Two State Ministers and Five Deputy Ministers from the UNP and UPFA Sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Two new State Ministers and five Deputy Ministers were sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat on the morning of June 12th 2018

Ranjith Aluvihare was sworn in as State Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs while Lucky Jayawardana was sworn in as Hill Country New Villages Infrastructure and Community Development.

Continue reading ‘Two State Ministers and Five Deputy Ministers from the UNP and UPFA Sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena.’ »

US Citizenship Issue Wont be an Obstacle for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to Contest the Presidential Elections Says Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader Udaya Gammanpila.

By

Sheain Fernandopulle

The United States (US) citizenship was not a barrier for former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to contest the upcoming Presidential Election, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader and MP Udaya Gammanpila said yesterday.

Addressing a news conference, he said Mr. Rajapaksa had requested him to explain the true legal position and the procedure in respect of renunciation of the US citizenship.

Continue reading ‘US Citizenship Issue Wont be an Obstacle for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to Contest the Presidential Elections Says Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader Udaya Gammanpila.’ »

Will Mahinda Rajapaksa Ever Forgive Those of the SLFP Who Crossed Over With Maithripala Sirisena and Helped Defesat Him in the 2015 Presidential Poll?


By

The “Sunday Observer” Political Correspondent

The year was 2007. Mahinda Rajapaksa and his 35-member entourage were returning from a private visit to London, having travelled there in winter to attend his second son Yoshitha’s graduation from Britannia Royal Navy College, Dartmouth.

SriLankan Airlines, fully booked for holiday traffic in peak tourist season, found it could not accommodate the presidential delegation without cancelling seats on its business class sector.

Faced with the prospect of offloading three dozen paying passengers who had booked flights months in advance, the SriLankan CEO Peter Hill – then nine years in the job, made a judgment call. He declined the presidential request.

A seething President Rajapaksa had to charter a Mihin Lanka flight to fly himself and his delegation back to Sri Lanka.

In any sane country, Peter Hill’s actions would have been hailed as being the correct corporate decision for the then profit-making national carrier.

In Rajapaksa Sri Lanka, Hill had his work permit cancelled by the BOI.

Weeks after the incident, in the face of an increasingly souring relationship with the Rajapaksa Government, Dubai-based global carrier Emirates announced it was pulling out of SriLankan which it was fully managing with a 43.6 percent stake in the company. The 10-year contract expired in March 2008 and was never renewed. Emirates described the end of the deal as an “amicable parting”. It was anything but.

The Government celebrated the exit of Emirates by serving milk rice on all its flights. The unions cheered the re-nationalisation of the country’s flag-carrier. Patriotic protectionism was the Rajapaksa way, the regime thundered, no more national assets to be ‘handed over to foreigners..’….

Continue reading ‘Will Mahinda Rajapaksa Ever Forgive Those of the SLFP Who Crossed Over With Maithripala Sirisena and Helped Defesat Him in the 2015 Presidential Poll?’ »

The Troika and the Truth: A Constructive Commentary On Lalith Weeratunga’s Testimony


By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

I was delighted to read Lalith Weeratunga’s revelatory article ‘The Troika’ (Counterpoint, Daily FT). I regard him as a friend and I respect him as one of the finest public servants we have had. President Rajapaksa could not have had a better Secretary to the President at a crucially testing time in our contemporary history. I have long encouraged Lalith to write his memoirs and I hope what I see in the newspaper is but a ‘teaser’, which will eventuate in a full volume.

Lalith Weeratunga’s account of the Troika is the truth. However, while it is the truth, it is not the whole truth and nothing but the truth. There are important pieces that requires inclusion to establish a clearer account of the times and issues. These are of crucial importance because unless we insert them back in and complete the diplomatic history of that time, we shall be unable to understand what happened in President Rajapaksa’s second term, how we got mired in the war crimes quagmire in Geneva, and the problems we shall have in extricating them even if the Troika returns, even with some in significantly and qualitatively elevated roles.

Lalith’s account is of a golden moment in Sri Lanka’s foreign relations, where we avoided the fate that the Jayewardene administration suffered when it rightly attempted to defeat the LTTE in 1987. That attempt triggered intervention. Under President Rajapaksa, the Troika helped avoid it and secure the space necessary to win the war.

However, Lalith’s account omits the two crucial and inextricably interrelated factors that enabled this success.

Continue reading ‘The Troika and the Truth: A Constructive Commentary On Lalith Weeratunga’s Testimony’ »

The Troika- How Crucial Relations With India Was Managed In The last Phase Of The Separatist War


By Lalith Weeratunga

Background

It is no secret that foreign ministries work in water tight compartments and often under immense pressure. As a result, they cannot be flexible, and quite obviously cannot think out of the box. Even the most experienced foreign service officers have to be cautious when dealing with their counterparts due to sensitivity of the work they handle. In writing a memo, a letter or a communique’, foreign ministry officials take extraordinary precautions, and that’s quite understandable. Because of the visibility they get in the global scene, external affairs or foreign service personnel exercise tremendous caution and hence the stress they experience.

The initiative

In the case of Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry activities too, this lack of space to be innovative has been long observed. It’s no fault of the personnel but that’s the way foreign ministries work; whilst working within the policy framework of the government, the foreign ministry has to ensure that foreign relations and bonds built over decades are not harmed. The period after 1983 was particularly a testing one for our foreign ministry. It has had to defend the government in power and safeguard Sri Lanka’s image at every international forum. Every government that had to face the onslaught of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE), required the foreign ministry to defend its action in the struggle against terrorism; it was no easy task. The LTTE had gained a strong foothold in every western capital, and certainly in the minds of the politicians and the populace as a liberation movement. What the LTTE propagated, very often blatant untruths, was absorbed as gospel truth. The reason is clear: the LTTE was able to be flexible in their dealings with foreign governments and decision makers in the world capitals and certainly with the international media, while our foreign ministry even with some of the best foreign service officers Sri Lanka has ever produced managing our missions abroad, had to work within a tight framework. Added to their woes, the budgets they could work with were paltry. Moreover, developing, nurturing and establishing sound interpersonal relationships had certain limits.

Our neighbour, India was the most crucial factor to manage if we were to defeat terrorism and bring peace to our country. This was a well-known fact. In managing India, particularly their foreign office, Sri Lanka needed a broad range of skills and competencies; there was a dire need to establish a mechanism to create a dialogue outside the normal diplomatic channels. In other words, a new relationship had to be created and nurtured. It was no secret that the two countries, India and Sri Lanka, looked at each other with some degree of suspicion, due to a variety of reasons, perhaps an accumulation of misunderstandings that were never cleared.

Continue reading ‘The Troika- How Crucial Relations With India Was Managed In The last Phase Of The Separatist War’ »

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Statement in Parliament About His Relationship With Ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran Lacks Authenticity


By Narada

The Prime Minster has assured Parliament that he has no clue on the whereabouts of Arjuna Mahendran. On Thursday last week, this paper reported the story with an interesting profile of the Prime Minister that betrayed him experiencing his Pontius Pilate moment of truth. Just as the procurator of Rome failed in washing his hands off that historical travesty, the Prime Minister will not succeed in washing his hands off the Bonds scandal that decidedly derailed the ‘good governance’ agenda.

The Prime Minister seems convinced of his capacity to hoodwink us and our capacity to absorb his deceptions.

He has asserted that he had no dealings with Arjuna Mahendran after he ceased to be Governor of the Central Bank. That is not an accurate statement. After he stepped down from his position in the Central Bank, he continued to be a close confidant and advisor of the Prime Minster.

When the President declined to re-appoint him as Governor of Central Bank, the Prime Minister co-opted him to his economic team.

Arjuna Mahendran accompanied the Prime Minister to Indonesia within weeks of his ceasing to be the head of the ‘big bank’.

Arjuna Mahendran was listed as the ‘Head of the Five-Year Planning Unit’ in the official delegation.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Statement in Parliament About His Relationship With Ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran Lacks Authenticity’ »

Dayasiri Jayasekara and Sujeewa Senasinghe Are Both Lawyers Professing Ignorance as Their Defence In Charges of Taking Money from Arjun Aloysius


By

Don Manu

If SLFP MP and former Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera found himself in the public dock three weeks ago for accepting a million bucks from Bond Scam Godfather Arjun Aloysius, it was the UNP State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe’s turn this Thursday to make his less than grand entrance to the same public dock of shame and share it with his SLFP counterpart, Dayasiri.

As was the case with Dayasiri three weeks ago when police filed a B report at a magisterial court in connection with the bond scam which claimed he had received a million rupee cheque from Aloysius, the police filed in court this Thursday a further B report which alleged that Sujeewa Senasinghe had received not one million but three million bucks in three cheques from Aloysius liquor company, W. M. Mendis Ltd., the famous arrack distillers.
On Wednesday, State Minister Sujeewa landed at the Karunayake airport to a storm of questioning from the media over the rumour ignited by Dayasiri that there were 118 MPs who had received money from Aloysius. He was asked whether it was true that he had received money from Aloysius.

Sujeewa’s answer was that his election campaign fund was handled by his friends and that he would have to peruse the relevant documents to see whether he had. He was further asked whether he should not have known whether such money had been received. His reply to that was” No, it doesn’t happen that way when you are contesting for an election. I get up at six in the morning and I am constantly on the run till six in the evening. And remember Aloysius is not Prabhakaran.”

No one bothered to ask him what he does after 6pm. Whether he doesn’t consult his election team and inquire as to the state of his finances that keeps his motor running during the day?

The following day, on Thursday, the news broke. The Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda informed the Colombo Fort Magistrate that a state minister of the government had received three cheques worth Rs.3 million in 2015 and 2016 from W.M. Mendis & Company Ltd owned by Arjun Aloysius. The report stated that a former Sub Inspector, who was a member of the state minister’s security detail, had cashed one of the three cheques received in 2015 at a bank in Slave Island. The other two cheques received in 2015 and 2016 were cashed by two other police officers attached to the state minister’s security detail.

Continue reading ‘Dayasiri Jayasekara and Sujeewa Senasinghe Are Both Lawyers Professing Ignorance as Their Defence In Charges of Taking Money from Arjun Aloysius’ »

Four Supreme Court Judges Recusing Themselves From Hearing Case Concerning Gotabhaya Rajapaksa May be Preventing the Arrest of Ex – Defence Secretary

By A “Sunday Observer” Special Correspondent

In 1992, gunmen shot and killed a Colombian judge who was investigating a charge of murder conspiracy against the fugitive drug lord Pablo Escobar. The victim, the Associated Press reported at the time, was 38 year old Miriam Rocio Velez, one of Colombia’s faceless judges whose identities were kept secret to protect them from terrorists and drug traffickers in the troubled country.

In 2000, seven years after Escobar’s death, the judge who signed the notorious drug lord’s arrest warrant in 1987 applied for political asylum in the US, claiming that she was still marked for death.

In 1989, Colombia introduced ‘faceless’ courts to protect judges and witnesses from drug lords.

In lieu of their signature, judges would write a code number on their opinions; the Bench sat behind one-way mirrors, their voices distorted by a special microphone. Judges travelled under armed escort. In response to Bogota’s efforts to prosecute narcotics cases in the early 1980s, the country’s drug mafia launched a campaign of terror against judges. Between 1979-1991, 278 judges were killed in cold-blood.

That was Escobar’s Colombia.

This is Sri Lanka in 2018, where the announcement by the decision of the fourth Supreme Court Justice hearing former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s case to prevent his arrest by the FCID and CID to recuse herself on personal grounds has sparked public debate.

Continue reading ‘Four Supreme Court Judges Recusing Themselves From Hearing Case Concerning Gotabhaya Rajapaksa May be Preventing the Arrest of Ex – Defence Secretary’ »

Nonsensical Excuses by Politicians Funded by Aloysius Confounds the Imagination But Provides Entertainment Galore to Sri Lankans


By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

In retrospect, one of the greatest missed opportunities of the now doomed Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Unity Government was its failure to grab Sri Lanka’s legal system by its ears (metaphorically speaking), cleanse the Bench of corrupt and politically compromised judges against whom files were stacked up aplenty and demonstrate the power of criminal justice reforms for human rights abuses and corruption to all citizens alike through the length and breadth of the country.

A wretched reflection in uncertain times

If conceptualized properly and implemented vigorously with the full might of a political leadership in which the people had placed enormous trust in 2015, this could have formed the lynch pin of a powerful reconciliation strategy, uniting Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and other communities. In this, it cannot even be said that we tried and failed. Instead, it is manifest that we never tried at all. That is a wretched reflection indeed as we head into menacingly uncertain times.

Continue reading ‘Nonsensical Excuses by Politicians Funded by Aloysius Confounds the Imagination But Provides Entertainment Galore to Sri Lankans’ »

Sri Lanka Podu Jana Party Lindula Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Asoka Sepala and SLPP Councillor Anuruddha Manchanayake Arrested Over Suspected Involvement in Abduction of Children and Child Trafficking

by Maneshka Borham

Earlier this week, Lindula Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and Pohottuwa politico, Anagipura Asoka Sepala found himself embroiled in a child abduction controversy which led to the eventual arrest of the politician along with several others by the Police.

Among the six arrested was also Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Councillor Ishara Anuruddha Manchanayake. The suspects are accused of the abduction and possible trafficking of two minors, allegations of a serious nature.

But the case took an even more dramatic turn when on a tip off received by the Police yet another differently abled 11 year old boy was found, held at Manchanayake’s residence, following his arrest.

While the Agarapathana Police which received the first complaint from the father of two children over a year ago, have earned flak for their inaction, the discovery of another child being held has raised serious questions, on whether those arrested are in fact engaged in the business of child trafficking.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Podu Jana Party Lindula Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Asoka Sepala and SLPP Councillor Anuruddha Manchanayake Arrested Over Suspected Involvement in Abduction of Children and Child Trafficking’ »

Ex -Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Attends Grand “Ifthar”Ceremony at Galle Face Hotel Organized by an Organization Named “National Muslim Collection”.

As the holy season of Ramadan winds down former Defence Secretary and Viyath Maga Chairman Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week continued to woo the Muslim community for what observers say is a likely presidnetial bid last week, attending a grand Ifthar ceremony at the Galle Face Hotel Colombo on Friday, organised by loyalists.

The Galle Face Ifthar comes on the heels of the widely publicised Beruwela Ifthar, where the former Defence Secretary was greeted and brought into the hall in procession while Muslim attendees recited prayers.

Continue reading ‘Ex -Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Attends Grand “Ifthar”Ceremony at Galle Face Hotel Organized by an Organization Named “National Muslim Collection”.’ »

President Sirisena Summons UK High Commissioner James Dauris for 30 Minute “Discussion” and “Requests” British Envoy To Have London Based “LankaeNews”Website Editor Sandaruwan Senadheera Arrested Or Deported to Sri Lanka.


President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday requested Britain to have London-based LankaeNews Editor Pradeep Sandaruwan Senadheera arrested or sent back to Sri Lanka. He made the request during a 30-minute meeting with British High Commissioner James Dauris whom he summoned to his Paget Road residence.

Among those present at the discussion were the President’s Coordinating Secretary Shiral Lakthilaka and Defence Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne .

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Summons UK High Commissioner James Dauris for 30 Minute “Discussion” and “Requests” British Envoy To Have London Based “LankaeNews”Website Editor Sandaruwan Senadheera Arrested Or Deported to Sri Lanka.’ »

“Forgetfulness” of Ex-Minister and Ministers Ravi Karunanayake, Dayasiri Jayasekara and Sujeewa Senasinghe about Financial Help from Sources Linked to Arjun Aloysius.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

President Sirisena recently said Members of Parliament having an Honour prefix before their names should not be charged PAYE tax, because of the honourary nature of their duties. This is certainly confused thinking, not flowing from the 100-day programme he now knows nothing about today.

Let’s get this straight. The “Hon.” Or ‘Garu” prefix is because they are considered Honourable Members of Parliament, a tradition coming from the House of Commons. They are expected to be Honourable in the performance of their duties, tasks and services – for which the country pays them a decent wage; as such they are taxable. There are others who have the “Hony.” prefix for the honorary – unpaid – work they do, such as office-bearers of clubs, professional associations, and other voluntary societies.

It is good to recall the old days before the JRJ Presidency and Proportional Elections, when the names of members of parliament were not used in parliamentary debates or proceedings. They were called Honourable (Hon) Members of their electorates – Hon Member for Kandy, Jaffna, Matara, Colombo Central, etc. Names are now not mentioned because they represent districts, having several electorates, and get votes from the whole district. So let’s put that presidential confusion over Hon. and Hony to rest.

Continue reading ‘“Forgetfulness” of Ex-Minister and Ministers Ravi Karunanayake, Dayasiri Jayasekara and Sujeewa Senasinghe about Financial Help from Sources Linked to Arjun Aloysius.’ »

Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport Will Not Have even a Single Scheduled Flight in the Future as “FlyDubai” Airline also Stops Flying Via Hambantota from June 8th.

Sri Lanka is set to establish another world record as its second international airport was left without a single scheduled flight from today (June 8) after the only airline using the jinxed facility scrapped its daily service.

Dubai’s Flydubai announced the sudden withdrawal from the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) and offered to refund tickets of a handful who had bought tickets or re-route them to Colombo.

The airport, 250-kilometre (150-mile) drive from the capital Colombo — is located near wildlife sanctuaries and smack in the middle of a migratory route for birds. The airport has been collecting more revenue from local tourists visiting Rajapaksa-era white elephants in the Hambantota district.

Continue reading ‘Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport Will Not Have even a Single Scheduled Flight in the Future as “FlyDubai” Airline also Stops Flying Via Hambantota from June 8th.’ »

Ex- South Eastern University Vice-Chancellor Seeni Mohamed Ismail Being Investigated by UGC for Allegedly Misusing Varsity Funds for Maintaining Private Residence Appointed UNP National List MP.

by Saman Indrajith

Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa yesterday raised concern over former Vice Chancellor of the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, who was under fire for allegedly misusing university funds, being sworn in as an MP.

Seeni Mohamed Ismail was sworn in before Speaker Karu Jayasuriya as a parliamentarian of the UNF government. He filled the seat which fell vacant following the resignation of M.H.M Navavi of the SLMC.

Continue reading ‘Ex- South Eastern University Vice-Chancellor Seeni Mohamed Ismail Being Investigated by UGC for Allegedly Misusing Varsity Funds for Maintaining Private Residence Appointed UNP National List MP.’ »

Political Fall-out of Shutting Down TNL TV Owned By PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Brother Is Causing Serious Damage to President Sirisena Whose Credibility is Increasingly Undermined by his Own Public Statements

President Maithripala Sirisena may have crossed a red line in shutting down the TNL network owned by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s brother in a worsening power struggle that undermines the government.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) which is directly under Sirisena had obtained an order from the Polgahawela magistrate to seal a TNL transmitter alleging it was broadcasting illegally.

Whatever the legal implications, the political fallout of the TRC action is causing serious damage to Sirisena whose credibility is increasingly undermined by his own recent public statements.

Continue reading ‘Political Fall-out of Shutting Down TNL TV Owned By PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Brother Is Causing Serious Damage to President Sirisena Whose Credibility is Increasingly Undermined by his Own Public Statements’ »

Ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran Got Three Cheques in January,April and May 2016 Amounting to Rs.3.2 Million From Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Owned by Son in Law Arjun Aloysius and Paid Off His Credit Card Bills Alleges Addl Solicitor -General.

By A.J. Abeynayake

State Minister for International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe had received Rs. 3 mn from W. M. Mendis Company, a subsidiary of Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL), the Criminal Investigation department (CID) informed Fort Additional Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, yesterday.

The CID said that Rs. 3 mn had been received in three cheques between Aug 24, 2015 to March 31, 2016.

W. M. Mendis has been named the third accused in the treasury bond case.

The court was told that of the three cheques received by Senasinghe, two had been encashed by his police bodyguards and the other by a person involved in his political work.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran Got Three Cheques in January,April and May 2016 Amounting to Rs.3.2 Million From Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Owned by Son in Law Arjun Aloysius and Paid Off His Credit Card Bills Alleges Addl Solicitor -General.’ »

President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Facing ‘Dhitta Dhammavedaniya Karma’ For Calling Him A Rogue Says Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa


Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the current government had faced ‘Dittadhamma Wedaniya Karma’.
The former President said those who called him a rogue previously are now divided and they accuse each other of corruption.

“The President calls the Prime Minister a thief and the Prime Minister calls the President a thief. This is nothing but Dhitta Dhamma Vedaniya Karma” Rajapaksa said, speaking to media after the swearing-in ceremony of new members of the Maharagama Urban Council.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Facing ‘Dhitta Dhammavedaniya Karma’ For Calling Him A Rogue Says Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

State Minister Sijeewa Senasinghe Received Three Cheques of One Million Rs Each From W.M.Mendis &co a Subsidiary of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd

By

Yoshitha Perera

According to a B report filed in Court today by the prosecution in connection with the inquiry into the CB bond scam, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe had received three cheques of Rs.1 million each in 2015 and 2016 from W.M. Mendis & Company Ltd., a subsidiary of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd.

The report stated that a former Sub Inspector, who was a member of the state minister’s security detail, had cashed one of the three cheques received in 2015 at a bank in Slave Island.

Continue reading ‘State Minister Sijeewa Senasinghe Received Three Cheques of One Million Rs Each From W.M.Mendis &co a Subsidiary of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd’ »

Facebook Teaching its Staff How to Identify Inflammatory Posts in Sinhala after Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka.

By Amal Jayasinghe

AFP – Three months after Sri Lanka was rocked by deadly anti-Muslim riots fuelled by online vitriol, Facebook is training its staff to identify inflammatory content in the country’s local languages.

The social network has been seeking penance in Sri Lanka after authorities blocked Facebook in March as incendiary posts by Buddhist hardliners fanned religious violence that left three people dead and reduced hundreds of mosques, homes and businesses to ashes.

Until the week-long ban, appeals to Facebook to act against the contagion of hate speech had been met with deafening silence, at a time when the California-based tech giant was reeling from unprecedented global scrutiny over fake news and user privacy.

“We did make mistakes and we were slow,” Facebook spokeswoman Amrit Ahuja told AFP in Colombo.

The dearth of staff fluent in Sinhala — the language spoken by Sri Lanka’s largest ethnic group — compounded the issue, with government officials and activists saying the oversight allowed extremist content to flourish undetected on the platform.

Continue reading ‘Facebook Teaching its Staff How to Identify Inflammatory Posts in Sinhala after Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka.’ »

“Common Candidate” Dr.Sudarshini Fernandopulle’s Defeat at Deputy – Speaker Election Due to Failure of Attempt to Unite Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa Factions of SLFP/UPFA.

An attempt by dissidents in the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to unite rivals Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa, received a setback on Tuesday when they failed to get “common candidate” Dr.Sudarshani Fernandopulle elected to the post of Deputy Speaker of Parliament or even get a decent number votes.

Dr.Sudarshani should have got 90 plus votes if Sirisena and Rajapaksa were united. But she got only 53. The United National Party’s candidate Ananda Kumarasiri got 97 votes and won convincingly.

Many MPs of the 224 strong House did not participate in the voting.

Continue reading ‘“Common Candidate” Dr.Sudarshini Fernandopulle’s Defeat at Deputy – Speaker Election Due to Failure of Attempt to Unite Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa Factions of SLFP/UPFA.’ »

Hindu Outfit “Siva Senai” Stages Demonstration in the Nothen Town of Chavakachchei Demanding Ban on Sale of Beef and Cow Slaughter in the “Land of Hindus and Buddhists”.


By

Meera Srinivasan

Last week, members of a Hindu outfit, ‘Seva Senai’, based in northern Sri Lanka, staged a protest in Jaffna, calling for a ban on cow slaughter and the sale of beef in the town of Chavakachcheri.

“This is the land of Hindus and Buddhists. We worship the cow. Our tradition must be respected,” they demanded, days before Ramzan began.

In essence, they were a group of Tamil Hindus, who were asking fellow minorities, Tamil-speaking Muslims, to adhere to Hindu “tradition”.

Continue reading ‘Hindu Outfit “Siva Senai” Stages Demonstration in the Nothen Town of Chavakachchei Demanding Ban on Sale of Beef and Cow Slaughter in the “Land of Hindus and Buddhists”.’ »

Vehicle Belonging to Skills Development Ministry Driven by State Minister Range Bandara’s son Yashodara Crashes into a House at Bangadeniya -Kottapitiya Junction on Chilaw -Puttalam Road at 1.00 a.m. On June 6th.

By Amarananda Wijesekera

A vehicle belonging to the Skills Development Ministry, driven by Yashodara (25), son of State Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources and Disaster Management Range Bandara, crashed into a house at Bangadeniya-Kottapitiya junction on the Chilaw-Puttalam main road at 1.00 am on Wednesday (June 6) causing injuries to the driver.

Continue reading ‘Vehicle Belonging to Skills Development Ministry Driven by State Minister Range Bandara’s son Yashodara Crashes into a House at Bangadeniya -Kottapitiya Junction on Chilaw -Puttalam Road at 1.00 a.m. On June 6th.’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Tells Parliament That Steps Are Taken to Extradite Ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and Bring Him Back to Sri Lanka.

By

Methmalie Dissanayake

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said in the Parliament that steps are being taken to bring back Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Arjuna Mahendran to Sri Lanka according to the Extradition Law.

Wickremesinghe made this remark while answering a question by Chief Opposition Whip and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Dissanayake queried as to what steps had been taken from the Government’s side to produce Mahendran to the relevant local Court thus far.

Responding to this, Wickremesinghe noted that the Laws of Singapore do not allow its citizens to be arrested based on Interpol’s Red Warrants.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Tells Parliament That Steps Are Taken to Extradite Ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and Bring Him Back to Sri Lanka.’ »

Interpol Asked to Issue Red Notice Against Former Ambassador to USA Jaliya Wickramasuriya and UAE Formally Requested to Deport Former Envoy to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga From Dubai.

By Saman Indrajith

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told Parliament that he had not been in contact with former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran since the latter had left the Central Bank.

The PM was responding to a question by Chief Opposition Whip and JVP Leader Anura Dissanayake, who asked why he could not make a personal effort to bring back the former CB Governor.

Continue reading ‘Interpol Asked to Issue Red Notice Against Former Ambassador to USA Jaliya Wickramasuriya and UAE Formally Requested to Deport Former Envoy to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga From Dubai.’ »

Divisions Within the Joint Opposition Caused the Defeat of Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle at the Deputy Speaker Election States Cabinet Spokesperson Dr.Rajitha Senaratne.

By

Zahrah Imtiaz

Co-cabinet spokesperson, Minister Rajitha Senaratne yesterday stated that the vote against Dr. Sudharshani Fernadopulle was not personal and that it was the split within the Joint Opposition that had led to her loss.

“It was nothing to do with the individual.We saw that many in their camp, especially the Rajapaksas had left by the time the vote was taken”, Minister Senaratne addressing the weekly media briefing said yesterday.

Explaining the reason as to why there were two candidates put forward for the Deputy Speaker post, Senaratne said Dr. Fernandopulle’s nomination was done at the very last moment.

According to the agreement between the UNP and SLFP, if the position of Speaker went to the UNP, the position of Deputy Speaker was destined go to the SLFP.

Continue reading ‘Divisions Within the Joint Opposition Caused the Defeat of Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle at the Deputy Speaker Election States Cabinet Spokesperson Dr.Rajitha Senaratne.’ »

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Cannot Ignore the Tamil Nationality Question and/or Omit Proposing a Solution.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

“This is a sign of just how managerial and technocratic we have become; so much so that mediocre utilitarianism confuses itself with professionalism. And all of this is in place of what could be called humanism.”
— John Ralston Saul, ‘Voltaire’s Bastards’

From President Sirisena’s whistle-blowing ‘State bank privatization plot’ speech to the surrounding social anomie, we are living through “a great variety of morbid symptoms” which appear “in this interregnum” as described in Antonio Gramsci’s classic passage with the opening definition “the crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born.”

Is the post-2019 future to be a rightwing “Authoritarian Populism” as Stuart Hall named the Thatcher (or more broadly the Thatcher-Reagan) phenomenon? Or is it to be a left-of-centre, progressive and democratic populism in which nationalism is part of the protean mix? Is the patriotic populist vision of a strong State and strong leadership, to be of the centrist Putin-Erdogan variety or the rightist Trump-Netanyahu variety?

Any design for a new vision for Sri Lanka should centrally and explicitly address the mounting social crisis. A front page lead of an English language newspaper (May 27) disclosed that 40% of Colombo’s children are malnourished. The overall malnutrition figure for most provinces is a shocking 25%-30% i.e. 2 or 3 out of every 10 persons! The report was based on a presentation on May 24 to a Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on Women and Gender and the Children’s caucus, by Dr. Thusitha Wijemanna.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Cannot Ignore the Tamil Nationality Question and/or Omit Proposing a Solution.’ »

Ananda Kumarasiri(UNP) with 97 Votes Is Elected as Deputy – Speaker Defeating Dr.Sudharshini Fernandopulle(SLFP) Who Got 44 Votes in Secret Ballot;73 MP’s Absent at Voting Time with TN,JVP and Group of JO Parliamentarians walking Out.

By Saman Indrajith

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe’s candidate MP Ananda Kumarasiri defeated SLFP Maithree-faction candidate Dr Sudarashini Fernandopulle by 44 votes to secure the post of Deputy Speaker in parliament yesterday.

MP Kumarasiri received 97 votes while MP Dr Fernandopulle received 53 votes. One vote was declared invalid.

Matara District UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana proposed the name of Moneragala District UNP MP Ananda Kumarasiri for the post of Deputy Speaker. It was seconded by Kurunegala District MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha.

UPFA MP SB Dissanayake said: This is a position allocated to the SLFP. Therefore, an SLFP MP should be appointed to this post. I propose the name of Dr Sudarshini Fernandopulle for the post of Deputy Speaker.

MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara seconded MP Dissanayake’s proposal.

