TNA Leader R.Sampanthan as a Sri Lankan Tamil and Devout Hindu Writes Lengthy Letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Over Appointment of “Sinhala Buddhist”Task Force To Allegedly Preserve Archaeological Heritage of only The Eastern Province Excluding Other eight Provinces

(Text of a letter sent by TNA leader and former Trincomalee District MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the Estabishment of a Presidential Task Force for Archeological Heritage Management in the EASTERN PROVINCE) 15th June 2020 R. SAMPANTHAN LEADER TAMIL NATIONAL ALLIANCE PRESIDENT GOTABAYA RAJAPAKSA President Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka, Presidential …

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Presidential Task Forces (PTFs) has no provision to bring public officials under the control of the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Says Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne.

By Asiri Fernando The role of the Presidential Task Forces (PTFs) has been misinterpreted by some and there is no provision to bring public officials under the control of the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence (MOD), said Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne. The statement by the Secretary to the MOD comes in the wake …

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Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne Directs CID to Obtain a report from the Government Analyst on Whether the laptop belonging to journalist Dharisha Bastians Seized by the CID had been Tampered with Between June 4 to June 10

By T. Farook Thajudeen and Yoshitha Perera The Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today directed the CID to obtain a report from the Government Analyst on the laptop belonging to journalist Dharisha Bastains had been Tampered The laptop is currently in the custody of the CID in connection with the investigation into the alleged abduction …

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Following Application Made by Journalist’s Lawyers Colombo Chief Magistrate Orders Govt Analyst to Examine Laptop Computer of “New York Times” Correspondent Dharisha Bastians That was Seized by CID to See Whether Any Alterations Had been made to it

By Meera Srinivasan A Sri Lankan journalist attached to the The New York Times has said police recently raided her home and seized her laptop, in connection with the alleged abduction of a Swiss Embassy staffer in Colombo last November. On Monday, Dharisha Bastians, a correspondent for The New York Times and a former editor …

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CID Searches Colombo Residence of Well-known Journalist Dharisha Bastians and Seize Computer used in the Past by her; Former “Sunday Observer” Editor who was Forced to Leave Country After 2019 Regime Change Concerned that “Interested parties” may Compromise the integrity of hardware, software, data and documents of the laptop

CID officers have searched the Colombo residence of career journalist and former Editor of the State-owned Sunday Observer, Dharisha Bastians, and taken away her computer last week. Bastians, who was forced to leave the country after the change in Government, after her name was dragged into an investigation Involving the alleged abduction of an employee …

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Reliance on military for civil tasks may be popular at this time But unwise

by Jehan Perera The signs of elections, and the short term changes that they bring, are upon us today. Posters of candidates are coming up with their party symbols, preference numbers and their vote-catching mottos. Although this is only a caretaker government and hence restricted in its ability to spend state funds and make far …

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Resisting the militarisation of Sri Lanka with all means at our collective command must be our first priority Ahead of the 2020 Parliament Election.This must be the unifying clarion call from the North to the South.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene To those who scoffed that the Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency would not come in with a sweepingly heavy hand after the first few months of sweetness and charm, this frightening moment of the iron hand in the iron glove that Sri Lanka is experiencing at its onset must surely teach otherwise. The …

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The Fundamental Rights Petitions Relating to The General Elections

By Nigel Hatch PC The five Judge Bench of the Supreme Court by its decision on June 2, 2020 speaking through its majority rejected the preliminary objections raised by the Respondents to the maintainability of the several Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions challenging the legality of the presidential proclamation of March 2 dissolving Parliament. A Petition …

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Political Implications of Elections System Mechanics

by C.A.Chandraprema The long awaited date of the parliamentary election has been announced and the beleaguered Elections Commission has been able to somewhat vindicate itself. The August 5 date is not too far off nor too close for more accusations to be hurled at the EC. Up to the time of writing, we have not …

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When Arumugan Thondaman Clashed With Mahinda Rajapaksa.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) leader and Cabinet minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development, Savumiamoorthy Arumugan Ramanathan Thondaman died of a cardiac arrest on Tuesday May 26th 2020. The 55 year old political leader known as Arumugan and Thonda would have celebrated his 56th birthday on May 29th but fate decreed otherwise. Arumugan …

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If the Military Task Force Appointed by the President continues to function Sri Lanka would have established a military regime, within what is expected to be a civilian administration&a parliamentary democracy under a written Constitution – Friday Forum

(Text of Media Release Issued by the “Friday Forum”on June 11th 2020 Under the Heading ” The Rule of Law and Democratic Governance”) At the Annual National law Conference 2020 organised by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka 2020, President Gotabaya Rajapakse in the course of his address said, “The time has come for all …

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Did the police brutality in Colombo against democratic demonstrators show that Sri Lanka is moving towards the democracy of the Retired Uniforms?

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake How did Sri Lanka get so distant from global realities, so soon? Why is a protest near an embassy of the United States a matter for such concern for the Police to even obtain a court order against, when the whole democratic world is carrying on such protests? One may not be …

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Sri Lanka today may be high on security with our omnipresent armed forces but it is not a safe place to speak or work for many. There is a difference between security and safety.

By Dr.Radhika Coomaraswamy In the first few days, as America burned, the world looked on amazed and bewildered, wondering what this would mean for the immediate and long-term future. As the protests settled down and drew larger crowds with an overwhelming number of young people, one began to think of other movements in Hong Kong, …

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Why would Sri Lanka, which successfully fought three civil wars using the National Security Council, require a militarised Presidential Task Force to build “a secure country” in peacetime?

by Dayan Jayatilleka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed a Task Force of the heavy mob, which will press its collective knee into the neck of the new, socially legitimate Parliament that will arise thanks to the Supreme Court judgment which cleared the way for the Election Commission to name a date for voting. Lankans live at …

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“Vote for good people who can truly represent us. At that point, our dirty politics stands a chance of recovering.” -Election Commission Member Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole

Election Commission member Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole said yesterday that sensible people would be satisfied with his explanation as regards his recent interview with Jaffna-based Dan TV. Asked whether he believed the matter was closed now after EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya on Monday said that the explanation given by you in respect of the Dan TV …

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Sri Lankan government responds to rising COVID-19 infections by abandoning expatriate workers

By Saman Gunadasa This week, the Sri Lankan government stopped planned air flights to bring Sri Lankan migrant workers back home from the Middle East. The decision was made after it was discovered that many were infected with the coronavirus. On May 26, President Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s media division announced that a “new mechanism is to …

