What did Govt Undertake to do by Co-sponsoring the US Initiated UNHRC Resolution Against Sri Lanka in Geneva?

By C.A.Chandraprema UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Al Hussein arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday. In the days prior to his arrival, it appeared as if a divergence of opinion had emerged between the President and the Prime Minister about the implementation of last September’s UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka. One of the key demands in …

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Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya wants Lankan Media to Raise Julian Assange Issue with Visiting UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

By Shamindra Ferdinando Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that the UK’s outright rejection of the UN ruling that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange be allowed to go free highlighted again British double standards vis-a-vis Sri Lanka. “Obviously, the British do not practice what they preach to us here as well as other international forums …

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An Absurd Drama Being Staged- “The Constitutional Council and the Appointment of an Attorney – General”

by Dr Nihal Jayawickrama The Constitutional Council was hailed as the principal and singular achievement of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Its duty was to recommend to the President fit and proper persons for appointment to the independent commissions established under the Constitution, and to approve or reject persons recommended by the President for …

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Ranil Exposes “Media Veerayas” who Ate”Pattis – Cutlis” with the “Maha Brahma” of “Pavul Palanaya” Regime

By Gamini Weerakoon Ranil Wickremesinghe has pelted stones at Lanka’s demi-gods and the gods have taken to quite an ungodly act: pelting back not only stones but hurling mud, rumours and calumny against Ranil for his sacrilegious act. We feel inclined to raise at least one and a half cheers – instead of the full …

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Proposal to Induct Sarath Fonseka Into Cabinet as a Powerful Minister Strongly Opposed by Influential Sections Within the UNP.

The recent arrest of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second son, Navy Lt. Yoshitha Rajapaksa, was cast to the shadows last week by the latest move in the country’s political scene – the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between UNP Leader Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Democratic Party Leader, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. The …

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“If Media Freedom is not Properly Used ANY Future Govt Could Curtail Media freedom Once again” Cautions President Sirisena

(Following is the full text of the speech delivered by President Maithripala Sirisena at the 68th Independence Day celebrations on Feb 4th 2016 at Galle Face, Colombo 3) Today we all join together to celebrate the 68th anniversary of Independence Day with pomp and glory. Since we got independence from the British colonial rulers, we …

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HMGS Palihakkara to Quit as Northern Province Governor; Reginald Cooray Tipped as Successor

By P.K.Balachandran Reginald Cooray, an acclaimed leftist liberal and a veteran Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) politician who had been Chief Minister of the Western Province twice, is most likely to be appointed Governor of the Tamil-majority Northern Province succeeding HMGS Palihakkara, who has expressed a wish to demit office at the earliest. A source …

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“We Have Completely Defeated LTTE But LTTE Remnants May Re-organize” Warns Ex – Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

By Shanika Sriyananda The former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged the Government to strengthen the mechanism to monitor the hardcore LTTEers before releasing the remaining hardcore LTTE operatives in jails. He said without strengthening surveillances with the assistance of the military intelligence agencies, releasing hardcore LTTE cadres will pose a grave threat to the country’s …

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Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera Invited to India to Find “Innovative Solution” to Problem of Indian Fishermen Poaching in Sri Lankan Waters

by P.K.Balachandran The Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera will visit India at the earliest at the invitation of the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the media was informed here on Friday. Swaraj is now on a two-day visit to Lanka to co-chair the 9th meeting of the India-Lanka Joint Commission along with her …

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President Sirisena Allows the Singing of National Anthem in Tamil Also at Independence day Celebrations

By P.K.Balachandran Breaking a long-standing tradition of singing only the Sinhalese version of the Sri Lankan national anthem at official functions, President Maithripala Sirisena allowed the singing of the Tamil version at the Independence Day celebrations held at the Galle Face Green here on Thursday. “Sri Lanka Thaaye”, the Tamil version of the anthem written …

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Ex – Tiger Operative Emil Kanthan Expected to Expose Details of Alleged Secret Deal Between Mahinda Rajapaksa and LTTE During 2005 Presidential Poll

The alleged deal arrived at with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) in 2005 by former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to win Presidential elections by getting the tigers to enforce a boycott of polls in Tamil areas in return for an enormous amount of money is expected to be exposed in great detail in …

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Crowing About an Ancient and Glorious Culture Without Upholding the Morals and Ideals of Such!

By- Sharmini Serasinghe A 2500 year-old Culture that was! The current wave of Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism/extremism/racism, and attempts to establish a ‘Sinhala-Buddhist Raj’ in Sri Lanka, if left unchecked will eventually lead, to fragmentation of Sri Lanka into separate states, of the minorities. It may not happen in the immediate future, but it’s a reality staring …

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Induction of Sarath Fonseka Into UNF Enhances Nationalist Credentials of UNP Govt in Combatting Rajapaksa Challenge

By P.K.Balachandran The entry of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party (DP) into the United National Party (UNP)-led United National Front (UNF) on Wednesday, coupled with the distinct possibility of his being nominated to Parliament later this week, will add to the nationalistic credentials of the UNP ahead of the crucial local body elections in …

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Sirisena Leadership Has to be More Like the Rajapaksas in Order to Defeat the Rajapaksas

by Dr. Kalana Senaratne With days turning into weeks and weeks into months, President Maithripala Sirisena appears to have realized that power is ultimately the primary concern of politics and political leadership. What necessarily follows from this is also the realization that to sustain a ‘good government’ in trying times one has to engage in …

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Arrest of Yoshitha Rajapaksa Sends Strong Signals to all Influential Sons,Daughters and Relatives of Politicians

By Rasika Jayakody Although Yoshitha Rajapaksa was never a politician like his father, brother and uncles, the junior Navy officer never failed to make headlines after his father fell out of power in January, last year. Despite being a military officer, Rajapaksa addressed meetings organized by Tharunyata Hetak and Nil Balakaya, the youth wing of …

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Mahinda’s Son Yoshitha Rajapaksha Joined the Navy in 2006 but Never Fought in the War like Prabhakaran’s Son Charles Anthony.

