Are these Viyath Maga ‘Technocrats’ Advising the ‘Technocratic’ Presidency of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa On Tackling the Covid-19 Pandemic Living in a Parallel Universe?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene When Sri Lanka’s acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) instructed all police officers to ‘take legal action against those who publish posts on social media criticising government officials and obstructing their duties’ as reported on 1st April 2020, one might have been forgiven for speculating that this was grim humor befitting …

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“I Have Temporarily Closed my Political Office and Suspended my Political Activities. Now, as The President’s Special Envoy and Head of the Presidential task Force, I act as a Non-political Person” – Basil Rajapaksa

By Uditha Kumarasinghe The Head of the Special Presidential Task Force on Essential Services, Basil Rajapaksa said that today we are at the most critical and decisive juncture compared to the challenges we faced in the past. If we don’t successfully launch our battle to combat the coronavirus, we would have to face serious repercussions. …

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“There are Trucks Going Around with some Supplies but most Estate Worker Families Don’t have cash to buy Essentials”

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka has been under curfew for over a fortnight. The near-total lockdown and the over 10,000 violators that police have arrested have ensured that almost everyone stays indoors. Depending on the cash left in hand or their bank balance — in case of those making card payments — and social networks, …

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Ensuring Availability and Accessibility to Minimum Food Requirements During Economic Lockdown and Prolonged Curfew is of the Utmost Importance

By Nimal Sanderatne There are increasing concerns in food security during this prolonged period of an economic shutdown and island-wide curfew. Ensuring the availability and accessibility of at least minimum food requirements is of utmost importance during these days of battling the coronavirus. Formidable task To the credit of the Government, many efforts are being …

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“Raja Thun Kattiya” Consisting of Mahinda,Gotabaya and Basil Fast Making Progress During the Coronavirus Pandemic Phase as the “Corona Bala Kattiya” Combatting Covid-19 Threat

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake From history, literature, nursery rhymes, and religious tales we are used to various trios who have brought good memories. The Three Musketeers is an unforgettable cinematic tale. We also know of the Three Stooges, the Three Amigos and the Three Blind Mice. When Christmas draws near we are reminded of the ‘Raja …

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A Single Virus and a Humble Animal Send the Whole World Into Lockdown

By Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga The world has been attacked by the most widely spread pandemic the world has ever experienced. It has had seismic effects on the entire world – almost no country has been spared from its terrifying repercussions. We humans prided ourselves that we had conquered Mother Nature. We indiscriminately destroyed her bountiful …

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What Gotabaya Rajapaksa Proposes, Coronavirus Pandemic Disposes

By Col R Hariharan The COVID-19 pandemic has derailed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s carefully crafted plan to hold the parliamentary elections on April 25 to win two-thirds majority in parliament elections to repeal 19th Amendment (19A) to the Constitution which curbed presidential powers. In the face of the pandemic threat, the Election Commission (EC) was left …

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An Individual owes no Conceivable Duty to Others to Refrain from Criticising a Government During this “Corona” Crisis Even if such Criticism Undermines Confidence in the Government.

By Gehan Gunatilleke Sri Lanka’s police has just announced that it would arrest those who disseminate false or disparaging statements about government officials. Why is this announcement incredibly dangerous? In the midst of the current Covid19 crisis, governments will ask individuals to make great sacrifices to prevent, detect, contain, and cure the deadly virus. While …

Continue reading ‘An Individual owes no Conceivable Duty to Others to Refrain from Criticising a Government During this “Corona” Crisis Even if such Criticism Undermines Confidence in the Government.’ »

What could possibly exonerate or extenuate the quite deliberate cutting of the throat of a five-year-old child? If there is to remain even the most basic sense of right and wrong, good and evil, in State, society and leadership, should the Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict have been overthrown?

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka This space is named the ‘Lanka Guardian column’. The title Lanka Guardian is from the two-decades-defunct magazine of which my father was Founder-Editor. I was Assistant Editor, Associate Editor and (for two years) Editor of that once-celebrated fortnightly journal. I realised that the conjuncture in which I was commencing this new column …

Continue reading ‘What could possibly exonerate or extenuate the quite deliberate cutting of the throat of a five-year-old child? If there is to remain even the most basic sense of right and wrong, good and evil, in State, society and leadership, should the Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict have been overthrown?’ »

Nation-wide Shutdown and Curfew For Three Weeks Announced Sudenly By Indian Premier Narendra Modi Causes Immense Hardship to Millions of Urban Workers, Rural Toilers, Migrants and Poorer Sections of Society

By Wasantha Rupasinghe The sudden, disorganized nationwide three-week shutdown announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi starting at midnight March 24 is causing immense hardship, especially for hundreds of millions of workers and rural toilers, manifestly undermining efforts to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus. For weeks, Indian authorities, including Modi himself, had boasted …

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United National Party Leaders and key Ministers of the Govt led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Hold cordial discussions on measures taken to counter the COVID-19 crisis

The United National Party (UNP) and key Officials of the Government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had cordial discussions on measures taken to counter the COVID-19 crisis yesterday, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said in a statement. The meeting, which lasted about two hours, was held at the Presidential Secretariat and was presided over by …

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“Granting of a presidential pardon to a person convicted of such a heinous offence and whose conviction was upheld unanimously by the Supreme Court sends a negative message that reinforces allegations of impunity and lack of justice for victims of violations in Sri Lanka”- Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

(Text of a Letter Sent by the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa) H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa President of the Republic of Sri Lanka Presidential Secretariat Colombo 1 Your Excellency, Granting of a Presidential Pardon to Former Army Corporal Sunil Ratnayake The Human Rights Commissions of Sri Lanka expresses …

Continue reading ‘“Granting of a presidential pardon to a person convicted of such a heinous offence and whose conviction was upheld unanimously by the Supreme Court sends a negative message that reinforces allegations of impunity and lack of justice for victims of violations in Sri Lanka”- Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka’ »

Transparency International of Sri Lanka Wants Presidential Secretariat to Disclose the TrialJudge Report, Attorney -General Advice and Justice Ministry Recommendation Pertaining to the Presidential Pardon Afforded to The Mirusuvil Massacre Convict

Transparency International Sri Lanka has called upon the government to make public the following documents as regards the presidential pardon granted to the convict in the case of the Mirusuvil massacre. Presidential Secretariat must make the following documents public – Report of the Trial Judge Advice of the Attorney General Recommendation of the Justice Minister …

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Ex-Western Province Governor Azath Salley Writes to President Rajapaksa Urging Inquiry Into Incident Where Muslim Victim of Covid-19 Was Cremated Instead of Burial Accirding to Islamic Religious Sentiments

Former Western Province Governor and leader of the National Unity Alliance, Azath S Salley, has requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to inquire into the circumstances under which a Muslim victim of coronavirus was cremated,contrary to specific instructions issued by the government. The following is the text of Salley’s letter to the President: “The second death in …

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Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya was Adamant That Elections Should be Held on April 25th Without Being Put Off Because He Seemed Afraid to Disagree With President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

By S.Ratnajeevan H.Hoole The President on March 2, 2020 by Gazette Extraordinary No. 2165/8 legitimately dissolved Parliament from midnight and fixed April 25, 2020 as the date for the General Election. While the proclamation was legal, it was poorly thought out because it was made well after the COVID-19 outbreak had begun. Passengers at many …

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Public finance in times of crisis: The constitutional functions of President and Parliament

By Asanga Welikala and Suren Fernando The potentially major economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic the world over reminds us that, even in more normal times, the raising and spending of public money is a matter that has serious constitutional implications in democracies. Every constitutional democracy recognises that the Executive leads in a time of …

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Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners (CPRP) to Challenge in the Supreme Court the Arbitrary Decision by President Gotabaya to Release Convicted Murderer Sunil Ratnayake by way of a Presidential Pardon

The Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners (CPRP) yesterday said it would challenge the President’s decision to release a convicted murderer by way of a Presidential pardon in the Supreme Court and said such actions called into question the manner in which 34 (1) of the Constitution was being used by an individual arbitrarily without …

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The COVID -19 Crisis Will Not Be Over Soon: Sri Lankan Political Leaders Need to Explain This to Our People and Prepare Every One For the Long Haul.

