Switzerland Foreign Minister Ignazuo Cassis Telephones Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardene To Inquire About Arrested Swiss Embassy Employee and Urges Colombo to Expedite Judicial Process in View of the Good Bilateral relations Between Both Countries

Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena reaffirmed to his Swiss counterpart yesterday that the rights of the Swiss Embassy employee who is in custody will be protected, and she will be granted all possible facilities. The Minister conveyed these views when he received a telephone call from the Foreign Minister of Switzerland, Ignazio Cassis, regarding …

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JHU Leader Champika Ranawaka Remanded by Colombo Chief Magistrate After Police Record Statement Regarding an Incident in 2016 Where the Then Cabinet Minister Had Allegedly Driven a Vehicle Causing Injury to a Youth in a Road accident and Fled the Spot Letting his Driver Take the Rap

By Chameera Elladeniya Former Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka was taken into police custody on instructions by Attorney General Dappula De Livera yesterday (18). Produced before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court yesterday night, former Minister Ranawaka was ordered to be remanded till today(19). The Attorney General has given the arrest order in connection with a case where …

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Designated Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa Refuses to Spearhead UNP Parliamentary Election Campaign as Prime Ministerial Candidate Unless he is Given the Party Leadership Post Also

By Nuwan Senarathna A month after his presidential loss MP Sajith Premadasa yesterday said he would not spearhead the UNP’s parliamentary campaign as a prime ministerial candidate unless he is given the party leadership as well. Premadasa made the comments when addressing party faithfuls for the first time since his defeat, at a private venue …

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Dr.Harsha de Silva MP wants to Make UNP Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to be Senior Adviser or Mentor of Party if a New Leader is Appointed for the UNP

By Yohan Perera UNP MP Harsha De Silva yesterday proposed an amendment to his party’s constitution in order to make provisions to elect a new leader through a vote. Dr. de Silva who was speaking to the UNP activists in Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte said party constitution should be changed to make provisions to elect a …

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Eksath Jathika Bhikku Peramuna says 24 MP’s are Agitating for Change in UNP Leadership Though Sajith Premadasa Has Informed EJBP that he does not want any post in Party

By Yohan Perera The Bhikkhu wing of the UNP, Eksath Jathika Bhikkhu Peramuna (EJBP), said yesterday 24 MPs who agitated for a leadership change attempted to create unnecessary problems within the party in the context of MP Sajith Premadasa refusing to accept any post. EJBP President Ven. Bopitiye Dhammasara Thera and Secretary Ven. Thiniyawala Palitha …

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Swiss Embassy Statement of Being Dissatisfied with Investigations Carried Out by Sri Lanka Over Alleged Abduction of Employee Can Bring Disrepute to Country warns UNP MP Palitha Ranga Bandara

By Yohan Perera The Swiss Embassy statement that it was not satisfied with the investigations carried out by Sri Lanka on the alleged abduction of its employee would bring disrepute to Sri Lanka, UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara told a news conference today. He claimed that Sri Lankans will face a difficult situation both locally …

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UNP Parliamentarians Allege at Press Conference that JHU Leader Champoka Ranawaka’s Ex -Driver;s Wife, Mother in Law and 18 month old Child were Detained in Galle at 12.45 am and Brought to Colombo in Vehicle Numbered 64 – 8736

Professing to stand up for party ally MP Patali Champika Ranawaka in the event of any injustice, the United National Party (UNP) today charged that the family of the MP’s former driver were unlawfully detained in the early hours of today (16). Presenting a united face, a host of parliamentarians representing both sides of the …

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Sri Lanka and Switzerland Versions of Meeting Between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Swiss Ambassador Hanspeter Moch in Colombo Appear to be at Variance With each Other

The Swiss Foreign Ministry has rejected the Sri Lankan government’s contentions regarding the alleged abduction of one of its local employees Garnier Banister Francis alias Sriyalatha Perera. In a press release on Monday, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) said: “ An employee of the Swiss embassy in Colombo has been taken into custody …

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Swiss FDFA “Criticises” 30-hour Interrogation of its Employee over Three days Despite poor Health and the Public Statements by Senior Sri Lankan Officials Questioning her Account Before the Investigation is Completed.

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka police on Monday arrested a local employee of the Swiss Embassy in Colombo, who has been at the centre of a diplomatic controversy, for allegedly making a false accusation that she was detained and threatened. The Sri Lankan national, working at the visa section of the Embassy, was reportedly abducted …

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Swiss Ambassador Tells Sri Lankan President at Face to Face Meeting That Switzerland Seeks a Common and Constructive Way Forward to Resolve the Security Incident Concerning woman Employee of Embassy in Colombo

(Text of Press releaseIssued by Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs on 16.12.2019) An employee of the Swiss Embassy in Colombo has today been detained on the grounds that she allegedly made false statements. T he FDFA is concerned about this development and calls on the Sri Lankan judicial authorities to ensure better protection of …

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The Street Art Murals Being Painted are Overwhelmingly monotonous, Unimaginatively Uninspiring With the Aura of Sinhala Nationalist Fervour Borrowing Heavily from Nationalistic and Militaristic Narratives of the Past and Present.

By Ranga Jayasuriya After Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s assuming of the office of presidency, a wave of street art sprung up and spread across the country like a bushfire. The official version is that it was spontaneous civic-minded volunteerism by disparate groups of local youth who felt inspired by the unfolding political ‘change’. Mr Rajapaksa’s graduation to …

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President Gotabaya Tells Media Editors in Lighter Vein That Given the Charges Levelled Against Him, he was a Bigger Victim than the Swiss Embassy Woman Employee Embroiled in Controversy

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday claimed that given the serious charges levelled against him, he was a bigger victim than the female employee of the Swiss embassy currently embroiled in controversy over her alleged detention and abuse. The President yesterday updated the editors of media organisations on ongoing investigations into the alleged incident reported by the …

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Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Posts Entry on Facebook About his Meeting With Switzerland Ambassador to Colombo Hanspeter Mock

(The following is a post by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his Facebook under the heading Switzerland assures continuous support to Sri Lanka) Hanspeter Mock, Ambassador of Switzerland to Sri Lanka, met me yesterday and assured continued support to Sri Lanka. Whilst conveying warm congratulations on recent electoral victory, the Ambassador especially appreciated my remark – …

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Swiss Embassy Woman Employee Garnier Banister Francis Arrested by CID on Directive by Attorney -General and Remanded Until Dec 30th by Colombo Magistrate:Likely to be Charged for Fabricating False evidence and Inciting Disaffection Against State

By Chandani Kirinde In a dramatic turn of events, the Attorney General’s Department yesterday directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to arrest and charge the female employee of the Swiss Embassy – who is at the centre of an alleged detention – under the penal code for inciting or attempting to incite disaffection against the …

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UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe Makes It Clear that he has no Intention to Lead the Party Forever and Calls For United Plan to Strengthen Party and Move Forward to Face Elections

United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday stated that he is ready to execute a plan prepared by the party as a whole team without working individually or in groups for the future victory of the party. Wickremesinghe said that all should work together for strengthening the party and to appoint a new look …

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Some UNP Ministers Resigning Posts and Compelling Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to Resign and Hand Over Govt to Podujana Peramuna was A Mistake say Parliamentarians Vajira Abeywardene and Wijepala Hettiarachchi at UNP Bala Mandalaya Meeting

By Yohan Perera It was the mistake for the United National Party (UNP) to hand over the government to Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) following the presidential election, two UNP MPs from the Galle District said over the weekend. They also said that the resignation of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister was also …

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Swiss Ambassador to Sri Lanka Hanspeter Mock Meets President Gotabaya to Clarify Position on Swiss Embassy Local Staffer Incident. “We need to overcome this situation of tension and remove any misunderstanding,” Says Envoy

