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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Four out of Five Supreme Court Judges Rule In Determination That Four Clauses In 20th Constitutional Amendment Bill Require Approval of the People in a Referendum Along with a Two-Thirds Majority In Parliament to Become Law

In handing down its determination on the 20th Amendment Bill, the Supreme Court has ruled that four clauses need a referendum of the People along with a two-thirds majority in Parliament while the rest can be passed by a two-thirds majority of Parliament alone, according to a copy of the Court’s opinion that was available …

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“Rule of Law does not tolerate non-justiciability. There is no rational or logical nexus between the non-justiciability of the President’s acts and the efficient performance of his duties” Says the Supreme Court

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena With the Supreme Court’s Determination on the 20th Amendment Bill being made available in the public domain, some aspects of the ruling warrant immediate attention. The 20th Amendment Bill had been challenged by thirty eight petitioners alleging inconsistency of its clauses with the People’s sovereign legislative and judicial powers. The Bill …

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SP Balasubrahmanyam brought together the musical traits he relished in Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, T.M. Soundararajan (TMS) and P.B. Sreenivas (PBS) — but made them his own.

By Meera Srinivasan Every now and then, my playlist reminds me of ‘Humne Toh Dil Ko Aapke Qadmon Pe Rakh Diya’, among my favourite Mohammed Rafi-Asha Bhosle duets. I don’t know enough Hindi to fully understand the lyrics, and I need Google to tell me it’s from a 1965 film called Mere Sanam, and that …

Continue reading ‘SP Balasubrahmanyam brought together the musical traits he relished in Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, T.M. Soundararajan (TMS) and P.B. Sreenivas (PBS) — but made them his own.’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa states that the government has not entered into any political deal with Parliamentarian Rishad Bathiudeen and that ensuring national security was the first and foremost responsibility of his government.

President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said today that the government has not entered into any political deal with Parliamentarian Rishad Badurdeen. He said in a message posted in his Facebook that ensuring national security was the first and foremost responsibility of his government.

“Riyaj Bathiudeen provided a satisfactory explanation to the Police.As a result, Bathiudeen was released Because the CID could not find any evidence to file a case against him.” Explains Police Spokesman SSP Jaliya Senaratne

BY MANJULA FERNANDO AND MANESHKA BORHAM Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday sought a clarification from the officials on what grounds the brother of Minister Rishad Bathiudeen who was arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday attacks, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act was released suddenly. Riyaj Bathiudeen was arrested five months ago by a special …

Continue reading ‘“Riyaj Bathiudeen provided a satisfactory explanation to the Police.As a result, Bathiudeen was released Because the CID could not find any evidence to file a case against him.” Explains Police Spokesman SSP Jaliya Senaratne’ »

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Expresses “Complete Refusal to Accept” the release of Ex- Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s Brother Riyad by the CID After Detaining Him for 5 Months Over the Easter Bomb Attacks; Move “Smacks of a Political Deal” Alleges Catholic Prelate

The Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday questioned as to how the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had released suspects it had earlier claimed were directly linked to the masterminds of the Easter Sunday terror attacks without subjecting them to judicial process. Addressing a news conference at the Archbishop’s House, Cardinal Ranjith expressed his “sorrow, …

Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Expresses “Complete Refusal to Accept” the release of Ex- Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s Brother Riyad by the CID After Detaining Him for 5 Months Over the Easter Bomb Attacks; Move “Smacks of a Political Deal” Alleges Catholic Prelate’ »

Govt allows “MT New Diamond”the oil tanker that caught fire off the eastern coast last month to leave the country against the Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) directives and the Attorney General’s advice.

By Tharushi Weerasinghe The Government has allowed the ill-fated oil tanker that caught fire off the eastern coast last month to leave the country against the Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) directives and the Attorney General’s advice. “The ill-fated crude oil tanker, the MT New Diamond, is being towed away from Sri Lanka against MEPA …

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Constitutional comedy while People are going nuts over rising coconut prices and monkeys are playing pucks in politics

By Gamini Weerakoon (Gamini Weerakoon is a former editor of The Sunday Island, The Island and consultant editor of the Sunday Leader) ‘So, so, what’s happening’, is the inevitable question Sri Lankan journalists have been confronted with over the years. And it continues still. This is amazing considering the fact that politics is the sole …

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20th Amendment Draft was a clumsy copy-paste job of the discredited 18th Amendment that has mow been chopped further by the Attorney General called upon to defend a bad brief

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene In a chance conversation off a bylane in Polhena, Matara last Friday, a fresh faced resident with rosily chubby cheeks belying her probably 70-odd years had an astringent question for me; ‘if the President says there is no need for circulars and his word is enough for a public official (‘aanduwe …

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Modi – Rajapaksa summit was an exercise in building better understanding between the two leaders when their countries are going through troubled times by focusing on “do-ables” and deferring the gritty issues to be taken up as and when they come.

By Col R Hariharan The month of September 2020 was a crucial one for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who has been impatiently waiting to gain two-thirds majority support in the parliament in the parliamentary poll, to go ahead with his agenda. Gaining it with the reaffirmation of Sinhala majority has given him confidence to handle the …

Continue reading ‘Modi – Rajapaksa summit was an exercise in building better understanding between the two leaders when their countries are going through troubled times by focusing on “do-ables” and deferring the gritty issues to be taken up as and when they come.’ »

Attorney General Dappula de Livera States to Court that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution Bill provisions do not contain anything new and That most of the clauses could be found in 1978 Constitution and its 17th and 18th Amendments.

