Is There a Sell-out Being Perpetrated by the Ranil -Mangala Dispensation?

By DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

It was none other—and no less—than Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, who in an interesting article in the world press, provides us with the key phrase in understanding what’s going on in this country, how we came to be at this point, who benefits and who were probably involved, what the agenda is and where we are headed. In a piece published in the Japan Times, he uses the phrase: “…resetting our strategic position in the world.” (‘Winning Sri Lanka’s Peace’, The Japan Times, April 8, 2015).

pic via: facebook.com/ranil.wickremesinghe.leader

pic via: facebook.com/ranil.wickremesinghe.leader

Note that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, a shrewd man, is not talking about ‘re-balancing’, of ‘course correction’; of a shift in emphasis from the ham-fisted external relations of the second Rajapaksa term. He is not talking about tactics, but about strategic positioning; about re-setting our strategic position in the world. This is a fundamental shift from Sri Lanka’s traditional positioning deriving from the island’s history, geography and abiding sense of collective identity (what Dr. Kissinger calls “the character of nations”).

The problem with such re-setting of our strategic position is not one of ideological preference. It is a matter of Sri Lanka’s core national interest. Is that interest served by resetting our global strategic position; reorienting it towards the US-UK and India, with their influential Tamil lobbies and vote blocs? The most recent evidence yields a negative answer.

Prime Minister David Cameron made the following disclosure in his message for Sinhala and Tamil New Year:

Continue reading ‘Is There a Sell-out Being Perpetrated by the Ranil -Mangala Dispensation?’ »

Nobel Prize Winning Writer Gunter Grass Described as Germany’s Moral Conscience Passes Away at 87

By STEPHEN KINZER

Günter Grass, the German novelist, social critic and Nobel Prize winner whom many called his country’s moral conscience but who stunned Europe when he revealed in 2006 that he had been a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II, died on Monday in the northern German city of Lübeck, which had been his home for decades. He was 87.

His longtime publisher, Gerhard Steidl, told reporters that he learned late Sunday that Mr. Grass had been hospitalized after falling seriously ill very quickly. The cause of death was not announced.
Mr. Steidl said he drank his final schnapps with Mr. Grass eight days ago while they were working together on his most recent book, which he described as a “literary experiment” fusing poetry with prose. It is scheduled to be published in the summer.

“He was fully concentrated on his work until the last moment,” Mr. Steidl said.

Mr. Grass was hardly the only member of his generation who obscured the facts of his wartime life. But because he was a pre-eminent public intellectual who had pushed Germans to confront the ugly aspects of their history, his confession that he had falsified his own biography shocked readers and led some to view his life’s work in a different light.

Mr. Grass came under further scrutiny in 2012 after publishing a poem criticizing Israel for its hostile language toward Iran over its nuclear program. He expressed revulsion at the idea that Israel might be justified in attacking Iran over a perceived nuclear threat and said that such a prospect “endangers the already fragile world peace.”

The poem created an international controversy and prompted a personal attack from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Grass later said that he had meant to attack Israel’s government, not the country as a whole.

Continue reading ‘Nobel Prize Winning Writer Gunter Grass Described as Germany’s Moral Conscience Passes Away at 87’ »

Most Tamil Moderates, Liberals and Progressives are Tamils First, and Moderates, Liberals and Progressives Later.

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

AVURUDU THOUGHTS: AN UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION

In a splendidly timed gift for Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Ed Miliband, the head of the British Labour Party, the Leader of the Opposition and a possible Prime Minister of the UK after the general election this year, pledged to “push’ for an international inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. He did so in what he chose to call a “Tamil New Year” message.

pic courtesy of: thinakaran.lk/

pic courtesy of: thinakaran.lk/

“I want to wish everyone in the Tamil community a Happy New Year…The Labour Party has always been a friend of the Tamil community and will continue to be so. And we will continue to push for the full and independent, international investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. It is something I raised with President Sirisena when I met him. We will continue to push this forward and continue to advocate for your cause.

We, in the Labour Party, know our responsibility to the Tamil community. So let me reiterate my wishes for a Happy New Year and I look forward to working with the Tamil community, in the months and years ahead.” (We Will Continue To Push For Full & Independent Inquiry On Sri Lanka’s War Crimes: Ed Miliband, Tamil New Year video message 2015, Colombo Telegraph April 14, 2015)

Ed Miliband claims that he raised the issue with President Sirisena. Thanks for letting us in on that Ed; we didn’t know until now. We do not know what President Sirisena said in response. We do know what President Rajapaksa told Ed Miliband’s brother David, when the Foreign Secretary visited Sri Lanka in April 2009 together with his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner and demanded an end to the military offensive: “Mr. Miliband, we are no longer a British colony and we haven’t been one since 1948.” That was another leader, another time—almost another age– and Sri Lanka was another country.

Continue reading ‘Most Tamil Moderates, Liberals and Progressives are Tamils First, and Moderates, Liberals and Progressives Later.’ »

Sinhala Film About Tamil Epic “Silappadhikaram” by Prof. Sunil Ariyaratne Features Indian Actress Pooja Umashankar as Kannagi and Lankan Beauty Queen Aruni Rajapaksa as Madhavi.


By P.K.Balachandran

COLOMBO: A star-studded and big budget Sinhalese film on Kannagi, the feisty heroine of the Tamil classic Silappadhikaram, is to hit screens across Sri Lanka soon.

Left to Right. Aruni Rajapakse, Uddika Premaratna , Sunil Ariyaratne, Veena Jayakodi, Milina Sumathipala and Pooja Umashankar-pic: newsindianexpress

Left to Right. Aruni Rajapakse, Uddika Premaratna , Sunil Ariyaratne, Veena Jayakodi, Milina Sumathipala and Pooja Umashankar-pic: newsindianexpress

Titled Paththini, as Kannagi is known in Lanka, the film is directed by Prof.Sunil Ariyaratne, a veteran with 20 feature films under his belt. South Indian star Pooja Umashankar, a heart throb of the Sinhalese masses, is playing Kannagi. Former Miss Sri Lanka, Aruni Rajapakse, is Madhavi the seductress; and Uddika Premaratne plays the wayward and troubled Kovalan.

“I am very fond of Tamil literature, especially Silappadhikaram and Manimekalai. Ever since I visited Tamil Nadu in the 1980s, I have been wanting to make films based on these classics,” Ariyaratne said,
explaining why he chose the theme.

Continue reading ‘Sinhala Film About Tamil Epic “Silappadhikaram” by Prof. Sunil Ariyaratne Features Indian Actress Pooja Umashankar as Kannagi and Lankan Beauty Queen Aruni Rajapaksa as Madhavi.’ »

Deputy Justice Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe Abuses Malaini Fonseka the Queen of Sinhala Cinema in Raw Filth

By
Don Manu

Tut. Tut.

What’s all this stink blowing in the wind from Diyawanna Oya about a young buck from the hills unleashing a torrent of filthy abuse upon a hapless, little old lady old enough to be his mother? And that, too, in a personal aside cast in the august House of Parliament, away from hearing shot of her loyal army of backers who would otherwise have leapt to her defence and made mince pie out of her character assassin.

mf041315

Until the inquiry as requested by the alleged verbal attacker is held, the nation will have to hold its curiosity in garters and pocket its judgment as to what choice unparliamentary language was supposedly used by the UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe, 43, now exalted to high office as Deputy Minister of Justice no less, to make the award winning film actress Malini Fonseka blush crimson and break her five year silence in the House to launch a tirade of her own?

This private flare up between Sujeewa and Malanie occurred on Wednesday whilst the rest of the House was wrapped in tension over the opposition leader post. Thereafter Malini made a formal complaint to the Deputy Speaker stating: “A short while ago the Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe insulted my personal life using vulgar words.”

As a corroborating witness, she called on another UPFA National List MP Sriyani Wijewickrema who had been seated next to her. She confirmed it and said she had witnessed the whole scene and that Sujeewa Senasinghe had used foul words to abuse the veteran actress. “This must be deplored on behalf of all women,” she said.

Continue reading ‘Deputy Justice Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe Abuses Malaini Fonseka the Queen of Sinhala Cinema in Raw Filth’ »

Andhra Pradesh Police Kill 20 Woodcutters from Tamil Nadu at Chittoor in Suspected Fake Encounter

By Madhavi Tata

On December 5, 2014, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, fresh from a tour of Japan, organised a lunch for journalists. As he wrapped up over coffee, Naidu started outlining his government’s policies. One of the issues he spoke of at length was the smuggling of red sandalwood, valued alike as fine timber, medicine and aphrodisiac. Red sandalwood (or red sanders) grows in the hill ranges of the Seshachalam forests in the Kadapa and Chittoor districts. And while Naidu said he would work hard to protect the state’s forest wealth, he couldn’t help making a glancing political reference: the smuggling mafia, he said, was in cahoots with forest department officials, and sandalwood smugglers like Kollam Gangireddy were fronts for bigwigs. Gangireddy, now in a Mauritius jail for international smuggling, is rumoured to be close to some leaders in the YSR Congress. He is also an accused in the case of a Naxal bomb attack on Naidu in Alipiri in October 2003.

Smugglers hire woodcutters and porters from Tamil Nadu to steal red sandalwood from the Seshachalam forests

Smugglers hire woodcutters and porters from Tamil Nadu to steal red sandalwood from the Seshachalam forests

The bloody gunning down of 20 woodcutters from Tamil Nadu by the Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) in Chittoor on April 7 might seem like a natural corollary of Naidu’s zeal to protect forests. Though the government calls them “smugglers”, these are men hired by the ring-leaders for felling and carrying the wood. Nine labourers were killed in Eetagunta, eleven in Vachindou Banda, both in the Chandragiri mandal of the district. As facts tumble out, the killing seems more and more like a staged encounter. DGP J.V. Ramudu said 20 men of two teams from the task force were attacked with knives, sickles, axes and stones by some 200 woodcutters. “It was in self-defence that the combing party was forced to open fire,” the police chief said.

But all bodies had bullet wounds in the abdomen, face, chest and back of the neck. Some had burn marks on the arm, raising suspicions of torture. When attac¬ked and forced to open fire, policemen are expected to fire warning shots in the air and if that fails, to aim below the knees. The post-mortem team of five doctors at the Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government Hospital, however, said the men “were shot at close range”.
Continue reading ‘Andhra Pradesh Police Kill 20 Woodcutters from Tamil Nadu at Chittoor in Suspected Fake Encounter’ »

“Voice Against Corruption”to take Legal Action Through Courts in Singapore Against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

Voice against Corruption is to file legal action against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran in Singaporean High Courts on violation of emigration laws of that country, its Convener Wansantha Samarasinghe said.

Mr. Samarainghe told Daily Mirror that legal experts of Voice against Corruption are planning to file action against Mr. Mahendran in Singaporean Courts for violating that country’s emigration laws. “We decided on this action as Mr. Mehenadran is a Singaporean Citizen,” Mr. Samarasinghe said.

He said Mr. Mahendran had violated the Singaporean emigration laws by accepting the post of Central Bank Governor in Sri Lanka while obtaining permanent residency in Sri Lanka. Mr. Samarainnghe said no Singaporean citizen can obtain permanent residency in another country according to that country’s emigration laws.

Continue reading ‘“Voice Against Corruption”to take Legal Action Through Courts in Singapore Against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran.’ »

President Sirisena and I as Prime Minister are Determined to Rebuild Sri lanka as a Free Society with the World’s Aid

By
Ranil Wickremesinghe

Winning a war or revolution, only to lose the subsequent peace, is one of the grim political truths of our time. In Iraq, a quick military victory over Saddam Hussein’s regime soon gave way to insurgency, civil war and the rise of the murderous Islamic State.

In Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, the hopes unleashed by the Arab Spring have similarly turned into an often-violent despair.

In Katharagama-facebook.com/ranil.wickremesinghe.leader

In Katharagama-facebook.com/ranil.wickremesinghe.leader

Today, a half-decade after the end of its 36-year civil war, Sri Lanka is at a crucial moment in its own efforts to consolidate peace and secure its long-term benefits. Newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena and I, as prime minister, are determined to win that peace, and to help our country become what it always should have been: a prosperous Asian island of democracy, civility and open society.
Continue reading ‘President Sirisena and I as Prime Minister are Determined to Rebuild Sri lanka as a Free Society with the World’s Aid’ »

Wild Donkeys of Kalpitiya Facing Extinction in an Environment of Accelerated Urbanization


Story and pix by Padma Kumari Kankanamge.

The wild donkeys of Kalpitiya may soon become extinct with the area getting urbanized fast.

Coming events cast their shadows...?

Coming events cast their shadows…?

With the sand dunes and the lagoon areas being taken over for industrial purposes, the favourite haunts of the wild donkeys are disappearing. Suddenly the animals which used to haul salt in the past are being seen as a hindrance to human development.

Deprived of the large plains they used to roam and fast expanding human habitat the animals have been left entrapped and confused.

Today they can be seen wandering into schools, cemeteries and the main roads -lost and miserable in a world they cannot understand.

Humans are corralling the donkeys out of their natural habitat

Humans are corralling the donkeys out of their natural habitat


Continue reading ‘Wild Donkeys of Kalpitiya Facing Extinction in an Environment of Accelerated Urbanization’ »

Tamil Nadu reverts to observing Tamil New Year from January to April

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Tamil New Year will once again be officially observed in Tamil Nadu in midApril instead of Thai Pongal day in midJanuary as being done now

~ Happy Tamil New Year Wishes ~ written in Tamil

Although Tamil new year had been observed in April by Thamizhians for centuries the DMK govt of M.Karunanidhi changed it officially in 2008
Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu reverts to observing Tamil New Year from January to April’ »

Over 5 MP’s Aligned to Mahinda Rajapaksa Planning to Switch Sides are now Engaged in Secret Talks with President Sirisena

By Rasika Somarathna

Over five Parliamentarians of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), who previously aligned themselves with the group supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, are now holding discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena’s associates to switch allegiance, highly placed political sources told the Daily News.

The group is likely to back President Sirisena, Chairman of the SLFP, ahead of the forthcoming Parliamentary election. These fresh negotiations also come in the wake of the Supreme Court’s determination on the 19th Amendment which clearly defined the powers of the President and the Prime Minister with the adoption of the constitutional amendment.

Continue reading ‘Over 5 MP’s Aligned to Mahinda Rajapaksa Planning to Switch Sides are now Engaged in Secret Talks with President Sirisena’ »

“Ground Water Around Chunnakam Power Station is Contaminated with Oil and Unsuitable for Drinking” -Rauff Hakeem in Parliament

By Gagani Weerakoon and Skandha Gunasekara

Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage, Rauff Hakeem said in Parliament yesterday that a report compiled by the Ministry had revealed that… … ground water surrounding the Chunnakam power plant was contaminated with oil and was not suitable for drinking.

Responding to a question raised by leader of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) under Standing Order 23/3, Minister Hakeem said the report compiled by the experts’ committee appointed by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board had revealed that the ground water in the area surrounding the Chunnakam power plant was contaminated with oil and grease and therefore, was unsuitable for use or consumption.

MP Devananda pointed out that there was confusion among the people in the area regarding the issue as another report compiled by an experts’ committee appointed by the Jaffna Municipal Council has said that there was no contamination.

In response Minister Hakeem said that the two reports were conducted separately and that the methods used were different from each other.

“I cannot comment on the contents of these two reports till they have been published. However, there were two separate methods used in analysing ground water in the Chunnakam area. The PS appointed expert committee used a process known as the btex method. Meanwhile, the experts’ committee appointed by the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage Board used the Hydrocarbon analysis method” the minister said.

He went on to say that a total of 150 wells were tested by the committee appointed by the Ministry. Of these, 109 wells (73%) showed higher levels of oil and grease than the standard amount while 7 wells (4%) had oil levels under the limit and 34 wells (23%) were not contaminated.

Continue reading ‘“Ground Water Around Chunnakam Power Station is Contaminated with Oil and Unsuitable for Drinking” -Rauff Hakeem in Parliament’ »

How ITAK Leader SJV Chelvanayagam and ACTC Leader GG Ponnambalam Competed to Welcome Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake to Jaffna in 1967

By Janaka Perera

Former Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake passed away 42 years ago on April 13, the day prior to the Sinhala-Tamil New Year Day. Whatever the mistakes he may have made, he was one of the very few national leaders who did not use his position to amass personal wealth or abuse power.

z_p06-How-Jaffna.jpgThis article is however not so much about his political career but events relating to his historic Jaffna visit as Prime Minister in 1967 – the first such official visit by a Sri Lankan head of state, reflecting the communal harmony that prevailed at the time.

Under his administration numerous goodwill visits were exchanged between the North and the South seemingly restoring the Sinhala-Tamil amity that existed prior to 1955.

