How the JVP Fought a Guerilla War Against the Indian Army in Trincomalee

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Leading Politbureau member of Frontline Socialist Party(FSP) Kumar Gunaratnam alias “Kumara Mahathaya” a.k.a. Noel Mudalige is very much in the news these days.There is much speculation that Kumar (whose full name is Premakumar Gunaratnam ) who is currently in Sri Lanka on a month long tourist visa may not obtain an extension and may have to leave or be deported from the Island.Gunaratnam is currently a holder of an Australian passport bearing the name Noel Mudalige.The FSP leader who arrived in Sri Lanka a month ago has supposedly violated conditions of his tourist visa by actively engaging in politics during his stay here.

Kumar Gunaratnam alias “Kumara Mahathaya” a.k.a. Noel Mudalige

Kumar Gunaratnam alias “Kumara Mahathaya” a.k.a. Noel Mudalige

Officials from the Immigration and Emigration Dept visited the “Peratugami Samajawadi Pakshaya”(Frontline Socialist Party)party headquarters at Pannipitiya on January 26th inquiring after Gunaratnam who was not in the premises at the time. Immigration Officials then told FSP officials to inform Gunaratnam to call over at the department within two days. Accordingly Gunaratnam accompanied by his lawyers and party comrades went to the Immigration dept on Jan 28th where he was questioned about his conduct in Sri Lanka as a “tourist”. He was requested to call over on the 29th also to enable officials to complete the recording of his statement. Thereafter he was asked to present himself at the Immigration dept for the third time on Jan 30th. The final outcome remained unkown at the time this article was being written.
Continue reading ‘How the JVP Fought a Guerilla War Against the Indian Army in Trincomalee’ »

My Brothers Rohitha and Yoshitha were Informed by Telephone not to Attend Rugby Practice Without any Reason Given

By

Namal Rajapaksa

Those who know me and my two brothers know well how deeply we love the sport of rugby.

Namal Rajapaksa at Mademulana polling station with brothers Yoshitha Rajapaksa & 1st time voter Rohitha Rajapaksa-Kan 8, 2015-pic via: facebook.com/NamalSL

Namal Rajapaksa at Mademulana polling station with brothers Yoshitha Rajapaksa & 1st time voter Rohitha Rajapaksa-Jan 8, 2015-pic via: facebook.com/NamalSL

Having begun playing around the age of six, we played during school, during college, captained university teams and finally represented Sri Lanka internationally.

In addition to enjoying the game, in recent years, we also tried to do whatever we could to elevate the sport in Sri Lanka for younger generations that will follow us in the years to come.

In this effort, we brought down internationally-acclaimed rugby players to Sri Lanka and worked to get access for our players to obtain playing experience abroad.

Continue reading ‘My Brothers Rohitha and Yoshitha were Informed by Telephone not to Attend Rugby Practice Without any Reason Given’ »

Making a New Sri Lanka Will not be Easy and it Won’t be Quick but it is Possible:Being a New Sri Lanka – Part 2


By

Sanjayan Rajasingham

Being a New Sri Lanka – Part 2

(This is Part 2 of a series of articles Titled “Being a New Sri Lanka”. It was sent by the writer to be posted on this blog)

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Hugo Swire, Minister of State-UK Foreign Office delivered shoes from @UKinSriLanka at Sabapathypillai Welfare Village, Sri Lanka North-Jan 29, 2015

Hugo Swire, Minister of State-UK Foreign Office delivered shoes from @UKinSriLanka at Sabapathypillai Welfare Village, Sri Lanka North-Jan 29, 2015

3. Stay aware

I’ve often heard the refrain “I’m not interested in politics”. If “politics” here means the latest political gossip – what X’s son did, who Y snubbed, etc – I’m not too interested either! However, if it means how our rulers use the power we have given them, we need to think again. Their power is public power, and they hold it for us. If we don’t keep an eye on them, they will probably abuse it.
Continue reading ‘Making a New Sri Lanka Will not be Easy and it Won’t be Quick but it is Possible:Being a New Sri Lanka – Part 2’ »

Prime Minister Ranil Issues Special Statement in Parliament About Removal of Mohan Peiris and Re-instatement of Shirani Bandaranayake as Chief Justice.

By

Saman Indrajith

Mohan Peiris courted favour from President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga in a bid to retain his position as the Chief Justice after the new government came to power, Parliament was told yesterday.

Those included unscheduled visit by Peiris accompanied by his wife to President Sirisena on the night of January 21 only to be turned away, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said, making a special statement in response to a query raised by Leader of the Opposition Nimal Siripala de Silva and MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena the previous day.

The Prime Minister in a lengthy statement to the House explaining the circumstances that had led to the removal of Peiris and reinstatement of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake as the Chief Justice said that Peiris had offered to give any judgment in favour of the new government if he was retained as Chief Justice till April this year.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Ranil Issues Special Statement in Parliament About Removal of Mohan Peiris and Re-instatement of Shirani Bandaranayake as Chief Justice.’ »

Nothing but Fair to Objectively Assess Performance of Rajapaksa Regime

by

N. A. de S. Amaratunga

As there seems to be an unending stream of baseless accusations thrown at the Rajapaksas who ruled this country for the last ten years it is nothing but fair that their performance is assessed objectively. This scurrilous well orchestrated derogation no doubt is undertaken in view of the upcoming election.

Yet it is reprehensible and the Rajapaksas whatever their faults were do not deserve it. They do not spare even Mrs . Shiranthi Rajapaksa. It isn’t keeping with the promises made about ‘yahapalanaya’ etc.

If politics is to be cleaned up this is the last thing the new government should be doing. But their performance in this regard seems to be much worse than that of the previous government.

If there had been any corruption committed by the previous government then a prompt and thorough investigation has to be conducted. But what is happening is mudslinging of the worst kind.

There is no disagreement on the fact that Rajapaksas got together and defeated the LTTE and eliminated terrorism in the country and paved the way for peace and economic development the benefits of which are being enjoyed by the people everywhere in Sri Lanka; North and South, East and West.

Continue reading ‘Nothing but Fair to Objectively Assess Performance of Rajapaksa Regime’ »

New Indian Foreign Secretary Subramanyam Jaishankar to Undergo Baptism of Fire in Beijing

New Delhi, Jan. 30: Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will tomorrow confront his first big diplomatic test as foreign secretary – mollifying an upset Beijing after the clearest signal by any Indian government that New Delhi’s vision for China’s neighbourhood converges with that of Washington.

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar-pic: PTI

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar-pic: PTI

Jaishankar will tomorrow fly to Beijing with foreign minister Sushma Swaraj for a four-day visit that has been in the pipeline for months, but has now evolved into a trip critical for India to recalibrate ties with China and ascertain the concerns of that country’s leadership.
Continue reading ‘New Indian Foreign Secretary Subramanyam Jaishankar to Undergo Baptism of Fire in Beijing’ »

How Ex-Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka was Arrested by the Rajapaksa Regime on Feb 8th 2010

By
D.B.S. Jeyaraj

General Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka is very much in the news these days. The former army commander has had his lost rank, titles, honours, decorations and civic rights restored. He is likely to be made Field Marshall and may very well enter Parliament in the days to come.

pic via: facebook.com/sarathfonseka

pic via: facebook.com/sarathfonseka

General Fonseka was deprived of his basic rights and cruelly victimised in a blatant display of revenge taking by the Rajapaksa regime for having contested the Presidential poll of 2010 as common opposition candidate.Within a fortnight of the Presidential poll held on Jan 26 2010, Genera Fonseka was forcibly dragged out from his office by soldiers formerly under his command and detained.

Sarath Fonseka waves towards the public during his visit to Jaffna,  Jan 2010

Sarath Fonseka waves towards the public during his visit to Jaffna, Jan 2010-AP pic-via Sarath Fonseka Campaign

Subsequently he underwent mock trials of different types and was imprisoned in a flagrant travesty of justice.

Currently General Fonseka is being lionised widely. He fully deserves it.

However when he was arrested there was very little media publicity about the way in which he was arrested.The first news report providing extensive details was posted by me on my blog.

It was on 8th February 2010 that General Sarath Fonseka was arrested. He was taken into custody by a contingent of soldiers on a Monday evening while he was engaged in a discussion with some political party leaders.

Information was scanty at the time of the arrest about the manner and mode in which the ex – army chief was arrested although it was expected.

General Sarath Fonseka, RWP, RSP, VSV, USP, RCDS, PSC

General Sarath Fonseka, RWP, RSP, VSV, USP, RCDS, PSC

Upon hearing the news I got in touch with many contacts on the phone and gathered some details. I was able to reconstruct the arrest story within a few hours and post it on my blog.

The story of his arrest as posted on my blog was well – received and within hours the reader toll increased greatly. The following days also registered high levels of visitsIt was also picked up by the media on a wide basis and was used as source material by various media personnel.

It is noteworthy that President Maithripala Sirisena has gone on record that a horrible fate at the hands of the Rajapaksas was in store for him had he lost the election like Sarath Fonseka.

Against that backdrop I thought that re-posting the article would be of interest to readers to revive memories of how Gen Sarath Fonsekas was unfairly arrested then.
Continue reading ‘How Ex-Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka was Arrested by the Rajapaksa Regime on Feb 8th 2010’ »

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake Presents Interim Budget Dubbed as “Robin Hood” Budget with many Welfare Measures

by Saman Indrajith

"Robin Hood" Mini-Budget presentation by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake

“Robin Hood” Mini-Budget presentation by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake


* Public sector receives Rs. 10,000 salary increase

* Rs. 2,500 salary hike to pvt sector suggested

* Prices of several essential items, domestic gas down

* Higher interest rate (15%) for senior citizens

* Relief for farmers t, fertilizer subsidy stays

* Kerosene price further down to help estate workers

* Education allocation raised to 6 % of GDP

* Dual citizenship available at a huge fee

* PAYE: first Rs. 750,000 exempted from tax

* Dayata Kirula funds divided among MPs

* Rs. 1 mn mansion tax on palatial houses

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake making a special statement on the 100-day programme of the new government told Parliament yesterday that the government would increase the salaries of public sector workers by Rs. 10,000, half of which would be paid with their February salaries and the balance would be paid from June this year.

Finance Minister Karunanayake said that the government had also requested the employers of the private sector to increase salaries by Rs. 2,500 a month. The government would increase the pension payments by Rs. 1,000 in addition to the increments granted to them by the previous government’s last budget.

The price of a domestic gas cylinder would be reduced by Rs. 300, 400 grammes of milk powder by Rs 61 and 400 grammes of Sustagen milk powder by Rs 100. The price of a kilo of wheat flour would be reduced by Rs. 12.50 and that would help reduce bread prices by Rs. 6.00 a loaf the minister suggested.

Continue reading ‘Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake Presents Interim Budget Dubbed as “Robin Hood” Budget with many Welfare Measures’ »

We marched towards independence of Judiciary. It is a triumph of the values that we stood for

By

Upul Jayasuriya

My lady the Chief Justice and other Judges of the Supreme Court, President Court of Appeal and other Judges of the Court of Appeal, learned High Court Judges and other Judicial officers, it is with overwhelming pleasure I rise today on behalf of the unofficial Bar to convey our deepest gratitude to your ladyship for a battle that you fought at great sacrifice that put two years of your life in to hibernation with much anguish and pain.

It is with pleasure and pride in the profession that I warmly welcome your ladyship’s return to your rightful place as the Chief Justice

It is common knowledge that the unwavering stand of the Bar was that the purported removal of your ladyship was unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void and of no force or effect in law and that any purported appointment done placing reliance on your ladyship’s purported removal was also necessarily unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void and of no force or effect in law.

The Bar has always urged the Government to take the necessary corrective action and we are relieved and happy that at long last justice has prevailed and the illegality has been rectified with your ladyship resuming your rightful and lawful position as Chief Justice. The Bar always fought for this day and the Bar has been vindicated.

Your ladyship has endured this extremely difficult period with immense courage and unfailing dignity and all your ladyship’s actions and words during this period, despite immense pressure being brought to bear on your ladyship, have kept in mind the paramount need to protect the dignity of the Judiciary. We respectfully commend your ladyship for your fortitude and your wisdom.

Continue reading ‘We marched towards independence of Judiciary. It is a triumph of the values that we stood for’ »

Today would be remembered as a day in which, time and nature brought about justice!

By

Dr.Shirani Bandaranayake

Today marks 746 days since I left office on the basis of an unlawful and illegal impeachment. I am glad that I am able to see before me today those who stood with me since then, in the struggle to achieve an independent Judiciary in our country.

It is not in my nature to accept felicitations of this kind, hence why I declined a ceremonial sitting in 1996 as well as in 2011. However, on this occasion, which I believe is safe to say, a momentous occasion, I could not refuse the kind invitation extended to me by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.

I suppose it is both opportune and my duty to begin, therefore, by appreciating the diligent and unwavering efforts of the learned and able team of counsel, led by President’s Counsel Mr. Romesh De Silva, who selflessly appeared and stood on my behalf from the very inception, since the time of the impeachment years ago and still continues to do so, the members of the Bar Association, headed by its incumbent President Mr. Upul Jayasuriya, who fought fearlessly throughout with vigour, the lawyers who stood by me and continue to do so, on every occasion that I was made to defend myself in the Bribery Commission and in the Magistrates Court on baseless allegations and those who actively took part amidst great adversity throughout these 746 days, including the countless civil society activists, here and abroad, whom on numerous occasions, selflessly risked their lives for the benefit of the cause I stood for.

I am fortunate to have had such unwavering and continued support, which was my biggest strength throughout this entire period.

Continue reading ‘Today would be remembered as a day in which, time and nature brought about justice!’ »

“Rajapaksa Govt’s Post-conflict Years Seriously Marred by Oppression of the Tamil Population” – Human Rights Watch

HRW021913

(New York, January 29, 2015) – The Sri Lankan government stepped up pressure in 2014 on human rights activists and journalists, particularly those urging justice for past war crimes, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2015 released today.

A new government, elected in January 2015, should order investigations into arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and killings since the final military operations in 2009.
Continue reading ‘“Rajapaksa Govt’s Post-conflict Years Seriously Marred by Oppression of the Tamil Population” – Human Rights Watch’ »

Sri Lankan government promises “devolution pact” to woo Tamil elite

By

Pani Wijesiriwardena

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe declared last week that his government would implement the 13th amendment to the country’s constitution. After nearly three decades, the amendment, which provided for the limited devolution of powers to the Tamil elite on a provincial level in the island’s north and east, has never been carried out fully.

Wickremesinghe made the statement on January 19 while explaining the government’s agenda to the first parliamentary sitting following Maithripala Sirisena’s election as president on January 8. Sirisena appointed Wickremesinghe, leader of pro-US United National Party (UNP), as prime minister based on a new ruling coalition, the National Democratic Front, which includes a number of right-wing parties.

Wickremesinghe’s promise to implement the 13th amendment is in the first instance a pitch for the support of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main Tamil bourgeois party. More fundamentally, however, it underscores the shift in foreign policy toward the US and India that was ushered in by Sirisena’s election. India, supported by the US, has repeatedly demanded the amendment’s implementation as part of a “political solution” to the protracted Sri Lankan civil war that ended with the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.

