Legendary Muslim Congress “Thalaiver” MHM Ashraff and the Tamils of Sri Lanka

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Today (16 September) is the 20th death anniversary of Mohammad Hussein Muhammad Ashraff, the legendary leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). He was the Cabinet Minister in charge of Shipping, Ports, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in the Government of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at the time of his death. He, along with …

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Who or what is the real driver of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime? Is it the Deep State or the “Junta” and their civilian ideologues and professionals in the Viyathmaga-Eliya?

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The President’s gear-shift on 20A, which showed flexibility, followed by his shift-back to the original hawkish position and a posture of rigidity, made nonsense of some basic assumptions of the Opposition, and pointed to the imperative of correcting these dangerously flawed notions. What are the lessons of the recent dramatic turnaround? It …

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Trying to fight the 20th Amendment by siding with PM Mahinda against President Gotabaya will be an exercise in delusion as trying to use Melania against Donald Trump.

By Tisaranee Gunasekara “When it is laid down as a maxim, that a king can do no wrong, it places him in a state of similar security with that of idiots and persons insane, and responsibility is out of the question with respect to himself” – Thomas Paine, ‘Rights of Man’ It is what it …

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Dissent Within SLPP Led Ruling Alliance and Opposition From Sinhala BuddhistUltra-Nationalist Lobby Compels Govt To Withdraw Gazetted Draft 20th Amendment Bill and Pledge Submission of Altered Alternative Draft

By P. K. Balachandran The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP) decision to revisit the draft 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution follows multiple dissensions over it both within the party and its alliance. Although the draft 20A was cleared by the Cabinet without objections and was even published in the gazette, the moment it …

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” You do not win an argument by saying ‘this is a Sinhala Buddhist country, so it has to be this way’.That is intimidation.” Says Aman Ashraff the Only Son of MHM and Ferial Ashraff in an Interview

By Chandani Kirinde Today marks the 20th death anniversary of M.H.M. Ashraff, the Founder Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). He died on 16 September 2000, when the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopter he was travelling in crashed in the Aranayaka area in Kegalle District, leaving a void in the political sphere …

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The 13th Amendment, the Indo-Lanka Accord and the very principle of provincial devolution stand in jeopardy While the Tamils are cornered in a political dead-end.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Any collective, especially a minority community, is in the most serious kind of political trouble when its smartest representatives say things that are the exact opposite of smart—and that’s a polite euphemism—at exactly the wrong time. Take MP M.A. Sumanthiran, quoted by Meera Srinivasan of The Hindu as follows: ‘… “While it …

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120 State-owned companies including SriLankan Airlines Lanka Electricity Company (LECO), Sri Lanka Insurance, Lanka Hospitals PLC, Litro Gas Lanka Ltd and Lanka Sathosa will be exempt from Government audit under the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

By Namini Wijedasa Nearly 120 State-owned companies including the debt-ridden SriLankan Airlines will be exempt from Government audit under the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution. Among scores of other business entities to be excluded are Lanka Electricity Company (LECO), Sri Lanka Insurance, Lanka Hospitals PLC, Litro Gas Lanka Ltd, Lanka Sathosa, multiple plantation and …

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Five UN Special Rapporteurs raise concerns with Sri Lankan Govt. on harassment of Senior journalist Dharisha Bastians

Five United Nations Special Rapporteurs have written to the Government of Sri Lanka, raising serious concerns that journalist Dharisha Bastians is being targeted for her writing and especially for her work to defend human rights, saying the continued harassment could deter other journalists from reporting on issues of public interest and human rights. The UN …

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UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene Ready to Take Up Challenge of Re-structuring and Rebuilding the Party anew

By Asiri Fernando Newly-appointed United National Party (UNP) Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene yesterday assured that he was ready to take up the challenge of rebuilding the party. Speaking to the press following a religious function at Gangaramaya Temple yesterday morning, Wijewardene called on all those who once supported the party to rally around the green …

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Ruwan Wijewardene Elected as UNP Deputy -Leader at Party Working Committee Meeting; Wins Comfortably with 28 Votes in Straight Fight with Contender Ravi Karunanayake who gets 10 votes

By Yohan Perera Former State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene was elected Deputy Leader at a secret ballot today. UNP Legal Secretary Nissanka Nanayakkara told journalists that a secret ballot was conducted when both Mr. Wijewardene and Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake informed the working committee that they would contest for the post. Mr. Wijewardene was …

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The Tamil people opposed the Executive Presidency both for its centralisation of power and also for its corrupting influence on democracy.

by M A Sumanthiran (The writer is President’s Counsel Member of Parliament for Jaffna and spokesman for Tamil National Alliance) The Basic Structure Doctrine as developed by the Indian Supreme Court has not found favour in Sri Lankan constitutional law. However, the Sri Lankan Constitution (2nd Republican Constitution of 1978) provides a clear procedure on …

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ஆற்றல் மிகு தமிழ்த் தலைவர் அப்பாப்பிள்ளை அமிர்தலிங்கத்தின் வாழ்வும் காலமும்

டி.பி.எஸ்.ஜெயராஜ் (This is the Tamil Version of the English Article “Life and Times of Dynamic Tamil Leader Appapillai Amirthalingam” by D.B.S.Jeyaraj in the “Political Pulse” Column of the “Daily FT” on August 26th 2020) அமிர் அல்லது அமுதர் என்று வாஞ்சையுடன் அழைக்கப்பட்ட நன்கு பிரபல்யம் வாய்ந்த இலங்கை தமிழ் அரசியல் தலைவர் அப்பாப்பிள்ளை அமிர்தலிங்கத்தின் 93ஆவது பிறந்த தினம் அண்மையில் (ஆகஸ்ட் 26) …

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had declared his readiness to withdraw the present draft 20th Amendment Bill and re-submit a rectified draft. Announces SLPP National List MP Gevindu Cumaratunga

By Shamindra Ferdinando President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has assured civil society groups, the National Joint Committee (NJC) and Yuthukama that the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution would be rescinded to pave the way for a new draft. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa gave this assurance at a meeting with Manohara de Silva, PC and lawmaker Gevindu Cumaratunga …

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How Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Defence Secretary Masterminded the Successful War Against the LTTE is Grippingly Related by Current Defence Secretary Maj-Gen Kamal Gunaratne in his new book titled “Gotabaya”

By P.K. Balachandran In 2005, when Gotabaya Rajapaksa took over as Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary at the request of the newly elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country’s armed forces were in a depleted, ill-equipped and dispirited state. They were being outwitted and outmaneuvered by the intrepid and innovative LTTE. The Lankan Army, Navy and the …

