Gotabaya Rajapaksa Informs President Sirisena That his Intelligence Unit Has Uncovered Alleged Plot by a Northern Terror Group Targeting Him Along With Douglas Devananda and Karuna Ammaan; Sniper Rifle Imported From Malaysia For this Alleges Gota


Former Defence Secretary and presidential candidate of Sri Lanka People’s Front Gotabaya Rajapaksa has complained to the President that his intelligence officers have informed him that a terrorist group in the North is planning to harm him during the forthcoming election campaign and that he should investigate and take appropriate action.

The former Defence Secretary has told the media that according to information he has received, not only him but Douglas Devananda and Karuna Amman are also at risk and the complaint lodged with the President states the same.

Continue reading ‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa Informs President Sirisena That his Intelligence Unit Has Uncovered Alleged Plot by a Northern Terror Group Targeting Him Along With Douglas Devananda and Karuna Ammaan; Sniper Rifle Imported From Malaysia For this Alleges Gota’ »

If Gotabhaya Rajapaksa wins the Presidency and Mahinda Rajapaksa Becomes the Prime Minister There will be a full scale Political Civil war Between the two brothers for Every Scrap of Power and Every Inch of Ground.

By

Tisaranee Gunasekara

“He can’t do that. He was the commander. That’s a treason. We will hang him if he does that….. How can he betray the country? He is a liar, liar, liar…”
– Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, when told that Gen. Sarath Fonseka had implicated him in the white flag incident (BBC Hard Talk – June 2010).

A week before his younger brother was anointed the SLPP’s presidential candidate, Mahinda Rajapaksa made a portentous statement to the Virakesari. The newspaper had questioned Mr. Rajapaksa about minority angst concerning a Gotabhaya presidency. He responded with a standard denial thus: “In reality, further to the (19th) constitutional amendment, the Prime Minister has more powers. I’m the Prime Ministerial candidate. So we have to work together” (The Hindu – 10.8.2019 – emphasis mine).

Mr. Rajapaksa’s statement is a declaration of intent on what kind of prime minister he plans to be. It is also a warning of the power struggles that will rule the Lankan state under a Gotabhaya Presidency.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, though not the oldest of the Rajapaksa siblings, inherited DA Rajapaksa’s political mantle. For decades he had been the political paterfamilias of the entire Rajapaksa clan, the sun around which siblings and offspring, nephews, nieces, and cousins revolved. His statement to The Virakesari indicates that he has no intention of relinquishing that pre-eminence to his younger brother.

In June 2019, Nihal Jayawickrama wrote a piece tellingly titled, The Presidential Hopefuls – Have they not read Article 43? Explaining the downgrading of presidential powers via the 19th Amendment, Dr. Jayawickrama argued that the next president would be more akin to William Gopallawa than JR Jayewardene in terms of constitutional powers.

The article gave rise to a lively discussion, the popular counter-position being that the new president, though unable to hold any ministerial posts, would still retain sufficient executive powers to control the direction of the government, and therefore the country.

That debate foreshadows the far from polite contestation that will break out between a President Gotabhaya and a Prime Minister Mahinda.

Continue reading ‘If Gotabhaya Rajapaksa wins the Presidency and Mahinda Rajapaksa Becomes the Prime Minister There will be a full scale Political Civil war Between the two brothers for Every Scrap of Power and Every Inch of Ground.’ »

Omission of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Name in the List Of US Citizens Renouncing Citizenship Is Not Important Because Gota Has Certificate Issued by US State Dept Stating he has Relinquished Citizenship Says Udaya Gammanpila.

By

Sheain Fernandopulle

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has sufficient evidence to prove that he had renounced the US citizenship while the omission of his name in the list published as at June 30, 2019, is of no importance as per the law of that country, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader and MP Udaya Gammanpila said yesterday.

“According to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which enforces the law in the US with regard to renunciation of US citizenship, the document one could use to prove that he has renounced the US citizenship is not the list which is made public but the certificate issued by the US State Department,” Gammanpila said.

“The omission of Mr. Rajapaksa’s name from the list of those renounced US citizenship as at June 30 this year, is an issue which the US Government should deal with”, he added.

Continue reading ‘Omission of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Name in the List Of US Citizens Renouncing Citizenship Is Not Important Because Gota Has Certificate Issued by US State Dept Stating he has Relinquished Citizenship Says Udaya Gammanpila.’ »

The Gotabaya project actually has already promised to ‘terminate’ from the political vocabulary such words as ‘human rights,’ ‘minority rights, ‘political freedom’ and ‘liberalism’.

By

Jayadeva Uyangoda

With the nomination of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as its presidential candidate, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has officially launched its presidential election campaign.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who has remained a nominal member of the SLFP and the UPFA so far, has also been declared publicly as the leader of the SLPP. This is likely to cause a mass migration of the SLFP’s rank and file, including its aspirants to political office at all levels, to the SLPP.

Unless former President Chandrika Kumaratunga steps in in a desperate rescue attempt, the liquidation of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, currently led by President Maithripala Sirisena, will become another political side story during the election year 2019-20.

Continue reading ‘The Gotabaya project actually has already promised to ‘terminate’ from the political vocabulary such words as ‘human rights,’ ‘minority rights, ‘political freedom’ and ‘liberalism’.’ »

According to Social Media Studied To Date , The Leading Presidential Candidate has Never Appealed to a Fan-base Beyond a Frighteningly and Frothingly Racist, Islamophobic, Conspiratorial Extremist Sinhala-Buddhist Mindset

By Sanjana Hattotuwa

While data isn’t destiny, the study of how individuals capture attention on social media gives both indication and insight into their electoral prospects. Nearly a decade ago, in the sixth Presidential Election of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka – the two leading candidates – each set up Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr accounts for their campaigns.

Now dead, dormant or deleted, those accounts were a harbinger of what is now entrenched in electoral dynamics. Flickr, no longer a dominant platform, was at the time the leading repository for images. Facebook had a fraction of the accounts it commands today. Twitter was less than four years old as a platform. YouTube was popular, but again, nowhere near what it is today.

It is extremely unlikely either of the candidates ever saw what went up on any of these platforms at the time, much less interacted with or published directly on them. But in the focus of photos, tone of tweets and framing on Facebook, one could see how one candidate’s charisma and charm were evident and welcomed by followers or fans, while the other candidate both struggled to adroitly manage the accounts or put out comparable ego-centric content.

What’s changed over the past decade is not just how central social media is now to politics and elections, but how leading platforms are in a mode of constant campaigning. During the constitutional coup in October last year, those who supported the unconstitutional PM wanted elections no sooner than they realised the courts wouldn’t uphold the President’s actions. This was distinct in the data.

How the rallying cry for general elections was born, who was responsible for it, how it grew and which accounts were responsible for its growth were as evident in the study of data on social media as the microscopic examination of a blood sample by a lab technician for the strain of a common virus.

Continue reading ‘According to Social Media Studied To Date , The Leading Presidential Candidate has Never Appealed to a Fan-base Beyond a Frighteningly and Frothingly Racist, Islamophobic, Conspiratorial Extremist Sinhala-Buddhist Mindset’ »

The former Defence Secretary needs to free himself from the long judicial shadow of multiple legal inquiries ranging from gross corruption and abuse of power to implication in serious human rights abuses.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

There is a familiarly relentless logic to the political trauma that is currently paralysing Sri Lanka. The too-premature, too-euphoric frenzy that preoccupied ‘yahapalanaya’ (good governance) grandees and their coat-hanging enthusiasts in the aftermath of the 2015 electoral win for the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition as they pronounced the electoral demise of the Rajapaksas is one definitive factor.

That history cannot be dismissed by casual waves of hands at this stage by civil society ‘leaders’, notwithstanding their culpable ‘co-opting’ into Government ranks without keeping an independent distance. That is clear.

Disposing of irrelevant propaganda

But there is more to this terribly shortsighted tale. Drivers of opinions which led the ‘yahapalanaya’ regime to certain disaster still peddle their fatuously imbecilic points of view, obscuring clear-headed public discussions.

One clear example is blaming Deputy Leader of the United National Party (UNP) Sajith Premadasa for perceived as well as real ‘sins’ committed by his father, former President Ranasinghe Premadasa.

Certainly, Mr Premadasa’s frequent invocation of his father at Monday’s rally in Badulla when announcing his intention of contesting the forthcoming Presidential elections, has its good side and its bad.

Sri Lanka’s poor who remember the former President as perhaps the only state leader who singularly cared about them, may hail such references with unconditional joy.

On the other hand, the Ranasinghe Premadasa era was noted for the unnerving phenomenon of enforced disappearances as the Northern war and the second Southern insurgency were met by waves of state sponsored counter-terror.

Then as now, arguments may wax and wane as to how terrorist wars and civil insurrections may be won.

Continue reading ‘The former Defence Secretary needs to free himself from the long judicial shadow of multiple legal inquiries ranging from gross corruption and abuse of power to implication in serious human rights abuses.’ »

Four Constitutional Fallacies About the Next President’s Powers in a Post – 19th Amendment Scenario.

By

Dr.Nihal Jayawickrama

The last week has seen the public launching of two presidential campaigns. At each of these widely publicized and well-orchestrated meetings, the two potential candidates presented their manifestos.

One candidate, with the benefit of a teleprompter, read out a lengthy document which sounded much like a Speech from the Throne at an Opening of Parliament.

The other candidate, in more strident tones, promised to implement an equally radical programme of reform if he were elected to the office of President.

The question that needs to be asked of both, and of other aspiring presidential candidates too, is how they propose to implement their publicly proclaimed ‘policies’?

Continue reading ‘Four Constitutional Fallacies About the Next President’s Powers in a Post – 19th Amendment Scenario.’ »

Will Sajith Premadasa Split From The UNP And Contest Presidential Poll Separately Or Remain in the Party Even if Denied Candidacy?

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

There is political excitement in the air in anticipation of Presidential elections before the end of the year. Even though no dates have been specified there is much speculation about prospective candidates and their prospects. Among those being spoken of as a potential presidential election contender is Hambantota District Parliamentarian and Cabinet Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa who is also the United National Party (UNP) deputy leader. Sajith is the son of Ranasinghe Premadasa who served as Prime minister of a United National Party (UNP)Government from 1978 to 1988 and as President of Sri Lanka from 1988 to 1993.

pic: facebook.com/sajithpremadasa

The simmering tensions within the UNP over this issue are now coming to light In a big way. The latest incident being the UNP working committee meeting held on August 1st to approve the proposal by party leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to form a new political alliance named National Democratic Front (NDF) and face Presidential elections.
Continue reading ‘Will Sajith Premadasa Split From The UNP And Contest Presidential Poll Separately Or Remain in the Party Even if Denied Candidacy?’ »

Singer – Actress Doris Day’s Evergreen Signature Song “Que Sera Sera” (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

When I was just a little kid enrolled at the Santa Maria Montessori school in Wattala, a song we sang without knowing its meaning then was ‘Que Sera Sera’; when I was a boy studying at S. Thomas’ Preparatory School in Kollupitiya, a song we were taught the meaning of and sang loudly in our singing class period was ‘Que Sera Sera’; when I was growing up, passing through various phases of adolescence, a song we frequently sang and heard being sung was ‘Que Sera Sera’; when I entered adulthood and participated in many a high-spirited sing-song session, one song that was sung repeatedly at such gatherings was ‘Que Sera Sera’; when I departed from Sri Lanka and relocated to Canada, a favourite number regularly sung at parties organised by nostalgic Sri Lankans was ‘Que Sera Sera’.

Doris Day (April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019)

‘Que Sera Sera’ pronounced ‘Kay Sera Sera’ means “Whatever will be, will be” or “What will be, will be”. It is one of the most popular songs to be featured in an English film. It was the well-known singing actress Doris Day who sang it in the film ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ released in 1956. The film was directed by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. It was a revised version of a film, by the same name, made in 1934 by Hitchcock. The song written and composed by the American duo Jay Livingston and Ray Evans became an instant hit.
Continue reading ‘Singer – Actress Doris Day’s Evergreen Signature Song “Que Sera Sera” (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)’ »

Pluses and Minuses of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential Candidature and his Chances of Victory.

Sri Lanka’s main opposition party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), on Sunday named Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Defense Secretary and younger brother of former Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as its candidate for the Lankan Presidential election due to be held December this year.

This was announced at a public meeting here by SLPP founder and its newly appointed chief, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

According to Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya has been appointed to give Sri Lanka a strong and purposeful government and a government which will safeguard national security which is presently threatened by Islamic terrorism and the possibility of Tamil separatism being revived in the Tamil-majority Northern Province.

The current “Good Governance” regime led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has not walked the talk. The government and the national security apparatus have become dysfunctional, so much so that Islamic terrorists carried out multiple bombings on April 21 despite India’s repeated warnings earlier in the month about the perpetrators and their probable targets.

Continue reading ‘Pluses and Minuses of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential Candidature and his Chances of Victory.’ »

Will Ranasinghe and Sajith Premadasa Be The First Father-Son Duo To be Presidents of Sri Lanka?

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ

The eighth Sri Lankan presidential election is expected to be held on or before December 7th this year. Though dates have not been announced yet, many names are being bandied about as potential candidates. Among such names is Hambantota district parliamentarian and cabinet Minister of Housing and Construction and Cultural Affairs Sajith Premadasa who is also the United National Party (UNP) deputy leader.

June 23, 1989. Sajith with President R. Premadasa at Mahiyanganaya Rajama Viharaya on his Birthday

Sajith Premadasa is the son of former Sri Lankan president Ranasinghe Premadasa who was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) on May 1st 1993. Sri Lanka known formerly as Ceylon was the first country in the South Asian region to adopt the practice of dynastic succession in political leadership. The first prime minister of Independent Ceylon D. S. Senanayake was succeeded by his son Dudley Senanayake in 1951. In 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike the widow of , Prime minister S.W.R. D. Bandaranaike assassinated in 1959 , became Prime minister. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga the daughter of two past Prime Ministers became Prime minister in August 1994. When she became the President in October 1994, her mother Sirimavo Bandaranaike was appointed Prime Minister. Mother and daughter being Prime Minister and President simultaneously is a world record. If therefore Sajith does indeed become a President like Ranasinghe Premadasa they would be the first father and son ti be Sri Lankan presidents. If that happens Sri Lanka would have added another notch to its Totem pole of dynastic politics.

Continue reading ‘Will Ranasinghe and Sajith Premadasa Be The First Father-Son Duo To be Presidents of Sri Lanka?’ »

The Case for a Sajith Premadasa Candidacy is Different From the Case for a Sajith Premadasa Presidency

By

“THE EXPLORER”

The case for a Sajith Premadasa candidacy is different from the case for a Sajith Premadasa Presidency. It is arguable that even those who prefer a Gotabhaya Presidency could opt for a Sajith candidacy if it leads to a stronger UNP showing, and results in a stronger balancing factor in Sri Lankan politics which would act as a safeguard for democracy.

What is a candidacy about? It is about winning the largest number of votes for one’s side. How one chooses the candidate from the available alternatives should be based on who is most likely to generate the most votes for one’s side. That would depend on the context in the country when the election is due to be held, the nature of the opponent, and the profiles of the contenders on one’s side.

The case for a Sajith Premadasa presidency is that he is logically the best legatee of the Premadasa model of development which in turn is demonstrably the best the island has ever experienced in that it was a combination of rapid growth, a stock market that took off, increased foreign investment, a dramatic reduction of inequality, the spread of industry to the rural areas, and the reduction of absolute and relative poverty. It can also be argued that the late President Premadasa combined a multiethnic, multicultural, multireligious, multilingual pluralism with a robust patriotism, and that his son would be the closest approximation of a non-ethnocratic, pluralist, inclusionary nationalism; a nationalism that heals rather than an aggressive one that dominates and imposes, or a cosmopolitanism that rejects patriotism or nationalism.

On the question of national security and the current threat of ISIS terrorism that the country faces, a pluralist approach to minorities would be a far better “soft power” accompaniment of a counterterrorist campaign against Islamist jihadism; one capable of winning over the middle ground, than a tougher ultranationalist approach which would be far more polarizing and eventually counterproductive.

However, all of that is part of a debate for the last quarter of this year; not the third quarter in which the issue is who the contest should be held between.

Continue reading ‘The Case for a Sajith Premadasa Candidacy is Different From the Case for a Sajith Premadasa Presidency’ »

Presidential Candidacy Bids of “Premadasa Putha” and “Gotabaya Sahodara” Revive Memories of the Murdered Journalists Richard de Zoysa and Lasantha Wickrematunge and the Made To Disappear Prageeth Eknaligoda.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

Sajith Premadasa, with his black T-shirt and huge Indian-politico garland at Badulla, is certainly making a massive pitch to be the UNP’s next candidate for the Presidential poll. His spread of villages and towns in the country has passed its 250th, and is racing ahead to keep alive his paternal memories of Gam Udava.

The Gam Udava politics and memories of his father are certainly good for his loud backers in the green bandwagon. But, there is certainly much of important human and political forgetfulness in the run up to grab the green party candidacy.

Democratic politics in this country runs back more than seven decades. It began in the mid-1930s with the election to the first State Council. Coming down through all these decades we see an increasing trend in forgetfulness in the seekers or hunters for national leadership, and their backers from political parties and families.

