Will the TNA (ITAK) be able to Unmake and Make Govts in 2015 as the FP (ITAK) did in 1960?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Election mania spreads rapidly in the country with Parliamentary polls being scheduled for August 17th 2015 and the Tamil inhabited areas of the Northern and Eastern provinces are also afflicted. Currently the premier political configuration of the Sri Lankan Tamils is the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) consisting of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation Front(EPRLF), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization(TELO)and Peoples Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam(PLOTE). The TNA contests elections under the House symbol of its chief constituent ITAK. At the 2010 Parliamentary elections the TNA contesting as ITAK won 13 seats in both provinces and was entitled to a national list seat also.The TNA hopes to increase its parliamentary tally in the 2015 poll.

SJV Chelvanayagam, Rajavarothayam Sampanthan & MA Sumanthiran

SJV Chelvanayagam, Rajavarothayam Sampanthan & MA Sumanthiran

Veteran politician and TNA leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan has publicly called upon the Tamil voters of the North and East to cast their votes in large numbers for the house symbol so that the TNA could win at least 20 MP seats at the August 17 hustings.
Continue reading ‘Will the TNA (ITAK) be able to Unmake and Make Govts in 2015 as the FP (ITAK) did in 1960?’ »

Why do People in Sri Lanka Vote for Crooks,Thugs and Film Stars?

By
Ranga Jayasuriya

It does not reflect well on the UNP, when rival underworld gangs clash in its election campaign. Now police suspect that shooting in Kotahena that killed one woman and injured 13 others was due to a longstanding rivalry between the two underworld gangs; The members of one gang were canvassing for Ravi Karunanayake, when the members of the rival gang opened fire.

But, why do politicians of all political parties hire the underworld to conduct their election campaign?

Why do they prefer the services of Bloemendhal Sanka and Dematagoda Chaminda or some other thug who was recently granted bail over the expertise of the ‘intelligentsia’, who made weekly appearance at that ITN talk show, Doramadalawa.

The answer lies in the practical logic: In general, politics is not just about intellectual deliberations and reasoning; in the Sri Lankan context, there is much more to do in terms of mobilising, organising, demonstrating, canvassing and also threatening political opponents and their supporters. Those activities require intensity and commitment, but not necessarily knowledge or political sophistication. So the Mora Sunil is a better bet than Mr Suriyappperuma.

Continue reading ‘Why do People in Sri Lanka Vote for Crooks,Thugs and Film Stars?’ »

Independent Group Comprising Nine Former LTTE Members Contesting in Jaffna as “Crusaders for Democracy”.

By P.K.Balachandran

COLOMBO: Sivanathan Navindra alias Venthan, a former bodyguard of the slain Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is among nine ex-Tiger militants contesting the August 17 Sri Lankan parliamentary elections from the Jaffna-Kilinochchi electoral district as members of a new outfit, Crusaders for Democracy (CFD).

Venthan and fellow candidate, Rasaiah Tharmakulasingham alias Gamini, had both lost their legs in the war. And like others in the CFD list, had undergone “rehabilitation” conducted by the Lankan armed forces after Eelam War IV. The “Puli Muga Silanthi”, a poisonous spider, is their election symbol.
Other CFD candidates are Kalikutti Subramanian alias Charles of the Artillery section; Kumaravelu Akilan alias Iyal, a computer operator; Thangarasa Thevathasan alias Gangai Athman who worked with Intelligence Chief Pottu Amman; Vinayagasundaram Mohanasundaram alias Gangai Alagan; Veeran Shakthivel ailas Thani Arasan; Sivaguru Murugadas alias Raviraj; and Nadesapillai Vithyatharan, a non-LTTE cadre who is described as a “Oodaga Porali” (Media Warrior). Vithyatharan, who was editor of the popular Tamil daily “Uthayan”, is also Coordinator of the CFD.

Vithyatharan told Express that if only the CFD had funds, it would be able to grab three of the seven seats up for grabs.

Continue reading ‘Independent Group Comprising Nine Former LTTE Members Contesting in Jaffna as “Crusaders for Democracy”.’ »

UPFA Candidates who Supported President Sirisena are now Kneeling Publicly at the Feet of Mahinda Rajapaksa


By

Rasika Jayakody

The shooting incident at Kotahena on Friday, which claimed the life of a supporter of Minister Ravi Karunanayake, marred the peaceful nature of Parliamentary Elections 2015.

The incident, which took place at Kotahena, also left twelve people injured with two in critical condition. Police are conducting investigations on the attack and no conclusive statement has so far been made by the Police with regard to the perpetrators. Fingers have been pointed in various directions while Opposition politicians dub the incident as the outcome of ‘intra-party rivalry’.

However, the shooting incident has already given rise to speculation as it occurred just a few days after the Prime Minister said that the current Parliamentary election resembled elections in the UK.

There were suspicions among some sections of the UNP camp as to whether it was an act aimed at giving the lie to the Premier’s observation.

Commenting on the outcome of the initial investigations, the Police Department said they would be able to identify the ‘real perpetrators’ behind the attack soon. According to police sources, there is evidence – including the lavish, slick style of operation – to suggest that a powerful underworld gang operating in Colombo had a direct involvement in the attack.

Continue reading ‘UPFA Candidates who Supported President Sirisena are now Kneeling Publicly at the Feet of Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

President Sirisena Under Pressure will Sideline his Own Loyalists to Ensure his own Political Survival.

By

C.A.Chandraprema

Just watching the things that President Maithripala Sirisena has been doing, you really begin to pity the unfortunate politicians who were motivated to take his side as against that of Mahinda or Ranil. Last week when Sirisena was unable to dodge summoning an SLFP Central Committee meeting in order to suspend the memberships of five members of that party who decided to contest on the UNP ticket, he decided to issue letters suspending the memberships of those five members himself so that there would be no need to summon the CC for that purpose. The five SLFP members affected can go to courts against this move and make all kinds of claims saying that it is not the party leader but the CC that should make the decision to suspend their memberships and so on. But what is important is the signal that goes out to the voting public when President Sirisena suspends his loyalists by his own hand.

When five of his loyalists decided to contest the parliamentary election on the UNP ticket, they were in fact moving out of their familiar surroundings and entering hostile territory. Some of them had antagonized the UNP leadership by preventing cabinet from drafting legislation to abolish the executive presidency. So there was the possibility that the UNP will grant them nominations and then take every step possible to see to it that the UNP voter does not cast a preference vote for them. But one of the biggest advantages that these five SLFP defectors and also Champika Ranawaka (who was a part of that group albeit from a different party) had was that there was this perception that they were the president’s most favoured, and that if the UNP voters got them into parliament they would almost certainly have the best portfolios and those who voted for them would in turn have a place in the sun.

But last week with Sirisena himself signing the letters suspending the five members of the SLFP contesting on the UNP ticket, this bubble burst and the UNP voter now has little reason to vote for outsiders who they think has influence with President Sirisena. They have seen that when Sirisena is under pressure, he will yield and sideline even his closest loyalists to ensure his own survival.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Under Pressure will Sideline his Own Loyalists to Ensure his own Political Survival.’ »

UPFA ‘winning strategy’ is to bag Sinhala-Buddhist votes through ethno-religious racism and minority phobia

by

Tisaranee Gunasekara

“History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.”

Maya Angelou (On the Pulse of Morning)

For Lankan Tamils, the cruellest month had to be July. No defeat or tragedy which befell them was as universal as Black July. It was a general conflagration which spared no Tamil. Poor bottle-sellers and wealthy entrepreneurs, uneducated road-sweepers and highly qualified professionals, voters and politicians, Hindus and Christians, young and old, leftists and rightists, men and women, every Tamil was imperilled by it.

Last year, as Aluthgama burnt, it looked as if Black July will be repeated in June, this time with Lankan Muslims as its target. A private quarrel between a Buddhist monk, his Sinhala driver and three Muslim youths was exaggerated and depicted as an act of Muslim on Buddhist violence. Instead of moving swiftly to restore order, the Rajapaksa regime allowed the BBS to hold a public meeting in the middle of the simmering Aluthgama town.

“In this country we still have a Sinhala police; we still have a Sinhala army. After today if a single Marakkalaya or some other paraya (alien) touches a single Sinhalese…..it will be their end,” i BBS live-wire, Bhikku Galagoda-Atte Gnanasara thundered, as the police and the army watched. That’s all the guardians of law and order could do, watch, because the power-wielders were on the side of the mob.

Though the fires did not spread to other areas, lives were lost, property destroyed and another minority alienated.

Continue reading ‘UPFA ‘winning strategy’ is to bag Sinhala-Buddhist votes through ethno-religious racism and minority phobia’ »

Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka Eroding his Respect due to Inexperienced Politics has led to him being Mocked as “Vel Vidane”.

By

C. A. Chandraprema

Sarath Fonseka’s election campaign is being discussed for all the wrong reasons. The meetings that he has organized in various parts of the country have attracted public attention due to how poorly attended they are. Some meetings have been held with virtually no audience.

An acquaintance of this writer described one of the Field Marshall’s meetings in the Akuressa town where a huge stage had been constructed near the main bus stand and there weren’t even ten people in the audience.

Even the trishaw drivers in the vicinity had been looking away indifferently. But at the round of provincial council elections held in 2013 and 2014, his Democratic Party had emerged as the third political force in the country overtaking even the JVP.

Fonseka’s lack of political experience becomes painfully obvious when observing the manner in which he failed to consolidate his position.

His biggest failure was his inability to form a good team around himself. He expected to run a political party the same way he ran the army with those below him taking orders from him in a sphere where Fonseka was a neophyte. Little wonder that even the few prominent people who had joined his party soon left.

Continue reading ‘Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka Eroding his Respect due to Inexperienced Politics has led to him being Mocked as “Vel Vidane”.’ »

Bloemendhal Road Shooting was Masterminded by the Rajapaksas and their Henchmen Alleges UNP finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake

by Zacki Jabbar

Accusing the Rajapaksas and  their henchmen of  masterminding  Friday’s shooting incident at Bloemendhal Road, Colombo 13, which left one dead and 13 injured including two seriously, Finance Minister Ravi Karunayake said  that an attempt was being made to revive the fear psychosis that prevailed in the country for a decade prior to January 8.

Addressing a news conference in Colombo, Karunanayake who is running at the  August 17 General Election on the UNP-led United National Front Good Governance ( UNFGG )  ticket, said that  the violence directed at UNPers who were campaigning for him at Bloemendhal Road on Friday morning was not an isolated incident but a continuation of the unlawful activity witnessed over the previous 10 days.

Continue reading ‘Bloemendhal Road Shooting was Masterminded by the Rajapaksas and their Henchmen Alleges UNP finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’ »

China must be Praying for Successful Return of Former President Rajapaksa as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.


by

Col R Hariharan

Even in the midst of all political gerrymandering going on in Sri Lanka as election fever is heating up, China must be one country praying (but do Communist nations pray?) for former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s successful return as prime minister after the country elects a new parliament on August 17, 2015.

When the people elected President Maithripala Sirisena in preference to Rajapaksa in the presidential poll last January, they also derailed China’s strategic gravy train that chugged along smoothly in Sri Lanka during Rajapaksa’s second term as president.

President Sirisena the new incumbent froze all China-aided mega projects notably the $1.4 billion Colombo Port City Project signed up during Rajapaksa-rule, pending their review for procedural lapses and corruption investigation. However, since then both the countries have tried to understand, if not redress, each other’s concerns also on the twin issues of high cost of Chinese loans and financial viability of the mega projects.

There was a lot of billing and cooing about their friendship when President Sirisena and foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera visited Beijing, probably kindling hopes of China to repair its relations with Sri Lanka.

Probably China became more optimistic about regaining its position of primacy in the island nation after former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, China’s favourite Sri Lankan was chosen by the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition to contest the parliament election. There were also other indications of Sri Lanka warming up to China.

Continue reading ‘China must be Praying for Successful Return of Former President Rajapaksa as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.’ »

Underworld Gang led by “Pathum” Fired on Crowd in Kotahena Targeting Criminals “Army Sampath” and “Sanka” Working for Govt Politician

By Madura Ranwala

Investigations had revealed that two underworld criminals wanted by police in connection with many criminal activities had returned to the country to do political work for a government politician and they had been the target of yesterday’s shooting at Bloemendhal Road, Kotahena, a senior police officer told The Island last night.

The car used for the attack found near the crime scene.

The attack left one person dead and twelve other injured.

“How the suspects had fled after leaving the car is being probed and the four suspects had been identified and they had fled the area,” police said.

Two wanted underworld criminals known as ‘Army Sampath’ and ‘Sanka’, who had returned to the country recently were the main targets of the attack carried out by a criminal called Pathum and three assailants in a black car with T-56 assault rifles, police said.

Continue reading ‘Underworld Gang led by “Pathum” Fired on Crowd in Kotahena Targeting Criminals “Army Sampath” and “Sanka” Working for Govt Politician’ »

Woman Victim of Shooting Incident near St.Benedicts College in Kotahena Identified as 46 Year old Sithi Maheema a UNP supporter

By Norman Palihawadana

Four gunmen opened fire at a political event attended by a group of UNP supporters campaigning for Colombo District candidate and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake near St. Benedict’s College on Bloemendhal road at 11.30 am wounding 13 persons and one of them fatally.

Forty six-year-old Siththi Maheema succumbed to her injuries after being admitted to the National Hospital.

State Minister for Children’s Affairs and Colombo District UNP candidate Rosy Senanayake told The Island that Maheema,

a resident of Madampitiya had been a longstanding party supporter. Attackers had fired from two black cars, Senanayake said, calling for a comprehensive police investigation.

Continue reading ‘Woman Victim of Shooting Incident near St.Benedicts College in Kotahena Identified as 46 Year old Sithi Maheema a UNP supporter’ »

Why Ex- President Mahinda Rajapaksa Cannot be Appointed Prime Minister After the Aug 17th Elections.

By

Dr.Reeza Hameed

The question whether ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa is eligible to be appointed to the Prime Minister’s post if he has the support of a majority of members in Parliament following the August 17 poll is the subject of current debate.

President Sirisena has made public his intention not to appoint Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister and has hinted that ‘there are enough seniors in the party to be the Prime Minister’.

There are some within the UPFA who want Rajapaksa as their Prime Minister in the event of a UPFA majority in Parliament. A.H.M. Fowzie, for instance, has acknowledged that the appointment of the Prime Minister is the prerogative right of the President but that, after the elections are over, the UPFA ‘will prevail upon President Sirisena to accommodate Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister’.

Another UPFA candidate has threatened to do a Dahanayake and run around with the mace if Mahinda Rajapaksa is ignored for the post.

G.L. Peiris has weighed in to say that nowhere in the constitution is it stated that a former President cannot become Prime Minister. The President, he said, must appoint as Prime Minister the member who commands the support of a majority of parliamentarians, and he must appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa if he happened to be that person.

Former Chief Justice Sarath Silva has declared as untenable the argument that Rajapaksa is disqualified from acting as President simply because he has already been elected twice as President.

Continue reading ‘Why Ex- President Mahinda Rajapaksa Cannot be Appointed Prime Minister After the Aug 17th Elections.’ »

One Dead and 13 Injured as Masked Armed Gang Fires at Group Canvassing for UNP at Bloemendhal Road in Colombo.

BY Cassendra Doole

An armed gang opened fire at a group of United National Party supporters who were canvassing for the election at Bloemendhal Road, Kotahena in Colombo killing one and injuring 13 others yesterday ( July 31) afternoon.

One person has been confirmed dead while at least 13 persons were hospitalized with injuries when an unidentified group of armed men opened fire at the crowds.

Unconfirmed reports say that an underworld gang had attacked members of a rival underworld gang who were also attending the election canvassing.

Continue reading ‘One Dead and 13 Injured as Masked Armed Gang Fires at Group Canvassing for UNP at Bloemendhal Road in Colombo.’ »

Death of Taliban Leader Mulla Omar will Strengthen ISIS Leading to more Attacks on India

by

COL R HARIHARAN

Mulla Omar, the elusive Taliban leader who virtually led the Afghanistan government from 1996-2001, is dead. Abdul Hassib Seddiqi, the spokesman of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security confirmed that the Taliban leader died in a Karachi hospital in April 2013.

Omar’s refusal to hand over his close associate Osama bin Laden to the U.S. after the al Qaeda’s 9/11 terrorist attacks resulted in the U.S-led war on terror to end the Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Since then the 53-year old one-eyed leader was never seen in public, particularly after a U.S. bounty of $ 10 million on his head was announced. He was reported to have fled to Pakistan to form the Quetta Shura – Taliban’s leadership council in exile – and later to Karachi.

Though reports of his death had appeared in Afghanistan a few times in the past, they were never confirmed. Even recently, Afghan sources close to the Afghan government CEO Dr Abdulla Abdulla had reported his death in Pakistan in 2013. The Afghan government seems to have decided to confirm Omar’s death now perhaps to thwart the Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan (Afghan Taliban)’s effort to boost its image by publishing Mulla Omar’s biography in April 2015. The biography spoke of battlefield achievements of Omar “the leader of the Islamic Emirate” in detail; it said he was continuing the jihadi activities in the face of “regular tracking by the enemy.”