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There are clear and present dangers in allowing such ‘unfettered’ powers to be wielded by the President who is being elevated as a ‘super-constitutional creature’ by the 20th Amendment

By Kishali Pinto Jayewardena As public concern over Sri Lanka’s draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution increases exponentially since this amendment was gazetted on 2nd September 2020, so do the sheer absurdity of the justifications thereto. Cunning and deplorably simplistic explanations are put forward by some in Government ranks. The President as a ‘super-constitutional’ creature …

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Row over murder convict-MP: Speaker takes cover behind court ruling as SJB fires salvo after salvo

By Sandun Jayawardana Less than a month into its five-year term, the Ninth Parliament of Sri Lanka achieved world-wide notoriety this week when a murder convict on death row was sworn in as a member of the august assembly, amid jeers and a walkout from Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MPs. The swearing-in of Ratnapura …

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Education Minister Prof G.L. Peiris Explains the Reasons Behind the Govt Move to Speedily Introduce the 20th Constitutional Amendment

by Professor G. L. Peiris Minister Of Education May I begin by expressing my appreciation to the Kandy Professionals Association for embarking on this very timely initiative of meeting every month, on a Sunday, to discuss in depth the issues involving constitutional reform, and the way forward in our country. I consider this an exercise …

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20th Constitutional amendment aims to provide Sri Lankan president with authoritarian powers

By Sanjaya Jayasekera and Deepal Jayasekera Early this month, the Sri Lankan cabinet approved a draft 20th amendment to the constitution, which would give sweeping dictatorial powers to the executive president if approved by the parliament. President Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) government is planning to ram the bill through parliament in October. …

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The Demand for Cow Slaughter in Sri Lanka is Entangled With the Political Issue of Buddhist – Muslm Relations

By P.K.Balachandran When the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa got the unanimous approval of his parliamentary group for legislation to ban cow slaughter, it was not the first attempt to have the practice banned. Despite toying with the idea of banning cow slaughter from time to time, no government has thought it fit to …

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Banning the Slaughter of Cattle for Beef In Sri Lanka While Importing Beef for Consumption Will Create a New Category of New Rich Persons Thriving on the “Pitarata Harak Mus Vaasanava”(the Fortune of Imported Beef)

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake There is a clear duality in the prime minister’s decision on a ban on cattle slaughter. The cattle are slaughtered for the purpose of beef consumption. But the new slaughter ban will support beefeaters with imports of beef from abroad. This duality may be part of the Lotus Bud or Podujana Peramuna …

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Instead of Disbanding the National Procurement Commission by Replacing the 19th Amendment Through the 20th Amendment the NPC Must Be Strengthened Further

By Dr. Janaka Ratnasiri In an interview held in one of the TV channels on 07.09.2020 ending at midnight, Justice Minister Ali Sabry said that the National Procurement Commission (NPC), established among the several independent commissions under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, has not served any useful purpose during the 5 years of its …

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State Minister Sarath Weerasekara Tells Parliament that military occupied lands in the North and East that are of tactical importance would never be given back to the People owning them as long as persons with separatist agendas like C.V. Wigneswaran are there promoting separatism

By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera Military occupied lands in the North and East, which have tactical importance will not be given back to the people in view of national security as it is directly related to national economy, State Minister Sarath Weerasekara said today. He told Parliament that 90 per cent of the military …

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“I know in my heart that I am innocent,” Says Murder Convicted Premalal Jayasekara While Addressing Parliament in a voice shaking with emotion; requests new investigation and trial as he had been framed he says

By Maria Abi-Habib A Sri Lankan politician sentenced to death on murder charges was sworn in as a member of the country’s Parliament on Tuesday, escorted out of prison to take his oath amid jeers from opposition legislators. The lawmaker, Premalal Jayasekara, was convicted in late July of opening fire on an election rally in …

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Report in the UK “Guardian” About Murder Convict Premalal Jayasekera Being Allowed To Be Sworn in as MP by the Speaker in Sri Lanka.

A Sri Lankan politician sentenced to death for murder has been escorted from prison to parliament to become the first convict to be sworn in as an MP, amid heckles from the opposition. Premalal Jayasekara, 45, from the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party (SLPP), was convicted in August of murdering an opposition activist after …

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Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Moots Proposal at Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Parliamentary Group Meeting to Ban the Slaughter of Cattle for Beef

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has proposed banning the slaughter of cattle for beef, according to the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP, or People’s Front). Addressing the party’s parliamentary group at a meeting on Tuesday, Mr. Rajapaksa — while discussing the agenda for the week — made the proposal, Cabinet spokesman and Minister …

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Differences of Opinion Emerge Within Govt Ranks Over Draft 20th Constitutional Amendment as Several MP’s Are Opposed to Certain Provisions in Draft Bill Relating to Issues Like Dual Citizenship and Number of Cabinet Ministers

By Kelum Bandara Apparently for the first time since the presidential election on November 16, 2019, dissension has emerged among the members or the groups of the Government. That is on the content of the bill titled ‘20th Amendment to the Constitution’ which primarily seeks to roll back the 19th Amendment. The ruling party initiated …

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Seven Member Committee Appointed to Study Draft 20th Constitutional Amendment and ubmit Report to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa by Sep 22 Following Reservations Expressed by Constituent Parties of SLPP Led Alliance

The Government parliamentary group which met yesterday decided to appoint a seven-member committee to study the 20th Amendment to the Constitution after constituent parties expressed reservations over some contents in the draft Bill.

Ruwan Wijewardene the Great Grandson of DS Senanayake and Grandson of DR Wijewardene is Becoming the Front Runner in the UNP Leadership Stakes

By Dr Upul Wijayawardhana “If we are to advance as a united and prosperous Sri Lanka, political parties based on race and religion should be banned.” This was the rallying cry of the very pragmatic religious leader Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. However, we should remind ourselves that this ideal was achieved, not by law but by …

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There was Darkness in Sri Lanka Even After the 19th Amendment but the 20th Constitutional Amendment May Plunge the Country Into Pitch Darkness

By Victor Ivan Governance-wise, the 20th Amendment can be described as a regressive step. In my opinion, with the enactment of the 20th Amendment, one era of Sri Lanka will come to an end. The era that ends with the introduction of the 20th Amendment cannot be considered as an era of democracy. Similarly, the …

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Security Council and Navy Alerted Over Huge Increase of Indian Fishing Vessels Engaged in Poaching in Sri Lankan Territorial Waters Off the Mannar, Jaffna and Mullaitheevu Coasts in the last few days.