My memory of Premadasa’s father – President Ranasinghe Premadasa – brings back memories of journalistic colleague – Richard de Zoysa. Is it possible that Sajith P has forgotten or has no knowledge of that brutal killing of Richard de Zoysa, the outspoken journalist, dramatist and civil society activist? He was killed by the powerful and uniformed catchers of the Premadasa government dumped in the sea.

Continue reading ‘Presidential Candidacy Bids of “Premadasa Putha” and “Gotabaya Sahodara” Revive Memories of the Murdered Journalists Richard de Zoysa and Lasantha Wickrematunge and the Made To Disappear Prageeth Eknaligoda.’ »

Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga Embarks Upon Project To Salvage the Sri Lanka Freedom Party From Its Present “Leaders” and Revitalise SLFP.


by Priyadarshana Liyanage

Former President and one-time SLFP leader Chandrika Kumaratunga has expressed her readiness to revitalise the party, founded by her father.

She has announced that she would revive the party, which according to her, is being manipulated by other parties. She has conveyed her decision to party seniors, according to party sources.

Continue reading ‘Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga Embarks Upon Project To Salvage the Sri Lanka Freedom Party From Its Present “Leaders” and Revitalise SLFP.’ »

“The Abrogation of Jammu’s and Kashmir’s Special Status is a longstanding demand of the Hindu right and a key element in its Plan to Transform India into a Hindu Rasthra or State”

By K. Ratnayake

India’s disputed Kashmir region remains today for an eleventh straight day under an unprecedented security lockdown that is being enforced by tens of thousands of Indian soldiers and paramilitaries, as well as local police. Its 13 million people are subject to sweeping restrictions on their movements and all internet and cell and land phone use has been suspended.

India’s Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has imposed the brutal lock down to suppress anticipated mass opposition to its placing of Indian-held Kashmir under permanent central government trusteeship.

On August 5, the BJP government illegally and without consultation or even forewarning stripped Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), India’s only Muslim-majority state, of its special, semi-autonomous constitutional status, then bifurcated it and downgraded the two successor areas into Union Territories.

The security crackdown in Jammu and Kashmir is entirely in keeping with the constitutional coup Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP carried out in New Delhi.

Continue reading ‘“The Abrogation of Jammu’s and Kashmir’s Special Status is a longstanding demand of the Hindu right and a key element in its Plan to Transform India into a Hindu Rasthra or State”’ »

” I am for the sovereignty and unity of Sri Lanka, but I also believe that the Tamils in the country must be able to live with equality, dignity and respect and be also to make their own decisions within the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.” – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe States in Jaffna.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed that he is supportive of devolution while protecting the sovereignty and unity of Sri Lanka. He also said the country needs a new constitution.

He was responding to queries on the UNP’s and his stand on a political solution and how the country should move forward with it, speaking at a gathering in Jaffna yesterday.

“What is really needed now is a political solution. I am for the sovereignty and unity of Sri Lanka, but I also believe that the Tamils in the country must be able to live with equality, dignity and respect and be also to make their own decisions within the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The UNP and myself as the leader of UNP, are committed to ensuring respect and dignity for the Tamils within a political system which builds on the principles of devolution as contained in the report now before the Constitutional Assembly,” he said.

Continue reading ‘” I am for the sovereignty and unity of Sri Lanka, but I also believe that the Tamils in the country must be able to live with equality, dignity and respect and be also to make their own decisions within the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.” – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe States in Jaffna.’ »

“Though Zahran Hashim Had only a Small Group at the Start , the NJT Leader was Able to Recruit More Youths After the Anti-Muslim Violence at Digana in 2018” Says Senior Sri Lankan Security Official


By

Meera Srinivasan

In the last week of June, Sri Lankan police recovered a huge stash of arms and explosives in the eastern town of Kattankudy from where Zahran Hashim, the alleged mastermind of the Easter bombings, hailed. It included some 300 gelignite sticks, 1,000 detonators, and nearly 500 T56 live ammunition. The recovery reportedly shocked investigators, who had made considerable progress in their probe of the April 21 attack that claimed over 250 lives.

The search operation was based on information from Mohamed Milhan, one of the five suspects deported from Saudi Arabia earlier in June. Currently in custody, Milhan was a likely heir to Zahran Hashim. “It was an eye-opener, really,” a top official, familiar with the probe, told The Hindu.

“The material would have been enough for another 25 suicide attacks,” the official said, requesting anonymity, given the sensitivity of the investigations. “A crucial source” is how the official described Milhan, who reportedly tried to join the IS but was unsuccessful. A resident of Kattankudy, he left Sri Lanka on April 17, days before the attacks.

Continue reading ‘“Though Zahran Hashim Had only a Small Group at the Start , the NJT Leader was Able to Recruit More Youths After the Anti-Muslim Violence at Digana in 2018” Says Senior Sri Lankan Security Official’ »

Slain Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa Writes Open Letter to Ranil Wickremesinghe Asking Whether the PM Would Apologize for Allegedly Protecting his “New Friend” Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the Past Four and a Half Years.


Ahimsa Wickrematunge, daughter of slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, in a public letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for the selection of an “honest and courageous” presidential candidate to run
against Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) contender Gotabaya Rajapaksa, warning that failure to do so will deprive victims of their opportunity for justice.

Referring to a speech made by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on Monday where he questioned whether Rajapaksa has apologised for the murder of Wickrematunge, Ahimsa Wickrematunge pointed out that not only was an apology unlikely but insisted Wickremesinghe was responsible for protecting Rajapaksa over the last four and a half years.

“Let me put your mind at ease. No. Gotabaya Rajapaksa will never apologise for my father’s murder. In television interviews over the last 10 years, he has made no secret of the fact that he was proud of it. He has made up his mind not to apologise. But have you, Prime Minister? Will you apologise for spending the last four and a half years protecting with the man you today call a mass murderer?”

Continue reading ‘Slain Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa Writes Open Letter to Ranil Wickremesinghe Asking Whether the PM Would Apologize for Allegedly Protecting his “New Friend” Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the Past Four and a Half Years.’ »

“Devasaranaya” and Devasarana Development Centre Founded at Ibbagamuwa by “Sevaka” Yohan Devananda Allegedly Facing Huge Problems From Anglican Bishop of Kurunegala and Church Leaders: An Open Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury Seeking Justice.

By

Sunanda Deshapriya


(Text of an Open Letter Incorporating a plea to the Archbishop of Canterbury Most Rev Justin Welby who will be visiting Sri Lanka in Late August this year)

To The Most Rev Archbishop Justin Welby,

I must begin by saying that I am not a Christian. But the feelings contained in this plea are being shared by many people who have lived their adult lives believing that service to people is our foremost duty.

I beg you to read this in full.

We hope that you are visiting our country in late August to bless the victims of Easter Sunday terrorist attacks. We also hope that your blessings will be bestowed on all victims regardless of ethnicity or religion.

You may already know that the Easter Sunday attacks and the violence against Muslims that followed, have left ethnic relations in the country worryingly polarised. As of now, one of the major challenges we face is the building of mutual trust and reconciliation.

You being the leader of the Church of England and the Head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, there is symbolic value in this visit. It has become known that during your visit, you will call on the Kurunegala Diocese. We fear however, that such a visit will leave a negative mark on your Sri Lanka trip as the Bishop of Kurunegala and his team have initiated a disgraceful process that will bring the Church into disrepute: A process motivated not by the word of God, but by the greed for power and money.


Here is the story in short:

Continue reading ‘“Devasaranaya” and Devasarana Development Centre Founded at Ibbagamuwa by “Sevaka” Yohan Devananda Allegedly Facing Huge Problems From Anglican Bishop of Kurunegala and Church Leaders: An Open Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury Seeking Justice.’ »

SLFP Will Support SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa After Holding Discussions says UPFA Genera- Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera.


Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will come to an agreement with the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) to support its presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa only after they discuss his economic and foreign policy, United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) General Secretary, MP Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday addressing a meeting at Angunukolapelessa.

“We want a leader that can end anarchy in the country. We see nothing wrong with the SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, but there are things that we must discuss with him. Apart from his economic and foreign policies, we must talk about his anti-corruption policies,” he said.

Continue reading ‘SLFP Will Support SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa After Holding Discussions says UPFA Genera- Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera.’ »

Sajith Premadasa Commences His Political Journey To Become the UNP Presidential Election Candidacy From Historic “Uva-Wellassa” With the Support of the People;Insists He is Even Ready to Die for His Motheland.

United National Party (UNP) Deputy Leader and Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs Minister Sajith Premadasa was yesterday confident of having the people’s support to be a presidential contender promising to focus on inclusive development to bring prosperity to Sri Lanka.

Insisting he was ready to even die for his motherland, Premadasa outlined broad proposals to develop the economy by slashing middle class taxes, supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), having consistent policies and fighting corruption.

Premadasa, speaking at a rally organised at Wills Park by Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports Minister Harin Fernando, also pledged to establish a governance system based on meritocracy to support development.

Continue reading ‘Sajith Premadasa Commences His Political Journey To Become the UNP Presidential Election Candidacy From Historic “Uva-Wellassa” With the Support of the People;Insists He is Even Ready to Die for His Motheland.’ »

JVP Lashes Out at SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa Saying He Does not Have Financial Discipline or Administrative Abilities and Lacks Necessary Qualities to be Competent National Leader.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday said the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) had selected the weakest option as a presidential candidate when it announced former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as their presidential hopeful.

Speaking to media at JVP head office in Battaramulla, Pelawatte, Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said Gotabaya Rajapaksa lacked the qualities necessary to be a competent national leader.

“Rajapaksa has shown he does not have the financial discipline or ability to be a good administrator, which are the most essential qualities to being the President. We do not think he can change the country,” Herath said.

Continue reading ‘JVP Lashes Out at SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa Saying He Does not Have Financial Discipline or Administrative Abilities and Lacks Necessary Qualities to be Competent National Leader.’ »

” Our Bullet is Sajith Premadasa and No Other” Proclaims Harin Fernando to Cheering Crowds at Badulla and Declares “I will Put my Life on the Line and Make Sajith Premadasa Our Presidential Candidate”.


Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports Minister Harin Fernando yesterday pledged to make United National Party (UNP) Deputy Leader and Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa the next presidential candidate, describing him as “the bullet” needed to win the presidency and insisting no battle begun from Uva-Wellassa has ever failed.

Fernando who organised a rally in Badulla to support Premadasa for the presidential candidacy of the UNP without the sanction of party seniors on Monday, was vehement in his support.

Fernando also recalled his efforts in 2014 when he resigned from his parliamentary seat to contest the Provincial Council elections, which eventually created momentum for the presidential victory several months later.

Continue reading ‘” Our Bullet is Sajith Premadasa and No Other” Proclaims Harin Fernando to Cheering Crowds at Badulla and Declares “I will Put my Life on the Line and Make Sajith Premadasa Our Presidential Candidate”.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Officially Takes Over Leadership of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and Anoints Brother Gotabaya as the Party’s Presidential Election Candidate Contesting on a National Security Platform.

Sri Lanka’s opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa officially took over Sunday as leader of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, anointing his brother Gothabaya the person that was needed to take over the country on a national security platform.

He said the Easter Sunday strike was like 9/11 in American and should be a wake-up call.

“We need someone who can maintain national security,” Rajapaska told supporters at a party convention in Colombo. “We need someone who can then re-build the country with discipline and law and order.”

He said mothers wanted to be able to send their children to school without fear.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Officially Takes Over Leadership of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and Anoints Brother Gotabaya as the Party’s Presidential Election Candidate Contesting on a National Security Platform.’ »

Sajith Premadasa Declares in Anuradhapura That He Will Definitely Contest the Forthcoming Presidential Elections

By
Athula Bandara

Minister Sajith Premadasa said today in Thirappane, Anuradhapura that he would contest the forthcoming presidential election without fail and that he expects the support of people in the country.

After opening the ‘Se-Dasungama’ – 246th model village in Demategama in Thirappane in Anuradhapura District under the Gam Udawa programme, the Minister was responding to a query directed at him by someone in the audience.

Continue reading ‘Sajith Premadasa Declares in Anuradhapura That He Will Definitely Contest the Forthcoming Presidential Elections’ »

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Accepts Presidential Candidacy of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Amidst Thunderous Applause at Spectacular Party Convention Held at Sugathadasa Stadium.

By Uditha Jayasinghe and Nuwan Senaratne

Amidst much spectacle, deafening cheers, and countrywide fireworks, Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday accepted the Presidential candidacy of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), pledging to be a leader who will walk the talk and deliver development to a united and secure Sri Lanka.

The maiden SLPP National Convention on Sunday received the younger Rajapaksa with a standing ovation at the packed Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium after he was announced as the Presidential candidate by newly-crowned SLPP leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. Hundreds of party supporters and party front-liners cheered as Rajapaksa entered the stage, enthusiastically waving posters emblazoned with his face, and sang along to his official campaign song.

The thunderous applause continued as Rajapaksa stooped to obtain the blessings of his brother and was embraced by him, and moved on to receive the well-wishes of the rest of the SLPP senior members. Videos chronicling the achievements of Gotabaya Rajapaksa were played on screen ahead of his ascent to the podium, to deliver his first speech as the official Presidential hopeful of the SLPP.

Continue reading ‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa Accepts Presidential Candidacy of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Amidst Thunderous Applause at Spectacular Party Convention Held at Sugathadasa Stadium.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Proclaims Younger Brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the Official SLPP Presidential Candidate Saying “He has already become your brother and has won over your hearts. I give him to you as your Brother”.

By

Lahiru Pothmulla

The country needs a leader who looks at 2030 instead of 2020 and has the ability to terminate corruption, drugs and poverty, newly appointed SLPP Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said today announcing Gotabaya Rajapaksa as their presidential candidate.

Opposition Leader Rajapaksa was appointed as the SLPP leader at the party’s inaugural national convention which was held today where he also officially announced Gotabaya’s candidacy.

Mr Rajapaksa said the national security should be restored in the country and the country needed someone who is vigilant about security around the clock.

“Only he can prevent looming threats. After restoring national security, we have to rebuild the country. To do that, we need discipline and law and order. Its the opinion around the world that no country can be developed without discipline and rule of law. No matter if there’s oil in Mannar or golden showers fall, we can’t make use of them if there is no discipline or rule of law,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Proclaims Younger Brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the Official SLPP Presidential Candidate Saying “He has already become your brother and has won over your hearts. I give him to you as your Brother”.’ »

“I pledge to create a safe and secure environment in which all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their race or religion, will be able to live in peace. I will never allow extremist terrorism in this country” – Text of SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Maiden Campaign Speech

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP) Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivered his maiden campaign speech at the SLPP’s first-ever National Convention held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium on August 11th 2019

Following is the full speech:

Venerable Maha Sangha and religious dignitaries from the Christian, Hindu, Islamic and other faiths, the fifth Executive President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa, Members of Parliament, and other public representatives, party leaders, professionals, war heroes, artistes, media personnel, representatives of national organisations, trade unions, and those of you who represent every corner of our motherland, all patriotic Sri Lankans, my friends.

At this historic conference that marks a decisive juncture in our nation’s politics, I am deeply honoured and humbled to accept the nomination made by the fifth President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa, for me to represent the common aspiration of many political parties, independent groups, and organisations led by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, as their candidate at the forthcoming Presidential election.

I consider this nomination as a noble mission entrusted to me by people-oriented, progressive forces that are destined to create a political revolution in this country.

I thank all who supported the fifth President Mahinda Rajapaksa in making this decision, especially the Venerable Maha Sangha and other religious leaders, politicians, national organisations, media personnel, social leaders and activists, and the citizens of this country led by the youth, who spoke on behalf of the country. I extend my special gratitude to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna for entrusting me with this signal honour.

Continue reading ‘“I pledge to create a safe and secure environment in which all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their race or religion, will be able to live in peace. I will never allow extremist terrorism in this country” – Text of SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Maiden Campaign Speech’ »

Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. A.M.S.Weerabandara Falsely Accused Dr. Mohammed Shafi of Illegally Sterilising 8000 Women and Fabricated Evidence While Being Fully Aware that the Allegations Against Muslim Surgeon Were Untrue.

Investigations into the sterilization scare at Kurunegala have taken a new turn with the discovery that medical administrators colluded with law enforcement officials and even the magistrate to fabricate evidence and alter judicial records.

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) reported to court that the director of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, A.M. S. Weera Bandara, was fully aware that the sterilisation allegations against a Muslim doctor were untrue.

Dr. Weera Bandara, a dentist by profession, had objected in court earlier to tests being carried out on women who claimed they had been illegally sterilized by Dr. Mohamed Shafi while delivering their babies through C-section procedures.

Continue reading ‘Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. A.M.S.Weerabandara Falsely Accused Dr. Mohammed Shafi of Illegally Sterilising 8000 Women and Fabricated Evidence While Being Fully Aware that the Allegations Against Muslim Surgeon Were Untrue.’ »

The Name To Be Announced by Mahinda Rajapaksa as the SLPP Presidential Candidate Would be Sri Lanka’s Equivalent to the USA’s “Apollo – 13 ” Mission Without Having a NASA To Guide It.

by Sanjana Hattotuwa

“Houston, we have a problem” is a famous line from 1995’s Academy Award-winning ‘Apollo 13’ film, told to NASA’s ground control by actor Tom Hanks, playing Mission Commander Jim Lovell. Based on real events, a catastrophic explosion crippling a spacecraft bound for the moon became a test of NASA’s ability to completely shift gear, from what was planned as a moon-landing to an unprecedented rescue mission. Space is not something that can be reasoned with. It kills with cold precision and complete indifference. What ‘Apollo 13’ showcasedis the ability of humans, in the face of the greatest imaginable adversity and certain death, to think out-of-the-box and engineer solutions to avert what the odds were stacked in favour of.

