Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Wants Buddhist Monks to Lead Campaign for Political Change as Sirisena led Govt Has Failed the Nation.

by Amal Jayasinghe

Embattled Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe criticised President Maithripala Sirisena’s coalition government yesterday saying it had failed the nation and urged Buddhists monks to lead a campaign for political change.

Rajapakshe, who faces possible expulsion from the cabinet, took Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne head on accusing him of interfering in the affairs of the justice ministry and took thinly veiled swipes at Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe too.

Speaking at a public meeting at Rambawe in the Anuradhapura district, the Justice Minister said his cabinet colleague Senaratne was not worried about the spread of chronic kidney disease and dengue and instead poked his nose in the affairs of others.

.”Even if everyone in the country is affected by kidney failure and everyone dies of dengue, our health minister has more important things to worry about, such as the AG’s department and the justice system…,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Wants Buddhist Monks to Lead Campaign for Political Change as Sirisena led Govt Has Failed the Nation.’ »

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Wont Apologize or Resign But Will Fight Back in Defiant Mood.

By the “Sunday Times”Political Editor

The snowballing effect of President Sirisena’s remarks at a Cabinet meeting last month that the UNP leadership stalled high profile cases involving the former President, members of his family and associates continues to reverberate. There appears to have been considerable soul searching by the party hierarchy over those responsible and what form of action should be initiated against them.

It is in this backdrop that a group of UNP back-benchers supported by seniors collected signatures for a Vote of No-Confidence in Parliament on Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. It was not only over his remarks against the Hambantota Port project with the Chinese, which he vowed to take back one day, but also covered other reasons.

As revealed in these columns last week, Premier Wickremesinghe persuaded those sponsoring the Vote of No Confidence not to proceed. He said that it required approval of the Working Committee and himself as the leader of the party.

When the Working Committee, the main policy making body of the party, and the Parliamentary Group met at a joint session at UNP headquarters Sirikotha on Thursday morning, moves against Rajapakshe dominated the discussion.

Continue reading ‘Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Wont Apologize or Resign But Will Fight Back in Defiant Mood.’ »

Tilak Marapana Needs to Be Briefed on Jurisprudence Regarding “Torture”Prohibited by Article 11 of Constitution.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

That Sri Lanka’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs has chosen to flippantly wave aside the stupefying conduct of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in grabbing an employee by the collar, threateningly raising a hand and berating him, is unfortunate to say the least.


Not reflective of the law

The IGP’s fury had been occasioned by the failure of a hapless lift operator to participate in compulsory meditation sessions ordered by him. Judging from the video footage, it is the IGP who seems to need supervised and strictly enforced intensive meditation, not his helpless employees. I will return to that salutary point later.

But when questioned on this incident, the new Minister is reported to have said days into assuming his new post, to quote, “torture is something that will severely injure a person….but (this) was a person abusing a person; you can’t equate it to torture” (Economy Next, August 19th 2017). If these remarks are correctly attributable to him, the Minister (himself a lawyer of repute at a point) is in need of a summary brief on the jurisprudence regarding ‘torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ prohibited by Article 11 of the Constitution. This claim is quite contrary to the weight of precedent on the matter.

Continue reading ‘Tilak Marapana Needs to Be Briefed on Jurisprudence Regarding “Torture”Prohibited by Article 11 of Constitution.’ »

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Has the Unstinted Support of the SLFP,Joint Opposition and Buddhist Establishment.

By

C.A.Chandraprema

It was evident from the time the present government came into power that the UNP as a collective entity was not in its proper senses. In 2001, when much the same individuals in the UNP came into power, they were a stabilising force which doused the flames that had been ignited by Chandrika Kumaratunga in during her blighted seven years in power from 1994 to 2001. At that time, it was the UNP that put an end to the cycle of political reprisals and revenge taking between the UNP and the SLFP and also nursed the devastated economy back to some degree of stability after CBK had run it to the ground. After 2015 however, the old cycle of persecution and reprisals that we thought we had seen the last of after 2001 has resumed with a vengeance under the very UNP that put a temporary stop to it in 2001. We have to assume that the UNP which was a sane and stabilising force in 2001 has taken leave of their senses after 2015.

The clearest sign of this was the stormy joint session of the UNP working committee and the parliamentary group last Thursday which was held to discuss the conduct of Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe. It had been akin to a feeding frenzy – no less, with virtually every one who spoke, tearing into Rajapakshe and no one rising to his defence. There was no let up even in the ‘voice cuts’ given by UNP Ministers and parliamentarians after the meeting. They were all out for Minister Rajapakshe’s blood and wanted him out of the Justice Minister’s job. The events that took place in this Joint session of the UNP working committee and parliamentary group was best summed up by SLFP deputy minister Nimal Lanza who used the phrase ‘gon relak’ (herd of bovines) to describe those baying for Rajapakshe’s blood. And indeed that was the most appropriate way to describe the collective conduct of today’s UNP.

Continue reading ‘Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Has the Unstinted Support of the SLFP,Joint Opposition and Buddhist Establishment.’ »

“Abusing a Person Cant be Equated with Torture” Says new Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana In Defence of IGP Jayasundara.


Sri Lanka’s new Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana assumed office Friday defending embattled police chief Pujith Jayasundara who was enraged after an employee failed to participate in a mandatory meditation session.

Marapana dismissed the leaked video which showed police chief shaking a lift operator by the collar and making threatening gestures because he had not meditated for 15 minutes before starting work at headquarters.

“I don’t consider it torture,” Marapana said when asked by a reporter if Jayasundara’s behaviour would strengthen allegations of rights groups that police routinely practice torture on suspects in custody.

“Torture is something that will severely injure a person,” He said adding that what was seen on the video was “a person abusing a person. You can’t equate it to torture.”

Continue reading ‘“Abusing a Person Cant be Equated with Torture” Says new Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana In Defence of IGP Jayasundara.’ »

Pressure Mounts Within UNP To Expel Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Who is Accused of Being Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Mole in the Cabinet


Forcing Foreign minister Ravi Karunanayake to step down avoided a showdown between the President and the Prime Minister, but the duo faces more challenges as their listless coalition looks for direction.

President Maithripala Sirisena had his way when Karunanayake was forced out after he was linked to controversial bond trader Arjun Aloysius, but the troubles have only escalated to a new level within the coalition.

A source close to the President said he was keen to sack Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha since mid last year when civil society organisations told him that he was blocking prosecutions of members of the former regime.

Good governance activists had wanted the justice minister as well as the head of military intelligence Tuan Suresh Sallay removed, but only Sally was sacked as the Prime Minister defended his justice minister.

With Karunanayake’s removal, pressure was mounting from within the United National Party, the senior partner in the coalition, to expel the justice minister who is accused of being Mahinda Rajapaksa’s mole in the cabinet.

Continue reading ‘Pressure Mounts Within UNP To Expel Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Who is Accused of Being Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Mole in the Cabinet’ »

New Navy Commander Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah Becomes 2nd Tamil Navy Chief After Rajan Kadirgamar Retired in 1970.

After a gap of 47 years, Sri Lanka on Friday appointed a Tamil as the Commander of its navy.

Rear Admiral Travis Jeremy Liyanduru Sinniah, who was made navy chief by President Maithripala Sirisena, is the second Tamil to head the country’s navy after Rear Admiral Rajanathan “Rajan” Kadirgamar who served between 1960 and 70.

Hailing Adm.Sinniah’s appointment, President Sirisena tweeted saying that he had served the Sri Lankan navy “with immense loyalty for many decades.”

True enough, because both Adm.Kadirgamar and Adm. Sinniah had stood by the state like a rock when the country was undergoing political turbulence.

Continue reading ‘New Navy Commander Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah Becomes 2nd Tamil Navy Chief After Rajan Kadirgamar Retired in 1970.’ »

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Is Being Targeted By UNP to Undermine the A-G Dept and Cripple the Treasury Bond Inquiry


By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

The Working Committee and the Parliamentary Group of the UNP disgracefully passed a unanimous vote of no-confidence against Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana, Wijayadasa Rajapakshe, which said more about those two UNP entities than about Wijeyadasa—and none of it good. The real reason, or should I say, the main reason out of the set of real reasons, for the UNP-NGO lynch mob against Wijayadasa Rajapakshe is not the need to expedite justice and to catch crooks. The main reason that Rajapakshe is being targeted is to shoot through him or get him out of the way and hit the real target. That real target is the Attorney-General’s Department.

Why so? Because the UNP leadership is trying to head-off a Watergate outcome. More specifically, because the officials of the AG’s Department are courageously and independently inquiring into the Bond Scam and the UNP does not want the inquiry to go beyond and above Ravi Karunanayaka, Arjuna Aloysious and Arjuna Mahendran. It doesn’t even want the Commission to really go for Arjuna Mahendran. It hopes to save him in the nick of time. But above all it does not want the Commission to inquire into the chain of command that brought Mahendran the Singaporean here, installed him as nothing less than the head of the Central Bank and gave him the patronage to do what he did.

Continue reading ‘Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Is Being Targeted By UNP to Undermine the A-G Dept and Cripple the Treasury Bond Inquiry’ »

“Yamapalana”Propaganda Offensive Against Me, My Family and Opposition” Alleges Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has denied government claims that a range of properties belonging to the Rajapaksa family estimated to be worth Rs. 5 bn had been seized. The former President said that there was absolutely no basis for this claim.

The Office of the former President has issued the following statement yesterday:

“Three members of my family – my wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa and our younger sons Yoshitha and Rohitha were questioned by the CID and FCID this week. My wife was asked why the colour of a jeep that had been
made available by the Red Cross to her charity Siriliya Saviya in 2011 and used by the Presidential Secretariat had been changed. International NGOs make their vehicles available to local charities once their projects are over.

My wife had told the CID that she knows nothing about the maintenance or repair of vehicles used by the Presidential Secretariat. On Wednesday, the CID obtained a statement from my son Yoshitha on the same matter. He had been asked whether he had given instructions to anyone to change the colour of this vehicle. To this Yoshitha had replied in the negative and explained that the transport division of the presidential secretariat maintains the vehicles and gets them painted if necessary. He had been asked whether he had used this jeep as his back up vehicle to which he had replied that it is the PSD that assigns any available vehicle for his back up team and that he had no role in the matter.

“For the first time, my youngest son Rohitha was also hauled before the FCID on Tuesday. He was asked whether he was a shareholder of ‘Supreme Sat’ which was the first Sri Lankan company to be involved in the launch of a communications satellite.

Continue reading ‘“Yamapalana”Propaganda Offensive Against Me, My Family and Opposition” Alleges Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa.’ »

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to Appoint Party Committee to Determine Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s Future in the Cabinet.

By Akitha Perera

The UNP yesterday resolved to appoint a committee to decide whether Buddha Sasana and Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe should be allowed to remain in the Cabinet or not.

The decision had been taken at a combined meeting of the UNP Working Committee (WC) and parliamentary group at Sirikotha with its leader Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe presiding, party Spokesman Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told The Island.

Minister Rajapakshe came under heavy fire from the ministers and other MPs over comments the latter had allegedly made on the controversial Hambantota port deal.

Minister Kariyawasam said Prime Minister Wickremesinghe would soon appoint the committee.

Continue reading ‘UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to Appoint Party Committee to Determine Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s Future in the Cabinet.’ »

UNP Parliamentary Group Calls for Resignation of Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe.

Following severe criticism levelled against Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe at yesterday’s UNP Central Committee and Parliamentary Group meeting, the party will attempt to resolve the ensuing standoff on Monday.

Minister Rajapakshe is expected to meet Prime Minister and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in the coming days and make a final decision by Monday, sources within the UNP told Daily FT.

Rajapakshe is also expected to make a statement on the issue on Monday, sources said.

Criticising Rajapakshe, the UNP Parliamentary Group called for the Justice Minister’s resignation.

Continue reading ‘UNP Parliamentary Group Calls for Resignation of Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe.’ »

UNP Working Committee Passes 5 Point Resolution of No Confidence in Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe.

The United National Party (UNP) Working Committee and Parliamentary group yesterday unanimously adopted a no-confidence Resolution against Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Wijeydasa Rajapakshe.

The five-point resolution submitted by parliamentarian Ashu Marasinghe contained the following allegations against Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe:

Continue reading ‘UNP Working Committee Passes 5 Point Resolution of No Confidence in Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe.’ »

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to Make Special Statement in Parliament on Aug 21st to “Explain” His Earlier Statements.

By Yohan Perera

Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, who was at the centre of controversy after being accused of violating the collective responsibility of the Cabinet by some of his colleagues, is to make a special statement on Monday, UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim told journalists today.

Minister Hashim told journalists that Mr. Rajapakshe assured the party’s working committee and the parliamentary group that he will make a statement on Monday on the true situation regarding the statements he made earlier.

He said Mr. Rajapakshe is also expected to meet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe shortly before making the public statement. Further, Mr. Hashim said the government will also take some important steps especially with regard to collective responsibility of the ministers.

Continue reading ‘Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to Make Special Statement in Parliament on Aug 21st to “Explain” His Earlier Statements.’ »

Caste Based Apartheid Segregates Crematoriums For “Upper” and “Lower” Castes in Jaffna

By

M. Sooriasegaram

Caste system is still practiced in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Contrary to popular view propagated by the ruling caste that caste is a thing of the past, it is a living cancer within the Tamil community. The upper caste community is the ruling caste in this province. All other castes have been historically discriminated and downtrodden in a wide variety of ways – socially and economically and in many other ways, examples of which are far too many to be listed here.

The main Tamil political parties (Ceylon Tamil Congress, Federal Party and the TULF) unashamedly practiced or promoted or at best remained silent on the marginalisation and oppression of the lower caste communities and prevented them from improving their life chances. They are discriminated in access to land, education, employment and crematoriums. They are driven to live as social outcasts.

Their political representation in the country’s Parliament, Provincial Councils and other local government bodies is almost zero in spite of the fact they represent over 40% of the population in the NP. They are effectively disenfranchised.

Historically they have been kept out of temples, places of eating such as restaurants (serving tea and food took place in separate low quality designated vessels in a very humiliating manner). They were treated as sub-human. Through persistent struggles against the upper caste onslaught by these communities lead by Trade Union and Communist Party leader Shanmugathasan and other intelectual leaders they managed to win their right to enter into temples and worship side by side with the upper caste community.

Tamil Congress, Federal Party and the TULF never supported such emancipatory freedom struggles of the oppressed people either in the past or even today. They always took the side of the oppressors.

Continue reading ‘Caste Based Apartheid Segregates Crematoriums For “Upper” and “Lower” Castes in Jaffna’ »

Enraged IGP Pujitha Jayasundara Collars and Threatens Lift Operator for not Attending Meditation Session at Police Dept.

Sri Lanka’s police chief has triggered calls for his resignation after footage emerged showing him assaulting an employee who refused to participate in mandatory morning meditation sessions.

The leaked CCTV video showed Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara grabbing a lift operator by the collar and making threatening gestures after he did not join the regulation “mindfulness meditation” at police headquarters.

Jayasundara had already raised eyebrows in February when he made daily meditation mandatory for the 85,000 officers and staff under his command. Work at all stations halted for 15 minutes every day because of the practice.

