Maithripala Sirisena Waves White Flag and Capitulates to Mahinda Rajapaksa

(Text of Editorial Appearing in the Colombo “Sunday Times” of July 5th 2015) And so, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa threw his hat into the ring for the forthcoming Parliamentary elections with some pressure politics this week, the culmination of a long drawn-out, well-orchestrated campaign that saw his successor, President Maithripala Sirisena, eventually capitulate. The timing …

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Battle Lines Drawn for 2015 General Elections Between Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa

General elections 2015: MR’s nomination ups the ante By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya The chips are down – the battle lines for the 2015 general election have been drawn between two key political personalities – Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP leader and the party’s prime ministerial candidate, and Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former president whose nomination from the UPFA was …

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UNP in Trouble as 19 Page COPE Report Makes “Charges” Against Arjuna Mahendran and his son in law Arjun Joseph Aloysius

UPFA leaders are busy preparing outlines for their polls campaign. As reported earlier, among the main issues they claim are “threats to national security.” This is the result of the Government’s talks with the Global Tamil Forum in London and related issues. Another is the Central Banks Treasury Bond scandal. Details of this scandal have …

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Maithripala’s Capitulation, Mahinda’s Brinkmanship and and Ranil’s Consternation

By C.A. Chandraprema The announcement on Friday evening by UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayanth to the effect that President Maithripala Sirisena has agreed to grant nominations to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was greeted with anguish and fury by the yahapalana types. Much of the anger may stem from the suspicion that had been rankling in …

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After Giving Nomination to Mahinda , Maithripala Keeps away from Birthday Celebration for Chandrika to Avoid her and Ranil

Six months ago they were political arch enemies. Like the saying goes, politics makes strange bedfellows. So it was. Last Friday, President Maithripala Sirisena agreed to allow his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the August 17 parliamentary elections. Now, they appear to be not only chummy, but concerned of each other. After the official announcement …

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President Maithripala Sirisena Surrenders to Ex – President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Giving him Nomination

Six months after being voted out of the presidency, Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa has bounced back to become a candidate for the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at the August 17 parliamentary elections. He will choose from three different districts — Gampaha, Kurunegala or Ratnapura. “I was willing to agree to anything that would not divide …

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Maithripala Sirisena has his way but Mahinda Rajapaksa wins the day……….

There are no permanent friends or foes in politics, it is said. The centre stage of politics wonders what’s happening behind the screen. Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists did not give up the battle to seek nomination to Mahinda. While the centre stage was kept in suspense about the issue, Susil Premajayantha on Friday issued a letter …

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Will Return of Mahinda Rajapaksa Change Sri Lankan Politics Again?

By COL R. HARIHARAN Former Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa announced that he would accept his loyal supporters demand to contest the forthcoming parliamentary election to be held on August 17. According to media reports, thousands of supporters who had gathered at his home ground in Medamulana cheered him when he said “I am not …

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President Sirisena “Betrays” Jan 8 Mandate by Aligning with Former Rival Mahinda for Parliamentary Elections ?

By Dharisha Bastians The pro-Rajapaksa faction of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance claimed a major victory with the announcement yesterday that Mahinda Rajapaksa would receive a nomination on the coalition ticket, but there was radio silence from the President’s Office about the decision. At about 3.30 p.m. yesterday, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha issued a …

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UPFA Announces it will Nominate Ex- President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a Candidate at the Forthcoming Parliamentary Elections.

By Dasun Edirisinghe The UPFA yesterday announced that it had decided to field former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming general election. Addressing a packed media audience at Abhayaramaya yesterday, former minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that the district where the former President Rajapaksa would enter the fray would be announced shortly. Gunawardena said that UPFA …

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Maithripala Sirisena is now a Presidential Prop and Pin Up Boy.

By Malinda Seneviratne We don’t know if everyone who voted for Maithripala actually believed that Parliament would be dissolved in late April, i.e. when the much talked of and now hardly ever mentioned ‘100 Days’ came to an end. We don’t know if everyone who voted for Maithripala thought that he was capable of or …

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“I will form a Govt that will take Forward the Development that has Stalled now” – Mahinda Rajapaksa

(Full text of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s speech at Medamulana on July 1st 2015) It is with immense gratitude that I acknowledge your unwavering support for me and the national agenda I represent despite all the threats and intimidation in the period after the last presidential election. I warmly welcome all of you who have …

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Second Coming of Mahinda!Can Mahinda from Medamulana Rise Again?

By Dharisha Bastians in Medamulana The monk’s voice booms through rustling coconut fronds, carrying on the soft breezes over lotus ponds and endlessly green fields of paddy. “What is this title ‘former’ president? Is that how we refer to our ancient kings?” On Esala full moon Poya day, the sleepy southern village of Medamulana is …

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Maithripala Sirisena has a Moral Obligation to see that his Promises are Delivered.