By Chandani Kirinde Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera yesterday made a case in support of the 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution Bill stating its provisions did not contain anything new and most of the clauses can be found in 1978 Constitution and its 17th and 18th Amendments. These he said were removed with …

Continue reading ‘Attorney General Dappula de Livera States to Court that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution Bill provisions do not contain anything new and That most of the clauses could be found in 1978 Constitution and its 17th and 18th Amendments.’ »

This country needs more than a Committee Stage democracy, that can lead to the Democratic Chaos of the Pohottuva. A lotus bud of Executive Dominance.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake A referendum is becoming the catchword of politics and calls before the Supreme Court on the 20A. With the new Rajapaksa and Pohottuva craving a return to the JR Jayewardene rule of non-democratic authority, it is good to recall the reality of the first, and so far only, referendum in Sri Lanka, …

Continue reading ‘This country needs more than a Committee Stage democracy, that can lead to the Democratic Chaos of the Pohottuva. A lotus bud of Executive Dominance.’ »

An American military presence in Sri Lanka would enable the US to advance a so-called ‘island chain strategy’ to control the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean, which are of vital importance to China’s foreign trade.

By M K Bhadrakumar The virtual summit between the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa turned out to be somewhat surreal. The summit was the first of its kind Modi has had with any South Asian leader. The expectations were high. But fault lines have appeared. On the core …

Continue reading ‘An American military presence in Sri Lanka would enable the US to advance a so-called ‘island chain strategy’ to control the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean, which are of vital importance to China’s foreign trade.’ »

ADM Jabalpur vs S. S. Shukla Case : When 4 out of 5 Supreme Court Judges Delivered the Worst Judgement of the Indian Supreme Court.

By Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne President’s Counsel Ask Indian lawyers what the worst judgment of the Indian Supreme Court has been and a large majority would surely say ADM Jabalpur (Additional District Magistrate, Jabalpur v S. S. Shukla, also known as the Habeas Corpus Case, reported in AIR 1976 SC 1207). Many of them would also …

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ACMC Leader Rishad Bathiudeen’s Brother Riyaj Released After Being in Custody for 5 Months:Police Say There was Evidence to Investigate him Over Easter Sunday Attacks but Insufficient Evidence to File Charges

By Ajith Siriwardana Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s brother Riyaj Bathiudeen was released as there was insufficient evidence against him for a case to be filed over the Easter Sunday attack, Police Spokesman Jaliya Senaratne said today. He told a news conference that investigations were carried out by the CID after detaining him in custody for …

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Every time Sri Lanka has ventured on making a constitution, it has always been viewed from the angle of the ruling party rather than that of the people and the country. This demonstrates the extent of ignorance of Sri Lanka on the subject of constitution making.

By’ Victor Ivan The country has got caught in a whirlwind of anarchy. Although there are dictatorial aspirations and tendencies looming in the air, they are not likely to materialise and secure a firm foothold against the whirlwind of anarchy. The anarchy that sweeps the country will shatter both the limited democracy that prevails as …

Continue reading ‘Every time Sri Lanka has ventured on making a constitution, it has always been viewed from the angle of the ruling party rather than that of the people and the country. This demonstrates the extent of ignorance of Sri Lanka on the subject of constitution making.’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa enlists “Viyathmaga” Personnel to facilitate and fast track various development initiatives assigned to State ministers.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has enlisted the Viyathmaga (Professionals for a Better Future) to facilitate and fast track various development initiatives assigned to State ministers. In carrying out this task, the Viyathmaga Secretariat will harness its base of professionals as well experts from outside. Anura Fernando, who is spearheading this initiative as General Secretary of Viyathmaga, …

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“If the public do not have access to remedy a grievance against the unlawful exercise of powers by all powerful Presidents the only remedy will be to take arms against the State.”

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka “If the public do not have access to remedy a grievance against the unlawful exercise of powers by an all-powerful President the only remedy will be to take arms against the State” – Bar Association of Sri Lanka Committee Report on the 20th Amendment (5.1, p3) A rousing accolade from a great …

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Lawyers for petitioners State to Courts that the 20th Amendment seeks to alter the basic structure and framework of the Constitution, take away the power of one organ of Government and transfer it to another, and trample on the sovereignty of the people.

By Chandani Kirinde Attorney General Dappula De Livera yesterday informed the five-member bench of the Supreme Court considering the petitions in relation to the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution Bill that the Government intends to bring amendments to the Bill at the Committee Stage. The SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya PC, and …

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Sri Lanka Bans cattle slaughter following Cabinet apprival of proposal by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa but will take steps to import beef for Domestic Consumption

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka has banned cattle slaughter after the Cabinet cleared Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent proposal, the government announced on Tuesday, adding that it would take steps to import beef. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Rajapaksa made a proposal to the parliamentary group of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP, or …

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Govt. to move minor amendments to 20 A at Committee Stage:President granted power to dissolve Parliament after 2.5 years, EC members to increase from 3 to 5,Qualified auditor to be made AG

The amendments the Government intends to move to the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution (20A) Bill at its Committee Stage will include increasing the period that must elapse before the President may use his powers to dissolve Parliament to two-and-a-half years, while in the draft 20A Bill, the President could dissolve Parliament after a year. …

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President Gotabaya brings National Priority Program under Presidential Secretariat:Five Presidential Task Forces will function under this program: SLT, TRC and ICTA, Board of Investment and Port City Project also listed under this program

By Chandani Kirinde President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has amended the Gazette of the Subjects and Functions assigned to Ministers and State Ministers and brought the National Priority Program under the Presidential Secretariat. In the earlier Gazette issued on 9 August, the National Priority Program was not listed under any particular institute but in a new Gazette …

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After India and Sri Lanka issued a joint statement referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to the Sri Lankan government to address the Tamil minority’s aspirations, with the implementation of the 13th Amendment, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s office released a statement , making no mention of Mr. Modi’s call.

