To Get Enough MP Support to Oust Ranil as PM; Will Remain in Govt and Continue Efforts to Undermine PM.’ »

Washington and New Delhi “Intervene” To Prevent Imminent Collapse of Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt and Possible Return of Rajapaksas to Power


By Pani Wijesiriwardena

The US ambassador to Sri Lanka and his Indian counterpart this week publicly stepped in to halt a planned breakup of the National Unity Government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe after its heavy losses at local council elections held on February 10.

The Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPJP), the largest party in the parliamentary opposition, led by former President Mahinda Rajapakse, won 249 councils out of the total of 341 island-wide. Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) secured only 41 councils, while Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) gained only 10.

After the election debacle, Sirisena and Wickremesinghe began blaming each other for the defeat. At their instigation, followers of the two parties publicly announced the termination of the unity agreement.

The US ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap, hurriedly met Sirisena and Wickremesinghe separately on February 13 reportedly to advise them to defuse the turmoil in the government and continue with it.

On the same day, in a move clearly coordinated with Washington, the Indian High Commissioner for Sri Lanka, Saranjit Singh Sandhu, met with Sirisena and Wickremesinghe to deliver a similar message.

Continue reading ‘Washington and New Delhi “Intervene” To Prevent Imminent Collapse of Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt and Possible Return of Rajapaksas to Power’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Now Chides Maithripala Sirisena For Keeping Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister Without Ousting PM from his Post.

Former President and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa today said it was none other than President Maithripala Sirisena who keeps Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his post without ousting him.

The former president said this in response to a question asked by a journalist when he was leaving Parliament.

When asked his opinion about President Sirisena seeking Attorney General’s opinion on the legality of removing the Premier, Mr. Rajapaksa said “Why seek AG’s consultations? Shouldn’t forget that the President is the Executive,”

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Now Chides Maithripala Sirisena For Keeping Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister Without Ousting PM from his Post.’ »

Proper Analysis of Local Govt Poll Results Will Reveal tat the UNP Remains the “Single Strongest Party” in Sri Lanka States Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe


by Zacki Jabbar

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says a proper analysis of the recent local government election results would reveal that the UNP remains the “single strongest party” in the country.

Admitting that the UNP had suffered a setback at the February 10 polls, mainly due to the cost of living, Wickremesinghe said yesterday that it had the ability to increase its vote base at the next election on its own.

Continue reading ‘Proper Analysis of Local Govt Poll Results Will Reveal tat the UNP Remains the “Single Strongest Party” in Sri Lanka States Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Violence Unleashed Against UNF Supporter by SLPP Supporters After Polls Victory is an Indication of the Mayhem That Would Set in if Podu Jana Peramuna Formed A Govt Points out Cabinet Minister Champika Ranawaka.


The relevant authorities should intervene to stop acts of post election violence in the country since Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPP) supporters have come on to the streets after their victory to destroy cut outs of government party candidates and threaten and even assault people who supported United National Front candidates, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patlai Champika Ranawaka said.

He was addressing a meeting at the residence of United National Front candidates Dharuska Ramanayake who contested the Maharagama UC elections.

Minister Ranawaka asked as to what precedent SLPP supporters were trying to set for the people of the country.

Continue reading ‘Violence Unleashed Against UNF Supporter by SLPP Supporters After Polls Victory is an Indication of the Mayhem That Would Set in if Podu Jana Peramuna Formed A Govt Points out Cabinet Minister Champika Ranawaka.’ »

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Scored a Tactical Victory in the Power Struggle With President Sirisena in Terrain That was Favourable to President Sirisena

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka


“Who will make the Revolution? The people, with or without the Communist party!’

–Fidel Castro

Who will defeat the UNP? The people, with or without the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. That was proved at the Local Government election and will be proved at every forthcoming election up to and including next year’s presidential and subsequent parliamentary election.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe scored a tactical victory in the power struggle with President Sirisena. He won it on terrain that was favorable to President Sirisena. This means that in the art of infighting and manipulation, Ranil Wickremesinghe has no peer in Lankan politics.

What of Mahinda Rajapaksa who won the battle for the SLFP vote base, one may well ask. Mahinda did not win that battle by the art of infighting. He won it by taking the battle outside, to the people, and by reposing his trust in the people. Ranil has won the battle in the corridors and the backrooms. Mahinda won the ground game.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Scored a Tactical Victory in the Power Struggle With President Sirisena in Terrain That was Favourable to President Sirisena’ »

“Eelam Will Bloom Out Of Your Lotus Bud, if You Continue This Way” – Opposition Leader Sampanthan Chastises Mahinda Rajapaksa for Playing The Racial Card During SLPP Polls Campaign

By Skandha Gunasekara

Emphasising the need to find a lasting solution to the national problem, the Leader of the Opposition yesterday condemned former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, for inciting racial disharmony during the run-up to the recently concluded Local Government elections.

“During the early stage of their campaign, Mahinda Rajapaksa said that Tamil Eelam was blooming again. If you continue behaving the way you have, Eelam will bloom; it will bloom out of your own lotus bud,” Opposition Leader and leader of the TNA R Sampanthan said.

The Opposition Leader made these remarks while taking part in yesterday’s adjournment debate on the political crisis, which has arisen in the country as a consequence of the outcome of the Local Government elections, adding that “It is abhorrent to play the racial card.”

He then warned that such actions were detrimental to the reconciliation process. “We want a solution in a united, undivided, indivisible and single country. We have made our position clear. It is wrong to instigate communal feelings against a single community while we are demanding a political solution,” Sampanthan said.

He then pointed out that the results of a local authority election had no impact on the constituency of the Parliament.

“The team led by Mahinda Rajapaksa could not poll at least 50 percent in the last three elections including the recently ended local government elections. Parliament is not constituted on the basis of local government polls results. It is wrong to demand power in parliament on the basis of local government results.”

Meanwhile Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayaka pointed out that the SLFP voters had shifted their allegiance away from its long-time base to a new faction, while going on to rebuke the President and the Prime Minister for safeguarding ‘thieves’.

“The Local Government elections results showed the world that SLFP is no longer at Darley Road but at a new camp. The JVP could not reach our target but we achieved some success. The results also tell Ranil Wickremesinghe and Maithripala Sirisena not to dream of contesting for the President’s seat again. Neither would be able to muster the forces which brought them to power at the 08 January 2015 election. The country needs to end this power struggle,” said Dissanayaka.

He then pointed out that though the Government was to blame for their own defeat at the LG polls and that the results could not be considered a referendum.

“Some try to interpret this election results as a referendum. If anyone does so, then there is no clear-cut victor in this referendum, for none had polled more than 50 percent. The incumbent Government provided safe heaven to fraudsters and thieves. The Government acted in a manner against the mandate it received. The Prime Minister protected one set of thieves while the President protected another set of thieves. The Government failed to punish thieves and murderers. The Government delayed investigations. Therefore the people responded and voted to defeat them.”

Courtesy:Daily FT

Sri Lanka Podu Jana Party Candidates and Supporters Systematically Intimidating and Attacking UNP Supporters,State Officials and Trade Unonists After Local Polls Victory Alleges JHU Spokesperson Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) candidates and their supporters were systematically attacking and intimidating United National Party (UNP) supporters and state officials, JHU Media Spokesperson Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe alleged adding that UNP MPs should go to their electorates immediately to protect them.

“We have received a significant amount of complaints of attacks and intimidation on not only UNPers but also on state officials and trade union leaders. The SLPP candidates and supporters have unleashed violence against their political opponents, especially in some areas of Colombo, Hambantota, Moneragala and Anuradhapura.”

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Podu Jana Party Candidates and Supporters Systematically Intimidating and Attacking UNP Supporters,State Officials and Trade Unonists After Local Polls Victory Alleges JHU Spokesperson Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe’ »

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Tries To Resolve Coalition Govt Crisis By Taking Prime Minister Wickremesinghe for One -hour Meeting with President sirisena at Paget Rd Residence

By Dharisha Bastians

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya launched last-ditch effort to save the beleaguered ruling national unity coalition yesterday, the SLFP continued to play hardball by threatening to quit the alliance as a crippling political crisis precipitated by stinging defeat for both main parties in the government entered its eighth day.

After a relatively quiet weekend, Speaker Jayasuriya accompanied Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to President Maithri-pala Sirisena’s official residence at Paget Road last evening for last ditch talks to resolve the crisis and restore stability following the week of political chaos and turmoil.

Following discussions that aides said lasted just over an hour, the President and the Prime Minister had reached consensus on a major cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday (21), Daily FT learns. The present status quo, of a national unity government with Premier Wickremesinghe at the helm, was likely to continue, following the Speaker’s intervention at this crucial juncture, highly placed sources told Daily FT.

Continue reading ‘Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Tries To Resolve Coalition Govt Crisis By Taking Prime Minister Wickremesinghe for One -hour Meeting with President sirisena at Paget Rd Residence’ »

United Peoples Freedom Alliance Gen Secy Mahinda Amaraweera Sends Letter to President Sirisena Informing him that UPFA is Quitting the Coalition Govt

By

Kelum Bandara

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has informed President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday night that it would quit the national unity government, a party official said.

UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera sent a letter in this regard to the President. The unity government was formed between the UPFA and the United National Party (UNP) soon after the 2015 parliamentary election in order to govern the country for a period of two years that ended in December last year.

UPFA MP, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara told Daily Mirror that his party had also requested the President to make a reference to the Supreme Court seeking its opinion on the possibility to appoint a new Prime Minister in place of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who serves in office at the moment.

Continue reading ‘United Peoples Freedom Alliance Gen Secy Mahinda Amaraweera Sends Letter to President Sirisena Informing him that UPFA is Quitting the Coalition Govt’ »

Susil Premajayantha Assures Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa that 15 SLFP Ministers and MP’s Including Himself Will Join Opposition Unless President Sirisena Forms SLFP Only Govt Without UNP

By
Nalaka Sanjeewa Dahanayaka

SLFP National Organizer Minister Susil Premajayantha has informed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday (16) that unless the President takes steps to form a government sans members of the UNP by the end of the week, 15 SLFP ministers and parliamentarians including himself would be willing to join the joint opposition.

Continue reading ‘Susil Premajayantha Assures Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa that 15 SLFP Ministers and MP’s Including Himself Will Join Opposition Unless President Sirisena Forms SLFP Only Govt Without UNP’ »

Details of Alleged Payments to Set of UNP and SLFP MP’s From Arjun Aloysius Owned Mendis Distilleries Are With President Sirisena Reveals Ranjan Ramanayake

By

Yohan Perera

Documents pertaining to payments made by Mendis Distilleries owned by Arjun Aloysious to a set of MPs from government and opposition has been recovered and are being held by President Maithripala Sirisena,Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said yesterday.

