Mahinda’s Hurried Backdoor Power Grab and the Gotabhaya Factor

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Former President and current Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa was interviewed regarding the present political situation by Kelum Bandara of the “Daily Mirror” last week. One of the questions posed to Mahinda in the interview was – “There is perception among some that you took over the Government entering through the backdoor despite your ability to win elections in the future. What is your view? Mahinda’s somewhat defensive response was as follows –

Pics via: @GotabayaR

“There is no such thing called capturing power through the backdoor. A political party is not meant to be in the opposition forever. It should try to become the ruling party on the very first occasion made available to it. We vowed to topple the Government after two Vesak Poyas. One Vesak Poya is over. We toppled the Government before the next Vesak Poya. Our duty is to topple the Government if it is possible. It is actually in the greater interests of the country. The previous Government alienated the national assets. If it continued, there would be nothing left in the country for posterity. We reversed the move to introduce a separatist Constitution. Otherwise, it would also have been declared as adopted by voice vote in Parliament. (Ekath Aye Uye gala sammatha karai)”

“In that context, we have taken a correct decision in the interests of the country. We also faced a similar problem with regards to the Free Trade Agreements at that time. The previous Government did not think of the country. They acted in their personal interest and the interests of foreign countries”.
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When JR Introduced Executive Presidency in 1978 LSSP Leader Dr.N.M. Perera Raised The Prophetic Question “What Would Happen If Presidency Goes to a Madman?

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

In 1978, when the all-powerful executive presidency was introduced, LSSP stalwart N.M. Perera asked what would happen “if the presidency goes to a mad man”? The manifest limits of due process and absence of checks and balances against the behaviour of the incumbent has raised that pertinent question once again. Sri Lanka has never addressed this constitutional lacuna in full. Tinkering of the Constitution has not helped either.

J.R. Jayawardene, the first executive was not insane, but he was destructively opportunist. He drafted the 1978 Constitution to serve his personal and political ambitions and then tinkered it for 13 times. He was also an arrogant old man, full of ego (who was finally put in his place by young Rajiv Gandhi), a false god among a dozen other so-called national leaders.

The executive presidential system was introduced as means to address urgent and unique problems of economic development that the third world countries are faced with. However, its track record as an enabler of economic development and JR’s oversized stature ought to be gauged in comparison to the latter’s contemporaries of the same ideological vein: Lee Kuan Yee, Mahathir Mohammed, Suharto, and even Augusto Pinochet, some were bloodier than others, but they all uplifted their countries through right leaning authoritarian model. JR is a none-entity in this equation.

But he proved to be extra calamitous. His arrogant handling of State affairs created far- reaching political instability, and gave rise to two insurgencies in the North and the South. Effectively, mayhem he sowed killed more people per capita, than any of the right-wing leaders of his time. Pinochet looked like a convent nun.

JR did not clean up the mess he created, instead he handed over a burning nation to his successor, R. Premadasa. Nor did he create prosperity. Economic growth was dismal 4 per cent, despite the low GDP base of the country at the time (Whereas Mr. Premadasa, during his short tenure, defeated a moronic insurgency and doubled down on economic development).

Continue reading ‘When JR Introduced Executive Presidency in 1978 LSSP Leader Dr.N.M. Perera Raised The Prophetic Question “What Would Happen If Presidency Goes to a Madman?’ »

How Ex-Navy Chief and Chief of Defence Services Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne Became Remand Prisoner No 9550 At High Security Section in Welikade Jail.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

An ongoing high profile case before the Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake into the then Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Chandrasiri Wijegunaratne allegedly helping Lt. Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi, a suspect in the alleged wartime abduction and disappearance of 11 Tamil youth, to flee the country in early last year, took a dramatic turn on Dec 05, 2018.

Hettiarachchi continues to be in the service though remanded in connection with the disappearance case.

Having repeatedly accused Admiral Wijegunaratne of secretly sending Hettiarachchi out of the country in a Fast Attack Craft (FAC), the CID on Dec 05, 2018, admitted in court that in the absence of evidence to prove Hettiarachchi left the country legally, the outfit assumed the wanted man had been moved out in a naval craft.

The CID, in June 2018, told Fort Magistrate how Wijegunaratne aided and abetted Hettiarachchi to flee the country. At the time allegations were directed at Wijegunaratne, he was the CDS.

Inspector Nishantha Silva, of the Organized Crime Investigation Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), inquiring into the case, made the shocking admission in response to a query posed by President’s Counsel Anoja Premaratne appearing for Wijegunaratne. Premaratne pointed out the police arrested Hettiarachchi in Colombo in August this year after having alleged he fled the country in a FAC.

No less a person than Director, CID, SSP Shani Abeysekera, in April 2018, alleged that Wijegunaratne had aided and abetted Hettiarachchi to flee the country. The other much-touted allegation that Hettiarachchi had received Rs. 500,000 from Wijegunaratne, too, ‘failed’ for want of evidence as an investigation of relevant accounts did not support the charge.

Continue reading ‘How Ex-Navy Chief and Chief of Defence Services Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne Became Remand Prisoner No 9550 At High Security Section in Welikade Jail.’ »

Petition Seeking Writ of quo Warranto To Disqualify Ranil Wickremesinghe as Member of Parliament Filed at Court of Appeal by Co-chair of Women for Justice Sharmila Roweena Jayawardene Gonawela.

A petition was filed at the Court of Appeal yesterday seeking a writ of quo warranto to disqualify UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe from being a Member of Parliament, declare that his appointment as a member of Parliament was void and state that he had no right to continue to hold office as a member of Parliament.

Sharmila Roweena Jayawardene Gonawela, Co-Chairperson of Women for Justice, filed the petition, naming Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake, Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank as respondents.

Continue reading ‘Petition Seeking Writ of quo Warranto To Disqualify Ranil Wickremesinghe as Member of Parliament Filed at Court of Appeal by Co-chair of Women for Justice Sharmila Roweena Jayawardene Gonawela.’ »

“Public Interest” Case Filed on Behalf of Thakshila Jayawardena in Court of Appeal Wants a Panel of Doctors from Angoda Mental Hospital to Examine and Determine Whether President Maithripala Sirisena is of a Sound Mind.

President Maithripala Sirisena Monday faced a new challenge from an unexpected source questioning his mental condition to govern the country as a political crisis triggered by him dragged without any sign of resolution.

A public interest case was filed by a woman activist identified as Thakshila Jayawardena who argued that “irrational” behavior of the president was due to severe stress of adjusting to an urban life style, depression caused by the recent arrest of his chief of staff while taking a bribe and genetics.

Continue reading ‘“Public Interest” Case Filed on Behalf of Thakshila Jayawardena in Court of Appeal Wants a Panel of Doctors from Angoda Mental Hospital to Examine and Determine Whether President Maithripala Sirisena is of a Sound Mind.’ »

Wimal Weerawansa MP Tells Media That President Sirisena Will Convey a “Special Request” Through Attorney -General Jayantha Jayasuriya to Chief Justice Nalin Perera That the Supreme Court Makes a Ruling as early as possible in the Parliament Dissolution Case.

By Nuwan Senarathna

In a bid to end the country’s current political deadlock, President Maithripala Sirisena will today make a special request to Chief Justice Nalin de Silva through Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya for the Supreme Court’s decision on the Gazette dissolving Parliament to be issued as early as possible, MP Wimal Weerawansa revealed yesterday.

“The entire country is waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision on the Gazette dissolving Parliament issued by President Maithripala Sirisena. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s vacation starts from 14 December and ends in January next year, therefore we expect the Supreme Court to announce its decision prior to 14 December,” Weerawansa told reporters at the Western Province Aesthetic Resort (NADA).

He said that the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) expected that the Supreme Court would announce its decision at its earliest convenience to end the country’s current political turmoil.

Continue reading ‘Wimal Weerawansa MP Tells Media That President Sirisena Will Convey a “Special Request” Through Attorney -General Jayantha Jayasuriya to Chief Justice Nalin Perera That the Supreme Court Makes a Ruling as early as possible in the Parliament Dissolution Case.’ »

How the Political Crisis Caused Since Oct 26 Affects People In Rural Moneragala District – Abrupt Halt to Financial assistance, Subsidies, Pensions and Free School Uniforms.

By

Meera Srinivasan

For Chandrani Mendis, the political crisis gripping Sri Lanka since October 26 has had a specific cost — her pension for November.

“After my husband died, I had been receiving 250 rupees (roughly ₹100) a month as an allowance, but they stopped it last month,” said the 60-year-old, seated in her modest home in Wellawaya, Monaragala district, located in the Uva Province.

As the country’s political unrest persists amid battles in Parliament and the courts, governance has taken a severe beating, with no legitimate administration in place for weeks. About 250 km away from Colombo, people feel the crisis intimately, in the abrupt halt to financial assistance, subsidies and children’s free school uniforms.

Continue reading ‘How the Political Crisis Caused Since Oct 26 Affects People In Rural Moneragala District – Abrupt Halt to Financial assistance, Subsidies, Pensions and Free School Uniforms.’ »

Sri Lankan History That is Taught to Children is Extremely Sinhala-centric, with Only a Few Paragraphs Mentioning the Jaffna Kingdom and the Tamil People.

By Awahnee Mendis

In Grade 3, my Social Studies textbook described Sri Lanka as being a multicultural country, where people of all ethnicities lived together in harmony. What is ironic, and what my eight-year-old self didn’t realise, is that this was what I was being taught while the country was in an ethnic civil war.

Fast-forward seven years to Grade 10, when I was learning about the history of the country for O/Levels. In the first chapter, we learn that all the information about the country we have is from the Mahavamsa, inscriptions, tablets and ruins. All found in the different historical capitals of the country.

The Ordinary Level history syllabus taught to students in Grade 10 and 11 is mostly based on the Mahavamsa, which chronicles the history from 4 Century BC, with the information gathered by Buddhist monks. While this source provides us with a wealth of information, which must be taken in to account, relying heavily on it does not show the accurate picture of the country and its people as a whole.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan History That is Taught to Children is Extremely Sinhala-centric, with Only a Few Paragraphs Mentioning the Jaffna Kingdom and the Tamil People.’ »

From Molamure to Jayasuriya: “Honourable” Speakers of Sri Lanka

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The Parliamentary proceedings of Sri Lanka known formerly as Ceylon have been the focus of my interest from a fairly early age. It began when I was in the Upper-fourth D class (Grade seven) at St. Thomas’ College Mt.Lavinia in 1966. Our English teacher Mrs. Fernando advised us at the beginning of the year to regularly read and comprehend the Parliamentary proceedings published in newspapers . She said by reading the views expressed and exchanged during Parliamentary debates and discussion, we as students could improve our English and enhance our general knowledge about important contemporary issues.

I dutifully followed her advice. In those days the “Daily News” would publish pages and pages of Parliamentary proceedings. Parliamentary speeches delivered mainly in English by the Parliamentarians of yore would appear in full in the paper. So too would English translations of speeches made in Sinhala and Tamil. I started reading those pages of speeches (some were dreary and dull) with the aid of a Chambers school dictionary presented by my Parents. In the beginning I could not understand a lot of what was said and I would ask my Father for further explanations. As time went on and I too grew in years I began understanding and even relishing those speeches fully.
Continue reading ‘From Molamure to Jayasuriya: “Honourable” Speakers of Sri Lanka’ »

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s Heroic Defiance of Maithripala and Mahinda

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

“The Speaker represents the House. He/she represents the dignity of the House, the freedom of the House and because the House represents the nation, in a particular way, the Speaker becomes a symbol of nation’s freedom and liberty. Therefore that should be an honoured position, a free position and should be occupied always by persons of outstanding ability and impartiality”
– India’s first Prime Minister Jawarhalal Nehru

The Sri Lankan Legislature has witnessed many controversial happenings over the years. The august assembly’s humdrum existence and insipid routine has often given way to bursts of excitement by the unusual, irreverent conduct of its members.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya

A former Prime Minister once tried to enter the House clad in “amude” (loin cloth) to draw attention to the price rise in clothes. Opposition Party members drove bullock carts into the premises to protest the rise in fuel prices. A Trotskyite firebrand now turned Rajapaksa lackey smuggled in a wreath to symbolise the death of democracy. MPs have marched into the Well of the House shouting slogans. “Satyagraha” has been conducted. MPs have at times run off with the symbolic mace in a bid to disrupt proceedings. Members of Parliament, despite bearing the prefix “Honourable” have heckled, hooted at, punched and kicked their fellow MPs and thrown improvised missiles at each other. Some of the miscreants were named, shamed and evicted from the House. Parliament has also been adjourned abruptly due to the conduct of MPs on more than one occasion.
Continue reading ‘Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s Heroic Defiance of Maithripala and Mahinda’ »

Historic Plaque Acknowledging Contribution of DS Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake and Bulankulame Disawe in Constructing Iranamadu Reservoir Removed and Replaced With New Plaque Bearing President Sirisena’s Name.

The plaque which acknowledged the contribution of late Prime Minister, D.S. Senanayake, and Ex-Prime minister Dudley Senanayake and the opening of the completed Iranamadu Tank in 1954 by then Agriculture Minister Bulankulame Disawe Dud has been completely destroyed and replaced with a plaque bearing the name of President Maithripala Sirisena.

The construction of the Iranamadu tank which is regarded as the ‘Gem of Kilinochchi’, began in 1906 and was first used for irrigating fields in 1922.

The plaque bearing the name of the first Sri Lankan Prime Minister was preserved and respected even by the LTTE during the height of the war.

Continue reading ‘Historic Plaque Acknowledging Contribution of DS Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake and Bulankulame Disawe in Constructing Iranamadu Reservoir Removed and Replaced With New Plaque Bearing President Sirisena’s Name.’ »

If Courts Green-lights Dissolution,The Crisis Will be Resolved in a Peaceful Democratic Catharsis of a General Election. If Not, The Issue Won’t Go Away.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

Quite obviously I haven’t the slightest notion of what the Supreme Court verdict will be, unlike my friend Eran Wickremaratne who announced publicly (and rather curiously) that he doesn’t have the slightest doubt about it. However I do know, as a political scientist, what the implications and consequences will be if it were to go one way or the other.

I tend to perceive and analyze things from the perspective of comparative global politics. Therefore I tend to view the whole debate about parliament and the presidency in Sri Lanka today, not from a parochial point of view but from that of what is going on in the world around me at present and what has gone before.

What do we see? In London, there are no street demonstrations but no one knows who the Prime Minister will be, which party will be in power, what the composition of the cabinet will be next week! Further down the road, we do not know how Brexit in whichever variant will affect the unity of the United Kingdom, what with Northern Ireland and Scotland indicating that there may be an exit within Brexit. This is the result of the Westminster model and the absence of an overarching Presidency.

Conversely, there is a violent rebellion in France, both in Paris and the provinces. Yet, there is no visible crisis of governance and chronic political instability unlike in Britain! This is despite the unpopularity of the sitting President. That then is testimony to the strength of the directly elected Presidency in France, unlike the volatility and fragility of the Westminster model.

The implications in and for Sri Lanka should be thought through. Insofar as the French rebellion is due to the neoliberal-globalist economic policies and remote, socially inattentive style of President Macron, we too in Sri Lanka could have such social turmoil if the economic policies of Ranil and Mangala are resumed.

