The 20th Amendment is an overnight shift of authority and loyalty from Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa,from Prime Minister and this Parliament to this President and from the parliamentarians of the MR bloc to the Viyath Maga-Eliya-Yuthukama-ex military axis.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The main problem with the 19th Amendment was not sourced in the legislation but in the illegitimacy of the political context: The Leader of the Opposition (from 2015 until 2019) was the TNA Leader who commanded only a minority of seats in the Opposition benches. Everything that was born in that Parliament …

Continue reading ‘The 20th Amendment is an overnight shift of authority and loyalty from Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa,from Prime Minister and this Parliament to this President and from the parliamentarians of the MR bloc to the Viyath Maga-Eliya-Yuthukama-ex military axis.’ »

What will Happen in a Situation Where Cattle Slaughter is Totally Banned in Sri Lanka and not a Single Cow is Killed?

By Zahrah Imtiaz (this Article was first Posted on 22 January 2016.It is being re-posted in view of its topical importance in the present context) Imagine a scenario where no one in the country would be allowed to slaughter a cow. With religious fervour firing the imagination of many to call for such a ban, …

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Tamil Congress Jaffna District MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam Tells Parliament that people in the North and East overburdened by loans are caught up, not in a debt trap but a “death trap” and calls on govt to implement progressive policies to protect the economies of the war battered population in these districts

By Chandani Kirinde All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) Jaffna District MP Gajen Ponnambalam told Parliament yesterday that people in the North and East are overburdened by loans and are caught up, not in a debt trap but a ‘death trap”, and called on the government to implement progressive policies to protect the economies of the …

Continue reading ‘Tamil Congress Jaffna District MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam Tells Parliament that people in the North and East overburdened by loans are caught up, not in a debt trap but a “death trap” and calls on govt to implement progressive policies to protect the economies of the war battered population in these districts’ »

SJB Parliamentarians Create Din in Parliament Protesting Over Swearing in of Murder Convict Premalal Jayasekara as Ratnapura District MP

By Saman Indrajith SLPP Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekera, convicted of murder and sentenced to death, was sworn in as an MP amidst protests from the SJB in Parliament, yesterday. At the commencement of sittings, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced that Jayasekera could take his oath as an MP. As the announcement came, SJB Kandy …

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Samagi Jana Balawegaya severely criticises Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena for allowing Parliamentarian Premalal Jayasekara alias “Choka Malli” who was convicted of murder ahead of last month’s Parliamentary Election to take oaths

By Asiri Fernando The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) yesterday severely criticised Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena for allowing Parliamentarian Premalal Jayasekara, who was convicted of murder ahead of last month’s Parliamentary Election, to take oaths despite strong objections by Opposition members. Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekara, alias ‘Choka Malli’, and two …

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Drastic Changes Proposed in 20th Constitutional Amendment May Require the People’s Endorsement at a Referendum for it to Become Law Says TNA Spokesperson MA Sumanthiran PC

By P.K.Balachandran There are legal grounds to seek a referendum on the proposed 20 th. Amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution, says M.A.Sumanthiran, spokesman of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and a leading Supreme Court lawyer. According to Sumanthiran, the 20A seeks to change the basic principles embedded in the constitution. It gives all powers …

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Ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekara Becomes First Murder Convict to be Sworn in as a Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka Following an Interim Order Issued by the Court of Appeal

By Meera Srinivasan A murder convict, elected from Sri Lanka’s southern Ratnapura district, was escorted from prison to Parliament on Tuesday as he took the oath as MP amid opposition protests. Days before the August 5 general election, Premalal Jayasekara, a member of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP of People’s Front), was sentenced …

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Buddhist monk from Arisimalai who is a member of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province threatens a group of farmers in the Thiriyai area in the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretary’s Division in the Trincomalee District and prohibits them from engaging in cultivation

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan has written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa alleging that a Buddhist monk, who is a member of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province, had threatened a group of farmers in the Thiriyai area in the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretary’s Division in the Trincomalee District. …

Continue reading ‘Buddhist monk from Arisimalai who is a member of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province threatens a group of farmers in the Thiriyai area in the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretary’s Division in the Trincomalee District and prohibits them from engaging in cultivation’ »

“By focussing on the technicalities of the 19th Amendment, the Rajapaksas are trying to quietly erase the historic pledge of abolishing the executive presidency from public discourse.” – M.A. Sumanthiran PC

By Meera Srinivasan When the Sri Lankan government recently gazetted the draft 20th Amendment (20 A) to the Constitution, it was merely keeping an election promise — to repeal the 19th Amendment of 2015 that clipped the Executive President’s unfettered powers, in turn empowering Parliament. With the necessary two-third majority on their side, President Gotabaya …

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Removal of the gains including the strengthening of sovereignty of the people achieved through 19A prejudicially by 20 A impacts on sovereignty and therefore necessitates approval at a referendum.

By Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, President’s Counsel The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution Bill (20A) is in the public domain. If I were to describe it in one sentence — 20A seeks to take the country backwards to the 2010-2015 period. The only features introduced by 19A that would survive if 20A is passed in its …

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Provocative Statements by TMTK Leader C.V. Wigneswaran will only serve to harden the majority community stand on Issues Like the 13th Constitutional Amendment Which Established the Provincial Councils

By P.K.Balachandran Controversial and provocative statements made by the Tamil Makkal Thesiya Koottani (TMTK) MP and former Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran are likely to result in a hardening of the majority Sinhala community’s stand on the contentious 13 th.Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution. The 13 A, enacted in 1987 at India’s insistence, gives …

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Draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution is virtually an inexpert ‘cut and paste’ job of the 18th Amendment that proposes a travesty of concentration of power in the Executive Presidency.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena When Justice AP Shah remarked recently that, ‘India is moving towards some form of elected autocracy’, he may have been speaking for the entire region and perhaps, swathes of the world in turmoil as it were. Returning Sri Lanka ‘forward to the past’ But the fact that we are not the …

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With Sri Lanka Being well and truly in the vortex of Indian Ocean geo-politics , Ravinatha Aryasinha, Milinda Moragoda and Palitha Kohona the Designated Envoys to Washington, New Delhi and Beijing Face Formidable Diplomatic Challenges.

