Five of my Favourite Christmas Carols – How they Originated and Became Widely Popular

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year Friends! It’s Christmas season again! An integral part of Christmas is the singing of Christmas carols in churches as well as at events celebrating Christmas. The Many Faces of Christmas – Shaped Wooden Puzzle from Sri Lanka ~ Photographed at an exhibit of over 900 …

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Former Health Minister Siva Obeyesekere the First Woman Recipient Of “Deshamanya” Award Passes Away In Colombo

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sri Lanka’s first woman recipient of the “Deshamanya” award and former Health Minister Ms. Siva Obeyesekere passed away peacefully in Colombo on Saturday December 23rd 2017. The Former parliamentarian for Mirigama known popularly as Siva was 88 years of age. Sivagamie Verina Dassanaike who was born on May 7th 1929 studied at Ladies …

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Vibrancy of Bethlehem will Convert Christmas into a Peoples’ Festival of Discernment, Resistance and Transformation

A Christmas Reflection by Bishop Duleep de Chickera Bethlehem is the little village in which Jesus was born. It was here, that the unseen God emptied himself to become human in the form of Jesus, so that humans could hear and know God best through the idiom of the human, and rise to a fully …

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President Sirisena Hints Strongly To SLFP Loyalists Of Possible Split With the UNP In Coalition Govt After Local Govt Elections

President Maithripala Sirisena, who is at loggerheads with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP), has strongly hinted at a possible split of their coalition mid-way of its five-year term. The President told his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) loyalists that he has decided to carry out the “second stage” of his daring political …

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Malaysian PM Abdul Razak Meets Northern CM Wigneswaran Without Meeting TNA Leaders Despite Objections By Prime Ministers Office and Foreign Ministry Officials.

(Excerpt From “Talk At The Cafe Spectator”Column in “Sunday Times”) Malaysia insisted on meeting with Wigneswaran despite objections by officials Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Abdul Razak’s two day visit to Sri Lanka was not without controversy. One incident came at a scheduled meeting Premier Razak had lined up with Northern Province Chief Minister C. …

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DK-DMK Dravidian Movement Split in India and the Decline of Tamil Separatism

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj India gained freedom from Britain at midnight on August 15th 1947. At the time of Indian independence there was a separatist movement in South India spearheaded by the “Dravidar Kazhagham” (DK) or Dravidian association led by E.V.Ramaswamy Naicker popularly known as “Periyar”(Great Person). As stated in an earlier article the DK demand was …

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A Single Khapra Beetle Found In a Tea Crate Exported From Sri Lanka Causes Lifting of Ban On Cancer Causing Asbetos Imported From Russia

By Don Manu At first light, at first sight and at first read, the news seemed to be a page out of Ripley’s Believe It or Not. But Lanka was forced to believe it, like it or lump it, when Russia announced its decision to cut down on its 400 million dollars worth of Ceylon …

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Chandika Hathurusinghe Returns Home To Guide and Strengthen Embattled Sri Lankan Team After Uplifting Bangla Desh Cricket to New Heights

By Champika Fernando As a 12-year-old, Sri Lanka’s new national cricket coach would do 15 minutes of bat drill after dinner each day, standing in front of a mirror. He would then go to sleep with his bat under the pillow. Such was his dedication to the game. Chandika Hathurusingha signed up this week as …

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Sri Lanka Has Not Implemented Even a Single Recommendation Made By The Human Right Committee

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Even allowing for the caustic truth of the 16th century saying that ‘what cannot be cured must be endured’, there is a limit to endurance if Sri Lanka has to undergo repeated visits of international United Nations missions without tangible benefits ensuing to the country’s long-suffering citizens. A more incisive critique …

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Appointing Presidential Commission Of Inquiry To Probe Shangri La Hotel On Army Property At Galle Face Project Deal May Backfire On Coalition Govt.

By C.A.Chandraprema The yahapalana government has been adept at shooting themselves in the foot and they took another major step in that direction by discussing in cabinet that a special presidential commission be appointed to investigate the alienation of the land on which the newly opened Shangri La hotel now stands. This land originally belonged …

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Local Govt Elections Under New Voting System on Feb 10th Will Be An Effective National Poll of Deep Political Significance.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake With the nominations for elections to all local bodies concluding earlier this week, the stage is set for the local government elections throughout the county on February 10, 2018 under the new electoral system, making it an effective National Poll of deep political significance. The week also saw a major development on …

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Having a Home Of Their Own in Central Highlands Makes Plantation Tamils of Sri Lanka Feel at Home .

By Meera Srinivasan S. Indira Gandhi owns a brand-new house now. She is one of the first few from Sri Lanka’s hill country Tamil community – that has a two century-history in the island – who can call this home, and the piece of land beneath it, her own. A full-time worker in a tea …

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Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya Asks All SLFP Candidates Contesting Local Polls to Include Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Picture in Posters and Other Propaganda Material

By Ranjith Wimalasiri Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya yesterday called on all SLFP candidates, contesting the forthcoming local polls to include pictures of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in their campaign posters and other such propaganda materials. The Chief Minister made that request while addressing a press conference held at the Chief Minister’s office in …

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Sri Lankan Cricket Needs To Find “Relative Pitch” If Former Glory Is To Be Restored.