By Saman Indrajith Minister of State for Fisheries Kanchana Wijesekera told Parliament yesterday (09) that the Security Council and the Navy had been informed of an increase in the number of Indian fishing vessels in Sri Lankan territorial waters during the past few days, and measures would be taken to beef up security in the …

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SLPP State Minister Sanath Nishantha’s Brother and Ex-Chairman of Arachchikkattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Jagath Samantha Found Responsible for Destruction of Anavilundhava Wild Life Sanctuaryin Puttalam District in Probe Launched by Wild Life and Forests Conservation Minister CB Rathnayake

Former chairman of Arachchikattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Jagath Samantha has been found to be the person behind the recent environmental disaster in the Anavilundawa sanctuary. The panel of specialists appointed to probe into the incident by Wildlife and Forest Conservation Minister C.B. Rathnayake, has revealed this. Jagath Samantha is also the brother of State minister r …

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The 20th Amendment is an overnight shift of authority and loyalty from Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa,from Prime Minister and this Parliament to this President and from the parliamentarians of the MR bloc to the Viyath Maga-Eliya-Yuthukama-ex military axis.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The main problem with the 19th Amendment was not sourced in the legislation but in the illegitimacy of the political context: The Leader of the Opposition (from 2015 until 2019) was the TNA Leader who commanded only a minority of seats in the Opposition benches. Everything that was born in that Parliament …

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What will Happen in a Situation Where Cattle Slaughter is Totally Banned in Sri Lanka and not a Single Cow is Killed?

By Zahrah Imtiaz (this Article was first Posted on 22 January 2016.It is being re-posted in view of its topical importance in the present context) Imagine a scenario where no one in the country would be allowed to slaughter a cow. With religious fervour firing the imagination of many to call for such a ban, …

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Tamil Congress Jaffna District MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam Tells Parliament that people in the North and East overburdened by loans are caught up, not in a debt trap but a “death trap” and calls on govt to implement progressive policies to protect the economies of the war battered population in these districts

By Chandani Kirinde All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) Jaffna District MP Gajen Ponnambalam told Parliament yesterday that people in the North and East are overburdened by loans and are caught up, not in a debt trap but a ‘death trap”, and called on the government to implement progressive policies to protect the economies of the …

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SJB Parliamentarians Create Din in Parliament Protesting Over Swearing in of Murder Convict Premalal Jayasekara as Ratnapura District MP

By Saman Indrajith SLPP Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekera, convicted of murder and sentenced to death, was sworn in as an MP amidst protests from the SJB in Parliament, yesterday. At the commencement of sittings, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced that Jayasekera could take his oath as an MP. As the announcement came, SJB Kandy …

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Samagi Jana Balawegaya severely criticises Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena for allowing Parliamentarian Premalal Jayasekara alias “Choka Malli” who was convicted of murder ahead of last month’s Parliamentary Election to take oaths

By Asiri Fernando The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) yesterday severely criticised Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena for allowing Parliamentarian Premalal Jayasekara, who was convicted of murder ahead of last month’s Parliamentary Election, to take oaths despite strong objections by Opposition members. Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekara, alias ‘Choka Malli’, and two …

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Drastic Changes Proposed in 20th Constitutional Amendment May Require the People’s Endorsement at a Referendum for it to Become Law Says TNA Spokesperson MA Sumanthiran PC

By P.K.Balachandran There are legal grounds to seek a referendum on the proposed 20 th. Amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution, says M.A.Sumanthiran, spokesman of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and a leading Supreme Court lawyer. According to Sumanthiran, the 20A seeks to change the basic principles embedded in the constitution. It gives all powers …

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Ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekara Becomes First Murder Convict to be Sworn in as a Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka Following an Interim Order Issued by the Court of Appeal

By Meera Srinivasan A murder convict, elected from Sri Lanka’s southern Ratnapura district, was escorted from prison to Parliament on Tuesday as he took the oath as MP amid opposition protests. Days before the August 5 general election, Premalal Jayasekara, a member of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP of People’s Front), was sentenced …

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Buddhist monk from Arisimalai who is a member of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province threatens a group of farmers in the Thiriyai area in the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretary’s Division in the Trincomalee District and prohibits them from engaging in cultivation

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan has written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa alleging that a Buddhist monk, who is a member of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province, had threatened a group of farmers in the Thiriyai area in the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretary’s Division in the Trincomalee District. …

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“By focussing on the technicalities of the 19th Amendment, the Rajapaksas are trying to quietly erase the historic pledge of abolishing the executive presidency from public discourse.” – M.A. Sumanthiran PC

By Meera Srinivasan When the Sri Lankan government recently gazetted the draft 20th Amendment (20 A) to the Constitution, it was merely keeping an election promise — to repeal the 19th Amendment of 2015 that clipped the Executive President’s unfettered powers, in turn empowering Parliament. With the necessary two-third majority on their side, President Gotabaya …

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Removal of the gains including the strengthening of sovereignty of the people achieved through 19A prejudicially by 20 A impacts on sovereignty and therefore necessitates approval at a referendum.

By Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, President’s Counsel The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution Bill (20A) is in the public domain. If I were to describe it in one sentence — 20A seeks to take the country backwards to the 2010-2015 period. The only features introduced by 19A that would survive if 20A is passed in its …

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Provocative Statements by TMTK Leader C.V. Wigneswaran will only serve to harden the majority community stand on Issues Like the 13th Constitutional Amendment Which Established the Provincial Councils

By P.K.Balachandran Controversial and provocative statements made by the Tamil Makkal Thesiya Koottani (TMTK) MP and former Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran are likely to result in a hardening of the majority Sinhala community’s stand on the contentious 13 th.Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution. The 13 A, enacted in 1987 at India’s insistence, gives …

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Draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution is virtually an inexpert ‘cut and paste’ job of the 18th Amendment that proposes a travesty of concentration of power in the Executive Presidency.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena When Justice AP Shah remarked recently that, ‘India is moving towards some form of elected autocracy’, he may have been speaking for the entire region and perhaps, swathes of the world in turmoil as it were. Returning Sri Lanka ‘forward to the past’ But the fact that we are not the …

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With Sri Lanka Being well and truly in the vortex of Indian Ocean geo-politics , Ravinatha Aryasinha, Milinda Moragoda and Palitha Kohona the Designated Envoys to Washington, New Delhi and Beijing Face Formidable Diplomatic Challenges.