By Meera Srinivasan Hours after India and Sri Lanka issued a joint statement referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to the Sri Lankan government to address the Tamil minority’s aspirations, with the implementation of the 13th Amendment, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s office released a statement on Saturday, making no mention of Mr. Modi’s call, …

Continue reading ‘After India and Sri Lanka issued a joint statement referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to the Sri Lankan government to address the Tamil minority’s aspirations, with the implementation of the 13th Amendment, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s office released a statement , making no mention of Mr. Modi’s call.’ »

SLPP appeals most to the Sinhala-Buddhist constituency especially its hard-line elements while minorities remain at best sceptical or at worst repulsed by its narrow, ethno-nationalist politics.

By Meera Srinivasan When former President Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the 2015 election, after his Cabinet colleague Maithripala Sirisena joined hands with rival Ranil Wickremesinghe in an unexpected alliance, his next moves were far from certain. In five years, not only is Mr. Rajapaksa back in power as he vowed, as the country’s Premier, but his …

Continue reading ‘SLPP appeals most to the Sinhala-Buddhist constituency especially its hard-line elements while minorities remain at best sceptical or at worst repulsed by its narrow, ethno-nationalist politics.’ »

Indian Prime Minister Modi Asks Govt of Sri Lanka to address the aspirations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and respect within a united Sri Lanka by carrying forward the process of reconciliation with the implementation of the 13 Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution.

By Suhasini Haidar & Meera Srinivasan Calling on the newly elected Sri Lankan government to fully implement the 13th Constitutional amendment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi “highlighted” India’s concerns about the rights of the Tamil minorities, during talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa. During the bilateral talks held on Saturday, New Delhi promised a …

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Parliament is being engaged through the 20th Amendment to strip itself of all its powers and vest them in the hands of one man – the President. This charade is referred to as an expression of the sovereignty of the people.

By Dr. Sakuntala Kadirgamar (The writer is Executive Director of the Law and Society Trust.) Last week (15 September) International Democracy Day was celebrated and we in Sri Lanka also celebrated it with statements made by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition confirming Sri Lanka’s commitment to democracy. But how deep and …

Continue reading ‘Parliament is being engaged through the 20th Amendment to strip itself of all its powers and vest them in the hands of one man – the President. This charade is referred to as an expression of the sovereignty of the people.’ »

Do we go back to the days of monarchy or their modern version of tinpot dictators or progress as a modern democratic republic with citizens enjoying their fundamental rights?

By Gamini Weerakoon (Gamini Weerakoon is a former editor of The Sunday Island, The Island and Consulting Editor of the Sunday Leader) The intense gobbledygook that has been parroted on constitutional law, particularly on ‘20A’ in English and Sinhala in the media has left this columnist somewhat groggy. It made us wonder whether the man …

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The draft 20th Amendment is a surgically lethal strike to the democratic heart of Sri Lanka Because What was called for was governance with democratic checks and balances and not the concentration of power in one individual.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Given highly misleading justifications of the draft 20th Amendment advanced by Government Ministers, including those who profess to have someh knowledge of the law and the Constitution, the record must be set straight even if that is the very least that is done. Allegedly ‘undemocratic’ nature of the CC The claim …

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Five Member Bench of Supreme Court Comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare,Sisira J de Abrew,Priyantha Jayawardena and Vijithkumara Malalgoda will Consider Petitions Challenging 20 A Draft on Sep 29

Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya PC will head the five-member Bench named to consider the petitions filed challenging the constitutionality of the 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution Bill. The Chief Justice named Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare PC, Sisira J. de Abrew, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena PC and Vijith Kumara Malalgoda PC as the other members of the …

Continue reading ‘Five Member Bench of Supreme Court Comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare,Sisira J de Abrew,Priyantha Jayawardena and Vijithkumara Malalgoda will Consider Petitions Challenging 20 A Draft on Sep 29’ »

Welcome to the Age of Animal Ministries or “Sathva Amathya Yugaya” With “Amathis(Ministers) for Rilav/Vanduru(Monkey), Nari/Hival(Fox/Jackal), Meeharak(Buffalo) and Sarpa(Serpent)

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake The call by the government’s backbench MP Mr. Dilan Perera to be made the Rilav/Vanduru Amathi, or the Minister for Monkeys, in the Pohottuva Realm, certainly leads to plenty of interest. This must do with the various divisions and breakup tasks that have been given to both Cabinet and State Ministers, in …

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The Leader of the opposition as the name implies is expected to give leadership. Unfortunately the behaviour of Sajith Premadasa is casting doubts as to whether he is giving that leadership

By Dr.Upul Wijayawardhana The Leader of the opposition is a vital link in democracy and, as the name implies, is expected to give leadership. Unfortunately, the behaviour of Sajith Premadasa is casting doubts as to whether he is giving that leadership. Even when he challenged Ranil for the leadership of the UNP, he was happy …

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S.P. Balasubrahmanyam won the Guinness World Record for recording the highest number of songs by a singer:Sang over 40,000 songs in 16 languages

By S. Murali Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam (4 June 1946 – 25 September 2020), also referred to as S. P. Balu or SPB, was an Indian musician, playback singer, music director, actor, dubbing artist and film producer who worked predominantly in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam. Affectionately called as ‘Balu’ in his friends’ circle, SPB …

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“You need the voice to create a vibe, build an ambience and tell a story. In SP Balasubrahmanyam ’s case, he was at once the singer, the lover, the actor.”

By Meera Srinivasan As the pallavi (first paragraph) of MSV’s Sippi irukkudu muthum irukkudu ends, giving way to a delightful instrumental interlude, I find myself getting alert every single time. I know precisely what I am waiting for and don’t want to miss, while getting predictably carried away in that simple yet attractive tune. It …

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‘Paadum Nila’ (Singing Moon) S.P. Balasubrahmanyam Passes Away at the Age of 74 in Chennai

by B. Kolappan Legendary playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam passed away at a private hospital in Chennai on Friday. He was 74. Balasubrahmanyam was hospitalised in August at MGM Healthcare after testing positive for COVID-19, and while he reportedly did well initially, he took a turn for the worse, and was put on a ventilator and …

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Sinhala society is going through its parabolic Prabhakaran/Tamil Eelam moment. We are building a Sinhala-Buddhist Eelam. It’s Prabhakaran’s posthumous revenge.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka I am proud that the Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, of which my father was the Founder-President, was one of nine media industry bodies/organisations to express “deep concern” over aspects of the 20th Amendment and their potential to “negatively impact Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions”. Mervyn de Silva would have endorsed the statement, …

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Why should this Government fear dialogue and cooperation between President and Prime Minister when they not only come from the same party, but also from the same family?