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lanka is in the process of sending new envoys to three of its most important diplomatic stations, Beijing, New Delhi and Washington. Dr.Palitha Kohona goes to China, Milinda Moragoda to India and Ravinatha Aryasinha to the US. All three have had distinguished careers in diplomacy and administration, and all three are cerebral …

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It is not possible or correct to demand the people to give up their diverse faiths and to accept one law which could govern all religious places or institutions on the argument that all Sri Lankans should have only one law.

by M. A. M. H. Barry PhD, LLM, MA, LLB. BA ,Attorney-at-Law The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal (Aristotle) Although much is spoken about ‘one country and one law’ in Sri Lanka, it is not a new phrase as all the countries in the world have one legal …

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JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says With 20th Constitutional Amendment the country is going back to tribalism from Civilisation with all powers being concentrated in the hands of one person and one family

By Chandani Kirinde The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday lambasted the Government over moves to introduce the 20th Amendment to the Constitution and said it is anti-democratic, destructive and does not serve the interests of the people. “With this Amendment, we will go back from civilisation to tribalism where all the power will be concentrated …

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Indian Envoy’s Stance on India’s Long Standing Position on Peace and Reconciliaion in Sri Lanka and the Full Implementation of the 13th Constitutional Amendment has Not Changed Says Spokesperson for Indian High Commission in Colombo

By Skandha Gunasekara India refuses to budge on its stance on the 13th Amendment despite reports of possible changes. “The position of the High Commissioner has not changed. The High Commissioner reiterated India’s longstanding position on peace and reconciliation and the full implementation of the 13th Amendment,” a spokesperson for the Indian High Commission told …

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What is the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, and why is it contentious?-“The Hindu” Explains!

By Meera Srinivasan After the Rajapaksas’ win in the November 2019 presidential polls and the August 2020 general election, the spotlight has fallen on two key legislations in Sri Lanka’s Constitution. One, the 19th Amendment, that was passed in 2015 to curb powers of the Executive President, while strengthening Parliament and independent commissions. The Rajapaksa …

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20th Constitutional Amendment Will Bring Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Who is the Elder Brother Wholly Under His Younger Brother President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake Thinking Out of the Box is the catchline of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He gave this advice to the banking sector in May this year, and to the members of parliament in his opening address last month. The need for new ways of thinking to overcome local and global challenges and revive the …

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India’s security concerns over China in South Asia is acute but China is the only country that has both economic muscles and political will to bankroll large scale infrastructure development Required by Sri Lanka.

By Ranga Jayasuriya The United States last week announced sanctions on 24 Chinese State-Owned-Enterprises, including five subsidiaries of China’s construction giant, China Communication Construction Company (CCCC), the main contractor of the Colombo Port City, effectively upping the ante of an increasingly open trade war between US and China. The Chinese companies were added to ‘the …

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Attempt by “Gang of Four” to Remove Thurairajasingham From Gen-Secy Post Through No Confidence Motion Foiled At ITAK Committee Meeting in Vavuniya

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj A concerted move by five (four+One) stalwarts of the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK) – the chief constituent of the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) – to remove the party General- Secretary K. Thurairajasingham from his post through a no confidence motion ended in a dismal failure at a conclave held in Vavuniya on Saturday August …

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A Comprehensive account of the investigations under way even as rumours and accusations fly thick and fast about the death of Hindi Film Actor Sushant Singh Rajput Two Months Ago

By Alok Deshpande, Devesh Kumar Pandey and Sonam Saigal Last year, Sushant Singh Rajput shifted to the Mount Blanc apartment on Carter Road in Mumbai’s tony neighbourhood, Bandra. The actor had always longed for a sea-facing apartment, and Mount Blanc overlooked the Arabian Sea. The move was also important for other reasons. Bandra is where …

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At a time when India is grappling with multiple crises, Mainstream TV channels are focusing only on the death of Hindi Film Actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s Death.

By Mohammed Ayoob (Mohammed Ayoob is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Relations, Michigan State University) The treatment of the Sushant Singh Rajput case by some TV news channels is a good example of how the interrelated concerns about ratings and revenues drive news coverage in substantial parts of the electronic media. Many of the …

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Visakesa Chandrasekaram’s Sinhala film “Paangshu” zooms into the trauma of enforced disappearances by foregrounding the struggle of a missing person’s family.

By Meera Srinivasan Like many Sri Lankans, academic and filmmaker Visakesa Chandrasekaram has been struggling to come to terms with the civil war’s gory end in 2009. The graphic visuals of the bloodshed, which some “shared like trophies”, made him question what he’d thought were basic human norms. When he decided to give it creative …

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Why Is India Neutral on the Uyghur Issue and Not Expressing Concern Over China’s Violation of Human Rights of The Uyghur People When ChinaAttempted to Bring Up the Kashmir Issue at the UN in Support of Pakistan?

By Col. R. Hariharan Earlier this month, the United States banned the Chinese government-run Xinjiang Production Construction Core (XPCC), a paramilitary and business organization, and two of its top officials for depriving basic rights to Uyghur people working in their organisation. The action was taken under the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act passed by the …

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Sri Lankan Govt Gazettes Draft 20th Constitutional Amendment Bill which Seeks to Restore and Enhance Full Powers of the Executive Presidency That were Reduced by 19th Constitutional Amendment

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lanka’s 20 th., Constitution Amendment bill, which was approved by the cabinet of ministers and published in the official gazette on Thursday, attempts to take the country back to the Executive Presidency which existed between 1978 and 2015. In 2015, the 19th.Amendment reduced the powers of the Executive President although he was …

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Sri Lankan Govt Appoints Expert Committee Under Senior Lawyer Romesh de Silva to Draft New Constitution While Gazetting Draft of 20th Constitutional Amendment To Reverse Preceding 19th Amendment Which Clipped Presidential Powers

By Meera Srinivasan The Cabinet has set up an experts’ committee to draft Sri Lanka’s new Constitution, even as the government gazetted the draft of the 20th Amendment that would reverse the preceding 19th Amendment, a 2015 legislation that clipped certain executive powers of the President. The move follows the ruling Rajapaksa brothers’ poll pledge …

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Internal Strife Within Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi (ITAK) Takes Disturbing Turn