Mr Ramanayake told journalists that Aloysious had made payments to the MPs in cheques.

Continue reading ‘Details of Alleged Payments to Set of UNP and SLFP MP’s From Arjun Aloysius Owned Mendis Distilleries Are With President Sirisena Reveals Ranjan Ramanayake’ »

New Govt Under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe With Re-shuffled Cabinet Ministers From UNP and one Faction of SLFP Likely To Be Formed on Feb 21st

By

Kelum Bandara

A Cabinet reshuffle is set to take place on Wednesday (21) as a fore-runner to a new government headed by the United National Party (UNP), it is learnt.

The decision was taken after a meeting that took place on Sunday (18) between President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

Continue reading ‘New Govt Under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe With Re-shuffled Cabinet Ministers From UNP and one Faction of SLFP Likely To Be Formed on Feb 21st’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Tries To Talk To Mahinda Rajapaksa But Namal Rajapaksa Tells President That His Father Cant Come to the Telephone Because the Ex- President was Busy on an Important Matter.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s attempt to speak with Mahinda Rajapaksa on the telephone and discuss current political issues ended in failure as the Former President had not come to the phone to talk because he was engaged in an important matter.

This had happened on Thursday February 15th 2018.

However Mahinda Rajapaksa who was too busy to talk to Maithripala Sirisena had on the same Thursday night telephoned Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on his own

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Tries To Talk To Mahinda Rajapaksa But Namal Rajapaksa Tells President That His Father Cant Come to the Telephone Because the Ex- President was Busy on an Important Matter.’ »

Harsha de Silva and Vasantha Senanayake “Shock” UNP By Demanding That Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Step Down as Prime Minister

United National Party (UNP) stalwarts were shocked when two of its prominent MP’s demanded that party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe step down as Prime Minister following the poor performance of the party at the recent local govt elections

The Two MP’s who urged Ranil Wickremesinghe to step dow as prime minister were Colombo District MP Dr. Harsha de Silva and Polonnaruwa district MP Vasantha Senanayake

While Harsha de Silva Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Vasantha Senanayake is State Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Continue reading ‘Harsha de Silva and Vasantha Senanayake “Shock” UNP By Demanding That Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Step Down as Prime Minister’ »

Six Senior SLFP Ministers Want President Sirisena to Ask Ranil Wickremesinghe to Step Down as Prime Minister Because they are no Longer Willing to Serve Under Him


Six Senior Ministers of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP) have asked President Sirisena to ask Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to Step Down as they were not willing to serve under him.

The SLFP Ministers have also criticised Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake for allegedly suppressing high level investigations against the Rajapaksa family and associates

The SLFP ministers reportedly present at the meeting concerned were Nimal Siripala de Silva, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Susil Premajayantha, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Duminda Dissanayake and Dayasiri Jayasekera.

Continue reading ‘Six Senior SLFP Ministers Want President Sirisena to Ask Ranil Wickremesinghe to Step Down as Prime Minister Because they are no Longer Willing to Serve Under Him’ »

Last Ditch Attempt By President Sirisena To Oust Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Fails Due To Lack Of Parliamentary Support and Constitutional Hurdles.

A last ditch attempt by President Maithripala Sirisena to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has failed due to a constitutional hurdle and more significantly the lack of parliamentary support, sources close to both sides said.

President Sirisena had agreed to continue working with Wickremesinghe, but had a sudden change of heart on Thursday after meeting with his United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) seniors.

The two general secretaries of the parties, ministers Mahinda Amaraweera and Susil Premajayantha told reporters that neither of them could work under Wickremesinghe and insisted that they would not be in a cabinet with him.

The duo raised Sirisena’s hopes of forming a SLFP/UPFA government with Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva as Prime Minister. Sirisena’s dream of being the leader of an unadulterated UPFA/SLFP cabinet was reinforced by his nemesis Mahinda Rajapaksa pledging conditional support.

Continue reading ‘Last Ditch Attempt By President Sirisena To Oust Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Fails Due To Lack Of Parliamentary Support and Constitutional Hurdles.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Demonstrates he Is Devoid of Principles or Scruples By Betraying Mahinda Rajapaksa Earlier and Ranil Wickremesinghe Now.

by C.A.Chandraprema

To say that the resounding electoral defeat of the governing coalition at the recent local government elections has set the cat among the canaries is an understatement. Up to the point when this article goes to press, the political aftershocks of the pohottuwa tsunami of February 10 continues with no end in sight. In the immediate aftermath of the defeat apologists for the government have been trying to say that the SLPP got only 45% of the vote and that the votes of all the yahapalana partners of January 2015, still outnumber the votes that Mahinda Rajapaksa got and that therefore, MR would have lost again if the February 10 poll had been a presidential election. The very crisis that shook the political establishment in the aftermath of this election shows that no one, not even the persons mouthing them, was convinced by such arguments. At the 2000, 2001 and 2004 parliamentary elections, governments were formed by political parties that got 45% of the vote. Besides, a local government election is very different to a presidential election. At a presidential election the vote gets polarized between the two main contestants and the others are rendered irrelevant.

But at a local government election, the vote tends to get distributed among a large number of political groups, thus reducing the percentages that the two main political forces get. Furthermore at a local government election, large numbers of people tend to vote on the basis of personal connections rather than strictly on party lines. As there are many thousands of candidates at LG elections, this factor has a major impact on voting patterns. Thus, the 45% that the pohottuwa got at this election could easily translate into a 50% plus vote at a presidential election. Besides the percentage of the SLPP is calculated without the votes they would otherwise have got from the eleven local government institutions where the SLPP nomination papers were rejected. At least six of those were sure wins for the SLPP. In fact in at least four of these institutions where the SLPP nominations were rejected, the phottuwa party did support independent groups and they all won. Those votes have not been counted as belonging to the SLPP in the final count. Furthermore, the mere fact that the pohottuwa won this election at all was as much of a shock as the Brexit vote in the UK where the Brexit camp managed to prevail against the combined party strength of the Conservative, Labour and Social Democratic parties.

In this instance too, the SLPP which emerged as the third force outside the two established parties (UNP and SLFP), managed to soundly defeat both and emerge as Sri Lanka’s most formidable political force. For the SLPP to break away and to contest alone at this election was fraught with danger. The people in this country have been used to a two party system for more than half a century. Party loyalties were strong. This was why the rhetoric of ‘not creating splits in the SLFP’ prevailed in 2015 and the Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists decided to contest together with the Sirisena led SLFP/UPFA at the last parliamentary elections instead of fielding a separate list. That however led to a kind of Babaylonian captivity of the Rajapaksa camp within the SLFP. Firstly President Sirisena took about 44 MPs who had been elected to parliament under Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership on a platform opposed to the yahapalana government and the UNP and used them to prop up the yahapalana government.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Demonstrates he Is Devoid of Principles or Scruples By Betraying Mahinda Rajapaksa Earlier and Ranil Wickremesinghe Now.’ »

Rude Punishment Dealt By The Electorate To The Sirisena -Wickremesinghe Coalition Govt Was Entirely Predictable

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Those who are bewildered by the results of Sri Lanka’s local government elections a week ago need a harsh reality check if not a resounding knock to the head.

Massive public discomfiture

For it must be said that the rude punishment dealt by the electorate to the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition government was entirely predictable. From mid last year to perhaps even earlier, massively increasing public discomfiture had turned to outright anger directed towards a coterie of quarreling and oftentimes openly incompetent rulers.

Granted, there were notable improvements in the Rule of Law. Yet the approach of the United National Party (UNP) driving the unity Government and equally blinded Colombo based civil society acolytes were informed by a deeply disturbingly elitist and patronizing mind frame. Ordinary citizens in the North and the South were treated much llike obedient cattle, to be shepherded and thought-manipulated into uncomplaining quiescence as high games of bond scams, wastage of public funds and an engineered ‘reconciliation process’ continued.

Continue reading ‘Rude Punishment Dealt By The Electorate To The Sirisena -Wickremesinghe Coalition Govt Was Entirely Predictable’ »

There is no Parliamentary Tradition of a Prime Minister and/or Government Resigning on Account of a Defeat, However Stinging, at a Local Government Election.

By

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

It is a February to remember and for the Government, one it would like to forget. The victorious populist backlash led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a Local Government election has put into serious question the political fortunes of the government, its constituent parties and their leadership to the extent that since the election results were announced on 11 February, the impression, if not the reality, is one of instability and uncertainty. In politics, perceptions matter and the dominant perception is that the Rajapaksas are on their way back to power – There are provincial council elections, a presidential election and a general election all within the space of the next two and half years with the presidential election due in November/December 2019.

Clearly, the national electorate has sent the government a stern rebuke and a sharp wake-up call – things cannot go on as they have, promises made have to be delivered upon, the electorate cannot be taken for granted. The message is not just to the Government, but the main political parties that constitute it, as well. It is pivotally important to see it as such and not to mistake rebuke, however scathing, for definitive repudiation.

This isn’t rocket science. In a functioning democracy any government elected, especially on a platform of reform, has to deliver.

Continue reading ‘There is no Parliamentary Tradition of a Prime Minister and/or Government Resigning on Account of a Defeat, However Stinging, at a Local Government Election.’ »

“We Tamils Have Lost Many Opportunities In The Past, We Can’t Afford To Lose One More.” -Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

By

Meera Srinivasan

With a banner sporting a picture of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) founder S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in the background, senior Tamil leader R. Sampanthan made a fervent appeal in an election rally in Jaffna. “Unity”, he said, “is the only weapon we have now.”

Days ahead of Sri Lanka’s February 10 local government polls, the 85-year-old politician urged the northern Tamils to speak in one voice and support the ITAK. Whether it was the Northern Provincial Council elections in 2013, or the parliamentary elections of August 2015, the voters had done just that, giving the party and the Tamil National Alliance it helms an overwhelming mandate. “You placed your trust on us, and no one else, to be your representative. Give us a chance to continue to do that work,” Mr. Sampanthan said.

Continue reading ‘“We Tamils Have Lost Many Opportunities In The Past, We Can’t Afford To Lose One More.” -Rajavarothayam Sampanthan’ »

Fear of a Rajapaksa Resurgence will most likely Result in Pandering to the Fears of Southern Polity and Society Instead of Crafting Public Opinion and Mature Political Leadership is Not Racist, Rreductionist or Retrogressive.


