SLFP Leader Maithripala Makes a Mockery of President Sirisena’s Good Governance Principles

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena was elected President of Sri Lanka on January 8th 2015. The general secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP) had broken away from his party and contested the Presidential elections as the common opposition candidate. Maithripala Sirisena defeated his former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.The victory was hailed as a …

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Karu Jayasuriya of UNP Elected Unanimously as Speaker:SLFP’s Thilanga Sumathipala -Deputy Speaker. Amirtharaj Adaikkalanathan alias “Selvam”of TNA -Deputy Chairman of Committees.

Senior United National Party Leader and National List MP Karunananda Jayasuriya has been elected unanmously as Speaker of Parliament. The name of “Karu” as he is popularly known was proposed by Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and seconded by Nimal Siripala de Silva.

Wimal Weerawansa Personally Apologises to President Sirisena for Using Abusive Language Against Him During Election Campaign

In what is called a dramatic turn of events in the local political arena NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa had tendered an apology to President Maithripala Sirisena when a UPFA delegation met the President yesterday. Weerawansa had tendered the apology to the President for using abusive language during the Presidential election campaign against him (the President). …

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LTTE Supremo Veluppillai Prabhakaran did not Commit Suicide says Ex- Army Chief Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka

By P K Balachandran Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who commanded the Sri Lanka Army during the 2006-2009 Eelam War IV, has refuted the contention of former Tamil Tiger commander “Col” Karuna Amman, that Tiger Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran had shot himself dead and was not killed by Lankan troops as claimed. “He had a head injury …

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With Mahinda Rajapaksa Gone the International Investigation Bogey also Goes

By Ranga Jayasuriya Since the end of war, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the ex-President kept a nation; mostly its Sinhalese villagers in the rural hinterland petrified by the simple mention of a bogeyman: an international war crime trial. Of course, his nemesis in the West and the fringe groups of the Tamil diaspora unleashed it on him; …

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Parliamentary Poll Results Show India had Nothing to do with Electoral Defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa in Presidential Elections

BY N SATHIYA MOORTHY In an interview to N. Ram for ‘The Hindu’ a day after being sworn in as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister – for a second time in eight months and fourth time, overall – Ranil Wickremesinghe referred to India-facilitated Thirteenth Amendment, circa 1987, “build on it…maximise it” for finding a negotiated settlement …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Fourth Stint as Prime Minister Wont be a Walk in the Park

By The “Sunday Times” Political Editor When Ranil Wickremesinghe led the United National Party (UNP) to victory at the August 17 general elections, it was not merely the end of a hectic 49-day campaign; it was also the culmination of a 40-year-long political career that had few triumphs and many disasters. Wickremesinghe was sworn in …

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Investigators Subpoena Lobbyists in Effort to Trace Rajapaksa Assets in the US:8 Rajapaksas with US addresses Including Basil and Gota Named in Document

By Namini Wijedasa The payments were so covertly done that neither Cabinet nor Parliament knew of them. As with many other transactions, the cabal that struck deals for key members of the previous regime played the cards close to its chest. But in July-August 2014, the Sunday Times exclusively revealed that the Sri Lanka Government …

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President Sirisena Meets Vasudeva Nanayakkara,Dinesh Gunawardena and Wimal Weerawansa to Determine Future of UPFA

By Shamindra Ferdinando President Maithripala Sirisena has called for a meeting with three UPFA constituents today (Aug. 31) to explore the possibility of reaching a consensus regarding their role before Parliament meets tomorrow. The Presidential Secretariat has requested Ratnapura District MP-elect Vasudeva Nanayakkara (Democratic Left Front), Colombo District MP-elect Dinesh Gunawardena (Mahajana Eksath Peramuna) and …

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FROM JAN 8 TO AUG 17 AND AFTER: THE MAHINDA MOVEMENT AND THE FUTURE OF SINHALA NATIONALISM

– BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA “…of battles won or lost—but waged—against the enemy.” (Che Guevara: ‘Message to the Tricontinental’) The Mahinda Movement hoped for, believed in and fought determinedly for a victory at the August 17th election, but beneath the rousing nationalist romanticism there was always a tougher-minded realization that what was being waged was …

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President Sirisena has Laughed at the Peoples Verdict by Appinting Defeated Candidates to Parliament Through National List

By Udaya Gammanpila There is a specific objective of introducing the National List in the Constitution of 1978. It is to get important people who are reluctant to contest elections involved in the policy formulation and law making process. Professionals, academics and leaders of insignificant communities such as Malays, Burghers, Vedda and disabled people belong …

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US has Always Talked of Both Domestic and International Probes on Sri Lanka says TNA Leader Sampanthan

By P.K.Balachandran R.Sampanthan, the top most leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), has said that the party can take an official stand on the latest US policy on the mechanism to investigate charges of war crimes in Sri Lanka, only after reading the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human …

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Maithripala Overtakes Mahinda “Miraculously” in Rapid “Sirisenaization”Of Sri Lanka

By Malinda Seneviratne Maithri’s ‘Miracle’ More than a week has passed since results were released. Parliament has not been convened. There’s no Speaker. No Leader of the Opposition. No Cabinet. Just three ministers have been appointed, all to satisfy the various ‘areas of concern’ of a visiting US civil servant. Now that is the kind …

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President Sirisena is not Allowing Prime Minister Wickremesinghe a Free Hand to Select his Team of Ministers to Run the Country.