By Lahiru Pothmulla Ambassador of Switzerland in Sri Lanka, Hanspeter Mock, who called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today commented on the Embassy staffer incident and said Switzerland harboured no intention to do any harm to Sri Lanka. The Ambassador called on President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat this morning. “We wish to work together for …

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“Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development can Provide Solution for True Grievances of the Minorities and not Federalism or Greater Devolution as Promised by Politicians ” Says President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at Meeting with Media Editors

By Nisthar Cassim President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday drove home the point that it was largely socioeconomics and security and less politics that would ensure true national unity in the country, which he said would rebound next year leading to inclusive prosperity. Speaking for the first time to media editors since assuming office, President Rajapaksa made …

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Bar Council to Move Supreme Court Against Ex-Southern Provincial Councillor Ajith Prasanna for Criticising Five Magistrates and Officials of the Police and Attorney – Generals Dept Publicly on a TV Show

By Shamindra Ferdinando Attorney-at-law Ajith Prasanna faces a high profile trial in the Supreme Court over his controversial comments on a recent live political programme on a private television channel. The Bar Council on Saturday, Dec 14, unanimously decided to move the SC against Prasanna, formerly of the Sri Lanka Army for being critical of …

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UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Assigns Senior Lawyer Tilak Marapana The Task of Recommending Changes to Party Constitution Regarding the Post of Party Leader

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has tasked senior party member Tilak Marapana PC with presenting a note on potential changes to the UNP constitution with regard to the post of the party leader by the end of the week. UNP sources said this was after party seniors met Wickremesinghe and suggested that changes be brought in …

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Sri Lankas Foreign Relations in the First Month Under New Govt Has Seen Proactive Outreach With India, Pakistan and China As Well As Reactive Confrontation with UK and Switzerland

By Meera Srinivasan In the weeks that followed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s big election win, Sri Lanka witnessed some rapid international outreach — both from and to Colombo — reflecting the strategic and geographic prominence of the Indian Ocean island that is home to 21 million people. India was among the earliest to reach out to …

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Two Persons Who Claimed to be “White Van Drivers” who Abducted Persons and Transported Dead Bodies and LTTE Gold in Their Vehicles at Press Conference Conducted by Dr.Rajitha Senaratne Arrested by CID for Questioning

The two persons who participated in a press conference with former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne on November 10 during the run up to the Presidential Election and revealed a story relating to an alleged abduction by ‘white vans’ and the transportation of 7,000 tons of gold, have been arrested by the CID. The two suspects …

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Suspension of Licenses for Sand Transport by New Govt Leads to Illegal Large-scale “Day and Night” Sandmining in all Five Northern Province Districts;Jaffna District MP Siddharthan Writes to President Rajapaksa Urging Him to Intervene Immediately

By Sandran Rubatheesan and Shaadya Ismail J Illegal sandmining has rapidly increased in the north on state and private land following the new government’s decision to suspend the licence system for sand transport, prompting a violent reaction from frustrated locals and a warning of public protests. In all the five districts of the north, illegal …

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‘Shoot First Ask Questions Later’ Policy of Philippines Strong Man Cum Populist President Rodrigo Duterte Dubbed as “Punisher” Has Not Yielded Good Results

By Kishali Pinto Jayawrdene In Manila this week, there are chilling reminders of how a ‘strongman’ President with a penchant for bad-mouthing those whom he dislikes and spearheading summary justice against alleged drug traffickers remains popular with his people despite all the hard evidence showing that the country has really not progressed under his rule. …

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Why is the Swiss Embassy Woman Employee’s Claim of being Abducted and Molested Being Refuted and Why is she Being Made the Target of a Witch Hunt?

By Gamini Akmeemana The saga of Garnier Banister Francis, the Swiss embassy employee who was allegedly abducted by unidentified men in Colombo and ‘forced to disclose embassy-related information’ under duress, could be likened to a soap opera but for its disturbing implications for all of us who like to live in a free state without …

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“Exfiltration” of a Top Intelligence Chief From Sri Lanka to Switzerland and an “Abduction” Tale of a Swiss Embassy Employee in Colombo

By Tamara Kunanayakam -former Ambassador/ Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the U.N. at Geneva “If you know the enemy and know yourself,you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” Sun Tzu, The Art War, 5th Century BC The recent dramatic events involving the Swiss Embassy came as a surprise to most Sri …

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Thirty -One State Institutions Including Police Dept, State Intelligence Service (SIS), Dept of Immigration and Emigration and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRC) Brought Under Purview of Defence Ministry But No Cabinet Minister for Defence Appointed Due to 19th Amendment Barring President From Holding Portfolio

By Chandani Kirinde Thirty-one State institutions including the Police Department, State Intelligence Service (SIS), Department of Immigration and Emigration, Department of Registration of Persons, National Dangerous Drugs Control Board, as well as the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRC), will come under the under the purview of the Defence Ministry, according to the subjects and functions Gazette …

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Swiss Embassy Employee Incident: Centre for Policy Alternatives Expresses Concern That “certain public authorities and officers holding official positions have publicly accused the alleged victim of fabricating facts, despite ongoing investigations.”

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in a statement said it is deeply concerned with recent events in the aftermath of the incident in which an employee of the Embassy of Switzerland in Sri Lanka was allegedly abducted, sexually harassed, and questioned by unidentified persons regarding embassy related matters, on or about 27 November.

Sri Lankan Govt May Not Politicize Beyond a Point the Swiss Embassy Employee “abduction” Case and the “threatening gesticulation” Case against Ex-Defence Attache Brig.Priyantha Fernando in the UK to Avoid Rupture in Relations With Switzerland and UK

By P.K.Balachandran Given the tendency among Western nations and the Western media to sling mud at Sri Lanka, especially ahead of a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session, the new Gotabaya Rajapaksa government has decided not to add grist to the anti-Lankan propaganda mill by politicizing the Swiss embassy “abduction” case and the “threatening gesticulation” …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Xinhua Interview Statement and Assertions by the Chinese side Indicate that the Re-negotiating of Hambantota Port Agreement with China as Stated by Gotabaya Rajapaksa Will Not Happen

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has put a lid on the controversy over President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s remark that his Government will re-negotiate the 2017 agreement with China over Hambantota port to gain greater control over it and reduce the lease period, which is now 99 years. With the Prime Minister’s statement and …

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UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has Appointed a Committee to Formulate Plan on How to Face Elections and Go Forward Says UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam

The United National Party yesterday said that a committee appointed by Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will decide how to face the upcoming General Election and urged all party members to unite to move forward. “If everyone in the party speaks in one voice and if we go forward to the General Election together we can …

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Counsel Upul Kumarapperuma Appearing for Woman Employee of Swiss Embassy Who Was Allegedly Abducted by Unknown Persons Tells Court That His Client was Checked by Foreign and Local Doctors and that Two Doctors Have Mentioned in their Medical Report that the Victim Had Been Sexually Abused and Assauted

BY Shavini Madhara Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne yesterday extended the travel ban imposed on Swiss Embassy employee who was allegedly threatened and kidnapped by a group of unidentified men, from leaving the country till December 12. When the case was taken up before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court, the Magistrate also issued an order …

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“I have handed over the task of handling Parliament affairs to the Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa who has been named as the Leader of the Opposition,” States UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe

United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday pledged new faces would get nominations at the upcoming General Elections as the second tier leadership of the party gets more authority while parliamentary affairs will be handled by Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa. Wickremesinghe made the comments addressing the UNP Youth Wing members at the party headquarters …

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Thirty -Two New State Ministry Secretaries Receive Letters of Appointment From Secretary to the President Dr.P. B. Jayasundara

Thirty-two new State Ministry Secretaries received their letter of appointments from the Secretary to the President Dr. P.B.Jaysundara at the President secretariate on Monday December 9th evening. The new State Ministry Secretaries are; 1 Mr. S. H. Harischandra State Ministry of Water Supply Facilities 2 Prof. Ranjith Dissanayake State Ministry of Urban Development 3 Mr. …

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Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne Extends Until December 12th the Travel Ban Imposed Sri Lankan Woman Employee of Swiss Embassy in Colombo.