Continue reading ‘If Courts Green-lights Dissolution,The Crisis Will be Resolved in a Peaceful Democratic Catharsis of a General Election. If Not, The Issue Won’t Go Away.’ »

There is One Family That Is Most Frequently and Overtly Associated With Racism – THE RAJAPAKSAS

By

Sanjana Hattotuwa

Mahinda Rajapaksa issued two press releases on December 3. One in Sinhala, the other in English. The press release was in response to the interim stay order issued by the Court of Appeal, basically putting Rajapaksa out of the job he was unconstitutionally appointed into and hasn’t to date demonstrated any capacity to retain, even illegally. The English version was, unsurprisingly, terse and succinct. However, when juxtaposed with the Sinhala version, immediately obvious, even visually, was the difference in length.

The Sinhala press release was three paragraphs longer than the English version. In a rough capture of the significant differences first posted on Twitter, I noted that the strong emphasis on duty, patriotism and nationalism present in the Sinhala, was entirely absent in the English. Further, Rajapaksa deviously conflates partisan, parochial loyalty with civic responsibility, entwining citizenship with, essentially, mindless enslavement to his politics and party. The tone and expression employed also suggested Rajapaksa expected to be supported in his endeavours, or in other words, wanted blind allegiance independent of what he did, and how – even if it meant violating the constitution.

The fact that the press release was never issued in Tamil is also its own story. To be fair by Rajapaksa, Tamil, much like the community, is an after-thought for mainstream political parties save for, ironically, the Tamil National Alliance, which regularly puts out its press releases in Sinhala. More interesting is the selective approach to Tamil translations and content. Soon after the coup, Namal Rajapaksa tweeted in Tamil noting that the issue of Tamil political prisoners would be looked into. That tweet was never translated into Sinhala and posted on his official Twitter account, despite repeated calls to do so. This was at the time both father and son was courting the TNA. Dog-whistle politics stoking up communalism is a forte of the SLPP, for whom the political binary of being with them or against them is never out of fashion.

Continue reading ‘There is One Family That Is Most Frequently and Overtly Associated With Racism – THE RAJAPAKSAS’ »

How Can Fresh Elections Resolve Current Crisis and Bring Political Stability if the Same Set of MP’s who Cause Mischief are Elected or Appointed to Parliament Again?

By Gamini Weerakoon

Dissolution of Parliament followed by elections is the magic potion that can cure the raging political crisis in one dose, is the belief of the Rajapaksa faithful.

If an election can be held within a short time, it may resolve the current political impasse. But to hope for an election to end the plague affecting Sri Lanka’s body politic for long years – and the main cause for the continuing instability — is to look away from Lanka’s recent political history.

Mahinda Rajapaksa last week was demanding that a general election be held to end the current crisis and bring about the much needed political stability for many reasons, including his obviously burning desire. The impressive triumph at the recent elections for Gam Sabhas and other local council bodies has given him hope for a sweeping victory at parliamentary polls. But politics is a game that does not always conform to statistical trends, particularly in Sri Lanka. He seems to be forgetting his defeat—not a very long time ago–at the presidential polls in January 2015 after sweeping all provincial council polls, except for the Northern Province poll. This was followed by his defeat at the parliamentary elections which set in motion the current political instability that has rocked the country for the past three and a half years.

Continue reading ‘How Can Fresh Elections Resolve Current Crisis and Bring Political Stability if the Same Set of MP’s who Cause Mischief are Elected or Appointed to Parliament Again?’ »

President Sirisena’s Implied Criticism of the Judiciary by Comparing Constitutonal Crisis to a Dispute Between a Senior Buddhist Prelate and Village Temple Monk Deserves Strong,Unequivocal Condemnation.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

President Maithripala Sirisena’s implied criticism of the Sri Lankan judiciary when speaking at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) convention this Tuesday, referencing himself as the Mahanayake (seniormost prelate) of a Nikaya (chapter) being educated by the head monk of a village temple invokes strong and unequivocal condemnation in no uncertain terms.

What is in issue here however is at its very core, the constitutional separation of powers involving checks and balances between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary and must be understood as such. Assuredly this is not a dispute between monks of whatever rank or seniority as the case may. Illustrations of this nature cannot be justified as being addressed to a political audience as the President may strive to explain.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena’s Implied Criticism of the Judiciary by Comparing Constitutonal Crisis to a Dispute Between a Senior Buddhist Prelate and Village Temple Monk Deserves Strong,Unequivocal Condemnation.’ »

Why Did Not Anyone Tell President Sirisena That his Powers were Curtailed and he Could Not act according to His whims and fancies?

By

Dr Nihal Jayawickrama

The President appears to believe that he still possesses the full executive powers he derived from the Constitution when he was elected to his office in January 2015. Three months later, he sat during a tumultuous session in Parliament and witnessed the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, introduced by the Government of which he was the Head.That Amendment removed all his executive powers except three which he still enjoys: the power to appoint ambassadors, the power to appoint ministry secretaries, and the power to appoint provincial governors. Even these cannot be exercised by him unilaterally. For example, the Foreign Minister has to seek the “agrement” of the receiving state before he could name an ambassador. Why didn’t they tell him that?

The President believes that he has the power to remove the Prime Minister. Yes, he had that power, but once upon a time. The 19th Amendment explicitly repealed that power. Why didn’t they tell him that?

The President believes that he can decline to appoint as Prime Minister the Member of Parliament who “is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament” even after an absolute parliamentary majority has identified such a Member. Why? Because he does not like him and thinks he cannot work with him. The Constitution does not state that the President must like, love or adore such Member. The Prime Minister is not the President’s employee. Why didn’t they tell him that?

Continue reading ‘Why Did Not Anyone Tell President Sirisena That his Powers were Curtailed and he Could Not act according to His whims and fancies?’ »

President Sirisena Admits Openly That Mahinda Rajapaksa was Unable to Secure a Majority in Parliament Because the “Payment” Demanded by MP’s to Support the Newly Appointed Prime Minister Could Not be Paid as they Were Very Very High

Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to secure a majority in parliament because MPs demanded over 500 million rupees each to defect, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday acknowledging that his power grab had backfired.

President Sirisena in a video interview with the Daily Mirror admitted that the man he controversially installed as Prime Minister on October 26 did not have a majority in the 225-member assembly despite confident claims at the time.

Sirisena had told a public rally on November 3 near parliament that he had secured over 113 legislators to support Rajapaksa who was made prime minister after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“Do not fear. We have already got more than 113,” Sirisena announced at a rally dubbed 113 Plus.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Admits Openly That Mahinda Rajapaksa was Unable to Secure a Majority in Parliament Because the “Payment” Demanded by MP’s to Support the Newly Appointed Prime Minister Could Not be Paid as they Were Very Very High’ »

Immunity Conferred on the Executive President is only on his Person and not on his Acts or Actions States K.Kanag Iswaran PC Before Seven Judge Bench of the Supreme Court.

By

S.S. Selvanayagam

President’s Counsel K. Kanag Iswaran yesterday countering the arguments of the respondents and the intervernient petitioners underlined the fact that the immunity conferred on the Executive President was only on his person and not on his acts or actions.

Kanag Iswaran PC appearing for TNA Leader R. Sampanthan said this before the seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court which took up for hearing the fundamental rights petitions against the dissolution of Parliament by President.

Ten fundamental rights petitions against the dissolution of Parliament came up before the Bench comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira J de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna S. Jayawardena, Vijith K. Malalgoda and Murdu Fernando.

Kanag Iswaran PC said he did not propose to deal with the jungle of arguments of single instances put forward by the various respondents, on account of time constraints.

Continue reading ‘Immunity Conferred on the Executive President is only on his Person and not on his Acts or Actions States K.Kanag Iswaran PC Before Seven Judge Bench of the Supreme Court.’ »

The Democratic Party Winning Control of Congress at Recent US Mid-term Elections Will Bring Added Scrutiny on Sri Lanka With More Intensive Congressional Review of Recent Actions By President Sirisena and Prime Minister Rajapaksa


By

Robert.O. Blake

(Ambassador Robert Orris Blake jnr served as the US envoy in Colombo from 2006 to 2009.)

The current political impasse in Sri Lanka marks an important opportunity for Mahinda and Gotabaya Rajapaksa to think about the consequences of their current actions for future support from the United States and others for a government a Rajapaksa could be elected to lead next year.

Despite two no-confidence motions against Prime Minister Rajapaksa’s Government and two motions to halt funding for government ministries, Mr. Rajapaksa has refused to step down.

His refusal not only calls into question his and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP’s) adherence to Sri Lanka’s Constitution, it begs the question why they are inflicting unnecessary wounds on their and the SLPP’s future.

The strong showing of Rajapaksa and the SLPP in local council elections earlier this year demonstrated the support Rajapaksa continues to enjoy in Sri Lanka. New presidential elections could be called early next year. Although Mahinda Rajapaksa is prohibited by the Constitution from running again for presidency, his brother Gotabaya could be a strong contender.

Continue reading ‘The Democratic Party Winning Control of Congress at Recent US Mid-term Elections Will Bring Added Scrutiny on Sri Lanka With More Intensive Congressional Review of Recent Actions By President Sirisena and Prime Minister Rajapaksa’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Says the President Seems to be Ignoring the Legislature and Emphasises the Need to Establish a “New” Parliament to Scrap the Executive Presidency Through a Referendum

By Yohan Perera

United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday stressed the need to establish a new Parliament to scrap the Executive Presidency through a referendum.

Wickremesinghe made these proposals at a seminar organised by the Professionals for Democracy held at the Galle Face Hotel last morning.

“The citizens of this country have spoken out against the childish behavior of MPs in the House. I propose that a new Parliament is needed. We have to listen to the voice of the people and punish the MPs who misbehaved recently. The President seems to be ignoring the legislature. If that is the case we will scrap the executive presidency through a referendum. A new Parliament could help achieve this goal,” he added.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Says the President Seems to be Ignoring the Legislature and Emphasises the Need to Establish a “New” Parliament to Scrap the Executive Presidency Through a Referendum’ »

Destiny of 21 Million Sri Lankans Placed in the Hands of Seven Supreme Court Judges Who Will Determine Whether Country Will Have Stable Govt or Would Slide Into Anarchy.

With all political efforts to clear the month-long political and constitutional logjam having failed, Sri Lankans are waiting with bated breath to hear the Supreme Court’s rulings on the divisive issues involved.

The destiny of the 21 million citizens of Sri Lankan is now in the hands of seven judges of the apex court. Their ruling, expected any time after December 6, will determine whether Sri Lanka will have a stable government or it will slide into anarchy.

Meetings between President Maithripala Sirisena and the opposition United National Front (UNF) have consistently ended in deadlock.

Continue reading ‘Destiny of 21 Million Sri Lankans Placed in the Hands of Seven Supreme Court Judges Who Will Determine Whether Country Will Have Stable Govt or Would Slide Into Anarchy.’ »

President Sirisena Keeps Away From Tourism Awards Event Fearing Boycott by Tourist Industry Leaders and Issues Circular Prohibiting All State Institutions From Using Private Hotels for State Functions.

President Maithripala Sirisena pulled out of Sri Lanka Tourism Awards ceremony last night following reporters that tourism industry leaders are planning to boycott the event against the President’s participation.

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said Sirisena was invited for the event on the basis that he is the head of state.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Keeps Away From Tourism Awards Event Fearing Boycott by Tourist Industry Leaders and Issues Circular Prohibiting All State Institutions From Using Private Hotels for State Functions.’ »

President Sirisena Wants To Correct Questionable Areas of the 19th Amendment which he claims Was Passed in Parliament Due to his Relentless Courage and Unwavering Commitment.

President Maithripala Sirisena issued a statement this evening saying he would take necessary measures to “correct” questionable areas of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

The statement soon after the Supreme Court postponed the hearing of the petitions against the dissolution of Parliament until tomorrow.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Wants To Correct Questionable Areas of the 19th Amendment which he claims Was Passed in Parliament Due to his Relentless Courage and Unwavering Commitment.’ »

If Dissolution of Parliament is Ruled Out by Supreme Court Then Power Struggle Will Intensify With an Impeachment Motion Against President Sirisena Becoming Highly Likely.

By

Kelum Bandara

The United National Party (UNP) along with the like-minded parties such as the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), was upbeat when the Court of Appeal issued an order restraining the Cabinet and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa from functioning. However, it flew out of the window as President Maithripala Sirisena even discarded its appeal, for the second time, to reappoint UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister.

Hot on the heels of the Appeal Court ruling, the UNP representatives hurried to the Presidential Secretariat to engage the President with much hope. They believed the President would be flexible enough to reinstall the UNP-led Government under Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister. It proved otherwise as the President, at the very onset, expressed his unwillingness to reappoint Wickremesinghe.

“Don’t you have any other nominee for premiership other than Mr. Wickremesinghe? I cannot talk about his reappointment at all,” the President said as he sat down at the negotiation table.

It was a shock for the UNP which expected the President to show some flexibility under the present compelling circumstances.

Continue reading ‘If Dissolution of Parliament is Ruled Out by Supreme Court Then Power Struggle Will Intensify With an Impeachment Motion Against President Sirisena Becoming Highly Likely.’ »

If Pushed to the Wall, Maithripala Sirisena Says He is Ready to Resign Presidency and Return to his Polonnaruwe Farm After Making an Address to the Nation

President Maithripala Sirisena has said that he would resign from Presidency after making a State of the Nation Address if he was pushed to the wall, MP Mano Ganesan said.

According to the MP, the President has said this during the meeting which was held with United National Front (UNF) party leaders Monday night.

Continue reading ‘If Pushed to the Wall, Maithripala Sirisena Says He is Ready to Resign Presidency and Return to his Polonnaruwe Farm After Making an Address to the Nation’ »

Parliament Ignores Sirisena’s Request for Another No Confidence Vote Against Mahinda Rajapaksa and PreparesInstead to Impeach President Soon and Remove His Civic Rights.

Sri Lanka’s parliament Wednesday defied a hostile president and decided not to proceed with a de facto no-trust resolution against the disputed government and instead moved closer to an impeachment.

Maithripala Sirisena had asked the largest single party, the United National Party, to bring another resolution reconfirming the previous no-trust votes against Mahinda Rajapaksa and his purported cabinet.

The parliament’s action came a day after Sirisena vowed he will never reinstate Ranil Wickremesinghe who was controversially sacked on October 26. “Even if all 225 members of parliament want it, I will not reappoint Ranil,” Sirisena announced on Tuesday.

Continue reading ‘Parliament Ignores Sirisena’s Request for Another No Confidence Vote Against Mahinda Rajapaksa and PreparesInstead to Impeach President Soon and Remove His Civic Rights.’ »

“Piyasena, Machang Umbata Dan Saneepada? Piyasena Machang, Waren Chandeta”( Piyasena Machang are you feeling better now? Piyasena Machang , come and face the Vote)-Geetha Kumarasinghe Challenges Piyasena Gamage in Battle of Bentara-Elpitiya

Former MP Geetha Kumarasinghe yesterday accused MP Piyasena Gamage, who has sworn in to fill the vacant position left by her in Parliament, of not allowing her to work at least a month in her constituency.

Addressing a meeting in Elpitiya today she said that she was elected to Parliament as a member after polling the highest number of votes.