By C.A.Chandraprema We are now nearing the end of the second week after the parliamentary election with no cabinet of ministers. UNP chairman Malik Samarawickrema announced September 2 as the date on which the cabinet may be sworn in and SLFP general secretary Duminda Dissanayake said that September 4 would be the likelier date due …

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As Things are at Present, Mahinda Rajapaksa is dead, Politically.

By Anura Gunasekera Notwithstanding his rise to ultimate power, Mahinda Rajapaksa, despite being one of the shrewdest political manipulators in the history of this country, opts to place his faith in necromancy, rather than in the intelligence of his political sense. Apart from a pathetic belief in the occult and an abject reliance on heavenly …

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Water Supply in Greater Colombo Affected as Biyagama Coca Cola Factory Diesel Leak Pollutes Kelani River:EPL Revoked and Production Suspended;Rs One Billion Fine Imposed

By Rukshana Rizwie The Central Environment Authority (CEA) has suspended the Environmental Protection License of beverage giant Coca-Cola over an incident which occurred on Monday where ‘diesel’ from an underground fuel pipe had leaked into the Kelani river basin. “The CEA is concerned over the environmental damage, which is largely evident in this case,” said …

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US Announces Policy Shift From International to Domestic Probe into Sri Lankan War Crimes Investigation

By K. Ratnayake US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Biswal announced in Colombo yesterday that Washington will sponsor a resolution in UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions next month supporting a Sri Lankan government inquiry into alleged war crimes. The announcement is a major shift by the US which last …

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Tamil National Alliance Propping up Sirisena-Wickremesinghe led Pro – US Regime in Sri Lanka.

By K. Nesan In the wake of the August 17 parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka, Tamil nationalist parties are serving as key props for President Maithripala Sirisena in his attempt to install a new pro-US regime in Colombo. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has the third-largest faction in parliament, after the United National Party (UNP, …

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Army will Assist and Cooperate with Probe on Officers Allegedly Implicated in Abduction and Killing of Journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda

by Ranil Wijayapala The pain and anguish of Sandya, the wife of Prageeth Eknaligoda and his two sons over the loss of a loving husband and an affectionate father will never cease. The investigation over his disappearance brushed under the carpet for over five years was taken up by the CID as a priority with …

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Excessive SLFP Demand for Minister Posts Results in UNP Young MP’s Wanting Party to Form Solo Govt

by Rasika Jayakody “Aim for the moon and hit the stars” was the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s rule when it negotiated for ministerial portfolios with the UNP to form a national unity government. As soon as the party’s Central Committee gave its green light to form a national government, the SLFP wanted 16 ministries out …

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US Falls in Line with India’s Stance on Do Setting Up Domestic Instead of International Probe on Sri Lankan War Crimes

By P.K. Balachandran The United States appears to have fallen in line with India’s consistent position that charges of war crimes and human rights violations relating to Sri Lanka are best investigated by an independent and credible domestic mechanism rather than an intrusive international mechanism, threatening its sovereignty. The US, which had made the UN …

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Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi(ITAK) Wants Its Parliamentary Group Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan to be made Leader of the Opposition.

(TEXT OF PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE MEDIA OFFICE OF THE ILANKAI THAMIL ARASU KADCHI?TAMIL NATIONAL ALLIANCE) At the General Election held on the 17th of August 2015, the United National Party (UNP) emerged as the party with the largest number of seats in Parliament. The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) obtained the second largest …

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Maithripala Sirisena Takes Over SLFP Reducing Mahinda Rajapaksa Group to A Rump

By P K Balachandran Seven months after he was made de jure Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent of the opposition United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena became its de facto head on Friday. The group headed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was reduced to a rump …

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TNA Run Northern Province Council Chairman CVK Sivagnanam says Tamils Want International and not Domestic War Crimes Investigation.

By P.K.Balachandran A senior leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has said that the Tamils will keep pressing for an international probe into charges of war crimes against the Lankan government even though the US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Nisha Biswal, has made it clear that the US will only seek …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Brother and Ex-speaker Chamal Ready to Join Sirisena-Wickremesinghe National Unity Govt

by Disna Mudalige Former Speaker and UPFA MP-elect Chamal Rajapaksa is to join the National Unity Government. Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Rajapaksa said he would stand along with the position of the SLFP Party Chairman and President Maithripala Sirisena on forming a Unity Government. He said he was willing to give the necessary …

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I am Eligible to Become MP Because I have Cancelled my Switzerland Citizenship a Long Time Ago” says Actress Geetha Kumarasinghe

By Piyumi Fonseka Rejecting reports that her parliamentary seat was being annulled, Geetha Kumarasinghe told Daily Mirror today that despite obstacles, she would definitely take oaths as a Member of Parliament on September 1. “Losers are in a futile attempt to sling mud at me saying I am a Switzerland citizen. According to the 19th …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe Suffers from many Political Headaches in his role as Prime Minister of a Coalition Govt Termed as National Govt