The order barring the female Sri Lankan employee attached to the Swiss Embassy in Colombo from leaving the country was yesterday extended till December 12 by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. Last week Jayaratne issued an order barring the Swiss Embassy employee from leaving the country without giving a statement to the CID. The employee …

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President Gotabaya Issues Directive That All Persoms Including MP’s and Ministers Who want to Use VIP Terminal at Katunayake International Airport Must Pay 1000 US Dollars Says Dilan Perera.

by Anura Balasuriya Ministers and MPs would have to pay USD 1,000 if they wanted to use the VIP terminal of the Bandaranaike International Airport, MP Dilan Perera said yesterday. He said that the relevant circular had already been issued and it was a common practice in other countries.

Swiss Embassy Woman Employee Accompanied by Two Swiss Embassy Officials and Two Lawyers Appears Before CID in Colombo and Provides Five Hour Long Statement

By Chandani Kirinde The Swiss Embassy employee who claims she was forcibly detained and threatened by a group of unidentified persons in order to obtain embassy-related information from her gave a five-hour statement to the CID last evening. She was accompanied by two Swiss Embassy officials and two lawyers, Daily FT learns. Her statement came …

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Swiss Embassy Staffer Incident Must be one of the Strangest Games of Diplomatic Brinkmanship to be Played out in This Country,

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya In what must surely be one of the strangest games of diplomatic brinkmanship to be played out in this country, the Swiss Embassy in Colombo demands an investigation into an alleged ‘abduction’ of one of its local employees. The new government of Sri Lanka – barely ten days into office – having …

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India’s National Investigation Agency Files Charge Sheet Against Two Suspected Islamic State Operatives in Tamil Nadu Who Were Followers of Sri Lankan Jihadist Leader Zahran Hashim and had Disseminated his Speeches Supporting Jihadist Violence

The National Investigation Agency on Saturday filed a charge sheet against two Islamic State operatives including the leader of the outfit’s Coimbatore module – Mohammed Azarudeen and his associate – Sheikh Hidayatullah, who were in touch with the April 21 Sri Lanka bombings mastermind – Maulvi Zahran bin Hashim and were planning to carry out …

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Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry States Former Defence Attache Brig.Priyanka Fernando Was Entitled to Diplomatic Immunity and Describes the Sequence of Events in Case and Timing of Judgement Against Him as a “Politically Motivated Action”

Foreign Ministry maintains Brigadier Fernando entitled to diplomatic immunity The Foreign Ministry yesterday said that the sequence of events concerning the case of Brigadier Priyanka Fernando in the UK including the timing of the judgment showed it was a “politically motivated action”. Releasing a statement following the judgement in the case of Majuran Sathananthan vs. …

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The Beautification Project of Painting Murals on City Walls Will Literally Shrink The Public Space Available For Political Dissent Captured in Posters Advertising a Rally, Play, Movement, Gathering, Film or Lecture.

By Sanjana Hattotuwa If a key political actor or set of allied actors wanted to secure more power, all the while appearing not to be interested in it, how could one go about it? Lessons of 2018 suggest that unconstitutional means don’t secure public support, or at the very least, risk generating swathes of support …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Cabinet Paper to Set Up Special Presidential Commissions of Inquiry to Investigate Conduct of Govt Officials Under Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Regime Has Sinister Implications

By KIshali Pinto Jayawardene The presenting of a Cabinet Paper by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa this week, proposing the establishment of a Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry (SPCOI), under the SPCOI Law (1978) to investigate government officials who had conducted ‘witch hunts’ of other public officials during the time of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition Government as …

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35 Years After Rosy Senanayake Became the First “Mrs.World” in Australia, Another Sri Lankan Caroline Jurie is Crowned “Mrs. World” at Beauty Pageant in Las Vegas, USA.

Caroline Jurie from Sri Lanka has been crowned Mrs World at a pageant held in Las Vegas USA on December 06, more than three decades after Rosie Seanayake won a similar title. “I’m so honored to share my heritage and culture on the global stage,” she said in facebook.com post made shortly before the final …

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“I support President Rajapaksa because he is the right person to lead our country. He is a clever person who will carry out reforms, strike a different path, improve lives and do the right thing” Says Ace Cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan in Interview to “Hindustan Times”

By Padma Rao Sundarji Sri Lankan cricket star Muttiah Muralitharan spoke to Hindustan Times Padma Rao Sundarji over phone from Colombo, dismissing reports that he was offered the post of governor of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province Q: Can you confirm media reports that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has offered you – and you have accepted – …

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One May Legitimately Ask President Gotabhaya Whether Moving Out Shani Abeysekera no Sooner than he Assumed Power Could be Called ‘Arbitrary’ Too?

By Gamini Gunawardane Rtd. Snr. DIG I write this piece in great sadness. But I must because if I do not, I feel I would failing in my duty as an former policeman. I am sad for the independence of the Police, Independent Police Commission and the newly elected President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. We were watching …

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“Despite President Gotabaya’s Correct Rhetoric after Assuming Office, he has to show that he is Capable of Carrying all Sections of Society to Progress in a Safe Environment”

By Col R Hariharan The election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President with a clear majority of 52.25% votes, 10.25% more than polled by his younger rival Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United Nationalist Party (UNP), tells many things. Sinhala majority has voted Rajapaksa clan back to power with a strong mandate; on the flip side, …

Continue reading ‘“Despite President Gotabaya’s Correct Rhetoric after Assuming Office, he has to show that he is Capable of Carrying all Sections of Society to Progress in a Safe Environment”’ »

Former Defence Attache at Sri Lankan High Commission in London Brig. Priyanka Fernando Found Guilty Over his “Throat Cutting Gesture” Offence and Fined by Westminster Magistrates Court

Former Defence Attaché at Sri Lankan High Commission in London Brigadier Priyanka Fernando was found guilty at the Westminster Magistrate’s Court today for committing public order offences over the ‘throat slitting gesture’ in London, 2018. The Brigadier displayed a warning during a demonstration by LTTE activists in front of the Sri Lankan High Commission in …

Continue reading ‘Former Defence Attache at Sri Lankan High Commission in London Brig. Priyanka Fernando Found Guilty Over his “Throat Cutting Gesture” Offence and Fined by Westminster Magistrates Court’ »

Colombo Chief Magistrate Orders Seven TV Institutions to Submit Unedited Clips of Video Footage of Dr. Rajitha Senaratne’s Press Conference about Swiss Embassy Abduction Incident to CID.

By Nimanthi Ranasinghe Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday ordered seven electronic media institutions to hand over the unedited clips of the video footage of the news conference held by former Minister MP Rajitha Senaratne on the alleged abduction of the Swiss Embassy employee to the OIC of the Investigation Unit of the CID. The …

Continue reading ‘Colombo Chief Magistrate Orders Seven TV Institutions to Submit Unedited Clips of Video Footage of Dr. Rajitha Senaratne’s Press Conference about Swiss Embassy Abduction Incident to CID.’ »

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Proposes Sajith Premadasa as Leader of the Opposition; Parliament to Formally Accept Sajith as Opposition Leader on Jan 3rd 2020

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday proposed Sajith Premadasa as the Opposition Leader while putting off final decision on the party leadership. The UNP parliamentary group reached a consensus on the post of the Opposition Leader at Sirikotha. Earlier, Sajith Premadasa loyalists demanded both positions-Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the party.