By

Sanajana Hattotuwa

Since results of last weekend’s local government election were released, Hindu kovils were vandalised in Mannar, Muslims were subject to violence in Veyangalla and Uguraspitiya and an ebullient Mahinda Rajapaksa has commanded the media gaze. Much to unpack here.

The election result itself is an indication of many things that were foretold and forewarned, and a re-run of the technocratic gaze that ultimately ousted the Wickremesinghe-led UNF government back in the days of the ceasefire agreement. Lessons unlearnt then, remain unheeded now. The lack of any official press release from the PM or President after the election and the inability to even convene a press conference suggests the ferocity of the SLPP’s electoral sweep took even them by surprise. The former President on the other hand, ever the mediagenic genius, had no problem whatsoever commanding the headlines. While the UNP and SLFP descended into a kindergarten mode of you said, they said, he said, I’m never speaking to you ever again, here’s a toffee so be my friend style politics, and in full display of an already disgruntled and disgusted voting public, the SLPP’s media blitz was on par with its electoral performance – excellently executed, and for the most part, effective.

The mainstream media’s frothing fascination with every titbit of political gossip since last Sunday has been to the detriment of more sober reporting and reflections on the result and its aftermath. Lost in the melee of updates was reportage on the license some felt, as a result of the SLPP victory, to act violently against religious and ethnic minorities, with memories of guaranteed impunity. When this was flagged on Twitter, a barrage of insults and bitter invective followed by self-styled champions of the SLPP, reminiscent of the violence online that mirrored the awful censorship offline under the Rajapaksa regime. The fact that the SLPP swept the local government poll is not surprising. This was the government’s election to lose, not the SLPP’s to win. What’s disturbing as a consequence are the immediate and distinct markers of extremism and violence, now pent up that lie in wait within the SLPP’s constituent socio-political make-up, salivating at the chance to take and be in power again.
Continue reading ‘Fear of a Rajapaksa Resurgence will most likely Result in Pandering to the Fears of Southern Polity and Society Instead of Crafting Public Opinion and Mature Political Leadership is Not Racist, Rreductionist or Retrogressive.’ »

President Sirisena As Minister of Defence and Head of Armed Forces -and not Prime Minister Wickremesinghe – Wields Constitutional Legal Monopoly of Violence

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

Most of the discussion of today’s crisis is from the perspective of a lawyer. Mine is not a legalist point of view. It is a political science view, or even more simply a political view of the problem. I belong to the Realist school of Politics, and it is a Realist perspective, which has ‘power’ and the ‘balance of power’, rather than legalism or moralism at the center of the analysis, that I wish to bring to bear on the current crisis.

In politics as I understand it, the crucial questions are “Who prevails over whom?” (“Kto-Kogo?” in Lenin’s celebrated phrase) and “Who are our friends? Who are our enemies?” (as Mao put it), or more tersely, “the friend/enemy distinction” (in Carl Schmitt’s coinage).

The Prime Minister is now digging in, eye-balling it with the President. As this crisis unfolds, each of these personalities, and we, the citizenry, shall see what the Constitution is made of and how it works. Whoever comprehends it better, will prevail. If neither does, the governmental gridlock will be prolonged, with devastating consequences for stability and the economy.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena As Minister of Defence and Head of Armed Forces -and not Prime Minister Wickremesinghe – Wields Constitutional Legal Monopoly of Violence’ »

“Yahapalanaya”and the Conspicuous Silence of the Once Vociferous International Community

By

J. Natasha Gooneratne

Does the international community’s silence during the rule of Yahapalanya mean Sri Lanka is finally on the ‘right’ path, or that we’re finally doing what we’re told to do.

From 2009 to 2014, Sri Lanka was so heavily featured in international news and foreign government feeds that it was impossible to ignore. From the US led resolution, submitted to the UNHRC, to opinions on how the former government leaders should be tried in international courts (one American journalist even explained how the former Defense Secretary could be taken out of Sri Lanka and be tried in a US court in order to remove impediments toward Yahapalanaya rule), to unsubstantiated claims about corruption, the international community seemed to only want to take out the Rajapaksa-led government, whether they had proof or not of what they were writing about.

It was during this time that many analysts in Sri Lanka and around the world began questioning if there was something greater at play. Within the UN, certain states indicated that they feared that the Human Rights Council was being used as a ‘trigger mechanism’ against Sri Lanka. That is to say, a weapon used by more powerful countries to exert pressure on smaller developing countries such as ours.

Former Ambassador to the UN, Tamara Kunanayakam, had warned that there was a concentrated effort to achieve a system change in Sri Lanka, and that it had nothing to do with the protection of human rights. Even those far removed from multilateral affairs commented that it seemed like what was trying to be achieved in Sri Lanka was ‘regime change’; to put in place a more west-centric government that would not be so difficult to control as the former president was often seen by Western powers.

Of course this could all be considered mere conspiracy theories, and to a great extent during that period, it was considered as such. But three years down from the reign of the Yahapalana Government there are some interesting facts to note.

Continue reading ‘“Yahapalanaya”and the Conspicuous Silence of the Once Vociferous International Community’ »

Constitution Says Prime Minister Can Be Removed Only Through No-Confidence Motion; “We have The Majority To Face That In Parliament” Says Confident Ranil Wickremesinghe

By Dharisha Bastians

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe radiated a ‘business as usual’ attitude yesterday as he announced that he would continue in office, and brushed off a week of political uncertainty and chaos as the difficulties of ‘coalition politics’ in his first public comments since his party was defeated in Local Government elections last Saturday.

“As far as I am concerned, I am carrying on as Prime Minister according to the constitution,” Wickremesinghe asserted during his widely anticipated statement last evening.

Even as the rumour mill went into overdrive again yesterday, Wickremesinghe assured reporters that the Government continues to function. “The daily work of Government continues as usual,” he said.

Looking supremely confident and relaxed at the press interaction and talking to journalists for over an hour, the Prime Minister insisted that his United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) Government’s position was that the Unity Government could go on. To dismiss the Government, the constitution was clear on a no-confidence motion, he explained.

Questioned about if he was confident of showing the numbers in Parliament if the crisis boiled down to that, Wickremesinghe replied: “We have the majority.”

Continue reading ‘Constitution Says Prime Minister Can Be Removed Only Through No-Confidence Motion; “We have The Majority To Face That In Parliament” Says Confident Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Beleaguered Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Remains Calm and Composed Before Hostile Press and Accepts Responsibility For Election Defeat.

Sri Lanka’s beleaguered Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe went before a hostile press Friday, his first public appearance after the local government elections, and accepted responsibility for the drubbing.

Wickremesinghe fielded questions from journalists while demonstrating unusual calm and composure. He answered the incisive and embarrassing questions without rancour and he even managed to raise a few laughs.

Asked if he had given some 20 million rupees to each of the 16 Tamil National Alliance MPs to buy their support, Wickremesinghe said: “Why give the TNA. If I had 20 million, I will keep it for myself!”

The premier was using the open press conference to demonstrate his confidence in the midst of a political crisis deepened by a hostile president egging on his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to form a government.

Continue reading ‘Beleaguered Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Remains Calm and Composed Before Hostile Press and Accepts Responsibility For Election Defeat.’ »

Ex- Mt.Lavinia Police Crimes OIC Tissa Sugathapala and Retd Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara Will Testify as State Witnesses in Lasantha Wickrematunga Murder Case Disclose CID


By

Camelia Nathaniel

Former Mt. Lavinia Police Crimes OIC, SI Tissa Sugathapala and retired Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara arrested by the CID over the killing of veteran journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge have agreed to testify as state witnesses, the CID said.

Kalubowila JMO Dr. Sunil Kumara who issued Lasantha’s autopsy report stated that the cause of death was due to cranio cerebral injuries following a discharge of a firearm. However, the reports of the Government Analyst and Prof. Mohan Silva who performed an emergency operation on Wickrematunge soon after his admission to the Kalubowila hospital, had stated that there was no trace of any gunshot injuries.

According to the CID, the telephone details of former Kalubowila JMO indicates that he was in touch with former senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara, adding that Dr. Sunil Kumara is also a relative of DIG Nanayakkara.

SI Tissa Sugathapala was taken into custody by the CID on February 2 and retired Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara was arrested on February 13.

Continue reading ‘Ex- Mt.Lavinia Police Crimes OIC Tissa Sugathapala and Retd Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara Will Testify as State Witnesses in Lasantha Wickrematunga Murder Case Disclose CID’ »

Mahinda Telephones Ranil to Ask Whether he is Resigning as PM; When Ranil Replies in the Negative, Mahinda Replies “That Is Good”

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Friday, broke days of silence and said he would continue as the Prime Minister of the country according to the Sri Lankan constitution.

Speaking to reporters in Colombo, Wickremesinghe said he had no issues in continuing the unity government and said they would continue their work as before.

“As far as I am concerned I am continuing as the Prime Minister. Under the Sri Lankan constitution I see no reason why I should not. These are all coalition politics. Working together is not very easy. Let’s see what happens,” Wickremesinghe said.

Responding to a question of the increasing calls for his resignation from the SLFP, and from some members of the UNP Wickremesinghe said, “No one has asked for my resignation.”

Responding to a question on reports that President Maithripala Sirisena was now seeking the AGs advice in removing Wickremesinghe from the Premiership, Wickremesinghe said he would continue under the Sri Lankan constitution.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Telephones Ranil to Ask Whether he is Resigning as PM; When Ranil Replies in the Negative, Mahinda Replies “That Is Good”’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Causes Stir By Announcing “We are Ready to Govern With The SLFP” While Maithripala and Ranil Engage in Another Round Of Midnight Talks To Resolve Crisis

By Dharisha Bastians

As frantic efforts continued to keep the crisis-gripped National Unity Government together, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka, a close ally of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, took the fall and announced his resignation yesterday.

On his official Facebook page, Minister Ratnayaka announced that he had informed the UNP parliamentary group last morning that he would not continue as Minister for Law and Order.

“I told the Prime Minister this morning that I am willing to sacrifice any position for the party and do everything I can for the good of the UNP. I informed the UNP parliamentary group that this was a personal decision in order to strengthen the party and my loyalty to the party remains as strong as ever,” Ratnayaka’s announcement said.

Ratnayaka is the fourth UNP minister to be axed since the Unity Government was established in September 2015. Ratnayaka’s resignation is reportedly precipitated by swirling allegations within the Government and even inside the UNP that Premier Wickremesinghe’s ally had failed to successfully investigate and prosecute members of the Rajapaksa regime suspected of corruption and financial crimes and high-profile murders and assaults, highly-placed political sources told the Daily FT.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Causes Stir By Announcing “We are Ready to Govern With The SLFP” While Maithripala and Ranil Engage in Another Round Of Midnight Talks To Resolve Crisis’ »

UNP-SLFP Coalition Govt Will Continue With a Cabinet Re-shuffle and Ranil Wickremesinghe Remaining as Prime Minister

By Chathuri Dissanayake

The National Unity Government will continue despite the deep crisis it has been plunged into but with major changes to the Cabinet composition, Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne assured yesterday.

