President Rajapaksa has a reputation for hard work and efficiency. Nevertheless, his effectiveness too depends on being accountable and transparent in his decisions and actions.

By Dinesha Samararatne Governance in Sri Lanka, is once again, on familiar ground; a constitutional crisis, or at the very least, a constitutional conundrum. In the main, we are presented with two alternatives. Neither of these alternatives seem attractive at first brush; reviving a Parliament that had a mixed record in which we had a …

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“With the Coronavirus outbreak now under control to a certain degree, the government has gradually begun relaxing the curfew. We will have to maintain a balance between steps taken to prevent the spread of the disease on the one hand and the restoration of normalcy on the other” – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

(Text of a Press Release Issued by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Under the Heading “Controlling the Coronavirus pandemic and gradual restoration of normal life”) Covid-19 came to the attention of the world as a new disease around the beginning of this year. From the very outset, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated very candidly that …

Continue reading ‘“With the Coronavirus outbreak now under control to a certain degree, the government has gradually begun relaxing the curfew. We will have to maintain a balance between steps taken to prevent the spread of the disease on the one hand and the restoration of normalcy on the other” – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

All Ceylon Makkal Congress Leader Rishad Bathiudeen Writes to President Rajapaksa Explaining why Islam forbids cremation of Muslims by Citing a “Hadeeth” and Requests Gotabaya to Amend Gazette Accordingly to Stop Forced Cremation of Covid -19 Affected Bodies of Dead Muslims and Enable Burial

Rishad Bathiudeen, Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and a former Minister of Industry and Commerce, has written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to say that the cremation of Muslims who had died of coronavirus, violates an authentic “Hadeeth” which is attributed to Prophet Mohammad and one of is companions. ”Breaking A Muslim’s Bones …

Continue reading ‘All Ceylon Makkal Congress Leader Rishad Bathiudeen Writes to President Rajapaksa Explaining why Islam forbids cremation of Muslims by Citing a “Hadeeth” and Requests Gotabaya to Amend Gazette Accordingly to Stop Forced Cremation of Covid -19 Affected Bodies of Dead Muslims and Enable Burial’ »

As sales and exports of fish crash, another huge crisis is staring at Sri Lanka’s fisherfolk.

By Meera Srinivasan This is not the first time that their livelihoods are being disrupted or destroyed. From the nearly three decade-long civil war until 2009, to the invasive Indian trawlers that reigned their seas soon after, to conflicts with locals operating powerful mechanised boats, to migrant fisherfolk competing for their catch — Sri Lanka’s …

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Name Included on Page 29 of Expatriate List of Individuals Renouncing Unted States Citizenship Published Quarterly by the United States Federal Registry

The United States Federal Registry run by the National Archive and Records Administration has published President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s name on its quarterly published expatriate list of individuals renouncing United States citizenship. The list (document number 2020-09814) published yesterday, prepared by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US Treasury, lists details of those renouncing US …

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The Dangerous Doctrine of Necessity Became The Destroyer Of Democracy In Pakistan

By Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne, PC The doctrine of necessity was first expounded in the 13th century by English jurist Bracton, who stated ‘that which is otherwise not lawful is made lawful by necessity’. Glanville Williams described the defence of necessity as involving ‘a choice of the lesser evil. ‘ The doctrine is recognized in criminal …

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Though Elected to Office Through Sinhala Buddhist Votes, Gotabaya Rajapaksa is Only A “Nominal” President Without Executive Power In Terms of the 19th Constitutional Amendment.

By Victor Ivan Sri Lanka and India can be considered as the only two South Asian countries that have chosen and followed the democratic path since independence. The Indian National Congress which led India’s freedom struggle had a very clear democratic vision from its very beginning. It can be said that the democratic outlook of …

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Sri Lanka, a country where majoritarian supremacy and impunity have long prevailed, is reiterating long-standing trends

By Taylor Dibbert President Gotabaya Rajapaksa pardoned Sunil Rathnayake in March. Rathnayake is a convicted war criminal who was on death row. He was convicted of killing eight Tamil civilians, including a five-year-old. Releasing him from prison is outrageous and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. AFP notes that the murdered “were killed …

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Fundamental Rights Violation Petition filed on Behalf of Hejaaz Hizbullah by Senior Lawyer Gowri Shangary Thavarajah Discloses Details About How the Attorney-at -law was Arrested and is Being Held by the Police CID

By S.S. Selvanayagam A Fundamental Rights Violation Petition was filed on Tuesday 5 May on behalf of lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah, who is purportedly under custody on detention order. The Petition was filed by senior Attorney-at-Law Gowry Shangary Thavarajah citing Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, Director of CID SSP W. Thilakaratne, Chief Inspector Karunatilaka of the CID, …

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JVP Ex-MP Sunil Handunnetti Questions how a Vote on Account for March-May 2020 has been included in the Pre-election Budgetary Position Report 2020 without Parliamentary approval

The JVP yesterday questioned how a Vote on Account for March-May 2020 has been included in the Pre-election Budgetary Position Report 2020, issued by the Finance Ministry under the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act, without Parliamentary approval Former JVP Sunil Handunnetti said that the Report states that a Vote on Account for three months commencing from …

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General Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya Ranjith Madduma Bandara Files a Fundamental Rights Petition challenging the purported 20 June Parliamentary Election.

By S.S.Selvanayagam General Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Ranjith Madduma Bandara filed a Fundamental Rights Petition challenging the purported 20 June Parliamentary Election. The petition was filed through Dinesh Vidanapathirana citing Attorney General Dappula de Livera, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, and Election Commission members N. J. Abeysekera and Ratnajeevan Hoole as Respondents.