By Dr Ravi P. Rannan-Eliya The current lock-down – not only here but affecting two billion people around the world – should make it clear to everyone how serious COVID-19 is. What many still do not appreciate is that closing our ports and even a one month lockdown will not make the problem go away. …

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Text of statement signed by 22 organisations across the country, condemning the release of convicted death row prisoner and mass murderer, former Army Staff Sergeant R. M. Sunil Rathnayake, by way of a Presidential Pardon.

(Text of statement signed by 22 organisations across the country, condemning the release of convicted death row prisoner and mass murderer, former Army Staff Sergeant R. M. Sunil Rathnayake, by way of a Presidential Pardon) On March 26, 2020, President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa granted a presidential pardon and released convicted death row prisoner and mass murderer, …

Continue reading ‘Text of statement signed by 22 organisations across the country, condemning the release of convicted death row prisoner and mass murderer, former Army Staff Sergeant R. M. Sunil Rathnayake, by way of a Presidential Pardon.’ »

Sri Lankan Author Sunila Galappati Launches an Online Journal to Collate Stories about Life During the “Coronavirus” Lockdown; Over 30 Entries so Far From Many Countries Including U.K., India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Portugal, Germany, Sri Lanka and Australia.

By Meera Srinivasan “How did you Kashmiris survive the lockdown for six months?” Almost everyone who met or called Nurat Maqbool after the ‘Janata Curfew’ last Sunday asked her, according to an account she wrote in the ‘Lockdown Journal’, an online platform launched by a Colombo-based editor-writer to record stories of the lockdown worldwide in …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Author Sunila Galappati Launches an Online Journal to Collate Stories about Life During the “Coronavirus” Lockdown; Over 30 Entries so Far From Many Countries Including U.K., India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Portugal, Germany, Sri Lanka and Australia.’ »

“Freeing a soldier convicted for massacre dashes hopes for accountability in Sri Lanka” – The Hindu

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Hindu” of March 30 2020 Under the Heading “Political pardon: On Sri Lankan soldier’s release”) The grant of presidential pardon, on Thursday, to a Sri Lankan soldier on death row for murdering eight Tamil villagers has sparked justified outrage among those who have been demanding justice from the state …

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Sri Lanka’s First Coronavirus Victim’s Body Cremated at Kotikawatte Crematorium Under Supervision of Judicial Medical Officer and Public Health Inspectors in Accordance with International Health Requirements

The body of Sri Lanka’s first coronavirus victim, Elangampedige Dharmasiri Janananda, was cremated at the Kotikawatta crematorium yesterday afternoon. The 60-year-old man was a resident of Marawila. He was undergoing treatment at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, at the time of his death.

Covid-19 does not recognize party color, ethnicity, race, ideology, age, gender, sexual preferences or religious faith.Covid-19 is our COMMON ENEMY.

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray Nations are best tested in times of crisis. This is when our humanity should rise over self-interest and when all differences should be put aside. This is when intellect, indefatigable energy, absolute resoluteness and the courage and conviction to stand up and be counted all come together. This is when populations …

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After Corona and Curfew: A Soft Landing, ‘Herd Immunity’ and an Easter Memorial

By Darini Rajasingham Senanayake Them belly full but we hungry A hungry mob is an angry mob A rain a-fall but the dirt, it tough A pot a-cook but the food no ‘nough — Bob Marley and the Wailers The Government of Sri Lanka has yet to respond effectively, rationally, and in a manner that …

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Who is Himself Accused of Ordering Alleged War Crimes Instructs Justice Ministry To Release Soldier Convicted Over Murder of Eight Tamil Civilians

By Maria Abi-Habib and Dharisha Bastians Sri Lanka’s president has pardoned a soldier who was sentenced to death for killing eight civilians during the country’s civil war, leading to accusations that the government was taking advantage of the chaos from the coronavirus pandemic to free a wartime ally accused of atrocities. The pardon reverses one …

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Government persistence to downplay the severity of the Coronavirus crisis to presidential pardons of those convicted for cold blooded murder.does not bode well for the future

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene A global health pandemic is not the time for political upmanship. It is also the worst time to engage in fragrant violations of justice in the exploitative belief that the uproar therein would be muted when the citizenry is in survivalist mode. At any point, this would be abhorrent but to …

Continue reading ‘Government persistence to downplay the severity of the Coronavirus crisis to presidential pardons of those convicted for cold blooded murder.does not bode well for the future’ »

First Death From COVID -19 Reported in Sri Lanka as 60 Year Old Male From Marawila Placed Under Ventilator at NIID in Angoda Passes Away on Mar 28; Another 59 Year Old Male From Punkudutheevu Succumbs to Corona Virus in Switzerland on Mar 25

By Kumudini Hettiarachchi, Ruqyyaha Deane & Meleeza Rathnayake Sri Lanka reported its first death from COVID-19 at around 8 p.m. yesterday Mar 28), the victim being a 60-year-old male who had other complications. The patient from Marawila was among three who were on ventilators at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), Angoda, and Health …

Continue reading ‘First Death From COVID -19 Reported in Sri Lanka as 60 Year Old Male From Marawila Placed Under Ventilator at NIID in Angoda Passes Away on Mar 28; Another 59 Year Old Male From Punkudutheevu Succumbs to Corona Virus in Switzerland on Mar 25’ »

Sri Lanka’s Presidential pardon of former Army officer for killing of Tamil civilians is unacceptable -International Commission of Jurists

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa pardoned Former Staff Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake who was convicted in 2015 for the murder of eight Tamil civilians, including three children, in Mirusuvil in April 2000. The conviction and death sentence was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in 2019. The International Commission of Jurists(ICJ) said that the …

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Sri Lankan Returnees From Italy Pose Huge Problems For Authorities Battling to Combat COVID -19 Pandemic Threat

By P.K.Balachandran Italy has been identified as the predominant source of COVID-19 infection in Sri Lanka. No wonder then that the Lankan government has imposed an indefinite curfew in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara where most returnees from Italy reside. 🇮🇹 🇱🇰 Italy is one of three countries most affected by the COVID-19 …

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Troubled by reports that the convicted perpetrator of the Mirusuvil massacre, in Sri Lanka, has received a Presidential Pardon and was released from jail this week.