“Since Former Health Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne Seems to Know Details About the Swiss Embassy Staffer Incident It Has Become Necessary to Record a Statement From Him “Says Co-Cabinet Spokesman Dr.Ramesh Pathirana.

By Nadira Gunatilleke The Government has made a request to record a statement from former Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne in connection with the details he revealed about so called ‘abduction’ of a local employee attached to the Swiss Embassy in Sri Lanka, Plantations and Export Agriculture Minister and Co-Cabinet spokesman Dr.Ramesh Pathirana said.

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena Briefs all Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Their Representatives of the Govt’s Position on the Swiss Embassy Staffer Incident: Reiterates that Inquiries Done by CID so Far Contradict Information Given to Swiss Envoy by Alleged Victim and Emphasises Importance of Hearing From Her Directly.

By Chandani Kirinde The Government yesterday assured security for the employee of the Swiss Embassy in Colombo who is at the centre of a diplomatic row between Sri Lanka and Switzerland, and urged her to make a statement on her alleged forceful detention by a group of unidentified persons, so that investigations into the matter …

Continue reading ‘Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena Briefs all Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Their Representatives of the Govt’s Position on the Swiss Embassy Staffer Incident: Reiterates that Inquiries Done by CID so Far Contradict Information Given to Swiss Envoy by Alleged Victim and Emphasises Importance of Hearing From Her Directly.’ »

Addl Solicitor – General Parinda Ranasinghe Informs Colombo Special High Court-at-Barthat the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka has Requested the Singapore Govt to Extradite Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran to Sri Lanka.

by Chitra Weerarathne Additional Solicitor General Parinda Ranasinghe, President’s Counsel, yesterday informed the Colombo Special High Court-at-Bar, that the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka had requested the government of Singapore to extradite Arjuna Mahendran to Sri Lanka. Mahendran is the a former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The Presidential Commission, which investigated …

Continue reading ‘Addl Solicitor – General Parinda Ranasinghe Informs Colombo Special High Court-at-Barthat the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka has Requested the Singapore Govt to Extradite Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran to Sri Lanka.’ »

12 Persons Charged with Raising Funds for LTTE in Switzerland From 1999 to 2009 Acquitted After Ruling by Swiss Federal Court that the Tamil Tigers are not a Criminal Organization

The Swiss Federal Court has ruled that the Tamil Tigers are not a criminal organisation and has acquitted 12 people of charges filed by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). In its indictment, the OAG had accused the people of violating the Swiss Penal Code by raising funds for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil …

Continue reading ‘12 Persons Charged with Raising Funds for LTTE in Switzerland From 1999 to 2009 Acquitted After Ruling by Swiss Federal Court that the Tamil Tigers are not a Criminal Organization’ »

Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs State Secretary Ms. Pascale Baeriswy Summons Lankan Envoy to Switzerland Based in Berlin Karunasena Hettiarachchi Over the Colombo Incident “to explain the purported evidence against the events described by the embassy which the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs had alluded to in its press release”

(Text of a Press Release Issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs on 02.12.2019) Following several demarches from the FDFA over the incident concerning an employee of the Swiss embassy in Colombo, State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl has received the Sri Lankan ambassador to Switzerland based in Berlin, Karunasena Hettiarachchi, in Bern. Ms Baeriswyl confirmed …

Continue reading ‘Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs State Secretary Ms. Pascale Baeriswy Summons Lankan Envoy to Switzerland Based in Berlin Karunasena Hettiarachchi Over the Colombo Incident “to explain the purported evidence against the events described by the embassy which the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs had alluded to in its press release”’ »

“Islamist Terrorism has Become a Global Issue. It is not Specific to India or Sri Lanka. Every Country is Threatened. The Only way to Tackle it is to be very Conscious of it. Our Govt has to be Aware and Give it Top Priority, Especially on the Intelligence Side” – President Gotabaya In Interview to “Hindustan Times”.

By Padma Rao Sundarji Newly elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says the island nation and India should put behind them the misunderstandings of the past and move ahead. In an interview with Padma Rao Sundarji, Rajapaksa said: “We genuinely want to strengthen our relationship. I have always said that we don’t want to do …

Continue reading ‘“Islamist Terrorism has Become a Global Issue. It is not Specific to India or Sri Lanka. Every Country is Threatened. The Only way to Tackle it is to be very Conscious of it. Our Govt has to be Aware and Give it Top Priority, Especially on the Intelligence Side” – President Gotabaya In Interview to “Hindustan Times”.’ »

Does the Chinese Embassy Statement Disseminated by “Xinhua” Effectively Mean that China will not Agree to Renegotiate the 2017 Agreement on Hambantotaa Port as Desired by the New Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa?

China claims that Sri Lanka has agreed to develop the Hambantota port and other on-going China-assisted projects as per the “existing consensus,”, thus virtually opting out of a bid to renegotiate the controversial 2017 agreement on the Hambantota port which had leased it out to China for 99-years. A Chinese embassy statement, put out by …

Continue reading ‘Does the Chinese Embassy Statement Disseminated by “Xinhua” Effectively Mean that China will not Agree to Renegotiate the 2017 Agreement on Hambantotaa Port as Desired by the New Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa?’ »

Chinese special envoy Wu Jianghao Has High Level Meeting With President Gotabaya:Sri Lanka and China agreed to “speed up the implementation of the big economic projects, including the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Port according to existing consensus” says Communique

China and Sri Lanka yesterday agreed to speed up the implementation of large-scale projects and draw up a “new blueprint” for future cooperation following high-level meetings between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Chinese special envoy Wu Jianghao. The large-scale projects will also focus on the Colombo Port City project and the Hambantota Port venture. A Chinese …

Continue reading ‘Chinese special envoy Wu Jianghao Has High Level Meeting With President Gotabaya:Sri Lanka and China agreed to “speed up the implementation of the big economic projects, including the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Port according to existing consensus” says Communique’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Prorogues Parliament Under Article 70 of Constitution: He will Declare Commencement of New Session on Jan 3 2020 and Deliver Govt Policy Statement

By Chandani Kirinde As exclusively reported by Daily FT yesterday, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa prorogued Parliament last night and fixed 3 January 2020 for the start of the new session of the Legislature. The session of Parliament will commence at 10 a.m., the Gazette notification giving notice of the prorogation said. The President prorogued Parliament under …

Continue reading ‘President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Prorogues Parliament Under Article 70 of Constitution: He will Declare Commencement of New Session on Jan 3 2020 and Deliver Govt Policy Statement’ »

Sri Lankan Govt Refutes Allegations Made By Swiss Embassy Staffer About Being Abducted and Interrogated by Unidentified Persons. Foreign and Defence Secretaries Meet Swiss Ambassador and Brief him with Evidence that Sequence and Timeline of Alleged Incident do not Tally With Actual Movements of Alleged Victim On That Date

( Text of Media Statement Issued on December 1st 2019 by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Under the Heading “Update on the alleged incident relating to Swiss Embassy staff member”) The Government of Sri Lanka, having taken serious note of the alleged criminal incident concerning a locally recruited staff member of the Swiss …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Govt Refutes Allegations Made By Swiss Embassy Staffer About Being Abducted and Interrogated by Unidentified Persons. Foreign and Defence Secretaries Meet Swiss Ambassador and Brief him with Evidence that Sequence and Timeline of Alleged Incident do not Tally With Actual Movements of Alleged Victim On That Date’ »

Diplomatic Sources Tell “Sunday Times” That Swiss Embassy Staffer Was Bundled Into a White Toyota Corolla Car on Gregory’s Road by Five Men who Bound and Tied Her Eyes with Black Cloth and Quizzed her about CID Inspector Nishantha de Silva Threatening Harm if she did not Answer: Victim also Alleges Sexual Molestation During Two hour Ordeal