The then Government Agent Jaffna Vernon Abeysekera and Superintendent of Police Ramachandra Sunderalingam were in charge of the arrangements for the visit. But they ran into protocol problems over the planned reception at the Palaly airport to welcome the Prime Minister.

Continue reading ‘How ITAK Leader SJV Chelvanayagam and ACTC Leader GG Ponnambalam Competed to Welcome Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake to Jaffna in 1967’ »

Honourable Leaders Like Dudley Senanayake are Needed in Sri Lankan Politics Today.

By

Charnika Imbulana

In 1952, he was forty years of age, the Minister of Agriculture in the first cabinet of the newly gained dominion state of Ceylon. Destiny perhaps groomed him, to shoulder the power, the huge responsibility so unexpectedly thrust on him, of leading the country and its people in deep mourning at the very time period he himself was to face, as he would disclose later to his closest confidants, the saddest time of his life. His father, the father of the nation had died.

dudleys1

On 26th March 1952, just four days, subsequent to the untimely tragic death of the first Prime Minister of Ceylon, Stephen Senanayake, his son, Dudley Senanayake was the chosen one, by the then Governor-General Lord Soulbury, over Dudley’s cousin, Sir John Kotelawala, to be the second Prime Minister of Ceylon.

Born on 19 June 1911 to Molly Dunuwila and Don Stephen Senanayake, was the eldest of their children, two sons and a daughter. Dudley was identified as the mischievous one. Both Dudley and his brother, Robert received their secondary education at the prestigious S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia where their illustrious father D.S. Senanayake also studied from 1892 to 1902 where he excelled in his studies and sports.

The famous father and the sons played cricket for S. Thomas’ College, with distinction. Dudley became the Head Prefect, captained the college team at cricket at the famous Royal-Thomian encounter and gained colours in Hockey, Boxing and Athletics. Established as an all-rounder, Senanayake gained entrance to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and University of Cambridge, to read for Natural Science Tripos and later was admitted to Middle Temple as a Barrister.

Continue reading ‘Honourable Leaders Like Dudley Senanayake are Needed in Sri Lankan Politics Today.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only Leader who can Bring about Genuine Reconciliation Between the Majority and Minority Communities.


By Rohana R. Wasala

Then the liars and swearers are fools,

For there are liars and swearers enow to beat

The honest men and hang up them

– Son to Lady Macduff in Shakespeare’s Macbeth Act IV Scene II

With the January presidential election, we have been pushed, for good or bad, to the most decisive moment in the political history of this country since 1948. The end of British colonial rule in that year, the ‘revolution’ of 1956, the promulgation of the republican constitution of 1972, the establishment of the executive presidency and the introduction of the open market economic system in 1978, the unavoidable suppression of two armed attempts at a Marxist revolution (which did not enjoy popular support) in 1971 and 1987-89, and the defeat of separatist terrorism in 2009 were also critical moments. These earlier important watershed moments were arrived at by the people of Sri Lanka through the assertion of their national sovereignty. Today, we are being led by the nose towards an uncertain future by the powers that be.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterated that the present Government must realise that ensuring security of the nation is imperative for all communities to go on with their day-to-day lives. He made these comments during a discussion with Pradeshiya Sabha members from Trincomalee and Vavuniya who came to meet him in Colombo recently. They spoke of the difficulties that Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities in the regions are currently facing.-Pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterated that the present Government must realise that ensuring security of the nation is imperative for all communities to go on with their day-to-day lives. He made these comments during a discussion with Pradeshiya Sabha members from Trincomalee and Vavuniya who came to meet him in Colombo recently. They spoke of the difficulties that Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities in the regions are currently facing.-Pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

This is not a normal time for Sri Lanka. It is, in fact, a ‘nonagathe’ (non-auspicious) period. Blooded by initial success the enemies of the nation are stalking their quarry further ever so confidently. Some among us, willingly or unwillingly, are more amenable to their encroachment on the sovereign rights of the people of this country than others. In this background, it was confidently claimed by Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former secretary to the Ministry of Defence, that foreign intelligence agencies were behind the ouster of his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa (The Island/March 18), and Gotabhaya’s pronouncements should not be taken lightly, for he is known to speak frankly and he never minces his words.
Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only Leader who can Bring about Genuine Reconciliation Between the Majority and Minority Communities.’ »

Maithripala Ready to Talk to Mahinda Along with Other MP’s to Iron out Differences but rules out one to one meeting .

By Shamindra Ferdinando

President Maithripala Sirisena has offered to meet his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as dissenting SLFP parliamentarians shortly to iron out differences, according to SLFP sources.

pic via: & facebook.com/maithripalas

pic via: & facebook.com/maithripalas

President Sirisena has said the issues should be discussed among members of the parliamentary group with the participation of the former SLFP leader. The President was responding to a request by MP Kumar Welgama and MP T. B. Ekanayake for one-on-one between Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa.

SLFP sources said that President Maithripala Sirisena had explained that current contentious issues couldn’t be resolved through him having secret talks with his predecessor. The President had called for an open dialogue, sources said.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Ready to Talk to Mahinda Along with Other MP’s to Iron out Differences but rules out one to one meeting .’ »

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha M.P. Describes the Govt he Helped to be Elected for Reform as one of “Mess and Chaos Lacking Transparency”

By Saman Indrajith

Government which came to power promising to adopt a scientific basis to appoint a cabinet of ministers instead made an alphabetical soup in doing so, leader of the Liberal Party Prof Rajiva Wijesinha told Parliament last week.

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P  ~ pic courtesy of YATV

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P ~ pic courtesy of YATV

Participating in a debate on a resolution under the Local Treasury Bills Ordinance moved in Parliament to get approval for a sum of Rs 400 billion to be borrowed by the Government by issuing Treasury Bills, Prof Wijesinha said: “We promised a Cabinet determined on a scientific basis, but instead we combined Fisheries with District Secretariats, Highways with Higher Education, Economic Affairs with Cultural Affairs and Children and Youth. Finally the Cabinet was an alphabetical soup. And then we change things round, but fail to allocate responsibilities to Ministers for over a fortnight. How can you ask Parliament to allow you to raise even more money, when no one has any idea who will be responsible for expenditure and for productive outcomes?” he asked.

Delivering his first speech as a member of the opposition he said that time had come for the people to decide the future of incumbent administration which was a mess and chaos that act against the principles of transparency. “It is with great sadness that I speak today, for the first time as a Member of the Opposition. Last year I recall a member of the Government saying in a Committee that there was no need for an Opposition when members like me were present. He was being critical, but I am proud of my constant quest for reform, in line with the basic principles of Liberalism.

Continue reading ‘Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha M.P. Describes the Govt he Helped to be Elected for Reform as one of “Mess and Chaos Lacking Transparency”’ »

“I Would have Failed as a Father if my Sons Grew up to be like Australian Cricketers David Warner or Mitchell Johnson”

BY JONNY GILLING

To Brendon McCullum, the Black Caps and their coaching staff, I want to say thank you.

DW MJ

My wife and I moved from New Zealand to Africa just under three years ago to be the directors of an orphanage. While it was never our plan (my idea was to devote several years to something good and then come home and get on with my own life plan), because of the need where we are, we ended up taking a baby into our home.

Over 14 months, one became three, three became four and four became five. We now have five sons – two toddlers and three teenagers and for the next decade or two we will call this red earth home.

Prior to being our sons, none of them had ever seen a game of cricket let alone understood what an LBW was. They had never held a cricket ball or bat in their hands or tried to, “throw the ball all funny”. You would call this bowling.

As the World Cup has played out, my eldest sons and I have gathered around a computer screen and watched some rather fuzzy images of games together. They now understand the game, kind of.
Continue reading ‘“I Would have Failed as a Father if my Sons Grew up to be like Australian Cricketers David Warner or Mitchell Johnson”’ »

Why is the SLFP Trying to Undercut Maithripala Sirisena and Resurrect the Mahinda Rajapaksa Avatar?


By

Don Manu

MS MR 12 17 KS

The first duty of the opposition is to oppose. And the opposition members of Lanka’s 14th Parliament took its traditional role literally and opposed at every turn even the selection of a leader to lead them until finally an exhausted, exasperated Speaker of the House gave up the ghost and passed the buck to UPFA’s Secretary on Wednesday to perform the anointment rites and to forward the name of the person who had the confidence of the opposition members.

But now with President Maithripala Sirisena’s declaration on Thursday that the 19th Amendment will be presented in Parliament on April 20 of and that Parliament will be dissolved the moment it is passed, the question as to who will lead the opposition ranks ceases to be of great importance. One can almost hear the sardonic chuckle of the President silently emitted as he watched over the squabble by opposition MPs, his party members included, to win a post that would be devalued by the time it was won — unless, of course, a hiccup happens and the governments finds itself stuck in a rut unable to muster the two third majority to pass the 19th Amendment as required by the Supreme Court opinion delivered on Thursday.

But what must worry the nation is the exact position his own party, the SLFP of which he is the chairman, has taken vis-à-vis his government. Having since the Ides of March, 26 members of the party in the UNP led Maithripala Government, it has sought to cling to its untenable position as the main opposition party by resorting to oppose every governmental move not on the basis of national interest but rather on Rajapaksa interest.
Continue reading ‘Why is the SLFP Trying to Undercut Maithripala Sirisena and Resurrect the Mahinda Rajapaksa Avatar?’ »

Tiran Alles Interrogated by Police for Allegedly Providing 800 Million Rupees of Govt Funds to the LTTE in 2006 When he was Chairman of RADA

Tiran Christopher Alles, businessman and Democratic National Alliance Parliamentarian, has been questioned by Police over the provision of money to Tiger guerrillas. Police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera said Mr. Alles was grilled for two hours by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). This Unit functions directly under Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon.

Tiran Alles MP

Tiran Alles MP

Earlier, Police Headquarters issued an official statement under the spokesperson’s name. Headlined “CULPRITS WHO DEFRAUDED FUNDS FOR TSUNAMI HOUSES ARRESTED”, the statement said two persons from a State agency that functioned before have already been arrested. The agency is Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA), of which Mr Alles was Chairman. It functioned directly under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and dealt with post-tsunami reconstruction work in the then Tiger guerrilla dominated North and East. Mr. Alles has admitted that he dealt with the guerrilla leader who went by the nom de guerre Poovannan.

Continue reading ‘Tiran Alles Interrogated by Police for Allegedly Providing 800 Million Rupees of Govt Funds to the LTTE in 2006 When he was Chairman of RADA’ »

President Sirisena is Deeply Mistrusted as a Person Seen as Backstabbing the UNP after Winning with UNP Votes


By

C.A.Chandraprema

At long last, president Maithripala Sirisena himself has spoken of a possible dissolution of parliament by the end of this month after the 19th Amendment is presented to parliament. President Sirisena has not mentioned the word ‘dissolution’ since he took power in January. It was always a case of the UNP demanding dissolution on the 23rd of April and either Champika or someone in the Sirisena faction of the SLFP saying that there is no need for an early dissolution of parliament.

pic : facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

pic : facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

As such, the mere mention of a possible dissolution of parliament by MS is a massive step forward for the UNP. But even in this there is a catch. The president has not said categorically whether he is going to dissolve parliament no matter whether the 19th Amendment is passed or not.

All the newspapers reported him as saying that he will dissolve parliament AFTER the constitutional amendment is passed but we do not know whether it will be dissolved regardless of whether the 19th Amendment is passed or rejected.

This distinction is important given the hair splitting that has been going on regarding the question of doing away with the powers of the executive presidency ever since MS became president.
Continue reading ‘President Sirisena is Deeply Mistrusted as a Person Seen as Backstabbing the UNP after Winning with UNP Votes’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Must Be Laughing his Sides out as Sirisena Reduces Presidency to a Scarecrow Pelted with Stones.

By Gomin Dayasri

J.R.Jayewardene will heave a sigh of relief and break into a wry smile if he finds his constitution is dislodged. As it is, he may have to live with it in a life after death.

Those with wafer thin majorities exploited the 1978 Constitution to the maximum that Jayewardene set for himself with a five sixth majority in Parliament. Unelected Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe (Is the halfway mark a bridge too far for him to reach?) is aiming to ditch a constitution his kinsman baked and over-iced to make it look fancy. Is a caretaker trying to become the master of a mansion, having crept in through the backdoor while JR rests in peace, seeking to get rid of his baggage? Alas, Ranil and Sirisena await a whopping whipping by the next generation for their amateurish work on a constitution entrusted to a few unskilled hands.

Mahinda Rajapaksa must be laughing his sides out. The Executive Presidency was on parade when Sirisena took oaths as a Peoples’ President and since reduced it to a scary scarecrow often pelted with stones. Will this make Rajapaksa do a run-Mahinda-run in search of pebbles to throw at his detractors?

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Must Be Laughing his Sides out as Sirisena Reduces Presidency to a Scarecrow Pelted with Stones.’ »

Maithri-Ranil Govt Yielding Ground to Resurgent Rajapaksa Due to Internal Disunity,Contradictory Policies and Indecisive Political Leadership.

By PK Balachandran

COLOMBO: The fledgling Maithripala Sirisena-Ranil Wickremesinghe government appears to be yielding ground to a resurgent former President Mahinda Rajapaksa because of internal disunity, contradictory policies and indecisive political leadership.

The first concrete sign of deep trouble appeared on Tuesday when the government’s bid to get parliament’s nod for raising the threshold of Treasury Bills by LKR 400 billion to meet vital government expenditure was defeated by 21 votes.

Continue reading ‘Maithri-Ranil Govt Yielding Ground to Resurgent Rajapaksa Due to Internal Disunity,Contradictory Policies and Indecisive Political Leadership.’ »

Neither Ranil nor Maithripala Seem to Have a Clue About Dealing with the Resurgent Mahinda Factor

by

Malinda Seneviratne

It’s an inauspicious number. That’s ‘13’.

The Maithripala-Ranil Regime (or Ranil-Maithripala Regime if you will) is in its 13th week. It’s the worst so far for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the United National Party (UNP).

First, a proposal for obtaining 400 billion rupees through Treasury Bills was defeated in Parliament. According to some constitutional experts the defeat of this kind of ordinance amounts to a no-confidence motion. Tradition, thankfully for Ranil and the UNP, is (conveniently) not the strongest suit of our Parliamentarians.

Fortunately too, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), headless (in Parliament), is so confused that it doesn’t know if it is in the Government or the Opposition. It was left for Dinesh Gunawardena to make the point. Tellingly, the SLFP, the party with the numbers in Parliament, didn’t pick it up. The ‘loss’ however will not go unnoticed.

Then we had the Supreme Court striking off key elements of the draft 19th Amendment or rather determining that they would require approval through referenda. UNP seniors such as Kabir Hasheem and Lakshman Kiriella had earlier engaged in ungainly chest-beating regarding the passages of the 19th.

If Kiriella sounded ridiculous when he threatened to dissolve Parliament if the 19th was not passed he looks sillier now after the SC decision which his own leader has decided to accept and to incorporate into the draft.

Continue reading ‘Neither Ranil nor Maithripala Seem to Have a Clue About Dealing with the Resurgent Mahinda Factor’ »

Three Major Reasons for the Victory of Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces in the War Against the LTTE.


By Peter Layton

How to win a civil war in a globalized world where insurgents skillfully exploit offshore resources? With most conflicts now being such wars, this is a question many governments are trying to answer. Few succeed, with one major exception being Sri Lanka where, after 25 years of civil war the government decisively defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and created a peace that appears lasting.

This victory stands in stark contrast to the conflicts fought by well-funded Western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade.

How did Sri Lanka succeed against what many considered the most innovative and dangerous insurgency force in the world?


Three main areas stand out.

Continue reading ‘Three Major Reasons for the Victory of Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces in the War Against the LTTE.’ »

Recurring Phenomenon of Collective Political Suicide by the Sri Lankan Tamil Leadership

by Dr. Devanesan Nesiah

We have entered the ninth decade since the Donoughmore Reforms leading to the first State Council elections of 1931. Through the early part of these eight and a half decades, Sri Lankan Tamils had occupied a dominant position in this country politically, economically and socially. The leading political institution of this community in the 1920s was the Jaffna Youth Congress (JYC) which was very highly regarded by the leaders of every political party of Sri Lanka, as well as by the leaders of the Indian National Congress.

JYC

Virtually every one who was invited to attend one or the other of its annual sessions promptly accepted and participated. These included Gandhi, Nehru, Rajagopalachari, and many others from India, as well as the leaders of the Ceylon National Congress, N.M. Perera, Peter Keunaman, Swami Vipulananda, the leaders of the “Indian” Tamils, the Moors and the Malays and numerous others. The JYC could have played a major role in the run up to independence that the Donoughmore Reforms signaled, and helped shape the Constitution and structure of the Sri Lankan state.
Continue reading ‘Recurring Phenomenon of Collective Political Suicide by the Sri Lankan Tamil Leadership’ »

“Hard” Wigneswaran and “Soft” Sampanthan: Is there a Schism within the TNA or Just Duplicitous Behaviour of Tamil Leaders?