Continue reading ‘Enraged IGP Pujitha Jayasundara Collars and Threatens Lift Operator for not Attending Meditation Session at Police Dept.’ »

Forced Resignation of Ravi Karunanayake was a Desperate Attempt By Maithri-Ranil Regime To Cling On to Power.

By

W.A. Sunil

The forced resignation of Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake last week is a clear sign of the intensifying political crisis facing the government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The immediate reason for Karunanayake’s resignation was to avoid a no-confidence motion presented to the parliamentary speaker by the self-named joint opposition—a group of MPs led by former President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Karunanayake was swept up in a corruption scandal last week after it was revealed that he had financial dealings with the main accused in a Central Bank bond scam, involving several billion rupees and under investigation by an ongoing Presidential Commission of Inquiry.

The joint opposition, which is a dissident faction of Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), saw Karunanakaye’s alleged involvement in the scandal as another opportunity to exploit growing popular discontent with the government. Many MPs from Sirisena’s faction of the SLFP had indicated their intention to vote for the no-confidence motion, compounding the government’s crisis.

Continue reading ‘Forced Resignation of Ravi Karunanayake was a Desperate Attempt By Maithri-Ranil Regime To Cling On to Power.’ »

Govt To Establish More High Courts To Expedite Hearing of Corruption Cases Against Rajapaksa Regime Through Trials at Bar

by Zacki Jabbar

The government has decided to increase the number of High Courts with some of them functioning as trials-at-bar since more than 43 criminal cases against some members of former President Mahinda Rajapaksas family and his regime were stuck at the Attorney General’s Department for nearly two years.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing at the Information Department yesterdy, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that trials-at-bar could sit on a daily basis and hear a minimum of two cases a day, which would help clear the backlog of cases to a great extent.

Continue reading ‘Govt To Establish More High Courts To Expedite Hearing of Corruption Cases Against Rajapaksa Regime Through Trials at Bar’ »

How the “Ceylon” Tamils From Sri Lanka Contributed to Singapore Over The Years


By
Ajit Kanagasundram

The world today is desperate to attract foreign talent. Thirty percent of Silicon Valley startups are by Indians, and the same percentage is true of Microsoft employees, NASA employees and US physicians. Canada and Australia have long had a point system to attract talent and the US and the UK are thinking of adopting a similar system in place of their current family re-union system. Even Germany has a special Visa quota for software professionals from India.

Singapore preceded all these countries by being open from the inception to foreign talent as it knew that they were required for it to meet its ambition to become a regional and then global hub for trade, manufacturing and finance.Lee Kwan Yew openly alluded to the fact that he depended on Jaffna Tamils as a resource to build up Singapore in the early years. This article will try and describe their significant and unique contributions spanning the five decades of Singapore’s existence as an independent nation.

The Jaffna Tamils hail from the arid North of Sri Lanka and the only advantages they had was their native intelligence and an excellent education system set up by American missionaries. The Jaffna Tamils valued education above all else and the education system the missionaries set up emphasized the English Language and mathematics.The British valued this education and The Jaffna Tamil propensity for hard work and recruited them for the minor government positions such as clerks and station master both in colonial Ceylon and in the Federated States of Malaysia and Singapore.

It was said that in the 1930s you could travel by train from Singapore to the Thailand border and every station master enroute would be a Jaffna Tamil! It was their descendants who were to play such a significant role in the history of Singapore as an independent nation. The contribution of the Ceylon Tamils were in four main areas – politics and government, law, medicine and sports and I will describe each separately.
Continue reading ‘How the “Ceylon” Tamils From Sri Lanka Contributed to Singapore Over The Years’ »

Yoshitha Rajapaksa Faces CID Inquiry “Siriliya Saviya”Jeep Used In Ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen’s Murder.


Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second son Yoshitha Rajapaksa appeared before the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the Police this morning.

He will be asked to make a statement relating to a jeep belonging to the ‘Siriliya Saviya’ Foundation suspected to have been used in the abduction and murder of Wasim Thajudeen.

Continue reading ‘Yoshitha Rajapaksa Faces CID Inquiry “Siriliya Saviya”Jeep Used In Ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen’s Murder.’ »

Rohitha Rajapaksa Questioned By FCID About Singapore Investor Funding China Built Supreme SAT Satellite Project.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s youngest son, Rohitha Rajapaksa yesterday said a satellite stationed in the sky cannot be viewed with a magnifying glass – as suggested by some government ministers.

He made these remarks while speaking to media after giving a statement to the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID).

Rajapaksa was questioned today by the FCID over the Supreme SAT satellite project of which Rajapaksa was the chief engineer.

Continue reading ‘Rohitha Rajapaksa Questioned By FCID About Singapore Investor Funding China Built Supreme SAT Satellite Project.’ »

Is Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Trying to be the New Leader of Lanka’s Sinhala Buddhist Nationalists?

By
P.K.Balachandran

Sri Lanka’s Minister for Justice and Buddha Sasana, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, appears to be making a bid to capture the island’s core political constituency – the Sinhala Buddhist-Nationalist constituency – in the absence of credible senior claimants..

The constituency was well served by Mahinda Rajapaksa until he messed up his political career by a variety of indiscretions in the last part of his two-term stint as President of Sri Lanka.

However, even now, Rajapaksa’s prospects for a comeback in 2020 look bright, given the political confusion in, and the lackluster performance of, the coalition government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

But popular though Rajapaksa may be, there is a bar against his becoming President now. The 19 th. constitutional amendment of 2015 had put a two term cap on Presidents and Rajapaksa has served two terms.

Therefore, even if his group captures power, Rajapaksa can, at best, only be a Sonia Gandhi, remaining in the background and functioning through remote control.

His political prospects are also marred by the numerous and apparently credible corruption and even criminal charges against him, his family and cohorts, which are being investigated by several agencies.

Continue reading ‘Is Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Trying to be the New Leader of Lanka’s Sinhala Buddhist Nationalists?’ »

Shiranthi Escorted by Mahinda Questioned by CID Over Rugby Star Thajudeen’s Murder Amidst Protests Alleging Political witchhunt.

Sri Lanka’s former first lady, Shiranthi Rajapakse was questioned by the Criminal Investigations Department on Tuesday over the murder of a former national rugby player.

Shiranthi, was escorted into the CID by her husband and former President Mahinda Rajapakse after she was summoned to provide a statement.

Continue reading ‘Shiranthi Escorted by Mahinda Questioned by CID Over Rugby Star Thajudeen’s Murder Amidst Protests Alleging Political witchhunt.’ »

Maithri-Ranil Govt is Fissuring as well as Going Gaga in a Politically Suicidal Way.


By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

The weekly evidence of the unprecedentedly dependent, servile character of the Yahapalana administration came in the form of a report in the prestigious Hindu by its smart, Colombo based correspondent Meera Srinivasan. Captioned ‘India keen to run Sri Lanka airport’, it says:

“India has expressed interest to operate Sri Lanka’s second international airport situated in Mattala, about 40 km from the southern town of Hambantota, where China has a majority stake in a strategic port it built. The Sri Lankan govt earlier this week cleared Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva’s request for a committee to study the Indian government’s proposal. India proposes to “operate, manage, maintain and develop” the airport through a joint venture, holding 70% of the equity for 40 years…” (The Hindu, August 12th 2017)

Not even during the period of the IPKF did our huge neighbour, which has Tamil Nadu as a significant shareholder, get to “run” a Sri Lankan airport deep in the interior of the country, in the Sinhala heartland. Nor did any Ceylonese/Sri Lankan govt ever think of giving India a 70% share for 40 years in any venture as strategic as an airport.

This is in addition to the two stories in the sister paper of the Daily Mirror, which says that the Survey Department which is over a century old, is to be virtually handed over to a US firm named Trimble so as to work on an island-wide Land Registry, while the country’s labour laws are to be revised under the guidance and with the financial assistance of the USAID.

If this doesn’t add up to a project of re-colonization or neo-colonization, then what does?

Continue reading ‘Maithri-Ranil Govt is Fissuring as well as Going Gaga in a Politically Suicidal Way.’ »

President Sirisena Calls For and Obtains Resignation of Sri Lanka’s Information Technology Chief Muhunthan Canagey.

Sri Lanka’s information technology chief, Muhunthan Canagey said he was forced to resign Monday following a public criticism of spectrum award said to have been made to a business group which operates a radio and TV network.

Canagey alleged that the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka which is directly under President Maithripala Sirisena had given a block of 700MegaHertz spectrum to Colombo-based Maharaja group, causing a loss of over three billion to the state.

“Till today’s MTV (Maharaja TV) has failed to tell the public how they got the spectrum and causing a loss to the state of Rs. 3 billion,” Canagey said in a tweet at the end of last month.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Calls For and Obtains Resignation of Sri Lanka’s Information Technology Chief Muhunthan Canagey.’ »

Majority of Cabinet Ministers Want Legal Action to be Taken Without Delay Against Rajapaksa Family and Ex-Ministers in JO.

By
Sirimantha Ratnasekera and Priyadarshana Liyanage

The Cabinet of ministers, at its meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, had taken up what some members described as inordinate delay in taking action against the Rajapaksa family and ministers of the previous government.

Political sources said that several ministers had strongly criticised the delay and veteran UNPer Gamini Jayawickrema Perera had stressed the need to handle the cases through the existing court system if the Constitution didn’t permit the setting up of a special court to hear high profile corruption and criminal cases.

Sources said that the majority of ministers including Tilak Marapana, Patali Champika Ranawaka and Sagala Ratnayake supported that view.

Continue reading ‘Majority of Cabinet Ministers Want Legal Action to be Taken Without Delay Against Rajapaksa Family and Ex-Ministers in JO.’ »

Only Relevant Witnesses Are Being Summoned Emphasises Presidential Commission of Inquiry in Statement.

By Sham Nuwan Ganewatta

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing Central Bank-Perpetual Treasuries bond scams yesterday stressed that it wouldn’t be influenced by statements made by various persons regarding evidence given before it and also suggestions in respect of those whom they believed should be summoned.

The PCoI comprises Supreme Court Judges K. T. Chitrasiri and Prasanna Sujeewa Jayawardena and former senior Deputy Auditor General Kandasamy Velupillai

The following is the full text of the statement issued by the PCoI.

Continue reading ‘Only Relevant Witnesses Are Being Summoned Emphasises Presidential Commission of Inquiry in Statement.’ »

Development assignments Minister Tilak Marapana Sworn in as Foreign Affairs Minister .

Tilak Janaka Marapana, Minister of Development Assignments, was sworn-in as Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister on Tuesday in place of Ravi Karunanayake who had resigned last week.

Karunanayake had resigned on account of his controversial financial dealings with stock broker Arjun Aloysisus, a principal figure in the 2015 Central Bank bonds scam.

Marapana is a loyalist of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and is expected to carry out the policies of the Prime Minister in letter and spirit, political sources said.

Continue reading ‘Development assignments Minister Tilak Marapana Sworn in as Foreign Affairs Minister .’ »

Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt Afflicted by Chronic Disunity,Policy Contradictions and Inability to Fulfill Election Promises.


By

P.K.Balachandran

Two years into its five year term, Sri Lanka’s coalition government led by President Maithipala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is afflicted by chronic disunity; contradictions in domestic and foreign policies; and a marked inability to fulfill election promises.

Given its multifarious dilemmas and the inaction these have led to, it is no wonder that the government, which came into power in January 2015 promising “Yahapalanaya” or “Good Governance”, is reluctant to hold provincial and local bodies elections.

Dithering over Karunanayake

After much dilly dallying, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe persuaded his party man and Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake to resign from the Council of Ministers following exposure of his controversial financial dealings with Arjun Aloysius, a central figure in the multi-billion rupee Central Bank bonds scam, when he was Finance Minister in 2015.

But almost immediately after Karunanayake resigned, it became apparent that a section of the United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe himself, is making efforts to re-instate him in the Foreign Ministry when the dust settles down. It is rumored that whoever becomes Foreign Minister, whether it is Tilak Marapana or Sagala Ratnayake, will only be a temporary tenant at the Foreign Ministry.

Continue reading ‘Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt Afflicted by Chronic Disunity,Policy Contradictions and Inability to Fulfill Election Promises.’ »

Marapana Reluctant To be Foreign Minister With the Condition that Karunanayake’s Personal Staff Should be Retained at Foreign Affairs Ministry.


Minister Tilak Marapama, who is chosen to be the new Foreign Minister, is reluctant to take oaths in the position as his predecessor Ravi Karunanayake’s personal staff is still at the ministry, informed government sources said.


Aside from the personal staff, Karunanayake, who stepped down from the position last week, is still using ministry vehicle and other facilities he enjoyed as a Cabinet minister, they added.

Continue reading ‘Marapana Reluctant To be Foreign Minister With the Condition that Karunanayake’s Personal Staff Should be Retained at Foreign Affairs Ministry.’ »

UNP Gen Secy Kabir Hashim Wants President Sirisena to Decide Upon Course of Action Against Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

By Chathuri Dissanayake

UNP yesterday called on President Maithripala Sirisena to take action on Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe who has compromised “collective responsibility” of the Cabinet.

Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe has been under fire for a number of controversial statements he made on Government’s move to lease Hambantota Port, leading to a number of UNP Ministers threaten him with No Confidence Motion.

UNP General Secretary, Kabir Hashim however said, that the Party has no stance on moving a no confidence motion on Rajapakshe, a member of the same party.

Instead the Minister Hashim called upon the President to take a decision on the defamed Justice Minister for his resent behavior.

Continue reading ‘UNP Gen Secy Kabir Hashim Wants President Sirisena to Decide Upon Course of Action Against Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’ »

“The Sunday Leader” Newspaper Taken Over By Ravi Karunanayake Faces Financial Crisis After Arjun Aloysius Stops Assistance.

Sri Lanka’s once popular Sunday Leader newspaper which gained popularity under slain Editor Lasantha Wickremetunga is now facing a severe financial crisis, with staff forced to go without salaries for months.

Sources attached to the newspaper alleged that the paper was facing a financial crisis as a result of mismanagement by officials appointed by former Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake.

Sources said that the newspaper did not go to print last Sunday (August 6) as funds were not allocated to purchase newsprint to print the paper.

However, following a last minute attempts, funds were received to publish the newspaper on August 13.

Continue reading ‘“The Sunday Leader” Newspaper Taken Over By Ravi Karunanayake Faces Financial Crisis After Arjun Aloysius Stops Assistance.’ »

President Sirisena To Intensify “Legal Crackdown” on Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Members of his Family.

(Excerpts from the “Sunday Times” Political Column of August 13th 2017)

“President Sirisena, who declared he would heed their request made a disclosure that became the talking point among those present at the CC meeting. He noted ‘Joint Opposition’ members were jubilant over the events related to Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s resignation. He warned that their euphoria would be short lived. Speaking in Sinhala, he said, “I know what is going to happen to them by next week.”