Continue reading ‘Death of Taliban Leader Mulla Omar will Strengthen ISIS Leading to more Attacks on India’ »

“Bring Back Mahinda” Movement Accomplishes First Part of Its Mission

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

(This is the second and final part of an article published in the “Daily Mirror”of July 18th 2015 under the heading “Bring back, Oh Bring Back, Bring Back Mahinda to “Temple Trees”)

The Nugegoda Rally demanding the return of Mahinda Rajapaksa to politics was the opening gambit in a planned series of political chess moves by the “bring back Mahinda” movement. It was a political experiment!The organizers had carefully selected the location. They did not dare to hold it within Colombo city regarded as the citadel of the United National Party(UNP)and chose to stage it elsewhere but within Colombo district for demonstration effect.The venue was on the outskirts of Colombo in proximity to the Colombo district Sinhala majority electoral divisions of Maharagama, Kotte, Homagama and Kottawa where there was greater support for Mahinda Rajapaksa as opposed to the multi – ethnic Colombo city electoral divisions.

(null)

What was sought to be accomplished by the Nugegoda rally was a two – fold test. The first objective was to gauge the public mood and see whether the ground conditions were suitable to begin sowing the seeds of the campaign demanding Mahinda’s re-entry into active politics. The second was to assess the political pulse of President Sirisena in his new transfiguration as Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP) leader and see how he responded to the challenge posed.
Continue reading ‘“Bring Back Mahinda” Movement Accomplishes First Part of Its Mission’ »

Bring back, Oh Bring Back, Bring Back Mahinda to “Temple Trees”….

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

“My Bonnie lies over the ocean
My Bonnie lies over the sea
My Bonnie lies over the ocean
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me”…

“Bring back, bring back
Oh,Bring back my Bonnie to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Oh,Bring back my Bonnie to me”


– Traditional Scottish Folk Song

“My Bonnie lies over the Ocean” is a Scottish folk song quite popular in Sri Lanka in those days. No sing- song at a party was complete without spirited revellers exuberantly chorusing “Bring back, bring back, Oh bring back my Bonnie to me, to me”. Interestingly enough, these lines have been regularly buzzing in my head ever since the “Bring back Mahinda”movement began gathering momentum. It seemed as if I was hearing the cheerleaders of the Bring back Mahinda movement – Udaya, Wimal, Dinesh and Vasu in their Alto,Soprana, Bass and Tenor voices – singing lustily “Oh bring back “Apey” Mahinda to Temple Trees!

(null)

Rally in Anuradhapura-Jul 17, 2015

There is another “political” dimension to my imagined link between this Scottish folk song and the Bring back Mahinda movement. The folk song has a political history.It is widely believed that the origin of this popular song is tied up with the fate of Charles Edward Louis Philip Casimir Stuart whose loyalists called him “Bonnie Prince Charlie”. The “Bonnie” in the song apparently refers to Bonnie Prince Charlie whose loyalists were yearning for his return from political exile abroad.

Charles Edward Stuart’s grandfather King James the second of England and Seventh of Scotland had been deposed.James fled to Europe from where he laid claim to the English and Scottish thrones. After his death his son also named James followed suit and was dubbed the “The Pretender”. Thereafter his son prince Charles popularly known as “Bonnie Prince Charlie” also claimed both thrones and earned the nickname “young pretender”. Charles too wanted the throne to be restored to the Stuart dynasty.
Continue reading ‘Bring back, Oh Bring Back, Bring Back Mahinda to “Temple Trees”….’ »

The “Real” Maithripala Sirisena can be seen in Office After the August General Elections

by Prasad Gunewardene

The general belief in the country is that most of our politicians are comedians. Most of our politicians do act like comedians time and again. In the previous regime Mervyn Silva was outstanding. He tied a government official to a tree. Later, it was told that the victim performed that act himself. Mervyn staged a drama both inside and outside the Rupavahini Corporation. Finally he won the award titled ‘Minister of Public Affairs and Public Relations’ for his outstanding “public performances.” Not only Mervyn, many others also played brief comedy roles at regular intervals. No wonder the world would say that Sri Lankan politicians are the best comedians in the world.

From day one Maithri won the presidential election, it is nothing but comedy within the SLFP and the UPFA. In a single day at the same time two Central Committees of the SLFP met in Colombo and one argued with the other about the legality of the respective entity. Maithri formed a Cabinet of Ministers, Deputies and State Ministers. Many of them left him at regular intervals. After nominations also his ministers began to tender resignations.

The last was Janaka Bandara Tennekoon. His resignation was sent in the form of a poem at a time the centre of politics is tensed with an election campaign on. A resignation at the tail end of a government after dissolution of Parliament does not affect the process. The loser will be Tennekoon himself. Now he goes to contest an election without ministerial power. Politicians should demonstrate a clear vision of their path at this critical juncture with an election campaign at peak.

Continue reading ‘The “Real” Maithripala Sirisena can be seen in Office After the August General Elections’ »

“Good Relations With India To Be Cornerstone of UPFA’s Foreign Policy” – Dayan Jayatilleka

By

P.K.Balachandran

Good relations with India will be a cornerstone of the foreign policy of the Sri Lankan government if the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) forms one after winning the August 17 parliamentary elections.

This was stated by Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka, the foreign policy adviser to the UPFA at a meeting with the Foreign Correspondents’ Association here on Wednesday.

The UPFA ,whose candidate in the January 8 Presidential election, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was defeated by the Joint Opposition Candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, has “learnt its lessons”, Jayatilleka said.

Continue reading ‘“Good Relations With India To Be Cornerstone of UPFA’s Foreign Policy” – Dayan Jayatilleka’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa met Alleged Drug Dealer in Regal Cinema at Launch of Documentary film ”Selvam” on Nov 25th 2011

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa last night said that he had met the person described as a drug kingpin by the Police Spokesman and the UNP at the launch of the documentary movie ‘Selvam’ on the evening of Nov 25, 2011 at Regal Cinema.

Responding to Minister Jayasuriya’s allegations, Rajapaksa said that the then service commanders, the IGP as well as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) participated at the event on the invitation of Sanjaya Leelarathna, who directed the movie. Among others present on the occasion was the then National List MP Malini Fonseka, Rajapaksa said, adding that the movie depicted the post-war scenario after the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009.

The former Defence Secretary insisted that as Leelaratne, who had also acted in the documentary, introduced the alleged drug kingpin as the producer, the police should inquire from him the circumstances leading to the film project.

‘Selvam’ won two awards at the Kuala Lumpur U.D.C. Film Festival in Malaysia.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa met Alleged Drug Dealer in Regal Cinema at Launch of Documentary film ”Selvam” on Nov 25th 2011’ »

Maithripala Sirisena who Defected from SLFP to Become President is now Sacking his “Friends” for Defecting to the UNF

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island of July 30th 2015 Under the Heading “Sacking friends”)

Many shook their heads in disbelief when they heard on Tuesday that President Maithripala Sirisena had sacked some of his close allies from the SLFP for contesting next month’s election from the UNP. They asked how come he could do so because those candidates including Rajitha Senaratne, Arjuna Ranatunga and Hirunika Premachandra had risked their political future and left the Rajapaksa government to back him in the presidential race. Their expulsion is therefore viewed in some quarters as an act of betrayal.

But, we believe President Sirisena has made an adroit move. He has made a virtue of necessity and craftily killed two birds with one stone. He has, in fact, helped his loyalists, paradoxical as it may sound. They were contesting the upcoming election as UNP candidates while retaining SLFP membership. They ran the risk of falling between two stools with the supporters of neither party voting for them in sufficient numbers. The SLFPers hate them and the UNPers don’t trust them. Now that they have been sacked from the SLFP they might be able to win the UNP voters’ sympathy.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena who Defected from SLFP to Become President is now Sacking his “Friends” for Defecting to the UNF’ »

Past Months Indicated that a Rift had Developed Between President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe


By

Jayadeva Uyangoda

With fresh parliamentary elections scheduled for August 17, Sri Lanka’s politics has once again entered a phase of some uncertainty. The fate of the ‘silent revolution’ of January 8, 2015, which saw the autocratic regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa being replaced, is in the balance. If Rajapaksa returns to power as Prime Minister with a parliamentary majority, Sri Lanka’s democratic reform process will certainly be rolled back. However, Sri Lanka’s public mood and electoral arithmetic do not seem to favour a Rajapaksa return. Not as yet.

The circumstances under which next month’s parliamentary election will take place are somewhat unusual. Although President Maithripala Sirisena won the presidential election in January this year with the backing of a lose opposition alliance called New Democratic Front (NDF), the government he appointed did not have a parliamentary majority. In fact, the majority of MPs – over 135 of the 225-member legislature – belonged to the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), centred on the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Both entities bitterly opposed Sirisena at the presidential election. The United National Party (UNP), the main opposition party of the NDF coalition which backed Sirisena’s successful presidential bid, had only 47 MPs, supplemented with the support about a dozen of MPs from small coalition partners. This led to the formation of a minority government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the UNP.

Continue reading ‘Past Months Indicated that a Rift had Developed Between President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’ »

“Drug Business Flourished Freely Without Restrictions Under Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Administration” – Karu Jayasuriya

(Full Text of Statement Issued By Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, Minister Of Public Administration, Local Government And Democratic Governance)

“I will be dedicated to the task of totally eradicating the drug menace presently experienced in Sri Lanka. I will do so within a period of three years through a coordinated effort covering the implementation of laws, the actions of police and other social institutions”.

The above paragraph is quoted from the fancy document titled Mahinda Chinthana under the heading “An end to the drug menace”. Accordingly, the drug menace in Sri Lanka should have been totally eradicated by 2008. What really happened is just the opposite.

Continue reading ‘“Drug Business Flourished Freely Without Restrictions Under Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Administration” – Karu Jayasuriya’ »

Will the SLFP Under Maithripala use Mahinda Like “Curry Leaves” and Throw him away after the Elections?

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

This is guessing time in the SLFP. All keep their fingers crossed. Some look up the sky wondering while others seem to be at crossroads. Their guess is; who would be the next Prime Minister in case the SLFP/UPFA wins. Many voices are heard within these two entities. Who decides? Who is the final authority? A glance to the past would provide the answer.

‘President Maithripala Sirisena should appoint the Prime Minister who commands the majority in Parliament…’ This was the legal argument Professor G.L. Peiris to counter Maithri’s position that he (Maithri) will not appoint Mahinda as Prime Minister. Editor of ‘Ravaya’ newspaper, Victor Ivan wrote an article on how the People’s Alliance (PA) struggled to get the premiership in 1994 after wining only 105 seats. G.L. Peiris entered politics in that year.

As the election results were being released, the then UNP Minister Ronnie de Mel visited President D.B. Wijetunga and argued that the President should appoint Ms. Sirima Bandaranaike as Prime Minister and not Chandrika Kumaratunga. De Mel pointed out that Ms. Bandaranaike was planning to abolish the Executive Presidency and set up the independent commissions before retiring from politics.

Continue reading ‘Will the SLFP Under Maithripala use Mahinda Like “Curry Leaves” and Throw him away after the Elections?’ »

Internal Power Struggle Intensifies Within the Tamil National Alliance Between Three Factions


By

Rasika Jayakody

The Tamil National Alliance, the largest Tamil political party in the country is expected to play a crucial role in the new Parliament over the next five years. Political observers have already predicted that the party will obtain nearly 15 seats from the North as the party has hardly any competition in the province. The TNA’s share in Parliament will play a pivotal role on deciding the ruling party of the country if mainstream parties fail to secure a simple majority in the legislature.

It was against this backdrop that the TNA launched its election manifesto in Jaffna on Saturday, at an event attended by party leader R. Sampanthan and several other Parliamentarians. The launch of the TNA’s manifesto was politically significant as the party, in the document, laid out its aspirations in terms of devolution of power. The TNA, in its election manifesto, stressed the need of self-determination for Tamils in the North in keeping with United Nations International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural rights.

In addition, the TNA also reiterated its adherence to re-merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces under federal structure as part of its preferred political solution to the North-East problem. While pointing out that Tamil-speaking Muslims would be entitled to be beneficiaries of “all power-sharing arrangements in the North-East,” the TNA manifesto said, “This will no way inflict any disability on any people.”

“I am hopeful that they will realise that majoritarianism is not a solution to the country’s national problem,” TNA Leader R. Sampanthan said, speaking at the launch of the party’s manifesto. Asked by journalists whether the TNA would make the acceptance of its demands as a pre-condition to getting its support after the election, the TNA leader said his party would engage with everyone and its approach would be “positive and constructive.” The TNA manifesto also called for the release of the report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Continue reading ‘Internal Power Struggle Intensifies Within the Tamil National Alliance Between Three Factions’ »

132 Demonstrators were shot Dead and 712 Arrested During Island -wide Protests Against the Indo – Lanka Accord of July 29th 1987.


By Dharman Wickremaratne

It will be 28 years on July 29, 2015 since India violated Sri Lanka’s air space, dropped food items, intimidated the UNP Government and President Jayewardene and forced him to sign the Indo-Lanka Accord.

By the middle of 1987 ‘Operation Liberation’ aimed at freeing Vadamarachchi in the North from Tamil separatists was moving ahead successfully. Directed by National Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali nearly 8,000 troops were participating in the battle under the command of Brigadier Denzil Kobbekaduwa and Colonel Vijaya Wimalaratne. Brigadier G.H. de Silva was Overall Operations Commander. The Government was able to end the operation victoriously on June 3, 1987. It was the country’s biggest military operation since independence.

A telex message received on the previous night said that the Tamil Nadu Government were sending 25 boat loads of dhal (lentils) and other food items, foreign media personnel and 94 Red Cross monitors to the North. Nineteen boats which left Rameshwaram on June 3 entered Sri Lankan territorial waters on the same day at 6.00 p.m. Captain Suraj Munasinghe, Commanding Officer of the naval vessel ‘Edithara’ under instructions from Northern Naval Commander, Mohan Samarasekera stopped the Indian boats from moving forward. Minister Lalith Athulathmuali and Combined Operations Commander Cyril Ranatunga directed the naval operation by radio communication. After waiting at sea for three-and-a-half hours the boats turned back at 9.30 p.m. to return to India.

The Indian Government summoned Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Bernard Tillekeratne to Indian Foreign Minstry in Delhi on June 4, 1987 at 2.30 p.m.and informed him that they had decided to air drop relief items to Jaffna. High Commissioner Tillekeratne conveyed the message to Foreign Minster A.C.S. Hameed in Colombo at 2.55 p.m. the same day.

Continue reading ‘132 Demonstrators were shot Dead and 712 Arrested During Island -wide Protests Against the Indo – Lanka Accord of July 29th 1987.’ »

Radicalized Sri Lankan Muslims Being Involved with ISIS in Syria is Cause for Concern

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

After a nearly three-decade-long war waged by radicalized Tamils, the last thing Sri Lanka needs is its Muslims to be radicalized. But something seems to have gone wrong with the revelation that a Sri Lankan Muslim was killed fighting for the ISIS in Syria and his brother-in-law also reportedly serving the terror group.

Mohamed Muhsin Sharhaz Nilam (37) (known in the ISIS as Abu Shuraih Sailania), a karate instructor and a teacher in an international school at Galewela, Kurunegala was reportedly killed in an airstrike on July 12.

Some sources say his brother-in-law, who posted the news of the death of Nilam on Facebook, is also a member of the Islamic terrorist group in Syria. His nom de guerree is Thauqeer Ahmed Thajudeen. Nilam’s entire familiy, including his pregnant wife, six children and the father have crossed over to ISIS-controlled territory in Syria from Turkey in December, last year.

Nilam had studied LLM in Sharia law in Pakistan; given Pakistan’s track record as a bastion of Islamic terrorism and radicalization, one could suspect the radicalization pathway of the karate instructor from Galawela. (Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) groomed and armed the Taliban in Madrasas in Peshawar in the early 90s and is continuing to support Afghan Taliban, while fighting its domestic counterpart, Pakistani Taliban)

Continue reading ‘Radicalized Sri Lankan Muslims Being Involved with ISIS in Syria is Cause for Concern’ »

UNFGG Signs Agreement with 75 Parties,Trade Unions and Civil Society Organizations to Ensure Good Governance.

by Zacki Jabbar

With a view to ensuring that the mandate for good governance obtained by President Maithripala Sirisena at the January 8, Presidential Election was continued , the UNP led United National Front entered into an agreement with 75 political parties, trade unions and civil society organizations in Colombo yesterday.

The UNF comprises the JHU, SLMC , some leading SLFPers , several Tamil parties including some who represent the Estate Tamils, a few left parties and many trade unions and civil society organizations.

The initiative for the pact had been taken by the Citizens Organizations and Trade Union Collective in collaboration with the Convenor of the National Campaign for a Just Society Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera , who had played a leading role in Maithripala Srisena’s campaign for the Presidency.

Continue reading ‘UNFGG Signs Agreement with 75 Parties,Trade Unions and Civil Society Organizations to Ensure Good Governance.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Pledges to Introduce New Constitution within 6 Months of UPFA Forming Govt After Aug 17th Poll

By Dasun Edirisinghe

A new Constitution would be introduced within six months of UPFA forming a government after the August 17 polls, former President and UPFA Prime Ministerial Candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.

Addressing the UPFA manifesto launching ceremony at the Henry Pedris grounds in Colombo, Rajapaksa said Parliament would sit as a Constituent Assembly to draw up the new Constitution.