By Izeth Hussain

Rajavarothayam Sampanthan M.P

Rajavarothayam Sampanthan M.P

The situation on the ethnic front seems to be very confused, but we can be certain, absolutely certain, on one point: the solution to the Tamil ethnic problem stares us in the face. I have the temerity to use the definite article “the” rather than “a”, meaning the solution with the emphasis on “the” and not a solution which would imply one possible solution among others. The solution I have in mind can be encapsulated in the following formula: 13A-+ (13A minus plus). It means 13A minus police and land powers plus a fully functioning democracy. In this formula the plus factor of a fully functioning democracy is more important than anything else.

But first let me comment on the confused situation on the ethnic front. After the Presidential elections there was clarity and no confusion at all on that front. The ethnic minorities voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Sinhalese candidate Maithripala Sirisena showing an exhilarating capacity to transcend the ethnic divide, 45% of the Sinhalese joined them – in fact that percentage could well have been over 50% if not for the fact that the massive resources of the state had been used illegally to promote MR’s candidature. The Sri Lankan people had clearly voted in favor of democracy and an end to our ethnic problems.

Soon afterwards Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister Wigneswaran detonated his thunderbolt by the resolution demanding an international enquiry into genocide committed by Sri Lankan Governments since 1948. Thereafter, inspired by Prime Minister Modi, he wanted us to go beyond 13A towards federalism and to enter into an agreement that will be guaranteed by India. Now, he is no longer on speaking terms with Prime Minister Wickremasinghe, reportedly because of the Government’s refusal to withdraw the armed forces from the North straightaway. He and the NPC members appear now to be on a confrontation course against the Government. There seems to be no prospect of a political solution in the foreseeable future.

But TNA leader Sampanthan has declared that there will be a political solution by the end of the year, based on what was offered by the CBK Government from 1994 to 2000. This seems to completely contradict the negative postures struck by the NPC Chief Minister. We have to wonder whether there is schism within the TNA. Or is it just duplicitous behavior on the part of the TNA leaders. It is known that over many decades Tamil politicians have struck hard-line positions when talking to audiences in the North and moderate flexible positions when talking in the South.
Continue reading ‘“Hard” Wigneswaran and “Soft” Sampanthan: Is there a Schism within the TNA or Just Duplicitous Behaviour of Tamil Leaders?’ »

“Sri Lankan Tamil Poetry: An Anthology’ by S. Pathmanathan-An Introduction by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

SLTP

(Excerpts of Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha’s introduction to “Sri Lankan Tamil Poetry: An Anthology’ by S. Pathmanathan, which was published in Jaffna recently.)

I am pleased, and honoured, to contribute an introduction to this collection of poetry produced by So Pathmanathan. I got to know him well when he helped with the production of Mirrored Images, the collection of English and Sinhala and Tamil poetry that the National Book Trust of India published a couple of years back. He then participated actively in the various launches of the book, in Colombo and Jaffna and Matara in 2013. Then, in 2014, he toured a number of other universities too, together with English and Sinhala language poets, to introduce the book and discuss its contents from a shared pluraristic perspective.

In the case of this volume too I use the work produced because, while the bulk of the book consists of translations which he has produced of the work of others, his own poetry is also included. The work as a whole showcases Tamil poetry of the last several years, and does this in English, which makes it accessible to more readers in the country.

This is an eminently worthy task, because for far too long people in other parts of the country had no knowledge, let alone understanding, of what people whose first language was Tamil were going through. I do not say Tamil people, for this volume contains many poems by Muslims, which suggest both shared experiences and some instructive differences.

RW12312

The volume covers a wide range of experience, described in vivid language and moving imagery. Though obviously the skill with which the poems are presented is that of the translator, he has also managed to indicate some flavor of the individual styles of the various writers he has included. Obviously, given the dominant experiences of the last couple of decades, there is much emotion arising from violence and deprivation, but there are softer emotions too, and also some examples of whimsicality and romance.
Continue reading ‘“Sri Lankan Tamil Poetry: An Anthology’ by S. Pathmanathan-An Introduction by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.’ »

“Reinventions: Rhapsodies for Piano”: Tanya Ekanayaka’s Debut Album of Solo Piano Pieces to be Launched in April


by Seneka Abeyratne

Tanya Ekanayaka is one of Sri Lanka’s leading concert pianists with a doctorate in linguistics and musicology from the University of Edinburg, where she lectures part-time. She also holds an MSc in Linguistics and English Language from The University of Edinburg and a BA (Honors) in English Literature and Linguistics from the University of Peradeniya. She has performed at several prestigious international venues, including St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Washington D.C. In 2012 she performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka.

Dr. Tanya Ekanayaka performing at her CD release recital in London on 17 March 2015 - pic: facebook.com/grandpianorecords

Dr. Tanya Ekanayaka performing at her CD release recital in London on 17 March 2015 – pic: facebook.com/grandpianorecords

I braved the inclement weather to hear her play and was blown away not by the gale but by her extraordinary musicianship.

Here is an excerpt from my published review:

“The stiffest hurdle for the pianist in this robust, emotionally-charged C minor concerto is the celebrated cadenza towards the end of the first movement, and she cleared it with consummate ease. Her touch was sublime, and her interpretation, deeply introspective and coloristic. The slow movement contains a hauntingly beautiful melody to which she gave a lofty, artistic interpretation. In the ebullient third movement, she slipped into top gear and performed the rondo with rhythmic élan and delicate brushstrokes worthy of a Fragonard painting.”
Continue reading ‘“Reinventions: Rhapsodies for Piano”: Tanya Ekanayaka’s Debut Album of Solo Piano Pieces to be Launched in April’ »

President Sirisena Appoints 5 Member SLFP Committee Headed by Prof GL Peiris to bring about Electoral Reforms through 20th Constitutional Amendment

By Saman Indrajith

A five-member committee was appointed at the SLFP group meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday to help bring about electoral reforms as the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

The committee headed by parliamentarian Prof. G. L. Peiris comprises MPs Mahinda Samarasinghe, Dilan Perera, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva.

UFPA MP Ranjith Zoysa, addressing the media soon after the SLFP group meeting, said that the committee had been appointed by the President after SLFP MPs had informed him that they would never vote for the 19th Amendment unless it was coupled with electoral reforms.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Appoints 5 Member SLFP Committee Headed by Prof GL Peiris to bring about Electoral Reforms through 20th Constitutional Amendment’ »

Attorney -General’s Advice Sought by NCPA over Alleged Abduction and Sexual Violation of 17 year old girl by Second son of Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne.

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has sought the Attorney General’s advice as part of its investigation into the alleged abduction of 17-year-old Dinithi Aloka Ranasinghe.

The preliminary investigation into the alleged abduction was initiated on a complaint lodged by the victim’s father, Gamini Ranasinghe, a businessman of Kirulapana, on March 21.

“The father’s complaint is now being investigated and the Authority has sought the Attorney General’s advice,” NCPA Deputy Chairman Sajeeva Samaranayake told The Island yesterday.

According to the NCPA a complaint has been lodged against the alleged abductor, the second son of the Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. The complainant has claimed the victim was being sexually harassed.

Continue reading ‘Attorney -General’s Advice Sought by NCPA over Alleged Abduction and Sexual Violation of 17 year old girl by Second son of Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne.’ »

ITAK (TNA) with 14 MP’s in Parliament Writes to Speaker Staking Claim for Opposition Leader Post

TNA031414

(Full Text of Letter sent by the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi(ITAK) to the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa on the issue concerning appointment of the Leader of the Opposition)

Hon Speaker,
Parliament,
Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte.

Dear Sir,

Leader of the Opposition

We write in relation to the above matter to put on record our position with regard to the above.

At the conclusion of the General Election held in April 2010, the Commissioner General of Elections informed Parliament that contestants from four political parties were returned to Parliament and the current Parliament therefore is constituted by members of four registered political parties, namely, the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), the United National Party (UNP), the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) and no other. The UPFA formed the government and the UNP as the largest party in the opposition, was given the post of Leader of the Opposition.

After the conclusion of the Presidential Election in January 2015 the Leader of the UNP has become the Prime Minister and a number of the members of parliament of the UNP are Cabinet Ministers constituting the government. The Leader of the UPFA is the President and a member of the Cabinet (in fact the head of the Cabinet) and a number of UPFA members of parliament (in excess of 26) are Ministers, some of them in the Cabinet. Therefore the Government today is composed of both the UPFA and the UNP, disentitling both of those parties from occupying the seat of the Leader of the Opposition.
Continue reading ‘ITAK (TNA) with 14 MP’s in Parliament Writes to Speaker Staking Claim for Opposition Leader Post’ »

Writer Jayakanthan is Unmatched for Sheer Variety of Characters in his Remarkable Stories


By Suganthy Krishnamachari

I’ve never had any regard for the advice that we must not complain about our lot in life, because there are others less fortunate. There is something fatuous about this advice. As if none can be happy unless there is some unfortunate soul he can compare himself favourably with. How can someone else’s unhappiness be a reference point for my happiness? And that’s why my all time favourite hero is Jayakanthan’s beggar, in the story Naan Irukkiraen.

JK

The beggar’s body has been ravaged by Hansen’s disease. He has no companion except his thoughts, and yet what happy thoughts they are! He soliloquises about the caressing breeze, about how hunger, food, thirst – everything is so joyful. He is truly a hero, because his happiness is not contingent on someone else’s unhappiness. One day he saves a young man from committing suicide.

The young man’s complaint is that he is lame and is an object of pity, and he hates it when people in buses give up their seats for him. The beggar draws the young man’s attention to his (beggar’s) own condition, and tells him to cheer up. But now, the beggar, for the first time, begins to think about his own life. His happiness is shattered, and he throws himself in front of a moving train. Comparison, something he had kept away so far, ends his life.
Continue reading ‘Writer Jayakanthan is Unmatched for Sheer Variety of Characters in his Remarkable Stories’ »

Former Australian Cricket Captain and TV Commentator Richie Benaud Passes away at 84 in Sydney

Former Australia cricket captain and television commentator Richie Benaud has died at the age of 84, his former employer Channel Nine and Cricket Australia said Friday.

Benaud, considered one of the most influential cricket identities of the past century, had been fighting skin cancer and died overnight in a Sydney hospice.

Richie Benaud-pic: courtesy of Telegraph-uk

Richie Benaud-pic: courtesy of Telegraph-uk


A veteran of 63 test matches, Benaud played a pivotal role in the formation of World Series Cricket in the 1970s and was one of the world’s most recognised commentators, anchoring the Nine Network’s cricket coverage for decades and calling the game in many countries around the world.

Continue reading ‘Former Australian Cricket Captain and TV Commentator Richie Benaud Passes away at 84 in Sydney’ »

Life is Still a “Battle” for Rehabilitated Ex-LTTE Cadres who are yet Unemployed

By Shanika Sriyananda

‘No matter how much time you have wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow’ – the thought of the week is written on the green notice board at the Rehabilitation Commissioner General’s Head Office at Nawala.

The officials of this office have been able to seal off the past of over 12,000 former fighters of the LTTE who had wasted their time in the past and rehabilitate them to be peaceful souls who are now aspiring for a better tomorrow.

But back at home after undergoing a year-long rehabilitation which helped them to brush up their hidden talents and skills, for many the road of life is still bumpy with many socio- economic hardships.

With a high unemployment rate, social stigma, disabilities due to battle field injuries, poor educational qualifications and poor mental stability, they struggle to earn a decent living six years after the end of the 30-year-long war on terrorism. Finding a job has become their main problem.

Continue reading ‘Life is Still a “Battle” for Rehabilitated Ex-LTTE Cadres who are yet Unemployed’ »

President Sirisena States Parliament will be Dissolved After 19th Constitutional Amendment is Presented on April 20th and Passed

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that after the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on April 20 the parliament would be dissolved to pave the way for a fresh general election.

The President was addressing an event at Pulasthipura, Polonnaruwa.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena States Parliament will be Dissolved After 19th Constitutional Amendment is Presented on April 20th and Passed’ »

Supreme Court Rules Two-Thirds Majority in Parliament and Referendum for Some Clauses Required for 19th Constitutional Amendment.

By Saman Indrajith

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa announced in Parliament yesterday that the Supreme Court had determined that two clauses of the Bill titled 19th Amendment to the Constitution needed the approval of the people at a referendum and the rest thereof required a two-thirds majority for its passage.

When the House commenced sitting Speaker Rajapaksa said: “I wish to announce to the House that I have received the determination of the Supreme Court in respect of the Bill titled ‘Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution’ which has been challenged in the Supreme Court in terms of article 121 (1) of the Constitution. The Court has determined that the Bill complies with the provisions of article 82 (1) of the Constitution and requires to be passed by special majority specified in Article 82(5) of the Constitution and that the paragraphs 42 (3), 43 (1), 43 (3), 44 (2), 44 (3) and 44 (5) in Clause 11 and some sections in Clause 26 require the approval of the people at a referendum in terms of the provisions of Article 83 of the Constitution.”

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Rules Two-Thirds Majority in Parliament and Referendum for Some Clauses Required for 19th Constitutional Amendment.’ »

Supreme Court Ruled 19th Constitutional Amendment Requires Two-Thirds Majority in Parliament and Referendum for Some Clauses

By Saman Indrajith

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa announced in Parliament yesterday that the Supreme Court had determined that two clauses of the Bill titled 19th Amendment to the Constitution needed the approval of the people at a referendum and the rest thereof required a two-thirds majority for its passage.

When the House commenced sitting Speaker Rajapaksa said: “I wish to announce to the House that I have received the determination of the Supreme Court in respect of the Bill titled ‘Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution’ which has been challenged in the Supreme Court in terms of article 121 (1) of the Constitution. T

he Court has determined that the Bill complies with the provisions of article 82 (1) of the Constitution and requires to be passed by special majority specified in Article 82(5) of the Constitution and that the paragraphs 42 (3), 43 (1), 43 (3), 44 (2), 44 (3) and 44 (5) in Clause 11 and some sections in Clause 26 require the approval of the people at a referendum in terms of the provisions of Article 83 of the Constitution.”

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Ruled 19th Constitutional Amendment Requires Two-Thirds Majority in Parliament and Referendum for Some Clauses’ »

Rehabilitation of Ex –LTTE Combatants is a Sri Lankan Success Story


Maj-Gen Jagath Wijetilleke,Commissioner –General of Rehabilitation Speaks Out

Most of the former LTTE combatants came for rehabilitation voluntarily and they were placed in a one-year rehabilitation process in 2009. Initially there had been 24 centres and now it has been reduced to one centre where only 45 inmates are undergoing rehabilitation. But some more, who will be referred by the Courts, are to come from remand prisons for rehabilitation.

Since over 12,000 rehabilitated ex-combatants are back in the society, now our main focus is to provide them sustainable livelihood assistance to start their lives. The rehabilitation officers in eight districts – Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Colombo are now collecting details about them, their requirements for livelihood support.

Continue reading ‘Rehabilitation of Ex –LTTE Combatants is a Sri Lankan Success Story’ »

Action Plan Formulated to Address Before 2020 the Issues and Challenges Facing Ex-LTTE Combatants

An action plan has been formulated to address the issues of the ex-combatants before 2020.

A high percentage of those who are disabled are barred from engaging in employment activity.

Lack of employment opportunities suitable with the vocational training received during rehabilitation.
Lack of financial stability to buy tools and equipment required.

Lack of willingness among ex-combatants to be employed in other areas away from their families.

High demand for foreign employment or migration but lack of financial support and difficulties in obtaining visas and clearances.

Continue reading ‘Action Plan Formulated to Address Before 2020 the Issues and Challenges Facing Ex-LTTE Combatants’ »

Successful Re-integration of Rehabilitated Ex-LTTE Cadres into Society Depends on the Three “N” Factors of Needs, Narrative and Networks

A research conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Maryland, headed by Prof. Arie Kruglanski and Prof. Michele Gelfand, has found that the Black Tiger females, who are back in society, are often proud of their courage and willingness to die for a cause but are ready to turn the page to start a new life without the LTTE. Prof. Kruglanski says that Sri Lanka has carried out a successful rehabilitation program for the LTTE ex-combatants but must address psychological needs to have successful post-rehabilitation.

