“I Hope Mahinda Rajapaksa Will win.I Expect him to”-Dayan Jayatilleka

By

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

“In Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, an anti-Rajapaksa wave”
– Meera Srinivasan, the Hindu

“When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn…?”

Where Have All the Flowers Gone

It may seem patronizing on my part, to suggest to the minorities how they should vote. It isn’t. I am a member of the minorities. I am also a member of the majority. As a (non-practicing) Catholic I am a member of one of Sri Lanka’s minorities. As a Sinhalese I am a member of the majority ethnic community.

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The Christian community in Ceylon was heavily identified with the West and the UNP. It was a prominent, visible part of the pro-west, urban, anti-nationalist, pro-UNP social bloc (to use a Gramscian term). 1962 was the high point or rather the nadir of this trajectory and identity. The Christian churches and lay community paid for this in spades, three times over i.e. in 1956, 1960 and 1970. The Catholics paid for it more, because they had something more important to lose, which for the most part, they did—their schools.

It took Bishops Leo Nanayakkara and Lakshman Wickremesinghe, and scholar-priests like Monsignor WLA Don Peter, the Rector of my old school, St Joseph’s, to repair the damage, rectify the ‘line’ and bring the churches into the national mainstream. This was sealed by the Catholic vote for Sirimavo Bandaranaike and the center-left United Front in 1970.

The Tamils made exactly the same mistake of identification, most especially as a conspicuous component of Dudley Senanayake’s ‘Hath Havula’, and suffered a discourse and policy backlash in 1956, 1960 and 1970.

Today the minorities are poised to make the same mistake as in the post-independence decades.

Continue reading ‘“I Hope Mahinda Rajapaksa Will win.I Expect him to”-Dayan Jayatilleka’ »

Remarkable Shift of Political Affiliation of SLFP Elements from Mahinda Rajapaksa and UPFA to Maithripala Sirisena and SLFP


by

Bradman Weerakoon

For the last eight months I have been living in a village in the Kalutara district. The village is situated about 10 kilometres south of Kalutara the district capital and a kilometer or so east from the sea.. The village economy is based on paddy farming and services with many young men and women commuting for work in Colombo and the neighbouring urban centres. The village is well served by rail and road transport. It is almost entirely Buddhist with temples of all three Nikayas and most people claim to be of the farming community. The village is perhaps typical of the hundreds of self – identified village communities in this south west quadrant of the island.

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The political affiliations of my village population has been more or less unchanged over the years. The five or six old families (the appuhamies) and their numerous relatives are essentially UNP. The middle level of school teachers, government functionaries, garment factory workers and retail shopkeepers are SLFP. The JHU ideology has some traction among this group. The JVP used to be strong among the “depressed “ communities of which there are a few pockets yet, but has lost its salience since memory of their ‘oppression’ at the time they were rising in the late 1980’s is yet persistent.

Continue reading ‘Remarkable Shift of Political Affiliation of SLFP Elements from Mahinda Rajapaksa and UPFA to Maithripala Sirisena and SLFP’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Requests all our Voters to Exercise their Franchise Silently, Courageously and with a Sense of Pride.

(Text of Statement Issued by Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of United National Party)

The people of our country will have yet another opportunity to exercise their democratic right to choose a leader of their choice. No one can stop, coerce or in any other way wrest this right away from them.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe

I request with all sincerity and with the greatest respect from all our voters that they proceed to their respective polling booths and exercise their franchise silently, courageously and with a sense of pride.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Requests all our Voters to Exercise their Franchise Silently, Courageously and with a Sense of Pride.’ »

Is Maithripala Sirisena Who was Acting Defence Minister During the Last Two Weeks of War Implicated in Alleged War Crimes?


By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

What was the nature of the role played by Former Health minister and current Common Opposition Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena during the final phase of the war conducted against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)?

pic via: facebook.com/maithripalas

pic via: facebook.com/maithripalas

The question is of great relevance and grave significance at a time when the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner’s office is investigating alleged human rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sri Lanka in terms of a resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Interview

Responding to a question posed by Journalist Hafeel Farisz in an interview for the Colombo English daily newspaper”Daily Mirror”Maithripala Sirisena proudly asserts that he was in fact the acting defence minister of Sri Lanka in the final two weeks of the war when a large number of LTTE leaders were killed.
Continue reading ‘Is Maithripala Sirisena Who was Acting Defence Minister During the Last Two Weeks of War Implicated in Alleged War Crimes?’ »

Lasantha’s Sixth Death Anniversary to be Marked with Graveside Service at Borella Kanatte at 8 a.m. on 8 January

Lasantha Wickrematunge

Lasantha Wickrematunge

The sixth anniversary of the assassination of The Sunday Leader founder and Editor-in-Chief Lasantha Wickrematunge, which falls on 8 January, will be marked with a service at his graveside.

Family, friends, former colleagues and others, including those from political and diplomatic circles, will gather at Borella Kanatte at 8 a.m. to mark the anniversary and remember Lasantha.

Assassinated on 8 January 2009, Lasantha was one of Sri Lanka’s leading journalists and an outspoken critic of the Sri Lankan Government. He was shot as he drove to work and later died of his injuries. The brazen attack was carried out by two gunmen on motorcycles in the middle of morning-rush-hour traffic.

Although the Sri Lankan Government called for an investigation into Lasantha’s murder, it has yielded no tangible results thus far and his killers still roam free, six years later.

TNA Leader Sampanthan “Bluffs” about the Issues of the LTTE not Existing now and the TNA being a Tiger Proxy

Tamil National Alliance leader and Trincomalee district MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan was interviewed by the “Daily Mirror”. The Colombo English daily carried the interview conducted by Chathushika Wijeyesinghe on January 3rd under the heading “There is no LTTE now, so how can TNA be a Proxy-Sampanthan”.

Rajavarothayam Sampanthan M.P

Rajavarothayam Sampanthan M.P

Upon reading the interview in full ,it is seen that the question posed to Sampanthan was “Some say that the TNA is an LTTE proxy. What do you have to say about this?. To which the veteran Tamil leader answered with a counter question –“When the LTTE is not there how can we become a proxy? We have never been LTTE’s proxy”.

Fortunately or unfortunately for Sampanthan the “Daily Mirror”journalist does not follow up with her question but goes off on a different track and raises another one on an “honourable solution”.


Sampanthan’s foxy response to the question has two components. One is that the issue of TNA being a LTTE proxy does not arise because the LTTE is no more. The other is that the TNA was never a LTTE proxy.Both assertions warrant closer scrutiny

Continue reading ‘TNA Leader Sampanthan “Bluffs” about the Issues of the LTTE not Existing now and the TNA being a Tiger Proxy’ »

How President Rajapaksa Captivated the Hearts of Tamil Children at “Sencholai” Home run by “KP” at Kilinochchi


By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

September 14th 2013 was a red letter day for the people of Kilinochchi as the “Yarl Devi” Train streamed into Kilinochchi after many years on that Saturday.Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself was on board the train as a special passenger during the 35 minute journey of the “Yarl Devi” from Omanthai.He had earlier ceremonially declared open the new phase of the train from Omanthai to Kilinochchi.

pic via: sencholai.org

pic via: sencholai.org

While the people of Kilinochchi were elated at the prospect of Trains running again after many years there was one group of young children who were even more thrilled by the president due to another reason.For these children the day became unforgettable as they had an opportunity of interacting with the President directly.
Continue reading ‘How President Rajapaksa Captivated the Hearts of Tamil Children at “Sencholai” Home run by “KP” at Kilinochchi’ »

Popular Tamil Film Music Composer Yuvan Shankar Rajah now Known as Abdul Haliq Marries Muslim Girl Zafroon Nizar On Jan 1st 2015

The year 2015 has dawned with wedded bliss for well known Tamil film music composer Yuvan Shankar Rajah who has changed his name to Abdul Haliq after he converted from Hinduism to Islam last year.

Yuvan who is the youngest son of Music maestro Illayarajah has followed in the footsteps of his illustrious father and made a name for himself in the Tamil film music sphere by composing the music score for more than 100 films

Yuvan Shankar Raja with his bride and sister Bhavatharini

Yuvan Shankar Raja with his bride and sister Bhavatharini

Thirty –five year old Yuvan Abdul Haliq who will turn 36 this August got married to Twenty five year old Zafroon Nizaar hailing from the village Senkalneerodai in the area of Keezhakkarai in Tamil Nadu state’s Ramanathapuram district.

Zafroon is an apparel designer by profession working for textile businesses in Dubai and Malaysia.

The wedding very much a private affair and was conducted on a low key with the number of guests being severely restricted.Only close relatives of the bride and close friends of the groom were invited for the Nikkah ceremony held in the Bride’s ancestral village of Senkalneerodai.
Continue reading ‘Popular Tamil Film Music Composer Yuvan Shankar Rajah now Known as Abdul Haliq Marries Muslim Girl Zafroon Nizar On Jan 1st 2015’ »

Rise of the Ruhunu Rajapaksas and Medamulana Mahinda’s Journey to President’s House.

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa, known to his country and the world at large as Mahinda Rajapaksa, celebrated his 69th birthday on 18th November. Sri Lanka’s fifth Executive President has been at the helm of the nation for nine years since November 2005. Currently he is poised to create a record of sorts by contesting presidential elections for the third time. Whether he wins or loses History would be made.

7th Deyata Kirula Exhibition, Ampara-Mar 24, 2013-pic via: facebook.com/NamalSL

7th Deyata Kirula Exhibition, Ampara-Mar 24, 2013-pic via: facebook.com/NamalSL

Once the presidential poll is in progress the media spotlight will beam on this son of the Ruhunu even more powerfully than the past in the days to come. It is perhaps a sign of the times that the Editor of the Daily FT has asked me to write a personality piece about President Mahinda Rajapaksa at this juncture.

කතරගම මහා දේවාලයේ | கதிர்காமம் இந்துக் கோவில் | Kataragama Hindu Temple - pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

කතරගම මහා දේවාලයේ | கதிர்காமம் இந்துக் கோவில் | Kataragama Hindu Temple – December 3, 2014-pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

Delving deep into research about the man from Medamulana and his colourful background is both an interesting and fascinating task. There is no doubt that Mahinda Rajapaksa the politician is demonised by his opponents and deified by his supporters. On the other hand there is no denying that the metamorphosis of Mahinda from a mischievous boy into becoming the responsible Head of State is a tale worthy of narration. In that context the Daily FT Editor’s request provides an opportunity to shift focus from the current politics of the President to that of his personal story and family history.

Continue reading ‘Rise of the Ruhunu Rajapaksas and Medamulana Mahinda’s Journey to President’s House.’ »

Why Music Composer Yuvan Shankar Rajah Converted From Hinduism to Islam Seeking Solace, Inner Peace and Happiness

Popular music composer Illayaraj’s younger son and a famous composer himself Yuvan Shankar Raja Monday confirmed that he has converted to Islam, adding that he is proud of the decision which got his family’s support.

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Though the rumour was going around for quite some time, Yuvan, confirmed this in a tweet.

“Yes, I follow Islam and I’m proud about it. Alhamdhulillah,” Yuvan Shankar Raja posted on Twitter.

There were rumours that Yuvan, who was married twice, was now going to marry a Muslim woman.

However, he has denied the rumours.

“I’m not married for the third time. The news is false, and yes, I follow Islam and I’m proud of it,” India Today quoted him as saying.

Continue reading ‘Why Music Composer Yuvan Shankar Rajah Converted From Hinduism to Islam Seeking Solace, Inner Peace and Happiness’ »

Astrologer Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena Predicts Victory for President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Jan 8th Election.

Astrologer Sumanadasa Abegunawardhana predicts that President Mahinda Rajapaksa will emerge as a winner at the next Presidential Election on 8 January.

Excerpts of this interview are given below:

President Mahinda Rajapaksa & Astrologer Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena

President Mahinda Rajapaksa & Astrologer Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena

Q:
What is your astrological view on the date, 8 January, the Presidential Election is held?

A: I see it as lucky for the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. There is only a brief period for the presidential Election.

Q:
What do you mean by luck?

Continue reading ‘Astrologer Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena Predicts Victory for President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Jan 8th Election.’ »

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’ »

Mahinda vs Maithri Battle Enters Decisive Final Week With Embattled President Struggling to Surmount Challenge


By

Dharisha Bastians

A few months ago, President Mahinda Rajapaksa quipped that faced with a lack of opposition, his Government had to step into play the role.

pic via: & facebook.com/maithripalas

pic via: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa & facebook.com/maithripalas

Supremely confident of victory, he sought re-election two years ahead of schedule. How does he come to be fighting tooth and nail for survival against an Opposition that was in all kinds of disarray only four weeks ago?
Continue reading ‘Mahinda vs Maithri Battle Enters Decisive Final Week With Embattled President Struggling to Surmount Challenge’ »

Govt Resumes Granting of Dual Citizenship To Sri Lankan Expatriates Under Amended Procedures Including an Interview

The Gover-nment yesterday resumed the granting of dual citizenship following approval of the Cabinet.

The move was revealed by Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Additional Secretary (Civil Security and Development) Damayanthi Jayaratna during the weekly press briefing held at the Media Centre yesterday.

