President Gotabaya Rajapaksa must scorn crawlingly subservient Sycophantic creatures lest he fall into the very same trap that his brother, ex- President Mahinda Rajapaksa was caught in.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene As Sri Lanka hurtles down the precipice of covid-19 contagion coupled with unprecedented economic devastation, bitter and biting anger at our plight can scarcely be contained. ‘Organised propaganda’vs public opinion State health agencies tasked with handling the pandemic stamme and stutter while a militarised command continues to elbow out a professionally …

Continue reading ‘President Gotabaya Rajapaksa must scorn crawlingly subservient Sycophantic creatures lest he fall into the very same trap that his brother, ex- President Mahinda Rajapaksa was caught in.’ »

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi sacks Sri Lanka Medical Council President Prof, Harendra de Silva and four others while Monthly SLMC Meeting was in Progress;medical community divided over dramatic move

By Kumudini Hettiarachchi The head and four others of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) were sacked on Friday afternoon by Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi with the removal letters being delivered halfway through the SLMC’s monthly meeting which had started at 1 p.m. The dramatic removal of SLMC President Prof. Harendra de Silva and others …

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Low key ceremonies held in homes to remember LTTE cadres killed in the war as Court Rulings in North and East Forbid Public Commeoration of “Maaveerar Naal” (Great Heroes Day)

By Ranjith Padmasiri and S. Rubatheesan In the North and East, courts have issued orders preventing any form of commemorative events to mark the ‘Maveerar Naal’ or Great Heroes’ Day, a day declared by Liberation of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to remember its cadres who died in the near-three-decade separatist war. On Thursday, the Jaffna Magistrate’s …

Continue reading ‘Low key ceremonies held in homes to remember LTTE cadres killed in the war as Court Rulings in North and East Forbid Public Commeoration of “Maaveerar Naal” (Great Heroes Day)’ »

Exposing Myths and Fallacies About the Importance and Value of the Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka.

By Dr.Asanga Welikala With the enactment of the 20th Amendment, Sri Lanka embarks yet again down the fraught path of authoritarian presidentialism. Whether this latest adventure ends in a democratic nightmare, or is as fleeting as its two predecessors, the 18th and 19th Amendments, remains to be seen. The legitimacy of both these previous constitutional …

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Badly Fractured Tamil political Parties May be Spurred to Unity by new Rajapaksa Govt’s Chauvinist Discriminatory Policies – The Economist

Hanging above the desk of Emmanuel Arnold, the mayor of Jaffna, are images of three Hindu deities, as well as the Buddha, Jesus and the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina. He has to respect all the religions of his city, he explains. Most Sinhalese, the country’s biggest ethnic group, are Buddhist; Tamils, who predominate …

Continue reading ‘Badly Fractured Tamil political Parties May be Spurred to Unity by new Rajapaksa Govt’s Chauvinist Discriminatory Policies – The Economist’ »

Sri Lankan Courts ban events forCommemorative LTTE cadre on ‘ Heroes Day’

By Meera Srinivasan Many Tamil families living in Sri Lanka’s north and east on Friday marked ‘Heroes Day’ — an annual commemoration of LTTE cadre who died in the civil war —by lighting lamps in the quiet confines of their homes, after the government obtained a court order banning the remembrance. Petitioning different courts in …

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“Mr. Foreign Minister, would you have the courage to write a letter to India like you did to the UN Human Rights Council and withdraw from the Indo- Lanka Accord? -MA Sumanthiran MP

(Text of Jaffna District TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran’s Speech in Parliament on the 25th of November 2020 during the budget vote for the Foreign Affairs Ministry.) Honourable Presiding Member, I am happy to follow the Minister himself as we discuss the votes on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Minister is an experienced parliamentarian and …

Continue reading ‘“Mr. Foreign Minister, would you have the courage to write a letter to India like you did to the UN Human Rights Council and withdraw from the Indo- Lanka Accord? -MA Sumanthiran MP’ »

If Ranil Wickremesinghe had contested the 2015 Presidential Election; he would probably have won it in a close contest; Instead Ranil became an inescapable prisoner of the Yahapalana trap

By Victor Ivan The process of the old stock of political leaders and their parties losing the recognition they have enjoyed so far can be described as an integral part of the historical process of ending the old era of the political history of Sri Lanka. The loss of recognition enjoyed by Ranil Wickremesinghe, the …

Continue reading ‘If Ranil Wickremesinghe had contested the 2015 Presidential Election; he would probably have won it in a close contest; Instead Ranil became an inescapable prisoner of the Yahapalana trap’ »

Closure of Cinema Halls in Country Until Dec 31st Hits Cinema Industry Hard.Importers in Quandary about Procuring New Films from Hollywood, Bollywood and Kollywood.

By Charumini de Silva Cinema owners yesterday described 2020 as the worst year while lamenting that they were still in the dark over reopening, as delay was piling up financial losses. On 15 October, the Government announced that all cinemas would be closed till 31 October, as a measure to deal with the COVID-19 second …

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Representatives of UPFA,UNO, Muslim Congress, Democratic Party and National Front for Good Governance signed agreements with Easter Bomber Zahran Hashim in Kattankudi in exchange for National Thowheed Jamath support at the 2015 Parliamentary Elections

By Rathindra Kuruwita National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ) and its leader Zahran Hashim supported Former President Maithripala Sirisena and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) at the 2015 elections, former Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M Hizbullah, on Tuesday night, told the PCoI probing the Easter Sunday attacks. Hizbullah was giving evidence before the PCoI for the second …

Continue reading ‘Representatives of UPFA,UNO, Muslim Congress, Democratic Party and National Front for Good Governance signed agreements with Easter Bomber Zahran Hashim in Kattankudi in exchange for National Thowheed Jamath support at the 2015 Parliamentary Elections’ »

Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi will be in Colombo on Nov 27 for trilateral discussions among India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives;Sri Lankan side will be represented at the highest levels by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa,

By Meera Srinivasan National Security Adviser will hold talks with Sri Lanka and Maldives National Security Adviser Ajit Doval will be in Colombo on Friday for trilateral discussions among India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi will also travel to Colombo, while the Sri Lankan side will be represented at …

Continue reading ‘Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi will be in Colombo on Nov 27 for trilateral discussions among India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives;Sri Lankan side will be represented at the highest levels by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa,’ »

Rishad Bathiudeen Released on Cash Bail of Rs 100,000 and Surety bail of Rs Two Million by Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage to Prevent Risk of Ex-Cabinet Minister Contracting COVID -19 in Jail; Travel Ban also Imposed on ACMC party Leader

Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was released on bail by the Fort Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage released Bathiudeen on cash bail of Rs. 100,000 with two sureties of one million rupees each. The Magistrate also imposed a travel ban on Bathiudeen and said that the guarantors should be his close relatives. The Magistrate …

Continue reading ‘Rishad Bathiudeen Released on Cash Bail of Rs 100,000 and Surety bail of Rs Two Million by Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage to Prevent Risk of Ex-Cabinet Minister Contracting COVID -19 in Jail; Travel Ban also Imposed on ACMC party Leader’ »

There is a section of Sangha with racist leanings, who think, it’s they who put Rajapaksas on the pedestal, hence they only should call the tune. Will the president have the courage to discipline Buddhist monks?