By Gehan Gunatilleke Déjà vu? Once upon a time, a mighty government with a two-thirds majority in Parliament engaged in political opportunism, and radically changed the Constitution of Sri Lanka. It ignored more than a decade of public demands for reducing the powers of the executive president and proceeded to strengthen that office. It presumed …

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CID Obtains Court Order to Freeze Sri Lankan Bank Account of World Renowned Charitable Organization “Quatar Charity” Headed by Members of the Emir of Quatar Royal Family Due to “Save The Pearls” Organization in Sri Lanka Allegedly Receiving a 13 Million Rupee Donation

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) yesterday informed the Fort Magistrate Court that Save the Pearls organisation had received funding from the “Qatar Charity” amounting to 13 million rupees. Save the Pearls is an organisation in which Hizbullah functioned as President. Deepani Menike, appearing on behalf of the CID, informed the Fort Magistrate that “Qatar Charity” …

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As a democratically elected person President Rajapaksa need not camouflage himself with an anti-democratic cloak because he has a massive vantage value unlike anyone else in his government to take correct steps.

By Austin Fernando (Former Secretary to the President) Twentieth Amendment (20A) is reviewed by commentators from political, legal, journalistic, and religious angles. Not belonging to any such group, I do not venture to cover the multitude of discussions on 20A. My focus is to view 20A to understand how it affects governance and causes political …

Continue reading ‘As a democratically elected person President Rajapaksa need not camouflage himself with an anti-democratic cloak because he has a massive vantage value unlike anyone else in his government to take correct steps.’ »

In the 37 years that an “Executive President” reigned over Sri Lanka, an almost unbridgeable gap was created between political parties and between ethnic groups. The country was torn asunder, and its people were brutalised.

By Dr.Nihal Jayawickrama Strident calls were repeatedly made from many quarters for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to be repealed. Some argued that it should be repealed in its entirety, while others pleaded for the retention of some of its provisions. What has been overlooked is that there is no 19th Amendment capable of …

Continue reading ‘In the 37 years that an “Executive President” reigned over Sri Lanka, an almost unbridgeable gap was created between political parties and between ethnic groups. The country was torn asunder, and its people were brutalised.’ »

When there was no one else on the bench to stand for what she felt were eternal values Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke out with words and language that were so strong that they were in fact vulnerable.

By Dr.Radhika Coomaraswamy A diminutive, shy person with head bowed down walked into the room. She walked slowly but with a purposive step. When she began the class her voice was just above a whisper and her words were accompanied by long pauses as we strained to listen. This was 1976 and I was enrolled …

Continue reading ‘When there was no one else on the bench to stand for what she felt were eternal values Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke out with words and language that were so strong that they were in fact vulnerable.’ »

Six petitions Including Those of Samagi Jana Balawegaya and Tamil National Alliance filed on Wednesday in Supreme court against the 20th Amendment legislation

By Meera Srinivasan A day after the Sri Lankan government tabled the contentious 20th Amendment Bill, Opposition parties, including the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB, or United People’s Front) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), moved the Supreme Court challenging it. At least six petitions, including those of the SJB and the TNA, were filed on …

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At least 10 Petitions are expected to the filed in the Supreme Court seeking a referendum on the proposed 20th Constitutional Amendment (20A) Within the Next Seven Days

By P. K. Balachandran At least 10 cases are expected to the filed in the Supreme Court seeking a referendum on the proposed 20thConstitutional Amendment (20A), according to reliable sources in the Sri Lankan opposition. As soon as the government placed the 20thAmendment bill on the table of the House on Tuesday (22), a lawyer …

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Din in Parliament as 20th Amendment Draft Bill is Tabled by Justice Minister Ali Sabry: Stand-off in the Well of the House for Over 30 minutes with Opposition Mp’s Shouting “Apita Vissa Epa”(We Dont want 20) and Govt MP’s Chanting “Apita Vissa Oney”(we want 20)

By Chandani Kirinde Justice Minister Ali Sabry presented the 20th Amendment to Parliament yesterday amidst strong protests by Opposition MPs. The Bill was presented to the House by Minister Sabry, whose voice was drowned by the din of shouts from MPs of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) whose voice rose in a chorus to the …

Continue reading ‘Din in Parliament as 20th Amendment Draft Bill is Tabled by Justice Minister Ali Sabry: Stand-off in the Well of the House for Over 30 minutes with Opposition Mp’s Shouting “Apita Vissa Epa”(We Dont want 20) and Govt MP’s Chanting “Apita Vissa Oney”(we want 20)’ »

Opposition MP’s Object to National Congress Leader AHM Athaullah’s attire in Parliament with Dilip Wedaarachchi Tucking his Sarong up to knee and Nalin Bandara Unbuttoning his Shirt in protest

National Congress Digamadulla District MP A.L.M. Athaullah had to leave the Parliamentary Chamber yesterday owing to protests by Opposition MPs over his choice of attire to the House. Athaullah deviated from the dress code for male MPs which is either national dress, full suit or tunic, long-sleeved shirts and trousers by wearing a sherwani with …

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The one clear and simple advantage of the Rajapaksa’s is that they know what they want as far as politics is concerned and everything is geared towards getting it – from men to money to media. It is largely narrow, personalised,platitudinous and lethal and toxic to democratic governance.

By Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu In November 1936, during the Battle for Madrid in the Spanish Civil War, Dolores Ibarruri or La Pasionaria as she came to be known, the impassionate Left orator and freedom fighter, issued the famous slogan ‘No Pasaran – They Will Not Pass’. Can similar sentiments be aroused about amendments to or repeal …

Continue reading ‘The one clear and simple advantage of the Rajapaksa’s is that they know what they want as far as politics is concerned and everything is geared towards getting it – from men to money to media. It is largely narrow, personalised,platitudinous and lethal and toxic to democratic governance.’ »

Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABOC) fileds six indictments against former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. owner Arjun Aloysius at the Colombo High Court.

The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABOC) yesterday filed six indictments against former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. owner Arjun Aloysius at the Colombo High Court. Both individuals have been charged under Section 19C of the Bribery Act, which concerns bribery in respect of Government business.

Former Chief Justice Mohan Peiris will soon head the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations (UN) in New York, while senior journalist C.A. Chandraprema will be Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva.

Former Chief Justice Mohan Peiris has been picked to head the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations (UN) in New York, while senior journalist C.A. Chandraprema will go as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, the Daily FT learns. Peiris will replace Kshenuka Senewiratne, a career diplomat who headed …

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Parliament was also elected by the people and has a five-year mandate and the powers being withdrawn by the proposed 20th Amendment are so significant that they may require a referendum.

by Jehan Perera The government has announced that the draft 20th Amendment bill will be presented to parliament on Tuesday. It will be the same version that caught the country by surprise when it first made its appearance to the public on September 3. The extreme nature of the proposed amendment, which has been the …

Continue reading ‘Parliament was also elected by the people and has a five-year mandate and the powers being withdrawn by the proposed 20th Amendment are so significant that they may require a referendum.’ »

Former President Maithripala Sirisena had placed ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando’s life at risk by issuing a media statement that the evidence given by the latter before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry was “malicious and fictitious” Says Counsel Dilshan Jayasuriya

By Rathindra Kuruwita Former President Maithripala Sirisena had placed ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando’s life at risk by issuing a media statement that the evidence given by the latter before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks was “malicious and fictitious”, Attorney-at-Law Dilshan Jayasuriya appearing for Fernando said yesterday. Jayasuriya told the …

Continue reading ‘Former President Maithripala Sirisena had placed ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando’s life at risk by issuing a media statement that the evidence given by the latter before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry was “malicious and fictitious” Says Counsel Dilshan Jayasuriya’ »

Former President Maithripala Sirisena never instructed the National Security Council to arrest NTJ leader Zahran Hashim during his tenure as Defence Secretary between November 2018 and April 2019, Ex-Def Secy Hemasiri Fernando tells the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI)

By Rathindra Kuruwita Only the President had the power to give directions at the National Security Council (NSC) and former President Maithripala Sirisena never instructed those who attended its meetings to arrest NTJ leader Zahran Hashim during his tenure as Defence Secretary between November 2018 and April 2019, Hemasiri Fernando, yesterday, told the Presidential Commission …

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Retired Judges’ Association (RJA) says it is “gravely perturbed” by the potential impact of the draft 20th Amendment on the constitution in relation to the selection and appointment of judges to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

The Retired Judges’ Association (RJA) says it is “gravely perturbed” by the potential impact of the draft 20th Amendment on the constitutional separation of powers, particularly in relation to the selection and appointment of judges to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. In a letter to Justice Minister Ali Sabry, the association notes …

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Professional media Organizations have raised concerns over certain clauses of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution saying it would have a detrimental impact on freedom of speech, expression and information in Sri Lanka.

Professional media industry bodies have raised concerns over certain clauses of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, saying it would have a detrimental impact on freedom of speech, expression and information in Sri Lanka. The statement has been issued by the Sri Lanka Press Institute, the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, The Editors’ Guild of …

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Draft 20th Constitutional Amendment is the greatest threat that Sri Lanka faces to constitutional governance today.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena Constitutions of democratic Republics should not be tailor made for individuals. Yet, Sri Lanka’s constitutional practice has been stubbornly reflective of this pattern, inclusive of the 19th Amendment and the proposed 20th Amendment alike. Hypocritical homage to constitutional ideals Veneration of the 19th Amendment by its proponents must give way to …

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Ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Tells Presidential Commission of Inquiry that he was Unable to Implement 25 to 30 Key Decisions Due to the Interference of Former President Maithripala Sirisena

By Rathindra Kuruwita Former President Maithripala Sirisena, on April 24, 2019, had told former IGP Pujith Jayasundara that if the latter took the blame for the Easter Sunday bombings he would be given his pension and posted to any country of his choice as an ambassador, former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando yesterday told the Presidential …

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“For a dignified solution to the Tamil national questione we must win over at least a sizeable section of the majority community. Without that, it is not achievable. Certainly not achievable if we keep antagonising them and heightening their own fears”-TNA Spokesperson M. A. Sumanthiran MP

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka’s Tamil National Alliance (TNA), that chiefly represented the Tamils living in the north and east in the post-war decade, suffered a huge setback in the August general elections, losing six seats in Parliament. With the Alliance’s presence in the legislature having weakened and the Rajapaksas back in power at the …

Continue reading ‘“For a dignified solution to the Tamil national questione we must win over at least a sizeable section of the majority community. Without that, it is not achievable. Certainly not achievable if we keep antagonising them and heightening their own fears”-TNA Spokesperson M. A. Sumanthiran MP’ »

President Rajapaksa makes it clear that he is the leader of the Government and the Pohottuva. Mahinda will remain where he is and Gotabaya will be the ruler of the Rajavasala and the Lankadveepa.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake All this unwanted fuss about the author or drafter of the 20A has led to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa making it clear he is the leader of the Government and the Pohottuva. Let’s have no doubts about it anymore. Let’s stop asking about any role that the Justice Minister Ali Sabry or Law …

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Who or what is the real driver of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime? Is it the Deep State or the “Junta” and their civilian ideologues and professionals in the Viyathmaga-Eliya?