Senior journalist Victor Ivan and seven others file rights petition challenging the 20 June 2020 Parliamentary Election and seeking Court to Quash the Impugned Gazette Notification:President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran is to appear for petitioners

By S.S. Selvanayagam Senior journalist Victor Ivan and seven others yesterday filed rights petition challenging the 20 June Parliamentary Election. Petitioners Victor Ivan, T.M. Premawardana, Prof. Anton Meemana, A.M Jiffry, S. Sivagurunathan, Mahinda Hattaka, M.S. Jayakodi and Dr. H.D.S.F.D Herath cited Attorney General Dappula de Livera, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, and Election Commission members …

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“I pray that Arrested Attorney -at-law Hejaaz Hisbullah will be treated fairly, by the justice system he has served so well and our society that he values so dearly”

By Amal de Chickera On 16 April, I heard that my former classmate Hejaaz Hisbullah had been arrested by the CID. As I learnt more about the questionable circumstances of his arrest, I have been struck by how little these questions seem to matter in various media and social-media circles. It appears that by virtue …

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The Centre for Policy Alternatives&its Executive Director Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu file Fundamental Rights application challenging President’s decision to dissolve Parliament on 2 March 2020 and the decision of the Elections Commission to reschedule elections on 20 June 2020.

By S.S.Selvanayagam The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu filed a Fundamental Rights application challenging the decision of the President to dissolve Parliament on 2 March 2020 and the decision of the Elections Commission to reschedule elections on 20 June 2020. Petition states the Articles 70 and 33(2)(c) of …

Continue reading ‘The Centre for Policy Alternatives&its Executive Director Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu file Fundamental Rights application challenging President’s decision to dissolve Parliament on 2 March 2020 and the decision of the Elections Commission to reschedule elections on 20 June 2020.’ »

Mangala Samaraweera challenges the President and the Govt to explain and prove the constitutional authority they possess to authorize and incur public expenditure from April 30, 2020, until the date on which a new Parliament is summoned to meet consequent to the Parliamentary General Election.

(Text of a letter sent by former Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera to the Secretary to the President, Dr.PB Jayasundara) 05.05.2020 Dr. P.B. Jayasundara Secretary to H.E. the President Presidential Secretariat Colombo 01 Dear Dr. Jayasundara, Regarding your reply to my letter to HE the President on 28 April 2020. It is regrettable to note that …

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“My own hope is that history will record that human beings learned a lot about the earth, about life and about themselves after Covid-19, especially the folly of their ways as a species and as individuals”

by Krishantha Prasad Cooray Over 250,000 people have succumbed to Covid-19 as I write these words. If every death diminishes each one of us left alive, then we have indeed been reduced to minuscule dimensions. Yet our fears and sorrows are monumental. Before Covid-19, few of us had truly comprehended that death, indeed, is a …

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Attorney General Dappula de Livera Gives the go ahead to the Election Commission to conduct the Parliamentary Election according to the procedure established by law.

By Chandani Kirinde Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera yesterday gave the go ahead to the Election Commission (EC) to conduct the Parliamentary Election according to the procedure established by law. The AG’s response was sent in response to a letter sent by the AG yesterday seeking advice on whether a legal issue arises due …

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Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Thanks TNA for having attended the “Temple Trees” meeting to express its views on the difficulties faced by the Tamil people and Meaningfuly contributing to the discussion on the anti-Covid-19 campaign.

By Norman Palihawadane Monday’s meeting convened, at Temple Trees, to discuss the future course of action as regards the country’s fight against COVID0-19, had badly exposed those who boycotted it, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said, yesterday. Rajapaksa thanked the TNA for having attended the meeting to express its views on the difficulties faced by the …

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It is far better that the president takes the decision to uphold the constitution than the burden of finding the answer is put upon the courts of law

By Jehan Perera A study by the Economist magazine has shown that Sri Lanka is one of the countries least able to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus induced world economic crisis. Out of 66 countries assessed, Sri Lanka came 61st in terms of its ability to handle the crisis without being economically …

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If a General Election has not been conducted, and if a new Parliament has not met by 2 June, the immediate consequence will be that the dissolution of the 2015 Parliament, ordered by the Mar 2 Proclamation, will be rendered of no force or effect in law.

By Dr.Nihal Jayawickrama The Election Commission has announced that it shall conduct the General Election on 20 June. Over the media, politicians, journalists, and lawyer-politicians have defended that decision by providing inaccurate interpretations of certain constitutional provisions. I do not claim infallibility, but the relevant provisions of the Constitution have been stated in such clear …

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Some Actions of Ratnajeevan Hoole Though Controversial Improve Transparency of the Election Commission and Compels its Chairman and Members to be Independent and Impartial Thereby Strengthening the Confidence of the Public in the EC

By Harsha Gunasena Ratnajeevan Hoole, a member of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka (EC), stirred many a discussion of the behaviour of a public servant in recent times due to the unprecedented nature of his published writings and interviews given to the newspapers. The President said that EC is not independent citing the behaviour …

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TNA Issues Statement Explaining Why the Party is Attending Conference Convened by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa While Emphasising That It Cannot be a Substitute for Re-convening Parliament

(Text of a Media Statement Issued by the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) 3rd May 2020 R. SAMPANTHAN LEADER TAMIL NATIONAL ALLIANCE (TNA) STATEMENT – TAMIL NATIONAL ALLIANCE 1. An appeal was made by the Tamil National Alliance and other political parties to His Excellency the President for the dissolved Parliament to be reconvened. The response to …

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Is President Gotabaya Rajapakse using the pandemic disaster to tear up constitutional norms and the rule of law in preparation for a presidential dictatorship?