By Malinda Seneviratne This should have been easy. It has been easy all these years. Hold election, release results, count numbers, pick the leader of the party which returned the most candidates to Parliament and appoint him/her as Prime Minister. Then Parliament convenes, the Speaker is elected, the Leader of the Opposition is selected and …

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US Shift in Policy Towards Sri Lanka Shows Western Nations are Bolstering Sirisena – Wickremesinghe Administration – Rajiva Wijesinha

by Shamindra Ferdinando Former UPFA MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha yesterday said that the anticipated change in US policy towards Sri Lanka was aimed atstrengthening the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration. The US policy shift was not at all surprising because the Obama administration had, in no uncertain terms, made known its desire to effect a regime change in …

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Chandrika Kumaratunga Returns to Centre Stage of Sri Lankan Politics and will be in Charge of Ethnic Reconciiation

By P.K.Balachandran Former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who has been in the political wilderness since 2005 when the Supreme Court refused to extend her second and last term to November 2006, is now back again at the centre of the Lankan political stage. It was Kumaratunga who made Maithripala Sirisena the Joint Opposition Candidate …

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Swearing in of New National Unity Govt with 30 UNP and 15 SLFP Cabinet Ministers Likely to be on Sep 4

By Dharisha Bastians The National Unity Government continued to show teething problems with a further delay expected in the appointment of the new cabinet of ministers as the tussle for portfolios between the SLFP and the UNP continues and the Government navigates a legislative blockade on the number of Ministers allowed by the Constitution. UNP …

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Mangala Samaraweera Discloses Outline of Envisaged War Crimes Investigation Domestic Mechanism to Nisha Biswal

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lanka has told the United States that it is putting together an independent domestic mechanism to investigate charges of war crimes. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said this to the visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Biswal, at the bilateral talks held here on Tuesday. Briefing the …

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Former UK Premier Tony Blair Outlines the Seven Principles of Successful Reconciliation in Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture Delivered in Colombo.

(Text of Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture by former UK prime minister the Rt. Hon. Tony Blair) Thank you very much Mangala, It is a great pleasure and honour to be giving this Lakshman Kadirgamar lecture at the Institute which bears his name. Before I say anything else I should say one thing at the conclusion …

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SLFP Looks Set for Long and Acrimonious Power Struggle Between Mahinda and Maithripala

By Dharisha Bastians The small village of Medamulana, nestled deep inside the Hambantota District, is a place of tranquility and scenic beauty. Tiny lakes glisten in the bright sunshine, studded with bright pink lotuses in full bloom. Endlessly green paddy fields extend as far as the eye can see, coconut trees dance and rustle in …

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“TNA will Accept Domestic Investigation if it has International Participation”- M. A. Sumanthiran

By P.K.Balachandran The US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Nisha Biswal, has said that the US will be moving a resolution on human rights and war crimes in Sri Lanka at the September session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). But the resolution will be drafted in collaboration with the Lankan …

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“National Govt” to be Sworn in by President Sirisena on Sep 2nd with 30 UNP and 15 SLFP Ministers

by Chaminda Perera and Disna Mudaliage Breaking what seemed to be a ‘deadlock’ in the national government formation, UNP Chairman and MP elect Malik Samarawickrema said yesterday that an agreement was reached with the SLFP over its mechanism after extensive discussions. According to the agreement, the new Cabinet of the national government will be sworn …

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“TNA Gets Overwhelming Mandate From Tamil Speaking People in the North and East” says M. A. Sumanthiran

By Shamindra Ferdinando In the wake of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) winning the lion’s share of seats in the Northern and Eastern electoral districts at the recently concluded parliamentary polls, influential South African Tamil Federation (SATF) has reiterated its support to the four-party political grouping. The TNA comprises Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), TELO, …

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Eight Takeaways on 2015 Sri Lanka General Election and its Aftermath

by Col R Hariharan After the din of recently concluded general election in Sri Lanka is over, the United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as Sri Lanka’s prime minister. He is poised to work with a national unity government. There are eight takeaways from the election and its aftermath that can …

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Remembering Santasilan Kadirgamar: Intellectual, Activist and Loyal Alumnus of Jaffna College

by Mahendran Thiruvarangan When I learnt about Santasilan Kadirgamar’s demise, I felt I had lost a loyal alumnus of my old school Jaffna College and a friend from whose activism I learnt a lot about the significance of inclusive social movements to our quest for justice. My interactions with Silan happened in these two spheres …

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US to Sponsor Resolution at UN Supporting Sri Lanka Position of Domestic Investigation into Alleged War Crimes Instead of International Probe.

By Dharisha Bastians Sri Lanka looked set to escape a minefield of international action on war crimes allegations with a US Government announcement yesterday that it would sponsor a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next month supporting the Government’s plans for a domestic investigation and reconciliation. The announcement marks a departure …

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EPDP’s Douglas Devananda Meets President Sirisena and UNP leaders Seeking Inclusion in Govt as Cabinet Minister

By Shamindra Ferdinando The Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) leader Douglas Devananda has offered to join the UNP-SLFP coalition. Political sources told The Island that EPDP leader Douglas Devananda had met President Maithripala Sirisena to explore the possibility of joining the coalition on the side lines of on-going SLFP-UNP deliberations as well as talks among …

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SLFP Must be Released from Clutches of Mahinda and his Band if the Party Wants to form a Govt

By Upul Joseph Fernando Prior to the public rally by Mahinda Rajapaksa confidantes at Nugegoda where they proudly claimed that they would protect the 5.8 million votes of Mahinda, Ranil Wickremesinghe threw a challenge asking Mahinda to contest the general election stating he would reduce that 5.8 million votes to the range of four odd …

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Return of Chandrika to Active Politics Paves Way for Rise of the “Bandaranaike Brand”in the SLFP.