By Upul Joseph Fernando A glance at a decade in the past records that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son, Yoshitha joined the Sri Lanka Navy in December 2006. When Yoshitha joined the Navy, Mahinda proudly announced that unlike other world leaders, he had given his son to fight the war to protect the country. The Maha Sangha …

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Will President Sirisena or Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Prevail in Leading the Country?

By Dayan Jayatilleka ‘President Sirisena says his government will not act “in haste.” This is unacceptable.’ – New York Times Editorial, Jan 28, 2016. “…there is no ethnic group called the Sinhalese.” – Chief Minister Wigneswaran, Jan 19, 2016. President Sirisena has followed up his important BBC interview on accountability with a lengthier one on …

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The “Nikab”Veil and Increasing “Arabianization”of the Muslims of Sri Lanka

By Hafeel Farisz Girls too young to understand the essence of religion adorn the Nikab. Some forced due to cultural imposition, and others too young to know why. Madrasas spread across the island ignore history, art culture, literature and theology which form the core of religious education. Instead the focus is on rituals and taboos. …

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Yoshitha Rajapaksa and Others Comprising the “Carlton Five” at Welikade Jail Allowed to get Meals from Home

By Norman Palihawadana On a request made by the family members of the five suspects including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son Yoshitha charged under the money laundering Act, all their meals were allowed to be brought to the Welikade prison from home, Commissioner General of Prisons Nishantha Dhanasinghe said.

Mahinda Rajapaksa says Govt may Arrest him next and then his Wife, Namal, Basil and Gothabaya.

By Cyril Wimalasurendre KANDY: Former President Rajapaksa yesterday urged the government to hold local government elections. Else, legal action would be taken against it, he warned. The ex-president was answering queries by the media after paying homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic at the Sri Dalada Maligawa. Rajapaksa said the government did not seem keen …

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Teary-Eyed Mahinda Rajapaksa says Arrest of son Yoshitha is “Act of Revenge Against me”

By DHARISHA BASTIANS and GEETA ANANDJAN. Sri Lankan authorities arrested a son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on money-laundering charges on Saturday, the government’s latest attempt to prosecute members of the previous administration, many of whom have been under investigation since Mr. Rajapaksa’s election defeat last year. The police said Mr. Rajapaksa’s 27-year-old son, Yoshitha, …

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Who is Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera the Face of Sinhala –Buddhist Ultra-nationalist “Terror”?

By Rasika Jayakody The Ven. Galagodaaththé Gnanasara Thera, a relatively unknown bhikkhu in the latter stages of the Rajapaksa administration, has now become the face of Sinhala-Buddhist ultra-nationalist ‘terror’ in the country’s political sphere. Ven. Gnanasara Thera rose to fame in mid-2012 when he formed the Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force) organization, a movement …

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Bodu Bala Sena Chief Gnanasara Was Convicted for Drunken Driving in Case No 6315/2000 at Colombo Magistrates Court 15 Years ago

By Don Manu He may not have realised it yet, perhaps it may take some time for the light to shine through his burly, black, boorish brawn, but Bodu Bala Sena Chief Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera is, no doubt, the darling of the foreign missionaries who use his mug to portray the ugly face of Buddhism. …

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“Brahmin Class” in Media that went Hunting with “Maha Brahma” is Now Becoming Outcastes” says Ranil Wickremesinghe

by Saman Indrajith Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told Parliament that there was a Brahmin class within the media and that class was becoming vasalas (outcasts). “The Brahmin class in the media was created by a Maha Brahma who is non-existant now. The so-called Brahmin class has become a vasala class. That Brahmin class used …

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Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Second Son Yoshitha Arrested for Alleged Money Laundering and Remanded Until Feb 11th by Kaduwela Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second son was remanded in custody for two weeks after he was arrested and questioned yesterday under the Money Laundering Act, police and court officials said. Navy officer Yoshitha Rajapaksa, 27, was questioned at length at the navy headquarters in Colombo and then arrested and taken before Kaduwela magistrate Dhammika Hemapala …

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Does President Sirisena Have an Underlying Motive in Undermining his Own Government?

By C.A.Chandraprema Sri Lanka is indeed a country like no other as the tourist brochures say. We have a president, a prime minister, a cabinet and a parliament where the PM commands a two thirds majority, but no functioning government. There is no sense of direction and no decisions are being made. An ambitious programme …

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Why Was No Deterrent Action Taken by Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Coalition Earlier to Curb Bodu Bala Sena Monks and Their Unruly Leader?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Several wickedly problematic tragi-comedies are playing on Sri Lanka’s political stage right now, none of which are to the benefit of the country. Why was no deterrent action taken earlier? The spectacle of mad monks running amok in the Homagama Magistrate’s Court abusing the magistrate, the lawyers and the wife of …

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Homagama Magistrate Has Acted in an Independent and Fearless Manner For Which he Must be Commended

By Rashmin Tirimanne de Silva On the 25th and 26th of January a group of monks came in to conflict with the law when Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero, General Secretary of the infamous Bodu Bala Sena stormed into Court and disrupted proceedings by giving a speech which led to the Homagama Magistrate issuing an arrest …

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Gnanasara is the Only Bhikku in Sri Lanka to Plead Guilty in Court to Charges of Driving a Vehicle Under the Influence of Liquor.

