“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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Ex- Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to be Indicted on Criminal Charges Despite the Supreme Court Order Preventing Imminent Arrest Until his FR Petition is Heard

Moves are on to indict former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in courts over alleged “offences” committed while discharging duties in his capacity as the chief accounting officer of the Defence Ministry notwithstanding the fact that he has obtained a stay order from the Supreme Court Preventing his imminent arrest till the fundamental rights petition filed …

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Supreme Court Blocks Return of Lands to People of Sampoor by Suspending President Sirisena’s Gazette Notification to that Effect

The Supreme Court yesterday (May 15th) suspended the gazette notification issued by the President releasing state land to the people in Sampoor. By this action of suspending the gazette notification issued by President Sirisena, the Supreme Court has effectively blocked the return of lands to the people of sampoor who were displaced from their homelands …

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VICTORY DAY, REMEMBRANCE DAY & POST WAR POLITICAL RECONCILIATION

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA “…he also underestimated badly the Rajapakse regime as well as the armed forces. Prabhakaran did not expect the armed forces to keep on progressing relentlessly as they did. But despite heavy losses the military juggernaut kept on rolling forward. More importantly he expected President Mahinda Rajapakse would cave into international pressure …

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Kottu House Brings Taste of Sri Lanka “Kottu” to Lower East side in Manhattan, NYC

By Ligaya Mishan | pix by: Ben Russell A devil’s face with goggle eyes and swollen tongue stares from the window of Kottu House. It’s only a vinyl decal, meant to evoke the wooden masks — often flanked by cobras, peacocks or flames — that guard the entrances of Sinhalese homes in Sri Lanka, warding …

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Ex- President Mahinda Rajapaksa Denies Allegations of Investing US $190 Million in Dubai Hotel in his “Front Man” Nandana Lokuvithana’s Name

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that he does not own the Marriot hotel and rejected all the allegations regarding an investment in the Steel Corporation and the Marriot hotel in Dubai. He also accused FCID of functioning as an extension of the UNP. Following is the statement issued:

Commonwealth Advice will be sought Over Interim Order Obtained by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says Ranil Wickremesinghe

By Jayashika Padmasiri Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, reacting to the news that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa obtained an interim order from the Supreme Court yesterday, said that he could not comment on the case until October and the only thing left to do was seek the advice of the Commonwealth. Wickremesinghe made these remarks …

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Ranil Concerned that he is Unable to Reply Immediately to Allegations Against him in Gotabhaya’s FR Petition due to Court Order

By Rasika Somarathna Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday expressed serious concerns about not getting an early opportunity to reply to allegations leveled against him in the FR petition filed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa before the Supreme Court. Commenting on the Supreme Court’s decision to fix October 6 as the next hearing date of the FR petition …

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Indecent Hurry in Which Mahinda Rajapaksa is Trying to Engineer his Political Comeback

By Dharisha Bastians Mahinda Rajapaksa, defeated in an unprecedented third bid for the presidency on 8 January this year, is living in a bubble – again. This bubble is a skillful construct of his most faithful acolytes. It is inflated by weeping masses at his door, fawning supporters dogging his every move and large, raucous …

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Supreme Court Effectively Clears Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran By Dismissing FR Petition Filed by Good Governance Activists

In a major development, the Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the Fundamental Rights application against the much-publicised 30-year Treasury Bond issue of 26 February seeking an independent inquiry into the Central Bank Treasury Bond issue and the Bank’s Governor Arjuna Mahendran. The move has effectively cleared both Governor Arjuna Mahendran and primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries and …

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Supreme Court Restrains Authorities from Arresting Ex Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Until Final Determination of his FR Petition

By Chitra Weerarathne The Supreme Court yesterday granted interim relief to former Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, by restraining the respondent authorities from arresting him until the final determination of the fundamental rights violation petition filed by the former frontline combat officer. The respondents cited in the rights violation petition are the Prime Minister, the entire …

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Northern Governor Palihakkara Ensures Jaffna Divisional Secretariat Provides State Assistance to Displaced Sinhalese Returning to North.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Northern Province Governor H.M.G.S. Palihakkara has told Jaffna Divisional Secretariat that required state assistance should be provided to all those who had returned to the Jaffna peninsula seeking resettlement regardless of their ethnicity. One-time foreign secretary, Palihakkara has emphasized that those wanting to re-build their lives shouldn’t be deprived of the support; …

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The bin Laden assassination and the lies of the “ US war on terror” by the Bush and Obama Administrations

By Patrick Martin The 10,000-word essay by Seymour Hersh on the US killing of Osama bin Laden, published Sunday by the London Review of Books, is a devastating blow to the entire narrative of the US “war on terror,” as it has been elaborated by both the Bush and Obama administrations. The central thrust of …