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lanka is in the process of sending new envoys to three of its most important diplomatic stations, Beijing, New Delhi and Washington. Dr.Palitha Kohona goes to China, Milinda Moragoda to India and Ravinatha Aryasinha to the US. All three have had distinguished careers in diplomacy and administration, and all three are cerebral …

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It is not possible or correct to demand the people to give up their diverse faiths and to accept one law which could govern all religious places or institutions on the argument that all Sri Lankans should have only one law.

by M. A. M. H. Barry PhD, LLM, MA, LLB. BA ,Attorney-at-Law The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal (Aristotle) Although much is spoken about ‘one country and one law’ in Sri Lanka, it is not a new phrase as all the countries in the world have one legal …

Continue reading ‘It is not possible or correct to demand the people to give up their diverse faiths and to accept one law which could govern all religious places or institutions on the argument that all Sri Lankans should have only one law.’ »

JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says With 20th Constitutional Amendment the country is going back to tribalism from Civilisation with all powers being concentrated in the hands of one person and one family

By Chandani Kirinde The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday lambasted the Government over moves to introduce the 20th Amendment to the Constitution and said it is anti-democratic, destructive and does not serve the interests of the people. “With this Amendment, we will go back from civilisation to tribalism where all the power will be concentrated …

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Indian Envoy’s Stance on India’s Long Standing Position on Peace and Reconciliaion in Sri Lanka and the Full Implementation of the 13th Constitutional Amendment has Not Changed Says Spokesperson for Indian High Commission in Colombo

By Skandha Gunasekara India refuses to budge on its stance on the 13th Amendment despite reports of possible changes. “The position of the High Commissioner has not changed. The High Commissioner reiterated India’s longstanding position on peace and reconciliation and the full implementation of the 13th Amendment,” a spokesperson for the Indian High Commission told …

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What is the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, and why is it contentious?-“The Hindu” Explains!

By Meera Srinivasan After the Rajapaksas’ win in the November 2019 presidential polls and the August 2020 general election, the spotlight has fallen on two key legislations in Sri Lanka’s Constitution. One, the 19th Amendment, that was passed in 2015 to curb powers of the Executive President, while strengthening Parliament and independent commissions. The Rajapaksa …

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20th Constitutional Amendment Will Bring Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Who is the Elder Brother Wholly Under His Younger Brother President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake Thinking Out of the Box is the catchline of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He gave this advice to the banking sector in May this year, and to the members of parliament in his opening address last month. The need for new ways of thinking to overcome local and global challenges and revive the …

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India’s security concerns over China in South Asia is acute but China is the only country that has both economic muscles and political will to bankroll large scale infrastructure development Required by Sri Lanka.

By Ranga Jayasuriya The United States last week announced sanctions on 24 Chinese State-Owned-Enterprises, including five subsidiaries of China’s construction giant, China Communication Construction Company (CCCC), the main contractor of the Colombo Port City, effectively upping the ante of an increasingly open trade war between US and China. The Chinese companies were added to ‘the …

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Attempt by “Gang of Four” to Remove Thurairajasingham From Gen-Secy Post Through No Confidence Motion Foiled At ITAK Committee Meeting in Vavuniya

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj A concerted move by five (four+One) stalwarts of the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK) – the chief constituent of the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) – to remove the party General- Secretary K. Thurairajasingham from his post through a no confidence motion ended in a dismal failure at a conclave held in Vavuniya on Saturday August …

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A Comprehensive account of the investigations under way even as rumours and accusations fly thick and fast about the death of Hindi Film Actor Sushant Singh Rajput Two Months Ago

By Alok Deshpande, Devesh Kumar Pandey and Sonam Saigal Last year, Sushant Singh Rajput shifted to the Mount Blanc apartment on Carter Road in Mumbai’s tony neighbourhood, Bandra. The actor had always longed for a sea-facing apartment, and Mount Blanc overlooked the Arabian Sea. The move was also important for other reasons. Bandra is where …

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At a time when India is grappling with multiple crises, Mainstream TV channels are focusing only on the death of Hindi Film Actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s Death.

By Mohammed Ayoob (Mohammed Ayoob is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Relations, Michigan State University) The treatment of the Sushant Singh Rajput case by some TV news channels is a good example of how the interrelated concerns about ratings and revenues drive news coverage in substantial parts of the electronic media. Many of the …

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Visakesa Chandrasekaram’s Sinhala film “Paangshu” zooms into the trauma of enforced disappearances by foregrounding the struggle of a missing person’s family.

By Meera Srinivasan Like many Sri Lankans, academic and filmmaker Visakesa Chandrasekaram has been struggling to come to terms with the civil war’s gory end in 2009. The graphic visuals of the bloodshed, which some “shared like trophies”, made him question what he’d thought were basic human norms. When he decided to give it creative …

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Why Is India Neutral on the Uyghur Issue and Not Expressing Concern Over China’s Violation of Human Rights of The Uyghur People When ChinaAttempted to Bring Up the Kashmir Issue at the UN in Support of Pakistan?

By Col. R. Hariharan Earlier this month, the United States banned the Chinese government-run Xinjiang Production Construction Core (XPCC), a paramilitary and business organization, and two of its top officials for depriving basic rights to Uyghur people working in their organisation. The action was taken under the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act passed by the …

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Sri Lankan Govt Gazettes Draft 20th Constitutional Amendment Bill which Seeks to Restore and Enhance Full Powers of the Executive Presidency That were Reduced by 19th Constitutional Amendment

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lanka’s 20 th., Constitution Amendment bill, which was approved by the cabinet of ministers and published in the official gazette on Thursday, attempts to take the country back to the Executive Presidency which existed between 1978 and 2015. In 2015, the 19th.Amendment reduced the powers of the Executive President although he was …

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Sri Lankan Govt Appoints Expert Committee Under Senior Lawyer Romesh de Silva to Draft New Constitution While Gazetting Draft of 20th Constitutional Amendment To Reverse Preceding 19th Amendment Which Clipped Presidential Powers

By Meera Srinivasan The Cabinet has set up an experts’ committee to draft Sri Lanka’s new Constitution, even as the government gazetted the draft of the 20th Amendment that would reverse the preceding 19th Amendment, a 2015 legislation that clipped certain executive powers of the President. The move follows the ruling Rajapaksa brothers’ poll pledge …

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Internal Strife Within Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi (ITAK) Takes Disturbing Turn

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The “Mathiya Seyal Kuzhu” (central working committee) of the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK) also known as the Federal Party will be meeting today (Aug 29) in Vavuniya. The committee is generally referred to as “Mathiya Kuzhu”(Central committee). The Central Working committee is the key representative body of the ITAK. It comprises representatives elected …