Prof. Arie Kruglanski

Prof. Arie Kruglanski


Following are the thoughts expressed by Prof. Kruglanski via an e-mail interview:

Our research shows that the rehabilitation process in Sri Lanka was relatively successful, the group exposed to the full rehabilitation program changed toward moderation and away from support for violence more than a group that was exposed to only a minimal program. At the same time, hard core LTTE cadres changed less toward moderation over the course of the program than less-involved LTTE cadres.

We are looking at the process of resettlement now. What we have seen so far is that the cadres who were given jobs seemed relatively pleased with their situation. However, the human psyche is malleable and the continued success of their reintegration into society depends on several factors, three Ns in our model of rehabilitation.

Continue reading ‘Successful Re-integration of Rehabilitated Ex-LTTE Cadres into Society Depends on the Three “N” Factors of Needs, Narrative and Networks’ »

“Political Instability” due to Crisis in “Majority” Opposition and not due to “Minority” Govt-Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday threw back the apparent political instability issue to his opponents saying the crisis was with the majority Opposition and not the minority Government.

This witty remark was made by the Premier at the American Chamber of Commerce luncheon, which came hot on the heels of the defeat of Interim Government’s motion, to up the Treasury Bill issuance threshold on Tuesday in Parliament.


“The stability of the Opposition matters. Prior to the tabling of the motion to revise upward the Treasury Bills issuance threshold, Leader of the Opposition indicated he won’t call for a vote. When the Opposition Leader and Government nominees were meeting at the Economic Subcommittee session, a group challenging him (Opposition Leader) asked for a vote,” Wickremesinghe said recounting the background for Tuesday’s fiasco in Parliament.

Premier at the American Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Premier at the American Chamber of Commerce luncheon

“The stability of the Opposition is also important in the short term,” the Premier added .

Continue reading ‘“Political Instability” due to Crisis in “Majority” Opposition and not due to “Minority” Govt-Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

SLFP Must Support 19th Amendment in Good faith Instead of Resorting to Deception, Delay and Denial

By Harim Peiris

The SLFP has been governing Sri Lanka now for twenty years since 1994, with two of those in cohabitation with a UNP government. Every indicator is that post the next general election, Sri Lanka is likely to witness a national government of the two major parties, coming together for the purpose of nation building or national institution building in an attempt at a serious program of state reform.

The sovereign people of Sri Lanka were faced with a clear choice in January this year, between the Rajapaksa promise of a developmental state with a Rajapaksa government that was populist in nature, dynastic in ambition and corrupt in practice on the one hand and opposing that was the mild mannered, soft spoken then General Secretary of the SLFP, Maithripala Sirisena, backed by a rainbow coalition led by the UNP which argued for a democratic state with a national government of the two major parties which would promote good governance, strengthen democracy and effect state reform. The people made their choice. Despite every trick the Rajapaksa’s could pull and with not quite the Queensberry rules either.

Continue reading ‘SLFP Must Support 19th Amendment in Good faith Instead of Resorting to Deception, Delay and Denial’ »

The Royal – Thomian Spirit Inspires me to be Exceptional in Every Aspect of my Life.

by Eardley Lieversz

Without heroes a young man cannot dream. Without dreams one cannot aspire to great deeds. The Royal – Thomian provided me with my first heroes. Heroes make one take flights of fantasy, in the absence of which childhood is impoverished.


Heroes and demi Gods

1969 Team

1969 Team

Richard Benaud and Norman O’Neill became my cricketing alter ego and idol, respectively, in 1959. But long before that the names Nirmalingam, Jothilingam, and Perimpanayagam were imprinted in my mind by my father, and I saw them as the equivalent of the three Ws of the West Indies, gallantly taking the fight to the enemy. Later I discovered that Jothilingam scored a century in the 1956 big-match while Perimpanayagam scored three consecutive centuries in the same season.

The first innings I remember was Michael Wille’s 121 in 1957, which I observed from under the sight screen at the tennis court end, keeping company with a Thomian friend who, lacking a ticket had to be sneaked in by my father. I distinctly remember Wille’s habit of strolling to leg between deliveries, not unlike Ted Dexter. Although I was never able to establish the truth of it, I am still moved by my father’s remark that, before scoring his century, Wille slept on his late father’s bed. The poignancy of that remark made the Royal – Thomian a place of magic, mystery, gallantry and sentimentality.

Continue reading ‘The Royal – Thomian Spirit Inspires me to be Exceptional in Every Aspect of my Life.’ »

President Sirisena like Prince Thorin in the Hobbit Series is Poised to Slay the Dragon of Executive Presidency

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

The Hobbit is a popular Hollywood film series. The third in that series was screened very recently. The script in that series is based on the ‘Thorin’ royal dynasty on how Prince Thorin battled to regain the lost Lonely Mountain belonging to the dynasty. Prince Thorin’s father lost the Lonely Mountain kingdom to a ‘dragon’ serving in the army of the devil’s tribe. All small kingdoms around this ‘Dragon’ feared the rule of this ‘Dragon’.

They were aware that if they challenged the ‘Dragon’, that would be their end. However, Prince Thorin decided to take on the ‘Dragon’ to allay fears in the minds of all in his bid to regain control of the lost Lonely Mountain kingdom.He mustered the support of all kingdoms which once opposed his father’s rule to take on the ‘Dragon’. Finally, he emerged victorious by chasing away the ‘Dragon’ from the Lone Mountain kingdom. However, neither he nor his army was able to kill the ‘Dragon’. When the ‘Dragon’ moves to a nearby village and starts destroying it, an angry youth kills the ‘Dragon’. Seeing the death of the ‘Dragon’, Prince Thorin happily enters the Lonely Mountain kingdom.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena like Prince Thorin in the Hobbit Series is Poised to Slay the Dragon of Executive Presidency’ »

Writer Jayakanthan who Changed the “Process of Thinking” in the Tamil Literary World Passes Away

By

B.Kolappan

Tamil novelist, short-story writer and essayist Jayakanthan significantly enriched modern Tamil literature by portraying the lives of those on the fringes of society. And he shocked the same society with his nonconformist views, often questioning long-held views on women and chastity.

Jayakanthan

Writer Jayakanthan

Sri Lankan Tamil literary critic K. Sivathamby used to say that one of the greatest contributions of Jayakanthan was the change he brought about in the “process of thinking” in the Tamil literary world.

“He wrote about the subjects not explored by others. He identified the agon, a literary device in Greek tragedy indicating conflict, in the lives of the subaltern and popularised it,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Writer Jayakanthan who Changed the “Process of Thinking” in the Tamil Literary World Passes Away’ »

Nagore E. M. Haniffa the Stentorian Voiced Singer who sang “Iraivanidam Kaiyaenthungal” Passes Away

Noted singer Nagore E,M. Hanifa, whose stentorian voice transcended religious lines, died here on Wednesday. He was 97 and is survived by two sons and four daughters.

Nagore E. M. Haniffa

Nagore E. M. Haniffa

DMK leader M. Karunanidhi, along with party treasurer M.K. Stalin, visited his home in Chennai and paid their last respects. “Our leader broke down as he was a close friend since the inception of the DMK,” said Mr. Stalin.

Continue reading ‘Nagore E. M. Haniffa the Stentorian Voiced Singer who sang “Iraivanidam Kaiyaenthungal” Passes Away’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Past Shows he is Capable of Dividing his Party if it will Benefit him Politically.

sketch by Hasantha Wijenayake

sketch by Hasantha Wijenayake


By Rasika Jayakody

A Cabinet minister, who joined the national government two weeks ago along with a group of SLFP MPs, last week, gave a telephone call to a young Parliamentarian who attended the meeting which was held in Rathnapura to support former President Rajapaksa. The Minister asked his young party colleague as to why he decided to attend the meeting in Rathnapura. The minister was curious to know the reason they violated the decision made by the Central Committee of the party preventing party members from attending events organized by other political parties.

“Look. I am 100 percent sure that the UNP will hold the next Parliamentary election under the present electoral system. They will somehow block the first-past-the-post system as it is disadvantageous to them. When we go for the election, we need votes. If we don’t attend meetings to support Mahinda, his supporters in our districts will not vote for us. Who’s going to look after us? Our focus in on the election! Not on the so called bans imposed by the Central Committee,” the Parliamentarian replied.

This more or less encapsulates the sentiments of the MPs who express support to Mahinda Rajapaksa at this point. They are aware of the fact that they can cash in on Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 5.8 million vote bank if they align themselves with Pro-Rajapaksa campaign ahead of the election. As much as they want to be seen with the pro-Rajapaksa campaign, they also want to make sure that they contest under the UPFA ticket at the next election with the support of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. They expect hardcore MR supporters to vote for them at the next election with the belief that they will help the former President to come back to the political arena, probably as the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Past Shows he is Capable of Dividing his Party if it will Benefit him Politically.’ »

JVP Suspects President Sirisena of Conspiring Against 19th Amendment and Wants him to Announce his Stance Publicly

By Waruni Paranagamage

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena to announce his stance on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution as he has still not clearly expressed his opinion on the matter.

JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake addressing a media conference in Colombo said that President Sirisena, as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), should call a meeting of the SLFP Executive Council to get their support to obtain a two-thirds majority in Parliament to get the 19th Amendment approved.

“President Sirisena is not taking any action to get the 19th Amendment implemented. So far he has remained silent on the matter. Therefore we urge him to make his stance on the 19th Amendment clear to the public,” Dissanayake said.

He further asserted that although the JVP was against some of the points mentioned in the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, they would still support this draft bill as this was the first opportunity the country had received to trim the powers of the executive presidency.

Continue reading ‘JVP Suspects President Sirisena of Conspiring Against 19th Amendment and Wants him to Announce his Stance Publicly’ »

Five Injured as Sri Lankan police crackdown with Tear gas and Water Cannon on Students in Protest March in Colombo

By Pradeep Ramanayake

Sri Lankan police brutally assaulted university students marching to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office in central Colombo on Tuesday. Riot police used tear gas and water cannon against the students who were planning to present a list of demands. Five students were injured and five others were arrested. Police were later forced to release those arrested after students staged a sit-down protest on the main Galle Road.

Students demonstrate in central Colombo

Students demonstrate in central Colombo

Thousands of students marched eight kilometres from Jayawardenepura University to central Colombo. Their 14 demands included the payment of promised increases in Mahapola student loans, the withdrawal of new fee regulations for school education, the abolition of private universities and the withdrawal of increased Open University course fees. The protest was organised by the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF), which is controlled by the fake-left Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), a split off from the Sinhala communalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

It was the first police attack on students since President Maithripala Sirisena won office in January. Sirisena promised to end the “dictatorial rule” of former President Mahinda Rajapakse and to guarantee democratic rights.

Continue reading ‘Five Injured as Sri Lankan police crackdown with Tear gas and Water Cannon on Students in Protest March in Colombo’ »

Champika Ranawaka Accuses Ranil Wickremesinghe and JVP of Conspiring Together to Abolish the Executive Presidency

By Chamodi Gunawardana

Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka yesterday claimed that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had violated the Constitution of the country and accused him of trying to create a dictatorial premiership.

Addressing a media conference, he stated that Wickremesinghe and a group of conspirers who were backing him were trying to destroy the executive presidency by removing its powers and bestowing them on the prime minister to create a ‘dictatorial premiership’.

“Ranil and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) are conspiring to abolish the executive presidency. They just want to make a powerless president and give the executive powers of the president to the PM.

Because of this, we believe the 19th Amendment will become a photocopy of 1972’s Amendment. The Government has no right to completely abolish the executive presidency without consulting the public. Ranil just wants to make a mess of this Constitution the same way he messed up the United National Party’s Constitution in 1995,” Ranawaka said.

Continue reading ‘Champika Ranawaka Accuses Ranil Wickremesinghe and JVP of Conspiring Together to Abolish the Executive Presidency’ »

UPFA Accuses Govt of “Illegally”Adding 12 More Pages to the Gazetted Version of 19th Amendment Draft Bill

By Jayashika Padmasiri

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) yesterday, while speaking about the 19th Amendment, accused the Government of illegally adding 12 more pages as amendments to the gazetted version of the 19 Amendment draft bill.

Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva at a media conference yesterday said that everybody in the Opposition objected to this move by the Government at the party leaders meeting and requested that the 19th Amendment debate, which is scheduled to be held on 9 and 10 April, be cancelled.

He said that depending on the Supreme Court decision the Speaker would talk to party leaders and arrive at a decision regarding the matter soon.

“We are not trying to delay the 19 Amendment in anyway. However, amending the country’s Constitution is not an easy task and is something which is very important that needs to be done correctly. However, by presenting 12 pages of amendments to the 19 Amendment after it had been gazetted, the Government has acted unconstitutionally and illegally, as through this move they have robbed the public of the right to study it and go to the Supreme Court if has any issues with the content of those 12 pages,” Silva pointed out.

Continue reading ‘UPFA Accuses Govt of “Illegally”Adding 12 More Pages to the Gazetted Version of 19th Amendment Draft Bill’ »

Champika Ranawaka Vows to Prevent Abolition of Executive Presidency Through 19th Amendment by Ranil Wickremesinghe

By Harischandra Gunaratna

General Secretary of Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Patali Champika Ranawaka on Monday vowed never to allow the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to be enacted in its present form.

He said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremessinghe was trying to arrogate executive powers to himself by abolishing the executive presidency.

Addressing the media at a news conference at their party headquarters at Battaramulla Ranawaka declared that the JHU would not allow Wickremesinghe to launch a constitutional coup which would plunge the country into a state of instability and anarchy.

Certain elements wanted to make Sri Lanka another Nepal, the JHU heavyweight who helped to topple the previous regime charged.

What the UNP had presented to Parliament was exactly what was in the 1972 constitution and Wickremesinghe wanted to have a figurehead like President William Gopallawa, he said.

Continue reading ‘Champika Ranawaka Vows to Prevent Abolition of Executive Presidency Through 19th Amendment by Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Though Treasury Bills Motion was Defeated it is now clear Mahinda Rajapaksa has support of only 52 MP’s-Ravi Karunanayake


By Jayashika Padmasiri

The Government yesterday declared that the loss of votes in Parliament was not a defeat for the regime but for the people of this country.

“The Government will not suffer in any way as a result of the defeat of the motion to increase the threshold of Treasury Bills in Parliament yesterday but this backstabbing move by the Opposition will only prevent the Government from giving additional relief to the public,” Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told journalists at a late night media conference at the Treasury soon after this motion was defeated in Parliament earlier in the day.

Karunanayake explained that contrary to claims made by Opposition Parliamentarians the motion to increase the threshold of Treasury Bills by 47% to Rs. 1.25 trillion from Rs. 850 billion was not brought with any intention to find money to pay salaries or allowances for Government workers. He said instead that the Government just tried to give more relief to the public with this money.

Continue reading ‘Though Treasury Bills Motion was Defeated it is now clear Mahinda Rajapaksa has support of only 52 MP’s-Ravi Karunanayake’ »

Govt Resolution to Further Raise 400 Billion Rupees through Treasury Bonds Issuance Defeated by 21 Votes in Depleted Parliament of 83 MP’s

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

A resolution to raise Rs. 400 billion through the issuance of Treasury Bonds was shot down yesterday in Parliament with 52 lawmakers voting against it and 31 for it.

The outcome also exposes the dire status of public representation with only a mere 83 out of 225 legislators were present at the time of the vote.

Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake moved the resolution under the Local Treasury Bills Ordinance to gain approval for a sum not exceeding Rs.400 billion to be borrowed.

“There were seven Governments in power since independence. Until Mahinda Rajapaksa took over total borrowing was at Rs. 250 billion. He increased this significantly. By 2015 January there were no tenders called and the total debt stands at Rs.670 billion. We have shown progress during the past 82 days. We need to increase borrowing from Rs. 850 billion to Rs. 1,250 billion simply because the budget deficit of Rs. 520 billion. We have brought many benefits to Sri Lankans during the past few weeks. Yes, we know that you are concerned about being unable to make money from illegal activities. This money will be borrowed not to be spent lavishly but to shoulder the benefits given to the masses,” explained Minister Karunanayake who said financial mismanagement was five times greater than total borrowing during the Rajapaksa regime.

Continue reading ‘Govt Resolution to Further Raise 400 Billion Rupees through Treasury Bonds Issuance Defeated by 21 Votes in Depleted Parliament of 83 MP’s’ »

Dinesh,Vasu,Wimal and Udaya want Chandrika Kumaratunga to Stop Making Baseless Allegations Against Mahinda Rajapaksa.

By Dasun Edirisinghe

Parliamentarians Dinesh Gunawardena, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Wimal Weewaransa and Western Provincial Councilor Udaya Gammanpila yesterday asked former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga to stop levelling what they called baseless allegations at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Addressing the media at Abhayaramaya in Narahenpita, Ratnapura District MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that former President Kumaratunga had accused Rajapaksa of being greedy for power and that was the reason he wanted to re-enter politics.