Copies of the UPFA manifesto for the August 17 general election titled, A Guarantee for the Future’ (Anagathayata Sahathikayak) was presented to Ven. Pallaththara Dammajothi Thera and Ven. Welamitiyawe Kusaladamma Thera by former President Rajapaksa.

It was presented to him by UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Pledges to Introduce New Constitution within 6 Months of UPFA Forming Govt After Aug 17th Poll’ »

The ‘Unfinished War’ Against Sri Lanka’s Tamils

By

Taylor Dibbert

The International Truth and Justice Project – Sri Lanka (ITJP) releases a new report today. The report, “A Still Unfinished War: Sri Lanka’s Survivors of Torture and Sexual Violence 2009 – 2015,” is the product of extensive research and builds upon the organization’s past work. Importantly, it includes abuses which have occurred since Maithripala Sirisena was elected president in early January, when he unseated two-term incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa.

ITJP has documented 180 cases and includes numerous quotations from survivors, the vast majority of whom are ethnic Tamils. In addition to documenting torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention and more, ITJP also identifies perpetrators and includes dozens of known torture sites in Sri Lanka.

This is a well-written, timely document which underscores the grave and comprehensive challenges that ethnic Tamils continue to face in post-war Sri Lanka. The detailed accounts of torture and rape are difficult to read, but – aside from the horrific violations recounted – what really stands out is the comprehensive, wide-ranging and pernicious nature of Sri Lanka’s state security apparatus, which continues to operate with impunity. In addition to documenting tragic human rights violations, the evidence produced by ITJP reveals that the country’s state security apparatus does not seem to have changed its ways since Sirisena assumed the presidency.

Continue reading ‘The ‘Unfinished War’ Against Sri Lanka’s Tamils’ »

UPFA led by “Appacchchi”Mahinda Releases Manifesto titled “Assurance for the future: Empower the country and let’s start afresh”.


By

Dharisha Bastians

Better late than never, the United People’s Freedom Alliance yesterday unveiled its framework for governance if the coalition is returned in the 17 August Parliamentary election, promising big handouts and swift return of mega development project the party claimed had been stalled by the 100-day Government.

The UPFA manifesto was unveiled amid fanfare at the Henry Pedris Stadium in Colombo last morning, with UPFA candidate for the Kurunegala District Mahinda Rajapaksa, as presumptive premier of the alliance, handing over the first copies of the document to Buddhist clergy, senior members of the UPFA and leaders of the alliance’s constituent members.

The manifesto was titled ‘Assurance for the future: Empower the country and let’s start afresh’.

The former President leapt on to the stage, waving enthusiastically to the crowd to the sounds of a song hailing him as ‘appachchi’ – a term of endearment made popular by the UPFA during the presidential election campaign in January. Large crowds were gathered at the stadium for the manifesto launch.

Continue reading ‘UPFA led by “Appacchchi”Mahinda Releases Manifesto titled “Assurance for the future: Empower the country and let’s start afresh”.’ »

Why was the UNP led UNFGG 2015 Election Manifesto Released in the Sinhala Language only and not in the Tamil Language also?

Tamil speaking supporters of the United National Party (UNP)led Rainbow Coalition, United National Front for Good Governance(UNFGG) feel extremely humiliated and let down by the fact that the UNFGG manifesto for the 2015 elections has been released only in the Sinhala language.

The UNFGG has failed to release the manifesto in the Tamil language which is also an official language of Sri Lanka and is the mother tongue of most Sri Lankan tamils, Muslims and Indian origin Tamils in the Island.

Several political parties representing the Tamil speaking communities in Sri Lanka such as the sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Tamil Progressive Alliance(TPA) and All Ceylon Peoples Congress (ACPC) are also constituents of the UNFGG whose Prime Ministerial candidate is Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Tamil speaking voters in the districts of Jaffna,Kilinochchi, Mannar,Mullaitheevu, Vavunya. Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Amparai,Puttalam,Kandy,Matale, Nuwara – Eliya, Badulla, Ratnapura.Kegalle,Galle, Kalutara, Colombo and Gampaha voted in very large numbers for the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the January 8th Presidential elections. Ex- President Mahinda Rajapaksa has openly stated that it was the minority vote which defeated him in the elections.

Continue reading ‘Why was the UNP led UNFGG 2015 Election Manifesto Released in the Sinhala Language only and not in the Tamil Language also?’ »

TNA Leader Sampanthan says 13th Amendment was Brought “Without any Provision of the Constitution Being Altered in any way”

By

T. Ramakrishnan

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a coalition of Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka, has demanded that the country frame a new Constitution to address a host of issues it’s grappling with, including the Tamil question.

Taking time off from his election campaign, R. Sampanthan, the 82-year-old leader of the TNA, told The Hindu in Jaffna on Sunday afternoon that “everybody wants a new Constitution. Even the Sinhalese leadership wants a new Constitution. There are many matters that, to me, [call for] a new Constitution.”

Elaborating further, Mr. Sampanthan, who is contesting from the Trincomalee electoral district in the Eastern Province, said: “There is a view in the country that the 1978 Constitution has outlived its period.”

Continue reading ‘TNA Leader Sampanthan says 13th Amendment was Brought “Without any Provision of the Constitution Being Altered in any way”’ »

A.P.J.Abdul Kalam was a Visionary Dreamer who Wanted to Build a Strong, Self-reliant India

By

T.S.Subramanian

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, Bharat Ratna and far-sighted architect of India’s space and missile programmes, passed away in Shillong on Monday.

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Kalam was an institution-builder and a team-builder, a visionary and a dreamer, who always wanted to build a strong and self-reliant India.

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Defence Minister R. Venkataraman, scientific advisor to the Defence Minister V.S. Arunachalam and Kalam were a formidable team in the early 1980s who wanted to weld into India into a puissant country in science and technology.

Kalam devised every stratagem in the book to beat the embargoes and sanction regimes including the Missile Technology Control Regime imposed on India following the Pokhran nuclear tests in 1974 and later in 1998.

Continue reading ‘A.P.J.Abdul Kalam was a Visionary Dreamer who Wanted to Build a Strong, Self-reliant India’ »

Six Months of “Yahapalanaya” Introduces Old Wine in New Bottles made out of Old Bottles.

By

Malinda Seneviratne

It’s an old and tired adage, the one about permanent friends and enemies in politics. What makes it ‘new’ in this instance, however, is the fact that the good governance hype whipped up by Maithripala Sirisena and those who supported him against Mahinda Rajapakasa generated a lot of hope. Things wouldn’t be the same.

There could be new friends of course but the doors would be closed to those with bad records, the voter was made to understand. And if anyone turned bad, he or she would be shown the door.

Well, six months of yahapaalanaya has given new life to another old adage, old wine in new bottles. Of course the bottle, so to speak, is made of old material for the worthies who were posing off as saints had more than a few blemishes. ‘That’s in the past,’ the voter was made to understand. And new mechanisms would be brought in to ensure that old ghosts would not be entertained. Old wine, it turned out to be, in not so new bottles.

Continue reading ‘Six Months of “Yahapalanaya” Introduces Old Wine in New Bottles made out of Old Bottles.’ »

If JR and Sirima can Retire when they were 83 and 84 years old why Should Mahinda be “Retired” at 69 Years of Age?

By Dharman Wickremaratne

Maithripala succeeded as SLFP President after Mahinda Rajapaksa. The position was either given to Maithripala or it was taken. People raised their voices in support of Mahinda. The issue of nominations came up but that obstacle too was overcome. Although NGOs protested and the President made a special statement after nominations were given it did not change the direction in which the political winds were blowing.

This time there were no cutouts of Mahinda anywhere in the country. There were no processions and posters. Intellectuals and academics, who remained silent up to now, are being drawn towards the Mahinda campaign.

What the incident proves is the shortcomings in the security given to the former President. Since Mahinda ended a 30-year armed conflict by totally defeating the Tiger terrorists he faces a far greater threat to his life than other previous Presidents. When former National Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali – one of the three most powerful cabinet ministers in the J.R. Jayewardene Government – signed the Impeachment Motion President Premadasa reduced the minister’s special security. Thereafter he had only normal security.

The LTTE took advantage of it and assassinated him on April 23, 1993 at 8.10 p.m. The body of Ragunathan, the assassin who fired six shots into Athulathmudali was later found at Mugalan Road. But the people did not accept the story. Australia’s Frontline magazine in its June 1993 issue reported that Ragunathan’s body was displayed to divert attention from the real assassin. Athulathmudali was killed when he was campaigning as Western Province Chief Ministerial Candidate during that year’s Provincial Council Election.

Continue reading ‘If JR and Sirima can Retire when they were 83 and 84 years old why Should Mahinda be “Retired” at 69 Years of Age?’ »

Time for the JVP to Evolve from Watchdog of Nation Image to Statesman like Role


By Upul Kumarapperuma

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) or the People’s Liberation Front commenced its Marxist campaign in late 60s with a challenge to all other conventional leftist political parties such as the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CP) and Sri Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP). The JVP was capable enough to attract a considerable percentage of the Sri Lankan Youth with its’ hard hitting anti-imperialism and anti-Capitalist slogans which were directly aimed at the then rulers.

The founding leader of the JVP Rohana Wijeweera became a hero or a replica of revolutionary icon Ernesto Che Guevara among the considerable percentage of youth in the country and his cadres were called as “Che Guevara Karayo” by society at the time.

Wijeweera was a strong believer of the revolution and in 1971 he launched an offensive against the newly elected government at the time headed by the Late Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. With the inexperience coupled with lack of military strategy, Wijeweera’s revolution ended within 30 days. However the price the country had to pay for the military struggle was thousands of young lives.

Continue reading ‘Time for the JVP to Evolve from Watchdog of Nation Image to Statesman like Role’ »

Progressive Academic and Human Rights Activist Santasilan”Silan”Kadirgamar Passes away at 81

Santasilan Kadirgamar, known as Silan amongst his friends and fellow activists, passed away on Saturday July 25th 2015 in the 81st year of his life.

He was born in Chavakachcheri to Rev. and Mrs. J.W.A. Kadirgamar, and lived in Malaysia during the years of the Second World War. He had his school education at Jaffna College from where he entered the University of Peradeniya to read History.

There he began his lifelong involvement with the left movement of Sri Lanka as a sympathiser of the LSSP.

He returned to teach history at the Undergraduate Department of Jaffna College, his alma mater, and in the early 70s joined the Department of History at the Colombo University. In 1974 he went to Tokyo to do his Masters at the International Christian University.

A couple of years after his return he joined the teaching staff of the Jaffna University as a lecturer in the Department of History. He left for Japan once again in 1983 on a Japan Foundation Fellowship, lecturing at several universities in Tokyo-Yokohama between 1983 and 2000.

Continue reading ‘Progressive Academic and Human Rights Activist Santasilan”Silan”Kadirgamar Passes away at 81’ »

Anatomy of an Anti-Tamil Pogrom: Thirty-second Anniversary of “Black July” 1983.

(This article was posted in 2013 to denote the 30th anniversary of Black July 83 and is reproduced here again with minor changes in view of the 32nd anniversary of the anti- Tamil pogrom)


by

D.B.S. Jeyaraj

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Shops, Banks, Offices and Restaurants in the Capital’s crowded City Centre and Main Streets being burnt while the Police look on. Thousands of houses ransacked and burnt, sometimes with women and children inside. Goon squads battering passengers to death in trains and on station platforms and, without hindrance, publicly burning men and women to death on the streets! Remand prisoners and political detainees in the country’s top prison being massacred.The armed forces joining in and sometimes organizing this pogrom against members of Sri Lanka’s two Sri Lankan minority communities. The nation’s President and top ranking cabinet members publicly justifying the pogrom!” – (Introductory Paragraph from “Sri Lanka” The holocaust and After” by C.R. Hensman writing under the pseudonym L. Piyadasa)

The tragic history of post – independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka have been subjected to mass –scale mob violence in the years 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983. The anti-Tamil violence of July 1983 was the most terrible and horrible of them all. It remains etched in memory even after 30 years.

Continue reading ‘Anatomy of an Anti-Tamil Pogrom: Thirty-second Anniversary of “Black July” 1983.’ »

“I have no Contender as the UPFA does not have a Prime Ministerial candidate” – Ranil Wickremesinghe in Interview

By Santhush Fernando

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The upcoming August 17 General Election would solidify the historic people’s revolution won on January 8 and the government-hopeful United National Front’s Five-fold Plan (Pancha Widha Kriyawaliya) gives the much-needed boost to make Sri Lanka a global knowledge economy, emphasized UNP Party Leader and United National Front for Good Governance prime ministerial candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe, in an interview with The Sunday Leader.


Following are excerpts of the interview:

Q: How do you see the success rate of your government during the 100-Day Programme?

A: The 100-Day Programme has been mostly successful as we were able to kick start most of the initiatives envisioned in it. Of course some of its projects are long-term, the benefits of which we would see in the future. But I can say without any doubt that we were able to reduce the prices of essential goods and thereby cushion the burden of cost of living, which caused much hardship to the public. On the other hand, we were successful in increasing the income levels, especially of the farming community, to have more disposable income than ever before.

We were also able to create a more free and unhindered environment for people to live in. In the sphere of constitutional reforms, we have been able to pass the historic, much-needed 19th Amendment and thereby minimize the powers of the executive presidency and set up the Constitutional Council (CC). In order to tackle bribery and corruption we set up a number of strong mechanisms within such a short period. In fact I think it’s safe to say that we have accomplished much, much more in these 100 days what many governments could not achieve in even five years.


Q: What led to your party – the United National Party – which is the single largest political party in the country, to contest the forthcoming August 17 General Elections as the United National Front for Good Governance?

A: We united together on January 8 to set a revolution in motion. The whole world now recognized this transition as a people’s revolution. Then there arose a risk of Mahinda Rajapaksa regime being resurrected, within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and within the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). With this new situation, we had discussions with a number of parties and decided that there was not enough time to register a new political party – the United National Front – since an election had already been declared. As such the only viable option was to unite and contest under the United National Party as a temporary mechanism. I told all parties that this was merely a boat to cross the river of majority government.

Continue reading ‘“I have no Contender as the UPFA does not have a Prime Ministerial candidate” – Ranil Wickremesinghe in Interview’ »

President Sirisena Tries to Isolate Ex-President Rajapaksa Within SLFP by Appointing Maithripala Loyalists as Party Organizers for Electorates.

On the local political front, it was only a week ago that President Sirisena declared in his address to the nation that the people should elect those who are suitable to march forward with the January 8 mandate. That was the United National Party (UNP). He also ordered that a Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Central Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday (July 15) be called off.

He had two visitors at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday. They were UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. The duo were to complain that Sirisena was appointing party organisers to different electorates and they were learning of it only from the media.

Yapa urged Sirisena that in future when he had to deliver an address to the nation he should not speak impromptu but to do so from a prepared text.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Tries to Isolate Ex-President Rajapaksa Within SLFP by Appointing Maithripala Loyalists as Party Organizers for Electorates.’ »

Presidential Secretariat Refuses to Accept Box of Mangoes Sent to Maithripala Sirisena by Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan’s luscious mangoes are not just fruits to be devoured. They have long become a tool of diplomacy, delectable or otherwise. With the mango season in full swing in his country, Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff this week sent 100 choicest mangoes by air freight to President Maithripala Sirisena. It was cleared by Customs and subjected to Quarantine. They too cleared it as safe. However, someone at the Presidential Secretariat, obviously unaware of diplomatic niceties, said the fruits would not be accepted.

Continue reading ‘Presidential Secretariat Refuses to Accept Box of Mangoes Sent to Maithripala Sirisena by Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif’ »

“Pandamkarayas” Doing Their “Rajapaksakariya” for Make Mahinda Prime Minister Election “Perahera”


By

Don Manu

The tried and tested bevy of drummers lined up to do their Rajakariya, or feudal duties, this year at the Rajapaksa perehera have already started beating their drums vigorously, thumping out their signature drone ‘Make Mahinda Prime Minister’ to raise the pressure on President Maithripala Sirisena to do a double somersault on his avowed stance and relent, even as he was pushed into a corner and forced to flip flop on his election pledge to the nation to bring the tainted members of the Rajapaksa regime to justice.

Instead, buckling under pressure, he had to meekly acquiesce in the grant of UPFA nominations to the unsavoury elements loitering on the sidewalks whom the state’s whip crackers failed to clear from the tawdry streets and keep off from the polls parade safely behind bars in the cordoned enclosures specially reserved for them. But such is their power and such the reach of their influence — it shows how a small oligarchy of corrupt individuals hell bent on regaining lost paradise, can hold a nation to ransom and stop the march of democracy in its stride. But now let’s turn to the pageant which maybe the last of its kind.

Whilst the pandamkarayas, or the flame bearers light their fire torches and line the street, the hevisi band of drummers step forth to herald the advent of the pageant’s caparisoned protagonist still being robed with the purple sash. But today the drummers have a different rhythm to beat, a different message to percuss. Now that the primary barrier had been stormed and broken down and the floodgate had been open for the whole troupe of saints to go marching in to the final paddock, the shepherd of the flock must first be chosen to lead them over the hill again.