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa has little time for the niceties and conventions of parliamentary democracy unless of course that too can be sewn up to further buttress his regime

By Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu The distinguishing feature of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and indeed, at the same time the cause for concern with regard to him, is that he was never elected to any office until he won the presidency. He was a military man first and then the all-powerful bureaucrat as Secretary to the Ministry of …

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There is One Sri Lanka for the Sinhalese with special elevation for Sinhala Buddhists and another for Tamils and Muslims who face far more brutal treatment at the hands of state agents

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene As the United States erupts in outrage at the killing of George Floyd, the question posed by multi-racial protestors on the streets is simple. Why are there two Americas, one for the whites who do not fear death, deprivation or insults when stopped by the police and another for ‘communities of …

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Dispute over polls date and dissolution: Petitions dismissed, Supreme Court restores status-quo-ante

By S. Rubatheesan After ten days of hearings, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, has dismissed eight Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions that had challenged the validity of the March 2 Presidential proclamation dissolving Parliament and refused the petitioners leave to proceed. Incidentally, the judgement day, Tuesday, coincided with the end of the three-month period …

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Police Sub-inspector, Sergeant and Constable Interdicted Following Investigation Into Alleged Assault of an Autistic 14 Year Old Boy With Mental Capacity of 6 Year Old Child at Dharga Town

By Kshama Ranawana Three police officers connected with the alleged assault of a teenaged autistic boy in Dharga Town have been interdicted, according to a statement from Police Headquarters released at 7.45 p.m on June 5th. The interdiction follows an investigation into the incident, where dereliction of duties on the part of the three officers …

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“Appointment of the two Presidential task forces demonstrates troubling trends of authoritarian rule and militarisation with serious implications to Constitutional democracy and reconciliation in Sri Lanka”-Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in a statement yesterday expressed its deep concern with the appointment of two Presidential Task Forces by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Following is the CPA’s full statement. These appointments came soon after the Supreme Court refused leave to proceed to all petitioners on the subject of the dissolution of Parliament …

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Authorises Rs. 1,043 billion for expenditure from the Consolidated Fund from 1 June up to 31 August in terms of provisions of Paragraph (3) of Article 150 of the Constitution.

By Chandani Kirinde President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has authorised Rs. 1,043 billion for expenditure from the Consolidated Fund from 1 June up to 31 August in terms of provisions of Paragraph (3) of Article 150 of the Constitution. The relevant circular was issued by the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance S. R. Attygalle this week …

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Appointment of “Sinhala Buddhist Only”Task Force is to Ignore Present Reality of Tamils and Muslims Comprising 75% of Eastern Province Population and Create an Artificial Sinhala Buddhist Past by Weaponising Archaeology.

by By P.K.Balachandran The Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province, which was gazetted on June 2, has no Tamils or Muslims even though Tamils and Muslims together constitute two-thirds of the population of the province. Secondly, the Task Force has a number of Sinhala-Buddhist monks but no representative of Hinduism …

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President Rajapaksa Appoints 11-member Presidential Task Force to conduct a comprehensive survey of archaeological sites in the Eastern Province and recommend measures to preserve them.

By Chandani Kirinde President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a 11-member Presidential Task Force to conduct a comprehensive survey of archaeological sites in the Eastern Province and recommend measures to preserve them. The Task Force will be chaired by Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Major General (Rtd.) Kamal Gunaratne. This is one of two Task …

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The War That Was Fought and Won Against the LTTE was “MAHINDA’S WAR” Just as World War Two Fought and Won Against the Fascist Axis was Churchill’s,Stalin’s,Roosevelt’s and de Gaulle’s War

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Watching on TV Prime Minister MR’s empathy at the funeral of Arumugam Thondaman, I remembered the two of us walking back from the funeral of S. Thondaman in 1999, discussing politics (the upcoming Dec ’99 Presidential Election). It was fitting indeed that the 50th anniversary of the entry to Parliament of Prime …

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“So let us recognise the singular danger besetting the nation.The only question is as to how slow or how quick this will be”

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Despite familiar wiles of lawyers sacrificing the national interest in favour of (political) clients in cases currently being heard at the Supreme Court leading to sensational headlines that Sri Lanka’s topmost health officials had waved the green flag for the holding of the country’s 2020 Presidential Elections, the truth was not …

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“If there is an award for plain speaking politician President Rajapaksa would win it hands down but it is too early to ask the question how much would it benefit him in Sri Lanka politics?

By Col R Hariharan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa completed six months in office on May 18. He came after the Sinhala majority voted him to power after they were disillusioned by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government’s failure to deliver on their promises. The last straw was the failure of the government in taking decisive action to stop the …

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Supreme Court Unanimously Dismisses all the Fundamental Rights (FR) Petitions Challenging the Gazette issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dissolving Parliament and the Election Commission setting the date of the General Election Without Giving Any Reasons

By Chandani Kirinde The Supreme Court yesterday unanimously dismissed all the Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions filed challenging the Gazette issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dissolving Parliament, as well as that of the Election Commission setting the date of the General Election, The Court also dismissed all preliminary objections raised during the ten days of hearings. …

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Five Judge Bench of Supreme Court Dismisses All Eight Fundamenal Rights petitions in limine:”By majority decision, preliminary objections are overruled. By unanimous decision, Leave to Proceed is refused for all applications” Announces Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda The Supreme Court five-judge-bench headed by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya yesterday unanimously refused to grant Leave to Proceed with eight Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging the dissolution of Parliament and holding the General Election on June 20, 2020. Accordingly, the Court decided to dismiss all petitions in limine. However, Preliminary Objections raised …

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UNP Working Committee Suspends Party Membership of 98 Former Ministers and Ex- Provincial Councillors for Decision to Contest Elections From SJB and Calls For Explanation Letters For Not Contesting Under UNP Elephant Symbol

By Yohan Perera The United National Party (UNP) working committee today approved the suspension of the party membership of its deputy leader Sajith Premadasa and 98 other former ministers, MPs, provincial councillors and organizers. Former MP Ruwan Wijewardene told journalists that the membership of 99 UNPers will be suspended pending their explanation letters on their …

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Sri Lanka is facing a huge crisis which may even result in the decline of the entire political system and plunge the country into complete anarchy.