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What has taken place in 2019-2020 is not a wave or a mood but a tectonic shift in Sinhala-Buddhist and probably pan-Sinhala consciousness, which will never return to 2015, even in the direst economic circumstances.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka A successful strategy for the Opposition will have to contain three components: a lucid grasp of present oppositional realities and past errors, the ‘best practices’ of Oppositions – and comebacks in pertinent/related fields of endeavour—in the island’s contemporary history, as well as the best practices of Oppositions in contemporary world politics. ‘Facts …

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“If Prabhakaran Had Listened To Balasingham’s Advice and Continued With the Peace Process, The Sri Lankan Tamils Would Have Probably Enjoyed Some Self -Rule in the North Within One Sri Lanka” – Erik Solheim in Interview

By Easwaran Rutnam The Norwegians managed to secure peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the LTTE and the peace process continued for a number of years under successive Governments. Though Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim mediated between the GoSL and the LTTE under three Sri Lankan leaders, in the end attempts …

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When an innocent person suffers in prison without charge while the authorities scramble for evidence, it begins to look like someone is being made a scapegoat because there is not much else the authorities can do.

By Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka I do not know Hejaaz Hizbullah. I have come to know of him from the several accounts published in the media over the past few months, by a classmate, a contemporary and colleague, a student and a brother. I do not know what pain of mind he must feel, isolated …

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When Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena made their first State Visits to India earlier they were nicely treated by India “with sweet talk,” but for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, this attitude changed.

By Austin Fernando (The Writer is a Former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India) It is ‘Neighbourhood Policy, ‘Look East,’ ‘Act East.’ All deal with the Indian neighbours. A recent article motivated me to revisit this issue. The author has conveyed happenings between India, Nepal, and Bangladesh and proposed amending Indian policies and actions towards …

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Life and Times of Dynamic Tamil Political Leader Appapillai Amirthalingam

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Today (26 August) is the 93rd birth anniversary of well-known Sri Lankan Tamil political leader Appapillai Amirthalingam, known affectionately as Amir and Amuthar. Amirthalingam served as a Parliamentarian for 20 years in an illustrious political career spanning four decades. He was a stalwart of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) known as the …

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In this Parliament, represented by extreme nationalists from the North to the South and in some instances, feeding off the rhetoric of each other, we will repeatedly witness raucous outcries.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena Scarcely having sufficient time to properly settle into his Chair as Sri Lanka’s Parliament opened for business this week, the Speaker faced down two attempts to trespass on the ‘legislative power of the People,’ throwing up intriguing questions in regard to the country’s parliamentary process, or what is left of this. …

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Unlike Sri Lanka’s victory in the ‘Terrorist War’, the COVID-19 War’s real heroes are neither being declared as heroes nor are there any direct claimants.

By Gamini Weerakoon (Gamini Weerakoon is a former editor of The Sunday Island, The Island and Consulting Editor of the Sunday Leader) Sri Lanka can truly claim to be a front runner in the war against the coronavirus pandemic with 2,984 infected cases reported and only 12 deaths while the pandemic is raging across the …

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Govt does not have to get rid of the 13th Amendment which has been tied up in knots by the yahapalana political parties including the TNA so effectively that all what the govt has to do to get rid of it for good, is to do nothing.

by C.A. Chandraprema The government has made an official statement to the effect that it’s reconsidering the 19th Amendment but no such official statement has been made with regard to the 13th Amendment. However opposition politicians have expressed the view that the government is trying to use its two thirds majority to do away with …

Continue reading ‘Govt does not have to get rid of the 13th Amendment which has been tied up in knots by the yahapalana political parties including the TNA so effectively that all what the govt has to do to get rid of it for good, is to do nothing.’ »

Recent judgement by the Indian Supreme Court which held prominent advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court will have grave resonance in countries like Sri Lanka which have a history of stifling dissent through the device of contempt.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena (Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena is a civil liberties advocate, a columnist for The Sunday Times, Colombo and served on a Bar Council nominated committee in 2011 which drafted a Contempt of Court Act for Sri Lanka) The recent judgement by the Indian Supreme Court which held prominent advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt …

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The strongest voice against 19A today is that of the highly learned Professor Gamini Lakshman Peiris whose leaps to and from political parties and policies is a display of political manoeuvre with hardly any matching.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake The 19th Amendment to the Constitution is the desire and goal of Pohottuva politics today. It is now more important that the economic crisis faced by the country and people, especially in the Covid19 situation. The strongest voice against 19A today is that of the highly learned Professor Gamini Lakshman Peiris, the …

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Future Course of Defeated ITAK Leader “Maavai” Senathirajah.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The recently concluded Sri Lankan parliamentary election resulted in the defeat of several veteran politicians. Among these was well-known Northern Tamil leader Somasundaram”Maavai” Senathirajah who had been representing Jaffna district in Parliament for 20 successive years since 2000. Very often the electoral defeat of a long established political leader causes political convulsions in …

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TNA Spokesperson MA Sumanthiran MP Says Party Will Go To Courts Against the Presidential Task Force on Archaeology in the Eastern Province if it acts contrary to the provisions of the Antiquities Act and usurps the powers of the Director General of Archaeology (DGA).

By P. K. Balachandran The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has threatened to go to court if the Presidential Task Force on Archaeology in the Eastern Province acts contrary to the provisions of the Antiquities Act and usurps the powers of the Director General of Archaeology (DGA). The Tamils have been dismayed by the fact that …

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தேர்தல் தோல்விக்கு பின் தமிழரசுக் கட்சியின் தலைவர் மாவை சேனாதிராஜாவின் எதிர்கால செல்வழி

டி.பி.எஸ்.ஜெயராஜ் (This is the Tamil Version of the English Article “Future Course of Defeated ITAK Leader “Maavai” Senathirajah by D.B.S. Jeyaraj in the “Daily Mirror” Of August 22nd 2020) அண்மையில் முடிவடைந்த பாராளுமன்றத் தேர்தலில் பல மூத்த அரசியல்வாதிகள் தோல்வி கண்டிருக்கிறார்கள். அவர்களில் நன்கு பிரபலமான வடபகுதி தமிழ்த் தலைவர் சோமசுந்தரம் மாவை சேனாதிராஜாவும் ஒருவர். அவர் 2000ஆம் ஆண்டு தொடக்கம் தொடர்ச்சியாக 20வருடங்கள் பாராளுமன்றத்தில் …