With his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Cabinet colleague and Co-spokesperson Dayasiri Jayasekara staying away from the cameras yesterday, Senaratne put on a brave face to solely answer queries from journalists regarding the future of the Government in the aftermath of the defeat at the Local Government polls.

Dismissing claims that Jayasekara’s absence was due to his possible defection from the Government, Senaratne valiantly defended both the President and Prime Minister to portray a united front for the Government.

The Minister played on the numbers and percentages to insist that the coalition partners United National Party and SLFP have retained their voter base while the Mahinda Rajapaksa faction exhibits a decline.

Continue reading ‘UNP-SLFP Coalition Govt Will Continue With a Cabinet Re-shuffle and Ranil Wickremesinghe Remaining as Prime Minister’ »

Ven Dambara Amila Thera of “Purawesi Balaya” Urges President ad Prime Minister To Appoint Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka as Law and Order Minister and Bring CID ,FCID and all Law Enforcement Agencies Under the Ex – Army Chief.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Civil Society grouping Purawesi Balaya yesterday called for far reaching Cabinet reshuffle, including the immediate appointment of war winning Army Chief Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as Law and Order Minister, to bring long delayed high profile investigations against the previous regime to a successful conclusion.

Yahapalana proponent Ven. Dambara Amila Thera declared that there couldn’t be a better person than Fonseka to lead the anti-crime drive.

Ven. Amila was addressing the media at the Center for Society and Religion (CSR), Maradana in the wake of Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake declaring his intention to give up his portfolios.

Among those flanking Ven. Amila were Executive Director of Center for Policy Alternatives Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Nimalka Fernando, Chameera Perera and Saman Ratnapriya.

The monk urged the government to allow police operations to take place outside ‘democratic norms’.

Alleging that the Rajapaksas and their partners were seeking to wreak chaos following Feb. 10 polls, the monk urged the government to operate beyond normal laws of the land.Urging the government to place the CID, FCID and other law enforcement arms under the former Army Chief, the monk requested that the military be placed on alert.

Continue reading ‘Ven Dambara Amila Thera of “Purawesi Balaya” Urges President ad Prime Minister To Appoint Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka as Law and Order Minister and Bring CID ,FCID and all Law Enforcement Agencies Under the Ex – Army Chief.’ »

Power Politics and the Pursuit of Political Power: Difference Between Political Realist Mahinda Rajapaksa and Political Idealist Ranil Wickremesinghe

By

Ameen Izzadeen

The just ended local council elections remind students of politics of an age-old adage: Politics is a continuous and ruthless struggle for power. Those who understand this often grab political power and stay on in power. Even if they lose, they continue their struggle to undermine the government with the intention of overthrowing it as fast as possible.

Politics is not for gentlemen or gentlewomen. Nor is it divine, for moral principles to govern it. It is simply dirty and therefore, one has to be animalistic to survive in politics, which is characterised by eternal vigilance, mutual suspicion, perpetual competitions, cold blooded conflicts, skullduggery, backstabbing, intimidation, assassinations and countermoves.

Man’s pursuit for power only ceases at death, Thomas Hobbes, one of the early proponents of a political power theory, said, echoing what Niccolo Machiavelli said in the medieval era and Kautilya said in ancient India. In Prince, Machiavelli says that with so many people in politics immorally disposed, good men in politics often bring down upon themselves their own destruction. In other words, a ruler who wishes to maintain power should not always be good.

In Sri Lanka’s political laboratory, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna de facto leader Mahinda Rajapaksa is an example of a politician in pursuit of endless power, while United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe appears as a politician being pulled by his commitment to democratic aspirations on the one hand and the requirements of power politics, on the other. In this confusion, he seems to give more weight to political idealism than to political realism. This explains why Wickremesinghe is often caught by surprise in many an election defeat. If only he had been a political animal in the caliber of his opponent, he could have prevented the dissolution of his government of 2001-2003 and would not have lost the all-important presidential race in 2005.

Continue reading ‘Power Politics and the Pursuit of Political Power: Difference Between Political Realist Mahinda Rajapaksa and Political Idealist Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Northern Poll Results Bring Back Douglas Devananda as a Player In Tamil Politics: TMVP of Pillaiyan Impresses In East


By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

The Southern electoral tsunami and the consequent governmental crisis has understandably obscured from view, important new trends in Northern politics. These trends not only speak well of the Tamil people but open up the possibility of serious negotiations at a future date with a political front that represents the South far more fully than does the current government.

In the all-important Jaffna district, the heartland of Tamil nationalism, a little over 18% of the vote at the recent local government election was obtained by a party led by a tough-minded pragmatist with solid anti-LTTE credentials—Douglas Devananda. In other words Devananda’s party not only got over three times the percentage obtained by the JVP in the Sinhala areas, it got a significantly higher percentage than the official SLFP did with all the benefits of state—and executive presidential–power.

It is impressive that while the five-party front, the ITAK, dominant in Tamil politics obtained 150 seats in the Jaffna District, 81 seats were won by Douglas Devananda’s EPDP.

EPDP has done relatively well in Jaffna district. It captured two PS in the islands and increased it percentage of votes significantly. For the first time, it has members in all the districts in the North and almost all the districts in the North and east. The EPDP has gone it alone. No one can now accuse EPDP of winning the votes with patronage. The Government was allied with the TNA and the EPDP had no source of state patronage. Even more significantly, the EPDP has won votes and seats at a time when Tamil nationalism was running high, and Douglas scores low on the pure Tamil nationalism index.

Continue reading ‘Northern Poll Results Bring Back Douglas Devananda as a Player In Tamil Politics: TMVP of Pillaiyan Impresses In East’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Blue -eyed Boy Sagala Ratnayake Ready To Voluntarily Step Down as Law and Order Minister ; Some Ministers Want Sarath Fonseka Appointed In His Place To “Target” Rajapaksas.

Sri Lanka’s embattled coalition survived the most serious threat to its survival so far after a last ditch compromise Thursday that saw Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s authority reduced substantially.

Coalition leaders blamed their downfall on Wickremesinghe’s Royal College cabal, including premier’s blue-eyed boy Sagala Ratnayaka, the minister of Law and Order, who is accused of failing to prosecute members of the former regime.

Even as calls mounted on the Prime Minister to sack Ratnayaka, he himself told cabinet ministers that he was willing to step down, government spokesman and co-cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters in Colombo.

Senaratne and his spokesman colleague Gayantha Karunathilaka confirmed that Ratnayaka’s departure was welcomed by other cabinet ministers who saw him as the main stumbling block in arresting high profile suspects.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Blue -eyed Boy Sagala Ratnayake Ready To Voluntarily Step Down as Law and Order Minister ; Some Ministers Want Sarath Fonseka Appointed In His Place To “Target” Rajapaksas.’ »

Appointment of Muttu Sivalingam MP as Deputy -Minister of Primary Industries Brings Ceylon Workers Congress Into Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt for First Time.

In an effort to assert his power over coalition partner United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka’s President and chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Maithripala Sirisena, on Thursday appointed Muttu Sivaligam of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) as Deputy Minister of Primary Industries.

The Cabinet Minister of Primary Industries is Daya Gamage who belongs to the UNP.

The CWC, which is a party of plantation workers of Indian origin, has been an ally of the SLFP and had done well in Nuwara Eliya district in the February 10 local bodies elections.

Continue reading ‘Appointment of Muttu Sivalingam MP as Deputy -Minister of Primary Industries Brings Ceylon Workers Congress Into Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt for First Time.’ »

The Political Crisis in Sri Lanka Is Likely To End in a Re- Configuration of Coalition Forces

By

Jayadeva Uyangoda


(Jayadeva Uyangoda is Professor Emeritus at the University of Colombo)

Sri Lanka’s local government election held on February 10 has become more than a mid-term poll that usually helps the opposition. Rather, it has led to an immediate political crisis of sorts, threatening the stability of the present government.

While the disunited ruling coalition, jointly headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, has lost the election badly, the newly formed Sri Lanka People’s Front, unofficially backed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has secured a sweeping victory in provinces except in the north and east.

Pressure points

There are two dimensions to the crisis. The first is the pressure from the Rajapaksa camp for the Wickremesinghe government to resign, interpreting the local government election as a referendum on the government as well as a loss of its popular mandate of 2015. The government can easily dismiss that pressure by showing that Mr. Rajapaksa’s new party polled only 44% of the popular vote this time while the parties that were partners in the coalition that brought them into power in 2015 have nearly 52% of votes between them.

Besides, the outcome of the local government election has no direct bearing on the government’s parliamentary majority. Mr. Rajapaksa has only about 50 MPs. Thus, the balance of power within Parliament has not been altered, and it is likely to remain that way unless the ruling coalition breaks up.

Continue reading ‘The Political Crisis in Sri Lanka Is Likely To End in a Re- Configuration of Coalition Forces’ »

Cordial Late Night Talks Between Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe Result in Agreement Being Reached Over Future of Coalition Govt Unity and Re-shuffle of Cabinet Ministers

By

Dharisha Bastians

Even as both the UNP and SLFP engaged in major political grandstanding that cast serious doubt on the fate of the Unity Government, President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met again for late night talks yesterday.

Continue reading ‘Cordial Late Night Talks Between Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe Result in Agreement Being Reached Over Future of Coalition Govt Unity and Re-shuffle of Cabinet Ministers’ »

Angered By UNP Threat to Govern Independently,President Sirisena Orders SLFP Ministers To Obtain a “Majority” in Parliament Under Nimal Siripala de Silva’s Leadership within Two days


By Dharisha Bastians

In a tit-for-tat move, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)-led UPFA threatened to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and form its own Government, under the premiership of senior party man and current Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva yesterday, as the ruling coalition plunged deeper into crisis and disarray.

The new political moves were set in motion after UNP Cabinet ministers, who convened at the official residence of the President with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on Tuesday (13 February) night, told President Maithripala Sirisena that they were willing to govern independently and show the party’s strength in Parliament.

The threat reportedly angered President Sirisena, who commanded SLFP Ministers to begin exploring options to show a majority in Parliament during discussions after the weekly Cabinet meeting, under the leadership of Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva. The President told SLFP ministers that he would give them two days to muster the numbers, highly placed sources told Daily FT.