Continue reading ‘“Piyasena, Machang Umbata Dan Saneepada? Piyasena Machang, Waren Chandeta”( Piyasena Machang are you feeling better now? Piyasena Machang , come and face the Vote)-Geetha Kumarasinghe Challenges Piyasena Gamage in Battle of Bentara-Elpitiya’ »

Notwithstanding Modification by the 19th Amendment, The Directly Elected Presidency is the Apex of our State Form, our State System and Structure— not the Parliament.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

“…The General [de Gaulle] devised a strong executive presidency in 1958, and introduced direct elections to it four years later, precisely in order to remove power from the hands of political parties and bring stability to French institutions…the original source of French presidential legitimacy: the direct mandate of the people, introduced by de Gaulle.”
Biography of Charles de Gaulle, The Economist (2018/07/26)

What is at stake in the battles in the courts is whether or not the Constitution has been up-ended by the 19th amendment, even though a two thirds majority and a referendum were not held in order to do so. Mr. Wickremesinghe had sent an ambitious draft which was challenged in the Supreme Court, which ruled that certain provisions either had to be removed or required a two thirds majority and the referendum. The SC pointed out that these provisions as they stood, infringed upon if not devalued the people’s franchise, an entrenched clause or more simply, the very basis of the Republican Presidential Constitution. These were in fact excised.

But when the truncated 19th amendment was passed, Mr. Wickremesinghe was not a happy man. In his address to the parliament he said that the new 19th amendment was a temporary measure and that a new constitution which abolished the Presidency would be brought soon enough. Now Mr. Wickremesinghe wishes to act as if this has already been done and that we live in a new Constitutional system, in which the Presidency has not merely been reformed and partially restricted, but has actually been turned into a lame duck while the parliament has been exalted into the center of the political system, which is only nominally presidential.

All this simply because of a case of sour grapes on his part, because he ran for the president twice and failed, and knows that if there is another such election, he may have to vacate in favor of a more popular personality. Mr. Wickremesinghe’s peeve against the Presidency was manifested as far back as 2001-2003, when President Kumaratunga complained on the record to the foreign press, that he ignored and bypassed her at first and then tried to usurp her powers– and therefore she was constrained to kick him out.

Continue reading ‘Notwithstanding Modification by the 19th Amendment, The Directly Elected Presidency is the Apex of our State Form, our State System and Structure— not the Parliament.’ »

Sri Lanka Has Neither a Prime Minister Nor a Cabinet of Ministers For the First Time in Island Nation’s 70 Year Post -Independence Parliamentary History.

For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka, the country has no Prime Minister or a Council of Ministers.

Given the deep seated conflict between President Maithripala Sirisena and ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the stalemate over who should be Prime Minister is not likely to end anytime soon.

After the Court of Appeal on Monday stayed the functioning of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister and his colleagues as ministers, Rajapaksa and his ministers had stopped attending office.

All government work is now being done by President Maithripala Sirisena with the help of the Secretaries of the various ministries.

V.Anandasangaree, a very senior Tamil politician who was MP for Kilinochchi in the 1970s and is currently leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) said: “Never has anything like this happened before.”

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Has Neither a Prime Minister Nor a Cabinet of Ministers For the First Time in Island Nation’s 70 Year Post -Independence Parliamentary History.’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Launches Thinly -Veiled Attack On Judiciary Which Delivered Landmark Rulings That Stayed Moves by President to Appoint Mahinda as PM and Dissolve Parliament.

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena launched a thinly veiled criticism of the country’s judiciary after it delivered landmark judgements frustrating his moves to sack parliament and install what the largest party in parliament calls a “rogue government.”

In his first public reference to the conduct of the courts, Sirisena told a convention of his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) that many people had reservations about the recent conduct of courts.

He began saying that he would respect any decision of the courts, but later went on to say that “a section of the people” suspected that the judiciary was partisan.

“Some people think the judiciary is neutral and independent. Another section feels that they are one-sided and partisan.”

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Launches Thinly -Veiled Attack On Judiciary Which Delivered Landmark Rulings That Stayed Moves by President to Appoint Mahinda as PM and Dissolve Parliament.’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Tells Maithripala Sirisena Not to ” Act Like Hitler and Other Dictators” and Take ” Subjective Decisions”Pertaining to the Constitution.


By

Meera Srinivasan

Observing that President Maithripala Sirisena must not take “subjective decisions” pertaining to the Constitution, Sri Lanka’s deposed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday said: “Don’t be like Hitler and other dictators.”

“The Prime Minister is decided by parliamentary majority. The President cannot say this is what I want. All we are saying is follow the Constitution,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said, addressing media persons at Temple Trees, the official residence of the Prime Minister, which he continues to occupy since Mr. Sirisena controversially sacked him six weeks ago.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Tells Maithripala Sirisena Not to ” Act Like Hitler and Other Dictators” and Take ” Subjective Decisions”Pertaining to the Constitution.’ »

President’s Counsel K.Kanag-Iswaran States Before Supreme Court That ” the Constitution was not Clay in the Hands of Contesting Parties to be Moulded as they saw Fit”.

By S.S. Selvanayagam

President’s Counsel K. Kanag-Iswaran yesterday contended that the Constitution was not clay in the hands of contesting parties to be moulded as they saw fit and the specific content of constitutional language sets the limit of interpretation which must aspire to give constitutional unity and harmony.

Counsel Kanag-Iswaran, appearing for R. Sampanthan, made his submission to the Supreme Court bench of seven judges on the Fundamental Rights petition filed against President Maithripala Sirisena’s dissolution of Parliament.

Ten fundamental rights petitions against the dissolution of Parliament came up before a bench comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira J. de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna S. Jayawardena, Vijith K. Malalgoda and Murdu Fernando.

Continue reading ‘President’s Counsel K.Kanag-Iswaran States Before Supreme Court That ” the Constitution was not Clay in the Hands of Contesting Parties to be Moulded as they saw Fit”.’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Emphasises That Only He Commands the Confidence of the House and Has the Majority of MP’s to Form a Legal Stable Govt as Prime Minister.

By Chathuri Dissanayake

United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday insisted that only he commanded the majority in the House needed to form a government, reiterating the need to return to the constitutional framework before the country could opt for elections.

“Only the UNF (United National Front) and I can command that majority today,” Wickremesinghe insisted while speaking at a press conference held at Temple Trees flanked by UNF party leaders, National Union of Workers (NUW) leader Palany Thigambaram, All Ceylon Makkal Congress Leader Rishad Bathiudeen and UNP party seniors.

The ousted Prime Minister Wickremesinghe spoke to the media after talks with President Maithripala Sirisena held on Monday night failed to make headway in easing the deadlock, with Sirisena refusing to reappoint Wickremesinghe.

The UNP leader also emphasised the need to follow the law to ensure the constitutionality of the actions taken, noting that the President could not make decisions based on his preferences.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Emphasises That Only He Commands the Confidence of the House and Has the Majority of MP’s to Form a Legal Stable Govt as Prime Minister.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 Others file Appeal Before Supreme Court Seeking Stay Order by SC on Court of Appeal Interim Order

By S.S. Selvanayagam

Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 others yesterday filed appeals in the Supreme Court petitioning it to set aside the Interim Order issued by the Court of Appeal against them functioning in their respective offices.

The Court of Appeal on Monday (3) issued an Interim Order restraining Rajapaksa and 48 other respondents from functioning in the offices of Prime Minister, Cabinet Minister, non-Cabinet Minister and Deputy Minister until the final hearing and determination of the writ of Quo Warranto filed by 122 Parliamentarians from different parties disputing Rajapaksa and the 48 from holding office.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 Others file Appeal Before Supreme Court Seeking Stay Order by SC on Court of Appeal Interim Order’ »

President Sirisena Re-iterates at SLFP Special Convention That He Wont Appoint Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister Even if all 225 MP’s in Parliament Seek Ranil’s Re-instatement.

Vowing that the current political crisis would be resolved in one week, President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday defended his decisions since 26 October, insisting he had no alternative but to remove Ranil Wickremesinghe from the post of Prime Minister, charging he had caused much destruction to the country.

Speaking at a special Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) convention at the Sugathadasa Stadium, President Sirisena delivered a detailed speech defending himself and insisting that he was committed to safeguarding the country’s best interests.

“The current political crisis will be resolved in one week. It will be completely resolved. This is an effort I will make for the public, for you, for our motherland. I extend the hand of peace to all politicians and political parties. This political situation was created by Ranil Wickremesinghe, by his actions, and by his policies but we will work to resolve it. We will save this country,” he told a cheering audience.

“Ranil Wickremesinghe destroyed this country. Ranil Wickremesinghe also undermined the United National Party (UNP), which was earlier an establishment with renowned political leaders. He also destroyed me to some extent. The only solution was to remove him from the Prime Minister’s chair. We must go on a political journey that suits us. That is my aim.”

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Re-iterates at SLFP Special Convention That He Wont Appoint Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister Even if all 225 MP’s in Parliament Seek Ranil’s Re-instatement.’ »

Dangerously Self-serving Maithripala Sirisena Should be Compelled to Make a Dignified Exit as President Before He Causes Further Irreparable Damage To Our Country.


By
Sharmini Serasinghe

When Maithripala Sirisena addressed the nation in 2015 after being sworn in as the Executive President of Sri Lanka with 6.25 million of us having voted for the man – a political nonentity – we did so with the sole purpose of getting rid of his megalomaniacal predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa and his corrupt-to-the-core regime, he said, “This country needs a Chief Servant (himself) and not a King (his predecessor)”.

Well, look what our “Chief Servant”, Sirisena has done!

He did a volte-face on his fancy utterances, donned the crown, elevated himself to the status of a dictatorial king, forgot all about being our “Chief Servant”, stabbed us all in our backs and continues to call the shots.
What a disastrous “Chief Servant” he has proved to be! The man should be reminded that he is STILL an ’employee/servant’ of ours – the citizens of Sri Lanka – his ’employers’, who pay his salary and foot the bills for all the perks and luxuries he and his family enjoy.

Continue reading ‘Dangerously Self-serving Maithripala Sirisena Should be Compelled to Make a Dignified Exit as President Before He Causes Further Irreparable Damage To Our Country.’ »

Text of Interim Order Issued by the Court of Appeal Regarding the Fundamental Rights Petition Filed by 122 Members of Parliament Seeking a Writ of Quo warranto Against Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 Others Functioning as Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers Respectively

(Text of Interim Order Issued by the Court of Appeal Regarding the Fundamental Rights Petition Filed by 122 Members of Parliament Seeking a Writ of Quo warranto Against Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 Others Functioning as Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers Respectively)

In the case at hand before this Court, the 122 Petitioner members of the 225 member Parliament state that a no-confidence motion was passed by a majority in the said Parliament.

The Petitioners allege that the Respondents have usurped the public office namely the respective positions in the office of Prime Minister, Cabinet of Ministers and other Ministers.

This Court has considered the submissions made by the learned President’s Counsel for the Respondents who stated that the granting of interim relief by this Court would result in a situation where the Country would have no Prime Minister, no Cabinet of Ministers as well as no other Ministers.

On the other hand, this Court has considered the submission of the learned President’s Counsel for the Petitioners who stated that a great damage would be caused if this Court after the argument of the case accepts what the 122 Petitioner members of the Parliament have asserted in this case, and concludes that the Respondents are not entitled in law to function in the respective public offices. In such an event, the Respondents would be mere usurpers of office of the Prime Minister, Cabinet of Ministers and the other Ministers.

Continue reading ‘Text of Interim Order Issued by the Court of Appeal Regarding the Fundamental Rights Petition Filed by 122 Members of Parliament Seeking a Writ of Quo warranto Against Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 Others Functioning as Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers Respectively’ »

Arsalan Khawaja Brother of Aussie Cricketer Usman Charged with Fraud and Perversion of Justice for Causing Wrongful Arrest of Sri Lankan PhD Student at New South Wales University Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen as a Suspect With Terrorist Links

By

Michael Mcgowan

The brother of Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja has been charged with attempting to pervert justice and forgery after he allegedly used fake documents containing a terror plot to kill senior politicians to “set up” his colleague over a personal grievance.

Police confirmed on Tuesday that Arsalan Khawaja had been formally charged after he was arrested on Tuesday as part of an investigation into a fake terrorism “hit list” found in a university notebook.

He faces one count of attempting to pervert justice and one count of forgery for allegedly making a false document. Khawaja has been refused bail and will appear in Parramatta Local Court later today.

Continue reading ‘Arsalan Khawaja Brother of Aussie Cricketer Usman Charged with Fraud and Perversion of Justice for Causing Wrongful Arrest of Sri Lankan PhD Student at New South Wales University Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen as a Suspect With Terrorist Links’ »

Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal Temporarily Restrains Controversially Appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa and His Purported Cabinet from Functioning as Prime Minister and Ministers Respectively.

By

Meera Srinivasan

Mr. Rajapaksa plans to move the Supreme Court against the order.
Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal on Monday temporarily restrained controversially installed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his purported Cabinet of Ministers from functioning in their respective offices.

The interim order follows a quo warranto petition filed by 122 MPs on November 23, challenging Mr. Rajapaksa’s continuance in office, after losing two trust votes in Parliament on November 14 and 16.

Mr. Rajapaksa has decided to appeal in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, as he is “not in agreement with the interim order.”

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal Temporarily Restrains Controversially Appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa and His Purported Cabinet from Functioning as Prime Minister and Ministers Respectively.’ »

Talks Between President and United National Front(UNF) Reach Impasse as Sirisena Adamantly Refuses to Re-Appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister Even After Appeal Court Stay Order.

Talks between President Maithripala Sirisena and United National Front leaders last night remained at a stalemate, with the latter losing confidence in discussions.

“We are not going to see him again,” Senior United National Party Member Lakshman Kiriella told Daily FT, terming the meeting “unsuccessful”.

“There is no point in discussing with him,” a frustrated Kiriella said, as the latest round of discussions failed to make any headway, with Sirisena refusing to reappoint Ranil Wickremesinghe to the post of Prime Minister.

Continue reading ‘Talks Between President and United National Front(UNF) Reach Impasse as Sirisena Adamantly Refuses to Re-Appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister Even After Appeal Court Stay Order.’ »

Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa to Appeal to Supreme Court Against Interim Order Issued by Court of Appeal Restraining him from Functioning as Prime Minister.

Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said his camp was not in agreement with the Court of Appeal and would appeal the Interim Order before the Supreme Court today.

“We are not in agreement with the Interim Stay Order issued by the Appeal Court suspending the functioning of the Cabinet of Ministers. We will be presenting an appeal to the Supreme Court tomorrow morning (Dec 4) against this stay order,” the statement said.

Continue reading ‘Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa to Appeal to Supreme Court Against Interim Order Issued by Court of Appeal Restraining him from Functioning as Prime Minister.’ »

Court of Appeal Issues Interim Order Restraining Sirisena Appointed Prime Minister MahindaRajapaksa and His Cabinet Ministers From Functioning in Office Until Final Hearing and Determination by Court.

By Chathuri Dissanayake

The Court of Appeal yesterday issued an interim order restraining Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was appointed to the post of Prime Minister by President Maithripala Sirisena, and his Cabinet of Ministers from functioning in office. The stay order is in force until the final hearing and determination is given.

The order, latest in a series of setbacks for the Government appointed by Sirisena after removing Ranil Wickremesinghe from the post of Prime Minister, which has failed to show majority in Parliament even one month after appointment, bars Rajapaksa from exercising any authority as Prime Minister or Finance Minister, while 48 other appointees to Ministerial posts are also restrained from functioning in any official capacity. The Court also granted notice calling upon respondents to show cause on 12 December why the final relief of Quo Warranto should not be granted.