Speaking to the media, she said that upon a Cabinet decision, the granting of dual citizenship which had been temporarily suspended during the end of 2011 has been reinstated. Formerly the process was to grant a five-year permanent residency visa and thereafter grant the dual citizenship.

Continue reading ‘Govt Resumes Granting of Dual Citizenship To Sri Lankan Expatriates Under Amended Procedures Including an Interview’ »

“TNA Should have let Tamils to Make Their Own Choice Instead of Asking to Support Maithripala”-TULF Secy-Gen Anandasangaree

The Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) V. Anandasangaree has hit out at the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for publicly calling on the Tamils to vote for common Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Anandasangaree said that the public announcement by the TNA could have consequences and in his opinion the TNA should have allowed the Tamils to make their own choice.

“The TNA took three weeks from the day of nomination to announce the name of the candidate of their choice. The excuse they gave was that they were waiting for the arrival of R. Sampanthan from India where he had gone for a medical checkup, for which three weeks are not required. He could have been either summoned or his views obtained over the phone.

Continue reading ‘“TNA Should have let Tamils to Make Their Own Choice Instead of Asking to Support Maithripala”-TULF Secy-Gen Anandasangaree’ »

Mangala Samaraweera Describes Presidential Candidate Ratnayake Aarachige Sirisena as a “Joker”.

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) has warned of attempts to mislead the public by using Rathnayaka Aarachchige Sirisena, a candidate at the upcoming presidential election.

UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said that one attempt by the Government is to announce that Sirisena has decided not to contest the presidential election.

Samaraweera said the Government would look to use Rathnayaka Aarachchige Sirisena to confuse the public over Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘Mangala Samaraweera Describes Presidential Candidate Ratnayake Aarachige Sirisena as a “Joker”.’ »

“We Dont Have any Horses, Lamborghinis or Helicopters” -Namal Rajapaksa Speaks out in Candid Interview

by

Hafeel Farisz

Namal Rajapaksa, the son of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Hambanthota District parliamentarian, in a candid interview with the Dailymirror responded to allegations against him, the state of the country, broken promises and the way forward.

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Excerpts:


Q;We are in the last phase of the election campaign. How do you see it progressing as of now and where do you see it headed towards?

This has been one of the shortest election campaigns this country has witnessed. This is an election in which the campaign lasts for only 3 or 4 weeks, and I think we have done very well. When we go to the village and speak to our people the response has been very good.

Q:Is it cause for concern though that many of those who voted for this government, have now steered away from you all?

Continue reading ‘“We Dont Have any Horses, Lamborghinis or Helicopters” -Namal Rajapaksa Speaks out in Candid Interview’ »

Polls Conducted Between December 18 to 23 Indicate Maithripala Sirisena is Ahead with More than 50% of the Vote

by

Vishwamithra 1984

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ~ Alan Watts

One more week for the Presidential Elections. The people of Sri Lanka are being asked to make a decision and it’s going to be the most crucial political judgment they have been challenged to make.
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Bewildered by the unprecedented crossovers from both sides, the voters are still meandering between this valley and other peaks, wondering whether the incumbent is really serious about restoring the fast-disappearing socio-cultural values. While the leaders are pontificating from the top of their voices about Buddhism and its abiding influence on the psyche of the great majority of Sri Lankans and its values, they are also resorting to the most dastardly acts of violence, inhuman treatment of minorities and distorted sloganeering of sublime concepts.
Continue reading ‘Polls Conducted Between December 18 to 23 Indicate Maithripala Sirisena is Ahead with More than 50% of the Vote’ »

Suicidal for the Tamil Voter to not vote and Engage in the Politics of Isolationism and Boycott Politics


by
Sivamohan Sumathy
Department of English,University of Peradeniya

What is striking about the 2015 elections?

It is the upsurge in the call for democracy and the call to put an end to aggression, arbitrary actions. Significantly, it has opened up spaces for the minority community, the minority voter, to once again find a voice within the politics of the state.

VM 123014 VOTE SS

My writing here concerns largely Tamil politics, political leadership and the north and east Tamil voter, particularly of the north. In this, I wish to state at the outset, I am not addressing the Malaiyaha Tamil voter or those who are ‘traditional’ residents of Southern Sri Lanka. I write this in the context of how one should see the possibilities that have arisen around the Presidential Elections of 2015. I here focus on the northern Tamil voter, whose aspirations and social location I am more familiar with than that of the east. Elections 2015 has much to offer to the Tamil voter in the north, both in the peninsula, in the Vanni and in the rest of the province.

How?
Continue reading ‘Suicidal for the Tamil Voter to not vote and Engage in the Politics of Isolationism and Boycott Politics’ »

“We want Maithripala Sirisena to be elected President of this country,” -TNA Leader Sampanthan.

By Dharisha Bastians

Making an eleventh hour decision, the Tamil National Alliance yesterday extended its fullest support to common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena at next week’s crucial election.

TNA Leader R. Sampanthan (centre) gestures at the news conference yesterday in Colombo flanked by MPs M.A. Sumanthiran (left) and Mavai Senathiraja – Pic by Kithsiri De Mel-courtesy: DailyFT

TNA Leader R. Sampanthan (centre) gestures at the news conference yesterday in Colombo flanked by MPs M.A. Sumanthiran (left) and Mavai Senathiraja – Pic by Kithsiri De Mel-courtesy: DailyFT

Officially announcing its support for Sirisena at a press briefing in Colombo, TNA Leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had failed to deliver on a political solution to the ethnic problem for 10 long years.

“We have watched President Rajapaksa’s performance for the past 10 years. We would rather repose our faith in Mr. Maithripala Sirisena rather than expect what has not happened in the past 10 years to happen hereafter,” TNA Leader Sampanthan told reporters in Colombo

The announcement coincided with a series of opposition rallies in the formerly embattled Northern Province including Jaffna, which Sirisena attended.
Continue reading ‘“We want Maithripala Sirisena to be elected President of this country,” -TNA Leader Sampanthan.’ »

Body Language Images Seem to Show that Mahinda Rajapaksa the most Accurate Reader of the Sinhala Mindset is not at his Best.

By

Dr.Kalana Senaratne

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who just lost the support of the Muslim political parties this week, is facing political isolation of an unprecedented character. Unfortunately for the President, he has neither a political manifesto to help him, nor clever political strategy to back him in this crisis. Political violence appears to be on the rise. And times have indeed changed; today it’s the regime that’s making all the blunders – the opposition only needs to sit and watch.

pic: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

pic: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

Amidst the maddening number of crossovers taking place, the release of the two manifestos by the two main candidates was the highlight of the past week. While manifestos are never trustworthy, they do reflect something of the character of the candidates, the strength of their alliances, as well as the political pulse of the people.

Maithripala Sirisena’s manifesto is not one released by just another candidate; rather it’s that of a candidate whose popularity is palpably growing, whose voice is more confident, whose message sounds comparatively more sincere to the Southern voter. This is not only because he challenged the President for a public debate; a challenge which will never be accepted. It’s also because when compared with the President, it is Sirisena who has been able to portray himself as the ‘reformist’. His brief manifesto, its short and long term agendas, the 100-days programme with a timetable – all show that there is drive and purpose, however practical the programme may be.
Continue reading ‘Body Language Images Seem to Show that Mahinda Rajapaksa the most Accurate Reader of the Sinhala Mindset is not at his Best.’ »

Rajapaksas Face an “Arab Spring” in Sri Lanka as Rural Population Support Base Shifts Away from “Thesiya Thalaivar” of the Sinhalese.


by

Dushy Ranetunge

Gothabaya Rajapakse, GL Pieris and several other VIPs were at the Independence Square Arcade last week to watch the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka perform to a large audience on a rainy evening.

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I took the opportunity to speak to some of their security escorts sitting inside their escort vehicles. I asked them the same question I had been asking since that fateful morning that I landed in Colombo, about 10 hours before Sirisena came out of his closet to declare his candidacy.
Continue reading ‘Rajapaksas Face an “Arab Spring” in Sri Lanka as Rural Population Support Base Shifts Away from “Thesiya Thalaivar” of the Sinhalese.’ »

Muslim Congress has no Agreement Secret or Otherwise with Common Candidate Sirisena to Divide the Country

(Text of Statement Issued on Behalf of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress by its Seretary-General M.T.Hasen Ali M.P.)

Udaya Gammanpila, a member of the UPFA coalition, has used state television to make the ridiculous and baseless accusation that the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has a secret agreement with the Common Candidate to divide Sri Lanka.

Vested elements within UPFA and its partners also insinuate that the SLMC “supports Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena as President Rajapakse has rejected their demand to set up separate district for the Muslims”.

These malicious and false allegations are meant to deceive voters and are an abuse of the state media.

The SLMC wishes to make it clear that it has no agreement, secret or otherwise, with the Common Candidate.

The SLMC reiterates that it has always firmly stood for an undivided Sri Lanka and that its support for the Common Candidate is based on his manifesto.

Continue reading ‘Muslim Congress has no Agreement Secret or Otherwise with Common Candidate Sirisena to Divide the Country’ »

Deputy Investment Promotions Minister Faizer Mustapha Officially Crosses Over to Common Opposition

Investment Promotions Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha officially joined the Common Opposition at Viharamahadevi open air theatre.

The Deputy Minister attended the women’s meeting of the UNP and joined the stage when UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was addressing the meeting.

Continue reading ‘Deputy Investment Promotions Minister Faizer Mustapha Officially Crosses Over to Common Opposition’ »

Purpose of Salman Khan Visit to Sri Lanka at her Request was to Donate Lenses for Eye Surgery States Jacqueline Fernandez

On Monday evening, pictures of Salman Khan and his Kick leading lady, Jacqueline Fernandez with incumbent Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa went viral online.

Across the border this was seen as a last-ditch effort by the President to boost his prospects in the upcoming elections scheduled for January 8.

The superstar’s public endorsement of Rajapaksa has invited the ire of Tamil parties, DMK and MDMK, back home.

Continue reading ‘Purpose of Salman Khan Visit to Sri Lanka at her Request was to Donate Lenses for Eye Surgery States Jacqueline Fernandez’ »

TNA Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan will not Support Maithripala in Elections Despite Party Decision.

TNA Northern Provincial Council Member Ananthi Sasitharan has said that she will be boycotting the presidential election, despite the decision by her party to support the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Speaking to the BBC Tamil Service she has pointed out that the TNA election manifesto for the last Northern Provincial Election was clear on its stance on the Tamil identity and the autonomous rights. Therefore she has said that she cannot support a candidate who is against these policies.

This development came hours after the TNA announced its decision to support Maithripala Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘TNA Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan will not Support Maithripala in Elections Despite Party Decision.’ »

Muslim Congress Chairman Basheer Segu Dawood Writes Letter Wishing President Rajapaksa a Convincing Victory at Elections


Productivity Promotion Minister Basheer Segudawood who resigned from his portfolio and quit the UPFA government along with other SLMC members to support the common candidate has extended his good wishes to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a convincing victory at the forthcoming Presidential election.

Segudawood in a letter addressed to the President has said he is submitting his resignation letter at a sensitive moment when a decisive presidential election is to be held.

He has said his resignation does not imply any displeasure or suspicion about the President’s leadership.

He said it was his view that the President had rendered a sterling service to Sri Lanka during the last nine years as an Executive President.

Continue reading ‘Muslim Congress Chairman Basheer Segu Dawood Writes Letter Wishing President Rajapaksa a Convincing Victory at Elections’ »

Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thera Demands that Agreement Between TNA and Maithripala’s NDF be Revealed.


BY Kavindya Chris Thomas

Maithripala Sirisena in Jaffna, Dec 30, 2014-30, 2014

Maithripala Sirisena releasing symbol of peace-a white pigeon in Jaffna, Dec 30, 2014, 2014-pic: tamilwin

Claiming that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has initiated a ‘Maithrivaranya’ in the North, in support of joint Opposition presidential candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) yesterday demanded that the agreement entered into between the TNA and Sirisena’s New Democratic Front (NDF) be revealed.
Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thera Demands that Agreement Between TNA and Maithripala’s NDF be Revealed.’ »

TNA says it Joined the Maithripala Camp Without Reaching an Understanding on Major Issues.

By
Shamindra Ferdinando

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday warned the government against making what it called clandestine efforts to settle the national question.

TNA MS 123014 1

Having declared its intention to thwart incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa securing a third term at January 8, 2015 poll, TNA chief R. Sampanthan, MP, didn’t mince his words when he declared: “The national question cannot be resolved through a backdoor deal. Such an agreement is not possible. We’ll not take that path.”

He was addressing the media at Hotel Janaki, Narahenpita, where the four-party alliance pledged its support to opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘TNA says it Joined the Maithripala Camp Without Reaching an Understanding on Major Issues.’ »

Sampanthan Admits that TNA has been Freed from the Clutches of the Ruthless Military Organization LTTE

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

TNA leader R. Sampanthan

TNA leader R. Sampanthan

Alleging that incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa was moving towards a dictatorship and totalitarianism, the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday (Dec 30) pledged the support of the Tamil electorate to opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

The TNA emphasised that the repealing of the two term limit on the Office of the President was meant to facilitate President Rajapaksa’s project.