By K.K.S.Perera An article published in a popular Sinhala daily by a prominent political monk prompted me to respond. Verse 9 in the Yamakavagga of Dhammapada, Anikkasàvayo vattha paridahessati…., The pure are worthy of the yellow robe but not the impure. Whoever, unstainless, without self-control and truthfulness, should don the yellow robe, is not worthy …

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If Sri Lanka persists in resisting accountability over War Crimes Allegations, it is likely that in the present rights milieu, we will ultimately be cornered and forced into trials by the world

By Prof. S.Ratnajeevan H. Hoole Australians and the world had much to celebrate. More than 26,000 Australian uniformed personnel were sent to Afghanistan to fight alongside US and allied forces against the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups. Australian troops inducted into the Afghan War as allies of the US after the 9/11 attack in …

Continue reading ‘If Sri Lanka persists in resisting accountability over War Crimes Allegations, it is likely that in the present rights milieu, we will ultimately be cornered and forced into trials by the world’ »

Seven months have passed since the arrest and detention of human rights lawyer, Hejaaz Hizbullah; time for the Sri Lankan Bar to reevaluate its position and take a stronger stand against this grave injustice.

By Gehan Gunatilleke When he was taken into custody on 14 April, his friends and family, and some within his fraternity, decried the obvious injustice. They were quickly told to quieten down and ‘let the justice system do its work’. They were told not to interfere with the investigation. They were told to be patient, …

Continue reading ‘Seven months have passed since the arrest and detention of human rights lawyer, Hejaaz Hizbullah; time for the Sri Lankan Bar to reevaluate its position and take a stronger stand against this grave injustice.’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will Take Charge as Minister of Defence and Newly Created Technology Ministry; Sarath weerasekera to be Elevated as Cabinet Minister of Public Security.

By Chandani Kirinde President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is to take over as the Minister of Defence and a newly created Ministry of Technology shortly. A new subjects and functions Gazette was issued by the President, bringing several institutions under these ministries while a new Ministry of Public Security too, has been created. State Minister of Provincial …

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Govt Intends Regulating Media Websites Through a New Mechanism in Two weeks says Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella; Press Council act to be Amended also

The Government said on Saturday a mechanism for the regulation of websites is to be implemented within the next two weeks. The upcoming move was made public by Keheliya Rambukwella during the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Mass Media. He also said the Press Council Act should be amended in a way that would protect the …

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Jaffna Police HQI Prasath Fernando Says in Court that” Govt made it possible for those who ate Pittu and Vadai those days to eat Pizza now”: MA Sumanthiran PC Responds Angrily that Officer was was disrespecting the people of Jaffna as a whole under the ICCPR Signed by Sri Lanka.

The Jaffna Magistrate Court was tense on Friday when Jaffna’s Headquarters Inspector explained to the court why the Police were seeking an order to ban commemorative events to remember the ‘war’ dead. During his submission, Inspector Prasath Fernando said that “we (government) made it possible for those who ate pittu and vadai those days to …

Continue reading ‘Jaffna Police HQI Prasath Fernando Says in Court that” Govt made it possible for those who ate Pittu and Vadai those days to eat Pizza now”: MA Sumanthiran PC Responds Angrily that Officer was was disrespecting the people of Jaffna as a whole under the ICCPR Signed by Sri Lanka.’ »

Overturning of High Court Convictions of Weeratunge and Papita by Appeal Court in “Sil Redi”Case:Multi-million Rupee Question is Whether the colossal sum of Rs 600,000,000 or even a part thereof has been reimbursed to the public fund of TRCSL?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Out of the welter of distasteful controversy surrounding the transfer of a colossal sum of Rs. 600,000,000/= from the public fund of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), to the account of the Secretary to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to distribute ‘sil redi’ or white cloth to Buddhist devotees …

Continue reading ‘Overturning of High Court Convictions of Weeratunge and Papita by Appeal Court in “Sil Redi”Case:Multi-million Rupee Question is Whether the colossal sum of Rs 600,000,000 or even a part thereof has been reimbursed to the public fund of TRCSL?’ »

Will Mahinda Rajapaksa present the 80th Budget too or will his brother Basil Rajapaksa move in from the 76th or 77th?Keep Guessing!

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake From cremation calls, to a huge ban on imports, we are moving to the Rajavasala Vimukthiya. Those who still use the Vimukthi line in politics had better be on the watch. Amidst all the burdens of the Covid-19 pandemic that has now taken hold in Sri Lanka, there is a raging debate …

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State violence against persons thought to be a threat to the State, such as dissenters, human rights defenders, journalists and those arrested for drug offences, has been the permanent normal in Sri Lanka for decades.

By Ambika Satkunanathan ‘…on the 18th of September (2010) the deceased was taken out of the police station at night to recover a weapon hidden in the deceased’s plantain grove…on the way the deceased had struggled with (the police officer) to snatch his rifle and he was killed as a result of a single shot …

Continue reading ‘State violence against persons thought to be a threat to the State, such as dissenters, human rights defenders, journalists and those arrested for drug offences, has been the permanent normal in Sri Lanka for decades.’ »

On the first anniversary of the Gotabaya Presidency, my diagnosis is – the Govt is heading rapidly in the wrong direction, which will prove unsustainable, result in unfavourable polarisation, and crash and burn unless there’s a drastic course-correction

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka “When I am president…human rights will be at the core of US foreign policy” – Joe Biden, The New York Times In its first year the Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency has made avoidable strategic blunders, tracing a trajectory which when extrapolated, indicate that it will wind up a one-term wonder, like the otherwise …

Continue reading ‘On the first anniversary of the Gotabaya Presidency, my diagnosis is – the Govt is heading rapidly in the wrong direction, which will prove unsustainable, result in unfavourable polarisation, and crash and burn unless there’s a drastic course-correction’ »

“A year ago, more than 6.9 million voters in this country elected me as your new President. It is no secret that the majority who voted for me then were Sinhalese. They rallied because they had legitimate fears that the Sinhala race, our religion, national resources and the heritage would be threatened with destruction” – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

(Following is the full text of the address to the “Sinhala” nation by Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa broadcast over all television and radio channels on November 18th 2020) Ayubowan. A year ago, more than 6.9 million voters in this country elected me as your new President. It is no secret that the majority who …

Continue reading ‘“A year ago, more than 6.9 million voters in this country elected me as your new President. It is no secret that the majority who voted for me then were Sinhalese. They rallied because they had legitimate fears that the Sinhala race, our religion, national resources and the heritage would be threatened with destruction” – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’ »

Defeat of Trump and Victory of Biden Shows that the Sun is Setting on the Age of the Strong Man and the Age of the Strong Leader is Dawning

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray When Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban said in September that rooting for the re-election of Donald Trump was his “Plan A”, he was probably echoing the sentiments of most of the world’s populist, autocratic leaders. They hoped for four more years of Donald Trump because he made the world a safer place …

Continue reading ‘Defeat of Trump and Victory of Biden Shows that the Sun is Setting on the Age of the Strong Man and the Age of the Strong Leader is Dawning’ »

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa presents “development Budget” for 2021 to Parliament aimed at steering Sri Lanka to 5.5% growth in 2021:estimated Revenue for 2021 is Rs. 1,961 billion while the total expenditure is Rs. 3,525 billion with Rs. 1,564 billion difference between revenue and expenditure.

By Chandani Kirinde *Aims at 5.5% growth in 2021 amidst COVID-19 impact *Increase Govt. revenue from 9.7% to 14.1% *Budget deficit 8.9%, up from 7.9% for 2020 *VAT unchanged at 8% for biz with turnover of Rs. 25 m or above *Personal Income Tax to apply on earnings only if it exceeds Rs. 250,000 per …

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa presents “development Budget” for 2021 to Parliament aimed at steering Sri Lanka to 5.5% growth in 2021:estimated Revenue for 2021 is Rs. 1,961 billion while the total expenditure is Rs. 3,525 billion with Rs. 1,564 billion difference between revenue and expenditure.’ »

Sri Lanka’s compulsory cremation of Covid-19 related dead bodies is not a case of extra-caution or science. It is proof of scientific ignorance, callousness and an overwhelming lack of enlightenment.