By C. A. Chandraprema The scenes outside the Homagama Magistrate’s court highlights more than ever the need for the speedy passage of the Kathikawath Bill that is before parliament. Registered bhikku Ven. Galagodatte Gnanasara Thera was arrested and remanded in relation to several charges including contempt of court amidst chaotic scenes outside the courthouse with …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe Names and Shames Mainstream Media Organizations and Journalists in Hard Hitting Speech in Parliament

By Saman Indrajith Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday, in Parliament, lashed out at the media, accusing them of promoting racism. “You don’t talk big because your hands are not clean. What are all doing with regard to racism? I mean all newspapers. I am asking the electronic and print media. What do you have to say …

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Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Lashes Out at Mainstream Newspapers Spreading Racism and Calls Upon Media to Decide Where it Stands.

By Ashwin Hemmathagama Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday lambasted the media, accusing mainstream newspapers of turning a blind eye to racism and conducting a witch-hunt against the Police Department. Issuing a scathing statement in Parliament, the Prime Minister charged that the media was hailing the Embilipitiya courts while condemning the Homagama courts, for their actions.Wickramasinghe …

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Bodu Bala Sena Leader Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Emerges Out of the Shadows Again.

By Dharisha Bastians He’s back! After a year in the shadows, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the controversial monk who leads the radical Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena, is front and centre of the news cycle again. He is storming into courtrooms, insulting Government lawyers and threatening, allegedly in foul language, the woman who has been searching …

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Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Says President Sirisena has not Ruled out Foreign Involvement in War Crimes Investigation

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that the government hadn’t ruled out foreign involvement in the proposed war crimes investigation. The PM said so in answer to a Channel 4 News query. Asked whether there wouldn’t be any foreign involvement as declared by President Maithripala Sirisena last week, Wickremesinghe said the President had not ruled …

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President Sirisena Faces Challenge of Retaining his “Authenticity” Image For a Long Time

By Vishwamithra 1984 Leadership in politics has been a subject many psychologists and social scientists have attempted to analyze, dissect and write about over and over again. These analysts and writers have ascribed strong leadership in politics to many a politician and history alone stands as the sole judge as to the validity and legitimacy …

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Maithri and Ranil Prevent Arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa the “Crown Prince” of Sinha Le Organization

By Upul Joseph Fernando The Sinha Le organization organized an Adhishtana Pooja recently opposite the Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic). The media reported that those present at this pooja carried a National Flag sans the symbols that signify the minorities in this country. Earlier, the distorted content of the National Nlag surfaced …

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STF Uses Batons to Disperse Bhikku led Mob Obstructing Gnanasara Thera Being Remanded; Two Monks Injured- Damminda Thera Attempts Self-immolation

by Dasun Edirisinghe A tense situation prevailed near the Homagama Magistrate’s Court yesterday over the remanding of Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera for contempt of court. Hundreds of Buddhist monks accompanied by laymen surrounded the court asking for the release of Ven. Gnanasara Thera. They attempted to storm the court premises …

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US Envoy to UN in Geneva Keith Harper Says Mechanism Probing War Crimes in Sri Lanka Must Have Foreign Involvement

By P.K.Balachandran The involvement of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators is a must for a credible Sri Lankan probe into war crimes charges, said Keith Harper, US Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. In a terse but strong tweet on Tuesday, Harper said: “Credibility of any accountability mechanism requires involvement of …

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“Govt will Investigate Whether Laymen Wearing Bhikku Robes Participated in Homagama Courts Demonstration” – Ranil Wickremesinghe

By Saman Indrajith Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told Parliament that his government would not leave room for the making of any more Bhikkus like Talduwe Somarama or Mapitigama Buddharakkthitha. The Prime Minister, participating in a debate on agreements Sri Lanka entered with several other nations at the time of adjournment, condemned the conduct of …

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President Sirisena says that Idea Behind Proposed War Crimes Investigation is “not to punish Security Forces Personnel”,

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has told Lankan security forces personnel that Lanka was answerable to the international community regarding charges of human rights violations during Eelam War IV, and that any attempt to dodge the issue would lead to the country’s isolation from the rest of the world. But while saying so, …

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TNA Concerned More About Power Sharing Proposals in Constitution Than in “Unitary” and “Federal” Labels says MA Sumanthiran MP

By Dharisha Bastians The Tamil National Alliance yesterday expressed disappointment over the delays in formulating a mechanism to draft a new constitution for Sri Lanka, and urged the Government and all Sri Lankans to seize the historic opportunity to change the country’s Governance culture. Addressing a media briefing at the Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo …

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STF Escorts Gnanasara Thera to Welikada Prison While Unruly Mob of Buddhist Clergy -Laity Tries to Prevent Arrest