Continue reading ‘Ananda Kumarasiri(UNP) with 97 Votes Is Elected as Deputy – Speaker Defeating Dr.Sudharshini Fernandopulle(SLFP) Who Got 44 Votes in Secret Ballot;73 MP’s Absent at Voting Time with TN,JVP and Group of JO Parliamentarians walking Out.’ »

UNP Amenable to SLFP Govt Group MP Angajan ramanathan Becoming Deputy – Speaker But it was TNA Which Opposed His Nomination States Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

By Skandha Gunasekara

UNP candidate Ananda Kumarasiri was elected Deputy Speaker of Parliament yesterday, defeating the SLFP candidate Dr. Sudharshani Fernandopulle with a majority of 44 votes.

The voting, done through a secret ballot, took close to two hours to complete and resulted in 97 voting in favour of Kumarasiri while Fernandopulle received 53 votes.

The process began at around 2.30 p.m. when UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana nominated MP Kumarasiri for the post of Deputy Speaker, which was seconded by UNP MP Nalin Bandara Jayamah.

UPFA MP S.B. Dissanayake then proposed Dr. Fernandopulle for the post of Deputy Speaker.

“This is a position allocated for the SLFP, therefore an SLFP MP should be appointed. I nominate MP Fernandopulle,” he said.

Continue reading ‘UNP Amenable to SLFP Govt Group MP Angajan ramanathan Becoming Deputy – Speaker But it was TNA Which Opposed His Nomination States Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

TNL Chairman Shan Wickremesinghe Will Take Legal Action Against Telecomminications Regulatory Commission Over Unjust Sealing of Transmission Tower.


By

Lahiru Pothmulla

TNL Chairman Shan Wickremesinghe today said the move to shut down their Polgahawela transmission centre was not only unjust but also sudden and that he would take legal action against the TRCSL.

He said he was not informed of the court order which had been obtained by the TRCSL to search the transmission centre.

Continue reading ‘TNL Chairman Shan Wickremesinghe Will Take Legal Action Against Telecomminications Regulatory Commission Over Unjust Sealing of Transmission Tower.’ »

Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera Regrets Shutting Down of TNL by TRC Saying He came To Know About it only an Hour Before.


By

Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera

Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today he regretted the shutting down of the transmission centre belonging to TNL television at Polgahawela and assured that he would submit a report in parliament on the matter.

In response to a question raised by joint opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa, Mr. Samaraweera told parliament that he did not have much information on the matter and assured him that he would look into it and submit a report to parliament soon.

“I got to know about it only an hour before it was shut down. I tried to contact the chairman of the TRC but I couldn’t get through to him,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera Regrets Shutting Down of TNL by TRC Saying He came To Know About it only an Hour Before.’ »

Wimal Weerawansa Condemns “Undemocratic” Shutting Down of TNL By TRC Controlled By President Sirisena Due to Infighting Between UNP and SLFP.

By Saman Indrajith

NFF leader Wimal Weerawsansa yesterday asked in parliament whether the shutdown of the transmission tower of TNL, which is owned by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s sibling by Telecommunication Regulatory Commission under President Maithripala Sirisena was a result of political tug o war between the SLFP and the UNP?

MP Weerawansa said the transmission tower of TNL TV at Polgahawela had been sealed by the TRC yesterday. “We do not agree with the political line of the TNL. It is owned by the brother of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.

But we do not approve of such action against a media institution. It is undemocratic. “This is a government which came to power, promising media freedom. I hope the media minister will reveal why the TNL tower has been shut down.”

Continue reading ‘Wimal Weerawansa Condemns “Undemocratic” Shutting Down of TNL By TRC Controlled By President Sirisena Due to Infighting Between UNP and SLFP.’ »

President Sirisena Gets TRC Under His Purview To Shut Down Telshan Network( TV Owned by Premier Wickremesinghe’s Brother After TNL Criticised him.

A television network owned by the family of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was suspended by the island’s telecom regulator Tuesday, worsening a power struggle in the fractious ruling coalition.

The closure of Telshan Network comes days after the station criticised President Maithripala Sirisena, who promised to end an era of draconian restrictions on the country’s media.

Sirisena, who rules in an unsteady alliance with Wickremesinghe, has specific oversight of the telecom regulator and the decision has aggravated frictions between the men.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Gets TRC Under His Purview To Shut Down Telshan Network( TV Owned by Premier Wickremesinghe’s Brother After TNL Criticised him.’ »

Wildlife and Sustainable Development Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma’s Ad -Hoc Decision To Relocate Last Two Elephants in Sinharaja Forest to Horowapothana Criticised Severely By Wild Life Experts and Enthusiasts.


by Maneshka Borham

In a country that is home to an estimated 6,000 elephants, the current number of these gentle giants in the wet zone areas of Sri Lanka are few and far between. Once hunted widely during the Colonial period, the increasing human population in lowland areas with the land being used to grow cash crops meant, elephants were almost eliminated from the wet zones, save a few from the protected Sinharaja and Sri Pada forest reserves. Today, in the world famous Sinharaja Rainforest only two known elephants remain, making them a rarity.

However, a recent decision made by the Deputy Minister of Wildlife and Sustainable Development, Palitha Thewarapperuma to relocate these free roaming elephants to a holding centre located in Horowapothana, in the country’s dry zone has rung the death knell for these magnificent creatures, say wildlife experts and activists. The controversial move has even prompted environmentalists to call for the removal of both, the Minister and Deputy Minister of Wildlife and Sustainable Development, according to them, due to ad hoc decisions being made recently to the detriment of wildlife.

Continue reading ‘Wildlife and Sustainable Development Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma’s Ad -Hoc Decision To Relocate Last Two Elephants in Sinharaja Forest to Horowapothana Criticised Severely By Wild Life Experts and Enthusiasts.’ »

Ananda Kumarasiri(UNP),Dr.Sudharshini Fernandopulle(SLFP) and Angajan Ramanathan(SLFP) Contest for Deputy – Speaker in Parliamentary Poll by Secret Ballot

By
Disna Mudalige

A secret vote will be taken up in Parliament today(June 5) to elect a Deputy Speaker, Parliament Serjeant-at-Arms Anil Parakrama Samarasekara said.

He told the Daily News that ballot boxes and other arrangements necessary for a secret vote will be facilitated today.

The SLFP has proposed the name of National List MP Angajan Ramanathan, while the UNP has decided to field Monaragala District MP Ananda Kumarasiri for the Deputy Speaker post.

The Joint Opposition has decided to propose the name of Gampaha District MP Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle.

Continue reading ‘Ananda Kumarasiri(UNP),Dr.Sudharshini Fernandopulle(SLFP) and Angajan Ramanathan(SLFP) Contest for Deputy – Speaker in Parliamentary Poll by Secret Ballot’ »

“Do Not Relocate Last Two Wet Zone Forest Elephants in Sinharaja Rain Forest Urge Organizations to Sirisena -Wickremesinghe Govt

The Organisations listed below are appalled that a political decision has been made to capture and relocate the last two elephants remaining in the Sinharaja Rainforest, a World Heritage Site. This comes about, according to media reports, in the wake of a villager on the borders of the forest going out of his home in the middle of the night, without a torch or other illumination, to defecate in the open. There had been an elephant feeding there and, sadly, this man’s life came to untimely end.

Walking out in the middle of the night in areas bordering any forest, without the advantage of a light, has its perils, and not just from elephants. This unfortunate man may have met his end from the bite or attack of half a dozen other creatures that inhabit Sinharaja and its boundaries. Had his death been caused by any other, this matter would have been recorded as an unfortunate accident but as it was an elephant, the unscrupulous have taken advantage of this.

Yet there is a draft National Management Plan for the Conservation of the Wild Elephant in Sri Lanka, a comprehensive document that addresses all aspects necessary to preserve the last populations of the wild elephant, inclusive of measures to reduce human-elephant conflicts that often result in tragedy for both; as it has and will, in this case. This document has sat on the shelves of the Ministry of Wildlife awaiting adoption for some time now.

Continue reading ‘“Do Not Relocate Last Two Wet Zone Forest Elephants in Sinharaja Rain Forest Urge Organizations to Sirisena -Wickremesinghe Govt’ »

Ex-Navy Commander and Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne Faces Imminent Arrest For Allegedly Helping “Navy” Sampath the Main Suspect in Abduction and Murder of 13 Children Evade Arrest

Sri Lanka’s senior-most defence official, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, faces imminent arrest following allegations that he shielded the main suspect in the abduction and murder of 11 children.

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) told the Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne that Admiral Wijegunaratne during his term as navy commander had repeatedly protected the chief suspect known as “Navy Sampath.”

The magistrate told the CID that there was no impediment to arresting anyone obstructing the course of justice. The court has also called for a parallel case against those blocking the arrest of the main suspect.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Navy Commander and Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne Faces Imminent Arrest For Allegedly Helping “Navy” Sampath the Main Suspect in Abduction and Murder of 13 Children Evade Arrest’ »

Gotabaya’s Presence and Speech at the “iftar” ceremony in Beruwela Sends an Unambiguous Signal to Sirisena and Wickremesinghe That the Muslims are not to be Taken for Granted.

By

Sarath de Alwis


“The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question. Man must prove the truth, i.e., the reality and power, the worldliness of his thinking in practice. The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking which is isolated from practice is a purely scholastic question.”

Karl Marx -Theses on Feuerbach 1845

Gotabaya Rajapaksa may or may not have read Karl Marx. But he is certainly proving that Marx is right about power and the reality of power.

He is in a quest for power. The people in general have a pretty good idea of how he would use power, if he gets it and when he gets it.

The Muslims gathered for an Iftar event at Beruwela, last week, encountered firsthand, what Karl Marx meant in stressing that Man must prove the truth- the worldliness of his thinking and practice –relating power to reality.

The Beruwela event demonstrates that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is not only as clever as the devil but is twice as pretty. Just as he reached out to the merchant princes at the Shangri-La, he has now made a convincing overture to the Muslim middle class. The intent was to repair and restore his ties with the Muslim community, disastrously ruptured by his early open and later clandestine support for extreme groups such as, Bodu Bala Sena and Ravana Battalion.

The immediate goal was to allay any lingering Muslim apprehensions over his Presidential bid. Beruwela was a masterpiece of political ice-breaking.

Continue reading ‘Gotabaya’s Presence and Speech at the “iftar” ceremony in Beruwela Sends an Unambiguous Signal to Sirisena and Wickremesinghe That the Muslims are not to be Taken for Granted.’ »

Jean Arasanayagam Wins 2017 Gratiaen Prize for Best Creative Writing in English for Her Book of Poetry “Life of the Poet”.

By
NAN

I was delighted when my friend Jean Solomons, now Arasanayagam, won the Gratiaen Prize for the best work of creative writing in English in the year 2017. Double glory as this award celebrated its 25th anniversary, founded in 1993 by Michael Ondaatje with the money from winning the Man Booker Prize for his novel The English Patient. Jean won the prize for her book of poetry titled The Life of The Poet, published by Sarasavi Publishers.

The prize winning book

Jean courier-posted a copy of the book which I received on Thursday ( May 31), so I will not attempt commenting on its content. I have read much of Jean’s earlier poetry and find she is truly poetic, her poetry being deep in significance and poetic excellence. Whatever the content matter, her poems come across strongly evocative, their effect on the reader always definite, oftimes stunning. Her language is crisp and one single line may encapsulate a whole spectrum of meaning coupled with rich imagery. Her poetry on Jaffna and the civil war, and on discrimination whether racial or religious, are sharper and actually breathtaking in their effect.

Continue reading ‘Jean Arasanayagam Wins 2017 Gratiaen Prize for Best Creative Writing in English for Her Book of Poetry “Life of the Poet”.’ »

Lester James Peries The Father of Sinhala Cinema Whose Working Language was English Made Films in the Language of Cinema.

By

Dr.Carlo Fonseka

(Talk given by Prof Carlo Fonseka at a commemoration meeting held in St Mary’s Church Bambalapitiya on May 28.)

On April 29, 2018, Dr Lester James Peries, the greatest film-maker on earth at that time, was going on his 100th year. Then he radically changed course and embarked upon the journey “to the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns” as Shakespeare’s soliloquizing Hamlet memorably put it. We are assembled this evening in this church where Lester regularly worshipped, to pay homage to the memory of the great man whose cinematic art helped to make our lives in this world more enjoyable and meaningful.


Context

To set the context in which Lester did his work, let us recall that he belonged to a special subgroup of gifted people in this country. To name but a few of them, apart from Lester himself, it included his brother Ivan Peries the famous painter. Then there was the Cambridge educated lawyer and legislator, Sir James Pieris who in the 1920s led the Ceylon National Congress and was the Vice-President of the Legislative Assembly. There was also his Cambridge-educated lawyer son Charles Jacob Pieris who however, abandoned the law and studied classical Western music. He returned to Sri Lanka, took the name Deva Surya Sena and became an accomplished musician. He focused on our folk songs and vannams. He was a member of the Anglican Church and as it happened, composed a Sinhala liturgy based on the Gajaga Vannama.

Continue reading ‘Lester James Peries The Father of Sinhala Cinema Whose Working Language was English Made Films in the Language of Cinema.’ »

Upgrading of Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka to “A” Category from “B” Category is a Matter of Deep Satisfaction But Further Institutional Strenthening of HRCSL Needs to take Place

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Even before the Rajapaksa Presidency passed the 18th Amendment, we had been reassured by successive Governments (with more than a hint of perfunctory condescension), that Sri Lanka’s Rule of Law institutions were working well, even if not perfectly well.

Administering last rites to governance

Those reassurances contrasted strangely with the actual realities. Weak laws were passed with deliberate contradictions that made it difficult for institutions created therein to be structurally independent. Furthermore, those venturesome enough (or perchance indeed foolhardy) to take on the challenges of working in these bodies were constantly sniped at from political quarters, debilitating their integrity and delegitimizing the institutions that they were a part of. At its highest level, the judiciary remained plagued by clouds of political controversy that finally enveloped the very Office of the Chief Justice in their deadly reach and which has never quite dissipated since then.

To be clear, the 18th Amendment passed by a Rajapaksa Parliament merely administered the last rites with a flourish to the sad remains of independent institutions established with the proud ambition of safeguarding rights of Sri Lankans. What occurred thereafter reflected, of course, the ugliest of scenarios when retired judges, lawyers and other more dubious characters, (including some purporting to lay claim to academic credentials), openly and shamelessly colluded with the political establishment which had, by that time, begun to violate rights with an exuberance that exceeded even its none too saintly predecessors.

An immediate victim of these tumultuous happenings was the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) in regard to which public disapproval was unprecedented at the time. As the HRCSL looked determinedly away from its statutory task of speaking up for unfortunate victims, including those who had been brutally tortured from the North to the South, faith in its independent and impartial functioning plummeted to the lowest ebb.

Continue reading ‘Upgrading of Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka to “A” Category from “B” Category is a Matter of Deep Satisfaction But Further Institutional Strenthening of HRCSL Needs to take Place’ »

Is President Sirisena With Those Who Got Him Elected as Executive President Or with Those Who Opposed Him Then?

By

Rajan Philips

President Sirisena once again stole his own political thunder last week with a headlines grabbing outburst while appearing uninvited at a commemoration event to mark the 76th birth anniversary of the late Sobitha Thera. The outburst and the news reports of it are remarkable for not what the President said at the meeting, but for what he failed to say. He gravely omitted to mention the SINGLE ISSUE for which Sobitha Thera launched a movement and even sacrificed his life, namely, the abolition of the executive presidency. Instead, the President used the occasion for pouring vitriolic sarcasm on the Prime Minister and grandstanding that the late Thera “never asked the common candidate to loot the Central Bank” as one daily reported.