Press briefing note on Sri Lanka Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville Location: Geneva Date: 27 March 2020 Subject: Sri Lanka We are troubled by reports that the convicted perpetrator of the Mirusuvil massacre, in Sri Lanka, has received a Presidential Pardon and was released from jail this week. Former …

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Govt Must Consider Enforcing a Lockdown Without a Curfew Where People Can Go Out Of Their Homes For Essential Services and to Purchase Basic Necessities Observing Strict Health Guidelines and Social Distancing

By Aneetha Warusavitarana On 12 March the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the new coronavirus, COVID-19, to be a pandemic. With cases in Sri Lanka reaching over 100, the Government of Sri Lanka has taken several measures to prevent the spread of this disease. One such measure was enforcing an island-wide curfew. The risks posed …

Continue reading ‘Govt Must Consider Enforcing a Lockdown Without a Curfew Where People Can Go Out Of Their Homes For Essential Services and to Purchase Basic Necessities Observing Strict Health Guidelines and Social Distancing’ »

UNP Colombo District Candidate Oshala Herath Files Writ Petition in Supreme Court Seeking Interim Order Against Sajith Pemadasa and Ranjith Maddumabandara Telling General Public That They are the Chairman and Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda A writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking an Interim Order preventing former Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and Ranjith Maddumabandara from holding out to the general public that they are the Chairman and Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya party. Oshala Herath who is contesting in the upcoming General …

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Arbitrary Act Conveys “Extremely worrying Message that military Perpetrators of Horrific Crimes, Even if Convicted Through a Court of Law, Will be Pardoned and Released” Says Amnesty International

Where accountability is so rare for serious human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the government’s arbitrary decision to release Sergeant Rathnayaka sends an extremely worrying message said Amnesty International’s Regional Director for South Asia, Biraj Patnaik,Responding to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision to release Sergeant Sunil Rathnayaka. The pardon comes at a time when there are …

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Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Pardons and Releases Soldier On Death Row for Killing Eight Tamil Civilians Including a Child and Two Teen-agers while Justice,Human Rights and Legal Reforms Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says “Constitutionally Mandated Procedure for Pardon was Followed”.

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday pardoned and released an Army man who was on death row for killing eight Tamil civilians, including a five-year-old and two teenagers, in 2000 during the civil war. “The President has instructed the Ministry of Justice to release Sgt Ratnayake from prison,” a spokeswoman at …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Pardons and Releases Soldier On Death Row for Killing Eight Tamil Civilians Including a Child and Two Teen-agers while Justice,Human Rights and Legal Reforms Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says “Constitutionally Mandated Procedure for Pardon was Followed”.’ »

TNA Spokesperson M. A. Sumanthiran Strongly Condemns the Presidential Pardon Given to Ex-Army Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake Who was Sentenced to Death for Killing in Cold Blood Eight Tamil Civilians Including a Child at Mirusuvil in the Northern Province

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Spokesperson and former MP, M.A.Sumanthiran, has reacted sharply to the Presidential pardon given on Thursday to Sri Lankan Army Sergeant R M Sunil Rathnayake, who was sentenced to death for killing in cold blood, eight Tamil captives including a child at Mirusuvil in Tamil-speaking North Lanka in 2000. Sumanthiran pointed out …

Continue reading ‘TNA Spokesperson M. A. Sumanthiran Strongly Condemns the Presidential Pardon Given to Ex-Army Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake Who was Sentenced to Death for Killing in Cold Blood Eight Tamil Civilians Including a Child at Mirusuvil in the Northern Province’ »

Ex – Army Staff Sgt Sunil Ratnayake Who was Sentenced to Death for Murdering Eight Tamil Civilians in Mirusuvil in 2000 and Whose Conviction was Upheld by the Supreme Court is Released From Prison on Presidential Clemency Issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda Former Army Staff Sergeant R.M. Sunil Ratnayake who was convicted and sentenced to death for the Mirusuvil murder case of 2000 has been released from Welikada Prison after he received a Presidential Clemency. R.M. Sunil Ratnayake, a staff sergeant attached to Sri Lanka Army was sentenced to death by Colombo High Court …

Continue reading ‘Ex – Army Staff Sgt Sunil Ratnayake Who was Sentenced to Death for Murdering Eight Tamil Civilians in Mirusuvil in 2000 and Whose Conviction was Upheld by the Supreme Court is Released From Prison on Presidential Clemency Issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’ »

Farmers to be Encouraged to cultivate vegetables as well as paddy, maize, undu, green gram, cowpea and kurakkan in a bid to Boost Stable Food Production

(Text of Press Release Issued by the President’s Media Division) In order to prevent uncontrolled gathering of people at market places amidst effort to combat COVID – 19, a special mechanism has been established to deliver essential food items to homes. This will be implemented through a local system in collaboration with Cooperative Societies and …

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Former Minister Mangala Samataweera Issues Hard-hitting Statement Flaying President Gotabaya and Rajapaksa Govt for Delaying Postponement of Elections Until After the Nomination Process was Over and For Not Re-convening Parliament

In a statement issued yesterday, former Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera criticised President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the present Government for failing to postpone the upcoming General Election until after nominations had been submitted, calling the nominations process and associated activity “a great public health hazard” that went ahead despite the rest of the nation being advised to …

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Rajapaksa Govt Sets Up Special Task Force Headed by Basil Rajapaksa to Coordinate and Supervise Scheme to Deliver Essential Consumer Items Directly to Households in Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara Districts

(Text of a Press Release Issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa”s Media Division) Districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kaluthara have been identified as high risk zones in view of the spread of COVID-19. Large crowds in shops had been observed after curfew was lifted this morning in three districts. Health officials fear that this in turn …

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Influx of Coronavirus Disrupts SLPP Plans to Secure a Two-thirds Majority in 2020 Parliamentary Elections But Divided UNP Wont Be Able to Benefit Either

By Shamindra Ferdinando Coronavirus aka Covid-19 has delivered a deadly blow to the high profile Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP) bid to secure a parliamentary majority required to repeal the controversial 19th Amendment or bring in far reaching amendments to it. Throughout the 2019 presidential campaign and after, the SLPP, and those aligned with it, …

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Callous and Irresponsible Attitude of the Rajapaksa Government was Reflected in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s National Address on the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Saman Gunadasa and K.Ratnayake Two prisoners were killed and six more injured on Saturday when guards opened fire during unrest at Anuradhapura Prison in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province. One of those shot died at the prison, which is about 200 kilometres from Colombo, while the other died in hospital. Citing the coronavirus threat, …

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Sets Up Special Fund to Strengthen Efforts in Combatting the Coronavirus Threat Under the Name “COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund” With Bank of Ceylon Acct No 85737373.

(Text of Press Release Issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Media Division Under the Heading “Special Fund to combat COVID – 19 established by President”) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had set up a special fund to strengthen the mitigation activities aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 virus in the country and related social welfare programmes. The …

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Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Accuses Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa of Trying to Sabotage the Campaign Against Spread of Coronavirus by Raising Legal Arguments Aimed at Blocking Fund Allocations by Govt

(Text of a Media Release Issued by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Under the Heading ” A dastardly attempt to use legal arguments to block government finances and sabotage the anti-Coronavirus campaign”) On the day that a countrywide curfew was declared to prevent the spread of Coronavirus – Friday the 20th March 2020 – UNP Leader …

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Corona Virus Threat Spreads to Northern Sri Lanka Due to Visit by COVID 19 Infected Pastor From Switzerland:Govt Imposes Curfew on All Five Districts in Province To Trace Persons Who Face Potential Health Risk Due to Interaction with Swiss Pastor

The Sri Lankan government is looking for persons in the Northern Province who may have interacted with a coronavirus infected pastor who had come from Switzerland and toured the province. Until everyone who had interacted with the said pastor has been identified and tested, people from the districts of Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Jaffna …

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The Ten Commandments (Beginning With “P”) For Tackling The COVID-19 Pandemic

By Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri Overview It is a clarion call for all communities to collaborate in the name of humanity. It is needless to stress the mature adult response we need to demonstrate in taking care of ourselves and others with sound hygienic practices. We need to be socially conscious about the dire economic downturn …

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Popular Tamil Film Actor, Script Writer, Director and TV Talk Show Host MR Viswanathan Known as Visu Passes Away age of 75 in Chennai

Tamil actor, writer, and director Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanathan, popularly known as Visu, passed away in Chennai on Sunday. He was 75. The actor had reportedly been suffering from age-related health issues. Visu started his career on the stage, working with theatre artiste YG Parathasarathy’s drama troupe. He began writing scripts for stage, before shifting to …

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Two Killed and Several Injured in Firing by Police Special Task Force Riot Control Unit on Inmates of Anuradhapura Jail as Protest by Prisoners Allegedky Spirals Out of Control Leading to Attempted Escape

By Skandha Gunasekara Two inmates were killed and several others hospitalised after Police opened fire to control a riot within the Anuradhapura Prison yesterday (21), with unconfirmed reports indicating that the prisoners were protesting the housing of an inmate who was infected with Covid-19. Police Spokesman SP Jaliya Seneratne told The Sunday Morning that inmates …

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Coping With Worry and Anxiety Over the Threat Posed by the Spread of The Coronavirus

By Carol Goonaratne You must be experiencing intense emotions of anxiety over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Don’t overestimate the dangers or underestimate your ability to protect yourself. People of all ages are concerned about the spread and the younger generation is especially feeling anxious about it. Here are some things you can do: Normalise anxiety …

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s SLPP govt’s Success at the Postponed Parliamentary Election Hinges on its Ability to Overcome Coronavirus Threat to Country

by Vishvanath What was being speculated, in political circles, for two weeks or so, has come to pass. The general election, scheduled for 25 April, 2020, has been put off indefinitely, on account of the spread of COVID-19, and the attendant problems. It is a supreme irony that the SLPP, which used to flay the …

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Indian PM Narendra Modi’s “Concern” Over Regional Cooperation to Fight Coronavirus, as Pandemic Spreads Across South Asia

By Wasantha Rupasingha At the urging of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the heads of government of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) held a video-conference Sunday with the ostensible aim of developing a “joint strategy” for “combating COVID-19.” The video-conference, the first time the SAARC leaders have met since 2014, was a …

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Sri Lankan government responds to COVID-19 by mobilising the military and helping the financial elite

By Saman Gunadasa As Sri Lanka’s confirmed coronavirus cases rapidly increase, anxiety is growing amongst the population about the lack of proper healthcare and the impact on jobs and livelihoods. On Monday evening, government authorities announced that 43 people have been identified as coronavirus infected. Some 212 are currently under observation at several hospitals and …

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China Extends $ 500 Million Financial Assistance to Sri Lanka For Combatting COVID 19 Threat ; Sri Lankan Finance Ministry and China Development Bank Sign Agreement with “big concessional terms on both interest and tenure” at “Temple Trees”.

By Meera Srinivasan China will extend financial assistance amounting to $500 million to Sri Lanka to help the island nation combat COVID19 that has affected 50 persons so far. One patient has recovered, authorities said. According to a press statement from the Chinese Embassy here, the Finance Ministry of Sri Lanka and the China Development …

Continue reading ‘China Extends $ 500 Million Financial Assistance to Sri Lanka For Combatting COVID 19 Threat ; Sri Lankan Finance Ministry and China Development Bank Sign Agreement with “big concessional terms on both interest and tenure” at “Temple Trees”.’ »

Parliamentary Elections Should Be Postponed Instead Of Being Held In Five weeks Amidst The On Going Fight Against The COVID -19 Pandemic

By Chandani Kirinde Handing over of nominations for the Parliamentary Poll closes at noon today(Mar 19) and the country is preparing to hold an election in five weeks despite the unpredictability and scale of the public health crisis the country could be faced with in the coming days. When President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dissolved Parliament on …

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Parliamentary Elections Held Under Current Conditions Would not only Pose a Himalayan Scale National Health Hazard. But Would also be a Travesty in Electoral Democracy.

By Ranga Jayasuriya It does not take much persuasion to convince someone that holding a countrywide snap parliamentary polls on the eve of a global Coronavirus pandemic is a dangerous idea. More so when the local health officials advocate social distancing. Public gatherings are discouraged. Schools are closed and unnerved public are panic buying. And …

Continue reading ‘Parliamentary Elections Held Under Current Conditions Would not only Pose a Himalayan Scale National Health Hazard. But Would also be a Travesty in Electoral Democracy.’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Outlines Steps Taken by Govt to Combat Spread of Covid-19 Virus in the Country in his Address to the Nation.

(Text of Address to the Nation Delivered on March 17th 2020 by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa) Salutations to the Most Revered Prelates of the Maha Sangha Salutations to Religious Leaders of Hindu, Catholic and Islam Faiths Dear Mothers, Fathers, children Today, I am addressing you to explain the the steps we have taken and the current …

Continue reading ‘President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Outlines Steps Taken by Govt to Combat Spread of Covid-19 Virus in the Country in his Address to the Nation.’ »

Tamil National Alliance Requests Govt to Postpone General Elections Scheduled for April 25th Because of Paramount Concern for Public Safety Due to COVID19 Threat and Urges Govt to Take All steps to check Possible Spread of Corona Virus

(Text of a press release issued by the TNA Media Office) This statement is being issued consequent to all party leaders of the Tamil National Alliance consulting together: The Tamil National Alliance is concerned about the threat posed to the people by the possible spread of the COVID19 virus in the country. The safety of …

Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance Requests Govt to Postpone General Elections Scheduled for April 25th Because of Paramount Concern for Public Safety Due to COVID19 Threat and Urges Govt to Take All steps to check Possible Spread of Corona Virus’ »

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Alleges Spread of Corona Virus is the Work of a Rich and Powerful Nation and Wants the UN to Initiate an International Investigation Into the Origin og Covid -19 and Punish Those Responsible for “Genocide”Under International Law

The head of Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic Church Sunday alleged that the highly contagious Coronavirus may be man-made and wanted those responsible prosecuted for “genocide.” Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith addressing the faithful during a closed-door Sunday mass said the United Nations should initiate an international investigation into the origin of COVID-19 which he said was causing …

Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Alleges Spread of Corona Virus is the Work of a Rich and Powerful Nation and Wants the UN to Initiate an International Investigation Into the Origin og Covid -19 and Punish Those Responsible for “Genocide”Under International Law’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Proposes to leaders of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) the need to formulate a collective response to combat COVID – 19-Corona Virus

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (15) proposed to leaders of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to formulate a collective response to combat COVID – 19. He further called for SAARC Ministerial Meeting to discuss measures to overcome this deadly health threat. President Rajapaksa made these proposals participating in a video conference with all SAARC …

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Several firm decisions have been taken under the guidance of President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahinda to combat COVID -19 in the country.