By Dharisha Bastians Pandemonium reigned outside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court yesterday, after the court ordered the arrest and remand of controversial Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thero on contempt of court charges. Gnanasara Thero was escorted to the Welikada Remand prison under Special Task Force (STF) protection, after riot police squads were deployed …

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Yoshitha Rajapakse Taken Into Navy Without GCE OL Qualification and Promoted as Lieutenant:Govt Spent Rs.22.23 Million For His Training in UK and Ukraine From Jan 2007 to Aug 2010

By Ashwin Hemmathagama The Government informed Parliament yesterday that Yoshitha Rajapaksa the son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been inducted into the Sri Lanka Navy bypassing mandatory educational qualifications of the GCE Ordinary level and had been sent for extensive training in the United Kingdom and Ukraine at state expense. Chief Government Whip Gayantha …

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300 Police Summoned to Control Bhikkus Storming Homagama Court Premises as Bodu Bala Sena’ Gen Secy Gnanasara Thera is Remanded till Feb 9th

Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera was remanded till February 9 by Homagama Magistrate’s Court a short while ago on Tuesday January 26th.He was arrested this morning when he surrendered to the Homagama Police. The Homagama Magistrate issued an arrest warrant against Gnanasara Thera yesterday on three charges including threatening a state official, …

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“I Have a Problem With Anyone Who is Shoving His Political, Religious or Cultural Fascism Down My Throat”

By Hafeel Farisz I am not a Sinha-Ley Muslim. Won’t ever be. I had no problem with the concept of being a Sinhala-Muslim during my childhood. In-fact I often used to think Ven. Mahinda Thera included us — the minorities, in his poems and Anagarika Dharmapala in his, what I assumed were, anti colonialist speeches. …

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Appeal Court Issues Interim Order Against Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka Preventing Acquisition of Land Owned by UNP Minister Daya Gamage

By Stanley Samarasinghe & Shahida Riza Court of Appeal yesterday (25) issued an interim order against Minister of Megapolis Champika Ranawaka, preventing him from acquiring a plot of land owned by Minister Daya Gamage. President of Court of Appeal Vijith Malalgoda and Justice Devika de Livera took this decision after considering an appeal by Gamage …

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President Sirisena Needs to Understand that International Participation in War Crimes Tribunal is not a Vague Promise to the UN – Human Rights Watch

(Text of Media release Issued by Human Rights Watch) (New York) – The Sri Lankan government should fulfill its commitments to the United Nations Human Rights Council by ensuring that foreign judges and prosecutors play a significant role in the mandated accountability mechanism for wartime abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 21, 2016, …

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“Apartheid” Practised by Mirissa Hoteliers in Refusing to Serve Locals is Blatant Violation of the Constitution

By Ranga Jayasuriya Last week, this newspaper reported that some hotels in the Mirissa Bay area were refusing to serve Sri Lankans on the purported ‘uncivilized’ behaviour of local visitors. The report quoted a humiliated customer as complaining of being turned away from several places, when he ordered a simple cup of coffee. Since people …

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President Sirisena Calls Upon Northern Province Residents to Curtail Excessive Alcohol Consumption.

By Chandeepa Wettasinghe In his continuing campaign for abstinence, President Maithripala Sirisena called upon the residents of the Northern Province to stop consuming alcohol. “There is more alcohol distributed here in the North than elsewhere in the country. Alcohol is worse than weapons of war. It destroys lives,” he said, at the ceremonial opening of …

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Allegations of Kidney Transplant Racket by Indian Media is Conspiracy to Prevent Indians Coming to Lanka for Surgical Operations – GMOA

by Dasun Edirisinghe The government has lent credence to a non-existing human organ racket here and deprived the country of foreign exchange by imposing an ill-conceived, blanket ban on kidney transplant operations on foreigners in Sri Lanka, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) says. GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said the end result of the …

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President Sirisena in Unpublicised Meeting with Namal Rajapaksa Invites Ex-President Mahinda’s son to Work With him

The National Government’s move to fast track the process for a new Constitution for Sri Lanka has been placed on temporary hold. A debate on the resolution for this purpose, moved by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, due in Parliament on Tuesday, January 26 has been cancelled. A new date is yet to be fixed and …

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President Sirisena Keeps Dodging the Issue of Abolishing Executive Presidency Despite Swearing Over Sobitha Thero’s Dead Body to do so.

By C.A.Chandraprema When the party leaders met last Tuesday, it was decided not to hold the debate which was scheduled for January 26 (Tuesday this week) on the prime minister’s resolution to set up a Constitutional Assembly until the prime minister returns from his trip to Davos. It is to be hoped that this postponement …

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We are yet to see Significant Domestic Course Correction on the Part of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Coalition

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene As former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa emerged smiling into television cameras this week following summons issued by Sri Lanka’s Presidential Commission on Serious Fraud et al (PRECIFAC), his jibes were clear. ‘So there were rogues in our time’ he said, ‘…there were rogues in the past as well and rogues also, …

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“Though Less-Educated Ex-tiger Pillaiyaan was a Better Chief Minister of East Than Ex-Judge Wigneswaran is of the North now” Says Dr.K. Vigneswaran

By Shamindra Ferdinando Wartime Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, recently evoked memories of India’s disastrous intervention in Sri Lanka. Gandhi reiterated unsubstantiated war crimes accusations at an event to mark President Maithripala Sirisena’s first year in office. Gandhi was in Colombo a few days before Indian Foreign Secretary, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, arrived, in Colombo, …

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President Sirisena Rejects UN Human Rights Council Demand For Foreign Involvement in Mechanism Investigating War Crimes

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has rejected the UN Human Rights Council’s demand for foreign involvement in the judicial mechanism to be set up to investigate and try war crimes charges against the Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). “I will never agree to international involvement in this …

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CV Wigneswaran’s Accusation About TNA 2015 Manifesto Abandoning Right of Self-Determination Proved Completely False.

