26 MP’s from UPFA with Several Provincial Councillors and Local Authority Representatives Attend Pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa Rally at Ratnapura.

Around 26 UPFA Parliamentarians, including many SLFP MPs took part in the pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa rally today urging that the former president should be made the Prime Ministerial candidate of the UPFA in an upcoming general election.

Apart from the Parliamentarians a number of Provincial Council Members and Local Government Authority Members also took part in the event.

Continue reading ‘26 MP’s from UPFA with Several Provincial Councillors and Local Authority Representatives Attend Pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa Rally at Ratnapura.’ »

Whither the Reform Agenda that Brought Maithripala Sirisena, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Their Allies to Power?

By

Prof.Jayadeva Uyangoda

Within just three months in power, the National Democratic Front (NDF) coalition seems to be disintegrating. All indications are that the unity that the NDF coalition partners showed in the pursuit of their common objective of dislodging the Mahinda Rajapaksha family from power has largely dissipated.

JUSL

The signs are also that President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, the two pillars on which the NDF government is built, have developed conflicting agendas and interests. They don’t seem to support each others’ positions on controversial issues, as they did in the recent past.

Meanwhile, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a key partner of the coalition, is targeting Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and his UNP, in a move to re-build its own political identity and constituency.

The JVP, which supported the coalition from outside, is promoting its own political agenda and interests, and in the process has emerged as the most vociferous critic of the NDF government.
Continue reading ‘Whither the Reform Agenda that Brought Maithripala Sirisena, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Their Allies to Power?’ »

Narendra Modi Visit to Sri Lanka was a case of “He Came, Saw and won Over” and not a Case of “He Came, saw and Conquered”.

By N. Sathiya Moorthy

For a bilateral visit at the highest-level after an undesirable and inexplicable gap of 28 long years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day tour of Sri Lanka was noted as much for what it achieved as for the optics.

facebook.com/narendramodi

facebook.com/narendramodi

It came after an earlier visit by Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena to India only weeks earlier, and between them, the two visits and the two leaders have now put bilateral relations in a new trajectory, from where their policy makers can and should take it forward to mutual benefit with greater confidence, to shared peace and prosperity.
Continue reading ‘Narendra Modi Visit to Sri Lanka was a case of “He Came, Saw and won Over” and not a Case of “He Came, saw and Conquered”.’ »

President Sirisena’s Brother Priyantha Sirisena Attacked in Polonnaruwa and Hospitalised with Serious Injuries.

Priyantha Sirisena, the brother of President Maithripala Sirisena was hospitalised with serious injuries after he was assaulted by an unknown person at Hathare Ela area in Polonnaruwa.

It was reported that Mr. Sirisena had been attacked near a garage in the area at around 7. 00 p.m. and had been rushed to the Polonnaruwa Hospital.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena’s Brother Priyantha Sirisena Attacked in Polonnaruwa and Hospitalised with Serious Injuries.’ »

How Maithripala Sirisena with Family Hid in a Coconut Estate Owned by Kiran Atapattu in Dodangaslanda on Election Night to Escape Possible harm.

By Suresh Perera

With President Maithripala Sirisena’s revelation to Sandeshaya, BBC’s Sinhala Service in London, that there were plans to “destroy his whole family” if he lost the presidential poll, political sources recalled how the then common candidate was escorted under cover of darkness to an estate owned by a close friend in the Kurunegala district.

President Maithripala Sirisena during the BBC Interview

President Maithripala Sirisena during the BBC Interview: youtu.be

Just days after the January 8 presidential election, The Sunday Island learnt how the drama unfolded at Dodangaslanda, a sleepy village at the far end of Kurunegala bordering the Matale district, but political sources politely declined to discuss details as the President himself had not referred to the episode earlier.

During his recent visit to London, President Sirisena told BBC Sandeshaya’s Saroj Pathirana in an interview that he wouldn’t know whether he and family would be alive today if the elections favoured the other side. “That was the democracy the Rajapaksas practiced. I know that only too well, he said.

On the day of the poll, Sirisena had cast his vote at Polonnaruwa and decided to leave home to a secret destination as there were credible reports that he and his family could be harmed if they remained in a location which could be easily traced after the outcome of the election was announced the following day (January 9), the sources recounted.

Continue reading ‘How Maithripala Sirisena with Family Hid in a Coconut Estate Owned by Kiran Atapattu in Dodangaslanda on Election Night to Escape Possible harm.’ »

“Chinthana” of Chandrika and Ranil is to Demolish the Two-party System by Re-Merging the UNP and SLFP

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

Blackadder fans will know what I mean when I say that Chandrika and Ranil have come up with a plan of truly Baldrickian cunning. They let it slip while speaking on separate occasions after the formation of the so-called ‘National Government’.

Ranil said that the change that had been initiated, promised to take us back to 1948 or 1951 and reverse what had befallen us since. The uninitiated may wonder what the reference to 1951 was. It is all very simple. That’s the year the SLFP was formed with Chandrika’s and Mahinda’s fathers breaking away from the ‘parent party’ the UNP. So the plan centrally involves the reversal of that breakaway and the re-merger of the UNP and the SLFP under the hegemony of the former.

CBKRWC

For her part, Chandrika, speaking at a well-attended meeting graced by Rosie Senanayake, to donate essential nutrients to lactating mothers, said that the new equation would, if it could be made to last twenty years, lay the foundation for irreversible change and progress. De-coded, it is exactly the same message that JR Jayewardene gave in 1982, namely that the “electoral map can be rolled up for ten years”. Chandrika has just got twice as ambitious.

As Peter Cook used to say on Beyond the Fringe, “but there’s a flaw in that theory” (to which Dudley Moore would heckle a loud, long drawn out “yes”). Whatever his motivations, SWRD Bandaranaike made a huge contribution to the liberal democratic market-system by creating a moderate alternative to the conservative, right of center UNP. The SLFP was a left of center party, social democratic in domestic policy, nonaligned/Third Worldist in foreign policy and moderately (Sinhala Buddhist) nationalist in ideology.

Continue reading ‘“Chinthana” of Chandrika and Ranil is to Demolish the Two-party System by Re-Merging the UNP and SLFP’ »

“To Laugh or Cry”? -Induction of 26 SLFP’ers Into Ruling Coalition Sacrifices Political Ethics and Credibility for Regime Survival and Stability.

by Jayadeva Uyangoda

“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” was the first reaction I heard last Sunday evening when the news spread that President Sirisena had sworn in 26 ex-UPFA ministers in various ministerial capacities of his yahapalanaya government. The second response was also similar: ‘Is this what we voted Maithripala Sirisena in to power for?”

SLFP UNP 03 25 15

Disbelief, shock, and disappointment were at the core of these reactions to what many people now consider as an event that marked a clear deviation by the new government from its own paradigm of good governance. This act by the ruling Troika – President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and former President Kumaratunge – obviously secured much needed regime stability, but at a cost.

It seriously damaged the claims made by the new government to upholding its own principles of political morality. It indeed smacks political corruption, because it exchanges political office with parliamentary voting.
Continue reading ‘“To Laugh or Cry”? -Induction of 26 SLFP’ers Into Ruling Coalition Sacrifices Political Ethics and Credibility for Regime Survival and Stability.’ »

Attorney-General’s Advice Sought About Enlisting INTERPOL Help to Locate Ex-Minister Basil Rajapaksa for Interrogation into Alleged Divi Neguma Fraud

By Ishara Mudugamuwa and Yasaratne Gamage

The Financial Fraud Investigations Division (FFID) has sought the advice of the Attorney General on the procedure involved in obtaining a statement from former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa over the alleged financial fraud at the Divi Neguma Department, Police Media Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said.

sketch by Hasantha Wijenayake

sketch by Hasantha Wijenayake

The police decided to obtain a statement from the former minister after Divi Naguma Director General, R.A.K. Ranawaka, gave a statement to the FFID, over alleged financial fraud in the Divi Neguma department, stating that funds of the department were released for use in the 2015 Presidential election campaign and another Rs 70 million to hold a convention, under the instructions of the former minister.

“We have informed the Kaduwela Magistrate about the matter and further extended investigations to seek the AGs advice in obtaining a statement from the former minister who is not in the island at present, he added.

Continue reading ‘Attorney-General’s Advice Sought About Enlisting INTERPOL Help to Locate Ex-Minister Basil Rajapaksa for Interrogation into Alleged Divi Neguma Fraud’ »

Can this “Achcharu Govt” Reform the Electoral System as Envisaged?

By Jayashika Padmasiri

Though the Government was able to arrive at a consensus regarding the trimming of powers of the executive presidency, the controversy over electoral reforms has still not been settled, with the Government and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) continuing to reiterate their stances on this subject.

facebook.com/maithripalas

facebook.com/maithripalas

In this backdrop, President Maithripala Sirisena has also expressed his displeasure regarding the prevailing electoral system while emphasising on the need to change it. According to reports, the political parties are discussing the introduction of a mixed system consisting of the Proportional Representation (PR) system and the First Past the Post system.

Continue reading ‘Can this “Achcharu Govt” Reform the Electoral System as Envisaged?’ »

Penetration of Global Jihadism into South India has Resulted in Several Tamil Nadu Muslims Fighting Alongside ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

By Vikram Rajakumar

The discovery of groups and individuals in south India pledging allegiance to various militant factions in Syria’s civil war has led to a deterioration of security of that region. What is the implication of this new phenomenon for Southeast Asia?

Tamil Nadu in south India, which comprise 65 million people (88% Hindu, 5.5% Muslims, 5.4% Christians), has enjoyed relative peace in recent years despite historical tensions between its various ethnic and religious communities. The last major incidents of communal violence were the Hindu-Muslim riots of 1993 and 1998. Yet the threat of terrorism by contemporary jihadist groups — rife in other parts of India — never gained traction there. The northern states of Jammu and Kashmir have been hotbeds of jihadist militancy fighting for independence from India. There have also been pockets of Islamic insurgent groups in the Northeast and the ‘national’ jihadi groups such as the Indian Mujahideen.

Two main reasons account for why Tamil Nadu’s Muslims have been hitherto spared the influence of terrorist propaganda.

Firstly, there exists a language barrier between Tamil Nadu and the other states in India. Unlike other parts of India, Hindi had not developed into a lingua franca in Tamil Nadu. This was primarily due to the post-independence anti-Hindi agitations of Tamil Nadu, which led to the institution by the government of Tamil Nadu of Tamil as the state’s official language and English as a second language. Consequently, Tamil Nadu remained relatively impervious to the terrorist propaganda from India’s terrorist hotbeds, couched mostly in Hindi.

Secondly, the militant struggle in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast insurgency do not hold significant sentimental value to the Tamil Muslims. In Tamil Nadu, the sense of patriotism to the state and the cultural affiliations are deep-seated. The majority of the population, regardless of religion, believe that Tamil Nadu is the cradle of the Dravidian culture and the birthplace of the Tamil language. Hence, the loyalty to the homeland and culture of Tamil Nadu is far greater than loyalties to the jihadist terrorist cause that is salient in other parts of India.

Continue reading ‘Penetration of Global Jihadism into South India has Resulted in Several Tamil Nadu Muslims Fighting Alongside ISIL in Iraq and Syria.’ »

SLFP Ready to Endorse Mahinda Rajapaksa but is Ex-President Willing to Serve as Prime Minister under President Sirisena?

By Jayashika Padmasiri

pic via: & facebook.com/maithripalas

pic via: & facebook.com/maithripalas

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday announced that the 20th Amendment presented in Parliament would institute electoral reforms and soon after it was passed, along with the 19th Amendment, they will call for a general election.

SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, addressing a media conference in Colombo, said that after constitutional and electoral reforms were implemented Parliament would be dissolved.

“The SLFP is not against allocating 250 parliamentary seats under a new electoral system. The Elections Commissioner said that within three months of the passage of the resolution we can go for an election.

Therefore there is a possibility that there could be an election this year. However, if we go for an election it will be under a new electoral system. Anyway our party does not have a 100-day timeframe as we have not agreed to a 100-day period and this procedure will definitely pass 100 days,” Yapa said.

Continue reading ‘SLFP Ready to Endorse Mahinda Rajapaksa but is Ex-President Willing to Serve as Prime Minister under President Sirisena?’ »

More than 20 SLFP Parliamentarians to Defy Party Hierarchy by Attending Ratnapura Rally Supporting Mahinda Rajapaksa

By Dasun Edirisinghe

More than 20 SLFP Parliamentarians would attend the third rally demanding that former President Rajapaksa be made the UPFA prime ministerial candidate, under the theme, ‘The country is in danger and prepare to face the challenge!’ organised by UPFA allies MEP, NFF, DLF and Pivithuru Hela Urumaya at the Ratnapura Sivali grounds today, UPFA Ratnapura District MP Ranjith Zoysa said yesterday.

Zoysa flanked by Ratnapura District MP Janaka Wakkumbura, Colombo District MP Gamini Lokuge, Polonnaruwa District MP Roshan Ranasinghe and several other provincial council and local government members representing the Ratnapura District , said they would definitely bring back former President Mahinda Rajapska at the next general election as the prime ministerial candidate of the UPFA.

The main purpose of today’s rally was to demand that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa be nominated as Prime Ministerial candidate of the UPFA at the forthcoming general election.

Continue reading ‘More than 20 SLFP Parliamentarians to Defy Party Hierarchy by Attending Ratnapura Rally Supporting Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Did Cabinet Spokesman Dr.Rajitha Senaratne Lie about the Security Provided to Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa?

Recent remarks made by Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne regarding the security detail provided to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa are completely inaccurate and false, charged the Media Coordinator of President Rajapaksa.

Issuing a communiqué, Rajapaksa’s Media Coordinator Rohan Welivita has also said that in fact, there are lapses in the security provided to the former President.

Full text of the letter is as follows;

Continue reading ‘Did Cabinet Spokesman Dr.Rajitha Senaratne Lie about the Security Provided to Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa?’ »

Three Petitions Before Supreme Court Seeking Referendum for 19th Constitutional Amendment to Become Law

By

Nelka Medagedera

Three petitions have been submitted to the Supreme Court pleading that an order be made to go for a referendum after passing the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution with a two third majority in Parliament.

The petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court by Udaya Gammanpila on behalf of the Secretary General of the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya, Gomin Dayasiri PC and Liyana Pathiranage Ivan Perera.

The petitioner Gomin Dayasiri stated in his petition that the article 70(1) of the proposed 19th Amendment draft to the Constitution has increased the time period from one year to four years. This violates the right of the people to exercise their franchise.

Continue reading ‘Three Petitions Before Supreme Court Seeking Referendum for 19th Constitutional Amendment to Become Law’ »

Life and Cricket will go on in Sri Lanka Even After we Bid Farewell to Sanga,Mahela,Dilshan andMalinga.

By

Malinda Seneviratne

Of course we are all disappointed. We backed our boys to the hilt. We forced ourselves to hope that they would win it all. We all wanted a perfect farewell to our ‘grand old men’ (relatively speaking of course). We wanted Sanga, Mahela, Dilly and Malinga to have a ‘Tendulkar Moment’ on March 29, 2015. Correspondents to sports pages wanted to write about the win and suggest tweaks that would get us into the Final. Didn’t happen the way we liked it to happen.

On the plus side, no one’s had a heart attack. No houses have been stoned or torched. When our boys return no one will say ‘hoo hoo’. On the contrary, the vast majority of fans will cheer them, pat them on the back and thank them for doing their best. This is Sri Lanka. It is not Pakistan or India. In fact we are more like Bangladesh in this respect, except for the fact that had Sri Lanka progressed there would be less surprise than if Bangladesh had bested India.

So we lost. So what? Should we weep? For those who shed a tear or think we should as a nation mourn, let me recount a conversation with Hindustan Times correspondent in Sri Lanka PK Balachandran which took place eight years ago when it was clear that Sri Lanka was going to lose to Australian in the World Cup final.

Continue reading ‘Life and Cricket will go on in Sri Lanka Even After we Bid Farewell to Sanga,Mahela,Dilshan andMalinga.’ »

Maithri-Ranil-Chandrika Trinity Checkmates Mahinda by Forming National Govt Comprising UNP and SLFP


By
Rasika Jayakody

When he defected from the Rajapaksa administration to challenge Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidency in November, last year, he only had the support of eight Parliamentarians of the UPFA who accompanied him in a face of a government that seemed invincible. The large majority of UPFA Parliamentarians criticized Sirisena’s move calling him a traitor who betrayed the party and its voters. In response, Sirisena said that he was still the legitimate General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and he never left his party where he started his political career over four decades ago.

At the event of Arjuna Ranatunga accepting SLFP membership

At the event of Arjuna Ranatunga accepting SLFP membership

However, in his run up to the presidency, 28 MPs, who represented the UPFA, joined hands with him, putting a damper on the election campaign of the former President who was running for his third term in office. Addressing his election meetings, Sirisena confidently said that he would regain his position in the SLFP following his “victory” at the presidential election.