By Dr Kamal Wickremasinghe The expression Relative Pitch used in the caption of this essay is a concept that originates from the field of music, which describes the crucialability of singers and players of instruments in an ensemble to re-create a given musical note by comparing it to a reference note. The phrase ‘relative pitch’ …

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If You Vote For Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP This Time, You Are Saying The Central Bank Bond Scam Was OK

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka It is all very simple really. This election is about you. If you vote for the UNP, you think that the country is better off under Ranil, is doing better and will do better under him as PM than it did when Mahinda Rajapaksa was in charge. If you voted for regime …

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Mahinda,Basil, Gothabaya,Chamal,Shiranthi, Namal, Yoshitha and Rohitha: Family Rule by the Rajapaksa “Yakkos” Ruined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party

By Vishwamithra1984 “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.” ~Nicco Machiavelli There was no Machiavellian nuanced statecraft. There was no Dudley Senanayakian transparency and honesty. There was no Jayewardenesque stoicism. There was not even lofty but empty rhetoric of the likes of …

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President Sirisena Condemns Rajapaksa Regime for Selling Galle Face Army Property Cheaply to Shangri – La and Move Army Headqurts to Akurugoda;May Appoint Commission of Inquiry to Probe Deal Done by Mahinda and Gota

By Sandun A. Jayasekara President Maithripla Sirisena has in a special statement to the Cabinet today blasted the ad-hoc, un-advisable and arbitrary decision by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime to move the Army Headquarters from Baladaksha Mawatha in Fort and sell the land to Shangri-La Hotel chain. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told a media conference held at …

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Govt Defers Ban on Importing Asbestos From Russia as “Appeasement” to Get Russia to Lift Ban on Exports of Tea and Agricultural Products From Sri Lanka

By Chathuri Dissanayake In a bid to create a conducive environment for negotiations to overturn the ban imposed by Russia on Sri Lankan tea exports, Cabinet yesterday decided to defer the asbestos ban until further review, a top Minister confirmed. The surprise ban slapped on all agricultural product exports from Sri Lanka, including Ceylon Tea, …

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Muslim Congress Founder MHM Ashraff’s Only Son Aman Ashraff Speaks Out Against SLMC Leadership

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Aman Ahamed Ashraff is the only son of legendary Muslim Congress leader the late Mr. MHM Ashraff and Ms. Ferial Ashraff who was Sri Lanka’s first Muslim woman cabinet minister. In spite of this family background 36 year old Aman Ashraff who is the executive creative director of Ashraff Associates (pvt) Ltd has …

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‘Kaanaa Inbam Kaninthathaeno’ – Splendid “Singing in the Rain” Song ♫

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Favourite Film Songs – 7 I love rain! One of the things I loved to do as a boy and even as a young adult was to get soaking wet in the rain. If it started raining while I was on my way home from school I simply got wet instead of …

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Tamil Secessionism and the “Dravida Nadu” (Dravida State) Demand in India

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Tamil secessionism in the island of Sri Lanka came to an effective end in May 2009 when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)Organization was militarily defeated by the Armed forces of the Government of Sri Lanka. Interestingly enough our big neighbour India which has a Tamil speaking population of over 60 million people …

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♥ “Singara Velanae Deva”- S.Janaki’s Superb Solo with Nadaswaram Accompaniment ♫

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Favourite Film Songs – 6 Sishtla Sreeramamurthy Janaki popularly known as S. Janaki is widely praised as the “Nightingale of the South” .In a splendid career spanning over fifty years Janaki has sung over 20,000 songs for films made in 16 different languages.The Southern nightingale has won four national awards and 31 …

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Amendments to Code of Criminal Procedure Act Undermines Right of Prompt Access To Legal Counsel for Suspects In Police Custody

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Amidst the routine ‘celebrating’ of annual International Human Rights Day, a Bill to amend Sri Lanka’s Code of Criminal Procedure Act (CPC) on the vexed question of giving suspects in police custody the right of prompt access to legal counsel gazetted in mid-November, quietly escaped scrutiny. A sorry trajectory of bad …

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Shreen Abdul Saroor: Passionate Crusader For Women’s Rights Receives International Recognition

By Purnima Pilapitiya (Shreen Abdul Saroor Received the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law On December 11th 2017 as one of 15 Winners from Around the World) Shreen Abdul Saroor comes from a ‘sporty’ family. Growing up in Mannar, the daughter of a teacher-father, she was exposed to as many sports …

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In what kind of land do we remove the heroes and persecute them, while elevating to power irresponsible, unconscionable evil men and women?

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to appoint a Commission into the issuance of bonds by the Central Bank during the second Rajapaksa term, when Ajith Nivard Cabral was the Chairman. Good. Excellent, in fact. I have a bigger matter into which I suggest he institutes an inquiry. It is about a …

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After Failing to Reach Polls Agreement as Unified SLFP With Mahinda Rajapaksa Support Faction, an Irate President Sirisena Declares War on the SLPP

By The “Sunday Times” Political Editor Personal initiatives by President Maithripala Sirisena to re-unify the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) ahead of the local polls have all ended in failure. Now, he has declared political war on the rival faction for repeatedly snubbing his overtures. Sirisena told his ministers and other SLFP stalwarts this week …

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Performance of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) at Local Govt Polls Will Determine the Ciurse of Politics in Sri Lanka

By C.A.Chandraprema It would not be incorrect to say that that this local government election is all about the Sri Lanka Podujana Party and very little else. Everyone is waiting to see how the SLPP performs as that will define the future of Sri Lankan politics. One may say that that the party that had …

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Sirisena – Wickremesinghe Govt Is Becoming the Oppositie of what it Promised to be and has Forgotten Why it was Elected.

by Tisaranee Gunasekara ……….there is such a thing as suicide. – “Aldous Huxley(Texts and Pretexts) “Does a nation remember and forget in much the same way as an individual does?” Kazuo Ishiguro wondered in his Nobel Lecturei. As the third year of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration draws to a close, the question cannot but arise: does …

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Telephoned Navy Commander and Got Navy Personnel Released To Provide Labour For Constructig DA Rajapaksa Memorial in Medamulana.