By P.K.Balachandran The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has refuted Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran’s contention that it has reneged in its commitment to secure for the Tamils of Sri Lanka the right to self determination. Wigneswaran had told TNA members in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) earlier this week, that the TNA had pledged itself …

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

By Zahrah Imtiaz Imagine a scenario where no one in the country would be allowed to slaughter a cow. With religious fervour firing the imagination of many to call for such a ban, this could very likely be the scenario in the near future. The issue here however is not religious and more to do …

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Investigation Into War Crimes Allegations will be Internal and Indigenous Without International Involvement, President Sirisena Tells BBC.

By Azzam Ameen BBC Sinhala, Colombo The president of Sri Lanka has said foreign judges and prosecutors should not be involved in an investigation into allegations of war crimes. In a BBC interview, President Maithripala Sirisena said the country did not need to “import” specialists. Both the army and the Tamil Tiger rebels are accused …

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An Interview with Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka For “Frontline” by T.Ramakrishnan in Colombo

An Interview with Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka BY T. RAMAKRISHNAN in Colombo IT was a Sunday afternoon, and the 64-year-old Maithripala Sirisena was in no mood to relax. He had a series of meetings earlier. After his appointment with Frontline in a hall of his official residence sporting the portraits of Marx, Lenin …

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President Sirisena’s SLFP Together with Ex-President Mahinda Loyalists Obstruct UNP Premier Ranil’s Move to Draft New Constitution

By P.K.Balachandran President Maithripala Sirisena’s own party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), in conjunction with the breakaway Joint Opposition Group (JOG) led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has stalled Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s move to change the country’s constitution. On January 9, the JOG stopped parliament from debating and voting on Wickremesinghe’s resolution to …

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Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Accuses TNA of Abandoning Commitment to Right of Self-Determination for Tamils

By P.K.Balachandran Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran on Wednesday strongly denied that the Tamil Makkal Peravai (TMP), which he heads, is a political organization in competition with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). But at the same time he pointed out that the TNA has reneged on its commitment to securing for the minority Tamils the …

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Ranil Tells Investment Forum in Davos to Base Operations in Sri Lanka and Make it Hub Serving South Asia and Beyond

By Nisthar Cassim in Davos, Switzerland Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday urged participants at a forum in Davos in Switzerland to base their operations in Sri Lanka to serve South Asia and beyond. Speaking at an investment forum held in Davos ahead of the World Economic Forum, the Prime Minister acknowledged that 2016 would be …

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SB Dissanayake and Basil Rajapaksa Planning to “Unite” Maithripala and Mahinda for Local Govt Poll and Topple Ranil Govt

by Upul Joseph Fernando Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa suddenly broke silence last week and emerged into the scene through the media. Giving interviews to the media, Basil stressed the need to establish a new political party. As a prelude to his future dream or plan, both Basil and his brother Mahinda participated at a meet …

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22 Out of 30 TNA Northern Provincial Councillors Revolt against Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s Political Conduct

Twenty –two out of a total Thirty Tamil National Alliance Northern provincial Councillors have revolted against what is perceived as the duplicitous political conduct of Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran. The 22 Councillors including two provincial ministers are signatories of an urgent letter sent to Mr. Wigneswaran that he should present himself for an important meeting with …

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Indian Actress Asin Marries Micromax Founder Rahul Sharma With Actor Akshay Kumar Playing Cupid

Actress Asin Thottumkal on Tuesday exchanged wedding vows with electronics company Micromax founder Rahul Sharma in a closely-guarded ceremony. The couple married as per Christian rituals at the Dusit Devarana hotel here in the morning, and another celebration is in the pipeline later in the day. Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, the best man and the …

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Resolution on the Making of a Constitution and Causes for Concern

By Prof.G.L.Peiris The Resolution on the making of a Constitution for our country, moved in Parliament by the Prime Minister on 9th January, has given rise to public debate on a wide range of issues which need to be addressed in earnest if the professed objectives are to be attained. I.Causes for Concern (a) Absence …

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President Sirisena’s Moderate Sinhala Buddhism and Idealistic Liberal Reformism Will be Undermined by the Tamil National Alliance

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka “What Sri Lanka’s national crisis—and it is clear that the unresolved ethnic issue is the core of that crisis—has ultimately achieved is that it has compelled us to come to terms with our identity.” –Mervyn de Silva, (Marga lecture, 1985, in ‘Crisis Commentaries’ p.72) The crucial and challengingly complex task facing Sri …

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Sri Lanka On the Way to Becoming Key Naval Hub in the Indian Ocean due to its Strategic Location

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lanka is on the way to becoming a maritime security hub in the Indian Ocean, as regional and extra-regional naval powers eye the island nation for striking partnerships to ensure their maritime security. Lanka itself has signaled its wish to acquire a Blue Water navy to exploit its strategic position in the …

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President Sirisena’s Cabinet Paper to Extend Colombo – Kandy Highway Up to Polonnaruwa Rejected by Finance Minister Karunanayake Because it Lacked Transparency.