“Rajapaksa left his official residence Temple Trees even before the final result of the last presidential election was announce, but Kumaratunga waited until Supreme Court judgment to leave office,” he said.

When CBK’s tenure was over, she consulted the Supreme Court with a view to remaining in power claiming she had one more year left from her previous term as the presidential election had been called one year in advance Nanayakkara said.

Continue reading ‘Dinesh,Vasu,Wimal and Udaya want Chandrika Kumaratunga to Stop Making Baseless Allegations Against Mahinda Rajapaksa.’ »

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Pledges Govt Achieving all Goals of the 100 day Program Before Expected Dissolution of Parliament

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe provided Parliament with an update on the progress of the 100-day program yesterday during which he pledged that it would achieve all its goals before the expected dissolution of Parliament.

Listing some of the key landmarks passed in the 100-day program, the Prime Minister said:

“We increased State sector salaries, pensioners received an allowance of Rs.3,500, fuel prices were brought down, Samurdhi allowances were increased, a bag with items amounting to Rs.20,000 was presented to pregnant mothers, essential food item prices were reduced, gas prices were reduced, we provided an attractive benchmark for paddy purchases, we discontinued importing inferior fertilizer and agricultural produce including tea and rubber, and established free WiFi zones.The list is long. We discontinued the reload tax, interest payable on pawned jewellery was written off from this month and we also increased the Mahapola allowance.”

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Pledges Govt Achieving all Goals of the 100 day Program Before Expected Dissolution of Parliament’ »

TULF Chief Anandasangaree Protests Recognition of Four Party Tamil National Alliance by Elections Commissioner

Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) V. Anandasangaree has requested Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya not to recognise the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) under any circumstances. Veteran politician Anandasangaree told The Island that poll chief’s recognition would be a great injustice to those who had suffered due to LTTE terrorism.

The TULF chief yesterday released the letter headlined ‘Protest against the use of the term Tamil National Alliance aka TNA’ handed over to Deshapriya:

“I wish to lodge my strong protest against the continued use of the name “Tamil National Alliance” aka TNA by any political formation other than the originally formed alliance, by a group of four political parties, named Tamil United Liberation Front, All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation and the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front, all of which are individually recognised and registered as Political Parties by you.

To make it easy for you to understand the reasons for my protest, it is necessary for me to trace the history of the TNA from the time of its inauguration till it was used last at the Provincial Council elections, to the North and the East. The use of the term TNA without a corresponding symbol for it has created a lot of confusion and misunderstandings. It has been identified as the main cause for such confusions in the midst of candidates.

Continue reading ‘TULF Chief Anandasangaree Protests Recognition of Four Party Tamil National Alliance by Elections Commissioner’ »

“Bribing” Politicians to Vote for Constitutional Change to Usher in a new Corruption free Political Culture

by

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

The first week of April is one of historical importance in Sri Lanka. Easter Sunday, April 5 1942 saw the first air attack on the island by the Japanese, later described as the Battle of Ceylon in World War II. Much later, April 5, 1971, saw the beginning of the first insurgency by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, (JVP), when at dawn that day its cadres attacked the Wellawaya Police Station, and the previous evening a group of JVP cadres were arrested at Vihara Maha Devi Park in a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike at her nearby Rosmead Place residence.

We have to make a leap in time to the new mark of history, with the revolution in opposition politics that is taking place, with the Speaker due to make his ruling on Tuesday 7 on the office of Leader of the Opposition. That is when we will hopefully see the result of what is now being dubbed as the Nimal vs Dinesh Battle – or what many call the political Battle of the Blues; because Nimal Siripala de Silva is very much a member of the SLFP blues, and Dinesh Guneawrdena has had much of his late father Philip Gunewardena’s Marxist red washed away, with his strong and long association with the UPFA led by the SLFP and all its Blue politics.One aspect of this Opposition revolution is that the people are largely in the blues as to how it does matter to them.

What we see today is a much stronger blend of Blue and Green in the politics of Good Governance with Bad Politics. The two blues who are battling to gain control of the Opposition Leadership, are pointing to another battle of sorts that is taking place outside parliament. That is the emerging campaign to bring Mahinda Rajapaksa back into parliamentary politics, and hopefully to the office of Prime Minister, or at least the Leader of the Opposition, after the General Election due in late June or early July, as many analysts see it today.
Continue reading ‘“Bribing” Politicians to Vote for Constitutional Change to Usher in a new Corruption free Political Culture’ »

Culture Minister Ekanayake Proposes to Introduce Cable Car Project for the Sigiriya Rock Fortress

By

Nirmala Kannangara

State Minister of Culture and Arts Nandimithra Ekanayake’s plan to introduce cable cars to the Sigiriya rock fortress has caused great concern amongst environmentalists and civil societies.

pic: en.wikipedia

pic: en.wikipedia

With the proposed modernization of the Sigiriya rock fortress – one of the few places in the country that maintain an atmosphere of deep piety with a breathtaking architecture and art – the destruction of this splendid rock is inevitable, environmentalists said.

Sigiriya, a UNESCO listed world heritage, is well within a sanctuary. The environmentalists fear that the proposed plan would bring adverse impact on the rock as well as on the wildlife causing enough reasons even the rock to be delisted from the world heritage sites.

State Minister when contacted said that initial steps to introduce cable cars would be discussed after the New Year and added that this project will enable disabled and elderly travellers to reach the summit without hindrances.

Continue reading ‘Culture Minister Ekanayake Proposes to Introduce Cable Car Project for the Sigiriya Rock Fortress’ »

How Pakistani Intelligence Used Sri Lankan Soil and Agents to Conduct “Terror”Attacks Against 20 Targets South India

By

Aman Sharma


A
26/11-like attack was in the making, but this time, from the east coast. That is how India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) Director-General Sharad Kumar sums up the agency’s exhaustive nearly two-year investigation into what it says was a massive terror plot against India by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

This time, the NIA says, it was coordinated from the Sri Lankan soil. Similarities are glaring between the events that investigations revealed preceded the November 2008 Mumbai attack and those in the latest case, says the top terror probe agency.

Major Iqbal and Major Sameer Ali of the ISI, according to an NIA investigation into the 26/11 case, plotted the strikes on Mumbai by sending in a US citizen to India for reconnaissance of targets in Mumbai and later sent in a group of terrorists by sea to India’s financial hub on the west coast. India could not catch David Coleman Headley, the American who was later arrested by the US and is currently in a jail there. The two Pakistani officers remain just names with India not having any further clue of their identity or photographs.

The NIA says it has much more evidence to pin down the conspirators in the latest plot. The agency has even a photo of the alleged mastermind, Amir Zubair Siddique, who was a counsellor (visa) at Pakistan’s High Commission in Colombo.

Continue reading ‘How Pakistani Intelligence Used Sri Lankan Soil and Agents to Conduct “Terror”Attacks Against 20 Targets South India’ »

Strong Case for Rajavarothayam Sampanthan of Tamil National Alliance to be Leader of the Opposition.

by

Malinda Seneviratne

Nimal Siripala Silva is the official Leader of the Opposition. The leader of his party is the President of the country. No office is vested with even a fracture of the powers of the President. Silva’s party, moreover, has a parliamentary majority. That Silva is the Opposition Leader in these circumstances is a monumental joke. It makes a mockery of accepted democratic norms. The cry for a ‘true’ opposition leader therefore makes a lot of sense.

In the context of an SLFP-UNP led ‘National Government’ meaningful opposition cannot come from either party. Leave them out and the ‘next in line’ is the Tamil National Alliance. They have 14 MPs. Individuals belonging to other parties that contested under the UPFA or later joined that coalition are either part of the Government (Champika Ranawaka of the UPFA and Rauff Hakeem of the SLMC for example) or are single-member entities in Parliament (Wimal Weerawansa of the PPF, Dinesh Gunawardena of the MEP and Vasudeva Nanayakkara). Even if they join hands they are still ‘smaller’ than the TNA.

The TNA supported Maithripala Sirisena at the last Presidential Election but didn’t take up any ministerial portfolios. Many members of Silva’s party, in contrast, have prospered even though they had backed Sirisena’s opponent. The case, therefore, is strong for an Opposition Leader from the TNA. For many reasons, the natural choice would be R Sampanthan.

Continue reading ‘Strong Case for Rajavarothayam Sampanthan of Tamil National Alliance to be Leader of the Opposition.’ »

UNP Seeks Dissolution of Parliament if 19th Constitutional Amendment is Sabotaged by Champika Ranawaka and SLFP Sections

By

Rasika Jayakody

If the 19th Amendment failed to secure a two thirds majority in Parliament, the United National Party would push for immediate dissolution of Parliament as it is the last resort, a senior Parliamentarian of the UNP told the Daily News yesterday.

UNP72412

The 19th Amendment will be taken for debate in Parliament on April 9 and 10 following the recommendations of the Supreme Court.

Parliament is likely to vote on the constitutional Amendment on April 10. However, the SLFP and the JHU have stated that they would present several key changes to the proposed constitutional amendment. Speaking to the Daily News, UNP General Secretary Minister Kabir Hashim said the UNP would try its best to proceed with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution as the new government had a mandate for the process.

“It is up to the SLFP and the JHU to decide whether they should respect the people’s mandate or not. Our duty is to present the 19th Amendment and push for much needed constitutional changes. Those who want to stand in the way of this process should realise that they are going against the people’s mandate,” Minister Hashim said.
Continue reading ‘UNP Seeks Dissolution of Parliament if 19th Constitutional Amendment is Sabotaged by Champika Ranawaka and SLFP Sections’ »

Karawa, Durawa, Salagama, Bathgama and Wahumpura Communities in Sinhalese Society Benefitted from the PR System of Voting

by Prof.Jayadeva Uyangoda

Sri Lanka’s current debate on electoral reforms seems to be heading towards a politically inspired deadlock. Some powerful sections of the SLFP seems to be using the idea of electoral reforms either as a bargaining tool for some short-term political gains, or to checkmate the constitutional reform initiative aimed at changing the executive presidential system.

VOTE SL

Besides the politics and politicking unfolding in relation to the theme of electoral reforms, there are some major shortcoming in the way in which the issue is approached by the political parties, the election commissioner, and civil society groups. This article aims at a critique of this dominant approach to electoral reforms and then to suggest some alternatives.
Continue reading ‘Karawa, Durawa, Salagama, Bathgama and Wahumpura Communities in Sinhalese Society Benefitted from the PR System of Voting’ »

19th Amendment Bill may be Defeated in Parliament as Jathika Hela Urumaya Mobilises Anti-UNP Forces Against it.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa will hear representations from several politicians representing the Opposition as well as the government today (April 6) as regards their objections to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Authoritative sources told The Island that they would request Speaker Rajapaksa to reject the 19th Amendment in its present form.

Asked whether a new alliance was in the making against ongoing efforts spearheaded by the UNP to enact the 19th Amendment, sources said that a section of SLFP and the JHU had agreed to work in unison to thwart the UNP project.

The National Freedom Front (NFF), the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) and the Democratic Left Front (DLF), too, have thrown their weight behind those opposing it.

Continue reading ‘19th Amendment Bill may be Defeated in Parliament as Jathika Hela Urumaya Mobilises Anti-UNP Forces Against it.’ »

Parliament Taking up “Amended” 19 A Bill on April 8th for Debate is Constitutional Violation” warns Prof GL Peiris.

Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday warned of dire consequences if the UNP was allowed to go ahead with the project to undermine the process to amend the Constitution.


Prof. Peiris issued the following statement to The Island yesterday:

Prof.GL Peiris-pic by: Nisal Baduge-courtesy: Daily Mirror

Prof.GL Peiris-pic by: Nisal Baduge-courtesy: Daily Mirror

“The enactment of a Constitution, the highest law of the land, is the most sacred task which the country’s legislature can undertake.

It has the most far reaching consequences in all sectors of public life for generation to come.

This is why the constitution prescribes crystal clear procedures, fully protective of the public interest, for amending the constitution or enacting a new constitution.

One of the basic requirements insisted on by our country’s paramount law in this regard, is the absolute necessity for public participation and consultation.

Continue reading ‘Parliament Taking up “Amended” 19 A Bill on April 8th for Debate is Constitutional Violation” warns Prof GL Peiris.’ »

Prime Minister Ranil Initiates Project to set up a National Centre for Upliftment of Women headed Households in Kilinochchi District

The government has decided to establish a national centre for the upliftment of the Households headed by women in Kilinochchi. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has initiated this programme in response to a request made by the people of the North to establish such an institution in their area since many war widows were living in Kilinochchi.

The Prime Minister’s office said in a media staement:

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe

“It is a well known fact that most suffered persons due to a war are women and children. In the North alone there are nearly 50,000 families that are headed by women. They are made destitute due to their inability to provide food, accommodation and educational needs to their children.

“The Rs. 35,000/- loan provided to them to develop a livelihood is not at all sufficient and it was revealed that the loan is used for the sustenance of their day to day lives. Banks too hesitate to grant them loans. Hence the necessity to provide them more help to generate income for their livelihood.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Ranil Initiates Project to set up a National Centre for Upliftment of Women headed Households in Kilinochchi District’ »

Rebuttal Issued on Behalf of Mahinda Rajapaksa to Allegations of Corruption made Against him by Kabir Hashim and Eran Wickremeratne

(Text of Statement Issued by Rohan Welivita, Media Coordinating Secretary to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa)

“At a press conference held last Thursday 2 April 2015, Minister Kabir Hashim made certain allegations about several infrastructure projects initiated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government. Minister Hashim said that the average cost for a two lane highway in 2010 was Rs. 75 million per kilometer but that the per kilometre cost of the Lunugamwehera-Kataragama road had been Rs. 259 million, the Kalugama-Vilkatupotha Road Rs. 100 million, the Kegalle By Pass road Rs. 722 million, and the Jaffna-Punalai-Pt Pedro road Rs. 318 million.

The minister also said that the cost of the consultancy services alone for the Matara-Hambantota highway was Rs. 124 million per km and that a contractor who undertook the construction of the Kalugama-Vilkatupotha road for Rs. 2,100 million had sub-contracted it out for Rs. 1,600 million thus making an undue profit of Rs. 500 million.

“Minister Hashim characterised the above mentioned instances as evidence of large scale corruption. At the same press conference, minister Eran Wickremeratne said that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa is directly responsible for these purported irregularities. We wish to respond to these allegations one by one.

Continue reading ‘Rebuttal Issued on Behalf of Mahinda Rajapaksa to Allegations of Corruption made Against him by Kabir Hashim and Eran Wickremeratne’ »

Northern Province Governor Palihakkara “Intervenes” on Behalf of Provincial Ministry Secretaries Transferred Arbitrarily by Chief Minister Wigneswaran by Ordering “Deferrals”.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

A section of the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Northern Province Governor H. M. G. S. Palihakkara are on a collision course over the latter deferring a series of transfers ordered by the Northern Provincial Council (NPC).

Well informed sources told The Island that one-time Foreign Secretary Palihakkara had intervened on behalf of the arbitrarily transferred Secretaries to ministries of the TNA-run NPC.

The affected officials have also brought the situation to the notice of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘Northern Province Governor Palihakkara “Intervenes” on Behalf of Provincial Ministry Secretaries Transferred Arbitrarily by Chief Minister Wigneswaran by Ordering “Deferrals”.’ »

Ex-LTTE Chief “KP” is Under 24 hour Surveillance in Kilinochchi and not Allowed Freedom of Speech and Movement Alleges “Ceylon Today” Newspaper

BY SULOCHANA RAMIAH MOHAN

A fine example of ‘expecting the unexpected’ occurred when Ceylon Today went to cover the Senchcholai Children’s Home in Iranaimadu, Kilinochchi, run by Selvarasa Pathmanathan/ Kumaran Pathmanathan or plain and simple ‘KP’ – the probable last man alive in the leadership level of the LTTE proper.

Kumaran Pathmanathan, popularly known as KP, at a home he runs for war-affected children in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka on Friday, May 10, 2013-Photo: Meera Srinivasan-The Hindu

Kumaran Pathmanathan, popularly known as KP, at a home he runs for war-affected children in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka on Friday, May 10, 2013-Photo: Meera Srinivasan-The Hindu

Ceylon Today reached Senchcholai imagining that it would be one of those fun- filled children’s home and KP would be among them, after ‘being released’ by the former UPFA government, and that he is hale and hearty travelling around and ‘rich’ too. But it was not so!

To our utmost surprise we found the Senchcholai Home for Children at Thiruvaiyaru, is in the premises where the 57 Division Security Forces headquarters, Kilinochchi district, is located.