By Rasika Jayakody “Former President Kumaratunga heads the Office for National Unity. She is also now playing a leading role in the SLFP. And she chaired the Committee which drafted the MoU from their side. President Maithripala Sirisena and the former President Kumaratunga have a moderating influence in the SLFP and I think they are …

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It is Imperative that Mahinda Rajapaksa Should Retire with Dignity

By Malinda Seneviratne It’s easy to offer advice after the fact. Mahinda Rajapaksa had many exit-options. He could have ruled in a way that he could go out, even in defeat, with head held high. He did not. And yet, he had enough popularity and even grudging respect from detractors, to go into quiet retirement, …

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UNP- SLFP Memorandum of Understanding to form National Govt to be Amended to Include more Clauses

By Disna Mudalige The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the SLFP and the UNP to form a National Unity Government will be amended shortly to include more clauses, SLFP acting General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake told the Daily News yesterday. He said the revised MoU would be announced when it is endorsed by the two parties. …

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“US Will Stand by Sri Lanka as Long as Govt Continues to make Courageous Decisions”- US asst Secy Tom Malinowski

By Dharisha Bastians A top US diplomat hailed Sri Lanka’s “tremendous progress” towards good governance, reconciliation and democracy during a two-day visit to Colombo, weeks ahead of the release of a UN report on allegations of war crimes committed during the final stages of the war. US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South …

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Lakshman Kadirgamar was a Realist but at the same time he was an Idealist”-Mangala Samaraweera

(Text of Address by Foreign Affairs minister Mangala Samaraweera On the occasion of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture held at the Kadirgamar Institute) I have the honour today, as the Chairman of the Board of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies, to speak a little about my late cabinet colleague Mr. …

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Mangala,Wijeyadasa and DM Swaminathan Appointed Foreign Affairs,Justice and Re-settlement Ministers Prior to Talks with US Asst Secy Nisha Biswal

By Dharisha Bastians Three key ministers of the new Cabinet were sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday, ahead of a visit by top US State Department official and high level discussions on the UN war crimes report. Newly-elected MPs Mangala Samaraweera, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and D.M. Swaminathan were returned as the …

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President Sirisena Should Allow UNP to Function Independently Without Forcibly Thrusting the SLFP Into a “National” Govt

By C. A. Chandraprema In 1994, the day after the August parliamentary election, this writer visited the then president D. B. Wijetunga at President’s House in the Colombo Fort. When I entered the conference room of the president, Mr Dharmadasa Banda, a minister of the then UNP government was having a conversation with DBW. If …

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19th Constitutional Amendment to be Reviewed and Amended to Further Strengthen Parliament

By Shamindra Ferdinando The original draft of the 19 Amendment provided for the formation of a national government only once after the recently concluded parliamentary polls and that provision had been done away with as demanded by the SLFP-led UPFA in the last parliament, authoritative sources told The Island yesterday. Instead, the UPFA wanted the …

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UPFA Constituent Parties will Function as Opposition along with Mahinda Even if the SLFP Pulls out of Alliance

By Dasun Edirisinghe UPFA constituent parties yesterday said that they were ready to continue their struggle with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as their leader even as a new political force if the SLFP opted out of the alliance. Addressing the media at Abhayaramaya temple in Narahenpita, former Minister Wimal Weerawansa said President Maithripala Sirisena’s underhand …

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Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Questioned by Presidential Commission of Inquiry for Six hours Over Alleged abuse of Power and Misuse of State Resources.

by Chaminda Perera The Presidential Commission of Inquiry yesterday questioned former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over a series of allegations. He was questioned for six hours. Rajapaksa arrived at the BMICH premises, where the Commission is housed, with two security personnel. The former Defence Secretary, when asked by journalists about the charges against him, said …

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Experiencing Sri Lanka Again as Short Term Observer of 2015 Elections Made Me Feel Christmas had come Early.

By Taylor Dibbert Upon discovering I had been chosen as a short-term observer for Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election on August 17, it felt like Christmas had come early. Dallas to Doha to Colombo. And then on to Jaffna for the election! When I fly to Sri Lanka from the U.S., I usually feel somewhat slow …

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The Movie “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” Fosters Better Understanding Between India and Pakistan than Official Level Talks

By Sagarika Ghose In times of terror attacks and stalled NSA-level talks, a mainstream Bollywood movie with the message of Indo-Pak peace and friendship has become a super hit. Jingoists on both sides of the LoC dominate the discourse but a rollicking picturesque caper that lurches from Himalayas to moonlit desert to Hindi heartland has …

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“Let’s Work it out Within the 13th Amendment and Maximise by Building on it”- Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Tells N. Ram of “The Hindu”.

by N. Ram The Sri Lankan political situation has taken an interesting turn with the fairly narrow victory of the United National Party in the general election, its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe being sworn in as Prime Minister for the fourth time, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two main parties, the …