By The “Sunday Times” Political Editor The alleged abduction of a Sri Lankan staff member of the Swiss embassy in Colombo has jolted the two-week-old new government. The grave seriousness is in the light of the international implications and the political fallout it portends. “We are taking the matter very seriously. We have ordered a …

Continue reading ‘Diplomatic Sources Tell “Sunday Times” That Swiss Embassy Staffer Was Bundled Into a White Toyota Corolla Car on Gregory’s Road by Five Men who Bound and Tied Her Eyes with Black Cloth and Quizzed her about CID Inspector Nishantha de Silva Threatening Harm if she did not Answer: Victim also Alleges Sexual Molestation During Two hour Ordeal’ »

CID Chief Inspector Nishantha De Silva Who Fled Sri Lanka With Family Has Reportedly Taken Away Copies of Files With Key Data About Important Pending Cases and Investigations Into Crimes and Human Rights Violations Allegedly Committed by Military Personnel Including the Assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunga

By The “Sunday Times” Political Editor Chief Inspector Nishantha de Silva, who was head of the Organised Crimes Investigation Division of the CID, fled Sri Lanka on November 24 without official leave. The government has learnt he was Geneva bound and has sought asylum in Switzerland. It has now transpired that two days before his …

Continue reading ‘CID Chief Inspector Nishantha De Silva Who Fled Sri Lanka With Family Has Reportedly Taken Away Copies of Files With Key Data About Important Pending Cases and Investigations Into Crimes and Human Rights Violations Allegedly Committed by Military Personnel Including the Assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunga’ »

Swiss Embassy in Colombo Says Employee who was detained against her will on the street and forced to get into a car and seriously threatened at length by unidentified men and forced to disclose embassy-related information is Currently unable to testify due to her deteriorating Health Condition

The Swiss Embassy last night issued a statement regarding the incident that took place on Monday (25 November) night involving one of its local employees, saying several false pieces of information are circulating in the reporting of this incident. “On 25 November, a serious security incident involving an employee of the Embassy of Switzerland in …

Continue reading ‘Swiss Embassy in Colombo Says Employee who was detained against her will on the street and forced to get into a car and seriously threatened at length by unidentified men and forced to disclose embassy-related information is Currently unable to testify due to her deteriorating Health Condition’ »

CID Grills Web Journalists who Opposed Gotabaya and Supported Sajith During Election Campaign: National Movement for Web Journalists Issues Statement Condemning Direct and Indirect Suppression of Media Freedom

(Text of Media release issued by the National Movement for Web Journalists oon 28th November 2019 condemning suppression of web journalists who campaigned for Sajith Premadasa Through Questioning by the CID) The National Movement for Web Journalists protests the attempt to suppress the media and journalists after the new government was elected who acted in …

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa Tells Narendra Modi About His “inclusive political outlook on ethnic harmony” in Sri Lanka: Indian PM Says Govt of Sri Lanka will carry forward the process of reconciliation, to fulfill the aspirations of the Tamils for equality, justice, peace and respect Including Implementation of 13th amendment.

(Approximate English Translation of Speech made in Hindi by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Welcoming Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa During the State Visit of the SL President to India) November 29, 2019 Your Excellency President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Senior officials from Sri Lanka and India, Friends, Ayubovan! Vanakkam! Namaskar! I am pleased to welcome President …

Continue reading ‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa Tells Narendra Modi About His “inclusive political outlook on ethnic harmony” in Sri Lanka: Indian PM Says Govt of Sri Lanka will carry forward the process of reconciliation, to fulfill the aspirations of the Tamils for equality, justice, peace and respect Including Implementation of 13th amendment.’ »

Sri Lankan Employee at Swiss Embassy in Colombo Detained Against Her Will and Threatened at Length by Unidentified Men Trying to Force Information Out of Her About Issuance of Visa to CID Inspector Nishantha Silva

By Chandani Kirinde Switzerland yesterday demanded an immediate and complete investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident in which a local employee of the embassy was detained against her will on the street and threatened at length by unidentified men, in order to force her to disclose embassy-related information. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Employee at Swiss Embassy in Colombo Detained Against Her Will and Threatened at Length by Unidentified Men Trying to Force Information Out of Her About Issuance of Visa to CID Inspector Nishantha Silva’ »

Fears of Crackdown on Those Perceived as “Enemies of New President and Govt”Loom Large in Sri Lanka with Examination of Computers Used by Journalists,Travel Ban on CID Investigators Probing Corruption and Abduction and Intimidation of Woman Employee at Swiss Embassy in Colombo

By Maria Abi-Habib and Sameer Yasir Fears of a potential crackdown on critics of the newly returned Rajapaksa political dynasty in Sri Lanka are rising just days after the election, as officials and journalists who investigated the Rajapaksas for human rights abuses and corruption began trying to flee the country, officials said. In a case …

Continue reading ‘Fears of Crackdown on Those Perceived as “Enemies of New President and Govt”Loom Large in Sri Lanka with Examination of Computers Used by Journalists,Travel Ban on CID Investigators Probing Corruption and Abduction and Intimidation of Woman Employee at Swiss Embassy in Colombo’ »

Sri Lankan Envoy to Switzerland Summoned to Foreign Ministry in Bern Over Abduction and Threats to Local Employee at Colombo Switzerland Demands “an immediate and complete investigation into the incident” says Ministry Spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger.

A local employee of the Swiss embassy in Sri Lanka has been temporarily kidnapped and threatened by unknown assailants in what the foreign ministry has called a “serious and unacceptable attack”. According to the Sri Lanka news website lankanewsweb.netexternal link, the woman was kidnapped on Monday then held and questioned for two hours before being …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Envoy to Switzerland Summoned to Foreign Ministry in Bern Over Abduction and Threats to Local Employee at Colombo Switzerland Demands “an immediate and complete investigation into the incident” says Ministry Spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger.’ »

Indictment of 12 Persons on Charge of Attempting to Revive LTTE in Malaysia While Attorney -General was Abroad was a Move by Entrenched “Deep State”Elements to Undermine Pakatan Harapan Govt Alleges Malaysian Lawmaker Sivarasah Rasiah

Rekindling the allegation of a deep state undermining the Pakatan Harapan government, a deputy minister claimed the decision to charge the 12 for attempting to revive the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was made when Atttorney-General Tommy Thomas was abroad, Malayasia’s Malaysiakini reported. “The deep state exists in more than one institution. The AG …

Continue reading ‘Indictment of 12 Persons on Charge of Attempting to Revive LTTE in Malaysia While Attorney -General was Abroad was a Move by Entrenched “Deep State”Elements to Undermine Pakatan Harapan Govt Alleges Malaysian Lawmaker Sivarasah Rasiah’ »

First Cabinet Meeting Under President Gotabaya Approves Prime Minister Mahinda’s Finance Ministry Cabinet Paper Providing Stimulus Package Focusing on Tax Reform Measures Giving Relief to Major Sectors and Boost Much Needed Economic Growth

By Uditha Jayasinghe The first Cabinet meeting presided over by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday approved an extensive stimulus package mostly centred on slashing Value Added Tax (VAT) to 8% from 15%, to give relief to major sectors and boost much-needed economic growth. Newly-appointed Cabinet spokesmen Ministers Bandula Gunawardena and Ramesh Pathirana told reporters that the …

Continue reading ‘First Cabinet Meeting Under President Gotabaya Approves Prime Minister Mahinda’s Finance Ministry Cabinet Paper Providing Stimulus Package Focusing on Tax Reform Measures Giving Relief to Major Sectors and Boost Much Needed Economic Growth’ »

United National Front for Good Governance(UNFGG) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Recognized as Leader of the Opposition by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on the Basis of “upholding established Parliamentary traditions that should not be violated.”