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena To Intensify “Legal Crackdown” on Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Members of his Family.’ »

Sri Lanka Born Krish Vignarajah Enters US Maryland State Governor Race saying ” The Best Man For the Job is a Woman”.

Sri Lankan born Krish Vignarajah, a former Obama official, is entering the race for governor of Maryland. An official campaign kick-off and announcement is scheduled for September 19.

About her decision, Ms. Vignarajah said: “I am running for Governor because I am worried my daughter will not have the same opportunities that my mom gave me when she brought our family here when I was a baby girl. I hope Marylanders will agree the best man for the job is a woman.”

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Born Krish Vignarajah Enters US Maryland State Governor Race saying ” The Best Man For the Job is a Woman”.’ »

Will China Built Mattala Airport Management be Made a Joint Venture With India To Maintain “Balance”In Geo-political Relations?


By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

The Chinese started vying for Mattala Airport on seeing, both, then and the incumbent governments lament over the non-operation of the International Mattala Airport in the South. The Chinese built it and said it’s not their problem if Sri Lankans don’t make use of it.

However, the trend has changed with the internal politics routing the government for ‘selling’ national assets. Also the government is being webbed with geopolitics which describes that Mattala Airport cannot be given to the Chinese to manage when they have the Hambantota Port – fair enough!

The Indians have expressed their interest in managing the airport to make it a profitable business but as a joint venture so that they can share the ‘joy’ and the ‘blunder’ together.

If the Mattala Airport is given to India, this would be one of their biggest or next to Northern Railway project . Recently, the Indians also signed an agreement for USD 380 mn financial assistance to Sri Lanka Railways.

The Deputy Civil Aviation Minister Ashoka Abesingha told Ceylon Today that the debt incurring with the Mattala Airport is unbearable.

He laments that USD 252 million worth airport but generating only three million per month with one flight landing there. “The monthly instalment paid to China is USD 300 mnwhich means USD 3.6 bn annually. He also added that the expenditure incurring at the Mattala stands at Rs 25mn every month.

Continue reading ‘Will China Built Mattala Airport Management be Made a Joint Venture With India To Maintain “Balance”In Geo-political Relations?’ »

Full Text of Statement Made By Ravi Karunanayake M.P. In Parliament When Resigning as Minister of Foreign Affairs on August 10th 2017.

(Full Text of Statement Made on August 10th 2017 By Ravi Karunanayake M.P. In Parliament When Resigning as Minister of Foreign Affairs

‘The mainstream media in the country, websites and other social media made bold headlines about me in the last few days. Certain members of parliament too expressed different views. A no confidence motion against me has also been handed over. Therefore I thought of explaining my position to this respectable house.

A question was raised about my residency in an apartment on Monarch Residencies in Colombo 3. Therefore I testified before the Presidential Commission that was probing the Central Bank Bond Issue.

I, as a parliamentarian and responsible minister, thought that it is important to explain my position and express my stance before this honorable house.

First of all, let me explain the true factors about this matter.

We were compelled to shift to a new house as our Battaramulla residence needed some renovation. I did not use an official quarters as well. Therefore my family members looked for a place for us to stay. My family members told me that they found an apartment that owned by the daughter of Nahil Wijesuriya. Later, we shifted to that house.

Nahil Wijesuriya’s daughter is a school mate of my daughter. However, she was reluctant to lease her house in the name of a politician. Subsequently, my daughter has proposed her friend to lease the house in the name of a company owned by one of the school friends of both my daughter and Nahil Wijesuriya’s daughter – Arjun Aloysius.

Later, the apartment was leased in the name of the particular company. Our daughter reimbursed the leasing fee to that company.

After some time, the owner of the apartment decided to sell her house and one of our companies purchased it. A bank loan was obtained from Seylan Bank for the purpose. I’ll table the documents with regard to that loan – Seylan Bank – Ref: No – WTL/CRD/2016 – 1535, September 29, 2016.

Continue reading ‘Full Text of Statement Made By Ravi Karunanayake M.P. In Parliament When Resigning as Minister of Foreign Affairs on August 10th 2017.’ »

Public Being Told To Rejoice Over a Minister Resigning Is Devilish Satire


By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

For those who laboured long and hard to bring fresh cleansing winds to Sri Lanka’s degenerate political culture in 2015, these are times of mortified reflection. The collective angst of the United National Party (UNP) amidst a dismaying disarray and loss of public confidence beggars the imagination. Its parliamentarians are filing no-confidence motions against its own ministers as well as those from the other half of the (dis) unity alliance. And the very air is rendered hideous with their loud lamentations that Justice is not being done.

Satire of the most devilish kind

We are battered by complaints that the focus is only on current corruption rather than gross violators of the previous regime. This is vis a vis the resignation of the UNP’s Foreign Affairs (formerly Finance) Minister in the wake of testimony before the popularly styled ‘Bond Scam Commission’ relating to an egregious conflict of interest. The public is told that it must rejoice since ‘a Minister resigned.’ Alas, this is satire of the most devilish kind.

So after whitewashing the Central Bank bond fiasco for well upon two years, is applause the fit reaction when ‘a Minister resigns’ and that too grudgingly due to a public outcry? Lest we forget, the whitewash of this incident by the UNP included appointing a committee of largely unknown party lawyers to skim over the responsibility of former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

It also included the UNP parliamentarians in the parliamentary committee on public enterprises (COPE) insisting on adding ‘footnotes’ to the COPE report to preempt questions of legal wrong doing on the part of the former Governor. In truth, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be engaging in fiendish chuckles in his Medamulana lair at the predicament that the Government, (his bête noir as well as a protector of sorts) finds itself.

Continue reading ‘Public Being Told To Rejoice Over a Minister Resigning Is Devilish Satire’ »

India’s Worries Over China Extend Far Beyond Sri Lanka and Hambantota Port.

By

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya

The government’s manner of communicating details of the Hambantota port deal to the public has been less than forthright, and lacking in transparency, considering public apprehensions over the fallout of the project. In an attempt to get around the opposition to a big time give-away of control over a national asset – a strategically located deep water port – there seem to have been attempts to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

The impression conveyed and widely reported as to the ratio of shares held by the Sri Lankan side and the Chinese side, was misleading. Of the two companies to be newly set up under the unprecedented 99-year agreement, the Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS) company – which was granted with the exclusive right to develop, operate and manage the Common User Facilities of Hambantota port including security – 50.7% of shares were said to be held by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the balance 49.3% by HIPG (Hambantota International Port Group) in which the China Merchants Port Holdings Co. Ltd. (CMPort) holds a 85% stake.

However a disclosure made by CMPort on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange categorically said “SLPA will hold (i) 15% of the shares of HIPG and (ii) 42% of the shares of HIPS on the Concession Agreement Effective Date.” Sri Lanka is clearly a minority share holder in this deal, which translates into a loss of control of a national asset of strategic value, which in turn has implications for sovereignty.

Continue reading ‘India’s Worries Over China Extend Far Beyond Sri Lanka and Hambantota Port.’ »

Ranil Vetoes Move by UNP Group of MP’s Associated with Ravi Karunanayake to Bring No Faith Motion Against Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

(Excerpts From the “Sunday Times”Political Column of August 13th 2017)

” Adding to the unease of the UNP was another development. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in different public comments and in newspaper interviews, strongly criticised the Concession Agreement between the Government and the Chinese company for the Hambantota Port project.

Rajapakshe, known for wallowing in controversy, said it was his commitment to take back the Hambantota Port one day from Chinese hands. If it was clearly a violation of collective responsibility since the Cabinet of Ministers had approved the Concession Agreement, which is a legally binding document, it was to spark anger amongst UNP backbenchers.

On Thursday, they began a signature campaign for a Vote of No Confidence on Rajapakshe. The thrust of their accusations was on violating collective cabinet responsibility.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Vetoes Move by UNP Group of MP’s Associated with Ravi Karunanayake to Bring No Faith Motion Against Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’ »

Ravi Karunanayake Ouster is Part of President Sirisena’s Anti-UNP Conspiracy

by C.A.Chandraprema

The resignation of Ravi Karunanayke from the position of Foreign Minister will have far reaching implications for the UNP. This is not just some provincial politician who can be replaced by the next person on the list. Ravi K was the Assistant Leader of the UNP and it was no secret that he had ambitions of leading the party one day. He was in direct competition with Sajith Premadasa to succeed RW. Ravi K was one of the key figures in the UNP when it was in the opposition. He had been cultivating Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera for years and his perseverance paid off when Ven. Sobitha who had been a key figure in the Sinhala nationalist camp became the principal Buddhist figure in the yahapalana campaign. It is doubtful whether the yahapalana campaign would have suceded without Ven. Sobitha to give it a veneer of acceptability among the Buddhist population or at least to reassure Buddhists that they would not be sold down the river by the alliance which included the TNA and the Muslim political parties.

Thus if not for Ravi K’s cultivation of Ven Sobitha thera, the yahapalana victory itself may not have been possible. Then there was the fact that he did help the UNP with funds when it was in opposition. It was through a political party and a symbol owned by him that both Sarath Fonseka and Maithripala Sirisena contested the 2010 and 2015 Presidential elections. It was also he who dissuaded Ranil Wickremesinghe from contesting the 2015 presidential election so as to make way to Sirisena to step in. Thus Ravi’s contribution to the yahapalana campaign was even greater than that of Mangala Samaraweera. In terms of the yahapalana cabal, he ranks among the top leaders along with the likes of Sirisena, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mangala Samaraweera, Champika Ranawaka and Dr Rajitha Senaratne. Within the UNP, he was one of the top three with RW and Sajith. Ousting such a person from cabinet is going to have its consequences. Combined with all of the above, was also the most important fact that he was one of the few accessible Ministers in the yahapalana government.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Ouster is Part of President Sirisena’s Anti-UNP Conspiracy’ »

Ravi Karunanayake’s Repeated Assertions Bring to Mind the Sinhala Word “Gajabinna”(Lies of Elephantine Proportions)

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Fools do not feel disgrace.”
Erasmus (Praise of Folly)

Gajabinna is a Sinhala word for lies of elephantine proportions. A book named Gajabinnalankaraya (roughly translatable as In Praise of Mammoth-lies) did exist, according to the late DF Kariyakarawana. The book was in the form of a dialogue between two fictional characters and referred to a universe of impossibilities – horned-horses, furred-tortoises, wearable clouds and mirages in which one could bathe.

Ravi Karunanayake’s repeated assertions, that he didn’t know who was paying his rent and his family didn’t know about the Central Bank bond scam, can be true only in such a universe of utter impossibilities; or ‘alternative facts,’ as Donald Trump’s Counsellor, Kellyann Conway put it.

Mr. Karunanayake should have resigned days ago; but as in the case of many – perhaps most – politicians, a sense of shame seems to be something alien to him. When he at last did, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration was left with barely a stitch to cover itself. This emperor is not yet as naked as the previous one. Ravi Karunanayake would not have had to resign, had he been Mahinda Rajapaksa’s minister. Nor would he have been summoned before a presidential commission and grilled for hours. So there is a difference, but it is rapidly eroding.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake’s Repeated Assertions Bring to Mind the Sinhala Word “Gajabinna”(Lies of Elephantine Proportions)’ »

“Advocating Federal Form of Govt within Existing State Is Not Advocating Separatism” Rules Sri Lankan Supreme Court in Landmark Judgement.

The Supreme Court (SC) declared this week that advocating for a federal form of government within the existing state could not be considered as advocating separatism and that the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) does not, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate state within the territory of Sri Lanka as envisaged under Article 157A of the Constitution.

Dismissing the petition filed by H. K. Don Chandrasoma of Kelaniya who sought a Court order declaring that ITAK is a political party which has as one of its “aims” and “objects” the establishment of a separate state within the territory of Sri Lanka, the three-member SC bench said, “ITAK is advocating for a federalist form of government by devolving more powers to the provinces within the framework of a
unitary state,” adding that “advocating for a federal form of government within the existing state could not be considered advocating separatism.”

Continue reading ‘“Advocating Federal Form of Govt within Existing State Is Not Advocating Separatism” Rules Sri Lankan Supreme Court in Landmark Judgement.’ »

If Karunanayake is Innocent as he Claims to be Then why Did President,PM and Govt Ministers Pressure Him to Resign?

By

Winston de Valliere

Ask any man on the street, in a big corporate office, or as I did, ask the guy who prepares tea for the staff to share his thoughts on the current miasmic mess that the government is thrashing around in and you find that there’s an amazing unanimity of opinion. It boils down to a simple statement of fact, to wit, that the continuing deplorable CB Bond Crisis that has done in Ravi Karunanayake is yet to begin exposing the real dirt in that scandal. Victim number one was CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran. Yesterday saw victim number 2, Ravi Karunanayake. More will follow.

All are of the opinion that protestations against this fact made by the ex-Finance and latterly Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake are no more than face-saving protestations. One pertinent question they all ask is this: Why resign? To pre-empt what? A collapse of the Government? That’s not even remotely relevant. To pre-empt an internecine split in the UNP-SLFP merger? What was the Government afraid of? Why were there virtual confirmed reports that the President, PM, UNP and SLFP government mounting pressure on Karunanayake to quit, if as he protests, he is guilty of nothing?

Looked at from an abstract angle, one must admit that one fails to see the rationale in an innocent man quitting for the claimed altruistic objective of not harming the Party or the Government. But then, one must ask, how cannot quitting harm the Party or Government?

Continue reading ‘If Karunanayake is Innocent as he Claims to be Then why Did President,PM and Govt Ministers Pressure Him to Resign?’ »

“Star Witness” Anika Wijesuriya has Rocked The Very Foundation of the Current “Yahapalana” Regime.

By Jayadeva Uyangoda

As the media predicted last week, alluding to an off-guard comment made by a junior member of the AG’s legal team of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the Central Bank Bond scam, a star witness has turned the public discussion on the Central Bank bond scandal into a major political drama.

Ms. Anika Wijesuriya, a young woman entrepreneur from an extraordinarily rich business family in Colombo, has done what the Joint Opposition of ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, or Anura Dissanayake’s radical JVP, has failed to achieve in more than two years. In half a day of evidence before the presidential commission comprising Supreme Court judges and a retired Auditor General , she has rocked the very foundations of the current yahapalana regime. She has also changed the terms of the political debate between the government and the opposition. All these unwittingly though.

Continue reading ‘“Star Witness” Anika Wijesuriya has Rocked The Very Foundation of the Current “Yahapalana” Regime.’ »

What is the “New” Culture Ushered in By Ravi karunayake’s Resignation as Claimed by Ranil Wickremesinghe?

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

Let’s hope the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Lotteries, Ravi Karunanayake, will not be blissfully ignorant of having ushered in a new culture, with his resignation from office, with all those quotations from the scriptures of different faiths.

And what is this new culture Ravi K has ushered in, as stated by the Prime Minister and his party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe?

Could it be the culture of ministerial resignations?

With 44 ministers in the Cabinet, that is a helluva lot of resignations that could be lined up, to make sure that the new culture really has an impact on society.

Is it possible the Joint Opposition will be ready to keep this new culture alive, by having motions of No Confidence ready, to make other ministers follow the Ravi culture in what is suddenly seen as yahapalana politics?