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Pulitzer Prize Winning US Journalist Seymour Hersh Exposes Official Lies About Bin Laden killing

By Niles Williamson Nearly four years since the US Special Forces raid that resulted in the murder of Osama bin Laden, an extraordinary political exposure by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published Sunday in the London Review of Books has torn the mask off the official narrative by the US government. The wealth of …

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Supreme Court Issues Interim Order Staying the Anticipated Arrest of Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Grants Leave to Proceed in his Fundamental Rights Petition

By S. Selvanayagam, Lakmal Sooriyagoda and Hafeel Farisz The Supreme Court today issued an interim order staying the arrest of former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and granted leave to proceed in the fundamental rights petition filed by him. A two-judge bench comprising Justices Eva Wanasundera and Sarath De Abrew issued the interim order having heard …

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“Horu,Horu,Horu Wage,Boru,Boru,Boru”(Like Thieves, Thieves, Thieves -Lies,Lies, Lies) Says Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

By Malinda Seneviratne There was a photo of former Secretary, Defence Ministry, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa with a caption that heavily borrows from the late Singaporean leader Lee Kwan Yew. ‘I have no regrets. I have spent my life, so much of it, building up the capital of this country. There’s nothing more that I need to …

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Mahinda and Gotabhaya to Lead Two Different Alliances at Parliamentary Polls and Unite After Results

By Rasika Jayakody In the wee hours of April 3, 2004, Maithripala Sirisena, the then General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, received a telephone call from former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. A sleepless election night had come to an end and the results indicated the United People’s Freedom Alliance, of which the SLFP …

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Will Complaining About Maithri-Ranil Govt to UN in Geneva make Mahinda Rajapaksa a Traitor and a Tiger?

By Upul Joseph Fernando Former Minister Bandula Gunawardena last week stated he would go to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to complain that the Maithri-Ranil Government was arresting and questioning pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa activists. Bandula is a close associate of Mahinda. Therefore, Bandula may be proceeding to Geneva on Mahinda’s instructions. In the …

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Eastern Governor Austin Fernando says Return of Lands and Re-settlement in Sampur Will not Affect Power Plant or Trinco Harbour Security.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando yesterday said that the on-going resettlement programme wouldn’t affect the proposed Sampur coal-fired power project. Fernando insisted that the government would ensure the project would go ahead as planned. The coal power plant is a joint venture between the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the National Thermal …

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19th Amendment not yet law as Legal Draftsman Dept Delays sending Bill for Signing Assent by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa.

By Kushan Subasinghe English and Tamil translations of the draft Bill of the 19th Amendment passed in Parliament last month and forwarded to the Department of the Legal Draftsman for finalising had not yet been returned, Parliament sources said yesterday. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa was to sign the Bill into law yesterday.

Premier Ranil Indicates After John Kerry Visit that Sri Lanka and US agree on the Post -War Role of Armed Forces

by Shamindra Ferdinando Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a brief note, addressed to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Jagath Jayasuriya emphasized the importance of some issues raised by US Secretary of State, John Kerry, during his two-day visit to Colombo. The note to Gen. Jayasuriya, copied to Army Commander Lt. Gen. Crishanthe De …

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Seeks Supreme Court Intervention to Prevent his Imminent Arrest and On Going Investigations into Corruption Charges

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) application challenging the legality of the establishment of a Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID). Through this application, Rajapaksa has also sought the intervention of the Supreme Court to prevent his imminent arrest and the conclusion of the several purported investigations by the Criminal Investigations …

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Politics of Modesty by President Sirisena and Abrasive Politics of “Bring Mahinda Back” Campaign

By Prof Jayadeva Uyangoda Three events dominated Sri Lanka’s most recent political developments and debates. The May Day mob attack on Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri and Dr. Kumudu Kusum Kumara is the first. The intensification of the campaign to bring former President Mahinda Rajapakse back is the second. The meeting between the present and former …

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Sajin de Vass Gunawardena Arrested Over Allegations of Misusing Presidential Secretariat Vehicles and Remanded till May 20th

By Norman Palihawadane and Anura Balasuriya UPFA Galle District Parliamentarian Sajin de Vass Gunawardena was arrested by the police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) yesterday over allegations of misusing vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat. MP Gunawardena was later produced before Colombo Fort Magistrate and ordered to be remanded till May 20. The CID summoned Gunawardena …

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“Extremists Slinging Mud Against me for Trying to Re-settle Displaced Muslims of Musali Division”-Rishad Bathiudeen.

by Zacki Jabbar Industry and Commerce Minister and Wanni District MP Rishad Bathiudeen said yesterday that extremist groups hell bent on creating communal conflicts were continuing their mudslinging campaign against him even though he had helped a large number of war displaced Sinhalese and Tamils return to their original lands in Mannar. The Minister emphasised …