By Malinda Seneviratne President Maithripala Sirisena has reason to be grateful to Ranil Wickremesinghe and the UNP. True, gratitude-reason is a two-way street, but we are talking of the President, what he owes and to whom. He might owe something to former President Chandrika Kumaratunga too but probably not as much as the lady believes. …

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“News 1st”to Launch new Political Show in the Mornings Hosted by Bandula Jayasekara and Chamika Roshan

Your mornings will never be the same again! News 1st will launch a fresh, hard-hitting Morning Political Show ‘PRESS RELEASE’, hosted by former Diplomat , Editor and Presidential Spokesman Bandula Jayasekara and Chamika Roshan. The show will be aired every weekday morning at 6, on Sirasa TV. ‘PRESS RELEASE’will focus on the morning headlines, but …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Sets the Stage at his Hometown Medamulana for a Major Political Comeback

By Dharisha Bastians in Medamulana Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, ousted from office in January, set the stage for a major political comeback in his hometown of Medamulana yesterday, with the announcement that he would lead a faction of the SLFP to contest in the 17 August parliamentary election. A low drum-roll of firecrackers sounded in …

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“We will Contest at the Upcoming General Election for the Sake of the Party and Country” Announces Mahinda Rajapaksa

By Lakna Paranamanna Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing a gathering at Medamulana this morning revealed that he would contest the upcoming general election. “I will not ignore the requests that have been made to me by the people – I accept it wholeheartedly. . . Therefore we will move forward at the upcoming general election …

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If Maithripala Surrenders to Mahinda Faction Another Bloc of 36 MP’s Backed by Chandrika May Split from SLFP

By Rasika Jayakody What President Maithripala Sirisena faces right now is nothing short of a conundrum. The President has come under serious pressure not only from the party rank and file, but also from the senior office bearers of the party to give nominations to former President Rajapaksa to contest the election under the SLFP …

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Current Sri Lankan Political Situation is like the Kerensky Period in Russia After the 1917 Revolution

By Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne If we go by orthodox Marxist analysis we may classify the political stage we are going through as a Kerenskyan period. In Russia when the Czarist regime was overthrown in 1917 February there was a dual power situation. On one side imperial state was trying to survive by reforms, headed by liberal …

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Maithripala Offers “Conditional Nomination” to Mahinda but Refuses to Announce him as Party’s Prime Minister Candidate

By Dharisha Bastians The Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the main constituent in political coalitions that have ruled the country for the better part of 20 years looked poised to suffer a major split yesterday, as hopes for compromise between the Maithripala and Mahinda factions appeared to fade after hectic rounds of talks yesterday. A great …

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If Defeated Ex-President Mahinda Wants to be Prime Minister then Undefeated Ex- President Chandrika will also Contest Polls

Not to be outdone by the antics of her presidential successor, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga threw her hat into the ring yesterday, vowing to contest in the 17 August parliamentary poll as the SLFP prime ministerial candidate. Private Secretary to Kumaratunga, P. Dissanayake issuing a statement, said the former President would contest from the SLFP …

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Uva Province UNP Chief Minister Harin Fernando Accuses President Sirisena of “Harbouring a Secret Agenda”

A Major strain in the relations between the United National Party (UNP) and President Maithripala Sirisena started to show yesterday when Uva Chief Minister Harin Fernando expressed doubts about the President’s bona fides and accused him of harbouring ‘secret political agendas’. Addressing a press briefing held at Sirikotha, Fernando asserted that UNP had obtained information …

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If Maithripala wants to Stop Mahinda he will have to give Nomination to “Rogues” in the SLFP

By Upul Joseph Fernando When the election results were announced in the 1994 general elections, Chandrika Kumaratunge was in hiding at a secret location. She felt there were threats on her life. Only her confidantes were permitted to visit her. Those confidantes who were with her when the results were announced saw tears in her …

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36 MP’s from SLFP Tell President Sirisena it is Better to Lose with Honour Rather Than Contest along with Mahinda and Win

In the backdrop of frantic negotiations to unite warring factions of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), 36 MPs loyal to the incumbent President have strongly urged him to refrain from joining forces with his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming parliamentary poll. Daily FT learns that the group, many of whom hold ministerial portfolios …

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A House in Jaffna for the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design

by Smriti Daniel Vimila Velthas lays out lunch on the table in the courtyard. She has prepared a traditional Jaffna meal – yam, coloured orange with the heat of chillies and cooked till creamy, a spicy fish and eggplant curry served with fat grains of red rice. Velthas presses her guests to eat more and …

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GL Peiris Makes Insinuations Against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Gets Lambasted by Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

By Shamindra Ferdinando The Opposition yesterday alleged that the Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran had received instructions from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as regards change of established procedures in the run-up to the controversial bond issue and such interventions were contrary to existing regulations. Prof. Peiris told The Island that CB Governor himself …

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President Sirisena can Uphold or Betray Trust Placed in him by Us With Decision on Mahinda Rajapaksa – Arjuna Ranatunga

By Dharisha Bastians President Maithripala Sirisena is expected to make a crucial decision today as to whether he will offer his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa a slot on the SLFP ticket, and allow his party to contest with other constituent parties in the former ruling alliance that have been staunch critics of his six-month-old administration. The …

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If Mahinda Rajapaksa Becomes Prime Minister then he is only “One Gunshot”away from Becoming President Again

By Thisuri Wanniarachchi I first met President Rajapaksa when I was 11 years old. I had won a national short story competition and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs had taken me and several other winners to Temple Trees to see the President. He was a rare and skilled politician. He knew the game and he …

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Will President Sirisena Nominate Mahinda Rajapaksa as the SLFP Prime Ministerial Candidate?