By Gagani Weerakoon Soured relationships between the top echelons of the Executive reached highest levels recently with Head of the State President Maithripala Sirisena calling off his participation in two important events in the penultimate hour. The discomforts, if there were any, were not made obvious by President Sirisena or Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for …

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President and Prime Minister Must Not Dilute Their Promise of a New Constitution Due to Political Expediency.

By Dr.Jayadeva Uyangoda Sri Lanka has once again entered the uncertain path of drafting and adopting a new constitution. Not surprisingly, political opinion is becoming increasingly divided and even acrimonious over a variety of issues. The most contentious at present is the process of constitution making. The content of the new constitution is next in …

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“Tamil Peoples Council is a Creation of People Marginalised at Elections” Says TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran

by P. Krishnaswamy Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Spokesman and Jaffna District Parliamentarian, M. A. Sumanthiran is of the view, given the fact that Tamils have repeatedly given overwhelming mandates to the party to work for a just solution to their problems, it would be appropriate that a lasting solution to the issue comes from the …

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TNA Chief Minister Wigneswaran Raises Demand for “Shared Sovereignty” While Premier Ranil Re-iterates “Unitary” Nature of Constitution

By P.K.Balachandran The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’ Tamil-majority Northern Province has called for a new constitution which will be based on the principle of shared sovereignty between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority within a united Lanka. Giving the keynote address at a seminar on constitution making in multi-ethnic societies in Jaffna on …

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New Constitution Wont Change Unitary Status of Country assures Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

By Gandhya Senanayake Making a statement regarding the formation of the new Constitution in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today stated that the new Constitution would not change the unitary nature of the country. He further added that some were alleging that the foremost place given to Buddhism and the unitary nature of the …

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Abolishing Executive Presidential System, Electoral Reform and Constitutional Change

By Mahinda Rajapaksa (Text of a speech made by former President Mahinda Rajapksa at the Abeyarama Temple in Narahenpita) Venerable members of the MahaSangha, clergymen of other faiths, party leaders, members of parliament and local government institutions, and other distinguished guests, Steps have been taken by the government to initiate the process of promulgating a …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe Must Transform Politically Controlled State Media Into Becoming Truly Independent

By Ranga Jayasuriya Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe has criticized the media over its conduct during the Rajapaksa regime. In other words, is blaming the victim for the rape. At the Thai Pongal festival in Jaffna, he accused the media of ‘going shopping’ for the infamous 18th Amendment and warned the media not to spoil the …

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How Astrolgical Prediction is Preventing Mahinda Rajapaksa From Occupying Colombo Mansion Owned by Liyanage

By P.K.Balachandran Astrology and occultism have been a double-edged sword for former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Belief in them has led him to heights of success as well as depths of disaster. Currently, an astrological prediction is threatening to deny Rajapaksa the Colombo mansion he is desperate to occupy because astrologers had predicted that …

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President Sirisena “Betrays” Premier Wickremesinghe By Sabotaging Govt attempt to Abolish Executive Presidency

By C.A.Chandraprema The much anticipated constitution making process was kicked off the Saturday before last by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with a resolution presented in parliament for the appointment of a Constitutional Assembly to draft a new constitution. What would have been cause for some hope that this attempt at constitution making would be more …

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Establishing Independent Commissions Alone Without Political Will and Accountability Will Not Correct Systemic Abuses

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene One year into the appealing rhetoric of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration, it is heartening to see Sri Lanka’s artistes and scholars, whose peoples’ movements were pivotal to the change of power last year, becoming increasingly stern in their tone and tenor. Critical voices to be heard This critical approach must not be …

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Agrarian Festival “Thaip Pongal” Has Now Become An Ingrained aspect Of Wider Tamil Culture

by Thulasi Muttulingam Thai Pongal, the agrarian festival of the Tamils, will be in full flow around the country today. It is a festival celebrated not only in Sri Lanka and India, but all over the globe where Tamil populations are concentrated. It is essentially a festival of thanksgiving by farmers after their first harvest …

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‘Thai Pongal’ the Harvest Festival of Tamils

By P. Krishnaswamy After the Christmas and New Year festivities, the focus is now on the Pongal harvest festival, popularly known as Thai Pongal, celebrated in the first four days of the month of Thai in the Tamil-Hindu calendar. Traditionally, it is the festival of farmers who depend on Mother Earth, the sun, rain, other …

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Liberal Pluralism, Tamil People’s Council and the New Constitution

by Mahendran Thiruvarangan More than six years after the war’s end, a particular line of thinking has come to the forefront in Tamil nationalists’ defence of their politics around national self-determination. I would broadly describe this philosophy as liberal pluralism. Predicating the politics around state re-formation primarily, if not solely, on ethnicity or culture, it …

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Mangala Samaraweera’s Proposal to Shut Down Sri Lankan Embassy in Baghdad Meets With Stiff Resistance in Cabinet

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera faced strong resistance from his cabinet colleagues towards his proposal to shut down Sri Lanka’s diplomatic mission in Bagdhad at the weekly ministerial meeting yesterday, Daily FT learns. After heated exchanges during the meeting, President Maithripala Sirisena decided to defer the decision to shut down the Lankan Embassy in Baghdad pending …

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If Not For Norway Mediation LTTE Would Have Captured Jaffna and Declared a Separate State