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The President’s gear-shift on 20A, which showed flexibility, followed by his shift-back to the original hawkish position and a posture of rigidity, made nonsense of some basic assumptions of the Opposition, and pointed to the imperative of correcting these dangerously flawed notions. What are the lessons of the recent dramatic turnaround? It …

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Trying to fight the 20th Amendment by siding with PM Mahinda against President Gotabaya will be an exercise in delusion as trying to use Melania against Donald Trump.

By Tisaranee Gunasekara “When it is laid down as a maxim, that a king can do no wrong, it places him in a state of similar security with that of idiots and persons insane, and responsibility is out of the question with respect to himself” – Thomas Paine, ‘Rights of Man’ It is what it …

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Dissent Within SLPP Led Ruling Alliance and Opposition From Sinhala BuddhistUltra-Nationalist Lobby Compels Govt To Withdraw Gazetted Draft 20th Amendment Bill and Pledge Submission of Altered Alternative Draft

By P. K. Balachandran The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP) decision to revisit the draft 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution follows multiple dissensions over it both within the party and its alliance. Although the draft 20A was cleared by the Cabinet without objections and was even published in the gazette, the moment it …

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” You do not win an argument by saying ‘this is a Sinhala Buddhist country, so it has to be this way’.That is intimidation.” Says Aman Ashraff the Only Son of MHM and Ferial Ashraff in an Interview

By Chandani Kirinde Today marks the 20th death anniversary of M.H.M. Ashraff, the Founder Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). He died on 16 September 2000, when the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopter he was travelling in crashed in the Aranayaka area in Kegalle District, leaving a void in the political sphere …

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The 13th Amendment, the Indo-Lanka Accord and the very principle of provincial devolution stand in jeopardy While the Tamils are cornered in a political dead-end.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Any collective, especially a minority community, is in the most serious kind of political trouble when its smartest representatives say things that are the exact opposite of smart—and that’s a polite euphemism—at exactly the wrong time. Take MP M.A. Sumanthiran, quoted by Meera Srinivasan of The Hindu as follows: ‘… “While it …

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120 State-owned companies including SriLankan Airlines Lanka Electricity Company (LECO), Sri Lanka Insurance, Lanka Hospitals PLC, Litro Gas Lanka Ltd and Lanka Sathosa will be exempt from Government audit under the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

By Namini Wijedasa Nearly 120 State-owned companies including the debt-ridden SriLankan Airlines will be exempt from Government audit under the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution. Among scores of other business entities to be excluded are Lanka Electricity Company (LECO), Sri Lanka Insurance, Lanka Hospitals PLC, Litro Gas Lanka Ltd, Lanka Sathosa, multiple plantation and …

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Five UN Special Rapporteurs raise concerns with Sri Lankan Govt. on harassment of Senior journalist Dharisha Bastians

Five United Nations Special Rapporteurs have written to the Government of Sri Lanka, raising serious concerns that journalist Dharisha Bastians is being targeted for her writing and especially for her work to defend human rights, saying the continued harassment could deter other journalists from reporting on issues of public interest and human rights. The UN …

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UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene Ready to Take Up Challenge of Re-structuring and Rebuilding the Party anew

By Asiri Fernando Newly-appointed United National Party (UNP) Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene yesterday assured that he was ready to take up the challenge of rebuilding the party. Speaking to the press following a religious function at Gangaramaya Temple yesterday morning, Wijewardene called on all those who once supported the party to rally around the green …

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Ruwan Wijewardene Elected as UNP Deputy -Leader at Party Working Committee Meeting; Wins Comfortably with 28 Votes in Straight Fight with Contender Ravi Karunanayake who gets 10 votes

By Yohan Perera Former State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene was elected Deputy Leader at a secret ballot today. UNP Legal Secretary Nissanka Nanayakkara told journalists that a secret ballot was conducted when both Mr. Wijewardene and Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake informed the working committee that they would contest for the post. Mr. Wijewardene was …

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The Tamil people opposed the Executive Presidency both for its centralisation of power and also for its corrupting influence on democracy.

by M A Sumanthiran (The writer is President’s Counsel Member of Parliament for Jaffna and spokesman for Tamil National Alliance) The Basic Structure Doctrine as developed by the Indian Supreme Court has not found favour in Sri Lankan constitutional law. However, the Sri Lankan Constitution (2nd Republican Constitution of 1978) provides a clear procedure on …

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had declared his readiness to withdraw the present draft 20th Amendment Bill and re-submit a rectified draft. Announces SLPP National List MP Gevindu Cumaratunga

By Shamindra Ferdinando President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has assured civil society groups, the National Joint Committee (NJC) and Yuthukama that the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution would be rescinded to pave the way for a new draft. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa gave this assurance at a meeting with Manohara de Silva, PC and lawmaker Gevindu Cumaratunga …

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How Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Defence Secretary Masterminded the Successful War Against the LTTE is Grippingly Related by Current Defence Secretary Maj-Gen Kamal Gunaratne in his new book titled “Gotabaya”

By P.K. Balachandran In 2005, when Gotabaya Rajapaksa took over as Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary at the request of the newly elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country’s armed forces were in a depleted, ill-equipped and dispirited state. They were being outwitted and outmaneuvered by the intrepid and innovative LTTE. The Lankan Army, Navy and the …

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There are clear and present dangers in allowing such ‘unfettered’ powers to be wielded by the President who is being elevated as a ‘super-constitutional creature’ by the 20th Amendment

By Kishali Pinto Jayewardena As public concern over Sri Lanka’s draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution increases exponentially since this amendment was gazetted on 2nd September 2020, so do the sheer absurdity of the justifications thereto. Cunning and deplorably simplistic explanations are put forward by some in Government ranks. The President as a ‘super-constitutional’ creature …