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda The Attorney General yesterday informed the Court of Appeal that there has been no written or oral contracts entered into by the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation and the D.A. Rajapaksa Foundation for the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial in Medamulana. Senior Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne appearing on …

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Russia Suspends Import of all Agricultural Products From Sri Lanka Due to a “Khapra Beetle”Insect Being Found in a Tea Package.

Russia has temporarily restricted the import of all Sri Lankan agricultural products, including tea. This is after an alleged detection of a beetle in the packaging on one consignment of tea from the island. The restriction, announced by Russian agricultural safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, will go into effect on December 18. Reached for comment, Foreign Ministry …

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Wild Life and Nature Protection Society Demonstrates Successfully in Colombo Demanding Wilpattu National Park Be Preserved From Defilement by Ministers Kiriella,Bathiudeen and Range Bandara.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake An important shift of politics from elections to the protection of nature was seen in this week’s Wild Life and Nature Protection Society (WPNS) organised protest at Vihara Maha Devi Park moving to the UN Office in Colombo, which drew considerable public support, showing a growing public interest in a crisis mounting …

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UN Expert Team Faults Sri Lankan Law Enforcement Authorities for Continuing With Arbitrary Detention and Practising Torture

Torture and arbitrary detention were still being practised by Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities while unjustified delays in court cases meant delayed justice, a United Nations expert team has said. “The right to personal liberty has yet to be respected by law enforcement, security forces, judicial and other authorities,” the experts said in a statement, …

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Sri Lankan Trade Unions Betray 5000 Railway Workers By Calling Off Seven Day National Strike

By W.A. Sunil Sri Lankan union leaders shut down a seven-day national strike by 5,000 rail workers on Wednesday after a government-appointed Cabinet Sub-Committee made a vague promise that “recommendations” on workers’ demands would be submitted to the cabinet and resolved within two months. Announcing an end to the walkout, Locomotive Engineers Union (LEU) general …

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The Games Politicians Play For The Local Government Elections

By Veeragathy Thanabalasingham Political parties are busy filing nominations to contest local government electionsscheduled for early 2018. As many political analysts have observed, the elections, postponed for more than two and a half years, have aroused the same interest as that of a general election.The interest is understandable given that it would be a litmus …

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People are only too well Aware of the Fate that has Befallen this Country After the UNP-SLFP Coalition Government Took Office.

By Mahinda Rajapaksa Nominations have now been accepted for the local government elections which had been delayed by nearly three years due to the government’s fear of the voting public. Even though a local government election is not an election at which political power changes hands, this election is of special significance because this is …

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Bodu Bala Sena Secretary General Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero Meets Catholic Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith for Discussions.

By Chaturanga Pradeep Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera today met Colombo’s Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith to appreciate measures taken by him to stop private classes on Sundays and Poya Days. He also thanked the Cardinal for standing up against discreet measures taken to make men and women infertile.

Wimal Weerawansa May Be Pushed To Exploit “Nationalist” Sentiments More In Order To Overcome Current Challenges and Survive Politically.

By M.S.M.Ayub Even being a strong loyalist of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa has unusually taken a backseat at a time when his boss and mentor is going to face an election, the results of which might turn out to be a trendsetter. The reason is very clear. …

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President Sirisena Unilaterally Changes Secretaries of Six Ministries Including Justice and Law and Order Without Consulting the respective Cabinet Ministers

President Maithripala Sirisena stirred up a hornet’s nest yesterday when he changed the Secretaries of social ministries without consulting line ministers. The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Recourses, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Urban Planning and Water Supply, the Ministry of Law and Order, the Ministry of Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs …

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China Will Gain Backdoor Entry to Indian Market Through Its Free Trade Agreements With Maldives and Sri Lanka and Flood South India With Chinese Goods

By Colonel R Hariharan China gaining operational of the port marks yet another strategic milestone in furthering President Xi Jinping’s ambitious 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The Chinese control of port infrastructure assets already acquired in Gwadar in Pakistan and Djibouti (Horn of Africa) has strengthened its position in the Indian Ocean. India’s inability to …

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Six Sri Lankan Airlines Trade Unions Want Chairman, CEO and Board of Management Removed From National Carrier in Re-structuring

Sri Lankan employees have unanimously voiced concern about mismanagement at the national carrier and asked the authorities to sack the entire board and their chief executive officer to save the debt-ridden carrier. In an unusually blunt letter to their Chairman Ajith Dias, six unions said he had failed to revive the airline and worse still …

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Railway Trade Unions Call Off Week Long Strike After Discussions With Cabinet Sub – Committee Appointed By President Sirisena

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa The Railways trade unions have called off their week long strike yesterday (13) following a discussion with the Cabinet sub-committee appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena. Railway Drivers’ Union Secretary Indika Dodangoda told The Island that the railway workers regretted inconvenience caused to commuters. The four-member Cabinet sub-committee was tasked with looking into …

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“Mata Den Kathaa Karanne Naa Neh. Kathakaranna Beri Ai?(you don’t talk to me now. Why can’t you talk?):President Sirisena Telephones Basil Rajapaksa to “Join Hands for Contesting Local Polls”.