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The “Mathiya Seyal Kuzhu” (central working committee) of the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK) also known as the Federal Party will be meeting today (Aug 29) in Vavuniya. The committee is generally referred to as “Mathiya Kuzhu”(Central committee). The Central Working committee is the key representative body of the ITAK. It comprises representatives elected …

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What has taken place in 2019-2020 is not a wave or a mood but a tectonic shift in Sinhala-Buddhist and probably pan-Sinhala consciousness, which will never return to 2015, even in the direst economic circumstances.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka A successful strategy for the Opposition will have to contain three components: a lucid grasp of present oppositional realities and past errors, the ‘best practices’ of Oppositions – and comebacks in pertinent/related fields of endeavour—in the island’s contemporary history, as well as the best practices of Oppositions in contemporary world politics. ‘Facts …

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“If Prabhakaran Had Listened To Balasingham’s Advice and Continued With the Peace Process, The Sri Lankan Tamils Would Have Probably Enjoyed Some Self -Rule in the North Within One Sri Lanka” – Erik Solheim in Interview

By Easwaran Rutnam The Norwegians managed to secure peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the LTTE and the peace process continued for a number of years under successive Governments. Though Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim mediated between the GoSL and the LTTE under three Sri Lankan leaders, in the end attempts …

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When an innocent person suffers in prison without charge while the authorities scramble for evidence, it begins to look like someone is being made a scapegoat because there is not much else the authorities can do.

By Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka I do not know Hejaaz Hizbullah. I have come to know of him from the several accounts published in the media over the past few months, by a classmate, a contemporary and colleague, a student and a brother. I do not know what pain of mind he must feel, isolated …

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When Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena made their first State Visits to India earlier they were nicely treated by India “with sweet talk,” but for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, this attitude changed.

By Austin Fernando (The Writer is a Former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India) It is ‘Neighbourhood Policy, ‘Look East,’ ‘Act East.’ All deal with the Indian neighbours. A recent article motivated me to revisit this issue. The author has conveyed happenings between India, Nepal, and Bangladesh and proposed amending Indian policies and actions towards …

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Life and Times of Dynamic Tamil Political Leader Appapillai Amirthalingam

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Today (26 August) is the 93rd birth anniversary of well-known Sri Lankan Tamil political leader Appapillai Amirthalingam, known affectionately as Amir and Amuthar. Amirthalingam served as a Parliamentarian for 20 years in an illustrious political career spanning four decades. He was a stalwart of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) known as the …

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In this Parliament, represented by extreme nationalists from the North to the South and in some instances, feeding off the rhetoric of each other, we will repeatedly witness raucous outcries.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena Scarcely having sufficient time to properly settle into his Chair as Sri Lanka’s Parliament opened for business this week, the Speaker faced down two attempts to trespass on the ‘legislative power of the People,’ throwing up intriguing questions in regard to the country’s parliamentary process, or what is left of this. …

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Unlike Sri Lanka’s victory in the ‘Terrorist War’, the COVID-19 War’s real heroes are neither being declared as heroes nor are there any direct claimants.

By Gamini Weerakoon (Gamini Weerakoon is a former editor of The Sunday Island, The Island and Consulting Editor of the Sunday Leader) Sri Lanka can truly claim to be a front runner in the war against the coronavirus pandemic with 2,984 infected cases reported and only 12 deaths while the pandemic is raging across the …

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Govt does not have to get rid of the 13th Amendment which has been tied up in knots by the yahapalana political parties including the TNA so effectively that all what the govt has to do to get rid of it for good, is to do nothing.

by C.A. Chandraprema The government has made an official statement to the effect that it’s reconsidering the 19th Amendment but no such official statement has been made with regard to the 13th Amendment. However opposition politicians have expressed the view that the government is trying to use its two thirds majority to do away with …

Continue reading ‘Govt does not have to get rid of the 13th Amendment which has been tied up in knots by the yahapalana political parties including the TNA so effectively that all what the govt has to do to get rid of it for good, is to do nothing.’ »

Recent judgement by the Indian Supreme Court which held prominent advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court will have grave resonance in countries like Sri Lanka which have a history of stifling dissent through the device of contempt.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena (Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena is a civil liberties advocate, a columnist for The Sunday Times, Colombo and served on a Bar Council nominated committee in 2011 which drafted a Contempt of Court Act for Sri Lanka) The recent judgement by the Indian Supreme Court which held prominent advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt …

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The strongest voice against 19A today is that of the highly learned Professor Gamini Lakshman Peiris whose leaps to and from political parties and policies is a display of political manoeuvre with hardly any matching.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake The 19th Amendment to the Constitution is the desire and goal of Pohottuva politics today. It is now more important that the economic crisis faced by the country and people, especially in the Covid19 situation. The strongest voice against 19A today is that of the highly learned Professor Gamini Lakshman Peiris, the …

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Future Course of Defeated ITAK Leader “Maavai” Senathirajah.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The recently concluded Sri Lankan parliamentary election resulted in the defeat of several veteran politicians. Among these was well-known Northern Tamil leader Somasundaram”Maavai” Senathirajah who had been representing Jaffna district in Parliament for 20 successive years since 2000. Very often the electoral defeat of a long established political leader causes political convulsions in …

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TNA Spokesperson MA Sumanthiran MP Says Party Will Go To Courts Against the Presidential Task Force on Archaeology in the Eastern Province if it acts contrary to the provisions of the Antiquities Act and usurps the powers of the Director General of Archaeology (DGA).