The presidential election had the character of a regime-change operation backed by both the US and India against former President Mahinda Rajapakse. Sirisena, a key cabinet minister and general secretary of Rajapakse’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), defected to the opposition as soon as the election was announced in a move orchestrated by Wickremesinghe and ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Washington was hostile to Rajapakse’s ties with Beijing in conditions where it is seeking to strategically encircle China as part of the US “pivot to Asia.”

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan government promises “devolution pact” to woo Tamil elite’ »

Disgraceful Dayasiri Jayasekera Deserts Mahinda and Defects to Maithripala’s feet After Defecating on him Earlier


By

Don Manu

If oil is refined, alcohol is distilled and grain winnowed to separate the wheat from the chaff, then what folly will it be to add the crude discarded back to the resultant product, cleansed of its impurities.

As the new Government embarks upon cleaning up the system and paving the way to restore the old cherished values and morals this nation was robbed of along with its wealth by the corrupt and degenerate regime that was, the new President Maithripala Sirisena will be committing a grievous error if he even pauses for a moment to entertain the idea of taking back the blackguards who, having supped at the Rajapaksa high table and gormandised to the full, now show alarming signs of wishing to puke upon the white linen presently being laid at the people’s buffet.

Far divorced from the realities of the ground situation, far removed from the sufferings of the masses and far gone beyond the ambit of honour and decency, these were the parasitical creepers who clung to the diseased Rajapaksa family tree and continued to perpetrate the fraud on the masses by protracting its existence in the belief that their life supporting trunk could never be brought down and that their happy days of endless sunshine would never end.

But it did. And when the unthinkable happened, look how swift the metamorphosis. After having praised Mahinda to the hilt and denigrated Maithri to the pits, they have had no qualm to damn their deposed leader Mahinda the moment he lost and change their tune and sing songs of praise to Maithri the moment he won.

Continue reading ‘Disgraceful Dayasiri Jayasekera Deserts Mahinda and Defects to Maithripala’s feet After Defecating on him Earlier’ »

Many Proverbial “Bad Eggs”of the Previous Rajapaksa Regime now form part of the Current Sirisena Dispensation.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

The fact that the now deposed Mahinda Rajapaksa Presidency set the standard so deplorably low for good governance and democracy should not deter the Sri Lankan public from demanding that the incumbent Government fulfill election pledges to the highest extent demonstrable.

We should not lapse into a mindset of settling for less purely due to the undeniably nightmarish possibility of a Rajapksa-return, with its minders now eagerly waiting and watching in the wings. Indeed, it is only if the Sirisena Government fails that this eventuality will arise in any event. There is therefore a grave need for judicious pressure to be exerted to ensure that such failure is averted.

Continue reading ‘Many Proverbial “Bad Eggs”of the Previous Rajapaksa Regime now form part of the Current Sirisena Dispensation.’ »

British Government must ensure accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, says Siobhain McDonagh MP

The British Government must be willing to hold the Sri Lankan authorities to account if they reject the findings and recommendations of the forthcoming United Nations report into alleged war crimes and human rights violations on the island, according to Siobhain McDonagh MP.

Speaking during a debate on Sri Lanka in the UK Parliament on Wednesday 28th January, the Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden and the Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils said no measures should be taken off the table by the British Government, including possible sanctions and travel bans, if President Maithripala Sirisena’s Government fails to comply with the inquiry.

Continue reading ‘British Government must ensure accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, says Siobhain McDonagh MP’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sons Yoshitha and Rohitha to be Removed as Captains of the Navy and Army Rugby Teams on Orders from the Top

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s sons Yoshitha and Rohitha are to be removed from the captaincy of the Rugby teams of the Navy and Army respectively, on the instructions of a highly placed official, informed sources said yesterday.

Instructions had been issued to the relevant officials in this regard.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sons Yoshitha and Rohitha to be Removed as Captains of the Navy and Army Rugby Teams on Orders from the Top’ »

Seniormost Supreme Court Judge Kanagasabapathy J.Sripavan to be Appointed as 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka

Senior Supreme Court Judge Kanagasabapathy J. Sripavan will be appointed as the next Chief Justice, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne told the Cabinet briefing this morning.

President Maithripala Sirisena was sworn-in by Justice Sripavan bypassing Chief Justice Mohan Peiris.

Continue reading ‘Seniormost Supreme Court Judge Kanagasabapathy J.Sripavan to be Appointed as 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka’ »

43rd Chief Justice Dr.Shirani Bandaranayake Participates in Ceremonial Sitting of the Supreme Court Before Retiring

Participating in her ceremonial sitting today (29), Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake said that justice was restored to her after two years.

“I fought for two years not only for myself but for the independent legal system of the country and against corruption”, she said.

Continue reading ‘43rd Chief Justice Dr.Shirani Bandaranayake Participates in Ceremonial Sitting of the Supreme Court Before Retiring’ »

How President Sirisena Used his Powers to Remove Mohan Peiris and Restore Shirani Bandaranayake as Chief Justice

By
Dharisha Bastians

Eventually, it all ended the way it began.

Chief Justice - pic courtesy of: AlJazeera

Chief Justice – pic courtesy of: AlJazeera

The high domed, iconic red roofs of the Superior Court Complex shimmering in the scorching sun. A gathering of black coats outside the gates at noon. Activists and demonstrators, their protest ended, chatting in small groups. Journalists, cameras poised, standing by the gates endlessly waiting for the footage of the day.

Dressed in a simple grey Kandyan sari, Shirani Bandaranayake returned to Hulftsdorp Hill to resume duties as the lawful Chief Justice of Sri Lanka last afternoon. Received with a bouquet of flowers, Bandaranayake was escorted into the premises by Attorney at Law and TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran and Bar Association President Upul Jayasuriya.

Present on the scene were several other key activist lawyers including Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne PC and attorney at law J.C. Weliamuna.

For the legal fraternity, it has been a two year struggle to reinstate her. Her reinstatement, even symbolically, is seen to be the culmination of a battle waged with all the power they could muster against her illegal sacking in 2013. The Rajapaksa state overrode every constitutional roadblock, every moral and ethical argument against the impeachment of Bandaranayake two years ago.

Continue reading ‘How President Sirisena Used his Powers to Remove Mohan Peiris and Restore Shirani Bandaranayake as Chief Justice’ »

From SWRD to Mahinda: Influence of Astrology on Sri Lankan Political Leaders


By

Prof. Carlo Fonseka

In The Island of 19 January 2015, N. Amarasekera of Colombo writes: “It was the late Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru who pooh-poohed astrological predictions as inspired guesses, but as there is a saying that a sucker is born every minute one may have to give in to the majority’s wishes!” If I understand NA correctly, what he is saying is this:

SWRDMRASTRO

“Although JN pooh-poohed astrology he nevertheless gave it to his people because most of them were born suckers”. JN read natural sciences – chemistry, botany and geology – at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. In 1910 at the age of 21 he took the natural science tripos with second class honours. His public persona was that of a scientific, agnostic, socialist, secularist public intellectual. He was, however, born a Hindu, lived a Hindu and contrary to his expressed written wish that no religious ceremonies should be associated with his funeral, was given the last rites of a traditional Hindu King. There is evidence that during the 17 years he led India, Hindu occultism and astrology pervaded his governing circle. Such was the power that the culture into which he was born, exerted even on a famous, powerful public intellectual who had read natural sciences at Cambridge University.

Transfer of Power

The transfer of power from Britain to India was arranged to take place at the stroke of midnight on the 14th of August 1947. The explanation for the ungodly hour at which the transfer took place had to do with unmitigated astrological superstition. It so happened that Britain’s last Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten who presided over the event insisted that the 15th of August 1947 should be the day of transfer of power. This was because he regarded the 15th of August as his ‘lucky day’ for the simple reason that the Japanese Army had surrendered before him on the 15th of August 1945. But Hindu astrologers considered the 15th of August 1947 as a very “unfortunate and unholy day “and demanded that the transfer should take place on the 14th of August. Thus, the problem that JN was obliged to solve was how to satisfy the superstitious Indian astrologers and the equally superstitious Lord Mountbatten. His solution was simple and brilliant. He knew that according to the western calendar a new day begins at the stroke of midnight, whereas in Hindu astrology a new day begins at sunrise of each day. Therefore the stroke of midnight of 14th would be the 15th of August for Lord Mountbatten but would remain the 14th of August for Indian astrologers.(One is reminded of Caesar’s taunt to the soothsayer in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar: “The ides of March are come” and the soothsayer’s riposte, “Ay, Caesar, but not gone.” ). In the event, JN summoned the Constituent Assembly in the afternoon of the 14th of August and continued the session until the stroke of midnight when the 15th of August dawned according to the western calendar. Then he gave memorable utterance to those immortal words: “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge… At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”. Permit me to say irreverently that in all honesty, after the phrase “India will awake to life and freedom” JN should have added the words “at a time decreed by Hindu astrology.” There is evidence that JN who condemned astrology publicly, consulted astrologers privately. Those are the inevitable acts of harmless hypocrisy that politicians are obliged to perform. Let us understand them and forgive them. After all, if they are worse than us then why did we freely elect them?

The Bandaranaikes & Astrology

To my knowledge in our country the influence of astrology on politicians surfaced during the premiership of SWRD Bandaranaike, JN’s Oxford- educated contemporary and friend. Astrologers openly predicted that the second half of 1959 was “fatally bad” for SWRDB. One of those who predicted it was Dr. David Jansz, my Cambridge- educated physiology lecturer in the Colombo Medical School. I have recounted elsewhere how Dr. DJ gloated with glee on the 25th of September 1959, not because SWRDB was shot but because his astrological prediction came true!

Continue reading ‘From SWRD to Mahinda: Influence of Astrology on Sri Lankan Political Leaders’ »

Evidence of India’s involvement in regime change in Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake

IAL0713

Fresh evidence has emerged pointing to a concerted international effort behind the defeat of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse in the country’s presidential election on January 8. Reuters reported on Sunday that the Colombo station chief for India’s external spy agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was recalled to New Delhi before the election, following complaints by the Sri Lankan government that he was helping the opposition parties.

India rejected any suggestion that it meddled in the Sri Lankan election. External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin insisted that the diplomat was recalled as part of a “normal transfer” after a three-year tour of duty in Colombo. The Reuters report, however, based on “political and intelligence sources” in India and Sri Lanka, said Colombo asked New Delhi to recall the agent “for helping gather support for joint opposition candidate Maithripala [Sirisena] after persuading him to ditch Rajapakse’s cabinet.”

Sirisena, a senior cabinet minister, defected to the opposition in November, immediately after Rajapakse announced the date for an early presidential election. Sirisena declared that he would run as the joint opposition candidate. The move was prepared well in advance by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, head of the pro-US United National Party (UNP). UNP leaders discussed this “election strategy” with senior US and UK diplomats in Colombo during early November.

Continue reading ‘Evidence of India’s involvement in regime change in Sri Lanka’ »

Sri Lankan government discusses phony “100-day work program”

By Wasantha Rupasinghe

The new Sri Lankan government of President Maithripala Sirisena held a meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) last Thursday to discuss a “100 day-work program,” which is supposedly about establishing “democracy” and providing “relief for the masses.”

Sirisena and the opposition parties that backed him, including the right-wing United National Party (UNP), promised this program during the campaign for the January 8 presidential election. The measures are nothing but an attempt to exploit the deep discontent among working people against former President Mahinda Rajapakse and cover up the new government’s reactionary agenda, including its pro-US foreign policy.

Apart from the ruling National Democratic Front—comprised of the UNP, the Sinhala extremist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), former army chief Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party (DP) and the All Ceylon Muslim Congress—other parties participating in the NEC included the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who engineered Sirisena’s candidacy, and the National Movement for Social Justice, an NGO led by a Buddhist monk, also took part.

The NEC is a right-wing coalition that the JVP initially proposed as a mechanism for marshalling support for the new government. Both the JVP and TNA refused to join the government, but are backing it indirectly through the NEC. After the meeting, JVP leader Anura Kumar Dissanayake boasted to the media that the council “can act above the cabinet.”

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan government discusses phony “100-day work program”’ »

President Sirisena who Voted for Impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake now Endorses her as the Legal Chief Justice

(Compiled From News Reports in the “Asian Mirror” Website)

'Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was purportedly removed from her post under the process set out in Standing Order 78A'

‘Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was purportedly removed from her post under the process set out in Standing Order 78A’

President Maithripala Sirisena has accepted Shirani Bandaranayake as the legal Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.

“Mr. President accepts Shirani Bandaranayake as the legal Chief Justice,” President Sirisena tweeted from his official Twitter account, a short while ago.

In his election manifesto, President Sirisena said that CJ 43 Shirani Bandaranayake will be reinstated in her position as the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.

This morning, the President and his Cabinet acknowledged Bandaranayake’s right to resume duties as the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka as her impeachment was flawed and there illegal.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena who Voted for Impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake now Endorses her as the Legal Chief Justice’ »

“Full Implementation of the 13th Amendment is no Lasting Solution”-MA Sumanthiran MP

by P.Krishnaswamy


Tamil National Alliance (TNA) frontliner M.A.Sumanthiran MP in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer spelt out the TNA’s needs – their stance with regard to a lasting solution to the Tamil problem, the immediate measures that they have insisted over the livelihood and rehabilitation of the conflict-affected Tamils, the current controversy over the post of Chief Minister (CM) of the Eastern Provincial Council (PC) and the Government’s measures to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in full.

He said that the Maithripala administration which the Tamils exuberantly supported has already initiated measures to resolve their outstanding issues and expressed optimism that the current political trend signals harmony and mutual understanding among the different communities in the country.

MA Sumanthiran MP

MA Sumanthiran MP

Excerpts of the interview:


Q: Do you believe that the overwhelming support that the Tamils of the North and East, represented by the TNA, and also the Muslims gave to elect the new government to power signals harmony and mutual understanding among the different communities of the country?

Continue reading ‘“Full Implementation of the 13th Amendment is no Lasting Solution”-MA Sumanthiran MP’ »

Tamil Nationalism has Never Accepted that a Lasting Solution Could be Arrived at Through Full Devolution Within a Unitary State.

BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

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PRE-INDEPENDENCE DAY THOUGHTS 2015: THE FUTURE STATE OF THE NATION

In the run-up to Independence Day 2015, we must thank God for Mr. Sumanthiran. He is indubitably a moderate and an intellectual. Let us give thanks also for the Sunday Observer, which is a state-run newspaper not given to running stories or distorting them in a manner inimical or embarrassing to the government of the day. Therefore, when Mr. Sumanthiran says something to the Sunday Observer, I take it seriously because I know I am on safe ground. Mr. Sumanthiran tells the newspaper that the TNA doesn’t expect much movement on addressing the Tamil political question during the Hundred Day program. That is realistic –and anyway, who’d want to affect the UNP’s chances at the General election by pressing home Tamil political demands? He also says that the full implementation of the 13th amendment would be a good first step. Then comes the bottom-line: “The PM said that devolution will now be given under the 13th Amendment which the previous government was blocking. But we have clearly said that the full implementation of the 13th Amendment is no lasting solution.” (‘Current political trend signals harmony among communities’ – M.A.Sumanthiran MP, by P.Krishnaswamy, Sunday Observer, January 25th 2015)

MA Sumanthiran MP

MA Sumanthiran MP

There’s always that ‘but’ isn’t there? There’s always that ‘but’ even for a moderate Tamil nationalist intellectual. The truth as disclosed or rather, reiterated by the cosmopolitan, Colombo based Mr. Sumanthiran is that the proposed removal of the roadblocks to the full implementation of the 13th amendment just isn’t enough. This is because “full implementation of the 13th amendment is no lasting solution”.