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How and Why the Financial Crime Investigation Divison and Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat were Established

(Text of a Press Release Issued by the Media Division of the Prime Ministers Office on May 11th 2015 Headlined “Financial Crimes Investigation Division and the Anti-Corruption Committee”) Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) is only a functional division of the Police Department, which was established in response to the emerging trend of serious financial frauds. …

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Maithri-Ranil-Chandrika Troika Led Govt Commits “Legal Fascism”by Locking up and Interrogating Opposition Leaders and Officials

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA Don’t you just hate it when people who should know better make huge mistakes which have been made before with disastrous consequences for all concerned– in other words, huge avoidable mistakes? Take this Government for instance. It has crossed a line which far stronger and more legitimate i.e. popularly elected, predecessors …

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Ex-Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram Acquitted by Karnataka High Court of all Charges in Corruption Case

By Sruthisagar Yamunan & Krishnaprasad In a major victory for AIADMK, a special bench of the Karnataka High Court on Monday set aside the trial court order convicting former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in the disproportionate assets case. Justice C.R Kumaraswamy, who read out the judgment at 11 a.m, said the appeals of all the …

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88 MP’s Including 3 Cabinet,3 State and 3 deputy Ministers Sign No Confidence Motion with 7 Charges Against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

By Saman Indrajith Three cabinet ministers, three state ministers and three deputy ministers are among the 88 members who have signed a no confidence motion against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. They are Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena (Cabinet Minister of Parliamentary Affairs), Reginald Cooray (Cabinet Minister of Aviation Services), Piyasena Gamage (Cabinet Minister of Skills Development …

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Maithripala Sirisena with “Simplicity,Humility and Absence of Vanity”is a Super Star Among Our Presidents

By Prof. Carlo Fonseka In Nelson Mandela’s book Conversations with Myself, he says that the foundation of one’s spiritual life should be built on “honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, pure generosity, absence of vanity and readiness to serve others”. Odious and subjective though such comparisons are, humans necessarily make them in real life. If I were …

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Elements of Dictatorial Rule in the Current Presidential Regime of Maithripala Sirisena

By Janaki Chandraratna Congratulations are in order to Prof. G. L. Peiris and a few UPFA Parliamentarians for being diligent in ensuring that the Govt. followed the due process and was compliant with the Supreme Court determination in passing the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Mr. Sirisena was voted in as the President as people …

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Return of Mahinda as Prime Minister is Bad News for Democracy,Sri Lanka and the SLFP

By Ranga Jayasuriya The acolytes of Mahinda Rajapaksa say the ex-President’s opponents are preventing him from running as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), because he can win. Mr. Rajapaksa also repeated those claims at a meeting in Ratgama, saying that the two term limit of the Presidency had been …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa can Be Prime Ministerial Candidate of Bodu Bala Sena Party and Fly Kites at Galle Face

By Dr.Nimalka Fernando No one trusts politicians in Sri Lanka anymore. In addition to a growing budget deficit there is also a growing ‘trust deficit’ between the “politician” and the “citizen” which extends and permeates into every level and relationship in society. Victims of Human Rights violations consider politicians to be responsible for the violence …

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19th Constitutional Amendment is to Sri Lanka What Mother’s Day and Apple Pie is to the USA

by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu The point about the Nineteenth Amendment is that, though most have not read the Amendment Bill that was finally passed by Parliament – and, in the case of the general public, not even seen it – those who support its basic trajectory and even those who are disappointed with it, nevertheless …

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“Maharaja Gemunu”By Jayantha Chandrasiri is a Cinematic Poem with Great Lessons for Contemporary Sri Lanka

By Udaya Gammanpila I cannot recall the event or the year. It was a tele-award ceremony. A television journalist posed a question to senior artiste Tissa Abeysekera. The question was “What will be the future of Sinhala cinema and teledrama industry?” He looked around without answering the question. He dragged Jayantha Chandrasiri who was in …

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Maithripala’s Life Should Revolve Around the UNP which Brought him to Power and not the SLFP or SLFP Dissidents

By C.A.Chandraprema Not since 1992/93 has this country been on a political roller coaster as it is today. We are experiencing game changing events virtually every week. The game changing event of the past week was the pro-Mahinda rally in Kurunegala last Friday. It was held soon after the breakdown in talks between the Sirisena …

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New Nigerian Govt Protests Strongly Over Rajitha Senaratne Saying Arms Sold by Gota’s Avant Garde to Nigeria had Reached Boko Haram Terrorists

The role of spokespeople is to set out the official line of the bodies they represent so people not only in Sri Lanka but also the world over get things right. More so, with those speaking for the Government, it becomes essential. Former Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella often did not get things right. This is …