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Survival requires the Tamil-speaking parties to initiate a single-issue ‘bloc’ in defence of the 13th Amendment cutting across the Govt.-Opposition divide and isolating the Alt-Right ultranationalists.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The Presidential Policy Statement delivered at the inaugural of the new session of Parliament had three key takeaways. Firstly, the 19th Amendment is to be demolished, not rectified. Secondly, by means of the 20th Amendment, the electoral system will be replaced by one which is only secondarily that of proportional (or more …

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“Chiththi”: With One Tamil Word In Her Acceptace Speech, US Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris Warms The Hearts of Millions pf Tamils in India and Throughout the World

By Hannah Ellis-Petersen As a child wandering between the legs of the aunts, uncles and family friends who filled her grandparents’ apartment in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a young Kamala Harris grew used to being addressed in Tamil. It was the main language spoken by her grandmother, who had only …

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Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims who are 25% of the island’s population given short shrift in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s statement of government policy at New Parliament Opening

By P. K. Balachandran Sri Lanka’s minorities, namely, the Tamils, and Muslims, who are 25% of the island’s population of 21 million, were given short shrift in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s statement of government policy at the opening of the newly elected Parliament on August 20. Ethnic issues, which had rocked Sri Lanka for over four …

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Failed Attempt To De-legitimize Sumanthiran’s Election Victory In Jaffna

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ The one word answer to the question “Did M. A. Sumanthiran of the Tamil National Alliance win in the Jaffna Electoral district by “stealing” the preference votes cast for another TNA candidate Ms. Sashikala Raviraj? is NO! Yet the 2020 Parliamentary poll in the Jaffna electoral district comprising the Kilinochchi and Jaffna administrative …

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யாழ்ப்பாண மாவட்ட கூட்டமைப்பு வேட்பாளர்களின் விருப்பு வாக்குகள் தொடர்பான சர்ச்சை: தனது வெற்றியை மகிழ்ச்சியாக அனுபவிக்க இயலாத நிலையில் சுமந்திரன்

-டி.பி.எஸ்.ஜெயராஜ்- ஆங்கில மூலம்: டெய்லி மிரர் ‘தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் எம்.ஏ.சுமந்திரன் அதே கட்சியின் இன்னொரு வேட்பாளரான சசிகலா ரவிராஜுக்கு அளிக்கப்பட்ட முன்னுரிமை விருப்பு வாக்குகளை ‘களவாடியதன்’ மூலம் யாழ்ப்பாண தேர்தல் மாவட்டத்தில் வெற்றி பெற்றாரா?’. இந்தக் கேள்விக்கான ஒரு சொல் பதில் இல்லை என்பதேயாகும். இருந்தாலும், கிளிநொச்சி நிர்வாக மாவட்டத்தையும் யாழ்ப்பாண நிர்வாக மாவட்டத்தையும் உள்ளடக்கிய யாழ்ப்பாண தேர்தல் மாவட்டத்தின் 2020 பாராளுமன்றத் தேர்தல் சசிகலாவின் விருப்பு வாக்குகளை தனக்கு அனுகூலமான முறையில் சுமந்திரன் ‘மாற்றியிருந்தார’ …

Continue reading ‘யாழ்ப்பாண மாவட்ட கூட்டமைப்பு வேட்பாளர்களின் விருப்பு வாக்குகள் தொடர்பான சர்ச்சை: தனது வெற்றியை மகிழ்ச்சியாக அனுபவிக்க இயலாத நிலையில் சுமந்திரன்’ »

Fascinating Features of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Early Life.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Mahendra Percy Rajapaksa known to the world as Mahinda Rajapaksa has been sworn in as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the fourth time at a grand ceremony held within the precincts of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara. The Kelaniya Buddhist temple is venerated by Sri Lankan Buddhists who believe Lord Buddha visited …

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If Sri Lankan Govt Attempts to Jettison the 13th Amendment There would be “interactions at the highest level” between India and Sri Lanka Says Indian Envoy Gopal Baglay at Meeting with TNA Delegation

A delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) called on the Indian High Commissioner, Gopal Baglay, here on Friday. The High Commissioner congratulated the TNA for its performance at the recent general elections. He reiterated India’s longstanding position on peace and reconciliation and the full implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution …

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A leading Buddhist prelate proclaims that ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa is a Dhamma, a religion and a philosophy’ while the Rajapaksa faithful cheer and the depleted if not pitifully de-legitimised Opposition whimper.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Inexplicably and not without heavy irony, former President Maithripala Sirisena chose to dwell on crop devastation caused by monkeys in Sri Lanka when contributing to the opening debate on the Government’s Policy Statement as Parliament met this week, fresh after a sparkling polls victory by the Rajapaksa headed Sri Lanka Podujana …

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Jaffna District Development Committee Co-Chair Angajan Ramanathan Orders District Secretary not to implement any ministerial development programmes or authorised projects without his approval as All Projects and Schemes Must be Implemented With his Co-sponsorship; Appoints Father Sathasivam Ramanathan as his direct representative and coordinating officer

A District Development Committee (DDC) Co-Chair wrote to the District Secretary this week instructing him not to implement any ministerial development programmes or authorised projects without his approval in the district. Parliamentarian Angajan Ramanathan, who was appointed as Jaffna DDC Co-Chair last week by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the Cabinet swearing in ceremony, wrote to …

Continue reading ‘Jaffna District Development Committee Co-Chair Angajan Ramanathan Orders District Secretary not to implement any ministerial development programmes or authorised projects without his approval as All Projects and Schemes Must be Implemented With his Co-sponsorship; Appoints Father Sathasivam Ramanathan as his direct representative and coordinating officer’ »

A move to implement a “one country, one law” principle is at variance with the beautiful mosaic of diversity that the world has recognised Sri Lanka to be.