Some readers may think I am making something of a mountain out of a molehill, but interestingly and appropriately the caption of the interview when reproduced on the website of veteran (expatriate) journalist DBS Jeyaraj reflected what was most newsworthy about the story: “Full Implementation of the 13th Amendment is No Lasting Solution- MA Sumanthiran, MP”.
Continue reading ‘Tamil Nationalism has Never Accepted that a Lasting Solution Could be Arrived at Through Full Devolution Within a Unitary State.’ »

“Outrageous and Totally Unsubstantiated Accusations Against Me” – Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that a concerted effort was being made to tarnish his image and that of his family as well as the previous UPFA government. The former SLFP leader emphasized that a spate of baseless allegations including an alleged attempt to launch a military coup had been made since the conclusion of the presidential poll.

Birthday Selfie via: twitter.com/RajapaksaNamal ~ "Happy Birthday Ammi. Hope you have a blessed day and year ahead"-January 23, 2015

Birthday Selfie via: twitter.com/RajapaksaNamal ~ “Happy Birthday Ammi. Hope you have a blessed day and year ahead”-January 23, 2015

The following is the full text of the open letter to the nation written by the former President and issued in the form of a statement-

To the Venerable Maha Sangha, all Reverend Clergymen and the People of Sri Lanka

“Numerous allegations have been levelled against me, my family and my government both before and after the recent presidential election. If there are allegations of wrongdoing against anybody, there are established procedures that can be followed. What we see instead is a media blitz meant to vilify me and to mislead the public. I wish to state my position on these matters so that the people will not be misled by this unprecedented campaign of vilification by interested parties.

The allegation has been made that I attempted to launch a military coup in the early hours of the 9th January.

On the contrary, I conceded defeat and having discussed matters with the then opposition leader Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe, left Temple Trees several hours before the final results were announced. The accusation that I sought the Attorney General’s advice on how to remain in power illegally is by its very nature, an absurdity. I was saddened by the comments made about this alleged incident and other matters by the incumbent president at a rally in Polonnaruwa. It is with deep regret that I state that I am not being allowed to spend my days in peace even after leaving office.
Continue reading ‘“Outrageous and Totally Unsubstantiated Accusations Against Me” – Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

The Spectacular Fall of Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Marvellous Rise of Maithripala Sirisena.

By Col R Hariharan

MSMR1128

THE recently concluded Sri Lankan presidential elections belied President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s confidence as he was beaten by Maithripala Sirisena, former health minister and a long- term colleague of his. People seem to have preferred “unknown angel” Sirisena to “known devil” Rajapaksa, as he described himself in an election rally.

Rajapaksa was so confident of winning the people’s mandate for a third term that he advanced the election by two years before his second term ended. But Sirisena, general sec- retary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), emerged as a challenger on the eve of the election announcement.

According to the official results, Sirisena won by a 3.7 percent margin over the more crafty Rajapaksa and was preferred by 51.38 per-cent of the 121 million voters.

This may not appear to be a bad performance if we consider that in 2005, Rajapaksa’s scrapped through with a wafer-thin 1.86 percent majority over his rival Ranil Wickremesinghe to become president. But a decade later, Rajapaksa went to the polls with the enormous executive powers of a serving president.

In 2009, he used the popularity he earned after the victory in the Eelam War to gain two- thirds majority in parliament for his United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition and also handsomely wIn the presidential election for a second time in 2010.

Despite these advantages, Rajapaksa seemed to have lost direction and that cost him this presidency. But the central reason for his electoral debate has been the loss of support within his own party and the people at large, particularly minorities.

Continue reading ‘The Spectacular Fall of Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Marvellous Rise of Maithripala Sirisena.’ »

UN Probe Report May Be Concluded in March and Referred to Lankan Domestic Mechanisms for Necessary Action-Mangala

By Dharisha Bastians

UNHRC021413

After an eight-year hiatus, Mangala Samaraweera is back at his old office in the historic Republic Building, which once housed prime ministers. In this third stint as Sri Lanka’s top diplomat, he appears to take to the role with increasing comfort, confidence and a strong compulsion to reform the system of professional diplomacy that he says has crumbled under the previous regime over nine years.

Adamant to stick to a no-exceptions policy, Samaraweera has already recalled 27 politically-appointed heads of mission to Sri Lankan embassies overseas, and is pledging to restore the balance in diplomatic appointments, with 70% of appointments to be reserved for professionals drawn from the Foreign Service to head of mission posts.

After leading Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaign to victory in the 2005 poll, Samaraweera has spent the last eight years struggling to remove him from office. As a vociferous critic of Rajapaksa governance and authoritarian tendencies, Minister Samaraweera calls the 8 January election Sri Lanka’s ‘Burma moment’ and a reflection of how the centre has struck back in Sri Lankan politics. As Foreign Minister in a Government with a democratic reform agenda, Samaraweera hopes the world will respond with understanding and a deferral of international moves at the UN.

The new Foreign Minister sat down for a discussion on politics, foreign policy and Sri Lanka’s post-Rajapaksa future, shortly before heading to Brussels.


Following are excerpts of the discussion:


Q: There’s a famous story that when you first walked into this Ministry after Minister Kadirgamar’s assassination, you are reported to have said those were big shoes to fill. What’s it like this time around?

A:When I took over as Foreign Minister in 2005, I found the task daunting because I had to follow in the footsteps of one of the greatest and finest foreign ministers Sri Lanka has ever had. But today again returning to the same room and the same desk seven years later, I find the task daunting for exactly the opposite reason. Foreign policy has totally been dashed to the ground. To revive the foreign policy in order to ensure that Sri Lanka is a respected country in the community of civilised nations will take some time.

Continue reading ‘UN Probe Report May Be Concluded in March and Referred to Lankan Domestic Mechanisms for Necessary Action-Mangala’ »

“I cannot interfere with the Army occupation in the North but I will look into Resettlement”-DM Swaminathan, Resettlement Minister

By

Mirudhula Thambiah

Minister of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Culture, D.M. Swaminathan said he was working with all Tamil political parties to resettle the people of Valikamam –North during the 100 day programme.Commenting on the Sri Lankan refugees in India, he said “There are more than 100,000 Sri Lankan refugees in India. Earlier, when these people came to Sri Lanka, they were grilled during security clearance by the previous government. They were kept in custody for more than 24 hours. This procedure has reached the refugees in India and they lost interest to return to their home country. We are trying to make it more flexible, we will check on the security, but we will not grill them.”


Following are excerpts of the interview:

Q:
How do you view the resettlement programme in the past? Do you feel it was successful?

A: According to figures I have received, 280,000 families have been resettled so far. These people were resettled in the areas they were entitled to resettle. There are various other issues connected to resettlement issues. Once people are resettled we have to provide them with sanitation, housing, schooling and livelihood. I have not received any information with regard to these issues. I don’t want to comment on the previous government and waste my time. I will only look at the future on what I can do. Criticizing another government is not part of my job. I’m in this position to execute my responsibilities.

Continue reading ‘“I cannot interfere with the Army occupation in the North but I will look into Resettlement”-DM Swaminathan, Resettlement Minister’ »

35 Member Second Chamber Proposed with 15 for Sinhalese, 15 for Tamils and Muslims and 5 for Others Like Veddahs, Malays, Burghers, Colombo Chetties etc

By

Sumanasiri Liyanage

As I mentioned in a previous note, it is imperative to reread and revise 100 days program of President Maithripala Sirisena reflecting the aspirations and hopes as they were expressed by the people at the election. Of course, different peoples have had different expectations and hopes. At least their priorities may be different. The interests of the urban middle class might have been democracy and good governance. Almost all might have been despised bribery and corruption.

pic courtesy of: ukinsrilanka

pic courtesy of: ukinsrilanka

However, numerically small nations would have seen election as a space of raising the issue of security and protecting their identity. It seems the government is now working on bringing in 19th Amendment to the Constitution by repealing the infamous 18th Amendment that negated independent commission set up by the 17th Amendment. Also it allowed president to hold office more than twice. We still do not know for sure what would be included in the 19th Amendment, but it seems it will be in line with the proposal submitted by Ven. Athuraliya Rathana, MP and his pivithuru lowak movement. As the 100 day-programme was careful in even mentioning the national question, the issue may not be specifically be addressed in the 19th Amendment.

Continue reading ‘35 Member Second Chamber Proposed with 15 for Sinhalese, 15 for Tamils and Muslims and 5 for Others Like Veddahs, Malays, Burghers, Colombo Chetties etc’ »

Intriguing “Partnership”of Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Presidential Adviser on Foreign relations Jayantha Dharmapala.

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

No doubt Presidential Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Jayantha Dhanapala is now in Geneva to met UNHRC High Commissioner, Zeid Hussein to discuss the issue of the war crimes probe against Sri Lanka. The UNHRC is expected to present a report in March which may contain the necessity to initiate such a probe against Sri Lanka and the refusal by the previous Rajapaksa government to permit the probing team passage to Sri Lanka to conduct investigations. Dhanapala’s mission to Geneva could be to make amends before that report is presented to the UNHRC and assure that an internal mechanism would be put in place to probe alleged war crimes.

The talk in many circles is why Dhanapala and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera have mediated in the deep crisis Sri Lanka faces at international level with regard to alleged war crimes. Some debate that Dhanapala is engaged in that exercise due to his experience and links with the United Nations. While Dhanapala took wing to Geneva, Mangala flew to Brussels to resolve the issue of the ban imposed on Sri Lankan fish exports. Prior to that, Mangala flew to India to meet Indian Premier Narendra Modi. It was a successful visit; an Indian Prime Minister meets a visiting foreign minister rarely. The Mangala-Dhanapala relationship dates back to the 2004-2005 Chandrika Kumaratunga regimes.

Continue reading ‘Intriguing “Partnership”of Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Presidential Adviser on Foreign relations Jayantha Dharmapala.’ »

The delusion of a Rajapaksa come back and the general election stakes

by Harim Peiris

The new government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been proceeding without a major hiccup and the issue making the most news daily has been the ongoing revelations of corruption against the former Rajapaksa regime and extending up to its highest levels.

The most newsworthy post election development was the collapse of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) into the lap of its longtime former General Secretary, President Maithripala Sirisena.

Mahinda Rajapaksa has delusions of making an immediate political comeback. Barely was the ink dry on the official president election results than he was visiting the SLFP office at Darley Road and summoning Central Committee meetings. Within forty eight hours or so of that meeting, the SLFP Chairmanship rested with President Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘The delusion of a Rajapaksa come back and the general election stakes’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe Despite Personal Failings are the two most Prominent non-communalist National Political Leaders

by

Rohana R. Wasala

These days, the phrase ‘good governance’ reverberates across the media reporting on Sri Lanka. It refers to a vague concept that is being used by the West and their opportunistic allies as a very effective weapon against our country to keep it destabilized for their own purposes, while trying to alienate us from the relatively more sincere friends in the region that we have had for over a thousand years. (Human rights violation charges are another weapon. Even when there are some genuine reasons for raising issues such as poor governance and rights violations, these are blown out of proportion to suit the attacker’s need.) We are in the ridiculous position of a dog that snaps at a stone thrown at it, being too distracted to see the stone thrower.

A nuanced understanding of ‘good governance’ is a cogent necessity at this critical time. (The adjective ‘nuanced’ here means characterized by attention being paid to a number factors such as the different shades of contextual meanings that the phrase ‘good governance’ expresses, the usual assumptions that the idea is based on, the feelings behind it, the tone or attitudes it reflects, the intentions it probably conceals, and the subtle change of one shade of meaning into another as in the border between any two colours in the spectrum, etc.)

I have long believed that Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe, despite their personal human failings, are the two most prominent non-communalist national political leaders that we can’t do without until they are made redundant in their roles by equally good or better ones. Both are national assets being products of long years of training (experience) in politics in this multicultural multiethnic country; they have both held responsible positions of political power and proved their mettle.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe Despite Personal Failings are the two most Prominent non-communalist National Political Leaders’ »

“A National Leader from Rajarata After 835 Years but I am no Dutu Gemunu,Devanampiyatissa or Parakramabahu”-President Sirisena in Polonnaruwa


BY UDENI SAMAN KUMARA AND BANDARA MUDIYANSE

after 835 years that a national leader came to power from Rajarata. I am no Dutu Gemunu, Devanampiyatissa or Parakramabahu;

“If I lost the presidential election, my dearly beloved people of Polonnaurwa would most probably have missed seeing me from the very next day as I would have ended up in a grave somewhere, together with the members of my family,” said President Maithripala Sirisena addressing a felicitation meeting held in his honour in Polonnaruwa.

“The last presidential election was the most corrupt election held so far in this country. All the political powers and State resources were misused at unprecedented levels, hitherto not seen resorted to by any political leader in this country.

“The Prime Minister and I, in consultation with other party leaders in our Common Opposition Front, can dissolve this Parliament even at midnight today. But, we are not going to do it because it would retard the progress of our much prized 100-day programme. In such case, we will not be able to fulfil our much-needed constitutional amendments within the time frame we have stipulated; what is more important and relevant at this stage is to fulfil what we have promised to the people, with the support of all progressive elements in the SLFP and other parties,” the President reiterated.

Maithri felicitation (Janabhinandana) ceremony was held in Thopawewa Sports Stadium, Polonnaruwa, presided over by the newly-elected President, Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, with the participation of thousands of well-wishers.

Continue reading ‘“A National Leader from Rajarata After 835 Years but I am no Dutu Gemunu,Devanampiyatissa or Parakramabahu”-President Sirisena in Polonnaruwa’ »

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa NOT Invited for 67th Independence Day Celebrations on Feb 4 at Parliament Grounds.

By Ifham Nizam and Minidu Ekanayake

The 67th Independence Day celebrations will include all government bigwigs, officials, diplomatic corps accredited to Sri Lanka and others, but not former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Fielding questions, Home Affairs and Fisheries Minister Joseph Michael Perera said usually it was not the norm to invite a former President.

He said the 67th Independence Day celebration would be held under the theme Piripun Maubimak,-Abiman Heta Dinak (a prosperous motherland, a dignifying tomorrow) at Parliament grounds at 8 a.m. on February 4, under the patronage of the President Maithripala Sirisena.

Continue reading ‘Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa NOT Invited for 67th Independence Day Celebrations on Feb 4 at Parliament Grounds.’ »

Appeal Court Issues Notice on Attorney-General Returnable on Feb 5th 2015 Regarding writ Filed by JVP Against ” KP”.

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on the Attorney General, returnable on February 5, 2015 in respect of the Writ Application filed by JVP Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath, who has requested the Court to order the IGP and the Attorney General to arrest Kumaran Pathmanathan and to charge him under the Prevention of Terrorist Act.

The application was supported by Counsel Upul Kumarapperuma appearing with Thushan Ranatunga instructed by Sunil Watagala.

The petition said that KP was wanted by the government of India over the murder of its ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Continue reading ‘Appeal Court Issues Notice on Attorney-General Returnable on Feb 5th 2015 Regarding writ Filed by JVP Against ” KP”.’ »

How did Wimal Weerawansa and Wife “Shashi” Acquire so much of Wealth in Such a Short Time?