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When Mahinda Said “Ehenam kathakarala vedak nehe (if so there is no point in talking),”Maithripala replied “Ehenam yanna” (if so leave then)

Significant enough, this week, President Sirisena was preoccupied not only with security issues, but more importantly for a meeting with his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa. Days ahead of the event, it had raised eyebrows in many quarters. Soon after assuming the presidency, Sirisena accepted the leadership of the SLFP from Rajapaksa. He later told party organisers …

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President Sirisena Permanently Disbands the Army Presidential Security Guard Unit Established by Mahinda to Provide Security for his Family

By Zahrah Imtiaz The Army Presidential Security Guard (PSG) Unit established under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was disbanded permanently effective 30 April. Military spokesperson, Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera told Ceylon Today that this particular security unit was totally disbanded because of administrative imperatives.

Maithripala Sirisena Must Reveal Whether he is with the SLFP or the UNP or Neutral or Whether he is Quitting Politics?

by Malinda Seneviratne Sometime late last year Maithripala Sirisena effectively left the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). As predicted, he was installed as the leader of the party he ‘left’ the moment he was elected President. He became the leader of a party whose entire membership almost campaigned against him. It certainly didn’t make for …

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President Maithripala Sirisena Demonstrates that “he is the boss now”at meeting with Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake So soon after the successful adoption of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution last week, which was a major political victory for President Maithripala Sirisena, despite many Opposition efforts to derail the process; it was interesting to see the SLFP leadership hold the cards at this week’s meeting between President Sirisena and …

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55 UPFA Parliamentarians Attend Mammoth “Bring Back Mahinda” Rally at Welagedara Stadioum in Kurunegala.

By Dasun Edirisinghe reporting from Kurunegala Fifty five parliamentarians participated in the ‘Bring Back Mahinda’ rally at the Welagedara stadium in Kurunegala yesterday. It was the fourth rally organised by the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, National Freedom Front, Democratic Left Front and Pivithuru Hela Urumaya demanding former President Mahinda Rajapaksa be named as the UPFA’s Prime …

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Does the 19th Constitutional Amendment Meaningfully Benefit the People?

By Rasika Jayakody Those who make history have a place in it by right. Many dubbed the 19th Amendment as a historic step in the process of democratization and ensuring good government. When the country’s legislature passed the constitutional amendment with an overwhelming majority of 2012 votes, the media said, “Parliament created history.” One might …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa to Seek Legal Advice Regarding Allegedly Slanderous Statements made by Mangala Samaraweera Against Rajapaksa Family.

Denying accusations that he had stashed away funds amounting to USD 18 billion, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that legal advice would be sought as regards the defamatory statement attributed to Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Minister Samaraweera on Thursday claimed that the new government had been working closely with four countries to trace funds …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa in message to Rally Says Support of the People for him is as Solid as the Elephant Rock in Kurunegala.

By Dasun Edirisinghe reporting from Kurunegala Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said, in a statement, that he would be back on the SLFP led UPFA stage soon and the date would be decided by the people. In his message read out at a mammoth rally at the Welagedara grounds, Kurunegala Rajapaksa apologised to the people …

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Ranil Jayawardena of Sri Lanka Origin Elected to UK Parliament from North East Hampshire Constituency with 35,573 Votes

Ranil Jayawardena(29)of Sri Lanka Origin was elected to UK Parliament from the North East Hampshire Constituency at the 2015 UK Elections. Jayawardena polled nearly two thirds of the valid votes in the constituency. He received 35,573 votes, which is 65.9 percent of the total valid votes. His closest rival, Graham Cockarill of the Liberal Democratic …

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“When Mahinda Threatened to Walk out During Talks with Maithripala, the President told the Ex-President to do so if he Wanted

By P.K.Balachandran COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who met here on Wednesday to iron out differences between them, are unlikely to meet again because the differences are too wide to be bridged, an informed source in the Sirisena camp told Express. “At one point, when Rajapaksa threatened to walk …

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President Sirisena May Pay a Heavy Price if he Makes Mahinda Rajapaksa his Prime Ministerial Candidate.