By Victor Ivan Sri Lanka is now going through the last stage of the disastrous, multi-phased journey into the rock bottom of a great abyss, which had begun 72 years ago and gradually progressed in several phases. The time cohorts from 1948 to 1956, 1956 to 1978, 1978 to 2009 and 2009 to 2020 can …

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The “Traitorisation” Tragedy Of Tamil Nationalist Politics.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj‘ ‘Traitorisation,’ the monster created over the years by Tamil nationalist politics, is running amok again. The current target is former Jaffna District Parliamentarian and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) spokesperson Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran. The lawyer-politician is being attacked as a ‘Tamil traitor’ for some of the comments he reportedly made in a Sinhala language …

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Tale of a Tiger: Facets of LTTE Supremo Veluppillai Prabhakaran’s Life.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed 11 years ago in combat with the armed forces of Sri Lanka on 19 May 2009. The longest war in South Asia came to an end after the military debacle of the LTTE on the shores of Nandikadal Lagoon in the …

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Was The Tamil National Alliance Formed By The “Tigers” In 2001?

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is the premier political configuration representing the Sri Lankan Tamils of Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka. The booming question that has been looming large on the Tamil political horizon during the past week or more is whether the TNA was created by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) …

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TNA Spokesperson Sumanthiran In The Eye Of a Political Storm

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Former Jaffna District Parliamentarian and Spokesperson of the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) and Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK), Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran is currently in the eye of a political storm. The you tube interview given by the 56 year old Presidents counsel cum politician to the “Truth With Chamuditha” show conducted by senior journalist Chamuditha …

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In the final analysis, all that stands between the Lankan Tamil community and the end of Tamil political history on the island, is India.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The political prospects of the Tamil people, or if you prefer, the Tamil ethnonational community or Tamil minority are at the dimmest, lowest and most challenging that I can remember, and my memory goes back to 1972, the hoisting of black flags (occasioning a sensitive Daily News editorial by my father) and …

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My Father Mahinda Rajapaksa who Became an MP on May 27th 1970 at the age of 24 , completes his 50th year today of serving the nation, in dedication and true spirit.

By Namal Rajapaksa 50 years ago, on May 27, 1970, the journey of a political legend began. Entering Parliament as the youngest MP to join, Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa, entered the political sphere back then with only one aim, one vision – to serve the country, to sacrifice himself for his people, and bring the country …

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“In any armed conflict, maintaining human rights of an individual is akin to preventing muddy puddles during rain.” – Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa’s Media Division Responds to News Report in Indian Newspaper “The Hindu”

Responding to the report ‘Sri Lanka will not tolerate targeting of war heroes: Gotabaya Rajapaksa’ published on May 20 in The Hindu, the office of the President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has said the article did not reflect “the real situation”. The President’s Media Division, in a written response, pointed to its reference to …

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Ceylon Workers’ Congress Leader and Sri Lanka Cabinet Minister of Community Empowerment and Estate Infrastructure Development Arumugan Thondaman Passes Away at the Age of 56

By Meera Srinivasan . Ceylon Workers’ Congress [CWC] leader and Sri Lanka Cabinet Minister Arumugan Thondaman passed away on Tuesday night, after a sudden illness. He was 55. Earlier on Tuesday, Minister Thondaman met Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay and held discussions on development partnership in Sri Lanka’s hill country, where Malayaha Tamils, or Tamils …

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President Rajapaksa Brings Six institutions including Api Wenuwen Api Fund, National Police Academy (NPA),Lanka Institute of National Defence Studies, and Department of Multi-Purpose Development Task Force.under the Ministry of Defence.

By Chandani Kirinde President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has brought six institutions including the Api Wenuwen Api Fund and the National Police Academy (NPA) under the Ministry of Defence. The relevant Gazette notification was issued by the President on Saturday. The Api Wenuwen Api Fund was set up as a collaboration between the Defence Ministry and the …

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Has President Rajapaksa Appointed Defence Secretary Gen.Kamal Gunaratne as Head of Task Force to Implement “nationalistic” project to establish, through archaeological excavations, that the multi-ethnic Eastern province was once a Sinhala-Buddhist habitat ?

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision to entrust the survey and preservation of archaeological sites in the ethnically-mixed Eastern Province to a Presidential Task Force headed by the Defense Secretary, appears to have a political objective. Ostensibly taken at the instance of the Buddhist Advisory Council (including the Mahanayakes) the decision taken at …

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Government releases new interim trade and customs tax policy framework as part of COVID-19 Economic Revival Plan

By Chandani Kirinde As part of its efforts to revive the economy and reduce the COVID-19 impact, the Government yesterday eased import restrictions on several product categories linked to exports and production of import substitution goods but retained the ban on vehicles. The interim trade and custom based tax policy framework, which is part of …

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The Founding of “Ravaya” and my Journalistic Struggle To Establish a Visionary, Fearless and Investigative Media Tradition Different from other Newspapers”

By Victor Ivan A heaty dialogue appears to have been generated on social media over two letters that I had addressed to the Ravaya staff recently, suggesting to them the desirability of liquidating Ravaya in the present context of the coronavirus pandemic Sri Lanka is facing rather than continuing the publication and avoid disastrous financial …

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Communalism rides high by ‘patriots’ parading their stuff while the majority and the minority lay claim to distinctly clashing victimhoods instead of a common loss.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Unsurprisingly but nonetheless worryingly, a seismic shift in positing the military front and centre of Sri Lanka’s governance framework was pronounced in Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s statement this week, issued on the eleventh anniversary of the military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Powerful imagery and symbolic thrust …

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Targeted and tough control measures helped Sri Lanka arrest virus spread and ensure a “low death rate”says Health Services Director-General Dr. Anil Jasinghe

By Meera Srinivasan S’ At a time when big and mighty countries struggle to cope with soaring numbers of coronavirus cases and consequent deaths, the official figures from 21-million strong Sri Lanka stand out — 1,070 cases, 660 recoveries and nine deaths as of Saturday evening. Behind those promising numbers are early thinking and swift …

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Bandula Gunawardena’s Attempt to Hit a “Sixer”With His Homagama Cricket Stadium Project Fails as PM Mahinda Rajapaksa Gets Him Out By Fielding a catch at the Boundary Line.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake Minister Bandula Gunawardena is out. He thought it was a sixer he hit, with the ball rising up in the sky and racing to pass the boundary. But it suddenly moved down, and was caught by none other than the Vice Captain – the Prime Minister himself. Which means the Homagama, Diyagama …

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Sri Lankan Government Understates COVID-19 Figures by Conducting a Small Number of Covid Tests To Claim Virus is “Under Control” and Recklessly Reopen the Economy

By Naveen Dewage Sri Lankan health authorities announced on Friday that the total number COVID-19 infections had risen to 1,068 but that the official death toll remained at nine. The government is using these relatively low numbers to claim that the coronavirus is “under control” and that the existing, but limited, national curfews can be …

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While Miltary are Elbowing Public Servants out of Positions of High State Responsibility Sans National Protest the President Commands the Remainder in the Public Service to “Obey or Else”……..