A few days after his election victory, a sizable proportion of Central Committee members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party aligned themselves with the newly elected President, accepting him as the “by-default” Chairman of the SLFP. They said Sirisena had the backing of the majority of the SLFP Central Committee members and appointed a new board of officials with the new President as the head of the party.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Fearing a possible split in the party, the SLFP seniors, decided to urge the former President to relinquish his positions, making way for President Sirisena to become the official Chairman of the SLFP. At a meeting held at the Speaker’s official residence, former President Rajapaksa told the new President that he was ready to transfer the powers of the SLFP. Soon after this transfer of power, President Sirisena was formally appointed as the Chairman of the party by the Executive Committee and the Central Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

However, there were some seniors of the SLFP who still wanted “Mahinda” to lead the Parliamentary election campaign of the party as the Prime Ministerial Candidate. Some of them even attended the rally held at Nugegoda extending their support to what they termed as the former President’s Prime Ministerial candidature. Realizing the possible consequences of this trend, President Sirsena got his party secretary to issue a special statement on behalf of the Central Committee, prohibiting the members of the party from attending events organized by other political parties and organizations.

As a result of this measure, no senior SLFP Parliamentarian attended the rally which was held in Kandy to promote the former President who was on a feverish mission to return to active politics probably as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the UPFA coalition. With little or no support from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the pro-MR rally in Kandy ended as a disappointment.

Continue reading ‘Maithri-Ranil-Chandrika Trinity Checkmates Mahinda by Forming National Govt Comprising UNP and SLFP’ »

Champika Ranawaka of JHU Denounces 19th Amendment as “Constitutional Coup” and Vows to Defeat it in Parliament.

By Lahiru Pothmulla

The 19th Amendment presented in Parliament by the Government was a result of a ‘Constitutional Coup’ to allow a person who is unable to win at an election to retain power, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said today.

JHU020713

JHU General Secretary and Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said the objective of the latest reforms was to render the Executive President powerless and to make the Prime Minister powerful.
Continue reading ‘Champika Ranawaka of JHU Denounces 19th Amendment as “Constitutional Coup” and Vows to Defeat it in Parliament.’ »

19th Constitutional Amendment Curtailing Executive Presidency Powers Presented to Parliament by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.


By Saman Indrajith

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe presented the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to Parliament yesterday to curtail powers of the executive presidency.

The Bill, if approved by Parliament, will make the Prime Minister the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers with powers to appoint its members.

Right to Information has been included among the fundamental rights in the 19th Amendment.

The Bill envisages the appointment of a Constitutional Council consisting the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, one person appointed by the President, five persons appointed by the President on the nomination of both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, one person nominated by agreement of the majority of members of parliament belonging to political parties or independent groups other than the respective political parties or independent groups to which the prime minister and the leader of the opposition belong and appointed by the president.

Continue reading ‘19th Constitutional Amendment Curtailing Executive Presidency Powers Presented to Parliament by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

National Anthem Sung in Tamil at Event in Jaffna with President Maithri,Premier Ranil and Ex-President Chandrika Present.

The national anthem was sung in Tamil in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at an event, where the lands taken over by the military to establish a High Security Zone were handed back to the legitimate owners at Valalaai, Valikamam East on Monday (23).

The land owners who were internally displaced from Vasavilan, Valalaai in the Thellipalai and Koppay areas were given the documents to have their lands back by President Maithripala Sirisena, who had pledged the government’s support to resolve the humanitarian problems faced by the people in the war-torn North.

Continue reading ‘National Anthem Sung in Tamil at Event in Jaffna with President Maithri,Premier Ranil and Ex-President Chandrika Present.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Getting Ready to Make a Comeback as Prime Minister after Taking a Short “Rest” now.

By Col R Hariharan

Is former Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who suffered a surprise defeat in the January 2015 presidential election, set to reincarnate as a prime minister?

pic: twitter.com/RajapaksaNamal

pic: twitter.com/RajapaksaNamal

It would appear so, if we go by the moves of the national unity government as well as pro-Rajapaksa elements within the polity. Of course, Rajapaksa, the Grandmaster of political intrigues, kept everyone guessing despite continued speculation in media and political circles.

Even in his interview to The Hindu ten days back he would not directly talk about getting back into the political scene. Instead he has tried to play the martyr card by complaining about the corruption investigation being carried out against some of his family members and associates.

But Rajapaksa kept the speculation alive by saying “I would have just supported this government. But they want to probe, put us in jail, [and] take our passports without any evidence. How can I retire like this? I never said I would retire. At the moment I am taking a rest.” So it would be reasonable to conclude he is likely to contest the general election in April 2015.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Getting Ready to Make a Comeback as Prime Minister after Taking a Short “Rest” now.’ »

If National Govt was Formed to Resolve the Tamil Crisis the Nation must Salute Maithri, Ranil and Chandrika

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

President Maithripala revealed an interesting episode of what Queen Elizabeth told him during his recent visit to Britain to the media heads when the latter met the President last week at a breakfast meeting.

pic via PresidentGovLK

pic via PresidentGovLK

pic via PresidentGovLK

pic via PresidentGovLK

When he met the Queen, the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora in London had been protesting outside. “Don’t those who protest outside know that there is a new government in Sri Lanka?” the Queen had asked Maithri.

By this statement, the Queen posed two views; that she was opposed to the protest outside by the Tamil Diaspora and was eager to know what the new Sri Lanka Government would do to help the Tamils.

Maithri understood the statement in the correct perspective. Even British Premier David Cameron had posed the same question.

Indian Premier Narendra Modi who came to Sri Lanka recently urged Maithri to find a solution beyond 13 A to the Tamil issue.

Maithri put the entire crisis in a lighter vein to the editors recalling the Sinhala saying, “The country was facing global challenges in a way the crabs danced inside a boiling pan”.

Continue reading ‘If National Govt was Formed to Resolve the Tamil Crisis the Nation must Salute Maithri, Ranil and Chandrika’ »

Sri Lankan Researchers Discover Simple Method of Cooking to Reduce Calorie Content of Rice by 60%


It sounds too good to be true but a simple change to the way rice is cooked could reduce its calorie content by 60 per cent.

Scientists in Sri Lanka have discovered that cooking rice with a teaspoon of coconut oil then refrigerating it for 12 hours more than halves the number of calories absorbed by the body. The change remains even if it is reheated.

The researchers from the College of Chemical Sciences in Colombo, Sri Lanka, say simply changing the way rice is cooked could help tackle the obesity epidemic.

A RICE

“Because obesity is a growing health problem, especially in many developing countries, we wanted to find food-based solutions,” says Dr Sudhair James, who is at the College of Chemical Sciences, Colombo, Western, Sri Lanka.

“We discovered that increasing rice resistant starch (RS) concentrations was a novel way to approach the problem.”
Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Researchers Discover Simple Method of Cooking to Reduce Calorie Content of Rice by 60%’ »

Lee Kuan Yew made Singapore Prosperous, Modern, Efficient and Practically Corruption Free-BBC


With a sense of vision and a ruthless pragmatism, Lee Kuan Yew led Singapore as it transformed from a tiny island with no natural resources into a thriving economic success.

facebook.com/RememberingLeeKuanYew

facebook.com/RememberingLeeKuanYew

He successfully channelled the energies of Singaporeans to create what has often been described as an economic miracle, a mixture of private and state capitalism.

Mr Lee made Singapore prosperous, modern, efficient and practically corruption-free – and overseas investors flocked in.

But while he was admired for his economic success, many expressed concern over his record on human rights.

Lee Kuan Yew was born on 16 September 1923 in Singapore, the son of third-generation Chinese immigrants.
His upbringing had a strong British influence and his grandfather dubbed him Harry Lee, a name by which he was known through most of his early life.

Continue reading ‘Lee Kuan Yew made Singapore Prosperous, Modern, Efficient and Practically Corruption Free-BBC’ »

Lee Kuan Yew: The Man Who Propelled Singapore from the Third World into the First World

THERE was no vainglory in the title of the first volume of Lee Kuan Yew’s memoirs: “The Singapore Story”. Few leaders have so embodied and dominated their countries: Fidel Castro, perhaps, and Kim Il Sung, in their day. But both of those signally failed to match Mr Lee’s achievement in propelling Singapore “From Third World to First” (as the second volume is called).

facebook.com/RememberingLeeKuanYew

facebook.com/RememberingLeeKuanYew

Moreover, he managed it against far worse odds: no space, beyond a crowded little island; no natural resources; and, as an island of polyglot immigrants, not much shared history. The search for a common heritage may have been why, in the 1990s, Mr Lee’s Singapore championed “Asian values”. By then, Singapore was the most Westernised place in Asia.

Mr Lee himself, whose anglophile grandfather had added “Harry” to his Chinese name, was once called by George Brown, a British foreign secretary, “the best bloody Englishman east of Suez”. He was proud of his success in colonial society. He was a star student in pre-war Singapore, and, after an interlude during the Japanese occupation of Singapore from 1942-45, again at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Cambridge. He and his wife, Kwa Geok Choo, both got firsts in law.

When Geok Choo first appears in “The Singapore Story” it is as a student who, horror of horrors, beats young Harry in economics and English exams. Mr Lee always excelled at co-option as well as coercion. When he returned to Singapore in 1950, he was confident in the knowledge that she “could be a sole breadwinner and bring up the children”, giving him an “insurance policy” that would let him enter politics. He remained devoted to her. Before her death, when she lay bedridden and mute for two years, he maintained a spreadsheet listing the books he read to her: Lewis Carroll, Jane Austen, Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Continue reading ‘Lee Kuan Yew: The Man Who Propelled Singapore from the Third World into the First World’ »

President Sirisena’s Commendable Decision to Enable the Singing of the National Anthem in Tamil also will Give Tamil Speaking People A Greater Sense of Belonging.

(Text of Media Release Issued by the National Peace Council)

The government is being criticized for its slow pace in implementing the 100 day plan of the president’s election manifesto. However, the government is also going beyond the promises of its election manifesto to strengthen the confidence of the Tamil people in its good faith.

President Sirisena being honoured in London, earlier in March

President Sirisena being honoured in London, earlier in March

President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to permit the national anthem to be sung in the Tamil language taken at a meeting of the National Executive Council, which is composed of political party heads in the government coalition, is a courageous action.

The National Peace Council commends the President for his statesmanlike decision. We see it as yet another reconciliatory action of the government that will make the Tamil-speaking people feel a greater sense of belonging to the Sri Lankan polity when they sing the national anthem in a language they understand.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena’s Commendable Decision to Enable the Singing of the National Anthem in Tamil also will Give Tamil Speaking People A Greater Sense of Belonging.’ »

President Must Immediately Rescind Appointment of Sir Desmond de Silva as Chair of Advisory Council to Secure Rule of Law and Good Governance”-MA Sumanthiran MP

(Full Text of Speech Made in Parliament by Tamil Nationalist Alliance Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran M.P. on the 17th March 2015)

MA Sumanthiran MP

MA Sumanthiran MP

Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committees,

as I rise to speak on this Order that has been placed for approval, I cannot but recollect the time when the Hon. Minister of Justice and Labour Relations himself, seated on this side, opposed the extension of this Order when it came up two years ago. In fact, that Order had lapsed before it came up for extension and it was he, who pointed out to the House, that that Order could not be extended because it had lapsed and the Order had to be remade and that is why a bill had to be brought again, the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act, No. 2 of 2013. The original Act having lapsed, the Hon. Minister, the person who pointed it out rightly at that time from the Opposition Benches, today is propounding the extension of this illogical and draconian provision. This is another one of those ironies that we are faced with of a Government that was established for good governance.

Twenty four hours time is the limit before which, under ordinary laws, a person must be produced before a magistrate, only to be produced before a magistrate. If he is suspected to have committed an offence that is non-bailable, as it is called, then the magistrate would remand the person, certainly at least for the first 15 days and thereafter, take over the directions of the investigations and under Section 115 of the Criminal Procedure Code, I believe, a magistrate would direct the investigations. That is the safeguard that our country is used to. The Hon. Minister himself said that merely extending it from 24 hours to 48 hours is not going to aid the investigation to be completed within 48 hours; nobody expects the investigations to be completed by 48 hours. If that be the case, what is the necessity for a person to be retained in the custody of the police when we have so much of evidence of abuse by the police of persons who are in their custody?
Continue reading ‘President Must Immediately Rescind Appointment of Sir Desmond de Silva as Chair of Advisory Council to Secure Rule of Law and Good Governance”-MA Sumanthiran MP’ »

Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran Emphasises that 38 IDP Welfare Centres in Jaffna can be Closed if Army Vacates Lands held in 9 Grama Sevaka Divisions.

(Full Text of Address made by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran at Valalaai in Jaffna where 425 Acres of Land under military control were handed back to the displaced people in a ceremony attended by President Maithripala Sirisena,Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga on March 23rd 2015)

Your Excellency the President , Honourable Prime Minister, Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, distinguished Diplomats and guests, my dear brothers and sisters!

We are at the threshold of hope. A hope that those who have been denied what was due to them since the war ended, would be returned to them. There could be various official reasons trotted out to legitimize the delay in returning what is rightfully the lot of the people of these areas. But they are not reasons at all.

Despite the end of the war in May 2009, vast swathes of private lands and property remain under the control of the security forces and central government aligned entities while thousands languish in temporary camps with no end in sight to their plight. In vast majority of the cases the actions of the security forces and the central government has resulted in the creation of long term IDPs, many of whom have spent over two decades in temporary housing in so called welfare camps, without the ability to exercise their right to return.

Some of the most fertile lands in the Peninsula have not been returned to the owners but had been used by the Military to cultivate vegetables and fruits for themselves. No rentals nor compensation have been paid for so using their lands for so long. Up to the year 2013 their houses in these areas were still in place. None had been destroyed. But around the time our election to the Northern Provincial Council drew nigh almost all the houses and buildings in these areas had been destroyed.

Let me take the case of Myliddy.

Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran Emphasises that 38 IDP Welfare Centres in Jaffna can be Closed if Army Vacates Lands held in 9 Grama Sevaka Divisions.’ »

“Govt Gives High Priority to Resolve Land Issues of the People in the North and East” says President Sirisena in Jaffna.

“Every measure will be taken to resolve issues faced by people irrespective of their race or religion under my rule,” President Maithripala Sirisena said.

The President said that as a new Government many steps have already been taken to resolve problems faced by people, adding that the Government is committed to building peace and reconciliation among Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities while eradicating the mistrust, fear and suspicion among communities.

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He made these observations today (23) participating in a ceremony to distribute title deeds of lands in the former High Security Zones being returned to the original owners.

As the first step 425 acres of land were handed over to the rightful owners at the today’s function.

“The government has given high priority to resolve land issues of the people in the North and East”, the President further said.

Continue reading ‘“Govt Gives High Priority to Resolve Land Issues of the People in the North and East” says President Sirisena in Jaffna.’ »

Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says he Prefers to be in a Sri Lankan Prison than to be Jailed in the USA.


By Shalika Wimalasena

In this wide ranging and incisively probing no-holds-barred interview, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa admits intentions of entering national politics; says he first heard of Prageeth Ekneligoda only after his disappearance, adding that the Rajapaksa government had no issues with him. He said the Police could not find any clues to Ekneligoda’s disappearance and urges the present government to continue with the investigation. Gota denies any connection to, or prior knowledge of, the Welikada, Katunayaka, Rathupaswala killings…and affirms ‘ we never targeted journalists or political activists”. He affirms he “would have not visited Duminda Silva in hospital if I had known the real facts”.

Excerpts:

Q:
How would you define freedom?

A: What do you mean? Freedom of the nation, or freedom of the individual?

Q:
There was a distinction between the two in the past. How would you define freedom of the individual?

A: Freedom can be defined as the ability to lead one’s life without undue hindrances. Our parents and we too, as kids, enjoyed that freedom. No one was subject to any inordinate hindrance/influence, even from the government of the time.


Q:
Are you saying in effect that it is wrong for the government to unduly impinge on the personal lives of the people?

A: I think it is the responsibility of the government to protect this freedom. Those in power are under an obligation to create an environment that’s conducive to unhindered living and working.

Q:
Do you think the government in which you were Secretary to the Ministry of Defence provided the people with such an environment?

Continue reading ‘Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says he Prefers to be in a Sri Lankan Prison than to be Jailed in the USA.’ »

Narendra Modi Used his Visit to Remind us that Sri Lanka has Become an Indian Semi-colony After 1987 Accord.

By

Udaya Gammanpila

Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Sri Lanka was the first official visit of an Indian Prime Minister for the last 28 years. It was presented as a diplomatic victory of the present government. However, the unpleasant incident that took place 28 years ago along with the message hidden in statements made by Modi in Sri Lanka justifies the absence of Indian Prime Ministers for the last 28 years.