Continue reading ‘Angered By UNP Threat to Govern Independently,President Sirisena Orders SLFP Ministers To Obtain a “Majority” in Parliament Under Nimal Siripala de Silva’s Leadership within Two days’ »

Desperate To Get Rid of Wickremesinghe President Sirisena Embarks on Path of Self -Destruction Paving The Way For Mahinda Rajapaksa To Return to Power.

UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera and National Organizer Susil Premajayantha have requested President Maithripala Sirisena to form aUPFA-led government, claiming they can show a majority support in the 225 member legislature.

The letter has been sent to the President amidst their negotiations with the Joint Opposition group to form a new coalition in Parliament. It is learnt that the Joint Opposition has offered conditional support to the UPFA for a caretaker government that will ensure an early dissolution of Parliament.

Sports Minister Dayasiri Payasekera and Deputy Speaker thilanga Sumathipala were at the forefront of these negotiations, this evening.

Continue reading ‘Desperate To Get Rid of Wickremesinghe President Sirisena Embarks on Path of Self -Destruction Paving The Way For Mahinda Rajapaksa To Return to Power.’ »

So Called Moves to Form a SLFP Led Govt With Nimal Siripala de Silva as PM Could Be “Troll Campaign” To Divert Focus Away from Party’s Humiliating Defeat at Polls.


The SLFP is looking into the possibility of forming a new government with the party’s Senior Vice Chairman Nimal Siripala de Silva as the Prime Minister, a Cabinet minister representing the SLFP told reporters, a short while ago.

He said the party would hold discussions with the Joint Opposition, the UNP and minority parties in this regard.

It is still not clear whether it is a “troll” campaign to divert public attention after the party’s humiliating defeat at the Local Government polls 2018. The SLFP managed to receive only a paltry 13% at the Local Government, leaving its leader and other senior officials in shock.

Continue reading ‘So Called Moves to Form a SLFP Led Govt With Nimal Siripala de Silva as PM Could Be “Troll Campaign” To Divert Focus Away from Party’s Humiliating Defeat at Polls.’ »

Although Decimated in Local Polls the UPFA Wants to Topple Ranil Wickremesinghe As Prime Minister Claiming it has MP’s to form Majority.

Sri Lanka President’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) which was decimated at recent local election has said it wants to topple Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and form a new administration.

UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera told reporters Wednesday that he wrote Sirisena claiming that they had a majority in the 225-member assembly to form a new government.

Continue reading ‘Although Decimated in Local Polls the UPFA Wants to Topple Ranil Wickremesinghe As Prime Minister Claiming it has MP’s to form Majority.’ »

Retd Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara Arrested by CID For Allegedly Concealing Evidence In Lasantha Wickrematunga Murder Investigation While in Charge of Western Province;Remanded Till Feb 16th.


By

Camelia Nathaniel

Retired Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Tuesday, for allegedly concealing evidence in the murder of former Sunday Leader Chief Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge.

Nanayakkara was the Senior DIG in charge of the Western Province at the time of Wickrematunge’s murder with Mount Lavinia coming under his jurisdiction.

He was produced before the Mount Lavinia Magistrate yesterday and remanded till February 16.

Continue reading ‘Retd Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara Arrested by CID For Allegedly Concealing Evidence In Lasantha Wickrematunga Murder Investigation While in Charge of Western Province;Remanded Till Feb 16th.’ »

UPFA and SLFP Want President Sirisena to Form New UPFA Led Govt With Nimal Siripala de Silva As Prime Minister

By

Disna Mudalige

UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera and SLFP National Organizer Susil Premajayantha yesterday, made a written request from President Maithripala Sirisena to form a UPFA led Government.

Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala told the media that the UPFA/SLFP members requested in the letter to appoint a new Prime Minister, who can win the majority support of Parliament, from the UPFA.

Continue reading ‘UPFA and SLFP Want President Sirisena to Form New UPFA Led Govt With Nimal Siripala de Silva As Prime Minister’ »

Court of Appeal Extends Till Feb 28th the Restraiing Order Preventing Arrest of Ex -Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa By the Police Financial Crimes Investigation Division.

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Court of Appeal, yesterday extended till Feb. 28, the restraining order which prevented the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) and the police from taking steps to arrest, under Offences to the Public Property Act, Former Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, in respect of the construction of the D. A. Rajapaksa Memorial at Weeraketiya.

Continue reading ‘Court of Appeal Extends Till Feb 28th the Restraiing Order Preventing Arrest of Ex -Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa By the Police Financial Crimes Investigation Division.’ »

Counsel Romesh de Silva Pleads In Court That FCID Could Investigate and File Charges Against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Under PPA If Necessary But Should Refrain From Arresting and Remanding Ex -Def -Secy Under B Report Certificate

By S.S.Selvanayagam

Court of Appeal yesterday further extended the Interim Order till 28 February, preventing the FCID from acting on the Certificate (B Report) under the offences against the Public Property Act in the Magistrate’s Court against former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya.

The Bench comprised Justices P. Padman Surasena (President/CA) and Shiran Gooneratne and the matter of extending the Interim Order is to be resumed on 17 February.

PC Romesh de Silva, appearing for the petitioner Gotabhaya at the invitation of the Court, suggested that the FCID should not file the certificate under the Public Property Act and that they can conduct the investigation and file charges under this Act if necessary.

He submitted that if the certificate is filed under this Act, under the Penal Code, Gotabhaya would have to be arrested and remanded by the Magistrate, as it is mandatory under this Act to do so if the alleged amount is more than Rs. 25,000.

Continue reading ‘Counsel Romesh de Silva Pleads In Court That FCID Could Investigate and File Charges Against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Under PPA If Necessary But Should Refrain From Arresting and Remanding Ex -Def -Secy Under B Report Certificate’ »

If the “Pohottuwa”Can Be Defeated By Re-forming the “Rainbow ” Coalition, then the Govt Should Be Able to Prove it By Holding Parliament Elections Immediately.

By

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

I am sorry, but I just don’t get it. I thought what we had was a local government election, specifically for the purpose of deciding which parties assumed control of those local, grassroots, area-based institutions depending on the number members elected.

The electoral results shown on the map of Sri Lanka by the media indicating the administrative areas gained (which is what it was all about), was awash in deep maroon, the designated colour of the new SLPP covering most of its territory, pushing other colours representing other older parties to the margins and a couple of small blobs in the centre. It was quickly described as a ‘landslide’.

How that victory could be interpreted as anything but phenomenal and unprecedented is unclear since the new party’s intention was to capture power at the local government level and they exceeded their expectations in the very first election they faced gaining over 71% of the LG institutions. I’d say that was an impressive performance that left the ruling UNP scrambling for percentages that hypothetically and pathetically made them appear winners in a whole different context, but only if time had stood still since 2015. But much water and Bond Scam dollars had flowed under that half-built bridge in the last 3 years.

From the time the results of the resounding victory for the Pohottuwa symbol started to trickle in, a drop at a time until well past the promised hour when there was an unstoppable flood, it seemed like the newly formed party, too new to have state power of any sort, had crushed the long established parties in government to a humiliating defeat.

Continue reading ‘If the “Pohottuwa”Can Be Defeated By Re-forming the “Rainbow ” Coalition, then the Govt Should Be Able to Prove it By Holding Parliament Elections Immediately.’ »

Prof G.L.Peiris Wants “Yahapalana” Govt to Appoint Commissions of Inquiry Into Anti-Muslim Incidents and Their Backgrounds in Aluthgama and Gintota.

(Text of a MEDIA RELEASE Issued by Sri Lanka Podu Jana Party Chairman Prof.G.L.Peiris under the heading ” Another attempt to mislead the Muslim people of Sri Lanka”)

Following the Sri Lanka PodujanaPeramuna’s resounding victory at the local government elections, a rumor began circulating in the social media that the BoduBalaSena had made facebook posts in support of the SLPP.

Then articles appeared in the newspapers quoting a letter written to the press b yMr. N.M.Ameen of the Muslim Council stating that SLPP cadres had allegedly harassed several Muslim individuals in Ugurassapitiya in Kandy and Veyangalla in Agalawatte for not supporting the SLPP.

If any such incidents had occurred, they should be reported to the police and dealt with.

The public is well aware of the strategies that were orchestrated before the last presidential election to alienate the Muslim communityfrom our leadership.

Continue reading ‘Prof G.L.Peiris Wants “Yahapalana” Govt to Appoint Commissions of Inquiry Into Anti-Muslim Incidents and Their Backgrounds in Aluthgama and Gintota.’ »

Dharmasena Pathiraja The Master Movie Maker

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Renowned Sri Lankan film maker Dharmasena Pathiraja breathed his last on the morning of January 28th 2018 at the Lakeside hospital in Kandy. The 74 year old academic cum film director refered to as “Pathi” by almost everybody he interacted with, had been ailing for sometime.

It was only last year that the information department organized an event “Pathita Panahai”(Pathi at 50) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his artistic life. Pathi who lived a full life as a free spirit according to his own rules had wanted a swift and simple funeral sans speeches and religious rites. .His wishes were adhered to.The funeral of Dharmasena Pathiraja took place at the Mahaiyawa cemetery in Kandy on the evening of Jan 28th itself. He leaves behind wife Malani Kusumalatha and two children Sumedha and Milinda.
Continue reading ‘Dharmasena Pathiraja The Master Movie Maker’ »

Crisis-managing Ranil Wickremesinghe Gets all UNP Parliamentarians Including Over a Dozen “Dissidents” To Sign Letters of Support for UNP Leader to Continue as Prime Minister and Presents “Fait Accompli” to President Sirisena

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe turned tables on dissidents within his own party and managed to head off a challenge to his leadership after the party’s humiliating defeat at local council elections.

More than a dozen dissidents went into his Temple Trees official residence to read the riot act to Wickremesinghe, but meekly walked out saying they had endorsed his leadership.

They even went as far as to suggest that it would be better for the party to form a government on its own with members of President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

Continue reading ‘Crisis-managing Ranil Wickremesinghe Gets all UNP Parliamentarians Including Over a Dozen “Dissidents” To Sign Letters of Support for UNP Leader to Continue as Prime Minister and Presents “Fait Accompli” to President Sirisena’ »

19th Constitutional Amendment Prevents President Sirisena From Unilaterally Sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe As Prime Minister or Arbitrarily Take Over a Cabinet Minister’s Portfolio.

By

Dharisha Bastians

The enactment of the historic 19th Amendment continues to have profound relevance on the options open to President Maithripala Sirisena as crisis deepens in the ruling coalition, with legal experts warning that a 2003 style take-over of ministries by the President or the unilateral sacking of the Prime Minister feared by many political observers is virtually impossible under the provisions of the Act.