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Existential perils to the democratic, constitutional model on which the Sri Lankan Republic was constructed now quickening apace, does not even have the excitement of novelty to spark the imagination. Familiar patterns of militaristic governance There is nothing very special in the creeping militarisation of governance that we are witnessing. From …

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Demands Legal Immunity for the Armed Forces Facing War Crime Indictments.

By Pradeep Ramanayake Addressing a victory celebration on Tuesday, Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse eulogised the military for its part in Colombo’s 30-year communal war and declared that he would continue to oppose all war crime indictments against the armed forces. The event was held at Battaramulla, in the Colombo suburbs, near a memorial to …

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Will Sri Lanka stay and face the attacks in a manner worthy of its war heroes, or flee from International Organizations in the Footsteps of President Trump leaving all flanks exposed?

By Tamara Kunanayakam Speaking at the National War Heroes Commemoration Ceremony on 19 May 2020, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared that he will not hesitate to withdraw Sri Lanka from any international body or organisation that continuously targets the country and war heroes. The President was probably referring to the UN Office of the High Commissioner …

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What Was The Need for Defence Secretary and the Army and Navy Chiefs With Their Elite Guards in Red Berets and Body-armour To Visit with Full TV Coverage the Muhudu Vihare and Digavapi in Amparai District?

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The footage on TV news was straight out of my favourite Netflix series. A long convoy of glossy black four-wheel drives coming down a dusty road with a heat haze shimmering in the background. Elite guards in red berets and body-armour, sunshades and carrying Heckler-and-Koch MP6s dismount, escorting the Bosses, also in …

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President Rajapaksa’s statement About Sri Lanka Pulling out of any Internaional Organization Targeting War Heroes Unfairly indicates he is either wrongly advised about the UN or plain politics, which could go against Sri Lanka at a time it desperately needs international support precisely to protect its war heroes.

By Tamara Kunanayakam Below are my Initial comments on the statement made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday when addressing the war hero’s ceremony at the war memorial, that he will not hesitate to pull Sri Lanka out of any international organisation that unfairly targets the country’s war heroes. My Comments The President is most likely …

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa’s statement About Sri Lanka Pulling out of any Internaional Organization Targeting War Heroes Unfairly indicates he is either wrongly advised about the UN or plain politics, which could go against Sri Lanka at a time it desperately needs international support precisely to protect its war heroes.’ »

Presidents Counsel Saliya Peries Appearing for the Election Commission Tells the Supreme Court That Parliamentary Elections Cannot be Held on June 20th 2020 as Scheduled.

By A.J.A. Abeynayake The Election Commission (EC) yesterday informed the Supreme Court that the general election could not be held on June 20. President’s Counsel Saliya Peries, appearing for the EC submitted to the court that as of now it felt that the general election could not be held on June 20. The submission was …

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The military is set to become part of the power base of Sri Lankan politics Under Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

By P.K.Balachandran After de-colonization, many countries in South and South East Asia have been subjected to military rule. But military rule has been both direct and indirect. The affected countries have also gone through “de-militarization” and “re-militarization” depending upon a variety of domestic and external development impinging on the ruling elites’ notion of “national security.” …

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Ex-Defence Attache Priyanka Fernando Who Enacted a Throat-slitting Gesture to Tamil Demonstrators Outside Sri Lankan High Commission in London is Promoted From Brigadier to Major -General by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Brigadier Priyanka Fernando was Promoted to the rank of Major General of Sri Lanka Army on the 11 th Anniversary of liberation of Sri Lanka from the LTTE. The President promoted over a 14000 officers in the military to mark the 11th anniversary of the national war heroes day.

“If any international body or organization continuously targets our country and our war heroes, using baseless allegations, I will also not hesitate to withdraw Sri Lanka from such bodies or organizations.” Declares President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday declared that he wouldn’t hesitate to withdraw from the international bodies relentlessly attacking Sri Lanka over unsubstantiated war crimes allegations. He said so at the 11th annual commemoration of the defeat of the LTTE. The ceremony was held at War Heroes’ memorial in Battaramulla. The President said: “Even leaders of powerful …

Continue reading ‘“If any international body or organization continuously targets our country and our war heroes, using baseless allegations, I will also not hesitate to withdraw Sri Lanka from such bodies or organizations.” Declares President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’ »

People’s Alliance for Right to Land (PARL)deeply disturbed by military intervention in civilian land administration in the Pottuvil Muhudu Maha Viharaya area and attempt to acquire lands as an archaeological site without adhering to transparent procedures and consulting with affected communities.

(20th May, 2020 Statement Issued by the Peoples Alliance for Right to Land (PARL) on recent developments in Pottuvil Muhudu Maha Viharaya inclusive of Misuse of land acquisition laws and the military) The People’s Alliance for Right to Land (PARL) is deeply disturbed by the military intervention in civilian land administration in the Pottuvil Muhudu …

Continue reading ‘People’s Alliance for Right to Land (PARL)deeply disturbed by military intervention in civilian land administration in the Pottuvil Muhudu Maha Viharaya area and attempt to acquire lands as an archaeological site without adhering to transparent procedures and consulting with affected communities.’ »

Counsels Suren Fernando, Ikram Mohammed and Viran Corea Appearing for Five Fundamental Righs Petitioners make submissions Before Supreme Court arguing President’s Gazette dissolving P’ment is no longer valid on Second Day of Hearings: AG and Counsel for President’s Sec. to raise preliminary objections on Third Day

The second day of hearing of Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions that have been filed challenging the Gazette issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dissolving Parliament as well as the Gazette issued by the Election Commission that has set 20 June as the date for the General Election were taken up before a five-member Bench of the …

Continue reading ‘Counsels Suren Fernando, Ikram Mohammed and Viran Corea Appearing for Five Fundamental Righs Petitioners make submissions Before Supreme Court arguing President’s Gazette dissolving P’ment is no longer valid on Second Day of Hearings: AG and Counsel for President’s Sec. to raise preliminary objections on Third Day’ »

A functioning Parliament was essential in a democracy and during a time of crisis it was even more important and must be strengthened” Says Sumanthiran PC in Submissions Before Five Judge Bench of Supreme Court Hearing Fundamental Rights Petitions

By Chandani Kirinde The Supreme Court yesterday began hearings into several Fundamental Rights petitions that have been filed challenging the Gazette issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dissolving Parliament as well as the Gazette issued by the Election Commission that set 20 June as the date for the poll. The case is being heard before a …