Passing the entrance of the Security Forces Headquarters, going about another 2km inside the sign board of Senchcholai Home is visible, with a bright red gate, which was opened for Ceylon Today. The premises were clean with plants and trees and we could see little girls and teenage girls walking about giggling and laughing. Amidst them… there were four security men in civvies, seated on plastic chairs under the mango tree, and one of them rushed to the gate puzzled.

On seeing the Ceylon Today van entering Senchcholai premises, the four security men frantically began walking all over the garden, also taking cover behind trees with their mobile phones conveying the message, perhaps of our ‘uninformed’ visit , to ‘someone outside’.

The four security men scurried about and seemed extremely ‘shocked’ as we stood astonished too. It took a while to realize – that they were KP’s security officers (after one of them confirmed politely). Later on, it came to light that there are around 30 security officers, guarding KP, 24 hours at his residence and at the Home where he visits daily.

Continue reading ‘Ex-LTTE Chief “KP” is Under 24 hour Surveillance in Kilinochchi and not Allowed Freedom of Speech and Movement Alleges “Ceylon Today” Newspaper’ »

“This is Certainly the Best Chance for our Beloved Sri Lanka to rise and remain Risen with Integrity”

An Easter Reflection BY Bishop Duleep de Chickera

EASTER 15 B

Why Jesus died

Jesus did not die by accident. He was killed through a conspiracy by those whose oppressive ways were exposed by his dual thrust of compassion and truth. But death was not the last word. Jesus was raised by God as a sign that compassionate-truth surpasses the evil schemes of the wicked and will eventually overcome violence. This clarifies nation building in a nut shell; apeople rise when compassion andtruthflourish above all else.

Righteousness brings justice

In the Biblical worldview truth is the understanding of God’s purposes for Humankind and all creation. It is never abstract but is to be internalised and manifest through compassion. It is this living trend, passed on from generation to generation that enhances right relationships and values and is known as righteousness. The social consequence of righteousness is justice, demonstrated through the equal application of compassionate-truth.Since righteousness yearns and lives forjustice, justice abounds when compassionate-truth abounds.

From the margins to the centre

Compassionate- truth among a people compels the plight of the poor and vulnerable to bebrought into the centre of the national discourse. The poor are not to be evicted from our cities and hearts and memory. Neither are they to remain a foot note in our economic schemes, policies and planning. They are to be the primary entry point and central corrective in nation building.

Continue reading ‘“This is Certainly the Best Chance for our Beloved Sri Lanka to rise and remain Risen with Integrity”’ »

Mr. Sampanthan most Unsuitable to be Leader of the Opposition Due to the Political Project he Subscribes to and Political Views he holds.

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

We have already had a bitter experience with Mr. Wigneswaran and we mustn’t repeat or compound it. Mr. Sampanthan is a cultured gentleman, a superb speaker and a fine parliamentarian in the old tradition. But he would be most unsuitable to be made Leader of the Opposition. It is neither because he is an ethnic Tamil nor because he is the leader of the TNA that Mr. Sampanthan must not be appointed the Leader of the Opposition of the Sri Lankan parliament. It is because of the political project he subscribes to and the political views he holds.

Going by those declared views, he would, as Opposition Leader, not oppose only the policies and practices of the Government of Sri Lanka. Indeed he probably won’t oppose the present Government at all, since he helped bring it into office; his party colleague Mr. Sumanthiran is a co-drafter of the 19th amendment which castrates the executive Presidency, turning that office into a constitutional eunuch; and his party the TNA has gone on to defend the 19th amendment in the Supreme Court. Instead, Mr. Sampanthan as Opposition Leader would be opposed to the very political community, the very political unit, which he would be sworn to uphold and operate squarely within.

To put it differently, one cannot have as the Leader of the Opposition someone who is not loyal to the Sri Lankan State. One cannot have as Leader of the Opposition, someone who refuses to uphold the very character – unitary, not merely united—of the Sri Lankan state.
Continue reading ‘Mr. Sampanthan most Unsuitable to be Leader of the Opposition Due to the Political Project he Subscribes to and Political Views he holds.’ »

“Is This The Big ‘Yahapalanaya’ of the New Maithri Government?” Funnily Enough “Yes”!

By

Don Manu

The recent fiasco concerning the bond scandal has given the anti-Maithri clique a welcome full toss to smash over the pavilion so early in the new innings. Rightly they have accused the Government of making a pig’s breakfast of the Central Bank Governor’s appointment and even taken their protest to the streets. But however great and grave the error, howsoever sour the taste allegations of insider dealings have left in the nation’s mouth, was it justified to have put the concept of ‘yahapalanaya’ in the stockade and run Maithripala up the gum tree for it?

Of course it was a heaven sent opportunity to pooh-pooh and ridicule the inspiring vision of Maithripala Sirisena that captured the nation’s imagination and brought about the downfall of the corrupt Rajapaksa regime. It was manna from the sky for a demoralised gang of thieves and for the others who were the recipients of their ill-gotten largesse to refer to the scandal in the city and pronounce in purer than white pious tones: “is this the big ‘yahapalanaya’ of the new Maithri government?”Funnily enough, yes.
Continue reading ‘“Is This The Big ‘Yahapalanaya’ of the New Maithri Government?” Funnily Enough “Yes”!’ »

“If Sampanthan of TNA Becomes Leader of the Opposition then Tamil Separatism will get Further Strengthened”

By

Udaya Gammanpila

According to the government, Sri Lanka is now governed by a national government. However, there is a crisis with regard to who should be appointed as the Leader of the Opposition. There is no such office in a national government. Hence, it is obvious that there is no national government in Sri Lanka. This situation forces us to explore the nature of the present government.

A national government would be a government formed by all parties represented in Parliament for the purpose of dealing with a grave challenge faced by the nation. A classic example of a national government is the unification of all political parties in the United Kingdom under the premiership of Winston Churchill’s national government in order to face the German invasion.

Sri Lanka faced three massive challenges in the post-independent era which warranted forming a national government. First was the Indian invasion in May 1987. The second was the Tsunami disaster of December 2004 and the third was the commencement of the decisive war against the LTTE to wipe out terrorism from Sri Lanka in August 2006. Soon after commencing the war, President Rajapakse invited all political parties to form a national government to wage the war against terrorism.

The UNP not only rejected the invitation but also sarcastically criticized the war efforts.Although we failed to form national governments when situations demanded it, two major parties now claim that they are in a national government. Is it true? In fact, present government is not a national government but is just another coalition government.

The SLFP, UNP, SLMC, ACMC and the JHU are directly in the government forming the largest coalition in the history. Although the TNA and JVP are not in the cabinet, they sit in the National Executive Council which is the apex body of the present government. However, MEP, NFF, LSSP, CPSL, DLF, EPDP, NC and CWC have not joined the government. Hence, this is not a national government. If it is, there can’t be a competition for the office of the LOP as there would be nobody in the opposition.

Continue reading ‘“If Sampanthan of TNA Becomes Leader of the Opposition then Tamil Separatism will get Further Strengthened”’ »

A Prime Minister whose party has no Majority in Parliament and an Opposition Leader Whose Party Leader is head of Govt


By

Don Manu

It is indeed a curious state of affairs that exists today in Lanka’s body politic and, to put it mildly, it is getting curiouser and curiouser.

First of all, for the first time we have a president who contested the election not on the UNP or on the SLFP ticket but from a party called the National Democratic Front which suddenly appeared out of the blue to be used as the swan vehicle to glide him to a stunning presidential victory. No sooner the objective was achieved it was discarded; and now is heard no more.

In the best traditions of Buddhist philosophy, who but a fool carries with him the boat of faith after crossing the river of doubt? Simply put: don’t carry deadweight. In Maithripala Sirisena’s case it would have hindered his forward march back to the SLFP past.

Continue reading ‘A Prime Minister whose party has no Majority in Parliament and an Opposition Leader Whose Party Leader is head of Govt’ »

If SLFP Sirisena Faction Treats UNP Which gave 85% of Votes as President’s Enemy then Maithripala has no Moral Right to Govern.


By

C.A.Chandraprema

Doing away with the executive presidential system was the pledge that united so many different political parties and organizations behind Maithripala Sirisena. As Sri Lanka has been under prime ministerial forms of government in the past, we should have been able to switch effortlessly from one to the other.

Instead what we see is a halting, sputtering, laboured process of constitutional reform which leaves no doubt that the powers that be are being dragged reluctantly towards fulfilling the pledge to cede executive power to the prime minister. When the 19th Amendment Bill was finally gazetted after much splitting of hairs about what exactly was promised in terms of doing away with the executive presidency, the amendment virtually made no change in the executive presidential position or powers!

It was obvious that the UNP, JVP and other parties calling for the abolition of the executive presidential system had agreed to the gazetted version of the 19th Amendment only because the prime minister was given some powers such as being the head of the cabinet and the person who selects the cabinet and team of ministers.

Even these powers were shrouded in uncertainty as the president continued to be elected and he continued to be the head of state, the head of the armed forces, the head of the executive and the head of the government. Hence the president could at any time override the prime minister as it was he who was the head of the executive of which the cabinet is a part. The UNP would have agreed to such an arrangement out of sheer helplessness and to avoid ending up with nothing.

Even this truncated 19th Amendment which falls far short of the election pledge to abolish the executive presidency, is being opposed by Maithripala Sirisena’s faction of the SLFP on the grounds that electoral reforms should be brought together with it. The relationship between the UNP and the new president seemed to have reached breaking point.

Continue reading ‘If SLFP Sirisena Faction Treats UNP Which gave 85% of Votes as President’s Enemy then Maithripala has no Moral Right to Govern.’ »

“I Fervently wish a Happy and Peaceful Easter for Sri Lankan Christians”-Ranil Wickremesinghe

EASTER 15

Jesus Christ, who transformed the death to a supreme sacrifice through life, is one of the greatest teachers born in this world. He, who committed to show the path of salvation to the mankind was crucified since being a challenge to the religious and political systems that prevailed at that time, Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe said in an Easter message.

pic: facebook.com/ranil.wickremesinghe

pic: facebook.com/ranil.wickremesinghe

“Lent is a season of penance, reflection and fasting which remembers the Suffering and Death of Jesus Christ and prepares the Christians for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday. They commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday”, he said.
Continue reading ‘“I Fervently wish a Happy and Peaceful Easter for Sri Lankan Christians”-Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Why Should we Re-apply to EU for GSP+Trade Concession which may not bring any real Benefit to Sri Lanka?

By

C.A.Chandraprema

The government has begun negotiations to get back the GSP+ trade concession offered by the EU. As of now, only four nations – Armenia, Cape Verde, Georgia, and Mongolia – have applied and obtained GSP+. None of these are exporting nations in the proper sense of the term. The question that the government should ask itself is why none of the exporting nations of Asia have thought fit to try and gain an advantage over their competitors by applying for GSP+.

In addition to the four countries mentioned above, there are six narcotic producing countries that have been given GSP+ as an incentive to get their people off the production of drugs. The countries falling into this category are –  Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Paraguay, Pakistan and Peru.

The EU used to have a special GSP scheme for drug producing countries which gave them unconditional zero duty access to the European market. But around 2002, when Pakistan was included in this scheme, India went before the World Trade Organization claiming discrimination and they won the case and got the entire special incentive scheme for drug producing countries scrapped.

All the countries that were displaced as a result of the WTO ruling were accommodated in the GSP+ scheme which was initiated around that time. Pakistan too has now got into the GSP+ scheme. The question that will inevitably be asked is if GSP+ is good for Pakistan, why is it bad for Sri Lanka?

The GSP+ trade concession is given on the basis of certain conditions such as the ratification and implementation of 27 international conventions. When a country applies for and obtains GSP+, it agrees to allow the EU to monitor its compliance with the 27 international conventions thus giving the EU a handle over the country in question.

Continue reading ‘Why Should we Re-apply to EU for GSP+Trade Concession which may not bring any real Benefit to Sri Lanka?’ »

Rajapaksa Accused Fonseka and Sarath in turn Accused Mahinda and Gotabhaya of Killing Lasantha Wickrematunge whose Killers are yet Free

by Lal Wickrematunge

The 5th of April marks the 57th birth anniversary of Lasantha, murdered six years ago on the 8th of January. Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated at the last Presidential elections also on the 8th of January.

The 5th of April, 2015 marks the 57th birth anniversary of Lasantha, murdered six years ago on the 8th of January

The 5th of April, 2015 marks the 57th birth anniversary of Lasantha, murdered six years ago on the 8th of January

8/1 will be etched in the history of this Island for two divergent emotions. Sadness, for the loss of a life snatched away in a meaningless exercise and Joy for snatching away power from a leader hell bent on taking Sri Lanka down a path where it would have taken generations to restore law and order within a decent and pluralist society.

Lasantha, became the last bastion for most who had no other means to seek redress from a marauding government. He was prepared to “Publish and be damned” and he was.

He flew too close to the sun (Icarus), yet knew no other way to practice his vocation, despite the many physical and verbal assaults he encountered. Assaulted, vilified, hauled to court, offices set on fire etc; did not deter him from his quest for justice, fair play and good governance through his writing. He was the lynch pin of The Sunday Leader and people read his work.
Roam

His killers and those who ordered it roam free. Some of them. Some have been sent to the nether world. The very simplistic act of handing over the resultant investigation to the Terrorist Investigations Division (TID) was an indication that it was meant to be hushed up. There was absolutely no progress made by this unit and I say that it was intentional.

Most within the top echelons of the previous government are in the know as to who carried out this dastardly act. Even Joe Blog plodding the street can guess who wished Lasantha dead.
Continue reading ‘Rajapaksa Accused Fonseka and Sarath in turn Accused Mahinda and Gotabhaya of Killing Lasantha Wickrematunge whose Killers are yet Free’ »

Board of Inquiry Report Urges Prosecution of Former Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman Wickramasinghe-Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Brother in law’-for Gross Abuse of Power Including Penchant for young air hostesses.

(Full Text of Media Communique Issued by the Prime Minister’s office on April 4th 2015)

A Board of Inquiry has found shocking details of corruption running into billions of dollars, manipulations of service contracting, recruitment of unqualified staff and major security breaches at Sri Lankan airlines under the former government.

The panel headed by anti-corruption advocate and senior lawyer J. C. Weliamuna found instances of gross abuse of power by former chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe whose penchant for young air hostesses cost the debt-ridden airline even more problems.

The former government of President Mahinda Rajapakse made management changes to carry out a re-fleeting of the airline with brand-new aircraft costing $2.3 billion despite the availability of more cost effective alternatives.

The Weliamuna report recommends criminal investigations into the entire re-fleeting process and have noted instances where former chairmen Wickramasinghe, a brother-in-law of Mahinda Rajapakse, should be prosecuted.

Continue reading ‘Board of Inquiry Report Urges Prosecution of Former Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman Wickramasinghe-Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Brother in law’-for Gross Abuse of Power Including Penchant for young air hostesses.’ »

It may Become Necessary to Dissolve the Northern Provincial Council of Chief Minister Wigneswaran.

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

‘India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in a resolution passed on India’s foreign policy, at its ongoing two-day national executive meeting in Bengaluru… said …Modi became “the first Prime Minister of Bharat to visit Jaffna…He invoked his idea of cooperative federalism and stressed upon the 13th Amendment and beyond.”’ (IANS news agency)

What is the future of the 13th amendment if the 19th amendment is passed into law?

NPC D

The 13th amendment was possible only because of the executive presidency. The system of provincial councils which was mooted by the Donoughmore Commission was never implemented under the Westminster model.

Every time anything came even close, it was rolled back or shut down. That was because of the ethnic outbidding which the first-past the post electoral system and the Westminster model were prone to in a society with the cultural configuration and ethno religious dynamics that we had.
Continue reading ‘It may Become Necessary to Dissolve the Northern Provincial Council of Chief Minister Wigneswaran.’ »

US Asst Secy Tom Malinowski’s Brilliant Thoughts about Sri Lanka are Truly Hilarious.

by

Malinda Seneviratne

The United States of America has a huge HR problem. Actually it has two HR problems to deal with. The first refers to its problematic fascination with ‘human rights’ issues all over the world even as the very eyes that scour the world and note rights abuses do not see Washington’s own violations and complicity in other violations.

Then there’s another HR problem. Human resources. Human resources capable of seeing, let’s add. It is hard to tell whether one HR problem is a product of the other HR problem or if they are Siamese Twins sharing a single brain. All we can do is flag the issue(s). In a sense all it takes is to pick any comment on human rights uttered by any responsible (sic) US official to demonstrate how serious these problems are. They are so serious and so evident that the entire world knows about them. As such one could argue that it’s not even worth talking about. Still, it is important to say what has to be said if only to keep Washington informed that the world is not blind and that few if any are buying the toilet wash it spews out.