By Javid Yusuf In his policy statement presented to Parliament on August 20 President Gotabaya Rajapaksa outlined his Government’s plans for the forthcoming year. Among the measures he proposed was the one relating to the removal of the 19th Amendment as a prelude to enacting a new Constitution. The President in his satement to Parliament …

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Belief that everything that ‘Gota does works to clockwork precision’ was blasted by Sudden Six -Hour Power Black-out

By Gamini Weerakoon (Gamini Weerakoon is a former editor of The Sunday Island, The Island and Consulting Editor of the Sunday Leader) Blackouts are a fact of Sri Lankan life in this second decade of the 21st Century. At Nawala where blackouts are of frequent, if not of daily occurrence, we asked a long-standing resident …

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Sri Lankan rural households across the country have been living off borrowings after exhausting their savings and struggling with severe economic hardships while grappling with a pandemic-induced crisis

By Meera Sriniasan After doing seven jobs in the last three years in and around Colombo, Simran Enric is now back home in Sri Lanka’s hill country. He escaped the pandemic that struck the capital, but his last job at a grocery store didn’t. “I am ready to take up any job. It doesn’t matter …

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Our present Constitution has been amended only 18 times and not 19 times as the numbering system may lead us to believe Because The 12th Amendment is a dud entry and there is no such Amendment in the Constitution.

by C.A.Chandraprema It has now been officially announced by the government that parts of the 19th Amendment are to be repealed even before a new Constitution is introduced. Our present Constitution has been amended on 18 occasions and not on 19 occasions as the numbering system may lead us to believe. The 12th Amendment is …

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With the Landslide Victory of the SLPP Led By The Rajapaksas, One of Asia’s oldest and most durable democracies has in practice entered a period of one-party, one-family rule. -The Economist

Usually, when people speak of an electoral landslide, they exaggerate. But the word aptly describes what happened in Sri Lanka on August 5th. The island nation’s voters all but buried the grand old party that had led an outgoing coalition, the United National Party, reducing its 106 members in the 225-seat parliament to a humiliating …

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Sri Lanka should not undo the democratic gains or roll back devolution in the Constitution -The Hindu

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Hindu” of August 22nd 2020 Under the Heading “Repeal and reform: On Sri Lankan Constitution) A two-thirds majority in the legislature is indeed a mandate for constitutional change, but the winner ought to decide whether the proposed change would bring about reform or impairment; whether it would strengthen democratic …

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Power Play of Parliamentary Politics

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake The new parliament has begun to function with the formal policy statement by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. There were no armed forces parading or horse-ride escorts for the President, which took some of the colour of the traditional ceremony. Maybe such decorum was considered too costly in this hugely strained economic situation. One …

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“Our first task will be to remove the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. After that, all of us will get together to formulate a new constitution suitable for the Country In Which priority will be given to the concept of one country, one law for all the people” – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

(Full text of the Inaugural Address of the 9th Parliament, August 20, 2020 by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa) Honourable Speaker, Honourable Prime Minister, Honourable Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Ministers, State Ministers, Honourable Members of Parliament, At the outset I would like to congratulate newly appointed Speaker Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene. I also extend my congratulations …

Continue reading ‘“Our first task will be to remove the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. After that, all of us will get together to formulate a new constitution suitable for the Country In Which priority will be given to the concept of one country, one law for all the people” – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’ »

“In the 21st century, it is impossible for the Sinhalese to maintain a centralised, non-secular, unitary state in a conflicted, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society on a small, geo-strategically vulnerable, economically-dependent island.”

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The Cabinet appointments and those of the State Ministers and Secretaries, ranging in the main from the unexceptionable to the positive, nonetheless leave me analytically pessimistic about the prospects of this regime and the experiment upon which it has embarked. Despite the fact that several of the appointments are good and the …

Continue reading ‘“In the 21st century, it is impossible for the Sinhalese to maintain a centralised, non-secular, unitary state in a conflicted, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society on a small, geo-strategically vulnerable, economically-dependent island.”’ »

Targeting of R. Premadasa by Govigama Elite, Political Revenge of Sajith Premadasa and Total Annihilation of the UNP At Elections

By Jayantha Somasundaram Class, caste and the politics of destruction “… the liberal-cosmopolitan intelligentsia … supported … the UNP. Few, very few, deigned to support the SJB.” Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka The Election Result and the Intelligentsia (Colombo Telegraph August 7, 2020) “I survived once but he will finally get me killed. He will get Gamini …

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Landslide Victory in Sri Lanka Gives Rajapaksa brothers, the family and their party the power to reshape Sri Lanka’s political institutions in fundamental – and potentially dangerous – ways.

By Alan Keenan Wednesday, 5 August saw the landslide general election victory of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The vote sets Sri Lanka on a path likely to bring fundamental political and social change. With 59 percent of the vote, the SLPP …

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The Tamil voters’ message to both national leaders and their own elected representatives has been unambiguous in every crucial election post-war, about their political and socioeconomic priorities

By Meera Srinivasan The outcome of Sri Lanka’s August 5 general election had few surprises. The Rajapaksa family is decisively at the country’s helm for the next five years. The fragmented political opposition is struggling to come to terms with their decimated parties and in some cases, sealed fate. In the north, the Tamil National …

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Marginalising the old war horses of the SLFP and SLPP while accumulating power within their clan could lead to discontentment against the Rajapaksas.

By Col R Hariharan The Rajapaksa clan is back at the helm in Sri Lanka after the people gave them a huge thumbs-up in the just-concluded general election. While Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the president, his brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is the prime minister. While this was not unexpected, their Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party led …

Continue reading ‘Marginalising the old war horses of the SLFP and SLPP while accumulating power within their clan could lead to discontentment against the Rajapaksas.’ »

“As a Tamil from Jaffna I’ve also got Tamil nationalist sentiments in me but I know what is possible and what is not” Says Angajan Ramanathan the First SLFP Elected MP From Jaffna

By Sandran Rubatheesan Angajan Ramanathan’s victory in the August 5 parliamentary polls is historic, firstly because he secured the most preferential votes in the Jaffna electoral district, pushing Tamil nationalist candidates behind, and secondly, for being the only first-time MP in the country elected with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the one-time grand old …

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The monk and the temple are the strongest political bond the Rajapaksas have forged. Will that be more powerful than the power of a two-thirds majority?

By Gamini Weerakoon (Gamini Weerakoon is a former editor of The Sunday Island, The Island and Consulting Editor of the Sunday Leader) The constitutional power vested in a two-thirds majority in parliament of declaring a man to be a woman and vice-versa emanated around the heady days of 1972 when the United Front government of …

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Governance and the Rule of Law within a democratically structured Constitution is a fundamental condition for the development of any country to take place,

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Party triumphalism following the August 5th 2020 Rajapaksa election win in Sri Lanka is reminiscent of the unfortunate fate of Humpty Dumpty before a fall. Chastened then and joyous now This is nothing new as Rajapaksa-ites gloating over the consternation of the ‘yahapalanaya’ camp may be unkindly reminded. These chastened followers …

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The SJB will need to re-position itself, both organizationally and policy-wise, in a way that is distinct from the UNP, if it is to assert itself as a credible political entity in its own right.