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Five Full Length Plays and Five One Act Dramas Written by Agatha Christie Discovered in Archives Containing Authors Papers

Ten works by English crime novelist Agatha Christie, including five full-length plays and five one-act dramas, have been unearthed by a British theatre producer. Julius Green, a Christie expert who has produced more than 250 plays and musicals, found five full-length plays and five one-act dramas written by the creator of the fictional Belgian detective, …

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While Many Decent Candidates Lost in Polls Some Murderers,Fraudsters and Crooks Have Got Elected

By Ranga Jayasuriya Our choices for elected representatives are always a matter of curiosity. What qualities and credentials are we looking in them? A safe guess would be that we didn’t want them to be murderers, fraudsters and crooks. But, take a look at some of those people who polled the most number of preferential …

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Return of Sampur Lands to the People is a very big Achievement says TNA Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

By P K Balachandran Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R.Sampanthan has described the Maithripala Sirisena government’s decision to return 1055 acres of land to the Tamil farmers of Sampur in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, as a “very big achievement” of the struggle to get back lands seized during the war. On Saturday, President Sirisena and …

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UNP Engaged in Talks with SLFP at One Level and with UNFGG Constituents at Another Level to Decide on Ministry Posts

By Shamindra Ferdinando Discussions are on at two different levels to decide on Cabinet portfolios as well as posts of deputy ministers in the UNP-led ruling coalition in the next parliament. Political sources said that at one level the UNP leadership had been having talks with its partners, namely Sri Lanka Muslims Congress (SLMC), All …

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People Request President Sirisena to seek a Second Term of Office says President’s Media Division.

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has been asked to seek a second term to fulfill the expectations of the people. The people of Kinniya made this request when President Sirisena visited the Eastern Province town and met with the local population on Saturday, the President’s Media Division said. Informing the President that the development expected …

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President Sirisena Sends Shock Waves Down the Spines of Rank and File by his Mini-Purge of Pro-Mahinda Elements in SLFP

By Rasika Jayakody If there was any politician who foresaw the results of the Parliamentary election on Monday, he was none other than President Maithripala Sirisena. Within hours of polling closure at 4 pm on August 17, President Sirisena, in his capacity as the SLFP Chairman, acted swiftly to remove 13 members from the Central …

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UPFA and SLFP Heading for Inevitable Splits as Power Struggle Breaks out Between Mahinda and Maithripala Factions

By Anthony David and Damith Wickremasekara Supporters of ex-president may form new alliance with other parties, but President warns of tough action against defectors; party leaders meet today to decide on fate of alliance The Sri Lanka Freedom Party faces an inevitable split, with a section set to support former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and sit …

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New Govt Likely to have 51 Ministers and 40 Deputy-ministers with 33 Ministers and 22 Deputy Ministers for UNFGG ; SLFP will get 18 min and 18 Dep- Min posts

A nation watched Friday as the victor and the vanquished at Monday’s parliamentary elections pledged to form a National Government just after a historic ceremony, televised live, where Ranil Wickremesinghe took his oaths as the 21st Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. President Sirisena is due to swear in on Tuesday a Cabinet of Ministers representing …

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UPFA Vote Tally Drops from 5. 8 Million in January to 4.7 in August as “Divide,Terrify and win”Strategy of Rajapaksas fails Drastically.

by Tisaranee Gunasekara “There is no such thing as charismatic power…only charismatic situations”– Daniel Levi. ‘Let’s Arise with Mahinda’ was the theme of the well-organised and well-funded comeback campaign of the Rajapaksa raj. The truth turned out to be polar opposite. On August 18th, the UPFA collapsed into a crushing defeat with Mahinda, again. Not …

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4.7 Million SLFP/UPFA Voters Seem to have Acted in Unison to Eliminate Virtually All who were Perceived as Sirisena Loyalists.

By C.A.Chandraprema Sri Lankan political history can be described in terms of cycles. The first parliamentary election of 1947 saw the beginning of a cycle dominated by the UNP which ended in 1956. The domination of the SLFP which began in 1956 ended in 1965. The UNP had a short run from 1965 to 1970 …

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Many Defeated Candidates Leapfrog into Parliament as MP’s Through National List Nominations

By Namini Wijedasa An unprecedented number of defeated electoral candidates, predominantly from the Maithripala Sirisena-led United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), have leapfrogged into Parliament through the National List. Out of 12 UPFA National List MPs, seven had failed to garner sufficient support at the August 17 general election to enter Parliament. They were edged out …

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Only 11 out of 556 Women Candidates Elected to Parliament Despite 52% of Population Being Female.

A total of 556 female candidates from 21 political parties and independent groups contested the general elections but only 11 of them won seats. That is a drop of two female members from the previous 225-seat parliament that already under-represented the 52 per cent-strong female population. These 11 women represent only 10 of the 22 …

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Many Vacancies Arise as Over Fifty Provincial Councillors Including Three Chief Ministers Enter Parliament as MP’s.