By Upul Joseph Fernando Southern extremists are now attempting to gain undue political advantage of the recent visit by the Norwegian Foreign Minister who was on a brief visit to Colombo. These extremists used anti-Norway slogans in 2004 and 2005 elections to gain victory. Norway was invited to mediate in the Sri Lankan peace process …

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“Scandalous Behaviour”of Sri Lankan Cricket Team in New Zealand Including Late Night Drinking Parties and Squabbling To be Probed by Sports Minister

Sri Lanka’s demoralised cricket team faces an investigation into alleged “scandalous behaviour” during its dismal tour of New Zealand, including drinking parties and squabbling, the sports minister said on Tuesday. Dayasiri Jayasekera said he had been handed photos of national players attending all night parties just before crucial matches against hosts New Zealand, who achieved …

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Is President Sirisena Planning to Kick Out Ranil as Prime Minister and Form His Own SLFP Govt with help of 20 UNF MP’s?

By C.A.Chandraprema Summing up President Maithripala Sirisena’s first year in power, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said at a Ports Authority function that he (Sirisena) formed a government and has had no peace thereafter; and that he has not seen another leader as beset by problems as President Maithripala Sirisena. Minister S.B.Dissanayake speaking at the SLFP’s first …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe was Leader of the Political Struggle Which Brought About the Peoples Victory of Jan 8 2015

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray Victory never falls from the sky. In politics victories are produced when the conditions for meaningful and effective struggle mature and more importantly those who struggle are empowered by single minded determination, unity of purpose, coherence, coordination and synergy in action, and visionary leadership. It is said and not without cause …

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Is Mahinda Rajapaksa Seeking Assistance From China to Topple the Maithri-Ranil Govt?

By Upul Joseph Fernando When the then Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe lost the Local Government elections in 2014, he proceeded to America to study at a university and also to deliver lectures. Before he left to United States Ranil told a media conference in Colombo that he was going over there to learn tactics to …

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How Indian Ex-Finance Minister Chidambaram Advised Chief Minister Wigneswaran to Work with Govt for Permanent Solution

By Harsha Gunasena I have been a columnist for the Sinhala monthly publication Samabima. In early 2013, I along with the fellow columnists, were criticised by a Buddhist monk that we were writing against the Sinhala extremism but not against Tamil or Muslim extremism. I have responded to the criticism by stating that we were …

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Former Attorney – General Shiva Pasupathy Rejects Invitation by Ex –Judge Wigneswaran to Join Tamil Makkal Paeravai Sub –committee as his Nominee

By P.K.Balachandran Former Sri Lankan Attorney General and constitutional expert, Shiva Pasupathy, has “rejected outright” Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran’s invitation to join the Tamil Makkal Peravai (TMP) as his personal representative on the sub-committee on constitutional reform, sources close to Pasupathy told Express on Monday. Australia-based Pasupathy, who had gone to Jaffna on a …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Consults Astrologer at Abhayarama About Forming his own Govt iAfter 2016 April New Year

By Upul Joseph Fernando Recently Mahinda Rajapaksa had called an astrologer to Abhayaramaya Temple and inquired about the horoscope of Maithripala Sirisena. Mahinda is of the view that a bright time would dawn on him by April 2016 to form a government. He has related his future dream to all his friends and members in …

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West Wants Sri Lankan Regime To Midwife a “Tamil Kurdistan “ To Serve As Permanent Proxy.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Three speeches last week revealed our future. Each concerned an aspect of this island’s fate.Together they show the whole. The Prime Minister announced that the country will have a new political system next year. That change has to be understood within a geopolitical and geo-strategic context signalled in two speeches, by an …

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Fate of Ravi Karunanayake as Finance Minister Hangs in the Balance as Relationship with Ranil Wickremesinghe Sours

BY Gagani Weerakoon The internal clashes in Maithri-Ranil Yahapalana Government has reached a point where it has put the fate of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake hangs in the balance with several senior Cabinet colleagues openly criticizing him. In addition, it proved that every effort taken by Karunanayake to pacify his party colleagues have backfired adding …

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The Ranil Wickremesinghe factor in 2016 and beyond

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray One year ago, around the time of Christmas, there was tension in the country. The people were about to vote in a Presidential Election which would decide the destiny of the country, one way or the other. Today, one year later, we are celebrating Christmas and enjoying the festive season without …

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TNA Chief Minister Wigneswaran Forms New Organization in First Step Towards Splitting TNA

By P K Balachandran The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province has formed a new “non-political” organization which observers see as the first step towards splitting the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which he represents in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). The outfit, christened Tamil Makkal Peravai or Tamil Peoples’ Assembly (TPA), was formed …

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Monopolistic Cabal Has Taken Entire Country Hostage Under Guise of Protecting Free Education or Free Health Care

By Ranga Jayasuriya The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) threw a tantrum when the government proposed to abolish duty free duty vehicle permits granted to certain categories of public servants. After the threat of a strike by the doctors, the government backtracked. Since there is hardly any link between doctors’ duty free car permits and …

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Tamil Peoples Council (TPC) Launched in Jaffna as Political Alternative to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) with Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran at the Helm

A new political front has been launched in Jaffna on Saturday December 19th 2015 with Northern Province chief minister Canagasabapathy Visvalingam Wigneswaran at the helm. The new front known as “Thamil Makkal Paeravai” in wamil and “Tamil Peoples Council” in English is viewed as a political alternative to the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) which is regarded …