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday announced he had recognised Leader of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Leader of the Opposition. The Speaker said on his Twitter handle @KaruOnline that the appointment was done “upholding established Parliamentary traditions that should not be violated.” The Speaker also said he also empathised …

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Appoints Twenty Secretaries to Ministies.r

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday handed over appointment letters to Secretaries appointed to 20 new Ministries at the Presidential Secretariat this afternoon (Nov 27). Appointed Ministry Secretaries: 01. S. M. Mohamed – Tourism & Aviation 02. R. W. R. Mr. Pemasiri – Roads and Highways 03. J. J. Ratnasiri – Justice, Human Rights and Law Reforms …

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Thirty -Five State Ministers and Three Deputy Ministers Sworn in Before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa: Chamal Rajapaksa the new State Minister of Defence; No Tamil or Muslims Included in this Group of Ministers

Thirty – Five New State Ministers and Two Deputy Ministers Were Sworn in Before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariaton Nov 27th 2019. Their Names and Portfolios are – Chamal Rajapaksa – State Minister of Defence Vasudeva Nanayakkara – State Minister 0f Water Supply Gamini Lokuge – State Minister of Urban Development Mahinda Yapa …

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa Calls Upon the Tamil Diaspora to Work Together and Help Develop Our Country Instead of Criticising in the first Interview Given by The Sri Lankan President After Being Elected to Office

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has requested the Tamil diaspora to work together to develop the country and help the people irrespective of their community.The President has said this in an interview with Nitin A. Gokhale, Editor-in-Chief of Bharat Shakti.in and SNI. When the interviewer commented on peaceful existence, the President said, “Yes, so rather than just …

Continue reading ‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa Calls Upon the Tamil Diaspora to Work Together and Help Develop Our Country Instead of Criticising in the first Interview Given by The Sri Lankan President After Being Elected to Office’ »

US initiated UN Human Rights Council 30/1 Resolution on Sri Lanka that was Co-sponsored by Previous Govt will be Reviewed as Matter of Urgent Priority by the Gotabaya Govt says Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena

Indicating that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution was a priority for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration, Foreign Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday said the key agreement would soon be revisited. Speaking after formally assuming duties, Gunawardena said that they were focused on “revisiting” agreements signed under the previous Government. He also noted that …

Continue reading ‘US initiated UN Human Rights Council 30/1 Resolution on Sri Lanka that was Co-sponsored by Previous Govt will be Reviewed as Matter of Urgent Priority by the Gotabaya Govt says Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena’ »

Govt Bans Overseas Travel for 704 CID Officers After CID Inspector Nishantha Silva Leaves Country: Directive Issued to Immigration Authorities to Prevent the 704 Going Abroad

Hours after a Police officer who was investigating several high-profile cases left the country without prior permission, the Government yesterday issued a directive to the Immigration authorities placing overseas travel restrictions on 704 CID officers. The list containing the names of CID officers who are barred from overseas travel was sent to the Immigration and …

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Says He Will Re-negotiate Deal With Beijing on Hambantota Harbour Because the Previous Govt Ceding Control of Port was a Mistake Even Though China is a Friend.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said he would renegotiate the Hambantota Port lease agreement, terming it a “mistake” and calling on the Chinese company to be open to the move while assuring that he remained committed to strong relations with the global superpower. Rajapaksa, giving his first interview since taking office, told Indian Journalist and Defence …

Continue reading ‘President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Says He Will Re-negotiate Deal With Beijing on Hambantota Harbour Because the Previous Govt Ceding Control of Port was a Mistake Even Though China is a Friend.’ »

Top CID Sleuth Inspector Nishantha Siva Who Investigated High Profile Cases Including Lasantha Murder, Alleged Naby Abduction Murders of 11 Youths, Eknaleegoda Disappearance, and Keith Noyarh Abduction Flees From Sri Lanka With Family to Geneva.

CID Officer IP Nishantha Silva who investigated several high-profile cases including the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge and the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda has left the country yesterday with his family. Police sources said that IP Silva has left the country without prior permission from the Police Department. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who visited the Bellanwila Raja …

Continue reading ‘Top CID Sleuth Inspector Nishantha Siva Who Investigated High Profile Cases Including Lasantha Murder, Alleged Naby Abduction Murders of 11 Youths, Eknaleegoda Disappearance, and Keith Noyarh Abduction Flees From Sri Lanka With Family to Geneva.’ »

“Unknown” Vandals Obliterate and Damage Tamil Letters in Road Signs:Some Boards Restored in Panadura and Kerawalapitiy After Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Orders Immediate Action..

In the wake of a spate of acts of vandalism targeting road signs in the Tamil language, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had yesterday directed the Police to act immediately to stop such incidents. The Prime Minister has also instructed the reinstallation of all the damaged road sings.

Six Days in November After The Swearing in of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the Seventh Executive President of Sri Lanka

By Sanjana Hattotuwa The day after the 7th President was sworn into office, racism celebrated a new birth on Facebook. Across many pages that played a key role in President’s electoral bid, the message was simple and clear. Sri Lanka was for Sinhalese Buddhists only, and his victory ensured the country would remain thus. All …

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Is the election to Presidential office a magic cloak rendering invisible, criminal allegations regarding which a court of law is looking into?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Foisting the blame for the catastrophic defeat of the United National Party (UNP)-led alliance at the November 16th polls to elect Sri Lanka’s seventh Executive President, on ‘Sinhala Buddhist nationalism’ and a panicked security mindset consequent to Easter Sunday’s jihadist attacks is a convenient fairy tale. Certainly these were factors enabling …

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Secretary of Defence Appointed but No Defence Minister Appointed Yet Because Gotabaya Rajapaksa is Uncertain as to Whether he as the President Could Keep the Defence Ministry Portfolio Under him or Not In terms of the 19th Constitutional Amendment

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appears restrained by a constitutional conundrum on whether he can take on the portfolio of Defence Minister. As President, the Constitution makes him the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, but the 19th Amendment arguably prohibits him from holding a ministry. In the 15-member caretaker cabinet that has been appointed there is no …

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Why the “Swan” Lost: An Open Letter to Sajith Premadasa From Someone Who did Not Vote For Him Outlining the Reasons For Not Doing So

By J. M. Jinasena Dear Mr. Premadasa, I did not vote for you, nor am I aligned with a political party. My family are a colour pallet of green, blue, red and now the new pink. Nor am I a political pundit or have a degree in political science. I am writing to you as …

Continue reading ‘Why the “Swan” Lost: An Open Letter to Sajith Premadasa From Someone Who did Not Vote For Him Outlining the Reasons For Not Doing So’ »

New Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Takes Charge of Several Portfolios Including Finance, Buddhist Affairs, Urban and Housing Development in Interim Cabinet; Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardene, Chamal Rajapaksa Agriculture and Mahaweli Minister; Nimal Siripala de Silva – Justice and Human Rights Minister;Arumugan Thondaman – Estate Infrastructure Minister; Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda.

Fifteen ministers were sworn in before President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa this morning at the Presidential Secretariat. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as the Minister of Defense, Public Security, Law and Order, Finance, Economic Affairs, Policy Development, Buddha Sasana, Cultural, Water Supply and Urban Development. The other ministers who were sworn in as ministers include:

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Has no Alternative But to Accept Official Letter of UNP Sent by Gen -Secy Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Recognize Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Leader of the Opposition.