Continue reading ‘Court of Appeal Issues Interim Order Restraining Sirisena Appointed Prime Minister MahindaRajapaksa and His Cabinet Ministers From Functioning in Office Until Final Hearing and Determination by Court.’ »

After Appeal Court Ruling, Ranil Speaking at Public Rally in Galle, Asks Mahinda to Leave in the Name of God Saying “Palayaw Palayaw Sathara Waram Deviyange Namayen Palayaw”.

By

Yohan Perera

The status quo that existed before October 26 can be restored now following the interim order given by the Appeal Court as it is given against an individual and not against a post, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

Mr. Wickremesinghe expressed this sentiment during a public rally in Galle last evening.

“The decision of the Appeal Court is given against an individual and not against the post and against a government. Therefore the status quo prior to October 26 2018 could be restored. In such a situation our administration which existed before October 26 can function as a legitimate government,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said.

Continue reading ‘After Appeal Court Ruling, Ranil Speaking at Public Rally in Galle, Asks Mahinda to Leave in the Name of God Saying “Palayaw Palayaw Sathara Waram Deviyange Namayen Palayaw”.’ »

Appeal Court Orders Disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Purported Cabinet Ministers to Appear in Court on Dec 12th and Explain on What Authority They Claim to Hold Office after Parliament Passed Two Votes of No Confidence.

By Maria Abi-Habib and Dharisha Bastians

A Sri Lankan court issued an order on Monday temporarily preventing the disputed prime minister from holding office, the latest twist in a political crisis that has paralyzed the island nation.

The Court of Appeal ordered Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cabinet to appear on Dec. 12 and to explain on what authority they hold office after Parliament voted against them twice last month. The order prohibits them from conducting government business in the meantime.

Continue reading ‘Appeal Court Orders Disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Purported Cabinet Ministers to Appear in Court on Dec 12th and Explain on What Authority They Claim to Hold Office after Parliament Passed Two Votes of No Confidence.’ »

Legal Opinion Regarding Current Constitutional Questions Like Appointment and Removal of a Prime Minister and Dissolution of Parliament.

(This legal opinion was prepared in response to a request made by Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne, P.C, Member of Parliament By Gehan Gunatilleke,University of Oxford , Dinesha Samararatne, University of Colombo,Kalana Senaratne, University of Peradeniya and Asanga Welikala, University of Edinburgh)

Since 26 October, Sri Lanka has been in an unprecedented political, economic, and constitutional crisis. The crisis was triggered by a series of decisions taken by President Maithripala Sirisena, each of which, in our view, is in violation of the Sri Lankan Constitution. This opinion aims to offer responses to several constitutional questions that have arisen with regard to the developments since 26 October. These questions relate to the consequences of a party withdrawing from a National Government, the appointment and removal of a Prime Minister, discrepancies between the Sinhala and English versions of the Constitution, and the dissolution of Parliament.


1. Did the withdrawal of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) from the National Government result in the vacation of the post of Prime Minister?

There is no constitutional provision that stipulates that the withdrawal of one party in a coalition forming a National Government has the effect of dissolving the Government or the Cabinet of Ministers, or the office of Prime Minister becoming vacant. Article 46 (4) and (5) of the Constitution, which deals with a National Government, makes no reference whatsoever to such consequences. The only legal consequence of the formation of a National Government is that the ordinary cap on the number of Cabinet Ministers at 30 and non-Cabinet Ministers at 40 is suspended, with Parliament determining the number of Ministers, which may be higher than the ordinary limit. Conversely, if a National Government ceases to exist, then the only legal consequence is that the number of Cabinet Ministers must be reduced to 30 and the number of non-Cabinet Ministers to 40. The President can do this only on the advice of the Prime Minister, as all ministerial appointments and dismissals legally require the President to act on the advice of the Prime Minister (see articles 45(1) and 46 (3)).

2. Is the President empowered by the Constitution to appoint any Member of Parliament as Prime Minister, who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament?

Continue reading ‘Legal Opinion Regarding Current Constitutional Questions Like Appointment and Removal of a Prime Minister and Dissolution of Parliament.’ »

Political Tomfoolery has Tarnished the Country’s Reputation But Institutional Strength and Civil Rebellion has Risen like the Proverbial Phoenix

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Despite the undeniable shock caused to Sri Lanka’s democratic system on October 26th 2018 as a result of President Maithripala Sirisena’s swearing in of a new Prime Minister lacking a majority in the House, several unmistakable positive factors have emerged since then.

Those ‘legal experts’ who led the President up the garden path in persuading him to discard constitutional prudence should hang their deviously plotting heads in shame. Assuming they feel shame in which case, (as that colourful colloquialism sharply puts it), pigs may fly.

Of course, it is very much an open secret as to who these reprobates are, including those who played fast and loose with the country’s judicial system for years. But the President is yet to name them or for that matter, yet to explain himself to the people as to why he did not seek the advice of the Attorney General or an opinion from the Supreme Court prior to bringing the nation to the brink of the edge.

Showing great endurance

True, the damage is considerable. This political tomfoolery has tarnished the country’s reputation, lost preciously needed financial resources at year end when that is needed the most, imperiled the nation’s long praised manner in which peaceful transfer of power took place through the exercise of the franchise and cast a pall of uncertainty over what is in store for us with the dawning of 2019.

Continue reading ‘Political Tomfoolery has Tarnished the Country’s Reputation But Institutional Strength and Civil Rebellion has Risen like the Proverbial Phoenix’ »

Regardless of who the Prime Minister Is any Govt Formed will be Unstable With Parlia Hobble Along Until a Fresh General Election


By

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya

While the complicated situation that has arisen in parliament today is unprecedented, the origins of this logjam could perhaps be traced back to the period when the yahapalana government was formed. The present instability could be seen as part of a continuum starting with the creation of a ‘National Government’ in January 2015 – a ‘forced marriage’ between two traditionally opposed groups from centre-left and centre-right of the political spectrum.

Till the UPFA quit the yahapalana government – ahead of the President’s sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe from the job of Prime Minister on Oct. 26, – the UNP-ledcoalition largely depended on the UPFA members for the numbers in parliament. With the new government faced with the charge that it, in turn, lacks a majority, the UPFA has pointed out that Wickremesinghe’s party had only 41 MPs at the time he was appointed PM in 2015 while they had 162 in the 225-member parliament. Wickremesinghe’s appointment, based on a campaign pledge, was not the outcome of his party winning an election. Nor was he appointed on the basis of being the MP ‘most likely to command the confidence of parliament.’

Continue reading ‘Regardless of who the Prime Minister Is any Govt Formed will be Unstable With Parlia Hobble Along Until a Fresh General Election’ »

Northern Governor Reginald Cooray Appoints Three – Member Committee to Probe Alleged Financial Fraud Committed by Former Northern Provincial Minister of Womens Affairs Ananthy Sasitharan.

By

Romesh Madhushanka

A three member committee has been appointed by Governor of Northern Province Reginald Cooray to investigate a financial fraud allegedly committed by former Minister of the Northern Provincial Council Ananthi Sasitharan.

Continue reading ‘Northern Governor Reginald Cooray Appoints Three – Member Committee to Probe Alleged Financial Fraud Committed by Former Northern Provincial Minister of Womens Affairs Ananthy Sasitharan.’ »

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says Political Stability Woud Have Been Restored in the Country if President Sirisena Was Allowed to Conduct a General Election in the Country.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said, yesterday, that if the Opposition had allowed President Maithripala Sirisena to conduct a general election, political stability would have been restored in the country.

Full of the statement issued by Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa

“It is only in Sri Lanka that you will find political parties agitating against the holding of a general election that has already been declared. In the gazette notification dated 09 November 2018 issued by the President in accordance with the provisions of our Constitution and the Parliamentary Elections Act, dates had been fixed to call for nominations from the 19th to the 26th November, to hold the poll on the 5th January 2019, and for the new Parliament to meet for the first time on the 17th January. If things had gone accordingly, stability would soon have been restored to this country.

Last year, in November 2017, there was the danger of the local government elections being postponed indefinitely because certain individuals had petitioned the Court of Appeal against the holding of the local government elections citing delimitation issues. However when the Chairman of the Elections Commission declared that he will proceed to hold elections at least in respect of the local government institutions that were not subject to litigation, the then government reluctantly fell in line and agreed to hold elections. With that the peitioners who had gone before the Court of Appeal quietly withdrew their petitions. It was quite clear in that instance, that the court procedure was being misused for a political purpose.

Today, six of the nine provinces in the country do not have functioning provincial councils. The previous government avoided holding elections to the provincial councils for more than one year. We held the Eastern Provincial Council election in 2008 even before the war had ended, immediately after clearing the province of the LTTE. Once the de-mining of the Vanni was complete, we held provincial council elections in the northern province as well in 2013. Today, without any war in the country, both those provinces do not have provincial councils. The previous government put off provincial council elections indefinitely by deliberately refraining from fulfilling the conditions relating to the delimitation of constituencies in Act No. 17 of 2017 which was rushed through Parliament last year just days before the Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provincial Councils were to stand dissolved.

I am placing on record this explanation because the UNP and its affiliated political parties have been making misleading statements from the political platform with a view to deceiving the general public. From the time of our first Parliament, elections were called early whenever necessary to overcome situations of political turbulence. In 1952 when the then Prime Minister

Continue reading ‘Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says Political Stability Woud Have Been Restored in the Country if President Sirisena Was Allowed to Conduct a General Election in the Country.’ »

With Defiant Mahinda Refusing to Resign Voluntarily, President Sirisena Prepares to Remove his Appointed Prime Minister Rajapaksa After Parliament Passes Motion on Dec 5th/

By The “Sunday Times” Political Editor

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa faces removal next week after just six weeks in office, with Parliament set to approve a motion this coming Wednesday for his ouster.

The motion has been agreed to by President Maithripala Sirisena during consultations with Opposition parties, provided it does not describe his dissolution of Parliament as being illegal.

Mr. Rajapaksa has so far rejected calls to resign and insisted that President Sirisena, if he so wished, could remove him.

Continue reading ‘With Defiant Mahinda Refusing to Resign Voluntarily, President Sirisena Prepares to Remove his Appointed Prime Minister Rajapaksa After Parliament Passes Motion on Dec 5th/’ »

President Sirisena Fearing Adverse Supreme Court Ruling Could Bring About Legal Consequences Desperately Seeks Face -Saving Exit From the Political Crisis of his Own Making Before Dec 7th.

President Maithripala Sirisena appeared to have softened his hardline position and was seeking a face-saving exit from the political crisis of his making, according to legislators who had closed-door talks with him.

The president was acutely aware of the consequences should the Supreme Court this week hold that his November 9 sacking of parliament was illegal, a Tamil legislator at talks on Friday evening said.

The Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan assured Sirisena that the minority party, which commands 14 crucial seats and holds the balance of power in parliament will not support an impeachment.

However, an adverse ruling from the highest court could be the basis to institute criminal proceedings against both Sirisena and the entire bureaucracy, legislators had indicated to the President.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Fearing Adverse Supreme Court Ruling Could Bring About Legal Consequences Desperately Seeks Face -Saving Exit From the Political Crisis of his Own Making Before Dec 7th.’ »

Maithripala and Mahinda Have Started “Varjanaya Sellama”( Boycott Game) Where MP’s Get Their Monthly Salaries and Perks Like Fuel &Telephone Allowances, Subsidized Food at Parliament Restaurant but Just Keep Away From Chamber.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

President Maithripala Opinion Sirisena is obviously enjoying the new game that both he and so-called ‘Prime Minister’ Mahinda Rajapaksa has introduced to Sri Lanka.

Boycott is the new political game in our threatened Democracy.

It is the Boycott Keliya. Members of the so-called Government are enjoying this game that ensures them of all the privileges of team play, without the actual game they were elected to or crookedly pulled into the team.

The game today is the Chamber Boycott. We can’t help being reminded of the chamber pot politics of the players in this game. Parliament comprises the Government and the Opposition, and the Government usually has the majority in the Chamber. We are in a situation when a so-called Government has no majority in the Chamber. The Opposition to this so-called governing authority has it. Therefore, the Chamber Boycott.

It is a wonderful play for this Boycott Team. They talk loud of boycotting parliament – ‘parlimenthuva varrjanaya karanava’ not a ‘sabha garba varjanaya’. But, they only boycott the Chamber. They don’t boycott or even cut down on any of the privileges of being a member of parliament, by election or crooked dragging in. Which means they boycott the very purpose they were sent to parliament – to discuss matters of national or administrative importance and take decisions on them. Nothing of the sort. Boycott.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala and Mahinda Have Started “Varjanaya Sellama”( Boycott Game) Where MP’s Get Their Monthly Salaries and Perks Like Fuel &Telephone Allowances, Subsidized Food at Parliament Restaurant but Just Keep Away From Chamber.’ »

Clear Propensity in November of Twitter and Facebook Users, in their Millions, to Gravitate Towards Content that holds the President, Rajapaksas and the SLPP in a very Critical Light.


By

Sanjana Hattotuwa

It is a month after Sri Lanka learnt of a new Prime Minister over SMS. In the catastrophic, chaotic four ensuing weeks, some of us maintain that Mr. Wickremesinghe is the sole, legitimate Prime Minister. This is widely perceived to be a position that is a consequence of either being partial to or voting for the UNP, or a fan of the individual. Both, it is argued, gloss over the significant failure of the individual and the party, as well as the government the PM led, to bring about what they were elected to do. This, in turn, becomes the circular logic that goes on to justify the President’s actions and the support for Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The conversation is a difficult one to have forthright, because every single thing the President and the Rajapaksas have done, since the evening of October 26, was intentionally and strategically done to curtail, censor, contain and control the flow of information. Legitimate, constitutional appointments need not fear scrutiny or debate. And yet, the first frames of the coup d’etat was of violent mobs invading and occupying state media. This doesn’t help set a foundation for any reasonable argument around the validity of the appointments by the President. But some continue to support him. It becomes important then to make clear where we stand and in public because it is precisely at times like these that what we say, stand for and do, recorded in history, judge us.

Continue reading ‘Clear Propensity in November of Twitter and Facebook Users, in their Millions, to Gravitate Towards Content that holds the President, Rajapaksas and the SLPP in a very Critical Light.’ »

Leaders Like Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa who have Neither Shame nor Justice can Plummet to the Lowest of Depths, Because for them Everything is Permissible


By

Tisaranee Gunasekara

“The history of madness is the history of power.”
Roy Porter (A social history of madness: The world through the eyes of the insane)

The current crisis is a contestation about the nature of Sri Lanka and her future.

Will the country continue along the path of democracy or will she re-embrace some form of autocracy? Will rule of law prevail or will it be replaced by the law of the rulers? Will justice remain a possibility or will impunity become sovereign again? Is Sri Lanka a country of free men and women or a land yearning for the heavy hand of a political overlord?

At a subjective level, Maithripala Sirisena’s anti-constitutional coup was motivated purely by personal-political considerations. He wanted and wants a second presidential term. Objectively, though, his actions have a systemic relevance. They are an attempt to reclaim for the presidency the powers it lost with the 19th Amendment. If that attempt succeeds, it will render the presidency omnipotent again, and reduce the legislature and the judiciary into mere appendages of a sovereign president.