Rajiv Gandhi was the last Indian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Sri Lanka. He visited Sri Lanka in July 1987 to sign Indo-Lanka Accord. Protests triggered by his visit caused the deaths of 67,000 youths along with destroying government property and killing government officers. Before his return, Rajiv Gandhi was attacked by a sailor of the Sri Lanka Navy.

Continue reading ‘Narendra Modi Used his Visit to Remind us that Sri Lanka has Become an Indian Semi-colony After 1987 Accord.’ »

National Anthem Tamil Version is an Affirmation of a Single Nation, a Unitary State and a Territory Undivided

By

Malinda Seneviratne

Why should a country have more than a single version of its national anthem? This is the question that many are asking following President Maithripala Sirisena sanctioning the use of the Tamil version of ‘Sri Lanka Matha’. Those who ask this question by way of supporting the obvious answer to the rhetorical question (‘there’s no reason to have more than one version’) point to India’s case.

India is made of many states populated by people speaking several major languages and hundreds of dialects and yet has one national anthem. They also point to the fact that very few countries have more than a single version.

While a general global trend can indicate ‘better way’ it does not mean that all countries should necessarily fall in line. Just because federalism works for India (according to some people) and makes sense in the USA it does not follow that Sri Lanka should also adopt a federal model.

Just because the capitalist mode of production and a development model that takes growth (at the cost of almost everything else including the health of the planet) as the driver and objective of the paradigm it does not mean that it is either good or should forbid exploration of alternatives.

What needs to be assessed is whether or not any proposal on anything suits Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans taking into account social, political, economic, environmental and historical factors. It is in this context that the two-language national anthem idea needs to be commented on.

Continue reading ‘National Anthem Tamil Version is an Affirmation of a Single Nation, a Unitary State and a Territory Undivided’ »

Eleven Cabinet Ministers, Five State Ministers and Ten Deputy Ministers from SLFP Sworn in by President Sirisena.

Eleven more Cabinet Ministers, five State Ministers and ten Deputy Ministers were sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat a short while ago, the President’s Media said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe & President Maithripala Sirisena At Kataragama Dewalaya Premises, Mar 22, 2015

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe & President Maithripala Sirisena At Kataragama Dewalaya Premises, Mar 22, 2015

After swearing in the new cabinet

After swearing in the new cabinet

Cabinet Ministers

1. A.H.M.Fousie – Minister of Disaster Management

2. S.B.Nawinna – Minister of Labour

3. Piyasena Gamage – Minister of Skill Development and Vocational Training

4. Dr. Sarath Amunugama – Minister of Higher Education and Research

5. S.B.Dissanayake – Minister of Rural Economic Affairs

6. Janaka Bandara Thennakoon – Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Development

7. Felix Perera – Minister of Special Projects

8. Mahainda Yapa Abewardene – Minister of Parliamentary Affairs

9. Reginald Cooray – Minister of Aviation Services

10. Vijith Wijeyamuni Soysa – Minister of Irrigation

11. Mahinda Amaraweera – Minister of Fisheries

Continue reading ‘Eleven Cabinet Ministers, Five State Ministers and Ten Deputy Ministers from SLFP Sworn in by President Sirisena.’ »

Adopting English as Lingua Franca is the reason for India Staying Together.

by

Priya Venkateshan

I have been provoked enough to write this, provoked by this piece by novelist Aatish Taseer, “How English ruined Indian Literature” in The New York Times. I need to rebut this.

pic: facebook.com/BritishCouncilindia

pic: facebook.com/BritishCouncilindia

I’m supposed to be a Tamilian, on paper. My father grew up speaking Tamil. My mother’s was a more complicated story. Her father had grown up in Andhra, her mother from Chennai, and they raised her in Karnataka. She had grown up not learning to read or write either of her parents’ languages, and instead was very fluent in Kannada. In my case, my parents lived in Bangalore and decided to send me to a CBSE school, where Hindi was mandated to be one of your languages. So in school, I learnt English and Hindi, at home I spoke Tamil, and outside it was Kannada.

As a result, my Hindi is text-bookish when it’s not Bollywoodish, my Kannada is spoken with a terrible Tamil accent, and I cannot speak anything but a Brahmin dialect of Tamil….and what’s more, I am not fluent in reading and writing any of those languages, just purely functional. Would things have been better if my first language at school had been Hindi? Going by my South Indian friends who studied at Kendriya Vidyalayas, probably not.

Schools are not great places to learn languages. Ask any American who took Spanish in high school and even today can barely manage to string a few sentences together.

I’m not alone. Fewer and fewer children are born in India with both parents speaking the same language.

Even fewer grow up in a state where the official language is the same as their mother tongue. An increasing number move all over the country during their childhood. This goes all the way to the top.
Continue reading ‘Adopting English as Lingua Franca is the reason for India Staying Together.’ »

English Remains the Language of the Dominant Elite in India Despite Decades of Independence from Britain.

BY AATISH TASEER

NEW DELHI A BOATMAN I met in Varanasi last year, while covering the general election that made Narendra Modi prime minister of India, said, “When Modi comes to power, we will send this government of the English packing.”

pic: facebook.com/BritishCouncilindia

pic: facebook.com/BritishCouncilindia

The government of the English! The boatman naturally did not mean the British Raj; that had ended nearly 70 years before. What he meant was its extension through the English-speaking classes in India. He meant me, and he could tell at a glance — these things have almost the force of racial differences in India — that I was not just a member of that class, but a beneficiary of the tremendous power it exerted over Indian life.

“English is not a language in India,” a friend once told me. “It is a class.” This friend, an aspiring Bollywood actor, knew firsthand what it meant to be from the wrong class. Absurd as it must sound, he was frequently denied work in the Hindi film industry for not knowing English. “They want you to walk in the door speaking English. Then if you switch to Hindi, they like it. Otherwise they say, ‘the look doesn’t fit.’ ” My friend, who comes from a small town in the Hindi-speaking north, knew very well why his look didn’t fit. He knew, too, from the example of dozens of upper-middle class, English-speaking actors, that the industry would rather teach someone with no Hindi the language from scratch than hire someone like him.

India has had languages of the elite in the past — Sanskrit was one, Persian another. They were needed to unite an entity more linguistically diverse than Europe. But there was perhaps never one that bore such an uneasy relationship to the languages operating beneath it, a relationship the Sanskrit scholar Sheldon Pollock has described as “a scorched-earth policy,” as English.

Continue reading ‘English Remains the Language of the Dominant Elite in India Despite Decades of Independence from Britain.’ »

Maithri and Ranil Strike SLFP-UNP Deal for National Govt:15 Cabinet and 15 Deputy Ministers from SLFPto be Sworn in;10 More SLFP State Ministers in Pipeline.

BY Gagani Weerakoon

Following a shock decision worked out in total secrecy last Friday with Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, President Maithripala Sirisena will swear-in 30 SLFP MPs as ministers, 15 of them with Cabinet rank and 15 others as Deputy Ministers, in a political feint that will see the promised Sirisena-Wickremesinghe National Government coming to fruition with more than a month to elapse before government completes 100 days in office.

SLFP members who are holding positions in Parliament and top posts in the party are not among those who will be sworn-in today as ministers, deputy ministers or state ministers, the source added. This would hence leave out Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, Chief Opposition Whip John Seneviratne and SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa from the list.

None of the Sandanaya Alliance members have been offered anything.

Continue reading ‘Maithri and Ranil Strike SLFP-UNP Deal for National Govt:15 Cabinet and 15 Deputy Ministers from SLFPto be Sworn in;10 More SLFP State Ministers in Pipeline.’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Hosted Narendra Modi for Lunch on Friday but went to the Royal-Thomian on Saturday.


By GARDINER HARRIS

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — No social function on this island is as important as the recent annual Royal-Thomian cricket match, but this year’s event was particularly special because of what has become known here as the Royalist coup.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe welcomed PM Narendra Modi at daybreak on March 13, 2015

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe welcomed PM Narendra Modi at daybreak on March 13, 2015

It was celebrated last weekend in party tents with toasts involving many drinks, and in acts of silliness that often unfold during the match. As usual, not a lot of attention was paid to the young people in white clothing who were batting a ball around the green pitch.

Prime Minister cheers his college team at the 136th annual Royal Thomian match in Colombo-pic by: Suhasini Haidar

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the 136th annual Royal Thomian match in Colombo-pic by: Suhasini Haidar

Royal College and St. Thomas’ College, both founded by British clergy in the early 19th century, are this country’s Eton and Harrow — bastions of privilege that have groomed Sri Lanka’s leaders for nearly two centuries.

The schools have competed in cricket every March for 136 years, making it one of the longest continuous cricket rivalries in the world — a point almost every spectator will make within seconds of meeting a foreigner.
Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Hosted Narendra Modi for Lunch on Friday but went to the Royal-Thomian on Saturday.’ »

“Dalai Lama Should be Allowed to Worship at Kandy Temple of Tooth and Anuradhapura Maha Bodhi Tree-Bandula Jayasekara

by

P.K.Balachandran

Former Sri Lankan Consul General in Sydney, Bandula Jayasekara, has suggested that the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, be allowed to visit Sri Lanka purely as a Buddhist pilgrim and on the strict condition that he talks no politics while being here.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama cuts the first birthday cake of his 80th year to share with Indian friends in New Delhi, India on March 22, 2015. (Photo by Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL)-via: facebook.com/DalaiLama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama cuts the first birthday cake of his 80th year to share with Indian friends in New Delhi, India on March 22, 2015. (Photo by Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL)-via: facebook.com/DalaiLama

The former diplomat was commenting on the controversy kicked up by an invitation to the Dalai Lama to visit Lanka.Many Lankan officials feel it will annoy China which sees the Tibetan monk as a separatist and a terrorist.

Jayasekara, who is the only Sri Lankan to have interviewed the Dalai Lama for a newspaper, told Express here on Saturday, that anybody should be able to worship at shrines of his or her religion, irrespective of political affiliation.

Continue reading ‘“Dalai Lama Should be Allowed to Worship at Kandy Temple of Tooth and Anuradhapura Maha Bodhi Tree-Bandula Jayasekara’ »

Champika Ranawaka Pinpointed as the Person Blocking the abolition of the Executive Presidency.

By

C.A.Chandraprema

With each passing week, the stresses and strains within the yahapalana coalition that formed the present government are coming more and more out into the open. Last week, at a seminar at the OPA auditorium,  Dr Jayampathy Wickremeratne who is an advisor to President Maithripala Sirisena alleged that some people in the government were trying to destroy the president’s credibility by blocking the abolition of the executive presidency. Dr Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, the spokesman of Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha’s National Movement for a Just Society, who spoke at the same seminar was more specific and pinpointed minister Champika Ranawaka as the person blocking the abolition of the executive presidency.

 Had the present government been composed of just Maithripala Sirisena on the one hand and the UNP on the other, it may have turned out to be a smooth partnership. In actual fact, these were the two principal partners on the yahapalana platform. Had the JVP joined the campaign directly as in 2010, they too could have staked a claim to being a principal partner. As it turned out, the JVP ducked the responsibility and the UNP was left holding the baby. Others like Champika Ranawaka, Rajitha Senaratne, and Hirunika Premachandra may have addressed meetings but the ground level work like manning the polling booths, organizing meetings, doing house to house campaigns etcetera was done by the UNP. They may have not been as energetic as the JVP, but they did their part and in any case the vast majority of the votes that Sirisena got were UNP votes. If the UNP now expects a free hand to govern, that is certainly their right.   

The whole point in doing politics is to look after the interests of those who elected you to power and in the case of Sirisena it is undoubtedly the UNP voter who elected him into power. Before being elected into power, the president spoke of the abuse of power under the Rajapaksas and his wish to dismantle the presidential system. He wanted to give more powers to parliament and the cabinet. If he simply did what he said he was going to do and gave the largely UNP government a free hand while taking a back seat, there would be no stresses and strains at all in the government. But as many yahapalana activists are now beginning to realize, there is a small group of people around President Sirisena who do not want him to relinquish presidential power so that they can use it for their own benefit. No doubt this small group played a part in his campaign, but certainly not a part that outweighed the role played by the UNP.

Continue reading ‘Champika Ranawaka Pinpointed as the Person Blocking the abolition of the Executive Presidency.’ »

Remembering Sithie Tiruchelvam the Corporate Lawyer with a Deep and Abiding Interest in Social Justice, Research, Arts and the World of Ideas

By Ambika Satkunanathan

The ‘wife of Neelan Tiruchelvam’ is a phrase that has been frequently used to describe Sithie, a corporate lawyer with a deep and abiding interest in social justice, research and the world of ideas, and the arts, since she passed away.

However, to those who knew Sithie she was never merely ‘the wife’ of Neelan Tiruchelvam, a constitutional scholar, legislator, peacemaker and institution-builder.

After Neelan’s death Sithie wanted to further the values Neelan worked for during his lifetime and realized that an indigenous grantmaking organization could make meaningful contributions to address existing gaps in responding to the needs of communities.

Sithie Tiruchelvam

Sithie Tiruchelvam

This belief led her to establish the NeelanTiruchelvam Trust, the only indigenous grantmaker that supports human rights and peace-building work in Sri Lanka. NTT is rooted within the community and has supported catalysts for social change by focusing on community initiatives.

After the Trust was established Sithie dedicated considerable time and energy towards creating an organization that was more than a grantmaker, as she understood that in order to create confidence among partners and grantees NTT had to support their institutions in ways that extend beyond solely funding projects.

Sithie Tiruchelvam and Neelan Tiruchelvam-pic courtesy: The Hindu

Sithie Tiruchelvam and Neelan Tiruchelvam-pic courtesy: The Hindu

Hence, with her support and guidance, NTT actively sought and supported nascent community organizations, often in conflict-affected areas, that were engaged in innovative work in difficult circumstances, sometimes in isolation.
Continue reading ‘Remembering Sithie Tiruchelvam the Corporate Lawyer with a Deep and Abiding Interest in Social Justice, Research, Arts and the World of Ideas’ »

Instead of Abolishing it, the 19th Constitutional Amendment seeks to Retain Executive Presidential System Virtually Untouched.

By

C.A.Chandraprema

The proposed 19th Amendment to the constitution is a far cry from what the public was made to expect in terms of constitutional reform before the presidential election. Before the election, what we saw was an opposition platform that fulminated against the executive presidential system and promised its abolition. At his first appearance at Sirikotha, the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena in order to highlight how he will dismantle the presidential system said that even after becoming president, he will continue to address Ranil Wickremesinghe as ‘Sir’ and that he will never step into any of the presidential residences in Colombo or the outstations.

The entire election was fought on the premise that if Maithripala becomes president, all executive power will be transferred to the prime minister and the president will become a ceremonial president. In fact UPFA speakers at that time were asking derisively from the stage, if Maithripala was contesting for the position of president only to transfer all his powers to someone else, what is the point in voting for him? There is no doubt about the fact that when people voted for Maithripala, given the rhetoric they heard from the stage, everybody actually expected power to be transferred from the president to the prime minister (and the cabinet).

 But 19A does not reflect that expectation. In fact it seeks to retain the executive presidential system virtually untouched. The constitutional amendment seeks to ‘repeal’ the existing Article 30 of the constitution which deals with the presidency and replace it with another Article. The repeal of an entire article and substitution of another in its place would give one the impression that sweeping changes would be made in that Article.

Continue reading ‘Instead of Abolishing it, the 19th Constitutional Amendment seeks to Retain Executive Presidential System Virtually Untouched.’ »

National Democratic Front Coalition Seems to be Disintegrating within Three Months of Being in Power

By Jayadeva Uyangoda

pic via: facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

pic via: facebook.com/UNPofficialpage

Within just three months in power, the National Democratic Front (NDF) coalition seems to be disintegrating. All indications are that the unity that the NDF coalition partners showed in the pursuit of their common objective of dislodging the Mahinda Rajapaksa family from power has largely dissipated.

The signs are also that President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, the two pillars on which the NDF government is built, have developed somewhat conflicting agendas and interests. They don’t seem to publicly support each other’s positions on controversial issues, as they did in the recent past.

JHU020713

Meanwhile, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a key partner of the coalition, is targeting Prime Minister Wickremesignhe and his UNP, in a move to re-build its own political identity and constituency.

The JVP, which supported the coalition from outside, is promoting its own political agenda and interests, and in the process has emerged as the most vociferous critic of the NDF government.

JVP-LOGO-1

Meanwhile, the civil society movements, that actually built the political space and the agenda for the NDF to emerge as a force capable of defeating the Rajapaksha rule, are moving away from the coalition.