By Dharisha Bastians Forty-eight hours after President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament paving the way for fresh elections, the question of whether he will grant his predecessor a nomination continues to dominate in political circles. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party chaired by President Sirisena will have swift decisions to make ahead of a 13 July deadline …

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Reflecting on Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and her Politics of Peace

By Harim Peiris In 1994, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, at the age of 49 years, was elected the youngest and first ever female President of Sri Lanka. Twenty one years later, in June 2015, as she celebrates her 70th birthday, it is appropriate to look back at the legacy of this amazing lady, who has so …

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa Rejuvenated Colombo by Clearing City of Street Vendors

By Ranga Jayasuriya That the current administration is sacrificing the economic future of the country for party political considerations is not just an allegation; it is increasingly becoming a fact. There is enough evidence to this effect in the suspended mega development projects and their adverse economic fallout, as evident in the downgrading of this …

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Absence of Vanity is one of the Greatest Attributes of Chandrika Kumaratunga

By Prof Carlo Fonseka, Chairman, Wijaya Kumaratunga Memorial Hospital, Seeduwa According to the Christian Prayer Book, “the days of our age are three score years and ten” but on the 29th of June 2015, President Chandrika Kumaratunga transcends that limit with a bang. Physically, she is as fit as a fiddle. And her mind is …

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UNP Rejects COPE Report Finding Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran “Guilty” as Biased and Seriously Flawed

By Shamindra Ferdinando Alleging that Chairman of Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) D. E. W. Gunasekera, had unfairly used unsubstantiated information available to a Special Parliamentary Investigation Committee that probed alleged insider trading and favouritism in a recent mega treasury bond issue to undermine the UNP, Deputy Justice Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe insisted the report couldn’t …

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“The Ten Years I Worked with President Chandrika Kumaratunga was an Enjoyable Period”.

By Chandra Wickramasinghe (Former Prime Minister and President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga who was born on June 29th 2015 Celebrates her 70th Birthday today) My very first encounter with President Chandrika Kumaratunga, (which was somewhat fortuitous) goes back to the early 1970s when she was functioning as Additional Director, Youth Employment. Fresh from her studies at …

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“Secret” Meeting Between Maithripala and Mahinda Took Place at the Official Residence of the President on Wijerama Mawatte

The latest Sirisena-Rajapaksa talks are the outcome of a committee of six named at a meeting of SLFP parliamentarians, provincial councillors and local councillors on June 16. They were tasked to bring about peace within the party. The committee urged Sirisena to take Rajapaksa on board. Instead Sirisena, as revealed in these columns last week, …

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Power Moves by Political Parties as Country Gets Ready for Another Parliamentary Election

By Rasika Jayakody It was on Friday afternoon that President Maithripala Sirisena signed the much awaited gazette notification with regard to dissolution of Parliament, ending weeks of speculation. By order of the President, the gazette was issued by Secretary to the President, P.B. Abeykoon,. Shortly after signing, the gazette was sent to the Government Printer …

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Dissolution of Parliament at this time is Third Greatest Betrayal by Maithripala Sirisena.

By C.A.Chandraprema The long awaited dissolution of parliament has taken place at last. After the executive presidency was established, parliamentary elections generally lost their importance and became the legislative extension of the presidential election. Since 1978, it was always the presidential election that would determine which side has won and would be calling the shots. …

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Large Number of SLFP Parliamentarians Likely to Join Mahinda Rajapaksa Camp After Susil Premajayantha Crosses Over

by Uditha Kumarasinghe UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha is expected to join the pro -Rajapaksa group tomorrow, the Sunday Observer reliably learns. Party insiders worry that this expected move by a party stalwart could precipitate a wholesale shift by a number of parliamentarians to the Rajapaksa camp thereby creating a major split in the party. …

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“Disgraceful” 14th Parliament of Sri Lanka is Dissolved Unlamented and Unsung

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene As agonizing suspense finally ends with the dissolving of the 14th Parliament of Sri Lanka, unlamented and unsung as well it ought to be, a palpable sigh of relief palpitates through the land. Hypocrisy at its height This was a House that had far outlived its time, even as school children …

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COPE Parliamentary Committee Finds CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran “Guilty”of Direct Intervention on Behalf of Son-in – Law Aloysius in Treasury Bond Issue

by Shamindra Ferdinando A Special Parliamentary Investigation Committee that probed the alleged insider trading and favoritism in a recent mega treasury bond issue has established Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s direct intervention on behalf of his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius owned Perpetual Treasuries, sources familiar with the COPE process said yesterday. The 13-member Committee named by …

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Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran Reveals the Art of “Treasury Bondage”

by Maheen Senanayake Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran Friday detailed the mechanics of artificial price depression and how bonds, private placements and artificial interest rate manipulation alleging that these are all linked to the previous government’s efforts at economic control. The Governor, who has been accused by the opposition of having made a bad call …

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European Union to send Election Observation Mission to Sri Lanka after ten years

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya The European Union has indicated it is keen to send an Election Observation Mission to monitor the August 17 parliamentary election. Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka David Daly met Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya at the Elections Secretariat in Rajagiriya for discussions in this regard …