The TNA asserted that the election of a new president would facilitate on-going efforts to resolve Sri Lanka’s national issue.
Continue reading ‘Sampanthan Admits that TNA has been Freed from the Clutches of the Ruthless Military Organization LTTE’ »

TNA is Supporting Maithripala to Spread Tamil Extremism Again in the Country Charges Gnanasara Thera of Bodu Bala Sena

By

Yositha Perera

BBS

Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation yesterday charged that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was supporting the common opposition because they want to accomplish their aim of spreading Tamil extremism again in the country.

They said that Western Embassies had made some promises to the TNA and with that help the TNA could help spread Tamil extremism again under the common candidate’s government.

BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said that by influencing Sri Lanka these foreign countries are trying to obliterate India like Libya and Syria since India was now considered a world super-power.
Continue reading ‘TNA is Supporting Maithripala to Spread Tamil Extremism Again in the Country Charges Gnanasara Thera of Bodu Bala Sena’ »

Salman Khan donates 300 lenses to visually challenged in Sri Lanka with Jacqueline Fernandez

Mumbai: Bollywood star Salman Khan visited Sri Lanka on Monday to prop up the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election bid, the first Indian actor to be roped in for a poll campaign in the country.

Khan, along with Sri Lankan-born Jacqueline Fernandez and five other Bollywood performers are set to appear on stage in support of Rajapaksa.

pic via: facebook.com/NamalSL

pic via: facebook.com/NamalSL

The duo participated in a health camp there and Salman donated 300 lenses for cataract operations for the visually challenged.
Continue reading ‘Salman Khan donates 300 lenses to visually challenged in Sri Lanka with Jacqueline Fernandez’ »

Sri Lanka prepares for what could be the closest presidential contest in its history

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THE plan seemed such a simple one. Mahinda Rajapaksa called an election in November expecting to breeze past a shambolic, divided opposition and take an unprecedented third term as Sri Lanka’s president. The poll, on January 8th, would be two years earlier than necessary. It would also be the first after a constitutional amendment in 2010 that abolished a two-term limit for presidents. Everything had appeared set for Mr Rajapaksa to remain in power.

Now his prospects look far less certain. The campaign has been marked by a series of defections by former allies who call him authoritarian and nepotistic (among relatives in important political jobs are a brother, Basil, who is in charge of running the economy; another brother, Gotabaya, who is defence secretary and a third, Chamal, who is parliamentary Speaker). Most striking was the exit of Maithripala Sirisena. He was both health minister in Mr Rajapaksa’s cabinet and general secretary of his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). On November 21st he became the main opposition candidate. The president complains bitterly that Mr Sirisena dined with him only the night before.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka prepares for what could be the closest presidential contest in its history’ »

Will the Tiger Diaspora Support the Tamil National Alliance Decision to Endorse Maithripala Sirisena?

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

In the backdrop of yesterday’s decision by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to support common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the upcoming January presidential election, it is appropriate to recall events and incidents within the TNA which happened behind the curtain.

 Cartoon by: Hasantha Wijenayake

Cartoon by: Hasantha Wijenayake

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was the party which brought tremendous pressure on UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to stay out of the presidential contest. TNA leader R. Sampanthan delivered this message direct to Ranil’s face several times and it was no secret in the political scene.Ranil decided to withdraw from the presidential race following tremendous pressure from Sampanthan.

The TNA leader was of the opinion that Ranil cannot muster the Sinhala Buddhist vote. He knew that if Ranil contested, the Rajapaksa government would label Ranil as a LTTE sympathizer and defeat him through the Sinhala Buddhist vote. It is clear that the TNA had gauged the Sinhala Buddhist vote as the base to decide on which candidate it should support.

Continue reading ‘Will the Tiger Diaspora Support the Tamil National Alliance Decision to Endorse Maithripala Sirisena?’ »

Tamil National Alliance Wants all Citizens to Defeat Rajapaksa Regime by Voting in Large Numbers for Sirisena and the Swan Symbol.

(Text of Media Release Issued by the Tamil National Alliance on December 30th 2014)

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has given careful consideration to the positions and pronouncements of the two main candidates at the upcoming Presidential election and has also undertaken an extensive process of consultation to hear the views of the Tamil speaking people, particularly those in the North and East. As the political leadership of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, we have a historical duty to guide our people and the wider citizenry in the choice they will be called on to make at the election.

pic via: twitter.com/Meerasrini

pic via: twitter.com/Meerasrini

The values of democracy, good governance and rule of law have suffered unprecedented assault under the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. The most critical consequences of this assault are:
Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance Wants all Citizens to Defeat Rajapaksa Regime by Voting in Large Numbers for Sirisena and the Swan Symbol.’ »

Faizer Mustapha has Secret Pact with Maithripala Sirisena but Ranil Refuses to Accept him Into UNP says “Ceylon Today”.

The secret pact that Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion, Faizer Musthapha, had entered into with common Opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena was proved yesterday beyond doubt as photographic evidence surfaced in the electronic media and websites showing Musthapha with Sirisena.

The photographic evidence showed that he was accompanied by the owner of a private television to meet Sirisena.

Following this discussion to join Sirisena the Deputy Minister suddenly departed for Singapore and was expected in the country yesterday.

Continue reading ‘Faizer Mustapha has Secret Pact with Maithripala Sirisena but Ranil Refuses to Accept him Into UNP says “Ceylon Today”.’ »

Salman Khan States his Sri Lanka Visit was not “Political” but Praises Mahinda as an “Amazing and Humble Man”.

By

Kamanthi Wickramasinghe

Visiting Bollywood star Salman Khan yesterday said President Mahinda Rajapaksa was an amazing man but his visit was not political.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror the Indian actor however said he was not aware about the attack on Sri Lankan movie stars and artistes and added that he was ‘coming from Mumbai’.

Continue reading ‘Salman Khan States his Sri Lanka Visit was not “Political” but Praises Mahinda as an “Amazing and Humble Man”.’ »

Gnanasara Calls Rauff Hakeem a “Political Prostitute”as Bodu Bala Sena is Unleashed After Muslim Congress Quits Govt

Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara, the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organization has emerged from forced seclusion accusing former Justice Minister and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem of being a “political prostitute” who stood up against the government at all the Presidential elections.

Gnanasara said that Rauff Hakeem had defected to the opposition at the Presidential elections in 2005 and 2010, however, later joined the government once again. “This time he is halfway through, and repeated the same move,” he added.

The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo, this morning.

Continue reading ‘Gnanasara Calls Rauff Hakeem a “Political Prostitute”as Bodu Bala Sena is Unleashed After Muslim Congress Quits Govt’ »

Tamil National Alliance pledges Support to Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Addressing a special press conference in Colombo, TNA Leader R. Sampanthan said the party has decided to support the campaign of the common opposition at the forthcoming presidential election.


The press conference was attended by several senior leaders of the TNA including Parliamentarian R. Sampanthan.

The announcement was made ahead of the Common Candidate’s visit to Jaffna where he would hold several election meetings.

Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance pledges Support to Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena.’ »

President Rajapaksa is Still the Most Popular Politician in Sri Lanka but the Magic is Waning


By

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

Enemies of the President’s Promise
The Prince 3

For good measure the provision about restricting the unlimited power of appointment by the President was repeated with regard to the Judiciary, with capitalization –

Appointments and Removals:

The Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and every other Judge, of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal shall be appointed by the President SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY THE SENATE

One of the most worrying incidents that took place during President Rajapaksa’s second Presidency had been the impeachment of the Chief Justice. She had not been the best choice for the position and the Opposition had raised questions about the appointment and her conduct, after the appointment was made. But the impeachment was badly handled, and in terms of bizarre provisions in the relevant instruments, the Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament. The former simply specified that impeachment should be by procedures laid down by Standing Orders, and the relevant Standing Orders had been hastily formulated when President Jayewardene wanted to put pressure on the Chief Justice he had appointed, one of his private lawyers, who had nevertheless begun to speak out against government excesses.

The leader of the Opposition was to grant that only half the required Standing Order had been set up, and since that had worked and the then Chief Justice had been subdued, the other half had been forgotten. So the provision remained that Parliament appointed a Select Committee to investigate, which involved it acting as both prosecution and judge. In the intervening thirty years it had often been pointed out that these provisions were unjust, and commitments had been made that they should be changed, but nothing had been done about this.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa is Still the Most Popular Politician in Sri Lanka but the Magic is Waning’ »

Desecrating the National Anthem for Election Propaganda Warrants an Impeachment of President Rajapaksa-UNP

(Text of Statement Issued by the United National Party on December 29th 2014)

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has resorted to the meanest methods of electioneering. Borrowing words from our sacred National Anthem and producing cheap commercials to drive home a point that Mahinda Rajapaksa is the creator of all good things about Sri Lanka deserves contempt and condemnation by all patriotic citizens.

These tactics desecrate not only our National Anthem, they leave a black spot on our nation.

It belittles the high office that Mahinda Rajapaksa holds today. Using words and phrases of the National Anthem is blatantly violating the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

This kind of conduct by the President warrants an impeachment against him.

Continue reading ‘Desecrating the National Anthem for Election Propaganda Warrants an Impeachment of President Rajapaksa-UNP’ »

President Rajapaksa Participates with Actors Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez in the Opening of Free Eye Clinic at Borella

President Mahinda Rajapaksa added some Bollywood glamour to his polls campaign yesterday, attending a free medical clinic in Borella with stars Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez.

The widely publicised star-studded event was organised by Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa’s Nil Balakaya movement.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Participates with Actors Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez in the Opening of Free Eye Clinic at Borella’ »

Chandrika Initiates Legal Action Against Mob Attack on her Led by Beruwela UC Chairman Milfer Caffoor and UPFA Organizer Marjan Faleel

By Dharisha Bastians

Former President Chandrika Kumara-tunga’s lawyers have threatened legal action against the Inspector General of Police and the department if they fail to act against perpetrators who attacked her vehicle in Beruwala last week.

Election monitors said both the former President and Western Provincial Councillor HirunikaPremachandra had been attacked in Beruwala and their vehicles damaged by the mob.

Kumaratunga has instructed her lawyers to inform the IGP that the failure to take action against her attackers was wilful and part of a larger conspiracy to cause her grievous physical harm.

“This is apparent from the threatening statements made by certain politicians including Cabinet Ministers against my client amounting to physical harm,” a letter from her lawyers to IGP N.K. Illangakoon states.

Continue reading ‘Chandrika Initiates Legal Action Against Mob Attack on her Led by Beruwela UC Chairman Milfer Caffoor and UPFA Organizer Marjan Faleel’ »

Maithripala’s son Daham is Engaged to Daughter of Pharmaceutical Businessman Alleges Wimal Weerawansa

Pharmaceuticals prices had gone through the roof during the past few years because Maithripala Sirisena had links with the drug companies, Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa alleged.

Addressing a propaganda rally in Matale last week in support of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Weerawansa said common opposition presidential candidate Sirisena’s son, Daham, was engaged to a daughter of a pharmaceutical businessman and large sums in foreign currencies had recently been found by the CID and Central Bank officials from a house belonging to the brother of the businessman at Ratmalana. “The foreign currency is worth more than Rs. 160 million. The CID had been tipped off by a youth from the same house. The CID and Central Bank officials found the stash of cash and produced the find before Mt. Lavinia Court. There were Swiss Francs and US Dollars.

The youth had told the court that foreign cash had been brought to that home by Daham Sirisena and part of that cash had been taken away by Daham’s girlfriend. Daham, his girlfriend and her businessman father were now in hiding, Weerawansa said. That businessman is one of the members of the pharmaceutical mafia which had connections with Maithripala Sirisena,” Minister Weerawansa alleged.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala’s son Daham is Engaged to Daughter of Pharmaceutical Businessman Alleges Wimal Weerawansa’ »

Defectors who Switch Allegiance to Maithripla Sirisena will not be taken back to the SLFP led UPFA Declares President Rajapaksa.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has declared that those who switched their allegiance to Maithripala Sirisena’s camp will not be taken back to the SLFP-led UPFA.

The warning was given at a public meeting held at Matale last Friday in the wake of several members of parliament, provincial councils and local government bodies joining the Opposition.

The President emphasised that defectors wouldn’t be accepted again under any circumstances.

Continue reading ‘Defectors who Switch Allegiance to Maithripla Sirisena will not be taken back to the SLFP led UPFA Declares President Rajapaksa.’ »

Ethnic Divide Perceptible Between Sinhala and Tamil Passengers Travelling on the “Queen of Jaffna” Train to North.

By

Ellen Barry

KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka — Two men were riding the train known as the Queen of Jaffna as it rattled through the haunted battlegrounds of Sri Lanka’s civil war.

A Sinhalese man eating on a train on a trip to the north of Sri Lanka in October. The Tamil-dominated north is a popular destination, but some there do not welcome the visitors. Credit Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press-courtesy: NYTimes.com

A Sinhalese man eating on a train on a trip to the north of Sri Lanka in October. The Tamil-dominated north is a popular destination, but some there do not welcome the visitors. Credit Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press-courtesy: NYTimes.com

One of them, Nisal Kavinda, a 20-year-old man from the Sinhalese ethnic group, was jubilant. He had wanted to ride this train since 2009, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared victory over separatist rebels in the Tamil north, an event he called “the most happiest thing in our lifetime.”

As the train approached Elephant Pass, the site of three pivotal battles, Mr. Kavinda jumped down onto the platform with his camera. A burned-out rebel tank stands as a memorial to a government soldier who, famously, carried out a suicide mission by clambering up its side and throwing grenades into it. “Terrorism memories,” Mr. Kavinda said happily, as he scrambled back onto the train.