Standing out from the hevisi drummers, is the instantly recognisable one with the twin set of drums, the getaberakaraya. His forte is his uncanny ability to beat both drums simultaneously never missing a beat. Well, almost never. Once he had committed a major error when he used to don a sham wig to hide his silver locks beneath and, though he went on bended knees near the Diyawanna Oya and pathetically beseeched forgiveness for his crass bias so graphically exposed sans shame, the spectators have neither forgotten nor forgiven the immense damage wreaked on the nation’s fabric.

But it is acknowledged by all that he is a getabera maestro par excellence who has performed in various pereheras at various times; and has unfailingly genuflected to whichever god he found enshrined at that time in the temple of mammon to better himself. Now here he is thumping out that President Sirisena must, according to age old customs and traditions as stated in the nation’s mother of all edicts, choose his prime minister from the members of the majority party and no other.

Continue reading ‘“Pandamkarayas” Doing Their “Rajapaksakariya” for Make Mahinda Prime Minister Election “Perahera”’ »

Stiff Competition Among UNP Candidates Contesting from Colombo District to Enter Parliament


By

C.A. Chandraprema

One may say that this has been one of the most low key parliamentary election campaigns we have ever experienced. One just does not see the poster wars that characterized previous elections. There are no processions or droves of people going canvassing. Even the election invective sounds subdued. One no longer hears the sensational allegations that one heard from the election platform at the last presidential election. Now we do not hear any specific allegations being made against anybody. We hear only generic accusations. Yet, this is the election that will decide who will rule Sri Lanka for the next five years. The subdued election campaign would mean a lower voter turnout. The voter turnout at the January presidential elections was 81.5%. But the signs are that the turnout may be much less than that at this election. A turnout of around 75 to 76% may be a more reasonable expectation at this election.

Everything hinges on which side will have greater motivation to go to the polling booth. In that respect perhaps a visible fact is that the yahapalana euphoria has worn off and nobody now takes the good governance pledges seriously. In contrast to that, the Mahinda loyalists within the UPFA are motivated and keyed up and they have been on a mission since February this year. Furthermore, the UNP led coalition has been making costly mistakes. The injunction obtained by Sujeewa Senasinghe against the publication of the COPE Subcommittee report on the bond scandal sent all the wrong signals to the urban constituency. It gave the impression that the UNP was attempting a cover up.

Last week, the dissolution of this injunction because Senasinghe himself withdrew his case was an even bigger fiasco. If the UNP wanted to take out an injunction against it, the plaint should have been filed by a politician from a remote district where no one knows what the bond scandal was about. Why cause this embarrassment to an ex-MP from the Colombo district, a professional himself, who appeals to the professional classes in the Colombo district and can’t afford this kind of fiasco?

Continue reading ‘Stiff Competition Among UNP Candidates Contesting from Colombo District to Enter Parliament’ »

Prime Ministerial Hopes of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Susil Premajayantha and Nimal Siripala de Silva

By

Rasika Jayakody

When the Mirihana Police arrested three military personnel travelling in a white van, it sent ripples across the country’s political circles as white vans were the trademark of the repression of the 10-year-long Rajapaksa administration. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and several other prominent politicians are residents of Mirihana, an area adjacent to Nugegoda, one of the most populous areas in the greater Colombo region.

It did not take too long for the Police to find that the pistol, which was in the possession of the soldiers in the white van, belonged to Major General Prasanna de Silva, the officer who led the 55th division during the final phase of war. The three military personnel were identified as members of the security detail of the senior army officer.

Major General de Silva, who joined the military in the early 80s, was known in the Army as a close associate of former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Three years after the end of war, in April, 2012, de Silva was given a diplomatic posting by the Rajapaksa regime as Defence Attaché at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London. This was against a backdrop where this Army officer was facing various allegations over his military conduct during the final phase of the war.

Offering diplomatic postings, needless to say, was one of the methods the Rajapaksas used to reward their loyalists and close supporters. De Silva presently works at the Defence Ministry under new Defence Secretary B.M.U.D. Basnayake. There have been various allegations against Basnayake over the past six months over his alleged associations with his predecessor in the Ministry.

Continue reading ‘Prime Ministerial Hopes of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Susil Premajayantha and Nimal Siripala de Silva’ »

The Tamil National Alliance – Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi Manifesto for Parliamentary Election – 2015

(Text of The Tamil National Alliance – Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi Manifesto for Parliamentary Election – 2015 issued as press release by the TNA Media Office)

At the time of independence from colonial rule in 1948, Ceylon was foisted with a unitary type constitution with simple majoritarian rule. In 1949 a sizeable number of Tamils of recent Indian origin were disenfranchised. State aided colonization of the preponderantly Tamil Speaking territory, particularly the Eastern Province, with the majority community intensified. The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) was formed as a consequence in December 1949. In this background in April 1951 the ITAK articulated its claim that the Tamil People in Ceylon were a Nation distinct from that of the Sinhalese by every test of nationhood and were therefore entitled to the right to self-determination.

Tamil National Alliance – Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi Manifesto release-Jul 25, 2015

Tamil National Alliance – Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi Manifesto release-Jul 25, 2015

As a necessary corollary to the exercise of this right, we demanded a federal arrangement in the North and the East, where the Tamil Speaking Peoples are a predominant majority. In 1956 Sinhala was made the only official language of the country, again by the use of the parliamentary majority that was available to the majority community. Various peaceful agitations were organized between this time and the late 1970s to win back the right to self-determination that was lost first through foreign conquests and later due to a system of government that reinforced majoritarian hegemony not accepted by the Tamil People. Agreements were also entered into between two Prime Ministers, S W R D Bandaranaike and Dudley Senanayake, and S J V Chelvanayakam, the leader of the Tamil People in 1957 and 1965 respectively, relating primarily to the alienation of state land in the North-East, to ensure the linguistic and cultural identity of the North-East. Both were unilaterally abrogated by the governments of the day. In 1961 the ITAK conducted a massive satyagraha campaign involving thousands of Tamil speaking Peoples in the North and the East, peacefully engaged in prayer resulting in the entrances to the Government Agents’ offices (Kachcheris) in the North-East being peacefully obstructed and government administration in the North and East being completely paralysed.

In 1970 a Constituent Assembly was formed to enact an autochthonous constitution. ITAK also participated in this exercise and urged the inclusion of provisions to share powers of governance with the Tamil Speaking Peoples in the North-East on the basis of shared sovereignty within a united country in keeping with their democratic verdicts. Those proposals were defeated by majority votes and the members of the ITAK left the Constituent Assembly. Similarly the Tamil People did not grant their consent to the enactment of the 1978 Constitution. Thus the first and second Republican constitutions having entrenched a Unitary State, continued with Sinhala as the only official languageand gave Buddhism the foremost place. These constituions were enacted without the consent of the Tamil People.

Continue reading ‘The Tamil National Alliance – Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi Manifesto for Parliamentary Election – 2015’ »

“Now it is Mahinda Rajapaksa vs Ranil Wickremesinghe;we will get 117 Seats”-Mahinda Speaks out in Interview

By

Deepal Warnakulasuriya

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an interview with The Nation said that he would work aggressively to restore faith in institutions related to law and order if his party is voted to power. He spoke confidently of his chances and said he relishes the prospect of going head to head with Ranil Wickremesinghe, who he claims had been using proxies for many years instead of facing him directly. The following are excerpts of the interview held in his home in Medamulana.


Q: Let us start with January 8, 2015. What do you recall of that moment?

I knew what the outcome would be when the Jaffna results came in. Of course it is not what I expected and even today it is hard to believe that there was such a high voter turnout in those parts of the country. As the President I had to respect the decision of the electorate. I decided that I would leave immediately. I spoke to the Commissioner of Elections and then I called the then Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and asked him to meet me.

So the people decided and I respect the decision. Why such a decision was taken is another matter. All I can say is that several countries have openly accepted responsibility for defeating me. I went peacefully after bidding farewell to my staff and returned to my hometown.

Q:Would you say that the law and order situation of the country had deteriorated and that this was one of the reasons why you lost?

Continue reading ‘“Now it is Mahinda Rajapaksa vs Ranil Wickremesinghe;we will get 117 Seats”-Mahinda Speaks out in Interview’ »

Forces Supportive of Mahinda Rajapaksa work Against Reconciliation due to Thirst for Power

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

I write this on the 32nd anniversary of the beginning of Black July, the anti-Tamil pogrom, that saw the country move towards an exacerbation of separatist terror and a most violent internal armed conflict that lasted nearly three decades. Having been and seen through that period of national shame and tragedy, it can best be remembered with the determined hope that it shall never be repeated in any manner in this country, ever again.

Just now we are in the midst of a general election campaign, which provides a very good opportunity for the people to ensure that forces in any way able to encourage the rise of forces such as those that caused Black July, will never again be in any position to direct our people to such violence and brutality in our own society.

In the past six months, since the Silent Revolution of January 8, we have seen clear signs of the reduction of the fear psychosis among our people, and a greater desire to be understanding and accommodating among communities that may speak different languages or have different faiths.

Continue reading ‘Forces Supportive of Mahinda Rajapaksa work Against Reconciliation due to Thirst for Power’ »

“Mellisai Mannargal” M.S. Viswanathan and T.K. Ramamurthy, the ‘Monarchs of Light Music’ in Tamil cinema

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Watching Tamil movies on screen and listening to Tamil film songs over radio was an integral part of life for me as a child growing up in Colombo. The Tamil ‘Varthaga Oliparappu’ or Commercial service of ‘Radio Ceylon’ was a treasure trove of film songs.

Apart from broadcasting the latest Tamil film songs even before the films concerned were screened in India, the commercial service also aired specific programs about films being currently shown in theatres in the island. Popular radio announcer Mailvaganam conducted these programs where film songs were featured regularly. Thus one was able to keep abreast of contemporary Tamil film music courtesy ‘Radio Ceylon’ in those wonderful days of yore.

My sister and I would also sing along with some songs being played out on radio. We were greatly aided in this by what was known as ‘Cinema Paatu Puthagam’ or cinema songbook. These were actually tiny booklets printed on cheap paper with the words of songs in a particular Tamil film. The average Tamil film in those days had about six to nine songs.

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Two publishers in Colombo M.K. Ponniahpillai and M.S. Lingam (M. Sockalingam) printed these songbooks. They were priced from 10 to 25 cents then. I also memorised many film songs from those books – something which stands me in good stead even nowadays while taking a shower at leisure.

All these happy memories of listening to Tamil film songs were kindled in me again as news about the death of a legendary composer of Tamil film music reached me. Music maestro M.S. Viswanathan known widely as “MSV” had passed away at a Chennai hospital in the early hours of the morning on 14 July. He was 87.
Continue reading ‘“Mellisai Mannargal” M.S. Viswanathan and T.K. Ramamurthy, the ‘Monarchs of Light Music’ in Tamil cinema’ »

United National Front for Good Governance(UNFGG)Releases 60 Month Plan to Change Sri Lanka for the Better in Five Key Areas

The rainbow coalition of 8 January came together yesterday in its new avatar as the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) to unveil its 60-month plan to change the socioeconomic and political landscape.

The UNFGG, which comprises dissident sections of the UPFA, the Jathika Hela Urumaya, the Tamil Progressive Alliance, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the All Ceylon Muslim Congress and several other political parties and civil society movements, pledged to usher in change within five years, with focus on five key areas.

Entitled ‘A new country in 60 months’, the UNFGG manifesto pledges that if it is elected to office on 17 August, the coalition will focus on strengthening the economy, implementing strong anti-corruption mechanisms and ensuring freedom and justice, infrastructure development and education reform.

“This is not an election manifesto. This is a development plan. It is to implement this plan that we are seeking a mandate from the people,” UNP Leader and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe told the gathering at the Vihara Maha Devi open air auditorium yesterday.

Wickremesinghe said the coalition would seek to govern consultatively, including by using input from civil society through a special civil society council.

The UNFGG economic policy will favour both competitive markets and social justice, the Prime Minister explained.

Continue reading ‘United National Front for Good Governance(UNFGG)Releases 60 Month Plan to Change Sri Lanka for the Better in Five Key Areas’ »

“I pushed away a Strong SLFP Supporter who Clasped my Finger to Protect it”Explains Mahinda Rajapaksa

Commenting on the Akuressa incident where former President Mahinda Rajapaksa seemed to be moving towards a supporter angrily, the ex-president said that he just pushed away an individual, a supporter of SLFP, who grasped his finger very hard.

Continue reading ‘“I pushed away a Strong SLFP Supporter who Clasped my Finger to Protect it”Explains Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Administrative Failures and Delay by Army Led to Controversy Over Mirihana Incident of a White Van with 3 Soldiers and a gun.

The “white van” which was taken into custody in Mirihana by Police on Tuesday had an altered number due to an administrative failure on the part of the Army, highly placed defence sources told the Daily News yesterday.

The van, in which three Army personnel attached to Major General Prasanna de Silva were travelling, had been a vehicle recovered from Vellimullivaikkal during the final phase of war.

“It was not unusual as vehicles recovered during the final phase of war are now being used by the Army for various purposes,” a top Army official said yesterday.

The van taken into custody on Tuesday, he said, had the same “altered number” it had when it was used by the LTTE. “Not re-registering the Van after its recovery was an administrative failure on the part of the Army,” he added.

By the time the van was taken into custody on Tuesday, Major General Silva was on his way to Kandy.

Three members of his security detail were travelling in the van, with his official weapon, to join the Major General in Kandy. However, the Van was stopped at Mirihana by Police and the Army personnel were arrested on the grounds that they had a weapon in their possession.

Continue reading ‘Administrative Failures and Delay by Army Led to Controversy Over Mirihana Incident of a White Van with 3 Soldiers and a gun.’ »

UNP Attacks Mahinda Rajapaksa Over Alleged “Attack”Incident at Akuressa Meeting while Video Clip of MR Goes Viral on Internet


By

Chaminda Perera

Commenting on the video clip being circulated in the social media in which former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is shown trying to attack a supporter at a rally held in Akuressa, Public Order and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga said that people do not expect such a conduct from a former Executive President of the country.

Amaratunga said that the former President is in a mental strain after having lost his kingdom.

“There were reports that the UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha was attacked by him,.” he said.
Amaratunga said that the former President is in distress after having lost power as an Executive President in the country.

Justice Deputy Minister and UNP Colombo District candidate Sujeewa Senasinghe said Mahinda Rajapaksa had once again exhibited his heritage of detesting opposing views openly by assaulting an ordinary citizen at a public rally held in Akuressa.

Continue reading ‘UNP Attacks Mahinda Rajapaksa Over Alleged “Attack”Incident at Akuressa Meeting while Video Clip of MR Goes Viral on Internet’ »

Will Incident of Mahinda Rajapaksa “Losing his Temper” at Akuressa Rally Affect his Chances?

By

Dharisha Bastians

The boy-like astrologer rose to fame country-wide after he accurately predicted former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s electoral defeat in January. Astrologers being a threatened species during the Rajapaksa years, every other soothsayer on a show aired on a private television channel before the January presidential poll predicted a narrow win for Rajapaksa. Thotawatte disagreed.

The victory of Maithripala Sirisena on 8 January, the blind fortune-teller said, was a foregone conclusion.

In an interview with a State-owned newspaper last weekend, Thotawatte revealed that Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the country’s former Defence Secretary and arguably the most powerful official in the previous administration, had got in touch after the show.

“He asked if I could help them to win the presidential election. They didn’t want me to help them with publicity for the campaign. They asked if I knew any occult practices that would alter the course of events. But that was a certain defeat. Even the forces of nature had blessed Maithripala Sirisena’s victory,” Thotawatte told the Sinhalese weekly.

His latest prediction is that the defeated President could win a seat to enter Parliament in the 17 August poll, but his chances of winning the premiership remain slim. In fact, Thotawatte claims 17 August is a horrendously bad day, astrologically speaking, for Mahinda Rajapaksa. This is a strange twist, since eight is believed to be the former President’s lucky number. When the poll date was announced in June, it was pounced upon as being favourable to the ex-President who was battling hard to win a nomination on the UPFA ticket at the time.

Continue reading ‘Will Incident of Mahinda Rajapaksa “Losing his Temper” at Akuressa Rally Affect his Chances?’ »

Personal Popularity of Mahinda Rajapaksa has Become the Sole “Selling Point” of UPFA Campaign in Polls

By

Rasika Jayakody

“You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps. Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what chess teaches you is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether it’s really a good idea and whether there are other, better ideas.”…………Stanley Kubrick

The UPFA’s inaugural rally in Anuradhapura made one thing very obvious. That is, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his close allies and campaign managers are yet to recover from the aftershock of Rajapaksa’s defeat at the Presidential election in January.

The rally held in Anuradhapura in the presence of a large crowd was a mere extension of Rajapaksa’s extravagant election campaign in January. Thousands of supporters were transported in buses from every part of the country and they were incentivized by food and funding through respective electorate organizers. More than 100 ex-Parliamentarians of the UPFA, including the Opposition Leader and the General Secretaries of the UPFA and the SLFP, attended the rally to show their support to Rajapaksa.

Two large cutouts of the former President- which were heavily used during the Presidential election campaign – had been placed alongside the stage to demonstrate “larger than life” personality of Rajapaksa. The organizers of the rally had little or no knowledge of the fact that Rajapaksa’s “in-your-face” propaganda campaign was disadvantageous to him in January as it earned the ire of educated, urban middle class voters. The rally was all about Rajapaksa and UPFA official Chairman President Maithripala Sirisena seemed like a non-entity.