By “Sunday Times” Political Editor One evening early this week, Basil Rajapaksa, a key player in the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), was en route to his home in Battaramulla after attending a meeting in Dehiwala. He had reached the Kohuwala junction when his mobile phone rang.As an aide explained, he was in his Land …

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President Sirisena Engineers Defections Of Opposition MP’s and Provincial Councillors To Govt From National Freedom Front (NFF) and Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP)

By Shamindra Ferdinando Deputy Leader of the breakaway JVP faction National Freedom Front (NFF) parliamentarian Weerakumara Dissanayake yesterday received SLFP membership from President and SLFP leader Maithripala Sirisena. Former MP and Chairman of NFF Piyasiri Wijenayake and North Central Province PC member P. B. Kumara, too, received SLFP membership. Anuradhapura District MP Dissanayake switched his …

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President Has No Illusions About Shelf Life Of Ranil Being Over But He Is Frightened To Act In Case He Finds Himself Without a Parliamentary Majority

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha While there is much uncertainty now about what will happen to the country, certain certainties are assured. Chief amongst them is the headlong destruction of his reputation that Ranil has precipitated in the last three years. I do not refer only to his unashamed capers with regard to the bond scam, …

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Basil Rajapaksa Confirms President Sirisena Had A Telephone Conversation With Him For the First Time After Many Years and Discussed ” Current Political Developments”

By Kelum Bandara Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday that he had a brief telephone conversation with President Maithripala Sirisena for the first time after years, and discussed the matters related to current political developments. However, Mr. Rajapaksa declined to elaborate on what was discussed. He said the telephone conversation took place with …

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Sri Lanka Must Return to SWRD Bandaranaike’s Ideologically Fusionary Vision of Five Great Forces- Liberalism, Nationalism,Pluralism,Popularism and Social Democracy.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The SLFP’s crisis is a crisis of ideological identity. It is also an existential crisis. The SLFP is divided into two tendencies, a Minority (‘Menshevik’) faction with 44 seats in Parliament, led by President Sirisena, not all of them elected, and a Majority (‘Bolshevik’) faction with over 50 seats, led by former …

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How Long Can Sri Lanka Remain “Silent” On The Jerusalem Question In Order To Avoid Annoying the USA?

By Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka On Friday the 8th of December, 8 of the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council called an emergency meeting. It was called by Bolivia, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, UK and Uruguay, in response to President Trump’s unilateral declaration that the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital …

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Who is Afraid of Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa?

By Spectator Who is Afraid of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa? That is a question we must ask because the former Defence Secretary and sibling of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is generating headlines without doing much, really. To put things in a nutshell, the current hullabaloo is as follows: The Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) is attempting to …

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Believers Flocking in Large Numbers at St.Annes Church in Wattala to Witness “Miracle” of Blood Droplets Emerging From Portrait of Jesus Christ.

By Sheain Fernandopulle The picture of Jesus Christ where droplets of sweat were seen emerging from the forehead at St. Anne’s Church in Wattala depitcs something more than a miracle, St. Anne’s Church Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Sanjeev Mendis told Daily Mirror yesterday. He said the miraculous incident enhanced the faith of the people in …

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If President Sirisena Wants “His SLFP” To Avoid Defeat at Local Authority Polls the Best Option is for the Party to Refrain From Contesting elections.

By C.A.Chandraprema With nominations set to open on Monday for the first 93 local government institutions, frantic last minute moves are being made to form an alliance between the Joint Opposition and the SLFP faction in the government. The initiative in these moves is from the latter rather than the former. Several public figures like …

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Reflections on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and our Collective Future

By Dr.Deepika Udagama Dr.Deepika Udagama is chairperson Human rights Commission of sri Lanka. Dec 10th is International Human rights day. \ “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” The above quotation is from Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was adopted by the UN General …

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“By separating communities completely, we are going to keep the whole country divided. We have to live together” – Delimitation Committee Chairman Dr.K.Thavalingam

By Shaahidah Riza Separating the communities strictly along caste, race and religious lines, as was done in the previous delimitation process, will only ensure that the entire country is divided, Chairman of the Delimitation Committee Dr. K. Thavalingam said. In an interview with Ceylon Today he explained that the recently enacted Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) …

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Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt is Held to an Infinitely Higher Standard Than What was Expected from the Rajapaksas.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Several rather fantastic claims in respect of restoring the Rule of Law were made by the Government at the highest levels this week. Droll statements at talkfests Ideally the Government’s commitment to closing the spluttering legal and investigative processes on killings of Sri Lanka’s scribes in the Rajapaksa decade should have …

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Chandrika has 61 Policemen for Security but Mahinda Given 154 Policemen: “Protecting Mahinda Rajapaksa is in our interest. We need him. We will not let anything happen to him,” Says Prime Minister Wickremesinghe

By Saman Indrajith Protecting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was advantageous to the government and, therefore, it would not let him come in harm’s way, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said so in response to a question raised by MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, who called upon the government to provide ample …

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Suresh Premachandran Led EPRLF Aligning With Anandasangaree Led TULF For Local Authority Poll Angers ACTC/TNPF Leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam.