By P. K. Balachandran The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has threatened to go to court if the Presidential Task Force on Archaeology in the Eastern Province acts contrary to the provisions of the Antiquities Act and usurps the powers of the Director General of Archaeology (DGA). The Tamils have been dismayed by the fact that …

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தேர்தல் தோல்விக்கு பின் தமிழரசுக் கட்சியின் தலைவர் மாவை சேனாதிராஜாவின் எதிர்கால செல்வழி

டி.பி.எஸ்.ஜெயராஜ் (This is the Tamil Version of the English Article “Future Course of Defeated ITAK Leader “Maavai” Senathirajah by D.B.S. Jeyaraj in the “Daily Mirror” Of August 22nd 2020) அண்மையில் முடிவடைந்த பாராளுமன்றத் தேர்தலில் பல மூத்த அரசியல்வாதிகள் தோல்வி கண்டிருக்கிறார்கள். அவர்களில் நன்கு பிரபலமான வடபகுதி தமிழ்த் தலைவர் சோமசுந்தரம் மாவை சேனாதிராஜாவும் ஒருவர். அவர் 2000ஆம் ஆண்டு தொடக்கம் தொடர்ச்சியாக 20வருடங்கள் பாராளுமன்றத்தில் …

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Survival requires the Tamil-speaking parties to initiate a single-issue ‘bloc’ in defence of the 13th Amendment cutting across the Govt.-Opposition divide and isolating the Alt-Right ultranationalists.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The Presidential Policy Statement delivered at the inaugural of the new session of Parliament had three key takeaways. Firstly, the 19th Amendment is to be demolished, not rectified. Secondly, by means of the 20th Amendment, the electoral system will be replaced by one which is only secondarily that of proportional (or more …

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“Chiththi”: With One Tamil Word In Her Acceptace Speech, US Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris Warms The Hearts of Millions pf Tamils in India and Throughout the World

By Hannah Ellis-Petersen As a child wandering between the legs of the aunts, uncles and family friends who filled her grandparents’ apartment in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a young Kamala Harris grew used to being addressed in Tamil. It was the main language spoken by her grandmother, who had only …

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Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims who are 25% of the island’s population given short shrift in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s statement of government policy at New Parliament Opening

By P. K. Balachandran Sri Lanka’s minorities, namely, the Tamils, and Muslims, who are 25% of the island’s population of 21 million, were given short shrift in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s statement of government policy at the opening of the newly elected Parliament on August 20. Ethnic issues, which had rocked Sri Lanka for over four …

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Failed Attempt To De-legitimize Sumanthiran’s Election Victory In Jaffna

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ The one word answer to the question “Did M. A. Sumanthiran of the Tamil National Alliance win in the Jaffna Electoral district by “stealing” the preference votes cast for another TNA candidate Ms. Sashikala Raviraj? is NO! Yet the 2020 Parliamentary poll in the Jaffna electoral district comprising the Kilinochchi and Jaffna administrative …

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யாழ்ப்பாண மாவட்ட கூட்டமைப்பு வேட்பாளர்களின் விருப்பு வாக்குகள் தொடர்பான சர்ச்சை: தனது வெற்றியை மகிழ்ச்சியாக அனுபவிக்க இயலாத நிலையில் சுமந்திரன்

-டி.பி.எஸ்.ஜெயராஜ்- ஆங்கில மூலம்: டெய்லி மிரர் ‘தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் எம்.ஏ.சுமந்திரன் அதே கட்சியின் இன்னொரு வேட்பாளரான சசிகலா ரவிராஜுக்கு அளிக்கப்பட்ட முன்னுரிமை விருப்பு வாக்குகளை ‘களவாடியதன்’ மூலம் யாழ்ப்பாண தேர்தல் மாவட்டத்தில் வெற்றி பெற்றாரா?’. இந்தக் கேள்விக்கான ஒரு சொல் பதில் இல்லை என்பதேயாகும். இருந்தாலும், கிளிநொச்சி நிர்வாக மாவட்டத்தையும் யாழ்ப்பாண நிர்வாக மாவட்டத்தையும் உள்ளடக்கிய யாழ்ப்பாண தேர்தல் மாவட்டத்தின் 2020 பாராளுமன்றத் தேர்தல் சசிகலாவின் விருப்பு வாக்குகளை தனக்கு அனுகூலமான முறையில் சுமந்திரன் ‘மாற்றியிருந்தார’ …

Continue reading ‘யாழ்ப்பாண மாவட்ட கூட்டமைப்பு வேட்பாளர்களின் விருப்பு வாக்குகள் தொடர்பான சர்ச்சை: தனது வெற்றியை மகிழ்ச்சியாக அனுபவிக்க இயலாத நிலையில் சுமந்திரன்’ »

Fascinating Features of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Early Life.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Mahendra Percy Rajapaksa known to the world as Mahinda Rajapaksa has been sworn in as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the fourth time at a grand ceremony held within the precincts of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara. The Kelaniya Buddhist temple is venerated by Sri Lankan Buddhists who believe Lord Buddha visited …

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If Sri Lankan Govt Attempts to Jettison the 13th Amendment There would be “interactions at the highest level” between India and Sri Lanka Says Indian Envoy Gopal Baglay at Meeting with TNA Delegation

A delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) called on the Indian High Commissioner, Gopal Baglay, here on Friday. The High Commissioner congratulated the TNA for its performance at the recent general elections. He reiterated India’s longstanding position on peace and reconciliation and the full implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution …

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A leading Buddhist prelate proclaims that ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa is a Dhamma, a religion and a philosophy’ while the Rajapaksa faithful cheer and the depleted if not pitifully de-legitimised Opposition whimper.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Inexplicably and not without heavy irony, former President Maithripala Sirisena chose to dwell on crop devastation caused by monkeys in Sri Lanka when contributing to the opening debate on the Government’s Policy Statement as Parliament met this week, fresh after a sparkling polls victory by the Rajapaksa headed Sri Lanka Podujana …

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Jaffna District Development Committee Co-Chair Angajan Ramanathan Orders District Secretary not to implement any ministerial development programmes or authorised projects without his approval as All Projects and Schemes Must be Implemented With his Co-sponsorship; Appoints Father Sathasivam Ramanathan as his direct representative and coordinating officer

A District Development Committee (DDC) Co-Chair wrote to the District Secretary this week instructing him not to implement any ministerial development programmes or authorised projects without his approval in the district. Parliamentarian Angajan Ramanathan, who was appointed as Jaffna DDC Co-Chair last week by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the Cabinet swearing in ceremony, wrote to …

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A move to implement a “one country, one law” principle is at variance with the beautiful mosaic of diversity that the world has recognised Sri Lanka to be.