We’ve seen this often enough when Washington’s various mouthpieces comment on Sri Lanka. The latest is a man called Tom Malinowski, US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour. The name of the Bureau is a joke in itself, but let’s ignore this. Malinowski issued a statement while in Sri Lanka. He claims that reconciliation opportunities that existed in 2009 were not seized.

This brilliant man concludes brilliantly, ‘Victory by one side of the battlefield brought an end to the fighting but did not heal the division.’ Then he compares and contrasts: ‘Sri Lanka experienced what America (sic) learned 150 years ago and many other countries have since, that you cannot really win a civil war’.

Continue reading ‘US Asst Secy Tom Malinowski’s Brilliant Thoughts about Sri Lanka are Truly Hilarious.’ »

Govt Conducts Probe to Ascertain Whether Avant Garde Company Supplied Weapons to Nigerian Terror outfit Boko Haram.

By Zahrah Imtiaz

The government is conducting investigations to either establish or dismiss suspicions of whether controversial Maritime Security services company Avant Garde has been supplying weapons to Nigerian terror group Boko Haram, Dr.Rajitha Senaratne revealed at the Cabinet Media conference yesterday.

The probe into Avant Garde, suspected of dealing with various foreign governments because of cloudy issues relating to its floating armouries and security services, has now been expanded to cover suspected dealings with terror outfits in some African countries.

“We know that Avant Garde worked closely with the Nigerian Government and supplied them with arms. We are now examining the likelihood of Avant Garde having had dealings, including arms supplies, with Boko Haram” Dr. Senaratne said. The Ministry of External Affairs is in touch with the Nigerian Government with regard to possible weapons dealings.

Continue reading ‘Govt Conducts Probe to Ascertain Whether Avant Garde Company Supplied Weapons to Nigerian Terror outfit Boko Haram.’ »

President Sirisena Asks Indians to Stop Bottom Trawling and Orders Navy to Seize Indian Boats Entering Sri Lankan Territorial Waters

Dismissing the Opposition’s claim that his government has given fishing rights to Indians, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said he has issued clear instructions to the Navy to seize boats that violate the country’s territorial waters.

SLI061713

“We have not allowed fishing in our waters for the Indians. I have given clear instructions to Navy to arrest boats or trawlers that violate our water limits,” Mr. Sirisena told a gathering of fishing industry and political representatives on Thursday night. Opposition group National Freedom Front had alleged that the government had given fishing rights to Indians in Sri Lankan waters as an appeasement policy towards India.

Responding to the claim, Mr. Sirisena said, “I discussed at length the fishing issue between our two countries during my visit to India (in February). I want to resolve this issue without hurting our long standing bilateral relations with India. We have asked the Indians to stop bottom trawling,” Mr. Sirisena said.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Asks Indians to Stop Bottom Trawling and Orders Navy to Seize Indian Boats Entering Sri Lankan Territorial Waters’ »

Shabby Treatment meted out to Ex-Navy Chief and Former Envoy to Australia Thisara Samarasinghe Under “Yahapalanaya”.

By

Malinda Seneviratne

When it rains, the cricket stops. The Royal-Thomian doesn’t stop for anything; not for rain, not for a World War and not on account of terrorist threats. The match this year was washed out with S Thomas’ having the upper hand. Someone said, ‘S Thomas’ is a Combined Schools’ team and Royal had the support of the rain gods’. That was obviously a Royalist.

But rain didn’t stop what’s most important about the Battle of the Blues: people meeting people, old friends catching up, reminiscing and revelry. The SSC was a paddy field by about 2.30 in the afternoon on Saturday the 14th of March. Play was all but officially abandoned. I wandered into the Grand Stand to catch up with two batchmates, Ranil Pathirana and Rajitha Dhanapala, both of whose sons were playing for Royal, Randev and Thiran respectively.

Rajitha was with a friend. I didn’t recognize him at first. Introductions were made. Thisara Samarasinghe, former Navy Commander and until recently Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Australia.

‘So what are you doing now?’ I asked and he replied with a smile, ‘nothing…unemployed.’ I laughed and asked, ‘Thanks to yahapaalanaya?’ He laughed in return: ‘You’ve hit the nail on the head.’ We talked of this and that. We spoke about his teacher, my mother, Indrani Seneviratne and how he had given me a lift from Gonaduwa after attending the funeral of another teacher, Upali Munasinghe. I didn’t know who he was. He didn’t tell me. We were just two students attending the funeral of a teacher. And until I spoke with this unassuming man, I didn’t know that his son was captaining Royal.

I moved on. And thought about this man.

Continue reading ‘Shabby Treatment meted out to Ex-Navy Chief and Former Envoy to Australia Thisara Samarasinghe Under “Yahapalanaya”.’ »

Why is Mangala Samaraweera Trying to De-List Overseas Tiger Organizations while the EU has Extended ban on the LTTE?


By

Ira de Silva

Reference the statement by Mr. Ajith Perera, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs that “new evidence of the LTTE activities overseas was the basis for the EU’s ban” and that Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe had as the Opposition Leader written to the EU pointing out the emerging threat”, would the current government explain to the Sri Lankan people why after January 8, 2015 the government has by its statements and actions both overseas and in Sri Lanka bent over backwards to accommodate the pro-LTTE diaspora and the TNA who continue their goal of Eelam?

If the government according to Mr. Perera is aware of the evidence of LTTE activities overseas and their continued fundraising to fund their goal of Eelam, their continued use of LTTE money to fund political parties and candidates at elections to influence governments in the West to push the seemingly willing government in Sri Lanka to promote Eelam in the guise of reconciliation, rehabilitation, accommodation etc. when it is obvious that the LTTE diaspora and the TNA are unwilling to change their goal of a separate Tamil only state, is it because the current government also supports the vision of the LTTE supporters to divide the country?

Continue reading ‘Why is Mangala Samaraweera Trying to De-List Overseas Tiger Organizations while the EU has Extended ban on the LTTE?’ »

“Institutionalised Bribery” Necessary to Get Two-thirds Majority for Constitutional Change for Good Governance.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

If the visit to India by President Maithripala Sirisena, the first State visit abroad since his election as President, was a huge success, the recent visit to China has also shown the success of the foreign policy of Nonalignment that lays emphasis on friendship with all countries.

pic: parliament.lk

pic: parliament.lk

There were many doubts expressed about how good the reception in China would be, especially with concerns raised by the new government here about some development projects funded by China, the most important being the Colombo Port City; work on which has been suspended at present. There were also concerns about the Chinese reception because President Sirisena went there after defeating the person considered to be the closest friend of Beijing in all of South Asia, Mahinda Rajapaksa, under whose regime, China became the biggest donor for Sri Lankan development, as well as the biggest investor in infrastructure projects, especially highways.

In the event, it was a much more pragmatic China that received the Sri Lankan President, with a greater interest in maintaining close friendship, than raising issues that many, especially among those who still think in terms of the foreign policy of the Rajapaksa s regime, believed would sour the visit. What was seen during the visit by President Sirisena was that China considers it more important to maintain the strongest friendship with Sri Lanka, accepting the democratic change of government, while differences on matters of investment are resolved through negotiation that would best serve the interests of both countries.

President Sirisena’s successful visits to India and China, and the important visit to Sri Lanka by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have placed the country’s foreign relations on a new footing of better international understanding. This was seen by the reception received by President Sirisena during his visit to the UK to mark the Commonwealth Day celebrations, when he met with the Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition of the UK, as well as the genuine Tamil Diaspora there, which made a significant opening to the European Union.

Continue reading ‘“Institutionalised Bribery” Necessary to Get Two-thirds Majority for Constitutional Change for Good Governance.’ »

Politicians are Beyond Reform Because they Constitute a Unique Trade Union which Determines its own Emoluments.

by

Dr U.Pethiyagoda

A simple reason for politicians being beyond reform is that they constitute a unique Trade Union which determines its own emoluments. Fiscal discipline and proportionality are of no concern, – and why should they be? The cry is “Blow you Jack, I’m alright!!”

Consequently, politics continues to be the most lucrative employment. Bountiful rewards for little substantive output. A field full of myths and falsehoods, a conglomerate of ill-equipped and non-performing members. It will remain thus forever.

This is not a phenomenon unique to Sri Lanka, nor are there no notable exceptions. Of course there are – but they are remiss in exercising a major responsibility – that is, of not ridding their ranks of criminals and other misfits. Passing this responsibility solely to the electors, is but one of many deceptions.

Why are politicians such a reviled species – despite being surrounded by a circle of insincere sycophants, who will abandon them in defeat as readily as they swarm around them in success!?

Continue reading ‘Politicians are Beyond Reform Because they Constitute a Unique Trade Union which Determines its own Emoluments.’ »

Good Friday: Sublime Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary


By

E Weerapperuma

“The cross was two pieces of dead wood; and a helpless, unresisting Man was nailed to it; yet it was mightier than the world, and triumphed, and will ever triumph over it.” – Augustus William Hare.

“Exalt the Cross! God has hung the destiny of the race upon it. Other things we may do in the realm of ethics, and on the lines of philanthropic reforms; but our main duty converges into setting that one glorious beacon of salvation, Calvary’s Cross, before the gaze of every immortal soul.”
– Theodore Ledyard Cuyler.

“So shall we join the disciples of our Lord, keeping faith in Him in spite of the crucifixion, and making ready, by our loyalty to Him in the days of His darkness, for the time when we shall enter into His triumph in the days of His light.” – Phillips Brooks.

GF 040315

Today is Good Friday. Catholics of the Universal Church and devotees belonging to mainstream Christian Churches the world over observe this day as the Day of Salvation to humanity through the sublime sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the Cross at Calvary.

The blossoming 33-year old youth, a rebel in the eyes of misguided masses, he was there to offer himself as the sacrificial lamb to God, His Father. The Death on the Cross was the culminating of His Mission on Earth.

Good Friday is the second day of the Easter Triduum. Holy Thursday is the first day of the Easter Triduum. on which day the Last Supper, Washing of the Feet of Disciples, Institution of the Holy Orders and Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. This the Catholic – Christian world celebrated yesterday.

Good Friday is the day of the commemoration of the Passion and Death of Christ. On this day celebration takes place around 3 pm. The devotees attending churches of various denominations in large numbers listen to the gospel readings of the day and reflect on the Passion and Death of Christ, the Word of God and the savior of the human race. This is followed by special prayers for the church, and for the people of all levels, and then the veneration of the Cross and Communion service are the observances the devotees take part in.

Good Friday leads us to reflect on the wonderful message of how God loved us so much that He gave His Precious Son, Jesus and to die as the Perfect Lamb of God on behalf of the whole of human race. Thus Good Friday is perhaps the most solemn day in the Church Calendar. It is a time when we reflect upon all that Jesus did for us. He willingly gave his life on the cross at Calvary.
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“Efforts to Promote National Unity in Sri Lanka will Break Down Unless there is Reconciliation”-Chandrika Kumaratunga

By

Meera Srinivasan

The government’s efforts to promote national unity in Sri Lanka will break down unless there is reconciliation, according to the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

“I think it is absolutely crucial,” Ms. Kumaratunga told The Hindu in her first interview to international media in some years.

Recently invited to head a special presidential task force on reconciliation, she said it would be transformed into a permanent office on national unity and reconciliation.

“We have been very encouraged by the reaction we have had already [received] from the international community, including India which is offering us a lot of help to do all this work,” she said.

Continue reading ‘“Efforts to Promote National Unity in Sri Lanka will Break Down Unless there is Reconciliation”-Chandrika Kumaratunga’ »

Successive Flops of Superstar Rajnikanth’s films “Kochchadaiyan” and “Lingaa” may cause Tamil Cinema to come to a Grinding Halt

By N Sathiya Moorthy

Two Rajnikanth flop-shows in a row, and not just the actor’s career but the very idea of superstardom in Tamil cinema may be under threat.

RajniKanth 040215A

Rajni’s Kochchadaiyan and Lingaa both released in 2014 and both bombed at the box office.

This sent distributors and exhibitors into a tail-spin and they demanded that he compensate them for the huge losses they suffered in the latter.

They went to court, threatened to launch a ‘beggar-campaign’ outside his residence and even threatened to commit suicide if Rajnikanth did not compensate them for their losses.

In fact, true to the practice prevalent in the Tamil film world (and practised by the late M G Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan in their time), Rajnikant made Lingaa only to compensate the industrywallahs, who had suffered huge losses over Kochchadaiyan.

Continue reading ‘Successive Flops of Superstar Rajnikanth’s films “Kochchadaiyan” and “Lingaa” may cause Tamil Cinema to come to a Grinding Halt’ »

Eeelam Peoples Democratic Party Proposes Amendments to the Envisaged 19th Constitutional Amendment.

Amendments Proposed to the Constitution by the EPDP

1. to add immediately after Para. 41A. (1) (e) of the Gazetted Nineteenth
Amendment to the Constitution bill

” and out of the five persons appointed one person shall be a Tamil and another person a Muslim. “

2. to delete the following sentence in Para. 41b. (3) of the Gazetted Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution bill,
“to ensure that such recommendations reflect the pluralistic character of Sri Lankan society”,
and to insert the following sentence,

“to ensure that such recommendations reflect the ethnic composition of Sri Lankan society”.

Continue reading ‘Eeelam Peoples Democratic Party Proposes Amendments to the Envisaged 19th Constitutional Amendment.’ »

New Political Equation with Maithri as President, Mahinda as Prime Minister and Sajith as UNP/Opposition Leader.

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

On his three day trip to the North Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, promised a political solution to the ethnic question, without which he said, there would be no stability.

MS MR SP

Meanwhile, according to an interview given to Ceylon Today, “Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan expressed confidence in the ability of the Special Presidential Commission headed by Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge to find a suitable solution by the end of this year, to the issues confronting the Tamil people. ‘…When Kumaratunge became the President in 1994, she was very keen about settling the grievances of the Tamil people and she also mooted a suitable political solution to those issues. We were however, unable to see anything come out of it’ he said.” (‘TNA Confident in CBK Headed Commission’, Mirudhala Thambaiah, Ceylon Today, March 31, 2015)

R.Sampanthan

R.Sampanthan

To this expression of confidence by the TNA in CBK, all I can say is: “I’ll bet”.

How can Ranil and Chandrika politically reconcile the Sinhalese and the Tamils when they cannot themselves reconcile with the majority of Sinhalese?

These are not personalities the majority of Sinhalese trust politically, to safeguard their interests and natural, demographically derived leading share of political and state power on the island.

In that sense they are the very worst personalities to be entrusted with the task of ethno-political reconciliation.
Continue reading ‘New Political Equation with Maithri as President, Mahinda as Prime Minister and Sajith as UNP/Opposition Leader.’ »

“We will Eradicate Root causes of Terrorism in Sri Lanka such as Injustice,Discrimination and Prejudice”-Mangala Samaraweera

(Text of Opening Speech by Sri Lankan Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the 19th Session of the Sri Lanka – EU Joint Commission in Colombo on 2nd April 2015)

Sri Lanka-EU joint commission-Apr 2, 2015

Sri Lanka-EU joint commission-Apr 2, 2015



Mr. Ugo Astuto, Acting Managing Director, Asia & the Pacific Division, European External Action Service,

Officials of the respective European Union Institutes,

Representatives of EU Member States based in Colombo and New Delhi,

It is a pleasure to welcome all of you to the 19th Session of the Sri Lanka – EU Joint Commission. This, as you know, is the first Joint Commission that I am chairing since I assumed office as the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the 12th of January. I am happy that this important meeting, which takes place about 82 days after the Government of President Maithripala Sirisena was established, affords us a useful opportunity to re-set relations between the EU and Sri Lanka on a positive trajectory.

Sri Lanka’s relations with the EU date back exactly 4 decades when the Government of Sri Lanka signed a Commercial Cooperation Agreement in 1975 with the European Commission. Our meeting today also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development in 1995. These milestones, I am sure, will inspire us as we undertake the task of renewing our engagement and enhancing our cooperation through dialogue and partnership.

Having assumed office in January, the second official overseas visit that I undertook as Foreign Minister was to Brussels. This signifies the great importance that the Government attaches to Sri Lanka’s cooperation with the EU, and the priority we accord to addressing issues of concern through direct and frank dialogue and exchange of views in a spirit of cooperation and understanding. My visit enabled productive discussions on a wide range of subjects including the confirmation of dates for this meeting of the Joint Commission that takes place today.
Continue reading ‘“We will Eradicate Root causes of Terrorism in Sri Lanka such as Injustice,Discrimination and Prejudice”-Mangala Samaraweera’ »

“I Gifted my Peacock Mansion and Political Party to Mahinda Rajapaksa Because he was a Friend in Need”-A.S.P.Liyanage

By
Tharindu Jayawardene

Media recently reported that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to be gifted with the Peacock Mansion belonging to A.S.P. Liyanagewho contested unsuccessfully at the recent presidential election.