By Shamindra Ferdinando UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has been recognised by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, MP, as the Leader of the Opposition, political sources said. Loyalists of MP Sajith Premadasa requested the Speaker to recognise him as the Opposition Leader while UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, called for the appointment of Wickremesinghe to that post. …

Continue reading ‘Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Has no Alternative But to Accept Official Letter of UNP Sent by Gen -Secy Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Recognize Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Leader of the Opposition.’ »

Indian Foreign Minister Jaishanker Conveys New Delhi’s Expectation that “SL govt will take forward the process of national reconciliation to arrive at a solution that meets aspirations of Tamil population for equality, justice, peace & dignity”

India has expressed the hope that Sri Lanka’s newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will pursue national reconciliation in a meaningful manner. “Indian external affairs min conveyed (to Sri Lankan Prez @gotabayaR) about India’s expectations that SL govt will take forward the process of national reconciliation to arrive at a solution that meets aspirations of Tamil …

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UNP Gen -Secy Akila Viraj Kariyaasam Writes Officially to Speaker Nominating Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Leader of the Opposition but Ajith Perera Also Sends Letter with Signatures of Sajith Faction MP’s Demanding Post for Premadasa.

By Chandani Kirinde The fallout from the United National Party’s (UNP) defeat at Saturday’s Presidential Election continued yesterday, with two groups within the party making a claim for the post of Opposition Leader, one backing current UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, and the other former Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa. UNP Secretary General Akila Viraj Kariyawasam wrote …

Continue reading ‘UNP Gen -Secy Akila Viraj Kariyaasam Writes Officially to Speaker Nominating Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Leader of the Opposition but Ajith Perera Also Sends Letter with Signatures of Sajith Faction MP’s Demanding Post for Premadasa.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Becomes Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the Third Time: Assumes Duties Immediately After Being Sworn in as PM Before Sibling Gotabaya Rajapaksa the New President.

Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday took oaths as the 24th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa took oaths before his brother and newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat, and promptly assumed duties at the Prime Minister’s Office.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Released From DA Rajapaksa Memorial Museum Case By Special High Court Following Withdrawal of Indictment by Attorney -General Citing Presidential Immunity.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been released from all indictments in the D. A. Rajapaksa memorial case, sources said. Rajapaksa’s passport, the subject of much controversy in the run-up to the recently concluded presidential election, has also been released.

Harin Fernando Threatens to Form New Political Party Under Sajith Premadasa’s Leadership If Ranil Wickremesinghe Does Not Resign and Let Sajith Become UNP Leader and Leader of Opposition.

A new political party would be established with the leadership of Sajith Premadasa if Ranil Wickremesinghe does not resign from the UNP leadership and the post of opposition leader, MP Harin Fernando says. Addressing the media in Colombo, Fernando said that Premadasa was the best person to lead the UNP and the Opposition. A number …

Continue reading ‘Harin Fernando Threatens to Form New Political Party Under Sajith Premadasa’s Leadership If Ranil Wickremesinghe Does Not Resign and Let Sajith Become UNP Leader and Leader of Opposition.’ »

Wimal Weerawansa Says Investigations Would be Launched Against Those Allegedly Responsible for Circulating Purported False Documents and Doctored Videos On Social Media Regarding Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Citizenship Matters

By Nuwan Senarathna The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) will not be dissolved by a Government headed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said yesterday, insisting that it would take forward ongoing probes on the bond scam as well as investigations into other corruption allegations that surfaced over the past four …

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“Although we have the majority in Parliament, I decided to resign as Prime Minister Because I respect and cherish democracy” Says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Special Statement Issued Prior to Resigning as PM on Nov 21st Morning

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will hand over his letter of resignation to President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa today, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. “I met the President on Tuesday and spoke about the future activities of Parliament. We decided that we must accept the people’s mandate and allow the President to form a government, …

Continue reading ‘“Although we have the majority in Parliament, I decided to resign as Prime Minister Because I respect and cherish democracy” Says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Special Statement Issued Prior to Resigning as PM on Nov 21st Morning’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa To Be Sworn in as Prime Minister Along with Cabinet of 15 Ministers on November 21 at 1 PM Before New President Gotabaya Rajapaksa After Ranil Wickremesinghe Resigns as PM in the Morning.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will resign from his post this morning, paving the way for Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to be sworn in as the new Premier later in the day. Wickremesinghe will officially inform President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of his decision this morning. While the United National Front (UNF), headed by Wickremesinghe, commands the majority …

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa To Be Sworn in as Prime Minister Along with Cabinet of 15 Ministers on November 21 at 1 PM Before New President Gotabaya Rajapaksa After Ranil Wickremesinghe Resigns as PM in the Morning.’ »

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to Announce His Resignation After Special Cabinet Meeting; President Gotabaya Likely to Appoint 15 Member “Caretaker”Cabinet Giving Weightage to Party Leaders who Supported his Campaign Until Parliament is Dissolved Formally After March 1st 2020

By Kelum Bandara Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will step down today making the way for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to appoint a new Cabinet, Daily Mirror learns. The Prime Minister called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday and discussed it. He will have a special Cabinet meeting at 4.00 p.m. today. Afterwards, he will make a public …

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to Announce His Resignation After Special Cabinet Meeting; President Gotabaya Likely to Appoint 15 Member “Caretaker”Cabinet Giving Weightage to Party Leaders who Supported his Campaign Until Parliament is Dissolved Formally After March 1st 2020’ »

TNA Leader R.Sampanthan Congratulates Gotabaya Rajapaksa on His Victory and Expresses Confidence that the New Presient would “respect the very substantial democratic verdict of the Tamil people of the North and East”.

(Text of a Press Statement Issued Through the Media Office of the Tamil National Alliance) The Presidential election held on 2019.11.16 to elect the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has been peaceful and Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been declared elected as the President of the Republic of Sri Lanka. We extend …

Continue reading ‘TNA Leader R.Sampanthan Congratulates Gotabaya Rajapaksa on His Victory and Expresses Confidence that the New Presient would “respect the very substantial democratic verdict of the Tamil people of the North and East”.’ »

Three Options Before Parliament – Early Dissolution Through UNF-SLPP Consensus, Current Govt Continuing Until Dissolution by President Gotabaya on March 1st 2020 or Ranil and Ministers Stepping Down to Let Mahinda Become Interim PM of new Caretaker Cabinet

The Speaker of Parliament had carried out discussions with the Prime Minister, opposition leader, party leaders and several parliamentarians regarding the future course of action of the Parliament after the President has been sworn-in. A release issued by the Speaker’s media unit says that the majority were of the view that action is taken based …

Continue reading ‘Three Options Before Parliament – Early Dissolution Through UNF-SLPP Consensus, Current Govt Continuing Until Dissolution by President Gotabaya on March 1st 2020 or Ranil and Ministers Stepping Down to Let Mahinda Become Interim PM of new Caretaker Cabinet’ »

Indian Foreign Secretary Jaishanker Flies in Unannounced to Colombo to Meet Gotabaya Rajapaksa with Personal message From Indian Prime Minister Modi. New Sri Lankan President will meet Indian PM in New Delhi on Nov 29th

Sri Lanka’s new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to visit India on November 29, Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said after meeting the Sri Lankan President this evening in Colombo. On Sunday, PM Modi had invited Mr Rajapaksa to visit India as his first official foreign tour. Mr Rajapaksa will …

Continue reading ‘Indian Foreign Secretary Jaishanker Flies in Unannounced to Colombo to Meet Gotabaya Rajapaksa with Personal message From Indian Prime Minister Modi. New Sri Lankan President will meet Indian PM in New Delhi on Nov 29th’ »

19th Constitutional Amendment Has Good and Bad Parts. We Must Abolish 19 A While reataining the Good Parts” Says Basil Rajapaksa in Interview with “Hiru TV”.

Sri Lanka constitution has to be changed and a 19th amendment should be abolished, Basil Rajapaksa, brother of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in a television interview. “It is my view that the 19th amendment should be completely abolished,” Rajapaksa, who formed the Sri Lanka Podujana Party of the new President said in an interview with …

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Outgoing Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Confers with New President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Cordial Meeting; Will Discuss with Ruling Party Members Before Stepping Down as PM.