By Javid Yusuf In his policy statement presented to Parliament on August 20 President Gotabaya Rajapaksa outlined his Government’s plans for the forthcoming year. Among the measures he proposed was the one relating to the removal of the 19th Amendment as a prelude to enacting a new Constitution. The President in his satement to Parliament …

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Belief that everything that ‘Gota does works to clockwork precision’ was blasted by Sudden Six -Hour Power Black-out

By Gamini Weerakoon (Gamini Weerakoon is a former editor of The Sunday Island, The Island and Consulting Editor of the Sunday Leader) Blackouts are a fact of Sri Lankan life in this second decade of the 21st Century. At Nawala where blackouts are of frequent, if not of daily occurrence, we asked a long-standing resident …

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Sri Lankan rural households across the country have been living off borrowings after exhausting their savings and struggling with severe economic hardships while grappling with a pandemic-induced crisis

By Meera Sriniasan After doing seven jobs in the last three years in and around Colombo, Simran Enric is now back home in Sri Lanka’s hill country. He escaped the pandemic that struck the capital, but his last job at a grocery store didn’t. “I am ready to take up any job. It doesn’t matter …

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Our present Constitution has been amended only 18 times and not 19 times as the numbering system may lead us to believe Because The 12th Amendment is a dud entry and there is no such Amendment in the Constitution.

by C.A.Chandraprema It has now been officially announced by the government that parts of the 19th Amendment are to be repealed even before a new Constitution is introduced. Our present Constitution has been amended on 18 occasions and not on 19 occasions as the numbering system may lead us to believe. The 12th Amendment is …

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With the Landslide Victory of the SLPP Led By The Rajapaksas, One of Asia’s oldest and most durable democracies has in practice entered a period of one-party, one-family rule. -The Economist

Usually, when people speak of an electoral landslide, they exaggerate. But the word aptly describes what happened in Sri Lanka on August 5th. The island nation’s voters all but buried the grand old party that had led an outgoing coalition, the United National Party, reducing its 106 members in the 225-seat parliament to a humiliating …

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Sri Lanka should not undo the democratic gains or roll back devolution in the Constitution -The Hindu

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Hindu” of August 22nd 2020 Under the Heading “Repeal and reform: On Sri Lankan Constitution) A two-thirds majority in the legislature is indeed a mandate for constitutional change, but the winner ought to decide whether the proposed change would bring about reform or impairment; whether it would strengthen democratic …

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Power Play of Parliamentary Politics

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake The new parliament has begun to function with the formal policy statement by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. There were no armed forces parading or horse-ride escorts for the President, which took some of the colour of the traditional ceremony. Maybe such decorum was considered too costly in this hugely strained economic situation. One …

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“Our first task will be to remove the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. After that, all of us will get together to formulate a new constitution suitable for the Country In Which priority will be given to the concept of one country, one law for all the people” – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

(Full text of the Inaugural Address of the 9th Parliament, August 20, 2020 by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa) Honourable Speaker, Honourable Prime Minister, Honourable Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Ministers, State Ministers, Honourable Members of Parliament, At the outset I would like to congratulate newly appointed Speaker Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene. I also extend my congratulations …

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“In the 21st century, it is impossible for the Sinhalese to maintain a centralised, non-secular, unitary state in a conflicted, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society on a small, geo-strategically vulnerable, economically-dependent island.”

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The Cabinet appointments and those of the State Ministers and Secretaries, ranging in the main from the unexceptionable to the positive, nonetheless leave me analytically pessimistic about the prospects of this regime and the experiment upon which it has embarked. Despite the fact that several of the appointments are good and the …

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Targeting of R. Premadasa by Govigama Elite, Political Revenge of Sajith Premadasa and Total Annihilation of the UNP At Elections

By Jayantha Somasundaram Class, caste and the politics of destruction “… the liberal-cosmopolitan intelligentsia … supported … the UNP. Few, very few, deigned to support the SJB.” Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka The Election Result and the Intelligentsia (Colombo Telegraph August 7, 2020) “I survived once but he will finally get me killed. He will get Gamini …

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Landslide Victory in Sri Lanka Gives Rajapaksa brothers, the family and their party the power to reshape Sri Lanka’s political institutions in fundamental – and potentially dangerous – ways.

By Alan Keenan Wednesday, 5 August saw the landslide general election victory of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The vote sets Sri Lanka on a path likely to bring fundamental political and social change. With 59 percent of the vote, the SLPP …

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The Tamil voters’ message to both national leaders and their own elected representatives has been unambiguous in every crucial election post-war, about their political and socioeconomic priorities

By Meera Srinivasan The outcome of Sri Lanka’s August 5 general election had few surprises. The Rajapaksa family is decisively at the country’s helm for the next five years. The fragmented political opposition is struggling to come to terms with their decimated parties and in some cases, sealed fate. In the north, the Tamil National …

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Marginalising the old war horses of the SLFP and SLPP while accumulating power within their clan could lead to discontentment against the Rajapaksas.

By Col R Hariharan The Rajapaksa clan is back at the helm in Sri Lanka after the people gave them a huge thumbs-up in the just-concluded general election. While Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the president, his brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is the prime minister. While this was not unexpected, their Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party led …

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“As a Tamil from Jaffna I’ve also got Tamil nationalist sentiments in me but I know what is possible and what is not” Says Angajan Ramanathan the First SLFP Elected MP From Jaffna

By Sandran Rubatheesan Angajan Ramanathan’s victory in the August 5 parliamentary polls is historic, firstly because he secured the most preferential votes in the Jaffna electoral district, pushing Tamil nationalist candidates behind, and secondly, for being the only first-time MP in the country elected with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the one-time grand old …

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The monk and the temple are the strongest political bond the Rajapaksas have forged. Will that be more powerful than the power of a two-thirds majority?

By Gamini Weerakoon (Gamini Weerakoon is a former editor of The Sunday Island, The Island and Consulting Editor of the Sunday Leader) The constitutional power vested in a two-thirds majority in parliament of declaring a man to be a woman and vice-versa emanated around the heady days of 1972 when the United Front government of …

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Governance and the Rule of Law within a democratically structured Constitution is a fundamental condition for the development of any country to take place,

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Party triumphalism following the August 5th 2020 Rajapaksa election win in Sri Lanka is reminiscent of the unfortunate fate of Humpty Dumpty before a fall. Chastened then and joyous now This is nothing new as Rajapaksa-ites gloating over the consternation of the ‘yahapalanaya’ camp may be unkindly reminded. These chastened followers …

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The SJB will need to re-position itself, both organizationally and policy-wise, in a way that is distinct from the UNP, if it is to assert itself as a credible political entity in its own right.