Continue reading ‘A functioning Parliament was essential in a democracy and during a time of crisis it was even more important and must be strengthened” Says Sumanthiran PC in Submissions Before Five Judge Bench of Supreme Court Hearing Fundamental Rights Petitions’ »

“Whenever we happen to be in power, there will always be former members of the armed forces and police holding various positions in the Government” Declares Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday issuing a statement to mark the 11th year anniversary to commemorate the victory against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) reiterated it was not a war against the Tamil people, but against an organisation designated by the FBI as the deadliest terrorists in the world. Following is the full …

Continue reading ‘“Whenever we happen to be in power, there will always be former members of the armed forces and police holding various positions in the Government” Declares Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Five-judge Supreme Court Bench Headed By Chief Justice Will Examine on May 18 and 19 Six Fundamental Rights Petitions Challenging the Holding of Parliamentary General Elections on June 20 and the President’s Refusal to Reconvene the Recently Dissolved Parliament.

By Arjuna Ranawana A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, will tomorrow, May 18, examine at least six Fundamental Rights petitions challenging the holding of the Parliamentary General Elections on June 20 and the President’s refusal to reconvene the recently dissolved Parliament. At these hearings, the Court will decide whether they are to accept the …

Continue reading ‘Five-judge Supreme Court Bench Headed By Chief Justice Will Examine on May 18 and 19 Six Fundamental Rights Petitions Challenging the Holding of Parliamentary General Elections on June 20 and the President’s Refusal to Reconvene the Recently Dissolved Parliament.’ »

TNA Scores Politically By Responding To PM Mahinda’s Invitation Positively

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj When Seven major opposition parties made an offer of responsible cooperation in return for restoration of Parliament to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa they were rudely rebuffed. When his brother Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa invited all former MP’s of the dissolved Parliament for a political conference, he was rebuffed (but not rudely) by all opposition …

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Sri Lanka Lurches Further Away From Liberal Democracy as President Rajapaksa Puts Soldiers in Charge of Everything Thereby Creating “Normalisation” of Military Influence in the Civilian Sphere- The Economist

BEFORE THE presidential election he won last November, Gotabaya Rajapaksa laid out for Banyan his vision for Sri Lanka. It was a sunlit upland of peaceful, inclusive “knowledge-based” development. All the political bickering of recent years, “Gota” promised, would be swept aside by his programme of brisk, technocratic proficiency. His years as an army officer …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Lurches Further Away From Liberal Democracy as President Rajapaksa Puts Soldiers in Charge of Everything Thereby Creating “Normalisation” of Military Influence in the Civilian Sphere- The Economist’ »

TNA Leader Sampanthan Commends Party Spokesperson Sumanthiran for Providing “frank and forthright i answers” to “questions that were asked with the deliberate purpose of promoting mischief and disunity amongst the people of this country”

(Text of Statement Issued by R Sampanthan Leader of the Tamil National Alliance and former Member of Parliament) My attention has been drawn to the interview said to have been given to the media by Mr. M. A. Sumanthiran, President’s Counsel, former Member of Parliament Jaffna District, and Spokesman for the Tamil National Alliance. Mr. …

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“As an Election Commission Member, I Refused to let the Attorney -General Represent me in the Supreme Court Because I Have No Confidence in the A-G” – EC Member Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole

By Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole On 11 and 12 May, several newspaper and websites quoted the Attorney General as stating in Court that day that he could not represent the Election Commission in the ongoing FR petitions on the Parliamentary Elections. The Attorney General represented by ASG Indika Devamuni de Silva said that the …

Continue reading ‘“As an Election Commission Member, I Refused to let the Attorney -General Represent me in the Supreme Court Because I Have No Confidence in the A-G” – EC Member Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole’ »

TNA Seeks Release of Tamil “Political” Prisoners:Party spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran hands over a list of the detainees under Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) Act to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa For Potential Action

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka’s Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has sought the release of “political prisoners” who were arrested — some convicted — for their alleged association with or role in the rebel LTTE during the civil war. On Tuesday night, TNA spokesman and former Jaffna parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran handed over a list of the …

Continue reading ‘TNA Seeks Release of Tamil “Political” Prisoners:Party spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran hands over a list of the detainees under Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) Act to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa For Potential Action’ »

Can Sri Lanka really live with this possible governance vacuum — no parliament, no cabinet and no Prime Minister?

By Dr. Ram Manikkalingam There is a standoff between the New President and the Old Parliament. The Old Parliament wants the New President to recall it. And the New President wants to bring in a New Parliament that supports him. But both are stuck. The Old Parliament does not have the power to recall itself. …

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Election Commission Postpones the issuing of the Gazette notification bearing the names and preferential number of candidates contesting General Election until the Supreme Court rules on the Fundamental Rights petitions challenging the date of the election.

By Chandani Kirinde The Election Commission, which met yesterday, decided to postpone the issuing of the Gazette notification bearing the names and preferential number of candidates contesting the upcoming General Election until the Supreme Court rules on the Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging the date of the election. EC sources said the Commission decided to …

Continue reading ‘Election Commission Postpones the issuing of the Gazette notification bearing the names and preferential number of candidates contesting General Election until the Supreme Court rules on the Fundamental Rights petitions challenging the date of the election.’ »

Will President Gotabaya Rajapaksa be More Flexible Due to Mounting Legal Challenges and Relent or Continue to Remain Rigidly Intransigent?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj June 20th 2020 is the D-day for Sri Lankan Parliamentary Elections. The Election Commission has fixed June 20 as the new date for the postponed election of April 25. However a question mark looms large over the holding of polls on the said date as scheduled. At least eight fundamental rights petitions have …

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Responsible Cooperation In Return For Restoration of Parliament: Opposition Parties Seek Responsive Cooperation From President

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ‘Responsive cooperation’ was at one time a popular phrase in the political lexicon of Ceylon as Sri Lanka was known in the past. It came into vogue through G.G. Ponnambalam, the mercurial leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), founded in 1944. The G.G. Ponnambalam-led Tamil Congress demanded a political system based …

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Politics of Postponing Parliamentary Elections Amidst a Pandemic

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The world including Sri Lanka is undergoing a pandemic crisis of colossal proportions. The Island nation however is in double jeopardy as it is in the grip of two crises siumultaneously. One of course is the Covid-19 Health crisis inflicted globally by nature. The other experienced by Sri Lanka is the Constitutional crisis …

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Can the Doctrine of Necessity Be Invoked in Sri Lanka To Enable President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Govern Without a Parliament?