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Rajapaksa Henchman “Capt Tissa” Allegedly Linked to Murders of Ruggerite Thajudeen,IUSF Student Activists and Assault on JSC secretary Thilakaratne

By Rasika Jayakody ‘Captain Tissa’, a chauffeur of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was not an unknown figure to the upper rungs of the previous government because of the strong link he had with the former first family. When ‘Captain Tissa’ constructed a house near Medawelikada Road, Rajagiriya, some years ago, the former President, along with …

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From Abuse of Power Under Mahinda to Incoherence in Power Under Maithripala?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Close to one year since the change in political leadership in Sri Lanka, glaring peculiarities of bad law-making decisions have begun to cling to this Government much like an unpleasantly persistent odor. Almost without exception, each and every draft law presented to the House displays a manifest lack of clear-headedness. Such …

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As Outgoing President, Barack Obama May Visit Myanmar and Sri Lanka Next Year as “Pair of US Foreign Policy Success Stories”.

By Taylor Dibbert There was another high-level U.S. visit to Sri Lanka this week. State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon visited the island nation from December 14-16. The highlight of his trip seems to have been the formal announcement that the first “U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue” will be held in Washington this February. The dialogue will …

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21 NPC Councillors Including Wigneswaran Not “Co-operating” with Chairman Sivagnanam’s Efforts to Send Flood Relief for Tamil Nadu

By P.K.Balachandran The Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-dominated Northern Provincial Council (NPC) C.V.K.Sivagnanam, says that he is determined to overcome obstacles to sending relief to flood-ravaged Tamil Nadu. While Indian diplomats told Sivagnanam that India has a policy of not accepting foreign aid for disaster management, a section of the Jaffna Tamil media, allegedly instigated …

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Points to Ponder Over Paying Compensation to Slain Media Persons

By C. A. Chandraprema Speaking during the committee stage debate on the budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Mass Media and Parliamentary Affairs, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that a compensation plan would be implemented for 44 media persons who were killed due to political reasons under the former regime. He said that President Maithripala …

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Northern Provincial Council has Failed to Utilize Funds Allocated by Govt Alleges EPDP Leader Douglas Devananda

By Yohan Perera The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) had become a meaningless institution as it had not used a single cent out of the funds allocated for it by the Central Government, Opposition MP Douglas Devananda told Parliament today. Mr. Devananda who is an MP representing the Northern District of Jaffna said the funds allocated …

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Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne Admits that his Daughter – in – Law and Many Other Relatives are Studying at SAITM

By Sandun A Jayasekera Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne today admitted that his daughter-in-law was studying at SAITM and added that not only her but that many of his relatives were studying there. He said the Health Ministry permitted to facilitate clinical training for students at the Malabe private Medical College following a court …

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Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Must Reveal Truth About His Links with Avant Garde Chairman Senadhipathi.

By Don Manu Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe must ask himself a few simple questions: Has he as a member of parliament availed himself of any generous hospitality in the past extended to him and his family by the controversial Avant Garde chairman, the arms dealer Senadhipathi whom he has been defending so vigorously in public …

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Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Opposes Sri Lankan Govt Proposal of “Grama Rajya” Scheme of Devolution

By P.K.Balachandran The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province on Tuesday expressed opposition to the Lankan government’s plan to introduce “Grama Rajya” as the unit of devolution of power. Presenting the Northern Provincial Council’s budget for 2016, Wigneswaran said that as per a circular sent by the Central Government, under the proposed “Grama …

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Change and Continuity in Sri Lanka:There May be Different Snouts but the Trough Has not Changed -Private Eye

OPTIMISM was in abundance in Sri Lanka following the surprise results of a presidential election at the beginning of the year. After the long civil war, after a decade of government by the self-aggrandising Rajapaksa family, opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena swept to power at the head of a coalition of Sri Lanka’s two main parties, …

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China Adopts Carrot and Stick Aproach Towards Sri Lanka to Ensure Resumption Controversial Colombo Port City Project

By Upul Joseph Fernando When President Maithripala Sirisena was in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly sessions, United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, visited him. When Kerry sought his leave after a lengthy discussion, Maithri asked him a pertinent question: “How are you going to balance China and India?” asked Maithri. …

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Police Register Case Against Tamil Actor Simbu and Music Composer Anirudh For Obscene Song Denigrating Women

Race Course Police in Coimbatore have registered a case against actor Simbu and music director Anirudh on Saturday based on a complaint filed by the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) with the Commissioner of Police seeking action against them for composing a song which denigrates women. Comments criticising Simbu and Anirudh were also posted …

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TNA Wants Govt to Withdraw Penal Code Amendment Bill as it is Inconsistent with Article 14 of Constitution

(Text of a Press Statement Issued by the Tamil National Alliance on Proposed Penal Code Amendment regarding Hate Speech) The Tamil National Alliance is deeply concerned about the proposed Penal Code (Amendment) Bill placed on the Order Paper of Parliament on 11 December 2015. The said Bill was placed on the Order Paper by the …

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Abdication of Presidential Leadership by Sirisena On Release of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Political Prisoners

By Taylor Dibbert Just days ago, a Tamil political prisoner being held in Jaffna Prison commenced a hunger strike. Similar hunger strikes have taken place this year, although this behavior doesn’t appear to have changed the government’s calculus in a significant way. This issue has been a source of ongoing debate and tension. The Sri …

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