Or, could it be that this new culture will make the people remember better all those promises made by the Yahapalanaya Team of bringing to book those great corrupt names of the Rajapaksa Regime?

Continue reading ‘What is the “New” Culture Ushered in By Ravi karunayake’s Resignation as Claimed by Ranil Wickremesinghe?’ »

UNP wants Ajith Nivard Cabraal, His Sister Shiromi Wickremasinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa To be Sumoned by Inquiry Commission on treasury Bond Issue

By
Saman Indrajith

UNP yesterday demanded to know why former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal or his sister Shiromi Wickremasinghe had not been summoned before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the bond issues.

UNP MP Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, speaking at the Parliamentary debate yesterday pointed out that the PCoI, would need the help of informed advisors as it had so far failed to summon the most relevant witnesses.

Cabraal’s sister Shiromi Wickremasinghe was a director at Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. The names of former CB Governor Cabraal and his sister had also been implicated in the treasury bonds allegations, Prof. Marasinghe said.

Continue reading ‘UNP wants Ajith Nivard Cabraal, His Sister Shiromi Wickremasinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa To be Sumoned by Inquiry Commission on treasury Bond Issue’ »

TNA Wont Support Proposed 20th Constitutional Amendment in Its Present Form States its Spokesman MA Sumanthiran MP

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday declared that it wouldn’t support the 20th Amendment to the Constitution in its present form, under any circumstances, top party spokesperson, Jaffna District MP M.A. Sumanthiran told The Island.

The TNA parliamentary group comprises 16 members, including two National List MPs.

Asked whether the four-party coalition was having discussions with the government regarding the 20th Amendment that would vest in Parliament the powers of dissolved Provincial Council, MP Sumanthiran ruled out any agreement on proposed Amendment as, he said, it didn’t reflect understanding among all political parties represented in parliament.

The proposed controversial 20th Amendment will also enable all Provincial Council elections to be held simultaneously and for Parliament to determine the date of dissolution of all PCs.

Continue reading ‘TNA Wont Support Proposed 20th Constitutional Amendment in Its Present Form States its Spokesman MA Sumanthiran MP’ »

UNP Backbenchers Want Ex- CB Governor Cabraal along with his Sister and Ex-Perpetual Director Shiromi Summoned for Treasury Bond Inquiry

By

Sandasen Marasinghe and Disna Mudalige

UNP backbenchers today questioned as to why former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal or his sister Shiromi Wickremasinghe were not yet summoned before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the bond issue.

UNP MP Professor Ashu Marasinghe speaking at the Parliamentary debate pointed out the PCoI would need the help of informed advisors as it has so far failed to summon the most relevant witnesses.

Cabraal’s sister Shiromi Wickremesinghe was a director at Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. The names of former CB Governor Cabraal and his sister have also been implicated in the treasury bonds allegations.

Continue reading ‘UNP Backbenchers Want Ex- CB Governor Cabraal along with his Sister and Ex-Perpetual Director Shiromi Summoned for Treasury Bond Inquiry’ »

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Has Violated Cabinet Collective Responsibility By Criticising Govt Decision on Hambantota Port – Harsha de Silva.

By

Thilanka Kanakarathna

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe express his own opinion on any subject but it is wrong to make a statement on a subject on which a collective decision was taken by the Cabinet of which he was a member, State Minister Harsha De Silva said today.

Responding to questions asked by a journalist referring to the statement made by the minister on the Hambantota Port earlier this month.

The state minister said it was unethical of the minister to do so.

Continue reading ‘Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Has Violated Cabinet Collective Responsibility By Criticising Govt Decision on Hambantota Port – Harsha de Silva.’ »

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Says Hambantota Port Agreement was wrong and Vows to Regain Ownership for the People.

By

Prasanna Sanjeewa Thennakone

Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the sale of Hambantota Harbour – a public asset-to the Chinese was a wrong and assured the public that he would not rest until he regains its ownership on behalf of the people.

In an interview with our sister paper the Sunday Lankadeepa the minister recalled that as a politician he had always done what was right by the country and fought against corruption. As a result he said he had been able to secure government resources worth more than Rs.1,000 billion which included the Sri Lanka Transport Board, Sri Lanka Insurance Company and Litro Gas Company and vest them with the people.

Continue reading ‘Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Says Hambantota Port Agreement was wrong and Vows to Regain Ownership for the People.’ »

“I Have No Need To Acquire a House Through Illegal Means” States Ravi Karunayake in Parliament.

By Saman Indrajith

Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake resigned from his post after making a special statement in Parliament yesterday and left his front row seat to become a backbencher.

“The media and some Opposition politicians demand that I be crucified over being probed by a presidential commission of inquiry. I decided to resign to set an example in keeping with the good governance policy we introduced and I do so without regret. I am proud to sacrifice my position. I do so for my party and people whom I always considered above me and my personal gains.”

Karunanayake said: “Allegations have been made against me during the recent past in media and social media. There has been a debate over this issue and some members raised it here in Parliament as well. A no-confidence motion, too, has been submitted against me. Therefore, I need to make an explanation to this House. I have given evidence with regard to this before the Treasury Bond Commission. I have a house in Battaramulla and it was under repair. I needed to find a new place. I do not have an official residence. My family members, too, were looking for a suitable place. They told me that there was a house available at Monarch Residencies and it belonged to Nahil Wijesuriya’s daughter, who is a friend of my daughter. We moved to that house. Nahil Wijesuriya’s daughter did not want to rent the house to a politician. Therefore, my daughter proposed to rent the house to a company belonging to Arjuna Aloysius, who is a school friend of both my daughter and Nahil Wijesuriya’s daughter. The house was rented to that company and later my daughter reimbursed it. As the owner of the house decided to sell it, our family thought of purchasing it. We obtained a loan from the Seylan Bank for that purpose. I tabled the documents pertaining to the loan facility No Seylan Bank REF No WTL/CRD/2016-1535, 29 September 2016.

I joined politics after working with former Minister Lalith Athulathmudali, who, too, was accused wrongly by his opponents. He was described as a person who swallowed ships. I was a successful businessman before I joined politics. During my career I never earned anything through illegal means. I only lost my money because of politics. I never earned anything from politics.


I have no need to acquire a house through illegal means. Many MPs in this House know that I have a house at Battaramulla. Not only those on our side but also those in the opposition have visited that house. They came there to have political discussions, as friends, to eat and drink and enjoy and sometimes to crossover to this side.

Continue reading ‘“I Have No Need To Acquire a House Through Illegal Means” States Ravi Karunayake in Parliament.’ »

Ranil Says There are Sil Redi Thieves,Drug Dealers, Tsunami Thieves, Carrom Board Thieves and Cement Thieves in Joint Opposition.

By Saman Indrajith

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said in parliament that the resignation of Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake signified a new political culture and he was proud of having ushered it in.

Addressing parliament soon after the resignation of Karunanayake, the Prime Minister said: The Assistant Leader of my party told me that he needed to resign from the ministerial portfolio. I told him to take that decision after discussing it with the President. He met the President on Wednesday. Later he went to meet the President with me and Minister Rajitha Senaratne and handed over his resignation. Some were demanding his resignation this morning, too, but he had already submitted his resignation.

Ravi Karunanayake’s resignation also indicates that the government will not interfere with the probe by the Presidential Commission on treasury bonds. There is no similar example in the political history. This is an unprecedented instance. The incumbent government has realised its good governance goals. We are introducing a new political culture. If anyone in the UNP is accused of stealing we would remove him or her. We will not harbour thieves.

At this point opposition MPs shouted against the PM.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Says There are Sil Redi Thieves,Drug Dealers, Tsunami Thieves, Carrom Board Thieves and Cement Thieves in Joint Opposition.’ »

“That was a Shameless Speech” – Dinesh Gunawardena Shouts at Opposition Leader Sampanthan in Parliament.

By

Saman Indrajith

The leader of the Joint Opposition in Parliament and the MEP, Dinesh Gunawardena, lashed out at the Leader of the Opposition, R Sampanthan, after the latter commended MP Karunanayake. “That was a shameless speech!” MP Gunawardana shouted at the leader of the Opposition as the latter was taking his seat after making a statement.

MP Sampanthan praised MP Ravi Karunanayake for resigning from his Ministerial post adding that it was a fundamental right of a person accused of a crime to be presumed innocent till proven guilty.

Continue reading ‘“That was a Shameless Speech” – Dinesh Gunawardena Shouts at Opposition Leader Sampanthan in Parliament.’ »

Leader of the Opposition R.Sampanthan Praises Ravi Karunanayake’s Resignation as a “Bold Step in the Interests of Good Governance and the People”.

By

Saman Indrajith

The Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan, in Parliament yesterday commended MP Ravi Karunanayake for resigning from his Ministerial post. He added that it was fundamental right of a person accused of a crime to be presumed innocent till proven guilty.

“It is a fundamental right of a person accused of a crime to be presumed innocent until he is proven guilty. I commend MP Karunanayake for the bold step he has taken. He has done so in the interest of good governance and the people”

Continue reading ‘Leader of the Opposition R.Sampanthan Praises Ravi Karunanayake’s Resignation as a “Bold Step in the Interests of Good Governance and the People”.’ »

Ravi Karunanayake Resigns as Foreign Affairs Minister After Making Special Statement in Parliament.

The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake resigned on Thursday before facing a No Confident Motion against him submitted by the Joint Opposition Group for his alleged involvement in the 2015 Central Bank bond scam.

Karunanayake made a Special Statement in parliament and then resigned from his post.

In the statement he said that he is innocent but is quitting in the interest of his party (United National Party) and the government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

He termed the various allegations against him regarding the bond scam as “baseless” and emphasized that he has absolutely no connection with the incident in question.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Resigns as Foreign Affairs Minister After Making Special Statement in Parliament.’ »

“Why Cant Others Against Whom There Are Allegations Also Resign Like Me” Asks Ex- Minister Ravi Karunanayake

Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake who resigned from his ministerial portfolio today questioned why others, against whom allegations had been made, could not resign if he could do so simply because there were allegations against him.

Arriving to his residence at Rajamalwatta after the special statement made in Parliament on his resignation, he said he had resigned with pride from his ministerial portfolio to set a good precedent.

“I have made this sacrifice in order to show the innocent people that they could witness a ‘new dawn’ in future. I am truly grateful for the people who still stand by me even during a difficult phase,” he said.

Continue reading ‘“Why Cant Others Against Whom There Are Allegations Also Resign Like Me” Asks Ex- Minister Ravi Karunanayake’ »

Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake has Set a Good Precedent by Resigning Says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament today (aug 10) that Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake had set a good precedent by resigning from his portfolio.

He said no member of the previous government had resigned no matter how serious the charges levelled against them were.

Continue reading ‘Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake has Set a Good Precedent by Resigning Says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

“History and Time Will Decide the Position I Deserve” – Ravi Karunanayake in Special Statement to Parliament


“History and time will decide the position I deserve,” the Minister said, while making a statement in Parliament, on Thursday August 10th.

“From now onwards, I will continue to function as a backbencher.”

“There is a conspiracy to destroy the government. I will not let them destroy the government and the party. I will protect the government to the best of my ability,” he added.

“I sacrifice my position for democracy and good governance. I have always conducted myself in a transparent manner,” Karunanayake added, quoting several religious scriptures.

Continue reading ‘“History and Time Will Decide the Position I Deserve” – Ravi Karunanayake in Special Statement to Parliament’ »

“I Resign With Pride not Sadness and not Under Pressure ” Declares Ravi Karunanayake in Parliament

The decision to resign from his position of Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka was made with pride and not with sadness or under pressure, Ravi Karunanayake said in Parliament on Thursday August 10th.

Making a special statement, Karnanayake explained that he had no need to purchase properties illegally and said the various allegations leveled against him were baseless.

Continue reading ‘“I Resign With Pride not Sadness and not Under Pressure ” Declares Ravi Karunanayake in Parliament’ »

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Informs Parliament that No Confidence Motion Against Ravi Karunanayake Would Not Be Taken Up for Debate.

The no-confidence motion against former Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake, submitted by MPs of the Joint Opposition (JO), will not be taken up for debate as Karunanayake has resigned, the Speaker informed Parliament a short while ago.

Continue reading ‘Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Informs Parliament that No Confidence Motion Against Ravi Karunanayake Would Not Be Taken Up for Debate.’ »

Resignation of Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake Imminent After Meeting with President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe

By Akitha Perera and Upali de Saram

Following a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday at the Presidential Secretariat, Foreign Minister Karunanayake is likely to quit his portfolio shortly, according to sources.

A government spokesman said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, too, had attended the meeting at President Sirisena’s request.

Several SLFP ministers have demanded Karunanayake’s resignation pending the presidential commission of inquiry probe into alleged Central Bank-Perpetual Treasuries bond scams. They have called upon him to quit without facing the Joint Opposition’s no-faith motion.

Continue reading ‘Resignation of Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake Imminent After Meeting with President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’ »

“We Will Petition Supreme Court Against Proposed 20th Constitutional Amendment” States Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa

( Full Text of Statement issued by Former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa on August 9th 2017)

“The government has gazetted the 20th Amendment to the Constitution with a view to postponing elections to the provincial councils. The Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provinces were to stand dissolved in a few weeks time, in early October. If passed into law, the 20th Amendment would allow not only the postponement of all PC elections, but also the extension of the terms of all existing PCs up to September 2019 in a direct violation of the franchise and the sovereignty of the people. The proposed postponement of the PC elections comes in the context where the local government elections which were due in March 2015 have also been indefinitely postponed. This is the latest in a long list of outrages against democracy perpetrated by this government which came into power through a conspiracy aided by interested foreign parties on 8 January 2015.

“The dismantling of democracy began on 9 January 2015. The UNP leader who had 44 MPs in parliament was made Prime Minister and the UPFA Prime Minister who had the support of 144 MPs was sacked. The President who contested against the UPFA and SLFP as the candidate of a coalition of political parties including the UNP, TNA, JVP, SLMC and ACMC among others, seized control of the SLFP and UPFA as well after assuming power. The incumbent Chief Justice of the country was sacked from office with just a chit from the President’s office. Even though the 2015 presidential election had been fought on the platform of abolishing the executive presidency, the 19thAmendment to the constitution was a farce perpetrated on the people and the executive presidency still remains as it was.

Continue reading ‘“We Will Petition Supreme Court Against Proposed 20th Constitutional Amendment” States Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

“I have Done my Part By Appointing Commission of Inquiry on Treasury Bond Scam” – President Sirisena Tells Cabinet.

By Chathuri Dissanayake

A Cabinet meeting heated up yesterday when discussing the slow progress made with corruption cases linked to the Rajapaksa administration, with President Maithripala Sirisena firing back at those who called on him to appoint presidential commissions to investigate the charges.

Responding to allegations made by a number of United National Party (UNP) Ministers over the lack of action taken in investigations into corruption cases connected to the previous Government compared to the speedy action meted by the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the Bond Issue, Sirisena told Cabinet that law enforcement bodies tasked with investigating corruption allegations of the previous Government were not under his purview and were beyond his direct control.