By (Dr) Jayampathy Wickramaratne, President’s Counsel My article, ‘Necessity: Doctrine That Destroyed Pakistani Democracy’ published in The Island on 08 May has evoked interest in the subject and I have been asked for my views on its implications for Sri Lanka, including on whether it can be invoked in the present circumstances. For the benefit …

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It lies mainly in the hands of President Rajapaksa to avert this Constitutional impasse. It will not only be in his own interests but in the best interests of the country as well.

By Harindra Dunuwille (The Writer a former Mayor of Kandy is an Attorney-at-Law and an ex-State Minister of Constitutional Affairs) Dissolution of Parliament President Gotabaya Rajapaksa exercising his constitutional powers and prerogatives under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, dissolved Parliament immediately upon it completing four and a half years by a Proclamation on the …

Continue reading ‘It lies mainly in the hands of President Rajapaksa to avert this Constitutional impasse. It will not only be in his own interests but in the best interests of the country as well.’ »

President Rajapaksa has a reputation for hard work and efficiency. Nevertheless, his effectiveness too depends on being accountable and transparent in his decisions and actions.

By Dinesha Samararatne Governance in Sri Lanka, is once again, on familiar ground; a constitutional crisis, or at the very least, a constitutional conundrum. In the main, we are presented with two alternatives. Neither of these alternatives seem attractive at first brush; reviving a Parliament that had a mixed record in which we had a …

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa has a reputation for hard work and efficiency. Nevertheless, his effectiveness too depends on being accountable and transparent in his decisions and actions.’ »

“With the Coronavirus outbreak now under control to a certain degree, the government has gradually begun relaxing the curfew. We will have to maintain a balance between steps taken to prevent the spread of the disease on the one hand and the restoration of normalcy on the other” – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

(Text of a Press Release Issued by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Under the Heading “Controlling the Coronavirus pandemic and gradual restoration of normal life”) Covid-19 came to the attention of the world as a new disease around the beginning of this year. From the very outset, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated very candidly that …

Continue reading ‘“With the Coronavirus outbreak now under control to a certain degree, the government has gradually begun relaxing the curfew. We will have to maintain a balance between steps taken to prevent the spread of the disease on the one hand and the restoration of normalcy on the other” – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

All Ceylon Makkal Congress Leader Rishad Bathiudeen Writes to President Rajapaksa Explaining why Islam forbids cremation of Muslims by Citing a “Hadeeth” and Requests Gotabaya to Amend Gazette Accordingly to Stop Forced Cremation of Covid -19 Affected Bodies of Dead Muslims and Enable Burial

Rishad Bathiudeen, Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and a former Minister of Industry and Commerce, has written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to say that the cremation of Muslims who had died of coronavirus, violates an authentic “Hadeeth” which is attributed to Prophet Mohammad and one of is companions. ”Breaking A Muslim’s Bones …

Continue reading ‘All Ceylon Makkal Congress Leader Rishad Bathiudeen Writes to President Rajapaksa Explaining why Islam forbids cremation of Muslims by Citing a “Hadeeth” and Requests Gotabaya to Amend Gazette Accordingly to Stop Forced Cremation of Covid -19 Affected Bodies of Dead Muslims and Enable Burial’ »

As sales and exports of fish crash, another huge crisis is staring at Sri Lanka’s fisherfolk.

By Meera Srinivasan This is not the first time that their livelihoods are being disrupted or destroyed. From the nearly three decade-long civil war until 2009, to the invasive Indian trawlers that reigned their seas soon after, to conflicts with locals operating powerful mechanised boats, to migrant fisherfolk competing for their catch — Sri Lanka’s …

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Name Included on Page 29 of Expatriate List of Individuals Renouncing Unted States Citizenship Published Quarterly by the United States Federal Registry

The United States Federal Registry run by the National Archive and Records Administration has published President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s name on its quarterly published expatriate list of individuals renouncing United States citizenship. The list (document number 2020-09814) published yesterday, prepared by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US Treasury, lists details of those renouncing US …

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The Dangerous Doctrine of Necessity Became The Destroyer Of Democracy In Pakistan

By Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne, PC The doctrine of necessity was first expounded in the 13th century by English jurist Bracton, who stated ‘that which is otherwise not lawful is made lawful by necessity’. Glanville Williams described the defence of necessity as involving ‘a choice of the lesser evil. ‘ The doctrine is recognized in criminal …

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Though Elected to Office Through Sinhala Buddhist Votes, Gotabaya Rajapaksa is Only A “Nominal” President Without Executive Power In Terms of the 19th Constitutional Amendment.

By Victor Ivan Sri Lanka and India can be considered as the only two South Asian countries that have chosen and followed the democratic path since independence. The Indian National Congress which led India’s freedom struggle had a very clear democratic vision from its very beginning. It can be said that the democratic outlook of …

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Sri Lanka, a country where majoritarian supremacy and impunity have long prevailed, is reiterating long-standing trends

By Taylor Dibbert President Gotabaya Rajapaksa pardoned Sunil Rathnayake in March. Rathnayake is a convicted war criminal who was on death row. He was convicted of killing eight Tamil civilians, including a five-year-old. Releasing him from prison is outrageous and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. AFP notes that the murdered “were killed …

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Fundamental Rights Violation Petition filed on Behalf of Hejaaz Hizbullah by Senior Lawyer Gowri Shangary Thavarajah Discloses Details About How the Attorney-at -law was Arrested and is Being Held by the Police CID

By S.S. Selvanayagam A Fundamental Rights Violation Petition was filed on Tuesday 5 May on behalf of lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah, who is purportedly under custody on detention order. The Petition was filed by senior Attorney-at-Law Gowry Shangary Thavarajah citing Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, Director of CID SSP W. Thilakaratne, Chief Inspector Karunatilaka of the CID, …

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JVP Ex-MP Sunil Handunnetti Questions how a Vote on Account for March-May 2020 has been included in the Pre-election Budgetary Position Report 2020 without Parliamentary approval

The JVP yesterday questioned how a Vote on Account for March-May 2020 has been included in the Pre-election Budgetary Position Report 2020, issued by the Finance Ministry under the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act, without Parliamentary approval Former JVP Sunil Handunnetti said that the Report states that a Vote on Account for three months commencing from …

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General Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya Ranjith Madduma Bandara Files a Fundamental Rights Petition challenging the purported 20 June Parliamentary Election.