By K. Ratnayake 30 April 2020 Media reports have confirmed that the Sri Lankan defence ministry has stationed thousands of soldiers in up to 16 schools in Colombo and in other areas, including the North and Central provinces. The soldiers were dispatched to Colombo on Monday, during the all-island curfew. This week M. M. Ratnayake, …

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Jaffna health workers complain of poor facilities as pandemic spreads in Sri Lanka

By Subash Somachandran Despite Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s claims that the pandemic is under control and conditions are emerging to “reopen the economy,” Sri Lanka is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections. The government is deliberately carrying out a small number of tests so as to produce lower infection rates and downplay the risk …

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“Under Article 150(3) of the Constitution, the President has complete authority to allocate funds for any purpose for which funds had not been allocated by Parliament” Says Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

(Text of a MEDIA RELEASE Issued by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Under the Heading “Politicking in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis”) The President, the government and the state apparatus have focused their entire attention on combating Covid-19. The way in which the people have benefited from this, is clearly apparent. Even in the midst …

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TNA Ex-Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran PC Writes to Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission in the Public Interest and Requests SLHRC to Advise the Govt on the Urgent Need to Regularise the Imposition and Enforcement of Curfews Through Appropriate Legal Provisions

(Text of a Letter Written By Ex-Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran PC to the Chairperson and Other Membes of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka) 3rd May 2020 The Chairperson and other members of The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Colombo 4. To: Madam Chairperson and other members, Imposition of “curfew” I write this in the …

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Can a Re-convened Parliament With a Majority of Opposition MP”s Present an Impeachment Motion Against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa?

by C. A. Chandraprema Some members of the SLPP have expressed the fear that if the Parliament is reconvened as demanded by the opposition, the latter which has the majority in Parliament could present an impeachment motion against the President. Going by the behavior of the opposition, such fears may not be unfounded and it …

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Identification of more than two hundred navymen attached to the Welisara navy camp as superspreaders of the coronavirus after being allowed to go to their villages on leave without first being tested turn Navy from heroes to pariahs in a twinkling of an eye

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Identification of more than two hundred navymen attached to the Welisara navy camp as superspreaders of the coronavirus after being allowed to go to their villages on leave without first being tested, shows the fragility of that vicious ‘us vs them’ dichotomy in no uncertain terms. From heroes to pariahs Abruptly, …

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Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission Raises Alarm Over Police Arresting Persons For Making Comments Over Social Media About Covid-19 Pandemic Spread and Questions legal basis for Use of Quarantine Ordinance and Disaster Management Act.

By Namini Wijedasa The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has raised alarm about a spate of recent arrests of persons for statements they had made on social media, particularly about the spread of COVID-19. There are at least eight recorded cases, all before the Magistrate’s Court of Colombo, the HRCSL told the Sunday …

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Has Public Administration Minister Gazetting March 17, 18 and 19 as special public holiday Rendered the March 12 to 19 Nominations Invalid?Election Commission Seeks Attorney -General’s Opinion.

The Election Commission has sought an opinion from the Attorney General on the implications of the Government declaring special public holidays during the Parliamentary elections nomination period which ended on March 19. Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya told a meeting of political party representatives yesterday that the EC was awaiting a response from the AG’s Department.

From luxury hotels to distilleries, Sri Lanka’s private sector has joined the fight against the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Meera Srinivasan In the world’s four-month battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, one reality remains unchanged. It has been an unequal fight with a tiny, but significantly stronger and resilient opponent. On the frontline are health workers, with the military aiding them in Sri Lanka’s case, toiling day and night in stifling full body …

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“I will not reconvene Parliament unilaterally and contribute to aggravate the emerging constitutional dispute. I state that I am bound to uphold the constitution and to act as per the verdict of the judiciary” -Karu Jayasuriya

(Text of a Media Statement Issued by Speaker of Dissolved Parliamemt Karu Jayasuriya) Recently, a majority of Opposition MPs of the dissolved Parliament requested from H.E. President to reconvene the Parliament to avert a constitutional crisis, in doing so, they pledged to fully support the government to overcome the pandemic, , in the event of …

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Coronavirus is fast becoming the strategic thinking of the political charlatans who are in power, or seeking power, or trying to dominate the political exercise with a major threat to democratic traditions.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake This is May Day, when many years ago there were thousands on the streets in Mai Dina Pelapaali, loudly singing “Saadukin Pelanavun – Dan ithin negitiyav” – the LSSP’s revolutionary theme song, with focus on the hunger of the people. There are no May Day processions or rallies, today (01 May), with …

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President Rajapaksa Says Letter Sent to Him By Former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera Has Many Factual Inaccuracies in Reply Sent Through Presidential SEcretary Dr.PB Jayasundara

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday replied to a letter sent to him by former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera in which the latter had made a request for the resummoning of Parliament to conditionally resolve crises and to approve public expenditure. In the reply to Samaraweera sent through his Secretary P.B. Jayasundera, the President said the …

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President Rajapaksa Rejects Offer of Responsible Cooperation in Return for Restoration of Parliament Made by Seven Opposition Parties; Dissolved Parliement Will not be Re-convened by President Writes Secretary Dr.PB Jayasundara

Responding to open statement from Opposition parties, Dr. Jayasundara writes to former Opposition leader reiterating Parliament will not be reconvened Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundara yesterday said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would not reconvene Parliament, despite the request of Opposition political parties.

Is Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapakse Preparing for a Coup d’etat by Taking a Series of Sinister Authoritarian Steps in Conjunction With the Armed Forces under Cover of anti-pandemic measures?