*Visa for Europeans suspended for 2 weeks *Two-week quarantine period for Sri Lankans arriving from Europe Measures to disinfect public transport *Case studies on China’s success *Directives to minimize public gatherings *Utilize internet for educational and service purposes Several firm decisions have been taken under the guidance of President and Prime Minister to combat COVID …

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Much like the Covid-19 virus, Sri Lanka is being invaded by an anti-democracy virus which tells us a strong man is needed to rule with a rod of iron, that civil liberties do not matter and that constitutional amendments that fetter the powers of rulers are a nuisance.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Much like the covid-19 virus which attacks the respiratory systems of victims with lethal force and has brought the global North virtually to its knees, Sri Lanka is being invaded by an anti-democracy virus. We are told that, democracy leads to bickering, that a strong man is needed to rule with …

Continue reading ‘Much like the Covid-19 virus, Sri Lanka is being invaded by an anti-democracy virus which tells us a strong man is needed to rule with a rod of iron, that civil liberties do not matter and that constitutional amendments that fetter the powers of rulers are a nuisance.’ »

President Gotabhaya Rajapakse is Rapidly Militarising State Administration By Appointing Retired Officers From the Armed Forces to Key Posts in Preparation for a Confrontation With the Working Class

By Vijith Samarasinghe Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse is rapidly militarising the state administration through the appointment of retired armed forces officers to key posts. Promoted into the higher ranks during the final stage of the communal war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), these senior officers are close associates of the president. …

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US-Sri Lanka Relations are in for a hard time in 2020-2021 as Sri Lanka’s concerns over its sovereignty and independence clash with the geo-political interests of the US.

By P.K.Balachandran The relations between Sri Lanka and the United States are in for a hard time in 2020-2021 as Sri Lanka’s concerns over its sovereignty and independence clash with the geo-political interests of the US. Though couched in the language of goodwill for Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans in the short and the long …

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Using Offensive Language and Intimidation to Drive Away a Leader like Ranil for Sajith to take over the Party Lock Stock and Barrel Seems Uncivilised and Unethical to people

By Chandra Amerasekare The supporters of Sajith Premadasa seem to attribute his defeat at the Presidential Election to Ranil Wickremesinghe and the UNP group supporting him. It is publicly implied that Ranil Wickremesinghe delayed the process of naming Sajith Premadasa deliberately as the presidential candidate of the UNP, with the intension of sabotaging the campaign …

Continue reading ‘Using Offensive Language and Intimidation to Drive Away a Leader like Ranil for Sajith to take over the Party Lock Stock and Barrel Seems Uncivilised and Unethical to people’ »

It is Doubtful Whether Sajith Premadasa has the Ability to ‘Hollow out’ the UNP the way Mahinda Rajapaksa Hollowed out the SLFP by Contesting Separately

by C.A.Chandraprema The present state of the UNP after the presidential election of November 16, 2019 is in many ways reminiscent of the state the SLFP was in the wake of the defeat of 1977, when the latter experienced declining public support and disunity within its ranks. As we pen these words, the UNP is …

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First Sri Lankan to be Infected with Covid-19(Corona Virus) Being Treated at IDH Hospital: 52 Year old Male Tour Operator had Moved Around With Italian Tourist Group Confirm Health Authorities

Sri Lanka Presidents office confirms the first Sri Lankan within Sri Lanka infected with Covid – 19 (Coronavirus), a 52 year old male from the tourism sector, found & now being treated at IDH Hospital. Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera noted that initial tests have confirmed that the patient had contracted Covid-19. Inspections have been …

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If Sajith Premadasa Does not want to lose Big Time in Elections, he should turn his guns at the Pohottuwa and their Rajapaksa Handlers Instead of the UNP party leader and his Loyalists.

By Ranga Jayasuriya Things cannot get any more ludicrous than this. As the Sri Lankan voters go to vote for a new Parliament on April 25, in little more than six weeks from now, the United National Party is feuding over who will own the party’s symbol. This should not have been a problem at …

Continue reading ‘If Sajith Premadasa Does not want to lose Big Time in Elections, he should turn his guns at the Pohottuwa and their Rajapaksa Handlers Instead of the UNP party leader and his Loyalists.’ »

Court of Appeal Takes up Writ Petitions Filed by Ex-Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Arjun Aloysius of Perpetual Treasuries and two others contesting the warrant of arrest issued on them in respect of the Treasury bond auction scam.

By S. S. Selvanayagam Court of Appeal will today take up the Writ petitions filed by former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Arjun Aloysius as well as two others contesting the warrant of arrest issued on them in respect of the Treasury bond auction scam. The Bench comprised Justices A.H.M.D. Nawaz (President/CA) and Arjuna Obeyesekere. …

Continue reading ‘Court of Appeal Takes up Writ Petitions Filed by Ex-Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Arjun Aloysius of Perpetual Treasuries and two others contesting the warrant of arrest issued on them in respect of the Treasury bond auction scam.’ »

UNP Gen-Secy Akila Viraj Kariyawasam Informs Elections Commissioner that Party Would be Contesting all 22 Electoral Districts for April 25 Elections; :If agreement cant be reached with Sajith faction the UNP will contest separately Under Elephant Symbol says ohn Ameratunga

by Zacki Jabbar The United National Party (UNP) yesterday informed the Elections Commissioner that it would be contesting all 22 electoral districts, at the parliamentary polls fixed for April 25. Confirmation was made in writing by the General Secretary of the party, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. The official announcement comes amidst the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), …

Continue reading ‘UNP Gen-Secy Akila Viraj Kariyawasam Informs Elections Commissioner that Party Would be Contesting all 22 Electoral Districts for April 25 Elections; :If agreement cant be reached with Sajith faction the UNP will contest separately Under Elephant Symbol says ohn Ameratunga’ »

Over 25 CID Teams Deployed to Arrest Nine Persons Including Ravi Karunanayake and Arjuna Mahendran On Whom Arrest Warrants Were Issued by Fort Magistrate Reportedly Searching Still; Only Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Director Muthurajah Surendran Arrested so far

Criminal Investigations Department (CID) sleuths yesterday carried out searches for former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and eight suspects wanted in connection with the case related to the Central Bank bond scam, but failed to find them, a senior CID officer said. He said several locations where they believed Mr Karunanayake would be taking shelter were …

Continue reading ‘Over 25 CID Teams Deployed to Arrest Nine Persons Including Ravi Karunanayake and Arjuna Mahendran On Whom Arrest Warrants Were Issued by Fort Magistrate Reportedly Searching Still; Only Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Director Muthurajah Surendran Arrested so far’ »

Any Attempt to Reactivate the Conversions Bill must be Resisted Because it will push Sri Lanka into new Quicksands of Religious Intolerance and Precipitate Existing Hatreds to an even Higher Level.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Ever the consummately expedient political strategist, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, (and former President), Mahinda Rajapaksa wishes to rejuvenate the controversial anti-Conversions Bill that was discarded more than one and a half decades ago following enormous public concern and an adverse ruling by the Supreme Court. Factors behind this move This wish, …

Continue reading ‘Any Attempt to Reactivate the Conversions Bill must be Resisted Because it will push Sri Lanka into new Quicksands of Religious Intolerance and Precipitate Existing Hatreds to an even Higher Level.’ »

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa States Openly That His Govt is Focused on Obtaining a Two-Thirds Majority at the Parliamentary Elections to Abolish the 19th Constitutional Amendment and Formulate a New Constitution

By Uditha Jayasinghe Provincial Council Elections are likely to follow hot on the heels of the General Election, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday, paving the way for the Government to move forward with plans to introduce a new Constitution. Rajapaksa, speaking to senior media personnel at Temple Trees, insisted that the Government remained focused …

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Military Intelligence and TID Officials Uncover Plot to Assassinate Prominent Tamil Politician in North After Arrest of Six Ex-LTTE Cadres Including German Passport Holder and Seizure of Communication Equipment and Explosives in Raid on Northern Safe House