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Parliament Dissolved;Elections on Aug 17;Nominations – July 6-15;New Parliament Meets on Sep 1

By Dharisha Bastians Ending months of uncertainty and political deadlock, President Maithripala Sirisena issued a proclamation dissolving Parliament last night, paving the way for fresh elections that will be a tightly-fought contest between his SLFP and the minority Government led by the UNP. The life of Sri Lanka’s 14th Parliament came to an abrupt end …

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President Maithripala Sirisena and Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Hold Secret Meeting

By Dharisha Bastians In a bid to unite warring factions of the SLFP ahead of elections, President Maithripala Sirisena met with his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa late Thursday, although the President’s office denied the meeting. Authoritative sources told Daily FT that the pair met at President Sirisena’s residence at Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 07 on Thursday night. …

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President Sirisena Ready to Ditch UNP and Break his Election Pledges to Prevent Return of Mahinda Rajapaksa

By Dharisha Bastians After a disastrous meeting at the Parliamentary Complex in early May, President Maithripala Sirisena and his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa had a chance encounter last week, under less official, slightly pleasanter circumstances. High-profile Kahawatte Gem Merchant W. Vinil invited both politicians to sign as witnesses when his daughter was married at a lavish …

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US Report About LTTE Global Network is Cause for Concern for both Sri Lanka and India.

By N. Sathiya Moorthy The American acknowledgement and confirmation of the continued existence of LTTE’s global network of sympathisers and finances should be a cause for concern as much for neighbouring India as much for Sri Lanka. In ways, it should also be a source of concern and embarrassment for Western nations, including the US. …

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Mangala Samaraweera is Wrong in Embracing the Anti-Sri Lankan Element of the Tamil Diaspora.

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA As usual Sri Lanka’s cosmopolitan liberals have it wrong and that includes its most prominent personality, Minister of External affairs Mangala Samaraweera. His embrace of the Diaspora is wrong, not because the Diaspora is diabolical but because Mr. Samaraweera’s embrace is indiscriminate. Sri Lanka must welcome its Diaspora or Diasporas (plural). …

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JVP Today is like the Wagging Tail of the UNP Dog and the Echo of Ranil’s Voice

By Malinda Seneviratne First there was the Left. It was still ‘Left’ even though those bunched at that end of the political spectrum disagreed vehemently and took turns at calling each other Running Dogs of Imperialism and other lovely names. Then came the JVP. Originally the product of a split, the JVP dis/relocated itself in …

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“Sending Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa Home was a Great Mistake”-Rauff Hakeem Drops Bombshell in Parliament

By Sandasen Marasinghe, Irangika Range and Disna Mudalige Urban Development Minister Rauff Hakeem yesterday said in Parliament that there was a dictatorship of a small group within the Cabinet of Ministers that prevails against minor and minority parties. Participating in a debate on electoral reforms taken at the time of adjournment of the House, the …

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Maithripala Sends Message Through JHU That he is Ready to “Save” Gotabhaya and Mahinda from Corruption and War Crimes Charges IF…………….

By Upul Joseph Fernando Like how the activities of the diplomatic missions of the West during the Sri Lanka presidential election on 8 January burgeoned, at the presidential elections in the Maldives in 2008, the activities of the diplomatic missions here in charge of the Maldives and Sri Lanka too intensified. It is the western …

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Prof G.L.Peiris Concerned Over Pronouncements by DM Swaminathan,CV WigneswaranWijeyakala Maheswaran and MA Sumanthiran

By Shamindra Ferdinando Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has urged what he called the minority UNP government to explain its stand on a recent US State Department report that dealt with post-war fund raising activities undertaken by the LTTE as well as several other contentious statements attributed to Rehabilitation Minister D.M. Swaminathan, Northern …

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“Dilly –Dallying” Maithripala Gets Increasingly Alienated From Chandrika and UNP

By Rasika Jayakody There was a time when President Maithripala Sirisena appeared as if he would make himself eligible for the Nobel peace prize this year. There were several international groups who were willing to nominate President Sirisena for the Nobel Prize for changing the trajectory of a country that was gradually leaning towards dictatorship. …

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UNP Severely Castigates SLFP and Issues Ultimatum to Withdraw No Confidence Motions Against Ranil and Ravi

By Dharisha Bastians The United National Party, main stakeholder in the present minority Government, made its position on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution on electoral reform official, with a blistering statement from its General Secretary Kabir Hashim in Parliament. Hashim, also the Minister of Highways in President Sirisena’s cabinet, launched a scathing attack on …

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Jaffna St. Johns College Principal C.E. Anandarajan: Reflections of a Son 30 Years After his Father’s Death

by Rev.Dev Anandarajan It is 30 years since the death of my beloved father who was killed by the LTTE on June 26th 1985. Many things have happened since then and I hope we can contemplate on the violent path taken by the LTTE and the unconditional support given by most of the Tamils to …

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Mangala and Ranil Deviate From “Kadirgamar Doctrine”of Continuity,Engagement and Change Towards China,India and US Led West

By DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA The title of the news story which broke in the Japanese media last week was entitled “FM: Sri Lanka to dilute dependence on China.” Any credible, substantive contradiction of the content of this report (and not just its title) by our Foreign Ministry must not take the form of remarks to …