The SLPP’s announcement today, focussing on a man, vision or both, will be significant. As populist or saviour, doer or demagogue, the name chosen by or forced on Mahinda Rajapaksa to nominate as the SLPP’s presidential candidate is Sri Lanka’s Apollo 13 mission or moment, with one key difference. The country has no NASA to guide it. Far worse, there are those who think they are or constitute the equivalent of NASA but are very far removed it. Come Monday, election campaign crises will rapidly increase in scale, speed and complexity. Late 2014’s script, but re-mastered.

Continue reading ‘The Name To Be Announced by Mahinda Rajapaksa as the SLPP Presidential Candidate Would be Sri Lanka’s Equivalent to the USA’s “Apollo – 13 ” Mission Without Having a NASA To Guide It.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Tries to Allay Fears of the Minorities Over Gota’s Presidential Candidacy by Telling “Virakesari” that he will be the Prime Ministerial Candidate and that the Prime Minister Has More Powers After 19th Amendment.

By
Meera Srinivasan

The former President’s reaction is among the first from Sri Lankan political leaders after New Delhi ended Jammu & Kashmir’s special status.
Commenting on the prospects for power devolution to Sri Lanka’s minority Tamils, Leader of Opposition and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has made a reference to the current “situation in Kashmir.”

Leading Sri Lankan Tamil daily Virakesari on Saturday published a wide-ranging interview with Mr. Rajapaksa. To a question on his future plans for evolving a political solution to the island’s long-pending Tamil question, Mr. Rajapakasa is quoted as saying: “There are two strands of opinion now. Some want a new constitution. Some want a federal arrangement. And some say that a political solution based on the 13th Amendment would suffice. But a solution should not be one that divides the country. Look at what has just happened in Kashmir. We need to take steps keeping all these in mind. We have to understand these factors while we pursue a political solution.”

His reaction is among the first from Sri Lankan political leaders after New Delhi ended Jammu & Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories. Earlier, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called it India’s “internal matter” in a tweet, in which he said Ladakh would become “the first Indian state with a Buddhist-majority” — a claim that was subsequently challenged on social media, for its factual accuracy.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Tries to Allay Fears of the Minorities Over Gota’s Presidential Candidacy by Telling “Virakesari” that he will be the Prime Ministerial Candidate and that the Prime Minister Has More Powers After 19th Amendment.’ »

What Sri Lanka Needs is not a ‘Terminator’ or a ‘Protector’- (no Politician can be a Protector) – but the Equal Application of the Law by Those who Implement and Enforce It

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

In Sri Lanka, injustice takes manifestly queer twists and turns. A State signs an international convention on the solemn understanding that it will conform to those obligations. It passes a Constitution or enacts a law consequent to a pact entered into with citizens promising that narrow interests of one specific power bloc or agitators will not be privileged. After all, the law is the fundamental protector, keeping the balance between the powerful State and (largely powerless) citizens, between those who wield authority and those who do not.

A truth stranger than fiction

But the converse happens here. This week, one of Sri Lanka’s young writers Shakthika Sathkumara was released on bail by the Kurunegala High Court following his arrest on 1 April this year. In any other circumstances, his arrest may have seemed like a classic April Fools joke. Sathkumara was taken in under Sri Lanka’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act (2007) on the purported basis that a fictional story of some two pages or so written by him called ‘Ardha’ had focused on child abuse allegedly prevalent in Buddhist temples and therefore propagated religious hatred that, in terms of Section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act, incited ‘discrimination, hostility or violence.’

To add an even more surreal layer to this account, which is surely stranger than even the fictional story that caused this stir in the first place, the police had reportedly demanded that Sathkumara produce testimonials from the chief priest of the Buddhist temple in his village, a lawyer and a Justice of the Peace (JP) apart from a certificate of residence from the Grama Niladhari official. To all intents and purposes, these demands had been resisted.

Meanwhile, in another corner of this resplendent isle, Buddhist monks forcibly entered a house in Mahiyangana and viciously attacked a young Methodist while he was saying prayers. According to reports by the Church, it was the head priest of the Buddhist temple in the area who had stepped in to stop the assaults but by that time, the victim had sustained severe injuries, including to his spine. But what followed from this entirely unprovoked assault? Nothing to all intents and purposes.

Continue reading ‘What Sri Lanka Needs is not a ‘Terminator’ or a ‘Protector’- (no Politician can be a Protector) – but the Equal Application of the Law by Those who Implement and Enforce It’ »

Responding to Basil’s Remarks About Gota as a Terminator, Ranil Wickremesinghe Says Country Needs A Democratic Leader and Does not Need a “Terminator” Who Will Destroy the Democratic Gains Made Over the Past Four Years.


Brushing up his credentials as a leader that supports democratic principles, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said the country needs a leader who will promote democracy and not a “Terminator” who will destroy the gains made by democratic institutions in the past four years.

Referring to comments made by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa on Thursday, Wickremesinghe noted he has championed democratic rights since 2015 and worked to provide equitable freedoms to all people.

He called on all stakeholders to act sensibly and protect the country’s future from a terminator that will destroy the democratic gains that have been achieved by this Government.

Continue reading ‘Responding to Basil’s Remarks About Gota as a Terminator, Ranil Wickremesinghe Says Country Needs A Democratic Leader and Does not Need a “Terminator” Who Will Destroy the Democratic Gains Made Over the Past Four Years.’ »

“Gota has to be like a Terminator to Eradicate Fraud and Corruption, I can Assure that Gotabaya will not be an Authoritarian Leader.No need to be Afraid of him.” – Assures Basil Rajapaksa

By

Lahiru Pothmulla

People need not fear former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and he would not become a strict leader, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa said today.

Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is widely speculated to be the presidential candidate of the SLPP.

Mr.Rajapaksa said this in response to a question at a news briefing held in Colombo to announce the party’s national convention on Sunday.

Continue reading ‘“Gota has to be like a Terminator to Eradicate Fraud and Corruption, I can Assure that Gotabaya will not be an Authoritarian Leader.No need to be Afraid of him.” – Assures Basil Rajapaksa’ »

Appeal Court Rules Ex – Northern Chief Minister and Former Supreme Court Judge CV wigneswaran to Pay Costs to Petitioner B. Deniswaran for Removing Ex- Provincial Council Minister from Post Without Having the Power to do so.

By

S.S. Selvanayagam

Court of Appeal today in its judgement held that the removal of petitioner B. Deniswaran from the portfolios of the Northern Provincial Council by the Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is illegal and made without jurisdiction and therefore it is a nullity.

Justice Mahinda Samayawardhena with Justice K.Priyantha Fernando concurring in his judgement also held that the Chief Minister had no power to remove the petitioner from his ministerial portfolios.

Continue reading ‘Appeal Court Rules Ex – Northern Chief Minister and Former Supreme Court Judge CV wigneswaran to Pay Costs to Petitioner B. Deniswaran for Removing Ex- Provincial Council Minister from Post Without Having the Power to do so.’ »

Court of Appeal Rules that Ex- Supreme Court Judge and Former Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran Violated Provincial Council Law By Removing Ex – Provincial Minister Balasubramaniam Deneeswaran From His Post.

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Court of Appeal, yesterday, said that the retired Supreme Court Judge and former Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council C.V. Wigneswaran had violated the Provincial Council Law, when he removed Provincial Council Minister Balasubramaniam Denishwaran from his post.

Complainant Denishwaran has said in his writ application that the chief minister refused to re-instate him, in the post of Provincial Council Minister despite a court order.

Continue reading ‘Court of Appeal Rules that Ex- Supreme Court Judge and Former Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran Violated Provincial Council Law By Removing Ex – Provincial Minister Balasubramaniam Deneeswaran From His Post.’ »

Incoming Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah is first ever officer of Sri Lankan background to serve in the top cop role in North America

Newly named Peel Regional Police chief makes history

by Joe Warmington

Peel Region hired a cop’s cop as its new chief of police Friday.

Halton Regional Police Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah

And in the process, history was also made.

When Halton Regional Police Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah is sworn in Oct. 1, he will become the first South Asian police chief in Ontario’s history, as well as the first ever officer of Sri Lankan background to serve in the top cop role in North America.

While his ancestry is a side story to his exemplary policing career, the promotion is historic and a great Canadian success story for a kid who came to Canada as a child and grew up in Milton dreaming of becoming a police officer.
Continue reading ‘Incoming Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah is first ever officer of Sri Lankan background to serve in the top cop role in North America’ »

Kurunegala Surgeon Dr. Mohamed Shafi to File Defamation Cases Claiming Damages Against Several Individuals Including Athuraliya Rathana Thera, Prof.Channa Jayasumana,DIG Kithsiri Jayalath, K’Gala Mayor Thushara Vitharana and the Editor and Two Journalists of a Sinhala Newspaper.

By

Aanya Wipulasena

The Kurunegala Medical doctor at the centre of controversy, Dr. Seigu Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi and his legal team is set to file civil damages and defamation cases against several individuals this week including MP Athuraliye Ratana Thera, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, DIG Kithsiri Jayalath and two journalists and the editor of a Sinhala daily that ignited a witch-hunt against him.

Dr. Shafi, Senior House Officer (SHO) at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital will file the cases at Kurunegala and Colombo District courts.

On Monday Dr. Shafi complained to Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) C. D. Wickramaratne regarding the conduct of MP Ratana Thera who accused him of ‘mass murder’ during protest rallies.

Another complaint was lodged against Kurunegala Mayor Thushara Vitharana who told a Sinhala newspaper that Dr. Shafi aborted healthy pregnancies.

Continue reading ‘Kurunegala Surgeon Dr. Mohamed Shafi to File Defamation Cases Claiming Damages Against Several Individuals Including Athuraliya Rathana Thera, Prof.Channa Jayasumana,DIG Kithsiri Jayalath, K’Gala Mayor Thushara Vitharana and the Editor and Two Journalists of a Sinhala Newspaper.’ »

“Ardha”(Half): The Controversial Sinhala Short Story by Shakthika Sathkumara That Landed Him In jail Due to Complaints by Buddhist Monks – Translated Into English by the JDS

Four months ago, on April 1st 2019, an award winning Sinhala writer Shakthika Sathkumara was arrested under ICCPR Act enacted in 2007 to give effect to certain provisions of the United Nations multilateral treaty, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The arrest was made following a complaint lodged by a group of ultra nationalist Buddhist monks, who accused him of inciting religious hatred by publishing a story on facebook, titled “Ardha”1, which revolves around a Buddhist monk who renounced the saffron robe. If found guilty, Shakthika faces up to 10 years in prison, for ‘propagating war or advocating national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence’ as stated in section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act.

The Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) Translated the story for the first time into English and published it on their website. It is reproduced here with due acknowledgement.

***************************

Ardha (Half) :English Translation of Sinhala Short Story Shakthika Sathkumara

Translated by Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS)

Halwelle Kassapa thero became Kasaan Palihawadana, not because of a particular fondness for lay life, he simply had no love of monastic life. After giving up monkhood, Kasan did not want to stay at university’s monastic accommodation any longer. There were many who began as monks but later became ‘ex-monks’ living in the monastery.

Continue reading ‘“Ardha”(Half): The Controversial Sinhala Short Story by Shakthika Sathkumara That Landed Him In jail Due to Complaints by Buddhist Monks – Translated Into English by the JDS’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa and his “Podujana” Team Must Not Think That All the Masses Are Asses to Forget How Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake Was Rudely Impeached For An Adverse Ruling on ” Divineguma” Bill Under Rajapaksa Rule.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Is former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his baying ‘podujana party’ team members suffering from selective amnesia when they flay the Government on the floor of Sri Lanka’s Parliament for having presented the Lands Bill to the House without first putting it before the Provincial Councils?

Not all the masses are asses to forget

Lest we forget, this very same cursory treatment of the constitutional process by the Rajapaksa Presidency in respect of the Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill and the Divineguma Bill resulting in an adverse opinion by the Supreme Court led to the rude impeachment of then Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake and later, to bare bodied ruffians dancing outside her residence.

She was thrown out of office with less ceremony than what would attend the handcuffing of a common thief, with the consequent galvanising of a supine legal profession forming the backdrop to ouster of the Rajapaksas when presidential elections were prematurely and unwisely called for in 2014.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa and his “Podujana” Team Must Not Think That All the Masses Are Asses to Forget How Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake Was Rudely Impeached For An Adverse Ruling on ” Divineguma” Bill Under Rajapaksa Rule.’ »

Misogynistic Leaders of the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama (ACJU) Obstruct Justice Marsoof Committee’s Progressive Recommendations Beneficial to Muslim Women Through Amendments to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce act(MMDA)

By

Shreen Abdul Saroor

For three long decades, Muslim women have fought to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA). Justice Saleem Marsoof’s Committee issued two sets of recommendations early last year, the culmination of nine years of work. Perhaps in response to recent rhetoric of ‘one country one law,’ Muslim Members of Parliament (MPs) finally raised the issue in recent weeks, coming forward to iron out differences in the two sets of Marsoof Committee recommendations. The Prime Minister likewise finally stepped up, making MMDA reform a centerpiece of efforts to counter Islamic extremism post-Easter bombings. Now, with MPs and the PM finally working toward much-needed reform, a familiar spoiler has emerged to hijack the entire process for its cynical gain.

All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) has been the elephant in the room in the reform processes throughout. Activists who have long worked to reform this law have grown weary of engaging with this gang of arrogant misogynists. The very reason the Marsooof Committee took nine years to submit their final report is that ACJU representatives on the committee like M.I.M. Rizwie (a man who has held ACJU top post for 20 long years) and its secretary Mubarak could not agree with learned Islamic scholars and legal experts on one set of recommendations. By hijacking the reform process at this late stage, ACJU was clearly subverting the work of the Marsoof Committee, which had consulted with all relevant stakeholders (including ACJU) earlier in making recommendations for reform.

Continue reading ‘Misogynistic Leaders of the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama (ACJU) Obstruct Justice Marsoof Committee’s Progressive Recommendations Beneficial to Muslim Women Through Amendments to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce act(MMDA)’ »

Sri Lankan Short Story Writer Shakthika Sathkumara Charged Under ICCPR Act and Imprisoned for Past Four Months Declared “Prisoner of Conscience” by Amnesty International which Urges Sri Lankan Attorney -General to Unconditionally Release Writer Immediately and Drop all Charges Against Him.


Shakthika Sathkumara
, an award-winning Sri Lankan writer, was arrested on 1 April 2019, for writing a short story and sharing it on his Facebook profile. The fictional story he shared was about life in a Buddhist temple, that allegedly hinted at child sexual abuse.

He faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty as he is charged under Section 3(1) of ICCPR Act and Art. 291(B) of the Penal Code of Sri Lanka, which deals with propagating hatred and incitement of racial or religious violence.

Detained for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, Shakthika Sathkumara is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released and all charges against him dropped.

TAKE ACTION:

1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.


Attorney General Mr. Dappula de Livera

Attorney General’s Department
Hulftsdorp Street,
Colombo 12
Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 112 436421
Email: administration@attorneygeneral.gov.lk

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Short Story Writer Shakthika Sathkumara Charged Under ICCPR Act and Imprisoned for Past Four Months Declared “Prisoner of Conscience” by Amnesty International which Urges Sri Lankan Attorney -General to Unconditionally Release Writer Immediately and Drop all Charges Against Him.’ »

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Tells “Daily Mirror” That He has in his Possession the Official Document Relating to the Renunciation of his US Citizenship Which he Received on on April 26th 2019 and that the Purported Document Being Circulated on Social Media is a Fake.

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa today said the document which is being circulated on social media sites purporting that he has renounced his US citizenship was fake and that he was in possession of the original certificate.

Continue reading ‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa Tells “Daily Mirror” That He has in his Possession the Official Document Relating to the Renunciation of his US Citizenship Which he Received on on April 26th 2019 and that the Purported Document Being Circulated on Social Media is a Fake.’ »

From Housewife in “Tintagel” To “Prime Minister At “Temple Trees”: Contours of Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s Political Journey


by D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Germany’s defence minister Ursula von der Leyen has been elected president of the European Union (EU) Commission following a secret ballot among Members of the European Parliament. She is the first woman to be elected as President of the EU commission and will replace current President Jean-Claude Juncker on November 1st this year. With Ursula von der Leyen’s victory another traditional male bastion has fallen.