By Dr. Kalana Senaratne As the 100-day programme was coming to an end, President Maithripala Sirisena confronted a significant challenge. It was about showing the people that he still was the executive president. A significant part of this challenge was about getting his pet project, the proposed 19th Amendment which sought to reduce his powers, …

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Four Countries to help Trace 18 Billion Dollars of “Black Money” Allegedly Stashed Overseas by Rajapaksa Family

by Shamindra Ferdinando Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the media yesterday at Sirikotha that the governmnet had been working closely with four foreign governments to trace ill-gotten funds amounting USD 18 billion stashed away overseas by the Rajapaksas. Responding to a query, the Foreign Minister said funds amounting to USD 2 billion allegedly stashed away …

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President Sirisena Tells Ex-President Rajapaksa that Financial Crimes Investigation Division Probing Corruption will not be Dissolved

by Zacki Jabbar Amidst accusations that the Rajapaksas when in power had siphoned off over USD 18 billion in state funds, President Maithripala Sirisena has informed Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa that corruption investigations launched by the Financial Crimes Investigation Divison (FCID) would continue. Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne told a news conference in Colombo …

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Mangala Samaraweera Promises to set up Credible Domestic Investigative Mechanism before September Sessions of UNHRC

by Shamindra Ferdinando Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday blamed the previous government for not having a credible investigative mechanism to disprove unsubstantiated allegation that 40,000 civilian had been killed during the last phase of offensive action on the Vanni east front. Minister Samaraweera was responding to a query by The Island whether the new government …

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Governor Arjuna Mahendran Set the Stage For Central Bank Bond Scam and Engaged in Cover up of Fraud

by Bandula Gunawardena M.P. The Opposition is giving the highest priority to dealing with several aspects of what is undoubtedly the most colossal fraud and cover-up ever perpetrated on our people. We consider it our public duty to take every possible measure to mitigate the continuing and increasing loss to the nation. To recall the …

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President Sirisena Tells Mahinda Rajapaksa that he will not be Nominated as Prime Ministerial Candidate of the SLFP Before Next Elections.

by Rasika Jayakody President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday told former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in no uncertain terms that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) would not nominate a Prime Ministerial candidate before the next Parliamentary election. At the discussion held between the two warring factions within the SLFP, President Sirisena explained the “disadvantages” of naming a …

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Five Issues Discussed Without any Decisions at First Round of Talks Between President Maithripala Sirisena and Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa

by Dasun Edirisinghe A crucial discussion between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and incumbent Mathripala Sirisena yesterday on five issues including fielding former as the SLFP Prime Ministerial candidate at the forthcoming general election ended with both sides agreeing to refer them to the SLFP Central Committee for approval. The discussion held at the President’s office …

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Indian Actor Salman Khan Given Five Years Imprisonment for Drunken driving and Killing one and Injuring Four Persons 13 Years ago

BY S VENKAT NARAYAN NEW DELHI, May 6: A court in Mumbai on Wednesday sentenced Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to five years in prison for drunken driving and killing a man in a hit-and-run accident 13 years ago. Four other men sleeping on the pavement that fateful night were also injured. The actor’s lawyers successfully …

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Same Group Denying Tamils the Right to sing National Anthem in Tamil are Removing Stripes Denoting Minorities from our National Flag.

by Dr. Sarath Gamini De Silva. We are indeed going through very disturbing times. To witness the day to day happenings in the country is to watch how we as a nation are committing hara-kiri. Two weeks ago some politicians were shouting themselves hoarse against the Tamils singing the National Anthem in their mother tongue. …

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If there is a US Backed International War Crimes Investigation Sri Lanka will have new Govt with Wimal Weerawansa as Prime Minister

By Ranga Jayasuriya Now that Secretary of State John Kerry having visited Sri Lanka, the new government says it has brought the country back to the ‘center stage’ of the international community. That may sound a bit slavish statement to make, at least, in the eyes of the antiquated leftists (like Vasudeva) and hoi polloi …

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Did John Kerry Advise Colombo to Have elections Before September to Stall Presentation of UN Probe Report in that Month?

By Upul Joseph Fernando United States Secretary of State John Kerry delivering an address at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute during his brief visit to Colombo last Saturday revealed that the Sri Lankan Government would conduct a general election during summer. Kerry’s cat jumped out of the bag during that address. America calls for an early …

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Both Factions of SLFP Under Maithripala and Mahinda Want Elections After UN Probe report is Released in September

By Rasika Jayakody On May 01, 1977, the late J.R. Jayawardene led the biggest May Day rally in the history of the United National Party. JR’s mammoth May Day rally, which was attended by hundreds of thousands of party supporters, was a prelude to the General election which secured an overwhelming Parliamentary majority for the …

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John Kerry Relates the Tale of A Tamil Hindu Woman – Karthika – as an Inspirational Story

(REMARKS made by US Secretary of State John Kerry “On Strengthening the U.S.–Sri Lanka Partnership for Human Rights and Lasting Peace” at Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka on May 2nd 2015) SECRETARY KERRY: Mangala, thank you very, very much. Thank you for a wonderful introduction, notwithstanding that you reminded me that I disappointed you …

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“Uttama Villain” is worth Watching Due to Kamal Haasan’s Brilliant Acting and Ghibran’s Stunning Music.