The outburst was also full of outright lies – about the 100-day Programme, dissolving parliament etc., which have since been publicly repudiated for what they are by Lal Wijeynayake, well known Lawyer and LSSPer, and the UNP’s Kabir Hashim. Mr. Sirisena took credit for swearing in, in his first act as President in January 2015, Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister even though the UNP had only 47 MPs in parliament. What the President did not say is the fact that the SLFP/UPFA who had a near two-thirds majority did not challenge Ranil Wickremesinghe’s lack of majority in parliament to be Prime Minister, because the SLFP MPs accepted the meaning of the defeat of President Rajapaksa to be a defeat of the whole SLFP/UPFA government. The tragic-comic yahapalanaya story is that after three years in office, it was President Sirisena who unsuccessfully tried to get the SLFPers (split between the government and opposition) to vote against his own Prime Minister in a motion of no confidence in parliament.

The President flung another boomeranging bombshell at the commemoration event. He contended that anyone who is interested in knowing the truth about the investigation into what is now officially acknowledged as the murder of (Rugger Player) Wasim Thajudeen, should only ask the late Thajudeen’s family members or the Lawyers looking after their interests. Why so? If the President has knowledge of interference in police work and if he knows that the police are being prevented from exposing the suspects and filing charges against them, shouldn’t he put an end to these interferences and allow the police to complete their work. Is there someone else more powerful than the President who can overrule the President and stop the police and prosecutors from completing their investigation and prosecuting the accused in court? Hasn’t the family of Thajudeen been traumatized enough through the wild-goose-chase of an investigation, and shouldn’t they be at the least spared of public references from political platforms?

Continue reading ‘Is President Sirisena With Those Who Got Him Elected as Executive President Or with Those Who Opposed Him Then?’ »

President Sirisena is an Experiment Which has Outgrown its Laboratory, with Unintended Consequences .


By

Sanjana Hattotuwa

“You are my creator, But I am your master……
Mary Shelley (1818)

Given the trend of tirades, it is not unreasonable to expect that President Sirisena will wake up one of these days and disclaim everything he did and said in 2015. The change maker is clearly out, though the charlatan arguably never left. The hope around and pegged to him is long gone. There is, short of a miracle, nothing progressive that he was the face of, and championed, when first seeking office that will now come to pass. This includes, above all else, a new constitution. There is an increasing manic tinge, of someone increasingly unhinged, that colours his pronouncements. A video last week of him disavowing any knowledge around actions he clearly and very publicly took credit just after coming to office went viral, which in this case, would have added to his insecurities about social media.

From the titan who took on a terrible regime, he is now greatly reduced – a moral, political, ethical and personal deflation that is almost entirely self-inflicted. President Sirisena is now a caricature of himself, a necessary evil to engage with but entirely peripheral as a person. There is no pleasure in seeing this. What a monumental fall from the person we emphatically cheered on, hoarse, tired and in a general state of sheer disbelief, a little over three years ago.

In his defence, the lofty garb of idealism that once adorned him wasn’t bespoke. The political project to have him run for Presidency was strictly utilitarian based on a simple equation around who could win against Mahinda Rajapaksa at a time when he was, constitutionally, set to rule for life. The selection of Sirisena wasn’t based on anything remotely presidential in him. He wasn’t an idiot, but he was useful. An intended outcome was needed, and he was the best vessel. Sirisena as a presidential mendicant had what Fonseka as presidential aspirant, in 2010, did not – the element of surprise and public appeal, not arising from any great service or intellect, but as a consequence of a lifetime of political mediocrity singularly defined by loyalty to the SLFP. All bets in, the gamble paid off, perhaps surprising those now in power more than those who were ousted.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena is an Experiment Which has Outgrown its Laboratory, with Unintended Consequences .’ »

Grand Coalition of the Corrupt That Transcends Political Divisions Among Politicians,Officials and Entrepreneurs Defended By Top Legal Professionals Possessing the Best Brains of our Society.

By

Jayadeva Uyangoda

Among politically significant developments to have occurred during the past week or so, three stand out. They, not necessarily in the order of their importance, are: (a) Revelations made by MP Dayasiri Jayasekera about business donations to election funds of politicians, (b) the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, and (c) Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s launching of his 2019-2020 election campaign. This essay examines only the first.

Campaign donations

Dayasiri Jayasekara is the first MP who has openly admitted to accepting Rs. 1 million as donation from a company linked to Arjun Aloysius who is alleged to have masterminded the massive Central Bank bond scam in 2015. According to media reports, there are altogether 118 MPs, representing both, the ruling coalition and the opposition, who are alleged to have shared a total donation of Rs. 1.8 billion from the Aloysius fund. MP Jayasekera has challenged the other 117 colleagues to come out and admit it in public. Only Sarath Fonseka, Minister of Wildlife, has so far responded to Jayasekara’s call, which many of his MP colleagues are very likely to ignore.

In terms of the volume of cash involved, the Aloysius-Jayasekera transaction is a relatively small donation. But, that does not make the episode any less dramatic.

In a press conference, MP Jayasekara, himself a lawyer, has made some astonishing admissions that are great quotations for any political science student of elections and campaign funding. He said, the amount he received, — a mere Rs. 1 million – was such an insignificant share of the total amount of donations that businessmen make during election campaigns that it was ‘like a coconut husk in the ocean.” Aloysius, according to Jayasekera, has distributed Rs. 1. 8 billion among 118 MPs of the ruling coalition as well as the opposition. He also protested: “Why single me out? 118 MPs have done it.” He also revealed: “Many businessmen do it. Aloysius is not an exception.”

Continue reading ‘Grand Coalition of the Corrupt That Transcends Political Divisions Among Politicians,Officials and Entrepreneurs Defended By Top Legal Professionals Possessing the Best Brains of our Society.’ »

President Sirisena Has Reached The Identical Point That Alice in Wonderland Reached When she Met The Cheshire Cat.


By Sarath de Alwis

President Maithripala Sirisena is unlikely to command a chapter or earn a paragraph in our post-colonial history. He will, of course, be a footnote in the convoluted chapter on our struggle to return to a parliamentary democracy for when we succeed in ditching the travesty – the executive presidency.

The man was doomed from the start. His character and character flaws are straight from the Russian novel where Fyodor Dostoevsky has described his kind. “But man is a fickle and disreputable creature and perhaps, like a chess-player, is interested in the process of attaining his goal rather than the goal itself.”

His presidency of the last three years is a bad Russian novel.

Today, he is the character out of Pushkin. “It’s a lucky man, a very lucky man, who is committed to what he believes, who has stifled intellectual detachment and can relax in the luxury of his emotions – like a tipsy traveller resting for the night at a wayside inn.”

The President’s reference to burglarizing of the ‘Big Bank – Maha Benkuwa’ did not create any waves.

Instead, his remark about helicopters was noted, picked up and soon snowballed into an unusual uproar and an exceptional extravaganza of political rhetoric. That says a lot about our mass media, social media and our opinion makers.

The President’s remarks did have an impact on two professional journalist friends of this writer. One said that the President was unhinged. The other described it as an outburst. This writer does not intend to quarrel with either of them. They are what constitute the urban liberal middle class of our land.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Has Reached The Identical Point That Alice in Wonderland Reached When she Met The Cheshire Cat.’ »

Four Supreme Court Judges Have So Far Recused Themselves From Hearing Fundamental Rights Petition Filed By Ex – Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

By
Lakmal Sooriyagoda

Four Supreme Court Judges have declined to sit on the Bench to hear the Fundamental Rights petition filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, citing personal reasons.

Supreme Court Judges Eva Wanasundara, Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena and Murdu Fernando have so far declined to sit on the Bench regarding a Fundamental Rights petition filed by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in 2015.

Accordingly, this petition is to be heard on November 27, under a different Bench not comprising these four Supreme Court judges.

Continue reading ‘Four Supreme Court Judges Have So Far Recused Themselves From Hearing Fundamental Rights Petition Filed By Ex – Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.’ »

Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran Boycotts Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Visit to North And Sends Letter With Demands To the Govt Instead of Facing PM Directly.

By

Manekshaw

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe travelled to Jaffna last week and when the Sri Lanka Air Force VIP helicopter touched down at the Jaffna Municipal Council grounds, he was received by one of the leading business magnates in Jaffna T. Thuvarakeswaran who is the brother of the late UNP Parliamentarian T. Maheswaran and the brother in law of State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe descended from the SLAF chopper amidst heavy showers and tight security, to once the location of the Jaffna Municipal Council, where stood a building very much similar to the Jaffna Public Library building in architecture. However, the LTTE demolished the majestic Jaffna Municipal Council building, which even housed a cinema, by detonating dynamites, when there were moves by the Army to take over the building, in the early eighties. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s Jaffna itinerary focused on having meetings with Government officials in Jaffna and Kilinochchi, to assess the progress of the post-war development activities.

Continue reading ‘Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran Boycotts Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Visit to North And Sends Letter With Demands To the Govt Instead of Facing PM Directly.’ »

CID Tells Court Of Chief of Defence Staff Ravi Wijegunawrdene’s Suspected Connection to Evasion of Arrest By Naval Officer Prasad Hettiarachchi Allegedly Responsible for Disappearance of 11 Children

By

Kavindya Perera

The CID yesterday (31), informed Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne that former Navy Commander and current Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunawardene was connected to the disappearance of Lieutenant Commander Prasad Hettiarachchi, a suspect charged with the abduction and disappearance of 11 children.

Attorney Achala Seneviratne, appearing for the aggrieved parties, questioned the CID on the progress made in their investigations into Hettiarachchi’s disappearance.

Continue reading ‘CID Tells Court Of Chief of Defence Staff Ravi Wijegunawrdene’s Suspected Connection to Evasion of Arrest By Naval Officer Prasad Hettiarachchi Allegedly Responsible for Disappearance of 11 Children’ »

UNP Will Launch Its “Sathya”(Truth) Campaign Through its New Central Media Unit to Reveal Truth About President Sirisena’s Allegations says Newly Appointed Party Spokesmand Propaganda Chief Harin Fernando.

By

Yohan Perera

The United National Party (UNP) would reveal the truth and would respond to the statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena on the Hundred-Day Programme from next week, its newly appointed Spokesman Harin Fernando said yesterday.

“ We will speak about the programme and other things from next Monday when we launch out ‘Sathya (Truth) Campaign,” Minister Fernando said in response to a question raised by journalists as to how would the UNP respond to the sentiments expressed by President Sirisena on the Hundred-Day-Programme.

“We will launch the UNP’s Central Media Unit and the ‘Sathya’ Programme on Monday.

Continue reading ‘UNP Will Launch Its “Sathya”(Truth) Campaign Through its New Central Media Unit to Reveal Truth About President Sirisena’s Allegations says Newly Appointed Party Spokesmand Propaganda Chief Harin Fernando.’ »

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Asks Presidential Secretary Thrice To Send Him the Names of 118 Persons Including MP’s Who Allegedly Took Money from Arjun Aloysius But No Response From Austin Fernando So far.

By

Sandun A Jayasekera and Ajith Siriwardana

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has written to the Secretary to President Austin Fernando to send him the list of names mentioned in the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) Report as those who had allegedly received financial gratuities from Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. boss Arjun Aloysius.

Mr Jayasuriya has made the request several times to Mr Fernando but there has been no positive response up to now.

An official of the Speaker’s Office told the Daily Mirror that a third request had been made to the Presidential Secretariat a few days ago by Speaker Jayasuriya under the Parliamentary Privilege as the issue involved Parliamentarians.

“Speaker Jayasuriya expects a positive response by next week from Mr Fernando as the disclosure of those names is of national interest,” the official added.

Continue reading ‘Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Asks Presidential Secretary Thrice To Send Him the Names of 118 Persons Including MP’s Who Allegedly Took Money from Arjun Aloysius But No Response From Austin Fernando So far.’ »

President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Must Go To the Sinhala People and Explain the Need for a New Constitution” – TNA Leader Sampanthan Tells US Delegation.

(Text Of Press Statement Issued Through the Media Office of the Tamil National Alliance on 30.05.2018)

The visiting United States House of Representatives Armed Services Committee Delegation led by Hon. McClellen Thornberry met with the Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance Mr. Sampanthan today in Colombo.

Mr. Sampanthan briefed the delegation on the current political situation in the country and emphasized the importance of both President and Prime Minister Working together in order to find solutions to fundamental issues and taking this country forward. “We are unhappy about the way the country is progressing,” Mr. Sampanthan told the delegation.

Answering a question Mr. Sampanthan said, that “the majority of the people in this country are willing to address the national issue once and for all. What is lacking is that the courage from the Sinhala leaders to go out to the people and explicitly tell them on the need for a new Constitution and the benefits of framing a new Constitution he said. Some Sinhala political leaders are trying to satisfy the hardliners than being just and equal to all people in this country, they cannot go on this path forever, it will only end up in history being repeated Mr. Sampanthan said.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Must Go To the Sinhala People and Explain the Need for a New Constitution” – TNA Leader Sampanthan Tells US Delegation.’ »

Right to Information Commission Expresses Concern Over Clause 9 of Proposed Audit Bill Seeking to Prevent RTIC Access to Audit Reports.

(TEXT OF STATEMENT ISSUED ON JUNE 1st 2018 BY RIGHT TO INFORMATION COMMISSION ON PROPOSED AUDIT BILL)

In accordance with its duty to secure the effective implementation of Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Act, No 12 of 2016 (RTI Act) in Sri Lanka, the Right to Information Commission (RTIC) emphasizes the importance of upholding the public right to know which is a core principle of the RTI Act.

It is reminded in this regard that the RTI Act is premised on the principle of maximum disclosure while protecting specific interests (national security, privacy, law and orderetc). These interests are, in turn, subjected to an overriding public interest test. As such, the RTI Act does not place specific categories or classes of documents or the functioning of specific offices beyond the reach of information requesters.

Consequently draft laws currently in the public domain that proposes to place selected state offices on an advantaged position as against others and enforce general prohibitions on citizens asking for information on the due and proper functioning of such offices raise legitimate concerns as to whether this will create exclusive domains of privilege for those offices.

Continue reading ‘Right to Information Commission Expresses Concern Over Clause 9 of Proposed Audit Bill Seeking to Prevent RTIC Access to Audit Reports.’ »

President Sirisena Claims He Saved the State Banking Sector From Collapsing by Thwarting Despicable Attempt to Transfer Funds From State Banks to Private Banks after Three Year Battle.

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday lambasted the top UNP leadership alleging that he thwarted a despicable attempt to transfer funds from state banks to private banks. Had that move succeeded entire state banking sector would have collapsed, President Sirisena said, recalling how he managed to halt the move after a three month long battle.

President Sirisena said so at a commemorative event to mark the birth anniversary of Yahapalana architect the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI).

Among those in the audience were Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, MP, Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale and member of the Constitutional Council A.T. Ariyaratne.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Claims He Saved the State Banking Sector From Collapsing by Thwarting Despicable Attempt to Transfer Funds From State Banks to Private Banks after Three Year Battle.’ »

Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka Says he Too Received About 100,000 Rupees From Businessman Arjun Aloysius During the Last Election campaign.