There was a time when women were kept out of politics and denied even the right to vote. The adoption of the universal franchise principle along with the spread of democracy has led to a situation where more and more women are participating in politics now as elected representatives. Many hold ministerial portfolios while some have reached the top as heads of State and heads of Government. It is currently estimated that 22 women are functioning as Presidents, Prime Ministers or Chancellors in their countries respectively. Though impressive this number is by no means enough. We have miles and miles to go before women are elected to office worldwide in proportion to their numerical strength.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike-(April 17, 1916-October 10, 2000)

Even as this process of women becoming political leaders progresses it would be worthwhile to recall how Sri Lanka known formerly as Ceylon made history by swearing in the world’s first woman Prime minister fifty -nine years ago. It was on July 21st 1960 that Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike assumed office as Prime minister. It is said that the British press had to coin a new description “Stateswoman” instead of the usual statesman after she assumed office.
Continue reading ‘From Housewife in “Tintagel” To “Prime Minister At “Temple Trees”: Contours of Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s Political Journey’ »

Ex -Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa Says He Relinquished his US citizenship in April Without any Renunciation Issues and That He Carries a Sri Lankan Passport after the US Revoked his Passport.

by Shamindra Ferdinando

Wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday told The Island that he had relinquished his US citizenship in April this year.

Rajapaksa said that the process had been completed without any issue.

Responding to another query, Rajapaksa said that there had never been an issue with regard to renunciation of his US citizenship.

Continue reading ‘Ex -Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa Says He Relinquished his US citizenship in April Without any Renunciation Issues and That He Carries a Sri Lankan Passport after the US Revoked his Passport.’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe May Be Ineffective and Uninspiring But Ranil is One Hundred Times Better for the Sustenance of our Democracy Than Mahinda Rajapaksa and Company

By
Vishwamithra 1984

“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.’’
~Oscar Wilde

Mahinda Rajapaksa is an extraordinary individual. His passion for power seems to have overrun all plausible limits; his determination to cling on to something that is very tangible that comes in the guise of sheer ‘power’ saw to it that his political journey never came to an unforeseen halt. After entering Parliament in 1970 at a very tender age, thanks mainly to the ‘Blue Wave’ under Sirimavo Bandaranaike,MR’s first term in the House of the People was not a remarkable one. Raising the hand for each and every government-sponsored bill and engaging in heckling and harassing a depleted Opposition does not require a disciplined professionalism in Parliament.

Politics is not merely getting elected on a heap of empty election pledges and wasting time and public resources thereafter. Being subjected to a new political culture that saw the light of day in the wake of the ‘1956 Revolution’ and exposing birth pangs of another nihilistic and existentialist culture, a culture and behavioural pattern of those who came to occupy seats of power in Independent Ceylon, MR and other political tyros were no exception to the rule of the day. The Sirimavo-government was a coalition of the Bandaranaikes and socialists of post-Independent Ceylon. Their economic principle and policy began and ended with socialism, the total concept of which was, in effect, ‘State Capitalism’. Sloganeering and palatable phrasing of harsh economic measures began gaining ground in the immediate aftermath of the ’70 general elections.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe May Be Ineffective and Uninspiring But Ranil is One Hundred Times Better for the Sustenance of our Democracy Than Mahinda Rajapaksa and Company’ »

Purported Certificate of Loss of US Nationality by Gotabaya Rajapaksa Distributed Widely on Social Media Allegedly by Parties Close to the Ex-Def Secy Exposed as a Forgery

By

Nirmala Kannangara

A certificate distributed yesterday purporting to show that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has renounced his US citizenship has been debunked as a forgery, the Daily Mirror learns.

The purported Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States was distributed widely on social media groups yesterday morning by parties close to the former Defence Secretary’s emerging presidential election campaign.

Continue reading ‘Purported Certificate of Loss of US Nationality by Gotabaya Rajapaksa Distributed Widely on Social Media Allegedly by Parties Close to the Ex-Def Secy Exposed as a Forgery’ »

Judicial Service Commission Gathering Information Regarding Complaints Against Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewavasam Prior to Commencing Inquiry Into His Alleged Professional Misconduct in the Case Against Dr. Mohammed Shafi

By Aanya Wipulasena

The Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has been instructed to gather all information with regard to the complaints received on the Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewawasam in order to begin deliberations on the issue, Sunday Observer reliably learns.

The JSC, which is headed by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya is likely to meet to deliberate on the issue early next week, Sunday Observer learns.

According to highly placed sources the JSC will consider the complaints lodged against the magistrate and the collected evidence independently and decide on whether an inquiry is to be initiated against the Magistrate whose actions in the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court have been called into question by several parties and observers to the case.

Continue reading ‘Judicial Service Commission Gathering Information Regarding Complaints Against Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewavasam Prior to Commencing Inquiry Into His Alleged Professional Misconduct in the Case Against Dr. Mohammed Shafi’ »

Wrongfully Detained Kurunegala Surgeon Dr. Seigu Sihabdeen Mohammed Shafi Released on Bail Exited Courthouse Through a Backdoor Dressed Up In Black Coat and Carrying Files Like a Lawyer .

By

Anurangi Singh

KURUNEGALA: Bent in two, with his head in his hands in the tiny prison cell at the back of the courtroom last Thursday (25), all Seigu Sihabdeen Mohammed Shafi wanted was to go home to his wife and children. The man has been emaciated by his two month ordeal, spending nearly six weeks in detention at the CID in Colombo, and a further two weeks in the Kurunegala police remand while police conducted investigations into allegations that he had sterilised thousands of Sinhalese women during caesarean surgeries.

In the hours before he was finally granted bail by the Kurunegala Magistrate, Shafi sobbed about the plight of his wife, herself a medical doctor who he learnt was suffering from depression since his incarceration. He had no reason to hope, his lawyers said, because the deck, at least in Kurunegala where the inquiry against him is being conducted, is stacked heavily against him.

After two months of grueling investigations, the CID has come up with no evidence to prove that Dr Shafi clamped or squeezed the fallopian tubes of mothers on his surgical table in order to induce subfertility. Yet the conspiracy theory, first fueled by a sensational and poorly sourced front page story in a Sinhalese daily, took on a life of its own. Two months down the road, Dr Shafi’s family has been driven out of their home in Kurunegala. His three children were kicked out of the prestigious government school they were attending in the area. Even private tutors have refused to accommodate Shafi’s children in their classrooms.

What CID investigations have discovered is fiction-worthy. The country’s elite detective force found evidence of falsified and backdated police complaints. Investigators have informed court that the Director of the Kurunegala Hospital, one of the sterilisation drama’s main protagonists, has repeatedly attempted to mislead court and the CID. The Director of the Hospital has also been accused of hindering the probe into allegations mounted against the Muslim doctor. Worse still, at least four complaints have been forwarded to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) – including one from the CID itself, through the IGP – about the conduct of the Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewawasam. CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekera confirmed before the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the Easter attacks last week that the Magistrate’s wife works as an anaesthetist at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital where the scandal erupted.

Continue reading ‘Wrongfully Detained Kurunegala Surgeon Dr. Seigu Sihabdeen Mohammed Shafi Released on Bail Exited Courthouse Through a Backdoor Dressed Up In Black Coat and Carrying Files Like a Lawyer .’ »

Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. Sarath Weerabandara’s Statements In Courts During the First Hearing Against Dr. Shafi on June 27 Were Expunged from Court Record on the Orders of Magistrate Sampath Hewavasam Reveals CID Director SSP Shani Abeyekera Before PSC

By Aanya Wipulasena

Addressing a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) this week, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) said there was no evidence to link Dr. Shafi with terrorist or extremist groups.

During the probe, CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekera said they had no intention of lying to the court, and if they had found evidence of one crime done by the accused doctor, they would have presented it during the hearing.

He also informed the PSC that Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. Sarath Weerabandara’s conduct and his statement made during Dr. Shafi’s first hearing on June 27 at Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court has interrupted the investigations carried out by the CID with regard to the allegation that he carried out illegal sterilization surgeries on Sinhala mothers.

Dr. Weerabandara, a dentist by profession, addressing the courts said that carrying out of HSG tests would harm mothers. The tests were recommended to ascertain if women’s fallopian tubes were damaged by the doctor. His statement led to the ceasing the proposed tests being carried out.

Continue reading ‘Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director Dr. Sarath Weerabandara’s Statements In Courts During the First Hearing Against Dr. Shafi on June 27 Were Expunged from Court Record on the Orders of Magistrate Sampath Hewavasam Reveals CID Director SSP Shani Abeyekera Before PSC’ »

How The LTTE Assassinated Senior Tamil Leader Amirthalingam In Colombo Thirty Years Ago….

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The cruelly tragic killing of five Tamil Students by suspected members of the Security forces thirteen years ago in Trincomalee town was re-visited in these columns last week. This week’s column seeks to revive memories about a murder most foul perpetrated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) in Colombo city exactly thirty years ago. It was on the fateful day of July 13th 1989 that foremost Sri Lankan Tamil political leader and former Leader of the opposition Appapillai Amirthalingam along with Ex-Jaffna MP Vettivelu Yogeswaran was gunned down by the LTTE. Ex- Nallur MP Murugesu Sivasithamparam was shot and wounded in the same incident. All three tiger assassins involved were shot dead by Police officers in the ensuing gun battle. I have written extensively about the assassination of Appapillai Amirthalingam on earlier occasions. However I intend re- relating some of the details concerning these killings on the 30th anniversary of the murders relying to a great extent upon my earlier writings.

Appapillai Amirthalingam
(26 August 1927 – 13 July 1989)

Appapillai Amirthalingam hailing from Pannaaham in Jaffna was born on August 26, 1927. He was a charismatic and dynamic politician who served for many years as the chief lieutenant of the respected Tamil leader SJV Chelvanayagam known as the Gandhi of Eelam. Amirthalingam was a lawyer by profession and had been the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK)MP for Vaddukkoddai from 1956 to 1970 and the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) MP for Kankesanthurai from 1977 to 1983. He held office as Leader of the opposition from 1977 to 1983. In 1989 he was appointed MP on the TULF National list.
Continue reading ‘How The LTTE Assassinated Senior Tamil Leader Amirthalingam In Colombo Thirty Years Ago….’ »

“Bodu Bala Sena” CEO Dilantha Wijemanne Reveals That Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero Is Using the Pseudonym “Apey Hamuduruwoo(Our Monk ) On Facebook Because the Monk’s Name has been Blocked by Facebook

General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero has had to change his name, CEO of the Bodu Bala Sena organization Dilanthe Withanage told Sri Lanka Mirror.

This is because the Facebook has put a restriction on his name.

He said that this decision has been taken due to the tendency of his name being blocked when “Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara” is mentioned on the Facebook pages. “Government henchmen who do not know what hate speech is”he said.

Continue reading ‘“Bodu Bala Sena” CEO Dilantha Wijemanne Reveals That Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero Is Using the Pseudonym “Apey Hamuduruwoo(Our Monk ) On Facebook Because the Monk’s Name has been Blocked by Facebook’ »

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Has Turned his Religious Pulpit into a Political Podium and Transformed what could Otherwise have been a Godly Homily into an Unholy Political Sermon.


By

Don Manu

Last Sunday at the re-consecration of the blood splattered statue of Jesus Christ at the reconstructed Easter Sunday bomb damaged Katuwapitiya’s St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, the Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, turned his religious pulpit into a political podium; and transformed what could otherwise have been a Godly homily into an unholy political sermon.

The Cardinal’s eminent thoughts were less on religion and more on politics, less on forgiveness as his divine creed begs him to exercise and more on casting blame, less on the miracle of God and the mysterious ways of Providence and more on the well known follies and failures of mammon.

And the relatives of those who died in that tragic Easter Sunday carnage who may have come to find spiritual guidance from the Cardinal and come to terms with their unbearable grief, found themselves giving ear to a party political broadcast instead. Rather than assuage their heartbreak with biblical wisdom and love their neighbour, whatever their sin — even as Jesus did on the cross when he expressed love and forgave all who were crucifying him — the Cardinal roused their ire and propelled them to vent their feelings on their fellowmen, whatever their political colour.

Delivering his sermon on that solemn sacred special occasion meant to sooth his grieving flock, the Cardinal spent a better part of his speech on complex international affairs and shabby Lankan politics.

Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Has Turned his Religious Pulpit into a Political Podium and Transformed what could Otherwise have been a Godly Homily into an Unholy Political Sermon.’ »

Sanctimonious Humbuggery of Members of Parliament sitting on the Select Committee to probe the Easter Sunday attacks by Sri Lanka’s ‘home-grown’ Jihadists

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

There is a powerful thrust to communal politics that is now global in nature, led by unscrupulous demagogues who whip up their supporters with chants of hate. This week, as I watched the President of the United States wave his hands benevolently even as his supporters screamed ‘send them back’ to four congresswomen of colour (despite the fact that the women were all American citizens), who remained defiantly opposed to his policies, one fact became clear.

It is politically correct to be racist

Decades of civilisational trappings are no longer a mask for malignant racism, whether in Sri Lanka or in the streets of the global North. It is now politically correct to be racist, to scream at strangers for wearing headscarves and to look askance at someone walking on the street if that person does not fit into the image of a ‘safe’ citizen. In some corners of the vast ‘These United States’ which once produced leading crusaders of free thought, from judges of great intellect to poets and musicians of marvellous inspiration, the backlash is strong.

Delivering the keynote address at a New York based event on Law and Rights, a noted American academic remarks brusquely that his commander-in-chief is a psychopath. In souvenir shops off Broadway, grinning salesmen chuckle as they sell toilet brushes with the slogan, ‘Let Trump Go and Let America be Clean Again’ and liberal columnists wax outraged in their newspaper spaces. But yet, that does not quite explain away the uncanny silence that prevails in other quarters.

Continue reading ‘Sanctimonious Humbuggery of Members of Parliament sitting on the Select Committee to probe the Easter Sunday attacks by Sri Lanka’s ‘home-grown’ Jihadists’ »

We are now aware that the Easter Sunday catastrophe here was planned by the American founded ISIS.

By

A B Sosa,Air Vice Marshal(Retd) NDC,PSC

INTELLIGENCE– This subject is currently very much in vogue and discussed and opinions expressed by a wide cross section ranging from experts to well-meaning persons. These views are quite interesting but sometimes misses the wood for the trees. Most of the theories are at a micro level and not encompassing a broader scenario. In such a situation I venture into seemingly uncharted territory.

The aim of a terrorist organization is to attempt to destabilize their target by resorting to direct violence or by psychological warfare. This could be achieved in different ways such as Funding organizations that are desirous of destabilizing a country in which they live, Assassination of key persons in Government. Destroying the economy, Taking over and dominating the print, visual and electronic media or creating general chaos in the targeted country. The persons who cause the mayhem are really the indoctrinated elements of a chain/sequence of handlers who may not be aware of the ultimate aim of the originators.

In this context, fairly recent military history is replete with instances a powerful country had gone about its objective. In the mid twentieth century the USA came to the conclusion that Vietnam was leaning towards the ambit of their big power rival viz USSR. They hence engineered the ouster of Ho Chi Minh particularly because France who had colonized Vietnam was being ousted by the Vietcong. This operation which lasted a couple of years and caused the loss of life and limb of not only the Vietnamese combatants and civilians but also thousands of American troops.

It is not my intention of going into the details of this war but to mention that the Americans took over the hostilities but were ultimately routed.

Continue reading ‘We are now aware that the Easter Sunday catastrophe here was planned by the American founded ISIS.’ »

The Sri Lanka Podujana Party is not just a Family Affair but is also Sinhala-Buddhist Supremacist, Socially Conservative and Politically Illiberal


by Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Suspended over the abyss, the life of Octavia’s inhabitants is less uncertain than in other cities. They know the net will last only so long.”
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)

The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration’s failure to abolish the executive presidency has brought Sri Lanka to this impasse.

Replacing the executive presidency with a more democratic alternative was the founding promise of the uniquely disparate alliance that successfully challenged the Rajapaksa behemoth in 2015. The failure to honour that promise has placed in jeopardy every single achievement of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration, notably the partial advances made in democratic restoration and establishment of the rule of law. These advances are significant, but fragile. They require space to take root and time to grow. Thanks to current administration’s failure to abolish the executive presidency and its shameless violation of every tenet of good governance, Sri Lanka is unlikely to have that space and time.

The government’s other signature failure was its inability to reform the prevailing political culture by limiting corruption, repression and abuse. Had the government achieved some success in redefining political culture, the bar for potential candidates for the presidency could have been set at a higher level. Thanks to the duplicity, venality, cowardice and inefficiency of the current administration, any two bit character, from politicians to retired military men, from entrepreneurs to tuition masters, can present himself as a presidential candidate. The government’s many failures are being equated with failures of democracy. The myth of the strong leader is regaining political traction. Saviours emerge from behind every bush, and under every rock offering salvation to an electorate that is too disenchanted or angry to be rational.

Dinesh Amaratunga, the math tuition master whose defender-riding ‘VIP security’ attacked a van driver in Kalagedihena two weeks ago, has been touting himself as a putative presidential candidate. Another dreamer of the presidency, businessman Dhammika Perera, seems to have been caught causing severe environmental damage in search of a quick buck. Hayleys Free Zone, the company at the centre of the garbage importation scandal, is a subsidiary of the Hayleys Group of which Mr. Perera is the majority shareholder and joint (non-executive) chairman. In 2013, another Hayleys subsidiary, Dipped Products PLC, was at the centre of the Rathupaswala tragedy. The company was reportedly responsible for the contamination of ground water in 28 grama niladhari divisions. When the affected residents protested peacefully, the Rajapaksa administration responded by sending the army. Three people died and many were injured when the army shot at the protestors.