By

Nirmala Kannangara

Controversy surrounds over how an owner of a small telecommunication centre became a millionaire within a short span of six years. Complaints have been lodged recently with the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption against the leader of the National Freedom Front and former Minister of Housing and Construction Wimal Weerawansa.

WW

After the complaint was lodged, startling revelations have come out how Weerawansa is enjoying a super luxury life and questions have been raised as to how the former minister accumulated such a vast wealth within no time when his sole income was the ministerial salary and the other perks a government minister is entitled to.

Weerawansa is accused of acquiring wealth to own one mansion and to construct the second in the same compound worth over Rs.70 million at Mangala Mawatha in Hokandara South.

Amongst the allegations levelled against Weerawansas are: from where he got money to construct two houses in Hokandara?

How did he earn money to get a 25-room hotel on a 13-acre land in Waga, Padukka?

Who gave money for Weerawansa’s wife to own a garment factory in Kalutara?

Where did the money come from to own shares of a production house in Polwatte, Pannipitiya? etc.

Continue reading ‘How did Wimal Weerawansa and Wife “Shashi” Acquire so much of Wealth in Such a Short Time?’ »

“Attack my Father or Myself for Political Revenge but Dont Make False Allegations Against my Mother or Brothers” -Namal Rajapaksa MP

While denying allegation that his mother was involved in a gold racket, MP Namal Rajapaksa said yesterday that if anyone wanted to take revenge politically they should only attack his father or himself and not the other members of his family.

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Enjoying a warm cup of pure Ceylon #tea with friends at a roadside shop in Walasmulla -Jan 25-via: twitter.com/RajapaksaNamal

“If political revenge is the main objective, attack my father and myself, and stop making false allegations against my mother and brothers,” the former president’s son tweeted.

Continue reading ‘“Attack my Father or Myself for Political Revenge but Dont Make False Allegations Against my Mother or Brothers” -Namal Rajapaksa MP’ »

Disgruntled Basil Rajapaksa went to USA after Brother Mahinda Thwarted his Attempt to Become Leader of the Opposition.


Political circles are abuzz about the many ‘behind-the-curtain’ political games were played out over the days from the Presidential Election Day. They speak about conspiracies to retain power while the then administrators dismiss these allegations. However, the truth of many stories about political game-play is yet to be established. The latest political game unfolding states, it was hatched by none other than the former SLFP National Organizer and Cabinet Minister Basil Rajapaksa.

pic via: facebook.com/madyawediya

pic via: facebook.com/madyawediya

His plan had been on that election night to grab the opposition leader’s post. When the results were being announced on 09 January, it was clear that Mahinda Rajapaksa was on the side of defeat by about 2:00 a.m. Having evaluated the North, East and the Nuwara-Eliya district results, Rajapaksa was aware that he was losing. He began to plan out a peaceful transfer of powers to his successor, Maithripala Sirisena.

sketch by Hasantha Wijenayake

sketch by Hasantha Wijenayake

Basil was aware that the powers of the government was moving towards the UNP and mapped out a strategy to gain the position of opposition leader in parliament.In that backdrop, President Rajapaksa was busy preparing to leave Temple Trees to hand over office to Sirisena. Meanwhile, Basil began to contact senior SLFPers and parliamentarians to muster support for him to become the opposition leader.

Continue reading ‘Disgruntled Basil Rajapaksa went to USA after Brother Mahinda Thwarted his Attempt to Become Leader of the Opposition.’ »

President Sirisena Appointed his Brother as Telecom Chairman Against the Advice of PM Ranil and UNP Cabinet Ministers

President Maithripala Sirisena’s brother, Kumarasinghe Sirisena, has been appointed as the Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom. It has now been revealed that cabinet members of the United National Party, including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, advised the President not to proceed with the move since it would reflect badly on the head of the government. However, President Sirisena was intent on appointing his brother as the Telecom Chairman.

Perhaps, the President had fair reasons to proceed with the appointment. Kumarasinghe Sirisena, who was the General Manager of State Timber Corporation until December last year, was removed from his post when Sirisena announced his decision to contest the presidential election as the Common Candidate of the opposition. On the other hand, Kumarasinghe Sirisena had more than enough experience at the senior management level of the state sector.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Appointed his Brother as Telecom Chairman Against the Advice of PM Ranil and UNP Cabinet Ministers’ »

Prime Minister Ranil to Present Cabinet Paper on How to Counter War Crimes Allegations Against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

By Saman Indrajith

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was planning to submit a comprehensive Cabinet paper on how the government should counter allegations against Sri Lanka in the report of an investigation conducted by Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights to be presented for the consideration of UN Human Rights Council when it next meets for its 28th session in Geneva on March 2015, a spokesman for the PM’s office said yesterday.

The premier was planning to compile his report on the basis of three types of inputs, the spokesman said. He would hold a series of meetings with government officials and seek their recommendations and observations to be considered in compiling his report in coming days. Observations and suggestions by Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who is currently in Brussels, meeting European Union top officials too would be taken into consideration, the spokesman said, adding that Minister Samaraweera was due home from his present tour on Jan 29. The Prime Minister would meet President Maithripala Sirisena before compiling the report and would include the suggestions and modifications recommended by the latter in his report.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Ranil to Present Cabinet Paper on How to Counter War Crimes Allegations Against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.’ »

Elections Commissioner Unable to Confirm or Deny Whether there was a Coup d’etat Attempt After Presidential Elections

by

Manjula Fernando

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said he could not deny or confirm of any coup d’etat attempt that is said to have taken place in the wee hours of the day after the Presidential election.

“I cannot vouch that nothing of the sort happened or there was an attempt like that. It has to be investigated and presented with evidence.”

He said however, the claims that his office and the counting centres at Royal College and D.S. Senanayake College in Colombo were surrounded by the Army was mere speculation.

He also denied that the then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa stormed his office to meet him as part of this coup d’etat on election night.

Continue reading ‘Elections Commissioner Unable to Confirm or Deny Whether there was a Coup d’etat Attempt After Presidential Elections’ »

There was Nothing in the 100 Day Program about Implementing 13th Amendment or Holding Domestic War Crimes Inquiry

By

C.A.Chandraprema

The bizarre situation that we have been experiencing for the past two weeks where the opposition UPFA has a clear majority in parliament but still chooses to remain in the opposition still holds. But last Friday’s SLFP central committee meeting attended by president Maithripala Sirisena indicates that this situation may not last long.

A clear indication of this is that a firm decision was taken to act against SLFP provincial councilors who collude with the UNP to topple provincial administrations. The mere fact that S.B.Dissanayake a bitter enemy of Chandrika Kumaratunga has been appointed a vice chairman of the SLFP may be an indication that the SLFP is trying to unite all sections of the party and to go forward.

The SLFP’s chosen leader of the opposition Nimal Siripala de Silva still commands the second biggest majority in parliament that any party has got in the past 25 years after the proportional representation system was introduced.

The 2010 government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa had the biggest majority – 163 MPs at the highest point. The next comes Nimal Siripala de Silva with 136 MPs. The third is the R,Premadasa government of 1989 which had 125 parliamentarians. The governments formed in 1994, 2000, 2001 and 2004 did not get clear majorities in parliament and a majority had to be cobbled together with the help of allies. In such circumstances, it’s a pipe dream to expect the SLFP or the UPFA to go to the next elections meekly as an underdog.

Continue reading ‘There was Nothing in the 100 Day Program about Implementing 13th Amendment or Holding Domestic War Crimes Inquiry’ »

Tale of an “Avant Garde” Armoury on “Mahanuwara” Ship and Three “Rakna Lanka” Armouries at “Dakshina” Navt camp in Galle


By Lalith Ruhunuge and K.A.S. Kumara

The news on the discovery of a floating armoury at the Galle Port spread like lightening. Police launched investigations following information received by Deputy Inspector General of Police, Southern Range, D. J. S. Gunawardhana. The armoury belonged to a private security company by the name Avant-garde. A total of 3,154 firearms and 770,059 rounds of ammunition were recovered from seven containers on the ship named Mahanuwara .

Meanwhile, the Galle Magistrate, Nilupuli Lankapura, issued search warrants to the Harbour Police to check three armouries, maintained by a private security company named ‘Rakna Lanka’, at the Dakshina Navy Camp in Galle. The Magistrate also ordered the Navy to provide security until those three armouries were searched. She ordered police to submit the report to Court on 19 March.

It is believed that more than 100 firearms, of diverse kinds, were in those three armouries. Police say that the armouries are maintained with permission from the Ministry of Defense. The investigation report will provide information, such as permission, license, taxes, source of weapons and audit details. It is reported that these weapons have been purchased from the Army and Police when the outdated stocks were auctioned.

Continue reading ‘Tale of an “Avant Garde” Armoury on “Mahanuwara” Ship and Three “Rakna Lanka” Armouries at “Dakshina” Navt camp in Galle’ »

Tussle Between Tamil National Alliance and Muslim Congress for Post of Eastern Province Chief Minister.


By

Manekshaw

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), the political parties that played a significant role in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in defeating former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential election, have turned against each other over the Chief Minister post at the Eastern Provincial Council.

A couple of days ago, the TNA and the SLMC leaders had separate meetings with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, over the Eastern Province Chief Minister post, citing the instability of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA)-led Eastern Provincial Council.

Responding to the issue over the Eastern Province Chief Minister post, President Sirisena suggested the TNA and the SLMC to have a flexible approach and arrive at an amicable decision, instead of his intervention into the issue.

Continue reading ‘Tussle Between Tamil National Alliance and Muslim Congress for Post of Eastern Province Chief Minister.’ »

“It is Because of Mahinda “Mahattaya” that we can now walk Freely on the Roads Like this”

By

M.L. Wickramasinghe

I am persuaded to write this short opinion piece due to a short dialogue a shop assistant had with me last week at a suburban town. I kept a small parcel including two newspapers in a transparent cellophane bag on the shop counter and went in looking for a few items. On returning, I saw a person reading the newspaper through the cellophane bag. He smiled apologetically. I smiled back in a relaxed and empathetic way indicating non-verbally (hopefully), that he could finish reading if he wished to do so.

Saying ‘a menna sir’ (‘here it is sir’),he handed the parcel back to me. As he handed back the parcel he said ” Basil mahattaya penala gihilla kiyala kiyanne? Apahu enna kiyala niyoga karanavalu neda”? (‘it is said that Mr. Basil has run away? He’s been ordered to come back isn’t it?’) I was taken unawares, but said, “Basil mahattaya apahu eyi; parajayata wagakeema bara gannawa kiyala Basil mahattaya kiyala thibuna ne” ( ‘Mr. Basil would come back. Mr. Basil had said that he is taking responsibility for the defeat’)

Then he got into a short dialogue with me and said that the way ‘some of them’ treat the Rajapaksa Pavula and Mahinda mahattaya is not quite good; how they talk about them is not in good taste. I said that I tend to agree, and that type of talk would gradually stop. “Sir, Mahinda mahattaya hinda ne den apita mehema nidahase pare behala yanna puluwan” ( ‘Sir, it is because of Mahinda mahattaya that we can now walk on the roads freely like this’). I walked away reflectively.

Continue reading ‘“It is Because of Mahinda “Mahattaya” that we can now walk Freely on the Roads Like this”’ »

Appointment of Mahinda Loyalists to Top Posts in New Govt Sends Shock Waves Down the Rank and File of the UNP

By

Rasika Jayakody

“Where is yahapalanaya (good governance) in the new government?”

Now this seems to be the million dollar question, at this juncture.

Two and a half weeks after its election, the new government, led by President Mathripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, has already shown some ominous signs where the idea of good governance is concerned.

It is now becoming clear that those who were really instrumental in forming a Common Opposition Alliance and bringing the opposition back to the victorious path are being sidelined due to some obscure reasons.

A sizable proportion of Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists, who did everything possible (literally) to ensure the victory of the former President, are now aligning themselves with the new President.

Some of them have already been appointed to top positions in the new government, sending shockwaves across the rank and file of the UNP.

Continue reading ‘Appointment of Mahinda Loyalists to Top Posts in New Govt Sends Shock Waves Down the Rank and File of the UNP’ »

Sri Lanka Must Retain Presidency with Powers Same as USA, France, Brazil, Philippines, Indonesia, South Africa and South Korea


BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

There are at least two fundamental challenges facing the new Sri Lankan government and both are of long standing. One is the North-South question, which is my shorthand for what is variously called the Tamil National Question or the ethnic problem. The other is the South-South Question.

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While this latter naturally embraces the party political competition, which is now intra-party as well as an inter-party issue, that is not the hub of the problem. The crux of the South-South problem today is that of forms of government: Presidential or parliamentary.

The North-South and South-South problems intersect and interact, because they combine into problems not merely of forms of government, but forms of state. The options are:
(a) Presidential/unitary
(b) Presidential/non-unitary
(c) Parliamentary/unitary and
(d) Parliamentary/non-unitary.

Within the new government there are two positions regarding matters of system and structure. They are both flawed, but one is less flawed than the other.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Must Retain Presidency with Powers Same as USA, France, Brazil, Philippines, Indonesia, South Africa and South Korea’ »

BASL and FUTA Baying for Blood of Chief Justice and University Grants Commission Chairperson with Lynch mob Mentality


By

C.A.Chandraprema

The recently concluded presidential election has unleashed the worst in human nature. Politicians abandoning and even turning against their fallen leader is nothing to be surprised about. But to see advocates of good governance who are not directly involved in politics baying for blood is certainly a new phenomenon.

Take the Bar Association for example. From the time the government changed, they have been pressurizing the chief justice to resign. What is going to happen to the ideal of judicial independence when the chief justice is asked to resign following a change of government?

If the present chief justice resigns, the next time there is a change of government the chief justice at that time, may also be forced to resign on the allegation of being biased in favour of the government that appointed him. This is a dangerous precedent which no government should allow to be set.

Continue reading ‘BASL and FUTA Baying for Blood of Chief Justice and University Grants Commission Chairperson with Lynch mob Mentality’ »

Impeach Chief Justice Mohan Peiris if Impeachment is Warranted Instead of Playing childish Games


By

Malinda Seneviratne

Not too long ago the ‘international community’ was up in arms when Mahinda Rajapaksa moved to oust the then Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) lent its vociferous and self-righteous voice to these objections and went as far as desecrating the supposedly sacred high chamber of justice in the country by turning it into a picketing ground.

Now, in post-Rajapaksa Sri Lanka these objectors are calling for the removal of the ‘Rajapaksa-appointee,’ the incumbent Chief Justice, Mohan Peiris. One would have thought that those who howled over ‘improper procedure’ in the ousting of Bandaranayake would use ‘proper’ mechanisms for this, for example drawing from the Latimer Principles which were bandied about during Maithripala Sirisena’s presidential campaign. What we are hearing of, though, are all kinds of behind-the-scenes moves which include negotiations over ‘give and take’, none of which cover either the CJ or the negotiators with glory.

Continue reading ‘Impeach Chief Justice Mohan Peiris if Impeachment is Warranted Instead of Playing childish Games’ »

Veteran Tamil Stage and Screen Actor V.S. Raghavan Dies of Pancreatic Cancer at 90

By

Udhav Naig

Veteran film and theatre actor, V.S. Raghavan, 90, died on Saturday after battling pancreatic cancer. He is survived by two sons.