By Ranga Jayasuriya When your country is doing something totally different from what the rest of the world does, literally in exact opposition to the common sense practised and adopted by 194 countries in the world, things aren’t just right. That is what the government should reckon of its flawed policy of compulsory cremation of …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s compulsory cremation of Covid-19 related dead bodies is not a case of extra-caution or science. It is proof of scientific ignorance, callousness and an overwhelming lack of enlightenment.’ »

Court of Appeal rules that deforestation of the Wilpattu National Park Forest for the re-settlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had been made contrary to law and orders former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen to bear the full cost of the tree planting programme in these areas based on the ‘Polluter Pays’ principle.

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda The Court of Appeal yesterday ruled that deforestation of the northern sanctuary of the Wilpattu National Park Forest for the re-settlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had been made contrary to law and ordered former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen to bear the full the cost of the tree planting programme in these areas …

Continue reading ‘Court of Appeal rules that deforestation of the Wilpattu National Park Forest for the re-settlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had been made contrary to law and orders former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen to bear the full cost of the tree planting programme in these areas based on the ‘Polluter Pays’ principle.’ »

Kenya Owing $ 6.5 Billion to China Gets Caught in Chinese Debt Trap:Caught in Chinese Debt Trap; May Have to Cede Control of Mombasa Port and Inland Container Depot Pledged as Collateral to Beijing if Nairobi is Unable to Repay Loan

By S Venkat Narayan Kenya is one of China’s largest trade partners in Africa. It owes $6.5 billion to China, which is 22 percent of its total external debt. China’s interest payments represent 87 per cent of the cash used to service debt expenditure in 2019. Kenya is yet to work out an arrangement with …

Continue reading ‘Kenya Owing $ 6.5 Billion to China Gets Caught in Chinese Debt Trap:Caught in Chinese Debt Trap; May Have to Cede Control of Mombasa Port and Inland Container Depot Pledged as Collateral to Beijing if Nairobi is Unable to Repay Loan’ »

The militarised approach to handling the global pandemic has now run into serious roadblocks. It is the Govt alone which must take the responsibility for an ill-thought out militarisation of the public health response.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene The fearsome sight of armed motorcycle riders, clad in black, complete with sunglasses and masks completely obscuring their faces conducting covid-19 temperature checks on the public in Colombo and then roaring away in a concerted cloud of darkness as it were, raises an unfortunate analogy to mind. Symbolism is important in …

Continue reading ‘The militarised approach to handling the global pandemic has now run into serious roadblocks. It is the Govt alone which must take the responsibility for an ill-thought out militarisation of the public health response.’ »

Govt handing over management of “Other State Forests (OSF)” to Divisional/Districts Secretaries would be disastrous for forest cover and biodiversity in the country while paving the way for private parties and friends of politicians to grab land.

By Kshama Ranawana Environmentalists, Conservationists and the political opposition are strenuously objecting to the decision by the government to hand over the management of “Other State Forests (OSF)” to Divisional/Districts Secretaries alleging the move would be disastrous for the forest cover and biodiversity in the country. It was in July this year that the Cabinet …

Continue reading ‘Govt handing over management of “Other State Forests (OSF)” to Divisional/Districts Secretaries would be disastrous for forest cover and biodiversity in the country while paving the way for private parties and friends of politicians to grab land.’ »

Gotabaya came to power without a proper understanding of the crisis the country was facing and an appropriate package of reforms to resolve it, but has the conviction that all issues could be resolved by creating an atmosphere of dictatorship

By Victor Ivan This is not an issue which has received adequate attention. Yet, I am of the view that one era of the history of Sri Lanka which commenced since independence in 1948 has come to an end in 2020. It simply means that the State and its associated socio-political system that was bequeathed …

Continue reading ‘Gotabaya came to power without a proper understanding of the crisis the country was facing and an appropriate package of reforms to resolve it, but has the conviction that all issues could be resolved by creating an atmosphere of dictatorship’ »

The 20th Constitutional Amendment and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential Commission of Enquiry Together put Sri Lanka on a Dangerous Path of Authoritarian and Family Rule.

By Alan Keenan and K. Mudiyanse Sri Lanka, long-plagued by political violence and near-complete impunity for crimes by the state and pro-state forces, now faces a new assault on justice and the rule of law. There is a systematic attempt to rewrite the history to make politically-connected criminal suspects into victims, and investigators and legal …

Continue reading ‘The 20th Constitutional Amendment and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential Commission of Enquiry Together put Sri Lanka on a Dangerous Path of Authoritarian and Family Rule.’ »

“There is no legal basis for the Army Commander’s recent announcement prohibiting travel out of the Western Province until November 15 and for Imposing the so called ‘quarantine curfew”states TNA Jaffna District MP Sumanthiran in Parliament

(Summary of Speech Made by Tamil National Alliance Jaffna District Parliamentarian Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran in Parliament on 12.11.2020) “Rule of law, it has been said is the bedrock of democracy. Even rule by law is undesirable. But what we have now is far worse: it is rule by executive diktats! That is what we have …

Continue reading ‘“There is no legal basis for the Army Commander’s recent announcement prohibiting travel out of the Western Province until November 15 and for Imposing the so called ‘quarantine curfew”states TNA Jaffna District MP Sumanthiran in Parliament’ »

Psychologically powered by Trump’s 2016 Victory ,the Gotabaya regime came into being as the last victory of global Alt-Right ultranationalism, the parabola of which has begun its descent with Trump’s defeat.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” – John (1:5) Let us remember George Floyd. Now the American people can begin to breathe. So can humanity. When Obama won, I wrote a piece from Geneva entitled ‘Barack Obama: History’s High Note’ (https://groundviews.org/2008/11/06/barack-obama-historys-high-note/) Maybe I should call …

Continue reading ‘Psychologically powered by Trump’s 2016 Victory ,the Gotabaya regime came into being as the last victory of global Alt-Right ultranationalism, the parabola of which has begun its descent with Trump’s defeat.’ »

Amidst a Raging Pandemic the Gotabaya-Mahinda Regime Reduces Allocations to Crucially Important Health Sector by Rs 29 Billion; Imagine the level of ignorance, the depth of self-delusion, the degree of myopia required for such a decision?

By Tisaranee Gunasekara We are closed in, and the key is turned On our uncertainty…” – Yeats (The Stare’s Nest by my Window) What kind of government reduces expenditure on health in the midst of a global pandemic? In the first week of October, the Lankan Cabinet approved the Appropriations Bill for 2021. Of a …

Continue reading ‘Amidst a Raging Pandemic the Gotabaya-Mahinda Regime Reduces Allocations to Crucially Important Health Sector by Rs 29 Billion; Imagine the level of ignorance, the depth of self-delusion, the degree of myopia required for such a decision?’ »

For the average Sri Lankan woman, making her own choice is challenged in numerous ways by the cultural, political and systemic impediments that are insistently placed in her way.

By Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka A glass ceiling shattered in the United States of America just after 8:30 p.m. on 7 November, as Kamala Harris, Vice President-elect walked on stage in Wilmington, Delaware to thunderous applause to deliver her acceptance speech, just ahead of her boss, President-elect of the USA, Joe Biden. The sound of …

Continue reading ‘For the average Sri Lankan woman, making her own choice is challenged in numerous ways by the cultural, political and systemic impediments that are insistently placed in her way.’ »

USA Relationship With Sri Lanka is Likely to Take a Turn for the Better Under a Joe Biden -Kamala Harris Administration

By P.K.Balachandran US-Lanka relations will have to be seen in the context of US-China relations because as in the case of Trump, containment of China will be Biden’s focus in his policy on Asia, including South Asia. Therefore, Sri Lanka, with its growing economic ties with China, may continue to feel the pinch. But Biden’s …

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A-G Dappula de Livera Protests against Move by President Rajapaksa to Appoint Additional Judges to Supreme Court and Appeal Court Overlooking Senior Officials of Attorney -Generals Dept and Conveys Objections to Prime Minister Rajapaksa

By Ranjith Padmasiri Attorney General Dappula de Livera has raised objections over ignoring senior members of his department for vacancies in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal which are to be expanded in terms of the 20th Amendment. The move came as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who is now empowered to make appointments to …

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Murdered Ex-MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s Brother and Sisters Condemn Move to Release Murder Convict Duminda Silva From Prison

By Asela Premachandra and sisters When the five-bench apex court confirmed the death penalty on Duminda Silva and his criminal cohorts for killing Bharatha Laksman Premachandra and three others, his political supporters screamed saying that they would bring “sir” to the presidency and get their leader released from prison. There was also a relentless and …

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Over 200 Persons Including Ministers,MP;s, Governor and Officials Participate in High Level Meeting in Crowded Auditorium in Jaffna Violating COVID -19 Health regulations And Disregarding Objections by Health Authorities

Despite Northern health authorities expressing severe concerns over the conducting of a meeting with ministers and officials visiting from Colombo, a high-level meeting was held on Friday at the Jaffna District Secretariat (DS), disregarding COVID-19 health regulations.

Current US Presidential Election is fundamentally a clash of competing ideologies between antipathy to democracy and the energy behind democracy

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene As the world watches transfixed in amazed horror, the spectacle of ‘these United States’ seemingly heading into a meltdown over the peaceful transition of power with the 2020 Presidential election racing to an unnerving photo finish, the clash here is not purely of civilizations a la Samuel Huntingdon, (Christianity versus Islamic). …

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Donald Trump has not been written off history as anticipated by his critics because 40 to 50 percent of American voters have endorsed his gamut of outrageous actions by voting for him.

By Gamini Weerakoon It is a matter of grave doubt whether any national leader or scoundrel would have had a varied and colourful record of achievements and debasements as Donald Trump in contemporary history. Trump confounded critics when he contested the American presidency four years ago, ridiculing and slandering what had been considered the sacred …

Continue reading ‘Donald Trump has not been written off history as anticipated by his critics because 40 to 50 percent of American voters have endorsed his gamut of outrageous actions by voting for him.’ »

President has undermined the Constitutional checks and balances for good governance, which he described as obstacles to his drive for delivering the people’s needs.Has the much needed ‘delivery’ to the people, become a reality?

By Tassie Seneviratne (The writer is a Retired Senior Superintendent of Police) On September 26, the President decreed: “It is the law because I say so.” And he went on to explain that his verbal orders must be considered as circulars coming from the ‘Executive President.’ Public Administration circulars that may contravene his verbal orders, …

Continue reading ‘President has undermined the Constitutional checks and balances for good governance, which he described as obstacles to his drive for delivering the people’s needs.Has the much needed ‘delivery’ to the people, become a reality?’ »

“The increasing COVID-19 deaths in the past few days is a sign that the outbreak may be larger than our current constrained PCR testing is able to track. If we want to avoid lockdowns we need to replace it with widespread PCR testing on a routine basis”.

by Dr. Ravi Rannan-Eliya The increasing COVID-19 deaths in the past few days is a sign that the outbreak may be larger than our current constrained PCR testing is able to track. As I and others warned six months ago, we needed to ramp up PCR testing to keep the virus at bay and prevent …

Continue reading ‘“The increasing COVID-19 deaths in the past few days is a sign that the outbreak may be larger than our current constrained PCR testing is able to track. If we want to avoid lockdowns we need to replace it with widespread PCR testing on a routine basis”.’ »

Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales urges the Sri Lankan Government to release Lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah from detention and to uphold the rule of law and its international legal obligations

The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) in a statement has expressed concern at reports of the continued detention of prominent human rights lawyer, Hejaaz Hizbullah, under Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and urged his release. “BHRC urges the Sri Lankan Government to release Hejaaz Hizbullah from detention, to uphold …

Continue reading ‘Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales urges the Sri Lankan Government to release Lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah from detention and to uphold the rule of law and its international legal obligations’ »

Communist Party of China and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna are committed to jointly promote regular exchanges, engage in in-depth experience sharing on governance and enhance collaboration during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) on Wednesday held an advanced seminar on governance via video, strictly abiding by the health guidelines of both countries. Minister Song Tao of the International Department of Central Committee of CPC, Party Secretary Liu Cigui of CPC Provincial Committee of Hainan Province, …

Continue reading ‘Communist Party of China and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna are committed to jointly promote regular exchanges, engage in in-depth experience sharing on governance and enhance collaboration during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.’ »

Will Maha Vikara Pavithra aand Govt Colleagues Usher in a new era that will move away from the Maha Sangha and give a towering place in society and governance to the Manthara Guru Kendraya?

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake What a great nation we are! We have a Cabinet Minister – the one in charge of health – offering to sacrifice herself to the sea, to save this country from the Covid pandemic. Shouldn’t we feel safe? Is she in fact offering to make this self-sacrifice to atone for the overall …

Continue reading ‘Will Maha Vikara Pavithra aand Govt Colleagues Usher in a new era that will move away from the Maha Sangha and give a towering place in society and governance to the Manthara Guru Kendraya?’ »

Dissonance in language used by the two sides About President Rajapaksa’s Meeting With Mike Pompeo has led to questions as to what really transpired in the meetings and whether any understandings were reached.

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s whirlwind visit last week has left in its trail many unanswered questions. It’s clear that for the US, this trip was all about signing up allies in its all-but-declared war against China, under the rubric of what it calls a ‘free and open Indo Pacific.’ The …

Continue reading ‘Dissonance in language used by the two sides About President Rajapaksa’s Meeting With Mike Pompeo has led to questions as to what really transpired in the meetings and whether any understandings were reached.’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says it is impractical to close down the country until a cure for COVID-19 is found and urges the public to be be ready to return to normal lives while following health guidelines

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said it was both impractical and difficult to close down the country until a cure for COVID-19 is found and therefore the public should be ready to return to normal lives while following health guidelines. The President made these remarks while participating at the launch of a new digital platform to …

Continue reading ‘President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says it is impractical to close down the country until a cure for COVID-19 is found and urges the public to be be ready to return to normal lives while following health guidelines’ »

The quintessence of the model and ethos of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime is weaponised Jathika Chinthana or Jathika Chinthana militarised.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Sri Lanka is currently experiencing two crises which will trigger the third. They stem from a common source and therefore can be resolved only if rectification takes place at that source, that root. One crisis is the second wave of COVID-19. It is manifest and acknowledged but its dimensions are played down …

Continue reading ‘The quintessence of the model and ethos of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime is weaponised Jathika Chinthana or Jathika Chinthana militarised.’ »

“Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s martinet notions of a “disciplined society” risk dashing dreams of a plural, devolved Sri Lanka in which the Tamils and Muslims are as much a part of the polity as Sinhalese” -The Economist

Never say Gotabaya Rajapaksa leaves things to chance. After decisively winning the presidential election last November, putting family in charge of important government departments, suspending Parliament and finally winning postponed elections in early August in a landslide for his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (slpp) and supporting parties, still the president insisted that “obstacles” to his …

Continue reading ‘“Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s martinet notions of a “disciplined society” risk dashing dreams of a plural, devolved Sri Lanka in which the Tamils and Muslims are as much a part of the polity as Sinhalese” -The Economist’ »

120 Short -Finned Pilot Whales Stranded Along the Panadura Beach Pulled and Pushed Back Into Deep Sea in Combined Rescue Operation by Navy, Coastguard and Civilian Volunteers Guided by Marine Conservation Experts

By Meera Srinivasan Pooling their manpower and expertise in a joint overnight operation, Sri Lanka’s navy, coast guard, local volunteers and conservation experts have rescued nearly 120 stranded whales back into the deep sea. On Monday afternoon, residents of Panadura — some 25 km south of Colombo on the island’s west coast — reported sighting …

Continue reading ‘120 Short -Finned Pilot Whales Stranded Along the Panadura Beach Pulled and Pushed Back Into Deep Sea in Combined Rescue Operation by Navy, Coastguard and Civilian Volunteers Guided by Marine Conservation Experts’ »

Hypothetically If Parliament passed a constitutional amendment with two-thirds majority saying all Tamils and Muslims must be lined up and shot unless they became Sinhalese-Buddhist and then the people approved this in a national referendum, Would the Supreme Court approve the change?