Cabinet Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that he, too, received about Rs100,000 from tainted businessman Arjun Aloysius at the last parliamentary polls.

Continue reading ‘Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka Says he Too Received About 100,000 Rupees From Businessman Arjun Aloysius During the Last Election campaign.’ »

“Who Provided Helicopters to Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to go to Tangalle Unharmed After the Presidential Election Results were Announced? Asks President Maithripala Sirisena

By

Ariyaratna Ranabahu

President Maithripala Sirisena said today the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, who came forward to set up a Government through a common candidate, never asked that common candidate to loot the Central bank.

The President expressed these views at the 76th commemoration of the late Ven. Sobitha Thera held at Foundation Institute in Colombo.

President Sirisena, who paid a surprise visit to the event, said he had not received an official invitation to attend the event.

Continue reading ‘“Who Provided Helicopters to Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to go to Tangalle Unharmed After the Presidential Election Results were Announced? Asks President Maithripala Sirisena’ »

Ex-Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s “Economic Vision for 2020 -2030” Is a Policy Blueprint for an Authoritarian Regime in Sri Lanka.

By Pani Wijesiriwardane

Former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s recent “Economic Vision for 2020–2030” document is a policy blueprint for an authoritarian regime in Sri Lanka.

Addressing the annual conference of the extreme-right Viyath Maga (Professionals for Better Nation) this month, Rajapakse called for a complete overhaul of the economy in order to exploit “windows of opportunity” for international investment. The essence of his speech was that “economic development” requires vicious law and order measures.

The Viyath Maga conference was attended by 2,000 invitees at the ultra-expensive Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on May 13. Participants included former president Mahinda Rajapakse, retired military leaders, business chiefs, highly-paid professionals, some Buddhist clergy and Sinhala extremists.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s “Economic Vision for 2020 -2030” Is a Policy Blueprint for an Authoritarian Regime in Sri Lanka.’ »

Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is Probably Plotting to Use Another Generation of Tamils as Pawns to Advance his Personal Political Ends.


By

Ranga Jayasuriya

A decision by a local bank to suspend two of its employees for commemorating the war dead of the final phase of the Eelam war has now caused a fresh wave of controversy. The ‘disciplinary action’ was purportedly taken after Sinhala nationalist social media highlighted the incident.

The Bank said in a media statement, “HNB takes very seriously any sentiment or act that is in violation of, or poses a threat to the morale of citizens of Sri Lanka. As a Bank that stands for all Sri Lankans, our goals, interests and initiatives are all aligned to the vision and greater good of our Country.”

“We regret an unauthorized incident that took place recently in one of our branches, which does not reflect the values of the Bank. The matter has been investigated and necessary action taken.”

The management response has however drawn condemnation from Tamil society, and Tamil diaspora groups, who are unlikely to have accounts on the HNB anyway, have called for a boycott of the bank.

Continue reading ‘Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is Probably Plotting to Use Another Generation of Tamils as Pawns to Advance his Personal Political Ends.’ »

Premier Wickremesinghe Outlines Development Plans For the North Which is the Poorest Province in Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday focused on the need to link the Northern Province with southern development corridors to develop its economy focusing on agriculture, fishing, tourism and manufacturing.

Wickremesinghe speaking in Kilinochchi during a visit to the war-affected Province noted that despite the war ending nine years ago, the region had not seen an economic regeneration. He pointed out that despite the development of infrastructure significant challenges, especially on poverty, water and housing access remained in the area and required Government assistance. He acknowledged the region would need a multipronged approach including better education and employment opportunities to improve its GDP contribution and provide better living standards for its residents.

Continue reading ‘Premier Wickremesinghe Outlines Development Plans For the North Which is the Poorest Province in Sri Lanka’ »

If UNP and Liberal Establishment Dont want Gota as Presidential Candidate They Must Revise 19 Amendment to Let Mahinda Contest the Presidential Poll.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka


First of a Two -part Article

Whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad, said the old line. I’d modify that and say that whom the Gods wish to destroy they first render stupid.

There are two sorts of folks in Sri Lanka who are being driven stupid so to speak. One consists of politicians, ideologues and intellectuals who are pro-government and of liberal persuasion. The other are the same categories of persons who adhere to the Tamil nationalist cause.

Let’s review the first lot, first. The liberals earnestly wish that Ranil and Maithri renew their political marriage vows, and believe that the UNP and SLFP can together defeat the rising Rajapaksa tide. They also wonder whether Mahinda Rajapaksa can be inveigled into supporting either the 20th amendment or the new Constitution—and thereby stop the Gotabhaya surge.

Continue reading ‘If UNP and Liberal Establishment Dont want Gota as Presidential Candidate They Must Revise 19 Amendment to Let Mahinda Contest the Presidential Poll.’ »

Chief Minister Wigneswaran Wants Offensive Political Strategy Saying Tamils Must Fight Like Muhamed Ali Punching While the Rival is Tired.


By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka



Second of a Two-part Article

At the beginning of the first part of this article ,I referred to two groups of people whom the Gods are driving stupid as a prelude to driving them mad, which itself is a prelude to destruction. The first group was the pro-regime or anti-Rajapaksa liberals. The second group consists of the Tamil nationalists.

The Tamil nationalists are behaving in such a manner as to secure the electoral victory of the hardest line Sinhala nationalists around. This is not the first time they have behaved thus. Every time they expect the world to support the Tamil cause and the Sinhala nationalist to lose all external support—thereby ending up with the victory of the Tamil project of self-determination. It has never worked. It won’t work this time either.

The Tamil nationalists have not learnt from the example of Anton Balasingham who knew when the Tamils should stop, not push beyond a certain point, abandon the offensive strategy and consolidate their gains, adopting a defensive strategy if needed. He argued as much in 2002 (the April 2003 Tokyo conference was the case in point) and lost the argument.

Prabhakaran won the argument and lost the war. Chief Minister Wigneswaran among others, is arguing for an offensive political strategy on the part of the Tamils, when they should be digging in for a defensive one.

Continue reading ‘Chief Minister Wigneswaran Wants Offensive Political Strategy Saying Tamils Must Fight Like Muhamed Ali Punching While the Rival is Tired.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Resorts To Chauvinistic Rhetoric In Praising Armed Forces in a Bid to Counter Challenge Posed By Mahinda Rajapaksa.

By K. Ratnayake

President Maithripala Sirisena devoted his speech at a ceremony celebrating the 2009 defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to eulogise the military and issue Sinhala chauvinist appeals.

Sirisena, who is also the commander in chief of the Sri Lankan armed forces, presided over the so-called national war heroes’ day on May 19, marking the ninth anniversary since the end of the bloody 26-year communal war.

Sirisena’s craven praise for the military is a measure of his dependence on it. He is leading a politically fragile government with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and facing mounting social opposition by workers and the poor. A rival group led by former President Mahinda Rajapakse is challenging his coalition government.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Resorts To Chauvinistic Rhetoric In Praising Armed Forces in a Bid to Counter Challenge Posed By Mahinda Rajapaksa.’ »

Why “Velvet Glove” To JVP and “Iron Hand” to LTTE When Both are Failed Terrorist Organizations?

By Air Vice Marshal(Retd) A B Sosa VSV psc

In the past couple of weeks there have been divergent views expressed whether our brethren living in the North should be permitted to commemorate the deaths of their kith and kin and friends on the anniversary of the day that the LTTE was eliminated from our country. In this context, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna [ JVP ]has been allowed to commemorate annually the demise of their leader Rohana Wijeweera and their comrades who were killed by the Services, Police and pro government unofficial troops.

The justification for this double standard is that the aim of the LTTE was to separate the country and declare Eelam whilst the JVP was motivated to overthrow the Democratically elected Government and form a Revolutionary undivided dictatorial government under the leadership of Rohana Wijeweera and his politbureau. The atrocities and activities of the LTTE are well documented and several books authored by those who had to face the brunt of their attacks commencing 1980 up to 2009 have been published.

Continue reading ‘Why “Velvet Glove” To JVP and “Iron Hand” to LTTE When Both are Failed Terrorist Organizations?’ »

Snap Presidential Election Possible At Anytime after 9 January 2019

By C.A.Chandraprema

As the month of June approaches, we realise that the incumbent President now has only 18 full months in office before the last date by which a presidential election should be held and a new president declared elected.

According to Article 31(3) of the Constitution, the poll for the election of the President has to be held not less than one month, and not more than two months before the expiration of the term of office of the President in office. Going by this constitutional requirement, the last day by which the presidential poll will have to be held, is the 9th December 2019 because President Maithripala Sirisena’s term in office ends on 9 January 2020.

According to Section 2(1) of the Presidential Elections Act, No. 15 of 1981, when the Commissioner of Elections is required by the Constitution to conduct a presidential election, he has to fix a date for the nomination of candidates which is not less than sixteen days and not more than one month from the date of publication of such Order. The date on which the poll is taken has to be a date not less than one month and not more than two months from the date of nomination. Thus, when we work backwards from the last day on which the next presidential election should be held that is, 9 December 2019, we find that the latest that nominations for the presidency can close will be 9 November.

Continue reading ‘Snap Presidential Election Possible At Anytime after 9 January 2019’ »

Gota’s Viyathmaga and a Govt at a Standstill.

By Dr Nalaka Godahewa

American economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell once said, “The big divide in this country is not between Democrats and Republicans, or men and women, but between talkers and doers ”

When a powerful minister of the government gets into a panic and issues a press statement criticizing a speech made by an ordinary citizen at a non political event there is some thing bizarre about it. That is exactly what minister Malik Samarawickrama did a few days ago. When we see his statement challenging the economic views expressed by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in his capacity as the chairman of Viyathmaga at the recently concluded Annual Convention 2018, invariably the above quote by Thomas Sowell comes to our mind. Minister Samarawickrama represents a government, which has only been talking for more than three years whilst miserably failing in delivery. On the other hand Mr Rajapaksa comes with a proven track record of delivering results whenever he was entrusted with responsibility. So here is a clear divide between a talker and a doer.

Continue reading ‘Gota’s Viyathmaga and a Govt at a Standstill.’ »

Kumar Sangakkara Can Become the National Leader of Sri Lanka Like Emmanuel Macron In France



By

R. Jayaratne


An Open Letter To The Former Cricket Captain

Dear Kumar Sangakkara,

Thank you very much for directing public attention, once again, to the subject of maladministration of Sri Lanka Cricket at the recent Colombo Club meeting despite being an unpleasant task to take upon at an otherwise pleasing event. As is evident, the problem continues with impunity despite your bringing it to the fore internationally, as far back as 2011, at your much hailed MCC ‘Spirit of Cricket’ Cowdrey Lecture. You were praised for your outspokenness on the lack of accountability and transparency in Sri Lanka’s cricket administration and its loss of credibility and integrity due to a mad power struggle.

It is no mean achievement to have your eloquent speech described as the most important in cricket history. It enhanced your international reputation as an eminent personality.

No doubt, the public share in your continued disillusionment with the deplorable standards of governance, accountability & transparency & mounting corruption, cronyism & authoritarianism which have blurred SLC’s vision, mission and goals.

Continue reading ‘Kumar Sangakkara Can Become the National Leader of Sri Lanka Like Emmanuel Macron In France’ »

Sandhya Ekneligoda Gets Justice After Courageous Legal Struggle Against Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thera

By

Anurangh Singh

When the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena threatened her in open court in January 2016, a new battle-front opened for Sandhya Ekneligoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth. Braving threats and intimidation, even as she battled separately to find Prageeth, Sandhya saw the criminal intimidation case against Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera to its finish last week. After years of running amok and spewing extremist views and hate speech with impunity, the controversial clergyman finally had a day of reckoning when the Homagama Magistrate pronounced the monk guilty of criminally intimidating the missing journalist’s wife last Thursday

From a series of cases filed in relation to the abduction of Prageeth Ekneligoda, one saw its conclusion on May 24, having found Ven. Galabodaaththe Gnanasara Thera guilty on two charges. Though this is an unplanned, additional case that sprung up based on the actions of the controversial monk, the missing journalist’s wife Sandhya, turned disappearances activist feels a sense of relief that the case is over and justice prevailed.

“This monk has hurt so many people, I am glad that at least through this court case, there has been justice for his crimes,” the journalist’s wife said outside the courtroom on Thursday after the guilty verdict was read. Head bowed inside the courtroom the Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary
who is facing several other criminal charges, listened silently while Homagama Magistrate Udesh Ranatunge pronounced him guilty of criminally intimidating Sandhya Ekneligoda inside the same courtroom two years ago.

Continue reading ‘Sandhya Ekneligoda Gets Justice After Courageous Legal Struggle Against Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thera’ »

Viyathmaga,Facebook,Godahewa and Zuckerberg.

By

Sarath de Alwis

At long last, the gauntlet thrown down during the recent hoopla at the Shangri-La has been taken up. Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera has not only taken it up but has decided to run the gauntlet. The metaphor is appropriate. It describes the painful but necessary task of confronting something or someone that is intrinsically abhorrent.

Mangala Samaraweera is perhaps the only Minister in this Government who is ideologically alert to the menace in the form of the former strongman Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

‘Viyathmaga’ is not what it claims to be, says Mangala. Instead, the name of the movement that seeks to instal the former Defence Secretary as President of the Republic is a ‘Vipathmaga’ he asserts.

It is not, as the ‘intellectual movement’ seeks to posit, the erudite path traced by professionals, entrepreneurs and academics. It will be ‘vipathmaga’ or a path of pitfalls and peril.

Continue reading ‘Viyathmaga,Facebook,Godahewa and Zuckerberg.’ »

Dayasiri Jayasekara Says Political Revenge Is Being Taken Against Him For Voting for No Confidence Motion Against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

by Uditha Kumarasinghe

Former Sports Minister and UPFA Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekara has run into a storm of controversy after it was revealed in court last week that he accepted Rs 1 million in campaign donations from a company linked to Perpetual Treasuries which is at the centre of the Bond scandal. In an interview with Sunday Observer, Jayasekera said he had received the money during the 2015 General Election campaign but in no way acted to defend the interests of the company. He called the latest allegations levelled against him ‘mud-slinging’ by poltiical rivals

Q: That you had received a cheque for Rs. one million in 2015 from Walt and Row Associates affiliated to primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. has become politically, most controversial, today. Would you like to explain?

A: This incident took place on July 13, 2015. At that time, I was the North Western Province Chief Minister and handed over nominations to contest the August 17 Parliamentary election. During our election campaigns, various people extended support. I admit, the said company too had given me some money for my campaign, but I never represented their interest at any time. Actually, this is not Perpetual Treasuries but a different company. It is a known fact that some businessmen extend support not only to Parliamentarians but also to some Pradeshiya Sabha members during election campaigns. When this incident happened, I was not a Parliamentarian nor a member of the COPE. Even after being elected to Parliament and also as a member of COPE, I never acted to defend the said company. The cheque had not been issued in my name so that I don’t even remember the person who gave me the cheque.