Not far away from him sat the other man, Saravananuttu Subramanian, a 78-year-old retired accountant in wire-rimmed glasses who watched the tourists from the south out of the corner of his eye.

“They want to know how their soldiers defeated Tamil separatists, put it that way,” said Mr. Subramanian, a Tamil. “That’s what it is, though they don’t say so.”

Continue reading ‘Ethnic Divide Perceptible Between Sinhala and Tamil Passengers Travelling on the “Queen of Jaffna” Train to North.’ »

Regional Power India and the Possibility of Regime Change in Sri Lanka Through Elections.

by

N Sathiya Moorthy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Any nation-wide election in the neighbourhood is a treat and/or threat for India not to miss watching even otherwise. Advanced presidential polls in Sri Lanka, the second in a row, slated for 8 January 2015, demands India’s attention even more, given the nature of bilateral relations and cooperation, international engagement — and more so, for a fuller understanding of the socio-political cross-currents in that country, which has mostly been missed all along.

As the largest nation in South Asia in every which way, India has a responsibility to self and the rest, for ensuring and enhancing peace and stability in the region. In terms of self-interest and that of those smaller nations without the required politico-diplomatic and economic-military muscle in its ‘traditional area of influence’, India also has the responsibility to check against avoidable external influence and interference of the kind that has the potential to change the status quo — whether in individual nations or the South Asian region as a whole.

The exceptions, flowing from a partial surrender of ‘sovereignty’ by nations under the UN scheme and international norms, have proved to be a bugbear in many cases, in the post-Cold War years in particular. In the Indian and Indian Ocean neighbourhood, an example is being made out of Sri Lanka, for justifiable and not-so-justifiable reasons.

Continue reading ‘Regional Power India and the Possibility of Regime Change in Sri Lanka Through Elections.’ »

“Why I Would Vote for Maithripala Despite Reservations About His Coalition and Manifesto”

By

Jayadeva Uyangoda

Less than two weeks more to the Presidential election, scheduled for January 08, 2015, the political temperature of the country is rising amidst incessant rain and unusually cold December weather. The signs are that violence may increase, for the simple reason that the stakes are quite high at this election.

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At present, there is a discernible political trend in urban areas in favour of the opposition coalition and its Presidential candidate. This trend may or may not survive against the UPFA’s aggressive and resourceful propaganda campaign. However, two themes seem to have deeply penetrated into the political consciousness of the people across ethnic, social, and regional differences.

President Rajapaksa visiting the flood-affected areas in Anuradhapura

President Rajapaksa visiting the flood-affected areas in Anuradhapura

The first is the desire for regime change, often articulated in two expressions: “these people have been in power for far too long,” and “it is time for change, isn’t it.”
Continue reading ‘“Why I Would Vote for Maithripala Despite Reservations About His Coalition and Manifesto”’ »

Hindi Film Superstar Salman Khan and Lanka Born Jacqueline Fernandez Arrive in Colombo to Support President Rajapaksa Election Campaign.

Famous Bollywood actor Salman Khan arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday to support the election campaign of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

MR SK J


As exclusively revealed by Asian Mirror two weeks ago, Salman Khan was invited to participate in the election campaign of the President by Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa.


Along with him, Sri Lanka born Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez too arrived in Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘Hindi Film Superstar Salman Khan and Lanka Born Jacqueline Fernandez Arrive in Colombo to Support President Rajapaksa Election Campaign.’ »

“I Regard Mahinda Rajapaksa as a Tragic Anti-Hero Scorned by the Hypocritical Colombo Elite”


By

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

As a consistent supporter of the tragic hero and the anti-hero, and as a Lankan, in the battle between Rama and Ravana, I support and defend Ravana. I’m on Ravana’s side; never Vibheenshana’s. That is why I supported Premadasa and that’s why I support Mahinda.

MR DJ 122814

As my dear friend Rajiva Wijesinha would recall, I have, even at my most acerbically critical of the policies, ideological doctrine, structures, policy process and personalities of Govt and State, always and explicitly exempted Mahinda Rajapaksa from that critique, except for his sins of omission. This is not only in my public pronouncements, but in private conversation and on social occasions.
Continue reading ‘“I Regard Mahinda Rajapaksa as a Tragic Anti-Hero Scorned by the Hypocritical Colombo Elite”’ »

Even if Maithripala wins Ranil and the UNP will be Solely Dependent on Sirisena’s Generosity

By

Malinda Seneviratne

Maithripala Sirisena

Maithripala Sirisena

Now it can be argued that Ranil Wickremesinghe was robbed, so to speak, both in 1999 and 2005. In 1999 a close election went the incumbent’s way when she lost an eye in a terrorist attack, the resulting sympathy translating into a vote-sway. Moreover, S.B. Dissanayake once claimed that he had ensured that 400,000 fydr Pkao (illegal votes) were cast in her favor. The claimant of course late switched sides and was the UNP’s National Organizer for a while before crossing party lines again. It is also claimed, frequently enough, that Ranil would have won in 2005 had the LTTE not stopped Tamils in the North and East from voting.

It seems to have gone downhill thereafter. The brief UNP-led Government with Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister was roundly defeated in 2004. The UNP suffered another major defeat in 2010 when the UPFA retained power in a Parliamentary Election. Between 1994 and 2014, except for a brief high in local government elections in 2002/3, Ranil’s UNP has lost so dozens of elections. It must be said, however, that the provincial and local government elections generally go to the party holding power at the centre and thus Ranil was always handicapped, not to mention the fact that the ruling party used the staggered-elections policy so that state resources could be more effectively (and illegally of course and as has been done by all ruling parties, the UNP included) employed to secure victory.
Continue reading ‘Even if Maithripala wins Ranil and the UNP will be Solely Dependent on Sirisena’s Generosity’ »

Indian Spy Agency RAW Station Chief in Colombo K.Ilango Recalled by New Delhi for Alleged Links to Sri Lankan Opposition.

Claims that India’s spy agency RAW’s Colombo station chief K. Ilango had links with the Common Opposition have cost him his job in Colombo.

ISL020913

Security sources say the man’s term was extended but transfer orders to him were sudden after the Sri Lanka Government urged New Delhi that he be recalled.

Continue reading ‘Indian Spy Agency RAW Station Chief in Colombo K.Ilango Recalled by New Delhi for Alleged Links to Sri Lankan Opposition.’ »

Tamil National Alliance to Announce Support for Maithripala Sirisena at Opposition Rally in Jaffna on Dec 30

By

Ananth Palakidnar

TNA031414

The Tamil National Alliance is expected to announce its support to the Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena, at his first meeting, scheduled to be held in Jaffna on Tuesday, 30 December.

According to sources, Sirisena will address his first Jaffna meeting at Muththirai Chanthi in Nallur, where the TNA ‘s General Secretary and the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) President Mavai S. Senathiraja is expected to announce the alliance’s support to him.

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne with several prominent political figures from the UNP, will address the Jaffna rally.
Meanwhile,, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader R. Sampanthan, who was on medication in India, is expected to arrive at Colombo today (28) and the TNA members will hold a special meeting with him to discuss the forthcoming Presidential Polls, sources said.

Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance to Announce Support for Maithripala Sirisena at Opposition Rally in Jaffna on Dec 30’ »

Maithripala’s Brother Dudley Sirisena Interviewed about Cars, Casinos, Rice Mills, Sand Mining and Granite Quarrying

by Shalika Wimalasena

As various allegations are levelled at brothers of the two main contenders at the upcoming Presidential Election, Ceylon Today interviewed Dudley Sirisena (Maithripala’s brother) to obtain responses over allegations levelled at the two families.

Excerpts:

Q:
What happened to the car you won at the casino?

A: I won the car about three years ago.

Q:
Is that story true?

A: It is true.

Q:
So let us speak about it?

A: Alright. But the car has been sold now.

Q:
How did it happen, actually?

A: These casinos are legally accepted businesses. Irrespective of whether it is right or wrong, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government tries to promote them by bringing in laws. I had the luck to win this car.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala’s Brother Dudley Sirisena Interviewed about Cars, Casinos, Rice Mills, Sand Mining and Granite Quarrying’ »

“President Rajapaksa Trusted Maithripala more than he Trusted me”- Basil Rajapaksa

by J.T. de Silva

As various allegations are levelled at brothers of the two main contenders at the upcoming Presidential Election, Ceylon Today interviewed Basil Rajapaksa (President’s brother) to obtain responses over allegations levelled at the two families.

Excerpts:

Q:
Minister, you appear to be so relaxed. You are not seen in election rallies. There are rumours that you have left the country and you have gone to US. Are you discontented? Will the election be lost?

A: I am not disillusioned. There are no issues in our family. Although I am not on election platforms, I am very active. I address the rallies in Gampaha district since we won the district with great majority. We have launched a very organized propaganda campaign which is hundred per cent successful.

You suspect about the victory in the Presidential. Why do you do so?

Continue reading ‘“President Rajapaksa Trusted Maithripala more than he Trusted me”- Basil Rajapaksa’ »

Udaya Gammanpila says Jathika hela Urumaya Leaders have Chickened out of Debating him on TV after Issuing a Challenge

Former JHU stalwart and General Secretary of newly formed Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Attorney-at-Law Udaya Gammanpila yesterday lamented that the JHU’s present day leaders had backed down after challenging him for a TV debate.

Gammanpila said that he had been challenged for a TV debate by JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe via media and he duly accepted the latter’s challenge. “I honestly expected that Warnasinghe or JHU’s General Secretary Champika Ranawaka would face me in the debate. After all it was Warnasinghe who threw the gauntlet for a debate. But now I have learnt from media reports that they have found a scapegoat in party’s second level activist Anuruddha Pradeep. He has neither contested an election nor engaged in full time politics, but a university lecturer who attended the JHU’s Central Committee meetings rarely,” Gammanpila said.

Continue reading ‘Udaya Gammanpila says Jathika hela Urumaya Leaders have Chickened out of Debating him on TV after Issuing a Challenge’ »

Will Maithripala Replace Mahinda as Commonwealth head in 2015 like JR Jayewardene Replaced Sirima Bandaranaike as Non Aligned Movement head in 1977?

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

MR MS CW

Fortunes fall on laps at unexpected moments to certain personalities. It’s similar to winning a lottery through the electronic systems. Some who never dream of attaining high positions get them through luck. When good fortunes knock on the door, it is said the door opens suddenly. It is such backdrop, we should recall to memory past political developments over the last four decades. Recalling such memories, the glance to that past record, how high positions fell as fortunes on the laps of certain political leaders in our country.

It was in August 1976 Mrs. Bandaranaike assumed the highest position of non-aligned conference as its Chairperson. In July 1977 after the election she had lost her premiership, the government and the Chair of the non-aligned conference; all three important positions she held in local and international political scene. For the 1977 July election date was fixed by her on astrological advice. Her astrological advisors harped on her the importance of taking advantage of extremely favourable planetary positions which were affecting her fortunes. In unison they professed now that she is in a unique world leadership position it was best to go for election with unflagging confidence. They said no leader of this country has ever enjoyed such a high position in National and International theatres. As she was at the zenith of her political career she should go for election which she could win easily, they opined.

Leader of opposition then was J.R. Jayewardene who did not set much store by astrological predictions. But Premadasa was a firm believer and consulted a few astrologers to find out how JR could defeat a world leader (of three worlds) as she was being extolled by some news story writers. They told Premadasa what he (Premadasa) was pleased to hear at that trying time for his party. His faithful astrological advisors were of the opinion that the upward movement of her political fortunes was coming to an end. Beyond that she could not go anywhere other than down to political wilderness. Proving them right at the election which came up she was badly defeated by JR and the premiership, government and non aligned leadership fell into the lap of JR.

Continue reading ‘Will Maithripala Replace Mahinda as Commonwealth head in 2015 like JR Jayewardene Replaced Sirima Bandaranaike as Non Aligned Movement head in 1977?’ »

Muslim Congress Left Govt Because President Rajapaksa Rejected Demand for Carving out new Muslim Majority District-Susil Premjayantha

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

The government yesterday alleged that the SLMC had quit the ruling coalition because President Mahinda Rajapaksa had turned down its demand to carve out a separate Muslim administrative unit in the Digamadulla electoral district.

UPFA General Secretary and Environment and Renewable Energy Minister Susil Premjayantha emphasised that the SLFP-led government would never succumb to such a demand to appease any political party.

Minister Premjayantha was responding to SLMC leader and former justice minister Rauff Hakeem’s declaration earlier in the day that his party quit the coalition for want of good governance and accountability.

Continue reading ‘Muslim Congress Left Govt Because President Rajapaksa Rejected Demand for Carving out new Muslim Majority District-Susil Premjayantha’ »

Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama Arrested in Airport Upon Returning from Singapore and Remanded by Negombo Court till Dec 30th

By

Norman Palihawadane

Deputy Minister of Minor Exports Promotion Nishantha Muthuhettigama arrested at the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport, upon his return from Singapore yesterday morning was produced before the Negombo Magistrate and remanded till Dec. 30.

An arrest warrant on the Deputy Minister had been issued by the Baddegama Magistrate Court on Dec 24 for his alleged rescuing of suspects involved in damaging and burning the stage of common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena at Wanduramba on Dec 17.