V.S. Raghavan

V.S. Raghavan

Mr. Raghavan had the distinction of acting in more than 1,000 Tamil films over the past six decades.

The actor, who became the darling of mimicry artistes, began his career with Vairamalai in 1954. Some of his memorable roles were in films directed by K. Balachander.

His role in Iru Kodugal , where he played a father with negative shades, earned him critical acclaim, as did his role as an Anglo-Indian dad in Nootrukku Nooru .

Continue reading ‘Veteran Tamil Stage and Screen Actor V.S. Raghavan Dies of Pancreatic Cancer at 90’ »

What the Newly Sworn in Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Plans to do in his First 100 Days of Office

facebook.com/maithripalas

facebook.com/maithripalas

100 Day Work Programme After Maithripala Sirisena Becomes President – Detailed diary description

January 2015

Saturday January 10

The new President, Maithripala Sirisena, will take his oath of office

Sunday January 11

A Cabinet of not more than 25 members, including members of all political parties represented in Parliament, will be appointed with Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister

Monday January 12

In order to strengthen democracy, a National Advisory Council will be set up inclusive of representatives of parties represented in Parliament as well as Civil Society organizations.

Monday January 19


Parliament will meet Tuesday January 20

The Standing Orders will be amended and, in terms of Proposal 67/10 now tabled in Parliament, Oversight Committees will be set up comprising members of Parliament who are not in the Cabinet will be established and their Chairmanship will be given to representatives of all Ministers in consultation with the leaders of all parties represented in Parliament.

Wednesday January 21

The process will begin of abolishing the authoritarian executive presidential system and replacing it with an executive of a Cabinet of Ministers responsible to Parliament, and of repealing the 18th Amendment to the Constitution with legislation to establish strengthened and independent institutions, including a Judicial Services Commission, a Police Commission, a Public Service Commission, an Elections Commission, a Commission against Bribery and Corruption and a Human Rights Commission. This will be through a 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which will be presented to Parliament and passed as swiftly as possible.

Wednesday January 28

An all party committee will be set up to put forward proposals to replace the current Preference Vote system and replace it with an Mixed Electoral System that ensures representation of individual Members for Parliamentary Constituencies, with mechanisms for proportionality.

Continue reading ‘What the Newly Sworn in Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Plans to do in his First 100 Days of Office’ »

“De-politicizing Police and Dismantling Apparatus Built Under Rajapaksa to Stifle Dissent is Urgent Priority” Says PM Ranil Wickremesinghe

By Gordon Fairclough with input from Uditha Jayasinghe


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—
Two weeks after an electoral upset that ousted Sri Lanka’s long-reigning strongman, the country’s new leaders are racing to investigate allegations of corruption under the previous regime and are rushing to enact legal and constitutional changes they say are aimed at reestablishing rule of law.

PIC: facebook.com/maithripalas

PIC: facebook.com/maithripalas

“This is going to be a huge, huge challenge,” said Ranil Wickremesinghe, who became prime minister after the defeat of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr. Wickremesinghe and the new president, Maithripala Sirisena, have promised to complete a far-reaching revamp of the government within 100 days.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Wickremesinghe said one of his most urgent priorities was to depoliticize the police and “dismantle the apparatus that was built up” under Mr. Rajapaksa to stifle dissent. His government has called on journalists and intellectuals who have fled the country to return.

Continue reading ‘“De-politicizing Police and Dismantling Apparatus Built Under Rajapaksa to Stifle Dissent is Urgent Priority” Says PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Actress Trisha Krishnan Engaged to Industrialist Varun Manian on January 23rd

Actress Trisha Krishnan, who has starred in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi films, on Friday (23) got engaged to industrialist Varun Manian.

TKW

The 31-year-old actress, who has shared screen with some big film stars including Kamal Haasan and Akshay Kumar, announced the news of her engagement a couple of days ago.

pic via: facebook.com/dudette583

pic via: facebook.com/dudette583

The couple got engaged at a ceremony attended by close friends and the wedding date is expected to be announced later.

Continue reading ‘Actress Trisha Krishnan Engaged to Industrialist Varun Manian on January 23rd’ »

From “Aiyo Sirisena”to “Aiyo Siripala” the Buzzwords Change in Sri Lankan Political Stage

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

The new Leader of the Opposition, Nimal Siripala de Silva, has announced that the SLFP Opposition will also have its own 100-day programme for the coming General Election, while supporting President Maithripala Sirisena to implement the 100-day programme of the current Yaha Palana alliance.

My first reaction was a loud “Aiyo Sirisena”.

This “Aiyo Sirisena” approach is very relevant in the crossover politics of today. One cannot forget how soon after Maithripala Sirisena was announced as the Common Candidate of the then Opposition, there were posters all over, put up by the SLFP-led UPFA, making much of the jocular plaint of “Aiyo Sirisena”, in a vicious tone.

Continue reading ‘From “Aiyo Sirisena”to “Aiyo Siripala” the Buzzwords Change in Sri Lankan Political Stage’ »

Senior Indian Diplomat in Colombo High Commission When Asked About Mahinda’s Prospects Before Poll Replied “HOW CAN HE LOSE?”

By

Gen. Ashok K. Mehta

SLI013113

Now that a peaceful and democratic regime change has occurred in Sri Lanka, a story that nearly played out can be told. Hours before voting, a senior diplomat in the Indian High Commission in Colombo, when asked whether President Mahinda Rajapaksa would get an unprecedented third term, replied: “How can he lose?” But he added: “It will be very close and if he loses by a whisker, he may go to the Supreme Court or ask the military to intervene.”

In a stunning verdict, Sri Lankans spoke: Rajapaksa must go. He was defeated by an unthinkable rainbow coalition of different religious and political groups.

Rajapaksa’s astrologer, Sumanadasa Abeygunawardene, has no place to hide, as the presidential poll was called two years early at his bidding…

Continue reading ‘Senior Indian Diplomat in Colombo High Commission When Asked About Mahinda’s Prospects Before Poll Replied “HOW CAN HE LOSE?”’ »

Dignity of Judiciary Eroded Further as CID Grills Chief Justice Mohan Peiris in his Chambers on Supreme Courts 5th Floor


By

Dharisha Bastians

Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice Mohan Peiris was yesterday grilled by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) over a complaint filed about an alleged plot to hold power by force on election night by the defeated Rajapaksa regime.

Peiris, appointed Chief Justice by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2013 following the impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake, was spotted at Temple Trees, the defeated president’s official residence in the early hours of 9 January.

The Chief Justice was questioned in his Chambers on the fifth floor of the Supreme Court complex, in a development without precedence.

Public Security Minister John Amaratunga confirmed that the CID had questioned the Chief Justice on the complaint.

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera filed a complaint at the CID last week, naming Chief Justice Peiris as being involved in a discussion about the alleged coup being plotted by the defeated regime.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who went to Temple Trees at 5 a.m. on 9 January, reportedly accosted Peiris in the premises.

Peiris is mired in controversy after he was spotted at Temple Trees, an election operations centre of a candidate in the 2015 presidential election while results were being released.

The Bar Association has publicly called for his resignation over the controversy, which lawyers say gravely impacts the honour and dignity of the Judiciary.

Pieris is negotiating for diplomatic postings with the current administration in exchange for his resignation from office, BASL President Attorney Upul Jayasuriya told Daily FT on Thursday.

CJ’s ‘spokesman’ is ex-Navy officer, lawyers say
Senior lawyers are raising questions about Chief Justice Mohan Peiris’ ‘spokesman’ Wijeratne Kodippili, saying there is no provision for the head of the Judiciary to make such appointments.

The ‘spokesman’, a lawyer said he was authorised to speak on behalf of the Chief Justice, to inform the public that Peiris had not resigned from office.
A media statement on the Chief Justice’s official letterhead had also been issued by Kodippili, Attorney at Law J.C. Weliamuna told Daily FT.
Weliamuna said upon inquiries they had found that Kodippili was a former naval officer, who had been removed from the Sri Lanka Navy and taken oaths as a lawyer two years ago.

“Where is the provision for the Chief Justice to appoint a spokesman? Who pays for such an appointment,” Weliamuna queried.

Statements on behalf of the upper Judiciary are customarily issued by the Judicial Services Commission, of which the Chief Justice is the ex-officio Chair.

Lawyers would meet over the weekend to decide on serious action against the head of the Judiciary, he added.

Courtesy:Daily FT

Besides LTTE Leaders the JVP Leaders Responsible for Southern Terrorism in the 80’s Must be arrested and Prosecuted.

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island” of January 24th 2015 Under the heading “Trying to shoo the Eagle away”)

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JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake MP has argued that but for help the LTTE got from the US-led West, Sri Lanka’s war would not have dragged on for nearly three decades. He has stressed the need for arresting and interrogating former LTTE arms procurer KP to expose the US which he blames for double standards and causing trouble all over the world while pretending to be a peacemaker.

Why the JVP leader has, all of a sudden, fired a broadside at the US is not clear. Perhaps, he wants to look more anti-imperialist than his rivals in the Frontline Socialist Party led by Kumar Gunaratnam by bashing the West.

Continue reading ‘Besides LTTE Leaders the JVP Leaders Responsible for Southern Terrorism in the 80’s Must be arrested and Prosecuted.’ »

Mangala Samaraweera Reveals in India the Real Political Agenda of the new Sri Lankan Government .


By

DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

Who and what do we take more seriously?

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s promise made to the Sri Lankan parliament of ‘the implementation of the 13th amendment within the unitary state’, or that which his Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has disclosed in New Delhi, India, while “talking to a select group of journalists”?

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera – meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera – meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi

I’d go with the latter, not only because of the venue, but also because Mr. Samaraweera is known to be the bridge between Mr. Wickremesinghe and his influential political ally and partner, Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

The Foreign Minister has given us the first clear inkling of the real political agenda of the new Government: “Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera has outlined a series of steps President Maithripala Sirisena’s Government will undertake to achieve national reconciliation in the civil war-ravaged island-nation.” (‘Mangala Promises De-militarization of The North’, Domestic War Crimes Probe’, S. Venkat Narayan, the Island, Wednesday, January 21st 2015, page 1 lead story.)

The Foreign Minister is bullish and he is on the record. ‘”All these years we failed to achieve national reconciliation because there was no political will. Now there is a political will. We are optimistic about pulling it off this time,” the minister asserted.’ (Ibid)
Continue reading ‘Mangala Samaraweera Reveals in India the Real Political Agenda of the new Sri Lankan Government .’ »

President Maithripala Sirisena’s Younger Brother Kumarasinghe Sirisena is Appointed as the new Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom.

Pallewatta Gamaralalage Kumarasinghe Sirisena known generally as P.G. Kumarasinghe Sirisena has been appointed Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom. He assumed duties amidst a simple ceremony this morning (22 January).

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Kumarasinghe Sirisena is the younger brother of Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena known generally as Maithripala Sirisena who was elected President of Sri Lanka on Jan 8th 2015

Continue reading ‘President Maithripala Sirisena’s Younger Brother Kumarasinghe Sirisena is Appointed as the new Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom.’ »

“Tamilnet” Reveals Ten Point Accord for Regime Change and Executive Presidency abolition reached in 2013 at Meeting in Singapore Involving Mangala Samaraweera


The “Tamilnet”website long regarded as the mouthpiece of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)organization has in a news report revealed details of an alleged “understanding”involving among others the current Foreign Affairs minister Mangala Samaraweera and Tamil National Alliance(TNA)national list parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran that was arrived at in Singapore in the year 2013.

Mangala Samaraweera M.P.

Mangala Samaraweera M.P.

The “Tamilnet” website claims that the understanding reached in 2013 formulated a conceptual framework on abolishing the executive presidency based on ten basic principles described as the “Singapore principles”. The news report further states that current Presidential adviser Dr.Jayampathy Wickramaratne, Colombo University Law professor VT Thamilmaran and unnamed representatives of the Global Tamil Forum(GTF)along with a lawyer from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress also participated in the conclave.

The conference was organized by South Africa and funded by two European countries alleges the “Tamilnet”.

Quoting an unnamed participant in the meeting the “Tamilnet”says “Mangala Samaraweera came as a ‘beggar’ urging Tamil support for regime change and abolition of the executive presidency. It was 2013,”

M.A.Sumanthiran M.P

M.A.Sumanthiran M.P

The Tamilnet report also outlines the ten « Singapore principles » described as “hitherto unrevealed Singapore Principles of 2013”

Continue reading ‘“Tamilnet” Reveals Ten Point Accord for Regime Change and Executive Presidency abolition reached in 2013 at Meeting in Singapore Involving Mangala Samaraweera’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Mervyn Silva had a hand in the Killing of Lasantha Wickrematunge Alleges Rajitha Senaratne

By Harischandra Gunaratna

Mervyn Silva MP

Mervyn Silva MP

Health and Indigenous Minister Rajitha Senaratne yesterday alleged that former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as well as former Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva had had a hand in the killing of The Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunge.

Senaratne said all what Mervyn Silva had told the CID in his complaint was true, but Silva himself was a party to the killing.

The former UPFA heavyweight said the new alliance elected to power would launch an investigation into Lasantha Wickramatunge killing afresh and all those responsible would be brought to book.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Mervyn Silva had a hand in the Killing of Lasantha Wickrematunge Alleges Rajitha Senaratne’ »

“This Presidential Election Was a Real David and Goliath Sort of Fight”-Opposition Political Strategist Krishantha Cooray

The Daily FT spoke with UNP Working Committee Member, Media Director and Political Strategist for the Opposition, Krishantha Cooray about what led to the fall of a seemingly-invincible President Mahinda Rajapaksa and what the new political regime in the country under President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe could herald for Sri Lanka’s beleaguered and suppressed media fraternity.

UNP Working Committee Member, Media Director and Political Strategist for the Opposition, Krishantha Cooray

UNP Working Committee Member, Media Director and Political Strategist for the Opposition, Krishantha Cooray

Following are excerpts:


Q Why did Mahinda Rajapaksa lose the election?

Continue reading ‘“This Presidential Election Was a Real David and Goliath Sort of Fight”-Opposition Political Strategist Krishantha Cooray’ »

January 9 was the Beginning of a New Era for Sri Lanka Domestically and Internationally


By

Mangala Samaraweera

Mangala Samaraweera MP

Mangala Samaraweera MP

January 9 was the beginning of a new era for Sri Lanka, domestically and internationally. After my first week as Foreign Minister, I feel encouraged by the level of warmth, openness and goodwill shown to the new Sri Lankan government by an overwhelming number of representatives of the international community.
For too long now, a culture of paranoia and a debilitating fear psychosis has gripped Sri Lanka and we have isolated ourselves within a rapidly globalising world. Now as we open up to the world, and re-establish ties equally with all nations, we also look forward to the world opening up to us.

Despite many election law violations, the misuse of state resources during campaigning as well as a last-minute attempt at a coup d’état, thanks to the bravery of the Sri Lankan voters and the dedication and integrity of our armed forces, police, public servants and elections commissioner, we were able to transition peacefully from what was becoming a military state into the democratic norms of a civilised nation. In this uniquely Sri Lankan concoction of the Arab Spring, instead of bullets, pellets and stones, Sri Lankans of all races, religions, classes, castes and creeds united in a rainbow revolution by using the ballot box to make clear their determined stance against nepotism, corruption and oppression.