Continue reading ‘National Democratic Front Coalition Seems to be Disintegrating within Three Months of Being in Power’ »

Recent Events Demonstrate President Sirisena’s Determination to Leave his own Imprint of Political Leadership.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

A new trend in politics was seen by what President Maithripala Sirisena said at the meeting of electorate and district organizers of the SLFP at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute earlier this week, and later emphasized in his first meeting with newspaper editors and media heads at the Janadhipathi Mandiraya, on Wednesday.

facebook.com/maithripalas

facebook.com/maithripalas

The trend is one of unquestioned leadership in the politics of the SLFP and its allies in the UPFA, as well as the declaration of his firm commitment to the principle of a limited National Government given to the people that saw his election on January 8, and to a larger and continued National Government after the next general election.

His meeting with the media saw President Sirisena face up to the reality of the rapid passage of the 100 days, that many consider a policy by itself, instead of being an important political slogan of the presidential poll campaign.

Politicians, the public and the media who appear to have taken the 100 days as a solemn political undertaking, were clearly shown that what is important about that period are the constitutional changes, the opening up to democracy, the move towards reconciliation and the battle against corruption, and not the number of days.

Continue reading ‘Recent Events Demonstrate President Sirisena’s Determination to Leave his own Imprint of Political Leadership.’ »

President Sirisena will have to Dismiss this Arrogantly Stupid Ranil-Mangala-Ravi Govt Sooner or Later

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

“They lifted a rock against us which they will drop on their own feet”-
Zhou Enlai

“There is great disorder under heavens! The situation is excellent!”
- Mao Zedong

Look, there must be a reason why Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe has been in occupation of Temple Trees three (relatively brief) times, but has never made it to President’s House and doubtless never will. I think he is going to have to pack his bags yet again. The many and several reasons that would necessitate, sooner rather than later, the dismissal of the Ranil Wickremesinghe-Mangala Samaraweera government by President Sirisena, could be summed up under one thematic heading or as the French would say, chapeau: the fusion of arrogance and stupidity.

President Maithripala  Sirisena assumed  duties at Presidential Secretariat- on January 15, 2015

President Maithripala Sirisena assumed duties at Presidential Secretariat- on January 15, 2015

Does the Prime Minister and his UNP not know that the only version of the 19th amendment that could be implemented is one that the President is entirely comfortable with and that if he is on board, so might be the SLFP, and if it and the JHU are not, it could be a symptom that the President has his doubts?

Why waste time with an oversized 19th amendment?

The entire debate as to whether or not the mandate was for abolition is meaningless because it cannot be resolved. A decision must be made and only one man can decide upon this, namely the President. He wields a veto. Can’t Ranil Wickremesinghe recognize that?

If he can, then why not simply ask President Sirisena to send back an amended draft that can be regarded as final?

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena will have to Dismiss this Arrogantly Stupid Ranil-Mangala-Ravi Govt Sooner or Later’ »

Recurring Phenomenon of “Traitorization” in Tamil Nationalist Politics

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The phenomenon of “Traitorization” in Tamil Nationalist Politics has raised its ugly head again. I use the word traitorization instead of treachery or treason in order to differentiate between those who are actually treacherous or really committing treason as opposed to those being accused or labelled as “traitorous” or traitors. The reality is that most persons dubbed as traitors or “thurogigal”by their political opponents are not “guilty”as charged and do not deserve such a description. “Traitorization” is a terrible “Goebbelsian” process by which political rivals are falsely portrayed or depicted as traitors.Hence the word Traitorization.

Featured in collage, clockwise-Veluppillai Prabhakaran,

Featured in collage, clockwise-Veluppillai Prabhakaran,”Mahathaya” Goplasamy Mahendrarajah, Appapillai Amirthalingam, V. Navaratnam,Alfred Durayappah,Ravana & Vibheeshana, Veera Paandiya Kattabomman, Lakshman Kadirgamar and Neelan Tirichelvam

The “Traitor” label in contemporary Tamil political discourse refers generally to Tamils accused of working against the Tamil cause and/or collaborating with the enemy. Concrete proof of such conduct is not necessary.What is required is a massive propaganda effort by which the cry, traitor, is repeated incessantly at multiple levels as advocated by Herr Goebbels in Nazi Germany. It was Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister Paul Joseph Goebbels who stated “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”. Repeating the charge traitor continuously is the modus operandi of traitorization in Tamil national politics. “Cry Traitor” and let slip the dogs of propaganda war!
Continue reading ‘Recurring Phenomenon of “Traitorization” in Tamil Nationalist Politics’ »

Sri Lankan Moderate Intelligentsia Does not Stand Up Against Political Immoderation from the Tamil Nationalist Side

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

Sri Lankan civil society intellectuals and commentators who support the new dispensation are making the same mistake as Francis Fukuyama did, but in a far more facile and therefore far less forgivable form. When the Cold War ended, Fukuyama famously posited the End of History. It was crudely misunderstood to mean that history as a narrative had arrived at a terminus, which is not at all what he meant. Fukuyama had used a Hegelian flourish to indicate the liberal democratic capitalism has triumphed over all other competing ideologies as a paradigm of how society should be ordered.

pic via: @UKinSriLanka: HC John Rankin and TNA Leader R. Sampanthan discussed recent political developments & positive prospects for Sri #Lanka-on Mar 18. 2015

pic via: @UKinSriLanka: HC John Rankin and TNA Leader R. Sampanthan discussed recent political developments & positive prospects for Sri Lanka-on Mar 18. 2015

While there was much more to what he said than what his ignorant critics thought, Fukuyama was wrong in his general prognosis, in his own terms too. Dr. Henry Kissinger’s latest book on World Order is precisely about the competing (regional) visions of how the world should be ordered, and how those competing visions stem from different historical, civilizational, cultural and ideological matrices, or what Dr. Kissinger calls in the volume’s subtitle, “The Character of Nations”.

In Sri Lanka today, cosmopolitan civil society is on a delusional high. Not for the first time it is going against the grain of ‘the character of the nation’. Its neoliberal ideologues and opinion makers are certain that the End of History has arrived and ‘liberal democratic pluralism’ has triumphed. The Sinhalese have reached a stage of enlightenment that has seen the back of the old Statism and is conducive to reaching out to the Northern Tamil nationalists in refashioning the Sri Lanka political order.

The Southern nationalist-populists have been marginalized and their hero Mahinda Rajapaksa is strictly a has-been with a minor band of malcontents. The SLFP is safely in the hands of Chandrika and her proxies. The decades-old order of the strong Presidential state is about to end. A new liberal democratic capitalist order, with a quasi-Westminster model is about to be born. Accountability shall be achieved according to international standards. The UNP and the SLFP shall move hand in hand, under the joint auspices of Ranil and Chandrika, beyond the 13th amendment and towards federalism. China will be shown the door as we reincorporate ourselves as subordinate, peripheral unit in the Western-dominated world order and in an Indo-US dominated regional one.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Moderate Intelligentsia Does not Stand Up Against Political Immoderation from the Tamil Nationalist Side’ »

Best Friends Sanga and Mahela After Great Partnership Exit Together From One Day International Cricket

Ultimately, obtaining a piece of the silverware was not to be for two of the one-day game’s greatest batsmen, with Sri Lanka’s World Cup exit also signalling Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene’s ODI farewell.

For Jayawardene, retirement beckons, while Sangakkara will continue playing the five-day game until Sri Lanka’s Test series against India in August.

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For more than a decade, the pair has been a staple of the Sri Lanka line-up.

Best friends who were schoolboy rivals before making their international debuts, together they have played in World Cup finals and claimed a World T20 title together.

They have pursued a passion for charitable work and gone into business together.

Both have captained Sri Lanka and have batted 293 times together in international cricket for a total of 13,368 runs, more than any other due in cricketing history and ahead of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly with 12,400.

Continue reading ‘Best Friends Sanga and Mahela After Great Partnership Exit Together From One Day International Cricket’ »

President Sirisena wants to Form a United National Govt For at Least Two Years After New Elections.

By Nisthar Cassim

* Says expeditious resolution of several longstanding and urgent national issues require a national government for two years in the country’s interest; absence of Govt-Opposition cooperation cause for delay and past failures

MS MF

MSMF2

(pic: Sri Lankan High Commission in London organised a multi-faith religious ceremony to invoke blessings on President Maithripala Sirisena, at the High Commission premises in London, UK, March 11, 2015)

* Insists polls only after reforms; both UNP and SLFP supporters and candidates during campaigning must bear in mind need for unity government

* Laments country faces mounting global and local challenges amidst rising aspirations of international community and local people

* Stresses lasting solution to ethnic issue is critical, onus on all to keep guns silent by preserving peace

* Hints enabling environment for more national minded Sri Lankan Tamils living abroad to contribute to socio-economic development back home

* Dismisses rumours he may cling on to executive presidency; Says ‘I got a mandate to abolish it andI will do it right’

* Implies former President Rajapaksa must follow examples of President Jayawardene and Kumaratunga

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday sounded magnanimous and sincere driving home the point that global and local challenges were mounting for the country and the medium-term way forward to resolve some pressing and longstanding issues was a committed national government.

His remarks came during his first formal interaction since the election with heads of media institutions over breakfast at President’s House. He was responding to a question raised as to what role he would play in the upcoming general election given the fact that he was the Common Opposition Candidate at the 8 January presidential poll.

Sirisena said that around 49 political parties and organisations backed him as the presidential candidate and he would work with all for the country’s wellbeing.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena wants to Form a United National Govt For at Least Two Years After New Elections.’ »

What did Indian PM Narendra Modi and Lankan Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Discuss at their One to one Meeting in Colombo?

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

Everyone keeps guessing as to what former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Premier Narendra Modi discussed a few hours before the latter’s departure to New Delhi after a two-day State visit.

Formmer President Mahinda Rajapaksa with Prime Minister Narendra Modi-Mar 14, 2015

Formmer President Mahinda Rajapaksa with Prime Minister Narendra Modi-Mar 14, 2015

Mahinda went to meet Modi after making accusations that the Indian intelligence service RAW connived with Western intelligence forces to topple his government.

Mahinda contended that Modi was unaware of that intelligence plot by RAW and the West. No officials were present at the talks between Modi and Mahinda. Therefore, only Modi and Mahinda know what they discussed while the rest keeps on guessing.

On the last occasion Mahinda met Modi, the latter extended his best wishes to Mahinda for the presidential poll Mahinda was to contest. So Mahinda boasted to everyone at that time that Modi was with him.

Continue reading ‘What did Indian PM Narendra Modi and Lankan Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Discuss at their One to one Meeting in Colombo?’ »

Mangala Samaraweera Seeks Review of Proscribed 16 LTTE Entities and 424 Individuals in the Global Tamil Diaspora.

Speaking in Parliament today on bringing forward amendments to the United Nations Regulations 1 and 2 of 2012 promulgated under the United Nations Act Number 45 of 1968, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera drew the attention of the House to a matter related to the he UN regulations discussed in Parliament.

He referred to the the Gazette notification of 21 March 2014 when 424 individuals and 16 entities were listed as terrorists or terrorist organisation.

He further went on to say, “this was done to build up the hysteria about the LTTE regrouping in the run up to the Presidential election. They banned several Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora groups under these provisions for their alleged links to the LTTE.

However, most of the organisations listed may have merely been vocal proponents of Tamil rights. There was hardly any tangible evidence to link them to the LTTE. Some of the individuals listed had even been dead for some time.”

Continue reading ‘Mangala Samaraweera Seeks Review of Proscribed 16 LTTE Entities and 424 Individuals in the Global Tamil Diaspora.’ »

“No Country can Take Cover Behind Concept of Absolute Sovereignty which is no Longer Valid in the Modern World”-Mangala Samaraweera

Mangala Samaraweera, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka addresses during the High Level Segment of the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council, Palais des Nations. Monday 2 March 2015. Photo by Violaine Martin

Mangala Samaraweera, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka addresses during the High Level Segment of the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council, Palais des Nations. Monday 2 March 2015. Photo by Violaine Martin

(Full Text of Speech made in Parliament by sri Lankan Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera on March 18th 2015)

Hon. Speaker,

I stand before you today to present amendments, in line with our international obligations, to United Nations Regulations 1 and 2 of 2012 promulgated under the United Nations Act number 45 of 1968.

As the House is aware, following the Al Qiada terrorist attacks in September 2001, the Security Council of the United Nations, acting under Chapter 7 of its Charter, adopted resolution 1373 on 28 September 2001 which is a wide-ranging comprehensive resolution setting out steps and strategies to combat international terrorism. The resolution which is binding on all States called on countries, among other steps to be taken, to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism. On 15 October 1999, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1267 setting out in particular, measures to be imposed against the Taliban. This resolution and its modifications and subsequent resolutions imposes upon member States of the UN, a series of obligations relating to sanctions measures against entities and persons associated with the Al Qaida or Taliban as designated by the Sanctions Committee of the UN and whose names appear on the ‘consolidated list’ adopted by the Committee.

Sri Lanka, in keeping with its international obligations had duly gazetted regulations to give effect to the provisions of these two resolutions in 2012. This had been done under United Nations Act no 45 of 1968 in Extraordinary Gazette numbers 1758/19 dated 15 May 2012 (referred to as United Nations regulation number 1 of 2012) and 1760/40 dated 31 May 2012 (referred to as United Nations regulation number 2 of 2012).

Continue reading ‘“No Country can Take Cover Behind Concept of Absolute Sovereignty which is no Longer Valid in the Modern World”-Mangala Samaraweera’ »

Narendra Modi when Chief Minister of Gujerat State was Accused of “Genocide” Against Muslims in Feb 2002

By Latheef Farook

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment on the implementation of 13th amendment ,his suggestion that cooperative federalism is better for Sri Lanka, his invitation to Tamils of Indian origin to visit New Delhi to discuss their issues and his advice to Tamils to be patient makes one wonder whether Sri Lanka is a independent country or an Indian colony.

pic courtesy of: rediff.com

pic courtesy of: rediff.com

Mr. Modi described his two day visit to Sri Lanka on 13 and 14 of March 2015 as an opportunity to further strengthen relationship in all its dimensions .Friendly relations between two neighboring countries are essential and thus the visit was a welcome development.

While in the island he sent two clear messages to the government.

1-Early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment would help build a future that accommodates aspirations of all sections of the society. Specifying Tamils he said “this includes the Sri Lankan Tamil community, for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity, in a united Sri Lanka.” There was no mention on the rights of Muslims who were categorized under “all sections”.

2-He said “cooperative federalism” was working well in India and suggested that it could be a model for Sri Lanka too. As expected this message was received well by some Tamils in Jaffna, but certainly bound to cause serious concern in the south.

Continue reading ‘Narendra Modi when Chief Minister of Gujerat State was Accused of “Genocide” Against Muslims in Feb 2002’ »

Mahinda Chinthanaya is kleptocracy, impunity, familial politics, familial economics, racism , intolerance, repression, arrogance & ignorance.

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

One must always say what one sees. But especially – and this is the hard part – one must always see what one sees – Charles Péguyi

New Year~April 2013

New Year~April 2013

Paranoids live in their own world, uncluttered by facts and unrestrained by reality.

In the paranoid’s world nothing is impossible. Robert H. Welch Jr, retired-candy manufacturer-turned-politician, believed that John Foster Dulles and Dwight Eisenhower were dedicated communist agentsii. His psycho-ideological heirs accuse President Obama of being a closet-Muslim and the Affordable Health Care Act of enabling the mass-euthanising of the aged.

In Sri Lanka diehard Rajapaksa-supporters see 2015 as 1815. In their paranoid eyes, what happened on 8 January was not a democratic defeat but an evil conspiracy masterminded by foreigners and implemented by locals.

In 1815 Lanka lost its independence; this lost independence was really regained not in 1948 or even in 1972 but in 2009, with the defeat of the LTTE. Just five years later, another bunch of unpatriotic Lankans, following in the treacherous footsteps of their 1815 forefathers, betrayed the country again and turned it into a de facto colony.

Forget reality. Forget that under Rajapaksa rule, the second and third most powerful people were American-citizens. Forget how desperately eager Mahinda Rajapaksa was to host the Commonwealth, that politically insignificant emblem of a dead-and-gone British empire. Forget how close we came to becoming a neo-colony of the emerging imperial power, China (Chinese officials reportedly prevented the flying to the Lankan flag in the Colombo South Port on Independence Dayiii).

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya is kleptocracy, impunity, familial politics, familial economics, racism , intolerance, repression, arrogance & ignorance.’ »

Deepika Padukone Illuminates Hindi Screen with Flaming Successes in Succession


By

Dinesh Raheja

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone

A cheesy line of dialogue in the Diwali blockbuster Happy New Year proffering a rather simplistic piece of wisdom can be paraphrased thus: “There are two types of people in the world—winners and losers”. Few people these days can be tagged with a rare degree of sanguineness than the film’s leading lady, Deepika Padukone, and she is undeniably a winner. Her seemingly obvious triumph is unique for the surprising fact that a few years back she was a hair’s breadth away from being labelled a loser, headed for a plateau peo¬pled by interchangeable B-town beauties.