The saga of Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne is a microcosm of this battle by the executive to regain control over the other branches of the government. The way that saga ended, with a handcuffed and deflated admiral being escorted to remand prison, indicates that there is hope of rolling the presidency’s power-grab, and restoring a degree of balance between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary restored.

The President was protecting the Admiral. That was common knowledge. So the admiral was able to ignore three judicial warrants, make a mockery of the courts, and remain a free man.

Continue reading ‘Leaders Like Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa who have Neither Shame nor Justice can Plummet to the Lowest of Depths, Because for them Everything is Permissible’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Says They Will Get Majority with 113 MP’s and Continue if Supreme Court Rules Out Dissolving Parliament and Holding Elections on Dec 7th.


By

Kelum Bandara

Mahinda Rajapaksa, former President and Prime Minister appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena on October 26, in an interview with the Daily Mirror, spoke about the current status of the country and the plans he wishes to carry out after the Supreme Court ruling on dissolution of Parliament, expected on December 7, 2018.

Excerpts:

Q Now, the country is ungovernable. There is instability in the country. How do you intend to end this crisis?

There is no instability in the country as I can see. There is a certain dispute involving Parliament only. That is all. It has not affected the country as a whole. People get on with their normal work. Public servants report to work. I travel all across the country. That is what I see. Likewise, we have meetings and demonstrations throughout the country.

During the previous rule, we saw underworld killings. On a daily basis, four to five persons got killed. The situation has changed now. Actually, things have changed for the better in the country in some aspects.

Q Now, there is a crisis involving Parliament. It has hampered decision making. Won’t it affect the country in another month or two?

Whatever it is, we have to wait for the ruling by the Supreme Court on December 7. The matter is pending before court. We will be able to talk about the country’s situation subject to the court ruling only. Until then, we cannot talk anything about it.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Says They Will Get Majority with 113 MP’s and Continue if Supreme Court Rules Out Dissolving Parliament and Holding Elections on Dec 7th.’ »

Two Policemen With Hands Tied Behind Their Backs Shot in the Head and Killed in Vavunatheevu in Batticaloa;Major Investigation Launched but Eastern Governor Rohitha Bogollagama Says Ex-LTTE Cadres Involvement Possible.


By Shamindra Ferdinando

IGP Pujith Jayasundera, yesterday, flew to Batticaloa, where a major police investigation is underway into the killing of two police personnel in Vavunativu, a one-time LTTE stronghold.

Jayasundera was accompanied by Senior DIG in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

Immediately after the killings were brought to the notice of the government, police headquarters authorised the deployment of the elite Special Task Force (STF) in support of the police.

Police spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera told The Island that initial reports indicated the incident had taken place between 1 am and 6 am on Friday.

Sources said that the police found their bodies with hands tied behind their backs and shot through their heads at close range. They were identified as 35-year-old father of one Walpita Gamage Niroshan Indika Prasanna, a resident of Udugama, Galle and 29-year-old Ganeshanwaran Dinesh, a resident Periyanilawane, Kalmunai. They were attached to Vavunativu police.

Continue reading ‘Two Policemen With Hands Tied Behind Their Backs Shot in the Head and Killed in Vavunatheevu in Batticaloa;Major Investigation Launched but Eastern Governor Rohitha Bogollagama Says Ex-LTTE Cadres Involvement Possible.’ »

It is in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Best Interest to Step Down Gracefully From the Post he is Hanging On to Forcibly as the Ex-president is no Longer the Legitimate Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.


By The “Daily Financial Times” Special Political Correspondent

It is now just over 30 days since Sirisena did the most unbelievable thing of appointing his feared rival Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister. Then he took it one step further by dissolving a legitimate Parliament. Then he went further by appointing a Cabinet that had no legitimacy.

This Cabinet having lost two no confidence motions in Parliament went to the extreme extent of signing multi-million dollar port contracts to Chinese companies. On Thursday a motion was passed in Parliament to curtail expenditure to the Office of the Prime Minister, making him effectively a toothless Prime Minister.

Continue reading ‘It is in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Best Interest to Step Down Gracefully From the Post he is Hanging On to Forcibly as the Ex-president is no Longer the Legitimate Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.’ »

UNP’s Nalin Bandara MP Expresses Concern about Killing of Two Policemen in Batticaloa and Requests Probe Into Whether Ex- Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan alias “Karuna Amman” is Trying to Re-organize his former Terrorist Outfit.

Disna Mudalige, Camelia Nathaniel and Amali Mallawaarachchi

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament yesterday that he would draw the attention of President Maithripala Sirisena and Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando to the concerns expressed in Parliament on the killing of two Police officers in Vavunathivu, Batticaloa.

UNP MP Nalin Bandara requested to probe whether there is a link between the killing of two Police officers in Batticaloa and Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan’s (Karuna Amman) threatening tweet on Thursday. MP Bandara read out former MP Muralitharan’s tweet which said, “Please remember I am Karuna Amman from Batti”.Maybe you ask other people who Karuna Amman was before 2004”. The MP raised concerns as to whether this means Amman was trying to reorganise his former terrorist outfit.

TNA MP M.A.Sumanthiran supported MP Bandara’s statement adding that Amman was making various statements in public over the past few days.

Continue reading ‘UNP’s Nalin Bandara MP Expresses Concern about Killing of Two Policemen in Batticaloa and Requests Probe Into Whether Ex- Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan alias “Karuna Amman” is Trying to Re-organize his former Terrorist Outfit.’ »

Hearing of Petition Filed by Ranil Wickremesinghe and 121 MP’s Seeking Quo Warranto Writ Against Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 Other Respondents Holding Ministerial Office Put off by Appeal Court for December 3rd.

By
Lakmal Sooriyagoda

The Court of Appeal yesterday commenced hearing into the writ petition filed by United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and 121 other Parliamentarians.

They sought an order in the nature of Quo Warranto declaring that Mahinda Rajapaksa is not entitled to hold the office of Prime Minister and the matter was fixed for further support on Monday (December 3).

When the petition came up before Court of Appeal President, Justice Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Arjuna Obeysekara, the Defence Counsel appearing on behalf of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and other respondent parties raised preliminary objections against the writ petition. They moved Court of Appeal that the petition be dismissed in limine.

Continue reading ‘Hearing of Petition Filed by Ranil Wickremesinghe and 121 MP’s Seeking Quo Warranto Writ Against Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 Other Respondents Holding Ministerial Office Put off by Appeal Court for December 3rd.’ »

Maithripala -Mahinda “Purported Govt” Signs Two Contracts With Chinese Firms to Enhance Deep Berth Capacity of “Jaya” Container Terminal in Colombo Harbour.

Sri Lanka penned two multi-million dollar contracts with Chinese firms for a port upgrade project on Thursday in the middle of a political hiatus that has raised doubts over the legitimacy of the Government and the legality of the deals.

The debt-saddled island has long been a target of Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road infrastructure scheme to connect China with countries cross Asia and beyond, while regional power India has also been vying for deals to counter China’s influence.

But a political crisis triggered by President Maithripala Sirisena’s replacement of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was in turn sacked by Parliament, has raised doubts over who can legitimately make decisions in the country.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala -Mahinda “Purported Govt” Signs Two Contracts With Chinese Firms to Enhance Deep Berth Capacity of “Jaya” Container Terminal in Colombo Harbour.’ »

President Maithripala Shows “Signals” of Climbing Down From Earlier Stance After Positive Discussions With Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

The deadlock between the Executive and Legislature showed signs of easing yesterday as President Maithripala Sirisena and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya met after a hiatus of close to two weeks and Sirisena scheduled to meet the United National Front (UNF) and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today(Nov 30).

President Sirisena has agreed to take a decision after meeting TNA leader R. Sampanthan and UNF party leaders this evening. UNF to date has maintained that they are not willing to accept alternatives, insisting that the pre-26 October status in the House should be restored. Sirisena, however, has categorically refused to reappoint removed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to the post creating an impasse.

The decision by the Speaker to meet the President comes as a result of requests made by a number of Party leaders and other groups concerned over the deepening political crisis in the country, a statement issued by the Speaker’s media unit said.

Continue reading ‘President Maithripala Shows “Signals” of Climbing Down From Earlier Stance After Positive Discussions With Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.’ »

Parliament Votes in Support of Motion To Cut off Budgetary Allocations to Purported Prime Ministers Office.

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

Parliament yesterday voted in favour of the motion to cut off budgetary allocations made to the Prime Minister’s Office and pledged to take similar steps regarding the rest of the Cabinet Ministries appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena post- 26 October, which will be taken up today(Nov 30).

The motion, signed by UNP lawmakers Navin Dissanayake, Ravi Karunanayake, Nalaka Prasad Colonne, Dr. Kavinda Heshan Jayawardana, Hector Appuhamy and Chathura Sandeepa Senaratne, challenged the use of funds by MP Mahinda Rajapaksa after two votes were taken on a no confidence motion earlier this month. The motion received 123 votes in its favour and zero votes against it as the Parliamentarians supportive of Rajapaksa decided not to attend Parliament.

A subsequent motion was presented by a group of parliamentarians including UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake to block access to public funds by the secretaries of Cabinet ministries appointed after 26 October by President Maithripala Sirisena. This motion will be taken up in the House today(Nov 30).

According to the motion, the Parliamentarians held that the Secretary to the Prime Minister had no authority to approve any expenditure drawn from the funds of the republic as a no confidence motion against the Government was passed on 14 November 2018 in Parliament.

Moving the motion, MP Karunanayake highlighted the misuse of public money by the purported Government during the last 30 days while requesting state officers to stop executing illegal orders.

Continue reading ‘Parliament Votes in Support of Motion To Cut off Budgetary Allocations to Purported Prime Ministers Office.’ »

14 MP’s of the TNA Urge President Sirisena to Appoint a Nominee of the UNF who Commands the Confidence of Parliament as Prime Minister.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday requested President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a member of the UNP led UNF who in his opinion could muster the required number of MPs in Parliament to prove he commands the confidence of the majority in the House.


The following is the text of the letter sent by the TNA parliamentary group comprising 14 lawmakers:

We write to you in regard to the above in the background of all that has happened since 26th of October.

The Member of Parliament appointed as Prime Minister on the 26th of October has not been able to prove that he commands the confidence of Parliament though one month has lapsed since the said appointment and though Parliament has met several times during this period. On the other hand, Motions of No Confidence in the said Hon. Member as Prime Minister have been passed in Parliament on 14th and 16th November.

Continue reading ‘14 MP’s of the TNA Urge President Sirisena to Appoint a Nominee of the UNF who Commands the Confidence of Parliament as Prime Minister.’ »

President Sirisena Gives Indications of Being Willing to Recognize the United National Front as the Single Largest Group Capable of Forming a New Govt With a Majority.

President Maithripala Sirisena indicated a softening of his stance and agreed to end the constitutional deadlock by recognising the United National Front as being the largest single group to form a new government, official sources said.

Talks between him and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ended on an optimistic note, the Speaker’s office said without giving details of their closed-door talks with the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.

Sirisena will have a round of talks with the leaders of the UNP an their allies on Friday before announcing a decision, officials said.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Gives Indications of Being Willing to Recognize the United National Front as the Single Largest Group Capable of Forming a New Govt With a Majority.’ »

Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake Refuses Bail to Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne as the Country’s Highest Ranking Defence Officer could Use his Power to Disrupt On Going Investigations or Influence Witnesses/

By

Meera Srinivasan

A magistrate court on Wednesday remanded Sri Lanka’s top-most military officer for allegedly harbouring a key suspect in a case of disappearance of 11 men in the final years of the war. All 11 are believed to have been subsequently murdered.

The Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake ordered the detention of Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne until December 5 after he evaded arrest for weeks ignoring warrants.

Given his position of power as the country’s highest-ranking military officer, Admiral Wijegunaratne could influence witnesses or disrupt the ongoing investigation and hence could not be granted bail, the magistrate had noted.

Continue reading ‘Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake Refuses Bail to Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne as the Country’s Highest Ranking Defence Officer could Use his Power to Disrupt On Going Investigations or Influence Witnesses/’ »

President Sirisena Removes All Purported State and Deputy Ministers Leaving Behind only Purported Cabinet Ministers In His Purported Interim Govt .


Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has removed the state and deputy minister posts under a ‘caretaker’ government, a spokesperson of the disputed cabinet said.

“This is a caretaker government. Therefore, the President has said there will be no state and deputy ministers,” parliamentarian Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Removes All Purported State and Deputy Ministers Leaving Behind only Purported Cabinet Ministers In His Purported Interim Govt .’ »

Photojournalist Indika Handuwala Assaulted by Naval Intelligence Officer Within Magistrates Court Premises in Fort While Covering Case Concerning Ex-Navy Chief and Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne

A photojournalist attached to The Sunday Morning newspaper was assaulted by a Naval Intelligence officer who accompanied the Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijegunaratne to the Fort Magistrate›s Court yesterday.

Indika Handuwala was assaulted when Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne was leaving the courtroom upon its adjournment for a few hours after surrendering to court yesterday morning.

Continue reading ‘Photojournalist Indika Handuwala Assaulted by Naval Intelligence Officer Within Magistrates Court Premises in Fort While Covering Case Concerning Ex-Navy Chief and Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne’ »

Ex-Navy Commander and Current Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne Placed in the Dock and Remanded Until Dec 5 by Fort Magistrate Ranga Dassanayake.

By a Special Correspondent

Stunning scenes unfolded outside the Fort Magistrate’s Court yesterday, when the country’s highest ranking military official, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Ravindra Wijeguneratne, was remanded for allegedly protecting the leader of a Navy abduction racket, accused of the kidnapping and suspected murder of 11 Tamil youths during the height of the war.

Fort Magistrate Ranga Dassanayake, who has been pressuring the CID to arrest the top military official over several weeks, denied the suspect bail after a full day of hearings on Wijeguneratne’s bail application, and remanded the CDS until December 5. The Magistrate ordered special protection for the CDS while in custody.

Three warrants had been issued for the arrest of the Chief of Defence Staff, but the burly officer has been evading the CID and flouting summons for interrogation. Yesterday morning, when the inquiry was taken up at the Fort Magistrate’s Court, Wijeguneratne turned up in uniform, with security and escorts in tow. He was asked to surrender to court by the Magistrate, and was named as second accused in the case.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Navy Commander and Current Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne Placed in the Dock and Remanded Until Dec 5 by Fort Magistrate Ranga Dassanayake.’ »

An appeal from me to all my fellow Sri Lankans who wish to see Democracy restored in our country……….


By

Sharmini Serasinghe

On 6th December, 2018 at 3.30 pm, many of us apolitical journalists, writers, artistes including musicians, film stars and other’s in diverse professions are gathering at the Open Air Theatre at the Viharamahadevi Park to “Stand Up for Democracy” in peace.

I appeal to all my countrymen and women to join us in our mission.

It’s human nature to appreciate the value of something only when it’s lost. Today, many of us Sri Lankans who took the sacred institution of Democracy for granted realise its value only now, after it’s gone.

Our country was once regarded as the epitome of a Democratic country which upheld all what Democracy stood for, but not anymore. We have today become the laughing stock of the world!

Sri Lanka is said to have the highest literacy rates in the South Asian region at 92% and overall, one of the highest literacy rates in Asia.