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“Foreign Ministry Lied About Me” Says Udayanga Weeratunga – Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya Breaking his silence over allegations that he supplied weapons to pro-Russian separatist rebels in Ukraine, Sri Lanka’s former ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga has said the story that President Petro Poroshenko’s government had complained to the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry about him is a ‘complete lie.’ Weeratunga said on Sunday that he …

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BENDING OBLIGINGLY:THE WESTERN-ORIENTED ELITE & INTELLIGENTSIA

By MERVYN DE SILVA 16th Death Anniversary of Mervyn de Silva – June 22 (Excerpted from the multi-part ‘Politics Today’ think-piece “1956: The Cultural Revolution That Shook the Left” and “The Left Awakens from Romance to Reality”, full-page articles published in the Ceylon Observer Magazine Edition, May 16th & 23rd, 1967, Mervyn de Silva’s essay …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Refuses President Sirisena’s Offer to give him a “Distinguished Office” if Ex-President Quit Politics.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has rejected an offer by his successor Maithripala Sirisena to appoint him to a ‘distinguished office’ if he quits politics.The offer was made by President Sirisena to a six-member Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on Friday. The committee, named at the SLFP’s National Executive Council meeting chaired by …

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Why is Chief Minister Wigneswaran who Never Blamed Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Past now Severely Criticising Maithripala Sirisena?

by Kumar David An editorial in the Tamil newspaper Valampuri of 6 June said in translation: “We observe recent speeches of the CM are unusual . . . he has a habit of severely criticising President Maithiripala Sirisena . . . the CM has already spoilt his relationship with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe . . …

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President Sirisena Tells SLFP Senior Leaders that he will not Nominate Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Ministerial Candidate

by Zacki Jabbar President Maithripala Sirisena, breaking his silence for the first time, has told SLFP seniors that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot be nominated as the UPFA’s prime ministerial candidate because he had been rejected by the people for running  a lawless and corrupt government. “How do you expect me to nominate Mahinda as …

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Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Wants TNA Parliamentarians who got Money from Govt to Admit their “Guilt ” Openly.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is on a collision course with four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leadership for allowing some of its parliamentarians to receive government funding for projects in the NP, thus bypassing his administration. The TNA secured 14 seats, including one on the National List at the last general …

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Appeasement of LTTE Diaspora by Maithri-Ranil Govt Paving the way for a Tiger Awakening.

By Udaya P. Gammanpila Minister of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, D.M. Swaminathan had tabled a wonderful Cabinet paper at the last Cabinet meeting. He had sought Cabinet approval to pay compensation for terrorists who died and injured during the war. If the proposal was approved, it would be a bad precedence in encouraging terrorist activities. No …

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Northern CM Wigneswaran Accuses TNA Parliamentarians of Procuring Funds Directly from Colombo Govt

By Manekshaw Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is currently up in arms over the allocation of funds to the Northern Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarians from the Central Government. Wigneswaran’s accusation of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarians from the Northern Province obtaining funds from the Central Government and on the negligence of the …

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Tony Ranasinghe Played Monumental Role in Sinhala Film Industry with his Unique Acting Talent

by Prasad Gunewardene Gentleman actor, Tony Ranasinghe is no more. When I had a long chat with him over the phone, a few weeks ago, Tony was relaxing and I never dreamt that his exit would occur so early though he continued to suffer from a spine ailment over a period of time. The death …

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Global Narcotics Trade and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

by G. H. Peiris According to a report published in the 10 June 2015 issue of The Island, the Hon. C. V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister (CM) of the Northern Province, has asserted that the presence of Sri Lanka’s Army in Jaffna (peninsula) has contributed to a rapid spread of narcotics in the area, and that …

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Fond Memories of the “old” Fountain Cafe Owned by Elephant House

By Bandula Jayasekara Once upon a time, I worked down Vauxhall Lane in Colombo 2. Travelling from Ratmalana, I used to get down at Galle Face Court and walk to my office. There was a reason for it; to have breakfast at Elephant House’s Fountain Cafe, followed by a fresh glass of milk. I would …

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Vidhya Sivaloganathan’s Family in Pungudutheevu is Waiting for Justice

By Thulasi Muttulingam Vidhya Sivaloganathan’s family remembers her as sensitive and soft. She had recently cried when her mother said they would have to sell the family’s goat because they couldn’t afford to keep it anymore. “No amma. She’s part of the family now. We’ll reduce our meals and share with her what we eat. …

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Constitutionally Nothing Prevents President Sirisena From Ditching UNP and Forming SLFP Govt to govern till April 2016

By Dharisha Bastians A strange revelation was made this week, after President Maithripala Sirisena appointed four new Deputy Ministers in his continued efforts to consolidate power within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. SLFP MPs Sanath Jayasuriya, Thilanga Sumathipala, Wijaya Dahanayake and Eric Weerawardana were sworn in as Deputy Ministers by President Sirisena last Wednesday, two …

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President Sirisena “Rests” on top of Political Volcano Threatening to Erupt

By Rasika Jayakody President Maithripala Sirisena is resting on the crest of a volcano nearly two months after the end of his 100 day programme. The main stakeholder of his ruling coalition, the United National Party, has exerted pressure on the President to dissolve Parliament immediately to seek a fresh mandate for a government. The …