In 2011, President Rajapaksa appointed businessman Dhammika Perera as the Secretary to the Ministry of Transport. Mr. Perera was holding that position when President Rajapaksa signed the Extraordinary Gazette 1818-30 in July 2013. That gazette permitted the import of used goods to Sri Lanka tax-free, under the facade of re-export. That gazette could be signed with no fuss (just as the SOFA could be renewed by American-Lankan dual citizen Gotabhaya Rajapaksa with no fuss), because that was a time when transparency was unknown, and dissent a crime.

Continue reading ‘The Sri Lanka Podujana Party is not just a Family Affair but is also Sinhala-Buddhist Supremacist, Socially Conservative and Politically Illiberal’ »

President Sirisena’s Latest Game is to Try and Hold Provincial Council Elections Before The Presidential Elections Take Place.

By C.A.Chandraprema

As we go to press, the newsrooms are abuzz with the rumour that President Maithripala Sirisena is preparing to issue a gazette notification with regard to the holding of the long delayed Provincial Council elections (PC). Whatever the veracity of this gazette notification story is, that concerted efforts are being made in the presidential quarters to have the PC elections held before the presidential elections, is a certainty.

The government changed the electoral system for the PCs in 2017. With this change, Section 4 of the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act, No. 17 of 2017 stipulated that a Delimitation Committee be appointed by the President within two weeks of the commencement of that Act. This Delimitation Committee was to divide each administrative district into a number of electorates and complete this task within four months and submit its report to the Minister in charge of PCs.

The Minister was required to table the report in Parliament, within two weeks of the receipt thereof, for approval by not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members of Parliament voting in its favour. If Parliament does not approve the report within one month as laid out in the amending law, the Speaker was to appoint a Review Committee, of five persons headed by the Prime Minister. This Review Committee could cause any alteration to be made to the names, numbers, and boundaries of any electorate. The Review Committee was to fulfil its responsibilities within two months of the Minister having referred the delimitation report for its consideration and, thereafter, submit its report to the President.

Upon receipt of the report of the Review Committee, the President was to by Proclamation publish the new number of electorates, the boundaries, names assigned to each electorate so created on the report submitted by the Review Committee. It should be noted that according to this procedure, the Delimitation Committee report was in the first instance supposed to be passed by Parliament with no less than a two thirds majority. However if this fails, it goes on to the next stage where a five member Review Committee is to be appointed. The report of this Review Committee does not have to be submitted to Parliament. It was to go directly to the President who would forthwith publish it in the gazette. All the procedures outlined in Section 4 of the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act, No. 17 of 2017 were fulfilled up to the appointment of the five-member Review Committee by the Speaker. This Review Committee however, has not submitted any report to the President.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena’s Latest Game is to Try and Hold Provincial Council Elections Before The Presidential Elections Take Place.’ »

Nagananda Kodituwakku’s Proposal of an “Autochthonous Constitution” Provides a way of Freeing Ourselves of the Entrenched Clauses of the Present Constitution which had no Approval of the People of the Country, Except of Those in Power.

By Chinthaka Gurusinghe

Introduction

Nagananda Kodituwakku, a prospective candidate for the forthcoming presidential election in Sri Lanka, has proposed a novel method to repeal and replace the existing constitution, disregarding its current provisions, for such repeal and replacement. He asks the voters to treat their votes for him not as votes for himself, but as their consent for his proposed constitution, which he presents as an ‘autochthonous constitution’. This paper attempts to examine the concept of autochthony and whether such a method, as proposed by him, has any basis in constitutional law.

Generally speaking, a constitution is the basic or the supreme law that spells out the norms and principles on which a country will be governed. It will define the structure of the government and the scope and limitation of its powers. All laws made and actions performed by the legislature, executive and judiciary are subject to this basic law.

Continue reading ‘Nagananda Kodituwakku’s Proposal of an “Autochthonous Constitution” Provides a way of Freeing Ourselves of the Entrenched Clauses of the Present Constitution which had no Approval of the People of the Country, Except of Those in Power.’ »

State Intelligence Service Chief Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardene Giving Evidence in Camera Before Parliamentary Select Committee Evades Questions About Whether He Conveyed Information about Impending Terrorist Attacks To President Sirisena and Remains Non -committal.

By Saman Indrajith

Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday carnage Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri, yesterday, making a special statement expressed his gratitude to the parliament staff and his fellow committee members for their support for conducting a special session to record the testimony of State Intelligence Service Chief Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena.

The SDIG had been questioned for around four hours at a separate location from 8 to 11 pm on Wednesday, Chairman Kumarsiri said.

Continue reading ‘State Intelligence Service Chief Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardene Giving Evidence in Camera Before Parliamentary Select Committee Evades Questions About Whether He Conveyed Information about Impending Terrorist Attacks To President Sirisena and Remains Non -committal.’ »

Illegally Detained Dr. Mohammed Shafi Released on Bail by Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewavasam Who Faces Probe For allegedly Tampering with Court Records to Extend Incarceration of Victimised Muslim Surgeon.

The Kurunegala Magistrate Thursday granted bail for a Muslim doctor police say has been illegally detained for two months following false and fabricated charges that he sterilized thousands of Sinhala-Buddhist women.

Magistrate Sampath Hewawasam, who himself is now under investigation for tampering with court records to extend the incarceration of Dr. Mohamed Shafi, granted bail under tough conditions of Rs. 2.5 million bond.

The release of Dr. Shafi came a day after the director of the police Criminal Investigations Department, Shani Abeysekara, told a Parliamentary Select Committee that they were under pressure as Buddhist clergy interfered with the process and wanted the doctor detained without charges.

Abeysekera said the CID lodged a complaint against the Magistrate too for allegedly removing vital evidence from the court record which should have showed that people without any standing in the case had attempted to mislead the court and block the investigation.

Continue reading ‘Illegally Detained Dr. Mohammed Shafi Released on Bail by Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewavasam Who Faces Probe For allegedly Tampering with Court Records to Extend Incarceration of Victimised Muslim Surgeon.’ »

Udaya Gammanpila Tells Media that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has Relinquished his US Citizenship in May this Year and that he Could Confirm It Because he himself had Personally Seen the US State Dept Documents Regarding the Matter.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Personally
Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader Udaya Gammanpila MP announced, yesterday, that wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had officially relinquished his US citizenship.

Attorney-at-law Gammanpila emphasised that there was absolutely no issue over Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s current status.

Gammanpila, one of the key people, who spearheaded the campaign for Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s entry into active politics, said that the announcement of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s candidature at the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) convention at the Sugathadasa Indoor stadium on August 11 would be a formality as final decision in this regard had already been made.

Gammanpila was responding to media queries after giving a statement to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) located at the BMICH regarding a complaint he made in respect of All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) leader Rishad Bathiudeen, MP, acquiring over 3,000 acres in the Mannar administrative district.

Continue reading ‘Udaya Gammanpila Tells Media that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has Relinquished his US Citizenship in May this Year and that he Could Confirm It Because he himself had Personally Seen the US State Dept Documents Regarding the Matter.’ »

Supreme Court Issues Interim Order Preventing Special High Court Trial at Bar Case From Hearing DA Rajapaksa Memorial Museum Case Filed Against Ex -Def Secy Gotabaya rajapaksa and Seven Others Until Oct 1

By Manopriya Gunasekera

The Supreme Court yesterday issued an Interim Order preventing the Special High Court Trial-at-Bar from hearing the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum case filed against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and seven others until 1 October.

The order was delivered by the Supreme Court three-judge bench consisting of Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Gamini Amarasekara, and S. Thurairajah, considering an appeal filed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Issues Interim Order Preventing Special High Court Trial at Bar Case From Hearing DA Rajapaksa Memorial Museum Case Filed Against Ex -Def Secy Gotabaya rajapaksa and Seven Others Until Oct 1’ »

“As far we know all those who involved in the Easter Sunday attacks are either dead or under our custody. The problem is around 80% over” – SSP Shani Abeysekera Testifies Before Parliamentary Select Committee.

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

Testifying before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) investigating the Easter Sunday terror attacks Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Director SSP Shani Abeysekera yesterday said he believed all those involved in the attacks had either died or been arrested and the issue was “80% over”.

According to SSP Abeysekera, the Police arrested several persons and produced them in court pertaining to Buddha statue vandalism in Mawanella. “During that investigation, we found a telephone number – +94 77 7616 737. We traced that number and arrested four persons in Puttalam on 16 January and also recovered a haul of explosives including C4 and detonators, compasses and many other items used for terror activities. These suspects had been led by a person by the name of Zahran. We continually investigated Zahran and tried to trace him. We visited several areas including Kurunegala, Mawanella, Hettipola, Kandy,” he said.

Continue reading ‘“As far we know all those who involved in the Easter Sunday attacks are either dead or under our custody. The problem is around 80% over” – SSP Shani Abeysekera Testifies Before Parliamentary Select Committee.’ »

Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne Tells Parliamentary Select Committee That they Have no Evidence to say the Easter Attacks Were Carried out by the ISIS.


By Saman Indrajith

Head of the Criminal Investigation Department Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne, yesterday, said that a fresh CID investigation was in progress to ascertain why there had been no action on the basis of foreign and local intelligence reports warning of the impending terror attacks on Easter Sunday.

Testifying before the Parliamentary Select Committee, probing the Easter Sunday carnage, Seneviratne said that there had been warnings and he, too, had been warned of the attack the previous evening.

The PSC members present yesterday were Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, Prof Ashu Marasinghe, M.A. Sumanthiran, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Chairman Ananda Kumarasiri, Rauff Hakeem and Dr Jayampathi Wickremaratne.

Continue reading ‘Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne Tells Parliamentary Select Committee That they Have no Evidence to say the Easter Attacks Were Carried out by the ISIS.’ »

TID Got “Eyes Only”Information on April 10th 2019 that Zahran’s Group was Ready to Attack and Orders Were Given to Arrest Them Immediatelybut TID Officers Could Not Locate Zahran, His Brothers or Supporters Reveals Terrorism Investigation Division Head DIG Waruna Jayasundara Before PSC

By Saman Indrajith

Head of the Terrorist Investigation Division DIG Waruna Jayasundara yesterday admitted before the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the Easter Sunday carnage that failure to take preventive measures had led to the disaster.

Testifying before the PSC he said that the measures taken to find Mohmad Zahran Hashim and his group members before they carried out the attacks had not been efefctive.

Yesterday the PSC comprised Dr Nalinda Jayatissa, Prof Ashu Marasinghe, M.A. Sumanthiran, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Chairman Ananda Kumarasiri, Rauff Hakeem and Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne.

Continue reading ‘TID Got “Eyes Only”Information on April 10th 2019 that Zahran’s Group was Ready to Attack and Orders Were Given to Arrest Them Immediatelybut TID Officers Could Not Locate Zahran, His Brothers or Supporters Reveals Terrorism Investigation Division Head DIG Waruna Jayasundara Before PSC’ »

Pressure Mounts on Mahinda Rajapaksa to Announce Brother Gotabaya’s Name as SLPP Presidential Candidate But Mahinda Refuses to Reveal Candidate’s Name Until August 11th.

By Norman Palihawadana

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) would definitely announce its Presidential candidate on August 11, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.

Rajapaksa however again refused to reveal whether former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa would be the SLPP’s candidate.

Continue reading ‘Pressure Mounts on Mahinda Rajapaksa to Announce Brother Gotabaya’s Name as SLPP Presidential Candidate But Mahinda Refuses to Reveal Candidate’s Name Until August 11th.’ »

Several MP’s Including Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrama Openly Voice Support for Sajith Premadasa as Presidential Candidate at UNP Parliamentary Group Meeting but no Final Decision Taken: Meeting Ends Abruptly After Many Walk Out After Booing Ravi Karunanayake.

By Chathuri Dissanayake

United National Party (UNP) Parliamentary group meeting heated up yesterday with some members openly calling for nomination of Sajith Premadasa as the presidential candidate.

First time to be discussed, Minister Kabir Hashim raised the question of presidential candidate during the meeting nominating Sajith Premadasa, sources privy to the meeting told Daily FT.

The suggestion received support from a large crowd present with number of other MPs including Minister Malik Samarawickrama, Minister Thalatha Athukorala, Minister Harin Fernando, Non-Cabinet Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe and Parliamentarian Ranjith Madduma Bandara speaking up to support the presidential hopeful, Premadasa.

Continue reading ‘Several MP’s Including Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrama Openly Voice Support for Sajith Premadasa as Presidential Candidate at UNP Parliamentary Group Meeting but no Final Decision Taken: Meeting Ends Abruptly After Many Walk Out After Booing Ravi Karunanayake.’ »

President Sirisena Hits Back Strongly at Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Without Referring to Catholic Prelate by Name.for Delivering a Politically Motivated Sermon at St.Sebastians Church in Negombo

President Maithripala Sirisena lambasted Cardinal Malcom Ranjith over his call for the government to step down for allegedly failing to ensure an effective investigation.

Sirisena said the cardinal had used the third anniversary of the Easter Sunday bombings to launch a politically motivated attacks against him as well as the authorities investigating the attack.

He did not directly name the cardinal, but made it clear that he was referring to Malcolm Ranjith’s politically-charged sermon from the St. Sebastian’s church.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Hits Back Strongly at Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Without Referring to Catholic Prelate by Name.for Delivering a Politically Motivated Sermon at St.Sebastians Church in Negombo’ »

Killing of Five Students of Tamil Ethnicity in January 2006 Was a Cold Blooded Murder of Innocents But Institutions of Justice in Sri Lanka Seem to Preferably Favour the State Over Innocents Caught Up in the Brutal Conflict.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Let us not dissemble about the fact that the killing of five students of Tamil ethnicity in January 2006 was a cold blooded murder of innocents. The dead victims had been awaiting university entrance when they were mowed down. Bright, eager students, these were the best that Sri Lanka promised. No connection to ‘terrorist activities’ were established even though this was the immediate reaction by some state officers when public outrage arose over the killings.

That explanation was later discarded as it was without conceivable basis. Instead, the State stammered and stuttered when called to account for the casual murders of the teenagers.

A long agony ends with no justice

Five years ago, officers of the Special Task Force (STF) including an assistant superintendent of police (ASP) were arrested on ‘evidence available’ for this crime. Even measured against all the injustices of Sri Lanka’s spluttering criminal justice system, it was believed that, at least in this case, the responsible murderers would be brought to justice. Yet the acquittal of all the suspects several weeks ago, on the basis that there was no evidence against them, is an infamy.

Even as the freed suspects beamingly posed for photographs outside the court premises, the agony of the parents of these children who lost their children with no rhyme or reason, was compounded by the fact that no one was held responsible. Their pitiful state reflects the fact that the mills of Sri Lanka’s institutions of justice grind not only agonizingly slow but that they are also grind with a predilection that favours the State over innocents caught in the brutal toils of conflict.

Continue reading ‘Killing of Five Students of Tamil Ethnicity in January 2006 Was a Cold Blooded Murder of Innocents But Institutions of Justice in Sri Lanka Seem to Preferably Favour the State Over Innocents Caught Up in the Brutal Conflict.’ »

Horrible Killing of Five Tamil Students In Trincomalee Town Thirteen Years Ago

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Five Tamil Students were killed near the beach in Trincomalee town thirteen years ago on January 2nd 2006. Two other students also suffered injuries but survived. The names and the dates of birth of the five victims were: (i) Manoharan Ragihar- 22.09.1985, (ii) Yogarajah Hemachchandra – 04.03.1985, (iii) Logitharajah Rohan – 07.04.1985(iv) Thangathurai Sivanantha – 06.04.1985, and (v) Shanmugarajah Gajendran – 16.09.1985. The two injured youths were Yogarajah Poongulalon and Pararajasingham Kokulraj.

Trincomalee Inner-Harbour ~ pic: Doctorandus Sarajevo

The official version put out first was that all seven were members of the Liberation Tigers of Eelam(LTTE) who had been armed with grenades with the intention of attacking a security forces post. The grenades had exploded accidently killing five and injuring two. But the initial claim was soon proved wrong.The post mortem conducted by Dr.Gamin Gunatunga the Judicial Medical Officer in Trincomalee determined that the five had died from gunshot wounds. Three had been shot in the head at close quarters, while two died from shots to the chest and abdomen. Some had injuries that were not caused by gunshots. . The Trincomalee Magistrate Mr. V. Ramakamalan conducted a magisterial inquiry and recorded an interim verdict of gunshot injuries.
Continue reading ‘Horrible Killing of Five Tamil Students In Trincomalee Town Thirteen Years Ago’ »

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Flays UN for Being Concerned About Human Rights; “UN Officials Visit only the Suspects and Not the Victims of Violence”Says Catholic Prelate who Also Describes President and Prime Minister As Being Without a “Backbone”.

The head of Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic Church Sunday lambasted the government and its foreign allies and said the power struggle between the President and the Prime Minister allowed the Easter attacks which were part of an “international conspiracy”.

Addressing a congregation at the consecration of the Katuwapitiya St. Sebastian’s church, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said the two leaders did not have a backbone and could not resist the foreign conspiracy to destabilize the country. “The power strugg- Also Calls Presle between the executive and the legislature since October, they have not paid attention to security. There were no national security council meetings for a long time.

“They weakened and demoralized the intelligence services to please their international partners and international NGOs,” the Cardinal said in a hard-hitting sermon that dismissed all investigations carried out so far by the authorities.

Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Flays UN for Being Concerned About Human Rights; “UN Officials Visit only the Suspects and Not the Victims of Violence”Says Catholic Prelate who Also Describes President and Prime Minister As Being Without a “Backbone”.’ »

Sri Lanka has a high adult literacy without a comparably high media literacy whereby the media consumed is questioned or engaged with critically.

by Sanjana Hattotuwa

‘Upon a Sleepless Isle’, the astonishingly good new book by Andrew Fidel Fernando has a vital lesson for new and generally excitable students of misinformation in Sri Lanka. Countering the spread of rumour, from the risible to the inflammable, is all the rage. The focus and framing are largely on Facebookas well as WhatsApp, but the general debate is fuelled by vague concepts like social media, which covers all manner of political, partisan and personal agendas. The net result is misinformation framing debates on misinformation, which the reader will agree isn’t entirely helpful. Fernando’s book, better than most, captures the essence of the problem in our country.

Early on, there is a hilarious but deeply incisive description of a corner shop in Dehiwela the author grew up with and hasn’t changed over the years. I know of and still frequent its equivalent in Ratmalana. We all have this corner shop, wherever in the country we live. As Fernando notes,

“What the shop genuinely does a booming trade in is gossip… News spreads at incredible speeds through this network. If an affair has been discovered anywhere within a 50-kilometre radius, the tantalising details, within hours, will have been served up, digested, and regurgitated at the store.”

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka has a high adult literacy without a comparably high media literacy whereby the media consumed is questioned or engaged with critically.’ »

Senior DIG Anura Senanayake Indicted on June 27th for His Alleged Role in the Cover Up of Havelocks Rugby Star Wasim Thajudeen’s Murder Due to Assault Injuries as a Motor Accident During Rajapaksa Regime


By

Anurangi Singh and Aanya Wipulasena

On the night of May 17, 2012, the Sri Lankan rugby captain was found dead in his burning car near Shalika Hall on Park Road, Colombo 05. The death seemed sinister and mysterious at the time, but Narahenpita Police ruled that Thajudeen’s death was a result of an accident.

Nevertheless, rumours continued to swirl about the sporting icon’s death, especially in light of his connection to rugby, the sport favoured by all three of then President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s sons, and allegations of a sordid love triangle that had allegedly put Thajudeen in the crosshairs of the powerful ruling family.

Three years later, Rajapaksa was defeated in an election and a judge finally ruled that Wasim Thajudeen had indeed been murdered.

Four years after the investigation into his murder resumed, at least one person involved in the cover-up is facing trial.

Last month, the Attorney General served an indictment on former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake, who will become the first accused person to face trial in connection with the 2012 murder.

Senanayake was indicted on June 27, and now faces charges in the Colombo High Court under Section 198 of the Penal Code – for attempting to cover up the sportsman’s murder that was ruled a “motor traffic accident” until the case was reopened in 2015.

Continue reading ‘Senior DIG Anura Senanayake Indicted on June 27th for His Alleged Role in the Cover Up of Havelocks Rugby Star Wasim Thajudeen’s Murder Due to Assault Injuries as a Motor Accident During Rajapaksa Regime’ »

Evidence Available So far Clearly Indicates Racially Charged Political Conspiracy Against Dr. Seigu Shihabdeem Mohammed Shafi Allegedly Involving Hospital Authorities, Police Officers and Judicial Officials in Kurunegala

By

Aanya Wipulasena

In the beginning, there was a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police. Then the Director of the Teaching Hospital. Last week, two complaints were filed with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) against a Magistrate. A third is expected to be filed tomorrow. Most recently, in an act of broad overreach, the National Police Commission attempted to have the case transferred out of the Criminal Investigations Department.

The twists and turns in the ‘Dr Shafi Saga’ are never-ending and every new and sinister development points to a racially-charged political conspiracy, lawyers and sources close to the investigation told Sunday Observer.

For nearly two months, Kurunegala has been epicentre of a public health scare that has gripped the nation. Swift and in depth investigations by the Criminal Investigations Department into the alleged claim that Dr Seigu Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi had illegally sterilised thousands of Sinhalese women during caesarean sections at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital have revealed that the scandal was carefully orchestrated by several individuals wielding significant power in the mixed ethnicity town in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings.

On repeated occasions since June 26, the CID has told the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court that there was no evidence against Dr Shafi that warranted his continued detention. He has not been named as a suspect by the CID even though the Department is continuing the probe.

Initially arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act on suspicion of being a National Thow’heed Jamath supporter, the detention order against Dr Shafi was cancelled by the Secretary of Defence earlier this month. Despite mounting evidence of a cooked up controversy to frame the Muslim doctor, the Magistrate placed him in remand custody until July 25.

Continue reading ‘Evidence Available So far Clearly Indicates Racially Charged Political Conspiracy Against Dr. Seigu Shihabdeem Mohammed Shafi Allegedly Involving Hospital Authorities, Police Officers and Judicial Officials in Kurunegala’ »

Gazette Notice Issued by Govt Empowers National Film Corporation To Have Monopoly Over Import and Distribution of Foreign Films and Control Over Domestic Film Industry By way of Registration,Grading and Scheduling

Sri Lanka’s National Film Corporation, a state agency set up in 1971 has re-nationalized film distribution under an administration of United National Party of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe creating a state monopoly giving final authority to its chief, a government notice shows.

Under a gazette notice issued this month, all films imported will have to be submitted to the NFC, and all local films have to be registered at the agency with a fee before production. A name will also have to be registered with payment.

Films not registered will not be allowed to be screened.

Continue reading ‘Gazette Notice Issued by Govt Empowers National Film Corporation To Have Monopoly Over Import and Distribution of Foreign Films and Control Over Domestic Film Industry By way of Registration,Grading and Scheduling’ »

Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewavasam Under Scrutiny for Refusing to Release Dr. Mohammed Shafi on Bail and Tampering With Court Proceedings; Magistrate’ss Wife Dr.Hiroshini Jayasinghe Alleged to be Part of Group at Kurunegala Hospital That Ganged Up and Framed Muslim Surgeoon on False Charges.

Investigation into the alleged sterilisation of Buddhist mothers by a Muslim doctor in Kurunegala has taken a new turn with complaints of improper conduct of the magistrate hearing the case.

The police Criminal Investigations Department reported to the Kurunegala magistrate Sampath Hewawasam on July 11 that there was no evidence of surgical malpractice, but the doctors was nevertheless remanded for two more weeks.

Both the CID and the Attorney General noted that there was no grounds for them to continue holding Dr. Shafi who was arrested by the Kurunegala police on May 24 and held under a three-month detention order (DO).

Continue reading ‘Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewavasam Under Scrutiny for Refusing to Release Dr. Mohammed Shafi on Bail and Tampering With Court Proceedings; Magistrate’ss Wife Dr.Hiroshini Jayasinghe Alleged to be Part of Group at Kurunegala Hospital That Ganged Up and Framed Muslim Surgeoon on False Charges.’ »

Donald Trump’s Racist Politics in the USA Would be a Real Beacon of Support for the Rising Racist Forces in Sri Lanka.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

There must be great joy at the rising trend in American politics among those who have been shouting loud against the ACSA, SOFA and MCC deals with the United States.

Donald Trump has brought a rise in racism in US politics, with him asking Democrat congresswomen, who are non-white – and two of them Muslim, to return to where they came from. This ‘squad’ of congresswomen have been strong critics of Trump, are now the ‘send them” target of Trump supporters in huge public rallies.

Increasing crowds and Republican politicians are falling in line with the Trump call to “Send them back”.

Continue reading ‘Donald Trump’s Racist Politics in the USA Would be a Real Beacon of Support for the Rising Racist Forces in Sri Lanka.’ »

What Would a Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency in Sri Lanka Look Like? – An Analysis by “The Economist” Intelligence Unit

In late April, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defence secretary and the brother of a past president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, announced that he would contest the presidential election that is due to be held in late 2019.

The Economist Intelligence Unit believes that he is likely to win that contest, and in this article we look at what the political and policy environment would look like under another Rajapaksa presidency.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is well known for defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a militant group that led a civil war in the country for nearly three decades, with the objective of creating an independent Tamil state. The Rajapaksas are considered to be Sinhalese nationalists who favour populist majoritarianism. We therefore expect the political environment to be characterised by a rise in anti-minority sentiment if Mr Rajapaksa wins the presidency. As was the case under his brother’s administration, relations with China are expected to strengthen. Meanwhile, a general erosion of checks and balances on the security services can be expected, and concerns regarding the health of the country’s democracy are likely to increase.

Continue reading ‘What Would a Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency in Sri Lanka Look Like? – An Analysis by “The Economist” Intelligence Unit’ »

“I filed a Case Against Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the USA Because he Seems to be Enjoying Unique Impunity in Sri Lankan Courts” – Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa in Interview

In April this year, Ahimsa Wickrematunge filed a lawsuit against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the District Court of Central California, alleging his involvement in her father Lasantha Wickrematunge’s 2009 assassination. In response, on 27 June, a petition was filed on behalf of Rajapaksa before the District Court, requesting a dismissal of Ahimsa Wickrematunge’s civil suit.

In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Daily FT, Ahimsa dispels some of the assumptions about her motive for filing such a case.

Following are excerpts:

Q: What are your reasons for filing this civil action under US law? Why not file a civil suit in Sri Lanka?

A: Gotabaya Rajapaksa seems to enjoy unique impunity in Sri Lankan courts. The local Judiciary broke with over a century of tradition by preventing his arrest and halting his criminal trials in several corruption investigations. I believe hoping for a fair trial involving him in Sri Lanka is futile.

Q: Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s party men and loyalists claim this action is politically motivated. Did you time your civil suit to prevent Gotabaya Rajapaksa from becoming president?

Continue reading ‘“I filed a Case Against Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the USA Because he Seems to be Enjoying Unique Impunity in Sri Lankan Courts” – Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa in Interview’ »

“Foreign Policy by Itself Cannot Make Miracles When There is Partisan Bickering on Key Domestic Public Policy Issues in Sri Lanka” – Ex-Foreign Secretary HMGS Palihakkara

(Former Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary H.M. G. S. Palihakkara Delivered the keynote speech at the inauguration of the BCIS Diploma Course on March 9th 2019 on the theme “Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Challenges”. Given the ongoing debate about SOFA,ACSA BRI, India and SL’s foreign policy posture , Relevant excerpts from the keynote speech are published here. Interestingly enough when referring to the need for Sri lanka to maintain a posture of strategic non-alignment in the context of the looming great power jostling in the so called Indo-Pacific, Mr. Palihakkara said ‘ Foreign policy by itself cannot make miracles when there is partisan bickering on key domestic public policy issues in Sri Lanka’)

Excerpts:

Global scene will continue to be marked by change, entailing challenge and risk. That change can be both disruptive and constructive. Equally, progress in some areas is bound to be contrasted by distress in other areas. The much acclaimed trend of integration in Europe is now confronted by an unprecedented contest between interdependence and independence, signified by Brexit and right- wing populism that seems to proliferate. Meanwhile, multilateral system is being weakened in a multitude of areas and ways e.g. from Climate change to Arms Control to Trade. The United States , a prime mover of the post war idea of modern multilateralism , is now seen, under its current Presidency, as a driver of these negative trends. Countries like Sri Lanka that rely on the rules based order of the multilateral system to safeguard their interests, need to redouble efforts to support that system while also keeping their bilateral tracks well and alive.

The task of consolidating the all important bilateral relationship with India in a mutually beneficial manner will continue to be a priority well into the future. The emerging geopolitical landscape of the ‘Indo-pacific’ and the intense strategic focus thereon by the major powers , both regional and extra regional, have added complexity and tension to this task of small countries like Sri Lanka. The much talked about location value of Sri Lanka was described as the nexus of the East-West trade route by a VIP of a major maritime user visiting Sri Lanka recently. Whether this ‘nexus’ will become an economic asset or a geopolitical liability will depend on the prudence of the foreign policy posture we craft for ourselves.

The logic of the Indo Sri Lanka bilateral relationship lies in our history, geography and many cultural affinities we have. However, it has also remained a very turbulent one. Although no interstate armed hostilities have occurred between the two countries in the recent past, mismanagement of relations was a key factor contributing to a long drawn out intra- state conflict in Sri Lanka. A remarkable rebuilding of relations later led to it being described as one of ‘irreversible excellence’ by the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. However it again became tense and sore just a few years ago, amid charges of regime change, internationalizing human rights issues etc. Recent times saw yet another restoration effort coupled with a healthy growth in business and people to people contacts. Building on this foundation, the two oldest parliamentary democracies of the region need to further deepen and widen relations.

Continue reading ‘“Foreign Policy by Itself Cannot Make Miracles When There is Partisan Bickering on Key Domestic Public Policy Issues in Sri Lanka” – Ex-Foreign Secretary HMGS Palihakkara’ »

There is a Tragic Disconnect Between what Sri Lanka’s Leaders say to the Public and the Patent Disbelief with Which These words are Received.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

There is a tragic disconnect between what Sri Lanka’s leaders say to the public and the patent disbelief with which these words are received. This will eventually have dangerous repercussions beyond the electoral defeat of those men, impacting on the nation as a whole as it is pushed in a perilous direction with raw bitterness and biting anger dominating the public mood.

High and awful price of political failure

So even as words pour out of political mouths, often meaning very little, there is a serious question that must surely be asked in all good conscience. Do these politicians not understand or realise that they must speak with greater care about matters concerning the security of the Sri Lankan State? Or is it that we have come to the stage where even the basic minimum cannot be expected any longer from the Government or the Opposition? This is in a context where millions are spent on sittings of Parliament but often, the quorum of members is not present in the House for the sessions to continue, which was the case this week as well.

Take the oft quoted protestations of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that the Easter Sunday terrorists have all been either killed or put behind bars. As responsible national leaders, making such sweeping assertions amounts to bad politics, let alone indicating a singular lack of commonsense. This is in contrast to, for example, the former Army Commander and now a front ranking member of the Prime Minister’s party, Sarath Fonseka who acknowledges the contrary far more realistically every chance that he gets. As he says, the very nature of the Islamist State beast is that its barbarities may recur at any point.

Continue reading ‘There is a Tragic Disconnect Between what Sri Lanka’s Leaders say to the Public and the Patent Disbelief with Which These words are Received.’ »

Andrew Fidel Fernando’s “Upon a Sleepless Isle” is a Compelling Capture of Sri Lanka’s Irrepressible Character and Atextured Patina of Life, Love and Loss

by Sanjana Hattotuwa

Do not buy ‘Upon a Sleepless Isle’.The author, Andrew Fidel Fernando,is better known for his sporting columns. This is his first book – described as a labour of love–a term usually reserved for how parents think of juvenile delinquents when they were born & still beautiful.The Lonely Planet inspired cover suggests a saccharine capture of Sri Lanka by ‘bus, cycle and trishaw’, the preferred modes of transport for Instagram influencers and their Ludwig or Crema filtered snapshots of a sleeping dog, crowded train or thambili.As reviews go, this is clearly an inauspicious start. But as the author will attest after covering cricket’s vicissitudes as only he does and can, a terrible start doesn’t necessarily mean a calamitous end.

The recommendation to not purchase this book is anchored to personal experience. I read it in about four sittings over two days. In that short span of time, Fernando’s sardonic, salubrious and sharp prose resulted in spilt coffee, tea and water, nearly choking on a lozenge, actually choking on an Afghan chicken kebab, a near miss with a spill on keyboard, slight stainson book, a bigger stain on sweater, many scarred strangers and very scared birds. I suppose a more accurate capture would be to recommend a warning label with this book – abandon decorum, all ye who read. Nearly three decades after I first read Carl Muller’s ‘Jam Fruit Tree’, Andrew Fidel Fernando’s penned a book that, even though an entirely different genre and lens, is as compelling and effortlessly, gloriously witty. Do not buy this book for a quiet read, or to pose at Barefoot or Kiku with. Buy it to engorge the text as one would a biryani from Hotel de Buhari. The meal stains as much as Fernando’s prose sticks, and in both cases, the experience is worth far more than what one paid for and not easily forgotten.

Continue reading ‘Andrew Fidel Fernando’s “Upon a Sleepless Isle” is a Compelling Capture of Sri Lanka’s Irrepressible Character and Atextured Patina of Life, Love and Loss’ »

Provisions allowing the sale of lands to foreigners and foreign companies Under Proposed New Land Laws could be detrimental to the land rights of Sri Lankan citizens especially landholders of farmer settlements

By

Sugeeswara Senadhira

Red Indian Chief, Seattle, in his speech known as ‘letter’ made a ‘powerful, bittersweet plea for the respect of Native American rights and environmental values.’ President Maithripala Sirisena quoted Seattle at the inauguration of the Moragahakanda-Kaluganga Multi-purpose project and said that the wars since ancient times were for either land or water which would continue forever because of the importance of land and water to human beings.

The proposed amendments to the Land Act were discussed at length by the Cabinet, and President Sirisena made several observations for its inclusion. However, when the Bill was presented later, the President found that some of his observations were not taken into consideration. They include land rights, regulations on selling of land to foreigners and foreign companies, devolution of land powers to Pradeshiya Sabhas and the removal of restrictions on the division of estate lands.