“The President told the Ministers that he has done his part in appointing the commission to investigate the bond issue. He highlighted that the different investigative bodies tasked with investigations and subsequent legal action were under UNP ministers not him,” one Senior Cabinet member told Daily FT.

Continue reading ‘“I have Done my Part By Appointing Commission of Inquiry on Treasury Bond Scam” – President Sirisena Tells Cabinet.’ »

Ravi Karunanayake Absent From Wednesday Cabinet meeting but Meets President and Premier to Discuss “Resignation” Issue;Cancels Thursday Nepal Visit also.

With a No Confidence Motion in parliament hanging like the Sword of Damocles over him, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ravi Karunannayake on Wednesday met President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, to discuss the widespread demand for his resignation for alleged involvement in the 2015 Central Bank bond scam.

Details of the discussion between the trio were not available, but Karunanayake had skipped the cabinet meeting held prior to the meeting. He also cancelled his scheduled visit to Nepal to attend the BIMSTEC ministerial meeting on Thursday.

On Tuesday, parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that he had sent the opposition’s No Trust Motion against Karunanayake to the Attorney General to see if it is legally valid, especially since a Presidential Commission is inquiring into the bond scam.

He said he would let the House know of his decision on the No Confidence Motion on Thursday.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Absent From Wednesday Cabinet meeting but Meets President and Premier to Discuss “Resignation” Issue;Cancels Thursday Nepal Visit also.’ »

Ravi Karunanayake Must Be Presumed to be Innocent Until and Unless Proven Guilty.

BY Faizer Shaheid

(The writer is a law tutor and an independent researcher of laws. He holds a postgraduate degree in the field of Human Rights and Democratization from the University of Colombo and an undergraduate degree in Law from the University of Northumbria, United Kingdom)

Over the last few weeks, all eyes have been on Foreign Minister, Ravi Karunanayake and the owner of Perpetual Treasuries Limited, Arjun Aloysius. Sri Lanka may be going through hell, but the citizens are happy to keep going as long as it is a penthouse at The Monarch Residencies that distracts them. It appears the tide has turned against Ravi Karunanayake, and all other politicians who are jumping the gun in order to capitalize politically.

The idea is to push for the resignation of Ravi Karunanayake in the pretext of the Bond scandal so as to save face for all others.

Several statements were made last week at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), regarding the evidence, but a majority of the statements were made with blatant disregard to their own corrupt histories, and it is not too puzzling to figure the motives. There is also complete disregard for the legal maxim, ‘innocent until proven guilty.’

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Must Be Presumed to be Innocent Until and Unless Proven Guilty.’ »

PM Ranil Was Also Involved in Treasury Bond Scam And Cannot Escape by Making Ravi Karunanayake a Scapegoat Says JVP.

By Ajith Alahakoon

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was directly involved in the Treasury bond scams and he cannot absolve himself of the responsibility for them by scapegoating Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake for the biggest ever fraud in the country’s history, a senior JVPer says.

Addressing a press conference at the JVP headquarters in Pelawatte, Its Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said: The Central Bank has been under the Prime Minister. He is the one who appointed Arjuna Mahendran to the post of Governor of the Central Bank. Therefore, he should take the blame for the bond scams. He cannot say his hands are clean. The entire country is aware of his involvement. We demand that he too be sum moned before the presidential commission investigating the Treasury Bond scandals.

The MP said that the law should be implemented against all those involved in the scams. “The position of those who swindled public funds is immaterial here. The five star democracy the Prime Minister is talking of is bunkum if he plans to get away by throwing Minister Karunanayake to the wolves.

Continue reading ‘PM Ranil Was Also Involved in Treasury Bond Scam And Cannot Escape by Making Ravi Karunanayake a Scapegoat Says JVP.’ »

President Sirisena may Dismiss Ravi Karunanayake if Foreign Minister Does Not Resign Voluntarily.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is likely to sack Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake if he does not resign over revelations of seeming impropriety at a Presidential Commission of Inquiry, a government minister hinted Tuesday.

State Minister of Public Enterprise Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said President Sirisena is likely to take a decision on Karunanayake, who was finance minister before a recent cabinet reshuffle, within the next two weeks.

Media reports that President Sirisena had asked Karunanayake to step down, which the latter had rejected, are likely to be true, Abeywardena told a news conference.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena may Dismiss Ravi Karunanayake if Foreign Minister Does Not Resign Voluntarily.’ »

No Action on No Faith Motion Against Ravi Karunanayake Till Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Gets Opinion on the Matter From Attorney – General

By Saman Indrajith

Speaker Karu Jaysuriya told Parliament yesterday that the future course of action with regard to the no-faith motion submitted by the Joint Opposition against Foreign Minister would be announced on Thursday.

There were some legal issues pertaining to the motion and its content and the matter had been referred to the Attorney General, the Speaker said in response to queries made by the Opposition.

NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, raising a point of order demanded to know why the government was delaying the taking up of the no-confidence motion. He asked what prevented the government from taking the motion for debate.

Continue reading ‘No Action on No Faith Motion Against Ravi Karunanayake Till Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Gets Opinion on the Matter From Attorney – General’ »

Both Maithripala and Ranil Want Ravi Karunanayake to Resign as Minister Instead of Facing Vote of No Confidence in Parliament.

By

Kelum Bandara

In the face of a no-confidence motion against Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake, the government is reported to be urging him to step down rather than face defeat in a vote.

After the motion was handed over by the joint opposition, government members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) decided to vote in favour of the motion seeking to unseat the minister while a section of the United National Party (UNP) had also decided not to support him if it came to a vote.

Against this backdrop, government leaders believe that it would be humiliating to the entire government if the minister was unseated through a parliamentary process.

Continue reading ‘Both Maithripala and Ranil Want Ravi Karunanayake to Resign as Minister Instead of Facing Vote of No Confidence in Parliament.’ »

Ravi Karunayake’s Fate is Under Discussion By President and Prime Minister: Decision Affecting Foreign Minister To Be Taken On Tuesday August 8th.

A decision on the future of Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake will be taken today, Daily FT learns.

The Party Leaders are scheduled to meet today at 2.00 p.m. in Parliament to decide on the no confidence motion submitted by 32 MPs.

Issues concerning Karunanayake have surfaced it is learnt during a meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe yesterday as well.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunayake’s Fate is Under Discussion By President and Prime Minister: Decision Affecting Foreign Minister To Be Taken On Tuesday August 8th.’ »

Cabinet Ministers Malik Samarawickrama and Kabir Hashim Likely to Testify About Ravi Karunanayake Letter Before Inquiry Commission


The heat on the United National Party (UNP) will increase this week as the Opposition’s No Faith Motion against Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake gathers momentum.

This morning (Aug 8th) House Speaker Karu Jayasuriya will meet Party leaders to decide on a date for the motion filed by the Joint Opposition against Karunanayake to be debated and eventually voted on.
The controversy erupted after it was revealed at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), probing the alleged Bond scam, two weeks ago, that the rent for an expensive penthouse in a luxury apartment block in Colombo was paid for by Arjun Aloysius.


Aloysius is the principal of Perpetual Treasuries, the company involved in the alleged scam.
Meanwhile, high level sources told Ceylon Today, that there is a possibility that two more Cabinet Ministers from the UNP will be summoned before the Commission this week.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Ministers Malik Samarawickrama and Kabir Hashim Likely to Testify About Ravi Karunanayake Letter Before Inquiry Commission’ »

The UNP is Better Off Without Ravi Karunanayake Is The Emerging Consensus Among Party Stalwarts


By

Ranga Jayasuriya

It is conventional wisdom that Minister Ravi Karunanayake should have resigned – or failing that be sacked — after those earth shattering revelations that were made at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the bond scam. Instead, he has clung to his portfolio and foul-mouthed the Attorney General’s Department while his political superiors, when not blaming media for holding Karunanayake accountable, seem to be scratching their heads, rather than acting to salvage the government’s credibility.

Allegations levelled against Minister Karunanayake, which he has failed to answer convincingly, are not about some abstract high-flown ethical variety, like the ones that may require him to be judged on stricter grounds than the average folks since he is a politician. (There are countries where the ministers were forced to resign after being accused of paying for an expensive restaurant meal from the official credit card). But, that is not the case here. Minister Karunanayake’s case is clear-cut and simple. The evidence before the commission revealed that Arjun Aloysius, whose family owns the controversial bond trading company Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., had paid the monthly rental for the penthouse occupied by Minister Karunanayake and his family while he was the then Minister of
Finance.

During the same period, Perpetual Treasuries engaged in alleged dodgy bond transactions which resulted in the Treasury losing billions of rupees, according to a COPE report. A Presidential Commission of Inquiry has now revealed many incriminating details of Minister Karunanayake’s alleged collusion with Mr. Aloysius. The Foreign Minister Karunanayake’s answers to the commission were evasive at best and at worse were condescending. At one point, the commission asked him: “Do you seriously want us to believe that your family did not tell you there was no lease agreement?”
Other evidence have now been revealed and he was read text messages extracted from Mr Aloysius’ phone implying a conflict of interest. One such text from Mr. Aloysius’ Executive Secretary refers to a reminder requesting to obtain Monetary Board minutes from one hon MP RK.

Continue reading ‘The UNP is Better Off Without Ravi Karunanayake Is The Emerging Consensus Among Party Stalwarts’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Has “Special” One on One Meeting With Ravi Karunanayake About His Testimony Before Presidential Inquiry Commission.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe held a special meeting with Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake, on Saturday evening.

Informed government sources said the Prime Minister would soon have a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena on Minister Karunanayake’s issue.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Has “Special” One on One Meeting With Ravi Karunanayake About His Testimony Before Presidential Inquiry Commission.’ »

Govt Will Expel Fraudsters After a Transparent Probe States Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe


By

Yohan Perera


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at a public function in Hatton today said this government would not protect thieves, and would remove them, but stressed that there should be room for a transparent investigation.

“Today there are so many investigations that ministers are brought before the Attorney General and are questioned. Was there a situation as such before? Those days, the Attorney General was an acolyte of the president. The Attorney General who questioned was removed from the department or else taken in a white van. Now there is room to question anyone. This government will not protect thieves. If anyone found committing frauds, we will act according to probe reports. The UNP is not a party of thieves. If there are thieves in the party we will remove them. Allow us to carry out a transparent and public investigation. The media in Sri Lanka don’t have an ethical right to say that such and such things have happened. Why is that? They covered up corruption of the previous government. They all went shopping “kade”. Lankadeepa, Divaina, Ada, Lankadeepa, Dinamina, Silumina all went ‘kade’. Tell me who did not do it.

Lasantha Wickramatunga was trying to reveal corruption but he was killed. What happened to Eknaligoda? He also revealed about corruption and was abducted and killed. What are they (media institutions) saying now? Not to investigate on the killings of journalists now? When we try to conduct investigations on these and frauds they say it is a threat to security. They are attacking us when we conduct investigation on corruption. We got voted in because people wanted good governance. What the professionals, government servants and the average citizens of the country want is just and free society without corruption. If we do not do it we will not get votes next time. Also we do not want the votes of thieves.

Continue reading ‘Govt Will Expel Fraudsters After a Transparent Probe States Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

“There is a Limit to Lying At This Commission,Minister”- Ravi Karunayake Told by Additional Solicitor – General.

BY Kavindya Chris Thomas

UNP strongman, former Finance Minister and incumbent Foreign Minister in the Good Governance Government, Ravi Karunanayake, provided his testimony before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Treasury Bond issues last Wednesday (2). While it might have been an obvious strategic move, most definitely recommended by his high-calibre attorneys, Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s testimony of complete ignorance caught many off guard, as the proverbial rug of ‘Good Governance’ was pulled out from under them.

The former Finance Minister had been publicly accused – according to him due to the influence of the mass media and opposing parties that are hostile to him, which he of course, attempted to lament about during his testimony before the Commission – of being involved in the controversial 2015 Treasury Bond auction of the Central Bank alongside one particular primary dealer known as the Perpetual Treasuries of one Arjun Aloysius- also the son-in-law of the then Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. However, it was only since last January that did many startling new revelations surfaced regarding the matter during the hearing of the Presidential Commission.

And this week, the tension that was building up from January onwards reached the boiling point when the former Finance Minister (now Foreign Affairs) marked his presence before the Commission to testify.
His testimony was based on two things; one, is the controversial undated letter he had sent to the former Central Bank Governor regarding a certain meeting at the Central Bank and secondly regarding the luxury penthouse that was allegedly purchased for the Karunanayake family, by none other than PTL’s Arjun Aloysius. Karunanayake’s attorneys explicitly mentioned that even though the matter of the letter might be under the Commission’s current mandate, Karunanayake will nonetheless be complying to provide his statement on the matter of the penthouse which has no direct relevance with the Commission’s jurisdiction

Continue reading ‘“There is a Limit to Lying At This Commission,Minister”- Ravi Karunayake Told by Additional Solicitor – General.’ »

The Ministers Of Foreign Affairs and Justice Seem to have a “Magic Cloak” of Impunity Around Them

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

It is an exceedingly disconsolate reflection that key Cabinet Ministers of the unity alliance, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice for instance, appear to have a magic cloak around them, affording impunity for acts which should have, to put it bluntly, led to resignations by now.

A favorite chorus that members of this Government love to chant is that there is freedom to criticize now, unlike in dark and dangerous ‘Rajapaksa’ times. However, to what extent is freedom of speech of any value when despite its vigorous exercise and notwithstanding act upon ugly act of undermining the Rule of Law by Cabinet Ministers, no consequences seem to ensue?

Is crudity the measuring rod between then and now?

In contrast, what we had with the Rajapaksas was outright buffoonery and robbery of public funds of a particularly crude kind. But is crudity the measuring rod that we must employ in judging if this Government is better or worse than its predecessor in its ransacking of the public coffers?

Continue reading ‘The Ministers Of Foreign Affairs and Justice Seem to have a “Magic Cloak” of Impunity Around Them’ »

Was Move to Make Ravi Karunanayake the “Fall Guy” Sanctioned at Highest Levels of Maithri-Ranil Govt?

by C.A.Chandraprema

The appearance of Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake before the Bond Commission was the talk of the week. No one can fail to notice that there is a major difference in the way Ravi Karunanayake has been treated when compared to how Hirunika Premachandra was treated when it came to her abduction case and Galagodaatte Gnanasara thera was treated recently with regard to the multiple cases against him. Despite the fact that the men who abducted a youth from a shop had no motive to do that except for the instructions given to them by their boss, Hirunika did not have to spend even an hour in police custody. She was granted bail almost immediately. It all depends on the police and the AG’s Dept. if there are no objections to bail, the Magistrate is more often than not obliged to grant that person bail. We saw the same thing happening with regard to Gnanasara thera – he set an all time record by being granted bail three times in three different cases within minutes of one another.