Yet, look at Deepika today! The 28-year-old has racked up five money-spinners and a clutch of acting trophies in two years, with HNY opening to a staggering Rs 100-crore weekend. What’s more, the dimpled Deepika’s cartilage-defying moves and glib Marathi accent pro¬vide perk and passion to the testosterone-¬heavy film. Shahrukh Khan, her co-star in a trio of hits now (Om Shanti Om, Chennai Express and Happy New Year), reflects, “I think Deepika was always a star. We had shown the OSO song Aan¬khon mein teri to Amitji (Bac¬hchan) and he had prophesied, ‘She will be a huge star!’” About his protegee’s remarkable trajectory, Shah¬rukh observes, “I have not¬hing to do with her success. She has earned it…. She has made great choices. Besides Cocktail and Finding Fanny, she has wisely chosen commercial films.”

Continue reading ‘Deepika Padukone Illuminates Hindi Screen with Flaming Successes in Succession’ »

Full Text of Two Letters Sent by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha to President Maithripala Sirisena in Jan and Feb 2015.

(Full Text of Letters Sent by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P. to President Maithripala Sirisena on January 13th 2015 after being appointed State minister of Higher Education and on February 10th 2015 giving Notice of resignation.Prof. Wijesinha who was one of the original group of Govt MP’s to cross over with President Sirisena has subsequently crossed back to the opposition third row from the side of the treausury benches. The letters are published here in order “explain” the circumstances of Dr.Wijesinha’s cross over)


January 13 2015

Your Excellency

Thank you for appointing me to the State Ministry of Higher Education. It involves work I will enjoy, and I will try to fulfil the commitments and the principles in your manifesto as best possible in the next 100 days.

However, in accordance with the practice you set yesterday, in taking up office, of speaking straight, I thought I should express too my sense of disappointment that I am not a member of the Cabinet.

This violates the commitment in the manifesto that there would be a Cabinet consisting of representatives of all parties in Parliament. In this regard I believe that Mr Radhakrishnan too might feel disappointed, and I hope remedial action can be taken in his case too.

Continue reading ‘Full Text of Two Letters Sent by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha to President Maithripala Sirisena in Jan and Feb 2015.’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says Intelligence Services Under Him were Used for National Security and not for Political Purposes like Monitoring Maithripala Sirisena

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that some countries had the wherewithal to overthrow democratically elected governments, though Sri Lanka lacked such capacity.

Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

War veteran Rajapaksa points out that there had been many such interventions over the years in various parts of the world. Sri Lanka was a case in point, Rajapaksa said.

The ex- Defence Secretary was responding to a query whether he endorsed his brother and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa accusation that the US, British and Indian intelligence services had got him ousted. Alleging that he had been a victim of a conspiracy involving intelligence services in an interview with The Hindu, the former President said that India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was operating without the sanction of the government.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says Intelligence Services Under Him were Used for National Security and not for Political Purposes like Monitoring Maithripala Sirisena’ »

Unlike Under the Previous Regime there is Total Freedom now for Media, Opposition and Civil society to Criticize this Govt over “Bond” issue-Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe issued a special statement in Parliament on March 16th 2015 responding to critics over the recent Treasury Bond issue as well as exposing the improper conduct of various institutions of the past regime and those allegedly connected to it.

Using Parliamentary privilege, Wickremesinghe’s special statement was akin to a “name and shame” exercise but it set the record straight on the 27 February 2015 Treasury Bond issue which has resulted in political controversy over alleged insider dealing and other issues.

The Prime Minister took the opportunity to reveal in detail the improper conduct of the previous regime in many spheres.

pic: https://www.facebook.com/ranil.wickremesinghe.leader

pic: https://www.facebook.com/ranil.wickremesinghe.leader

The Full Text of the Statement is as follows -

I am a firm believer that Parliament, the supreme legislature, should be kept informed of matters of public importance. It is even more essential on matters of financial significance. Article 148 of the Constitution stipulates that the “Parliament shall have full control over public finance.”

Yet, the Honorable Members of this house are aware they have been kept in the dark on such matters in the past. We have raised questions and received no answers. We have exposed irregularities on the floor of this house. The only response we received was ridicule and insults. My silence should not be misconstrued. It was by no means a cowardly attempt to be deaf, dumb or blind to issues. Nor was it in the belief that remaining quiet would allow such issues to be forgotten. To the contrary, it was only because I felt my first statement with regard to the so-called controversy over Treasury Bonds should be made to this House. 



Let me begin with the background of events. The Ministry of Highways of the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration made commitments and signed contracts totaling over Rs 100 Billion, without any monetary allocation. Funds were needed urgently to meet these payments. During a meeting on February 26 attended by Minister of Finance, Minister of Highways, Secretary, Ministry of Finance, the Governor Central Bank and the Deputy Governor, it was decided that Rs. 15 Billion would be required urgently. It was decided to raise a part of these monies through an auction of Treasury Bonds. By then, the Central Bank had already advertised the issue of Rs. 1 Billion Treasury Bonds. I insisted on a public auction because private placements have led to corruption and lack of transparency. Previously, parcels of Government bonds were handed out to selected individuals on a favored basis through a system of private placement. It took place outside the normal auctions of Government bonds.

Continue reading ‘Unlike Under the Previous Regime there is Total Freedom now for Media, Opposition and Civil society to Criticize this Govt over “Bond” issue-Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

China and India Have Armies of 1.3 and 1.2 Milion Commanded by Generals and not Field Marshalls which rank is now Defunct.

By Gen.Lalin Fernando

Every private in the French Army carries a Field Marshal’s baton in his knapsack (Napoleon)

SLA

There is a lot written and spoken about Field Marshals (FMs) just now. The latest is about the privileges that FMs should apparently have. It appears Hitler’s Germany is the source for these anachronistic examples. The privileges it gave FMs were ‘compelling and influential role in military matters, tax exemption, become a member of nobility, equal to Government officials, constant protection or escort, right to report directly to Royalty’. The rank was abolished in Germany after WW2 (1945).

Hitler (a former Corporal) promoted many to FM rank. Unfortunately many of them like Goering were arraigned at Nuremburg war trials after WW2. One FM, the famous FM Rommel of Africa fame, suspected of being part of a coup to kill Hitler, was invited to and did commit suicide. Another, Von Paulus was promoted FM at Stalingrad on 24 January 1943 and ordered not to surrender but allow himself to be killed or commit suicide. He surrendered with 300,000 troops on 31 January. Over 750,000 Germans had been killed in the combat zone while 1750 tanks, 6,000 guns and 1,500 aircraft were lost.

Japanese Commanders were also tried and many executed for the same reason. (Emperor Hirohito had been stripped of his honorary FM rank granted by the British King at the outbreak of war but was not charged with war crimes!). None on the winning side were accused. Not even for Hiroshima or Nagasaki, Dresden or Hamburg. The prosecutors were all Europeans just as they are now in Geneva, (less Russia) baying for SL’s blood. Theirs may not be the best example for SL to follow now.

Some ask whether the SL army is big enough to have a FM. The size of the army is not a criterion for promotion to FM. India has 1.2 million troops but no FMs now. Presidents and former Generals Didi Amin (Uganda) and Ayub Khan (Pakistan) promoted themselves. There were some in Africa. One was even accused of cannibalism (Bokoso).

Continue reading ‘China and India Have Armies of 1.3 and 1.2 Milion Commanded by Generals and not Field Marshalls which rank is now Defunct.’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Used Force to Evict People from their Houses States Urban Development Minister Rauff Hakeem

By Ifham Nizam

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was not a superman, said Water Supply and Urban Development Minister Rauff Hakeem yesterday, in response to the challenge made by Rajapaksa during an interview that no one could do what he had done.

Urban Development Minister Rauff Hakeem

Urban Development Minister Rauff Hakeem

Answering questions after a media briefing, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader stressed that being the President’s brother and Defence Secretary he could use force to evict people as he wanted and an inquiry was going on in that regard. The recommendation of the inquiry would be revealed to the public soon.
Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Used Force to Evict People from their Houses States Urban Development Minister Rauff Hakeem’ »

Ex-State Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha Tables Resignation Letter and Crosses Over to Opposition Third Row seat After Issuing Special Statement.


By Gagani Weerakoon & Skandha Gunasekara

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

Expressing his displeasure over the conduct of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the incumbent government, former State Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha crossed over to the Opposition yesterday.

He said the move to gazette the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and transfer of executive powers to the Prime Minister is both ill-timed and a wrong decision, thus, he can no longer be a part of the government.

After making a special statement, he crossed the Well of the House and occupied a seat in the third row of the Opposition.

Prof. Wijesinha emphasized that he will continue to operate as an independent member and is committed to President Maithripala Sirisena, as he still believes he is the only person who could perceive good governance and not someone else who lies to the August assembly.

Continue reading ‘Ex-State Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha Tables Resignation Letter and Crosses Over to Opposition Third Row seat After Issuing Special Statement.’ »

President Sirisena Though SLFP Chairman Does not have full Control over Central Committee or Executive Committee of the Party.


By

Rasika Jayakody

Political analyst Kusal Perera, who was a close confidant of Mahinda Rajapaksa during the early 90s, draws parallels between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party now and the SLFP in 1991.

President Maithripala Sirisena

President Maithripala Sirisena

“Party Leader Sirimavo Bandaranaike, due to failing health, was not in a position to actively engage in political activities of the party. Bandaranaike, though she was the party leader, was not in total control over the Central Committee of the SLFP and her son, Anura Bandaranaike, was appointed as the National Organizer of the party and as the Opposition Leader in Parliament. Anura Bandaranaike too did not have total control over the Parliamentary group of the SLFP with one group attempting to promote Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga as the future leader of the appoint.

However, after Indrapala Abeyweera was killed by the JVP, Mahinda Rajapaksa, a Parliamentarian from the South, was appointed as an Assistant Secretary of the party. Knowing he could not deliver much with the Assistant Secretary post, Rajapaksa, developed a strong support base at the village level, outside the party hierarchy. This village level support was a key characteristic in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s politics,” Perera explained in an interview with a vernacular newspaper last weekend.

In fact, it was this strong grassroots level support base that elevated him to the positions of Opposition Leader, Prime Minister and President subsequently, especially when certain seniors of the party were blocking his way.

Similarly, today, President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, does not have “full control” over the Central Committee or the Executive Committee of the party. Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva has still not received support from all the members of the Parliamentary group of the UPFA.

A group of Parliamentarians and Central Committee members of the party are on a feverish mission to promote Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial Candidate of the party. However, unlike CBK in the early 90s, Rajapaksa has been rejected by the majority of Sri Lankan voters at the Presidential election which was held on January 08, this year. It is clear that in the present context the former President is not as marketable as CBK in the early 90s, as a fresh political icon.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Though SLFP Chairman Does not have full Control over Central Committee or Executive Committee of the Party.’ »

Delusional Illusions of Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran who was once a Sober Judicial Officer.

BY DEMOS

The once sober judicial officer Wigneswaran, who functions at present as the Chief Minister of the NPC, appears to have suffered a sudden manic seizure following the recent change of Government, to have had the incomprehensible temerity to make the infuriatingly provocative statement to the effect that all Governments in Sri Lanka have been following a policy of genocide, targeting the minority Tamils since the country gained Independence in 1948 (and for good measure, implying thereby, unambiguously that this has been so, ever since the ‘fair minded Brits’ left the island’s shores for good!).

What was the insidious motive that inspired W to make such a patently traitorous statement?

Has he voluntarily become the sounding board of a newly fired-up Tamil Diaspora?

This needlessly provocative statement could not have been possibly made on sudden impulse by a man who had spent a good part of his official life on the Bench, as a sitting Judge!

What is completely inexplicable however, is that such an invidiously malicious statement could have been made at a time the new Government was reaching out to the Northern Tamils with certain positive, conciliatory measures which would have been a precursor to many more such meaningful steps the new political dispensation had lined up for the NPC.
Continue reading ‘Delusional Illusions of Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran who was once a Sober Judicial Officer.’ »

Chief Minister Wigneswaran and Northern Council Trying to Behave Like an Autonomous Third Player.

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

“…Contiguous polities, in Kautilya’s analysis, existed in a state of latent hostility. Whatever professions of amity he might make, any ruler whose power grew significantly would find that it was in his interest to subvert his neighbor’s realm…The wise ruler would seek his allies from among his neighbor’s neighbors.” – Dr. Henry Kissinger, World Order (2014)

“Common to all countries of Southeast Asia is the existence within each state of an ethnic majority that forms the core, alongside numerous ethnic minorities. These latter are made up of groups that are more or less indigenous, as well as groups of people that arrived later as a result of history or migration”. - Huu Ngoc, Wandering through Vietnamese Culture (2006)

PM Narendra Modi at House warming ceremony in Ilavalai-Mar 14, 2015-pic courtesy of: The Hindu

PM Narendra Modi at House warming ceremony in Ilavalai-Mar 14, 2015-pic courtesy of: The Hindu

Up close and personal, India’s Prime Minister Modi has a presence, even a bit of an inner radiance born of confidence. This is the shared observation of my wife and me after the gracious introduction and handshakes at the India House reception two evenings back. Asia is lucky to have produced such a leader. We were lucky to meet him. That said, Sri Lankans were taught a firm lesson in Realism, in geopolitical realities and the balance of power, over the last few days.

No sagacious foreign leader on his visit to a neighboring country with a contentious, polarized domestic situation would make public remarks which implied or could be perceived as a tilt to one side. This is more so, if the side that is being tilted towards, is a numerical minority and the side that may perceive itself as being tilted against, is a large majority. There is only one set of circumstances in which a neighboring leader on a visit would actually say something that came across as a tilt. That is if there is no competition or counterweight.

China is regarded as having lost the game in Sri Lanka. India and the US are seen as having won. Mahinda Rajapaksa leveraged China for economic, strategic/security and diplomatic advantage for Sri Lanka. He used China as a counterweight to the West and India. He lost and China lost, and taken together that meant Sri Lanka lost something. Several weeks after, with Sri Lanka wide open and the playing field no longer level, the leader of our giant neighbor visited and shifted the goalposts by calling for a political solution beyond the status quo. He even mentioned the f word- federalism.
Continue reading ‘Chief Minister Wigneswaran and Northern Council Trying to Behave Like an Autonomous Third Player.’ »

Central Bank Governor Mahendran and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayke were Associates of US Tycoon Raj Rajaratnam Alleges Nimal Siripala de Silva.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday warned that the national economy would suffer a staggering loss of approximately Rs. 9 billion unless the government cancelled the controversial Treasury bond issue involving Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius.

Taking tangible measures to avoid Rs.9 bn loss would be as important as punishing those who had been involved in the fraud, De Silva said in a brief interview with The Island.

The Senior Vice President of the SLFP said that except crooks all agreed with the SLFP that the transaction should be immediately done away with and Mahendran removed pending an investigation.

Continue reading ‘Central Bank Governor Mahendran and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayke were Associates of US Tycoon Raj Rajaratnam Alleges Nimal Siripala de Silva.’ »

“All of the Top Tamil Leaders are Fools,” – TNA Jaffna MP Easwarapatham Saravanapavan tells NYT

BY GARDINER HARRIS

Still, there are drawbacks to staying at Thalsevana Holiday Resort. Arrive without a reservation, and you could be arrested. Stroll too far down the beach during a blood-red sunset, and a soldier carrying an automatic weapon will appear out of a bunker, declare that you have entered a high-security zone and order you to turn around.

The resort’s website recommends ordering from the menu in advance — it does not say how far in advance — at the Palmyra restaurant, where “in addition to deferent style of choosing, you are offered Jaffna special dished that give you the real taste of Jaffna.” The waiters have suspiciously short haircuts and buff builds, and food not ordered in advance, while passable, tastes like it was cooked in a military canteen because, well, it was.

And then there is the nagging ethical question of whether to enjoy a landscape seized a quarter-century ago in a bloody bombardment from thousands of still-displaced families.

“You visited my land? How did it look?” asked Arunachalam Gunabalasingam, 69, president of a committee of families from the area, none of whom have seen, or been paid, for their property since fleeing for their lives on June 15, 1990.

Two months have passed since President Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated by Maithripala Sirisena, whose government quickly promised to free hundreds of minority Tamil detainees and return much of the land in the north and east that the military seized and continues to hold.

The promises created euphoria in dozens of refugee camps, but the giddy laughter has given way to impatience among some, anger in others, and an almost universal realization that the postwar reconciliation process here will not be brief or easy.