Police arrested three of Deputy Minister Muthihettigama ministerial body guards on Dec. 18 over the previous day’s incident, but the Deputy Minister removed the suspects from police custody and took them to courts in his vehicle.

Continue reading ‘Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama Arrested in Airport Upon Returning from Singapore and Remanded by Negombo Court till Dec 30th’ »

Maithripala Sirisena to Focus on Developing Agriculture Sector and make Sri Lanka Self-Sufficient in Food.

Sri Lanka was primarily an agricultural country and it could never be developed without developing the agricultural sector, common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday.

Addressing a propaganda rally held in Wellawaya, Sirisena said that there was no use of any other development projects for the sustainable economic development without diverting funds to improve the country’s agricultural sector to make the country self-sufficient in food.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena to Focus on Developing Agriculture Sector and make Sri Lanka Self-Sufficient in Food.’ »

Muslim Congress with 8 MP’s, 13 Provincial Councillors and 163 Local Authority Representatives Crosses Over to Opposition.

By

Dharisha Bastians

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The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress struck the biggest blow to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election hopes yesterday, when it finally stopped dithering over a decision and formally endorsed common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena yesterday.

SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem, who held the Justice portfolio in President Rajapaksa’s Cabinet, said he had resigned as minister.

With the exit of the SLMC – the country’s biggest Muslim party – eight Parliamentarians, 13 provincial councillors and 163 local government representatives quit the ruling UPFA coalition yesterday.

Speaking at a press briefing at the SLMC Headquarters Darusalaam last morning, Hakeem said that “good governance” was a key issue for the Muslim party.

Continue reading ‘Muslim Congress with 8 MP’s, 13 Provincial Councillors and 163 Local Authority Representatives Crosses Over to Opposition.’ »

Muslim Congress will Support Maithripala Sirisena at Presidential Poll; SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem Quits Govt as Justice Minister

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has decided to support Opposition Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the forthcoming Presidential Election, Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem announced on the morning of December 28th 2014

Resignation letter by SLMC leader-Rauff Hakeem-pic via: twitter.com/AyeshaZuhair

Resignation letter by SLMC leader-Rauff Hakeem-pic via: twitter.com/AyeshaZuhair

In making the announcement, SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said that he will be resigning as Justice Minister of the ruling UPFA Government in order to back the opposition at the polls.

Speaking at a press conference in Colombo, SLMC Leader Hakeem said “I have already sent the resignation letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa,” he told media

Continue reading ‘Muslim Congress will Support Maithripala Sirisena at Presidential Poll; SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem Quits Govt as Justice Minister’ »

“Mob” Attacks Beruwela House Where Chandrika and Hirunika were Having Dinner While Police and STF Assigned for Security Flee from Spot.

By

Maheen Senanayake

A house in which former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and UPFA rebel Provincial Councilor, Hirunika Premachandra, were dining was attacked by UPFA supporters at about 10pm on Friday at Peenawala in Beruwela, Manjula Gajanayake, National Co-ordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said yesterday.

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CBK and Ms. Premachandra had been at the residence of Provincial Councilor Mohammed Jemine Marikar Mohammed Isthikar close to the town following a rally in the town a short while earlier.

“During dinner a group of people had hooted and stoned the house,” said Gajanayake.

CMEV allege that according to eyewitness reports the police and Special Task Force personnel had run for cover during the attack and that it was only with the help of supporters of the common opposition candidate that President Kumaratunga and Ms Premachandra had left the house under escort from their personal security details.

Continue reading ‘“Mob” Attacks Beruwela House Where Chandrika and Hirunika were Having Dinner While Police and STF Assigned for Security Flee from Spot.’ »

Ex-UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickreme Telephoned Mahinda in Kandy and Exposed Chandrika’s Manipulation states “Ceylon Today” news report

Malik Samarawickreme, former UNP Chairman, businessman and confidante of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday telephoned President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was at the President’s House in Kandy at 9.35 a.m. and spilled the beans on how former President Chandrika Kumaratunga manipulated the joint opposition plan to grab UPFA ministers and members to challenge Rajapaksa at the upcoming presidential poll, well informed sources disclosed to Ceylon Today yesterday.

The President received Samarawickreme’s telephone call when UNP provincial councillor Chitra Manthilaka arrived with her supporters to crossover to support the President. Those who were present with the President included former UNP General Secretary and incumbent Health Minister Tissa Attanayake and other UPFA ministers and members in the Kandy District.

Continue reading ‘Ex-UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickreme Telephoned Mahinda in Kandy and Exposed Chandrika’s Manipulation states “Ceylon Today” news report’ »

Catholic Church will take “Necessary Steps” if Climate of Violence Prevails Prior to Sri Lanka Visit of Pope Francis says Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.

By Joshua Surendraraj

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has urged everyone to come together, devoid of Party differences and irrespective of whoever emerges victorious at the January 8 Presidential election, to welcome the Holy Father next month.

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At a news conference last week, the Cardinal said, “Just moments prior to the Papal address following the Holy Father’s appointment to office, I invited him to visit Sri Lanka. This he accepted. It is only after he accepted this invitation that the polls were called.”

He added, “We must prepare to welcome the Holy Father at a time like this, especially, as he chose to visit our small island.

“The winner and the loser must both come together to welcome the Holy Father”, the Cardinal said.
Continue reading ‘Catholic Church will take “Necessary Steps” if Climate of Violence Prevails Prior to Sri Lanka Visit of Pope Francis says Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.’ »

Three Schools of Thought Within Muslim Congress on Question of Extending Support for Presidential Candidate.

By

Rasika Jayakody

It is no exaggeration to say that the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the largest Muslim party in the country led by Minister Rauff Hakeem, is experiencing a tough phase. Several years ago the SLMC dubbed itself as “king-makers” of the country’s political sphere. But today the party has found itself in a dilemma where the “king-making” process is concerned. Although the presidential election is just two weeks away, the Muslim Congress is yet to make its final announcement on its stance with regard to the election. Due to this indecisiveness, the party has drawn severe criticism from many quarters of the Muslim community.

The SLMC, under Hakeem’s leadership, has held many discussions with both parties since the announcement of the presidential election. The first meeting was held with the President and the meeting ended amicably as the Muslim Congress thought they had ample time to make a final decision.

When they met the President soon after the announcement of the election, the SLMC assumed that the Muslim vote, irrespective of the SLMC’s stance, was strongly gravitated towards the opposition. However, their aim was to use the election as an opportunity to raise the party’s bargaining power and get some concessions ahead of the election. The SLMC thought such concessions would strengthen and increase their vote-base among the Muslim community of Sri Lanka who had serious concerns over the emergence of hardcore Sinhala-Buddhist groups.

Continue reading ‘Three Schools of Thought Within Muslim Congress on Question of Extending Support for Presidential Candidate.’ »

Muslim Congress to Announce Decision on Supporting Presidential Candidate on Dec 28th Morning While Divided Party Heads for Split.


While speculation was rife that the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) would pledge support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the High Command of the SLMC, the top-most decision making body of the party, ended its Saturday night meeting with serious divisions, without arriving at a concrete decision.

The High Command, after discussing the matter for nearly three hours, agreed to meet on Sunday (28) to make a final decision. Party sources said All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) will also be consulted tomorrow morning before making the official announcement of the decision.

SLMC General Secretary and Parliamentarian Hasen Ali told this newspaper late last night that the party is due to convene a special press briefing today (28) at its headquarters ‘Darusalaam’ where a final decision is due to be announced.

Continue reading ‘Muslim Congress to Announce Decision on Supporting Presidential Candidate on Dec 28th Morning While Divided Party Heads for Split.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Plans to give Goats to North – Eastern Households like “Siddhalepa” Hettigoda plan to give Free Cows

by Namal Suvendra

President Mahinda Rajapakse was the last to release an election manifesto, but the delay may have been deliberately designed to get his main rival Maithripala Sirisena’s goat.

What ever the stories about Maithripala stealing a march on the manifesto by pinching key elements from the president’s policy document, the latest edition of the “Mahinda Chintana”, or Mahinda’s philosophy, has an unbeatable offer.

The president is offering goats to every family in the north and east of the island in a proposal similar to the offer of a cow for each citizen made by a former presidential candidate and Siddhalepa boss Victor Hettigoda in 2005.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Plans to give Goats to North – Eastern Households like “Siddhalepa” Hettigoda plan to give Free Cows’ »

Diabolical Plot of Opposition Paves way for International Probe on “War Heroes” in the guise of a Domestic Inquiry

By.

C.A.Chandraprema

The most diabolical and fiendishly clever policy position that the common opposition has taken is that they will not allow our war heroes to be tried by any international war crimes tribunal, but that any allegations of war crimes will be looked into by a domestic tribunal. The common opposition candidate himself has come before the people and pledged publicly that no international war crimes tribunal will be allowed to try any war hero. However he has given a statement which was carried in The Hindu and the Indian Express to the effect that a domestic mechanism would be set up to look into allegations of war crimes. This was later confirmed by Champika Ranawaka. The people of this country have got used to the idea that what is bad is an international inquiry into war crimes. By the mere addition of the word ‘domestic’ most people would be lulled into a sense of false security on the assumption that since such an inquiry will be conducted by ‘our people’ the war heroes will not face any problems.

The first thing that we have to realize is that this pledge to hold a domestic inquiry into war crimes has not been adopted by the common opposition to please anyone in Sri Lanka. Nobody in Sri Lanka is really asking for a domestic war crimes inquiry. The TNA did ask for an international inquiry into war crimes but they never asked for a domestic process. In fact it is highly unlikely that the TNA will have any faith in a local process. The hope of the TNA would be that an international process will pave the way for bigger things such as a referendum in the north and east for the creation of a separate state. A domestic inquiry will not necessarily lead to such an outcome and as far as the political objective of the TNA is concerned, will be largely unproductive except in terms of wreaking revenge. If given a choice between the implementation of police powers and having a domestic war crimes inquiry, the TNA would undoubtedly opt for the former rather than the latter because police powers takes them some distance towards their objective.

Continue reading ‘Diabolical Plot of Opposition Paves way for International Probe on “War Heroes” in the guise of a Domestic Inquiry’ »

Dep Minister Nishantha Mutuhettigama Flies to Singapore via VIP Lounge at Katunayake Airport at 1.30 am Despite Arrest Warrant Issued by Baddegama Magistrate


By Madura Ranwala

The police never expected Deputy Minister of Minor Export Crop Promotion Nishantha Mutuhettigama to leave the country for Singapore early morning on Boxing Day, as he was a member of the supreme law making body in the country, the Police spokesman said yesterday.

SSP Ajith Rohana told The Island that MP Mutuhettigama had left the country through the VIP entrance/exit at BIA terminal around 1.30 a.m. and there wasn’t any police security, but the MP would be arrested when he returned to the country in two days’ time as the Immigration Department officers had been requested to intimate to the police on his arrival in the country.

Continue reading ‘Dep Minister Nishantha Mutuhettigama Flies to Singapore via VIP Lounge at Katunayake Airport at 1.30 am Despite Arrest Warrant Issued by Baddegama Magistrate’ »

President Rajapaksa Bullied Party Leaders in his Govt and Ministers in his Cabinet Charges Maithripala Sirisena

President Rajapaksa ran a government bullying his ministers and party leaders in the cabinet. No one dared to cross him fearing the files. Even institutions of good governance and legal bodies were brought under his spell, common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena declared on Christmas day.

Addressing a meeting at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre organized by the National United Front (NUF), Sirisena said “We will however re-establish a country where all are free to perform their duties and equal before the law”.

Leader of the NUF former Member of Parliament M.M. Zuhair PC presided over the well- attended meeting where Maithripala Sirisena, Karu Jayasuriya and several other UNP leaders addressed the Muslim community.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Bullied Party Leaders in his Govt and Ministers in his Cabinet Charges Maithripala Sirisena’ »

The two Main Candidates have Placed only the Sinhalese and their Future well-being at the Centre of the 2015 Presidential Elections.

By

Tamil Civil Society Forum

(Text of Statement Issued by the Tamil Civil Society Forum regarding the forthcoming 2015 Presidential Elections)

This statement is being released to clarify our stance with regard to the upcoming Presidential Elections to be held on the 8th of January 2015.

There are two main candidates in this election: The incumbent President, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and the opposition candidate Mr. Maithripala Srisena who was until recently for almost 10 years, a key Minister in Mr. Rajapaksa’s cabinet.

It is beyond debate that the Tamils have suffered immensely under the incumbent President’s regime. It was under his rule that the worst and most destructive chapter of the genocidal process against the Tamil people was carried out. Even after the end of war his Government continues to ferociously implement a multi-faceted genocidal programme that aims at destroying the collective existence of the Tamil people. The suffering of the Tamil people continues unabated in the form of land grab, Sinhala Buddhisisation, Militarisation, violence against ex-combatants, illegal arrests etc. Hence the question of Tamil people voting for the incumbent President just does not arise.

Continue reading ‘The two Main Candidates have Placed only the Sinhalese and their Future well-being at the Centre of the 2015 Presidential Elections.’ »

Strengthening Parliament Through a Second Chamber Elected on Basis of Equal Representation to Each Province.