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya Sajith Premadasa’s newly formed Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) has managed to overcome the hurdles and booby-traps laid in its path ahead of the 2020 general election, and come out well ahead of its bête noir, the United National Party (UNP). It was clear from the outset that there was no likelihood of …

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TNA Suffers Electoral Setback In North and East Polls.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The long awaited 2020 Parliamentary Elections has concluded with a 71% Voter turnout despite the difficulties imposed by the COVID -19 Pandemic threat. Appropriate health procedures were followed by the authorities with enthusiastic cooperation of the people. Voter feedback is generally positive about the efficient manner in which the polls were conducted. The …

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J.R. Jayewardene, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Kumaratunga can be considered as courageous leaders who had acted bravely in spite of various limitations when all the odds were against them But Sajith is not a leader who has exhibited yet a feat of such bravery.

By Victor Ivan The victory of the Government at the Parliamentary Election is huge and miraculous. Had there been a First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) electoral system that was in operation prior to 1977 instead of the current system of Proportional Representation, the result achieved by the Pohottuwa (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna – SLPP) could have been much …

Continue reading ‘J.R. Jayewardene, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Kumaratunga can be considered as courageous leaders who had acted bravely in spite of various limitations when all the odds were against them But Sajith is not a leader who has exhibited yet a feat of such bravery.’ »

Selection of “Dyed-in-the wool political reactionary” Kamala Harris as Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Joe Biden’s Running Mate is Indicative of the Degradation of American Politics.-WSWS

With the selection of Kamala Harris to be the running mate of Joe Biden, the framework of the 2020 elections has been set. As was to be expected, the Democrats have chosen the most right-wing candidates to run the most right-wing campaign possible. There is a certain inevitability to the choice of Harris. In July …

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Nine “Viyathmaga” Professionals Comprising One Appointed and Eight Elected MP’s Enter Parliament but None Made Cabinet Minister ; Four Sworn in as State Minister and Two Become District Coordinating Committee Chairmen.

By Sheain Fernandopulle Even though the ‘Viyathmaga’, group of professionals were given prominence during the campaign trail since the presidential election, no members have been given appointments in the Cabinet of Ministers. The group rose to prominence, with pledges to take the country forward. However, the members of the professional group have not been given …

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Despite Nineteenth Constitutional Amendment Provisions President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Becomes Defence Minister;Legal Opinion Divided Whether Such Action Violates the Constitution

The Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday swore-in a 64 member Council of Ministers including 25 of cabinet rank and took the portfolio of Defense himself. The Swearing-in was held at the Magul Maduwa or Audience Hall of the Temple of the Tooth here. President Gotabaya’s taking up a cabinet post has become a …

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President Rajapaksa Swears in 25 Cabinet Ministers Including Prime Minister Rajapaksa, 39 State Ministers and 23 More MP’s as District Coordinating Committee Chairpersons at Temole of the Tooth in Kandy; President Holds Defence Ministry Portfolio While Premier takes Charge of Finance,Buddha Sasana, Urban Development, Housing and Religious and Cultural Affairs Ministries

The Cabinet of Ministers and State Ministers of the new Government led by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) were sworn in before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.The swearing in ceremony was held at the Magul Maduwa (Audience Hall) of the historic Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic premises in Kandy this morning (12). The President has repeatedly …

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“Gotabayan” Sinhala ultra-nationalism will find itself no less out of joint with emerging, evolving international reality

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa repeatedly made two requests of voters during his electioneering walkabouts. One was that they had given him 69 lakhs (6.9 million) of votes at the Presidential Election but now he wanted 79 lakhs (7.9 million) votes. The other was that he wants a two-thirds majority. He didn’t get his …

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The Indo -Lanka Accord and the Sri Lankan Tamils

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ Today (29 July) is the 33rd third anniversary of the Indo-Lanka Accord. It was on 29 July 1987 that former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and then Sri Lankan President Junius Richard Jayewardene signed in Colombo the agreement between India and Sri Lanka known as the Indo-Lanka Accord along with two letters described …

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Poetry For Reflection On Sri Lanka’s Election Day

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sri Lanka or Ceylon as it was known earlier has faced many challenges and problems since Independence from Britain in 1948. We have had military coup attempts, communal riots, pogroms, armed revolts, external military intervention, assassinations of heads of State, terrorist violence and above all a long secessionist war that threatened to tear …

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Tamils Desiring a Silk “Verti” May Lose Even Their Cotton “Verti”.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Rajapalsa regime is all out to get a two-thirds majority in Parliament through the forthcoming elections on August 5. The avowed objective of such a steam -roller majority is to promulgate a new Constitution or enact Constitutional amendments unilaterally. According to Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna(SLPP) ideologue Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris a strong …

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SLPP’s mother of all landslide Victory Gives President Gotabaya Rajapaksa an Opportunity to Remint Sri Lanka

by C.A.Chandraprema With the seats won by the SLPP on its own, together with the seats of allied political parties like the EPDP, TMVP, and the SLFP (Jaffna) the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government easily crosses the 150 seat mark to obtain a two thirds majority in Parliament. This writer still remembers listening to the results of …

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New Rajapaksa Government Will Centralise Power Through Constitutional Change But is Not Likely To Abolish Existing Provincial Council System

By P.K.Balachandran The Sri Lankan parliamentary elections, held on August 5, the results of which were unofficially out on August 7, have sent a number of politically significant messages. These are as follows: Getting Two Thirds Majority The results have shown that it is possible to get two- thirds majority even under the Proportional Representation …

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Tamil Progressive Alliance Representing Hill Country Tamils Retains all Six Seats From Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara – Eliya and Badulla Districts Held by TPA in the Last Parliament

By Meera Srinivasan For almost all Opposition parties in Sri Lanka, Wednesday’s general election spelt huge losses in the face of the landslide victory secured by the ruling party of the Rajapaksas. But one group stood out. The Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), which represents Malayaha Tamils in the island’s Central, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Western Provinces, …

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Indian Envoy Gopal Bagley Calls on Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and reiterates the strong desire and commitment of the government of India to work very closely with the new government and Parliament in Sri Lanka for further strengthening comprehensive bilateral cooperation.