By K. Ratnayake Amid a profound economic and political crisis, Sri Lanka’s minority government has taken a series of sinister, authoritarian steps in conjunction with the military that indicate a coup d’état could be in preparation. At the very least, the government is using the COVID-19 pandemic as the pretext to mount a power grab, …

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Even as Governments are Extending Lockdown Curfews to Combat the Covid -19 Pandemic, There is also growing Opposition Due to Continuous Inconvenience and Loss of Livelihood

By P.K.Balachandran The “lockdown”, as the principal way to contain the coronavirus pandemic, appears to be fraying at the edges now. Even as governments are extending the lockdown, driven by the advice of doctors and public health professionals, they cannot but take into account the growing opposition to it, at least in its present form. …

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President Gotabhaya Rajapakse Wanting to Hold Sri Lankan election as Early as Possible is Bound With His Authoritarian Agenda

By Vilani Peiris Under pressure from President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his caretaker cabinet, the Election Commissioner (EC) announced last week that Sri Lanka’s postponed general election would be held on June 20. Rajapakse’s agitation for a quick election takes place amid surging coronavirus infections in Sri Lanka and internationally. Anyone aware of Rajapakse’s authoritarian actions—past …

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Talented Indian Actor Irrfan (Irfan Khan) Who Enacted Remarkable Roles in Hindi and English Films Dies of Cancer at the Age of 53 in Mumbai

By Nandini Ramnath For Irrfan, who died in Mumbai on Wednesday at the age of 53, life had only just begun. After years of slaving away in television shows and a string of critically acclaimed but little seen films in the 1990s, the actor had entered the Bollywood big league in the early 2000s. He …

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Since minimum period of five weeks is required for candidates to campaign, country should be free of COVID-19 by at least 15 May, so that a free, fair, transparent and credible election can be held on June 20 Says EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya

By Chandani Kirinde There should be a normalcy in the country with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 eliminated to a substantial level by at least 15 May, if the General Election is to be held on 20 June, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday. “A minimum period of five weeks is required for candidates to …

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Seven Opposition Party Leaders represnting the UNP,SJB,TNA, SLMC,ACMC,TPA and JHU Issue Historic Joint Statement Pledging “Responsible Cooperation”to the President and Government if Parliament Dissolution is Revoked and Parliament Re-convened in the best interests of the Country and all her people

(Text of a Joint Statement signed by Opposition Party Leaders of the UNP, SJB,TNA,SLMC, ACMC, TPA and JHU pledging “Responsible Cooperation ” to the President and Government if Parliament Dissolution is Revoked and Parliament Re-convened in the best interests of the Country and all her people) We, the undersigned political parties and formations, representing the …

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We must speak the truth – the lockdown has failed and we need fresh thinking

by Ravi Rannan-Eliya Given what we know about the new cases detected in the past two weeks, it was no longer justifiable to relax COVID control measures on Monday (April 27), including lifting the curfew in Colombo. This is a monumental and totally avoidable policy failure and an unmitigated fiasco. If accountability meant anything in …

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When people include the other and give of themselves for the betterment and growth of the other, a new humanity evolves. It is in this transformation and transition that the promise of Easter flourishes and is to be discerned.

By Bishop Duleep de Chickera Last year, suffering and death struck with the arrival of Easter, to plunge us back into Good Friday. Thousands who lost loved ones and limbs were shattered by this senseless violence. Many of them still continue in search of Easter life, submerged in the agony and questions of Good Friday. …

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Why is the Election Commission Not Invoking the Jurisdiction of the Courts Directly and Seeking Judicial Advice on the Question of Holding Elections Instead of Requesting the President and Being Rudely Rebutted?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene It is no coincidence that the increasingly not-so-insidious growth of Sri Lanka’s anti-democracy virus, first reflected on in these column spaces last month, has kept apace with the exponential rise of coronavirus infected individuals in the last ten days. As transparency diminishes, so does accountability. This is so in relation to …

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Despite On Going Curfew Due to Covid-19 Pandemic Govt Rushes Moves to Award Multi-billion Rupee Contract for Construction of Kurunegala-Dambulla Highway Without Open Tender or Advertising for Bids

By Namini Wijedasa The Highways Ministry and the Road Development Authority (RDA) are rushing moves to award a multibillion rupee contract for the fourth section of the Central Expressway Project (CEP IV) from Kurunegala to Dambulla. Talks between the Government and an identified contractor–the British consultancy firm Roughton–have been going on amidst the protracted curfew …

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No industry perhaps has been damaged as quickly as well as widely as the cinema industry Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

By Anuradha Kodagoda The coronavirus pandemic has had significant consequences on almost every socio-political and economical aspects of mankind, and naturally, people’s health and security came to the forefront and the impact on the entertainment industry, of course, has been an area of least concern and has not been figured at the forefront of national …

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Hardly surprising then that many have arrived at the conclusion that Parliamentary Elections are being prioritised over public health.

By Ramya Kumar (The writer is attached to the Department of Community and Family Medicine, University of Jaffna, and is a member of the Public Health Writers’ Collective) In responding to epidemics, states are compelled to resort to restrictive measures to contain the spread of infection, including quarantine and isolation procedures, travel bans, lockdowns, and …

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College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka (CCPSL) Submit a Scientific Exit Strategy to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the Phased – out Lifting of Lockdown Restrictions for the Hihly Populated Economically Important COVID-19 affected Colombo Municipality area

The College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka (CCPSL) on Friday submitted a scientific exit strategy to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the COVID-19 affected Colombo Municipality area, which the most densely populated and economically important area in the island nation. Colombo City Profile: Colombo city is the economic hub of the country. It is the …

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We are caught in a political virus of the type that threatens Democracy. Manipulation of Covid-19 by the political forces in and out of power could really wipe out the Democracy we have.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake June 20 is the new date for the general election. But, the election actually begins four or five weeks before that. Are we ready for an election from, say May 23? That is the corona puzzle our Health and Medical authorities will have to solve. Elections in Sri Lanka are not confined …

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Conscious effort by the ruling party to use the pandemic to advance its authoritarian political agenda via a parliamentary election that is fatally infected with the anti-democratic virus.