Continue reading ‘An appeal from me to all my fellow Sri Lankans who wish to see Democracy restored in our country……….’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa was Supposedly Appointed by Sirisena to Salvage the Crumbling Economy but the Purported Prime Minister Has only Presided Over an Accelerated Economic Collapse for a Month.

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

Not long ago, the stooges of Mahinda Rajapaksa, and MR himself, spewed some fanciful justifications for the contested ( and obviously unethical) sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe, and MR’s appointment as prime minister in one Friday night quirk by President Maithripala Sirisena.

One argument was that MR was appointed to salvage the crumbling economy.

That Ranil though had a vision, was a poor implementer of his own economic policies provided some credence to the claims of saturation of economy during his tenure. However, MR, the purported prime minister for over a month, has presided over an accelerated economic collapse. The Rupee continues to depreciate under his watch, hitting yesterday, the all-time low of Rs.181against the US$.

The initial depreciation of rupee during the previous months correlated to a world-wide trend of emerging market currency depreciation against the Benchmark as a result of rising interest rates and boost in Capital investment in America. However, the current slump of the Rupee is taking place while other emerging market currencies are appreciating against the Dollar.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa was Supposedly Appointed by Sirisena to Salvage the Crumbling Economy but the Purported Prime Minister Has only Presided Over an Accelerated Economic Collapse for a Month.’ »

Biggest “Opinionist” in the World Today is Maithripala Sirisena, who has moved beyond all political thinkers in the field of anti-democratic thinking and action.

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

Mr. Johnston Fernando says he did not throw the Bible during last Friday’s violent session of Parliament. He also says he is one who respects the religion, and would not do such things. Makes one think that this talk of Bible throwing by him is only an ‘Opinion’, which is very important these days, by those of the UNP who are opposed to him.

Whatever we think of Bible throwing by him or any other wild politician, what is interesting is to know whether he thinks that throwing a chair at a rival MP or a policeman is part of the religion he respects, whether learnt from the Bible or not? Just for the record, I will reproduce the caption of the photograph published in the international press, credit to Reuters/Stringer: Parliament member Johnston Fernando, who is backing newly appointed prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, throws a chair at police. It looks like chair throwing at people, and possibly even chilli powder-water throwing in parliament, is a deeply religious performance by these highly opinionated politicians of today. Amen.

Continue reading ‘Biggest “Opinionist” in the World Today is Maithripala Sirisena, who has moved beyond all political thinkers in the field of anti-democratic thinking and action.’ »

President Sirisena May if Necessary Utilise Constitutional Provisions Enabling Him to Access Public Funds Without Parliamentary Approval to Fund Govt Expenditure For 3 Months Until March 19.

By Chathuri Dissanayake

President Maithripala Sirisena will use constitutional provisions that enable him to access public funds sans parliamentary approval to fund government expenditure until March 2019 in place of a Budget if Parliament is dissolved, his spokesman said yesterday.

A Vote on Account to access funds was given the nod at a meeting of the Cabinet appointed by President Sirisena which he presided over yesterday.

Speaking at a press briefing held at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) head office, MP Mahinda Samarasinghe said the Vote on Account seeks to access funds to manage state affairs for up to three months in 2019. The Vote on Account (VoA) was presented by Sirisena’s Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

However, it is uncertain when the VoA is to be presented in Parliament or if it will be presented. Samarasinghe also argued that there were provisions in the Constitution giving the President power to gazette the VoA in the event the Parliament stands dissolved. The provision allows access to money from the Consolidated Fund for a period of three months.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena May if Necessary Utilise Constitutional Provisions Enabling Him to Access Public Funds Without Parliamentary Approval to Fund Govt Expenditure For 3 Months Until March 19.’ »

Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka Wants IGP to Be Summoned to Parliament To Reveal Truth Behind Maithripala Sirisena’s Allegations of Assassination Plot Involving Ex – Army Chief.

By

Ashwin Hemmathagama

Professing his innocence,UNP MP Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka yesterday called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to be summoned before Parliament within 48 hours to reveal the truth about allegations of his involvement in an assassination plot against President Maithripala Sirisena, insisting Parliament should be given reasons for such public statements.

Fonseka also challenged Sirisena to arrest him over the intelligence reports Namal Kumara had given about the alleged assassination plot he had masterminded.

MP Fonseka, who labelled President Sirisena’s statements linking him to the alleged assassination attempt as unfair, requested Speaker Jayasuriya to get the Inspector General of Police to conduct an investigation and make arrests.

Continue reading ‘Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka Wants IGP to Be Summoned to Parliament To Reveal Truth Behind Maithripala Sirisena’s Allegations of Assassination Plot Involving Ex – Army Chief.’ »

“I have heard members of the UNP saying that if I had been patient for another 18 months, I could have won the ensuing election with a two thirds majority”- Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa


(The text of a speech delivered by the Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday the 25th of Novermber 2018 issued as a media release)

Most venerable members of the Maha Sangha, Clergymen of all religions, People of Sri Lanka, and friends,

In my speech in Parliament on the 15th of November, I proposed to all political parties that we agree among overselves to hold a general election to enable the people to exercise their sovereign right to elect a government of their choice. the JVP agreed but the UNP has been evasively saying that we should hold a presidential election instead of a general election. The problem is in the Parliament. Hence there is no need to hold a presidential election at this stage. No party obtained a clear majority at the general election held in August 2015. The UNP obtained 106 seats, the UPFA obtained 96. The difference was just 10 seats.

A UNP led government was formed only on the basis of an agreement entered into with a group of UPFA Parliamentarians. The UPFA group left the government on the 26th October. Thereafter several UNP Parliamentarians joined our ranks. Today, I am the leader of the largest group of MPs in Parliament. After the parliamentary elections of 1994, 2001 and 2004, Presidents D.B.Wijetunga and Chandrika Kumaratunga who held office at that time, invited the largest group in Parliament to form a government. On that basis, governments were formed by the People’s Alliance in 1994, the UNP in 2001 and the UPFA in 2004.

What we did on the 26th of October was to form an interim government that would have lasted only until the conclusion of the general election that has already been declared, but temporaily put on hold by the courts. We never had any intention of running an administration through the government that has been formed at present. The whole country can see that only a few members of the Joint Opposition hold office in this government. That is because this is only an interim arrangement. I have been stressing ever since I took oaths as Prime Minister that our foremost aim was to go for an election in order to establish a stable government. However the objective of the other side is to revive the previous government and to rule the country for as long as possible without holding any election at all. That is the reason for the present political situation.

Continue reading ‘“I have heard members of the UNP saying that if I had been patient for another 18 months, I could have won the ensuing election with a two thirds majority”- Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Maithripala Sirisena Meets Foreign Media Correspondents in Colombo and Issues Statement Attempting to “Defend the Indefensible”.

Following is President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement at the meeting with foreign media correspondents on 25 November:

I see that there is some kind of political unrest with the development that took place on 26 October. I would not even consider this as a serious political crisis, though there is a minor political unrest. It is because of the removal of Ranil Wickremesinghe from Prime Minister and appointment of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a Prime Minister and the dissolution of the Cabinet and the appointment of a new Cabinet.

You may ask, what were the issues for this change? This was not an unexpected sudden decision. This was not due to developments in two or three weeks. The period of differences is much longer. I appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as a Prime Minister as soon as I was elected President on 9 January 2015 at about 6:10 p.m. When the Prime Minister was sworn in, 162 of the 225 members belonged to Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne. When Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed as PM, he had only 41 seats in Parliament.

According to the powers vested in me as the President and as clearly stated in the Constitution, the person who had the backing of 162 MPs was ignored and I appointed a person who had only 41 MPs. At the same time, when the Parliament met subsequently, Ranil Wickremesinghe was provided all facilities and privileges as Prime Minister.

However, in that situation, a contradiction had also taken place between Ranil Wickremesinghe and I as that was the beginning of our differences. That was in the first week of January 2015. In fact, there was a clash over our work methods.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala Sirisena Meets Foreign Media Correspondents in Colombo and Issues Statement Attempting to “Defend the Indefensible”.’ »

“Maaveerar Naal” (Great Heroes Day) on November 27th is a “Tiger” Event and Not The Tamil National Day of Mourning

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

November 27th 1989 was the day on which the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)first observed its annual “Maaveerar Naal” or Great Heroes Day (GHD). Twenty –seven years have passed since then and the 27th anniversary of the event is today Nov 27th 2016.

Sathiyanathan alias Shankar

The event continues to be observed on a large scale by sections of the Global Tamil Diaspora despite the military debacle suffered by the LTTE in May 2009. The event has lost much of its lustre after the demise of tiger supremo Veluppillai Prabhakaran.These are days of decline when compared to the manner in which Great heroes day was observed when the LTTE ruled the roost. Nevertheless commemorating the fallen tigers as great heroes annually remains an enduring tiger legacy despite the LTTE being militarily decimated in Sri Lanka.

There is a mystique about “Maaveerar Naal” that has captured the imagination of a very large number of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora. What makes the GHD tick despite the debacle of Mullivaaikkal?
Continue reading ‘“Maaveerar Naal” (Great Heroes Day) on November 27th is a “Tiger” Event and Not The Tamil National Day of Mourning’ »

Prabhakaran: Powerful symbol of Tamil armed struggle

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Hello Friends

Today November 26th is the birthday of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)Leader Thiruvengadam Veluppillai Prabhakaran. Had he been living Prabhakaran would have celebrated his 64th birthday today.

Incidently today is also the birthday of former National Security minister Lalith Athulathmudali. He would have been 82 if he were living.

Prabhakaran was killed in battle on May 18th 2009 and body discovered on May 19th.

Continue reading ‘Prabhakaran: Powerful symbol of Tamil armed struggle’ »

Police Raid LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s Valvettithurai Home and Chase Away Ex -MP Shivajilingam and four Others Trying to Celebrate Tiger Leader’s 64th Birthday on Nov 26 with a Cake, Candles and Decorations.

By Hemantha Randunu and Dinasena Ratugamage

Acting on a tip-off, the police yesterday chased away Ex- MP&Ex- Northern Provincial Councillor M.K. Shivajilingam and four others who had gathered at the late LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s Vevetithurai home to commemorate the latter’s 64th birth anniversary with a cake, candles and decorations.

Continue reading ‘Police Raid LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s Valvettithurai Home and Chase Away Ex -MP Shivajilingam and four Others Trying to Celebrate Tiger Leader’s 64th Birthday on Nov 26 with a Cake, Candles and Decorations.’ »

Court of Appeal Defers Hearings Until November 30 on Writ of Quo Warranto Filed Against Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 Others Challenging Their Authority to Hold Office

By S. S. Selvanayagam

The Court of Appeal yesterday deferred hearings on the Writ of Quo Warranto filed against Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 others, challenging their authority to hold office as Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers, until 30 November, after counsel for the respondents claimed they had not received notice in the case.

President’s Counsels Sanjeewa Jayawardane, Gamini Marapana, Manohara De Silva, Ali Sabry and Shavindra Fernando appeared as counsel for several respondents cited in the writ application filed 23 November, and told the Court that notice in the case had not been issued to their clients.

They had appeared in court on the instructions of their clients, having heard about the case, the lawyers said.

Continue reading ‘Court of Appeal Defers Hearings Until November 30 on Writ of Quo Warranto Filed Against Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 Others Challenging Their Authority to Hold Office’ »

Seven Judge Bench Comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira J de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna S. Jayawardena, Vijith K. Malalgoda, and Murdu Fernando Will Hear 10 FR Petitions Filed Against Dissolution of Parliament.

The Chief Justice yesterday nominated a fuller Bench, comprising seven judges of the Supreme Court, to hear the 10 Fundamental Rights petitions filed against the Declaration of Dissolution of Parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena on 4, 5 and 6 December.

The Bench comprises Chief Justice Nalin Perera and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira J de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna S. Jayawardena, Vijith K. Malalgoda, and Murdu Fernando.

There were 10 Fundamental Rights petitions filed against the Declaration of Dissolution of Parliament by President Sirisena. Three sought to intervene to counter the main petitions. After hearing the petitions, the Supreme Court Bench, comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera and Justices Priyantha Jayawardane and Prasanna S. Jayawardena, granted leave to proceed on 13 November, and also issued Interim Orders effective till 7 December, staying the operation of the proclamation of dissolving Parliament by President Sirisena and the holding of elections.

Continue reading ‘Seven Judge Bench Comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira J de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna S. Jayawardena, Vijith K. Malalgoda, and Murdu Fernando Will Hear 10 FR Petitions Filed Against Dissolution of Parliament.’ »

Ex-Navy Chief and Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne and Five Other Naval Officers Go to The Navy Officers Mess and Assault and Threaten Lt. Cmdr G.Laksiri the Key Witness in Abduction and Murder of 11 Youths Case


Lieutenant Commander G. Laksiri, a key witness in a case regarding the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths in an alleged Navy abduction racket, has been threatened by six navy officers, including the Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Police Spokesperson SSP Ruwan Gunasekara confirmed.

The victim is one of the main witnesses in the investigation where a key suspect, former Navy officer Lieutenant commander Prasad Chandana Hettiarachchi, was given protection at a Navy base by the then Navy Commander and current CDS, Wijegunaratne.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Navy Chief and Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne and Five Other Naval Officers Go to The Navy Officers Mess and Assault and Threaten Lt. Cmdr G.Laksiri the Key Witness in Abduction and Murder of 11 Youths Case’ »

Political Turmoil Intensifies in Sri Lanka as Pro- Ranil Wickremesinghe MP’s EStablish Majority in Parliament While Pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa MP’s Stage Walk out of House


By Pani Wijesiriwardena

Sri Lanka’s political crisis took another turn yesterday (Nov 23) when all the MPs backing Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse walked out of parliament after the Speaker refused to allocate them a majority on a key committee that could trigger the cutting off of funds to his government.

Factions around Rajapakse and ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe battled for control of the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) because it determines the parliament’s functions, including its agenda.

Last Sunday, at an “all party conference,” President Maithripala Sirisena told the opposition led by Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) he did not accept the no-confidence motions passed against Rajapakse, his appointee, because they did not follow parliamentary standing orders.

At the beginning of yesterday’s parliamentary session, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that as party leaders could not agree on the PSC’s composition, he had nominated members according to “the provisions secured by the constitution.”

Jayasuriya allocated five seats each to Rajapakse’s faction and the UNP, and one each for Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Tamil National Alliance (TNA). As the JVP and TNA back the UNP, the opposition now controls the committee, as well as the Speaker’s post. Jayasuriya is a senior member of the UNP.

House Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, a Rajapakse supporter, declared that his faction would walk out to “oppose the unconstitutional composition” of the PSC. He accused Jayasuriya of acting partially.

Continue reading ‘Political Turmoil Intensifies in Sri Lanka as Pro- Ranil Wickremesinghe MP’s EStablish Majority in Parliament While Pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa MP’s Stage Walk out of House’ »

Chief Justice Perera Expands Supreme Court Bench Hearing FR Petitions Against Parliament Dissolution Case from Three to Seven Judges Excluding Eva Wanasundara and Including Three Judges Who Recused Themselves From Hearing Cases Against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Monday expanded the bench that will hear the petition against the dissolution of parliament, but left out controversial justice Eva Wanasundara.

Chief Justice Nalin Perera constituted a seven-judge bench to hear the petition that could end the power struggle between a hostile president and a rebellious parliament.