Continue reading ‘January 9 was the Beginning of a New Era for Sri Lanka Domestically and Internationally’ »

“I was Subjected to Harassment without any Semblance of Justification” States Prof GL Peiris About Being Grilled by CID


The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday questioned former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris regarding an alleged attempt by the previous government to engineer a military takeover of the country.

The CID has sought to establish whether former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa influenced the military takeover.


The following is the full text of the statement issued by Prof. Peiris:

Continue reading ‘“I was Subjected to Harassment without any Semblance of Justification” States Prof GL Peiris About Being Grilled by CID’ »

Committee Against Corruption(CAC)Chaired by Premier Ranil will Probe Corrupt Activities of the Defeated Rajapaksa Regime

By

Dharisha Bastians

The Government has decided to enlist experts from international lending agencies and the Indian Central Bank’s financial intelligence unit to track down wealth hidden abroad by VIPs, as part of a wide-ranging probe into corruption by the previous regime.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s first Cabinet meeting focused heavily on anti-corruption and good governance, with a series of measures introduced to curb Government waste and demand accountability for what his Government has termed “large-scale corruption” over the past nine years. All ministers were requested to submit a report of malpractice and fraud that may have taken place at each ministry to the Prime Minister as early as possible.

Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters at his first briefing yesterday that “billions of rupees” had been stashed by VIPs in the previous Government in bank accounts overseas.

Continue reading ‘Committee Against Corruption(CAC)Chaired by Premier Ranil will Probe Corrupt Activities of the Defeated Rajapaksa Regime’ »

Chief Justice Mohan Peiris has not Submitted Resignation Letter and is Listed to Hear Future Cases Before Supreme Court

by

Chitra Weerarathne

Attorney-at-Law Wijeratne Kodipilly yesterday informed media at the Superior Courts Complex that the Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, PC had not resigned.

He said he had been authorised by the CJ to speak to the media.

Continue reading ‘Chief Justice Mohan Peiris has not Submitted Resignation Letter and is Listed to Hear Future Cases Before Supreme Court’ »

Zero immunity: An end to culture of retaliation without compromising Justice

By Jude Fernando

“In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?”St. Augustine

“When will our conscience grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”—Eleanor Roosevelt

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa did not gracefully turn over power to Mr. Maithripala Sirisena after losing the election and step down peacefully as the President of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Those claiming he did are dressing an autocrat in gentleman’s clothes and sanitizing the abuses of power by him and his regime—abuses unprecedented by any government since our independence from the colonial rule. Those who exploited the authority and privilege with which they were entrusted for their own personal gain must be held to account, or we will never succeed in changing the culture of impunity that allows corrupt officials to avoid punishment for their crimes. Impunity stands as an obstacle in our progress toward a justice-centered culture of governance.


I propose that the government appoint an Executive Committee for Transitional Justice (ECTJ).
It would serve as a mechanism to build a law-abiding culture of governance by helping the country’s justice system and the new regime in power to strike a strategic balance between retributive and restorative justice. Retributive justice is defined here as a systematic infliction of punishment on those abused of power and privilege entrusted on them to serve the public, and restorative justice is defined as a systematic response to make amends to the victims (i.e. individuals, communities, and the state) of abuse and to restore their entitlements. Together both forms of justice seek to bring positive outcomes for the entire society. An important emphasis here is to end the culture of punitive retaliation, without compromising justice for the victims.

Continue reading ‘Zero immunity: An end to culture of retaliation without compromising Justice’ »

Chief Justice Mohan Peiris Submits Resignation Letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Chief Justice Mohan Peiris handed over his letter of resignation to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday (Jan. 21).

Immediately after the conclusion of presidential poll on Jan. 8, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) urged Chief Justice Mohan Peiris to tender his resignation to preserve the honor and integrity of the judiciary.

Continue reading ‘Chief Justice Mohan Peiris Submits Resignation Letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.’ »

Chief Justice Drama Reaching Climax with Exit of “De Facto” Mohan Peiris and Re-entry of ” De Jure” Shirani Bandaranayake.


By

Dharisha Bastians

Two years ago on 15 January, the Rajapaksa Government had to deploy elite police guards, water cannons and barricades to install Mohan Peiris in the Chief Justice’s chair at Hulftsdorp. As police prevented lawyers and journalists from entering through the main gates of the Supreme Court, Peiris was driven in through a side entrance and hustled up to the fifth floor of the superior courts complex. Outside the barred gates, activist lawyers who had fought hard against the illegal sacking of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake lit candles in bright sunlight to symbolise the onset of ‘darkness at noon’ as Sri Lanka’s upper judiciary tumbled into the hands of the incumbent regime.

Mohan Peiris being sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka - Jan 16, 2013-pic: InfoLanka

Mohan Peiris being sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka – Jan 16, 2013-pic: InfoLanka

The intervening years have been hard ones for members of the legal fraternity.

Dr Shirani Bandaranayake

Dr Shirani Bandaranayake

The Bar Association contemplated a continuous boycott of cases that came before Peiris, who its members considered to be an usurper of the office. Yet practical considerations and concerns that such a boycott would not serve the interests of their clients resulted in a swift change of heart.

Continue reading ‘Chief Justice Drama Reaching Climax with Exit of “De Facto” Mohan Peiris and Re-entry of ” De Jure” Shirani Bandaranayake.’ »

UNP Parliamentarian Palitha Thewarapperuma who Assaulted UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha Councillor Murugan Pushpakumaran Surrenders to Police

by Madura Ranwala

UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma being taken to Fort Magistrate’s court after surrendering to police. The minister came in with right leg covered by plaster claiming that he had had a fall (pic by U.K. Abeyratne)

The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) yesterday took into custody Kalutara district UNP parliamentarian Palitha Thewapperuma when he surrendered over an incident where a UPFA local government politician was assaulted in the Agalawatte area, Kalutara last Sunday (18).

Continue reading ‘UNP Parliamentarian Palitha Thewarapperuma who Assaulted UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha Councillor Murugan Pushpakumaran Surrenders to Police’ »

Four Star General Rank Restored to Sarath Fonseka After Being Granted Full Pardon by President Sirisena

by Zacki Jabbar

Gen. Sarath Fonseka

Gen. Sarath Fonseka

In keeping with his election pledge President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday granted a full pardon to former Army Commander and current Democratic Party Leader Sarath Fonseka in terms of the powers vested in him under Section 34 of the Constitution.

The pardon meant any convictions against General Fonseka by civilian or military courts and ensuing sentences and strictures imposed on him had been removed with immediate effect, entitling him to be restored with his rank of Four Star General, medals, pension and other privileges which he was stripped of in 2010 after being found guilty by an Army tribunal of alleged irregularities in military procurements and sentenced to three years in prison, a spokesman for the President said.
Continue reading ‘Four Star General Rank Restored to Sarath Fonseka After Being Granted Full Pardon by President Sirisena’ »

Number of Ministry Posts Increase to 51 After Four new Deputy Ministers, a State Minister and a Cabinet Minister are Appointed by President Sirisena.

Their term may be limited to three months but there has been more clamour for ministerial posts judging by six new appointments made yesterday.

The Government announced the appointment of a new Cabinet Minister, a State Minister and four Deputy Ministers.

Continue reading ‘Number of Ministry Posts Increase to 51 After Four new Deputy Ministers, a State Minister and a Cabinet Minister are Appointed by President Sirisena.’ »

Sri Lankans who Desired a Change in our Political Culture Voted for President Sirisena


By

SWRDA Samarasinghe and Tissa Jayatilaka

The One-Hundred-Day Programme of President Maithripala Sirisena (MS) was launched last week with three good speeches; one of two promises largely kept and the third postponed, hopefully to be fulfilled sooner rather than later.

Sirisena supporters celebrate in the streets in Piliyandala, Sri Lanka, after Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat.-picture courtesy: Rueters

Sirisena supporters celebrate in the streets in Piliyandala, Sri Lanka, after Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat.-picture by DINUKA LIYANAWATTE-courtesy: Reuters

President Sirisena made three good speeches during the last seven days, the first during his swearing-in ceremony, the second in Kandy and the third when his Cabinet of Ministers sworn-in. His continued emphasis on the principles of good governance, uncompromising opposition to corruption and to the cause of national unity is indeed heartening.

President Sirisena promised to accomplish two major political goals in the first week of his new administration. One was the formation of an “all-party” Cabinet with UNP’s Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister. The other was the appointment of a National Advisory Council (NAC) drawn from different political parties in Parliament and representatives of “citizen groups.” The first was partially accomplished on Monday, January 12.

27 Cabinet Ministers, 10 Ministers of State and nine Deputy Ministers were appointed. It is not clear what the real distinction between the last two categories is, but the title “Minister of State” sounds grander.

Twenty of the Cabinet Ministers were drawn from the ranks of the UNP and the remaining seven, including President Sirisena himself, represent seven other parties including the SLFP. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the JVP did not join the Cabinet. This would no doubt a disappointment for Sirisena who wants to project himself as the leader that brings the nation together.

Sirisena’s manifesto promised that the “number, composition and nature of the Cabinet would be determined on a scientific basis” (p.14). He is committed to limiting the number of Cabinet Ministers to thirty. The “science” behind this number is not clear. But we do know that it is about half the size of the Rajapaksa Cabinet that would help save some tax rupees.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankans who Desired a Change in our Political Culture Voted for President Sirisena’ »

“Would the Attorney-General be Consulted if there was a Coup Attempt?” Asks Ex-Defence Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

By

Lakna Paranamanna

Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa -pic: defence.lk

Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa -pic: defence.lk

Former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa rejected allegations of an attempt being made by the Rajapaksa regime to subvert democracy through an ‘election night coup’ and said they would not have called in the Attorney General if such a plan was being actually hatched at Temple Trees.

“Yes, the Attorney General was called to Temple Trees but that was to discuss the matter of maintaining law and order such as whether it was necessary to impose a curfew, etc. because the Opposition had publicly stated that it will surround Temple Trees. That was a situation that needed to be addressed,” he said in an exclusive comment to Daily Mirror.

Mr. Rajapaksa said therefore there was a need to put in place certain measures and provide instructions on the maintenance of law and order during the post-election period.
Continue reading ‘“Would the Attorney-General be Consulted if there was a Coup Attempt?” Asks Ex-Defence Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.’ »

Ex-Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Responds to Allegations Against him about an Attempted Coup and Other Matters

GR080213By

C.A.Chandraprema

In this interview with The Island staffer C. A. Chandraprema, the former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa responds to some of the allegations that were made against him in the wake of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s defeat on Jan. 08.

Excerpts:

Q. There is this talk of an attempted coup in the early hours of Jan. 09 morning. What really happened?

Continue reading ‘Ex-Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Responds to Allegations Against him about an Attempted Coup and Other Matters’ »

US Must Protect Democracy in Sri Lanka by Using the War Crimes Act Against its Naturalised Citizen Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to Prevent Return of Rajapaksas to Power

By Ryan Goodman

Sri Lanka’s voters shocked themselves and the world this month by tossing out their president, who crushed the Tamil insurgency in 2009 and then led the country, along with his brother as defense secretary, to the brink of authoritarianism. The new president has promised to restore freedom of the press, independence of judges, and the rights of religious and ethnic minorities.

USGR

Democracy advocates, including Secretary of State John Kerry, say this is the country’s most important chance to open a new chapter in more than a decade.

But the country must make sure that members of the ousted regime do not return to power and that the new government can secure its authority. The United States — and only the United States — can do something to help make that happen.
Continue reading ‘US Must Protect Democracy in Sri Lanka by Using the War Crimes Act Against its Naturalised Citizen Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to Prevent Return of Rajapaksas to Power’ »

Instead of Taking Advice from Moderates in the SLFP the Former President was led Astray by Extremists”-Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha

Leader of the Liberal Party, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha yesterday told Parliament that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should have listened to calls from various parties not to go for hasty elections and make use of the remaining years of latter’s tenure to bring about reforms promised in the manifesto on which the UPFA had won the previous election.

Making use of time allocated for party leaders to welcome the new government, Prof Wijesinha, who is the new Minister of Higher Education said: “The Liberal Party told the President in writing in October that he should not have a hasty election but instead work on the reforms promised in the manifesto on which the UPFA had won the election. We told him we could not support him in an election without reforms. I know that the left parties had also advised him not to have a hasty election, and I am sorry that they, whose integrity I used to admire, did not stand by their beliefs the way a few of us did.

Continue reading ‘Instead of Taking Advice from Moderates in the SLFP the Former President was led Astray by Extremists”-Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha’ »

“Former President United this Country and Brought it under one Flag”-MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena


by Saman Indrajith

Mahajana Eksath Peramuna Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, MP said in Parliament yesterday that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had entered into a ‘weird marriage’ with several parties to form a strange government and the Opposition would remain vigilant as to how that relationship would work out during its first 100 days.

Making use of the opportunity allocated for party leaders to welcome the new government, the MEP leader said: “This situation is unprecedented. A new government is in power without winning a general election. There is a new prime minister. He has entered into a weird marriage with other parties. We keep an eye on how this marriage is going to work out. The UNP is the party that worked for the victory of Maithiripala Sirisena in the presidential election. It has to be accepted. We will support the government in power but if there are any moves against the motherland and its people, we will never hesitate to stand up against it.

Continue reading ‘“Former President United this Country and Brought it under one Flag”-MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena’ »

Only 151 of 3473 Firearms Issued by Defence Ministry to State Run Security firm Rakna Lanka Ltd Found when Police Raid Armoury at BMICH

by Madura Ranwala

Acting on a complaint, Police yesterday opened an armoury belonging to the state-owned security firm, Rakna Lanka Limited at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.

The complaint had been made by JHU Kotte Urban Council member Liyanage Dayaratne to the Cinnamon Gardens Police recently. The facility was sealed thereafter.

Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana told The Island that a police team led by Assistant Superintendent of Police, Colombo South, Roshan Dias, had opened the armoury situated at block two of the BMICH after obtaining a search warrant from the Colombo Chief Magistrate on January 19.

Continue reading ‘Only 151 of 3473 Firearms Issued by Defence Ministry to State Run Security firm Rakna Lanka Ltd Found when Police Raid Armoury at BMICH’ »

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Tells Parliament that 13th Constitutional Amendment Provisions will be Implemented within a Unitary Framework.

by Saman Indrajith

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged in Parliament yesterday to bring about radical reforms to the Constitution to find a solution to the national problem within the first 100 days of the new government.

“I specially mention that the solution would not be detrimental to the unitary status of the country. We will introduce the 19th Amendment to the constitution repealing the provisions of the 18th amendment to establish independent commissions and bring about a solution to the national problem. The new amendment will preserve the unitary status and the provisions of the 13th amendment will be implemented within that frame. Irrespective of being Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim, we must try to find a solution as Sri Lankans. I am surprised to see a statement made by MP Wimal Weerawansa this morning. I want to tell him one thing. You are the one who destroyed President Mahinda Rajapaksa. I request you not to destroy the rest. We should abhor racism.”

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Tells Parliament that 13th Constitutional Amendment Provisions will be Implemented within a Unitary Framework.’ »

Sirisena Govt will De-militarise North and Launch a Domestic Probe into Last Phase of War says Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera

BY S VENKAT NARAYAN

NEW DELHI, January 20: Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera has outlined a series of steps President Maithripala Sirisena’s Government will undertake to achieve national reconciliation in the civil war-ravaged island-nation.