By Prof. S.Ratnajeevan H Hoole Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution kept the existing immoral foremost position for Buddhism and introduced a strong presidency that every government promised to abolish but once elected, never did. It allowed the Rajapaksa family – Mahinda, son Namal, brothers Basil and Gotabaya – to do egregious wrongs. Mahinda had a deal …

Continue reading ‘Hypothetically If Parliament passed a constitutional amendment with two-thirds majority saying all Tamils and Muslims must be lined up and shot unless they became Sinhalese-Buddhist and then the people approved this in a national referendum, Would the Supreme Court approve the change?’ »

Whether it Likes it or not ,as a strategic pivot in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) Sri Lanka is likely to find itself in the eye of US -China Cold War 2.0’s strategic storm in the Future .

By Col R Hariharan Overview The month of October was an eventful one for Sri Lanka. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution (20A) empowering the President was passed in parliament with two-thirds majority. The Covid-19 pandemic made a dramatic comeback in a second wave, to boost the virus-affected numbers which stood at 9,791 with 19 …

Continue reading ‘Whether it Likes it or not ,as a strategic pivot in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) Sri Lanka is likely to find itself in the eye of US -China Cold War 2.0’s strategic storm in the Future .’ »

If Sri Lanka moves towards China With the national problem remaining unresolved the country may inherit the same fate of President Jayewardene.

By Harsha Gunasena US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Sri Lanka after the recent visit of a high-powered Chinese delegation, led by senior Chinese leader and top foreign policy official Yang Jiechi, who is a member of the Communist Party of China’s Politburo and the Director of the Central Committee’s Foreign Affairs Commission US …

Continue reading ‘If Sri Lanka moves towards China With the national problem remaining unresolved the country may inherit the same fate of President Jayewardene.’ »

Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission Chair Ramani Muttetuwegama Writes to Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi Recommending Guidelines to Regularie the Quarantine Process Under the Law While Ameliorating Hardships Imposed On the Public.

Acknowledging the need to restrict freedom of movement and liberty of people in the interests of public health and public order during an extraordinary health emergency such as that facing the country at present, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has in a letter addressed to Health Minister Pavitra Wanniarachchi and Army Commander …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission Chair Ramani Muttetuwegama Writes to Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi Recommending Guidelines to Regularie the Quarantine Process Under the Law While Ameliorating Hardships Imposed On the Public.’ »

Justice Minister Ali Sabry Tells Sajith Premadasa not to Play Politics and Create Communal Disharmony When the Opposition Leade Raised the Isuue of Cremating Muslim COVID -19 Victims in Violation of of Islamic Burial Rights

by Saman Indrajith Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa was told in Parliament yesterday not to play the race card with the sensitive issue of cremating Muslim COVID-19 victims to score political points by rousing communal disharmony. Justice Minister Ali Sabry said that the issue had been very sensitive to Muslims as cremation was in violation of …

Continue reading ‘Justice Minister Ali Sabry Tells Sajith Premadasa not to Play Politics and Create Communal Disharmony When the Opposition Leade Raised the Isuue of Cremating Muslim COVID -19 Victims in Violation of of Islamic Burial Rights’ »

The name, ‘Bim Saviya,’ is a misnomer as this law makes lands untenable for owners, especially farmers, and accessible for sale and mortgage with the elimination of traditional land rights that have existed for 100 years.

By A Senior Lawyer (The writer is attached to the Sri Lanka Study Circle) I refer to the article appearing in the Daily FT on 22 October titled ‘History repeating – Are we going to lose MCC or not?’ by an international development expert. It is understandable if a non-lawyer does not understand the legal …

Continue reading ‘The name, ‘Bim Saviya,’ is a misnomer as this law makes lands untenable for owners, especially farmers, and accessible for sale and mortgage with the elimination of traditional land rights that have existed for 100 years.’ »

Sri Lanka’s commitment to America’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy is a violation of the United Nations Charter and of the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement.

By Tamara Kunanayakam (Former Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva) In fact, a military alliance between the US and Sri Lanka already exists. By signing ACSA in 2007, and renewing it in 2017, Sri Lanka committed its strategic entry points – ports and airports, our armed forces, our military installations, food, oil, and …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s commitment to America’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy is a violation of the United Nations Charter and of the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement.’ »

When strongmen bluster their way into high office on a façade of glitzy propaganda and magical promises, the reality is that they loot their nation’s coffers, flounder and spend their time making excuses and blaming others as to why they could not deliver.

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray The upcoming presidential election in the United States of America has brought the world to the edge of our seats. It has exposed the dark underbelly of the American political system and left us all wondering whether America, the world’s oldest modern democracy, will indeed prove to be a democracy at …

Continue reading ‘When strongmen bluster their way into high office on a façade of glitzy propaganda and magical promises, the reality is that they loot their nation’s coffers, flounder and spend their time making excuses and blaming others as to why they could not deliver.’ »

How can China debase Lankan sovereignty by abusing an invited guest and tacitly state his visit as unwelcome And issue statements on Lanka’s behalf as if this independent island is another Hubei Province or Beijing’s Forbidden City?

By Don Manu The levelled playing fields of Lanka were queered this week when two titans – one the world’s superpower, the other its regional counterpart – chose to turn the tended turf to a muddied battlefield where invective missiles against each other were fired at will from their local silos, with scant regard to …

Continue reading ‘How can China debase Lankan sovereignty by abusing an invited guest and tacitly state his visit as unwelcome And issue statements on Lanka’s behalf as if this independent island is another Hubei Province or Beijing’s Forbidden City?’ »

What Sri Lanka needs are not seminars and conferences on the Rule of Law and the independence of the judiciary replete with the usual pontifications by Ministers and their acolytes. What we should see instead are powerful symbols of integrity in public life and a healthy public demand for effective systems of accountability at all levels, including the judiciary

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Eyebrows are being raised over the 20th Amendment to the Constitution’s inclusion of provisions at committee stage to increase the number of judges in Sri Lanka’s superior courts of record, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Justified by the Justice Minister on the floor of the House on the …

Continue reading ‘What Sri Lanka needs are not seminars and conferences on the Rule of Law and the independence of the judiciary replete with the usual pontifications by Ministers and their acolytes. What we should see instead are powerful symbols of integrity in public life and a healthy public demand for effective systems of accountability at all levels, including the judiciary’ »

Sean Connery one of Britain’s greatest screen actors forever linked with the role of James Bond and regularly saluted as the best to play the famous part dies at the age of 90.

By Vanessa Thorpe Sean Connery, one of Britain’s greatest screen stars, has died at the age of 90. The Scottish actor, forever linked with the role of James Bond and regularly saluted as the best to play the famous part, was mourned by the entertainment industry and his many fans on Saturday as the news …

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has assured the Cabinet of ministers that his government wouldn’t sign the MCC (Millennium Challenge Corporation) agreement Says National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa

By Shamindra Ferdinando President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had assured the Cabinet of ministers that his government wouldn’t sign the MCC (Millennium Challenge Corporation) agreement, National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday (29) said. The Cabinet had received that assurance before US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo arrival in Colombo on Tuesday, 27, he added. Addressing …

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Passage of 20th Constitutional Amendment in Parliament by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Govt was Legal But was it Legitimate?