By Manekshaw “I would rather obey a fine lion, much stronger than two hundred rats of my own species” – Voltaire Turbulent weather prevailed in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in the past two weeks with the Department of Meteorology alerting the people in the two Provinces of a stormy atmosphere. Special meetings were also …

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Undivided UNP Has Clear Advantage In Facing Local Authority Polls due to the Divided SLFP Being Fragmented Between the Government and Jint Opposition.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake With the long delayed elections to Local Government bodies due in the latter half of next February, Election Politics are gathering momentum. Although the polls are for local bodies, covering of all local bodies in the country, and being the first widespread electoral exercise after the major political changes in 2015, with …

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Serious Revolt Within Police: 12 Senior DIG’s Want Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake To take Action Against IGP Pujitha Jayasundara.

Simmering tensions within the top leadership of Sri Lanka’s police came to a head at a meeting called by Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka this week with senior officers demanding action against the Inspector-General. A dozen Senior Deputy Inspectors of General (SDIGs) were summoned by Ratnayaka to his ministry to discuss the grievances they …

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BJP Tries To Create Hindu Chauvinist Controversy Over Rahul Gandhi’s Visit To Somnath Temple In Gujerat

By Veeragathy Thanabalasingham A major controversy has broken out over the recent visit by Rahul Gandhi, the soon- to-be president of Indian Congress Party, to the famous Somnath temple, located on the shores of the Arabian Sea on the southernmost part of Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat. The visit in the run-up …

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JVP Wants President Sirisena to Resign National Integration Minister Post Along With Ministers DM Swaminathan and Mano ganesan for Under Utilising Allocations To Their Ministries.

By Ajith Alahakoon and Akitha Perera The JVP yesterday called for the immediate resignation of President Maithripala Sirisena as the Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation. The JVP also called for the resignation of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D. M. Swaminathan and National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages Minister Mano …

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“By Electing Tamil Nationalist Parties, Tamils Ended Up Being Outside The Govt And Isolating Themselves” Says Arun Tambimuttu In Interview

By C.A.Chandraprema In the wake of the recent ‘Maaveerar Naal’ celebrations in the north, The Island staffer C.A.Chandraprema spoke to Arun Tambimuttu about the direction that Tamil politics has taken in recent times and the implications for the future. Q. The 1.5 million or so Tamil people living in the north and east have known …

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Ex -Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Obtained Interim Order From Appeal Court By Suppressing and Misrepresenting Material facts States Deputy Solicitor -General Viraj Dayaratne

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda The Attorney General yesterday alleged that former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has obtained an Interim Order by suppressing and misrepresenting material facts of the incident. Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne appearing on behalf of the Attorney General raised objections for delivering an ex-parte order regarding the writ petition filed by former Defence …

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If Ranil and Chandrika Can Be Given the Benefit Of The Doubt For The Killings of Richard and Sivaram Then Why Cant the Rajapaksas Be Exculpated For the Killing of Other Journalists?

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The Prime Minister wants to know why the media is criticizing the present government and why it isn’t criticizing the Rajapaksas on whose watch journalists were killed. Perhaps that is because the media recalls that two prominent journalist were killed when the Rajapaksas weren’t anywhere near the room at the top, but …

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Why Journalists in Sri Lanka Dont Want To Be Lectured On Media Freedom By the Politicians of Sri Lanka -The Island

(Text of an Editorial Appearing in “The Island” of December 7th 2017 Under the Heading “Scribes drowning in crocodile tears”) No sooner had Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe raked newspaper editors over the coals, the other day, for their absence at a UN-organised press freedom event than Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera followed suit. Echoing …

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Interim Order Preventing Action Under The Public Property Act by Police FCID Against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Extended Further Until Dec 15th by Court of Appeal

By S.S. Selvanayagam The Court of Appeal yesterday extended until 15 December the Interim Order preventing the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) from acting on the Certificate (B Report) under the offences against the Public Property Act in the Magistrate’s Court against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The bench, comprising justices T.B. Dehideniya (CA President) …

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India Acquires World’s Emptiest Airport at Mattala for US $ 300 Million To Checkmate China From Establishing Naval Base in Hambantota Harbour.

By David Brewster Geopolitical rivalry between big powers sometimes yields odd results. The latest development in growing strategic competition across the Indian Ocean region is India’s purchase of what has become known as the ‘world’s emptiest international airport’ in Sri Lanka, maybe just to keep it empty. Hambantota Dreaming The small fishing town of Hambantota, …

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Nine National Cricket Team Members On Their Way to New Delhi Compelled To Disembark From Plane at KIA By Sports Minister Jayasekera Because He had not Authorised Selection.

by Champika Fernando In an unprecedented development, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera last night ordered nine players heading to India for the limited-over leg of the current series to turn back as they were leaving the country without his approval. At the time of his intervention, the players had even boarded the flight to Delhi and …

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Lord Naseby Statement In House of Lords About Civilian Casualties in War Does Not Reflect The Official Position of The UK On Sri Lanka States British High Commission In Colombo.

by Shamindra Ferdinando The British High Commission has declared that Lord Naseby’s recent statement in the House of Lords pertaining to accountability issues in Sri Lanka doesn’t reflect UK’s stand. The British HC said so in response to The Island query whether the BHC had discussions with the Foreign Ministry here or the Tamil National …

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Political Rapprochement Between President Maithripala Sirisena and Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa is Not Impossible

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka If the talks between the official SLFP and the JO-SLPP conclusively fail, it will be because the SLFP (MS) is unwilling either to leverage the bond scam report and de-couple the PM from the governing coalition, or to vote against the “fast track liberalization and globalization” (i.e. free-market fundamentalist, neoliberal) Budget and …

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Veteran Indian Actor Shashi Kapoor Hailing From the Famous Kapoor Clan of Hindi Cinema Passes Away at the Age of 79