Fifty vacancies have been created within the Provincial Councils (PC) when their members successfully contested the Parliamentary elections. Among the PC members who were elected to parliament at Monday’s general elections were three Chief Ministers from Uva, North-western and the Western Province. Along with Uva Chief Minister Harin Fernando, UNP PC members Ravi Samaraweera, Vadiwel …

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Parliamentary Polls 2015:Victors Bask in New Found Glory as Vanquished Lick Their Wounds

By Chrishanthi Christopher Of those who contested the Parliamentary elections, over 40 lost their seats. While most of them were from the UPFA, there were others from the UNP, JVP and the ITAK. The Sunday Times spoke to some of the winners and losers who had been defeated despite years of experience as politicians. Young …

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Mr.Rajapaksa and Several Former Members of his Regime Face Prosecution for Alleged Corruption -The Economist

AT THE height of Sri Lanka’s parliamentary campaign, footage taken with a mobile phone went viral. It showed Mahinda Rajapaksa, an authoritarian former president running to become an MP, lunging at a member of the public, his fists clenched, before aides pulled him away. The short film suggested that Mr Rajapaksa already knew things were …

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President Sirisena Expands his Control Slowly over the UPFA and its Key Constituent SLFP

By P K Balachandran Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is slowly but steadily gaining control over the opposition United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and its main constituent, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which, during and prior to the August 17 parliamentary elections were under the de facto control of former Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe becomes 23rd Prime Minister of Sri Lanka as UNP and SLFP Sign Historic MOU to Form National Unity Govt

By Dharisha Bastians Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the United National Party (UNP) which bagged the most seats in Monday’s Parliamentary race,took oaths as the 23rd Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and head of its newly-elected Government yesterday. In a simple ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat, Wickremesinghe was sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at …

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“This victory is a victory for soft power. This victory is a victory for our future.”

by M.A. Sumanthiran The Tamil National Alliance has achieved a resounding victory at the 2015 General Election, successfully overcoming the challenges and fierce opposition it faced. For the second time this year, the Tamil People have shown a clear intention to strengthen the hand of the Tamil National Alliance. They have done so keeping intact …

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UNP Commends Working Committee Member Krishantha Cooray for “Sacrificing” Nomination as National List MP

The United National Party (UNP) said yesterday that it conducted itself in an exemplary manner when deciding on the final National List nominations. In a statement UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim said the party stuck with the policy of not using the National List to give access to Parliament to candidates who lost in the …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe Sworn in as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the Fourth Time

Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as Sri Lanka’s Prime minister for the fourth time on Friday August 21st 2015. T Sixty –six year old Ranil as he is popularly known was born on March 24th 1949. He has served as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka since 9 January 2015, as Leader of …

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Kumar Sangakkara Talks Candidly About Many Things in Exhaustive Interview

by Rex Clementine As the curtain comes down on Kumar Sangakkara’s stunning cricket career, The Island posts to the star batsman some questions that have been never asked from him before. In this candid interview, Sangakkara reveals the tension during the Lahore terrorist attack three months before he became a father, his first double hundred …

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SLFP Led by President Sirisena to Join national Unity Govt with UNP but Mahinda Loyalists in UPFA to Oppose Move

By Dharisha Bastians The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) headed by President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday decided to back a national unity government that will cohabit with the UNFGG which emerged as the single largest party in Parliament in Monday’s election for at least two years. SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake told reporters that the party’s …

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Chandrika Kumaratunga Attending SLFP Central Committee Meeting After Absence of 10 Years Greeted with Thunderous Applause.

By Chaminda Perera The Sri Lanka Freedom Party is to sign an MoU with the United National Party for the formation of a national government for a period of at least two years with the objective of solving burning issues faced by the country. The SLFP Central Committee which met under the patronage of President …

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SLFP Central Committee Decides Unanimously to Join UNP led National Govt after Signing Memorandum of Understanding.

by Dasun Edirisinghe Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Central Committee yesterday unanimously decided to join a national government as neither the UNP nor UPFA had succeeded in securing a majority of seats in Parliament. SLFP spokesman and former minister Dilan Perera told The Island that the party’s CC had met at President Maithripala Sirisena’s official …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe to be Sworn in as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister for the Fourth Time on Friday Aug 21st 2015

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will be sworn-in as Prime Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena for the fourth time, at a simple ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat today (Aug 21st) Wickremesinghe was first appointed as the Prime Minister from 1993 – 1994 after the assassination of former President Ranasinghe Premadasa.

Ranil Issues Rallying Call from “Temple Trees” Lawn for a New era of Politics and Government in the Country

By Dharisha Bastians Premier designate Ranil Wickremesinghe issued a rallying call for political consensus and an end to the politics of division and partisanship, in his first address since winning Monday’s crucial Parliamentary poll. With the stage set to resemble presidential addresses in the White House rose garden, Wickremesinghe addressed the media for the first …

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Tamil National Alliance will Support the United National Party Govt says Party Leader R.Sampanthan.

By T.Ramakrishnan The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will support the United National Party (UNP), which has emerged as the single largest party in Monday’s Parliament election in Sri Lanka. “In the process, we also expect resolution to the national question in a manner acceptable to all people,” TNA leader R. Sampanthan told The Hindu.