“Appachchi”, the theme song of Rajapaksa’s election campaign in January, was played before his speech, probably to boost the feel-good factor of the former President. Rajapaksa pompously looked around when everyone else on the stage stood on their feet and started clapping when the song was being played at the rally.

The former President, for a moment, regained his ‘royal status’ which he sadly lost with the defeat of Presidential election, six months ago. It appeared as if the UPFA had turned the Parliamentary election into a ‘Prime Ministerial election’ as its entire campaign only focuses on the Prime Ministerial candidate.

Continue reading ‘Personal Popularity of Mahinda Rajapaksa has Become the Sole “Selling Point” of UPFA Campaign in Polls’ »

Is Mahinda Rajapaksa Upholding the “Dignity of an Ex-President” that was Established by JR Jayewardena?

By

Upul Joseph Ferando

Late President J.R. Jayewardene was obstructed from paying his last respects to late Lalith Athulathmudali when the latter’s remains lay at his Flower Road, Colombo residence as an organized group of Lalith supporters who had been at Lalith’s residence was planning to jeer JR. However, JR got information to this effect in advance.

Late PresideI told them that I must uphold the dignity of a former President and protect the title called President. I told them to leave me alone”. Stating this JR explained that Lalith supporters may have thought he was protecting Premadasa and that was why they had ganged up to abuse him if he had gone to pay last respects to Lalith.

JR’s assumption was correct. After Lalith and Gamini brought the Impeachment Motion against Premadasa, the meets between JR, Lalith and Gamini appeared to be less. JR took that stand to avoid criticism countrywide that he was conspiring against Premadasa and not that he opposed Lalith and Gamini.

JR never liked a message of a conspiracy being spread in the country involving his name as he was in retirement. When drafting the 1978 Constitution, JR included the provision to provide an office to the former President, official residence, security and other privileges to safeguard the dignity of a former President.

Continue reading ‘Is Mahinda Rajapaksa Upholding the “Dignity of an Ex-President” that was Established by JR Jayewardena?’ »

“Fascistic Mahinda, Please Shut up for Others may not be as Gentlemanly as the Prime minister”


By

Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

According to certain media reporting the People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidate for the Kurunegala District and former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the inaugural UPFA rally in Anuradhapura yesterday, lambasted United National Party Leader Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for reversing the development trend that was pursued by the previous regime! The former President, who took to the stage claiming as the Prime Ministerial candidate for the UPFA, said that the current good governance government led by the United National Party (UNP), has in just six months reversed the development process in the country that was initiated by the previous regime.

That is obvious. The purpose of the interim government or the hundred day’s revolutionary regime was to reverse the dangerous development path pursued by the fascistic regime of Mahinda. This was in addition to the change of Constitution and steps to curb rampant corruption left behind by the fascistic rulers. At Anuradhapura Mahinda screamed “Look at what Ranil Wickremesinghe and the current government have done to all the development projects initiated during my tenure? They have been brought to a complete standstill. If in a short period of just six months they can undo all the progress we made in four years, imagine the damage they will do if they are given five years to govern the island?” The former President added that 58,000 rural development projects had been stopped by the current government.

Continue reading ‘“Fascistic Mahinda, Please Shut up for Others may not be as Gentlemanly as the Prime minister”’ »

In a Contest Between Ranil and Mahinda for whom will the People of the South Vote for?

By
Gomin Dayasri


Here is an election result…UPFA led by Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) secured the largest number of members of parliament: yet is unable to form a government, as it cannot muster a majority.”

“Here is another election result… Alliance led by Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) lags behind the UPFA in the populous south of Sri Lanka but with the help of the SLMC vote is nearing the 113 members required. Yet, he cannot overrun the turnstile, as the southern vote is overwhelmingly unfavourable.”

These statements have a touch of George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty Four [1984]’ where events did not flow according to the script, but nevertheless was convincing at the time the book was launched.

It’s a gridlocked situation on the ground. President Sirisena is given a wide discretion to determine as to whom he should call to form the government according to the Constitution – a discretion that cannot be tested except in the precincts of Parliament.

Sirisena has his ear to the ground and is wise to know without winning that the bulk of the Sinhala vote lifespan of any government is stilted.Lonely Sirisena is indeed a man without a wise friend or a faithful dog- as to what he should do next. But he possesses intuitive shrewdness preferable to synthetic smoothness that needs fine tuning as he takes the country to the edge of a cliff.It’s best he leaves his many inconsistencies unexplained as they defy explanation. His action belittles his small frame.

Continue reading ‘In a Contest Between Ranil and Mahinda for whom will the People of the South Vote for?’ »

CID Probes Into Chinese Construction Company Transferring 149 Million Rupees to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 2015 Presidential Election campaign


The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is investigating a case where the China Harbour Engineering Company has allegedly handed over a staggering Rs. 149 million to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election campaign, last year.

China Harbour Engineering Company was a company involved in a number of key construction projects in Sri Lanka – including the Hambanthota International Harbour- when former President Rajapaksa was in power.

The company is an international contractor that is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC).

Continue reading ‘CID Probes Into Chinese Construction Company Transferring 149 Million Rupees to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 2015 Presidential Election campaign’ »

How Mahinda Arrived Suddenly to Felix Perera’s House to “Discuss” with Susil Premajayantha “Quietly”

By Rasika Jayakody

The United People’s Freedom Alliance, with the launch of its election campaign, had a tumultuous week with the party leader, President Maithripala Sirisena, making a fiery statement over the party’s nomination. Apart from the President’s statement, the party had to deal with a myriad of issues with regard to nominations for the Parliamentary election.

The party was divided into various factions internally and every group tried to increase its ‘quota’ in every district. While loyalists of Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga wanted to ensure nominations for their members in several districts, the pro-Rajapaksa group too attempted to gain control of the nomination process.

Interestingly, the UPFA General Secretary, who was supposed to take a middle path, tilted the playing field in favour of the pro-Rajapaksa group at the last moment. This led the UPFA nominations to a serious crisis just before the closing the day of nominations.

Finalisation of UPFA nominations was delayed unexpectedly on Sunday due to the protest by ex-MP Duminda Silva’s supporters in front of the Mahaweli Centre, Colombo, where candidates were signing nomination papers. Silva’s supporters staged a demonstration demanding nominations for their ‘boss’, and those who were at Mahaweli Centre received information that hundreds of Duminda Silva supporters had left Kolonnawa to join the demonstrators in Colombo.

Continue reading ‘How Mahinda Arrived Suddenly to Felix Perera’s House to “Discuss” with Susil Premajayantha “Quietly”’ »

Can Ranil Wickremesinghe or Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2015 do as well as Ranasinghe Premadasa in the Elections of 1989?

by Prasad Gunewardene

The United National Party (UNP) and the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) are now in the fray to contest the 17 August general elections. Both parties boast of obtaining the majority seats in the new Parliament. Either party should get 113 seats in the House to prove they are in majority to hold a strong government. This is a difficult task under the proportionate representation (PR) system for both parties at a time the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has emerged stronger than before in parliamentary politics. Late President J.R. Jayewardene introduced the PR with the 1978 Constitution, but he did not lead an election under that system.

Instead he held a referendum in December 1982 to extend the life of his Parliament for a further term to retain the five sixth majority he secured in 1977. JR knew that had he called a general election, the UNP would not secure a majority in the House under the PR system as his popularity was on the decline after five years in office. Hence, he rushed for an early presidential election in October 1982 dividing the SLFP of Ms. Bandaranaike who had lost her civic rights. He managed to get SLFP Deputy Leader Maithripala Senanayake and Anura Bandaranaike on his election platform to support him. JR was a master in divide and rule politics.

Having retired from the Presidency, JR dissolved Parliament much against the wishes of his deputy Ranasinghe Premadasa who wanted to retain the five sixth majority for some time to get certain Bills passed. Premadasa called on JR at the latter’s residence and requested JR not to dissolve Parliament. JR who said, ‘I will look into your request’ dissolved Parliament the same night for reasons better known to him. President Premadasa looked a dejected man on hearing the news that Parliament had been dissolved. It is no secret that JR did it to prevent Premadasa from having a clear majority in the House.

Continue reading ‘Can Ranil Wickremesinghe or Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2015 do as well as Ranasinghe Premadasa in the Elections of 1989?’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa says UPFA will win 117 Seats at Elections and form Govt Alone Without the UNP


By Chamodi Gunawardana

Former President and UPFA candidate for the Kurunegala District Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday rejected the idea of forming a national government post-election, vowing that the fractured alliance would obtain 117 seats and rule alone.

Addressing an election meeting held at the Battaramulla Samurdhi Hall, Rajapaksa said that it was the UNP which could not set up a government without the UPFA.

“Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that they expected to create a national government. This means that they cannot form a government without UPFA support. However, we do not want to create a joint government. We will form our own government,” Rajapaksa emphasised.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa says UPFA will win 117 Seats at Elections and form Govt Alone Without the UNP’ »

If Rajapaksa Keeps Spewing his Demagoguery Even President Sirisena Will have to Vote for the UNP

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

According to the Constitution, ‘the President shall appoint as the Prime Minster the Member of Parliament, who in his opinion is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament. In that sense, the choice is his discretion, however, should the SLFP Members of Parliament in a future SLFP government, insist on Mahinda Rajapaksa, and him alone, that would lead to a major political conflagration, which would end up in an impeachment motion of the President, presented by the MPs of his own party.

However, that possibility is fast diminishing, partly thanks to the President’s manoeuvring last week. His statement was a mortal blow to the SLFP/UPFA campaign. The Rajapaksa acolytes have all the right reasons to feel disappointed and even betrayed.

True that the momentum of January 8 had gradually been losing its metal in recent months amidst a cacophony of discordant voices (plus an allegation of a major Treasury bond fraud) and acrimonious fight back by the Rajapaksa camp.

However, the popular mandate of January 8 is still a potent force, obviously the only force that can overwhelm Mahinda Rajapaksa’s demagoguery.

I say it is a potent force because the overwhelming majority of Sri Lankan voters are pragmatists, who are likely to be content with the gradual democratic transformation of the country since January 8.

Continue reading ‘If Rajapaksa Keeps Spewing his Demagoguery Even President Sirisena Will have to Vote for the UNP’ »

Fake UN Report Naming Mahinda and Gotabhaya and 50 Others as “War Criminals” to be Released in August to Win Sympathy for UPFA in Elections.


by

Christi Mahesh de Silva

The government has received information that plans were afoot to release a “fake” UNHRC war crimes report to benefit the election campaign of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a top government spokesman told the Daily News.

The fake war crimes report is likely to be released locally within the first week of August, nearly two weeks before the Parliamentary election. In the report, nearly 50 names will be included as “war heroes” against whom war crimes charges have been leveled, the spokesman added.

“Among them will be former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former commanders of the three forces and top army officers who played active roles during the final phase of war,” he said.

“The ‘fake report’ is being prepared to create public sympathy for the former President and his sibling,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Fake UN Report Naming Mahinda and Gotabhaya and 50 Others as “War Criminals” to be Released in August to Win Sympathy for UPFA in Elections.’ »

Ex-MP Shivajilingam of Valvettithurai “Challenges” Ex – President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Medamulana at Kurunegala in Polls

A relative of slain LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran has entered the fray for Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election to be held in 17 August to challenge former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

M.K. Shivajilingam, a leader of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), filed his nomination on 13 July.

Sivajilinagm said he is not contesting as TELO or as part of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), but as an Independent. He has put up a list of candidates as an “Independent Group”.

“I have filed nomination to contest as an independent group from Kurunegala. I aim to challenge the former President,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Ex-MP Shivajilingam of Valvettithurai “Challenges” Ex – President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Medamulana at Kurunegala in Polls’ »

India Wanted Mahinda Govt to Stop China Funded US $ 1.4 Billion Colombo Port City Project Reveals Ex Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa


India wanted the Rajapaksa government in Sri Lanka to stop the Chinese-funded US$ 1.4 billion Colombo Port City Project on the plea that it was inimical to India’s security, former Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said.

Gotabaya told a seminar organized by some professionals at the National Library here on Thursday that the request to stop the project was made to him personally by India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval.

“His primary request was to stop the Colombo Port City project. The reason he gave was that the Port City was a threat to the security of India. I don’t know if the present government is facing such demands,” The New Indian Express quoted Gotabaya Rajapaksa as having said. “I assured the Indian National Security Advisor that the project posed no threat to India,” Gotabaya added.

Continue reading ‘India Wanted Mahinda Govt to Stop China Funded US $ 1.4 Billion Colombo Port City Project Reveals Ex Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’ »

“I dont have to Resign as Central Bank Governor Because I Have Convinced President Sirisena that there was no Treasury Bond Scam”says Arjuna Mahendran

By Ishara Gamage

Ceylon Finance Today: Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said yesterday that there was no tangible reason for him to tender his resignation

The Governor was responding to a question from Ceylon FT whether he was ready to hand over his resignation from office in the aftermath of President Maithripala Sirisena’s television address to the nation last Tuesday where he (President Sirisena) said that he had told Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that the Governor should resign in the aftermath of the Rs 10 billion bond scam.

There was no reason for me what so ever to resign following President Maithripala Sirisena’s television address to the nation last Tuesday, Mahendran told Ceylon FT

Continue reading ‘“I dont have to Resign as Central Bank Governor Because I Have Convinced President Sirisena that there was no Treasury Bond Scam”says Arjuna Mahendran’ »

Maithripala Fights back Against Rajapaksa Camp’s Plot to Impeach him After Elections and Make Mahinda President

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

“A morally blind politics…”
Thiery d’Holbach (Social Systems)

It was obviously a coincidence; but Maithripala Sirisena’s verbal blast against Mahinda Rajapaksa could not have been better timed. The President made his speech against the ancien régime’s comeback project on Bastille Day, the day the people of France took the momentous first step of a revolution which overthrew the Bourbons and upended a world.

In his speech President Sirisena used the word monarchy (rajanduwa) twice to identify the regime of his predecessor. Like the Bourbons, Mahinda Rajapaksa too has forgotten nothing and learnt nothing. He is surrounded by the same faces and he says the same things, two factors which contributed in no small measure to his January 8th defeat.

There is no virtue in Basil or Gotabhaya Rajapaksa not seeking nominations. Their absence does not indicate a dilution of the familial nature of the comeback project. Post-19th Amendment neither can contest without giving up his American citizenship; and both opted to keep their ties to Uncle Sam. Basil Rajapaksa remains his brother’s campaign manager. As Namal Rajapaksa said in his first post-defeat interview, “….the leader needs someone they (sic) can trust… We always trusted each other….”i

The aim of the Rajapaksa project is nothing less than a full-fledged power-grab, a return to the status quo ante January 8th. Prof. Nalin de Silva let the cat out of the bag when he told the media that the UPFA intends to gain a two-thirds majority, deprive President Sirisena of party leadership and impeach him. The plan, said the professor, is already in placeii.

The comeback story is easy to imagine. UPFA wins the election. A cowed President Sirisena appoints Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister. PM Rajapaksa does in 2015 what President Rajapaksa did in 2010: use carrots and sticks to ensure a sufficient number of defections from a reeling opposition. A new amendment removes presidential term-limits. Maithripala Sirisena is impeached. Mahinda Rajapaksa becomes president. Paradise is regained.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Fights back Against Rajapaksa Camp’s Plot to Impeach him After Elections and Make Mahinda President’ »

Effective Control of SLFP Passes to Mahinda While Maithripala is Reduced to a Mere Figurehead

By
Don Manu

If it’s always lonely at the pinnacle of power where standing room is only for one, then the presidency for Maithripala Sirisena must seem like solitary confinement in a straitjacket with the four walls closing in on him.

Bereft of friends and besieged by enemies, with even the fundamental right of the 6.2 million people who voted him to office to hear again his heartbreak appeal to the nation on July 14th denied them by the arbitrary hand of the elections commissioner who has thought it as one of his duties to issue notice to all media organisations on Thursday asking them to immediately suspend telecasting the speech, life at the top must seem worse than a Siberian exile to the man who dared to topple the Rajapaksas from power and usher in a people’s revolution of democratic tenets.

The contrast between the old tainted regime and the new Maithri vision could not be more apparent than in what each has to offer the masses. For Maithripala Sirisena, he was able to create a climate free of fear for the people of this country to embrace the ideals of democracy, freedom, fundamental rights, human rights and freedom of the media. This was said in his speech to the nation on July 14 which has since been found to be offensive to some.

Continue reading ‘Effective Control of SLFP Passes to Mahinda While Maithripala is Reduced to a Mere Figurehead’ »

Maithripala Betrays his Loyalists in the SLFP and Strenghens Mahinda Further by his Speech

By

C.A.Chandraprema

The UPFA’s inaugural rally in Anuradhapura was a big event. It was certainly bigger than either the Nugegoda and Kurunegala rallies of the bring back Mahinda campaign. It was at least as big as the previous rally held in Matara, if not slightly bigger. As far as inaugural rallies go, size does matter. One thing that can be said is that last Friday’s UPFA show was way bigger than the UNP’s inaugural rally in Kandy. The UNP prefers to kick off their campaigns either in Kandy or Colombo because that is where they are strongest and can ensure the biggest participation. But this time, the UNP’s show in Kandy was not up to scratch. One of the highlights of the UPFA meeting was the attendance of the former Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva who occupied one of the front row seats.