By S.Saraswathi There is nothing like nearing the end of your life and knowing that death is coming, to bring you crashing down to earth. It helps put everything in perspective. Kamal Haasan’s much-awaited Uttama Villain attempts to bring home this truth. Manoranjan (Kamal Haasan) is a huge film star totally drunk on his success. …

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Backlash in Nepal Against Indian Media Personnel Over their Conduct and Coverage of Earthquake Disaster.

by Jayant Sriram The first signs of a backlash in Nepal against the Indian media, manifested in the furiously trending hashtag #GoHomeIndianMedia, were evident from early last week. As Kathmandu city began to return to normal and internet connections were restored, several locals began talking about a video that was up on YouTube about the …

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Sri Lankan Visit by John Kerry shows President Sirisena has “many new friends” in Washington.

by Taylor Dibbert U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently visited Sri Lanka. He was accompanied by Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. Kerry and company were welcomed with open arms by the Sirisena administration and this high-level visit is the latest (and most prominent) reminder that Sri Lanka’s …

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Israel Emulates Sri Lanka in Trying to Re-visit International Law in a Bid to Whitewsh War Crimes

By Ben White In 2011, and in response to accusations of war crimes during the final months of conflict with the Tamil Tigers two years previously, the Sri Lankan government convened a conference where then-Minister of External Affairs G. L. Peiris declared that “the entire body of international law must be revisited.” Human Rights Watch …

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President Sirisena Tables Cabinet Memorandum for 20th Constitutional Amendment Proposing a Mixed Electoral System of FPP and PR.

With matters relating to 19A over, at Wednesday’s ministerial meeting, President Sirisena said he was tabling a Cabinet Memorandum titled “Proposed Constitutional Amendment for Electoral Reforms through the introduction of a mixed Electoral system consisting of first past-the-post system and the proportional representation system.” He told his ministers that it was only a basis for …

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Sri Lanka’s first Open Air National Zoological Gardens at Pinnawela – A Dream Come True.

By Risidra Mendis The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle had for many years been an often visited place for both locals and foreigners alike to watch elephants, as they walk one behind the other heading to the river to bathe. The latest attraction for the people of Kegalle and the adjoining areas was the much …

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Physical Attack on Dr.Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri and Dr.Kumudi Kusum Kumara at Pro-Mahinda May day Rally in Kirillapone Condemned by Free Media Movement.

(Text of a Press Release Issued by the Free Media Movement of Sri Lanka ) The Free Media Movement strongly condemns the physical attack unleashed on Dr.Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri and Dr.Kumudu Kusum Kumara at the May Day rally organised by the pro- Rajapaksa political parties and groups at the Kirullapona Lalith Athulathmudali ground, Colombo. The …

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Satyajit Ray’s Genius lay in Portraying Subtleties and Daily Truths as Art.

by Maitreyee B Chowdhury (India’s greatest filmmaker Satyajit Ray was born on May 2nd 1921. This article appearing in “Swarajya” is posted here today to denote Ray’s 94th Birth anniversary. The writer Maitreyee B Chowdhury is a poet and writer based in Bangalore) It was by complete coincidence that I was in Kolkata in the …

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POST 19 th AMENDMENT POLITICAL SCENARIO: PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS AND AFTER

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA There was a struggle against the model of 19A first presented by Ranil Wickremesinghe, but there was no struggle against 19A as such—by which I mean the idea that the executive presidency required downward readjustment. The UNP-CBK-TNA-JVP Quartet had envisaged decapitation of the Executive presidency while the masses, the SLFP-UPFA and …

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Decision by President and Premier to Achieve consensus with SLFP was Political Masterstroke

By Dharisha Bastians In the heady days before a presidential election was declared on 22 November 2014, a UNP delegation comprising key party strategists held a secret meeting with the man who was being proposed for common candidate of a grand opposition coalition gearing up for battle against the mighty Rajapaksa regime. The civil society …

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Political Environment with Freedom Established in Sri Lanka to Celebrate International Workers Day

By Ranil Wickremesinghe Today, we celebrate International Workers’ Day. The day of the courageous people who ensure the existence of the world through their labour. A political environment where we have freedom has been established at the end of a massive social struggle against a dictator who curbed the rights of the workers. It is …

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Vasudeva and Weerawansa Want Bribery Commission to Probe Chandrika Kumaratunga’s John Keels Holdings Land Deal

By Chamodi Gunawardana Democratic Left Front (DLF) General Secretary Vasudeva Nanayakkara and National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday filed a complaint at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption over a case against former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga which has been lying idle at the commission for years pending investigation. The …

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What Happened in 1987 when the JR Jayawardena Govt Banned May Day Rallies Due to the April 21st Pettah Bomb Explosion

By Dharman Wickremaratne The place was SLFP Headquarters, Colombo. The date was April 21, 1987. The time was around 5.30 p.m. I had come to SLFP Headquarters to do a report on the coming May Day. SLFP Trade Union Leader Alavi Moulana was standing in front of me. SLFP Administrative Secretary Anuruddha Ratwatte too was …

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TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran Sees at First hand the Pathetic Plight of Recently Re-settled Families in Valikamam north.