The excerpts from an interview with Liyanage are reproduced below.

A.S.P. Liyanage

A.S.P. Liyanage


Q;How many times have you contested the Presidency?

I have contested twice

Q; On the last occasion who did you support?

I came forward in support of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Q; At the last election Rajapaksa lost and Maithripala Sirisena was elected. Who are you supporting now?

I respect Maithripala Sirisena. Mahinda Rajapaksa lost because of the mistakes of his government. Mahinda Rajapaksa is one of my friends. If you are my friend and if you request for something I would definitely help you. Mahinda Rajapaksa also made a request, so I am helping him.

Q; There is a story that your Peacock Mansion is to be gifted to Mahinda?.

Continue reading ‘“I Gifted my Peacock Mansion and Political Party to Mahinda Rajapaksa Because he was a Friend in Need”-A.S.P.Liyanage’ »

Ranil Became Prime Minister in a Constitutional Coup Without Working out the Arithmetic in Parliament


By
Gomin Dayasri

Happenings around are unenviable: zany events unfold in rapid succession; voters are bewildered, skeptical, disoriented. Worse- democracy is not standing tall, as desired. Corrupt practices remain alive and made sophisticated. Are we drifting aimlessly without a leadership? Loosing moorings is sailing towards a sunset unknown.

facebook.com/ranil.wickremesinghe.leader

facebook.com/ranil.wickremesinghe.leader

Time is insufficient to ponder. Corruption is endemic and was deemed inevitable during the last regime;present government has made it conclusive.In Parliament, the UPFA holds a disturbed and divided majority. Girls, boys and the monks in saffron hold on to their legislative seats,feeling a shade unsafe and insecure. At the SLFP, movement is away from their ancestral home at Darley Road taking the Southern Highway bound to Carlton House.

Events move rapidly, too fast to reflect. A new prime minister is sworn and rolls out a Cabinet without a proper head count taken in Parliament. Bluff works– posted in office as PM- without a majority-cause of many a problem at present that leads to short circuited compromises. Out of confusion comes a box of assorted biscuits of Cabinet size with the President’s men of varied political affiliations and a roll call of UNP MPs neatly packed.

The JHU – for ever enjoying Cabinet perks lashes out forgetful of collective responsibility in their stays in the UPFA and UNP Cabinets but will not jettison the accompanying privileges. Yet tolerated to retain a parliamentary majority. No cause to panic for the JHU as Rajapaksa’s scavenging services will pick any muck left in any dustbin. The JHU least follows the scripture they preach as such is religious bigotry.

President Sirisena is installed as the undisputed President of the SLFP, by virtue, acquires the UPFA. The title of the Leader of the Opposition is doled to a senior SLFP parliamentarian prepared to accept any office on offer.Parliament is made to look an orchestrated home and home match. People watch the unfolding events on TV at home in the evenings – bemused and baffled.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Became Prime Minister in a Constitutional Coup Without Working out the Arithmetic in Parliament’ »

Why President Maithripala Sirisena is more Important to China than Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

The media raised many questions about the future of the China funded Colombo Port City Project when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met them last week.

When an editor pointed out that the Port City crisis could hamper the smooth relations between the two countries, Ranil explained, that as Sri Lanka was located in a strategic location in the Indian Ocean it was essential for Sri Lanka to continue good relations with all countries.

facebook.com/maithripalas

facebook.com/maithripalas

When Ranil made this observation President Maithripala Sirisena was in China.

As a result of Maithri’s visit to Beijing, China has agreed to grant a Kidney Hospital to Sri Lanka.

Chinese are cunning it is said in historical terms.

Continue reading ‘Why President Maithripala Sirisena is more Important to China than Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa.’ »

President Sirisena Failing to Attend the Funeral of his Controversial Brother Evokes Positive Memories of Nelson Mandela.

By

Rasika Jayakody

When one graduates himself to the level of a head of state, the line between his public and private lives becomes unclear. Matters of his personal life often come under public spotlight and more often than not they become subjects of discussion for the public and the media. Things often blow out of proportion and the public tend to get carried away with misinformation and misinterpretations. Politicians have to live with this harsh reality but there are great leaders who overcome this ‘dilemma’ with astuteness and political acumen.

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One such example is former South African President Nelson Mandela who underwent a much-talked-about divorce when he was the President of the country.

In 1992, soon after Mandela’s release from prison, the couple separated after Mrs. Mandela was convicted in the kidnapping of four youths by her bodyguards. One youth was beaten to death. However, the true reason behind their separation was revealed in Mandela’s testimony to the court.

Since being freed from prison in 1990, Mandela testified, he had felt nothing but “loneliness” living with Winnie Mandela, who once was hailed as the “Mother of the Nation” due to her contribution to the struggle of the African National Congress. Their marriage had dissolved, he said, and he became convinced of her infidelity after seeing love letters from Mrs. Mandela to her personal assistant, Dali Mpofu. Mandela’s separation from his wife was a story of high value not only to the ‘south African media but also to the international media- at large, at that point.

During her husband’s imprisonment, Mrs. Mandela became an anti-apartheid figure popular with the radical wing of the African National Congress and was hailed across the world for her valiant battle against the then government of South Africa. But her influence waned after his release, as Mandela pushed the ANC on a more moderate course. Winnie Mandela pushed for violent tactics to bring Apartheid to an end and this created an irreparable split between the couple, especially in terms of political strategy.

In his autobiography ‘the Long Walk to Freedom’, Mandela explains the manner in which he dealt with the controversy involving his marriage in the eyes of the public and the international media.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Failing to Attend the Funeral of his Controversial Brother Evokes Positive Memories of Nelson Mandela.’ »

Two Objectives in four Fold Conspiracy Agenda Accomplished: Third Objective of Destroying the SLFP is Being worked out now

By Gunadasa Amarasekera

The conspiratorial powers-the CIA, the RAW, the MI 6 and their agents, some NGOs and separatists had a four fold agenda to be achieved.

– firstly to oust Mahinda Rajapaksa

– secondly to install a leader of their choice

– thirdly to destroy the SLFP

– fourthly to grant the desired Elam

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facebook.com/ranil.wickremesinghe.leader

The first two objectives have been achieved. The third objective of destroying the SLFP is being worked out at the moment.

Continue reading ‘Two Objectives in four Fold Conspiracy Agenda Accomplished: Third Objective of Destroying the SLFP is Being worked out now’ »

History of the National Anthem of Sri Lanka has been Mired in Controversy

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Actions speak louder than words!

A very effective message regarding the contentious issue of the national anthem being sung in Tamil also was sent out early this week to the nation in general and the Tamil people in particular in the form of exemplary concrete action by the triumvirate comprising President Maithripala Sirisena, Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

A symbolically meaningful event unfolded last Monday, March 23rd at Valalaai in the Jaffna peninsula where a number of dignitaries participated. Chief among them were President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former Premier cum President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

Monday, March 23rd  at Valalaai, in Jaffna peninsula

Monday, March 23rd at Valalaai, in Jaffna peninsula

Over 400 acres of land taken over by the Sri Lankan armed forces for maintaining a high security zone was handed over to the long deprived rightful owners on the occasion.The participation of the ruling triumvirate of Maithri-Ranil-Chandrika at the event conveyed the message that the new dispensation was committed to the gradual downsizing of the military presence in the north and east and the re-settlement of internally displaced people in their original habitat. The presence of the top trio at such a simple ceremony in the north demonstrated the avowed sincerity and goodwill of the new govt in bringing about ethnic reconciliation and amity.
Continue reading ‘History of the National Anthem of Sri Lanka has been Mired in Controversy’ »

TNA Leader Sampanthan Confident that Special Presidential Commission headed by Chandrika Kumaratunga would find Solution to issues Facing Tamils by Year’s End

By Mirudhula Thambiah

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan expressed confidence in the ability of the Special Presidential Commission headed by Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge to find a suitable solution by the end of this year, to the issues confronting the Tamil people.

R. Sampanthan, leader of Tamil National Alliance-pic-Courtesy-The Hindu

R. Sampanthan, leader of Tamil National Alliance-pic-Courtesy-The Hindu

“We have clarified to the former President all matters relating to the problems faced by the people of the North and East and urged that such issues be immediately addressed meaningfully.
Continue reading ‘TNA Leader Sampanthan Confident that Special Presidential Commission headed by Chandrika Kumaratunga would find Solution to issues Facing Tamils by Year’s End’ »

“Danger of LTTE Being Revived with help of Funds Generated by Overseas Front Organizations of LTTE”warns Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera.

Colombo, Mar 30:

Sri Lanka’s new government today warned that there is a real danger that the LTTE could regroup and wage another war for an independent Tamil homeland, six years after they were militarily defeated.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said LTTE’s front organisations operate businesses overseas to generate funds in an attempt to revive the outfit. “Their front organisations operate businesses abroad, they run petrol stations, supermarkets and have shipping companies,” Perera said.

“Even though they have been defeated on the ground, there is a real danger of their trying to regroup,” he said.

Continue reading ‘“Danger of LTTE Being Revived with help of Funds Generated by Overseas Front Organizations of LTTE”warns Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera.’ »

Only Viable Solution to Mounting Crisis is a general Election that will Re-balance the current Political Equation.

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

The SLFP participation at the Ratnapura rally trumped the cooptation (‘National Government’) tactic of the SLFP Rightwing.

z_p10-19th-national1

The anti-Mahinda tendency of the SLFP is now caught in the coils of its own contradictions. If it follows the dictates of Chandrika “Sonia” Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and facilitates the passage of the 19th amendment in its current reinforced form, it collaborates in transforming the SLFP’s new leader Maithripala Sirisena into a lame duck President, which means weakening his capacity to dispense patronage and which thereby weakens the SLFP while strengthening the PM and therefore the fortunes of the UNP. That would further legitimize the charge of a sell out and embolden the SLFP rebels.

If it abolishes the Presidency and plunges Mr. Sirisena into the race as Prime ministerial candidate he stands to lose all, because the UNP is not likely to forgo the chance of a government of its own, and will therefore enter the race with Ranil Wickremesinghe at the helm.

UNP9912

If the SLFP campaign is led by a quasi-neutral President Sirisena plus a few SLFP fat-cats and warhorses gingered up by Champika Ranawaka and his Magnificent Three, it will suffer an exodus to the pro-Mahinda enterprise and burial electorally.

Continue reading ‘Only Viable Solution to Mounting Crisis is a general Election that will Re-balance the current Political Equation.’ »

Eight Persons Suspected of Working for British Channel 4 TV Arrested in Narahenpita while Dubbing Voices in Sinhala for an Anti -Army Propaganda Film


By Pradeep Prasanna Samarakoon and Norman Palihawadane

The police suspect that eight suspects arrested while dubbing an anti Sri Lanka army film in Narahenpita on Saturday were working for Channel Four responsible for a propaganda onslaught against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The police believe the film has been shot in Tamil in South India and some sections thereof involving Sri Lankan soldiers have been dubbed into Sinhala.

Out of the five suspects, two had lived in India some time ago, while the other three had lived in the North of Sri Lanka during the war.

The suspects at the time of arrest had been residing at Wellawatte, Cinnamon Gardens, Gampaha and Ja-Ela, police said.

Continue reading ‘Eight Persons Suspected of Working for British Channel 4 TV Arrested in Narahenpita while Dubbing Voices in Sinhala for an Anti -Army Propaganda Film’ »

Ranil to Appoint Special Officer at Prime Ministers Office to Address Problems facing the People of the Northern Province.

By Chaminda Perera in Killinochchi

A special officer is to be appointed at the Prime Minister’s office to look into the problems in the Northern Province, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday, winding up his three day visit to the Northern Province.

He stressed the need to pay special focus on the development of livelihood and infrastructure facilities in the Mullaitivu and Killinochchi districts as these districts were affected by the nearly three decades of terrorism.

Addressing government officials and civil society representatives at a meeting at the Killinochchi District Secretariat yesterday, the Prime Minister told the Army to conduct a special survey on the people disabled due to the conflict in the district.

He said officials do not have proper statistics on disabled persons in the district and added that the lack of statics, hampers the implementation of a viable programme to help the disabled.

The Prime Minister said the government was ready to launch a special programme and find more funds for the welfare of disabled people with the completion of this survey.

Continue reading ‘Ranil to Appoint Special Officer at Prime Ministers Office to Address Problems facing the People of the Northern Province.’ »

Singapore Bids Farewell to its Guiding Light Lee Kuan Yew who “Lived and Breathed Singapore all his life”.

Singapore bade farewell to its founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died on Monday aged 91.

Despite torrential rain, tens of thousands lined the streets to view the funeral procession carrying Mr Lee’s coffin through the city-state.

A state funeral then took place attended by world leaders, ahead of a private family cremation ceremony.

About 1.5m people paid tribute to Mr Lee at sites around the country this week the government said.

In his eulogy, Mr Lee’s son, the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said his father had “lived and breathed Singapore all his life”. “The light that has guided us all these years has been extinguished,” he said

Continue reading ‘Singapore Bids Farewell to its Guiding Light Lee Kuan Yew who “Lived and Breathed Singapore all his life”.’ »

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Addresses Members of Security Forces and Police Serving in Jaffna at Palaly.

Addressing members of Security Forces and the Police serving in the Jaffna peninsula at the Security Forces Headquarters, Palaly, the Premier stressed the importance of having a political solution to the ethnic issue to ensure national unity while equal emphasis is laid on the country’s security.

He said the government is determined to ensure national unity through a political solution to the ethnic issue and the country’s security will not be put at risk in this endeavour.

“The Tamil people have specifically insisted that they want national unity,” he said.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the United Nations Human Rights Council has given an opportunity to the government to inquire into the allegations of human rights violations within our judicial framework.

The Prime Minister added that those who raised objections against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC now favour Sri Lanka.

He said the support of western countries is essential if the country wants to improve the services of Security Forces.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Addresses Members of Security Forces and Police Serving in Jaffna at Palaly.’ »

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Thankful to the European Union for Extending the ban on the LTTE at his Request

The European Union (EU) re-imposed the ban on the LTTE after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Foreign Affairs Ministry intervened with the matter, Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, according to him, had written to the EU to reconsider the ban on the LTTE as the then leader of the opposition.

The deputy minister dubbed this as a great diplomatic victory for Sri Lanka after the previous government failed to take adequate measures in this regard.

Wickremesinghe had also written to the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini last November urging the EU to file an appeal against the EU court order on the LTTE.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Thankful to the European Union for Extending the ban on the LTTE at his Request’ »

Appointment of Ex-Foreign Secy Kshenuka Seneviratne as Sri Lankan Ambassador to Thailand has been Put on Hold- Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera

by

Rasika Jayakody

The appointment of Kshenuka Seneviratne as the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Thailand has been put on hold as she is yet to be summoned before the Committee on High Posts in Parliament.

Speaking to the Daily News, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera said a final decision on the matter would be taken based on the recommendations of the Committee on High Posts.

He said Seneviratne’s appointment was not taken up at the last High Posts committee meeting and would be probably taken up at the next meeting. The Committee on High Posts examines the suitability of persons who have been either appointed to any post or nominated to hold office in any post determined by the Cabinet of Ministers and to make recommendations with regard to such persons.

Continue reading ‘Appointment of Ex-Foreign Secy Kshenuka Seneviratne as Sri Lankan Ambassador to Thailand has been Put on Hold- Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera’ »

European Council Keeps LTTE on Terror List Despite Last Years de-listing by European General Court.

The LTTE, taken off the European Union’s list of terrorist groups in Oct. 2014 by an order of the European General Court, is now back on the Terror List according to EU documents.

The European Council appealed in late December last year against the decision of the General Court but the process is expected to continue for some time until the appeal is heard.

Meanwhile the LTTE continued to fight for de-listing in the courts and by lobbying in some European capitals on an understanding that that in the absence of fresh regulations gazetted by the European Council, the ban would no longer apply.

Continue reading ‘European Council Keeps LTTE on Terror List Despite Last Years de-listing by European General Court.’ »

Three Public Interest Activists file Fundamental Rights Petition Seeking Inquiry into Central bank Bonds issue

Three public interest activists, Dr. G. Usvatte-aratchi, Dr. A.C. Visvalingam and Mr. Chandra Jayaratne have invoked the Fundamental Rights jurisdiction of the Supreme Court seeking an independent and competent inquiry into the controversial Central Bank bond issue and also called for systems that would ensure transparent and good governance practices on future public debt issues.

The petition which was filed on Friday by Ms. Lilanthi de Silva has been settled and will be supported by Attorneys-at-Law Saliya Pieris and Pulasthi Hewamanne.

Continue reading ‘Three Public Interest Activists file Fundamental Rights Petition Seeking Inquiry into Central bank Bonds issue’ »