Continue reading ‘Dayasiri Jayasekara Says Political Revenge Is Being Taken Against Him For Voting for No Confidence Motion Against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

Colombo’s Capitalist Class Brazenly Genuflected Before Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa


By

Kishali Pinto Jayaardene

When the king cobra kills, it is said that its glare is so unnerving that the victim is fascinated first into a state of terrified immobility before the strike occurs, paralyzing through the injection of a potent neurotoxin that immobilizes the central nervous system. The victims, (including humans if the dose is large enough), can feel impending death but be completely powerless to prevent it, sans immediate recourse to anti-venom treatment.

Political chicanery, natural disasters and human misery

In some ways, it feels as if Sri Lanka is in that advanced state of paralysis as the country lies transfixed in a state of apathy with a quarreling National Unity Government, overtly ambitious constitutional reforms going nowhere and urgent economic problems of the populace remaining unsolved. One disaster after another continues to hit the most vulnerable as the monsoon rains envelop the land bringing deaths and homelessness in their wake. First the drought, then the rains hammer Sri Lanka with equally devastating effect and we have no mitigation system in place beyond politicians distributing relief to desperate people.

Indeed there is an inescapable link between political chicanery, natural disasters and human misery. Corruption, unplanned developments and unauthorized constructions have meant that natural disasters turn deadlier each year. Even as Colombo was built up to be the ‘prettiest city in Asia’ during the Rajapaksa years, its wetlands were mercilessly encroached on with political patronage and no regard for the law. Now as rain waters routinely flood the city, we see one direct consequence thereof.

Continue reading ‘Colombo’s Capitalist Class Brazenly Genuflected Before Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’ »

Glimpses of Life With Lester James Peries In The City of Lights


By Ahmed A. Jawad

High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Canada

I had just arrived on a sunny, hot Parisian afternoon on posting at our Embassy in May 1995. “Good afternoon, call me Lester,” he said rather casually in response to my “good afternoon, nice to meet you, Dr. Peries.” I had never met the legend before and only read about his exploits in the media. Having Leonard Woolf’s ‘The Village in the Jungle’ as a text for the Advanced Level, our English Literature teacher insisted that we see ‘Baddegama’.

Over the next few years, it was a privilege to closely associate with the great man and listen to his unconventional views on matters ranging from French culture, history, cuisine and Left Bank politics among a host of other matters. He had a critical eye, seeing something special in ordinary things and something unique in extraordinary things. Everyday life was a reel of sorts where there was something worthy of a deeper look. One felt that he was observing everything around intensely as if looking through the camera; the rather thick pair of spectacle lenses adding to the aura of seriousness.

Continue reading ‘Glimpses of Life With Lester James Peries In The City of Lights’ »

Sri Lankan Marine Biologist Asha de Vos Winner of British Council’s Global Alumni Award for the Professional Achievement Category


Following prestigious national awarding ceremonies hosted by the British Ambassador/High Commissioner in more than ten countries, and high-profile digital campaigns to celebrate 63 regional finalists, and 21 regional winners, the British Council has announced the names of three outstanding global award winners of the Study UK Alumni Awards. All are alumni of UK universities, representing three countries and four UK higher education institutions across the UK. They have been recognised for their outstanding achievements as professionals, entrepreneurs and social change makers.

Winner of the Global Alumni Award for the Professional Achievement category is Asha de Vos, a marine biologist from Sri Lanka who is passionate about conserving the world’s oceans, and blue whale research in the Northern Indian Ocean. Asha is the founder of Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organisation, Oceanswell, which works to change the trajectory of the world’s oceans by empowering and inspiring people to be custodians of the oceans. Asha studied for her BSc in Marine and Environmental Biology at the University of St Andrews, and her MSc in Integrative Biosciences at the University of Oxford.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Marine Biologist Asha de Vos Winner of British Council’s Global Alumni Award for the Professional Achievement Category’ »

International Cricket Council Launches Probe Into Match Fixing Allegation About Tharindu Mendis, Tharanga Indika and Robin Morris Plotting to Tamper With Galle Stadium Pitch For England Vs Sri Lanka Match.

The International Cricket Council has begun investigating allegations that two Sri Lankans agreed to tamper with the pitch at Galle to change the outcome of a Test match against England later this year.

Sri Lanka cricket said it will fully co-operate with the ICC investigation.

“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to state that it has zero tolerance towards corruption and will take immediate action against any person involved in the alleged incident, if found guilty,” SLC said in a statement.

The ICC said it took the allegations contained in an Al Jazeera documentary to be broadcast today (Sunday) very seriously and also wanted the Doha-based news network to share its evidence and supporting material with the investigators.

Continue reading ‘International Cricket Council Launches Probe Into Match Fixing Allegation About Tharindu Mendis, Tharanga Indika and Robin Morris Plotting to Tamper With Galle Stadium Pitch For England Vs Sri Lanka Match.’ »

Dayasiri Jayasekara Says Many Persons Have Taken Money From Arjun Aloysius and wants Authorities to Reveal the Identities of Those Who have Done So.

By Saman Indrajith

UPFA MP Dayasiri Jayasekara yesterday admitted in Parliament that he received one million rupee Cheque from Walt & Row Associates.

Making a statement in Parliament he said that there had been a newspaper report to the effect that he had obtained the cash cheque from Walt & Row associated with Perpetual Treasuries.

He said he did nothing wrong in accepting the funds which he had used for his electioneering to seek a Parliament seat. Jayasekara said that he was the Chief Minister of Wayamba Province when the sponsor money was given to him.

Continue reading ‘Dayasiri Jayasekara Says Many Persons Have Taken Money From Arjun Aloysius and wants Authorities to Reveal the Identities of Those Who have Done So.’ »

Dayasiri Jayasekara Got His Security Officer Amila Kumara Herath, to encash a cash cheque Bearing number 566635 which was issued by Walt & Row Associates under the current account number 0073900773

By

Disna Mudalige and Camelia Nathaniel

Responding to a newspaper report published on Thursday, revealing that he had received a cheque of Rs.1 million from Walt & Row Associates – a Perpetual Treasuries Ltd, related group company in 2015, UPFA Parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara, not denying the allegation, made an attempt to justify his actions by admitting that at every election, not only those who are in Parliament, or Provincial Councillors, but the trader in the village helps the Pradeshiya Sabha member.

“That is how the country’s politics works. Therefore, some businessmen do help us, they have done so even at the Provincial Council elections, General elections and the Presidential elections as well.

It is traditional that the business community helps politicians at every election,” Jayasekara said.

Continue reading ‘Dayasiri Jayasekara Got His Security Officer Amila Kumara Herath, to encash a cash cheque Bearing number 566635 which was issued by Walt & Row Associates under the current account number 0073900773’ »

A Number of Journalists Propagating the “Rajapaksa Manthra” Will Go “Missing” If and when the Rajapaksas Return to Power warns Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.


By

Anjula Mahika Weerarathne

Journalists who are bent on bringing the Rajapaksa regime back to power do not realize that they are willingly putting a noose around their own necks, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday at UNP Headquarters in Sirikotha.

Speaking further he said that a number of journalists who are propagating the Rajapaksa mantra would go missing if and when that regime is brought to power.

Continue reading ‘A Number of Journalists Propagating the “Rajapaksa Manthra” Will Go “Missing” If and when the Rajapaksas Return to Power warns Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

Ex- Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara Admits He Received Rs One Million During August 2015 Election Campaign But Claims He Did Not Help or Defend Arjun Aloysius Or Perpetual Treasuries Ltd


Sri Lanka’s former Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara Friday admitted that he received millions of rupees in unaccounted cash from undisclosed donors as he faced fresh allegations of sleaze.

Jayasekara told parliament that he encashed a one million rupee cheque given to him by an associate of the controversial Perpetual Treasuries at the centre of the bond scam.

He said the money was received when he was campaigning for the August 2015 parliamentary election under the leadership of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa who was leading the Kurunegala district list of candidates.

Continue reading ‘Ex- Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara Admits He Received Rs One Million During August 2015 Election Campaign But Claims He Did Not Help or Defend Arjun Aloysius Or Perpetual Treasuries Ltd’ »

UPFA Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekara Received Rs One Million From Affiliate of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Implicated In Treasury Bond Scam

By Shehan Chamika Silva

According to a further report (B report) filed into the magisterial inquiry over the Bond scam by the prosecution today, it was revealed that UPFA Parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara had received a cheque of Rs.1 million from Walt & Row Associates-a Perpetual Treasuries Ltd related group company in 2015.

According to a statement given by a police officer to the CID, who was attached to Mr. Jayasekara’s security in 2015, it was revealed that, on June 13, 2015 Mr. Jayasekara had asked his security officer, Amila Kumara Herath, to encash a cash cheque (Bearing number 566635) which was issued by Walt & Row Associates (under the current account number 0073900773)

According to the statement of Mr. Herath, he then had encashed the cheque from a Kurunegala Bank and subsequently the Money ‘in cash’ was handed over to Mr. Jayasekara.

Continue reading ‘UPFA Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekara Received Rs One Million From Affiliate of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Implicated In Treasury Bond Scam’ »

Bodu Bala Sena Gen -Secy Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Found Guity of Intimidating Sandya Eknaligoda By Homagama Magistrate Faces Sentence of Imprisonment Up To Two Years Imprisonment, Fine or Both on June 14th.


Sri Lanka’s highly controversial Buddhist monk, Galagodaatte Gnanasara, was facing the prospect of up to two years in jail Thursday after he was found guilty of two counts of criminal conduct by the Homagama Magistrate.

Sentencing was put off till June 14, but the two counts under the penal code carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, an unspecified fine and or both. This is the first time that the monk faces the prospect of actually going to jail.

The magistrate found guilty of intimidating Sandya Eknaligoda in January 2016 when she was in court to hear the proceedings of her husband’s disappearance. Military intelligence officers stand accused of abducting Prageeth Eknaligoda in January 2010, two days before the presidential election.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Gen -Secy Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Found Guity of Intimidating Sandya Eknaligoda By Homagama Magistrate Faces Sentence of Imprisonment Up To Two Years Imprisonment, Fine or Both on June 14th.’ »

India’s Tamil Nadu State Govt Must Conduct Impartial and Transparent Investigation Into Police Shooting of Protesters At Thoothukkudi Resulting in 12 Dead and 80 Injured -Human Rights Watch.

Authorities in India’s Tamil Nadu state should conduct a prompt, impartial, and transparent investigation into the police shooting of protesters against a copper plant that left at least 12 dead and 80 injured, Human Rights Watch said today. Television news video footage shows two plainclothes men firing at protesters from atop a police van during a demonstration on May 22, 2018.

Since February, residents of the port city of Tuticorin have protested against the expansion of a copper smelting plant and demanded its closure because of environmental concerns. Previous protests have largely been peaceful. On May 22, protesters clashed with police after being prevented from marching to the offices of the local administration. Police said they were compelled to respond with live ammunition after demonstrators pelted police with stones, attacked a government building, and set vehicles on fire.

“The police have a duty during protests to maintain law and order, but lethal force can only be used if there is an imminent threat to life,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director. “Tamil Nadu authorities need to carry out a prompt and credible investigation to determine if police used excessive force and hold those responsible to account.”

Continue reading ‘India’s Tamil Nadu State Govt Must Conduct Impartial and Transparent Investigation Into Police Shooting of Protesters At Thoothukkudi Resulting in 12 Dead and 80 Injured -Human Rights Watch.’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Economic Model Aims At Economic Growth With Law and Order But Neglects Issues Like Poverty Reduction, Inequity, Social Justice,Social Upliftment, Peasantry and Landlessness,

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

When a future historian writes the political history of the most obtuse and inept government in postcolonial Sri Lanka, he or she will doubtless identify its most myopic move as the Constitutional prevention of Mahinda Rajapaksa running for President again, thereby opening the door for the fulfilment of the worst fear of the neoliberal cosmopolitan democrats, namely a Gotabhaya candidacy.

A pivotal moment will be identified as May 18, 2018, when TV audiences watched the quasi-martial ‘Pongu Thamil’ optics from Mullivaikkal (black uniforms, motorcycle parade with red and black flags, school flags at half mast, mobilized school-kids) and heard Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s resolution declaring ‘Tamil Genocide Day’. The real meaning of Mullivaikkal 2018 was translated for us by the country’s highest qualified academic, Prof. Ratnajeevan S. Hoole:
“…LTTE supporters had taken it over, and played Eelamist songs. People we could not see for the crowds gave hysterical speeches about the day that their dreams of Eelam were snuffed out”.(‘Mullivaikkal: A Burgeoning Movement’,CT, May 20, 2018)

Tiger separatists are back in our face while the State is in retreat, nine years after we won the war. In 2015 the Tamils and Muslims voted as blocs. In 2019 it may be the Sinhalese.Thus, the ‘Gotabhayan moment’ may be arriving.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Economic Model Aims At Economic Growth With Law and Order But Neglects Issues Like Poverty Reduction, Inequity, Social Justice,Social Upliftment, Peasantry and Landlessness,’ »

Provocative Conduct of Chief Minister Wigneswaran and Northern Provincial Council May Result In Its Inevitable Dissolution and Setting Up Of an Interim Administration.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka


T
he Tamil politicians and civil society movements are about to blow it—yet again.

A week after the TNA’s Mr. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council, presiding over a militant mobilization at Mullivaikkal, greatly exceeded the remit of the Provincial Council by declaring a Tamil Genocide Day and a Tamil Genocide Week, the TNA’s Mr. Sumanthiran hopes to move the draft of a new Constitution which will give more power to the Provincial Councils and less power to the Center vis-a-vis those councils. And he thinks the parliament will give the draft a two thirds majority and the country will ratify it at a referendum by majority vote, or that the Sinhalese will vote ‘NO’ while the Tamils vote ‘YES’ and show the world the results of their ‘plebiscite’.

The Tamil politicians must take the self-deprecatory Sinhala folk saying “Sinhala modaya, kavun kanda yodaya” far too seriously—a habit I would have thought had ended on the same day they are so eager to commemorate, i.e. May 18th at Mullivaikkal. The ‘good cop-bad cop’ division of labor just won’t work.

What is much more likely is that the Northern Provincial Council will go the way it did in 1990, when a UNP President, Ranasinghe Premadasa, was forced to dissolve it. The rhetoric and symbolism that is manifesting itself in the North is such that the Yahapalanaya government is in all probability the last that will tolerate such outrageous provocation.

Continue reading ‘Provocative Conduct of Chief Minister Wigneswaran and Northern Provincial Council May Result In Its Inevitable Dissolution and Setting Up Of an Interim Administration.’ »

UK Foreign Office Destroys 200 Files With Information about Role Played By Britain Through “MI5” and “SAS” in Helping Sri Lanka Govt to Control LTTE From 1978 to 1980.

By

Phil Miller

Britain’s Foreign Office destroyed almost 200 files on Sri Lanka dating from the start of a Tamil Tiger uprising during which MI5 and the SAS secretly advised the country’s security forces, it has emerged.

The loss of the files means that there is almost no record of the British government’s work with the Sri Lankan authorities at the start of a famously brutal civil war.

The destruction of the files raises fresh concerns about the Foreign Office’s attitude towards handling historic files on sensitive subjects. An official review in 2012 found that the department had destroyed thousands of documents detailing British counter-insurgency operations in Kenya and other colonies as the empire came to an end.