The incumbent President, who is subject to the provisions of the 19A, cannot force the removal of a sitting Prime Minister or the Cabinet of Ministers without triggering a major constitutional crisis, since the historic legislation has slashed presidential powers in this respect, legal experts told the Daily FT.

Continue reading ‘19th Constitutional Amendment Prevents President Sirisena From Unilaterally Sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe As Prime Minister or Arbitrarily Take Over a Cabinet Minister’s Portfolio.’ »

US Ambassador Athul Keshap and Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu Meet “Confused” Maithripala Sirisena To “Persuade” the President to Reach an Agreement With Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and End the Current Coalition Govt Crisis

US Ambassador Athul Keshap and Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandu have met President Maithripala Sirisena in an attempt to diffuse the current political crisis in Sri Lanka.

The top diplomats, in two separate meetings, have informed President Sirisena to find a speedy solution to the current issue, without jeopardizing the political stability in Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘US Ambassador Athul Keshap and Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu Meet “Confused” Maithripala Sirisena To “Persuade” the President to Reach an Agreement With Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and End the Current Coalition Govt Crisis’ »

Joint UNP-SLFP Committee Will Be Set Up To Submit Report In Three Days on the Current Coalition Govt Crisis and Propose Alternative Measures

The two main members of the ruling coalition in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by President Maihripala Sirisena, and the United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, have decided to form a committee to go into the question of running the government in the light of their crushing defeat in the February 10 local bodies elections.

At two meetings with President Sirisena on Tuesday, the SLFP and UNP-led fronts decided that the committee should submit is report within three days, whereupon the top leaders will take a final decision on whether the coalition should continue or not or how to run the government.
Both the SLFP and the UNP were beaten comprehensively by the new outfit, the Sri Lanka Podujna Peramuna (SLPP), a breakaway group from the SLFP led by former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The meteoric rise of the SLPP like colossus resulted in mutual mudslinging in the ruling coalition. The blame game that was unleashed seriously threatened the coalition known as the “National Unity Government.”

For the defeat, the SLFP blamed the UNP’s economic and foreign policies, including the infamous LKR 11.4 billion Central Bank bond scam in which Wickremesinghe was supposedly involved albeit indirectly.
The UNP blamed the President’s reactionary and conservative thinking for the debacle because he would overturn many decisions taken by the neo-liberal and pro-West UNP.

Continue reading ‘Joint UNP-SLFP Committee Will Be Set Up To Submit Report In Three Days on the Current Coalition Govt Crisis and Propose Alternative Measures’ »

Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa Reject President Sirisena’s Offers to Make One of Them Replace Ranil Wickremesinghe As Prime Minister Saying They Cannot Act Without Party Approval.

By

Dharisha Bastians and Chathuri Dissanayake

Efforts to break a deadlock on the political future of Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition continued yesterday, with a second round of late night talks for all UNP Cabinet ministers at President Maithripala Sirisena’s official residence at Paget Road last night.

The meeting ended inconclusively, but ministers present said the national unity coalition would make a final decision on if it would stay together or part ways after the weekly Cabinet meeting today, at which SLFP ministers will also be present. UNP Deputy Leader and Minister of Housing Sajith Premadasa told the media that the two leaders had decided to appoint a committee to determine the future of the coalition. The meeting had been cordial, although the President had initially walked in angry, it is learnt.

However, Ranjan Ramanayake, who was the only deputy minister invited to last night’s talks, tried to lighten the mood at the tense meeting, and also managed to tell both leaders some home truths. Ramanayake told the Daily FT he had reminded the President and the Prime Minister that they had the support of 6.2 million Sri Lankans and urged the two leaders to correct the mistakes the Government had made and move forward.

UNP ministers communicated to the President that the removal of the Prime Minister was a decision to be made by the party and it was agreed that he could not be asked to step down.

President Sirisena replied that while that was understandable, he had to think about his own party too, as the leader of the SLFP, Daily FT learns.

Continue reading ‘Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa Reject President Sirisena’s Offers to Make One of Them Replace Ranil Wickremesinghe As Prime Minister Saying They Cannot Act Without Party Approval.’ »

The 2018 Local Govt Poll Result was a Full-spectrum Rejection of the Policies, Practices and Profile of the Government; A Massive Populist Backlash Against Neo-liberal Globalism.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

We are living in a new country. We just need the Government to catch up with that fact. Mahinda Rajapaksa led a political formation that has emerged as the largest single party in the country, comfortably displacing the UNP. He did so while neither having a share of governmental power nor the status of the official Opposition. What is most telling is the sheer verticality and velocity of the Pohottuwa’s take-off and rise. Only Mahinda Rajapaksa could have pulled this off.

The Yahapalana elite and their Western and Indian backers thought they had acquired Sri Lanka on January 8, 2015. They were wrong. A cynical geo-strategist would say the West and India lost the Local Government election and China won. That’s not strictly true. Counterattacking from below, the people have almost taken back their country from the neoliberal-globalist elite. As in November 2005, when successive leaders had failed to defend the country from the Tigers for a quarter century and the people turned to Mahinda Rajapaksa, they did so again in Feb 2018.

In my last column in these pages, this is what I wrote:

“I wager that when this column reappears on February 14 the electoral outcome would have shocked the UNP and the country’s pro-UNP, pro-Western elite. This has happened more than once before…
In this country, History moves in cycles. The present PM’s parents were the ideologues-cum-strategists of the insensitive, myopically arrogant rightwing elite that was ousted by the nationalist-populist ‘Silent Revolution’ of 1956. Today, the Second ‘Silent Revolution’ against the UNP-driven government is led by five sons of two iconic patriarchs of 1956, DA Rajapaksa and Philip Gunawardena: Mahinda, Basil, Chamal, Gota and Dinesh. History is about to repeat itself.”
(‘Fast and Furious: the Populist Pohottuwa Phenomenon’, Daily Mirror, Wednesday, January 31st 2018)

Okay, so it is February 14 and here we are. One does not have to be smart to see the writing on the wall – which is where it was–and to read that writing.

Continue reading ‘The 2018 Local Govt Poll Result was a Full-spectrum Rejection of the Policies, Practices and Profile of the Government; A Massive Populist Backlash Against Neo-liberal Globalism.’ »

UNP Parliamentary Group Closes Ranks and Resolves Unanimously To Form a New Government Under Leadership Of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The UNP Parliamentary group which met at Temple Trees unanimously agreed to form a UNP government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesimghe.

“If the SLFP doesn’t like the idea, they can pull out of the government. If the President doesn’t like the PM, he can step down too. But, the UNP is proceeding with its plan. We have a clear majority in Parliament at the moment and can form a government without a problem,” a Parliamentary group member of the party told Asian Mirror, soon after the meeting.

It is learnt that the conduct of the MTV/MBC Media Network has been heavily criticized by some MPs at the meeting.

Continue reading ‘UNP Parliamentary Group Closes Ranks and Resolves Unanimously To Form a New Government Under Leadership Of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

Sirisena Wants Wickremesinghe To Resign But Prime Minister Refuses Saying He has Parliamentary Majority;Enraged UNP Minister Wants President to Step Down Instead of Asking Ranil To Quit

President Maithripala Sirisena, who is currently under severe political pressure after the SLFP’s dismal performance at the Local Government polls, is now pushing for the resignation of Primr Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, authoritative political sources confirmed.

The President, Asian Mirror learns, has agreed to form a UNP government without Prime Minister Wickremesinghe. He had informed a UNP delegation, led by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, that he was ready to accept a UNP government with a new Prime Minister.

Sirisena had said such a drastic change was needed to prevent the ‘comeback’ of the Rajapaksa family to power.

Continue reading ‘Sirisena Wants Wickremesinghe To Resign But Prime Minister Refuses Saying He has Parliamentary Majority;Enraged UNP Minister Wants President to Step Down Instead of Asking Ranil To Quit’ »

Majority of SLFP Central Committee Members Decide to Pull Out of Coalition Govt and Sit as Opposition MP’s In Parliament From Next Week.

The majority of Central Committee members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) have endorsed the decision to pull out of the unity government.

The matter has been widely discussed among the party officials today. They have unanimously decided that the SLFP cannot function in its present form as a coalition partner of the unity government.

Therefore, the SLFP group is likely to sit in Parliament as an independent group from next week. The group, at the moment, have nearly 45 Members of Parliament who have been elected on the UPFA ticket.

Continue reading ‘Majority of SLFP Central Committee Members Decide to Pull Out of Coalition Govt and Sit as Opposition MP’s In Parliament From Next Week.’ »

Pressure Mounts On Ranil Wickremesinghe To Step Down as Party Leader Along With His “FRCS (Former Royal College Student) Cabal” Said To Be Ruining The UNP

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is under renewed pressure to step down from the leadership of his United National Party (UNP) after its dismal performance at local council elections.

UNP seniors said they wanted Wickremesinghe to step aside to clear the way for a major restructuring of the party after Saturday’s drubbing at the local government election.

Since the humiliating defeat, party stalwarts have begun blaming Wickremesinghe’s style of leadership, including his blind faith in what is known as the ‘FRCS – Former Royal College Student’ cabal.

Continue reading ‘Pressure Mounts On Ranil Wickremesinghe To Step Down as Party Leader Along With His “FRCS (Former Royal College Student) Cabal” Said To Be Ruining The UNP’ »

President Sirisena Asks UNP to Replace Ranil Wickremesinghe With Karu Jayasuriya as Prime Minister but UNP Wants to Form Own Govt Under Ranil

A crucial meeting between Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and his alliance partner, the United National Party (UNP)-led United National Front (UNF), which is taking place here on Tuesday, appears to be deadlocked over the issue, who should be Prime Minister in the planned reshuffle.

Following the crushing defeat of the coalition partners Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the UNP/UNF in the February 10 local bodies elections at the hands of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the ruling coalition is rocked by a blame game.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Asks UNP to Replace Ranil Wickremesinghe With Karu Jayasuriya as Prime Minister but UNP Wants to Form Own Govt Under Ranil’ »

Three Lessons From Local Govt Poll Verdict:One For The Voters,One For The Coalition Govt and One For Mahinda Rajapaksa


By Gehan Gunatilleke

Few would have predicted the results of Sri Lanka’s local government elections in 2018. With the benefit of hindsight, we must now try to understand what happened and why. There are three lessons to be learnt from the results – one lesson for voters, one for the coalition Government, and one for Mahinda Rajapaksa himself.