By Sunil Jayasiri Security in North and East has been tightened since last Thursday following the arrest of six prominent former LTTE cadres on charges of planning to assassinate a prominent Tamil politician in the North, informed sources said. They said earlier this week, Military intelligence and Terrorist Investigations Department jointly raided a safe house …

Continue reading ‘Military Intelligence and TID Officials Uncover Plot to Assassinate Prominent Tamil Politician in North After Arrest of Six Ex-LTTE Cadres Including German Passport Holder and Seizure of Communication Equipment and Explosives in Raid on Northern Safe House’ »

Display of Independence and Dignity by Attorney-General Dappula de Livera, High Court Judge Champa Janaki Rajaratne and Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake Shows Hopeful Signs for Judiciary’s Future in Sri Lanka

By Victor Ivan It is evident that the Podu Peramuna Government led by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the new President, wants desperately to withdraw the cases filed during the Yahapalana regime against corruption and criminal acts alleged to have committed during the previous regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, in the absence of the support of the Judiciary, …

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“One (Presidential) Term is Enough for me but I must be Able to Deliver in that term and the Constitution must Allow it,” Says President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

By Nisthar Cassim President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said in the first 100 days of his rule much was achieved, but opined that he was not satisfied with the progress as per his standards. “Yes we did a lot in the first 100 days. But as per my standards, I am not satisfied,” Rajapaksa said during …

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Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake Imposes Travel Ban on Ex-Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Ten Others Including All Directors of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Following Submissions Made by Attorney -Generals Dept; Will Rule Tomorrow On Issuance of Arrest Warrants for the 11 Suspects as Sought by A-G Dept

By Chandani Kirinde Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday imposed a travel ban on former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and 10 others, including all the Directors of Perpetual Treasuries who are facing charges of criminal misappropriation, market manipulation, cheating and insider dealing in relation to two bond auctions held in March 2016. The Magistrate also said …

Continue reading ‘Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake Imposes Travel Ban on Ex-Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Ten Others Including All Directors of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Following Submissions Made by Attorney -Generals Dept; Will Rule Tomorrow On Issuance of Arrest Warrants for the 11 Suspects as Sought by A-G Dept’ »

Mar 1st Deadline for Estate Worker Rs 1000 Daily Wage Announced by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Passes Without Implementation with Plantation Companies Stalemating Govt and Trade Unions Through Three Alternatives Counter Proposal

The estate sector wage hike remains stuck in a stalemate, with plantation companies awaiting a decision from the Government and trade unions. “We have not heard a decision from the Government yet although we have submitted three alternatives,” Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) told the Daily FT. RPCs proposed three models, including out-grower, productivity-based incentives and …

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It Would be Problematic if Sri Lankan Foreign Policy and Diplomacy are to be Guided by an (Ethno) Cultural or (Religio ) Civilisational Redefinition and Recasting of the State and State policy Instead of a Secular Notion of the National Interest

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The day after the Government’s declaration in Geneva of withdrawal from the co-sponsorship of the 2015 Resolution and its successors, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, tendered her observations on the human rights situation and trends worldwide, with reports on an array of countries including Sri Lanka. Michelle Bachelet is …

Continue reading ‘It Would be Problematic if Sri Lankan Foreign Policy and Diplomacy are to be Guided by an (Ethno) Cultural or (Religio ) Civilisational Redefinition and Recasting of the State and State policy Instead of a Secular Notion of the National Interest’ »

Sri Lankan Security Agencies are Stepping up Surveillance, Harassment, and Threats against Human Rights Activists and Journalists Reveals Human Rights Watch;“Since the return of the Rajapaksas to power, a state of fear is being re-established in Sri Lanka,” Says Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW, South Asia director.

(Text of a News Release Posted on the Human Rights Watch website on March 3rd 2020) Sri Lanka: Security Agencies Shutting Down Civic Space Rights Activists, Journalists Facing Surveillance, Threats (New York) – Sri Lankan security agencies are stepping up surveillance, harassment, and threats against human rights activists and journalists, Human Rights Watch said today. …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Security Agencies are Stepping up Surveillance, Harassment, and Threats against Human Rights Activists and Journalists Reveals Human Rights Watch;“Since the return of the Rajapaksas to power, a state of fear is being re-established in Sri Lanka,” Says Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW, South Asia director.’ »

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Prepared to Revive Controversial Anti-Conversion Bill if There Is Unanimous Support: Says in speech he wants to Prevent conversion of “traditional Buddhist families to other religions.”

By Arjuna Ranawana Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is driving the governing party’s Parliamentary Election campaign and at the outset has taken a hard right turn. He has also revived the discussion over the controversial anti-conversion Bill. In the week preceding the dissolution of Parliament which happened at mid-night Monday, Rajapaksa has been seen with dozens …

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“Is the Gotabaya Government all set to sign the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact with the US?”

(Text of a Press Release Issued by the Public Opinion Committee on March 3rd 2020 Under the Heading “Is the Government all set to sign the MCCC?) A high-profile member of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact (MCCC) review committee has revealed that the report submitted by them to the President was not prepared according to …

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Parliament Dissolved on March 2nd by President President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Under Article 70 of Constitution: General Elections with 16,263,885 Eligible Voters Scheduled for April 25th:Nomination Papers to be Filed From March 12th to March 19th. New Parliament will Meet on May 14th

By Chandani Kirinde President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday (Mar 2) dissolved the Parliament and fixed 25 April for the next General Election, fuelling concerns Sinhala-Tamil New Year month will be effectively unproductive. The President also fixed the date for the new Parliament to meet for 14 May and the period between 12 and 19 March as …

Continue reading ‘Parliament Dissolved on March 2nd by President President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Under Article 70 of Constitution: General Elections with 16,263,885 Eligible Voters Scheduled for April 25th:Nomination Papers to be Filed From March 12th to March 19th. New Parliament will Meet on May 14th’ »

UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa Launches Samagi Jana Balawegaya Alliance at Nelum Pokuna Theatre with Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and UNP Stalwarts Including Gen – Secy Akila Viraj Kariyawasam Boycotting the Event

By Akitha Perera Having failed to reach a consensus with the group headed by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on the forthcoming general election, UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, yesterday (02) launched Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB), at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre. Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and several other Wickremesinghe loyalists boycotted the …

Continue reading ‘UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa Launches Samagi Jana Balawegaya Alliance at Nelum Pokuna Theatre with Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and UNP Stalwarts Including Gen – Secy Akila Viraj Kariyawasam Boycotting the Event’ »

Samagi Jana Balawegaya(SJB) Alliance Launched at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre Under the Leadership of Sajith Premadasa with Twelve Political Parties and Civil Society Groups Signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) alliance launched yesterday with its leader Sajith Premadasa insisting that it will be a long-term effort to build a new political culture beyond the Parliamentary Elections but the decision over the alliance symbol remains in doubt. The SJB, a largely United National Party (UNP) creation, will be led by Opposition …

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Slain Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa’s Request to vacate the lower court’s ruling that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is entitled to common law foreign official immunity for acts committed while he was Secretary of Defense of Sri Lanka Granted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: Decision clears the way for future litigation against Rajapaksa once he no longer enjoys immunity as a head of state.