Addressing the officials, the President said that when one surveys the destruction caused by the Pradeshiya Sabhas, land powers should be taken away from them. He said the proposal to give the Pradeshiya Sabhas authority to draft the minimum and maximum limits of all lands except paddy fields and irrigation lands would be disastrous. Minimum divisions mean powers are given to divide lands. This enables the wealthy to purchase land, and thereby destroy the poor community in the country, he said.

Continue reading ‘Provisions allowing the sale of lands to foreigners and foreign companies Under Proposed New Land Laws could be detrimental to the land rights of Sri Lankan citizens especially landholders of farmer settlements’ »

A brief history of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka

By

Shamara Wettimuny

The recent Easter attacks targeting a number of churches and hotels devastated Sri Lanka. Over 250 people were killed, and many more injured. Within days of the attack, it emerged that the perpetrators of the attack were affiliated to radical Islamist groups in Sri Lanka. However, the identification of the perpetrators as ostensibly adherents of the Islamic faith opened the floodgates of discrimination and violence against the broader Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

Three weeks after the Easter attacks, mobs looted and burned mosques and madrasas as well as Muslim-owned homes and businesses in more than one district. Despite declaring curfews, the state was unable to prevent large scale violence against members of the Muslim community. Government actors conservatively estimate the damage in May 2019 to include the destruction of 14 mosques, 86 houses, and 96 shops.

Ethno-linguistic violence featuring the state and Tamil separatists has dominated the conflict landscape in Sri Lanka over the last half century. This article discusses a different angle in the complex milieu of ethno-nationalism and violence in the island. Although the Easter attacks were unprecedented, the reprisal violence targeting Muslims was not.

Continue reading ‘A brief history of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka’ »

Our democracy of seventy years and more has clearly left this country without political leadership of quality.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

President Sirisena must be enjoying his stay in Britain, watching the campaign for the election of the next Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, there.

Will he be getting new ideas for an anti-democratic leadership campaign for the SLFP, even the SLPP, and to again be the common candidate at the coming presidential poll?

His thinking on resuming the Death Penalty with four executions has been given a good push back by the Supreme Court, putting off such punishments till end October this year.

Will he be dreaming of another ‘constitutional coup’ come October, and the closer reach of the end of his first only term as Executive President, as promised at his swearing in as president, and in many statements after that?

Let’s put aside those Sirisena troubles, and look at the bigger worries that face the people today, as we see political peraheras being lined up for the presidential poll and the general elections.

Continue reading ‘Our democracy of seventy years and more has clearly left this country without political leadership of quality.’ »

It is Believed that President Sirisena Pardoned and Released Anti- Muslim Monk Gnanasara Thero From Prison Because he Needed a Sinhala Buddhist Rabble Rouser to Counter the Appeal of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Presidential Election.

By P.K.Balachandran

The simultaneous bombing of four posh hotels and three churches in Sri Lanka by a bunch of Islamic radicals on April 21 Easter Sunday, was clearly not aimed at the island’s majority Sinhalese Buddhist community as the targets indicate.

And yet, a noticeable consequence of the terrorist act is the revival of a Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalistic movement, with Buddhist monks spearheading it.

When the bombings took place, the immediate reaction of the population was to ensure that innocent Muslims were not attacked in retribution. But it did not take long for Lanka’s hardboiled politicos to sense the electoral advantages of whipping up communal sentiments, given the fact that the Presidential election was due at the end of the year.

Therefore, in May, there were anti-Muslim riots in the North Western Province obviously instigated by opposition politicians. There were calls for the boycott of Muslim businesses, and for investigations into the alleged nexus between Muslim politicos and the terrorists. The Sinhala-Buddhist agitators were seeking the scalp of cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and Provincial Governors Azath Salley and M.L.A.M. Hizbullah.

There was a shrill cry for a probe into the charge that Dr.Shafi Shihabdeen, a Muslim gynecologist at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, had sterilized 8,000 Sinhalese Buddhist women without their permission in a clandestine bid to reduce the proportion of Sinhalese Buddhists vis-à-vis Muslims in the Lankan population.

Continue reading ‘It is Believed that President Sirisena Pardoned and Released Anti- Muslim Monk Gnanasara Thero From Prison Because he Needed a Sinhala Buddhist Rabble Rouser to Counter the Appeal of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Presidential Election.’ »

The Rise of Militant Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

By Hannah Beech

GINTOTA, Sri Lanka — The Buddhist abbot was sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against the evils of Islam, when the petrol bomb exploded within earshot.

But the abbot, the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely
registered the blast. Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in
the southern Sri Lankan town of Gintota, he continued his tirade: Muslims
were violent, he said, Muslims were rapacious.

“The aim of Muslims is to take over all our land and everything we value,”
he said. “Think of what used to be Buddhist lands: Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Kashmir, Indonesia. They have all been destroyed by Islam.”

Minutes later, a monastic aide rushed in and confirmed that someone had
thrown a Molotov cocktail at a nearby mosque. The abbot flicked his fingers
in the air and shrugged.

His responsibility was to his flock, the Buddhist majority of Sri Lanka.
Muslims, who make up less than 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s population, were
not his concern.

Incited by a politically powerful network of charismatic monks like
Sumedhananda Thero, Buddhists have entered the era of militant tribalism,
casting themselves as spiritual warriors who must defend their faith against
an outside force.

Continue reading ‘The Rise of Militant Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Myanmar.’ »

Travesty of Justice in Kurunegala! Court Denies Bail and Remands Muslim Doctor For Two More Weeks Due to Pressure by Buddhist Monks and Their Lawyers Despite Falsely Accused Surgeon Being Cleared of all Charges by CID and Attorney -General.

Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary revoked a three-month detention order against a Muslim doctor incarcerated on a false charge of sterilising Buddhist women, but a court in Kurunegala remanded him after protests by Buddhist monks.

The bizarre turn of events at the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court came despite state attorney Thusith Mudalige acknowledging that there was no evidence to hold Mohamed Shafi on allegations that he sterilized some 4,000 Sinhala Buddhist women against their wishes.

The Criminal Investigations Department in a 210-page report made it clear to the magistrate that investigations concluded that the allegations were false and that there had been police involved in a massive fabrication of evidence to frame Shafi.

Continue reading ‘Travesty of Justice in Kurunegala! Court Denies Bail and Remands Muslim Doctor For Two More Weeks Due to Pressure by Buddhist Monks and Their Lawyers Despite Falsely Accused Surgeon Being Cleared of all Charges by CID and Attorney -General.’ »

Senior Editor’s Comment On Twitter About Colombo Mayor’s “Car Free Day” Proposal Evokes Misogynist Response From Retired Navy Chief and “Viyathmaga” Organization Promoting Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential Candidacy.

Professionals affiliated to former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa were described as ‘misogynists’ after they denied the existence of sexually harassment of women in public transport and on the streets.

An organisation called the Viyathmaga which promotes Rajapaksa as a presidential candidate rejected remarks of senior editor of the Daily FT, Marianne David, who focused on the sexual harassment women must endure on a daily basis.

David was commenting on twitter that Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake’s proposal for a car-free day was impractical as women could not freely walk without intimidation. The Dutch embassy is pushing the car-free day on Sunday mainly in the Cinnamon Gardens area of Colombo.

Continue reading ‘Senior Editor’s Comment On Twitter About Colombo Mayor’s “Car Free Day” Proposal Evokes Misogynist Response From Retired Navy Chief and “Viyathmaga” Organization Promoting Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential Candidacy.’ »

No Confidence Motion by JVP Against Govt Defeated by 27 Votes with 119 MP”s Including TNA Voting Against and 92 Voting for With 13 MP’s Absent at Voting Time.

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

The Vote on the No-Confidence Motion presented by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) was defeated yesterday in Parliament with a majority of 27 votes, with 119 lawmakers voting against the Motion and 92 votes received in favour.

Thirteen lawmakers including United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MPs Udaya Gammanpila, Duminda Dissanayake, Dr. V. Radhakrishnan, United National Party MPs Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Dunesh Gankanda, S.B. Nawinne, and Ashoka Priyantha were absent for the vote. This meant 211 lawmakers were present during the vote.

Opening the debate, UPFA lawmaker Wimal Weerawansa charged the Government for not being able to protect people against Wahhabism. “Still the Tawheed Jamath office in Maligawatte is operating. But boasts to be the only country in the world to have eliminated Islamic State. People do need a change. We invite all lawmakers to join hands to defeat this irresponsible government,” he said.

Continue reading ‘No Confidence Motion by JVP Against Govt Defeated by 27 Votes with 119 MP”s Including TNA Voting Against and 92 Voting for With 13 MP’s Absent at Voting Time.’ »

Attorney -General Directs Police to Re-commence Investigations Into Killing of Five Students in Trincomalee in 2006 After Acquittal of 13 Accused Due to Lack of Evidence by Trinco Chief Magistrate; Wants Police to Trace Whereabouts of Three Key Witnesses and Send Progress Report to A-G.


By Chandani Kirinde

The Attorney General (AG) yesterday directed police to recommence investigations into the killing of five students in Trincomalee in 2006, after all 13 accused in the case were acquitted last week.

In a letter to the Acting IGP, the AG directed that the police trace and record the evidence of three vital witnesses in the case, including two of the survivors of the attack as well as the father of one of the victims.

The 13 suspects in the case including 12 STF personnel and a policeman were acquitted of all charges and released by the Trincomalee Chief Magistrate M.M. Mohamed due to lack of evidence.

Continue reading ‘Attorney -General Directs Police to Re-commence Investigations Into Killing of Five Students in Trincomalee in 2006 After Acquittal of 13 Accused Due to Lack of Evidence by Trinco Chief Magistrate; Wants Police to Trace Whereabouts of Three Key Witnesses and Send Progress Report to A-G.’ »

Attorney – General to File Revision Application in Colombo High Court Against Bail Order Given by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne in favour of IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and Ex -Def Secy Hemasiri Fernando

By Chandani Kirinde

The Attorney General will file a revision application in the Colombo High Court against the bail order in favour of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, given by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday.

AG Department spokesperson State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said that revision application would be filed as soon as the AG receives a copy of the MC order.

The two defendants were released on surety bail of Rs 500,000 each, eight days after they were placed under arrest.

Continue reading ‘Attorney – General to File Revision Application in Colombo High Court Against Bail Order Given by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne in favour of IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and Ex -Def Secy Hemasiri Fernando’ »

Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne Releases Remanded IGP and Ex -Def Secy on Bail Saying There was Insufficient Evidence to Substantiate Murder Charges: Asks why No Proper Investigation was Conducted or Statements Obtained From Suspects Before Being Charged with Murder

By Manopriya Gunasekera

Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday granted bail to former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundera saying there was not enough grounds to charge them with murder.

Former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara were remanded on charges of criminal negligence and murder for failing to prevent the terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday. However, Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne stated that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the murder charges presented against them by the Attorney General.

Continue reading ‘Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne Releases Remanded IGP and Ex -Def Secy on Bail Saying There was Insufficient Evidence to Substantiate Murder Charges: Asks why No Proper Investigation was Conducted or Statements Obtained From Suspects Before Being Charged with Murder’ »

Ven Ulapane Sumangala Thero Files Petition in Supreme Court Against Proposed State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill; Accuses Govt of Having Intention to Allow Transfer of State Land to Foreigners

A fresh petition has been filed before the Supreme Court against the proposed State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill that was moved in Parliament by the Government recently.

The petition said the proposed bill is against Sri Lanka’s Constitution and seeks a court order calling for a two-thirds majority in Parliament as well as a referendum to pass the bill.

The Petitioner was Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thero, citing the Attorney General as its respondent.

Continue reading ‘Ven Ulapane Sumangala Thero Files Petition in Supreme Court Against Proposed State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill; Accuses Govt of Having Intention to Allow Transfer of State Land to Foreigners’ »

Manohara de Silva Argues in Supreme Court in Support of Petition Filed by Udaya Gammanpila MP Against Lands Special Provisions Bill.

By Chitra Weerarathne

An ordinary farmer who owned about a quarter acre of land, after selling it to a multinational company would be destitute, said President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva in the Supreme Court yesterday when he supported a petition against the Lands (Special Provision) Bill. The petitioner was MP Udaya Gammanpila.

Manohara de Silva told the Court that the new Bill pertaining to agricultural land would enable a poor farmer to sell his land to a multinational company, invest the money and live on the interest. As a result the agricultural economy would fall.

Continue reading ‘Manohara de Silva Argues in Supreme Court in Support of Petition Filed by Udaya Gammanpila MP Against Lands Special Provisions Bill.’ »

Govt Decision to Give Outright Ownership of Land Allotments to Farmers Will Result in their Selling Off the Small Holdings for a Pittance and will Give Rise to a Generation of Poverty Stricken Landless Population in Rural Areas.

By

“A Retired Government Agent”

The government seems to be in a mighty hurry to grant outright ownership to those who have their land holdings under the Land Development Ordinance of 1935.

The introduction and the implementation of the Land Development Ordinance 1935 was one of the most important welfare measures taken before independence. It was a very effective rural development strategy followed during pre and post independent period.

. The initial objectives of the Land Development Ordinance were (a) protecting peasant farmers as a group (b) alleviating land hunger among the poorest of the poor (c) relieving population pressure of the villagers in the wet zone of the country, (d) increasing food production particularly paddy (e) developing the scarcely populated dry zone.

Continue reading ‘Govt Decision to Give Outright Ownership of Land Allotments to Farmers Will Result in their Selling Off the Small Holdings for a Pittance and will Give Rise to a Generation of Poverty Stricken Landless Population in Rural Areas.’ »

“Changing Land Laws Under the Pretext of Giving Ownership to Farmers is only a Ruse to Enable Multi -National Companies to Buy Off Agricultural Lands From Desperate Small -time Farmers Whom They Have Helped to Bankrupt”.- MONLAR

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Ranil Wickremesinghe administration was attempting to create a cheap labour force needed to facilitate the implementation of neoliberal economic policies, by amending` land laws, Chinthaka Rajapakshe, Convener of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) said commenting on the scheme to grant outright ownership of land to one million people.

Continue reading ‘“Changing Land Laws Under the Pretext of Giving Ownership to Farmers is only a Ruse to Enable Multi -National Companies to Buy Off Agricultural Lands From Desperate Small -time Farmers Whom They Have Helped to Bankrupt”.- MONLAR’ »

Comrade DEW Gunasekara is the only Political Leader in Sri Lanka who Openly Advocates Provincial Autonomy and Retention of the 13th Amendment Within the Indo-Lanka Accord, while Rejecting Neoliberalism and Neocolonialist Interference.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

DEW Gunasekara belonged to a great progressive camp and powerful current in world history: that of socialism, tracing its origins back to the October Revolution of 1917 (and intellectually to 1848 and the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx), and led globally and historically by the land of Lenin. In choosing that path, he belonged to a camp with hundreds of millions the world over. He also belonged to a current in Sri Lanka that was strong, influential and numerous. Globally for the most part – with some extraordinary exceptions such as Cuba—and in Sri Lanka, the Communist movement and the Communist Party was the birthplace of all radical efforts that seriously challenged the System.

Today, Comrade DEW stands alone, not in the world, not in Asia, not in the global South, because there are Communists in power in one of the world’s two or three greatest powers—China—and in other important countries such as Cuba, Vietnam and Nepal. But he stands alone in Sri Lanka. That is not his personal tragedy but a tragedy for Sri Lanka.

Why do I say he stands alone, and in what sense does he do so? As a Communist, Comrade DEW stands for an anti-imperialism that is universalist; not one that is neotribal, racist, religious chauvinist and Islamophobic. However, in Sri Lankan there are now two and a half camps. On the one hand the camp of neoliberalism and neocolonialism; of an elite (and its civil society hangers-on) that claims to be anti-racist and anti-xenophobic but actually generates a growing backlash of xenophobia, racism and religious chauvinism by its very policies and existence. There are a few in this camp who are anti-racist but also patriotic, but they are marginalized, dormant, or silent.

On the other hand, there is a camp that is superficially anti-imperialist and anti-neocolonialist but is ethnocentric and ethnoreligious chauvinist; a camp which precisely by being neotribalist and divisive, places us in the minefield of interventionism laid by neocolonialism. There are a few in this camp who are anti-imperialist but also anti-racist, but they too are marginalized, dormant, or silent.

The ‘half a camp’ is that of those who claim to be on the Left and indeed of radical, revolutionary lineage but they have openly propped up the neoliberal, neocolonial establishment and thereby discredited themselves and what they stand for, opening the space for their ethnoreligious, chauvinist, neotribalist critics whose anti-imperialism is corrupted by xenophobia.

Continue reading ‘Comrade DEW Gunasekara is the only Political Leader in Sri Lanka who Openly Advocates Provincial Autonomy and Retention of the 13th Amendment Within the Indo-Lanka Accord, while Rejecting Neoliberalism and Neocolonialist Interference.’ »

Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero Declares at “Sivu Hele Maha Samuluwa” Rally in Bogambara Stadium that he Wants to Create a Sinhala Parliament By Mobilising Sinhala Population Into a Single Vote Bloc With the Support of 7000 Out of 10000 Buddhist Temples in Sri Lanka

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero yesterday pledged to build a Sinhala Parliament that would enable the Sinhala people to decide policy and laws as they wished, which in his view, is essential to rejuvenate the country.