By NEIL GENZLINGER Shashi Kapoor, one of India’s best-known actors, who appeared in more than 100 films in the 1970s and ’80s alone, died on Monday in Mumbai. He was 79. India’s president, Ram Nath Kovind, announced the death on Twitter. Mr. Kapoor had been in poor health for years; a nephew, the actor Randhir …

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Instead Of Surrendering To The Rajapaksas President Sirisena Should Boldly Take The Fight to The Joint Opposition

I By Ranga Jayasuriya Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa is a gifted deal maker. His two- term presidency was a classic case of successful deal making: He got Velupillai Prabhakaran to prevent Northern Tamils from voting in 2005 and by virtue of that won his first term as the President; he cajoled the JVP to support him, …

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Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Accuses Some Media Organizations Of Trying To Bring the Rajapaksas Back To Power at The Expense Of Democracy.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday alleged that an influential section of the media was working overtime to bring back the Rajapaksas to power regardless of the irreparable losses caused by the previous administration to the media. Delivering the keynote address at a UNESCO Conference on Regional Cooperation to Promote Freedom of Expression …

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Literary Authors Writing in English,Tamil and Sinhala Offer Different Perceptions of the ethnic Conflict and Civil War in Sri Lanka.

By Meera Srinivasan When Sri Lankan author Anuk Arudpragasam recently received the DSC Prize for South Asian literature, the honour shone the international spotlight on the country’s gruesome civil war, yet again. Except that this time, it was a novel that drew attention to it. A Story of a Brief Marriage is Mr. Arudpragasam’s debut …

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22 Persons Arrested In Connection With Gintota Communal Violence Charged Under International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act no 56 of 2007

By Shamindra Ferdinando Twenty two persons arrested in connection with recent ethnic clash in the Gintota area have been charged under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act No 56 of 2007. Law enforcement sources told The Island that the Act had never been used before. Law and Order and Southern Development …

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Karthigai Vilakkeedu: Devotional Lighting of Lamps of Purity on the day of the November Star

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai The Tamil month of “Kaarthigai” is dedicated to devotion and purity. “Kaarthigai Deepam” or “Vilakkeedu” as it’s popularly known was recently celebrated by the Hindus, which fell on the day of the “Kaarthigai” star. “Kaarthigai Deepam” is celebrated by lighting of ghee or coconut oil lamps and clay lamps …

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Ranil Wickemesinghe Seems to be Destined to go Down in History as the UNPer who Destroyed his Party and its Liberal Image in Just 100 Days

By Suren Raghaven (Suren Raghavan Ph D, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies and currently a Resident Research Scholar at the University of Colombo) Democracy is a dangerous game. Especially, if it is played by those with bloody minds and muddy hands. This is not because such attempts may …

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Possibilty of President Sirisena Working With Ex-President Rajapaksa Seems an Impossibility at this Point Of Time

By Meera Srinivasan A recent speech made by President Maithripala Sirisena has made many who backed his presidential bid in 2015 nervous. In his address at a public meeting near Kurunegala in the North Western Province, Mr. Sirisena, for the first time, launched a frontal attack on the United National Party (UNP), with which the …

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Both the UNP and Sirisena led SLFP Have Failed To Lift the Country out of the Rajapaksa Morass of Communalism and Corruption

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Vultures are circling high above in the skies as they watch what appear to be the struggling death throes of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe unity alliance with delight. Fury in Sri Lanka’s hamlets Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa hypocritically thunders on the twin dangers of the sale of national assets and the betrayal of …

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“Neeyay Unakku Endrum Nigaraanavan” ~ Sparkling Song by TM Soundararajan ~ MS Raju ♫

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Favourite Film Songs – 5 “Neeyay Unakku endrum Nigaraanaavan” is a sparkling song from the old Tamil film “Baley Pandia” produced and directed by B.R.Panthulu in 1962.Sung by maestro TM Soundararajan(TMS) and “Konnakol”expert M.S.Raju(not to be confused with the Telugu film producer) the song was picturised in the film on actors Sivaji Ganesan …

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Probe to be Launched Into Rajapaksa Regime’s Alleged “Biggest Pyramid Scam” of Privately Selling Treasury Bonds 5,147 Billion Rupees From 2008 to 2014: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Announces in Special Statement in Parliament

Sri Lanka will investigate the sale of over five thousand billion rupees in treasury bonds by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said describing it as the “biggest pyramid scam” in the country. Making a special statement to parliament on Thursday, the Prime Minister said over 90 percent of the 5,147 billion rupees …

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Full Text of Interim Order Issued by Court of Appeal In the Matter of Application Seeking Writ of Certiorari and Prohibition By Ex – Def Secy Gothabaya Rajapaksa

Below is the full text of the order given by Judges L T B Dehideniya (P/CA) and Shiran Gooneratne in response to the petition filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the case over the latter having allegedly spent a sum of Rs 90 million from State funds to erect the D.A. Rajapaksa museum …

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Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Tells Tamil People Not to take Seriously the Threat By State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene’s to Prosecute Those Commemorating Dead LTTE Cadres.

The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has allayed a fear among the Tamils that the government in Colombo is planning to arrest and prosecute those who had organized or participated in observances relating to the Great Heroes‘ Day of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on November 27. The …

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Can the UNP and SLFP withstand the problems arising from within and outside and continue to work together?