By Tisaranee Gunasekara “Tackling a social calamity is not like fighting a war… Rather than muzzling the media and threatening dissenters with punitive measures (and remaining politically unchallenged), governance can be greatly helped by informed public discussion” – Amartya Sen (Listening as Governance) A year has gone by since the Easter Sunday massacre in Sri …

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“If life comes back to normal you can hold elections. Firstly, the economy must start.And with that people will then come for elections. People are not going to come running out and vote when they can’t eat. The economy must start.” -Ex-PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Interview with “The Hindu”

By Meera Srinivasan The SAARC Secretariat should play an active role in the region’s response to COVID-19, along with “someone in-charge”, according to Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. “I don’t know if it can be handled from Kathmandu alone. If you can, well and good. But you may need another city. It can …

Continue reading ‘“If life comes back to normal you can hold elections. Firstly, the economy must start.And with that people will then come for elections. People are not going to come running out and vote when they can’t eat. The economy must start.” -Ex-PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Interview with “The Hindu”’ »

It is a pity that the Gotabaya Government is on the verge of jeopardising at least some of its own positive achievement in retarding the rate of spread of the coronavirus.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The 20 June election may be the last chance to keep President Gotabaya Rajapaksa safely anchored to the Parliament and the SLPP; lodged within the electoral democratic mainstream, its institutional milieu, mechanisms, processes and political culture—and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa seems to know it. Block that opening, kick the electoral can much …

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Multi-party Memorandum of Understanding:Sri Lanka Facing a Unique Constitutional Dilemma Caused by a Unique Pandemic Emergency Requires A Unique Solution Outside the Path of Conventional Politics.

By Gehan Gunatilleka Once in a lifetime, a country faces a crisis so unique that the ordinary rules of politics should not apply. We expect politicians – political animals by nature – to act in ways that are antithetical to their interests. The COVID-19 pandemic is such a crisis, and Sri Lanka’s politicians have a …

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Morality Matters………..Let’s Get Ethical At This Time Of Coronavirus.

By Theodore Warnakulasuriya (This article is summarized by Theodore Warnakulasuriya from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks who served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013. His latest book is Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times; Hodder & Stoughton. The main article was found in Tablet magazine …

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Presidential Clemency Granted by President Rajapaksa to Army Officer Convicted Over Mirusuvil Murders Challenged Through Three Fundamental Rights Petition Filed on Behalf of Relatives of Victims, Ex-Human Rights Commissioner and CPA Executive Director

BY S.S. Selvanayagam A former Member of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (SLHRC) as a public interest litigation filed a Fundamental Right violation petition contesting the Presidential clemency granted to the army officer who has been convicted for the massacre at Mirusuvil in the Jaffna Peninsula. Relatives of the deceased also filed a Petition …

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Opposition Parties Protest Against Election Commission Fixing June 20 for Elections Without Consulting them but EC Chairman Deshapriya says new Election Date is “Subject to Revision”

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka’s Election Commission has set the country’s parliamentary election for June 20, after it postponed the April 25 polls in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sri Lanka has reported 309 coronavirus cases and seven deaths so far. A total of 33 infections were detected on Monday, the highest number to …

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Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga Named the greatest bowler in Indian Premier League (IPL) history by Star Sports experts

By S. Venkat Narayan Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga has been named the greatest bowler in Indian Premier League (IPL) history by Star Sports experts Dean Jones, Mathew Hayden, Aakash Chopra, Graeme Smith, Simon Doull, Ian Bishop and Tom Moody. They were part of a 50-member list including former cricketers, statisticians, analysts, senior sports …

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International Commission of Jurists Express Concern Over Arbitrary Arrest and Detention of Lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah and Urges Govt to Ensure that Investigations are Conducted According to Due Process and Fair Trial Guarantees Provided by International Law

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) yesterday called upon the Sri Lankan authorities to respect human rights in the conduct of their investigation of the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings, including ensuring that investigations into the alleged involvement of Sri Lankan lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah are conducted in accordance with due process and fair trial guarantees under …

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Elections Commission Announces Parliamentary Polls on June 20 After Consultations with district secretaries and top officials of the health sector, police, army, postal services& government printer; EC Decision to be Challenged in Courts by Political Parties and Civil Organizations

By Saman Indrajith and Ranil Dharmasena The Election Commission (EC) had decided to hold the next general election, on June 20, Chairman of commission Mahinda Deshapriya said, yesterday. The three-member EC met, last evening, to decide a date for the general election, which has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. A proposal for holding …

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Sri Lanka’s Election Commission Comprising Mahinda Deshapriya, Nalin Abeyesekera and Ratnajeevan Hoole Fix June 20 as the new Date for Conducting the Postponed Parliamentary Elections

The Sri Lankan Election Commission on Monday fixed June 20 as the date for the parliamentary elections. The new date was announced because the commission could not hold the polls as scheduled earlier on April 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Wanting a parliament in which his party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and …

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First Anniversary of Easter Sunday Terror in Sri Lanka; Though a Year has Passed Since Bombings, Batticaloa’s Affected Zion Church and Pastors Residence Yet to be Re-built.

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has called on all citizens to remember the victims of the Easter terror blasts that shook Sri Lanka on April 21 last year, claiming over 270 lives and injuring more than 500 persons. The serial blasts, which was carried out by an apparently IS-inspired squad of …

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The H1N1 Avian virus that caused the Pandemic of 1918 commonly known as the ‘Spanish Flu’ Infected One-third of the World then and Killed 1to 3 % of Humanity

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray As it swept the globe starting in 1918 through the end of 1919, the deadly virus afflicted 500 million people, and left 50 million dead. Among the dead were royalty and world leaders, like Louis Botha, the first Prime Minister of South Africa, Saudi Prince Tuki I bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, …

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EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya Proposes Gazetting of Elections for May 28 and Postponing Again if Necessary but Election Commission Member Ratnajeevan Hoole Disagrees and Writes Letter to EC Outlining Seven Reasons in Support of his Opinion

By Dr.S.Ratnajeevan H. Hoole (Text of a letter sent on April 16th 2020 by Elections Commission Member Prof. S. Ratnajeeva H.Hoole to fellow members of the Election Commission on the subject of gazetting a date for polls) Two days ago, the Chairman telephoned me to confirm my attendance at the Commission meeting on 20.04.2020, and …

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Ex- MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne, PC Says President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has no option but to withdraw proclamation dissolving parliament to prevent an unprecedented constitutional crisis.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Former National List MP and ‘constitutional expert’ Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne, PC, said yesterday that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had no option but to withdraw proclamation, dissolving parliament, to prevent an unprecedented constitutional crisis. Wickremaratne said that as President Rajapaksa, had, in terms of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, called an early general …

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Almost all Opposition parties have sought the reconvening of Parliament using President Gotabaya’s executive powers, while urging the Election Commission to refrain from holding poll until the health risk is eliminated.