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President Sirisena Appoints SLFP Committee to Promote “Cooperation”Between Himself and Ex- President Mahinda Rajapaksa

By Chaminda Perera The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) appointed a committee yesterday to promote “cooperation” between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The committee, appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena, is comprised of John Seneviratna, Dilan Perera, T. B. Ekanayake, Kumara Welgama, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Susil Premajayantha. The committee will primarily do …

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Reconciliation Between Maithripala and Mahinda is Essential and Inevitable

By Rohana R. Wasala The overwhelming success of the Matara rally has demonstrated beyond any doubt that the pro-Mahinda forces have decisively turned the tide against the status quo. It is not against the presidency of Mr Maithripala Sirisena. He is secure as president for the next five years, but at present he has to …

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If President took Disciplinary Action Against MP’s Attending then, all Pro-Mahinda Rallies will stop-Hirunika Premachandra

By Ajith Siriwardana and Indika Sri Aravinda Western Provincial Councillor Hirunika Premachandra said yesterday that if President Maithripala Sirisena had taken disciplinary action against those who had participated in the Nugegoda Rally which was held to promote former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Prime Ministerial candidature, similar rallies would not have been held elsewhere later. Ms. Premachandra …

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Why US is Helping Maithri-Ranil Govt to Trace Hoarded “Black Money”Given by China to Rajapaksas.

By Upul Joseph Fernando After Maithripala Sirisena won the presidential election, he made his first visit to India to meet Indian Premier Narendra Modi. At that meet, Maithri appealed to Modi to assist him to recover monies stolen by certain Sri Lankan politicians of the previous administration hidden in other countries. He also asked Modi …

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Superstition Played a Naked Role in Sri Lanka Under Rajapaksa Rule

By Tisaranee Gunasekara “If we can’t think for ourselves, if we’re unwilling to question authority, then we are just putty in the hands of those in power” – Carl Sagan (The Demon – Haunted World) In 2011, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a verbal directive banning its employees from using the phrases ‘climate …

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Sri Lanka’s Test Team – My Potential List for the Cricket Match in Galle

By Michael Roberts The retirement of Jayawardene and Dilshan from Test cricket and the impending departure of Sangakkara render the future of Sri Lanka’s cricket team as worrying as intriguing. In chatting with Michael de Zoysa in Colombo early in June we touched on future possibilities and just yesterday a long Skype-chat with Andrew Fidel …

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Chief Minister Wigneswaran is Working in a Crafty and Diabolical Manner to Please the LTTE Dregs and Diaspora.

By Edward Gunawardena Chief Minister Wigneswaran hell bent on getting rid of the Armed Services from the North has arrived at the perverted conclusion that the post-war deployment of the military in the North has contributed to the rapid spread of narcotics. He has further stated that narcotics had never been a problem during the …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa is Trying to Make us Believe that only his Autocratic ways can Bring Political Stability

By Ranga Jayasuriya In a mature democracy, a government (Or for that matter, a Prime Minister) cannot and should not be impeached simply because the Opposition can do so or garner enough votes to do so. The elected representatives of the people are expected to act with responsibility and restraint; that is more so, when …

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The Seven Deadly Political “Sins” Allegedly Committed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

By Don Manu If you need to get a pretty good idea of how donkeys behave in the wild breathing freedom’s intoxicating air, look no further than to the unbridled antics of a privileged few who make regular visits to Delft Island, where, deaf and blind to the pressing needs of those whose interests they …

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Transparency on trial: Was Udayanga Weeratunga story ‘sexed up?’

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya Nobody can be blamed for being confused about what’s going on in government these days. The debate has mostly revolved around two issues – the 20th amendment for electoral reform, and the dissolution of parliament. All political factions would seem to be in support of the 20th amendment, going by the statements …

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District by District Analysis of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Political Strength in the Forthcoming Parliament Elections

By C. A. Chandraprema The crowd at the pro-Mahinda rally held in Matara last Friday was even larger than the crowd in Nugegoda. The number of parliamentarians on the stage was variously mentioned as 76, 77 and 78. As far as the pro-Mahinda camp is concerned, there is nothing more to be said, no more …

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Jaffna Turning into Liquor Paradise:Rapid Rise in Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan A five-fold increase in the consumption of alcoholic beverages in 2013, in the Jaffna Peninsula, underscores the higher level of alcoholism gripping the North. According to informed sources there has possibly been a two to three-fold increase in alcoholism according to estimates at the beginning of this year alone. R. Jeyasegaran, …

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Continuous Delay in Dissolving Parliament Gives Rajapaksa Camp a “Winning”Advantage

By Dharisha Bastians Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, arguably the previous regime’s most powerful man, may be under fire from a plethora of investigations into procurements and dealings during his tenure as chief accounting officer for the Ministry of Defence. But nearly six months after his brother’s stunning election defeat rendered him jobless and without …

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Why did UN Secy-Gen Ban Ki-moon “Suddenly” Telephone Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena?