Continue reading ‘“All of the Top Tamil Leaders are Fools,” – TNA Jaffna MP Easwarapatham Saravanapavan tells NYT’ »

Sacrificing Sri Lankan Fishermen in Return for Investment by Indian Capitalists

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was here on a landmark three-day visit; the first visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian leader in three decades. His Sri Lankan counterpart could well have upset the apple cart with his imprudent remarks, when he tried to justify the shooting of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. That the Indian policy elite, in particular, and the average Indians, in general, (save a rabble rousing minority in Tamil Nadu) have due to a soft corner for Sri Lanka prevented a calamity from happening. So, we have Mr Modi addressing Parliament, visiting temples, flagging off a new railway in Mannar and telling the TNA to be ‘patient’.

A dispassionate reading of our independent history would reveal that our fortunes and misfortunes have been intrinsically linked to those of India. The problem however was that during the most part, India has been a liability. Its static economic system, and resultant inefficiency generated an inter-generational cycle of poverty. Its strategic alignment with communist Soviet Union and its unwritten Indira doctrine kept away any form of progressive western influence from the South Asian region, barring Pakistan ( which however found its own way to self-destruction through the State orchestrated Islamic radicalization). South Asia’s behemoth which could have lifted its small neighbours with it was trapped in its quasi-socialist model.

Continue reading ‘Sacrificing Sri Lankan Fishermen in Return for Investment by Indian Capitalists’ »

Is it Coincidence that Systematic Targeting of Christians Began After BJP Govt of Narendra Modi came to Power Last May?

by Julio Ribeiro

(The writer, a retired IPS officer,was Mumbai police commissioner,DGP Gujarat and DGP Punjab,and is a former Indian ambassador to Romania)

There was a time, not very long ago — one year short of 30, to be precise — when only a Christian was chosen to go to Punjab to fight what then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi termed “the nation’s battle” against separatists. I had accepted a “demotion” from secretary in the Union home ministry to DGP of the state of Punjab at the personal request of the prime minister.

Then home secretary, Ram Pradhan, and my dear friend, B.G. Deshmukh, then chief secretary to the government of Maharashtra, were flabbergasted. “Why did you accept this assignment?” they asked. The same question was put to me over the phone by then President Zail Singh. But Arjun Singh, the cabinet minister who personally escorted me by special aircraft from Delhi to Chandigarh, remarked that when my appointment was announced the next morning, the Hindus of Punjab would breathe more freely and rejoice. I presume Hindus would include RSS cadres who had been pinned into a corner by the separatists.

When 25 RSS men on parade were shot dead in cold blood one morning, then Punjab Governor S.S. Ray and I rushed to the spot to console the stricken families. The governor visited 12 homes, I visited the rest. The governor’s experience was different from mine. He was heckled and abused. I was welcomed.

Today, in my 86th year, I feel threatened, not wanted, reduced to a stranger in my own country. The same category of citizens who had put their trust in me to rescue them from a force they could not comprehend have now come out of the woodwork to condemn me for practising a religion that is different from theirs. I am not an Indian anymore, at least in the eyes of the proponents of the Hindu Rashtra.

Continue reading ‘Is it Coincidence that Systematic Targeting of Christians Began After BJP Govt of Narendra Modi came to Power Last May?’ »

Colombo Businessman Blames Health Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne’s second son for Disappearance of his 17 year old Daughter

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

A 17-year-old Dinithe Aloka Ranasinghe, daughter of businessman Gamini Ranasinghe of Kirulapana was abducted on February 24, 2014 while she was returning home after school and her whereabouts had not been known since then.

Father of the victim, Gamini Ranasinghe, addressing the media yesterday blamed Health and Indigenous Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne’s second son Eksath for the disappearance. He said Minister Senaratne and his family had been intimate friends for a long time before the incident.

Ranasinghe said his daughter had gone to school on Feb. 24 but never returned. Later he came to know that Minister Senaratne’s second son Eksath Ranasinghe (26) had taken his daughter to the official residence of Minister Senaratne.

Continue reading ‘Colombo Businessman Blames Health Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne’s second son for Disappearance of his 17 year old Daughter’ »

Has India Changed Stance on Sri Lanka From “Building on” 13th Amendment to “Going Beyond it”?

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

“Somewhere over the rainbow…” – The Wizard of Oz

Three vital questions arise from Prime Minister Modi’s recommendation that Sri Lanka goes beyond the 13th amendment. The first is: has India changed its stance? The second is: if beyond 13A, ‘where to?’ The third is: ‘why?’

Prime Ministers - Narendra Modi & Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Ministers – Narendra Modi & Ranil Ranil Wickremesinghe

Fromer Presiodent Mahinda Rajapaksa meeting PM Narendra Modi-Mar 14, 2015

Fromer Presiodent Mahinda Rajapaksa meeting PM Narendra Modi-Mar 14, 2015

New Delhi’s stance in the post war period was early and full implementation of the 13th amendment and “building on it”. Now Mr. Modi urges us to “go beyond” 13A. There is a crucial difference between “building on” and “going beyond”.

“Building on” is a vertical increase while “going beyond” is a horizontal one. The latter is not “stretching” the 13th amendment; it is a framework other than the 13th amendment.

It is understandable to suggest “building on” the 13th amendment. Veterans of the negotiations of 1987 will recall that there were “residual issues” which President Jayewardene agreed would be resolved at a later date, but were not because they couldn’t be, with a war on and a two-thirds majority lost.

Continue reading ‘Has India Changed Stance on Sri Lanka From “Building on” 13th Amendment to “Going Beyond it”?’ »

“I did not Declare a Separate State or Hoist the Tamil Eelam Flag”- Ex -North-eastern Chief Minister Varatharajaperumal


by Dilrukshi Handunnetti


The former Chief Minister of the United North-eastern Province, Varatharaja Perumal believes that India should have intervened, in the absence of political will at home, to ensure the continuity of a united North-eastern provincial Council.

Perumal noted that the new government has facilitated the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and instead of faultfinding, the TNA should have made strong attempts to seek a political solution to the ethnic question.


Excerpts of the interview:

Q: The government formed after the January 8 presidential polls is a combination of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the United National Party (UNP). Do you think this creates a common platform to address the national question?

Continue reading ‘“I did not Declare a Separate State or Hoist the Tamil Eelam Flag”- Ex -North-eastern Chief Minister Varatharajaperumal’ »

Why the Central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran Should Resign forthwith Over Issue Concerning son in Law Arjun Aloysius

By

Malinda Seneviratne

Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs, referring to the controversy surrounding the Central Bank bond issue of February 27, 2015 (i.e. allegations of insider trade where Governor Arjuna Mahendran is on the spot over his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius making quite a packet within a few days) pats his Prime Minister and party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on the back for appointing a 3-member committee to investigate relevant allegations.

He says ‘good governance is about due process (and) should apply to all, those in the previous government and the current one.’

Indeed. Wrong is wrong regardless of identity and affiliation of wrongdoer. It is a welcome direction-change from previous governments which have almost exclusively probed ‘past crimes’ while sweeping under the carpet allegations directed at them. There is a problem however in backdating investigations only to allegations made since January 1, 2012. That’s pretty arbitrary. But that’s only one of the problems.

To understand the politics that frame the issue and to make a proper assessment of Harsha De Silva’s ‘graciousness’ on has to bring in other elements of the context.

Continue reading ‘Why the Central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran Should Resign forthwith Over Issue Concerning son in Law Arjun Aloysius’ »

TNA Leaders must Abandon Defeatist Attitudes of the Past and Vigorously Negotiate a Solution to the many Problems Hindering Tamil Speaking People

By

Dr. Devanesan Nesiah

Ethnicity has been a salient factor of human society throughout recorded history. The modern state is a comparatively recent development (a few centuries old rather than a few millennia). As set out by C Geertz in “Old Societies and New States” (1963, The Free Press of Glencoe, New York, pages 109-10): “The congruities of blood, speech and custom and so on are seen to have an infallible and, at times, overpowering coerciveness in and of themselves.

TNA MPs in New Delhi-Aug 23, 2014

TNA MPs in New Delhi-Aug 23, 2014

One is bound to one’s kinsmen, one’s neighbour, one’s fellow believer, ipso facto, as the result not merely of personal affection, practical necessity, common interest or incurred obligations, but at least in great part by virtue of some primordial bonds, and the types of them that are important, differ from person to person, from society to society, and from time to time.
Continue reading ‘TNA Leaders must Abandon Defeatist Attitudes of the Past and Vigorously Negotiate a Solution to the many Problems Hindering Tamil Speaking People’ »

Cabinet Entrusts Maithri,Ranil and Chandrika with Responsibility to Determine Date of Parliamentary Dissolution.

by

Rasika Jayakody

The Cabinet of Ministers yesterday decided to entrust President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga with the task of holding discussions and arriving at a final decision on dissolution of Parliament on April 23.

“They will also discuss view points that have been expressed by parties of the opposition on dissolution of Parliament and other important reforms, and will come up with final solutions,” a senior Cabinet Minister told the Daily News on Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Spokesman told media that the ministers agreed on the draft Bill of the 19th amendment to the constitution. A gazette notification with regard to the amendment is expected to be issued soon, highly placed government sources said on Sunday.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Entrusts Maithri,Ranil and Chandrika with Responsibility to Determine Date of Parliamentary Dissolution.’ »

Govt Reaches Agreement on Constitutional Reform Proposals but Disagreement Still on Electoral Reforms

By Jayashika Padmasiri

The Government yesterday managed to secure consensus on the Constitutional amendments but decided to meet again tomorrow to agree on electoral reforms amidst mixed views over whether the two must seek Parliamentary passage in one go or separately.

At yesterday’s special Cabinet meeting, the rainbow coalition Government agreed on far-reaching reforms to the Constitution and decided to dispatch the draft bill to the Attorney General to seek approval.

Minister of Education AkilaVirajKariyawasam told the Daily FT that the bill would be gazettedvia the Legal Draftsman.

“Nevertheless we were not able to arrive at a consensus regarding two matters concerning theamendments to the electoral system. Therefore, we decided to discuss this at the next Party Leaders’ meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday,” Kariyawasam added.

Continue reading ‘Govt Reaches Agreement on Constitutional Reform Proposals but Disagreement Still on Electoral Reforms’ »

Krishantha Cooray Appointed to Board of DFCC Bank as Independent Director

KCPopular media industry personality Krishantha Cooray has been appointed to the Board of DFCC Bank Plc as an Independent Director, hot on the heels of a similar position on the Board of Sri Lanka Telecom.

With the latest appointment, the Board of DFCC Bank Plc comprises Royle Jansz (Chairman), Gomin Dayasiri, H.M.N.S. Gunawardana, J.E.A. Perumal, P.M.B. Fernando, T. Dharmarajah, S.R. Thambiayah and K.P. Cooray.

Continue reading ‘Krishantha Cooray Appointed to Board of DFCC Bank as Independent Director’ »

President Sirisena Consolidates his Power Further by Becoming Leader of the SLFP led UPFA Alliance.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

President Maithripala Sirisena has further consolidated his power with the UPFA’s constituents accepting him as the leader of the SLFP-led alliance.

President Sirisena is the President of the SLFP.

MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena and Democratic Left Front (DLF) leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara, who had spearheaded popular bring-back-Mahinda campaign, attended a meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFP) on Saturday evening to decide unanimously on the UPFA leadership.

Asked whether National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, had been present at the meeting, an authoritative SLFP official said that the NFF wasn’t a UPFA constituent.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Consolidates his Power Further by Becoming Leader of the SLFP led UPFA Alliance.’ »

Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran will Respond to all Allegations Against Him After He Returns to Sri Lanka.

By Ravi Ladduwahetty

Ceylon Finance Today: Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran coming down hard on his critics, said that he will respond to all the allegations that have been made against him regarding the Rs 15 billion Treasury Bond issue when he returns to Sri Lanka from his overseas visits.

“I will respond to all these allegations after I return to Sri Lanka from the United States and other countries, where I was present at investor fora,” he told the Ceylon FT by telephone.
However, there was huge pressure from not only sections from the Opposition, but certain government quarters as well, for Mahendran to resign in the wake of the ongoing controversy regarding the bond issue.

Continue reading ‘Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran will Respond to all Allegations Against Him After He Returns to Sri Lanka.’ »

No Rational Cricket Lover wants Kumar Sangakkara to Retire At this Point of Time

By

Biswadeep Ghosh

2012. Indian Premier League. Not in the best of form before the match against the Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, Kumar Sangakarra who was leading the Deccan Chargers did what few skippers have ever done. He dropped himself after discussing the strategy with the DC coach Darren Lehmann, a selfless act that was appropriately applauded by the media.

2015. Sangakarra, who is in the form of his life, has decided to call it a day in one-day internationals after the ongoing ICC World Cup. He has scored four successive centuries in the tournament, a new record in ODIs.

Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara

But his glorious form doesn’t seem to matter to him. He is listening to the voice of his mind, and so is Mahela Jayawardene, the other Lankan superstars.

Such has been Sri Lanka’s dependence on these two batsmen that their sudden absence will result in a void that will be impossible to fulfill right away.

At the moment, however, the focus is entirely on Sangakarra and not only because he has been batting the way he has in the World Cup. In the last few years, his form has been simply magnificent.

An example. In the only Test he has played this year, he scored a double century against New Zealand in Wellington in a losing cause. That took his tally of double centuries to 11, just one short of Sir Donald Bradman’s all-time record of 12.

Since Sangakarra will continue to play Tests until August, chances are he might equal or even surpass Sir Don’s record. Apart from the fact that his conversion rate is very high, his double century in his only Test in January this year shows that his fantastic form in the longer version remains undiminished.

Continue reading ‘No Rational Cricket Lover wants Kumar Sangakkara to Retire At this Point of Time’ »

Indian PM Narendra Modi Refers to “Silappadhikaaram Kannagi” and Tamil Poet Subramania Bharati in his Address to Sri Lankan Parliament.


(Full Text of Address to Sri Lankan Parliament by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi)

"I recall the lines of a famous song ‘Sindu Nadiyin Misai’ composed by the great nationalist poet Subramanian Bharati in the early 20th century"-PM Modi

“I recall the lines of a famous song ‘Sindu Nadiyin Misai’ composed by the great nationalist poet Subramanian Bharati in the early 20th century”-PM Modi

PM Modi on his FaceBook page prior to commencing the speech at Sri Lanka parliament said that he is, "Honoured to address the Parliament of one of Asia's oldest & most vibrant democracies"

PM Modi on his FaceBook page prior to commencing the speech at Sri Lanka parliament said that he is, “Honoured to address the Parliament of one of Asia’s oldest & most vibrant democracies”

Honourable Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Shrimaan Ranil Wickremesinghe ji,

Honourable Leader of the Opposition, Mr Nimal Siripala De Silva,

Honourable Members of Parliament,

Distinguished guests,

I am truly delighted to visit Sri Lanka – a land of beauty, culture and friendship.

I am deeply honoured to be in this Parliament. I am conscious of its rich history.

This Parliament represents one of Asia`s oldest democracies; and, one of its most vibrant.

Long before many others in the world, Sri Lanka gave every individual a vote and voice.

To the people of Sri Lanka, ayubuvan, Vanakkam.
Continue reading ‘Indian PM Narendra Modi Refers to “Silappadhikaaram Kannagi” and Tamil Poet Subramania Bharati in his Address to Sri Lankan Parliament.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa wants to Make A Political Comeback to Safeguard Himself, Family and Cronies and not for Country or People.

By

Don Manu

pic: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

pic: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

Putting his family and associates first before all else, a people-deposed president Mahinda Rajapaksa has declared that he may come back to politics because he is angry that the Maithripala government has filed cases against his family members and associates.

MRB111712

In an interview given to India’s Hindu newspaper published this Friday, he stated that he was angered by the actions taken by President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe against his family members and associates. “If they didn’t, I would have just supported this government. But now they want to probe, put us in jail, take our passports without any evidence. How can I retire like this? I never said I would retire. At the moment I am taking a rest,” he declared.

Though he has still not confirmed his decision to emerge from semi retirement and make a comeback, all the signs reveal that he is discreetly testing the political waters and coming out of the Medamulana woodwork to stake his claim at least to the premiership. Without a foothold in the political arena, without some semblance of political power to be used as a bargaining chip to thwart the public demand for a crackdown on corruption, it is clear that he, his family and his cronies may not be able to survive the gathering storm.
Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa wants to Make A Political Comeback to Safeguard Himself, Family and Cronies and not for Country or People.’ »

Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wants Defence Secretary KMUD Basnayake Removed from his Post Immediately

It was a heated session of the National Executive Council (NEC) last Monday when former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga picked up a mobile phone to speak to Defence Ministry Secretary K.M.U.D. Basnayake. She was angry. “Who the hell asked you to issue a letter to Nissanka Senadipathi, the Chairman of Avant Garde Maritime Security?” she demanded. She went on “that too had been prepared last Sunday when the MoD remained closed. You had gone out of the way to turn up at the Ministry, open your office to prepare this letter which is not within your area of responsibility.”