Continue reading ‘UK Foreign Office Destroys 200 Files With Information about Role Played By Britain Through “MI5” and “SAS” in Helping Sri Lanka Govt to Control LTTE From 1978 to 1980.’ »

Tamil Nadu Police Kill 11 Persons Including “Revolutionary Youth Front”Leader Thamizharasan in Pre-planned Firing at Three Places On Demonstrators Protesting Against Environment Polluting “Sterling”Plant in Thoothukudi.

By

Kavitha Muralidharan

Thoothukudi: In an unprecedented turn of events, at least 11 protesters were killed on May 22 in Thoothukudi after police opened fire at the protest rally demanding the closure of the Sterlite unit in the town. The protest by the people of Thoothukudi against Sterlite, which they have claimed is polluting the town and resulted in a higher incidence of cancer, had reached its 100th day on May 22.

This is the first time the Tamil Nadu government has responded to the protests.

Activists allege that three rounds of firing at different places by the police were only an attempt to “dilute the protests”. “There was an even bigger protest on March 24 in Tuticorin against Sterlite. But it was peaceful,” says Henry Tiphagne, the executive director of People’s Watch; he was present on the spot. “It is unfortunate that the state has failed to gauge the public mood. The people were angry but not violent. Certainly they were not angry against the government.”

Continue reading ‘Tamil Nadu Police Kill 11 Persons Including “Revolutionary Youth Front”Leader Thamizharasan in Pre-planned Firing at Three Places On Demonstrators Protesting Against Environment Polluting “Sterling”Plant in Thoothukudi.’ »

First Draft of Proposed New Constitution will Be Presented To the Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee on May 24th 2018 says M.A. Sumanthiran MP.

by Manjula Fernando

The first draft of the new Constitution will be presented to the Steering Committee on Thursday, May 24, after much interruption, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, M. A. Sumanthiran told the Sunday Observer in an exclusive interview.

The presentation will take place after the expert panel, advising the steering committee, concludes and finalises the draft during its meeting due to be held tomorrow.

“It will not be the final draft, because yet there are areas we need to reach full consensus. The contentious points are the Executive Presidency and the electoral system,” Sumanthiran said.

Continue reading ‘First Draft of Proposed New Constitution will Be Presented To the Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee on May 24th 2018 says M.A. Sumanthiran MP.’ »

Gotabhaya’s 2030 Economic Vision Endorses the 2025 Economic Plan and Vision of the Yahapalanaya Govt says Cabinet Minister Malik Samarawickrama

Development Strategies and International Trade minister Malik Samarawickrama made a scathing attack on former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa saying it is apparent that a coordinated campaign is underway to give undue prominence to his carefully choreographed speech given at the Shangri La Hotel last week.

The event organisers should be commended for garnering prior publicity for the event, and for using social media and electronic media to create the illusion of substance where there was none, he said.

In a statement issued this week, the former UNP chairman says “After peeling back all the pomp and theatricality, what is left is nothing new. The takeaway is Gotabaya Rajapaksa has spent the last three years developing a deep admiration and appreciation for the economic policies and vision of the Yahapalanaya government. Simply put, his is a strong argument for why this government should have another five years to implement its 2025 Economic Plan and Vision.

“The former Defence Secretary has said that China, India and Japan will be economic giants in the coming decade and Asia will be the economic powerhouse. He should be congratulated for realising this, albeit belatedly. This is exactly why we are negotiating an agreement with China and a comprehensive economic and technology agreement with India. We have signed an agreement with Singapore and hope to do so with the Asian economies as well. Focussing attention on Asia, our aim is to make Sri Lanka the hub of Asia and reap the benefits of Asian economic growth.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya’s 2030 Economic Vision Endorses the 2025 Economic Plan and Vision of the Yahapalanaya Govt says Cabinet Minister Malik Samarawickrama’ »

Johann Peiris Becomes First Sri Lankan Male To Climb Mt.Everest By Reaching the Peak at 5.55 am Nepal Time on May 22nd 2018

by Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Johann Peiris became the second Sri Lankan to conquer the highest peak in the world when he successfully summited Mount Everest at 5.55 a.m. Nepal time yesterday (22).

Johann was a part of the expedition that helped Jayanthi Kuru Uthumpala to become the first Sri Lankan to conquer Mount Everest back in 2016 but was unable to reach the summit as his oxygen tank malfunctioned and he had to turn back an agonizing 440m short of the peak.

Continue reading ‘Johann Peiris Becomes First Sri Lankan Male To Climb Mt.Everest By Reaching the Peak at 5.55 am Nepal Time on May 22nd 2018’ »

Johann Peiris Becomes Second Sri Lankan To Climb Mt.Everest After Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpola Became the First on May 21st 2017.

By

Walter Wuthmann

Johann Peries became the second Sri Lankan to summit Mount Everest on Tuesday. Peries reached the almost 8,850-meter peak at 5:50 a.m. Nepal time, according to a release from the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry.

“Our best wishes to you for a safe descent and journey home to (Sri Lanka),” the Ministry said. Peries is a hair designer who owns salons in Colombo and London. He has summited several peaks before Everest, including Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Island Peak in Nepal.

Continue reading ‘Johann Peiris Becomes Second Sri Lankan To Climb Mt.Everest After Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpola Became the First on May 21st 2017.’ »

“Mangala Samaraweera is Spreading False Propaganda Against Me Because The Minister is Aware of my Ability’ Says Gotabhaya Rajapaksa


By

(Lahiru Pothmulla

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Sunday said Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera was spreading false propaganda against him because the minister was aware of his ability.

He recalled how Minister Samaraweera posted posters against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during the time of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

“Recently, Minister Samaraweera said he knew Mr. Wickremesinghe could perform well and that was why he posted posters against Mr.Wickremesinghe. Similarly, he has initiated a false propaganda against me and I can say this is because he knows I can,” Mr. Rajapaksa told an event organised by the Federation of National Organisations in Badulla.

Continue reading ‘“Mangala Samaraweera is Spreading False Propaganda Against Me Because The Minister is Aware of my Ability’ Says Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Tries to Emulate Rajapaksas By Climbing Sinhala Nationalist Bandwagon and Talking About “War Heroes”.

Sri Lanka’s President appeared to hitch his political fortunes to nationalism an d reflected glory from the military victory over separatists as he commemorated the annihilation of the Tamil Tigers.

Addressing a military ceremony marking the ninth anniversary of defeating Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), President Maithripala Sirisena criticised his own state-run media for insufficient adoration of troops.

He ticked off government-run media outlets for not singing hosannas in praise of “rana viruvas” (war heroes). He also accused private media institutions of ignoring the government’s welfare measures for war veterans.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Tries to Emulate Rajapaksas By Climbing Sinhala Nationalist Bandwagon and Talking About “War Heroes”.’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa The Most Corrupt and Dangerous Public Officer to be Ever Appointed in this Country is Engaged in Effort to Throw Country Into “Vipathmaga”(Destructive Path) -Mangala Samaraweera

(Text of Special communique by the Finance and Media Minister,Hon. Mangala Samaraweera on May 20th 2018)

01. Former President and Kurunegala District MP, Mahindra Rajapaksa who is responsible for ruining this country by allowing his family relatives and cronies to plunder the country’s economy and, his siblings, former defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who unleashed terror through the white van culture that isolated the country internationally now seem to be engaged in an untiring effort to throw the country again into “Vipath Maga”, the destructive path.

02. Mr.Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who invented white van terror in Sri Lanka that attracted world attention has said recently that the rulers and the public officials should be free of corruption. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who could be considered as the most corrupted and dangerous public officer ever appointed in this country, is now talking like a child after rebirth. Several cases being heard in Courts and investigated by Police against him at the moment:


• The corrupt MIG deal
• Plundering public money to constructmemorial museums and name them after his parents
• Unleashing assault on journalists and enforced disappearance some of them
• Instigating corruption and terror and
• Maintaining illegal armory thereby depriving the Government of its due income, are some of them.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa The Most Corrupt and Dangerous Public Officer to be Ever Appointed in this Country is Engaged in Effort to Throw Country Into “Vipathmaga”(Destructive Path) -Mangala Samaraweera’ »

Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Versatility in Managing Terror That Made Him The Most Feared Man Under His Brother’s Presidency.

By

Sarath de Alwis

Nationalism: the love of tribal fictions inspired by the hatred of social realities.”

– Author unknown

The Viyath Maga National Conference at the Shangri-La placed the former Defence Secretary positively and undoubtedly in the presidential race in 2019. It did something else as well. He demonstrated that he was different from other conventional alternatives. His braggadocio has no competition.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is different. He lives in an Orwellian world. He is hell bent on setting himself as the ‘big brother’ – the character George Orwell created in his novel ‘1984’ – the classic literary unravel of ‘tyranny’. To him war is peace. Efficiency is control. Chauvinist insanity is the opiate that he relies on to build consensus.

The kingpins of the corporate world who adorned the front rows send out a pathetic signal to students of 20th century history. Their presence is evidence of the man’s mesmeric hold on the propertied class and the establishment. Gotabaya has delivered an oracular assault on the party that by tradition claimed a prescriptive right on the loyalty of the capitalist class. Seen from the demeanor of the doyens of commerce and industry it was a clear signal of their anticipatory acquiescence and obedience to the ‘strongman’ and his agenda.

Packing a huge hall, especially, in the newest six-star hotel was no big deal. The claim that it was the largest single gathering of professionals, academics and entrepreneurs is a journey into exaggeration beyond reason.

Continue reading ‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Versatility in Managing Terror That Made Him The Most Feared Man Under His Brother’s Presidency.’ »

Democracy can be Undermined and Negated from Within in a far more Terminal way, if Gotabhaya Rajapaksa wins the Presidency.

By

Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Everywhere under the vast Heaven

There is no land that is not the king’s.

To the borders of those lands,

There are none who are not the king’s servants.”

Shijing (The Book of Odes – believed to have been compiled by Confucius)

Lankan democracy is facing a terminal crisis, caught between the Scylla of the IMF and the Charybdis of China. The IMF and China are very different animals. But the sum total of their lending practices could existentially undermine Lankan democracy by enabling the return of the Rajapaksa rule in its most virulent form, a Gotabhaya presidency.

The devastating societal consequences of the recent sharp hike in fuel prices need no belabouring. The knock-on-effects will pile up over the coming months, hurting the already fragile living conditions of ordinary Lankans. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration’s inability to learn any meaningful lessons from its crushing defeat at the February LG polls is evident in the in-your-face-manner in which the oil price increase was implemented. A price increase was inevitable given the sudden hike in global crude oil prices. But this could have been done in stages to minimise the direct and indirect effects on the more vulnerable segments of the populace.

If the government had wanted to see the deleterious effects of a massive oil price hike, it could have studied the Rajapaksa experience of 2012. The Rajapaksa regime implemented a massive oil price hike in February 2012, causing an across-the-board increase in the prices of consumer essentials. Fishermen carried out protests against the steep increase in kerosene oil prices. On February 14, 2012, the police opened fire on a peaceful demonstration in Negambo, killing Anthony Fernando, a young fisherman.

The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration has announced its intention of ‘adjusting’ oil prices every two months, in accordance with global crude prices. Thanks to the policies of President Donald Trump, global oil prices are likely to go up in the coming months. Taking the US out of the Iran nuclear deal, shifting American embassy to Jerusalem and giving Israel and Saudi Arabia carte blanche do deal with their politico-religious enemies cannot but further destabilise an already volatile region. The electoral outcomes in Iran and Lebanon, the undeclared war in Yemen and the massacre of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators by Israel forces in Gaza will be fodder to the political and sectarian fires consuming the Middle East (some commentators are even talking about the possibility of a shooting war between Iran and Israel). Given this context, global crude prices are likely to increase rather than decrease in the foreseeable future.

Continue reading ‘Democracy can be Undermined and Negated from Within in a far more Terminal way, if Gotabhaya Rajapaksa wins the Presidency.’ »

Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka’s Claim that the JVP Could Not be Compared With the LTTE Betrays the Racist Tendencies of the Speaker if not Crass Idiocy.


By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Somewhere, someone remarked to me this week that patriotism is at its most virulent when stalking the minds and intellects of human beings rather than when it cloaks itself in the deceptively heroic guise of (most always) men waging war against each other on the battlefield.

Patriots parading their stuff

That remark may well be true. Is it overstating the case to say that nine years after fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the state military ended in the Wanni, Sri Lanka’s ethnic communities are no closer to each other than they were in the propaganda-driven triumphalist Rajapaksa post-war years? All the signs point to this. Hatred and distrust drives the national debate with voices of reason and moderation being few.

Despite the absence of fighting, the bruising rhetoric of ethnicity and communalism rides high by ‘patriots’ parading their stuff in the uncontrolled domains of the social media, most probably living overseas rather than in this country. Unhappily, the month of May each year has become a trigger for vitriol rather than a time of pensive reflection and remembrance. Menacing games are played out in public while politicians (and others) on either side of the divide are unsurprisingly quick to reap the dividends of flawed contestations of victimhood.

Sinhala nationalists insist on deifying a supremely ridiculous notion of a brutal war being fought without casualties and without atrocities by agents of the state. Tamil nationalists refuse to accept that the Tamil community has not been the only victims of conflict in this country or indeed, to recognize the savage character of those lauded as liberators of the Tamil nation.

Continue reading ‘Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka’s Claim that the JVP Could Not be Compared With the LTTE Betrays the Racist Tendencies of the Speaker if not Crass Idiocy.’ »

Infamous Mullivaaikkaal Massacre of Nine Years Ago Remembered With Horror by Millions of Sinhala,Tamil and Muslim Workers in Sri Lanka- WSWS

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana

Thousands of people around the world are gathering today to mark the anniversary of one of the most infamous massacres of the 21st century. After 26 years of a bloody civil war, the Sri Lankan army cornered over 40,000 Tamils, including the surviving leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), on Sri Lanka’s north-eastern Indian Ocean coast at Mullivaikal. Without giving any warning, it launched a furious artillery barrage to murder everyone trapped there.

No one at Mullivaikal escaped the carnage. The military indiscriminately shelled homes, hospitals and civilians as well as bunkers where children, pregnant women and the elderly had tried to take refuge. Nearly a decade later, the Sri Lankan army is still sealing off the area, barring families of the victims from returning to grieve for their loved ones.

In a gruesome ceremony broadcast live on television to terrorize the population, the Sri Lankan government brought in two LTTE turncoats to identify LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakharan’s remains. After they confirmed before the television cameras that the body lying in the mud was indeed Prabakharan, the army burned the corpse.

Continue reading ‘Infamous Mullivaaikkaal Massacre of Nine Years Ago Remembered With Horror by Millions of Sinhala,Tamil and Muslim Workers in Sri Lanka- WSWS’ »

Cabinet Approves Draft Bill to Set up Office of Reparations to Enable Payment of Compensation to all Sri Lankan Victims and Familes of Affected Persons Including Police and Defence Personnel in all Parts of the Island.

Reparations Bill ready, compensation for war-affected people
Details of draft kept secret till RTI was put to use
View(s): 94

The Cabinet approved the draft Reparations Bill setting up the Office of Reparations is now in the final stages of drafting.