A lesson for the voter

In the US, spiteful supporters of Bernie Sanders have themselves to blame for Donald Trump. Sri Lanka is no different. Sri Lankan voters must learn that perfect is often the enemy of good. Many were jaded by the current Government’s inefficiencies and failures. Many among them may have chosen to cast a protest vote or not to participate in the local government elections.

A comparatively low turnout at local government elections is to be expected. Some early reports indicate a 65% voter turnout – almost a 10% drop from the August, 2015 general elections. Regardless, voters should have known that the recent elections meant so much more. These elections were not just a litmus test for Government popularity; they were a test of the voter’s resolve to oppose tyranny. Any drop in voter turnout reflects the unforgivable inertia of many who failed to see this significance.

Continue reading ‘Three Lessons From Local Govt Poll Verdict:One For The Voters,One For The Coalition Govt and One For Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Govt Must Not Panic Due To LG Poll Result and Over React in Gloom and Doom Because UNP & SLFP/UPFA Votes Together Are More Than Votes Garnered By Mahinda’s SLPP.

By Outsider

This was after all only a local government election, primarily to pick who will look after and nurture each ward, under the watchful eye of the local PS, UC, or MC, although pre/post-elections generated much political heat.

Newspapers have concentrated mostly on victories of Pradeshiya Sabhas, mostly ignoring MCs.

Municipality Areas (MCs) are pivotal in view of their extents, location and of course the populace they serve – mostly the more educated and discerning public who have unanimously voted with the UNP – examples being Hambantota, Galle, Kandy, Negombo, Wattala, Panadura, Dehiwela/Mt. Lavinia etc. and the plum of Colombo.
Continue reading ‘Govt Must Not Panic Due To LG Poll Result and Over React in Gloom and Doom Because UNP & SLFP/UPFA Votes Together Are More Than Votes Garnered By Mahinda’s SLPP.’ »

Supremely Confident Mahinda Rajapaksa Dismisses “Deal Making” and Says He Does Not Need SLFP Ministers In Govt to Cross Over to Opposition Because The People Have Already Crossed Over.

By Dharisha Bastians

Jubilant after his party swept local government polls on 10 February, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped up pressure on the Government to call parliamentary elections, even as the shocking election upset plunged the ruling coalition deep into crisis over the weekend.

Questions abound about the future of the National Unity Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, with the UNP and SLFP trading barbs after a humiliating defeat at the hands of the fledgling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) backed by the former President on 10 February.

Wearing ‘pohottuwa’ colours and broad smiles, Mahinda Rajapaksa told reporters at the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna headquarters in Battaramulla that only fresh parliamentary elections would break the deadlock and end the current political instability.

Continue reading ‘Supremely Confident Mahinda Rajapaksa Dismisses “Deal Making” and Says He Does Not Need SLFP Ministers In Govt to Cross Over to Opposition Because The People Have Already Crossed Over.’ »

Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Says He Cannot Become PM as he is a US Citizen and asks “Who Wants To Be Prime Minister In The Present Scenario?”

By

Lahiru Pothmulla

Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who returned yesterday to Sri Lanka from the US, said he could not accept the Prime Ministerial portfolio because he was an American citizen.

He said this when asked by the journalists at the Airport whether he would accept the Post of Prime Minister if it was offered by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

“I can’t. I am an American citizen. So I cannot accept that portfolio. Besides, who wants to become a Prime Minister in a scenario such as what exists today,” he said and added that he had still not decided to enter politics.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Says He Cannot Become PM as he is a US Citizen and asks “Who Wants To Be Prime Minister In The Present Scenario?”’ »

The UNP Crisis is a Crisis of Leadership Which Has Turned Cancerous and Unless Resolved Will Kill the Party and Possibly the Govt

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

The crisis of the UNP is not reducible to the enormous drop in its vote on Feb 10th, a vertical drop that is unprecedented for a long established party in government and at a local government election at which governmental patronage matters. The Feb 10th shrinkage of the UNP is the consequence, not the cause of the UNP crisis.

That crisis is one of long duration. The crisis of the UNP is a crisis of leadership and it dates back to the assassination of President Premadasa and other senior leaders by the LTTE. The UNP’s crisis is a post-Premadasa leadership crisis and it has lasted for decades.

Either the party resolves it this week or the crisis which has turned cancerous kills the UNP and probably the government.

Continue reading ‘The UNP Crisis is a Crisis of Leadership Which Has Turned Cancerous and Unless Resolved Will Kill the Party and Possibly the Govt’ »

No Agreement Reached So far But Maithripala and Ranil Will Continue Talks to Reach Agreement as the UNP and SLFP Votes Together are More Than Votes Got by SLPP.

By

Dharsisha Bastians

Confusion reigned yesterday after reports surfaced that the United National Party, the main stakeholder in the ruling coalition was exploring options to govern independently and show a majority in Parliament, drawing a swift denial from President Maithripala Sirisena that agreements to this effect had been reached with his Prime Minister.

Reports about the UNP moves to go solo following the local government election results, claimed that President Sirisena had approved the party’s plan and asked the Prime Minister to show a majority in Parliament, and even agreed to tell SLFP ministers willing to stay on in the Government to extend support to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“There have been no agreements reached with the Prime Minister on governing local councils or future political activities,” the Presidential Media Division said issuing a denial just hours later.

President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe met for late night talks at Paget Road, Daily FT learns, in a bid to make crucial decisions about how to move forward as a National Unity Government after the landslide win by the pro-Rajapaksa Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) in elections over the weekend.

The two leaders will continue to meet in the coming days until decisions can be made on the way forward, authoritative sources with knowledge of the discussions told Daily FT.

Continue reading ‘No Agreement Reached So far But Maithripala and Ranil Will Continue Talks to Reach Agreement as the UNP and SLFP Votes Together are More Than Votes Got by SLPP.’ »

Moves On Within Sections Of UNP to Form a Separate United National Front Govt With TNA Supporting From Opposition If SLFP Ministers Resign From Govt.

By Saman Indrajith

The UNP has decided to form a United National Front (UNF) government ending the coalition with the SLFP Maithri faction, party sources say.

The decision to form a UNF government was taken following discussions between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the President’s official residence at Pajet Road in Colombo 07 on Sunday night, according to sources.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was also present at the talks between the President and the Prime Minister.

Continue reading ‘Moves On Within Sections Of UNP to Form a Separate United National Front Govt With TNA Supporting From Opposition If SLFP Ministers Resign From Govt.’ »

Vendetta Against Udayanga Weeratunga:A Text-book Case of Political Victimization

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya

As campaign rhetoric reached fever-pitch last week in the run-up to the LG elections on Saturday (10), the government stumbled on an unexpected news-nugget to feed its propaganda mill. It camein the form of reports that Udayanga Weeratunga, Sri Lanka’s former ambassador to Russia and Ukraine, on whom court issued an arrest warrant in October, had been detained for questioning at Dubai airport on Sunday (4). This news snowballed in a manner that leftthe impressionthatthe government was about to secure the extradition ofa criminal ‘Red Noticed’ by Interpol. Several media reports referred to an ‘international warrant’ having been issued for Weeratunga’s arrest. The story dovetailed nicely with the yahapalana government’s professed commitment to punishing the corrupt, especially from the Rajapaksa regime. Weeratunga is a relative of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

On Tuesday (6) police said ateam would be dispatched to Abu Dhabi the next day to‘bring back’ Weeratunga who was under ‘arrest.’ The Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayake reportedly made similar assertions on the campaign trail. However Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the UAE in Abu Dhabi S J Mohideen responding to a phone query on Thursday (8) was unable to confirm whether an arrest had taken place, saying “nobody has informed officially,” and that he too was going by ‘what he heard from newspapers in Sri Lanka.’

It was not until Weeratunga himself made a statement on an evening TV news bulletin on Thursday, posted also on Facebook, that it came to light that Abu Dhabi authorities had acted to detain him on the basis of an Interpol Blue Notice. Weeratuga dismissed as untrue the claim that he was under arrest. He said theInterpol officers knowing they had no right to have a person arrested on a Blue Notice, released him after duly questioning him regarding his address and other details.

Continue reading ‘Vendetta Against Udayanga Weeratunga:A Text-book Case of Political Victimization’ »

President’s Media Division Refutes Media Reporta About Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe Reaching an Agreement After Local Govt Poll Debacle.

There had been no agreement between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe regarding future political action, President’s Media Division (PMD) said issuing a press release.

“A number of media institutions have published stories saying that an agreement was reached between the President and the Prime Minister regarding future political activities,” the PMD said.

Continue reading ‘President’s Media Division Refutes Media Reporta About Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe Reaching an Agreement After Local Govt Poll Debacle.’ »

No Tradition or Precedence for Dissolvig Parliament and Holding Elections When an Incumbent Govt Loses Local Govt Elections states Dr.Jayampathy Wickramarathne

Parliament cannot be dissolved before four and half years unless a two thirds majority passes a resolution as per the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Constitutional Lawyer and UNP MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramarathne said.

Speaking on the same lines JVP MP Vijitha Herath said not even President Maithripala Sirisena could dissolve Parliament before February 2020 without a two thirds majority support. They made this observation in response to the call made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to immediately dissolve Parliament and go for a snap election.

“What was concluded was an election for Local Government Authorities. Parliament was elected for a term of 5 years.

Continue reading ‘No Tradition or Precedence for Dissolvig Parliament and Holding Elections When an Incumbent Govt Loses Local Govt Elections states Dr.Jayampathy Wickramarathne’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Urges Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt to Hold General Elections for the People To Elect a New Govt They want.

By

Sandasen Marasinghe and Kamal Jayamanna

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged the government to go for a General Election in order to establish a strong government.

He also said that that the SLPP has no intention of grabbing power in Parliament.

Rajapaksa added that the last Local Government election results however has proved that the government has no mandate as its policies have been rejected by the people.

“Therefore, I insist the government hold a general election for the people to elect their government,” Rajapaksa said.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Urges Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt to Hold General Elections for the People To Elect a New Govt They want.’ »

Mahinda Will Definitely Accept SLFP Leadership If President Maithripala Offers It “But, the Sirisena I know will never offer it,” Says Ex-President Rajapaksa

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday called on President Maithripala Sirisena to ensure that Parliament was dissolved immediately and a general election held to end the current political instability.

Addressing a special media briefing at Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) headquarters in Battaramulla, former President Rajapaksa said the present government had no moral right to be in power as it was clear that people were no longer with it and they had rejected its economic policies as well.