A three-judge bench headed by Perera himself had granted interim relief by staying the dissolution of parliament ordered by President Maithripala Sirisena on November 9. Parliament was restored in a November 13 judgment.

Continue reading ‘Chief Justice Perera Expands Supreme Court Bench Hearing FR Petitions Against Parliament Dissolution Case from Three to Seven Judges Excluding Eva Wanasundara and Including Three Judges Who Recused Themselves From Hearing Cases Against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.’ »

Iravatham Mahadevan Whose Epigraphical Studies of Indus Valley Scripts and Tamil Brahmi Inscriptions Helped Prove the Classical Antiquity of Tamil Civilization and Language Passes Away in Chennai.

Renowned epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan, who passed away early Monday, was instrumental in reviving interest in Sangam literature, said R. Nagaswamy, veteran archaeologist.

Recalling Mahadevan’s contributions, Dr. Nagaswamy said the epigraphist’s reading of Tamil Brahmi inscriptions in Pugalur near Karur had shown that there were three successive generations of Chera kings of the Sangam era, and this had re-kindled interest in the Sangam literature.

His study of Tamil Brahmi inscriptions in Tamil Nadu was “thorough and systematic” and his work came to be recognised nationally and internationally. Mr. Mahadevan’s ‘Indus Script – Texts, Concordance and Tables’ had generated enormous scope for further research, said Dr. Nagaswamy, who headed the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department between 1966 and 1988.

Continue reading ‘Iravatham Mahadevan Whose Epigraphical Studies of Indus Valley Scripts and Tamil Brahmi Inscriptions Helped Prove the Classical Antiquity of Tamil Civilization and Language Passes Away in Chennai.’ »

“Whoever has the majority of 225 member House will be the Prime minister…………….. I have no possibility of appointing Mr Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister again. I will stick to that principle” -President Sirisena in Interview With “Sunday Times”

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has granted an exclusive interview to the Political Editor of the “Sunday Times” which appears in the latest issue of the paper dated November 25th 2018. The following excerpts are from the “Sunday Times” interview.

Q;
You have caused a serious political crisis in the country by your actions. Why did you do it?

A;

The person responsible is Ranil Wickremesinghe. Not I. After the January 8, 2015 Presidential elections, both of us were sworn in. One minute after I was sworn in as President, he took his oaths as the Prime Minister. We began work as a new government. In the first week itself, he went against our manifesto.

What did he do?

He was very stubborn and was not accommodative. He even exercised my powers. That continued.

Can you give an example?

It began with the formation of a Cabinet of Ministers in January 2015. We had asked a three-member Committee of University academics to allocate ministerial subjects on a scientific basis. I don’t think he even read their report. The allocations were made in a haphazard way. It generated laughter among people. One was the setting up of a Ministry of Higher Education and Highways. Another was how state owned banks which have traditionally been with the Finance Ministry were placed in a different Ministry. He took under his purview the Central Bank which had also earlier been under the Finance Ministry. These financial institutions have never changed hands since 1947.


But you continued thereafter with those arrangements. Why now?

He not only exercised Prime Ministerial powers. He also began using the powers of the President. That began to increase.

Why did you allow him to usurp your powers?

Some may argue about that. As a gesture of gratitude in electing me to power and not to hurt him, I allowed him to carry on with the work. That was also a gesture of humanity from my side. However, he took advantage of it.

Continue reading ‘“Whoever has the majority of 225 member House will be the Prime minister…………….. I have no possibility of appointing Mr Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister again. I will stick to that principle” -President Sirisena in Interview With “Sunday Times”’ »

Pro-Mahinda Group of MP’s Walk – out of Parliament to Avoid Participation in Voting so as to Prevent Their Lack of Majority in the House Being Exposed.


By Chandani Kirinde

A month after the shock appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister by President Maithripala Sirisena after sacking Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his government, the new appointee has failed to show he commands the confidence of the majority in the House.

Instead the UPFA group has shied away from facing a vote in the House on numerous occasions, the latest being on Friday, during the vote to confirm the nominees to the Committee of Selection. The UPFA lawmakers staged a walkout before the vote was taken. With only MPs of the UNP/UNF, the TNA and the JVP remaining in the House, all 121 members present voted to support the Speaker’s nominees with no one left to oppose it.

This week’s two sittings days were rather restrained compared to the previous week when Speaker Karu Jayasuirya had to enter the Chamber under police protection to conduct sittings. Probably, the adverse publicity has dampened the over enthusiasm of the UPFA MPs, and even though their enemy number-one is the Speaker, those present in the House remained subdued.

Continue reading ‘Pro-Mahinda Group of MP’s Walk – out of Parliament to Avoid Participation in Voting so as to Prevent Their Lack of Majority in the House Being Exposed.’ »

SLPP and SLFP Boycotting House Due to Lack of Majority May be the First Instance Where a So -Called Govt Does not Participate in its own Parliament!

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Beyond the distasteful power squabbles that presently make up the sum total of Sri Lankan politics or ‘politricks’ as cynics are wont to say, the three men at the core of the crisis undermining the nation’s constitutional text, (viz; Maithripala Sirisena, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe) need to realise a basic fact. Their currency of political credibility has been virtually exhausted, to a greater or lesser extent as the case may be.

It is time for all three to step aside and hand over their tasks to others in party ranks who may hopefully act with greater discretion if not common sense in the interests of the country.

Parliamentary infamy will not be forgotten

Since that fateful Friday of October 26th, each Parliamentary sitting expending millions of tax rupees exemplifies constitutional comedy of a particularly grim kind. On three consecutive days, the House resembled more a lunatics asylum with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s newly minted Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) members attacking Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and defenceless police officers tasked to guard him. That was infamy which will not be easily forgotten.

Continue reading ‘SLPP and SLFP Boycotting House Due to Lack of Majority May be the First Instance Where a So -Called Govt Does not Participate in its own Parliament!’ »

Attorney – General Files Motion Under Article 132(3) Of Constitution Requesting Chief Justice to Appoint Nine Judge Bench of the Supreme Court Instead of Earlier Three-Judge Bench to Hear the FR Petition Cases against Dissolution of Parliament by President

The Attorney General has requested that a full bench of the Supreme Court be constituted to hear the Fundamental Rights petitions filed by political parties and other organisations, challenging the dissolution of Parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena on November 9.

The Motion making the request that the proceedings be heard by all judges of the nine-member Supreme Court was filed by the AG under Article 132(3) of the Constitution this week.

Continue reading ‘Attorney – General Files Motion Under Article 132(3) Of Constitution Requesting Chief Justice to Appoint Nine Judge Bench of the Supreme Court Instead of Earlier Three-Judge Bench to Hear the FR Petition Cases against Dissolution of Parliament by President’ »

Attorney-General Withdraws Appeal Against High Court Verdict Acquitting Bodu Bala Senas’s Gnanasara Thero in Case Concerning Alleged Attack on Calvary Church at Araliya Uyana in Talhena/

By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Attorney General yesterday withdrew his appeal against the High Court Judgment wherein Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero and two Buddhist monks as well as 10 other laymen were acquitted on the indictment against them for the alleged attack on the Calvary Church at Araliya Uyana in Talahena.

The Bench comprised Justices P. Padman Surasena (President/CA) and Arjuna Obeysekera. The Attorney General had, in his appeal, cited S.A. Athula Seneviratne, W.M. Sudu Banda, H. Thamara Beatrice, A.K. Denzil Premakumara Perera, D.S.P. Kandana Arachchi, T.K. Somadasa, E.M. Victor Ratnayake, K.W. Karunananda, E.M.H. Ratnayake, Aththaragama Gnanawimala Himi, Galgoda Aththe Gnanasara Himi, Angulagalle Siri Jinananda Himi and Dhanuska Sanjeeva as Accused-Respondents.

The Accused-Respondents had been indicted in the Colombo High Court for having committed offences of being members of an unlawful assembly to attack the said Calvary Church; for causing mischief to the said church and causing injuries to Sydney Roshan Anderson and John Anton Anderson as well as for robbery of two gold chains.

Continue reading ‘Attorney-General Withdraws Appeal Against High Court Verdict Acquitting Bodu Bala Senas’s Gnanasara Thero in Case Concerning Alleged Attack on Calvary Church at Araliya Uyana in Talhena/’ »

122 MP’s From UNF,TNA and JVP File Application in Courts for Quo Warranto Writ Against Mahinda Rajapaksa Challenging Him To Prove on What Authority He Holds Office as Prime Minister Without a Majority in Parliament.

Delivering another Friday night twist to the ongoing political turmoil, 122 members of Parliament filed legal action yesterday, challenging the authority of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to hold office as Prime Minister, after a no confidence motion was passed against him in the House.

All 122 MPs – comprising members of the UNF, JVP and TNA – filed an application for a Writ of Quo Warranto against the former President, who was controversially appointed Prime Minister by President Maithripala Sirisena on 26 October. Legal experts have called the appointment an unconstitutional and illegal power grab.

The Quo Warranto Writ challenges former President Rajapaksa to prove on what authority he holds office as Prime Minister after the legislature voted twice to defeat him on 14 and 16 November.

Translating literally to ‘By what authority’, the Writ Quo Warranto, if granted, has power to declare that the person challenged was not entitled to hold that office, lawyers said. The application [CA (Writ) 263/2018] has cited 49 respondents, including Mahinda Rajapaksa, the entire Cabinet of Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

Continue reading ‘122 MP’s From UNF,TNA and JVP File Application in Courts for Quo Warranto Writ Against Mahinda Rajapaksa Challenging Him To Prove on What Authority He Holds Office as Prime Minister Without a Majority in Parliament.’ »

Pro -Mahinda MP’s Walk -Out of Parliament But 121 Votes Cast In House Proved Clearly That Purported Prime Minister Rajapaksa Has No Majority.

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

The United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) joined forces once again to show that parliamentarians supporting MP Mahinda Rajapaksa do not command a majority in the House when the Selection Committee membership was taken up for vote yesterday.

As a result of the group backing Rajapaksa staging a walking out as the vote was called, their votes were not recorded. However, the UNP, TNA and JVP together with other constituent parties managed to show 121 votes. This resulted in the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) being given five slots and the UNP five, as well as one position each for the TNA and the JVP in the Selection Committee.

Sessions began with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya explaining to the House the reasoning behind his decision to allocate an equal number of seats to both the UPFA and the UNP.

Unable to reach a final verdict at the party leaders’ meeting held in the morning, Speaker Jayasuriya proposed to include lawmakers Lakshman Kirella, Rauff Hakeem, Rishad Bathiudeen, Mano Ganesan and Patali Champika Ranawaka from the United National party (UNP); MP Mawei Senathiraja from the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK); and MP Vijitha Herath from the JVP following the provisions of Standing Orders 136 and 143. With the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) lawmakers boycotting, the vote was taken by name using the electronic system and received 121 in favour of the appointment.

Continue reading ‘Pro -Mahinda MP’s Walk -Out of Parliament But 121 Votes Cast In House Proved Clearly That Purported Prime Minister Rajapaksa Has No Majority.’ »

President Sirisena Orders His “Cabinet Ministers” Not To Make any Appointments to Govt Institutions Without Clearing Names With Him First:Fall-out of Kapila Chandrasena and Nalaka Godahewa Appointments?

President Maithripala Sirisena has stopped members of his disputed cabinet from making key appointments to state-run institutions signalling early cracks in the uneasy coalition.

In a circular to all ministry secretaries, the President’s Secretary Udaya Seneviratne told them that there cannot be any appointment to boards and statutory bodies under them without first clearing with the President.

The move followed highly controversial appointments to Sri Lankan airline and Sri Lanka Insurance.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Orders His “Cabinet Ministers” Not To Make any Appointments to Govt Institutions Without Clearing Names With Him First:Fall-out of Kapila Chandrasena and Nalaka Godahewa Appointments?’ »

Well-Known Media Personality Sharmini Serasinghe Ventures Into Forbidden Territory By Launching Her Fearlessly Explosive First Book -‘Sri Lanka – The Elusive Miracle of Asia’.


‘Sri Lanka- The Elusive Miracle of Sri Lanka’ is Writer and Mass Communications veteran, Sharmini Serasinghe’s first book which no publisher or printer in Sri Lanka was willing to risk being associated with, fearing for their lives.

Their fears are justified. Under the despotic political regime headed by the megalomaniacal Mahinda Rajapaksa, journalists and writers in Sri Lanka who stood up for the truth were brutally murdered, tortured, kidnapped or made to disappear for good.

Self-described Buddhists, Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cohorts embraced all that is ugly in his Sinhala-Buddhist toxic political ideology, using and abusing Buddhism to the maximum.

With this book, the writer has placed her head on the block and in her words: “I may face the same fate as my late colleagues Lasantha Wickrematunge and Richard de Zoysa, but it’s a sacrifice I am ready to make for the sake of future generations of Sri Lanka!”

Continue reading ‘Well-Known Media Personality Sharmini Serasinghe Ventures Into Forbidden Territory By Launching Her Fearlessly Explosive First Book -‘Sri Lanka – The Elusive Miracle of Asia’.’ »

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Emphasizes His Total Commitment to Protection of Democracy in the Motherland Regardless of the Enormity of the Abuses, Insults, Protests and Threats to His Life

(Text Of Press Release Issued by the Hon. Speaker’s Media Unit)


2018.11.21

Press Release

The Hon Speaker extends his heartfelt gratitude to all the religious leaders and Sri Lankans living within and outside Sri Lanka for the blessings invoked and the unfathomable love extended on him over the commitment towards protecting democracy by bravely facing the acts of sabotage that engulfed the Parliament recently.

Meanwhile, baseless allegations levelled against the Hon.Speaker through regular press conferences by political parties that failed to show their majority in Parliament in the proper manner and through political protests organized with the participation of their party members, can be observed.

Continue reading ‘Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Emphasizes His Total Commitment to Protection of Democracy in the Motherland Regardless of the Enormity of the Abuses, Insults, Protests and Threats to His Life’ »

It’s Official Now! Parliament Releases Hansards With Records of Two No Confidence Resolutions Passed With a Majority and Speaker’s Declaration That There is No Legitimate Govt in the Country.

Sri Lanka’s parliament Wednesday released the official record of proceedings when two no-confidence motions were passed, on the disputed government of Mahinda Rajapaksa clearing the way to mount legal challenges.

The Hansards on November 14 and 16 contain the two resolutions that were passed by a voice vote of the majority of the 225-member assembly. The November 15 Hansard has the Speaker’s declaration that there is no legitimate government in the country.

Continue reading ‘It’s Official Now! Parliament Releases Hansards With Records of Two No Confidence Resolutions Passed With a Majority and Speaker’s Declaration That There is No Legitimate Govt in the Country.’ »

TNA Tells Group of 15 Colombo Based Diplomats that a Person Calling Himself the Prime Minister is Occupying That Office by Force After Parliament Passed Two No Faith Motions Against Him.

A person calling himself the Prime Minister is occupying that office by force after Parliament passed two no faith votes against him, the Tamil National Alliance told a group of 15 Colombo-based diplomats last evening.

The Speaker ruled on 15 November that after the no confidence motion against the purported Prime Minister and his Government was carried, under Article 48 (2) of the Constitution the Cabinet of Ministers stands dissolved, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan told the diplomats during the meeting.