By Meera Srinivasan Even as Sri Lanka’s health authorities continue fighting COVID-19, which has so far affected 269 persons, the government and Opposition parties have expressed conflicting views on holding poll during the raging global pandemic. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has urged the Election Commission to fix the date for the general election, …

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Twitter Suspends and Restores Colombo Chinese Embassy’s Handle During the Undiplomatic Social Media War Between the Mission and Sri Lankan Tweeters

By Meera Srinivasan Twitter is rarely short of drama. Except that last week, Sri Lanka’s Twitter bubble saw some of it originate from an unlikely source — the official handle of the Chinese Embassy here. It all began with a letter dated April 8, from the Embassy, addressed to the chairman of the privately-run Wijeya …

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Will all the good done by the nation’s health sector specialists in containing the spread of the covid virus be undone by politicians and their racist acolytes in law enforcement and media?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene The anti-democracy virus infecting law enforcement officials in Sri Lanka today appears to have proceeded belligerently to the point that an attorney-at-law was arrested this week in circumstances so outrageous that it has drawn the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) out of hibernation to express its ‘concern.’ A manifestly curious …

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Sri Lankan Army plays many roles from contact-tracing to running quarantine centres to distributing relief in the fight Against the Spread of Covid -19

By Meera Srinivasan Some 10,000 frontline health workers in Sri Lanka are working tirelessly to arrest the spread of COVID-19 that has affected 235 people and claimed seven lives until Wednesday. Partnering them in their response to the public health crisis is the Sri Lankan military, playing many roles from contact-tracing to running quarantine centres …

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Tamil National Alliance Urges Election Commission to Refrain From Announcing a Date for Parliamentary Elections Until Local and Global Health Experts Provide Assurances of Safety to Conduct Polls

(Text of Press Release Issued by the Tamil National Alliance Media Office) 18th April 2020 The Chairman and Members of The Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Elections Secretariat, Rajagiriya, 10107. Dear Sirs, Holding of General Election 2020 We write to express certain serious concerns regarding the above election, considering the prevailing situation in the country. …

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Curfew will be lifted on Monday (20) at 5.00 am and re-imposed at 8.00 pm in all districts except Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Puttalam, Kandy, Kegalle and Amparai.

The nation-wide curfew will be eased from Monday as the month-long lock down measures reduced the spread of the Coronavirus which claimed at least seven lives, the government said yesterday. The curfew will be lifted on Monday (20) at 5.00 am and re-imposed at 8.00 pm in all the districts, except Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Puttalam, …

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Writ of Habeas corpus application filed before Appeal Court on behalf of prominent lawyer Hejaz Hisbullah arrested by CID for Suspected Links to Persons Allegedly Involved in Easter Sunday Attacks Last Year

By S.S. Selvanayagam A Habeas Corpus application was filed yesterday before the Court of Appeal on behalf of senior lawyer Hejaz Hisbullah, who has been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) over his alleged links to the Easter Sunday bombers. The petition was filed by his father, Naina Hizbullah, through Attorney-at-Law Gowry Shangary Thavarasha, …

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Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Urges Govt. and Opposition to engage with Election Commission and each other urgently in good faith to Avoid Constitutional Crisis

Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday that if the Parliamentary Election could not be held on time, steps must be taken to avoid a constitutional crisis at all costs, warning such a crisis entails the risk of delegitimising and destabilising our country and could gravely impact Sri Lanka’s prospects of obtaining economic relief. “Sri Lanka …

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Corona virus Pandemic and the Four Different Ways of Thinking About the Common Good.

By Theodore Warnakulasuriya (Most of this article Summarized by Theodore Warnakulasuriya is adopted from the Daniel P. Sulmasy who is the André Hellegers Professor of Biomedical Ethics in the Departments of Medicine and Philosophy and Acting Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, Washington) As we know different countries have shown different responses …

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Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Wants Govt to Investigate the Attacks on Muslims Three Weeks After the Easter Bombings “by organized groups inspired by political elements wanting to create a rift between the Muslim and Christian minorities in Sri Lanka.”

By Arjuna Ranawana Sri Lanka’s leading Roman Catholic Prelate says pogroms against Muslims three weeks after the 2019 Easter Sunday suicide attacks on Churches by Islamic extremists were carried out “by political elements who had nothing to do with the Christian community.” Addressing a press conference today, Thursday, April 16, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said the …

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Election Commission Will Consult Political Parties, Doctors, Epideniologists, Armed Forces and Police Before Taking Decision on Conducting Postponed Elections says member of the Elections Commission (EC) N. J. Abeysekara PC

The Election Commission would consult political parties, doctors, epidemiologists, the armed forces and the Police and all others fighting the war against COVID-19, after April 20 in order to take a decision on conducting Parliamentary elections, member of the Elections Commission (EC) N. J. Abeysekara PC said yesterday. However, Mr. Abeysekara reiterated that the conduct …

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Bar Association of Sri Lanka Writes to Acting IGP Expressing Concern Over the well-being of Attorney-at-law Hejaz Hizbullah Arrested by the CID;Requests IGP to Inform the BASL of Basis and Reasons for Arrest

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday expressed concern about the well-being of attorney-at-law Hejaz Hizbullah, who has been taken into custody by the CID, allegedly over his links to the Easter Sunday bombers. “According to (the) information we have received, the reasons for his arrest have not been made known till now. We …

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TPA Leader Mano Ganesan Writes to Election Commission Chairman Urging the EC not to extend support to alleged attempts by the present caretaker government to hold parliamentary elections amidst the threats posed by the corona virus pandemic.