Ranil says Good Relations with India will be part of new Chapter Being Opened in Sri Lanka

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said here on Wednesday, that his country will have good relations with India as part of the new chapter that is being opened with the victory of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) in the August 17 parliamentary elections. “A new chapter is being opened …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa States he will Continue to Engage in Politics and Function Within Parliament

By Dasun Edirisinghe Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that he would continue in politics to honour the vote at Monday’s election. He said that he would go to Parliament as a newly elected member on Sept. 01. “I accept with humility the result of the just concluded parliamentary election. I thank the voters who …

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Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Invites all Parties in Parliament to Work With Govt in Arriving at Consensus on National Policy

By Disna Mudalige Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, yesterday invited all political parties representing Parliament to work hand in hand with the Government to arrive at a consensus on a national policy for Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister extended this open invitation, while making a special statement at Temple Trees premises. He said he would take …

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Separatist Agenda of Tamil National Peoples Front and Tamil Civil Society Forum Rejected by Tamil Voters

By Ahilan Kadirgamar The parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka held risks of polarisation and the re-emergence of authoritarian politics. But the Lankan voters rejected divisive politics for the second time this year. The United National Party (UNP) will likely form the new government, while the moderating presence of President Maithripala Sirisena as leader of the …

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Two Factors Seem to Have Contributed to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Second Defeat in Seven Months

By Jayadeva Uyangoda There are two significant political consequences following Sri Lanka’s parliamentary elections. First, the majority of voters have given a verdict in favour of completing the partial political change that began with the presidential election of January 8 this year. Secondly, and no less important, it has dashed the hopes of the former …

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Sri Lankan Voters Reject Racism by Defeating Mahinda – UPFA in South and Gajendrakumar-TNPF in North

By Upul Joseph Fernando When Maithri removed the UPFA and SLFP Secretaries last week, the Mahinda faction attacked Maithri stating that the latter’s decision to introduce new secretaries to act in those offices was taken before Court by a Tamil lawyer. Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva disclosed the name of that lawyer and identified …

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Susil Premajayantha and Wishwa Warnapala will Submit Separate National List MP Nominees to Elections Commissioner

By Rasika Jayakody There was a time when the UNP, the grand old party in the country’s political sphere, doubted its ability to win national level elections. The UPFA, led by the Rajapaksa family, seemed almost invincible and was fully backed by the state apparatus when it came to elections. Elections were conducted on a …

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President Sirisena Promises SLFP Backing for a future UNP Government

by Shamindra Ferdinando UNP-led United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) secured ten out of 22 electoral districts, including Colombo to obtain the largest block of seats at the Aug. 17 parliamentary polls, though it couldn’t secure a simple majority in 225-member parliament. The UNP won 106 seats, including 13 National List slots, UPFA 95 …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Expresses his Gratitude to all those who Voted for the UPFA

By Norman Palihawadana Former President and Kurunegala District UPFA candidate at the last general election Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said if he had been able to find more time to campaign in the Kurunegala District the result would have been much different and UPFA would have polled more votes. “I campaigned in Kurunegala only for two …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Unlikely to Bow out Gracefully from Politics Despite his Second Electoral Defeat.

By Dharisha Bastians Voters rejected former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s prime ministerial bid yesterday, routing his party in a tight electoral contest and issuing a fresh mandate to the coalition that defeated him in January to carry forward democratic reforms, reconciliation and anti-corruption efforts. Monday’s Parliamentary contest crawled to a nail-biter of a finish yesterday, with …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe in Victory Statement Calls Upon the Nation to Create a New Country with Equal Opportunities for all.

Prime Minister-elect Ranil Wickremesinghe hailed the people’s mandate to carry forward the 8 January revolution and issued a clarion call for unity in the country as he claimed victory for his party in Monday’s crucial parliamentary poll. “The majority of the people of this country have approved the continuance of good governance and consensual politics …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Concedes Defeat in Election Battle but Will Continue War Against Sirisena- Wickremesinghe Govt

By N Sathiya Moorthy It’s not always that a trailing leader in South Asia or the rest of the Third World in general concedes an election even before even a fraction of the final results is known. Yet, Sri Lanka’s former president and present prime ministerial aspirant, Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa, has done so twice in …

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Canadian Tamil Congress Congratulates the Tamil National Alliance on its Resounding Election Victory

(Text of Press Release Issued by the Canadian Tamil Congress on August 18, 2015) The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) congratulates Mr. R. Sampanthan and the Tamil National Alliance on their resounding election victory in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. The Tamil people have given the TNA, and its leader Mr. R. Sampanthan, …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Hopes of Becoming Prime Minister Crash as UPFA Loses Narrowly to the UNP

By Col R Hariharan Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s hopes of coming back to power as Sri Lanka’s prime minister crashed when the. United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), which fielded him as a candidate, lost out narrowly to the United National Party (UNP)-led coalition in the parliamentary election held on August 17. In the most peacefully …

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TNA With 69% Votes Wins Five of Seven Seats in Jaffna: EPDP – 1;UNP -1; TNPF Backed by Diaspora Tigers Routed

The Tamil National Alliance(TNA) contesting under the house symbol of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi(ITAK) has registered a significant victory in the Jaffna electoral district at Sri Lanka’s 15th Parliamentary elections held on August 17th 2015. The TNA polling 207,577 votes amounting to 69.12% of the votes cast has won five of the seven MP …

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President Sirisena Sacks 13 Mahinda Loyalists from SLFP Central Committee and Appoints new Members Including Chandrika Kumaratunga

President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the SLFP Chairman, has ordered the removal of 13 members from the party’s Central Committee, SLFP sources said. The members who have been removed include Rathnasiri Wickramanayake, Susil Premajayantha, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, D. M Jayaratne, Janaka Bandara Tennekoon, Kamala Ranatunga, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Salinda Dissanayake and John Seneviratne, they …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa who is Unlikely to Lead the next Govt says “I will Support Good Policies and Oppose Bad Things”.