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka “You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” – Jesus Christ (Luke 12: 56) – I watched the second and final Trump-Biden debate on CNN after I had spent the two previous days watching the …

Continue reading ‘Passage of 20th Constitutional Amendment in Parliament by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Govt was Legal But was it Legitimate?’ »

“ We see from bad deals, violations of sovereignty and lawlessness on land and sea that the Chinese Communist Party is a predator and the United States comes in a different way as a friend and as a partner,” States US Secretary of State Mike Pomeo in Colombo

By Chandani Kirinde Visiting US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo sought to draw a contrast between what China seeks in Sri Lanka as opposed to the manner in which the US operates and controversially labelled the Chinese Communist Party a “predator”. At a joint press event Pompeo addressed with Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at …

Continue reading ‘“ We see from bad deals, violations of sovereignty and lawlessness on land and sea that the Chinese Communist Party is a predator and the United States comes in a different way as a friend and as a partner,” States US Secretary of State Mike Pomeo in Colombo’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Tells Visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Sri Lanka will not compromise its independence and sovereignty when conducting foreign relations but is open to working with the US to improve bilateral engagement including investment.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Sri Lanka will not compromise its independence and sovereignty when conducting foreign relations but is open to working with the US to improve bilateral engagement including investment. According to a statement released by the President’s Media Division (PMD) US Secretary of State Mike …

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US and India sign landmark Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in New Delhi: will the US fully back India with troop footfalls if China launches a full-scale invasion of India as it did in 1962?

By P. K. Balachandran Although there is uncertainty about the return of the belligerent Donald Trump regime in the US in November, what is certain is a general trajectory towards military tension, if not war, in Asia from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. Last Friday (23), the Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that the …

Continue reading ‘US and India sign landmark Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in New Delhi: will the US fully back India with troop footfalls if China launches a full-scale invasion of India as it did in 1962?’ »

Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 cases continued to surge taking the total number to nearly 8,000 as more contacts linked to two new clusters identified this month were tested for the coronavirus over the weekend: total number of deaths rose to 16.

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 cases continued to surge, taking the total number to nearly 8,000, as more contacts linked to two new clusters identified this month were tested for the coronavirus over the weekend. The total number of deaths rose to 16. On Monday, authorities said Sri Lanka’s Parliament would be shut for …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 cases continued to surge taking the total number to nearly 8,000 as more contacts linked to two new clusters identified this month were tested for the coronavirus over the weekend: total number of deaths rose to 16.’ »

Sri Lanka’s government bonds fell heavily on Friday after the United States urged the country’s government to make “difficult but necessary choices” regarding its ties with China.

By Marc Jones LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s government bonds fell heavily on Friday after the United States urged the country’s government to make “difficult but necessary choices” regarding its ties with China. Worries that this year’s COVID-19 crisis could see the country struggle to pay its debts have already seen its bonds …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s government bonds fell heavily on Friday after the United States urged the country’s government to make “difficult but necessary choices” regarding its ties with China.’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena will politely tell Visiting US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo that it is not for outsiders to tell Sri Lankans how to run their country.

By P.K.Balachandran The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who will be here on October 28, is expected to ask Sri Lankan leaders, point blank, to review relations with China; consider the options US is offering; and accept American advice on domestic and foreign policy. A top foreign ministry official told Daily Express on Sunday, …

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Govt Smuggles in Last Minute Changes to Original 20th Amendment Bill at Committee Stage to Increase Supreme Court Judges From 11 to 17 and Appeal Court Judges From 12 to 20; Time Provided to People to Object to Emergency Bills Reduced from 14 to 7 days.

Sri Lanka’s parliament erupted in a heated debate over bringing last-minute changes to bills in the so-called committee stage by bypassing judicial review, in a country that no longer has post-enactment reviews of legislation by the court. The constitutional amendment raised the number of Supreme Court justices from 11 to 17 and Court of Appeal …

Continue reading ‘Govt Smuggles in Last Minute Changes to Original 20th Amendment Bill at Committee Stage to Increase Supreme Court Judges From 11 to 17 and Appeal Court Judges From 12 to 20; Time Provided to People to Object to Emergency Bills Reduced from 14 to 7 days.’ »

முஸ்லிம் காங்கிரஸ் தலைவர் அஷ்ரப் கிழக்கு முஸ்லிம் அரசியலில் மிகவும் மக்கள் செல்வாக்குடைய தனியொரு தலைவராக விளங்கினார்

By டி.பி.எஸ்.ஜெயராஜ் எம்.எச்.எம்.அஷ்ரபை நினைவு கூருதல் (This is the Tamil Version of the English Article “ Remembering SLMC Leader M.H.M. Ashraff by D.B.S.Jeyaraj in the “Political Pulse”Column of the “Daily FT”on September 16th 2020 to commemorate Mr. Ashraff’s 20th death anniversary on Sep 16. The Tamil version is being posted on this blog to denote the …

Continue reading ‘முஸ்லிம் காங்கிரஸ் தலைவர் அஷ்ரப் கிழக்கு முஸ்லிம் அரசியலில் மிகவும் மக்கள் செல்வாக்குடைய தனியொரு தலைவராக விளங்கினார்’ »

A Govt which marched triumphantly into power blaring its Sinhala-Buddhist credentials was pushed to secure a two thirds vote primarily through the crucial support of minority opposition politicians.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawrdene As Sri Lanka’s Parliament passed the 20th Amendment Bill enhancing the powers of the Presidency on Thursday while the country erupted in covid-induced flames, there is delight in watching the Rajapaksa brotherhood being hoist with its nationalist petard. A Government which had marched triumphantly into power blaring its Sinhala-Buddhist credentials was …

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Up to date essential, urgent public health information from the state not Adequately Available in the Tamil Language despite the massive flare-up in the coronavirus every day across the island and ever-changing curfew hours and lockdowns.

By S. Rubatheesan Sri Lanka’s diverse minorities are not getting essential, urgent public health information from the state as soon as they are released, despite the massive flare-up in the coronavirus every day across the island and patients in their areas, and ever-changing curfew hours and lockdowns. There is a severe shortage of translators in …

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Controversial 20th Amendment to the Constitution Passed with a two -third Majority;156 MP’s Vote in Favour while 65 Vote against;8 Renegade Opposition MP’s from SJB, SLMC,ACMC, MNA and TPA vote with Govt; Former President Maithripala Sirisena is Absent at voting time

The controversial 20th Amendment to the Constitution – with amendments to the original draft – was passed at the second reading with a two thirds majority in Parliament on October 22nd 2020.. One hundred and fifty six MP’s voted in favor while sixty -five voted against. The 20th Amendment will restore full-fledged executive powers to …

Continue reading ‘Controversial 20th Amendment to the Constitution Passed with a two -third Majority;156 MP’s Vote in Favour while 65 Vote against;8 Renegade Opposition MP’s from SJB, SLMC,ACMC, MNA and TPA vote with Govt; Former President Maithripala Sirisena is Absent at voting time’ »

20th Amendment Giving Sweeping Powers to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is Passed with a Two-thirds Majority Obtained Through the Support of Eight Opposition Parliamentarians

By Chandani Kirinde The 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution Bill was passed in Parliament last night with 156 MPs voting for the Bill and 65 against. With support from seven MPs from minorities and main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Assistant Secretary MP Diana Gamage, the Government secured the two-third majority in the 225-member …

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We the people may well ask, what is the guiding principle of this new constitution making process, and what does it seek to achieve?

By Sakuntala Kadirgamar (The writer is the Executive Director at Law and Society Trust.) The Ministry of Justice issued an invitation to the public to submit proposals for consideration by an expert committee established to draft a new constitution to replace the Second Republican Constitution of Sri Lanka. The public is requested to submit proposals …

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20th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution that envisages expansive powers and greater immunity for the Executive President was passed in Parliament with a two-thirds majority following a two-day debate.