By Chandani Kirinde Speculation was rife last night that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will step down today, along with members of the Cabinet, to pave the way for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to make new appointments, whilst others claimed the former will hold on for a little longer. Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office said that …

Continue reading ‘Outgoing Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Confers with New President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Cordial Meeting; Will Discuss with Ruling Party Members Before Stepping Down as PM.’ »

President Gotabaya,Opposition Leader Mahinda and Prime Minister Ranil to Decide in Tripartite Meeting: Caretaker Cabinet Likely to be Appointed Under Interim Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Until New Elections are Held

By Chandani Kirinde The appointment of a new Prime Minister and Cabinet is likely to be delayed till tomorrow pending a top level meeting between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow. The probable way forward came under discussion at the UNP parliamentary group meeting yesterday whilst there were …

Continue reading ‘President Gotabaya,Opposition Leader Mahinda and Prime Minister Ranil to Decide in Tripartite Meeting: Caretaker Cabinet Likely to be Appointed Under Interim Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Until New Elections are Held’ »

Sajith Premadasa Faction Opposes Ranil’s Proposal to Pass United Resolution With Opposition and Dissolve Parliament Because Some New MP’s Would not be Eligible for Pensions if Early Elections are held

By Saman Indrajith The government parliamentary group, which met, yesterday, was divided between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa, who resigned as the UNP Deputy leader following his defeat at Saturday’s presidential election. One group objected to Prime Minister’s decision to dissolve Parliament and go for a snap parliamentary election. Health, Nutrition and Indigenous …

Continue reading ‘Sajith Premadasa Faction Opposes Ranil’s Proposal to Pass United Resolution With Opposition and Dissolve Parliament Because Some New MP’s Would not be Eligible for Pensions if Early Elections are held’ »

EU election observation mission says Presidential Election was largely free of violence and technically well-managed Though Bias, hate speech and disinformation in traditional and online media deprived level playing field

By Chandani Kirinde The EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) said yesterday that the Presidential Election was largely free of violence and technically well-managed, but that unregulated campaign spending, abuse of State resources and media bias did not provide a level playing field for all candidates. Presenting the mission’s preliminary findings at a press briefing, …

Continue reading ‘EU election observation mission says Presidential Election was largely free of violence and technically well-managed Though Bias, hate speech and disinformation in traditional and online media deprived level playing field’ »

Sri Lanka’s Seventh Executive President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Proclaims in his Inaugural Speech After Being Sworn in at Historic Ruwanweliseya that he represents all Sri Lankans and pledges to create an inclusive country where minorities could practice their faith and culture with dignity.

Newly-sworn-in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday, in his first address to the nation, outlined his policies, which centred on efficiency to drive economic growth, a non-aligned foreign policy, priority for national security and minority inclusivity to build a prosperous Sri Lanka. Speaking at the historic Ruwanwelisaya under the shadow of King Dutugamunu’s statue, Rajapaksa yesterday held …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Seventh Executive President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Proclaims in his Inaugural Speech After Being Sworn in at Historic Ruwanweliseya that he represents all Sri Lankans and pledges to create an inclusive country where minorities could practice their faith and culture with dignity.’ »

Sri Lanka’s New President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Laments the Fact that Tamils and Muslims did not Respond to his Invitation to Join him in his Victory but Calls Upon them to Join Him in Ushering in Progress for the Whole Country

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, addressing the nation from Anuradhapura, yesterday, declared that he would form a new government. He said he had come before the people as the Executive President, Commander-in-chief and Defence Minister. “I am addressing you as the Executive President of Sri Lanka, Commander- in-Chief and the Defence Minister who is responsible for your …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s New President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Laments the Fact that Tamils and Muslims did not Respond to his Invitation to Join him in his Victory but Calls Upon them to Join Him in Ushering in Progress for the Whole Country’ »

Gotabaya won Handsomely Because he Addressed the Concerns of the Sinhala Majority in Sri Lanka While Downplaying Issues Agitating the Minority Tamils and Muslims.

By P.K.Balachandran Gotabaya Rajapaksa of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) convincingly won the Lankan Presidential election held on November 16. Gotabaya got 52.25 % of the valid votes while his principal rival, Sajith Premadasa, got 41.99%, as per figures available in the evening of Sunday. Sajith conceded defeat in a statement released in the …

Continue reading ‘Gotabaya won Handsomely Because he Addressed the Concerns of the Sinhala Majority in Sri Lanka While Downplaying Issues Agitating the Minority Tamils and Muslims.’ »

The Most Sensitive Issue for India in Dealing with the New Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be in Relation to the Tamils and Muslims in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the Island

By Suhasini Haidar For many in South Block, the election in Sri Lanka will bring relations around full circle from five years ago. In October 2014, during Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi, when he was Defence Secretary to his brother, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, both the Ministry of External Affairs and the National Security Advisor …

Continue reading ‘The Most Sensitive Issue for India in Dealing with the New Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be in Relation to the Tamils and Muslims in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the Island’ »

Voting Pattern of Sri Lankan Presidential Elections Indicating Deep Polarisation Between the Sinhala Majority and Tamil and Muslim Minorities is Cause for Concern

By Meera Srinivasan As the outcome of Saturday’s presidential polls in Sri Lanka became clear, some voters’ message to the winner Gotabaya Rajapaksa was even clearer. The island’s minority Tamils and Muslims, most of whom live in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, had voted decisively for ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa, giving him over a …

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Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa Will Take Oaths as Seventh Executive President of Sri Lanka on November 18th Within Precincts of Ruwanweliseya in Sacred City of Anuradhapura

By Chandani Kirinde Starting a new chapter in Sri Lanka’s political history Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa (70) will be sworn in today as the Seventh Executive President having securing a resounding victory on Saturday. President-elect Rajapaksa was declared winner by Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya last afternoon after he won an emphatic victory in the Saturday’s …

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President Elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa Emphasises that he is the “President of not only those who voted for me but also those who voted against me and irrespective of which race or religion they belong to”.

(English Translation of Excerpts from Speech made by President elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa after Being Declared the Winner Officially) It’s no overstatement: today we made history together. 16th November 2019 will be remembered as the day when the wounds of the past were healed, and our nation moved forward to embrace the future. Sri Lankans chose …

Continue reading ‘President Elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa Emphasises that he is the “President of not only those who voted for me but also those who voted against me and irrespective of which race or religion they belong to”.’ »

Sri Lanka Podujana Party Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa Says “The time has now come to put an end to this dangerous game of promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism for political purposes”in Post -election Statement

(Text of a Press Release Issued by Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa on Nov 17th 2019 under the heading “Presidential Election 2019”) The candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Joint Opposition, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has won a decisive victory at this presidential election. I request all our party …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Podujana Party Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa Says “The time has now come to put an end to this dangerous game of promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism for political purposes”in Post -election Statement’ »

Sri Lanka Podujana Party Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa Polling 6,924,255 or 52.25 percent of the vote Defeats Sajith Premadasa Polling 5,564,239 or 41.99 percentTo be Elected as the Seventh Executive President of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s ex-Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who helped defeat Tamil Tiger separatists has been elected Presidentin a deeply polarized vote backed by mainly Sinhalese voters in the South of the country. Rajapaksa won 6,924,255 or 52.25 percent of the vote beating Sajith Premadasa who polled 5,564,239 or 41.99 percent. Rajapaksa’s brother ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa is …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Podujana Party Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa Polling 6,924,255 or 52.25 percent of the vote Defeats Sajith Premadasa Polling 5,564,239 or 41.99 percentTo be Elected as the Seventh Executive President of Sri Lanka’ »