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Tuesday he was unlikely to lead Sri Lanka’s next government as initial results from the general election gave a slight edge to the coalition government. However, with only one of 22 districts having declared, the shape of the next parliament remains unclear and Rajapaksa’s comments to Reuters stopped short …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Concedes Defeat in Parliamentary Poll Saying his “Dream of Becoming Prime Minister has Faded Away”.

Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has conceded defeat in parliamentary elections but said he would work as an opposition member of the legislature. “My dream of becoming prime minister has faded away,” Rajapaksatold the Agence France-Presse news agency. “I am conceding. We have lost a good fight.” Rajapaksa accepted that his United People’s Freedom …

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Sri Lanka Cannot Move Forward if Mahinda Become Premier Under President Sirisena says Prime Minister Ranil

By P.K.Balachandran As the month-long campaign for the August 17 Sri Lankan parliamentary elections closed this weekend, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe warned of a constitutional logjam if Mahinda Rajapaksa becomes Prime Minister. “No Prime Minister can take the country forward while being at loggerheads with the President,” Wickremesinghe said, alluding to the on-going public spat …

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Only 226 Violations Recorded by Elections Dept as Polls Conclude Peacefully with High Voter Turn out

By Dharisha Bastians Sri Lankans voted in yesterday’s parliamentary election in relatively high numbers with several districts recording nearly a 70% turnout and the country anxiously awaits final results later today. The Elections Department said the counting of postal votes had begun at 5:00 p.m. yesterday. The first postal voting results were to be released …

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Three “If’s” and Four “Buts” make the Post – election Environment in Sri Lanka Hazy

BY COLONEL R HARIHARAN Forecasting elections is hazardous in Sri Lanka. And the general election held on Monday makes the job even more difficult. The three seasoned political stalwarts – former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, president Maithriala Sirisena his foe within the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and Ranil Wickremesinghe leading the United National Front for …

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Three Poetical Gems to Ponder over on the Day of Decision for Sri Lanka’s Progressive Democracy

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj August 17th 2015 is upon us! It’s the Day of decision for Sri Lanka as it faces yet another election to elect a new Parliament for the Country. My thoughts and prayers with all Sri Lankans as they cast their votes in what is perhaps the most crucial, controversial and colourful parliamentary …

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Analysts Predict the UNP led UNFGG With 95 to 105 Seats will be Single Largest Coalition i new Parliament

By Dharisha Bastians Sri Lankans will vote to elect legislators to sit in the country’s 15th Parliament today, in a poll that has become a rematch between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the coalition that defeated him in the January presidential contest. Over 15 million voters are registered to vote at 12,314 polling stations around …

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August 2015 Elections will Provide Answers to Five Fundamental Questions!

By Ranga Jayasuriya 1.Whither democracy in Sri Lanka? The general elections on Monday will test that unique property of democracy once again. The conduct of the election itself, so far, is considered freer than in the past, as acknowledged by the election observers; the choice on Monday would be between whether Sri Lanka would consolidate …

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Election day in Sri Lanka is D-day for Ranil Wickremesinghe, mahinda rajapaksa and Mathripala Sirisena also.

By P.K.Balachandran COLOMBO: The future of Sri Lanka’s top most leaders — Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena — will be on the line on Monday as 15 million Lankans elect a 225-member parliament. If the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) wins, as predicted by most …

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“Small is Beautiful”: Mega Projects is not the way; but, Small Business (Microcredit)

By Chanaka Bandarage Politicians love megaprojects! They know it is not their money that they spend. In megaprojects, they often enrich themselves through massive commissions and other unethical ways. At the end of the megaproject, they revel in trying to obtain the credit for themselves, even if it was a failure. According to Professor Bent …

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Double Standards of So – called Civil Society Towards “Tyranny” of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena

By Malinda Seneviratne In December 1982 the workers of banana plantations in Columbia went on strike. They demanded written contracts, 8-hour working days, 6-day work weeks and the elimination of food coupons. It turned into the largest labor movement the country had witnessed until then. An army regiment from Bogotá was dispatched, probably at the …

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Maithripala Struggling Desperately to Prevent Victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa Engages in Incredible Series of “Flip Flops”.

By C. A. Chandraprema As the election campaign drew to a close last week, President Maithripala Sirisena threw all the trump cards he had on the table to head off what he seems to believe is a clear victory for MR. How desperate Sirisena thinks the situation is for him can be gauged from the …

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President Sirisena Launches Political “Blitzkreig” to Purge SLFP of Pro – Mahinda Rajapaksa Elements

by Rasika Jayakody At the time when UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa exerted pressure on President Maithripala Sirisena to give nomination to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, many political observers raised questions as to why the President did not take measures to remove the two General Secretaries from their …

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