By Meera Srinivasan The controversial 20th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution that envisages expansive powers and greater immunity for the Executive President was passed in Parliament with a two-thirds majority, following a two-day debate. The 20th Amendment was the Rajapaksa administration’s first big test in the legislature, since it triggered concern and resistance from not …

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Sri Lankan parliament passes controversial 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution by 156 votes to 65 with the required two-thirds majority;20A abolishes the independent Constitutional Council and enhances the President’s executive powers in an unprecedented way.

The Sri Lankan parliament on Thursday passed the controversial 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution by 156 votes to 65, eight votes more than necessary to pass it with the required two-thirds majority. The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) had 148 MPs out of the total, current, House membership of 223. One ruling party …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan parliament passes controversial 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution by 156 votes to 65 with the required two-thirds majority;20A abolishes the independent Constitutional Council and enhances the President’s executive powers in an unprecedented way.’ »

Sri Lanka has never witnessed a more backward, reactionary, rightwing, autocratic and ethnocentric-supremacist regime, ideology and ethos than it has today.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Call it the COVID-19 Constitution or the Corona Constitution—because it is advancing under cover of corona. The public has been given a deadline of 30 November to send in suggestions for the new Constitution. Seriously? The public is hardly in a state of mind to reflect on such issues. The draft of …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka has never witnessed a more backward, reactionary, rightwing, autocratic and ethnocentric-supremacist regime, ideology and ethos than it has today.’ »

Debate on 20th Constitutional Amendment Gets Underway In Parliament With Most Govt MP’s Speaking in Favour Despite Internal Differences Over Certain Provisions Inclusive of Clause Relating to Dual Citizenship

By Chandani Kirinde The debate on the 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution Bill got underway in Parliament yesterday with Government MPs speaking in defence of it while Opposition MPs called on fellow lawmakers to defeat the Bill when it is put to a vote today. Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MPs led the protest against …

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“Defeat the Attempt to hand over the Country’s administration to Dual Citizens against the people’s will “- National Movement for Social Justice Chair Karu Jayasuriya

(Text of a statement by former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya who is the chair of the National Movement for Social Justice) The attempt to reform the constitution to make it possible for those holding citizenship in other countries to make law and run the administration in Sri Lanka is deplorable. No person who is concerned about …

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Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena requests in writing the Director General Health Services and the Prisons Commissioner to make arrangements for Wanni District MP Rishad Bathiudeen now Being Quarantined in remand custody to attend Parliament today

By Saman Indrajith Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, yesterday (21), in writing, requested Director General Health Services and the Prisons Commissioner to make arrangements for SJB lawmaker Rishad Bathiudeen, now in remand custody, to attend Parliament today (22). This follows a party leaders’ meeting, chaired by the Speaker.

Contentious 20th Amendment with changes approved by Cabinet comes up for a two-day debate in Parliament amidst mounting criticism by the Opposition, certain sections of clergy, civil society and professionals.

By Uditha Jayasinghe and Chandani Kirinde The highly contentious 20th Amendment with changes approved by Cabinet on Monday comes up for a two-day debate from today onwards in Parliament amidst mounting criticism by the Opposition, certain sections of clergy, civil society and professionals. Ahead of the parliamentary debate, Cabinet approved three changes including maintaining the …

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Rajapaksa Regime’s Frantic Urgency to Pass the 20th Amendment passed While the hapless nation is in the midst of a Pandemic resurgence is deleterious to government’s own health.

By Ranga Jayasuriya It takes an extra dose of cavalierness to bulldoze through Parliament a Constitutional Amendment intended for personal aggrandizement while the rest of the country is perilously close to a second wave of the novel coronavirus, better known as COVID-19. More so, when the earlier assessments of the reach of the virus appear …

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Growing Intolerance Within Indian Film Industry, Mob Censorship and the Furore Over Cricket Legend Muralidaran’s Bio-pic “800”.

By P.K.Balachandran The US$ 2.5 billion Indian film industry, which churns out more than a thousand movies a year and is watched by millions, is now facing an intense political heat it faced only once before, in 1975-77, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed a State of Emergency to tackle an uncontrollable opposition agitation. The …

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TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran Submits Draft Private Members Bill to Enable Parliament to Declare a State of Public Emergency and set Up a Public Health Emergency Council

TNA Jaffna District MP M.A Sumanthiran yesterday handed over a Private Member’s Bill to the Secretary General of Parliament to provide for the declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency and for the adoption of special measures in the interests of public health. The draft bill contains a provision allowing Parliament to declare a …

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Drug Trade Kingpin Makandure Madush Shot Dead in Police Custody at Maligawatte Apartment Complex After Being Taken There CCD Offcers to Identify Heroin Haul; Police Say Madush was “Caught in Crossfire” when Gangsters Tried to Free Him.

By Asiri Fernando Suspected drug baron Samarasinghe Arachchige Madush Lakshitha, alias ‘Makandure Madush’ was shot dead yesterday morning. Madush is the latest in a long list of organised crime related suspects who have been killed while in custody, raising questions about custodial deaths in the country. His death caused controversy yesterday, as a number of …

Continue reading ‘Drug Trade Kingpin Makandure Madush Shot Dead in Police Custody at Maligawatte Apartment Complex After Being Taken There CCD Offcers to Identify Heroin Haul; Police Say Madush was “Caught in Crossfire” when Gangsters Tried to Free Him.’ »

Attorney-General Dappula de Livera Gives Police Detailed Information To Investigate Arrested MP Rishad Bathiudeen on Ten Matters Including Alleged Money Laundering Offences:A-G also wants Police to Probe all those who helped Rishad Evade Arrest and Conducted Press Conferences in Support

By Norman Palihawadane and Hiran Seneviratne Police yesterday commenced a special operation to arrest those who had been aiding and abetting former minister and SJB MP Rishad Bathiudeen to evade arrest, Police Media Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said. Bathiudeen was remanded yesterday evening after being arrested in Dehiwala. DIG Rohana said seven persons including a …

Continue reading ‘Attorney-General Dappula de Livera Gives Police Detailed Information To Investigate Arrested MP Rishad Bathiudeen on Ten Matters Including Alleged Money Laundering Offences:A-G also wants Police to Probe all those who helped Rishad Evade Arrest and Conducted Press Conferences in Support’ »

Govt to make several changes to the 20th Constitutional Amendment at the committee stage including an amendment to allow citizens to challenge the President’s action by filling Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions.

By Lahiru Pothmulla The Government today reiterated that it would make several changes to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution at the committee stage including an amendment to allow citizens to challenge the President’s action by filling Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions, Education Minister Professor G.L. Peiris said the President’s immunity was constricted by the 19th …

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Wanni District MP and ACMC Leader Rishad Bathiudeen Remanded Until October 27th by Colombo Fort Magistrate; CID also Arrests Seven persons for Allegedly aiding and Abetting “Wanted Person” Bathiudeen to Remain in Hiding

By Asiri Fernando The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday remanded former Minister of Industry and Commerce and All Ceylon Makkal Congress Party (ACMC) Leader Rishad Bathiudeen, until 27 October, following his arrest by the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) at a residence at Ebenezer Place in Dehiwala. The CID also arrested seven persons for aiding and abetting …

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All Ceylon Makkal Congress Leader and Wanni District MP Rishad Bathiudeen Arrested Early Morning by Police at Ebenezer Place in Dehiwela

Former Cabinet Minister and Wanni district MP Rishad Bathiudeen was arrested in Dehiwela by the Police in the early hours of Monday October 19th announced Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana. According to Police sources the ex-minister who is also the leader of the all Ceylon Makkal Congress(ACMC) was arrested by a special Police team following …

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Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa States Govt is Determined to Ensure Smooth Passage of 20th Constitutional amendment by Parliament and Adopt it a Progressive Piece of Legislation

By Norman Palihawadana Expressing confidence of pushing through the 20th Amendment to the Constitution in Parliament, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said the government is determined to ensure its safe passage. “Whatever opposition there may be from any quarter, we will duly present the constitutional amendment to Parliament and see to its adoption as a progressive …

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The ‘maha jathiya’ which triumphantly celebrated the victory of ‘their Sinhala Buddhist torchbearers’ now experience fear and isolation and face hard truths .