By Meera Srinivasan Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa to congratulate him on his party’s big win in the recently held parliamentary polls, the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay, called on the newly elected leader in Colombo to congratulate him on the “emphatic victory”. “The …

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Tamil National Alliance Tally of MP Seats Decreases From Sixteen in 2015 to Ten in 2020

By S. Rubatheesan Apparently fed up with rhetorical nationalist party politics and failure to address the urgent needs of the former war torn regions, North and East voters have sent a clear message to their main party the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at the August 5 general elections. The TNA, officially known as the Ilankai …

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Our history is replete with politicians who were stripped of their seeming invincibility. Two-thirds majority or not, there is no reason to think that the impermanence of power will be different this time around.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Any one of us indulging in melodramatic weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth on Wednesday’s election victory of the Rajapaksa-led ‘pohottuwa’ (Sri Lanka Podujana Party, SLPP) must heed the admonition that this has come five years too late down the line. The sum of failed political legacies Clearly, these lamentations should …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn-in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the fourth time, before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

By Lahiru Pothmulla Former President and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn-in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the fourth time, before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara this morning. Prime Minister Rajapaksa was sworn in at the auspicious time as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka’s 9th Parliament before the …

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Group of “Gotabaya Golayas” From Viyathmaga and Yuthukama Enters Parliament as Both Elected and Appointed MP’s From the SLPP

By Shamindra Ferdinando Civil society organisation Viyathmaga has emerged as an influential group within the SLPP (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna) parliamentary group with eight out of nine contestants gaining entry into parliament at the just concluded general election. The SLPP won 145 seats, including 17 National List slots. The parliament comprises 196 elected and 29 …

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Rajapaksa Rajya! Vandana, Vandana! Voters of Sri Lanka Have Through Their Franchise Handed Over the Sovereignty of the People to the Rajapaksa Kingdom

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake The voters of Sri Lanka have created the new Kingdom, the Rajapaksa Rajya. This is a very rare example of how a democracy can move into a realm ensuring the sovereignty of a single family. It will certainly be recorded in the history books of this era, documenting the vast move from …

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SLPP in Landslide Win with 145 5eats Including National List; Sajith’s SJB Comes Second with 54 Seats; TNA Third with 10;JVP gets 3; UNP Loses Badly with only One National List Seat; Other Parties Together Gain 12 Seats

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has secured a landslide victory at the 2020 General Election securing a total of 6,853,693 votes, which is a percentage of 59.09%. The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) secured a total of 2,771, 984 votes (23.90%). The Jathika Jana Balawegaya or the National Peoples’ Power (NPP) came at third with …

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Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna In Landslide Win is Just Five Seats Short of Two/Thirds Majority; Parliament to Convene on August 20th;Mahinda Rajapaksa to be Sworn in as “New” Prime Minister.

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka’s ruling party has won the recently held parliamentary elections, securing a huge majority of 145 seats, just five short of a two-thirds majority in Parliament. The Rajapaksas’ Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP or People’s Party) was widely expected to win the polls that came nine months after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa …

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Polling Concludes for Sri Lanka;s Parliamentary Election with 71% Voter Turn Out Despite COVID -19 Pandemic Threat

By Meera Srinivasan Polling for Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election concluded on Wednesday with a voter turnout of 71%. The results will be released on Thursday, the Election Commission said. After postponing the elections twice in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Sri Lanka became the first South Asian country to hold election months after COVID-19 …

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“The Gotabaya project is one of ultra-nationalist, polarising, supremacist Counter-Reformation. It does not stand or fall with today’s election result”

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka This column appears on the day after ‘E-Day’. It is a good time to discuss thematic political issues, including those that go beyond the elections. Most pressing are two core issues which I had flagged back in 2013, the answers to which we shall know with the results of this election. Interviewed …

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Aug 5th Parliamentary elections looks like a one-horse race with the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led by the redoubtable Rajapaksa brothers on its way to getting a comfortable majority

By P.K.Balachandran The Sri Lankan parliamentary elections to be held on August 5 looks like a one-horse race with the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led by the redoubtable Rajapaksa brothers on its way to getting a comfortable majority in the House of 225. Partly because of such an expectation or estimation, there is …

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Sri Lanka is First Runner-up in 2020 World School Debating Championship; Canada wins Competition where 68 Nations Participated ;Sri Lanka Named Best English as a Second Language Team.

Sri Lanka National Debating Team became the first runner-up in the online World Schools Debating Championship 2020, while Canada beat Sri Lanka to win the Championship, in the final held on Sunday. Sri Lanka was also named the best ESL (English as a second language) team. Sri Lanka team’s Shalem Sumanthiran won the seventh place …

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New Parliament Elected On August 5 General Election will Meet on August 20th :President Hotabaya Rajapaksa Issues Gazette Notification With Announcement on Aug 3

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has summoned the newly-elected parliament to meet on August 20, 2020 (Thursday) following the General Election to be held on August 5. The President made this decision under the powers vested in him by the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Parliamentary Election Act. The Extraordinary Gazette notification announcing the …

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Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission Chairperson and internationally renowned Human Rights Defender Dr Deepika Udagama Tenders her Resignation with Effect from Sep 1

by Arjuna Ranawana Sri Lanka’s Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, internationally renowned Human Rights Defender Dr Deepika Udagama has tendered her resignation, a Parliament spokesman said. Director Media of the Parliament Shan Wijetunge told EconomyNext that Udagama’s letter of resignation reached them today and that she will function in her office until September 1. …

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A post-election SLPP regime will try to consolidate its Sinhala-Buddhist voter base by primarily servicing the latter’s material, political and ideological needs

By P.K.Balachandran The August 5, 2020 Sri Lankan parliamentary elections are likely to be a one-horse race with the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) being streets ahead of its rivals in popular estimation. Nevertheless, the election campaigns of the various parties have thrown up key issues which will determine what Sri Lanka will be …

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Disillusioned farmers in Sri Lanka’s “Rice Bowl” Polonnaruwa district ask why they must vote when their suffering persists amid unkept electoral promises

By Meera Srinivasan A week ahead of Sri Lanka’s parliamentary elections R.A. Karunavathi, a farmer in Chandana Pokuna village in Polonnaruwa, located in the island’s North Central Province, is looking for a reason to vote. “Why not boycott? We are forced to think like that,” she says, obviously fatigued with polls and politicians. Polonnaruwa district …

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We are positioning Sri Lanka for the potential explosion of communal and ethnic hatreds that may even surpass all that this country has experienced so far.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene On the eve of a General Election that promises to be (ominously) portentous for Sri Lanka, the inglorious jostles with the plainly ridiculous. Incredulous attempts to deflect responsibility A prominent criminal investigator long in the crosshairs of this Government and once in the forefront of majorly controversial cases ranging from massive …

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Nationalism, determination, self-confidence and the belief in the capabilities of one’s own people will not be enough to get the Sri Lankan economy going again.