By S.S.Selvanayagam General Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Ranjith Madduma Bandara filed a Fundamental Rights Petition challenging the purported 20 June Parliamentary Election. The petition was filed through Dinesh Vidanapathirana citing Attorney General Dappula de Livera, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, and Election Commission members N. J. Abeysekera and Ratnajeevan Hoole as Respondents.

Senior journalist Victor Ivan and seven others file rights petition challenging the 20 June 2020 Parliamentary Election and seeking Court to Quash the Impugned Gazette Notification:President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran is to appear for petitioners

By S.S. Selvanayagam Senior journalist Victor Ivan and seven others yesterday filed rights petition challenging the 20 June Parliamentary Election. Petitioners Victor Ivan, T.M. Premawardana, Prof. Anton Meemana, A.M Jiffry, S. Sivagurunathan, Mahinda Hattaka, M.S. Jayakodi and Dr. H.D.S.F.D Herath cited Attorney General Dappula de Livera, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, and Election Commission members …

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“I pray that Arrested Attorney -at-law Hejaaz Hisbullah will be treated fairly, by the justice system he has served so well and our society that he values so dearly”

By Amal de Chickera On 16 April, I heard that my former classmate Hejaaz Hisbullah had been arrested by the CID. As I learnt more about the questionable circumstances of his arrest, I have been struck by how little these questions seem to matter in various media and social-media circles. It appears that by virtue …

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The Centre for Policy Alternatives&its Executive Director Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu file Fundamental Rights application challenging President’s decision to dissolve Parliament on 2 March 2020 and the decision of the Elections Commission to reschedule elections on 20 June 2020.

By S.S.Selvanayagam The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu filed a Fundamental Rights application challenging the decision of the President to dissolve Parliament on 2 March 2020 and the decision of the Elections Commission to reschedule elections on 20 June 2020. Petition states the Articles 70 and 33(2)(c) of …

Continue reading ‘The Centre for Policy Alternatives&its Executive Director Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu file Fundamental Rights application challenging President’s decision to dissolve Parliament on 2 March 2020 and the decision of the Elections Commission to reschedule elections on 20 June 2020.’ »

Mangala Samaraweera challenges the President and the Govt to explain and prove the constitutional authority they possess to authorize and incur public expenditure from April 30, 2020, until the date on which a new Parliament is summoned to meet consequent to the Parliamentary General Election.

(Text of a letter sent by former Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera to the Secretary to the President, Dr.PB Jayasundara) 05.05.2020 Dr. P.B. Jayasundara Secretary to H.E. the President Presidential Secretariat Colombo 01 Dear Dr. Jayasundara, Regarding your reply to my letter to HE the President on 28 April 2020. It is regrettable to note that …

Continue reading ‘Mangala Samaraweera challenges the President and the Govt to explain and prove the constitutional authority they possess to authorize and incur public expenditure from April 30, 2020, until the date on which a new Parliament is summoned to meet consequent to the Parliamentary General Election.’ »

“My own hope is that history will record that human beings learned a lot about the earth, about life and about themselves after Covid-19, especially the folly of their ways as a species and as individuals”

by Krishantha Prasad Cooray Over 250,000 people have succumbed to Covid-19 as I write these words. If every death diminishes each one of us left alive, then we have indeed been reduced to minuscule dimensions. Yet our fears and sorrows are monumental. Before Covid-19, few of us had truly comprehended that death, indeed, is a …

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Attorney General Dappula de Livera Gives the go ahead to the Election Commission to conduct the Parliamentary Election according to the procedure established by law.

By Chandani Kirinde Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera yesterday gave the go ahead to the Election Commission (EC) to conduct the Parliamentary Election according to the procedure established by law. The AG’s response was sent in response to a letter sent by the AG yesterday seeking advice on whether a legal issue arises due …

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Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Thanks TNA for having attended the “Temple Trees” meeting to express its views on the difficulties faced by the Tamil people and Meaningfuly contributing to the discussion on the anti-Covid-19 campaign.

By Norman Palihawadane Monday’s meeting convened, at Temple Trees, to discuss the future course of action as regards the country’s fight against COVID0-19, had badly exposed those who boycotted it, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said, yesterday. Rajapaksa thanked the TNA for having attended the meeting to express its views on the difficulties faced by the …

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It is far better that the president takes the decision to uphold the constitution than the burden of finding the answer is put upon the courts of law

By Jehan Perera A study by the Economist magazine has shown that Sri Lanka is one of the countries least able to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus induced world economic crisis. Out of 66 countries assessed, Sri Lanka came 61st in terms of its ability to handle the crisis without being economically …

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If a General Election has not been conducted, and if a new Parliament has not met by 2 June, the immediate consequence will be that the dissolution of the 2015 Parliament, ordered by the Mar 2 Proclamation, will be rendered of no force or effect in law.

By Dr.Nihal Jayawickrama The Election Commission has announced that it shall conduct the General Election on 20 June. Over the media, politicians, journalists, and lawyer-politicians have defended that decision by providing inaccurate interpretations of certain constitutional provisions. I do not claim infallibility, but the relevant provisions of the Constitution have been stated in such clear …

Continue reading ‘If a General Election has not been conducted, and if a new Parliament has not met by 2 June, the immediate consequence will be that the dissolution of the 2015 Parliament, ordered by the Mar 2 Proclamation, will be rendered of no force or effect in law.’ »

Some Actions of Ratnajeevan Hoole Though Controversial Improve Transparency of the Election Commission and Compels its Chairman and Members to be Independent and Impartial Thereby Strengthening the Confidence of the Public in the EC

By Harsha Gunasena Ratnajeevan Hoole, a member of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka (EC), stirred many a discussion of the behaviour of a public servant in recent times due to the unprecedented nature of his published writings and interviews given to the newspapers. The President said that EC is not independent citing the behaviour …

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TNA Issues Statement Explaining Why the Party is Attending Conference Convened by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa While Emphasising That It Cannot be a Substitute for Re-convening Parliament

(Text of a Media Statement Issued by the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) 3rd May 2020 R. SAMPANTHAN LEADER TAMIL NATIONAL ALLIANCE (TNA) STATEMENT – TAMIL NATIONAL ALLIANCE 1. An appeal was made by the Tamil National Alliance and other political parties to His Excellency the President for the dissolved Parliament to be reconvened. The response to …

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Is President Gotabaya Rajapakse using the pandemic disaster to tear up constitutional norms and the rule of law in preparation for a presidential dictatorship?