The proposed law will enable all Sri Lankan citizens, including families of Police and Security Forces, civilians in what were known as ‘border villages’, and the north and east and elsewhere in the country to submit claims for compensation if they were affected by the three decade long northern insurgency.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Approves Draft Bill to Set up Office of Reparations to Enable Payment of Compensation to all Sri Lankan Victims and Familes of Affected Persons Including Police and Defence Personnel in all Parts of the Island.’ »

Shindig at Shangri- La was a Dazzling Demonstration of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s Mastery in Managing “Terror”.

By

Sarath de Alwis


“I saw the Emperor – this soul of the world – go out from the city to survey his reign; it is a truly a wonderful sensation to see such an individual, who, concentrating on one point while seated on a horse, stretches over the world and dominates it.”

Such was the reaction of the great Philosopher Hegel when he contemplated Napoleon Bonaparte astride his white stallion at Jena. That was the end of philosophy wrote a 20th century philosopher Alexandre Kojève who wrote a critique on the work of the master.

I saw Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the lectern at the Shangri-La. I pray that it is not the end of our democracy. Men of action are a menace to humankind.

This is about the shindig at the Shangri la. This is about that great event, where Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced that he is not a politician. That he is the outstanding alternative to the miserable alternatives we are presently saddled with.

“By the year 2030, China’s economy would expand and become twice the size of the economy of the US relegating it to second place. India’s economy will become the third largest followed by Japan and Indonesia. We Sri Lankans, cannot seize the opportunity to develop the country if we are not ready by the year 2030.”

That is wonderfully illuminating if only he told us how he proposes to make us ready for 2030. Is it by electing him President in 2020?

Continue reading ‘Shindig at Shangri- La was a Dazzling Demonstration of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s Mastery in Managing “Terror”.’ »

Official Websites of Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry and Consulate in India’s Kerala State Hacked by Group Calling Itself “Tamil Eelam Cyber Force”.

By

Chaturanga Samarawickrama

The Sinhalese version of the official website of the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs and the website of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Honorary Consulate in Kerala were reportedly hacked this evening by an organisation calling itself the ‘Tamil Eelam Cyber Force’.

The website displayed a long message from the Tamil Eelam Cyber Force and also a rolling news feed message which said ‘Hacked By Tamil Eelam Cyber Force’.

Continue reading ‘Official Websites of Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry and Consulate in India’s Kerala State Hacked by Group Calling Itself “Tamil Eelam Cyber Force”.’ »

Will Mahinda Rajapaksa Emulate Mahathir Mohammed and Return To Power With The Support of Minorities?

By

Veeragathy Thanabalasingham

With 2018 just about reaching its halfway mark, three of Sri Lanka’s major political players have already begun preparations for the 2020 presidential elections.

Although President Maithripala Sirisena announced last week he would not retire from politics, he has not openly stated he would not contest in the polls. However, seniors and ministers belonging to his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), have made no bones about who their candidate would be. In fact they have maintained right along that Sirisena would be their presidential candidate.

People are also under no illusion that Sirisena would not seek any political office in the future and confine himself to public work. There is no doubt he would like to remain in power.
Sirisena, who became President in January 2015 on the promise that he would abolish the executive presidency and a solemn declaration that he would not run for the post again, doesn’t touch on these two subjects any longer.

Continue reading ‘Will Mahinda Rajapaksa Emulate Mahathir Mohammed and Return To Power With The Support of Minorities?’ »

Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Wants Sri Lankan Tamils To Observe “Tamil Genocide Day” on May 18th Every Year.


Sri Lankan Tamils should observe May 18 every year as “Tamil Genocide Day”, said the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran on Friday.

He was speaking on the fourth annual remembrance day at Mullivaikkal, the scene of killings in the last stages of the war against Tamil Tiger separatists in 2009.

In his emotionally charged and hard hitting oration, Wigneswaran called upon the International Community to directly intervene to secure justice for the Tamils and restore their “sovereignty”.

He endorsed the suggestion of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that ‘Universal Jurisdiction” should be extended to Sri Lanka to force Colombo to carry out its promises to the international community.

Continue reading ‘Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Wants Sri Lankan Tamils To Observe “Tamil Genocide Day” on May 18th Every Year.’ »

State Counsel Tells Mt.Lavinia Courts that CID Is Probing Whether Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka Was Involved in Abduction and Assault of Senior Journalist Keith Noyahr.

By

Yoshitha Perera

State Counsel Udara Karunatilake appearing on behalf of the Attorney General (AG) today informed Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court that the CID had started an investigation on whether, Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was involved in the abduction and assault of Journalist Keith Noyahr in 2008.

He informed Court that earlier the CID had recorded a statement from Minister Sarath Fonseka regarding the matter.

According to the CID investigations, Noyahr was abducted from his home in Dehiwela and moved to a Military Intelligence Safe-house in Dompe in a white van by a gang led by the first suspect of the case, Major Prabath Bulathwatte.

Continue reading ‘State Counsel Tells Mt.Lavinia Courts that CID Is Probing Whether Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka Was Involved in Abduction and Assault of Senior Journalist Keith Noyahr.’ »

LTTE Leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran Inspired A Generation of Young Leaders From Almost All Political Parties With the Idea of an Independent Tamil Nadu.


By

Col. R.Hariharan

THOUGH Uttarakhand had 21,966 protests, the highest number in the year 2016, it was Tamil Nadu with a score of 20,450 protests – at the rate of 47 protests a day- that caught the national attention. The reason was simple: the protests in Tamil Nadu were massive, prolonged and in many cases spontaneous. Of course, one way of looking at it was – as vibrant democracy in action, though the cynical public would laugh it off because political agitations and protests are the way we do things in this country. Major protests in Tamil Nadu were an expression of Tamil angst, against injustice meted out to the people. Spontaneous protests like the Jallikattu agitation in 2017 that paralysed the state for nearly a week were outpouring of such an expression, which has not been fully understood by New Delhi and rest of India.

The people of Tamil Nadu, the home of over six -and -a-half crore people, take great pride in their distinct identity, ancient language and culture. They are quick to take offense at any threat to their distinct language and identity. The public outrage against the imposition of Hindi in Tamil Nadu (then Madras State) in 1960s that brought the state to a halt is a telling example. It forced the Centre to rethink its policy of compulsory use of Hindi and include English as a functional option.

Continue reading ‘LTTE Leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran Inspired A Generation of Young Leaders From Almost All Political Parties With the Idea of an Independent Tamil Nadu.’ »

“This Govt has Borrowed US $ 19.5 Billion in Foreign Currency Loans and Over Six Trillion Rupee Loans Since January 2015” – Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa

(Text Of Media Release Issued by Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 16 May 2018 Under the heading “Increase in fuel prices and economic mismanagement”)

Following the recent increase in fuel prices, transport costs and the prices of goods and services have started rising. Fishermen are up in arms against the sudden increase in the price of kerosene by more than double the earlier price and the creation of a coupon system to distribute subsidized kerosene. In the midst the agitation and unrest resulting from this fuel price increase, members of the government have been trying to justify it by saying that fuel costs were higher during the Rajapaksa government.

Today the price of a barrel of crude oil is around 70 USD. When I assumed office as President back in November 2005, it was around USD 73. It reached the highest point of USD 160 in June 2008 and even as late as August 2014, the price was over USD 103. It was only in the last three months of 2014 that oil prices started declining and by the time the government changed in January 2015, it had gone down to USD 51 per barrel.

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Probe Underway Into Deaths of Two British Rugby Players Who Died of Alleged Ingestion of “Brown Sugar” Heroin After They Visited “Cleopatra Night Club” In the Colpetty Liberty Plaza Building.

Two British rugby players who died after what is suspected to be a drug overdose had visited a night club in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, shortly before they developed respiratory problems, investigators said Tuesday.

Police sources said the two players identified as Thomas Howard, 25, and Tom Baty, 26, had serious breathing difficulties on Sunday morning and admitted to the Colombo National Hospital where one of them was pronounced dead.

Baty was transferred to the private Nawaloka hospital where he too died on Tuesday afternoon despite intensive care, officials said .

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Ex -Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Launches Unofficial Bid to Contest the Next Presidential Elections.

Former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has unofficially launched his bid to run for the presidency at the 2019 elections with a ceremony at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo.

Political sources said Rajapaksa had invited his three politically active brothers as guests of what he called the launch his 2030 vision for Sri Lanka.

In a 25-minute address in Sinhala, the former defence chief spoke of Sri Lanka needing a “socialist, market-economy” while protecting the sovereignty and the culture of the island.

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Acclaimed Tamil Writer Balakumaran Who Served as Link Between Serious and Populist Writing Passes Away in Chennai at 71 Years of Age


By

B.Kolappan.

Acclaimed writer Balakumaran, whose works were a link between serious and populist writing in Tamil, died on Tuesday. He was 71 and is survived by two wives, a son and a daughter.

Balakumaran took pride in his writing style. He once told an interviewer from the now-defunct magazine Subamangala, “I have even surpassed T. Janakiraman when it comes to style. I will be read for another 200 years.”

He created strong women characters, probably cast in the mould of his mother, whom he adored. Balakumaran was known for portraying liberated women in his works. He had a strained relationship with his father.

“Few writers have succeeded in making men understand what lies at the bottom of the heart of women as him,” said poet Magudeswaran.

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The IT/BPM Industry Has Grown in 15 Years To Become a Billion Dollar Industry Employing 80,000 People with Per Capita Income Between 15,000 to 20,000 Dollars

By

Mano Sekaram

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, members of the clergy , distinguish invitees and friends

This invitation to me to speak at the conference signifies the organization’s inclusiveness and respect for diversity, I am honored and privileged to say a few words.

My subject today is about‘digital and knowledge’ economy and its ramifications for usSri Lankans.

Definition

First, for the purpose of clarity, let me define both the Digital and Knowledge economy.

The “digital economy” is economic activities performed based on digital technologies such as the internet and Mobile networks to deliver e-commerce.

Knowledge Economy is where intellectually driven activities in production of good and services.

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Cowardly Response to Jathika Vidvath Sangha Sabha’s Opposition to Proposed 20th Amendment Exposes Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s Bogus Posturing Over abolishing the Executive Presidency.


By Vijith Samarasinghe

A Sri Lankan opposition party, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), is currently agitating for the abolition of the country’s executive presidency via a 20th amendment (20A) to the constitution. The campaign is a political fraud.

JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told the party’s May Day meeting on May 7 that the 20A proposal would be presented to the parliament later this month. (The party did not hold a May 1 meeting in Colombo, following a government ban on May Day celebrations during the Wesak religious festival, in response to a “request” by the Buddhist hierarchy.)

Posturing as a defender of democratic rights, Dissanayake told the meeting the JVP would “create a broad dialogue” and “try to win” support for its amendment. He assured the party’s Sinhala chauvinist base, however, that the JVP would not do “anything detrimental to the country” and promised to discuss its proposals with the “Maha Sanghas [Buddhist prelates] and intellectuals.”

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Police TID Records Statement From Joint Opposition MP Dilum Amunugama Regadig Allegations of Inciting,Aiding and Abetting Anti-Muslim Violence in Kandy.

By Hemantha Randunu

The Terrorism Investigations Division (TID) yesterday obtained a statement from Joint Opposition (JO) MP, Dilum Amunugama over allegations that he had assisted violent elements responsible for communal riots in March.

Communal riots in some areas of Kandy commenced after protesters had attacked several shops in Digana on March 04 and 05 following the funeral of a lorry driver, who succumbed to his injuries after being beaten by several Muslim youth on Feb. 22, at a fuel filling station in Teldeniya. Protesters attacked several shops, owned by Muslims, in Moragahamula, near Teldeniya that night. Police and the STF were deployed in Teldeniya, Udispattuwa, Meda Mahanuwara and Ambala. According to reports 465 properties including 231 houses were destroyed and three persons killed during the riots. The most affected area had been the Kundasale Divisional Secretariat division.

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Northern Provincial Council Is Mourning The Defeat of the “Almost Classically Fascist” LTTE and Its “Hitlerian” Leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

So the Northern Provincial Council and some civil society activists are reportedly gearing up to mourn May 18-19th and the week leading up to it as Genocide Week. May 18/19th marks the days the Long War ended, and Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims stopped dying in large numbers.

It is the moment that ushered in peace, however flawed, after thirty years. Far from being ‘genocidal’,

it is also the week that the world saw on TV, hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians being rescued from the LTTE’s clutches by the Sri Lankan military at considerable cost to itself, and treated humanely (as noted by Thamilini).

What then is the Northern Provincial Council really mourning? The death of the man—Prabhakaran– and the leadership, and the crushing defeat of the militia that suicide-bombed the father of the Northern Provincial Council, namely Rajiv Gandhi, and waged war on the Indian Peace-Keeping Force.

Furthermore, the NPC is mourning the death and defeat of the entity that killed the greatest number of educated Tamil political personalities, including leaders of the TNA and activists of liberation organizations (there should be free public screenings of Jude Ratnam’s ‘Demons in Paradise’ on May 18th).

It is unthinkable for Germans to mourn the day that World War II ended with the death of Hitler, the defeat of Nazi Germany, many cities fire-bombed by the Allies, and the red flag flying over the Reichstag building courtesy of the Soviet Red Army. If any group of Germans were to do so they would be considered neo-Nazis and would be arrested.

Similarly, the mood in the North to publicly mourn the day the war ended and was lost by the “almost classically fascist” LTTE (The Economist, UK) resulting in the death of its Hitlerian leader Prabhakaran, tells us about the political tradition, political behavior, political culture and collective psychological make-up of Tamil nationalism and the Tamil nationalists.

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Unveils His “VIsion 2030″For Sri Lanka at “Viyathmaga” Forum Held in Shangri-La Hotel with Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Among 2000 Attendees.

By Nisthar Cassim and Shanika Sriyananda

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is widely speculated to be a 2019 presidential candidate, yesterday unveiled his vision 2030 for Sri Lanka, promising to transform the economy with futuristic policies and measures but more importantly with the right people and execution.

He told a packed and audience of over 2,000 professionals, business leaders, diplomats, clergy and politicians at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo that the future window of opportunity for Sri Lanka for faster economic growth hinges on an intellectually and technology competent society via a social open economic policy.

Gotabaya was emphatic when he said the foremost priority was economic growth which is the foundation and the cure for all ills of Sri Lanka. He also emphasised that economic growth and law and order went hand in hand.

At the forum, which was attended by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya said:”An economy is not built merely through policies, programs, products, capital inflows and exports. It is driven by the humans who power it in many different capacities.”

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Dehiwela Zoo in Sri Lanka Sends Six Anaconda Snakes to Mysuru Zoo in India In Return for Blackbucks and Four Nilghais.

By

Meera Srinivasan

It may take about a month for the anacondas, taken recently from Colombo to Karnataka, to adjust to their new environment. They will be quarantined until that time, as authorities at the Mysuru zoo prepare to display them.

The two green anacondas, one male and one female, will soon be joined by four more snakes from the well-known Dehiwala zoo in Colombo, while, in return, four of the protected species of blackbuck and four nilgais will make their way from Mysuru to Colombo.

Apart from conventional animal diplomacy, where governments, as a goodwill gesture, gift each other animals that are endemic to their countries, zoos across the world network quite actively to add more diversity to the animals that they display for visitors. Sri Lanka has been part of ‘animal exchange programmes’ for many years, going by what is called a “surplus list” and a “wanted list” of animals, circulated internationally by different zoos.

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