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera External Affairs with Minister Sushma Swaraj

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera External Affairs with Minister Sushma Swaraj

Talking to a select group of journalists here on Monday, he said the new government will demilitarise the Northern Province, order a domestic probe into the excesses reportedly committed during the last phase of the so-called Eelam War IV in 2009, and take suitable steps to provide relief and justice to victims of the civil war that tore the country apart for nearly three decades.

He also said the government will soon initiate a dialogue with the one-million-strong Sri Lankan diaspora scattered across the globe to seek its help to rebuild the North.

The minister expressed the hope that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will respond positively to President Sirisena’s invitation to join the government and actively participate in executing its plans to transform the country into an inclusive liberal democracy.

Continue reading ‘Sirisena Govt will De-militarise North and Launch a Domestic Probe into Last Phase of War says Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa who Suppressed the Media While in Power Laments the Lack of Media Support to him now

By

Upul Joseph Fernando

“The media does not highlight the threats hurled at my supporters. The media behaves in a manner as if it does not know such things” – Mahinda Rajapaksa tells BBC Sandeshaya Channel from Medamulana after his defeat. When in power Mahinda labelled the BBC and the international media as contractors of the LTTE.

When the United States brought a resolution before the UNHRC against the Rajapaksa government in March 2013, Mahinda’s government disrupted the BBC Tamil Service. He censored all news that was critical of his administration. That was a violation of the agreement between the BBC and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. It appears that Mahinda has forgotten that past.

So now he claims that the media ignores attacks on his supporters.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa who Suppressed the Media While in Power Laments the Lack of Media Support to him now’ »

why is President Maithripala Sirisena Hesitating to take Punitive Action Against UNP Kalutara Dist MP Palitha Thewarapperuma?

It looks as if President Maithripala Sirisena is afraid to arrest Palitha Thewarapperuma – the unruly Parliamentarian of the UNP who wreaked havoc in Agalawaththa, Mathugama, a few days ago.

Despite clear video evidence showing how Thewarapperuma made a PS member kneel in public, President Sirisena has decided to buy more time, without arresting the Parliamentarian whose behaviour was utterly despicable.

Police complaints have already been made in this regard, but no concrete action has so far been taken by Police. The Parliamentarian has only been issued ‘summons’ by the Magistrate Court to appear before court on March 02.

Today, the President’s media team issued a statement saying he instructed the IGP to appoint a special Police team to conduct an ‘independent investigation’ into the matter.

Continue reading ‘why is President Maithripala Sirisena Hesitating to take Punitive Action Against UNP Kalutara Dist MP Palitha Thewarapperuma?’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Asks Whether the Police Searching his Residence is part of Present Government’s Good Governance Policy?

By

J.A.L. Jayasinghe and L.B. Senaratne

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said for the first time since 1931, the residence of the Rajapaksa family was searched by the police and questioned whether it was a part of the present Government’s policy of good governance.

Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Kandy-Jan 20, 2015-pic courtesy: TamilWin

Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Kandy-Jan 20, 2015-pic courtesy: TamilWin

He told the media during his visit to the Asgiriya Temple today that the Rajapaksa family had been in politics since 1931, but for the first time his house was searched by the police.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Asks Whether the Police Searching his Residence is part of Present Government’s Good Governance Policy?’ »

Canadian Tamil Congress Celebrates Its 8th Annual “Thai Pongal” Dinner Showcasing Tamil arts and Culture


(Text of Press Release Issued by the Canadian Tamil Congress on its 8th Annual Thai Pongal Celebration)

The Canadian Tamil Congress’ (CTC’s) 8th annual Pongal Dinner was celebrated on January 17th, 2015 at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel in Richmond Hill. Attended by close to 1,000 people, the event showcased Tamil arts, culture and highlighted CTC’s impressive achievements in 2014.

CTC_Dinner_2015_Dance

CTC_Dinner_2015_Rathika_Sitsabaiesan

The dinner was attended by several politicians, public officials and community leaders including the Federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Hon. Chris Alexander, Parliamentary Assistant to the Prime Minister M.P. Paul Calandra, Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Ontario Minister Tracy MacCharles, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, City of Toronto Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong, Stouffville Mayor Justin Altman, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge River Rathika Sitsabaiesan, York Region Police Chief Eric Jolliffe, City of Toronto Deputy Police Chief Peter Sloly, Ontario Conservative party leadership candidates, Patrick Brown and Christine Elliott as well as numerous other MPs, MPPs, councillors, Consul General for India in Toronto Mr. Akhilesh Mishra, Chief of Political and Economic Affairs of US Consulate, Ms. Andrea Gorog, academics, professionals, members of law enforcement, media, business and community leaders.

Greetings from Canadian government, Ontario government, City of Toronto, City of Mississauga, City of Markham and the host town Richmond Hill were also presented at the event.
Continue reading ‘Canadian Tamil Congress Celebrates Its 8th Annual “Thai Pongal” Dinner Showcasing Tamil arts and Culture’ »

Agreement Reached on Full Implementation of 13th Constitutional Amendment but Discussions on About Police Powers-Ranil Wickremesinghe

In an interview with the Indian network NDTV, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said that the new governing coalition in principle has agreed to the implementation of the 13 amendment to the constitution. In addition he also said that the new government will deal with the United Nations differently and hoped to engage with the UNHRC in contrast with the previous Rajapaksa regime. PM Wickramasinghe however added that jurisdiction to punish those responsible for alleged war crimes will remain with Sri Lanka as the country is not a signatory to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The interview was broadcast as segments on an NDTV program on Sri Lanka post-election.


transcript of the full interview on NDTV

NDTV: You say that it’s a transitional government, but many believe it’s a Wickramasinghe-government because all the cabinet ministers are from your party?

PM: Major party of course was the UNP, so the major number of ministers are from the UNP. But we set apart a number of ministries to be offered to the members who supported President Rajapaksa in SLFP.

Continue reading ‘Agreement Reached on Full Implementation of 13th Constitutional Amendment but Discussions on About Police Powers-Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Future of Tamils Under President Sirisena, Foreign Minister Samaraweera and Northern Governor Palihakkara

By S. V. Kirubaharan, France

Those who are in politics can continue on their path, through political means using diplomacy and those who are involved in the field of human rights should continue even though there is a change of regime. Those who are used to exchanging birthday greetings, meeting and taking photographs, maintaining personal friendships with Sri Lanka political leaders will continue their support for anyone of their choice. We respect their rights.

But we are not ready to get caught to any mirage until we see justice for the victims.

SVJF

Any international affair concerning human rights, war crimes and crimes against humanity is always against a State rather than against a political party or parties, which form a government. This is a fundamental principle regarding international standards. International covenants and treaties are signed by a State leader or his/her representatives on behalf of a particular State, but not a political party or parties that he /she represent.

We have come a long way! We will not give up anything which we have been working on with the suffering victims and a burning Island nation! Each one of us has to continue our struggle.

After many decades, the international community has finally opened its eyes to the human rights and political issues facing the Tamils. If we are reluctant to pursue our international task, once again we will be cheated by political leaders in Sri Lanka.

Continue reading ‘Future of Tamils Under President Sirisena, Foreign Minister Samaraweera and Northern Governor Palihakkara’ »

Being a New Sri lanka: “Who we are Today Determines in part who we are Tomorrow”

By

Sanjayan Rajasingham


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
- Margaret Mead

Why Be?

A lot of us would like a different Sri Lanka. If what a society is like depends greatly on what its people are like though, we need to change. We need to be a new Sri Lanka. And if we aren’t prepared to change, then, frankly, we shouldn’t expect our country to.

MMSR

There is more to it than that though. For instance, many of us were outraged by those government MPs who voted in favour of the 18th amendment and the impeachment. Particular ire was reserved for those MPs who knew these measures were wrong, but didn’t have the backbone to refuse them. This was their sphere, they had power, they could do something – but they didn’t. If that makes us angry, then we need to be different. We need to act to make things better in our spheres, where we have influence, where we can do something.
Continue reading ‘Being a New Sri lanka: “Who we are Today Determines in part who we are Tomorrow”’ »

Simple Questions to Determine Whether Sri Lanka Under new Sirisena Dispensation has Changed on Issues Concerning the Tamil Minority?

IMG_9112.PNGSri Lanka has a new President, Maithripala Sirisena. He was elected, in significant part, by a population appalled by the racism, the slide into authoritarianism, the systematic violation of human rights, and the war crimes committed by the previous regime (as well as its increasingly flagrant nepotism and corruption).

He, and his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, have promised constitutional reform, and have made some positive noises about restoring the rule of law, ending attacks on freedom of speech, and rowing back on the abuse of executive power. But until three months ago Sirisena himself was a senior minister in the old regime (having been defence minister in the closing months of the civil war), and so far he has said little about the issues that matter most to Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority, such as the constant abuses to which the civilian population are subjected in the north, which remains to all intents and purposes a conquered territory under military occupation. He has also expressed opposition to the idea of an international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka, which is the only way to break Sri Lanka’s culture of impunity and secure a lasting peace.

So is Sri Lanka now on the road to recovery, or do its deeper underlying problems mean that any change is likely to be superficial?

It is simply too early to know the answer, but we should soon have some clues. Below is a list of tests which can be used to measure how much Sri Lanka has really changed.

Continue reading ‘Simple Questions to Determine Whether Sri Lanka Under new Sirisena Dispensation has Changed on Issues Concerning the Tamil Minority?’ »

“Neduntheevu”: A separate state called Delft Island


By
Malinda Seneviratne

It is not the only Delft in the world. Utter the name in the Netherlands and you’d probably find a few people who would say it is a city in the province of South Holland, located north of Rotterdam and south of The Hague. There are other places named Delft too in different parts of the world. That’s one way in which those who would be emperors stake claim. Who knows, it could be a less sinister reason, such as nostalgia of the invader for ‘home’.

Pics by Rasika Kotudurage

Pics by Rasika Kotudurage

Of all such names given to islands off the Jaffna Peninsula, ‘Delft’ alone remains. Well, it is better known by its Tamil name Neduntivu in the North of course, but ‘Delft’ still has some currency. Delft is an island in the popular consciousness of Sri Lankans and this is true. Delft is about ‘horses’, wild ones – that’s the immediate association.

Continue reading ‘“Neduntheevu”: A separate state called Delft Island’ »

“Sri Lanka is Committed to Implementing the 13th Constitutional Amendment”-Mangala Samaraweera in India.

By

Suhasini Haidar

The new Sri Lankan government will take a different position from the Rajapaksa regime when it comes to dealing with the international community on allegations of human rights violations, visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has told the Indian government.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera - meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera – meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi

“Our government will take a new approach to the U.N. Human Rights Council process in Geneva. We will offer a domestic mechanism for this, which could be supported by international agencies,” he said.

Asked if President Maithripala Sirisena, who was the acting Defence Minister for a short period during the end of the LTTE war when most of the atrocities are believed to have occurred, would himself explain the Army’s actions, Mr. Samaraweera said: “My President will cooperate fully with a domestic investigation into the issue.”

Continue reading ‘“Sri Lanka is Committed to Implementing the 13th Constitutional Amendment”-Mangala Samaraweera in India.’ »

Namal Rajapaksa Complains of being Harassed as Police Raid Mahinda Rajapaksa’s “Carlton”Residence in Tangalle Looking for a Lamborghini car

Embattled former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s country home in the southern province has been raided by police who were looking for a luxury sports car but the search drew a blank.

“They raided our house in Tangalle yesterday looking for a Lamborghini car,” said Namal Rajapaksa, the former president’s elder son and a parliamentarian.

Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said the search was done on a court warrant but it drew a blank.

“They have been harassing us by searching not only our own houses but those of our friends. We can’t visit homes of our associates because they get their places searched,” Namal said.

Continue reading ‘Namal Rajapaksa Complains of being Harassed as Police Raid Mahinda Rajapaksa’s “Carlton”Residence in Tangalle Looking for a Lamborghini car’ »

Tangalle Police Search Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s “Carlton” residence in Tangalle for a Lamborhini but find no car.

facebook.com/Lamborghini

facebook.com/Lamborghini

The Tangalle Police today search the Carlton Residence of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Tangalle for a Lamborghini car.

Namal Rajapaksa MP

Namal Rajapaksa MP


Continue reading ‘Tangalle Police Search Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s “Carlton” residence in Tangalle for a Lamborhini but find no car.’ »

President Maithripala and PM Ranil Silent Over UNP Kalutara Dist MP Palitha Thewarapperuma’s Despicable Conduct Against Agalawatte Pradeshiya Councillor Murugan Pushpakumaran.

President Maithripala Sirisena or Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has not issued a statement explaining the reasons not to arrest UNP Parliamentarain Palitha Thewarapperuma who demonstrated an utterly despicable behavior on Sunday.

MP Thewarapperuma, who strongly resembled former Minister Mervyn Silva, made Pradeshiya Sabha member Murugan Pushpakumar kneel in public as a punishment.

Although UPFA Parliamentarian Mahinda Samarasinghe had lodged a complaint with the Police Department over the incident, no action has so far been taken to arrest the Parliamentarian.

Continue reading ‘President Maithripala and PM Ranil Silent Over UNP Kalutara Dist MP Palitha Thewarapperuma’s Despicable Conduct Against Agalawatte Pradeshiya Councillor Murugan Pushpakumaran.’ »

New Presidential Secretary Initiates Police Inquiry into Whereabouts of 172 of 752 Vehicles in the Presidential Secretariat Fleet


By

Sanath Desmond

The Police are yet to determine the fate and whereabouts of some 172 vehicles of the 752 fleet of the presidential secretariat, SSP Ajith Rohana said today.

The new Presidential Secretary had informed the Police Chief to launch investigations to ascertain the number of vehicles of the secretariat and to find if the vehicles had been misused.

Continue reading ‘New Presidential Secretary Initiates Police Inquiry into Whereabouts of 172 of 752 Vehicles in the Presidential Secretariat Fleet’ »

Wayamba Distilleries Brewery and Warehouse linked to Former UPFA Minister Johnston Fernando Sealed by Police.


Wayamba Distilleries, a brewery of which former Minister Johnston Fernando is a stakeholder, was sealed by the police today (19).

Asian Mirror reliably learns that a warehouse belonging to the Wayamba Distilleries has also been sealed by the police along with the brewery.

The police is yet to issue a statement to media as to why the brewery and warehouse was shutdown.

Continue reading ‘Wayamba Distilleries Brewery and Warehouse linked to Former UPFA Minister Johnston Fernando Sealed by Police.’ »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Rejects Allegations Against him about Defence Ministry Bank Account as Baseless

Former Secretary – Ministry of Urban Development and Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa has, in a media statement, dismissed as baseless an allegation that he had personal dealings with a Defence Ministry account at the Bank of Ceylon.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Full text of the statement:

Defence Ministry Account for the Relocation of Army Headquarters

I refer to the baseless allegations levelled against me, purporting that I maintain an account with the Bank of Ceylon – Taprobane Branch with funds of Rs. 8 billion. This claim is grossly misleading and has been made purely with the ulterior motive of discrediting my character and reputation.