Janaka Bandara Tennakoon who until recently was a Sirisena loyalist but with the latter’s controversial speech last Tuesday was the first to call for an emergency Central Committee meeting (obviously meant to remove Sirisena from the party leadership) also occupied a front row seat. He was well received by the people present. What made this rally different to the others was the presence of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Susil Premajayantha on the stage. The latter three gave the rally the feeling of an official UPFA event, but the format was the same as the past bring back Mahinda meetings.

President Sirisena is officially the UPFA leader but his photograph was not displayed anywhere and not a single speaker made even a passing reference to their leader. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Susil Premajayantha, and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa all pledged to make Mahinda Rajapaksa the prime minister with Nimal Siripala saying that it will be he who makes the official declaration that Mahinda enjoys the confidence of the UPFA parliamentary group to appoint MR as the prime minister in the event of a UPFA victory. The Anuradhapura rally went on for more than four and a half hours and people lost track of how many speeches were made. Everyone was exhausted by the time it ended. The first few bring back Mahinda rallies were short and crisp with only a few speeches being made but gradually as it gathered momentum, protocol requirements made more and more speeches necessary until the absolute limit was reached in Anuradhapura.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Betrays his Loyalists in the SLFP and Strenghens Mahinda Further by his Speech’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Spent more than Rs 785 Million Within 3 Years to Charter Sri Lankan Airlines Planes for his Visits Abroad

By Namini Wijedasa

Former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, spent more than Rs. 785 million within three years to charter SriLankan Airlines aircraft for his visits abroad, documents obtained by the Sunday Times show. The airbuses would often remain idle in various airports until Mr Rajapaksa finished his tours.

SriLankan has billed his office a total of Rs 785,079,185 for 90 aircraft movements in 2012, 2013 and 2014. This figure does not reflect other multiple costs such as crew accommodation. These expenses were often met by Sri Lanka’s diplomatic missions abroad.

Mr Rajapaksa usually flew on one of two Airbus A340s owned by SriLankan. Their registration numbers are 4R-ADG(a 243-seater) and 4R-ADE (a 299-seater). These long-haul aircraft are the largest the company operates. The respective airbus would be unavailable to other paying passengers whenever Mr. Rajapaksa hired it. This could mean several days.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Spent more than Rs 785 Million Within 3 Years to Charter Sri Lankan Airlines Planes for his Visits Abroad’ »

42% of Sri Lanka’s Diplomatic Missions will be Headed by Non – Career Diplomats soon.

By Namini Wijedasa

After taking over as Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera pledged that seventy percent of Sri Lanka’s missions abroad will be headed by career diplomats. Six months later, he has fallen well short of that target. Some stations that have long been manned by senior Foreign Service officers — such as Beijing and Vienna — are now to be administered by political appointees. The practice of sending non-career diplomats to important capitals such as Tokyo and Singapore also looks set to continue.

Both missions will be manned by political heads, according to a list of names approved by the Parliamentary High Posts Committee. It was under the previous regime that these stations first started to be headed by non-career diplomats.

Once the selections are cleared by the respective governments, around 42 percent of the Sri Lanka’s missions will be headed by non-career diplomats while the remaining 58 percent will be members of the Foreign Service.

Continue reading ‘42% of Sri Lanka’s Diplomatic Missions will be Headed by Non – Career Diplomats soon.’ »

President Sirisena was Vilified Because he was Silent, Wishy-washy and kept People Guessing.

By

Malinda Seneviratne

So finally the President has spoken. That’s good. He was correct when he said that he had been vilified no end during the past few weeks. He added for good measure ‘as no other president before me had been vilified’. That of course is not true. What’s true is that he was vilified. He has no one to blame but himself though. He was silent. He was wishy-washy. He kept people guessing and on their toes. He may have done this deliberately, we don’t know. But that’s not important. He brought it all on himself.

Last week the ‘Ravaya’ claimed in its lead that ‘Maithripala had betrayed his mandate’. That’s because it was reported that President Maithripala Sirisena had given the green light for his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest on the United People’s Freedom Party (UPFA) ticket. Well, now Sirisena claims that he had nothing to do with it. Indeed, he had opposed this, he claimed. The ‘Ravaya’ for its part has been silent on other mandate-betrayals such as the scuttling of the 20th Amendment, the effective nullification of the COPE report on the Central Bank Bond Scam courtesy dissolution, the non-mention of the Right to Information Act. The ‘Ravaya’ didn’t blame the President and uttered not a word against the UNP. By these acts of commission and omission, the ‘Ravaya’ showed its hand. It’s Ranil Wickremesinghe’s hand, so to speak.

One wonders what the ‘Ravaya’ would have to say now, after the President’s ‘statement of purpose’ on Tuesday. ‘Maithripala had us fooled!’ would be a nice headline, under the circumstances, but it would take some humility and courage to come up with something like that.

So what did Sirisena say? He said a lot of things. He said that he is not concerned about who wins as long as those who subscribed to his yahapaalana plan came out on top never mind the fact that there was little or no ‘yaha’ (good) in the paalanaya (governance) of the last six months. He said that there’s no love lost between himself and his predecessor. No surprises there.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena was Vilified Because he was Silent, Wishy-washy and kept People Guessing.’ »

Roaring Address by Mahinda Rajapaksa is Highlight of UPFA Inaugural Election rally at Anuradhapura


By

Dharisha Bastians

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was the star attraction and central focus of the UPFA’s inaugural rally in Anuradhapura yesterday, with SLFP top brass and alliance leaders pledging to work towards his election as Sri Lanka’s next prime minister.

Thousands gathered at the Salgado grounds in Anuradhapura for the UPFA’s campaign kick-off, where SLFP office bearers and UPFA party leaders pledged to uphold election laws and make Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Minister following their polls victory.

The UPFA’s Anuradhapura District Leader and Sirisena loyalist Duminda Dissanayake declined to attend the rally and the party’s MPs and leaders from other districts appeared to take a lead role instead. The rally was distinctly presidential in nature, with the former President looking like the only candidate on the UPFA ticket.

“Ranil Wickremesinghe and certain foreign missions tried hard to stop me from getting the nomination for this election. The people managed to defeat that conspiracy,” Rajapaksa told the crowds, in a message that was strongly focused on national security issues.

Continue reading ‘Roaring Address by Mahinda Rajapaksa is Highlight of UPFA Inaugural Election rally at Anuradhapura’ »

Ranil is able to go around Country Bad mouthing me Because I Destroyed Terrorism” states Mahinda in Anuradhapura

Dasun Edirisinghe reporting from Anuradhapura

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that the present Yahapalana government had destroyed within six months what his administration had achieved in four years.

The former President asked at the inaugural UPFA parliamentary election campaign rally what would have happened if the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration had continued for five years.

Addressing a massive rally the former President said that the unprecedented Central Bank bond scam had caused a massive loss to the national economy. He said that the country had so far suffered a loss amounting to Rs 60 billion.

Rajapaksa said that the conduct of the so-called Yahapalana administration reminded one of the UNP administration which came to power in 1977. He declared that he would sacrifice anything without any hesitation to safeguard the SLFP and the UPFA for the sake of the people.

Continue reading ‘Ranil is able to go around Country Bad mouthing me Because I Destroyed Terrorism” states Mahinda in Anuradhapura’ »

Presidential Commission Appointed to Recommend Action to be Taken About Ex-LTTE chief Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias KP


By Cyril Wimalasurendre

KANDY – A Presidential Commission had been appointed to recommend the action that should be taken regarding the controversial LTTEer Pathmanathan (KP), Deputy Justice Minister Sujeeva Senasinghe told the media in Kandy yesterday (17).

The report of the commission had not yet been made available to the Attorney General (AG), the Deputy Minister said.

Continue reading ‘Presidential Commission Appointed to Recommend Action to be Taken About Ex-LTTE chief Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias KP’ »

President Sirisena Must Appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister if he has has Parliamentary Majority says Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva

By Dasun Edirisinghe reporting from Anuradhapura

There was no legal barrier to former President Mahinda Rajapaka becoming Prime Minister according to the Constitution, former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva said yesterday.

Addressing the UPFA inaugural election rally in Anuradhapura, Silva said that according to the Constitution a person who commanded the confidence of MPs should be appointed the Prime Minister.

Responding to President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent statement that he (Sirisena) would not appoint former President Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister even in the event of UPFA winning the general election, the former Chief Justice said that President was misleading the people as he could not appoint a Prime Minister without the consent of Parliament majority according to the Constitution.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Must Appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister if he has has Parliamentary Majority says Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva’ »

Split in UPFA Over Mahinda Becoming Prime Minister will Make People Vote for UNF in Large Numbers Predicts Ranil Wickremesinghe

by Zacki Jabbar

With the UPFA deeply divided over the issue of prime ministerial candidate, the people were certain to vote in large numbers for the United National Front for Good Governance at next month’s general election, UNP leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe predicted yesterday.

Addressing a UNFGG election rally in Katana, Wickremesinghe said that the failure of leading figures in the SLFP-led UPFA to listen to President Maithripala Sirisena’s advice, had led to the entire coalition being treated like a joke.

While a section of the UPFA claimed that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was their prime ministerial candidate, President Maithripala Sirisena had categorically stated that he would appoint a more deserving senior in the SLFP as Prime Minister if the UPFA were to win the Parliamentary Polls.

With such confusion prevailing the masses would ensure the election of a UNFGG government, since it not only spoke with one voice but had also delivered on most of its Jan. 8, presidential election pledges, the UNP leader noted.

Continue reading ‘Split in UPFA Over Mahinda Becoming Prime Minister will Make People Vote for UNF in Large Numbers Predicts Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Arjuna Mahendran will lose his Self-respect if he does not Resign as Central bank Governor After President Sirisena’s Comment

By

D. B. Tennakoon

The Central Bank of a country is charged with the crucial task of regulating a country’s economy. It decides how much money should be in circulation, the relationship of the assets of the country to its loans, the relationship between a country’s currency and those of other countries and so on.

Actually its function in the country’s economy can be compared to the heart that keeps a body alive. There is no need here to labour the point that the integrity of the person who heads this institution is crucial to the image it has nationally and internationally.

We in Sri Lanka have been disturbed for some time about the allegations leveled against the Governor of our Central Bank. If we leave aside the politics involved it is quite obvious that there is a problem to be resolved urgently. The Governor has very clearly tried to prove his innocence and we appreciate that.

Continue reading ‘Arjuna Mahendran will lose his Self-respect if he does not Resign as Central bank Governor After President Sirisena’s Comment’ »

Machiavellian Politics of President Maithripala Sirisena Hurts his “Friends” More

By

Dharisha Bastians

The pictures taken at the SLFP’s Darley Road headquarters on Wednesday have a déjà vu quality about them.

Mahinda Rajapaksa sits at the head of the table, in the biggest chair in the room. He is flanked by the two General Secretaries of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the political coalition it leads, the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). In one picture, SLFP General Secretary Anura Yapa stands like a sentinel on Rajapaksa’s left, a slightly deferential air about his posture.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the head of the table at the SLFP’s Darley Road headquarters, flanked by the two General Secretaries of the SLFP and the UPFA

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the head of the table at the SLFP’s Darley Road headquarters, flanked by the two General Secretaries of the SLFP and the UPFA

“It’s been six months since I’ve been here and met the press,” boomed the former President, who was ousted by 400,000 votes in the January election he had himself, in his infinite wisdom, declared two years ahead of schedule.

The meeting ‘chaired’ by Rajapaksa took place the morning after President Maithripala Sirisena’s blistering speech against the ex-President’s candidacy, and his prediction before the nation that Mahinda Rajapaksa would be defeated again in the 17 August election. The meeting at Darley Road on Wednesday morning was an act of defiance against the President who had demanded the meeting be cancelled. As Chairman of the SLFP, President Sirisena also holds the mantle of UPFA Chairman, yet the General Secretaries of both these parties stood beside the ex-President, in a defiant show of solidarity.

The SLFP is livid about the President’s address on Tuesday, in which he disassociated himself from the decision to grant Rajapaksa nominations from the UPFA. The remarks took the wind out of the party’s sails, because SLFP seniors had been crowing for days about a rapprochement between President Sirisena and his predecessor.

Continue reading ‘Machiavellian Politics of President Maithripala Sirisena Hurts his “Friends” More’ »

President Sirisena is the Wrong man at the Right Place in the Wrong Time

By

N. Sathiya Moorthy

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has made the nation and the international community and observers interested in the nation’s affairs, to sit up and take notice. After maintaining a seemingly ambivalent position on the political re-entry of predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 8 polls, he has now come out strongly against the latter, who had scored a highly respectable 48 per cent vote-share at the time. This can also be the source of controversies after the August 17 parliamentary polls.

In a recent public statement, President Sirisena not only declared that he would uphold the mandate (for change and good governance) that his election portrayed, but would also not invite Rajapaksa to become prime minister if their Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)-United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), now under the latter’s hold, won a majority in parliament. More importantly, he has distanced himself from the parliamentary polls, a very healthy precedent, whatever the reason – worthy of being followed up with a legislation to the effect.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena is the Wrong man at the Right Place in the Wrong Time’ »

“I Hope to Spend the next five Years Performing my Duties by Keeping the Promises I made on Jan 8”


By

Maithripala Sirisena

(Following is the full text of special statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena on 14 July 2015 on the current political situation in Sri Lanka)

This is the first time I am making a statement to the media since 21 November. My main objective today is to make a clarification as to the prevailing political situation in the country.
However, in order to do that, I believe it’s pertinent to draw your attention to the election manifesto which paved the path for me to be appointed as the President of this country on 8 January.

The democratic revolution that occurred on 8 January became a reality within a short spell of 42 days between my leaving the then-government in November last year. It is within this short period of 42 days that the people of this country embraced ideals of democracy, freedom, fundamental rights, human rights and the freedom of media, thereby giving me the opportunity to establish this new government. The election manifesto I brought forth, as all of you clearly remember, was based on a compassionate form of governance. Even prior to the manifesto, there were significant reasons for people selected me as their common candidate.

During the 49 years of my political career, I have served the people as a Member of the Parliament, a Deputy Minister and also a Minister. During those 49 years, I believe that the People had an understanding of me as a person who respects and protects freedom and democracy, and as a person who does not engage in corruption or the abuse of powers. I believe that this understanding is what qualified me to become their common candidate. My character, my personality, the gamut of experience I gained during my political career and the image I have built within the hearts of the people are the reasons why they supported me and stood by me, when I took up the challenge as their common candidate.

When I left the Government on 21 November, with the trust the people placed on my shoulders, as I have clearly stated before, I had not met Ranil Wickremesinghe even once prior to making my decision. I had met Chandrika Bandaranaike only once and even that for less than an hour. And I was able to come into a consensus with 49 organisations, political parties and groups to align with my election manifesto.

Continue reading ‘“I Hope to Spend the next five Years Performing my Duties by Keeping the Promises I made on Jan 8”’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Planned his Return to Power for Months at Meetings Held at a Buddhist Temple in Colombo.

By

Dharisha Bastians


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka —
Former President Mahinda Rajapakse of Sri Lanka, who was defeated in January, now has a chance to make a major political comeback after his successor cleared the way for him to run for a seat in Parliament in elections scheduled for Aug. 17.

President Maithripala Sirisena said this week that he did not have the power to block Mr. Rajapakse’s run for Parliament, because the alliance of parties he leads is still dominated by people loyal to the former president. But Mr. Sirisena has come under fire from some of his former supporters.

“We never thought he would consent to bring the corrupt Rajapakse regime back to power after we defeated him,” said Saman Ratnapriya, a trade union activist whose collective was part of 49 civil society organizations that backed Mr. Sirisena’s presidential bid. “He has betrayed us.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Sirisena sought to reassure those groups, vowing that he would not allow the former president to be named prime minister, even if Mr. Rajapakse’s alliance gained a majority in the August elections.

Mr. Sirisena said that he “strongly disagreed” with the decision to nominate Mr. Rajapakse as a parliamentary candidate.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Planned his Return to Power for Months at Meetings Held at a Buddhist Temple in Colombo.’ »

♫ Kaadhal Mannan ♫ Gemini Ganesan, Romantic Actor King of Tamil Cinema ♥

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

In writing last week about legendary film actor Tony Ranasinghe, I referred to the comment by Malani Fonseka about Tony being the greatest romantic lover in Sinhala films. The queen of Sinhala cinema who has acted in about 40 films with him said of Tony Ranasinghe “I find him the most romantic lover we’ve had in our films.”

GG JUL 10

Malani Fonseka’s description of Tony Ranasinghe as most romantic lover of the Sinhala screen will certainly be endorsed by many. However, her comment about Tony struck a chord in my memory about another actor in Tamil cinema who was also regarded widely as the greatest romantic lover. In fact he was dubbed “Kaadhal Mannan,” meaning ‘King of Romantic Love’. I am of course referring to the actor Gemini Ganesan who is no more now. I have written about him earlier when he passed away 10 years ago. I shall rely upon some of these writings as this week’s ‘Spotlight’ focuses upon “Kaadhal Mannan” Gemini Ganesan.