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya Sajith Premadasa’s newly formed Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) has managed to overcome the hurdles and booby-traps laid in its path ahead of the 2020 general election, and come out well ahead of its bête noir, the United National Party (UNP). It was clear from the outset that there was no likelihood of …

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TNA Suffers Electoral Setback In North and East Polls.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The long awaited 2020 Parliamentary Elections has concluded with a 71% Voter turnout despite the difficulties imposed by the COVID -19 Pandemic threat. Appropriate health procedures were followed by the authorities with enthusiastic cooperation of the people. Voter feedback is generally positive about the efficient manner in which the polls were conducted. The …

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J.R. Jayewardene, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Kumaratunga can be considered as courageous leaders who had acted bravely in spite of various limitations when all the odds were against them But Sajith is not a leader who has exhibited yet a feat of such bravery.

By Victor Ivan The victory of the Government at the Parliamentary Election is huge and miraculous. Had there been a First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) electoral system that was in operation prior to 1977 instead of the current system of Proportional Representation, the result achieved by the Pohottuwa (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna – SLPP) could have been much …

Continue reading ‘J.R. Jayewardene, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Kumaratunga can be considered as courageous leaders who had acted bravely in spite of various limitations when all the odds were against them But Sajith is not a leader who has exhibited yet a feat of such bravery.’ »

Selection of “Dyed-in-the wool political reactionary” Kamala Harris as Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Joe Biden’s Running Mate is Indicative of the Degradation of American Politics.-WSWS

With the selection of Kamala Harris to be the running mate of Joe Biden, the framework of the 2020 elections has been set. As was to be expected, the Democrats have chosen the most right-wing candidates to run the most right-wing campaign possible. There is a certain inevitability to the choice of Harris. In July …

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Nine “Viyathmaga” Professionals Comprising One Appointed and Eight Elected MP’s Enter Parliament but None Made Cabinet Minister ; Four Sworn in as State Minister and Two Become District Coordinating Committee Chairmen.

By Sheain Fernandopulle Even though the ‘Viyathmaga’, group of professionals were given prominence during the campaign trail since the presidential election, no members have been given appointments in the Cabinet of Ministers. The group rose to prominence, with pledges to take the country forward. However, the members of the professional group have not been given …

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Despite Nineteenth Constitutional Amendment Provisions President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Becomes Defence Minister;Legal Opinion Divided Whether Such Action Violates the Constitution

The Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday swore-in a 64 member Council of Ministers including 25 of cabinet rank and took the portfolio of Defense himself. The Swearing-in was held at the Magul Maduwa or Audience Hall of the Temple of the Tooth here. President Gotabaya’s taking up a cabinet post has become a …

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President Rajapaksa Swears in 25 Cabinet Ministers Including Prime Minister Rajapaksa, 39 State Ministers and 23 More MP’s as District Coordinating Committee Chairpersons at Temole of the Tooth in Kandy; President Holds Defence Ministry Portfolio While Premier takes Charge of Finance,Buddha Sasana, Urban Development, Housing and Religious and Cultural Affairs Ministries

The Cabinet of Ministers and State Ministers of the new Government led by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) were sworn in before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.The swearing in ceremony was held at the Magul Maduwa (Audience Hall) of the historic Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic premises in Kandy this morning (12). The President has repeatedly …

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Swears in 25 Cabinet Ministers Including Prime Minister Rajapaksa, 39 State Ministers and 23 More MP’s as District Coordinating Committee Chairpersons at Temole of the Tooth in Kandy; President Holds Defence Ministry Portfolio While Premier takes Charge of Finance,Buddha Sasana, Urban Development, Housing and Religious and Cultural Affairs Ministries’ »

“Gotabayan” Sinhala ultra-nationalism will find itself no less out of joint with emerging, evolving international reality

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa repeatedly made two requests of voters during his electioneering walkabouts. One was that they had given him 69 lakhs (6.9 million) of votes at the Presidential Election but now he wanted 79 lakhs (7.9 million) votes. The other was that he wants a two-thirds majority. He didn’t get his …

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The Indo -Lanka Accord and the Sri Lankan Tamils

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ Today (29 July) is the 33rd third anniversary of the Indo-Lanka Accord. It was on 29 July 1987 that former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and then Sri Lankan President Junius Richard Jayewardene signed in Colombo the agreement between India and Sri Lanka known as the Indo-Lanka Accord along with two letters described …

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Poetry For Reflection On Sri Lanka’s Election Day

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sri Lanka or Ceylon as it was known earlier has faced many challenges and problems since Independence from Britain in 1948. We have had military coup attempts, communal riots, pogroms, armed revolts, external military intervention, assassinations of heads of State, terrorist violence and above all a long secessionist war that threatened to tear …

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Tamils Desiring a Silk “Verti” May Lose Even Their Cotton “Verti”.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Rajapalsa regime is all out to get a two-thirds majority in Parliament through the forthcoming elections on August 5. The avowed objective of such a steam -roller majority is to promulgate a new Constitution or enact Constitutional amendments unilaterally. According to Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna(SLPP) ideologue Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris a strong …

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SLPP’s mother of all landslide Victory Gives President Gotabaya Rajapaksa an Opportunity to Remint Sri Lanka

by C.A.Chandraprema With the seats won by the SLPP on its own, together with the seats of allied political parties like the EPDP, TMVP, and the SLFP (Jaffna) the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government easily crosses the 150 seat mark to obtain a two thirds majority in Parliament. This writer still remembers listening to the results of …

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New Rajapaksa Government Will Centralise Power Through Constitutional Change But is Not Likely To Abolish Existing Provincial Council System

By P.K.Balachandran The Sri Lankan parliamentary elections, held on August 5, the results of which were unofficially out on August 7, have sent a number of politically significant messages. These are as follows: Getting Two Thirds Majority The results have shown that it is possible to get two- thirds majority even under the Proportional Representation …

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Tamil Progressive Alliance Representing Hill Country Tamils Retains all Six Seats From Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara – Eliya and Badulla Districts Held by TPA in the Last Parliament

By Meera Srinivasan For almost all Opposition parties in Sri Lanka, Wednesday’s general election spelt huge losses in the face of the landslide victory secured by the ruling party of the Rajapaksas. But one group stood out. The Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), which represents Malayaha Tamils in the island’s Central, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Western Provinces, …

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Indian Envoy Gopal Bagley Calls on Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and reiterates the strong desire and commitment of the government of India to work very closely with the new government and Parliament in Sri Lanka for further strengthening comprehensive bilateral cooperation.

By Meera Srinivasan Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa to congratulate him on his party’s big win in the recently held parliamentary polls, the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay, called on the newly elected leader in Colombo to congratulate him on the “emphatic victory”. “The …

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