Incidentally, the nexus that has built up between the yahapalana government and the Bodu Bala Sena was revealed last week once again. When Ven.Watareka Vijitha staged a one man protest in front of the presidential secretariat saying that the newly appointed SLFP organizer for Mahiyangana is also the organizer for the BBS for that area and that he has no protection, the BBS had turned up at the spot within minutes and in fact just before they turned up, the police had tried to frighten Ven Vijitha away by saying that the BBS will be there soon.

And sure enough Ven Gnanasara and Ven Magalkande Sudatta theras did turn up at the spot. How is it that the BBS can turn up within minutes of someone beginning a protest at the presidential secretariat unless there was someone in the Presidentail Secretariat to inform them? While it is true that both Hirunika and Galagodatte thera did their part in different ways to usher in this present government, Ravi K also made a major contribution to that cause.

Ravi K was one of the key persons in the UNP who paved the way for Maithripala Sirisena to contest as the common candidate by dissuading party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe from contesting the presidency in 2015 as he had planned to do. It was also through the political party owned by Ravi K – the swan party – (nobody remembers its name) that the common opposition candidates in 2010 and 2015 contested the presidential elections. Ravi K had also dipped into his own pocket to bail out the UNP when it was in opposition. Yet it is clear that he has been chosen to be the fall guy for the rest of the government to be able to save their own skins. First he was shunted out of the finance ministry and made foreign minister so that the yahapalana government could claim that they were removing unsuitable or corrupt persons from office.

Continue reading ‘Was Move to Make Ravi Karunanayake the “Fall Guy” Sanctioned at Highest Levels of Maithri-Ranil Govt?’ »

President Sirisena Tells Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunayake That “It was Better for him to Resign his Portfolio”


By

The “Sunday Times” Political Editor

Minister Ravi Karunanayake appeared Wednesday before the Commission probing the bond scam and his testimony plunged a Government, voted to office on the edifice of fighting bribery and corruption, into its worst embarrassment.

During five hours of testimony, he denied any knowledge of how the apartment where he lived at Monarch, adjoining Colombo’s Hotel Cinnamon Grand was acquired on lease for Rs 1.45 million a month. Later it had been purchased for Rs 165 million. The deals had been done by his wife and daughter. He had only learnt that Arjun Aloysius of Perpetual Treasuries had rented it after the matter was raised in Parliament by Mahindananda Aluthgamage, former minister and an MP from the ‘Joint Opposition.’ Had he known earlier, he would have not occupied the apartment, Karunanayake who was the then Finance Minister said. Perpetual Treasuries is at the centre of the inquiry into alleged misappropriation of a colossal amount of money from a Central Bank bond scam under the incumbent Government.

A further insight into the matter can be gleaned from the relevant Q & A before the Commission:

Q: Did your wife visit the premises before you rented it.

A: I was told that she did

Q: She went there alone?

A: I don’t know.

Q: Did she tell you that she met Arjun Aloysius in the premises

A: No

Q: She did not tell you that Mr Aloysius came in and discussed matters with Miss (Anika) Wijesuriya in the presence of your wife.

A: No. All I know is that Miss Wijesuriya was the former girlfriend of Arjun Aloysius.

Q: Miss Wijesuriya said that when your wife visited, she called Mr Aloysius and he visited the place.

A: I don’t know that. I am only privy to what my family has told me.

Q: Are you aware of the existence of the company Walt & Row?

A: No

Q: Do you know that Arjun Aloysius and his father are directors of this company?

A: They are directors of many companies. That’s all I know. I do not know who is owning what.

Q: You did not know that this apartment was leased by Walt & Row from Miss Wijesuriya?

A: No. I need not know.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Tells Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunayake That “It was Better for him to Resign his Portfolio”’ »

“Why Should President or Prime Minister Ask me to Resign? I have Done Nothing Wrong” Declares Ravi Karunanayake

Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake Saturday denied he was under pressure from President Maithripala Sirisena to resign following his testimony before the commission investigating the controversial bond auctions.

Karunanayake said the President had not even spoken to him on the matter since his testimony on Wednesday and there was no question of him being asked to go.

“Rubbish,” he replied when asked if he was stepping down following media reports that the President asked him to resign. “He has not even spoken to me on this issue.”


He said neither the President nor Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had discussed with him about his evidence nor did they ask him to resign.

“Why should they,” he said. ” I have not done anything wrong.”

Continue reading ‘“Why Should President or Prime Minister Ask me to Resign? I have Done Nothing Wrong” Declares Ravi Karunanayake’ »

“Reports and Rumours That I Have Been Asked To Resign From My Post Are Utter Nonsense” States Ravi Karunanayake


By

Yohan Perera

Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday denied reports which said President Maithripala Sirisena had asked him to resign from his post.

“The reports and the rumours that I have been asked to resign from my post is utter nonsense,” he told Daily Mirror on Friday night.

Continue reading ‘“Reports and Rumours That I Have Been Asked To Resign From My Post Are Utter Nonsense” States Ravi Karunanayake’ »

Ravi Karunanayake Denies Lying Under Oath but says he Cannot Remember Most Things

Former Finance Minister and current Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake, testifying before the Commission of Inquiry probing the Central Bank bond scams of 2015 and 2016, said he was totally ignorant of the transaction to lease out an apartment for his family from Arjun Aloysius who is implicated in the scam.

Mr. Karunanayake was questioned about the relationship with the Aloysius family, his foreign visits coinciding with Mr. Aloysius’s travel, the purchase of the Monarch apartment in Kollupitiya and as to how the money was raised for the purchase. Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera alleged that Mr. Karunanayake was lying under oath, but the minister denied the charge.

The Commission comprises Supreme Court judges K.T. Chithrasiri, Prasanna Jayawardena and retired Deputy Auditor General K. Velupillai.

Here are some of the questions and answers.

Dappula de Livera (DL): What kind of relationship did you have with Arjun Aloysius?

Minister Karunanayake (RK): Just a normal relationship. If anybody calls or if we associate as friends, we maintain that friendship. Just because we assume duties as a minister, we don’t forsake friends.

DL:What was the business of the company in which your wife and daughter became Directors soon after you assumed duties as a minister?

RK: International logistics. It was specially set up by Marks and Spencer to develop its global network.
Sri Lanka was chosen as the first.

DL: Is Lakshmi Kanthan a foreigner?

RK: He is an Indian, permanently living in Britain.

Justice Jayawardena: He was born in India?

RK: Yes.

DL: Is this Lashmi Kanthan related to the famous Emil Kanthan?

Justice Jayawardena: No, no this is not necessary.

RK: Who is Emil Kanthan?

DL: (interrupting) He was a wanted terrorist.

RK: That’s news to me.

Justice Jayawardena: You don’t read news? I don’t know how you can function as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Denies Lying Under Oath but says he Cannot Remember Most Things’ »

Ravi Karunanayake Was Listed as the Chairman, CEO/Director of Global Transportation and Logistics Ltd. with Assets Amounting to Almost Rs.4.5 Billion

By

Winston de Valliere

It’s a measure of the man’s temperate nature that he accepted the portfolio of Sports Minister although his academic and political track record would justify him being entrusted with tasks at a higher level in the Cabinet. In the 2010 General Election, he received 132,600 preference votes which was the highest received by any candidate in the Kurunegala District.

On 24 July 2013, he resigned from the UNP and joined the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) to contest the Provincial Council Elections. He broke the record of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga of most votes in a Provincial Council Election in Sri Lanka and was elected as the Chief Minister of the province on 21 September 2013. He is the 6th Chief Minister of North Western Province.

And Dayasiri Jayasekera who has switched sides on moral and ethical issues, said last week that he would vote in favour of a No-faith motion against Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake. On the other hand we had Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne saying that he hoped the Foreign Minister would come up with plausible responses to statements made by Ms. Anika Wijesuriya relating to the leasing and ultimate sale of what is said to have been her super luxury penthouse to the Karunanayake family. The Minister has now said before the Commission of Inquiry into the Central Bank’s Treasury Bond scandal that he has had absolutely no knowledge of his family’s transaction with Ms. Wijesuriya relating to the penthouse, supposedly using monies jointly owned by him in the family company Global Transportation and Logistics Ltd.

Karunanayake is listed as the Chairman, CEO/Director of the company which is at Liyanagemulla, Seeduwa with assets, the Minister told the Commission on Wednesday, amounting to almost Rs.4.5 billion. To all knowledge, Arjun Aloysius or his family do not have a stake of any nature in this company. Ms. Wijesuriya has allegedly been asked to destroy the documents pertaining to the lease and subsequent purchase of the penthouse. Which she has said she did not do and presented before the Commission.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Was Listed as the Chairman, CEO/Director of Global Transportation and Logistics Ltd. with Assets Amounting to Almost Rs.4.5 Billion’ »

Pressure Mounting On Ravi Karunanayake To Resign As Minister Of Foreign Affairs Before No Confidence Motion Against Him Is Taken Up In Parliament.

By Chathuri Dissanayake

​Amidst mounting public pressure, Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake is set to resign from his ministerial portfolio in the coming days. Following representations made to both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe by both United National Party (UNP) and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members, the leaders are said to have advised former Finance Minister Karunanayake to tender his resignation before the No Confidence Motion is taken up in Parliament.

Sources said that the President and the Prime Minister discussed the matter during a dinner held to celebrate the latter’s 40th year in politics.

Continue reading ‘Pressure Mounting On Ravi Karunanayake To Resign As Minister Of Foreign Affairs Before No Confidence Motion Against Him Is Taken Up In Parliament.’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Did not Sign No Confidence Motion Against Ravi Karunanayake Though he was Consulted Before Drafting.

By Natasha Siribaddana

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday handed over a No-Confidence motion against Minister of Foreign Affairs Ravi Karunanayake to the office of the Secretary General of Parliament.

Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff of Parliament, Neil Iddawela confirmed that MPs Bandula Gunawardena, Ranjith Soyza and Mahindananda Aluthgamage on behalf of the JO had handed the motion document to him.

The motion drafted by MP Bandula Gunawardena was circulated among all 51 UPFA MPs representing JO who were at the wedding of the son of the former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Ramith, to collect their signatures.

However, only 32 JO members signed the motion which was hurriedly taken to Parliament last afternoon.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Did not Sign No Confidence Motion Against Ravi Karunanayake Though he was Consulted Before Drafting.’ »

” Can India Fight a War With China and Pakistan For More Than 15 Days Without Seeking Foreign Help”?

By

P.K.Balachandran

On the face of it, India’s military strength looks impressive. But what is worrying defense analysts is whether India can fight a war with Pakistan or China for more than 10 or 15 days without seeking foreign help.

The doubt arises from the Indian armed forces’ organizational and industrial shortcomings. Its defense industry is palpably weak.

The issue of preparedness has come up for discussion because of the continuing Sino-Indian military standoff at Doklam on the Sino-Bhutan border which is threatening to break into a shooting war any time.

Early this week, China claimed that India has reduced its deployment in Doklam from 400 to 40 men, in the face of Chinese doggedness. But India denied the Chinese claim on Wednesday saying that its force level remains the same as before (about 350 troops). Therefore, the danger of an India-China war persists.

With 1.3 million under arms, India has the second largest standing army in the world after China’s. Besides, it has 1.2 million in reserves and 1.4 million in its paramilitary outfits. It is believed to possess 90-110 nuclear bombs. Its defense budget is US$ 51.3 billion, which is 2.3 % of its GDP.

The much smaller Pakistan, has a 600,000 standing armed force, 300,000 men in reserve and 100-120 nuclear war heads. Its defense budget is US$ 9.5 billion which is 3.4% (higher than India’s figure).

The India-China gap in military strength is glaring and worrying. China’s Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA), which includes its navy and Air Force, has 2.3 million men and women. This is to be cut by 1 million soon, but only to arm it better and make it “lean and mean”.

Continue reading ‘” Can India Fight a War With China and Pakistan For More Than 15 Days Without Seeking Foreign Help”?’ »

“Ignorance is Bliss”- Lesson Taught to Us All By Perpetual Penthouse Minister Ravi Karunanayake

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength” – George Orwell

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is”. Winston Churchill

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance”. – Confucius

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have”.James A. Baldwin

If there is one lesson that the Perpetual Penthouse Minister has given us all, it is the value of ignorance.

Not knowing is the path to progress, which is shown so well by his having been chosen as the Best Finance Minister of Asia Pacific. He must have displayed to the judges in that selection game that he knew nothing of national budgeting and even less on matters of finance.

Just now he must be ignorant of anything to do with Foreign Affairs, having a bigger interest in having Visumpaya as his official residence. Foreign Affairs to hell; who wants to know or remember how one should deal with India, Pakistan or Bangladesh… or even the US, UK and Russia? All that is best left forgotten. We must know that Foreign Policy is not built on knowledge, but ignorance.

One should also decidedly forget the background of those who are appointed as ambassadors to foreign countries, because knowing or remembering will be more than embarrassing.

Know not what you do, and even less of what your wife and daughter, who re business partners in the same company do – That is the stuff of Perpetual Success.

This could well be a new trend for Yahapalana Governance.

Continue reading ‘“Ignorance is Bliss”- Lesson Taught to Us All By Perpetual Penthouse Minister Ravi Karunanayake’ »

Ravi Karunanayake Suffering from “Unstable Memory” Must Not Represent Country Abroad as Foreign Minister says Udaya Gammanpila.

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader MP Udaya Gammanpila has alleged that Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake seems to lack a stable memory and, therefore, the President and the Prime Minister should refrain from sending Minister Karunanayake to represent the country.

Gammanpila said so while addressing the media at the Dr N. M. Perera Centre in Borella on Thursday (03).

Commenting on Foreign Minister Karunanayake’s statement to the presidential commission of inquiry probing the bond scam that he had no knowledge of the Penthouse deal, Gammanpila said that before the June 31 every year the MPs were required to declare their assets and liabilities and that declaration should include all details of the properties owned by their spouses and unmarried children.

Therefore, there was no way Karunanayake could claim that he was not aware of his wife’s assets, Gammanpila said.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Suffering from “Unstable Memory” Must Not Represent Country Abroad as Foreign Minister says Udaya Gammanpila.’ »

Ravi Karunanayake’s Daughter Onella Asks why ONLY Her Father is Being Blamed In Such a Huge Govt?

Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s daughter Onella has made an impassioned plea on her Facebook page asking why it was only her father to blame “in such a huge Government?”.

“Just ask yourself? Why only one man’s name comes up all the time in such a huge government?” she asked, making comparison to her father’s testimony.

Minister Karunanayake while testifying at the Bond Commission also asked the same question from the Attorney General when questioned about the undated and un-referenced letter sent under his signature.

“Why am I the only one to blame? There was collective responsibility,” he said.

Below is Onella’s full Facebook post:

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake’s Daughter Onella Asks why ONLY Her Father is Being Blamed In Such a Huge Govt?’ »

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Felicitated by Parliament for Completing 40 Years of Unbroken Service to Nation as MP.


​Parliament yesterday moved a vote to felicitate Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on his completion of continuous membership of the House over a period of 40 years and appreciating the selfless and dedicated service rendered by him for the betterment of Sri Lanka in general and Parliament in particular.