By Veeragathy Thanabalasingham Two years and three months after the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) formed the National Unity Government, doubts are being raised as to whether the two parties can continue to co-habitat for the duration of the present Parliament. The doubts have credence, for despite the President …

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Time To Present Sri Lanka’s Case More Accurately and Comprehensively and Re-negotiate the 2015 Geneva Resolution in the UN Human Rights Council.

By Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka An article in an English language daily this week stated that Sri Lanka is hoping to “project itself as a model of post-war reconciliation and reconstruction” in order to “obtain international support for its economic development plans”. It went on to indicate when and how Sri Lanka began to work …

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SLFP Maithri Faction Surrendering to Joint Opposition Demand and Severing Links with UNP Will Be Political suicide For President Sirisena.

By Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne The discussion to work together with the Mahinda group started within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by the President because of the desperation of Sirisena to make the SLFP significant for the coming elections. The President wants to go out of politics with the honour of recreating the SLFP …

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Do The “Hindutva” Fanatics Conducting Hate Campaign Against “Padmavathy” Film Starring Deepika Padukone Know That the Legendary Princess was From Sri Lanka (“Singhal-Dip”)?

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake “Dakkoth Padmavathi – Aaley nokara baree”👑’If one sees Padmavathi – One cannot but love her’❣️ This popular Sinhala song coming from Tower Hall days is based on the legend of Padmavathi, a princess from Sri Lanka – Singhal-dip, known for her captivating beauty who was married to Ratan Sen, the ruler of …

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Two Judge Bench of Appeal Court After Ex-parte Proceedings Upholds Petition Filed By Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Issues Interim Order Effective Until Dec 6th Preventing Police From Acting Under Public Property Act

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda The Court of Appeal (CA) yesterday upheld the petition filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, with an Interim Order preventing police from acting under the Public Property Act. The Interim Order will be effective until December 6. The CA issued this Interim Order preventing police from acting under the Public Property …

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Court of Appeal Issues Interim Order Preventing Action By Police FCID Against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa But Recalls Ex- Def Secy’s writ Petition for Further Hearing on Dec 6th.

By Sanchith Karunaratna The Court of Appeal issued a stay order on the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) preventing any action against former Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over public properties following court proceedings today (29). Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa filed a writ petition in the Court of Appeal seeking an interim order preventing …

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Collective of Retired Defence Officials Known as “War Heroes For The Nation” Led By Maj-Gen.Kamal Gunaratne and Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara Wants President sirisena To Stop Move to Arrest Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

By Kavindya Chris Thomas A collective of retired senior military officers yesterday (27) took to the public arena, opposing the alleged Governmental move to arrest former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Under the banner of ‘War Heroes for the Nation’, representing a collective of retired senior officers of the tri-forces, speaking at a press briefing yesterday, …

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LTTE Oriented Event “Maaveerar Naal” (Great Heroes Day) On November 27th Is Not The Tamil National Day Of Mourning.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj November 27th 1989 was the day on which the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)first observed its annual “Maaveerar Naal” or Great Heroes Day (GHD). Twenty –eight years have passed since then and the 28th anniversary of the event is today Nov 27th 2017. The event continues to be observed on a large scale …

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Shipping Minister Samarasinghe Lambastes Finance Minister Samaraweera for Liberalising Shipping and Freight Forwarding in Budget Without Consulting Him;says President Sirisena Opposes Liberalising Shipping Too.

Sri Lanka’s Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe announced in parliament Tuesday that President Maithripala Sirisena was strongly opposed to liberalising the shipping and freight forwarding sectors proposed in the 2018 budget. Samarasinghe lambasted Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera for announcing in his maiden budget a proposal to remove the ban on foreign ownership of shipping and freight …

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Must Be Defended and Saved From Both His Domestic and Foreign Enemies as Well as His Obscurantist Sinhala Alt-right Friends and Allies

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka THE DEADLY IGNORANCE OF THE SINHALA ALT-RIGHT (Part 2) “May God defend me from my friends; I can defend myself from my enemies. ”—Voltaire Gotabhaya is perhaps the most able person in public life today; one capable of replicating in Sri Lanka, a Mahathirian Malaysia. I have worked with President Premadasa and …

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Court of Appeal Reseves Order For Tomorrow On Ex- Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s Writ Petition Seeking Interim Order Quashing Report Filed Against Him For Alleged Offence Under The Public Property Act

By S.S. Selvanayagam The Court of Appeal today reserved for tomorrow its order on issuing notices on the respondents and whether to grant an interim order on the Writ petition filed by former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The Bench comprised Justices L.T.B. Dehideniya (President/CA) and Shiran Gooneratne.

Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga Calls For Leaders With Backbones to Face Existing Challenges in the Country.

While claiming that there should be a philosophy for the rulers to develop the country in addition to a clear proramme to implement it, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Sunday said ‘there should be leaders who should have a backbone to implement the programmes at a time when the challenges exist in the society.’

Time for the UN to Recognize That Their Estimate Of 40,000 Killed is Totally Wrong: All Evidence Points To a Figure of Around 7000-8000.

By Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka “The [Security] Council reiterated that “any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” reaffirming the need for all States to combat, by all means, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.” (‘Four peacekeepers killed in two deadly …

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UNP Needs Only 7 More MP’s to Retain Majority In Parliament if SLFP Maithri Faction Pulls Out of Govt and Aligns With Joint Opposition.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had told UNP MPs not to get distracted by the ongoing discussions between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Joint Opposition. Wickremesinghe had said the discussion was an internal matter within the SLFP camp and the UNP had nothing to do with it. “We had a discussion with the PM …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe Warns UNP Parliamentarians to Stop Criticising President Sirisena and not to Hold Press Conferences Without His Permission.