By Upul Joseph Fernando The diplomatic circles in Colombo were buzzing last week as to why the United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon, suddenly telephoned President Maithripala Sirisena. Though Ban Ki-moon had reportedly praised Maithri’s Government over the phone, the UN Chief’s main idea has been to confirm whether an election would be held before the …

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Maheshini Colonne: Sri Lanka’s First Female Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Brings Breath of Fresh Air

By Bandula Jayasekara Everyone likes the wind. Everyone, at some point, likes the winds of change, something new and different in any arena. A breath of fresh air! That is exactly what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka has done with the appointment of a new and a competent Spokesperson, Mahishini Colonne and …

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Ranil and the UNP Must Help Maithripala and the SLFP Overcome Mahinda and his UPFA Cronies

By Ranga Jayasuriya Now, that the UNP is in the government, it is easy to forget the existential problems the Green Party had barely few months ago. During those not so distant days, the UNP made headlines not for Opposition political activism, but for an inner-party power struggle. Ranil Wickremesinghe faced with a leadership challenge, …

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Cabinet Approves Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s Proposals for Elections Reform Through 20th Constitutional Amendment

Bringing an end to an impasse, the cabinet of ministers, during a special session held last night, approved Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s proposal for the election of legislators under the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe proposed that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution introduce provisions for 125 members of a 225-member legislature …

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Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa can be Arrested for Offences Except Those Included in FR Petition Interim Order

The Supreme Court yesterday said that former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa could be arrested if there were allegations except the ones included in the Fundamental Rights petition filed by him. The Supreme Court further said other than those respondents mentioned in the petition viz IGP, Director CID and Director FCID, other officials could arrest him. …

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Responding to Dinesh Gunawardene MP in Parliament Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Valiantly Defends Central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

(Following are excerpts from reports in Colombo newspapers about questions raised by Dinesh Gunawardene MP in Parliament on the appointment of Singapore national Arjuna Mahendran as Central bank Governor and the strong reply in the House by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on June 3rd 2015) Statement and Questions Raised by Mr. Dinesh Gunawardene M.P. in …

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“Megenath Sithanna: Pakshaya Rekaganna” (Think About this and Protect the party)-English Summary of Booklet Issued by the SLFP Media Unit

(The Sri Lanka Freedom Party Media Unit has released a booklet under the heading”Megenath Sithanna:Pakshaya Rekaganna” meaning”Think about this and protect the party”.It was reportedly written by cabinet minister S.B.Dissanayake and published by Thilanga Sumathipala M.P. The following is a summary of the booklet translated into English and published in “The Island”newspaper.) The pamphlet starts …

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa Built a National Security State that Turned Jaffna into an Unhappy Place of Simmering Discontent

By Ranga Jayasuriya What serves the long term peace and security in Sri Lanka: high-handed national security state of the former regime or more nuanced judicial approach of its successor? The contrast of these two approaches was in display last two weeks after the tragic rape and murder of an 18-year-old student in the Punguduthivu …

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Special Presidential Commission Comprising 4 High Court Judges to Probe Corruption Under Rajapaksa Regime to Hold Public Hearings at BMICH..

By Shamindra Ferdinando A Special Presidential Commission investigating major cases of corruption is gearing for public hearing at a special court established at the BMICH this month. A spokesperson for the Commission yesterday told The Island that public hearing would get underway in about three weeks. “We are mandated to summon anyone, even a former …

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Prime Minister Ranil Charges Ex-President Mahinda of “Pilfering” 28 Billion Rupees as Finance and Highways Minister

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday alleged that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Highways Minister had obtained a Rs. 55 billion loan from the National Savings Bank to construct 28 public roads in 2014. “But the report handed over to me informing the details of the road construction work says that Rs. 28 billion had …

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“I don’t know why I should resign when I have done nothing wrong”.-Central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran

by Rasika Jayakody Breaking his silence over the controversial Treasury bond issue, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran claimed he was not involved in the decision-making process with regard to the Bond issuance. In an interview with the Sunday Observer, Arjuna Mahendran said, he was willing to cooperate with any investigation to ascertain the truth and …

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President Sirisena Tells UPFA Leaders That he Cannot Work Together With Mahinda Rajapaksa

by Rasika Jayakody When President Maithripala Sirisena held a special discussion with party leaders of the UPFA following the weekly Cabinet meeting last week, it was quite clear to everyone that he was hell-bent on shooting down the General Election ‘hopes’ of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “There is no one who knows more about Mahinda …

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Keeps Postponing Parliamentary Elections

By K. Ratnayake Amid a deepening political and social crisis, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has repeatedly postponed the calling of a general election. As part of his “100-day” program, announced during the campaign for the January 8 presidential election, Sirisena promised to dissolve parliament on April 23 and hold a parliamentary election. Last week, …

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Usage of the “P*ka” Word in Parliament and the Vasudeva Nanayakkara -Bandula Gunewardena ” Partnership”.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake My good friend Vasudeva Nanayakkara has been unapologetic about his use of a “P” word in the recent heated argument with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, in Parliament. Vasudeva seems to be still reeling with anger, with whatever happened about his Point of Order issue with the Prime Minister. In any event he …

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“Dheepan” Film Telling Tale of Three Tamil Refugees in France Starring Ex- Tiger cum Writer Shoba Sakthi Wins the Top Film Award Palme d’or at Cannes Film Festival

The 68th Cannes Film Festival ended on Sunday May 24th with Jacques Audiard’s Sri Lankan refugee drama “Dheepan” taking the festival’s coveted top honor, the Palme d’Or. The film relating the story of three Sri Lankan Refugees surviving as refugees in France has a former LTTE child soldier Anthonythasan Jesuthasan starring in the lead role.Jesuthasan …