Continue reading ‘TNA Tells Group of 15 Colombo Based Diplomats that a Person Calling Himself the Prime Minister is Occupying That Office by Force After Parliament Passed Two No Faith Motions Against Him.’ »

The Teaching of Christ Was Reflected in the Courageous Conscientiousness of the “Anonymous” Policeman in Parliament who Stood His Ground Unflinchingly Doing his Duty after Being Struck on the Face by a Cowardly MP.

By Bishop Duleep de Chickera

In the midst of the recent legislative vandalism, an anonymous policeman stood tall above the chosen 225.

Struck on the face by a cowardly law maker, he unflinchingly stood his ground to perform his duty. In a moment he become an image of courageous conscientiousness.

The moment added a lesson. Regular replays also replayed the teaching of Christ on offering the other cheek. Struck once, the anonymous policeman refused to retaliate or withdraw, remaining within reach of the next slap.

Continue reading ‘The Teaching of Christ Was Reflected in the Courageous Conscientiousness of the “Anonymous” Policeman in Parliament who Stood His Ground Unflinchingly Doing his Duty after Being Struck on the Face by a Cowardly MP.’ »

Stand -Off In Parliament Continues With Both Sides Unprepared to Back Down Until Supreme Court Makes a Determination on Dec 7th


Parliament on Monday (Nov 19) was a calmer affair than what was observed last week, partially because the session was completed within minutes with Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri presiding in the House.

But the scenes of surface peace are unlikely to last as parliamentarians on both sides of the divide have failed to come to a compromise and both are steadfastly adhering to their version of events.

On the side of the United National Party (UNP) the consensus remains that a no confidence motion was passed in Parliament with the vote taking place twice.

On the basis of this UNP Deputy Leader Ravi Karunanayake submitted to Parliament a proposal insisting that since MP Mahinda Rajapaksa does not have the confidence of the House the Secretary to the Prime Minister should not deploy public funds.

Continue reading ‘Stand -Off In Parliament Continues With Both Sides Unprepared to Back Down Until Supreme Court Makes a Determination on Dec 7th’ »

IGP Pujitha Jayasundara Issues Back -dated Letter Reversing Transfer of CID Officer Nishantha Silva to Negombo as Ordered by Law and Order Minister Maithripala Sirisena.

By Chathuri Dissanayake

Facing severe criticism over a move to transfer a key detective of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probing a number of attacks on journalists and high-profile cases, the Inspector General of Police yesterday reversed the decision.

Transfer orders issued to CID Officer in Charge of Organised Crime, Nishantha Silva, were cancelled at the eleventh hour on Monday, with a letter conveying the decision being sent to the CID yesterday. The Daily FT exclusively reported the move in its yesterday›s edition.

In a letter dated 19 November, issued to Silva last morning, IGP Pujith Jayasundara reversed with immediate effect the transfer order which was issued on 18 November. Both letters, the transfer order and cancellation cited an immediate service requirement as a reason.

Continue reading ‘IGP Pujitha Jayasundara Issues Back -dated Letter Reversing Transfer of CID Officer Nishantha Silva to Negombo as Ordered by Law and Order Minister Maithripala Sirisena.’ »

Slain Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa Writes to President Over His Transferring CID Chief Inspector Nishantha Silva Probing Her Father’s Murder and Cautions Sirisena” If you try to stand in the way of justice for my father and other victims of brutality, you will fail”.

Following is a letter by slain The Sunday Leader Founding Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s daughter Ahimsa Wickrematunge to President Maithripala Sirisena on his decision to remove Criminal Investigations Department OIC – Gang Robberies Nishantha Silva from the department, raising serious concerns about the high profile abduction cases being handled by the official:

President Maithripala Sirisena,

Presidential Secretariat,

Galle Face,

Colombo 01

20th November 2018

Dear President Sirisena,

Your Decision to Remove Inspector Adrian Nishantha Silva from the Criminal Investigation Department

Sunday 18th November 2018 was the 73rd birthday of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. To mark this occasion, President Rajapaksa participated in a ‘Pinkama’ at a temple near his official residence, attended by your Inspector General of Police, Mr. Pujith Jayasundara. After celebrating the former President’s birthday in the company of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Mr. Jayasundera proceeded to police headquarters, where he signed transfer order D/HRM/ADM/1869/2018 dated 18th November 2018.

As you are fully aware, this was an order to remove Police Inspector Adrian Nishantha Silva, Officer‐in-Charge of the Gang Robbery Branch (GRB) of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) due to unspecified “service requirements”. While the order is ostensibly from the IGP, he has made no secret of the fact that he issued this order hesitantly, at your insistence. This was a thoughtful birthday gift on your part, but it was Mahinda’s birthday, not Gotabaya’s.

I know Inspector Silva as the lead investigator into the murder of my father, Lasantha Wickrematunge, who was bludgeoned to death on 8th January 2009, exactly six years before you were historically elected President on a platform pledging to solve heinous murders like my father’s.

Continue reading ‘Slain Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Daughter Ahimsa Writes to President Over His Transferring CID Chief Inspector Nishantha Silva Probing Her Father’s Murder and Cautions Sirisena” If you try to stand in the way of justice for my father and other victims of brutality, you will fail”.’ »

DISRUPTIONS: Seminar on the Political, Legal, Economic and Social Facets of the Crisis for Parliamentary Democracy After Oct 26.

Disruptions: Political, Legal, Economic and Social Facets of the Crisis

The October 26 parliamentary debacle pushes us to seek a broader understanding of the causes and implications of this crisis for parliamentary democracy.

The seminar is a gathering of academics, activists, and interested persons looking for answers and a way out of this debacle.

The seminar seeks to develop analysis of the current crisis drawing on both the longer-term developments leading to recent disruption and the future political, legal, economic and social trajectories that are at stake.

The half day discussion-oriented seminar will be facilitated by short (10 minute) presentations on the following topics:

· Politics and Parties
· Law and Constitution
· Economy and Labour
· Democracy and Society

All Are Welcome

At 9:30 am on Friday, the 23rd of November, 2018

Postgraduate Institute of English (PGIE)

The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala Road, Nugegoda 11222

(Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/brTa6Zhsw5E2)

Contact for further information: 0773602436

Ex-Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera Warns of an Economic Collapse Due to Political Crisis Triggered by President Sirisena’s Controversial Appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister.

Sri Lanka’s former finance minister Mangala Samaraweera warned of an economic collapse as a political crisis triggered by President Maithripala Sirisena’s controversial appointment of a Prime Minister left foreign investors shaken and the country was hit by the first credit downgrade.

“We managed the economy very carefully trying to put as little burden on the people as possible, because we inherited a lot of debt,” Samaraweera told reporters.

“But the political crisis has now put the country on the path of a crisis.

“As a result of these actions, Sri Lanka is on the brink of economic anarchy and chaos as never experienced before.

“The cavalier and irresponsible actions of the president starting on October 26th based on personal animosities and precipitating a series of illegal acts, places at risk Sri Lanka’s ability to meet its immediate debt obligations.”

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UNP’s “Economic Expert” Trio of Mangala, Eran and Harsha Warn That Sri Lanka is on the Precipice of an Economic Abyss and Urge President Sirisena to Accept Majority Decision of Parliament

By Uditha Jayasinghe

Sri Lanka is on the precipice of an “economic abyss”, warned prominent members of the United National Party (UNP) yesterday, calling on President Maithripala Sirisena to accept the decision of Parliament so Budget 2019 could be presented at the earliest and approved by the House.

UNP MPs Mangala Samaraweera, Dr. Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickramaratne were harshly critical of President Maithripala Sirisena’s actions on 26 October and insisted that both he and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa should accept responsibility for what they termed the economic crisis heading in Sri Lanka’s direction.

The trio emphasised that the political turmoil, which has resulted in international rating agency Moody’s downgrading Sri Lanka’s credit rating yesterday, would result in the country having to pay higher interest rates when it needed to raise funds from international capital markets to repay pending debt in 2019.

According to rating agencies, Sri Lanka has to repay an estimated $ 12 billion in debt repayments from 2019-2022 with about $ 3 billion tagged for next year.

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After Chilli Powder Mixed Water Attacks on Speaker by MP’s in Sri Lankan Parliament, India’s Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is Victim of Chilli Powder Attack

On video, the audacity of the attack is difficult to miss. A man who hands Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a letter outside his office, swoops down to touch his feet, gets up and forcefully smears chilli powder on his face.

The incident took place inside one of the capital city’s most protected buildings today, the Delhi Secretariat, provoking outrage from Kejriwal’s party and even critics.

The attacker, identified as 40-year-old Anil Kumar Sharma, has been taken into custody, the police said. However, they said they were investigating if the chilli powder “fell unintentionally”.

Kejriwal was leaving for lunch after finishing up meetings when the incident took place outside his chamber on the third floor, AAP lawmaker Alka Lamba said.

Continue reading ‘After Chilli Powder Mixed Water Attacks on Speaker by MP’s in Sri Lankan Parliament, India’s Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is Victim of Chilli Powder Attack’ »

The main contradiction, and the main fight, in Sri Lanka today is between neo liberalism and the nation.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

The main contradiction, and the main fight, in Sri Lanka today is between neoliberalism and the nation. Or more correctly between, on the one hand, the elite which is the agency of the project of neoliberal globalization and its corollary, the ideology of neoliberal globalism, and the ‘people-nation’ (Gramsci) on the other. Those who accuse the Rajapaksas of ‘neoliberalism’ do not know what neoliberalism is and isn’t. They may be ‘red’ but are not well-read.

Neoliberalism is not the capitalist market economy. Neoliberalism is not mere privatization –the crucial question being what is privatized and what is not. Neoliberalism is not the Open Economy. It is perfectly possible to practice an Open Economic policy which is not neoliberal. This is what Presidents Premadasa and Rajapaksa did.

Neoliberalism is not merely an economic policy. It cannot be understood as a checklist of economic policy measures such as privatization.

Neo-liberalism is a new stage of imperialism. It can be understood not by economics alone but through Political Economy. That too has to be understood dialectically. Lenin was the most prominent to point out that at a different stage of its development and decomposition, global capitalism abandons its progressive slogans and projects of the past. It is such an abandonment, a negation, that has found form in neoliberalism.

At the heart of neoliberalism is not a list of economic polices but precisely the questions of the Nation and the State.

Continue reading ‘The main contradiction, and the main fight, in Sri Lanka today is between neo liberalism and the nation.’ »

TNA Leader Sampanthan Concerned About Country Being “Without a Govt or Prime Minister” Situation Which May” Embolden Anti-Social Elements ” and Could Result in the “Minorities Especially Tamils Becoming Victims”.

By

Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lanka’s persistent political crisis “without a government or a Prime Minister” could embolden anti-social elements to take law into their own hands, Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan has warned. “In such a situation, the country’s minorities, especially Tamils, may become the victims,” he said.

Mr. Sampanthan, who also leads the Tamil National Alliance, told reporters that its 14 MPs on Tuesday briefed Colombo-based diplomats on current political developments. “Such turbulence seriously impairs ongoing efforts for a political solution through constitutional reform,” he said.

The government’s assurance on returning the remaining military-occupied land belonging to civilians in war-affected areas, the release of political prisoners, ongoing work of the office on missing persons and efforts to set up the office for reparations are all in serious question, according to the Tamil leader.

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National Police Commission Cancels Transfer of CID Inspector Nishantha Silva Who Had Been Sent to Negombo With Immediate Effect Under the Orders of President Sirisena.


The transfer of the Officer-in-Charge of the CID’s Organised Crime Investigation unit, Inspector of Police (IP) Nishantha Silva, has been cancelled by the National Police Commission, the Office of the Inspector General of Police reports.

Silva was transferred to the Negombo division with immediate effect, with the orders coming directly from the President, police sources said.

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Hirunika Premachandra MP Mocks Maithripala Sirisena for Telling Bodu Bala Sena That He Did not Know About Police Action While Being the Law and Order Minister in Charge of the Police.

UNP Parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra said President Maithripala Sirisena’s habit of passing the bucks had not changed even after the appointment of his chosen Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

“When Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Prime Minister was the Prime Minister, President Sirisena often said he got to know things from the newspapers. The remark he made today, during a meeting with Bodu Bala Sena monks, show that his habits still remain the same,” Premachandra said addressing a press conference at Temple Trees.

Continue reading ‘Hirunika Premachandra MP Mocks Maithripala Sirisena for Telling Bodu Bala Sena That He Did not Know About Police Action While Being the Law and Order Minister in Charge of the Police.’ »

Police Disperse Bodu Bala Sena De,onstration at Presidential Secretariat with Tear Gas and Water Cannon But Maithripala Sirisena Apologizes to Bhikkus Saying he was not Aware of the BBS Protest.

President Maithripala Sirisena expressed regret over the Police using tear gas and water cannons on Bidu Bala Sena monks protesting in front of the Presidential Secretariat, this afternoon.

Issuing a media statement a short while ago, the President’s Media Division said the President has ordered an investigation into the incident.

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President Sirisena Transfers CID Chief Inspector Nishantha Silva Who was Heading Probe into Allegations Against Rajapaksa Family Members and Was Allegedly on the Verge of Making a Crucial Arrest.

By

Meera Srinivasan

The Sri Lankan Parliament — which met on Monday following violence and disruption last week — was adjourned minutes after it convened, without a resolution to the ongoing political crisis.

Lawmakers aligned to ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and from other opposition parties in the House, have sought the suspension of state funds to the Prime Minister’s office, now occupied by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose administration they consider illegitimate. The debate on the motion is expected to commence on Friday.

The development is the latest in the series of events since President Maithripala Sirisenacontroversially sacked Mr. Wickremesinghe on October 26, and replaced him with Mr. Rajapaksa. The political stalemate in Sri Lanka’s legislature has been dragging since, because MPs backing the Sirisena-. Rajapaksa combine continue opposing a vote in the House that could test claims to a majority.

Last week, Mr. Wickremesinghe’s front, with support from opposition parties Tamil National Alliance and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna proved its majority through a voice vote thrice, braving the chaos and violence caused by Mr. Rajapaksa’s MPs. However, Mr. Rajapaksa’s side has rejected the vote citing “breach of parliamentary procedure’, a claim that the opposition has since countered.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Transfers CID Chief Inspector Nishantha Silva Who was Heading Probe into Allegations Against Rajapaksa Family Members and Was Allegedly on the Verge of Making a Crucial Arrest.’ »

UNP Presents Motion Supported by 122 MP’s In Parliament To Restrict Quantum of Public Finances to the Prime Ministers Office Headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa.

By Ashwin Hemmathagama and Chathuri Dissanayake

Upping the ante after two votes on the No Confidence Motion, a group of United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarians yesterday presented a motion to limit access of public funds by the Prime Minister’s Office, to a quieter than usual Parliament.

Adhering to the view that the no confidence vote passed in Parliament on MP Mahinda Rajapaksa last week was valid, the group of UNP MPs, which included UNP MPs Ravi Karunanayake and Navin Dissanayake, presented the motion on the basis that Parliament is responsible for public finance.

The latest motion by the UNP was supported by 122 Parliamentarians, which is the same number as those who signed the No Confidence Motion.

Key Opposition parties such as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) extended their support as well.

The motion was presented at the party leaders meeting, which took place before sessions commenced on Monday. The motion was accepted according to the Agenda, and will be given five days’ notice in the Order Book, before it is taken up for debate. Proponents of the motion insisted that it would be taken up during the Parliamentary sitting on 29 November, while pro-Rajapaksa MPs claimed that no final decision has been made on the date for the debate.

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