By Shiromi Abeysinghe Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday warned the UNP Parliamentary Group to refrain from criticizing President Maithripala Sirisena. The UNP Parliamentarians were specifically informed not make any statement in public which would harm the consensus of the unity government.

UPFA Kalutara District MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena Displays a Green Chilly, Red Onion and Brown Sprat in Parliament to Draw Attention To High Rise in Price.

by Saman Indrajith Kalutara District UPFA MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena brought in a sprat, a red onion and a green chilli to the Chamber to be displayed during his speech during the third reading stage debate on budget 2018 under the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs yesterday. Abeygunawardena said the prices …

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Local Govt Minister Faiszer Mustapha Denies Having Links to Case Dubbed as “Musthapha Vs Musthapha Case”.

by Saman Indrajith Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Faiszer Musthapha yesterday told Parliament that he was not responsible for the delay in holding local government elections. Denying his alleged involvement in a petition before the Court of Appeal to delay elections, the Minister said that the LG delimitation Gazette was flawless and that he …

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Attorney -General Files Motion In Appeal Court Seeking Dismissal of Writ Petition Challenging Legality of Gazette Notification.

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya yesterday filed motion in Court of Appeal moving that the writ petition which challenged the legality of Gazette Notification on the Delimitation committee Report be dismissed and to refuse the extension of the Interim Order on the next hearing date. The Attorney General in the motion also requested …

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UNP Ready To Work With Anyone Willing to Uphold Good Governance Declares Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

By Yohan Perera The United National Party (UNP) was ready to work with anyone willing to uphold Good Governance and to mutually strengthen electoral prospects, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe made this remark at the UNP Bala Mandalaya meeting in Nawalapitiya last morning. “The UNP is willing to work with anyone …

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For the Sinhala Ultranationalists, ‘The Nation’ (‘Jaathiya’) is the Sinhala Nation, and the State is a Sinhala Buddhist State.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka THE DEADLY IGNORANCE OF THE SINHALA ALT-RIGHT (Part 1) “Ignorance never helped anyone yet!” — Karl Marx The crisis is escalating and proliferating daily. It is a crisis of the Yahapalana model and strategy. It is a crisis created by UNP’s unacceptable cosmopolitan neoliberalism with its program of foreignization of the economy, …

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Tells Kilinochchi District Secretariat To Stop Work On Restoring the LTTE Cemetery in Kilinochchi

By Yohan Perera Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had asked the Kilinochchi District Secretariat to stop work on the restoration of LTTE cemetery in Kilinochchi, sources close to the PM said today. They said that the Ministry of Development Policies and Economic Affairs had instructed the Kilinochchi Pradeshiya Sabha to stop work.

Chandrika Kumaratunga Asked By Nimal Siripala De Silva “Whether it is Not Better to Unite With the Rajapaksas as we are Already Dealing With International Fraudsters”?

By Gagani Weerakoon President Maithripala Sirisena seems to have reached a decisive juncture since announcing his decision to become the common candidate in November 2014 by joining hands with United National Party. While there were many hiccups since then, both President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe displayed a commitment towards continuing the political marriage …

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“Those Who Want To Take Legal Action against Me Must Consider Why I Took This Stand” – Northern Province Education Minister Sarweswaran Who Refused To Hoist The National Flag Explains His Position.

By MirudhulaThambiah This week was full of interesting events happening in the political arena, and one of it is the debate on Northern Education Minister Dr. Kandiah Sarveswaran refusing to hoist the national flag at an event held at a school in Vavuniya. In history there had been such events when Tamil National Leaders have …

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Local Govt Minister Faiszer Musthapha Goes Abroad Without Informing Prime Minister Wickremesinghe or Leader of the House Kiriella

By Ashwin Hemmathagama The Government informed Parliament on Saturday that Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Faiszer Musthapha had gone abroad without keeping the Prime Minister or the Leader of the House informed but would be present in Parliament today to respond to the brewing issues of the petition filed against holding local government …

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Right To Information (RTI) Commission Orders Search for the Reportedly “Missing” Commission of Inquiry Report on SLMC Leader MHM Ashraff’s Death

Sri Lanka’s Right to Information (RTI) Commission has ordered the release of key documentation relating to the ‘missing’ findings of the Commission of Inquiry Report into the death of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress founder and Minister M.H.M. Ashraff and fourteen others on September 16, 2000 in a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Mi-17 helicopter crash. …

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Muslim and Sinhala Residents Of Violence Affected Gintota area in a Reconciliatory Demonstration Meet at The Welipitimodera Mosue and Eat Milk Rice Together Along with Police and Security Personnel

By T. Withanawasam in Gintota Sinhalese and Muslim residents of the Gintota area met at the Welipiti Mosque last Wednesday and shared Kiribath with each other and members of the Armed Forces and Police. It should have been an unremarkable event except that just days before, clashes between Sinhalese and Muslim mobs had caused extensive …

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Arresting Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Over the DA Rajapaksa Memorial In Medamulana Will Amount To a Political Witch Hunt.

by C. A. Chandraprema Virtually everything said in this column about the local government elections and the possibility of the yahapalana government postponing them with a Puthukudiirippu-Maritime Pattu style operation by petitioning courts came true last week with the Appeal Court issuing a stay order on the local government delimitation gazette. Every political maneuver that …

Continue reading ‘Arresting Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Over the DA Rajapaksa Memorial In Medamulana Will Amount To a Political Witch Hunt.’ »