(Text of a Media Advisory Issued in San Francisco by the Center for Justice and Accountability on March 2nd 2020) San Francisco, March 2, 2020: Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Ahimsa Wickrematunge’s request to vacate the lower court’s ruling that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is entitled to common law foreign official immunity for …

Continue reading ‘Slain Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa’s Request to vacate the lower court’s ruling that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is entitled to common law foreign official immunity for acts committed while he was Secretary of Defense of Sri Lanka Granted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: Decision clears the way for future litigation against Rajapaksa once he no longer enjoys immunity as a head of state.’ »

“Backtracking on the resolution sends a very clear message to the people of our country and the world that Sri Lanka does not care for reconciliation, accountability or even democracy” Says Former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera MP

Former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said that the decision to co-sponsor Geneva Resolution 30/1 was taken by the yahapalana government under the leadership of then President Maithripala Sirisena. Samaraweera, in a statement issued on withdrawal from Resolution 30/1 and subsequent resolutions extending its mandate in the UN Human Rights Council, has said: “At a …

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Three hearty cheers Sri Lanka – for withdrawing from co-sponsorship of a resolution that will remain with no change in the agenda of the UNHRC!

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has said at least one thing that rings true in the minds of most Sri Lankan people. It is the lack of belief in the appointment of another Commission of Inquiry by the Government. Her concern was about addressing impunity for past violations …

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Articulation of Dreadfully Fractured Logic by Govt at UNHRC While Announcing Withdrawal From Resolution 30/1 Has Disastrous Consequences for the Country

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena There is a dreadfully fractured logic in what the Government of Sri Lanka articulated before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as it withdrew from UNHRC Resolution 30/1 this week. This is playing to the nationalist gallery with an eye to the impending General Elections. It has disastrous consequences for …

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Slain Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa Complains to CIABOC About CID Director SSP Thilakaratne Allegedly Colluding with CID Officials to Help Ex- Envoy to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga EXtricate Himself From Charges Regarding the MIG Aircraft Deal

Ahimsa Wickrematunge, daughter of slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, has lodged a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) alleging that CID Director Senior Superintendent of Police W. Thilakaratne and other officers in the Department are colluding with the intent to confer a wrongful and unlawful benefit, favour, or advantage on …

Continue reading ‘Slain Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa Complains to CIABOC About CID Director SSP Thilakaratne Allegedly Colluding with CID Officials to Help Ex- Envoy to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga EXtricate Himself From Charges Regarding the MIG Aircraft Deal’ »

Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena Assures UNHRC in Geneva That Govt Will Continue With Appropriate Adaptation the Existing Reconciliation Mechanisms Like Office of Missing Persons and Office of Reparation

Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has assured Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that the existing reconciliation mechanisms established by an Act of Parliament such as the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) and the Office of Reparations (OR) would be continued, with appropriate adaptation in line with the Government policy framework. With regard to …

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Govt Will Not Sign Agreement With US in its Present Form but is Ready to Negotiate Further Says Bandula Gunawardena; When Asked About SOFA and ACSA, Cabinet Spokesman Says Govt Wont Overturn Signed Agreements

By Chandani Kirinde The Government has decided not sign the $ 480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement, taking into consideration the recommendations of a four-member Committee that studied it and found some of its features threaten national security and social and economic welfare of Sri Lanka, Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena said yesterday. The …

Continue reading ‘Govt Will Not Sign Agreement With US in its Present Form but is Ready to Negotiate Further Says Bandula Gunawardena; When Asked About SOFA and ACSA, Cabinet Spokesman Says Govt Wont Overturn Signed Agreements’ »

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expresses regret over Sri Lankan Government announcing Withdrawal from Co-sponsorship of UNHRC Resolutions and warns that this “risks setting back efforts to advance reconciliation, accountability and human rights.”

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet yesterday expressed regret over Sri Lankan Government announcing a very different approach to the commitments previously made in UNHRC resolutions, and warned that this “risks setting back efforts to advance reconciliation, accountability and human rights.” In her oral updates to the 43rd session of the UNHRC, …

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“Domestic processes have consistently failed to deliver accountability in the past and I am not convinced the appointment of yet another Commission of Inquiry will advance this agenda” Says UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michele Bachelet at UNHRC in Geneva

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, yesterday told the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council that she didn’t believe that appointment of yet another Commission of Inquiry by the Sri Lankan government would address impunity for past violations. On Wednesday Minister of Foreign Affairs Dinesh Gunawardena said that the government would …

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Dirty Money Trail Connected to Airbus Bribe Scandal Reveals Culpability of Sri Lankan Airlines Directors and Links to Key Persons in the Nimal Perera Network

By Namini Wijedasa In his open-necked purple shirt, Nishantha Wickremesinghe is chuffed to be seen with his arm around a long-time friend. Businessman Nimal Perera is feting his sixtieth birthday at the Colombo Hilton and the former SriLankan Airlines Chairman is a guest. The party was just weeks ago. On Wednesday, the Fort Magistrate banned …

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Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake Refuses Bail and Re-remands Sri Lanka’s Former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga Until 11 March, After Police Filed Certificate Confirming Offence Committed was Valued More than Rs. 25,000.

By Chandani Kirinde Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday refused bail and re-remanded Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga until 11 March, after Police filed a certificate in Court confirming the offence committed by the latter is of a value of more than Rs. 25,000. Counsel for Weeratunga sought bail for him on …

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Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena Formally Announces Sri Lanka’s Withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 and others adopted after 2015 but Assures UNHRC of Govt Commitment to “comprehensive Reconciliation” Delivered Through a Domestic Mechanism.

Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday formally announced Sri Lanka’s withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution 30/1 and others adopted after 2015, but assured members the Government is committed to “comprehensive reconciliation”, delivered through a domestic mechanism. Delivering his address to the UNHRC in Geneva, the Minister emphasised that the decision …

Continue reading ‘Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena Formally Announces Sri Lanka’s Withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 and others adopted after 2015 but Assures UNHRC of Govt Commitment to “comprehensive Reconciliation” Delivered Through a Domestic Mechanism.’ »

Dinesh Gunawardena Informs UNHRC That Govt is Withdrawing From Co-sponsorship of Resolution 30/1:Foreign Relations Minister Says Commitments Made to UNHRC Has Weakened National Security in Country and May Have Resulted in the Easter Sunday Attacks in April 2019

Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday’, while informing the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva that Sri Lanka was withdrawing from co-sponsorship of UNHRC Resolutions pertaining to the country, explained that the commitments made by the previous government had contributed to the lapses that resulted in the Easter Sunday attacks in …

Continue reading ‘Dinesh Gunawardena Informs UNHRC That Govt is Withdrawing From Co-sponsorship of Resolution 30/1:Foreign Relations Minister Says Commitments Made to UNHRC Has Weakened National Security in Country and May Have Resulted in the Easter Sunday Attacks in April 2019’ »

By Unilaterally Withdrawing from the Treacherous Co-sponsorship of the Ghastly Geneva 2015 Resolution, is Sri Lanka Extricating Itself from a Quagmire or Sinking Deeper into a Larger One?