(Text of Letter Sent by former Colombo District MP and Leader of the Democratic Peoples Front/Tamil Progressive Alliance Mano Ganesan to the Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya Regarding the Holding of Parliamentary Elections while Sri Lanka coninues to face the Covid-19 Pandemic Threat) · The Chairman Election Commission Sarana Rd Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte …

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How is Sri Lanka, with arguably the best public health system in the region, fighting the pandemic?

By Meera Srinivasan On Sri Lanka’s Health Promotion Bureau portal, the total number of COVID-19 positive cases, updated in real time, was 219 on Tuesday evening. Of those, 151 are active. Seven patients who contracted the virus have died, while 61 have recovered, according to the official bulletin. Compared to most other countries in the …

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Sri Lankan Police Arrest Seven Including Undergrads for Allegedly Posting On Social Media “False” Information and “Maliciously Criticising Officials Engaged in Combatting Covid-19 Pandemic

By Vimukthi Vidarshana Sri Lankan police have arrested more than seven individuals, including several university students, on allegations of publishing “false” information on their Facebook accounts and “maliciously” criticising public officials involved in COVID-19 prevention programs. Authorities claim that such news “impedes” the work of officials attempting to contain the pandemic. The crackdown follows an …

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is Reportedly Keen to Hold Parliamentary Elections on May 28; Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya Expected to Make Important Announcement on April 20:Curfews Likely to be Lifted Completely by April 30 to Enable Election Campaigning

By P.K.Balachandran There are indications that the postponed Sri Lankan parliamentary elections will be held on May 27 or 28, so that the newly elected parliament meets before the set three-month deadline of June 2. The government expects to control the spread of the novel coronavirus by the end of April 30 to allow parties …

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Details of the different types of tests that can be done to detect and diagnose SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease COVID-19 Leading to the coronavirus pandemic

By Dr. B. J. C. Perera Specialist Consultant Paediatrician There are heaps of different ideas, veiled innuendos, public inquiries, all kinds of varied recommendations and countless queries about the different types of tests that can be done to detect and diagnose SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic. It is a deadly …

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Group of Muslim Organizations Writes to Acting IGP Chandana Wickramaratne Urging an Investigation into an “Anonymous” Audio Recording in Public Circulation Via Social Media Targeting the Muslim Community That Violates Several Laws

A group of Muslim organizations has requested Acting IGP Chandana Wickramaratne to inquire into an alleged campaign against the Muslim community. The following is the text of the letter: “We, the undersigned Muslim organizations in Sri Lanka, respectfully lodge this complaint for your immediate investigation and urgent action on the continued hate mongering against the …

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SJB Gen-Secy Ranjith Madduma Bandara Says President is interpreting the Constitution to “suit himself” and leading the country towards a dictatorship under the ” guise of battling the spread of COVID 19″ by “disregarding the role of the courts and the country’s Constitution.”

The Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) is calling on all political parties, civil society activists and the general public to strongly oppose the attempt by the government to create an autocratic, anti-democratic state in Sri Lanka. In a statement issued today, April 11, the SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that in the guise …

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Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Will Lead People in Protest Against Govt’s arbitrary Decision to Hold Elections for the Benefit of a Single Group Says JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

The JVP yesterday called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to reconvene Parliament, without letting the country slide into a constitutional crisis. Addressing the media online, from the party headquarters in Pelawatte, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said President Rajapaksa was vested with power to reconvene Parliament and he should do so.

All Ceylon Peasants Federation Chairman Namal Karunaratne Wants Govt to Utilise Railway Dept to Distribute and Market Agricultural Products of Farmers who are Drastically Affected by Curfews and Closure of Economic Centres.

The Chairman of the All Ceylon Peasants Federation, Namal Karunaratne, yesterday called on government to get the services of the Railway Department to distribute the agriculture produce of the farmers who had been struck by a double whammy – due to the decision to shut down economic centres and the inability to sell produce at …

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New Zealand Under The Inspiring Leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Seeks To Stamp Out Covid-19 Instead of Just Flattening the Curve.

By Anna Fifield It’s been less than two weeks since New Zealand imposed a coronavirus lockdown so strict that swimming at the beach and hunting in bushland were banned. They’re not essential activities, plus we’ve been told not to do anything that could divert emergency services’ resources. People have been walking and biking strictly in …

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“Sri Lanka has to a great extent been able to limit the spread of the virus as only home transmissions are yet being detected. The work of our front line personnel in this battle is truly commendable”- Namal Rajapaksa MP

By Namal Rajapaksa A little over a month ago, Sri Lanka detected its first local COVID-19 infected patient, leading to more cases eventually being reported from across the country. Today, a month later, the country has detected over 200 COVID-19 infected patients while over 50 of them have been successfully treated and discharged. Over 100 …

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With curfew violators numbering nineteen thousand reported to be in police custody,are social distancing rules being practised in cramped and foul police cells?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene In terror filled months which stretch endlessly into each other, the covid-19 pandemic has seen thousands die, obliterated assumptions of functional ‘First World’ health systems, stamped incredible images of shoppers fighting over toilet paper in Australia and the United States on our unwilling retinas and led to the best as well …

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“I believe the President is duty-bound to heed our advice as contained in our letters of 31 March and 1 April 2020” – Elections Commissioner Dr. Ratnajeevan Hoole Responds to President’s Secretary Dr. P.B.Jayasundara

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole I refer to the Daily Mirror article, of today’s date, on the date for summoning the new Parliament after elections, and The Island’s two pieces yesterday on the same topic. I am in “Lockdown” in Jaffna and write on my own as a Member of the Election Commission in response …

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Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya writes to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Expressing Concern that the country could be headed for a public health disaster and economic catastrophe unless it adapts to the new ground realities in battling the COVID-19 crisis.

Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressing his concern that the country could be headed for a public health disaster and economic catastrophe unless it adapts to the new ground realities as it battles the COVID-19 crisis. In the letter titled ‘COVID- 19 Crisis: A Need to Change Direction,’ the former …

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Govt Creating a Constitutional Crisis at a Time When Sri Lanka is Facing the Covid-19 Threat would be the most callous case of placing a family’s private political interest over the interests of the entire country-Mangala Samaraweera

Former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera issued the following statement yesterday in response to a recent statement by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa is the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. He also holds the vital portfolio of Finance, Economic and Policy Development. He was President of Sri Lanka for two terms and held many …

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If the Elections Commission fails to publish a new date for the poll falling between May 14, and June 1, then the Proclamation of the President Dissolving Parliament will become Void.

By Ameer Faaiz and Nizam Kariapper Sri Lanka is fighting hard, to the best of all its citizens’ abilities, to deal with the current global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. To its credit, Sri Lanka seems to be comparatively doing well. Let us hope that we in Sri Lanka could ensure a speedy end to …

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Our Large Luxury Hotels Owned By Conglomerates Could Provide a Sanctuary to Our Over-worked Frontline Medical Personnel By Letting Them Stay In Rooms and Have Meals While the Fight Against the Covid-19 Threat Continues

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray Take a moment to reflect on how your life has changed since the covid-19 virus brought our world to a standstill. Our income and economic future have become uncertain. Those of us with children must look after them at home due to school closures. Food, medicine and basic supplies are scarce …

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President Rajapaksa Will Not Refer Matter Regarding Elections to the Supreme Court States Presidents Secretary PB Jayasundara in Strong Letter To Mahinda Deshapriya Reprimanding Election Commission Chairman For Failing to Act Fully Under Sec 24 of Parliamentary Elections Act

Dr. P. B. Jayasundara, Secretary to the President, has written to Mahinda Deshapriya, Chairman of the Election Commission, pointing out that the latter has failed to act according to the full provisions of Section 24 of the Parliamentary Election Act and should have published another date for the general election as per Section 24 (3) …

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What the country needs just now is a national government. Such a move will announce that this is not the time to play party politics.

A Lenten reflection by Bishop Duleep de Chickera “Try again; fail again. Fail better” – Samuel Beckett Last year at Easter, sudden acts of violence spread immense fear, injury and death, within a matter of moments. A small group of extremists was to become the face behind the horror. Some admirable interventions to prevent communal …

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If the Country Abandons the Democratic Path it will lose International Legitimacy and be an Easy Target of Universal Jurisdiction and Unilateral Snctions.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The COVID-19 coronavirus is a mutation of all hitherto known coronaviruses. It poses the greatest threat to those who are older; those who have lasted longest. Similarly, in the realm of ideas and ideology, many long-standing negative ideas in sections of Sri Lankan society seem to be mutating into something new and …

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Overcoming a Pandemic may look like Fighting a war, but the real need is far from that

By Amartya Sen (The writer, a Nobel laureate in economics, is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard University) We have reason to take pride in the fact that India is the largest democracy in the world, and also the oldest in the developing world. Aside from giving everyone …

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If Govt Does Not Strike Correct Balance Between Acting Efficiently and Abiding by Constitutional Norms in Coping With Coronavirus Crisis, Country May Backslide From Democracy to Authoritarianism

By Asanga Welikala and Suren Fernando When a grave crisis like the coronavirus pandemic occurs, citizens expect the Government to respond swiftly, effectively, and efficiently to protect the public and mitigate the consequences. For this, they also readily recognise that the Government will need greater powers than in normal times. In a constitutional democracy like …

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Ex-Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera Urges Govt to Immediately Move a Resolution in Parliament to Responsibly Increase the Borrowing Limit and Assures the Entire Parliament will Support such a Resolution.

(Text of Statement by the Former Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera) For the period of January 01, 2020 to April 02, 2020, the Government has borrowed Rs. 650.15 billion through Sri Lanka Development Bonds, a dollar-loan from the China Development Bank and primary auctions of Treasury bills and Treasury bonds. Furthermore, Central Bank holdings of …

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“People lived in refugee camps for 20-30 years due to the war. Staying inside your home for the sake of the country is not that difficult” – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Addresses Nation.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday appealed to Sri Lankans to put aside their differences and come together to fight the common enemy of COVID-19 and insisted that even though public finance was “unfavourable”, the Government will continue to support businesses and vulnerable communities. Addressing the nation, the Prime Minister appealed to the masses not to …

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Six Professors of Medicine at Six Sri Lankan Universities Propose Phased-out Strategy from Lockdown Curfews Following Review of Prevailing Situation After the Traditional April New Year.

Six Chair Professors of Medicine (and specialist physicians) have expressed their opinion on an exit strategy from the current Covid-19 lockdown, recommending the current level of restriction should continue for now and be reviewed after the New Year among others. Prof. Janaka de Silva (University of Kelaniya), Prof. Sarath Lekamwasam(University of Ruhuna) Prof. SAM Kularatne …

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One Virus vs The Whole World: Socio-economic Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

By Vishvanath Death has been dubbed ‘the great leveller’. This sobriquet fits, in that the Grim Reaper does not discriminate against anyone. Coronavirus may also be considered a great leveller of sorts, for it infects all humans indiscriminately and instils fear in rulers and plebs alike. Prince Albert II of Monaco has been afflicted with …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What Gotabaya Rajapaksa Proposes, Coronavirus Pandemic Disposes

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

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

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

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

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

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