Rajapaksa said the SLPP’s victory at the just concluded local government elections was historic as it was achieved within a short period of time since the formation of the new party.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Will Definitely Accept SLFP Leadership If President Maithripala Offers It “But, the Sirisena I know will never offer it,” Says Ex-President Rajapaksa’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Got 5.77 Million Votes(47.6%) at Jan 2015 Presidential Poll But His Party Got Only 4.95 Million Votes(44.7%) at Local Govt Poll Points out Mangala Samaraweera.


Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today the UNP had a solemn duty not just to the 46% of the electorate who voted for it and President Maithripala Sirisena’s SLFP last Saturday, but to the entire resounding majority of citizens of all 6.1 million of (55.3%) who marched to the polls last Saturday and voted against a return to the Rajapaksa rule.

The Minister, who compared the current election results with that of the 2015 Presidential Election, said it was evident that Mahinda Rajapaksa who in January 2015 commanded 5.77 million votes (47.6%) as his presidency waned week was not ‘even able to muster 4.95 million votes or even 44.7% of voters this time.

Issuing a statement, the Minister said on January 8, 2015-

fifty one per cent of Sri Lankans voted for the vision put forth to them by our unity candidate Maithripala Sirisena; that the time for dictatorship in our country was over, and that those committed to re-establishing democracy in Sri Lanka must unite to ensure that government serves all of the people, and not a single family and their loyal disciples.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Got 5.77 Million Votes(47.6%) at Jan 2015 Presidential Poll But His Party Got Only 4.95 Million Votes(44.7%) at Local Govt Poll Points out Mangala Samaraweera.’ »

If the Govt Wants To Survive Until the End of Next Year ,It iwill Have to Shift to a new “Intermediate Regime” Model.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

Last year, 2017, the Government and Opposition separately commemorated the centenary of the Russian revolution –actually of twin revolutions, liberal and socialist, of February and October 1917. In an interesting twist, the result of the Sri Lankan Local Government election of February 10th 2018 takes us back to a situation best described by a term first used during the Russian Revolution of 1917: Dual Power. The Parliament (‘Duma’) was held by the liberal government allied with the Western powers but elections to parallel Councils representing the grassroots– the Soviets– established a dualism of power in Feb 1917, an unstable balance, and by October that year, gave power to the Bolsheviks, from below. This is the real situation in Sri Lanka today, following Feb 10th.

If we look further North, at Jaffna, it is impressive that while the five-party front, the ITAK, dominant in Tamil politics obtained 150 seats in the Jaffna District, 81 seats were won by Douglas Devananda’s EPDP. Once again Douglas comes into view as the last Tamil moderate standing, the sole viable negotiating partner for any Colombo administration whatsoever. He is the only one who will agree to the implementation of existing Constitutional arrangements for devolution and won’t make dogmatic demands which sink their Southern partners in Government –as the TNA, propelled by hawkish civil society and Diaspora sentiment and funding, has just done to the UNP and SLFP.

The Sri Lankan neoliberal and liberal-left commentariat-cum-intelligentsia supported the ‘regime change’ of January 2015. It continued that support right up to Feb 10th 2018 except that it divided up between those who stayed with Ranil and those who shifted to the JVP. Both wings of the un-intelligentsia got it very wrong this time. How so and why so?

Continue reading ‘If the Govt Wants To Survive Until the End of Next Year ,It iwill Have to Shift to a new “Intermediate Regime” Model.’ »

Victorious Mahinda Rajapaksa Demands Dissolution of Present Parliament and Holding of Early General Elections.

Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) swept the all-island local bodies elections held on February 10, has demanded snap elections to the Sri Lankan parliament saying that the local body election results have clearly shown that the government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has lost the popular mandate.

Speaking to the media here on Monday, Rajapaksa said that parliamentary elections should be held before the Presidential elections.

In other words they should be held before January 8, 2020.

As per the present schedule, parliamentary elections are due only in August 2020. And as per the constitution, a mid-term election can called only one and a half years before that date.

However, parliament can pass a resolution with two thirds majority to have an election even earlier than that.

Continue reading ‘Victorious Mahinda Rajapaksa Demands Dissolution of Present Parliament and Holding of Early General Elections.’ »

Two Hour Long “One to One” Talks Between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe To Find Common Ground Between UNP and SLFP End Inconclusively.


The Coalition Government partners of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP) yesterday scrambled to find a way forward for the Yahapalanaya union, holding marathon meetings with different stakeholders.

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had crucial talks to find common ground to take the Coalition Government forward amidst calls by the Joint Opposition, which emerged as the unlikely champion of the Local Government elections, for it to be dissolved. Crucial meetings within both parties are scheduled today to carve out a resolution.

The meeting, which lasted close to two hours, ended without a conclusion though both parties were vying to form their own government, leaving their coalition partner behind. However, the possibility of the Coalition Government continuing has not been completely tossed out either, sources said.

Immediately after the meeting with the President, the top ranks of the UNP reconvened at Temple Trees for follow-up discussions.
Continue reading ‘Two Hour Long “One to One” Talks Between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe To Find Common Ground Between UNP and SLFP End Inconclusively.’ »

Local Govt Polls Verdict Is This-“Better to have good war winning “Honest” crooks than “Dishonest” crooks who shield other crooks”

By Sarath de Alwis

President Maithripala Sirisena has earned the verdict given in local government polls. He appointed candidates defeated at the parliamentary elections through the national list and made them cabinet ministers. In electoral democracy, failure is decisive. Overturning the people’s verdict has a price.

The verdict rendered at the local government polls is brisk and brusque. Brisk means quick and sudden. Brusque means blunt and rude. The people have quickly and suddenly decided to halt the Maithri-Ranil circus. The astounding margins with which the people have repudiated the ‘yahapalanaya’ of the President and the Prime Minister is conclusive evidence that the people have been blunt and rude. Hence the brisk and brusque title ‘Hip Deep in Shit’.

We can draw some satisfaction from the fact that we now have systems in place to hold free and fair elections. Democracy presumes that we are all rational creatures. All who vote at elections can relate truth to reality and vice versa. Identifying truth is not easy in this age of instant news, gossip and kite flying. It calls for prudence, courage and one’s own idea of virtue.

Continue reading ‘Local Govt Polls Verdict Is This-“Better to have good war winning “Honest” crooks than “Dishonest” crooks who shield other crooks”’ »

Arumugan Thondaman Ditches Sirisena After Local Poll Results to Strike CWC – SLPP Deal;Ceylon Workers Congress to Rule 11 Local Bodies Together With Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) will govern 11 local government bodies in the Nuwara-Eliya District together with the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC), SLPP MP C.B. Rathnayake said yesterday.

His comments came after attending a public meeting in Hatton with CWC General Secretary Arumugan Thondaman.

Continue reading ‘Arumugan Thondaman Ditches Sirisena After Local Poll Results to Strike CWC – SLPP Deal;Ceylon Workers Congress to Rule 11 Local Bodies Together With Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna.’ »

After Electoral Defeat,President Sirisena May Try to Bring Govt Under His Full Control Without Breaking Relations With Coalition Partner the UNP.

Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said after sweeping the local bodies elections on Sunday, that its victory should be used to propel economic developmental work in Sri Lanka, which the incumbent government had allowed to languish since it came to power in January 2015.

A statement issued by the SLPP on Sunday that the people had realized that they had been misled by the parties in the power and had, through the ballot box, conveyed their displeasure with them.

A section of the media quoted unnamed sources in the SLPP to say that the party will demand snap polls to the parliament. The present parliament was elected in August 2015 for a five year term.

Meanwhile President Maithripala Sirisena, whose Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA),had bitten the dust in the polls coming third in terms of the number of councils and seats won, told his party and ministerial colleagues that he would bring about “significant changes in the government in the next couple of days”.

At the moment, there is only speculation as to what kind of changes that the President is thinking of.

Continue reading ‘After Electoral Defeat,President Sirisena May Try to Bring Govt Under His Full Control Without Breaking Relations With Coalition Partner the UNP.’ »

President Sirisena Cannot Dissolve Parliament Until Feb 2020 Unless Resolution is Passed with Two-thirds Majority by Parliament.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s proxy won 225 local government, or two thirds of the councils up for grabs, in a landslide that shell shocked both the President and the Prime Minister.

Official results showed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party was a distant second with 41 councils — 10 municipalities, 13 urban councils and 18 Pradesiya Sabas.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party was decimated. It won just 11 councils, including a municipality and an urban council.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Cannot Dissolve Parliament Until Feb 2020 Unless Resolution is Passed with Two-thirds Majority by Parliament.’ »

Prof.Rajiva Wijsinha Urges President Sirisena to Remove His “Cousin” Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister and Replace him Immediately with a Prime Minister Acceptable to the Joint Opposition.

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena to immediately remove Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister and replace him with someone acceptable to the Joint Opposition.Incidently Ranil Wickremesinghe and Rajiva wijesinha are closely related being first cousins with a set of comon grandparents.(JO).

Following is the text of a statement titled “A Way Forward” issued by Prof. Wijesinha:

The election results are a stunning repudiation by the people of both branches of the current government. They also reveal a dislike, except in a few urban areas, of adherence to economic policies ostensibly derived from the West but accompanied by massive corruption and a neglect of social justice that the West, except perhaps for Donald Trump, would find abhorrent.

Obviously, we need change, but everyone has to accept that the President has 20 months more to go and even his worst enemies would not want him to go now because he might be replaced by the worst possible choice this country has faced. But, the President must realise that, if only to justify his election on principles of good governance, he must immediately get rid of the Prime Minister and replace him with someone acceptable to the Joint Opposition. I hope those elements in the UNP that are still honest will immediately bring to his notice the fact that they have no confidence in Mr Wickremesinghe, and urge a change.

Continue reading ‘Prof.Rajiva Wijsinha Urges President Sirisena to Remove His “Cousin” Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister and Replace him Immediately with a Prime Minister Acceptable to the Joint Opposition.’ »

President Maithripala Sirisena is “Shell Shocked”After Election Results and Does Not Know What To Do Says Source Close To the President.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s uneasy coalition faced a major internal crisis amid finger pointing for the humiliating shock defeat at local government elections, political sources said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe whose United national Party (UNP) performed poorly was also under pressure to accept responsibility for the party’s bruising drubbing just two and a half years after forming a unity government with Sirisena.

“The President is shell shocked and is not clear what he should do,” a source close to the president said. “He did not expect to win the election, but at the same time he did not think his faction will lose so badly.”

Sirisena had taken on his senior coalition partner head on during the two-month campaign, accusing the UNP government of being more corrupt than the Rajapaksa regime they toppled together in January 2015.

Continue reading ‘President Maithripala Sirisena is “Shell Shocked”After Election Results and Does Not Know What To Do Says Source Close To the President.’ »