(Text of a Press release Issued by the Media office of Tamil National Alliance) TNA MP M.A Sumanthiran visited families in the recently cleared areas in Valikamam North which is in the periphery of the high security zone. Families who fled this area 20 years ago return to find that they are in the middle …

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Desperate Last Minute Bid by Pro-Mahinda MP Group to Sabotage Passage of 19 Amendment Bill Thwarted by President Sirisena

by Shamindra Ferdinando The government yesterday accused an influential section of the UPFA parliamentary group of having made a desperate bid to sabotage the 19 Amendment to the Constitution. President Maithripala Sirisena, however, in his capacity as the leader of the SLFP had succeeded in thwarting dissidents, government spokesperson and Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne …

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President Sirisena says Adoption of 19th Amendment Victory is a Result of a 37 Year long Struggle by all Sri Lankans.

The adoption of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution with a two-thirds majority was a historic victory for Sri Lankan society, President Maithripala Sirisena said. He added that the victory was the result of a 37-year-long struggle by all Sri Lankans. The President thanked all stakeholders who contributed to this effort, including the Maha Sangha, …

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Present Parliament has no Legitimacy and must be Dissolved Immediately says UNP Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne

UNP MP and Investment Promotions and Highways Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said yesterday that factions of the UPFA went against the wishes of the people by diluting one of the most important features that would have made the 19th amendment more meaningful for the people. He said the UNP and Maithripala Sirisena campaigned to abolish …

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Though 19th Amendment is Passed the UPFA says Struggle is not over Until 20th Constitutional Amendment is also Passed

By Jayashika Padmasiri The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) yesterday announced that though the 19th Amendment was enacted, its struggle was not over yet as the 20th Amendment still remained to be implemented while also claiming that through the 19A the UPFA was able to prove that the party was united and not divided. Opposition …

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19th Constitutional Amendment Ends Possibility of Mahinda Rajapaksa Returning to Power as Executive President.

By P.K.Balachandran COLOMBO: Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, trying hard to come back, suffered a major setback on Tuesday when Parliament passed the 19th Constitutional Amendment (19A), which prevents him from standing for the Presidency again. “No person who has been twice elected to the office of President by the People, shall be qualified …

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President Sirisena has Defeated Former Presidents JR Jayewardena and Mahinda Rajapaksa says Rajitha Senaratne

By Chamodi Gunawardana Cabinet spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne yesterday said that former presidents J.R Jayewardene and Mahinda Rajapaksa were both defeated on Tuesday as a result of the 19th Amendment being enacted. Addressing a media briefing, Senaratne said that President Maithripala Sirisena fulfilled the promise he made to the public by trimming the …

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Ex-President Mahinda Meets Parliamentary Waterloo as President Sirisena Wins Over Votes of MP’s.

By Rasika Jayakody Five members representing the country’s legislature today – namely Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ministers Joseph Michael Perera, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, MP P. Dayarathne and TNA Leader R. Sampanthan – were present in the House when the late J. R. Jayewardene introduced Executive Presidency to Sri Lanka in 1978. Of the five Parliamentarians …

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Marginal Shift of Power to Prime Minister Via 19th Amendment can Benefit Mahinda Rajapaksa if he Becomes PM

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA There were four main winners in the battle over 19A. Of them, the second biggest winner was President Sirisena who was able to retain much of his power while balancing adroitly between the two contending components of his power base: his ally the UNP and his party the SLFP. The biggest …

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How the Pro-Mahinda Faction of UPFA Tried to Scuttle the 19th Constitutional Amendment in Parliament

By Dharisha Bastians After the second reading of the 19th Amendment was passed with an overwhelming majority in the House at about 7.00 p.m., Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa convened the Committee Stage of the bill, during which amendments were to be moved before a final vote. The pro-Mahinda faction of the UPFA attempted to scuttle this …

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Rajapaksas Feeling Foolish After Working According to the Agenda of US Secretary of State John Kerry.