Ms. Kumaratunga was referring to a three-page letter which has been produced by Mr. Senadipathi’s counsel at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court last Monday as supporting evidence to obtain his passport for a second time to travel abroad.” She said that it was wrong for Mr. Basnayake to issue such a letter where he had declared that Mr. Senadipathyi’s travel abroad was athya avashyai or very essential. More so when the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was investigating the floating armoury case involving Mr. Senadipathi’s private company.

Continue reading ‘Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wants Defence Secretary KMUD Basnayake Removed from his Post Immediately’ »

SLFP Faces Crisis Despite Having SLFP Majority in Parliament and an SLFP’er as President.

By

C.A.Chandraprema

Niroshan Padukka is the UNP organiser for Kesbewa and a member of the Western Provincial Council. Early last week, he wrote a letter to the lankaenews website under the title “Is President Maithri under house arrest?” This letter just about sums up the present mood within the UNP and it is worth recounting what Padukka had written. He started off by expressing disappointment at the president for stopping the transfer of Samurdhi Officers whom he accused of spearheading Mahinda’s campaign at the village level. The immediate reason for writing this letter was the issue of transferring Samurdhi Officers, but at the same time, Padukka had touched on the broader question of the relationship between president Maithripala Sirisena and the UNP in the following words:

“We in the UNP worked day and night for your victory. It was we who put up posters, got assaulted, and even laid down our lives, or were disabled for life due to gunshot injuries on your behalf. Those who organised meetings for you at the village level, distributed your publications, manned the polling booths and the counting centres were all UNPers. We never asked for a single rupee from either you or your multi-millionaire brother. Except for a limited amount of money provided by party headquarters, the rest of the expenditure was borne by UNP organisers. Some organisers mortgaged their properties and spent money on your election campaign. We are profoundly saddened that you have forgotten all this and have become a prisoner of Nimal Siripala de Silva and others who tried to defeat you. Dilan Perera who insulted you saying that he will lend you his car to go home, is now your media spokesman.

“Have you forgotten that the statement you made to the effect that you would have been six feet under had you lost the presidential election applied in equal measure to us? We have questions about many officials you have appointed. We, the electoral organizers of the UNP are now losing the faith that we placed in you and if you continue to take the side of those who opposed you, we will part company with you on 23 April. If the leaders of the Alliance (UPFA) do not allow you to abolish the executive powers and bring in the independent commissions, we will be forced to present ourselves for a general election and obtain a mandate to do it.”

Continue reading ‘SLFP Faces Crisis Despite Having SLFP Majority in Parliament and an SLFP’er as President.’ »

Persistent Efforts by Sinhala Buddhist Supremacists to Deliberately Misread Sri Lanka’s History


by

Tisaranee Gunasekara

“The history or the future of Sri Lanka does not belong to any one community.”
- Ranasinghe Premadasa (Speech on 11.12.1990)

In 2013, as anti-Muslim hysteria was riding high, Jezima Ismail recalled an incident which was both a personal memory and a shared minority-experience: “Some years ago at a lecture session at the BMICH a professor waxed eloquent on the feelings he had for Sri Lanka and that this was the only place for him. In the course of this talk he turned round to me and said that if anything untoward happened I could of course seek refuge in Saudi or the Middle East” (The Colombo Telegraph – 23.2.2013).

President Maithripala Sirisena waves to group of protesters in London

President Maithripala Sirisena waves to group of protesters in London

Jezima Ismail is not a Saudophile; she is not even a Wahabist or a Salafist. She is a moderate Muslim. Moreover, she is a distinguished pedagogue, a citizen Sri Lanka can be proud of. But in the eyes of the obviously Sinhala (and possibly Buddhist) professor, even such a woman is not truly a Lankan. In his eyes, she does not have the same feelings for Sri Lanka that he has, because she is a Muslim.

In his eyes, only a Sinhalese (most probably a Sinhala-Buddhist) can be a real Lankan; all others, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and even non-Buddhist Sinhalese are aliens, incapable of truly loving Sri Lanka. It does not have to be anything they did or said or even believed; it is a matter of birth.

The unnamed professor’s publicly expressed remark is symbolic of the Hosts and Guests concept of Sri Lanka, the belief which ensconces Sinhala-Buddhists as the sole owners of the country and defines all minorities as unreliable and undependable aliens, Untermenschen without inalienable rights.

According to this belief you can be born in Sri Lanka but Sri Lanka is not your motherland, unless you are born into a Sinhala-Buddhist family.

Continue reading ‘Persistent Efforts by Sinhala Buddhist Supremacists to Deliberately Misread Sri Lanka’s History’ »

Narendra Modi Assures Tamils in North that India is Committed to Alleviate their Sufferings and will not let them down.

By

P.K.Balachandran

On the second and final day of his visit to Sri Lanka, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi bonded with the Tamils of the Northern Province with aplomb.

pic via: facebook.com/narendramodi

pic via: facebook.com/narendramodi

The speeches which he made were extempore and in Hindi, but the Tamil audiences were not complaining as his words, delivered with panache, had a ring of sincerity.

The audience went into raptures when Modi began his speech with a full throated “Vanakkam” (greetings) in Tamil.

They clapped lustily as he unreservedly acknowledged the sufferings the Tamils had gone through during the 30 year war, and assured them that India is committed to alleviating their sufferings and will never let them down.

Continue reading ‘Narendra Modi Assures Tamils in North that India is Committed to Alleviate their Sufferings and will not let them down.’ »

Can the Modi Visit to Sri Lanka Help to Modify Devolution as Solution?


By
Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

From Prime Minister Modi through Secretary of State Kerry to Prime Minister Cameron—in that order of significance—the emphasis with regard to Sri Lanka is the need for ethnic reconciliation. The search for a solution must be preceded by the identification of the problem or problems. Currently the effort at ethnic reconciliation runs up against the following problems.

PM MOdi Offered prayers at the Naguleswaram Temple on Mar 14, 2015

PM MOdi Offered prayers at the Naguleswaram Temple on Mar 14, 2015

via: https://instagram.com/p/0NMFdxM_8p/

Firstly, unrealistic expectations and lack of consensus about the contours of the solution. While hardly any serious Sinhala politicians expect to roll-back the 13th Amendment, their Tamil counterparts expect to go beyond it.

The 13th Amendment was the product of the Indo-Lanka Accord which was itself the outcome of a confluence of three factors: a strong Tamil insurgency with cross-border covert support; robust, coercive even interventionist Indian diplomacy; a strong presidency with an artificially frozen five-sixth majority in the Legislature. None of those factors obtain today, still less the confluence.

However, the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council who is hardly a wild-eyed radical, expresses the long-held view of the ‘moderate’Tamil nationalists, that the 13th Amendment is no solution and indeed the unitary state formis no solution as well.

Continue reading ‘Can the Modi Visit to Sri Lanka Help to Modify Devolution as Solution?’ »

Narendra Modi Reiterates India’s stand for United Sri Lanka and Devolution Through 13th Amendment Implementation

By

Suhasini Haidar

India stands for a “united Sri Lanka”, but wants an “early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment” that provides for devolution in the Tamil majority Northern and Eastern provinces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Colombo on Friday.

Mr. Modi, who was speaking at the historic Presidential secretariat after talks with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena also referred to “going beyond” the 13th amendment, that would “contribute to the process” of building a “future that accommodates the aspirations of all sections of society, including the Sri Lankan Tamil community”.

Continue reading ‘Narendra Modi Reiterates India’s stand for United Sri Lanka and Devolution Through 13th Amendment Implementation’ »

Indian PM Modi Tells TNA to Speak with One Voice and asks Sri Lankan Tamils to be Patient with the new Govt

By

Meera Srinivasan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Sri Lanka’s Tamils to be patient with the new government in Colombo, The Hindu learns from sources.

He met senior leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) — the main party representing the island’s northern Tamils — in Colombo on Friday.

Pointing to the “beginning of change” in the country following the victory of President Maithripala Sirisena in the January elections, Mr. Modi reportedly said the TNA should “help that change take place,” and not derail the process.

Mr. Modi urged the TNA to ensure that the party spoke in one voice, asking its “think tank” to come up with a different strategy to engage with the newly-formed government, TNA sources said.

Continue reading ‘Indian PM Modi Tells TNA to Speak with One Voice and asks Sri Lankan Tamils to be Patient with the new Govt’ »

Modi Promises to Build Trincomalee as a “Petroleum Hub, $318 Line of Credit to Upgrade railways and E-Visason arrival for Sri Lanka

by

Suhasini Haidar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his much anticipated visit to Sri Lanka on Friday with a grand ceremonial welcome, though only a modest set of agreements were signed after his talks with Mr. Sirisena. Unlike his previous stops in the Seychelles and Mauritius, where Indian Ocean security cooperation and big-ticket development commitments were made, in Colombo four MoUs — on visa exemptions for official passport holders, customs cooperation, youth exchanges and education, and the construction of a university auditorium — were announced.

Mr. Modi also announced e-visa on arrival services for Sri Lankans, a $ 318 million Line of Credit to upgrade Sri Lanka’s railways, and a promise to build Trincomalee as a “petroleum hub”, while seeking movement on the 500 MW Sampur power project, that has been delayed for years due to environmental concerns.

Continue reading ‘Modi Promises to Build Trincomalee as a “Petroleum Hub, $318 Line of Credit to Upgrade railways and E-Visason arrival for Sri Lanka’ »

Indian Prime Minister Modi wants Sri Lanka to fully Implement the 13th Constitutional Amendment and go beyond it

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday called upon Sri Lanka to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and go beyond it to build a future that accommodated the aspirations of all sections of society.

Conveying India’s admiration for President Sirisena’s efforts ‘to build an inclusive future for Sri Lanka’, PM Modi said at the Presidential Secretariat: “We stand with you in your efforts to build a future that accommodates the aspiration of all sections of society including the Sri Lankan Tamil community for a life of equality, justice and dignity in a united Sri Lanka.

“We believe that the early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond it would contribute to this process.”

Full text of PM Modi’s statement:

Continue reading ‘Indian Prime Minister Modi wants Sri Lanka to fully Implement the 13th Constitutional Amendment and go beyond it’ »

President Sirisena says New Page has been Turned in Cooperation Between India and Sri Lanka.

President Maithripala Sirisena said the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka and his own recent visit to India have turned a new page in cooperation between our two countries.

Addressing media after bilateral discussions with the Indian delegation headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo yesterday (March 13), he said India and Sri Lanka have a great historical link which has been strengthened with Buddhist philosophy for thousands of years.

The full text of statement:

India and Sri Lanka have a great historical link which has been strengthened with Buddhist philosophy for thousands of years. Similarly, there is also a long lasting relationship between the two countries on Hinduism, which shows a long historic background.

The great cultures of our two countries which were based on Buddhism and Hinduism have been together through thousands of years. We have seen the relationship between our countries weakened during the time of some regimes. As a result, it took 28 years for this visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena says New Page has been Turned in Cooperation Between India and Sri Lanka.’ »

Modi’s Public Pitch in Sri Lanka for “the early and full implementation of the 13th amendment and going beyond”.

By DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

Prime Minister Modi is much admired and rightly so as a charismatic, strong, visionary Asian leader. His visit to Sri Lanka and his speeches here could be said, at first blush, to be a triumph for India’s ‘soft power’ projection. The thing about ‘soft power’ however, is that it is uneven, and one must draw the distinction between how it works at the level of the elite and how it works or fails to at the level of the masses.

Prime Minister Modi’s public pitch in the presence of Sri Lanka’s President, for “the early and full implementation of the 13th amendment and going beyond” may not have been the best conceivable projection of soft power, at the level of the Sri Lankan masses.

True, he and his predecessor have said the same thing to President Sirisena and his predecessor. But it is one thing to say this at bilateral meetings and another to (a) say it in public (b) on your first visit to a neighboring country (c) in which the matter is regarded as a contentious internal issue and (d) your own country’s involvement and the reaction it has generated have been complex to say the least.

A despicable and dangerous Genocide Resolution was passed by the elected Northern Provincial Council and handed over to the UN’s Jeffrey Feltman by Chief Minister Wigneswaran. This act alone should have caused the dissolution of the Northern Provincial Council –while retaining, not abrogating the 13th amendment.

Continue reading ‘Modi’s Public Pitch in Sri Lanka for “the early and full implementation of the 13th amendment and going beyond”.’ »

Indian RAW and Western Agencies Possibly Worked Together for the First Time to Defeat me”-Mahinda Rajapaksa

By

Suhasini Haidar


Full transcript of interview with former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Suhasini Haidar.

Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa bveing interviwed by Suhasini Haidar

Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa bveing interviwed by Suhasini Haidar

Q;This was an election you were so confident about; you called them ahead of time. What do you think contributed to your defeat?

A;I misjudged the North and the East vote. In the South I have won, but I didn’t expect the North and East vote to go this way. Even in provincial elections, the turnout of people had been 55%, this time it was over 80%, I don’t know how. When I saw that, I knew that I am going to lose.

Q;You are saying it was the high turnout in the North and the East, but you lost votes across several groups….the rural population, the poor, minorities all felt cut out of your regime?

A;That’s not correct, in the southern areas I have won, in the south province, in Uva, north central, north-western province we won, but lost our majority.

Continue reading ‘Indian RAW and Western Agencies Possibly Worked Together for the First Time to Defeat me”-Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Arrives in Sri Lanka and is Welcomed at Airport by Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday flew into the Sri Lankan capital in the early hours for a historic visit during which he is expected to hold talks with the country’s top leadership.

Mr. Modi was received by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe at the airport after he arrived in Colombo for a two-day visit at 5.25 a.m. following an overnight journey from Port Louis in Mauritius in a special Air India plane.

Sri Lanka is the final stop of his three-nation tour of Indian Ocean island nations that took him to Seychelles and Mauritius.

Continue reading ‘Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Arrives in Sri Lanka and is Welcomed at Airport by Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Did CIA,MI-6 and RAW Espionage Agencies Conspire Together to Mobilise Support for Maithripala Sirisena Against Mahinda Rajapaksa?

By

Suhasini Haidar

Claiming that the Research and Analysis Wing conspired with “Western agencies” CIA and MI-6 to rally the opposition led by President Maithripala Sirisena against his presidency, Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he does not, however, believe Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the government was responsible.

In an exclusive interview to TheHindu, his first to any Indian media organisation since his surprise defeat in the presidential polls in January, Mr. Rajapaksa says he raised concerns with the government over his belief of a conspiracy. “I said the man [RAW station chief] who is here in Colombo, should be moved out. They agreed, but only at the very last minute before the election, and by then it was too late,” he said at his residence in Colombo.

In January, a report by international news agency Reuters had claimed that an Indian intelligence official at the Indian Embassy in Colombo had been recalled over allegations he was part of a plan to unite and organise the opposition to President Rajapaksa. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin had categorically denied that the transfer of the official was anything but routine, and “in natural course.”

Continue reading ‘Did CIA,MI-6 and RAW Espionage Agencies Conspire Together to Mobilise Support for Maithripala Sirisena Against Mahinda Rajapaksa?’ »

National Executive Council Decides to Arrest and Interrogate Ex- Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Over Avant Garde Floating Armoury.

The National Executive Council has unanimously decided to recommend the arrest of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to question him over the Avant Garde floating armory incident, local media reports said.

Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told a local newspaper that a decision will be taken once President Maithripala Sirisena returns from Britain.

Continue reading ‘National Executive Council Decides to Arrest and Interrogate Ex- Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Over Avant Garde Floating Armoury.’ »

Arresting Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Decision Taken by National Executive Council at Behest of Tamil Diaspora and Western Powers – National Freedom Front


By Dasun Edirisinghe

The National Freedom Front (NFF) yesterday charged that the National Executive Council was doing what the Tamil Diaspora and Western powers had been campaigning for since defeating the LTTE militarily.

NFF Spokesman and former MP Mohammed Muzammil, addressing a media conference at the party head office at Battaramulla, said the Tamil Diaspora and Western powers sympathetic to the LTTE were demanding that the war heroes who had defeated the LTTE be put behind bars.

“Today, the NEC of the good governance regime does the very same. There are many media reports that the NEC had unanimously decided to arrest former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Cabinet spokesman Dr Rajitha Senaratne, too, has told state media that the NEC made a decision to arrest former Defence Secretary. Similarly, leader of NSSP Dr Wickremabahu Karunaratne, too, told media that the NEC was planning to arrest Mr Rajapaksa,” Muzammil said.

Continue reading ‘Arresting Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Decision Taken by National Executive Council at Behest of Tamil Diaspora and Western Powers – National Freedom Front’ »

Govt Politicians are Announcing who are to be Arrested and Remanded Instead of IGP or Attorney -General-Mahinda Rajapaksa

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that politicians are now saying things which should be said by the IGP or Attorney General.