By

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

Enemies of the President’s Promise
The Prince 2

But Vasantha was also aware of the need to strengthen Parliament. Given the usual domination of the House by members supportive of the Executive leadership, he introduced a Second Chamber which would provide other perspectives more systematically, and enable Parliament to fulfil its legislative functions with care. The Senate was to be elected on the basis of equal representation from each Province. This would strengthen inputs from the periphery into decisions made at the centre, which was essential since, whatever the extent of devolution, some decisions, including those concerning national security, would have to be made at the centre. And the TNA had indeed accepted that a Second Chamber was desirable during the negotiation of 2011.

Given however the current oppositional nature of Sri Lankan politics, the proposals had emphasized the primacy of the House of Representatives with regard to matters of finance. They also made provision, obviously necessary given what now seemed a regular occurrence in the United States, for the executive to continue governing the country in the event of Parliament failing to pass the budget.

Continue reading ‘Strengthening Parliament Through a Second Chamber Elected on Basis of Equal Representation to Each Province.’ »

Five of my Favourite Christmas Carols – How they Originated and Became Widely Popular

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year Friends!

It’s Christmas season again!

An integral part of Christmas is the singing of Christmas carols in churches as well as at events celebrating Christmas.

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The Many Faces of Christmas – Shaped Wooden Puzzle from Sri Lanka ~ Photographed at an exhibit of over 900 nativity scenes hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Eugene, Oregon, USA-pic-by Mary Harrsch

There was a time when carolling was an important part of Christmas. ‘’Carol parties” including someone dressed as Santa claus would visit the homes of church members during night and sing carols.Refreshments would be served at each and every home. A few firecrackers too would be lit.

Continue reading ‘Five of my Favourite Christmas Carols – How they Originated and Became Widely Popular’ »

How the People of Sri Lanka United Briefly to Help Each Other After the Tsunami 10 years Ago

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Ten years ago on December 26th 2004 a series of giant Tsunami waves engulfed the coasts and littoral areas in different parts of Sri Lanka. It was a terrible tragedy that resulted in tremendous loss of human life,limb and property.Until the destructive waves rolled over our shores on that fateful day most Sri Lankans were unaware of the Japanese word Tsunami.Today it has entered the vocabulary of the Sri Lankan people in everyday life.

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Tsunami art show organized by The National Museums and Galleries of Wales-a collection of art by child survivors of the tsunami in Sri Lanka was displayed in the UK throughout 2005 as fundraisers to help the victims-more pics

Five days after the calamity, Sri Lanka’s national disaster management centre issued a report on December 31st 2004 outlining the losses and damages caused by the Tsunami.28,508 people had been killed and 5023 persons were reported missing but presumed to be dead.12,482 people had sustained injuries.899,408 persons were displaced from 215,804 families affected by the Tsunami. Apart from public buildings a total of 79,100 dwellings were totally destroyed. Another 20,708 houses were partially damaged.267,785 displaced persons from 20,206 families were being housed in 791 makeshift camps.It was the single biggest tragedy caused by nature in post-independence Sri Lanka!
Continue reading ‘How the People of Sri Lanka United Briefly to Help Each Other After the Tsunami 10 years Ago’ »

Namal Rajapaksa Compares Maithripala Sirisena Switching Sides to Betrayal of Judas Iscariot After the Last Supper.

By

Ellen Barry

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — In the days after Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan president, was betrayed by a group of his longtime aides, comparisons were made to Judas Iscariot and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, but nothing expressed the depth of the president’s hurt and bewilderment like the fact that the desertion had occurred just after a shared meal of hoppers.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa At a campaign stop in Gampola. ගම්පොලදී ජනාධිපතිවරණ ප්‍රචාරක රැළියක් අතරතුරදී.கம்பளையில் ஜனாதிபதி தேர்தல் பிரச்சார கூட்டம் ஒன்றின்போது-pic:

MR At a campaign stop in Gampola. ගම්පොලදී ජනාධිපතිවරණ ප්‍රචාරක රැළියක් අතරතුරදී.கம்பளையில் ஜனாதிபதி தேர்தல் பிரச்சார கூட்டம் ஒன்றின்போது-pic:facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

As he watched his old allies begin to stage an unexpected campaign last month to block his re-election, Mr. Rajapaksa could not help but dwell bitterly on the hoppers, pancakes made of fermented rice flour that are one of Sri Lanka’s most beloved comfort foods. He praised his new health minister, who replaced the most prominent defector, by saying he was not “someone who eats hoppers in the night and then stabs you in the back in the morning.”

Mr. Rajapaksa is a famously sure-footed campaigner, so confident that he scheduled elections for Jan. 8, two years before the end of his second term. But the defections caught him unaware, and he is so jittery that he has begun promising concessions — like constitutional reforms and an investigation into possible war crimes committed during the government’s campaign against northern separatists — should he win a third six-year term.

Continue reading ‘Namal Rajapaksa Compares Maithripala Sirisena Switching Sides to Betrayal of Judas Iscariot After the Last Supper.’ »

“Colombo Society” and “Colombo Businessmen” and the 2015 Presidential election

By

Vishwamithra 1984


“I always believe that ultimately, if people are paying attention, then we get good government and good leadership. And when we get lazy, as a democracy and civically start taking shortcuts, then it results in bad government and politics.”

~Barack Obama,

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In this week’s column, this columnist decided to share with readers the views of a very experienced political campaigner about how “Colombo Society” (what he likes to call the “Cinnamon Garden Crowd”) and the big wig Colombo businessmen, view the current presidential campaign and their vote.
The seasoned campaigner expressing these views has, since the 1970s, seen many elections. He has worked at a senior level for both the government in power and the Opposition. The account he related was both interesting and in my view, important.

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He said that many Colombo ladies ask him at social functions and parties about the campaign. They ask who will win and why. Some also express their own views about the main candidates. In the current contest, many of these “Colombo people” know about President Rajapaksa. Some of them have met him at many social functions and events in the past few years and refer to him as “Mahinda”. On the other hand, the joint opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena is comparatively unknown to many of them and they ask about his origins and career. They know Mahinda’s election symbol but not Maithripala’s.

Continue reading ‘“Colombo Society” and “Colombo Businessmen” and the 2015 Presidential election’ »

10 years after the tsunami, a look back into those moments I wished I wasn’t a journalist


By Vani Doraisamy

Colachel-In the aftermath of Tsunami-pic courtesy of: ywam-India

Colachel-In the aftermath of Tsunami-pic courtesy of: ywam-India

Earlier this month, as the TV flashed visuals of Peshawar mourning its young and the mass cremations that marked the death of innocence, I was gripped by an eerie sense of recall. Ten years ago, I too had stood on a mass grave which had swallowed up the bodies of more than a hundred children. I am branded forever with that memory. Then too, children had died without realizing what had hit them. Then too, those that survived refused to believe that they were luckier than those who fell.

In the February of 2005, more than a month after the tsunami had smashed into it, Colachel, the sleepy little port town in Kanyakumari in southern Tamil Nadu, was still waiting for the waves to bring back the lost. And there were those that would never come back. Nearly a hundred and twenty bloated little corpses lay buried in an unmarked mass grave inside the local church, with a lone crucifix to mark the spot.

I had told the parish priest I wanted to see the place, not quite prepared for the horror of hearing him say, “You are standing on it.” A hastily poured slab of concrete was what lay between me and 120 dead kids. I remember springing back , shaken to the bones. I remember how, for so many weeks after that, I would feel a cold chill running through me whenever I saw a child, any child.

How does one make peace with those memories?

How do you negotiate the remembrance of the pristine white Velankanni basilica standing unshaken against a by-then-clear blue sea when, just the night before, after having said their Christmas prayers, nearly 1500 pilgrims had been swallowed whole by the waves?

How does one forget how they were now laid out in silent rows under an awning bathed in bright post-apocalyptic sunlight?

I remember how numb I felt. Numbness would become my survival strategy for the next two months, as I traveled the coast of Tamil Nadu, looking for answers, on a journey that was intensely personal.
Continue reading ‘10 years after the tsunami, a look back into those moments I wished I wasn’t a journalist’ »

Strategic Security and the China Factor in Sri Lanka’s Presidential Elections.

By

Col R Hariharan

[Answers to questions raised by an international news agency on the subject in an e-mail interview on Dec 23rd are given in this article.]

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Any narrative on Sri Lanka would be incomplete if India’s overwhelming influence in Sri Lanka is not considered. It comes from India’s huge geographic size, economic strength and global political influence from times immemorial.

After the British colonial power exited from South Asia, independent India’s dominance gave rise to anxiety among sections of Sri Lankans, particularly among the Sinhala Buddhist majority who saw their country as Theravada Buddhism’s last sanctuary.

The sense of anxiety gave way to feeling of insecurity across Sri Lanak particularly after India’s massive political and military intervention from 1987 to 90 to ensure the state redressed the grievances of Tamil minority population.

Though the Tamil minority question is still unresolved, Indian intervention had a positive, but cathartic effect to impart balance and realism to the largely unequal relationship between the two countries. During the last two decades both the countries have assiduously built a multi-faceted relationship.

Its hallmark is probably the close strategic coordination that exists today between them to address and repair their mutual concerns on national security issues.

Both of your questions on China have to be answered in this as the backdrop. The questions relate to the impact of China’s increasing presence and influence on Sri Lanka’s Jan 2015 Presidential election and upon India’s close strategic security relations with Sri Lanka and the region.

Continue reading ‘Strategic Security and the China Factor in Sri Lanka’s Presidential Elections.’ »

An Expatriate Couple Living in the South Recall the Tsunami Experience of December 26, 2004


By

Hazel and Graham Gallagher

We are expats living in Sri Lanka, we have lived here since 2002 and teach English language to a diverse selection of local people from Government workers to village children. We live in a village called Mihiripenne on the south coast.

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At 9:26 on Sunday the 26th December the village erupted into a chattering mob, “The seas coming across the road”, everybody hurried to see this phenomena, which had never been seen before even by the elders of the village. We ran the hundred meters to the road, the sea had indeed come to the road which was littered with flotsam, wet and bedraggled. The sea, which should have been a few feet away had disappeared into the far distance leaving small rock pools containing fish which the young boys were trying to catch. The few feet of grass above the beach was littered with shoes, small bags and other items.

Although we had never witnessed a tsunami alarm bells started to ring, we told the men to get the boys and run for the Temple inland which stands on higher ground. The next wave was forming as a young friend received a call from his parents in Unawatuna, they lived a hundred meters from the old Dutch canal, the waves had pushed the water back up the canal into the houses to a depth of three to four feet, the residents had run to the hill known as Bona Vista and were safe.

Continue reading ‘An Expatriate Couple Living in the South Recall the Tsunami Experience of December 26, 2004’ »

Kumar Sangakkara Refutes “News” reports about President Rajapaksa Offering him Money to Support his Election campaign.

Renowned Sri Lanka cricketer and former national captain Kumar Sangakkara rejected certain social media reports saying that he was offered financial incentive by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to support him in his election campaign.

pic: facebook.com/Official.Kumar.Sangakkara

Kumar.Sangakkara

Sangakkara, in his personal Facebook page, said on Thursday that he was surprised as well as disappointed to hear such a story being circulated.

His personal web post reaction on the said social media reports follows:
Continue reading ‘Kumar Sangakkara Refutes “News” reports about President Rajapaksa Offering him Money to Support his Election campaign.’ »

Foreign Currency worth 150 million Rupees sent for use in Sirisena Campaign by Pro-LTTE Diaspora Alleges Wimal Weerawansa.

By

Dasun Edirisinghe

The UPFA yesterday challenged opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena to reveal from where the huge foreign exchange stash which was recovered by the CID from a relative of his son’s girlfriend had come from.

Addressing the media at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party head office, Housing, Construction, Engineering Services and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa alleged that Swiss francs and US dollars to the tune of Rs. 150 million found by the Criminal Investigations Department acting on a tip-off had been contributed to Sirisena’s campaign by the pro-LTTE diaspora.

He said at present father of Daham Sirisena’s girlfriend and Daham were absconding.

“If that money had been brought into the country legally, they should have declared it to the CID,” Weerawansa said.

Continue reading ‘Foreign Currency worth 150 million Rupees sent for use in Sirisena Campaign by Pro-LTTE Diaspora Alleges Wimal Weerawansa.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Sues Tissa Attanayake for Defamation and Demands 2500 Million Rupees

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody

Common candidate Maithripala Sirisena is suing former General Secretary of the United National Party (UNP) and present Minister of Health, Tissa Attanayake for defamation .demanding a sum of Rs 2.5 billion as compensation.

Attanayake previously produced a document which he stated was an agreement between Sirisena and Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, which included content about the implementation of the 13th Amendment including the devolution of police and land powers, the reduction of 50% of military presence in the North and complying with the United Nations Human Rights Council recommendations.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Sues Tissa Attanayake for Defamation and Demands 2500 Million Rupees’ »

To Nurture Humanity, The Shepherd arrived as Bundle of Joy ♫

Spirit of Christmas-for all humanity

by K. Thirukumaran

“Mannulagil Indru Devan Irangi Varukiraar”:

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Poignant lyrics of “Mannulagil Indru Devan Irangi Varukiraar” was penned by Poet laureate Kannadasan and rendered by Golden voiced Vani Jeyaram, with Immortal music composition by M.S. Viswanathan ~ in Tamil movie ‘Punitha Anthoniyar’ (released in 1977).