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Row over murder convict-MP: Speaker takes cover behind court ruling as SJB fires salvo after salvo

By Sandun Jayawardana Less than a month into its five-year term, the Ninth Parliament of Sri Lanka achieved world-wide notoriety this week when a murder convict on death row was sworn in as a member of the august assembly, amid jeers and a walkout from Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MPs. The swearing-in of Ratnapura …

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Education Minister Prof G.L. Peiris Explains the Reasons Behind the Govt Move to Speedily Introduce the 20th Constitutional Amendment

by Professor G. L. Peiris Minister Of Education May I begin by expressing my appreciation to the Kandy Professionals Association for embarking on this very timely initiative of meeting every month, on a Sunday, to discuss in depth the issues involving constitutional reform, and the way forward in our country. I consider this an exercise …

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20th Constitutional amendment aims to provide Sri Lankan president with authoritarian powers

By Sanjaya Jayasekera and Deepal Jayasekera Early this month, the Sri Lankan cabinet approved a draft 20th amendment to the constitution, which would give sweeping dictatorial powers to the executive president if approved by the parliament. President Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) government is planning to ram the bill through parliament in October. …

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The Demand for Cow Slaughter in Sri Lanka is Entangled With the Political Issue of Buddhist – Muslm Relations

By P.K.Balachandran When the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa got the unanimous approval of his parliamentary group for legislation to ban cow slaughter, it was not the first attempt to have the practice banned. Despite toying with the idea of banning cow slaughter from time to time, no government has thought it fit to …

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Banning the Slaughter of Cattle for Beef In Sri Lanka While Importing Beef for Consumption Will Create a New Category of New Rich Persons Thriving on the “Pitarata Harak Mus Vaasanava”(the Fortune of Imported Beef)

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake There is a clear duality in the prime minister’s decision on a ban on cattle slaughter. The cattle are slaughtered for the purpose of beef consumption. But the new slaughter ban will support beefeaters with imports of beef from abroad. This duality may be part of the Lotus Bud or Podujana Peramuna …

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Instead of Disbanding the National Procurement Commission by Replacing the 19th Amendment Through the 20th Amendment the NPC Must Be Strengthened Further

By Dr. Janaka Ratnasiri In an interview held in one of the TV channels on 07.09.2020 ending at midnight, Justice Minister Ali Sabry said that the National Procurement Commission (NPC), established among the several independent commissions under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, has not served any useful purpose during the 5 years of its …

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State Minister Sarath Weerasekara Tells Parliament that military occupied lands in the North and East that are of tactical importance would never be given back to the People owning them as long as persons with separatist agendas like C.V. Wigneswaran are there promoting separatism

By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera Military occupied lands in the North and East, which have tactical importance will not be given back to the people in view of national security as it is directly related to national economy, State Minister Sarath Weerasekara said today. He told Parliament that 90 per cent of the military …

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“I know in my heart that I am innocent,” Says Murder Convicted Premalal Jayasekara While Addressing Parliament in a voice shaking with emotion; requests new investigation and trial as he had been framed he says

By Maria Abi-Habib A Sri Lankan politician sentenced to death on murder charges was sworn in as a member of the country’s Parliament on Tuesday, escorted out of prison to take his oath amid jeers from opposition legislators. The lawmaker, Premalal Jayasekara, was convicted in late July of opening fire on an election rally in …

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Report in the UK “Guardian” About Murder Convict Premalal Jayasekera Being Allowed To Be Sworn in as MP by the Speaker in Sri Lanka.

A Sri Lankan politician sentenced to death for murder has been escorted from prison to parliament to become the first convict to be sworn in as an MP, amid heckles from the opposition. Premalal Jayasekara, 45, from the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party (SLPP), was convicted in August of murdering an opposition activist after …

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Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Moots Proposal at Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Parliamentary Group Meeting to Ban the Slaughter of Cattle for Beef

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has proposed banning the slaughter of cattle for beef, according to the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP, or People’s Front). Addressing the party’s parliamentary group at a meeting on Tuesday, Mr. Rajapaksa — while discussing the agenda for the week — made the proposal, Cabinet spokesman and Minister …

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Differences of Opinion Emerge Within Govt Ranks Over Draft 20th Constitutional Amendment as Several MP’s Are Opposed to Certain Provisions in Draft Bill Relating to Issues Like Dual Citizenship and Number of Cabinet Ministers

By Kelum Bandara Apparently for the first time since the presidential election on November 16, 2019, dissension has emerged among the members or the groups of the Government. That is on the content of the bill titled ‘20th Amendment to the Constitution’ which primarily seeks to roll back the 19th Amendment. The ruling party initiated …

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Seven Member Committee Appointed to Study Draft 20th Constitutional Amendment and ubmit Report to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa by Sep 22 Following Reservations Expressed by Constituent Parties of SLPP Led Alliance

The Government parliamentary group which met yesterday decided to appoint a seven-member committee to study the 20th Amendment to the Constitution after constituent parties expressed reservations over some contents in the draft Bill.

Ruwan Wijewardene the Great Grandson of DS Senanayake and Grandson of DR Wijewardene is Becoming the Front Runner in the UNP Leadership Stakes

By Dr Upul Wijayawardhana “If we are to advance as a united and prosperous Sri Lanka, political parties based on race and religion should be banned.” This was the rallying cry of the very pragmatic religious leader Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. However, we should remind ourselves that this ideal was achieved, not by law but by …

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There was Darkness in Sri Lanka Even After the 19th Amendment but the 20th Constitutional Amendment May Plunge the Country Into Pitch Darkness

By Victor Ivan Governance-wise, the 20th Amendment can be described as a regressive step. In my opinion, with the enactment of the 20th Amendment, one era of Sri Lanka will come to an end. The era that ends with the introduction of the 20th Amendment cannot be considered as an era of democracy. Similarly, the …

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Security Council and Navy Alerted Over Huge Increase of Indian Fishing Vessels Engaged in Poaching in Sri Lankan Territorial Waters Off the Mannar, Jaffna and Mullaitheevu Coasts in the last few days.