Conveying his best wishes to Ranil Wickremesinghe by wishing him success in all his future endeavors, Minister of Higher Education and Highways and Leader of the House of Parliament Lakshman Kiriella opened the floor.

Wickremesinghe, having listened to all well-wishers, offered some advice to his fellow MPs. “I can give you some advice from my experience. Firstly, to be disciplined, to be tolerant, to do your work without being jealous of others, accept both victory and defeat equally. I had to work my way up from a Member of Parliament, a Deputy Minister, a Cabinet minister, Leader of the House, Leader of the Opposition, and serve as Prime Minister several times. Today I urge all to go forward. Peace and economic development have joined hands. Firstly, we should have a Sri Lankan identity with a common front. We should join hands with the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena. We should reach that political solution in this Parliament,” he said.

PM Wickremesinghe first entered Parliament on 21 July 1977, having won the Biyagama seat. He took oaths as a new MP on 4 August 1977. Wickremesinghe went on to say that the world has changed drastically over the last 40 years.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Felicitated by Parliament for Completing 40 Years of Unbroken Service to Nation as MP.’ »

Ravi Karunanayake Tells Inquiry Commission That He Did not Know About Transactions Entered Into By His Wife and Daughter

By
Hafeel Farisz and Amali Mallawarachchi

Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday defended himself before the Bond Commission insisting that he did not know of any of the transactions entered into by his wife and daughter and their connected companies with regard to the Penthouse Apartment at the Monarch residencies in which he currently resides.

In a day filled with drama, suspense, outbursts and assertions, Karunanayake took the stand for close to six hours insisting throughout that he was not aware of the transactions or connections that were put to him by the Attorney General’s Department.

“I was not aware and I only came to know after this hullabaloo (after Anika Wijesooriya’s testimony)” Karunanayake asserted.Immediately after, however, it was pointed out by the Attorney Generals Department who quoted the Hansard saying that the issue of his Monarch Penthouse apartment was brought to Karunanayakes notice in Parliament in July 2016.

An initially upbeat Karunanayake, said during the initial stages that the media was “acting Judge, Jury and Executioner”. He also said the counsel leading evidence, could do so only because the “new government was in place”. Thereafter, during a heated exchange, Karunanayake said “ I am hurt (by the line of questioning) Is this the independence of the judiciary?” he asked pointing out the overly agrressive Counsel.

On nexus with Aloysius

The day commenced with ASG Dappula De Livera questioning Karunanayake on where Karunanayake currently lives. “At the Monarch” was the reply. “What is the number of the apartment?” “5 PH2” replied Karunanayake. Then the questioning commenced on Karunanayakes relationship with Arjun Aloysius. An upbeat Karunanayake said that he knew the Aloysius family “for years”.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Tells Inquiry Commission That He Did not Know About Transactions Entered Into By His Wife and Daughter’ »

No Confidence Motion Against Ravi Karunanayake Signed by 37 Joint Opposition MP’s Accepted by Speaker’s Office

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The office of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday accepted a no-faith motion against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake submitted by the Joint Opposition (JO) over his alleged involvement in Central Bank bond scams in Feb. 2015 and March 2016.

At the time of the alleged scams, UNPer Karunanayake held finance portfolio. President Maithripala Sirisena appointed him foreign minister in May this year in a minor Cabinet reshuffle.

A spokesperson for the Speaker’s Office told The Island that Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff of the parliament Neil Iddawela accepted the no-faith motion on behalf of the Speaker.

Thirty seven members of the JO signed the petition.

Continue reading ‘No Confidence Motion Against Ravi Karunanayake Signed by 37 Joint Opposition MP’s Accepted by Speaker’s Office’ »

Ravi Karunanayake Admonished By Inquiry Commission For Making Statements Instead Of Answering Questions.

by Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta and Sarath Dharmasena

Foreign Minister and former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday vehemently denied any involvement in the leasing or the subsequent purchase of a penthouse at Monarch Residencies in Colombo 03. He said all those matters had been handled by his family.

Karunanayake made the daring denial before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the alleged bond scams in Colombo.

The Foreign Minister, however, on being questioned said that he, his wife and children were still living in the same penthouse.

Senior Additional Solicitor General (SASG) Dappula de Livera, PC led the evidence of Karunanayake.

Karunanayake was extensively questioned on the questionable housing deal and other matters from 10.30 am to about 3.00 pm. Rienzie Arsecularatne, PC and a team of lawyers appeared for Minister Karunayake.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Admonished By Inquiry Commission For Making Statements Instead Of Answering Questions.’ »

Ex-Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Given 5 Year Rigorous Imprisonment Sentence for Accepting Rs 100,000 Bribe.

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Colombo High Court yesterday imposed five-year RI on the former chairman of the Rambewa Pradeshiya Sabha for accepting a bribe of Rs. 100,000 from a farmer to have him employed in Korea.

The former Pradeshiya Sabha member, Rohit Madawe was convicted of all three charges in the indictment.

The complainant is the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Given 5 Year Rigorous Imprisonment Sentence for Accepting Rs 100,000 Bribe.’ »

Polls to North Central,Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils to be Postponed by Amendment with Two-thirds Majority

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Proposed constitutional amendment to put off scheduled Provincial Council polls in the Eastern, Sabaragamuwa and North Central provinces required a two-thirds approval in Parliament, provincial councils and local government minister Faiszer Musthapha said yesterday.

Minister Musthapha was responding to a query by The Island at an SLFP media briefing at the party office on T. B. Jayah Mawatha.

Minister Musthapha said the government would soon seek parliamentary approval for the amendment.

The UNP and the UPFA secured 106 and 95 seats, respectively at the last general election. However, out of the 95 seats obtained by the UPFA, about 52 members joined the Joint Opposition (JO).

Continue reading ‘Polls to North Central,Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils to be Postponed by Amendment with Two-thirds Majority’ »

Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle Faults Govt For Not Honouring Promise to Increase Women Representation in Local Authorities

By Shamindra Ferdinando

State Minister of City Planning and Water Supply Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle yesterday accused the government of reneging on its much-touted promise to increase women’s representation in local government bodies.

State Minister Fernandopulle flayed the government for proposing amendments to local authorities act that would certainly result in the reduction of seats allocated for women.

Turning towards Provincial Council and Local Government Minister Faiszer Musthapha, PC, State Minister Fernandopulle said that she would vote against such amendments. She questioned the government move after Minister Musthapha praised the role played by women at the local government level.

Continue reading ‘Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle Faults Govt For Not Honouring Promise to Increase Women Representation in Local Authorities’ »

Appeal Court Issues Interim Order Staying Jaffna High Court Proceedings in “Big Match Killing”Case Being Heard by High Court Judge M. Ilancheliyan.

By

S.S.Selvanayagam

The Court of Appeal yesterday issued an Interim Order staying the proceedings of the Jaffna High Court in respect of the death of an Old Boy of St. Patrick’s College at the annual big match between Jaffna College and St. Patrick’s College.

The bench comprising Justices L.T.B. Dehideniya and A.L.S. Gooneratne issued this interim order operative until the final determination of the petition filed by one of the accused, Sivasanmuganathan Mathushan of Chulipuram in Jaffna.

The petitioner is seeking the Court of Appeal to transfer the proceedings of the said case to another Court or another judge of the High Court.

Continue reading ‘Appeal Court Issues Interim Order Staying Jaffna High Court Proceedings in “Big Match Killing”Case Being Heard by High Court Judge M. Ilancheliyan.’ »

Re-visiting the Kattankudi Mosque Massacre by the LTTE 27 Years Ago.

by Dr Alavi Sheriffdeen

(The contributor is a teacher based in Australia who lost his father and little brother at the Kattankudy mosque massacre in 1990. He has been leading a number of community educational and empowerment projects in the East of Sri Lanka since the war ended in 2009)

Every year, when the Month of August approaches, a feeling of dread and despair engulfs me as the memories of 3 August 1990 come flooding back. On that fateful day, with one swell swoop, 141 worshippers were massacred while they were in communion with God in two different mosques in Batticaloa, Eastern Province. Nearly three decades later Meera Jummah Mosque in Kattankudy and Hussainiyya Mosque in Manchanthoduwai bear testimony to the bloodshed that took place within its sacred walls.

It has been 27 years today since that dreadful day when Kattankudy Mosque massacre shattered lives of many. I am one of those victims who lost a dear father and a brother, aged just 10, along with many other relatives. Each and every one who was killed in the Hussainiyya Mosque was very well known to me either as relatives or neighbours. This is one of the days that should never be repeated in Sri Lanka or anywhere in the world. Even though decades passed, its tormenting memories and scars have scorched the minds of its victims. To date, these traumatic memories are still fresh as if it just took place a minute ago.

Continue reading ‘Re-visiting the Kattankudi Mosque Massacre by the LTTE 27 Years Ago.’ »

Defiant Ravi Karunanayake Denies All Knowledge of Penthouse Apartment Payments Made On His Behalf By Arjun Aloysius.

By Uditha Jayasinghe

Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday remained defiant before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry denying any knowledge of payments made on the Monarch apartment allegedly rented on his behalf and rejecting conflicts of interest with Perpetual Treasuries Director Arjun Aloysius even though he admitted to a longstanding friendship.

Karunanayake, who was Finance Minister when the bond auction under inquiry took place on 27 February 2015, responding to several fiery rounds of questions by Additional Solicitor General (ASG), President’s Counsel Dappula de Livera, repeatedly denied any knowledge of the apartment being leased for his family by Walt and Row Ltd. till the matter was raised in Parliament by MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage in June 2016. Aloysius and his father are directors of Walt and Row and the company leased the fifth floor apartment for a monthly rent of Rs. 1.45 million. The commission was also informed that Perpetual Treasuries has 28 subsidiary companies.

During five hours of questioning, the Foreign Minister noted after the revelation in Parliament his family had reimbursed Walt and Row fully and a receipt for the transaction remains in his possession.

Continue reading ‘Defiant Ravi Karunanayake Denies All Knowledge of Penthouse Apartment Payments Made On His Behalf By Arjun Aloysius.’ »

How JR Was Coerced By New Delhi to Sign the Indo-Lanka Accord 30 Years Ago

by
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Thirty years ago on this day (July 29th 1987) an accord was signed by the then Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Junius Richard Jayawardene the then President of Sri Lanka in Colombo that had far reaching implications for both the tear drop island in the Indian ocean and its giant neighbour. The India – Sri Lanka Accord known popularly as the Indo-Lanka peace accord was hailed then as a great breakthrough in relations between India and Sri Lanka. Two related letters known as “annexures” were also signed by both leaders.

Signing of the Accord-1987-pic via: The Hindu

The preamble of the accord read as follows – “The president of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, his excellency Mr. J.R. Jayawardene, and the Prime Minister of The Republic of India, His Excellency Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, having met at Colombo on July 29, 1987”.

“Attaching utmost importance to nurturing, intensifying and strengthening the traditional friendship of Sri Lanka and India, and acknowledging the imperative need of resolving the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka, and the consequent violence, and for the safety, wellbeing and prosperity of people belonging to all communities of Sri Lanka.Have this day entered into the following agreement to fulfil this objective”.
Continue reading ‘How JR Was Coerced By New Delhi to Sign the Indo-Lanka Accord 30 Years Ago’ »

“Sri Lanka Wont Have Any National Assets Left By the Time This Govt Ends” – Mahinda Rajapaksa


(Full text of Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Statement)

The manner in which the government privatised the Hambantota port has shocked the nation. Parliament was not allowed to debate the Agreement to privatise one of Sri Lanka’s most important strategic assets. No one knows who did the valuation of this asset. No one appears to have seen any technical/financial evaluation report. The government has also not explained to the public on what criteria they selected the company that won the bid when there was clear evidence that the other bid was much more favourable. This headlong quest to sell state assets is a direct result of the economic crisis that the government has plunged this country into. After the yahapalakayas lied their way to the presidency in January 2015, they knew it would not be possible to win the parliamentary election that was soon due by the same means, so they increased the salaries of government servants, reduced the price of fuel, gas and certain foodstuffs in order to bamboozle the people in a different way.

Thereby, they increased government expenditure while simultaneously reducing revenue, creating the present financial crisis. According to the Auditor General’s reports, the Budget deficit which was 5.7% of the GDP in 2014, had almost doubled to 10.5% in 2015 in just one calendar year. The lack of money to meet day to day expenses including the salaries and pensions of state sector employees resulted in massive foreign currency borrowings. In just two and a half years, the yahapalana government has taken foreign currency loans amounting to over USD 13.7 billion. All this money has been spent on consumption. USD 13.7 billion is the equivalent of ten Norochcholai power plants or ten Hambantota Ports, or more than twenty Southern Highways. But the government has nothing to show for all this money that has been borrowed and spent.

Continue reading ‘“Sri Lanka Wont Have Any National Assets Left By the Time This Govt Ends” – Mahinda Rajapaksa’ »

Yahapalana Govt is Neither Liberal nor Democratic or More Liberal Than it is Democratic


By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

The worst thing about Hambantota is Trincomalee. The Chinese are not our neighbours; we have no border with China and thus no deeply inscribed history of incursions and annexation; there is no Chinese minority on the island and China never intervened in our conflicts or supported cross-border terrorism. The real danger about Hambantota is that the Indians, whose underbelly is Tamil Nadu, will feel it necessary to redouble the squeeze on this puppet government which is greedy, bankrupt and spineless. This is not the UNP of President Premadasa, the author of “Golu Muhuda”, who sent back the 70,000-strong IPKF.

The real battleground is Trincomalee and the surrounding North and East, which is 18 miles from Tamil Nadu. That’s the decisive looming battle. If, as the Sri Lankan PM has promised the Indian PM in writing (Minister Malik Samarawickrama signed the MoU for GoSL), the Trinco oil tank farm, the ‘development’ of the Port, and the Mannar–Trinco/Mannar-Kilinochchi highways are given to the Indians, ETCA signed, and the North and East granted quasi-federal powers through a Constitutional change, this island would permanently lose control over its Northeastern periphery-cum-buffer. As a state, we would become geopolitically smaller and more vulnerable to our giant neighbour.

In Mexico, the Zapatistas led by the enigmatic, iconic Subcommandante Marcos in his ski-mask, began their almost bloodless armed uprising on the day in 1994 that NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, was signed—and the existential threat posed by NAFTA to Mexico was far less than that posed either by ETCA or the acquisition of Trincomalee by India. Where are the 21st century Puran Appus?

Meanwhile, have you noticed that every major, mainstream political formation in Sri Lanka had controversies in the past several weeks? The TNA had a problem with the NPC and Wigneswaran; the UNP members of the Cabinet lined up for and against UNP Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s stout defence of Sri Lanka against hostile UN officials; Weerawansa’s NFF rocked the JO boat by criticizing participation in the Steering Committee on constitutional change; the SLFP and UNP contradictions are growing; and the official SLFP has dissenters who are threatening to quit the government in the next few weeks. These are but symptoms of the crisis spreading.