My attempt at translating “Mannulagil Indru Devan Irangi Varugirar”:
Continue reading ‘To Nurture Humanity, The Shepherd arrived as Bundle of Joy ♫’ »

Christmas Reminds us that the Dreams and Visions of Humans is to Probe Manifestoes and Engage Continuously with Governance

BY

Bishop Duleep de Chickera

We keep Christmas this year amidst manifestoes, dreams and visions.

Nativity scene at Six Mile Run Reformed Church-Franklin Park, NJ-December 2014

Nativity scene at Six Mile Run Reformed Church-Franklin Park, NJ-December 2014

Politicians want power; they resort to lofty manifestoes. People long for sincere governance and bread at affordable prices; they persist in dreaming dreams. Prophets resent deceit; they dare to see visions. Some scheme, most dream and others see visions; this is the gist of our political realities.
Continue reading ‘Christmas Reminds us that the Dreams and Visions of Humans is to Probe Manifestoes and Engage Continuously with Governance’ »

Taking a Fresh Look at the Truly Great Charming Love Story Between Joseph and Mary the Parents of Jesus Christ.

BY

Fr J.C. Pieris

Trying to find a good love story in the New Testament (NT) many have failed to convincingly show that Jesus was married to or was at least in love with Mary Magdalene. The recent finding of a small, old fragment of papyrus with carbon ink writings on it in Coptic script with the words “Jesus said to them, my wife …” has again brought up the subject but does not hold much promise of any positive results as the Coptic papyrus as well as its ink shows that the manuscript is of a very late date.

St. Cecilia Church-Monmouth Junction, NJ

St. Cecilia Church-Monmouth Junction, NJ

In fact, I think, there is a beautiful, charming and a truly great love story in the NT if only one takes the trouble to read between the lines and, freed from the sanctimonious, distorted interpretations accumulated over the centuries, take a fresh look at the story of Joseph and Mary, the parents of Jesus.

To get at the story, real and down to earth, one must clarify for oneself the reason for the writing of the NT. One must also have some knowledge of the contemporary Jewish society. Then a lot of theological and devotional debris, polemical, doctrinal and historical, covering the story, must be removed. Finally using common sense and reading between the lines with great sympathy for the young couple we must reconstruct one of the most elevating and sublime love stories ever told.

Continue reading ‘Taking a Fresh Look at the Truly Great Charming Love Story Between Joseph and Mary the Parents of Jesus Christ.’ »

“Our Celebration of Christmas Cannot be a Mere Recalling of a Past Event” – Message by Catholic Bishops Conference


In the Christmas message of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference they remind Catholics of the awakening issued by Pope Francis that it should not be just a celebration, but more importantly to be sensitive to those in need and to transcend barriers.

Nativity scene at Saint Augustine of Canterbury - Roman Catholic Church, Franklin Park, New Jersey

Nativity scene at Saint Augustine of Canterbury – Roman Catholic Church, Franklin Park, New Jersey

“At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem which is God’s entry into human history. In this mystery of the Incarnation God revealed to us the depths of his love for humankind. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life”(John 3: 16).

Jesus has made it abundantly clear that by his coming into our midst he wants us to share in the fullness of life which he alone can give (John 10/10). He wants us to live our lives as meaningfully as possible in this world and then enter into his divine life for “all eternity.” In the celebration of this mystery of Incarnation, Jesus invites all of us to come to experience this life he offers.

Hence, our celebration of Christmas cannot and should not be a mere recalling of a past event. At Christmas, Jesus wishes to be’ “born” in the personal lives of each of us.
Continue reading ‘“Our Celebration of Christmas Cannot be a Mere Recalling of a Past Event” – Message by Catholic Bishops Conference’ »

All Ceylon Makkal Congress Splits Over Rishad Bathiudeen Supporting Maithripala Sirisena.

All Ceylon Makkal Congress Senior Deputy Leader M.M. Zaheer and its Western Provincial Council Member Mohammad Faiz have decided to support UPFA candidate President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 8 presidential election.

Addressing a press conference at the SLFP headquarters on Tuesday, the two ACMC members said that the ACMC leader and former minister Rishad Bathiudeen had taken them and the rest of the working committee members of the party for a discussion with opposition’s common candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

“None of us knew that Bathiudeen had already made a decision to support Sirisena. It had never been discussed within the party but Bathiudeen suddenly told media that our party would support Sirisena. That undemocratic action cannot be accepted and therefore we have decided to break ranks with the ACMC and support President Rajapaksa,” Faiz said.

Continue reading ‘All Ceylon Makkal Congress Splits Over Rishad Bathiudeen Supporting Maithripala Sirisena.’ »

Basil says Maithripala Began Planning Conspiracy Against Mahinda one and a Half Years ago

by

Shamindra Ferdinando

SLFP National Organiser and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday said that he felt the then SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena had been planning his move against incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa about one and a half years back.

Minister Rajapaksa said that he had always suspected Minister Sirisena’s intentions unlike others who had their faith in him.

The minister was responding to a query at an informal meeting with the media at his office.

Continue reading ‘Basil says Maithripala Began Planning Conspiracy Against Mahinda one and a Half Years ago’ »

SB Dissanayake Reveals Details about the Alleged Corrupt Activities of Maithripala Sirisena’s Brothers.

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Minister of Higher Education and former SLFP General Secretary S. B. Dissanayake said yesterday that he had once comfortably beaten Maithripala Sirisena to become the SLFP General Secretary at an intra party election.

“I won hands down and how can Sirisena defeat a popular President like Mahinda Rajapaksa,” said Minister Dissanayake, who described his former cabinet colleague as a weakling. “He had to wait till I left to become the party General Secretary.”

Dissanayake said that all candidates who had been in power before standing for President such as J. R. Jayewardene, R. Premadasa, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sarath Fonseka had flaunted their achievements to prove their capabilities, but Sirisena had presented a long list of what he had failed to achieve as his qualifications.

Continue reading ‘SB Dissanayake Reveals Details about the Alleged Corrupt Activities of Maithripala Sirisena’s Brothers.’ »

Over 30 Persons Injured as Mob Led by Wimal Weerawansa Henchman “Bandara” Attacks Meeting at UNP Headquarters “Sirikotha”

By Zacki Jabbar

A clash near UNP headquarters, Sirikotha, yesterday left more than 30 persons injured. Trouble began when a group of pro-government activists staged a protest demanding that the UNP reveal what they called the contents of a secret pact between UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Both sides accused each other of starting the clash.

The UNP said that Engineering Services Minister Wimal Weerawansa had engineered mob attack on its headquarters Sirikotha while the party’s Education Trade Union Convention was on.

Both the National Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe were participating in the Convention which was attended by over a 1000 members of the Education Trade Union.

Continue reading ‘Over 30 Persons Injured as Mob Led by Wimal Weerawansa Henchman “Bandara” Attacks Meeting at UNP Headquarters “Sirikotha”’ »

Clash at “Sirikotha” Federation of National Organizers(FNO) Goons Led by Construction Ministry Official Attack UNP HQ

by

Rathindra Kuruwita

Supporters of the United National Party (UNP) and the Federation of National Organizers (FNO) clashed opposite UNP HQ, Sirikotha yesterday, for over one hour. Over 30 persons from both sides were injured, according to participants from both sides.

Commenting on the clash, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said, while the Opposition is gathering academics and educationists, the government is gathering armed goons to attack them.

“We were holding a meeting of education professionals when these goons arrived and threw stones at Siri Kotha. They threw stones at the Buddha statue in the garden too. Police did nothing until our supporters began attacking the goons in self- defence.

A senior Construction Ministry official led the goons, but he was not arrested despite our requests,” UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said.

Continue reading ‘Clash at “Sirikotha” Federation of National Organizers(FNO) Goons Led by Construction Ministry Official Attack UNP HQ’ »

Municipal Councillor Pretending to Cross Over Upsets Opposition Media meet by Chanting He is Forever for President Rajapaksa

BY

Kavindya Chris Thomas

A press briefing of the Joint Opposition Alliance, scheduled to be held yesterday (24), was sabotaged by Dehiwala- Mount Lavinia Council member Savithra de Silva, who chanted he is forever for President Rajapaksa.

He stated that he had been requested by Provincial Council member Keerthi Udawatte to join the common Opposition and that he arrived here to state that he ‘would not bite the hand that once fed him’ and that he would not crossover to the Opposition.

Continue reading ‘Municipal Councillor Pretending to Cross Over Upsets Opposition Media meet by Chanting He is Forever for President Rajapaksa’ »

Bodu Bala Sena Pledges Direct, Unconditional Support to President Rajapaksa at January 8 Election.


BY

Ruwan Laknath Jayakody

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) yesterday (24) pledged their direct, unconditional support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 8 January election.

BBS061013

All organizational networks, affiliated to the BBS, will also back Rajapaksa, the BBS said, adding that no political organizations, including the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya, were involved.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Pledges Direct, Unconditional Support to President Rajapaksa at January 8 Election.’ »

“It isn’t Easy to be a Lone Voice When There is a Large Majority and you are Part of it-Navin Dissanayake

By
Hafeel Farisz

Former Minister Navin Dissanayake, the son of former UNP heavyweight Gamini Dissanayake in an interview with the asserted his confidence on the Common Opposition winning the election, while rubbishing claims by Ministers of the government, who had cast negative aspersions on the election manifesto of common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Excerpts:

Q Following your initial media conference after your defection, at which you said that you had been offered 100 million rupees by the government to continue to stay, there was a recording released In the media, which alleged that this allegation was planned. What is your response?

I made a comment on that and the issue I think has rested now. Once I made the statement that I was offered a Rs. 100 million to stay in the government the CID contacted me and wanted a statement from me. Thereafter I took legal advice and my lawyers wrote to the CID and pointed it out to them that there should be a formal complaint lodged without which, the CID could not commence an investigation.

Continue reading ‘“It isn’t Easy to be a Lone Voice When There is a Large Majority and you are Part of it-Navin Dissanayake’ »

“Removing AHM Azwer as National list MP is the biggest support for Muslims by President Rajapaksa – Azwer’s successor Ameer Ali MP

By

Ajith Siriwardana

All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) National List MP Ameer Ali, who pledged his support to Common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena said today that removing former National List MP A.H.M. Azwar from Parliament was the biggest support extended to Muslims by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“Azwar was the one who acted as the government representative to protect the government when there were allegations of harassments against Muslims,” Mr. Ali said.

Continue reading ‘“Removing AHM Azwer as National list MP is the biggest support for Muslims by President Rajapaksa – Azwer’s successor Ameer Ali MP’ »

Rishard Bathiudeen who was Condemned by the Bar Association for Attack on Mannar Court and Judge Being Welcomed by Opposition After Crossover-The Island

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island” of December 23rd 2014 Under the heading “Lajja”!)

‘The Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka at an emergency meeting held on 19.07.2012 unanimously expressed its strong condemnation and abhorrence of the incident which took place in Mannar where the Court premises came under attack and the District Judge and Magistrate Hon. A. Judeson was threatened and subjected to questioning by Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, Minister of Rehabilitation. In the unanimous view of the Executive Committee, this conduct amounts to a serious and unwarranted interference with the Administration of Justice and the Judicial process and undoubtedly amounts to Contempt of Court.’

The foregoing excerpt of a special statement issued by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is self-explanatory. We joined the premier association of Sri Lanka’s legal fraternity and many concerned citizens in condemning the aforesaid mob attack carried out at the behest of Minister Bathiudeen on the Manner court complex and threats he issued to a judge in 2012. In the same breath, we called upon the BASL to put its own house in order by taking action against its members who had gone berserk in the Colombo High Court, breaking furniture and abusing, in raw filth, two judges including a woman when the judgment in the so-called White Flag case was delivered in 2011.

Continue reading ‘Rishard Bathiudeen who was Condemned by the Bar Association for Attack on Mannar Court and Judge Being Welcomed by Opposition After Crossover-The Island’ »

President Rajapaksa Announces that Justice for Alleged War Violations will be Ensured Through a Transparent Domestic Judicial Mechanism.

By

Meera Srinivasan

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who faces elections in a fortnight, on Tuesday promised to initiate a transparent, judicial inquiry probing allegations of war crimes against the Sri Lankan army.

He made the announcement while releasing his election manifesto ahead of the January 8 presidential election, which promises to be one of the closest contests in the island’s recent history.

Mr. Rajapaksa, who has refused to cooperate with the ongoing U.N.-mandated probe into alleged rights abuses, said: “If any rights have been violated [during the war], justice will be ensured through a transparent domestic judicial mechanism.”

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Announces that Justice for Alleged War Violations will be Ensured Through a Transparent Domestic Judicial Mechanism.’ »

Betrayal After Dinner Makes Sri Lanka Election Race Between Rajapaksa and Sirisena Personal

By Bloomberg News

Crispy rice pancakes and spicy salad, both traditional Sri Lankan dishes, were on the menu the night of Nov. 19 when President Mahinda Rajapaksa dined with long-time ally and cabinet member Maithripala Sirisena.

Two days later, Sirisena vowed to end Rajapaksa’s decade-long rule in a Jan. 8 presidential election.