By Saman Indrajith Minister of State for Fisheries Kanchana Wijesekera told Parliament yesterday (09) that the Security Council and the Navy had been informed of an increase in the number of Indian fishing vessels in Sri Lankan territorial waters during the past few days, and measures would be taken to beef up security in the …

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SLPP State Minister Sanath Nishantha’s Brother and Ex-Chairman of Arachchikkattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Jagath Samantha Found Responsible for Destruction of Anavilundhava Wild Life Sanctuaryin Puttalam District in Probe Launched by Wild Life and Forests Conservation Minister CB Rathnayake

Former chairman of Arachchikattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Jagath Samantha has been found to be the person behind the recent environmental disaster in the Anavilundawa sanctuary. The panel of specialists appointed to probe into the incident by Wildlife and Forest Conservation Minister C.B. Rathnayake, has revealed this. Jagath Samantha is also the brother of State minister r …

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The 20th Amendment is an overnight shift of authority and loyalty from Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa,from Prime Minister and this Parliament to this President and from the parliamentarians of the MR bloc to the Viyath Maga-Eliya-Yuthukama-ex military axis.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The main problem with the 19th Amendment was not sourced in the legislation but in the illegitimacy of the political context: The Leader of the Opposition (from 2015 until 2019) was the TNA Leader who commanded only a minority of seats in the Opposition benches. Everything that was born in that Parliament …

Continue reading ‘The 20th Amendment is an overnight shift of authority and loyalty from Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa,from Prime Minister and this Parliament to this President and from the parliamentarians of the MR bloc to the Viyath Maga-Eliya-Yuthukama-ex military axis.’ »

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

By Zahrah Imtiaz (this Article was first Posted on 22 January 2016.It is being re-posted in view of its topical importance in the present context) Imagine a scenario where no one in the country would be allowed to slaughter a cow. With religious fervour firing the imagination of many to call for such a ban, …

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Tamil Congress Jaffna District MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam Tells Parliament that people in the North and East overburdened by loans are caught up, not in a debt trap but a “death trap” and calls on govt to implement progressive policies to protect the economies of the war battered population in these districts

By Chandani Kirinde All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) Jaffna District MP Gajen Ponnambalam told Parliament yesterday that people in the North and East are overburdened by loans and are caught up, not in a debt trap but a ‘death trap”, and called on the government to implement progressive policies to protect the economies of the …

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SJB Parliamentarians Create Din in Parliament Protesting Over Swearing in of Murder Convict Premalal Jayasekara as Ratnapura District MP

By Saman Indrajith SLPP Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekera, convicted of murder and sentenced to death, was sworn in as an MP amidst protests from the SJB in Parliament, yesterday. At the commencement of sittings, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced that Jayasekera could take his oath as an MP. As the announcement came, SJB Kandy …

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Samagi Jana Balawegaya severely criticises Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena for allowing Parliamentarian Premalal Jayasekara alias “Choka Malli” who was convicted of murder ahead of last month’s Parliamentary Election to take oaths

By Asiri Fernando The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) yesterday severely criticised Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena for allowing Parliamentarian Premalal Jayasekara, who was convicted of murder ahead of last month’s Parliamentary Election, to take oaths despite strong objections by Opposition members. Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekara, alias ‘Choka Malli’, and two …

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Drastic Changes Proposed in 20th Constitutional Amendment May Require the People’s Endorsement at a Referendum for it to Become Law Says TNA Spokesperson MA Sumanthiran PC

By P.K.Balachandran There are legal grounds to seek a referendum on the proposed 20 th. Amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution, says M.A.Sumanthiran, spokesman of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and a leading Supreme Court lawyer. According to Sumanthiran, the 20A seeks to change the basic principles embedded in the constitution. It gives all powers …

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Ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekara Becomes First Murder Convict to be Sworn in as a Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka Following an Interim Order Issued by the Court of Appeal

By Meera Srinivasan A murder convict, elected from Sri Lanka’s southern Ratnapura district, was escorted from prison to Parliament on Tuesday as he took the oath as MP amid opposition protests. Days before the August 5 general election, Premalal Jayasekara, a member of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP of People’s Front), was sentenced …

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Buddhist monk from Arisimalai who is a member of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province threatens a group of farmers in the Thiriyai area in the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretary’s Division in the Trincomalee District and prohibits them from engaging in cultivation

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan has written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa alleging that a Buddhist monk, who is a member of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province, had threatened a group of farmers in the Thiriyai area in the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretary’s Division in the Trincomalee District. …

Continue reading ‘Buddhist monk from Arisimalai who is a member of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province threatens a group of farmers in the Thiriyai area in the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretary’s Division in the Trincomalee District and prohibits them from engaging in cultivation’ »

“By focussing on the technicalities of the 19th Amendment, the Rajapaksas are trying to quietly erase the historic pledge of abolishing the executive presidency from public discourse.” – M.A. Sumanthiran PC

By Meera Srinivasan When the Sri Lankan government recently gazetted the draft 20th Amendment (20 A) to the Constitution, it was merely keeping an election promise — to repeal the 19th Amendment of 2015 that clipped the Executive President’s unfettered powers, in turn empowering Parliament. With the necessary two-third majority on their side, President Gotabaya …

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Removal of the gains including the strengthening of sovereignty of the people achieved through 19A prejudicially by 20 A impacts on sovereignty and therefore necessitates approval at a referendum.

By Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, President’s Counsel The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution Bill (20A) is in the public domain. If I were to describe it in one sentence — 20A seeks to take the country backwards to the 2010-2015 period. The only features introduced by 19A that would survive if 20A is passed in its …

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