Romantic hero par excellence

Gemini Ganesan has visited Sri Lanka several times and had many good friends in the island. In a career spanning more than five decades Gemini Ganesan made his mark in Tamil films as the romantic hero par excellence. Though he played a number of diverse roles he made his mark as a lover on screen. It was this which earned him the sobriquet “Kaadhal Mannan”.

GG111713B

Interestingly his on-screen and off-screen persona got intertwined in this respect. While the evergreen actor Gemini crooned his way into the hearts of many lovely heroines on screen, the off-screen hero in real life had four wives plus several liaisons with attractive women. He himself admitted to his numerous affairs with other married women to an Indian magazine. When the magazine wanted more details, Gemini declined to elaborate saying, “Gentlemen don’t tell!”
Continue reading ‘♫ Kaadhal Mannan ♫ Gemini Ganesan, Romantic Actor King of Tamil Cinema ♥’ »

♫ M.S.Viswanathan Helped Inspire a Deep Love for the Thamizh Language ♥

by Sudha Ragunathan

M.S.Viswanathan

M.S.Viswanathan

Thamizhukkum amuthendru paer, andha Thamizh inba Thamizh engal uyirukku naer, uyirukku naer ! This melodious number came wafting in the air from the grandfather radio playing ‘Ungal Viruppam’ during family time at home.

As a child I would hear this song so often that I began following the lyrics as well, which inculcated in me a deep love for the Tamizh language while I lived in Bangalore then — thank you MSV Sir for inspiring me to love Tamizh.

While Mellisai Mannars M.S. Viswanathan and T.K. Ramamurthy conquered the turf from the early ‘50s to mid ‘60’s giving us some unforgettable lyric-laden numbers, post Aayirathil Oruvan MSV Sir was on a roll on his own from 1965.

Sudha Ragunathan

Sudha Ragunathan


Continue reading ‘♫ M.S.Viswanathan Helped Inspire a Deep Love for the Thamizh Language ♥’ »

SLFP in Deep Crisis After President Sirisena Denounces Candidacy of Mahinda Rajapaksa on UPFA Ticket

By Dharisha Bastians

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) was plunged into crisis yesterday, after President Maithripala Sirisena denounced his predecessor’s candidacy on the UPFA ticket and Rajapaksa loyalists renewed attempts to wrest control of the alliance.

A high-stakes game of political chess between Presidents incumbent and former continued yesterday with Mahinda Rajapaksa securing an appointment as head of the UPFA Elections Operations Committee only one day after President Sirisena strongly opposed his candidacy.

Rajapaksa loyalists held an emergency meeting at the SLFP Darley Road Headquarters that had previously been cancelled by President Maithripala Sirisena, issuing a direct challenge to the President’s authority.

Hours later, SLFP member Prasanna Solongaarachchi filed a motion in court to prevent the SLFP Central Committee being convened without approval from the party leader.

The Colombo District Court issued an injunction preventing the Central Committee from convening without the permission from SLFP Chairman, President Siriena.

Continue reading ‘SLFP in Deep Crisis After President Sirisena Denounces Candidacy of Mahinda Rajapaksa on UPFA Ticket’ »

Mahinda Appointed UPFA Election Campaign Leader in a Bid to Counter President Sirisena Condemnation of Rajapaksa Candidacy

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The SLFP yesterday strongly denied President Maithripala Sirisena’s accusation that the party had conspired to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Parliament through the National List by moving a no-faith motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha insisted that in accordance with the Parliamentary Elections Act of 1981, only a person named in the original National List submitted to the Elections Secretariat along with nominations for the last parliamentary election or an unsuccessful candidate at the same election could be appointed.

Premajayantha was addressing the media at SLFP headquarters at T. B. Jayah Mawatha, following consultations with senior representatives of the UPFA presided over by former President Rajapaksa. The UPFA General Secretary was flanked by SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and other party seniors, John Seneviratne, Dullas Alahapperuma and Kumara Welgama.

Rajapaksa is leading the UPFA nomination list for the Kurunegala District.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Appointed UPFA Election Campaign Leader in a Bid to Counter President Sirisena Condemnation of Rajapaksa Candidacy’ »

President Sirisena Deflates Mahinda Rajapaksa Hopes of Victory by Declaring he will stay Neutral During Campaign

By

Rasika Somarathna

While stressing that he will continue to stand against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that Rajapaksa will be defeated again as he was defeated on January 8.

The President said he will form a government with the victorious political parties after August 17 election to fullfill the aspirations of the people who voted for a change on January 8. The President said that he has no intention of appointing Rajapaksa as Prime Minister.

“I will continue to give leadership to the change ushered on January 8 with the newly elected members after the General election,” President Sirisena said.

President Sirisena added that he will take a neutral stand at the upcoming pols.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Deflates Mahinda Rajapaksa Hopes of Victory by Declaring he will stay Neutral During Campaign’ »

JVP Faults President Sirisena for Giving Nomination to Mahinda and Lying About it to the People

By Sarath Ariyakumara

President Maithripala Sirisena’s claim that he was opposed to giving nominations to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest upcoming polls is not acceptable, the JVP says.

JVP propaganda Secretary former MP Vijitha Herath addressing a public rally at Yakkala, Gampaha said yesterday (15): “After everything has happened the President appears on TV claiming he did not want to give nominations to Rajapaksa. We are sure the people of this country will not accept what he says ever again. He has made a bad mistake. It is too late for him to correct what he did.”

Continue reading ‘JVP Faults President Sirisena for Giving Nomination to Mahinda and Lying About it to the People’ »

Has China Hired Retired Indian Intelligence Officials to Mastermind the Election Campaign of Mahinda Rajapaksa?

By

Rasika Jayakody

All stakeholders of the ‘rainbow revolution’, which ousted former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from power in January, have joined hands again to block the former President’s desperate comeback bid. The notable absentee in this whole process is none other than President Maithripala Sirisena, the protagonist of the “January 08 story”.

When President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament in June, the SLFP stalwarts supporting Rajapaksa calculated that the UNP would be isolated at the Parliamentary election. They thought Patali Champika Ranawaka and Ven Athuraliye Rathana Thera, two outspoken MPs of the JHU, would remain in the UPFA along with others who defected from the party with President Maithripala Sirisena before the Presidential election.

It was against this backdrop that they designed the political comeback of the former President and covertly supported “Bring Back Mahinda” rallies organized by some constituent parties of the UPFA. Their plan was to isolate and crush the UNP at the Parliamentary election by bringing the former President back into the UPFA coalition. By having President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa side by side on their electorate platform, the UPFA seniors thought they would be in a position to enjoy the best of both worlds and secure a comfortable victory when it came to the electoral race.

However, former President Rajapaksa did not walk into the UPFA, alone. He was accompanied by a number of politicians who faced various bribery, corruption and criminal charges. There were ex-MPs who were frequent visitors of the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Department, the Bribery Commission and the Criminal Investigations Department. They were core members of the ‘Abhayaramaya cabal” which strongly pushed for the former President’s political comeback over the past few months.

Although President Sirisena was not inclined to accommodate them in the UPFA, Rajapaksa threatened to field a separate group if the party decided to reject nominations for members of his ‘core group’. As a result of this eleventh hour threat, Rajapaksa managed to secure nominations for his close associates including Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Lakshman Wasantha Perera and Premalal Jayasekera.

Continue reading ‘Has China Hired Retired Indian Intelligence Officials to Mastermind the Election Campaign of Mahinda Rajapaksa?’ »

What made President Maithripala Sirisena Change his Mind About Mahinda Rajapaksa?

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

Indian Premier Narendra Modi visited Sri Lanka after Maithripala Sirisena assumed the Presidency. He met Mahinda Rajapaksa too during that brief visit. Following that meeting, Mahinda displayed to his followers that he had received some blessings from Modi and this information reached New Delhi. After Modi returned to India the truth of what Modi told Mahinda was revealed.

Modi had told Mahinda that the latter had ruled Sri Lanka for two terms and was time for him to retire from politics to be at leisure. This had been Modi’s response when Mahinda had expressed his desire to return to active politics and looked for blessings from India. Modi had given a piece of advice but Mahinda did not want to reveal it thinking it would be detrimental to his desire to return to active politics.

Mahinda who declared his intention to return to active politics and gave an interview to a certain Indian media attempted to convince the Indians to get support towards his second journey in politics. During that interview Mahinda pointed out that Chinese investments and projects in Sri Lanka did not pose a threat to India and, he would like Ms. Sirima Bandaranaike did in 1962 would be a bridge to bring India and China together. Before Mahinda declared his desire to contest the upcoming general election in August, Chinese Navy Chief Zhao too made a similar statement to the media in China. Following is the report of that statement; “The Indian Ocean cannot be a backyard of India which Navies of other countries could not visit, the Chinese Ministry of Defence has said. As the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy expands its profile in the Indian Ocean with recent submarine visits to Sri Lanka and more recently Pakistan, its officials have moved to assuage India’s concerns by emphasizing its motivations were driven by trade and security and not aimed at India, Indian media reported.

Continue reading ‘What made President Maithripala Sirisena Change his Mind About Mahinda Rajapaksa?’ »

“I wont Appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister Even if SLFP led UPFA wins Elections”Announces President Sirisena


President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday declared that he would not appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Minister even in the event of the SLFP-led UPFA winning the August 17 general election.

There were several senior politicians in the SLFP, who were better suited to hold the post of Prime Minister than Rajapaksa, President Sirisena said addressing the media at the Presidential Secretariat.

President Sirisena said Rajapaksa had denied deserving party seniors their due place.

He faulted Rajapaksa for trying to deprive those senior party members premiership again, after serving two terms as President.

Declaraing that he would remain impartial at the next month’s election, President Sirisena called upon the people to elect those best suited to ‘march forward with the Jan. 8 mandate.’

Continue reading ‘“I wont Appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister Even if SLFP led UPFA wins Elections”Announces President Sirisena’ »

” I asked the Prime Minister to Remove or Make the Central Bank Governor Step Down From his Post” Reveals President Sirisena

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

The President vowed that he will form a government with the victorious political parties after the 17 August election and he has no intention of appointing Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister, adding further that that he would continue to give leadership to the change he ushered in on 8 January with the newly elected members after the general election.

He said that there would be a free and fair election and he will support all the forces to help conduct a clean election. He has to be there for the next five years to continue to work for his country as he had promised.

Speaking to media on the current political developments at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (14) the President said that if the SLFP wins the election there are several senior politicians in the party who can be the prime minister. Former President Rajapaksa who did not allow the deserving seniority get their due posts is now trying again to deny party seniors premiership by attempting to be PM even after completing two terms of the presidency.

He also said that he ignored the corruption allegations mainly to implement the 100 day programme based on the manifesto with Parliament approval.

President Sirisena said that his first intention was to dissolve Parliament on 10 January immediately after resuming as President on 9 January. However, he could not do so as he had to fulfil the task given under the 100- day programme.

“As promised I made Ranil Wickremesinghe PM though the UNP had only 47 Members in Parliament and succeeded in implementing the 100-Day programme that included the 19th Amendment to curtail the excessive powers of the executive presidency,” he said.

Continue reading ‘” I asked the Prime Minister to Remove or Make the Central Bank Governor Step Down From his Post” Reveals President Sirisena’ »

“Mahinda Rajapaksa who was Defeated on Jan 8th will be Defeated Again”Declares President Sirisena

By Dharisha Bastians

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday broke a 10-day silence in a special address, saying he was strongly opposed to his predecessor contesting in the 17 August parliamentary election and hailing democratic conditions prevailing in the country that allowed stinging criticism against a head of state that he had endured over the past week.

“I strongly disagreed with giving Mahinda Rajapaksa nominations for the election,” Sirisena said in his address.

Making his address at the Presidential Secretariat late last evening, Sirisena predicted that Mahinda Rajapaksa would lose the election next month.

“Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was defeated on 8 January, will be defeated again,” President Sirisena said.

“I don’t need to read the stars to know that, the future can be predicted based on history,” he said.

The remarks appeared to be a slap in the face of the former President, who told Reuters on Monday that he and President Sirisena would be leading the election campaign to form a SLFP-led Government after the poll.

Continue reading ‘“Mahinda Rajapaksa who was Defeated on Jan 8th will be Defeated Again”Declares President Sirisena’ »

Veteran Tamil Film Music Composer MS Visvanathan well -known as “MSV” Passes Away in Chennai Hospital at 87 Years

Well-known Tamil film music composer M.S. Viswanathan died at a private hospital in Chennai on July 14th morning. He was 87.

M.S. Viswanathan

M.S. Viswanathan

MSV, as he’s fondly called by the Tamil film music fans , had been undergoing treatment at Fortis Malar hospital for old-age related ailments and breathing problem.

Though he had showed signs of recovery after initial treatment and was almost ready to be taken back home, his condition deteriorated last week.

He breathed his last at 4.15 on Tuesday.

Continue reading ‘Veteran Tamil Film Music Composer MS Visvanathan well -known as “MSV” Passes Away in Chennai Hospital at 87 Years’ »

How to Secure Sri Lanka from Becoming a Casualty of the “Great Game”of Super Power Rivalry

By

N Sathiya Moorthy

Reports and denials about Sri Lanka procuring Chinese-made JF-17 fighter aircraft notwithstanding, there is the larger question of securing South Asia as a region, from within and without. The responsibility for the same, if and if only the nations of the region so desire, has to fall on all of them, given that it’s not about just the size and shape of their landmass and economies, but relates more to issues of sovereignty, security perceptions and consequent prescriptions.

The JF-17 Thunder is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation of China. According to Taiwan-based ‘Want China Times’, which first reported the purported sale, the “fighter is deployed for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Its designation ‘JF-17’ by Pakistan is short for ‘Joint Fighter-17’ and its alias ‘FC-1 Xiaolong’ in Chinese stands for ‘Fighter China-1 Fierce Dragon’

The ‘Want China Times’ reported that “Sri Lanka will become the first foreign country to acquire the JF-17” and that the “order will be for around 18-24 aircraft”, confirming claims made at the 51st Paris Air Show last week that the first contract for the sale of the JF-17 had been signed with “an Asian country”. The Pakistan Air Force announced that they will begin delivery of the JF-17 to Sri Lanka from 2017, adding that its Pakistani and Chinese developers will continue efforts to promote the aircraft to other countries.

Continue reading ‘How to Secure Sri Lanka from Becoming a Casualty of the “Great Game”of Super Power Rivalry’ »

UPFA Gen Secy Premajayantha Admitted to Nawaloka Hospital After Closed Door Meeting with Mahinda Rajapaksa at Ex-Minister Felix Perera’s House


By
Kamal Jayamanna

A major drama took place at former Minister Felix Perera’s house at Keppetipola Mawatha, Colombo, on Sunday night, over some UPFA politicians whose applications for nominations were turned down by the party.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had visited Perera’s house on Sunday night where a meeting was scheduled to take place between Rajapaksa and some members of the nominations committee, including UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha. Former Parliamentarian Sudarshini Fernandopulle and several other provincial level politicians of the UPFA had also been present at Perera’s house by the time the former President had arrived.

Soon after his arrival at Perera’s residence, Rajapaksa had said he needed a serene place for the meeting. The first floor of the former minister’s house was arranged for the meeting and Rajapaksa held a closed door meeting with the UPFA General Secretary and nomination committee members over candidates’ lists in Colombo and Gampaha.

Perera, Fernandopulle and other provincial council members waited on the ground floor until the end of the meeting.

Continue reading ‘UPFA Gen Secy Premajayantha Admitted to Nawaloka Hospital After Closed Door Meeting with Mahinda Rajapaksa at Ex-Minister Felix Perera’s House’ »

SLFP/UPFA Camp will have to Rely on Appeal of Mahinda Rajapaksa Alone in Election Campaign


By

Ranga Jayasuriya

It was quite evident from the very beginning that the campaign by a group of Mahinda Rajapaksa acolytes to nominate the ex-president as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party/United People’s Freedom Alliance was self-seeking and opportunistic.

It was a campaign that sought to draw on from the Rajapaksa cult that the ex-president carefully cultivated during his tenure. Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva and et al bolstered by generous financing by a coterie of nouveau rich businessmen, who made their fortune thanks to their association with the ex- president and the then first family believed that the return of the ex-president was the only way that would guarantee their political survival and, of course, the security of their ill-gotten wealth.

They cared little about what Mr. Rajapaksa’s comeback would mean for the SLFP and its political legitimacy. The new President, Maithripala Sirisena capitulated to the pressure, fearing the prospects of a split within the party.

Despite his initial protestations against granting nomination to his predecessor, President Sirisena finally gave in.

Of course, he did not nominate Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate, but should the SLFP win the general elections, Rajapaksa’s accession to the Prime Ministership would be a mere formality.

Continue reading ‘SLFP/UPFA Camp will have to Rely on Appeal of Mahinda Rajapaksa Alone in Election Campaign’ »

Guilt Ridden UNP Leadership on Mission to Cover Up Gigantic Treasury Bond Scam Perpetrated by Central Bank High Officials

By

K.K.S.Perera

Did Maithripala Sirisena disappoint the 6.2 million voters by letting MR contest under the SLFP tag?