The betrayal shook up the island nation, which has undergone a growth spurt since Rajapaksa oversaw the end of a 26-year civil war in 2009.

“Can you trust a person of that nature and hand over the responsibilities of president?” Rajapaksa, 69, asked at a Dec. 14 campaign rally in the tea-growing central highlands, referring to Sirisena’s defection.

Sirisena, 63, has been unapologetic. “One family is creating a soft dictatorship,” he told reporters in Colombo last month, referring to the Rajapaksas. “There’s corruption, injustice and rule of law has broken down. We’ve taken a decision to change the situation.”

Continue reading ‘Betrayal After Dinner Makes Sri Lanka Election Race Between Rajapaksa and Sirisena Personal’ »

Tamil Film Director K.Balachander Created Realistic Movies that were Story based and Introduced Fresh Talent.

By

B. Kolappan

K. Balachander (9 July, 1930- 23 December, 2014)

K. Balachander (9 July, 1930- 23 December, 2014)

Tamil film director K. Balachander, a Dadasaheb Phalke awardee, was the man who moved the hero-centric Tamil cinema to story-based, realistic creations with new talent.

K.B. as he is known, introduced and shaped many top stars, including Kamal Hassan and Rajinikanth, and effortlessly adapted himself to the changing world of theatre, cinema and finally television, through his non-conformist ideas and complicated plots.

KB the director gained international acclaim but his journey actually started with theatre.
Continue reading ‘Tamil Film Director K.Balachander Created Realistic Movies that were Story based and Introduced Fresh Talent.’ »

Veteran Tamil Film Director “Iyakkunar Sigaram” K.Balachander Passes Away in Chennai Hospital at 84 years of age.

By

Karthik Subramanian

K. Balachander

K. Balachander

Veteran director K. Balachander, who was known in the South Indian film circles as ‘Iyakkunar Sigaram’ (a peak among directors), breathed his last on Tuesday evening, leaving behind a rich legacy of not just film and television work but a long list of technicians and actors he introduced in a career spanning nearly five decades.

The two biggest stars of the Indian film industry — Kamal Hassan and Rajinikanth — are among those whom he mentored.

The 84-year-old, who was suffering from age-related ailments and admitted to a private hospital here last week, was declared dead around 7. 30 p.m.
Continue reading ‘Veteran Tamil Film Director “Iyakkunar Sigaram” K.Balachander Passes Away in Chennai Hospital at 84 years of age.’ »

President Rajapaksa Unveils his Manifesto “Lova Dinana Maga” (The World Wiining Path) at BMICH

The President said that the third stage of Mahinda Chinthana sought to raise the standing of the nation to that of a developed country, while speaking at the launch of ‘Lova Dinana Maga’ (the World Winning Path) the manifesto of the UPFA for his current presidential election campaign, held at the BMICH yesterday,

“I state with great pride and responsibility that we have the strength to achieve this. It is necessary to make this country secure for your children and future generations,” President Rajapaksa said.

The President added that we are now preparing for a major transformation within this country. Having achieved real freedom the entire country was now joined through an infrastructure network built under the conditions of the peace, he said.

“Our next phase is to have major industrial development on this foundation of success that will enable an economy to generate employment for 100,000 per year. In the recent Budget, the Government provided opportunities for 150,000 advanced level qualified youths to obtain state employment in order to strengthen the public service. It is necessary to enrich this country,” the President stated.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Unveils his Manifesto “Lova Dinana Maga” (The World Wiining Path) at BMICH’ »

Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe Answer Questions from Business Community at “Let’s Unite”Business Forum


By Marisa Wikramanayake and Waruni Paranagamage

Opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe held a Q&A session with the business community at the Cinnamon Lakeside yesterday. The session was moderated by former banker Ranjith Fernando. Following are excerpts from the session:

Q: How do you address corruption charges without disrupting business activities and investment?

Ranil: As far as corruption charges are concerned, we already have mechanisms in place. Just go on with it – why should business get disrupted? In the US, how many charges did they have? And not only in the courts – some of the banks such as HSBC were brought to account but there was no breakdown. Basically it’s a purifying process and nothing else. Business will continue. If you have not made any ill-gained wealth, why should you worry? If you have ill-gained wealth then just go to the income tax office and pay it off and sort it out immediately.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe Answer Questions from Business Community at “Let’s Unite”Business Forum’ »

President Rajapaksa Launches Manifesto with Promise of a Brand New Constitution in one year of being Re-elected


By

Shamindra Ferdinando

Assuring that all communities would be treated alike regardless of ethnicity, religion or language, President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday reiterated his commitment to Sri Lanka’s unitary status.

President Rajapaksa participated in religious observances at the Kalmunai Padirippu Thiroupadai Amman Kovil and Sri Tharavei Pillayar Kovil, Dec. 20. ජනාධිපති රාජපක්ෂ මැතිතුමා දෙසැම්බර් 20 වනදා කල්මුණේ කල්මුණේ පදිරිප්පු තිරෝපදෙයි අම්මාන් කෝවිල වෙත හා ශ්‍රී තරවයි පුල්ලෙයාර් කෝවිල වෙත ගොස් ආශිර්වාද ලබා ගත්තේය. ஜனாதிபதி ராஜபக்ஷ் அவர்கள் கல்முனை பாண்டிருப்பு திரௌபதை அம்மன் ஆலயத்திற்கு விஜயம் செய்து திரௌபதை அம்மனை தரிசித்தார்-pic: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

President Rajapaksa participated in religious observances at the Kalmunai Padirippu Thiroupadai Amman Kovil and Sri Tharavei Pillayar Kovil, Dec. 20.
ජනාධිපති රාජපක්ෂ මැතිතුමා දෙසැම්බර් 20 වනදා කල්මුණේ කල්මුණේ පදිරිප්පු තිරෝපදෙයි අම්මාන් කෝවිල වෙත හා ශ්‍රී තරවයි පුල්ලෙයාර් කෝවිල වෙත ගොස් ආශිර්වාද ලබා ගත්තේය.
ஜனாதிபதி ராஜபக்ஷ் அவர்கள் கல்முனை பாண்டிருப்பு திரௌபதை அம்மன் ஆலயத்திற்கு விஜயம் செய்து திரௌபதை அம்மனை தரிசித்தார்-pic: facebook.com/PresidentRajapaksa

President Rajapaksa pledged that no one would be allowed to propagate separatism or destabilise the country. He gave this assurance at the launch of his manifesto for the January 8, 2015 presidential election at the BMICH.

The unitary character of the Constitution had to remain in the national interest, said the President, stressing that he wouldn’t allow the country to be subjected to an international war crimes probe under any circumstances.

The President repeated his commitment to addressing accountability issues through a domestic investigative mechanism.

The President also pledged to introduce a brand new Constitution that would reflect people’s aspirations within a year after January 8, 2015 presidential poll. He said that the entire parliament would be transformed into a constituent assembly to write a brand new Constitution.

The proposed Constitution would be presented to parliament for its approval before being subjected to a referendum, the President said.

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Launches Manifesto with Promise of a Brand New Constitution in one year of being Re-elected’ »

Rousing Reception by Business Community for Ranil and Maithri in Packed Business Forum Held at Cinnamon Lakeside.

By Marisa Wikramanayake and Waruni Paranagamage

RWMS

The applauses which both the Opposition’s Common Presidential Candidate and UNP Leader received at a packed business forum yesterday sounded like early celebrations of a thumping victory.

That was the scene during the nearly two-hour engagement between Maithripala Sirisena, Ranil Wickre-mesinghe and the business community yesterday at the Cinnamon Lakeside.

The applause was sweet music for pro-Maithri or pro-UNP participants at the forum while the majority of those present were impressed by the answers and presentations of both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe.

Continue reading ‘Rousing Reception by Business Community for Ranil and Maithri in Packed Business Forum Held at Cinnamon Lakeside.’ »

All Ceylon Makkal Congress Splits After Rishad Bathiyudeen Crosses Over with MLA Hizbullah and Some Councillors Supporting Govt


by

Kelum Bandara

The All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) has split over the decision by party leader Rishad Bathiudeen to support common opposition candidate Maitripala Sirisena, party officials said today.

Mr. Bathiudeen and recently sworn in MP Ameer Ali had joined the common opposition while the party’s national organiser M.L.A. Hizbullah said he would support ruling party candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Mr. Hizbullah, who is also the Deputy Economic Development Minister, said he had the backing of party’s Eastern provincial councillor Sibly Farook and Western provincial councillor Mohamed Faize.

Continue reading ‘All Ceylon Makkal Congress Splits After Rishad Bathiyudeen Crosses Over with MLA Hizbullah and Some Councillors Supporting Govt’ »

Former PM and Senior Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake Rejects Rumours of his Defecting from UPFA Govt

By

Lakna Paranamanna

Senior Minister of Good Governance and Infrastructure and former Prime Minister, Rathnasiri Wickramanayake says as per his interpretation of ‘good governance’, there is no crisis in Sri Lanka in that department. In a candid interview with Dailymirror this senior SLFPer rejected rumours that have been circulating on his possible defection and on why he believes there is no crisis with concern to law enforcement or good governance in the country.


Q;
Your name has been linked with the list of possible defectors from the Government to the Opposition. Was there such a plan? Is there some truth in these claims?

What can I do? (Laughs) There is absolutely no truth in these claims and I don’t know where they get this information from. As far as I am concerned I am quite fit and have no intention of leaving.

Continue reading ‘Former PM and Senior Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake Rejects Rumours of his Defecting from UPFA Govt’ »

“People in the North do not have any hope in both Presidential Candidates” says TNA Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan

By

Mirudhula Thambiah

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Northern Provincial Councillor and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member Ananthi Sasitharan told Ceylon Today that, women in the North were faced with immense problems. “The war is over but the violence and issues against women seem to continue, as teenage rape cases are increasing in the Jaffna Peninsula. All women should be united to solve these burning issues, disregarding racial or religious differences,” she observed.

“I have no differences and I will not only serve the Tamil women in the North, but also I have raised my voice for the women in the plantation sector too. I will raise my voice for all women with no difference as Sinhalese or Muslims. Women in general are prone to violence we should be united to fight against it,” she said.

Excerpts:


Q:
Tell us what exactly happened at the District Development Committee (DDC) meeting in Jaffna recently?

Continue reading ‘“People in the North do not have any hope in both Presidential Candidates” says TNA Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan’ »

Cabinet Minister Rishard Bathiudeen Quits Govt with one MP, 69 Local and 7 Provincial Councillors from ACMC and Pledges Support to Maithripala Sirisena

by

Zacki Jabbar

Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen yesterday quit the government and pledged the support of his party to the National Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Addressing a news conference at the Opposition leaders office shortly after the ACMC had met in emergency session, Bathiudeen flanked by recently appointed UPFA National List MP Ameer Ali, Maithripala Sirisena,former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that in addition to Ali, 69 local government members and seven Provincial Councillors had also pledged their support to the NDF at the January 8, Presidential Election.

Emphasising that he had taken a principled position, the ACMC leader observed that with the end of the war, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had a golden opportunity to unite all communities and work together for the betterment of all its people regardless of race or religion.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Minister Rishard Bathiudeen Quits Govt with one MP, 69 Local and 7 Provincial Councillors from ACMC and Pledges Support to Maithripala Sirisena’ »

“Betrayal”! Charges Tissa Attanayake and “Displays” Secret Agreement Between Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe


By

Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Former UNP General Secretary and Health Minister Tissa Attanayake yesterday told the media in Colombo that the UNP and opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena had, in an undisclosed pact signed on Nov. 1, 2014, agreed to implement all UNHRC recommendations as regards Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes and fully cooperate with the international community for that purpose.

Minister Attanayake said he had documentary proof to substantiate his claim. He distributed among journalists copies of what he called the secret agreement between Sirisena and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The UNP and Sirisena had also agreed to reduce the number of troops stationed in the North by 50 percent and dismantle all the High Security Zones and return the lands to their owners, Minister Attanayake said.

Attanayake alleged that Sirisena was trying to please international elements and, therefore, willing to sacrifice the safety of the armed Forces, to help him win the election.

Continue reading ‘“Betrayal”! Charges Tissa Attanayake and “Displays” Secret Agreement Between Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Northerners Need Greater Freedom and the North a “Movement Joint” to Preserve National Integrity.

By

Prof. Priyan Dias

One of the features about the run up to the January 2015 Presidential election is the uncertainty about how the Northern voter will vote.

This short article cannot cover all the nuances of the ‘national’ problem as it is called. However at this time of elections, it may be pertinent to consider two approaches towards seeking national integrity (i.e. integrating the South and the North).

Structural and geotechnical engineers know that when a long building is constructed especially on weak soil, it is almost mandatory to have a movement joint to separate the building into two. To the non engineer that building will appear and function as a single integral structure. But careful inspection will reveal that there are double columns and beams at the joint, to allow one part of the building to settle differentially with respect to the other.

Such differential settlement is imperceptible to users of the building, but real; and it allows a long building to exist without developing unsightly cracks. Even reservoirs can be constructed with movement joints; the 10,000 cubic metre Jubilee Reservoir which supplies Colombo with water from the Kelani River has a movement joint right through the middle of its length – but it is nevertheless a single integral reservoir.

Continue reading ‘Northerners Need Greater Freedom and the North a “Movement Joint” to Preserve National Integrity.’ »