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New Parliament Would be Elected by September 2015 States President Maithripala Sirisena

By Nisthar Cassim President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday the country would have a new Government by September,suggesting that the Parliament would soon be dissolved, paving the way for a general election. Speaking to media owners and editors at a breakfast forum at President’s House, Sirisena said that the responsibility of approving electoral reforms via the …

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Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa Refuses Opposition Request for No Confidence Motions Against Arjuna Mahendran and Dilrukshi Wickremasinghe

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday turned down the Opposition’s request to pass no-confidence motions against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and Bribery Commission Director General Dilrukshi Wickremasinghe. In his verdict, the Speaker recommended presenting issues against Mahendran and Wickremasinghe to an existing parliamentary select committee or special select committee prior to a debate. “An existing committee …

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“Supreme Court Gave Two Different Judgements on Similiar Matters in the Cases of Gota and Tiran” – Ranil Wickremesinghe

By Ashwin Hemmathagama Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe yesterday stated that the interim order prohibiting arrest of former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was a matter that “requires an interpretation from the Supreme Court,” having had issued “two different judgements on similar matters” recently. Responding to questions from Leader of the Opposition Nimal Siripala de Silva raised …

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President Sirisena is an Astute Politician whose Greatest Strength is the “Unpredictability”in his Character

By Rasika Jayakody Differences of opinion between the two warring groups within the UPFA have widened to an extent that a patch-up cannot be expected in the foreseeable future. As exclusively revealed in this column last week, the group supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has now made up its mind to contest the forthcoming Parliamentary …

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People Gave Mandate to Maithri to Trap Rogues but Judges Appointed by Mahinda are Preventing that With Ruling on Gota FR Petition.

by Upul Joseph Fernando It was the Judiciary which gave strength to Chandrika to end Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Government in 2004. When the 18(a) Constitutional Amendment which barred Chandrika from dissolving Parliament after one year went before the Supreme Court, the then Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and the bench halted it stating that a referendum …

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“Aluth Parapura” Organization Commemorates May 19th as “Brotherhood Day” Instead of “War Victory Day” with Singing of National Anthem in Sinhala and Tamil

By Jayashika Padmasiri The Aluth Parapura organisation yesterday held a vigil to commemorate ‘Brotherhood Day,’ emphasising that war only had an ending and not a victory. At the vigil, they invited people to sing the Sri Lankan National Anthem either in Sinhala or in Tamil. This unique vigil was held yesterday at the Viharamahadevi Park, …

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Padma Rao Sunderji’s “Sri Lanka; The New Country” is a Book Written with Great Understanding of the Island and Its People

by Bandula Jayasekara “As I stood there and thought of this book, I knew that most of its contents would be slammed by all those who want to keep separatism alive in Sri Lanka. But, what else ought foreign reporters do, other than travel in this new country with an open mind, a willingness to …

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Full Text of President Maithripala Sirisena’s Address to the Nation at Matara on the 6th Anniversary of the Defeat of the LTTE.

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday declared that the government would never allow terrorism to threaten the country again under any circumstances. Addressing the nation from Matara at the 6th anniversary of the defeat of the LTTE, President Maithripala Sirisena said: “We will strengthen the process of development and reconciliation and have the foremost trust and respect …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Became “King”Within our Shores but Outside he was more or Less a “Pariah”.

By Ranga Jayasuriya The new government has renamed the Victory Day as the Remembrance Day, and the main national event will be held tomorrow (19) in Matara to commemorate those who died in multiple insurrections in the country. Victory Day celebrations held under the previous regime, rather than bringing the nation together, polarized it further. …

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Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka Denies Accusations that 40,000 Tamil Civilians were Killed in the Final Phase of War in the Wanni.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Strongly denying accusations regarding the death of 40,000 Tamil civilians during the final phase of the offensive on the Vanni east front (January-May 2009), Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka on Sunday (May 17) said that the army had to pay a very heavy price for not having the liberty to use heavy weapons …

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“The Govt can Accuse me,Jail me or Kill me” Thunders Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Victory day Commemoration.

by Dasun Edirisinghe Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday accused the government of undermining peace and stability achieved in May six years back. It would be a mistake on its part to adopt polices at the expense of national security, the former President said. Rajapaksa said that he was ready to face any situation, even face …

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Tiran Alles M.P. Files Fundamental Rights Violation Petition in Courts to Restrain Police from arresting him at Behest of cabinet Minister Champika Ranawaka.

By Chitra Weerarathne Petitioner Tiran Alles yesterday filed a fundamental rights violation application against the IGP N. K. Illangakoon, Director Special Investigations Unit Mevan Silva and a few others, alleging an imminent illegal arrest. It said the petitioner was a victim of political vendetta by Minister Champika Ranawaka. The actions of the police betrayed that …

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PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION: WHAT SHOULD PRESIDENT SIRISENA DO?

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA It’s out in the open now, the discrepancy in the views of the President and the Prime Minister about the timing of the elections. The Prime Minister hopes for July, while the President’s circle prefers September. I suspect it may be about astrology, but in Sri Lankan politics, the broad timing …

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