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The Geneva 2015 resolution is a hidden tripwire linked to a maze of claymore mines, some buried, some planted in ditches, others nested in trees. When this article appears, Sri Lanka may have nudged that tripwire. There was another, smarter, safer way. The Geneva 2015 resolution was explicitly based on and legitimised …

Continue reading ‘By Unilaterally Withdrawing from the Treacherous Co-sponsorship of the Ghastly Geneva 2015 Resolution, is Sri Lanka Extricating Itself from a Quagmire or Sinking Deeper into a Larger One?’ »

Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to Announce Sri Lankan Govt withdrawal from Resolutions Passed by UN Human Rights Council in his Address to UNHRC on Wednesday; Will Brief UN Human Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet on Friday About Govts Future Course of Action

By Chandani Kirinde All eyes will be on Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena as he addresses the United Nations Human Rights Council today(Feb 26), in a statement expected to announce Sri Lanka’s decision to withdraw from Resolution 30/1 and others presented after 2015, as well as outline the path ahead on engagement with the UN …

Continue reading ‘Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to Announce Sri Lankan Govt withdrawal from Resolutions Passed by UN Human Rights Council in his Address to UNHRC on Wednesday; Will Brief UN Human Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet on Friday About Govts Future Course of Action’ »

Former Army Commander Daya Ratnayake Commends Govt for Protecting the Image of the Sri Lankan Army in the International Arena by Taking a Very Strong Stand Face to Face With the US Govt Over the Army Commander Shavendra Silva Matter

By Jamila Husain Former Army Commander and now Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Daya Ratnayake has criticized the former government for failing to protect the image of the Sri Lanka military in the international arena within the past 5 years which led to Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and his family from being banned to enter …

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Amnesty International, Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters sans Frontiers Send Joint Letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Urging Sri Lankan Govt to Create Safe and Enabling Environment For Journalists and workers in Media

Amnesty International yesterday wrote to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, requesting that he and the Government take concrete steps to create a safe and enabling environment for journalists and other media workers. The letter, which is also signed by the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, calls on the Government to create and environment where …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe Proposes an ‘Economic Integration Road Map” Conceptualising a “sub-region” Consisting of the five South Indian states and Sri Lanka to Tap the Total Population of 300 Million People and a Combined GDP of Over $500 Billion.

By Meera Srinivasan Successful regional integration — both economic and security — depends on the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) becoming fully functional at the highest levels, Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Emphasising the need for countries in the region to link up both strategically and economically, Mr. Wickremesinghe said …

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Proposes an ‘Economic Integration Road Map” Conceptualising a “sub-region” Consisting of the five South Indian states and Sri Lanka to Tap the Total Population of 300 Million People and a Combined GDP of Over $500 Billion.’ »

Eran Wickramaratne MP Lambastes Govt Over CID Witchhunt Against Ex-CID Director Shani Abeysekara, “New York Times” Journalist Dharisha Bastians and Former Lake House Chairman Krishantha Cooray By Trying to Implicate Them Falsely in Swiss Employee Fictitious Abduction Case

By Chandani Kirinde UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne has accused the Government of engaging in a witch hunt against professionals – including lawyers, journalists and Police officers – and expressed fears that judicial officials standing up for what is right could be next in line. Speaking during the debate on the Airbus bribery scandal in Parliament …

Continue reading ‘Eran Wickramaratne MP Lambastes Govt Over CID Witchhunt Against Ex-CID Director Shani Abeysekara, “New York Times” Journalist Dharisha Bastians and Former Lake House Chairman Krishantha Cooray By Trying to Implicate Them Falsely in Swiss Employee Fictitious Abduction Case’ »

Heightened Information Gathering and Intimidation by Intelligence Agencies Has Chilling Effect on Sri Lankan Human Rights Activists and Organizations:Fears Grow About What May Happen After Parliamentary Elections

By Amanda Hodge Three months after Sri Lanka’s feared former security minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa won a shock presidential victory, rights groups say security forces and intelligen­ce agencies have intensified surveillance and intimid­ation of activists and families of victims of his former regime. New York-based Human Rights Watch has called on the new government to end …

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Sri Lankan Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena Seeks Appointment With UN HUman Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet in Geneva But No Date Finalised Yet: Dinesh Will Address UNHRC on Wednesday and Announce Govt Withdrawal from Contentious Resolution Co-sponsoring Process

By Chandani Kirinde Sri Lanka has requested a meeting with the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet as the country begins to work towards the closure of a contentious UNHRC Resolution on Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka at the 43rd Session of the Council in Geneva later this week. Official …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena Seeks Appointment With UN HUman Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet in Geneva But No Date Finalised Yet: Dinesh Will Address UNHRC on Wednesday and Announce Govt Withdrawal from Contentious Resolution Co-sponsoring Process’ »

Remnants of the Rule of Law in Sri Lanka can be saved only by individual citizens standing up to what is right and correct in their own way

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene When Sri Lanka’s President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa reportedly articulates that, ‘unnecessary judicial interventions are harmful to democracy’ (The Island, February 21st, 2020), one is intrigued. A praxis of bizarre happenings Pray, what would a Presidential definition of ‘unnecessary’ be, it might be ‘necessary’ to ask? That question becomes pertinent in the context …

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Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardene Blames Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa’s “immaturity” for Blocking Govt Move to Pass Vote on Account for 367 Billion Rupees; Says If Ranil was Opposition Leader He Would Have Supported VOA to Provide Relief to People

By E.Weerapperuma Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa has displayed his immaturity by blocking the Government’s efforts to obtain loans to settle the soaring debts and his action will cause immense hardships for the masses in the months to come, Information and Media, Higher Education , Technology and Innovation Minister Bandula Gunawardene told a media conference at …

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Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena Will Lead Lankan Delegation to UN in Geneva and Inform UN Human Rights Council at High Segment Meeting of Govt Decision to Withdraw from Co-sponsorship of Resolutions Pertaining to Sri Lanka That were Passed by UNHRC: Minister Scheduled to Meet UN Human Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet Prior to Council Session

Foreign Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena is scheduled to meet the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to convey Sri Lanka’s decision to withdraw from the co-sponsorship of Resolution 40/1 of March 2019 since it violated the country’s constitution and served only to appease extremist sections and vested interests, the Minister’s Media office stated. The …

Continue reading ‘Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena Will Lead Lankan Delegation to UN in Geneva and Inform UN Human Rights Council at High Segment Meeting of Govt Decision to Withdraw from Co-sponsorship of Resolutions Pertaining to Sri Lanka That were Passed by UNHRC: Minister Scheduled to Meet UN Human Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet Prior to Council Session’ »

Gotabaya Govt is Bracing Itself to Lock Horns with the US and Europe Hoping to get Help from China, Russia and India too but its Strength Would Ultimately Come from its Electoral Base, the Majority Community in Sri Lanka.

By P.K.Balachandran The core of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s foreign policy is standing up for Sri Lanka’s sovereign rights. But his cast-iron nationalism is not mindlessly jingoistic or confrontational, disregarding geo-political and economic realities. Gotabaya’s first international move was to reach out to India, which had been unhappy with elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Presidency between 2010 …

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President Donald Trump intervened in three war crime cases in the US Last Year and Granted full pardons to two Army officers and Restored the rank of a Navy SEAL.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake Foreign Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena must have been diplomatically polite when he conveyed the Sri Lanka Government’s displeasure and objections with regard to the travel ban to the United States imposed on the Sri Lanka Army Commander and his family, when he met with the US Ambassador Aliana Teplitz earlier this week. …

Continue reading ‘President Donald Trump intervened in three war crime cases in the US Last Year and Granted full pardons to two Army officers and Restored the rank of a Navy SEAL.’ »

Govt Abandons Move in Parliament to Amend the Vote on Account (VOA) to Obtain an additional sum of Rs. 367 billion for Govt Expenses as well as Increase the Limit of Borrowing After UNP-led Opposition Refused to Support the Move.

By Chandani Kirinde The Government yesterday abandoned a move in Parliament to amend the Vote on Account (VOA) to obtain an additional sum of Rs. 367 billion for Government expenses, as well as increase the limit of borrowing, after the UNP-led opposition refused to support the move. Leader of the House Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told …

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