By Upul Joseph Fernando After voting concluded on 8 January at the presidential election, the same night American Secretary of State, John Kerry, telephoned President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Kerry inquired from Mahinda whether the latter was prepared for a smooth transfer of power if he was defeated. Mahinda replied that the election process was continuing and …

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Maithripala Sirisena Changes the JR Jayewardena Constitution and Mahinda Rajapaksa Amendment

By Gagani Weerakoon and Skandha Gunasekara The final vote taken on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution Bill was passed with a majority of 211 votes in Parliament yesterday. The Bill received 212 votes in favour as the UPFA, DNA and TNA voted with the government. Digamadulla UPFA MP Sarath Weerasekera voted against, while Galle …

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19th Constitutional Amendment Passed with 212 MP’s Supporting,One Opposing, One Abstaining and Ten Absent

By Dharisha Bastians Parliament last night passed the historic 19th Amendment to the Constitution with an overwhelming majority in a marathon session, though the triumph was marred slightly for President Maithripala Sirisena’s minority Government when it was forced to compromise on the composition of the Constitutional Council to get the legislation through the House. The …

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19th Constitutional Amendment Passed with an Overwhelming Bi-partisan Majority with One Voting Against and One Abstaining

Constitutional History was made in Sri Lanka when Parliament passed the 19th Constitutional Amendment with an overwhelming bi-partisan majority. All political parties represented in the legislature cut across party lines to support the bill which reduces to some extent the powers of the executive president and restores greater democracy. After two-days of debate the 225-member …

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President Sirisena was Elected to deal With Matters of the State and not SLFP Matters

By Nimalka Fernando Today I am giving expression to the deep frustration within me as I read the so-called amendments to be introduced at the Committee stage coined by craftsmen to make crafty moves to further confuse the proceedings. These amendments are going to be introduced by some senior citizen’s of the political world who …

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“Obstructing” SLFP Wants Powers of PM and Constitutional Council to be Diluted Further in 19th Amendment

By Dharisha Bastians An eleventh-hour bid to get consensus on the 19th Amendment ended in deadlock last night, with the SLFP demanding changes to two major provisions of the draft legislation that Presidential advocates say would completely negate the purpose of the reforms – to curb the powers of the presidency and depoliticise key State …

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President Sirisena has Wasted 100 Days in Office Trying to Win Over the SLFP –The Economist

THE date should have been one to celebrate: April 23rd was the hundredth day since Maithripala Sirisena formed a government after winning a fraught presidential election, in January, as the head of a broad coalition of parties. The surprising victory was rightly feted as a democratic triumph. It ended nearly ten years of authoritarian, nepotistic …

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Sri Lankan Navy Seized only 185 out of 36,865 Indian Fishing Boats in Sri Lankan Waters for One year Reveals Indian Coast Guard

By Mohamed Imranullah S. Coast Guard on Monday informed the Madras High Court Bench here that 36,865 Indian fishing boats reportedly crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the Palk Bay region and indulged in poaching as well as smuggling activities in the Sri Lankan waters between January 2014 and February this year. Filing …

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Prime Minister Ranil Tells Parliament that Nine Clauses of 19th Amendment Draft will be Removed as they Negatively Impact Media Freedom

By Saman Indrajith Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament yesterday that the government would withdraw nine clauses of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution as they were thought to have a negative impact on the freedom of the press. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that the proprietors of media establishments had met him, the President, Justice …

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Civil Society Organizations want all 225 MP’s to Vote in favour of 19th Constitutional Amendment

By Jayashika Padmasiri Civil society organisations yesterday called on the 225 Parliamentarians to vote in favour of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, claiming if they fail to vote in favour the people of Sri Lanka will not accept them. National Movement for Social Justice Chairman Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero during a protest march held …

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Respect the People’s Mandate: Adopt the 19th Amendment -Friday Forum

By Prof. Savitri Goonesekere & Bishop Duleep de Chickera The 1978 Constitution of our country has a passage in its Preamble which refers to the obligations of parliamentarians elected by the People. It says that “WE THE FREELY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA, in pursuance of the mandate, humbly acknowledging our obligations …

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President Sirisena Asks All MP’s to Support 19th Amendment While Moving the Second Reading of bill in Parliament

By Ashwin Hemmathagama President Maithripala Sirisena making a historical speech yesterday in Parliament urged all Parliamentarians to support the 19th Amendment, describing it as a decision for the betterment of the future generations. Moving the second reading of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, President Sirisena explained to lawmakers the importance of the historical moment. …

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The Untold Story of Basil Rajapaksa’s Arrest, Remand and Transfer to Hospital

By Dharman Wickremaratne The Police Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) on March 25 informed the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court that it wanted to record a statement from former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa on the Divi Neguma Department’s financial dealings. Accordingly, Kaduwela Additional District Judge Dhammika Hemapala gave permission to obtain a statement from the former …

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“No Leader has Worked Hard as I am Doing to Abolish my own Powers”-President Sirisena Tells Parliament

By Saman Indrajith No other head of state in the world had been flexible and willing to give away executive powers the way he did, President Maithripala Sirisena told Parliament yesterday. Opening the debate on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the President urged all 225 legislators to seize the historic opportunity and vote for …

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