Speaking in Kandy, the Thero was insistent that hung Parliaments where minority political parties typically have some clout was detrimental to taking forward national plans. He emphasised that with the support of thousands of temples, the Buddhist clergy has the capacity to bring together the Sinhala population into one vote block, to elect a party with a clear majority in Parliament.

“Democracy has not necessarily worked for us. We now have a situation in Sri Lanka where there is no clear demarcation of power. Even if there was a true leader, he would find it difficult to put in place a strong set of policies and laws to build this nation. We have the competence to change that.

We will build a Sinhala Parliament. If we can get 7000 out of the 10,000 temples we have on our side, and they work to gather votes, it will not be as difficult as people imagine.”

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero Declares at “Sivu Hele Maha Samuluwa” Rally in Bogambara Stadium that he Wants to Create a Sinhala Parliament By Mobilising Sinhala Population Into a Single Vote Bloc With the Support of 7000 Out of 10000 Buddhist Temples in Sri Lanka’ »

The Singling Out of Rishad Bathiudeen as a Political Target

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The orchestrated political campaign by the Mahinda Rajapaksa -led opposition in association with sections of the Buddhist clergy and mainstream media against three prominent Muslim politicians has ostensibly succeeded. The stated aim of the campaign was to secure the dismissal, resignation and/or arrest of two Provincial Governors and a Cabinet Minister. Eastern province Governor MLAM Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley have both resigned their posts. Industries and Commerce minister Rishad Bathiudeen has also relinquished his post and made his exit in spectacular mode. All his Muslim colleagues in Government joined Rishad in tendering their joint resignations voluntarily. In an unprecedented mass resignation , nine Muslims from three political parties comprising four cabinet ministers, four state ministes and a deputy minister resigned their portfolios together.

Samurdhi event in Mannar district, June 8, 2019


Continue reading ‘The Singling Out of Rishad Bathiudeen as a Political Target’ »

Blatant US Interference is De-stabilising Sri Lanka Due to India’s Passivity Bordering on Acquiscence; Is it in India’s Long Term Interests to let Sri Lanka be De-stabilised?

By

M.K. Bhadrakumar

The Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on 21st April in which 259 people were killed and over 500 injured were initially attributed to the Islamic State (IS). But no hard evidence is available to substantiate such a reading and it remains an open question as to the perpetrators.

The Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena may have somewhat de-mystified the topic this week. On July 1, Sirisena charged at a public function that drug traffickers are behind the Easter Sunday bomb attacks. The following day he ordered the arrest of former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and the Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara for their failure to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks despite prior knowledge of the attacks.

What lends enchantment to the view is that the United States had brilliantly succeeded in deploying to Sri Lanka the personnel of the Indo-Pacific Command within a couple of days of the Easter Sunday attacks on the pretext of investigating and assisting in Colombo’s upcoming fight against the IS.

Historically, Sri Lanka is chary of allowing foreign military presence on its soil, but in this case Washington pressed home the deployment, since the ruling elite in Colombo was on the back foot, incoherent and in disarray in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

In political terms, what Sirisena may have done this week is to reverse the ‘internationalisation’ of Sri Lanka’s terrorism problem. Indeed, for tackling a local drug mafia, Sri Lanka doesn’t need the expertise of the US’ Indo-Pacific Command.

Continue reading ‘Blatant US Interference is De-stabilising Sri Lanka Due to India’s Passivity Bordering on Acquiscence; Is it in India’s Long Term Interests to let Sri Lanka be De-stabilised?’ »

Students and Teachers Using Stationery Products of “Atlas Axillia” Being Targeted in Systematic Boycott Campaign Conducted Through Social Media by Racist Anti-Muslim Elements.

By

Chandeepa Wettasinghe

Students in Sri Lanka’s education system are being ridiculed and are facing ‘punishment’ for using stationery produced by a firm caught in an anti-Muslim boycott, an official said.

Atlas Axillia, a top stationary and publishing company has been targeted by anti-Muslim activists following suicide attacks by an extremist Islamist group, some of whose members had apparently been in the pay of a state agency, in April.

“Some students are being ridiculed and some are being punished for carrying Atlas products to school,” Managing Director Asitha Samaraweera told reporters on Wednesday.

“This hatred is being inculcated in our children’s minds. Young minds are being corrupted.”

Some students have been told they will not be admitted inside the class the following day if they continued to bring Atlas products.

Continue reading ‘Students and Teachers Using Stationery Products of “Atlas Axillia” Being Targeted in Systematic Boycott Campaign Conducted Through Social Media by Racist Anti-Muslim Elements.’ »

Attorney – General Orders Immediate Arrest of Eight Persons Implicated in Avant Garde Floating armoury Case but CID Informs Dappula de Livera that Key Suspects Maj(Retd) Nissanka Senadhipathy and Cmdr(Retd) Nandana Diyabalanage Have Left the Country

By

Maneksha Borham

Two key suspects in the Avant Garde floating armoury case had already left the island shortly before Attorney General Dappula De Livera ordered the CID to arrest eight individuals implicated in the high profile money laundering and illegal weapons smuggling investigation.

The CID had informed the Attorney General that Chairman of Avant Garde Maritime Services, retired Major Nissanka Senadhipathi and retired commodore Vishvajith Nandana Diyabalanage had already gone overseas, Coordinating Officer to the AG, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said.

The CID had learned that Senadhipathi had travelled to Singapore, State Counsel Jayaratne said.

Continue reading ‘Attorney – General Orders Immediate Arrest of Eight Persons Implicated in Avant Garde Floating armoury Case but CID Informs Dappula de Livera that Key Suspects Maj(Retd) Nissanka Senadhipathy and Cmdr(Retd) Nandana Diyabalanage Have Left the Country’ »

The Country’s Worst Racists Never Lose an Opportunity to Publicly Proclaim Their Friends Include Tamils and Muslims Just Before or Immediately After Rabid Commentary Against Them

By Sanjana Hattotuwa

Every year, for close upon two decades, on Christmas Day, I watch ‘Love Actually’. There is a scene in it where Hugh Grant, playing the British PM, takes on the American President, played by Billy Bob Thornton. The trans-Atlantic relationship between the UK and US, in the film, is strained by the American President’s lewd remarks on and sexual harassment of a member of the British PM’s staff. And while today, life not just imitates art, but is stranger and more violent than what the film depicts, the PM’s comments to the press corps sprang to mind over an exchange on Twitter last week.

In it, a tweet of mine calling out the signature chutzpah and hypocrisy of the SLPP was mindlessly responded to by someone associated with and benefitting from the party, very active on social media. The submission that we were friends prefaced the response. Disabusing my interlocutor of this fiction resulted in the mawkish, self-indulgently sentimental response so many on social media project, produce and promote, which is a study in itself.

I did highlight the fact that one didn’t need to be a friend, or my friend, in order to engage or debate in a civil, principled manner around matters of mutual interest. This fiction of friendship prefacing the most insulting innuendo, insipid insinuation, vapid or violent commentary isn’t unique to Sri Lanka’s social media sphere, but is interesting to flag, nevertheless.

I wonder, but do not know for certain, if there’s a link between this loose, self-serving definition of friendship and the increasing use of Facebook, with its capture and presentation of ‘friends’ and the transactional, virtually mediated values of friendship in ways very different to what I grew up with, and still treasure. But this is not a rant against the dilution of human relationships because of technology.

I am sure that for billions on social media, and especially for those separated by geography, key traits of friendships including love, caring, trust, empathy, confidentiality, respect and support, are present and as authentic as what I hold as markers of a deep friendship. What I am more interested is in the display or manufacture of friendship, unilaterally expressed, which serves to preface much of what one would not say to friends, in the manner expressed and with the language used.

Continue reading ‘The Country’s Worst Racists Never Lose an Opportunity to Publicly Proclaim Their Friends Include Tamils and Muslims Just Before or Immediately After Rabid Commentary Against Them’ »

Has the Attorney -General “Erred in Law and Fact” by Describing the Alleged Offences of IGP Jayasundara and Ex-Def Secy Fernando Under Our Criminal Laws as Being ” Grave Crimes Against Humanity Under International Law?

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

There is palpable confusion in the air. Is Sri Lanka’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujitha Jayasundara, arrested this week along with former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando on a range of offences under the Penal Code, including murder and causing death by negligence, still holding the position of head of the police force, albeit being put on compulsory leave? The arrests of these two men are grounded in their failure to respond to previous warnings by foreign and local intelligence sources regarding planned attacks by Islamist jihadists on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.

A political charade that mocks the public

So a Government which is at sixes and sevens as a result of a squabbling President and Prime Minister as well as an Opposition which is greedily salivating to grab power at the upcoming elections still cannot muster the combined political will to put the mandated parliamentary procedure under the Removal of Officers (Procedure) Act (2002) into action in order to deal with an IGP who refuses to leave his position? And providing the icing on this very strange cake, that very same IGP has now been arrested. Are we living in a Kafka-like nightmare that such blatant Rule of Law contradictions have become a normal feature of the political landscape, tolerated with a sigh and a shrug?

Continue reading ‘Has the Attorney -General “Erred in Law and Fact” by Describing the Alleged Offences of IGP Jayasundara and Ex-Def Secy Fernando Under Our Criminal Laws as Being ” Grave Crimes Against Humanity Under International Law?’ »

A five-judge bench constituted for the first time in the history of the Court of Appeal heard submissions on the writ application filed to prevent the execution of four prisoners convicted on drug trafficking offences.

By Anurangi Singh

A five-judge bench constituted for the first time in the history of the Court of Appeal heard lengthy submissions on the writ application filed to prevent the execution of four prisoners condemned to death, having been convicted on drug trafficking offences.

All last week, the CA bench led by President of the Court of Appeal Justice Yasantha Kodagoda, Justice Janak de Silva, Justice Arjuna Obeysekara, Justice Deepani Wijesekara and Justice Achala Wengappuli sat through lengthy submissions on behalf of the petitioner as well as the State.

The Court reserved the order till July 17 to decide whether leave should be granted.

Continue reading ‘A five-judge bench constituted for the first time in the history of the Court of Appeal heard submissions on the writ application filed to prevent the execution of four prisoners convicted on drug trafficking offences.’ »

The 43 Year Moratorium on Executions in Sri Lanka Has Instilled Into the Minds of Judges That the Death Sentences They Issue Will Not Be Carried Out

By

Dharisha Bastians and Anurangi Singh

A 43-year moratorium on executing the death sentence has become entrenched in the law and in the mind of every High Court judge that hands down the death sentence, Counsel for a prisoner condemned to death and challenging the decision to resume judicial hangings told the Supreme Court on Friday.

President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran, who appeared for the death row prisoner M.H.P. Nawas, whose petition was filed through attorney at law Kavindu Hewa Geeganage, told the Supreme Court that the moratorium on judicial hangings had been in effect for not just a year or two, but for nearly half a century.

In the meantime, Governments and Presidents had changed, but the policy had remained in place, he argued, adding that as a result, the prospect that a death sentence could be carried out was not in the minds of any High Court judge.

“43 years of non-implementation of the death sentence has instilled into the minds of our judges that this will not be carried out. They hand out death sentences knowing the sentences will not be executed,” said Sumanthiran PC, as he made submissions in SC FR 272/2019 before a three judge bench of the Supreme Court.

Citing the Bachchan Singh Vs the State of Punjab (1980) determination in India, in which judges ruled that capital punishment may only be imposed in the ‘rarest of rare’ cases, it was Sumanthiran PC’s contention that High Court judges in Sri Lanka would be more circumspect in handing down sentences of death, if they knew the executions could actually take place.

Continue reading ‘The 43 Year Moratorium on Executions in Sri Lanka Has Instilled Into the Minds of Judges That the Death Sentences They Issue Will Not Be Carried Out’ »

“Ellungas Sira” Who Has Little “Maithriya” Sees the Gallows and Scaffold as his Theatre of Deadly Political Hangman’s Delight

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

There is a political dancer of much experience giving a display of performing skills.

“Ellungas Sira” who has little if any of maithriya associated with his performances today, sees the gallows and scaffold as his theatre of deadly political delight.

It was not a very difficult move from being the Common Candidate in support of Democracy and Human Rights, to that of the Hangman of Democracy and all the humane values the Common Candidate supposedly stood for. What we see today is a contortionist with skills drawn from the many decades in Sri Lankan politics, where the play of the crooked is the path to success.

As he performs at the scaffold, with glad announcements that he has signed the gallows warrant to four persons in the line room of the condemned to life imprisonment, ‘Gus Sira” as many call him today, has discovered a new threat to his own life. It is the stuff of corrupt politics and governance that gives one frequent warnings of death threats. The earlier warning came from that Namal, a deserter from the armed forces, and an alleged leader of a fight against corruption, who kept on telling stories of threats to Sira and Gota.

Continue reading ‘“Ellungas Sira” Who Has Little “Maithriya” Sees the Gallows and Scaffold as his Theatre of Deadly Political Hangman’s Delight’ »

President Sirisena Who Admires Duterte’s way of Dealing with Drug Offenders seems Unaware of the Pariah Status that the Philippines President has Earned for Himself Within the International Community.

Dr Nihal Jayawickrama

When President Sirisena announced his intention to hang the convicted drug offenders lingering in the death cells of the Welikada prison, he was congratulated by President Duterte of the Philippines.When he returned from a recent visit to the Philippines, President Sirisena publicly expressed his admiration of the manner in which President Duterte was dealing with drug offenders in that country. Sirisena and Duterte appear to have misunderstood each other. The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 1987, and Duterte’s method of dealing with the drug problem has been to order the police to kill suspected drug dealers and drug users.Thousands are reported to have been murdered in their homes and on the streets.Duterte once claimed with pride that he himself had killed one or two. Sirisena does not appear to be aware of the pariah status that Duterte has earned for himself within the international community.

President Sirisena has reportedly signed four death warrants requiring the prison authorities to kill one woman and three menby hanging them by their necks until they are dead. It is not known how these four persons were singled out, and by whom. It was earlier reported that the President had identified 19 prisoners from among those convicted and sentenced to death as those who had been indulging in the drug trade from within the prison premises.That, of course, cannot be the basis for signing a death warrant. None of them have yet been indicted or convicted of the offence of drug trafficking from within prison premises. A prisoner has first to be charged with that offence, convicted and sentenced to death by a court, had his appeal dismissed, and then been recommended for execution by the Minister of Justice before the President can sign his or her death warrant. Any other course of action will constitute extra-judicial murder.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Who Admires Duterte’s way of Dealing with Drug Offenders seems Unaware of the Pariah Status that the Philippines President has Earned for Himself Within the International Community.’ »

Supreme Court Issues Interim Orders Until October 30 Preventing Implementation of Death Penalty and Suspending Operation of Any and All Death Warrants Signed by President .

By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Supreme Court yesterday issued an Interim Order preventing implementation of the death penalty till 30 October.

The Supreme Court granted Interim Relief directing the Commissioner General of Prisons and the Welikada Prison Superintendent to immediately desist from executing any prisoner consequent to a death warrant signed by the President.

The Bench comprising Justices Buwaneka Aluvihara, Prasanna S. Jayawardena and Gamini Amarasekera also granted another Interim Relief suspending the operation of any and all death warrants signed by the President.

Both Interim Reliefs were granted until 30 October. The matter is fixed for support on 29 October for granting of Leave to Proceed.

Registrar is directed to communicate to the Prison Superintendent. Notices are to be issued to the Respondents within three weeks through the Registrar. A Fundamental Rights Petition was filed impugning the decisions for revival of execution complaining that they are shrouded in secrecy, with utter lack of transparency and accountability, and are arbitrary and in violation of the Constitution. Lawyer Kavindu Hewa Geeganage filed a Fundamental Rights Petition on behalf of condemned prisoner Mohammad Haniffa Praeem Nawas currently detained at Welikada Prison.

The Petitioner cited the Attorney General, Justice and Prison Reforms Minister Thalatha Atukorale, Prisons Commissioner General T.M.J.W. Thennakoon, Welikada Prison Superintendent T.G. Uduwara, Secretary to the President Udaya Ranjith Seneviratne, the Human Rights Commission and Bar Association President Kalinga Indatissa as respondents.

Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran with Pulasthi Hewamanna instructed by Gowry Shangary Thavarasha appeared for the Petitioner. Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for Attorney General.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Issues Interim Orders Until October 30 Preventing Implementation of Death Penalty and Suspending Operation of Any and All Death Warrants Signed by President .’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa: The Wartime Strongman who Wants to run Sri Lanka

By Anbarasan EthirajanBBC

At a funeral for one of the victims of Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bombings, a grief-stricken relative wailed and shouted: “We need Gota, We need Gota.”

She was referring to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the wartime defence chief who played a leading role in crushing Tamil rebels in a bloody civil war which ended 10 years ago. Sri Lanka’s minority Tamils loathe Mr Rajapaksa but he’s celebrated as a hero by many in the majority Sinhalese population, particularly hardliners.

Mr Rajapaksa served as defence secretary from 2005 to 2015, when his brother Mahinda was president. But his tenure was marred by allegations of crimes against humanity, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.
Amid the chaos and confusion that followed the suicide attacks in April this year, many Sri Lankans said a perceived strongman like Gotabhaya Rajapaksa could stamp out Islamist extremism in the country.

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