Speaking to reporters at Mihintale Raja Maha Viharaya earlier in the day, he further said that politicians are the ones announcing who will be remanded, who will be arrested and within how many days.

“If this is good governance, then god bless this country,” he stated.

Continue reading ‘Govt Politicians are Announcing who are to be Arrested and Remanded Instead of IGP or Attorney -General-Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Petroleum Industries Ex-Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena MP Arrested and Remanded Over Alleged Financial Fraud of 9.6 Million Rupees

by Norman Palihawadana and Madura Ranwala

Parliamentarian Sarana Gunawardena was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) yesterday afternoon over an alleged financial fraud.

Police Media Unit (PMU) said Gunawardena was yesterday summoned to the CID to give a statement over an alleged fraud of Rs. 9.6 million which he was said to have taken from a businessman to supply steel.

Continue reading ‘Petroleum Industries Ex-Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena MP Arrested and Remanded Over Alleged Financial Fraud of 9.6 Million Rupees’ »

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Two Day State Visit to Sri Lanka Arrives in Colombo on Friday the Thirteenth.

By Zacki Jabbar

The first state visit by an Indian leader to Sri Lanka in 28 years is scheduled to take place today(13) with the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Colombo.

The late Rajiv Gandhi, the then Indian leader came to Colombo in 1987 to sign the Indo- Lanka Accord amidst strong opposition by Sri Lankan Opposition parties. Relations between the two countries have since improved especially after Maithripala Sirisena was elected President last January.

Describing Sri Lanka as ‘our most important neighbour’ Modi earlier this week said in New Delhi, that his three country tour of Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka stemmed from his desire to maintain frequent contacts with India’s neighbours.

Continue reading ‘Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Two Day State Visit to Sri Lanka Arrives in Colombo on Friday the Thirteenth.’ »

An Open Letter to Young Tamil Men on Behalf of Young Tamil Women


By

Niveda Anandan

Dear Young Tamil Men,

Remember this conversation?

“So what do you think of her?” says one young Tamil man to another.

“She’s banging. But yo, I don’t think she’s the type you’d want to marry,” his friend replies.

“What do you mean? You heard something bad about her?” The young Tamil man presses his friend anxiously but dreads hearing more.

“Well, how do I put this lightly? Let’s just say she’s been around. Her ex told me some messed up things about her. I would stay away from that girl if I were you.”

RK PA

The young Tamil man is downcast yet relieved. “Is it just me or are a lot of Tamil girls sluts nowadays? There are like no decent girls left.”

“Word,” says his friend as they shake their head in derision and disgust while they repeat the process, this time with another female target in mind.

Are you surprised by this conversation? Shocked? You shouldn’t be because this is a conversation that occurs frequently within the Tamil community.
Continue reading ‘An Open Letter to Young Tamil Men on Behalf of Young Tamil Women’ »

Wigneswaran to Recommend Replacement of 13th Constitutional Amendment with More Dynamic System when he Meets Modi in North.

By

Meera Srinivasan

It is time the 13th Amendment was replaced with a more dynamic system of devolution of powers, according to Sri Lanka’s Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.

Speaking to The Hindu days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka, the former Supreme Court judge said: “[The] 13th Amendment can never be the final solution. Be that as it may, we welcome him [Mr. Modi]. We know we have a friend in him. We appreciate his concerns for us, in wanting to come to the North.”

“We would recommend to him that it is time to reconsider the 13th Amendment which was a fallout from the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 and to replace it with a more dynamic system that would ensure maximum power sharing for the North and East,” he said responding to The Hindu’s questions via email.

Mr. Modi will be in Sri Lanka on a two-day visit beginning Friday. He will travel to the island’s war-torn Northern Province where Mr. Wigneswaran won a historic provincial election in September 2013.

Continue reading ‘Wigneswaran to Recommend Replacement of 13th Constitutional Amendment with More Dynamic System when he Meets Modi in North.’ »

Chief Minister Wigneswaran wants Trilateral Talks Between India, Sri Lanka and the Northern Provincial Council to Resolve the Problem.


Full transcript of interview with C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister, Northern Province by Meera Srinivasan

NPC 02 11 15

Q;PM Modi’s visit will be the first bilateral visit of an Indian leader to Sri Lanka in 27 years, and the first ever to Jaffna. How do you perceive this visit?

Continue reading ‘Chief Minister Wigneswaran wants Trilateral Talks Between India, Sri Lanka and the Northern Provincial Council to Resolve the Problem.’ »

“When I Heard the Northern Provincial Council Had Passed a Resolution on Genocide I Put my Head in my Hands Again”

By Radhika Coomaraswamy

When I heard that the Northern Provincial Council had passed a resolution on Genocide, I put my “head in my hands” again- something I did often during the previous regime. I asked myself, have we gone back to the beginning after all this violence and heartbreak?

Tamil politics led by lawyers ( I am a lawyer so this is not said in contempt) has always emphasized legal concepts and theories even if they are far removed from the reality that Tamil people face in their day-to-day lives.

We went from “nation” to “separate state”, now we are “two nations in one country”, and suddenly we have sprung the Genocide card which is one of the most difficult international crimes to prove because of its complete reliance on the “intent’ of any government in question.

Why are we going there? Well some Tamil nationalist lawyer has suddenly woken up to the fact that if we use the “G” word then there is a legal case for a separate state. This of course is a delusion of theoretical lawyers. In the modern world separate states are only created at the height of humanitarian intervention and only if a big power wants it- see Bangladesh, East Timor, Kosovo.

RK FLAG

The fact that nobody came in 2009 and nobody would have come without India’s consent, should make any right thinking Tamil realize that we have been on a wrong trajectory from the beginning. Most people both nationally and internationally had come to that conclusion even without the outrageous, embarrassing nonsense of the attack dogs of the last government. Accountability for war crimes and human rights violations is a completely different frame of action than the claim for a separate state- at least in the Sri Lankan case.
Continue reading ‘“When I Heard the Northern Provincial Council Had Passed a Resolution on Genocide I Put my Head in my Hands Again”’ »

Imperative Need to Support Tamil Moderates in the Struggle Against Extremists

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) was formed in 1949 by a dissident faction of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) led by well –known lawyer G.G. Ponnambalam. The new party was called the Federal party in English though its name in Tamil stood for “Ceylon Tamil State Party”. The break away group was led by two Lawyer Parliamentarians and a Medical Doctor Senator. The two MP’s were SJV Chelvanayagam and C. Vanniasingham representing Kankesanthurai and Kopay electorates respectively. The Senator was Dr. EMV Naganathan who later became MP for Nallur.

Dr. EMV Naganathan, R Sampanthan & MA Sumanthiran

Dr. EMV Naganathan, R Sampanthan & MA Sumanthiran

Dr. EMV Naganathan was a vibrant colourful personality who dominated Tamil politics for nearly two decades.Having been involved in a limited sense with the Spanish civil war, the Irish campaign for Independence and the Indian Freedom struggle during the days of his youth ,this pugnacious medical practitioner fought in the vanguard of the non – violent struggle for Tamil rights in his own country in later years.Like Sardar Vallabhai Patel of India, Dr.Naganathan too was called “Iron man”or “Irumbu Manithan” those days. This was both due to his pugilistic attributes and the role he played as strong man of the party.
Continue reading ‘Imperative Need to Support Tamil Moderates in the Struggle Against Extremists’ »

Narendra Modi will be the First Indian Prime Minister to Visit Jaffna and Talaimannar in Northern Sri Lanka.

By

Suhasini Haidar

India is “intent on strengthening ties” with Sri Lanka, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, as he announced a slew of projects to be inaugurated while Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Sri Lanka on March 13th and 14th.

PMO 031115

https://twitter.com/narendramodi/status/574562075495677953

Mr. Modi, who is the first Indian Prime Minister to make a bilateral visit to the neighbouring island in 28 years, will be commissioning a railway line in Talaimannar, inaugurating the cultural centre in Jaffna, and also handing over homes that have been build by India in the Northern province.

“India has been a significant contributor to the rebuilding process in Sri Lanka,” Mr. Jaishankar told journalists at a press conference to discuss the Prime Minister’s 3-nation ‘Indian Ocean foray’ including the Seychelles and Mauritius that begins on Tuesday.

Continue reading ‘Narendra Modi will be the First Indian Prime Minister to Visit Jaffna and Talaimannar in Northern Sri Lanka.’ »

New Sri Lankan Dispensation Must Remain Non – Aligned Between “Relation” India and “Friend” China.

By

Bandula Jayasekara

A visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian Prime Minister has been long overdue. The last visit to the island by Rajiv Gandhi almost ended in disaster. Requests by former Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa, and even Ranil Wickremasinghe who was then Premier, had fallen on deaf Indian ears. However, both Indian politicians and officials on several occasions gave their Sri Lankan counterparts hope of a prime ministerial visit. But the wait lasted 28 years. Many Sri Lankans saw the main reason for this as Delhi’s desire to appease Tamil Nadu.

“It is up to President Maithripala Sirisena and the new dispensation in Sri Lanka to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi with open arms but remain non-aligned.” Picture shows the two leaders in New Delhi in February 2015. (The Hindu)

“It is up to President Maithripala Sirisena and the new dispensation in Sri Lanka to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi with open arms but remain non-aligned.” Picture shows the two leaders in New Delhi in February 2015. (The Hindu)

There was also an attempt to get Congress leader Sonia Gandhi to visit Sri Lanka, since an Indian Prime Minister was not in sight. It was the brain child of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar, who was later brutally assassinated by the LTTE. It was then taken up by Mr. Rajapaksa. It was to honour Rajiv Gandhi and to organise a Rajiv Gandhi Memorial lecture. Letters were sent on a few occasions but there was no positive response.

Continue reading ‘New Sri Lankan Dispensation Must Remain Non – Aligned Between “Relation” India and “Friend” China.’ »

Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Key Astrologer Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena now wants to Serve President Maithripala Sirisena.

From Shamindra Ferdinando in London

Defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s personal astrologer, Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena, has offered his services to President Maithripala Sirisena.

President Maithripala Sirisena has received a letter from Abeygunawardena explaining the circumstances leading to former President’s defeat while expressing a desire to serve the new leader, a senior presidential aide accompanying the President on his first official tour here told The Island yesterday.

Responding to a query, the official said that Abeygunawardena lamented that President Maithripala Sirisena never invited him since the conclusion of the Jan.8 presidential election.

Asked whether the President intended to respond to Abeygunawardena’s offer, the official said that the President and some of those who had an opportunity to go through the letter had a hearty laugh. Some even suggested that Abeygunawardena’s letter should be released to the media, but the President didn’t want to embarrass him, the official said.

Continue reading ‘Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Key Astrologer Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena now wants to Serve President Maithripala Sirisena.’ »

Why I Support Mahinda Rajapaksa Politically Despite the Faults,Flaws and Follies of the Rajapaksa Regime.

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

“…The Sri Lankan government must keep up the pace on reform. Building trust by demilitarizing the North…We owe it to victims and survivors across Sri Lanka to ensure that those responsible are held to account…That’s why we, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, have made clear that the report must be published and discussed by September 2015 and we will stick to that. In six months time the spotlight will be back on Sri Lanka.” – David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, Daily Mirror, Op-Ed, March 10, 2015
*********************

It is hardly that I was unaware of or unconcerned about the many faults, flaws and follies of the Rajapaksa regime (having been an institutional victim of some of those errors). It is that, as I had written repeatedly, that was not and is not my main arena of concern or my main criteria, deriving from my primary political values. I am not primarily concerned with matter of political culture, political behavior and issues of governance.

@RajapaksaNamal: At the "134 Amadam Sisila Bana" programme at the Carlton House on Poya-March 5, 2015

@RajapaksaNamal: At the “134 Amadam Sisila Bana” programme at the Carlton House on Poya-March 5, 2015

My focus is the State. This has been a decades-long focus. I distinctly recall the first tutorial set for us ‘freshers’ by our guru Prof K.H. Jayasinghe when we entered Peradeniya university in 1976: “What is Political Science?” My tutorial which earned an A Plus from him was entitled – and the title prefigured my conclusion which I had argued out in the tutorial—that “Political Science was the Science of the State and Revolution”. (The tutorial’s title had obvious echoes from Lenin and the text quoted Gramsci). That has remained my perspective, though I would add “and Counter-Revolution” to the definition and title.

It is crucial to grasp the distinction between State and Government. I am concerned about the State, not so much about Government, still less governance, which I why, for instance, I didn’t really give a darn as to whether or not President Premadasa ran a “one–man show” as was widely alleged, most crucially in the impeachment motion against him.

Continue reading ‘Why I Support Mahinda Rajapaksa Politically Despite the Faults,Flaws and Follies of the Rajapaksa Regime.’ »

JVP Demands Resignation of Central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran Over Investigation Into Alleged Shady Activities of son in Law

By Dasun Edirisinghe

The JVP yesterday demanded the resignation of Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran in view of the investigation being conducted into the alleged shady deal relating to the ten-billion-rupee bond issue to a company owned by his son in law on Feb. 27, 2015.

Addressing a media conference at the party head office, JVP Colombo District MP Sunil Handunnetti said that if the Central Bank Governor would not resign, the President should remove him from the post until investigations were over.

“Former Rajapaksa regime strengthened the family regime, but we are furious that this government, too, is given into nepotism,” Handunnetti said.

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LTTE Protests Against President Sirisena in UK Fizzle out as Tigers were Unable to Mobilise more than 300 for Demonstrations

From Shamindra Ferdinando in London

Placards carrying pro-LTTE activists protested near Westminster Abbey on Monday afternoon (March 9) demanding that a UNHRC war crimes report on Sri Lanka be released forthwith.

There were about 300 protesters though the organisers expected a far larger number.

Some of the protesters shouted anti-Sri Lanka slogans as President Maithripala Sirisena’s motorcade passed them on its way to Westminster Abbey, where the Sri Lankan leader joined the Queen and senior royals in celebrating the Commonwealth Day.

The Queen led a service celebrating the Commonwealth in London.

Protesters carried LTTE flags. Some displayed photos of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, war winning army commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka as well as President Maithripala Sirisena demanding that they be punished for what they called atrocities against Tamils.

Continue reading ‘LTTE Protests Against President Sirisena in UK Fizzle out as Tigers were Unable to Mobilise more than 300 for Demonstrations’ »

New Chines Envoy Yi Xianliang to Objects to Issue about Chinese Submarines and asks whether Colombo Harbour Belongs to Sri Lanka or India?

CHSLIFL


Newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang, said he was shocked when ‘issues’ were created and misleading media reports appeared when Chinese submarines called on the Colombo Port twice last year.

He also said he is intended to discuss the matter with his Indian counterpart to check if that was an issue for them.

Briefing journalists at the Embassy premises, the new Ambassador said that there are so many submarines and vessels which call on Colombo Port whereas, a huge noise was made and it becomes an issue only when Chinese submarines come. “I was shocked when I read the news on the submarines last year,” he said.
Continue reading ‘New Chines Envoy Yi Xianliang to Objects to Issue about Chinese Submarines and asks whether Colombo Harbour Belongs to Sri Lanka or India?’ »

Can Mahinda Rajapaksa Make A Return in Sri Lanka as Vladimir Putin did in Russia?

By

Rasika Jayakody

On the sidelines of the Central Committee meeting of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party last week, a senior Parliamentarian of the party quipped that former President Rajapaksa was voraciously reading the biography of Russian President Vladimir Putin these days!

Putin, who plays a pivotal role in the political sphere of Russia, became the country’s Prime Minister in 1999. Known as a Yeltsin loyalist back then many thought Putin would not last long at the helm of Russia’s politics for more than a few years.

Tjeerd Royaards says he can't stop drawing Putin-courtesy: twitter.com/globalcartoons-sketch of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa-by Hasantha Wijenayake

Tjeerd Royaards says he can’t stop drawing Putin-courtesy: twitter.com/globalcartoons-sketch of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa-by Hasantha Wijenayake

The former KGB stalwart somehow consolidated his power-base and ascended to Presidency in 2000. Amidst severe challenges, he retained his popularity and ran for a second term – which was allowed by the constitution of Russia. On 14 March 2004, Putin was elected to the presidency for a second term, receiving 71% of the vote. By this time, he positioned himself to be an all-powerful, larger-than-life figure in Russian politics, who often pandered to anti-West sentiments.

Putin was barred from a third term by the Russian Constitution. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who served under Putin was elected his successor. In a power-switching operation on 8 May 2008, only a day after handing the presidency to Medvedev, Putin was appointed the Prime Minister of Russia, maintaining his political dominance in the country. Although Medvedev was the President, some said, Putin operated as the de facto head of state of the country, at times overlooking and at times undercutting the duly appointed President of Russia.
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