Some call it a great betrayal; while others think it a democratic option or burying the hatchet for mutual survival. In the meantime, the government and PM makes a strenuous effort to brainwash citizens in a well calculated and masterly cover-up agenda to save offenders involved in CB Bond scam. Why are they doing this if the government politicos are not involved in the scandal?

Can the PM assure the public that no such loss has taken place under the issue, or if there was a scam then who is responsible, instead of attempting to whitewash his nominee for the plum post?

Continue reading ‘Guilt Ridden UNP Leadership on Mission to Cover Up Gigantic Treasury Bond Scam Perpetrated by Central Bank High Officials’ »

Nominations for August 17 Elections Close with 6151 Candidates Competing for 196 Seats in 225 Member Parliament


By
Dharisha Bastians

The 17 August Parliamentary election officially kicked off after nominations closed at noon yesterday, with all major political parties throwing their hat in the ring to win seats in Sri Lanka’s 15th Parliament.

According to the nomination lists handed over at the district secretariats by noon yesterday, 6,151 candidates will compete for 196 seats in the country’s 225-member Legislature next month.

Battle lines have been drawn in what promises to be a tightly-fought election, with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa ready to make a major political comeback and a newly-energised United National Party and the broad alliance it leads promising to defeat him for the second time this year.

In an unprecedented development, the retired President will seek a seat in Parliament, leading the UPFA’s Kurunegala District list.

Rajapaksa loyalists in the UPFA have already pledged to campaign for his election as prime minister, even though President Maithripala Sirisena on 30 June ruled out nominating him as the party’s prime ministerial hopeful.

“I promise to work to root out corruption and deceit, create a peaceful society and prioritise national security,” the former President told supporters in Kurunegala yesterday.
Rajapaksa told Reuters by telephone yesterday that he and President Sirisena would be “leading” the UPFA polls campaign.

“Today, people want change. I am leading the campaign with President Sirisena as the Chairman of the party to form a Sri Lanka Freedom Party-led Government,” the former President told Reuters after he handed in nomination papers.

Continue reading ‘Nominations for August 17 Elections Close with 6151 Candidates Competing for 196 Seats in 225 Member Parliament’ »

Political “Cut out Culture” Continues Under Ranil Wickremesinghe as it was under Mahinda Rajapaksa

By

Malinda Seneviratne

Someone said that Ranil Wickremesinghe had ordered his ‘cut-outs’ to be dismantled. I haven’t seen any RW cut-outs. So if an order had been issued it must have been on the following lines: ‘Make sure there are no cut-outs of me!’

Whether any of this happened we do not know. One thing is certain: a Ranil Wickremesinghe larger-than-life would not attract. If a move was made, it was wise. If a move hasn’t been made, that’s wise too.

What’s disappointing is that RW hasn’t rapped the knuckles of the cut-out heroes in his party. It is disappointing because these very same worthies were howling not too long ago about Mahinda Rajapaksa’s cut-outs.

Some of them said that cut-outs take away from the city’s beauty, never mind that they didn’t attribute the ‘beauty’ part of it to the very regime they vilified. But they were right. Beautification is no license for subsequent desecration.

Continue reading ‘Political “Cut out Culture” Continues Under Ranil Wickremesinghe as it was under Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Being Portrayed as Latter Day “Dutu Gemunu”not Enough to Ensure Political Comeback.


By

Col R Hariharan

Unfazed by his surprise defeat in the last presidential polls, Sri Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapaksa appears to be back with a bang on the nation’s political centre stage with the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition nominating him to contest the August 17 parliamentary election. as a candidate. Six months ago, when Rajapaksa went into a sulk after his defeat, nobody would have imagined that he would bounce back so soon and so strongly with the support of UPFA.

His nomination ended weeks of suspense, as his bête noire President Maithripala Sirisena, chief of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), tried to persuade the party, the UPFA coalition and even Mahinda to prevent the latter’s comeback. But Rajapaksa seems to have made up his mind, well before political manoevures began, to contest the election with or without SLFP support as the anti-corruption bodies were making life miserable for him and his siblings. But no one, probably not even Mahinda, was certain of the UPFA nominating him.

Sirisena is reported to have confessed to his loyalists that he could not carry the UPFA coalition with him to prevent Rajapaksa’s nomination. Civil society leaders and political leaders who put their faith in him to clean up the administration and ensure Mahinda does not reincarnate called Maithripala’s decision a betrayal of the 8 January mandate.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Being Portrayed as Latter Day “Dutu Gemunu”not Enough to Ensure Political Comeback.’ »

Jan 8 “Rainbow” Coalition Re-unites as UNFGG To Prevent Return of Rajapaksa to Power

By

Dharisha Bastians

The threat of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political re-emergence has unified the fractured rainbow coalition that swept President Maithripala Sirisena to victory on 8 January, with several parties signing agreements yesterday to contest parliamentary elections under a single banner.
The United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) was inaugurated at Temple Trees yesterday, with several parties that backed the Sirisena ‘common candidacy’ in January regrouping to contest against the UPFA.

Twenty-four hours ahead of the close of nominations for the 17 August poll, President Sirisena’s bid to consolidate his position within the SLFP appeared to have failed and the defeated President Rajapaksa is likely to be the de facto leader and presumptive premier of the UPFA.
During their 160 days in Government, the election alliance showed signs of cracking with SLFP members and the JHU, which backed President Sirisena, strongly critical of the UNP.

With the rainbow coalition rebanding, the 8 January battle lines have been drawn again, with Rajapaksa likely to canvass hard on a nationalist platform, while the alliance pledges good governance and reconciliation between communities in the island.

Continue reading ‘Jan 8 “Rainbow” Coalition Re-unites as UNFGG To Prevent Return of Rajapaksa to Power’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Vows to Wipe Out “Rajapaksa Regime” at the August 17 Parliamentary Polls

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Reiterating his commitment to protect what he called the January 8 revolution which brought Maithripala Sirisena to power, Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday vowed to wipe out ‘Rajapaksa regime’ at the August 17 parliamentary polls.

Premier Wickremesinghe compared the Rajapaksa era with that of South Indian invasion led by Kalinga Maga in 1214 A.D.

The Premier was addressing the media at Temple Trees after having reached an agreement with Eksath Jathika Yahapalana Peramuna (formerly JHU) and a breakaway faction of the SLFP (Democratic National Movement) to contest the parliamentary polls on the UNP ticket The SLMC, too, contests on the UNP ticket in all districts except Vanni and Batticaloa.

Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne functions as the leader of the rebel SLFP faction.

Premier Wickremesinghe stressed the need for a new political alliance to guarantee the implementation of promises given at the January 8 presidential election.

The new alliance is named the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG).

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Vows to Wipe Out “Rajapaksa Regime” at the August 17 Parliamentary Polls’ »

“Indian Imperialist” Project of Constructing Bridge to Sri Lanka will Lead to Destruction of our Country

By

K Godage

Some new Indian imperialists, dreaming of India as a Super Power, and in the mould of Pannikar (who suggested the Lanka and Burma be a part of greater India; and had India seize Sikkim and transform Bhutan into a vassal State, have suggested that a bridge be built across the Palk Strait to physically link our two countries.

Such a bridge to physically connect us to India will end our being an island since time immemorial. Some well meaning people in our country would no doubt be thinking of the economic benefits that would accrue and of how trade would grow and investment would increase, but when one thinks long term and of our very existence as a separate country these economic benefits pale into insignificance.

Continue reading ‘“Indian Imperialist” Project of Constructing Bridge to Sri Lanka will Lead to Destruction of our Country’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Tirade Against COPE and DEW Gunasekara Shows he too is a Politician and not a Statesman

By

Malinda Seneviratne

Ranil Wickremesinghe is a politician. Yes, not a statesman. A politician, let us reiterate. The next election and not the next generation is what fascinates him. Like other politicians from other parties of course, leaders included. Yes, like Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena.

Ranil Wickremesinghe is a lawyer. He is not just a politician but a seasoned one. So when he says that D.E.W. Gunasekera, then Chairman of COPE, was out of order in releasing a draft of the COPE Report on the Central Bank bond issue, we have to take note.

Wickremesinghe’s argument is that after Parliament was dissolved, COPE ceased to exist and therefore has no legal standing. Consequently nothing that ‘DEW’ or anyone else in COPE says about any ‘COPE affairs’ is incompetent and irrelevant. DEW, for his part, has promised to respond.

Wickremesinghe claims that it’s not only DEW who is guilty of the ‘contravention of the Parliament Powers and Privileges Act’ but newspapers and other media that had published sections or the entirety of the ‘draft report’. His argument, apart from COPE ceasing to exist, is that some COPE members were not present when COPE deliberated because they were busy politicking.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Tirade Against COPE and DEW Gunasekara Shows he too is a Politician and not a Statesman’ »

How Maithripala Sirisena Helped Mahinda Rajapaksa to Split the Sri Lanka Freedom Party

By

Rasika Jayakody

Soon after President Maithripala Sirisena assumed duties as the SLFP Chairman, his close associates, including former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, called on him to introduce drastic reforms to ‘clean up’ the party. For obscure reasons, such calls fell on deaf ears and no tangible action was taken to bring about meaningful party reforms. He even retained the General Secretaries of the SLFP and the UPFA who had been appointed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Due to his failure to reform, President Sirisena had a political party that was a kind of a ‘monster’ beyond his control.

The nomination process of the UPFA was, therefore, entirely handled by its General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and President Sirisena’s internal battle for good governance in the party suffered a serious setback.

When he realized that he was not in a position to prevent Rajapaksa from becoming a candidate, President Sirisena laid down certain conditions to allay the fears of those who were concerned about Rajapaksa’s return to politics.

The President insisted that Rajapaksa should not be appointed as the prime ministerial candidate of the UPFA. He also added that the former President would not be appointed as the leader of the UPFA group contesting the election. Another stated condition was that Rajapaksa should only contest from the Hambantota district, his traditional stronghold. President Sirisena also opposed giving nominations to nearly 20 ex-MPs of the UPFA who faced bribery, corruption and criminal charges. The large majority of them were staunch supporters of the former President.

The Rajapaksa group, despite all their bravado, had to bow to certain conditions including the one preventing Rajapaksa’s prime ministerial candidacy. At the same time, they circumvented certain conditions by exerting pressure on the President. For instance, UPFA seniors, including the party General Secretary, stressed that the former President should contest from the Kurunegala district to make way for his son, Namal Rajapaksa, to enter the new Parliament with ease.

Continue reading ‘How Maithripala Sirisena Helped Mahinda Rajapaksa to Split the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa will Protect Maithripala Sirisena from Those who Accuse President of Betraying the Nation

By

By W.K. Prasad Manju

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is prepared to protect President Maithripala Sirisena from those who claim that he had betrayed the people’s mandate given to him at the presidential election, by giving nomination to Rajapaksa, reliable political sources said.

Rajapaksa had already discussed this issue with seniors in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), sources added.

The party leaders in the Alliance had pointed out to Rajapaksa that President Sirisena gave him nomination due to the request made by the majority of the people in the country who wanted Rajapaksa as the prime ministerial candidate, sources claimed.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa will Protect Maithripala Sirisena from Those who Accuse President of Betraying the Nation’ »

Sirisena Changed Course Because of Pressure from the SLFP Members Who did not want their Party to be made the UNP’s tail.

By

C. A. Chandraprema

To say that last week was full of tension would be an understatement. Political futures and fates of individuals were being decided on the run. A day, an hour or even a minute was becoming a long time in politics. The weekend will see frantic last minute horse trading and the nomination lists on both sides of the political divide may be different on Monday. The mere fact that Mahinda Rajapaksa has signed the UPFA nomination papers had stood the entire political system on its head.

Supporters of the yahapalana coalition are literally incandescent with rage at the fact that MR had finally been granted UPFA nominations. The pro-UNP website Lanka e News even accused Sirisena of having accepted a bribe running into millions of USD to give nominations to Mahinda and they have pledged to publish evidence to this effect. Street demonstrations have been held by NGO activists to express displeasure at President Maithripala Sirisena for having given Mahinda Rajapaksa nominations.

There is nothing surprising in MS caving in to pressure from within the SLFP and the UPFA to field Mahinda as a candidate at this election as the same kind of pressure was applied by a group within the UNP to force Ranil Wickremesinghe to stand down and allow a common candidate to contest against Mahinda Rajapaksa. If RW could not withstand pressure coming from a minority within just one political party, how was Sirisena expected to withstand pressure coming from the vast majority of a whole coalition of political parties? Besides, nobody was accusing RW of wanting to create a split in the UNP, but Sirisena had to face that kind of blackmail as well and it’s not surprising that he finally gave in.

The pro-UNP website Lanka e News was right in saying that it was Sirisena who placed himself in this position by taking over the SLFP leadership. That certainly was not a part of the yahapalana agenda. Those who are now blaming MS for giving nominations to Mahinda should have registered their protest at the outset when MS became SLFP leader without so much as a by your leave from the people who brought him into power. Instead of confronting him at that stage, RW was laughing and poking fun at the cowed and intimidated UPFA members in parliament saying that if they do not behave, he will ‘report’ them to the president and have them given knocks on the head (toku) if they do not fall in line with the yahapalana government. Well it’s the UNP that has ended up receiving ‘toku’ in the end.

Continue reading ‘Sirisena Changed Course Because of Pressure from the SLFP Members Who did not want their Party to be made the UNP’s tail.’ »

Sinhalese Sports Club Denies Membership to Ex – Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage

He may have been the all-powerful Sports Minister of yesteryear, but the prestigious Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) doesn’t think he is fit and proper to be made one of its members. Ex-Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has been ‘black-balled’ from becoming a member and entering the hallowed portals of one of the country’s oldest clubs at Maitland Place in Colombo.

In a dramatic turn of events at this week’s Executive Committee meeting of the SSC, the former Minister’s name had come up for membership. His name had been proposed by two former senior Sri Lanka Cricket officials, who are members of the club.

Continue reading ‘Sinhalese Sports Club Denies Membership to Ex – Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage’ »

“Bad Influence ” Exerted by Jathika Hela Urumaya on Maithripala Sirisena Led to Current Crisis


By Upul Kumarapperuma

The Roman Empire was plagued by coups, conspiracies and wars nevertheless it was the most formidable Empire in Europe.

Julius Caesar became one of the most decorated war heroes after defeating the slave leader Spartacus and his slave army that had caused much humiliation to the Roman Empire, and was later on crowned as the Empire of Rome.

Caesar formed a political alliance with Crassus and Pompey which dominated Roman politics for several years. However, there was opposition to their political alliance by the conservative ruling class within the Roman Senate. During this period the Roman Empire was extended up to the English Channel and the lands beyond the river Rhine, which caused Caesar to gain enormous military might.

The Roman Senate was perturbed by the political authority acquired by Caesar, which authority was capable enough to veto the Senate.

The resentment between Caesar and the Senate developed like a cancer day by day and it went beyond the point of no return. There was a conspiracy hatched to assassinate Caesar. His best buddy Mark Antony felt the danger and came to know the modus operandi of the enemy, but it was too late; the conspirators led by Brutus who was a politician of the Roman republic won the battle by killing Caesar.

This is not a comparison of Caesar and Maithripala Sirisena, but even in the present context, characters identical to those in the Roman Empire are engaged in similar roles in Sri Lanka’s current political circle. These characters have been instrument in causing great debacles in the country as well as ruin the political careers of certain individuals.

Continue reading ‘“Bad Influence ” Exerted by Jathika Hela Urumaya on Maithripala Sirisena Led to Current Crisis’ »

President Sirisena Must Explain to the Nation as to why he Placed his Party Before his Country.

By

Don Manu

‘You cannot make an omelette without breaking an egg’ would have been the adage staring in the face of Maithripala Sirisena when he rose at the New Town Hall meeting last November 21st to announce his intention to contest the presidential election and vowed to the nation that he would usher in a new maithri era and root out all the junk in the Rajapaksa trunk in order to do so.

Prefacing his political bombshell with a quotation from the Dhammapada that emphasised that revenge was not his mission, he declared that he had come forward from the ministerial ranks of the ruling party to take on the challenge of toppling the then invincible Mahinda Rajapaksa from his monarchical pedestal, to end rampant corruption, to bring the perfidious rogues to justice, to restore law and order, to offer good governance with greater transparency; and to be the harbinger of a resplendent dawn where old cherished values of fairness, equality and justice dance in the rays of the sunlit morn.

Raising the hopes of millions that at long last a new David had arrived to slay the Goliath, he had declared, “Thuggery, embezzlement, crime, drug mafia, nepotism and corruption have institutionalised under the Executive. The entire socioeconomic and political systems of this country have been taken over by one family. They have ruined this country that is now engulfed in corruption and blatant abuse of power. It is against this that I am coming forward as the common candidate of the opposition”.

But the thugs were in the SLFP barracks, the rogues were in the SLFP cave, the druggies were in the SLFP den and the nepotists were in the SLFP family. Reality demanded, common sense dictated that no new civilised era based on democratic values of the sort Maithripala promised to usher would ever see the light of day without turning to rubble the said institutionalised scourge of our times and evicting its squatters, banishing them far beyond the pale of return.

Maithripala Sirisena would have known then, even he should know now, that he could not and cannot usher in his promised dawn for a new Lanka without first cleaning his party stables or make a spiffy Lankan omelette without cracking the rotten SLFP eggshell.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Must Explain to the Nation as to why he Placed his Party Before his Country.’ »