To my knowledge, there exists an Operational Account held with the Bank of Ceylon – Taprobane Branch the funds of which are dedicated to financing the construction of the proposed Army headquarters building at Pelawatta. This account was opened with the Approval of the Cabinet of Ministers, and the funds deposited in the said account were from the proceeds of the sale of land at Galle Face, Colombo on which the Army headquarters was situated.

Continue reading ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Rejects Allegations Against him about Defence Ministry Bank Account as Baseless’ »

UNP Goons Continue to Engage in Post-Election Violence Against Elected Representatives and Supporters of Party Alleges the UPFA

By Dasun Edirisinghe

The SLFP yesterday asked the government to curb attacks on the supporters and elected representatives of the UPFA after the conclusion of the presidential election on January 08.

Addressing a media conference at the SLFP headquarters on Darley road, party General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that number of incidents of assault, preventing people from reporting to work, harassment in work places and at least one killing by UNP politicians had been reported from all parts of the country last week.

“We will make a list of those incidents shortly and it will be revealed to the public in Parliament,” he said.

Continue reading ‘UNP Goons Continue to Engage in Post-Election Violence Against Elected Representatives and Supporters of Party Alleges the UPFA’ »

UNP Kalutara Dist MP Palitha Thewarapperuma Vandalises UPFA Office at Agalawatte and Assaults Tamil Councillor Murugan Pushpakumaran with a Helmet After Forcing him to Kneel

By

Shaahidah Riza

Sri Lanka Freedom Party Parliamentarian, Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the election violence against UPFA supporters have mounted considerably over the past few days and the UNP has to take disciplinary action against its grass root level support base, who were perpetrators of such violence.

He made these comments at a press briefing yesterday (19) at the SLFP Headquarters. Parliamentarian Anura Priyadarshana Yapa was also present.

Continue reading ‘UNP Kalutara Dist MP Palitha Thewarapperuma Vandalises UPFA Office at Agalawatte and Assaults Tamil Councillor Murugan Pushpakumaran with a Helmet After Forcing him to Kneel’ »

Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene Assures Asgiriya and Malwatte Mahanayakes that Security Forces will Remain in North


By Cyril Wimalasurendre

KANDY – Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Mahannayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter conferring blessings on State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene yesterday said those who had emerged victorious at the recently concluded presidential election should celebrate their success without taking revenge from anyone.

The prelate said the new rulers should not go by information provided by vested interests to pursue their opponents.

The Mahanayake Thera said the security of the country was of paramount importance. It had to be provided to people in all parts of the country including the North. The people in the North were living in peace due to the presence of the security forces. “Therefore, it is not advisable to withdraw security forces from any part of the country,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene Assures Asgiriya and Malwatte Mahanayakes that Security Forces will Remain in North’ »

Finance Minister Karunanayake Transfers 13.2 Billion Rupees Banked by Defence Ministry to Construct Akurugoda Defence Complex to Treasury


Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake last night said that said Rs 13.2 billion in an account maintained at the Taprobane branch of the Bank of Ceylon had been transferred to Consolidated Account of the Treasury.

The matter was being investigated as the account belonged to the Ministry of Defence, he added.

The Finance Minister stressed that the MoD had no right to maintain such an account in violation of regulations and therefore the opening of the account was being investigated.

Continue reading ‘Finance Minister Karunanayake Transfers 13.2 Billion Rupees Banked by Defence Ministry to Construct Akurugoda Defence Complex to Treasury’ »

Sirisena Govt Must Expose the Gory Details of Corruption and Abuse of Power by Rajapaksa Regime to Prevent Return of Mahinda

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

President Maithripala Sirisena has asked exiled journalists to return, promising an end to attacks on media and the culture of impunity. The new media minister Gayantha Karunathilaka echoed the same assurance when he assumed duties last week.

As of now, the new President has remained true to his promises; he has shown no interest in personal aggrandisement and shown a flexibility – unseen in his predecessor- in the national question.

He appointed a civilian governor for the Northern Province; removed restrictions on travel in the North and East by foreign passport holders, unblocked dissenting websites and promised a fresh investigation into the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge.

And he has gone an extra mile, shunning a second term and then, most unexpectedly, telling his supporters and coterie of turncoats to remove cutouts and banners that they have put up in his honour and to desist from doing that in the future.

That is a remarkable gesture of integrity, which not only his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, but his mentor, Chandrika Kumaratunga were not capable of in their time.

President Sirisena could well be an accidental leader, but, he is surely representing higher political values than most of his counterparts.

The regime of his predecessor thrived in a fear psychosis and conspiracy theories which provided a justification of its military centric rule in the North and authoritarianism in the South.

President Sirisena is gradually debunking those fallacies.

Continue reading ‘Sirisena Govt Must Expose the Gory Details of Corruption and Abuse of Power by Rajapaksa Regime to Prevent Return of Mahinda’ »

Govt must Appoint an Executive Committee for Transitional Justice to Strike Balance Between Retributive and Restorative Justice

By Jude Fernando

Zero immunity: An end to culture of retaliation without compromising Justice

“In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?”St. Augustine

“When will our conscience grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”Eleanor Roosevelt

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa did not gracefully turn over power to Mr. Maithripala Sirisena after losing the election and step down peacefully as the President of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Those claiming he did are dressing an autocrat in gentleman’s clothes and sanitizing the abuses of power by him and his regime—abuses unprecedented by any government since our independence from the colonial rule. Those who exploited the authority and privilege with which they were entrusted for their own personal gain must be held to account, or we will never succeed in changing the culture of impunity that allows corrupt officials to avoid punishment for their crimes. Impunity stands as an obstacle in our progress toward a justice-centered culture of governance.

I propose that the government appoint an Executive Committee for Transitional Justice (ECTJ). It would serve as a mechanism to build a law-abiding culture of governance by helping the country’s justice system and the new regime in power to strike a strategic balance between retributive and restorative justice. Retributive justice is defined here as a systematic infliction of punishment on those abused of power and privilege entrusted on them to serve the public, and restorative justice is defined as a systematic response to make amends to the victims (i.e. individuals, communities, and the state) of abuse and to restore their entitlements. Together both forms of justice seek to bring positive outcomes for the entire society. An important emphasis here is to end the culture of punitive retaliation, without compromising justice for the victims.

Continue reading ‘Govt must Appoint an Executive Committee for Transitional Justice to Strike Balance Between Retributive and Restorative Justice’ »

“Why The Elections Last Week Made me Triumphantly Proud of my Country”

By

Radhika Coomaraswamy

There are times in one’s life when one becomes very proud of one’s country. For many it is when we win in cricket or in war. This is triumphant pride where we defeat someone else- an external sports team or an internal enemy. For this kind of pride we need “an other” whom we compete against or dislike without restraint. It is a mixed blessing, filled with pride, but especially in the latter case also fear and hate.

pic by: Anura Srinath -  www.anurasrinath.com

pic by: Anura Srinath -
www.anurasrinath.com

However there are times when pride can transcend the obsession with “the other”. In Sri Lanka it could be when we are immersed in its astounding natural beauty or when we live up to our own values and expectations. For me the elections last week were a very important moment- at least for my own personal connection to this island.

Democracy in Sri Lanka had taken a bashing for decades but especially since 2009. We saw things that were absolutely surreal- like something out of a bad Fellini film. And yet we were constantly warned against change, pointing to the possibility of chaos that an Arab spring could bring such as in Libya, Egypt and Syria- no-one of course mentions Tunisia where its has been a great success.

What saved us was the courage of individual politicians who by acting jointly have given us the following moments to savour in our lifetime -no matter what happens in the future: –

Continue reading ‘“Why The Elections Last Week Made me Triumphantly Proud of my Country”’ »

Braggarts of all Shades Compete to Claim Credit for Maithripala Sirisena Victory.

By

Malinda Seneviratne

Wickramabahu Karunaratne of the Nava Sama Samaaja Party (NSSP) has claimed that ‘the working class fulfilled a massive task’ in securing the victory of Maithripala Sirisena. What is implied here is that class consciousness was what compelled this particular populations segment to vote for Sirisena. ‘Bahu’ as usual inscribes a lot of ‘motive’ on the actions of all kinds of people.

There’s no way to figure out who exactly ‘the working class’ voted and why after all. Still, it is a claim, never mind the fact that Sirisena doesn’t exactly stand for anything even remotely associated with the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Bahu, however, is not alone. He sits well, on stage and in sentiment, with other victory-claimants, including rank right wingers (the UNP and most of the SLFP), shady politicians (Ravi Karunanayake included), thugs (Mervin Silva), all those other bad people in the SLFP who supported Mahinda Rajapaksa including Duminda Silva, Eelamists, Jihadists, Sinhala Buddhist extremists, Christian fundamentalists etc., etc. This is, ladies and gentlemen, the moment when people are falling over each other to claim bragging rights.

Continue reading ‘Braggarts of all Shades Compete to Claim Credit for Maithripala Sirisena Victory.’ »

Namal Rajapaksa Used Air Force Flights 25 Times from Dec 1st 2014 to Jan 8 2015 on “Credit” Amounting to Rs 15.08 Million

By Nirmala Kannangara

Astonishing revelations have now come to the fore as to how the previous regime has used Air Force commercial flights on credit facility amounting to several millions of rupees for the air travels of Rajapaksa family members and for few Ministers in the former cabinet during the Presidential election campaign.

Sri Lankan government now owes more than a staggering Rs.30.485 million to Sri Lanka Air Force and questions have been raised as to who is going to foot this bill, whether it will be recovered from those who used the commercial flights or from the country’s rate payer.

These amounts are only for the air travel of MP Namal Rajapaksa, former Housing and Construction Minister Wimal Weerawansa, former Environment and Renewable Energy Minister Susil Premjayantha, Chief Minister North Western Province Dayasiri Jayasekera, former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Presidential candidate S. Manamendra who extended his support for the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Scientific Affairs Minister Tissa Witharana. Meanwhile the former President and his wife too have used aircraft for the election campaign for which the office of the Presidential Secretariat is to bear the cost.

Commercial flights of Sri Lanka Air Force has been hired on credit facility by the Rajapaksa government mainly for Namal Rajapaksa’s travel from December 1, 2014 to January 8, 2015, Sri Lanka Air Force reveals.

Continue reading ‘Namal Rajapaksa Used Air Force Flights 25 Times from Dec 1st 2014 to Jan 8 2015 on “Credit” Amounting to Rs 15.08 Million’ »

Did Indian Espionage Agency RAW Play a Covert Role in Sirisena Defeating Rajapaksa?

By John Chalmers and Sanjeev Miglani

(Reuters) - Sri Lanka expelled the Colombo station chief of India’s spy agency in the run-up to this month’s presidential election, political and intelligence sources said, accusing him of helping the opposition oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

An Indian foreign ministry spokesman denied any expulsion and said that transfers were routine decisions. Rajapaksa, voted out of office in the Jan 8 election, told Reuters he did not know all the facts while the new government in Colombo has said it is aware of the reports but cannot confirm them.

But several sources in both Colombo and New Delhi said India was asked to recall the agent in December for helping gather support for joint opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena after persuading him to ditch Rajapaksa’s cabinet.

A sketchy report in Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times newspaper on December 28 said that “links with the common opposition” had cost India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) station chief his job in Colombo.

Continue reading ‘Did Indian Espionage Agency RAW Play a Covert Role in Sirisena Defeating Rajapaksa?’ »

End of the Road in Sight for Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Who Faces Political Isolation.

By Rasika Jayakody

Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa

One and a half months ago, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the fifth Executive President of Sri Lanka, seemed invincible. He was surrounded by a family clique who wielded immense power in the country’s political sphere. He was the war-winning President as well as the leader of the Commonwealth nations who met in Colombo one and a half years back. It looked as if the opposition, which was already in shambles due to internecine power struggles, had only meager chances of defeating him.

Today, Rajapaksa is not only out of power; but also out of the ‘power-circle’ of his own party. Now he cannot influence the decision making bodies of the SLFP. He has been confined to the role of a ‘Patron’ which is more like an honorary position. Maithripala Sirisena, who was the main rival of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the recent election, is now at the helm of Rajapaksa’s party. Sirisena’s appointment as SLFP leader came with the unanimous consent of the Central Committee. The incumbent President has the backing of the entire Parliament – a privilege no other Sri Lankan head of state enjoyed in the past.

Rajapaksa’s letter of resignation, which was sent to the SLFP General Secretary on Friday (16), did not lack emotions.

Continue reading ‘End of the Road in Sight for Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Who Faces Political Isolation.’ »

Company Run by Namal Rajapaksa Crony was Given 4965 Million Rupee Contracts for Supplying Computers to Schools Under “Mahindodaya” Flouting Tender Procedures

By

Nirmala Kannangara

MTL-COVER

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Mahindodaya Technological Lab concept to provide technological labs for 1,000 secondary schools in the country has become yet another money spinning machine for those who are allegedly close to the former first family, The Sunday Leader learns.

Although, the previous regime boosted to have introduced computer labs to secondary schools in the country as a concept of the then President, it has now come to light as to how Hambantota District UPFA Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa was allegedly fully involved in the tender procedure to get the tender awarded to one of his close associates who has provided jobs for his party loyalists in Hambantota.
“In mid 2013, tenders were called to supply, delivery, installation, networking, commissioning and maintenance of computers and accessories for Mahindodaya Technological labs under the 1,000 secondary school development programme.

Continue reading ‘Company Run by Namal Rajapaksa Crony was Given 4965 Million Rupee Contracts for Supplying Computers to Schools Under “Mahindodaya” Flouting Tender Procedures’ »

How Sri Lankans Spoke Truth Defiantly to Arrogant Power on Jan 8th 2015

By

Dharisha Bastians

Sometime around 8 p.m. on 8 January, the Rajapaksa twitter-sphere went deathly still. The next time we heard from them was at 6:30 a.m. the next day, when a spokesman said defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa had departed from his official residence at Temple Trees.

MR FT DB

The last public tweet on election day by the sons of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was a photograph. It showed Namal Rajapaksa, looking relaxed and casual in a red t-shirt, and his sibling Yoshitha having dinner at Carlton House, Tangalle, the Rajapaksa family home. Earlier that day, as citizens around the country cast their votes in one of Sri Lanka’s most crucial elections, Namal and Yoshitha Rajapaksa celebrated their youngest sibling Rohitha’s first vote with a selfie and took a dip in the ocean.

The Rajapaksa sons also posed with the Maithripala Sirisena look-alike, a dummy candidate fielded by the Government to confuse voters. The ‘other’ Sirisena chatted amicably with President Rajapaksa as the pair strolled over to the booth to cast their votes at Beliatta. All this was unveiled to the world – on Twitter.

Over the past few years, the Rajapaksa family had mastered the art of celebrity tweeting. Using verified or authenticated Twitter accounts, President Rajapaksa and his sons made their presence felt online and tirelessly pushed their political agendas.

Namal Rajapaksa, undisputed king of the Twitter-selfie, often used his account to humanise his privileged family, regularly tweeting pictures of his ‘mallis’ and parents, relaxing at home or participating in wholesome family activities. Namal Rajapaksa was prolific on Twitter. He always seemed confident and magnanimous; just a wholesome ‘every-boy’ with a famous father.

So the silence on election night was strange and unnerving. Regime mouthpieces, often loud and obnoxious on Twitter, also seemed to have disappeared into the virtual nether.
Continue reading ‘How Sri Lankans Spoke Truth Defiantly to Arrogant Power on Jan 8th 2015’ »