By Gamini Weerakoon (Gamini Weerakoon is former editor of The Sunday Island, The Island and Consulting Editor of the Sunday Leader) Politicians and lovers have a common failing: Politicians fighting for survival at elections and lovers during ecstatic moments make rash promises which they haven’t the foggiest notion about fulfilling when the time comes. Lankan …

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While Hindu Nationalists Use Rama as Rallying Point Against Muslims in India ,Sinhala Buddhist Nationalists in Sri Lanka Use Ravana as Rallying Point Against “Outside Forces”like India and the West

By P.K.Balachandran The Hindu epic Ramayana has had the unusual function of providing rallying points for two contradictory and clashing nationalisms, namely, Hindu-Indian nationalism in India, and Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism in Sri Lanka. While the Hindutvic forces in India have been assiduously turning the Ramayana and its protagonist, Rama, into a rallying point against Indian …

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Tamil National Alliance Faces Biggest Challenge in Parliamentary Elections in Ten Years After the War Ended.

From Meera Srinivasan in Jaffna As Sri Lanka gears up for the August 5 parliamentary election, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) — the main grouping representing minority Tamils living in north and east — is facing its biggest test yet in its constituency, since the war ended a decade ago. Though the Tamils have repeatedly …

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SLFP Chief Candidate in Jaffna Angajan Ramanathan Allegedly Violates Election Laws on Massive Scale With the Connivance of the Election Disputes Resolution Unit Head Who was Allowed by the Election Commission to be “the non -playing Captain”

By Prof.S.Ratnajeevan H.Hoole (The writer is a member of the Elections Commission. The opinion expressed is his own and not necessarily reflective of the Commission) EDR Jaffna The Election Dispute Resolution Unit under the Election Commission (EC) is key to conducting clean elections. I believe it is to gain control of the unit that the …

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Committed to the ideas of excellence in scholarship combined with activism for social justice, Neelan and Sithie were a nucleus around which scholars of South Asia, young and old, gathered.

By Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy (written for the 21st Death Anniversary of Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam) This is the time to remember Neelan and Sithie Tiruchelvam. Along with Kumari Jayawardena, their living rooms were spaces where scholars and activists from all over Sri Lanka, South Asia and the world came to think, discuss, break bread and just …

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Economic mismanagement by Gotabaya Rajapaksa govt is the main cause for the suffering people were undergoing and not the Coronavirus pandemic says UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe

by Zacki Jabbar Former Prime Minister and leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe is hoping there will be a high voter turnout at the forthcoming general election, which, he believes, will prove advantageous to the UNP. “The higher the number of votes cast, the better for the UNP,” Wickremesinghe said in an interview with The …

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“Do we want this ‘new normal’ of unchecked power, ‘authoritarian leadership’ and militarisation to facilitate or ensure economic growth and the sustainable development of our country? – Friday Forum.

( Text of a Media Release Issued by the ” FRIDAY FORUM” on 29th July, 2020 Under the Heading “VOTING IN THE ELECTIONS 2020: FOR PUBLIC OR RULERS’ WELFARE?) On August 5th 2020, we as citizens will choose the people who may join the President in governing this country for the next five years, if …

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It’s a dirty picture — that’s what Sushant Singh Rajput’s death reminds us about Bollywood

By Shekhar Gupta The coronavirus pandemic has also unleashed a rash of viral memes. My favourite is one which has a patient asking a doctor when he thinks the scourge will end. “I don’t know,” says the doctor. “I am not a journalist.” It is with that sobering thought that I dare to wade into …

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” Sri Lankan authorities Must end all forms of harassment, threats, and abuse of legal processes and police powers against lawyers, human rights defenders and journalists”- Joint Statement by Ten International Human Rights Organizations.

The Sri Lankan government should end the targeted arrests, intimidation and threats against the lives and physical security of lawyers, activists, human rights defenders and journalists, 10 international human rights organizations said today. A campaign of fear has intensified since the 2019 presidential election, and has cast a shadow over the 2020 parliamentary election campaign. …

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UNP Expels 115 Members Following Working Committee Decision: 54 Out of 102 Previously Suspended for Seeking Nominations From SJB and 61 Local Authority Members Axed

By Asiri Fernando The United National Party (UNP) yesterday expelled 115 members, after its Working Committee affirmed a pervious decision to terminate the membership of those who sought nominations from the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) for the upcoming General Elections. UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the Working Committee which met yesterday decided to …

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Rajapaksas are Canvassing for a Two-thirds Majority to Introduce a New Constitution Without Telling the People Anything About What is Going to be in it

By Ranga Jayasuriya Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the fellow travellers of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) are asking for a two-thirds majority in the general election. For what? They want to abolish the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, one of the few progressive constitutional provisions to be adopted in the independent history. (It …

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Chamal Rajapaksa Brings Retd Gen. Boniface Perera to Jaffna and Introduces him as the Next Governor of the Northern Province

By Prof.S.Ratnajeevan H.Hoole (The writer is a member of the Elections Commission. The opinion expressed is his own and not necessarily reflective of the Commission.) Old and new attitude to laws The old style of election management is to use the army to scare voters from areas not friendly to the Government. Chamal Rajapaksa brought …

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How can there be peace or stability, if the guiding ideology of the state sees a potential enemy in every non-Sinhala-Buddhist?

By Tisaranee Gunasekara This week, 27 years ago, Sri Lanka was burning. During Black July, Sinhala mobs murdered not just Tamil men, women and children; they also killed prospects of peace and stability. They torched not just Tamil property, but also to prospects of economic development. Black July was the darkest episode in the post-Independent …

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July 1983: Two Northern Attacks and One Island-wide Anti-Tamil Pogrom

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The fourth week of July revives bad memories among most Tamils who lived in Sri Lanka during the month of July in 1983. It was in that week in July that large-scale violence was let loose upon Tamils living in various parts of Sri Lanka including Colombo and suburbs. The week long spree …

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