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Even as frightened and hapless garment workers slaving in the multitude of factories in the Gampaha District, the epicentre of Sri Lanka’s calamitous covid-19 spread, were herded into trucks and taken like cattle to ill equipped and unsanitary quarantine camps under the impatient watch of the military this week, deeply fundamental …

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It’s politically significant that the Sangha which were expected to rubber stamp the new political strategies of the Rajapaksa Government having supported them solidly at elections are now not unified in their opinion.

By Gamini Weerakoon Religion and politics have been a heady mix with the potential of creating vast empires, great civilisations, magnificent monuments and tinpot-dictators. The history of empire building is too vast a subject for this columnist to take on and we will begin with the severance of this country from the British Empire with …

Continue reading ‘It’s politically significant that the Sangha which were expected to rubber stamp the new political strategies of the Rajapaksa Government having supported them solidly at elections are now not unified in their opinion.’ »

Regrettably the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has followed a policy that encouraged and supported the rulers in some instances when they have violated the Constitution.

By Victor Ivan The people are the real owners of sovereignty both in terms of the classical liberal opinion and the domestic and international law. In other words, State power lies with society and the rulers elected by the people are subject to the will and the control of the people. In this context, the …

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Amnesty International urges Sri Lankan authorities to release prominent human rights lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah who has been held in detention for more than six months under the country’s repressive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) without charges

Amnesty International in a statement yesterday urged Sri Lankan authorities to release prominent human rights lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah, who has been held in detention for more than six months under the country’s repressive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) without charge or any credible evidence being put before a court. It said a notable Government critic, …

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Would Sarath Weerasekara Have Been Allowed By Gotabaya and Mahinda to Attack Presidents Trump or Xi in the Way The State Minister Openly Attacked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Remember ‘A Country Free from Corona’? The crucial tourist sector must be hard hit by the second wave, as also the factories and supply chains. We are in a vortex of geographically spattered, seemingly randomised corona-proliferation. The virus is a faster-spreading, more virulent variety, observed Dr. Sudath Samaraweera and Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara. …

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Ex-Cabinet Minister and Wanni District MP Rishad Bathiudeen’s Lawyers File Writ in Court Of Appeal Seeking Prevention of his Arrest by Police

Lawyers of MP Rishad Bathiudeen has filed a writ application at the Court of Appeal seeking an order to prevent his arrest. The Attorney General had directed the Police to arrest and produce him in court for Criminal Misappropriation of Public Funds and Violation of Election Laws in 2019.

Six Teams Deployed by Police To Arrest Former Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen Unable to Locate Him:CID Obtains Travel Ban Against ACMC Leader: Wanni District MP’s Accountant, Ex-Body Guard and Two Drivers Arrested:Two Vehicles Seized.

By Asiri Fernando The Fort Magistrate yesterday issued a travel ban on former Minister of Industry and Commerce and All Ceylon Makkal Congress Party Leader Rishad Bathiudeen, following a request made by the Criminal Investigation Division (CID). According to Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana, the Police have deployed six teams to track down Rishad Bathiudeen …

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Dr. Rajitha Senaratne MP states that the attempts by the Govt to arrest Rishad Bathiudeen and his bother are politically motivated.

Samagi Jana Balawegaya Kalutara District MP Rajitha Senaratne yesterday charged that the attempts to arrest Rishad Bathiudeen and his bother are politically motivated. “We can clearly see what’s going on here. Riyaj Bathiudeen was released, and the 100 Government MPs filed a petition about it. He was released after an investigation. Has even one of …

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SLPP Colombo District MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Writes 9 Page Letter To Gotabaya Rajapaksa Highlighting ten Key Concerns as No One was Allowed to Speak on the 20th Amendment at the Oct 9 Meeting Convened by the President; MP Alleges China has taken over Sri Lanka’s assets due to the debt crisis.

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Colombo district MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has submitted a 09-page letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with regard to his concerns on the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution. In this letter MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has written regarding the 20th Amendment, he has stated that he wrote his concerns as no one …

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Attorney -General Dappula de Livera Orders Police to Arrest Former Cabinet Minister and ACMC Leader Rishad Bathiudeen for Allegedly transporting Internally displaced persons in 222 Ceylon Transport Board buses from Puttalam to Mannar to cast their votes during elections.

Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera today issued orders to obtain a warrant from court to arrest MP Rishad Bathiudeen. Coordinating Secretary to the AG State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) C.D. Wickramaratne was directed to obtain the warrant. MP Rishad Bathuideen is to be arrested on charges of Criminal …

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China’s Xi Jinping’s Stated Goal is to create “a reinvigorated Communist Party, backed by a strong economy and a powerful, modern military taking an even more central role in the affairs of the nation and a more confident role on the world stage.”

By Col R Hariharan Have China’s efforts to regain its loss of credibility in the wake of its clumsy handling of the information on the Covid-19 virus outbreak from Wuhan in December 31, 2019 (actually according to the medical journal Lancet, it was first noticed on December 1, 2019), failed? It would seem so as …

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Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka Issues Statement saying The 20th Amendment should not be proceeded with in its entirety and instead a new Constitution should be the national priority at this moment.

The 20th Amendment should not be proceeded with in its entirety and instead a new Constitution should be the national priority at this moment, the Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC) said today. The statement issued by the Catholic Bishops Conference is as follows: In the wake of the change of government following the presidential and parliamentary …

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Amarapura and Ramanna Maha Nikayas Jointly appeal to Gov to withdraw the 20th Amendment to the Constitution: President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahinda Asked not to go ahead with enactment; all MPs asked to reject the bill.

By Chandani Kirinde The Amarapura and the Ramanna Maha Nikayas yesterday made a joint appeal to the Government to withdraw the 20th Amendment to the Constitution warning that its enactment would seriously undermine democracy in the country and pave the way for authoritarianism and despotism. The Secretaries of the two Nikayas, in a joint statement, …

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Ex-Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s Brother Riyaj Writes Letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Stating he is Innocent With Regard to Terrorism Charges and That CID Released Him Because Police Had No Evidence of his Alleged Terrorism Involvement

In a letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s brother Riyaj Bathiudeen, said his release by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was due to the CID being satisfied there was no evidence to warrant continued detention, and in accordance with a ruling issued by a Colombo Fort Magistrate. The letter, which was …

Continue reading ‘Ex-Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s Brother Riyaj Writes Letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Stating he is Innocent With Regard to Terrorism Charges and That CID Released Him Because Police Had No Evidence of his Alleged Terrorism Involvement’ »

Amarapura and Ramanna Buddhist Nikayas Express Opposition to Proposed 20th Constitutional Amendment to Safeguard Democracy and Protect Sovereignty of People and Rule of Law; efforts Underway to get Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters also to support Common Stance

A section of Sri Lanka’s powerful Buddhist clergy is opposing a Constitutional Amendment proposed by the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa which would have given him sweeping powers over Parliament and the Judiciary. Two leading prelates representing two orders (Chapters) of monks told reporters that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution would “deal a death …

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Referendum is the Key : Five Eminent Judges Will Determine The Democratic Destiny Of Sri Lanka.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide, In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side; Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight, And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.” “Then to side with truth …

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