Continue reading ‘Yahapalana Govt is Neither Liberal nor Democratic or More Liberal Than it is Democratic’ »

Ravi Karunanayake’s Penthouse Affair Poses Acid Test for Maithri- Ranil Govt’s Integrity

By

Ranga Jayasuriya

This government has routinely blamed the corruption of the former regime for the current economic hardships in the country. Now, how on earth did it manage to behave like nothing had happened after recent jaw-dropping allegations against its former Finance Minister cum incumbent Foreign Minister?

Last week, Anika Wijesuriya, a directress of a construction company told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the alleged bond scam that Arjun Aloysius, director of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., had paid the rental of a penthouse lease of Ravi Karunanayake, while the latter was the Finance Minister in 2016. Ms. Wijesuriya, who was the original owner of the house at Monarch Residencies, said Minister Karunanayake and his family leased out the penthouse for eight months with the monthly lease rental Rs.1.45 million being paid by Mr. Aloysius.

She said Rs.7.3 million was transferred by the Perpetual Capital Holdings Pvt. Ltd. to Walt and Row Pvt. Ltd., with which she had entered into a lease agreement. Another Rs. 1.4 million was paid to her in cash. Later in September 2016, the house had been bought for Rs. 165 million by a company, Global Transportation and Logistics Pvt. Ltd., in which Mr. Karunanayake’s wife and daughter were directresses.

Later in the week, a second witness, Chief Financial Officer of the Global Transportation and Logistics Pvt. Ltd., B.R. Chinnaiya who gave evidence before the commission could not explain the origin of money that had been used to purchase the house. He revealed that the money was obtained from the chairman’s safe, into which the company’s London based chairman had dumped Rs. 145 million on two occasions, when he arrived in Sri Lanka during 2016 and 2017. Nor did the company’s statements of accounts make any reference to the origin of the said funds.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake’s Penthouse Affair Poses Acid Test for Maithri- Ranil Govt’s Integrity’ »

Octopus-like Tentacles of Corruption Reach Into Highest Levels of Govt


By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

For decades since independence, Sri Lankans were wont to look over the Palk Strait and enviously compare the strides that the Indian legal system had been taking in regard to protection of the Rule of Law. True, serious blimps were evidenced on the radar in regard to practical implementation of good judicial decisions. Allegations of corruption were intermittently made against Indian judges themselves. However, despite these negatives and even notwithstanding the alarming undermining of a once vibrant public intellectual culture in recent times, the judicial system and the Constitution of that country still retain the respect of the teeming Indian multitudes.

A powerful lesson for the region

Now we can look equally covetously elsewhere as yet another neighbouring country holds out an example that we may justifiably yearn for. This week Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned from office after the country’s Supreme Court unanimously declared him as ‘not honest’ and disqualified him from elected office. Sharif was ruled to have been dishonest in not disclosing his earnings from a Dubai-based company in his nomination papers during the 2013 general election.

The 2016 disclosures in the Panama Papers that three of Prime Minister Sharif’s children had used shell companies to buy properties in London were pivotal to the case. The former Prime Minister has refuted any allegation of wrong doing but stated that he will respect the Court’s decision. Certainly the ruling will potentially wreak more havoc on Pakistan’s tumultuous political systems. And it is doubtful if a single ruling of this nature will suffice to cleanse the notoriously corrupt political culture in the country. Even so, the stark fact of a Prime Minister forced to a measure of accountability stands as a potent and powerful lesson for other political leaders in this region.

In contrast, what do we have in Sri Lanka? The dismal fate which has now visited the 2015 rainbow coalition as public disillusionment if not fury grows is clear. A core component of that anger is the complete inability of the unity alliance to bring previous corrupt politicians to justice as well as maintain minimum standards of anti- corruption by its own members. Both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe appear to be engaging in typical party politics at the expense of their campaign promises to bring about a change from the past.

Continue reading ‘Octopus-like Tentacles of Corruption Reach Into Highest Levels of Govt’ »

Neelan Tiruchelvam the Foremost Intellectual of Contemporary Tamil Politics

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

(Dr.Neelan Tiruchelvam was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of tamil eelam(LTTE)18 years ago on July 29th 1999. This article was originally written three years ago to commemorate the 70th birth anniversary of Dr. Tiruchelvam on January 31st 2014. It is being re-posted here without any changes to denote Neelan’s 18th death anniversary)

Neelan Tiruchelvam (January 31, 1944 – July 29, 1999) – Portrait held during a Memorial Lecture in his honour - pic by: Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Neelan Tiruchelvam (January 31, 1944 – July 29, 1999) – Portrait held during a Memorial Lecture in his honour – pic by: Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

January 31st is the birthday of eminent Constitution lawyer, academic and politician Dr.Neelakandan Tiruchelvam. Neelan as he was popularly known would have completed the biblical life span of three score years and ten had he been among the living today. Born on January 31st 1944,Neelan Tiruchelvam, was brutally assassinated fifteen years ago by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)on July 29th 1999.He was 55 at the time of his death.

I had a close personal relationship with Neelan. He was my friend, philosopher and guide. He was greatly instrumental in moulding my career. He was in a sense my political mentor. It was as a journalist on the Tamil daily “Virakesari” that I first began interacting with Neelan Tiruchelvam. My relationship with him grew over the years as I moved into English journalism via ‘‘The Island ‘’and ‘‘The Hindu ‘’.

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“Govigama” Monopoly Of Presidents And Prime Ministers In Sri Lanka

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

71 Year old Lawyer Ram Nath Kovind has been elected on Thursday July 20th 2017 as the 14th President of India! An excerpt from Indian English daily “The Hindu” stated as follows –

“Ram Nath Kovind was on Thursday declared elected as India’s 14th President polling 65.6% of the vote defeating the Opposition’s joint candidate, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who secured 34% of the vote. Mr. Kovind will be the second Dalit President of India after late President K.R. Narayanan but, more significantly, the first from politically significant Uttar Pradesh and the first person from the BJP to hold the office of President since Independence”.

“Speaking to the press after returning officer for the poll, Anoop Mishra, declared him elected, Mr. Kovind said it was an “emotional moment” for him.“I never dreamed of this position nor was it a goal. My election to this post is a message to all those who discharge their duties with honesty and integrity,” he said, promising to uphold the Constitution of India and follow the policy of Sarve Bhavantu Sukheenaha or peace and prosperity to all”.

Presidents of Sri Lanka & President Ram Nath Kovind

The Indian Presidency is largely a ceremonial but symbolically significant post. The President is elected by members of the Indian Lower (Lok Sabha) and Upper (Rajya Sabha) houses of Parliament along with members of the various state legislatures (legislative assemblies). The votes are graded accordingly and allocated a particular value. In the current presidential poll the total number of MPs and MLAs who cast their votes was 4851, bearing a combined value of 1090300. However, with 77 votes being declared invalid — 21 from Parliament alone — the total number of valid votes was 4774, bearing a combined value of 1069358. Mr. Kovind nominated by the BJP led govt polled 2930 of these votes — bearing a value of 702044 — while the opposition candidate Ms. Kumar gained 1844 votes — with a value of 367314.

As a keen observer of the Indian political scene for many decades the election of an Indian President is an exercise I greatly admire. What I have been impressed most is the tradition followed by successive Indian Governments of electing presidents reflecting the mixed population of the country at large. India has through a deliberate process of selection ensured over the years that members of the regional, religious and linguistic minorities are rotated as Presidents of India. In recent times caste and gender too have become relevant factors.
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Anatomy of an Anti-Tamil Pogrom: Thirty-fourth Anniversary of “Black July” 1983.

(This article was posted in 2013 to denote the 30th anniversary of Black July 83 and is reproduced here again with minor changes in view of the 34th anniversary of the anti- Tamil pogrom)


by

D.B.S. Jeyaraj

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Shops, Banks, Offices and Restaurants in the Capital’s crowded City Centre and Main Streets being burnt while the Police look on. Thousands of houses ransacked and burnt, sometimes with women and children inside. Goon squads battering passengers to death in trains and on station platforms and, without hindrance, publicly burning men and women to death on the streets! Remand prisoners and political detainees in the country’s top prison being massacred.The armed forces joining in and sometimes organizing this pogrom against members of Sri Lanka’s two Sri Lankan minority communities. The nation’s President and top ranking cabinet members publicly justifying the pogrom!” – (Introductory Paragraph from “Sri Lanka” The holocaust and After” by C.R. Hensman writing under the pseudonym L. Piyadasa)

The tragic history of post – independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka have been subjected to mass –scale mob violence in the years 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983. The anti-Tamil violence of July 1983 was the most terrible and horrible of them all. It remains etched in memory even after 30 years.

Continue reading ‘Anatomy of an Anti-Tamil Pogrom: Thirty-fourth Anniversary of “Black July” 1983.’ »

Manhunt Launched in North for Killer of Policeman in Jaffna Shooting Incident; Suspect Identified as 39 Year old Ex-Tiger Selvarasa Jeyanthan of Nallur.

Police have launched an intense manhunt in the Northern province to arrest the killer of Police Sgt Sarath Hemachandra (PS 24330) on Saturday July 22nd 2017 in Nallur,Jaffna. 51 year old Hemachandra hailing from Chilaw was on duty providing security escort on a motor cycle to Jaffna High court judge Manickavasagam Illancheliyan when he was shot at about 5 pm on Temple Road and sustained serious injuries in the stomach. He was rushed to the Jaffna teaching hospital and provided emergency treatment but succumbed to his injuries on Sunday July 23rd. Hemachandra was posthumously promted as sub – inspector of police by IGP Pujitha Jayasundara. He was the father of two children.

A widespread search operation is currently underway within the Jaffna peninsula and certain areas of the Northern mainland to arrest the suspected “cop killer” who has been identified as 39 year old Selvarasa Jeyanthan is currently a resident of Nallur though his permanent address is in the 4th ward of Pungudutheevu island.. Police have taken into custody the suspect’s brother and brother in law for questioning. Both Jeyanthan’s brother and brother in law were with him when the shooting incident occurred on Temple road. Both however were not involved in the shooting.

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Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Who Confronted UN’s Ben Emmerson gets “Tuition” in Diplomacy From Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe


By The “Sunday Times” Political Editor

President Maithripala Sirisena hurriedly interrupted the Cabinet meeting that was in progress last Tuesday. He rose from his chair and asked ministers whether they could feel something like a tremor that was causing vibration of the floor.

He said he could feel such a phenomenon where he sat — the podium in the onetime Well of the House of Parliament facing ministers seated behind rows of tables. Soon, members of his personal protection group were summoned and told to find out what was happening.
The men who left the chamber returned sometime later to tell Sirisena that the vibrations were caused by piling equipment being used in the Chinese funded Colombo Port City project. It was just across the road from the Presidential Secretariat. “Let’s hope that when the construction work finishes, the Presidential Secretariat will be intact,” he remarked half-jokingly.

The meeting continued. When discussions or decisions on some 49 items on the agenda were concluded, it was time for “any other business.”

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe rose to explain why he has been accused of abusing United Nations envoy Ben Emmerson QC, Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter terrorism. During a five-day visit to Sri Lanka, Emmerson met Rajapakshe at the Justice Ministry. Emmerson is retiring from the UN system later next week.

Continue reading ‘Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Who Confronted UN’s Ben Emmerson gets “Tuition” in Diplomacy From Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe’ »

Unidentified Man Appearing to be Drunk , Seizes Pistol from High Court Judge Illanchelian’s Security Officer in Jaffna and Fires shots Injuring Police Sgt.

An unidentified man seized the pistol of a Police officer and opened fire at a vehicle carrying Jaffna High Court Judge M. Ilancheliyan, wounding his security officer. The incident occurred near the Nallur Kandasamy Kovil in Jaffna last evening. Judge Ilancheliyan, who was unhurt, told reporters he was the target of the assailant and there was “a serious threat to the judiciary.”

The pistol belonged to Mr. Ilancheliyan’s advance motorcycle outrider, a police sergeant. As a routine, he would patrol the routes taken by the judge, now sitting together with two other colleagues, at the trial-at- bar of the rape-and-murder of a 17-year-old schoolgirl.

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President Sirisena’s Political Journey is Coming to an End but he does not Seem to Realise it.

by C.A.Chandraprema

The brawl that everyone saw taking place within the North Central Provincial Council on TV news bulletins last week was the outward signs of a new political development with far reaching political implications. The mace that was broken in the melee just about symbolised the impact this event would have on the political fortunes of the incumbent powers in the NCP and their political masters at the centre. Even though there has been considerable turbulence in the North Central Provincial Council in recent weeks, with a full blown revolt among UPFA/SLFP members against the Sirisena loyalist Chief Minister Peshala Jayaratne, that was just a dispute within the ruling UPFA group. Even though we may not have seen anything as spectacular as this in a provincial council in the past, there have been plenty of disputes and even fisticuffs between members of ruling groups in PCs and local government institutions in the past as well.

There are 33 members in the North Central Province with the UPFA having 21 seats, while the UNP has 11 and the JVP one. Thus if it comes to a division within the Council, 17 members can form a majority. This crisis began when 18 members of the UPFA presented a no confidence motion against the chief minister with affidavits from all signatories. The full force of the executive presidency was brought into play to prevent power in the NCP from slipping out of the hands of Sirisena’s loyalists. The Governor was instructed not to accept the documents from the dissident group and using the time thus bought, two of the dissidents were bought over by giving them ministerial portfolios. There was a complete purge of the board of ministers of the NCP following this revolt.

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Why Was Ben Emmerson Allowed to Bully, Threaten and Blackmail Sri Lanka

By Tamara Kunanayakam,
– former Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva
and
Dr. PalithaKohona,
– former Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York

The Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson’s haughty statement at a media briefing in Colombo on 14 July,with the UN Resident Representative at his side not contradicting the special rapporteur in any way, and his official communiqué in Geneva on 18 July, is arbitrary, judgmental, arrogant, accusatory, threatening, interventionist,and insulting.

It reeks of the worst white supremacist holier than thou attitude with regard to the non white world. When a national of a country, which has persistently violated human rights standards, including in Sri Lanka during its colonial overlordship, adopts a profoundly objectionable judgmental attitude, one must dismiss it publicly with contempt.

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Ben Emmerson’s Irascible Warning Conveys Dash of Icy Cold Reality to Govt.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

United Nations Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC’s warning to the Sri Lankan Government following last week’s mission visit to the country was certainly the most irascible that we have seen from a UN mandate holder in a while. After more than two years of the United Nations’ uncritically accepting sunshiny rhetoric from an administration that excelled in the art, aided and abetted by Colombo’s enthusiastic cheerleaders, this was a dash of icy cold reality.


Acknowledging faults at all levels

Unfortunately however, it has all the elements of bad parenting. A cossetted and pampered child used to getting its own way does not take kindly to an undiluted dose of sternness, which also has a tad unpleasant touch of hectoring to it. Instead of a measured and carefully nuanced engagement with this Government from the start, we have over-indulgence giving way to unexpected austerity. Certainly these are extremes that are not productive.

The Special Rapporteur’s preliminary media release on his visit has been greeted with glad cries by the Rajapaksa base and its fifth column supporters in the Government to support their argument that the country will not be ‘lectured to’ by outsiders.

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