By K. Ratnayake 30 April 2020 Media reports have confirmed that the Sri Lankan defence ministry has stationed thousands of soldiers in up to 16 schools in Colombo and in other areas, including the North and Central provinces. The soldiers were dispatched to Colombo on Monday, during the all-island curfew. This week M. M. Ratnayake, …

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Jaffna health workers complain of poor facilities as pandemic spreads in Sri Lanka

By Subash Somachandran Despite Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s claims that the pandemic is under control and conditions are emerging to “reopen the economy,” Sri Lanka is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections. The government is deliberately carrying out a small number of tests so as to produce lower infection rates and downplay the risk …

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“Under Article 150(3) of the Constitution, the President has complete authority to allocate funds for any purpose for which funds had not been allocated by Parliament” Says Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

(Text of a MEDIA RELEASE Issued by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Under the Heading “Politicking in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis”) The President, the government and the state apparatus have focused their entire attention on combating Covid-19. The way in which the people have benefited from this, is clearly apparent. Even in the midst …

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TNA Ex-Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran PC Writes to Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission in the Public Interest and Requests SLHRC to Advise the Govt on the Urgent Need to Regularise the Imposition and Enforcement of Curfews Through Appropriate Legal Provisions

(Text of a Letter Written By Ex-Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran PC to the Chairperson and Other Membes of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka) 3rd May 2020 The Chairperson and other members of The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Colombo 4. To: Madam Chairperson and other members, Imposition of “curfew” I write this in the …

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Can a Re-convened Parliament With a Majority of Opposition MP”s Present an Impeachment Motion Against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa?

by C. A. Chandraprema Some members of the SLPP have expressed the fear that if the Parliament is reconvened as demanded by the opposition, the latter which has the majority in Parliament could present an impeachment motion against the President. Going by the behavior of the opposition, such fears may not be unfounded and it …

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Identification of more than two hundred navymen attached to the Welisara navy camp as superspreaders of the coronavirus after being allowed to go to their villages on leave without first being tested turn Navy from heroes to pariahs in a twinkling of an eye

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Identification of more than two hundred navymen attached to the Welisara navy camp as superspreaders of the coronavirus after being allowed to go to their villages on leave without first being tested, shows the fragility of that vicious ‘us vs them’ dichotomy in no uncertain terms. From heroes to pariahs Abruptly, …

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Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission Raises Alarm Over Police Arresting Persons For Making Comments Over Social Media About Covid-19 Pandemic Spread and Questions legal basis for Use of Quarantine Ordinance and Disaster Management Act.

By Namini Wijedasa The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has raised alarm about a spate of recent arrests of persons for statements they had made on social media, particularly about the spread of COVID-19. There are at least eight recorded cases, all before the Magistrate’s Court of Colombo, the HRCSL told the Sunday …

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Has Public Administration Minister Gazetting March 17, 18 and 19 as special public holiday Rendered the March 12 to 19 Nominations Invalid?Election Commission Seeks Attorney -General’s Opinion.

The Election Commission has sought an opinion from the Attorney General on the implications of the Government declaring special public holidays during the Parliamentary elections nomination period which ended on March 19. Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya told a meeting of political party representatives yesterday that the EC was awaiting a response from the AG’s Department.

From luxury hotels to distilleries, Sri Lanka’s private sector has joined the fight against the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Meera Srinivasan In the world’s four-month battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, one reality remains unchanged. It has been an unequal fight with a tiny, but significantly stronger and resilient opponent. On the frontline are health workers, with the military aiding them in Sri Lanka’s case, toiling day and night in stifling full body …

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“I will not reconvene Parliament unilaterally and contribute to aggravate the emerging constitutional dispute. I state that I am bound to uphold the constitution and to act as per the verdict of the judiciary” -Karu Jayasuriya

(Text of a Media Statement Issued by Speaker of Dissolved Parliamemt Karu Jayasuriya) Recently, a majority of Opposition MPs of the dissolved Parliament requested from H.E. President to reconvene the Parliament to avert a constitutional crisis, in doing so, they pledged to fully support the government to overcome the pandemic, , in the event of …

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Coronavirus is fast becoming the strategic thinking of the political charlatans who are in power, or seeking power, or trying to dominate the political exercise with a major threat to democratic traditions.

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake This is May Day, when many years ago there were thousands on the streets in Mai Dina Pelapaali, loudly singing “Saadukin Pelanavun – Dan ithin negitiyav” – the LSSP’s revolutionary theme song, with focus on the hunger of the people. There are no May Day processions or rallies, today (01 May), with …

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President Rajapaksa Says Letter Sent to Him By Former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera Has Many Factual Inaccuracies in Reply Sent Through Presidential SEcretary Dr.PB Jayasundara

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday replied to a letter sent to him by former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera in which the latter had made a request for the resummoning of Parliament to conditionally resolve crises and to approve public expenditure. In the reply to Samaraweera sent through his Secretary P.B. Jayasundera, the President said the …

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President Rajapaksa Rejects Offer of Responsible Cooperation in Return for Restoration of Parliament Made by Seven Opposition Parties; Dissolved Parliement Will not be Re-convened by President Writes Secretary Dr.PB Jayasundara

Responding to open statement from Opposition parties, Dr. Jayasundara writes to former Opposition leader reiterating Parliament will not be reconvened Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundara yesterday said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would not reconvene Parliament, despite the request of Opposition political parties.

Is Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapakse Preparing for a Coup d’etat by Taking a Series of Sinister Authoritarian Steps in Conjunction With the Armed Forces under Cover of anti-pandemic measures?

By K. Ratnayake Amid a profound economic and political crisis, Sri Lanka’s minority government has taken a series of sinister, authoritarian steps in conjunction with the military that indicate a coup d’état could be in preparation. At the very least, the government is using the COVID-19 pandemic as the pretext to mount a power grab, …

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Even as Governments are Extending Lockdown Curfews to Combat the Covid -19 Pandemic, There is also growing Opposition Due to Continuous Inconvenience and Loss of Livelihood

By P.K.Balachandran The “lockdown”, as the principal way to contain the coronavirus pandemic, appears to be fraying at the edges now. Even as governments are extending the lockdown, driven by the advice of doctors and public health professionals, they cannot but take into account the growing opposition to it, at least in its present form. …

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President Gotabhaya Rajapakse Wanting to Hold Sri Lankan election as Early as Possible is Bound With His Authoritarian Agenda

By Vilani Peiris Under pressure from President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his caretaker cabinet, the Election Commissioner (EC) announced last week that Sri Lanka’s postponed general election would be held on June 20. Rajapakse’s agitation for a quick election takes place amid surging coronavirus infections in Sri Lanka and internationally. Anyone aware of Rajapakse’s authoritarian actions—past …

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